My son adores grilled cheese sandwiches like most kids do.

I’ve changed it up slightly to make it easier to digest, but still gooey-good.
Traditional grilled cheese sandwiches  call for butter, those conveniently packaged cheese slices or what I like to call food-colored fake cheese and white bread (sugar). It’s so simple to take a traditional item like a grilled cheese and swap the unhealthy ingredients for more health promoting ones.
  
Instead of White Bread substitute for an alternative like Spelt Bread. Stone Mill is popular in most mainstream grocery stores. Spelt is higher in B vitamins and a light enough bread that your kids won’t think it’s that healthy ;)
Instead of food-colored fake cheese swap it for cheddar goat cheese. Goat cheese is the easiest dairy product to digest. It’s properties are closest to mother’s milk and it melts well!

Instead of butter try grape seed oil. It’s high in anti-oxidants and has a high smoke point.

Instead of sugary Ketchup try letting your kids dip it in some healthy hummus or salsa. Usually, as long as they are dipping all is good!

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It’s fun to explore a variety of different foods and restaurants, but keep in mind these nutrition no-no’s when you eat-out!

1) Drinking liquids with our meal. Drinking too much when eating dilutes digestive enzymes and slows down digestion leading to bloating, gas, etc.
Eating Correction: no more pop, or other carbonated beverages. Drink only 1/2 glass of room temp water if you must drink. Try drinking 1/2 hour before and 45-1 hour after a meal

2) Improper Food Combining
: Stop eating fruit after a meal! Eating fruit with or after a starch or a protein can cause fermentation in the gut, which leads to us feeling more bloated and hungrier sooner than we would if we skipped the fruit.
Eating Correction: Eat fruit in isolation 30 minutes before a meal or 45 min after. The only exception is papaya, pineapple and mango because of natural digestive enzymes that exist in these fruits. 3) Eating something sweet or cold after a meal. Cold foods like ice cream should be avoided right after a meal as anything cold or hot can also slow down digestive function.

Eating Correction: If you are craving a sweet cold treat wait 45 minutes to give your digestive organs some time to do their thing. 4) Assuming the named menu item is healthy without asking. Too many fast food restaurants will label their meals with misleading names like “grilled chicken” when many of these dishes contain more sodium and calories. If you are watching what you are eating make sure no matter where you go you can judge for yourself if the food is healthy.

Eating Correction: Read nutrition facts at a fast food joint or if ordering at a restaurant make sure to ask what kind of sauces are used, is there cream? butter? etc.  If so, you can make it healthier just by asking. 5) Ordering too much food. I know it often all looks so good and we are so hungry by the time we get to the restaurant, but we often go overboard with the amount we order. An appetizer, entree and dessert these days can equal to a ton more food than is necessary for us to eat. We then feel sluggish, bloated, cranky and sometimes even mad at ourselves, which can lead to a negative emotional connection to food and lack of energy for exercise.

Eating Correction: If you are out with another person, try ordering 2 appetizers, 1 entree and 1 dessert (30 mins later) or skip dessert all together. This way you won’t get as full and you can still have variety. 6) Adding too many condiments or sauces (that are full of sugar or fat) to our healthy food. Even if you do your best to order that gorgeous looking salad, if you are drenching it in a processed dressing (bad fat) you are contributing to potential imbalances to your health. Ketchup is probably the most overused condiment, which adds many empty calories to a meal.

Eating Correction: ask for pure olive oil and vinegar and substitute the ketchup for real salsa. 7) Eating dinner too late. Although making a reservation late makes it a little easier to get ready and excited for the evening, eating a heavy meal late can throw off the body’s natural way of detoxifying. For example, it takes us about 10 hours to digest beef. Say we eat it at 8:00 p.m. we are still digesting our food by 5 a.m. The body can’t spend time on detoxing if it is busy digesting.

Eating Correction: If you want to eat late make it a smaller meal that the body can work on digesting easier. Try to avoid heavy meats late at night and keep the lighter proteins, veggies and light carbs on your plate. 8) Feeling embarrassed to stay on track with your healthy lifestyle when with a group of people. Many feel that they will look stupid if they choose a healthy meal or ask for a substitute when eating out with their friends.

Eating Correction: You health is #1 and there are probably others at the table that will secretly be really impressed when you care about your health and it may even inspire them to do more for themselves.
9) Eating only for taste. We often only think in terms of if we like it or not, but we forget about the basic concept that food is our fuel and if we don’t start re-training our palate to like a variety of tastes we may deny our body of good overall health.
Eating Correction: To get started try eating at least one meal a day where you are only thinking about your health. Before you know it you will love the taste of healthy food and all of your meals will be based on your health. 10) Not eating enough raw foods. We tend to overcook everything and forget that raw food contains potent enzymes and nutrients that can really benefit us.

Eating Correction: Try eating 50% raw and 50% cooked at your next meal and every meal if you want to do something really exciting for your health!
Miranda Malisani
Holistic Nutritionist, Founder of Live Light Nutrition
Nutrition Expert for The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV

 

One of my fav things to do is spend one-on-one time with my son in the kitchen. In this video we made a healthy version of a flourless chocolate cake.

 

 

 

 

Here’s the recipe:
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup almond butter
1/3 cup unpasteurized honey
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp raw cacao
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Egg (Omega 3)
Combine together and bake for 30 mins at 350

 

If you missed me on Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s Princess
You can check out the Link here
Miranda on Princess
It’s the Holiday Time! There’s a chill in the air, bright lights on the streets and festive frolicking at every mall. There is also holiday treats in the office at work, tins of sugary temptations at home and parties to go to with an abundance of heavy food options.  Although it is a cheerful time of year it can also be a guilt-ridden stressful time because of the lack of control surrounding food you may feel during the holidays.
You may wonder, how you are going to enjoy yourself and not gain weight?
You may think about it so much that you just say:
“Whatever! The holidays only come once a year so I am going to eat whatever I want and then worry about it in January.”
I like to call this the Food Trap Layaway. It’s the one responsible for the yo-yo cycle of weight-gain.  It’s the same as the buy now, pay later purchases we make.
As much as you tell yourself you will put money aside, or you will eat better tomorrow it is just so hard to put it into action.
It is no wonder that January is the most depressing month of the year.
This holiday season, I encourage you to change your self-talk to:
“I am going to be in-control of my food decisions and I am going to enjoy doing so”
You have it in you, just make the connection this time around.
Changing your perception about eating will help you to become more responsible for your health.  You will start to relate more to the feeling of giving your body good quality fuel rather than feeling bummed out that you have to deny yourself that gooey piece of Aunt Carol’s Sweet Potato Pie.
Changing your food attitude can create a feeling of empowerment and excitement that makes the holidays just as joyous.
This season, eat for health, rather than how it hits your palate.
All the best for a healthy and happy 2012!

Miranda Malisani
Holistic Nutritionist, Founder of Live Light Nutrition
Nutrition Expert for The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV

Check me out on The Marilyn Denis Show on January 26th 10 a.m.
I will be showing you how to Bust the Winter Blues with 90 Second Breakfasts!
You don’t want to miss this!!!

Introducing foods for the first time to your baby can be an intimidating task.

What to introduce?
How to introduce it?
Do I make it fresh or use commercial food?
Will it constipate them?
Will they be sensitive to it?
What if they don’t like it?
All normal thoughts to have.
Here are some important things to consider when introducing new foods:
1. Watch for any signs of sensitivity including: rash, runny or congested nose, watery eyes, constipation, diarrhea, severe mood changes. Many health practioners recommend introducing one food for several days to monitor any of these signs or symptoms. If there are repeated signs then remove the food and wait to re-introduce.
2. Many commercial starter foods tend to be on the constipating side (brown rice, bananas, sweet potatoes, apples, etc) make sure to keep an eye on digestive function. Just because the jar says starter doesn’t mean your baby should be consuming if it’s causing a digestive or another type of reaction. Turn on your parent intuition and start from there.
3. Preparing homemade foods helps to provide extra nutrients for your baby.  Fresh foods have higher amounts of vitamins and minerals than commercial foods. These foods can have extra additives, sugar and sodium. Make sure to research baby food companies and choose ones that offer more wholesome ingredients.
4. Make eating time one of exploration. When your baby is ready, introduce a variety of different tastes. You have a window of opportunity to accustom your baby’s palate to appreciate taste diversity. Try not to rely soley on sweet foods. Introduce sour (plain goats yogurt), mild spice (curry), bitter (rapini). At first your baby may reject these foods, but keep on trying and you may just be surprised. Introducing a variety of foods at an early age not only helps to maintain a balanced diet, which encourages a healthy constitution, but it also makes your life a lot easier in the long run in terms of food prep!
5. Add superfoods to your baby’s diet. Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids (health promoting fats) as well as potassium, vitamin E, B Vitamins and fibre. Not to mention it is easy to eat and easy to prepare.
6. Avoid ALL commercial foods that list SUGAR as a primary ingredient.  Sugar in an anti-nutrient and impairs immune system function. During such times of growth and development added sugar is not wise in a baby’s diet.
7. Offer healthy grains such as Quinoa and Millet. These grains offer many nutrients and are also easy to eat and easy to prepare. It is wise to invest in a blender or small food processor (magic bullet) you can blend the grains with breast milk, formula or a variety of other foods that you have introduced to your baby.
*It is always best to check with your health practitioner before introducing any new foods into your baby’s diet. Please be sure to discuss the introduction of potential allergenic foods with your pediatrician.
By: Miranda Malisani, Holistic Nutritionist
Upon Waking:  Half a lemon squeezed into room temperature 8 oz pure water
1/4 tsp probiotic (optional)
Within 40 minutes of Waking: Smoothie (plain yogurt, almond milk, raw honey or agave syrup, raspberries, blueberries & banana)
40 mins After Breakfast: Glass of 1/2 pure water, 1/2 unsweetened cranberry juice
Mid Morning Snack: Handful of pumpkin seeds and walnuts
30 mins Before Lunch: Glass of 1/2 pure water, 1/2 unsweetened cranberry juice
1 Tbsp of flax oil
Lunch: Anti-biotic free chicken and vegetables (red peppers, onions, lettuce and tomatoes) in a whole grain wrap (brown rice, spelt, multigrain) with organic greens dressed with lemon and olive oil.
If thirsty with lunch choose room temperature water only
Mid-Afternoon Snack: Peach or apple
30 mins Before Dinner: Glass of pure water
Dinner:  4oz of dill and lemon snapper fillets, medley of snap peas, squash of your choice, and red swiss chard.
If thirsty with dinner choose room temperature water only
 
Snack:  Dried cranberries and apricots

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