The “Ice Cream” You Can Eat Pounds Of without the pounds showing up on you

Let me tell you about a recent discovery that I’ve been calling “fake ice cream” at home. First of all, let’s get one thing straight, I’m not saying anything bad about real ice cream. It’s undoubtedly one of the most wonderful things in the world. But if dairy makes you feel like throwing up, or if you’re like me and just want big scoops for dinner all the time, it’s probably not amazing to have it every single day. Though temping.

So hard to look away..

So hard to look away..

Now, if you are craving an ice creamy delicious dessert but don’t want to setback a diet or workout, OR even better – if you’re lactose intolerant and don’t want to feel like garbage, prepare your mind for blowage. Your key ingredient is frozen bananas.

frozenbanna

Aside from bananas being the quarterback of this recipe, there are also many other benefits if you’re still skeptical.

  • Bananas have high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin – the happy-maker!
  • Bananas before a workout gives you added energy helps keep up blood sugar
  • Bananas can help prevent muscle cramps
  • They can improve your mood and reduce PMS symptoms
  • Bananas reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the¬†nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B-6.
  • Strengthen your blood and relieve anemia with the added iron from bananas.
  • High in potassium and low in salt, bananas are officially recognized by the FDA as being able to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke.
    -via foodmatters.tv

And before I get into, let’s just acknowledge that it goes even further than this ice cream recipe. People are doing a lot of shit to frozen bananas these days. You can make so many treats, who knew! Chocolate bananas, frozen banana yogurt pops, and this thing! But back to the “fake ice cream”.

Take a couple frozen bananas, depending on how much ice cream you want to make. It’s safe to say 2 frozen bananas will give you 2 hefty servings.

Use a food processor to puree the bananas, I use a Magic Bullet which works but takes way longer.

careful

Before you blend, don’t forget to seal it tight. But second-most importantly, this is where you can get creative with flavours! If you don’t feel like adding anything, that’s fine – banana ice cream is delicious on its own. But if you want to mix it up, here are a few ideas.
Cocoa powder = Chocolate
Frozen strawberries = Strawberry (add some extra milk to help break up the added frozen fruit)
Vanilla extract and/or Vanilla protein powder = Vanilla + protein boost
Honey = Also goes good with Vanilla
Cinnamon = Self-explanatory
Cinnamon and nutmeg = Spicier cinnamon
Nut butter = Probably the most delicious, also goes great as an addition to chocolate.

For something even more simple, you can just add chocolate chips to the plain banana mixture to make banana chocolate chip! And of course, these are just ideas – not rules. There are no rules with fake ice cream. And that’s how I like it. You can mix and match whatever flavour additions you want in order to create your own concoction!

This is so easy to make, so delicious and ice cream-like, and it’s healthy! Assuming you don’t go crazy on the chocolate chips, but hey, sometimes you gotta.

Ice cream

This is bananas! Get it? Because it’s literally bananas. Image via fancyhouseroad.com

Enjoy!

Can green bananas really help you lose weight?

drnick

Let’s be completely honest… Dr. Oz is a little weird, no? I mean is he even a real doctor? Now you may be thinking, if you hate Dr. Oz so much why were you watching the show? Well you see, I don’t have cable and my antennae allows me only a few channels, which includes the network that plays the Dr. Oz show.

oz

It really caught my attention when I overheard him saying that green (completely unripe) bananas can attribute to weight loss. Eating 2 a week, to be exact. His reasoning was that ripe bananas have a higher sugar content, which makes sense. But even with that considered, how would green bananas help? Wouldn’t it be the same thing to just eat something else – anything else – with less sugar than a ripe banana? If they truly do play some role in weight loss then there must be more to it than just being better by sugar comparison…

First of all, the reputation of a perfectly ripe and yellow banana need not be tarnished by their greener infant state. They still help you lose and maintain weight and offer plenty of nutrition benefits. They’re loaded with potassium and magnesium, both good for keeping blood pressure in check. Generally, fruit isn’t the best source of vitamin B6, but bananas are the exception with more than 30% of the recommended daily amount in a single serving.

bananadance

After looking into it, the difference it seems, is resistance starch. It’s the natural resistance starch in green bananas that give them that slightly tart, starchy taste. And, along with these other resistance starchy foods, they may actually enhance fat burning by breaking down stored fat to be used as an energy source. HUH.

Okay, so perhaps there is something to be said for the green banana. But at the end of the day, I feel bananas in general are a great addition to your diet.

And side note, if you have any ripe bananas you no longer want to eat, I recently made these sugarless banana breakfast cookies and they are sooo good. I added natural peanut butter and protein powder. If you do want them to have a kick of sweetness you can add chocolate flavoured protein powder.

Adrenal glands make a difference and you should probably know what they are

Before a naturopath told me my adrenal glands were all wonky, I had no idea what those even were or what they did, I thought she was just making words up. But when I followed her advice and corrected the issues, I noticed huge positive differences.

Look how big they are! How did I miss em.

Look how big they are! How did I miss em.

So basically, your adrenal glands are your stress organs, responsible for producing cortisol, adrenaline and DHEA. Keeping these glands healthy is extremely important for overall hormonal health and balance, and can even be the hidden cause of certain issues. Problems like headaches, digestive upset, PMS, fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, even infertility issues. C’hyea.

In turn, stress can rile up other health conditions like arthritis, asthma, allergies and IBS. Your adrenal glands and stress hormones are one of the most neglected systems in conventional medicine! And yet simply addressing adrenal related issues can have a huge effect on your wellbeing.

OM

If you’re like me and have no idea whether or not you need some adrenal support, skim through this list. If you say yes for 3 or more of the following (regularly), you probably want to look into your adrenal glands more carefully.

  • Chronic pain of any type (including migraines, joint pains, etc)
  • Anxiety / panic attacks
  • Emotional stress (work, relationship, family, public transit, etc)
  • Feeling tired or exhausted that isn’t relieved by more sleep
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Dizziness from standing up too quickly
  • Low tolerance for stress (stressing out over little things)
  • Worsened allergies
  • Weight gain in the mid-belly area
  • High blood pressure / heart palpitations
  • Difficulty falling and/or staying asleep at night
  • Salt cravings
  • Achy or twitchy legsIf you’re a lady:
  • Any change in menstrual cycle
  • Chronic menstrual pain
  • Symptoms of premature menopause

The test is just done with spit, so it’s a little gross but easy. You can ask any naturopath about it, and it will tell you if your symptoms are related to the adrenals. Your personal diagnosis will vary, obviously, but will probably include:

  • Changes in nutrition orange
  • Stress reducing techniques like yoga, whatever works for you
  • Balanced exercise – this goes either way, you may need to ease up or you may need to start moving
  • Supplements to support adrenal function

Healthy adrenals mean more energy and more happy moods! Imbalances are very treatable, making a huge difference. So check your shit out.

Winter sucks, so amp up your Vitamin D

snowman

We’ve got a bit of a wait until the days start getting longer again, and after the holiday season is over there’s little to look forward to. While there’s some debate over the legitimacy of Seasonal Affective Disorder, (or more fittingly, SAD) I believe it is definitely real. And carb craving is actually a symptom! So don’t worry – it’s not you, it’s winter.

He gets it.

He gets it.

When it’s pitch black at 5 p.m. and frigid winds turn your face numb after being outside for 2 minutes, how can we not get a little down? Besides a vacation, there are a few things you can do to help yourself out during the winter months. Exercise of course helps, but what also makes a huge different is with what you put in your body – like vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. More specifically, vitamin D3.

In fact, SAD itself is caused by lack of vitamin D3, so this is definitely one you want to add. The best source is the sun, but since it’s early to bed and late to rise at the moment, here are your best options:

  • Still the sun
    Even though we don’t see as much of it, you can still get your vitamin D on a sunny wintery day. A short walk is all you need.
  • Salmon
    The most vitamin D of any food (and wild salmon has even more than the farmed kind).
  • Tuna
    A serving of tuna has a healthy dose of Vitamin D – more than one-third of a daily dose. (Light tuna in oil has the most).

  • Milk
    Fortified milk has one-fifth a day’s worth.
  • Cereal
    The vitamin D amounts vary by brand so read your labels carefully!
    (Here’s a list of good, D-filled options)
  • Oysters
    On top of D, oysters also get you vitamin B12, zinc, iron, just to name a few. But also cholesterol, so watch yoself if heart disease or stroke are concerns.
  • Eggs
    Another one with multiple benefits, eggs offer vitamin D, B12 and protein.
  • Mushrooms
    The only reason I ever agreed to eat mushrooms was because I thought I’d grow taller like Alice in Wonderland. That didn’t happen, but they did give up high vitamin D, and B5.

If you can’t manage to get enough vitamin D from food or able to be outside very much, you can take a supplement. Look for options that contain vitamin D3 rather than vitamin D2 (D3 is more potent).

And of course, discussing it with your personal health care provider is a good idea, and they can give you recommendations for doses.

Healthy fish recipes
More recipes high in vitamin D
Some more winter vitamins to add

sunhair

[image by Liam Heng Swee]

“Everything in Moderation” is Easier Said Than Done

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It seems like the simplest, easiest thing to do – and we hear it constantly, “everything in moderation”. The concept is great, but in practice it isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Especially during the holidays. Offices fill up with cakes and cookies and delicious treats,¬† parties start popping up in our calendars, which means boozing and floating appetizer trays aplenty. When food and drinks are free and seemingly endless, it’s easy to go crazy. I’ve noticed a lot of people tend to become really diligent about their diet and exercise routine during the weeks approaching, and the ones immediately following the holiday season. Likely in an attempt to undo the damage. Dieting in spurts and then going on benders is the total opposite of moderation, but admit you’ve done this right before a vacation or holiday season…

“I’ve got to work out and eat right so I look good in my bathing suit, so that I can drink my face off and live at a buffet for 7 days!”

SO… What to do. I think the easiest way is eat real and organic foods as often as possible, and avoid stuff that was made in a lab:

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If this becomes routine, then portioning, calorie counting and dieting aren’t even factors anymore. What screws us over is too much restriction, but there are some ways to make all this easier and eliminate “dieting”.

Treating yourself is not cheating, and if you think about it that way, you’re totally changing the psychological aspects of your eating. Just work treats into your regular plan, you’ve earned it. You’ll also be making it something that’s normal and not something to feel guilty about later, lessening the chances of bingeing.

Even better, is finding healthier versions of foods you love. Bake cookies and desserts sweetened with maple syrup. Or if you crave savory over sweet, make your own sweet potato fries with olive oil and sea salt (so good).

Sidenote from my naturopath:

“If sugar is your main craving that you struggle with maintaining moderation, it may also mean that there is an imbalance in your intestinal flora, in particular too much yeast. In this case, a yeast cleanse to re-balance, will greatly minimize your need for sweets, and help you to find a better balance.”

And here are a few healthy but-might-not-seem-healthy recipes, the best kind: