What’s your [food] story?

Stories are one of my favourite things, ever. Stories are powerful. We have our own stories, we have cultural stories, we have stories of history, stories of the future and stories just for fun. Everything is defined by stories we hear and tell. They can wipe out entire races, peoples and places as though they never existed. They can validate our experiences, or make us live in doubt and shame. We tell stories about our lived experiences to create meaning in our lives; otherwise we are just going through a series of random events that make no sense. Humans like things to make sense, and to have a deeper meaning.

When I see people for nutrition counselling, I’m not often sitting there making sure they have eaten all the nutrients they need, I’m actually listening for their food story.

Our food story is the way we talk about what we eat, and the way we describe our history with food. It is how we give meaning to the food we eat.

Often I find my clients reducing their food story to one of weight; their interaction with food is simply the journey that has lead to fatness or thinness. Sadly this is not just my clients, it really is a societal way we talk about food: “good” “bad” or “fattening” are used in everyday common language to describe food. But reducing food to something that has “made you fat” or is “fattening” does you and the food a disservice.

Can you remember the first meal you truly savoured? What did you like about it? What was so pleasurable about it?

Here is my honest answer: I can remember sitting in my basement as a child enjoying the overly full feeling of a McDonald’s Happy Meal of chicken nuggets, french fries and a chocolate milkshake. Oh how divine. This story for much of my early years carried no shame, just the knowledge that this was a meal I enjoyed, but that I then moved on to whatever else I was into at the time, My Little Ponies or Barbie.

But later, as time pressed on and began to amass the cultural (North American culture) story of shame associated with fullness and “bad” foods, this story carried a different meaning. I became ashamed of my younger self’s food choices, and proud I no longer ate “that stuff”.

Here is the thing: it’s important to tune into what stories you are telling yourself, and what stories you keep hearing. Do they actually ring true to your experience? Or are they something you are simply retelling because it’s the story you’ve heard most often? Sometimes our true stories are quiet inside us, or have been appropriated by the stories told more loudly and frequently. Food does more than change our weight, often it carries with it memories of loved ones, or happy events in our lives, yet we taint it because those happy memories have led to our “weight problem” (pssst actually it was the diet, not the enjoyment).

Food is powerful, but so are the stories we tell about it, so be mindful about the stories you’re telling and listening to about food.

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WCT training: Juan de Fuca Recap

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This hike was amazing, and I can’t believe how much I enjoyed it.

To recap what I discussed last week our itinerary was to do two short days then one long day. We had decided to leave off 10km of the trail to fit it into 3 days and it was really a good fit.

What Actually Happened

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Day 1 we changed up our plan a bit. As we came up to our original first campsite plan (Bear Beach, which was 9km from the China Beach start point), we decided to forge ahead. This added 11km to our first day, but also split up the “most difficult” and “difficult” parts of the trail. So not only were we now doing our longest day first, but also covering the toughest terrain as well. Those last 11km were a constant up and down, with little flat ground to really rest and set a good pace. The last 3km were gruelling and a major mental game – at least for me.

Arriving late (about 7:30pm) to Chin beach meant we had just enough energy to set up camp, cook and climb into our sleeping bags. The campsites were so full (rumour was there were 100 people on the beach that night) that we had to set up on the pebbly-stony beach. I think we arrived just in time to get a hot meal in us and keep the hangry moments from making any major fallouts occur.

Day 2 was then shorter – a mere 8km to the beautiful Sombrio Beach. We arrived at around 1:30pm so had a relaxing time setting up camp, building a fire and napping in the sun which appeared later that day. I even took a dip in the freezing cold ocean which felt amazing and allowed me to brush my hair. It was really nice to have those hours to rest and relax after a total of 28km hiked with 30+ lbs packs over two days. I can say that on day 3 I noticed a difference in my legs compared to day 2 – rest really does help.

Day 3 the final day. We had 9km to go to our parked car at Parkinson’s Creek. This portion of the hike was fairly moderate but included lots of stairs and mud. In a way we were quite focused this day – with the end in sight it was hard to really sit and take our time.

Food

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The meals I planned and snacks we ate instead of sit down lunches faired really well. We ate through most of our snacks so we know we had a good amount to last us the three days. I don’t think any of us went hungry after breakfasts or dinner and everyone enjoyed the meals and felt satisfied. I know I’ll repeat both the meals, and prepare three more for the West Coast Trail. The great thing about the WCT is that there are a couple canteens set up at two of the areas – so we will be able to enjoy a couple lunches along the way.

Overall

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This hike was spectacular. The views were stunning, the trail rugged but not too rough, and even with the tough bits I enjoyed almost every minute. We had great weather – it rained a little during early mornings, but never down poured and even when the sun came out things remained fairly cool which is great for hiking.

The hardest part was our decision to change up our game plan. While I was happy to get the longest day, and toughest terrain, out of the way that first day, it is never easy to make a choice to change a plan. I personally take a lot of mental satisfaction from getting hard stuff over with first, and having easier stuff to look forward to – but I also do get attached to plans and don’t love changes!

I would without a doubt do this hike again – and would love to do the entire thing adding in a fourth day unless I really wanted to push myself. It’s also great because I now know the hike better, and doing it again would be less stress and just more enjoyable.

After doing this hike I am more than excited for the West Coast Trail, and I honestly cannot believe I’ve been intimidated by the idea of overnight backpacking enough to stay away from it since my teen years. I really enjoyed myself and hope I can do a few more trips over the next few years!

WCT Training: Juan de Fuca trail prep

Hello all!

Happy May, happy May Long Weekend to those of you who get a long weekend. I kinda can’t believe it’s here to be honest. This spring season is just flying by.

This weekend my West Coast Trail buddies and I are doing our overnight “practice” hike for the WCT: the Juan De Fuca Marine Trail.

What is the Juan De Fuca?

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The Juan De Fuca is another trail located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It goes south from Port Renfrew towards Sooke and Victoria and the total trail spans about 47km.

My friends and I are planning to do 37km, from China Beach to Parkinson Beach (on the map).

I visited Sombrio beach, which has a road access campground, a few weeks ago when a good friend of mine visited from Vancouver. It was gorgeous. I can only hope (and really I have been told) that the rest of the trail is as beautiful.

The Itinerary

Day 1: leave early for a 9-10am hike start from China Beach. Target campsite: Bear beach which is a mileage of 9km. This day is “moderate” according to the trail map.

Day 2: this will be the most difficult terrain day according to the trail map. We are aiming for 11km to get to Chin Beach.

Day 3: In actuality this might be the hardest day; we will be covering not only the hardest part of the trail, but it will be our longest day at 17km. We’re hoping that our packs will be lightened by this day from eating all the foods (we have, for instance, 8lbs of snacks/lunch foods alone…)

What’s in the packs

Each of our packs weigh about 28-31lbs, which is pretty good. Most trail hikes I have seen recommend women exceed no more than 1/3 of their body weight in pack weight, and I believe we are all below that.

Food:

Marina is curious about this food

We have decided to go with the two meals a day (breakfast and dinner) and rely on a variety of snacks for our lunch/day time eating.

So we needed 2 breakfasts and 2 dinners for this hike.

What this looks like:

For breakfast:

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Oatmeal with dehydrated whole milk, raisins and/or trail mix.

“Scrambled” Eggs with “cheese” and salsa. This recipe was inspired by the Backpacking Chef. Sadly I do not own his book so I took a guess at how to dehydrate eggs using polenta a rehydration medium. If it turns out I may share the recipe!

Snacks:

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Various trail mixes, dried fruits, snacky things, nuts, seeds, candy, etc. etc. to the point of 8lbs.

For dinners:

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Mushroom Stroganoff with egg noodles

Lentil Dahl  (mix of two recipes, here and here) and brown basmati rice.

For beverages:

Tea, instant coffee and powdered whole milk, and likely Gatorade (still to be purchased).

Also in my pack:

Thermarest/foamie

Sleeping bag

Iodine water tabs, mole skin, swiss army knife, sunscreen, bug spray, bear banger, mini first aid kit, lighter, fire starters, 3 liters of water

Clothes: long johns (top and bottom), leggings, socks x 5 pairs, underwear x 4 pairs, rain jacket, extra warm jacket layer, extra t-shirt, and flip flops for camp. (I’ll be wearing: socks, underwear, sports bra, t-shirt and sweatshirt, shorts + )

Hat and sunglasses

Extra pegs for tarps

DSLR Cannon D50, journal + pen, iPod, phone (can last three days on super power saving mode)

The only thing that will change between this hike and the WCT will be the amount of food we are carrying (and maybe the total number of underwear and socks we have packed).

So that’s it folks! I’d love to hear how you have prepared in the past for overnight hikes, what has worked, and what hasn’t and I promise to be back next week with a “Hike Report” (just like all those race reports out there!).

Till then, take care.

Prioritize Portion size?

This week in Nutrition Month our theme is portion sizes. Watch those portions people!

To be honest I have a love hate relationship with portion sizes.

Researchers like Brian Wansink have really provided a strong foundation of evidence for the fact that humans have a hard time self regulating themselves.

And I would agree.

When we buy more we eat more. When we have bigger plates, we fill them up more, and the end of the meal is determined not by our stomach but by the sight of an empty plate.

Without practice.

Portion sizes and learning how much is the right amount for you is something you can learn. But it takes practice. It takes patience. It takes work.

It also takes paying attention and being mindful.

One of the studies often sited is when Brian Wansink and his team provided movie goers with stale popcorn, and whether people had a medium or a large they ate about the same amount as they did when the popcorn was fresh… and the folks with a large sized bag (despite THINKING they ate the same as those with medium sizes) actually ate more. And while this sort of cognitive dissonance between what we think we ate and what we did eat is normal, I would also point out most of us are doing pretty mindless eating when we’re at a movie with a giant bag of popcorn in front of us.

On the flip side

It probably seems to this point I agree whole heartedly with the idea of portion sizes. Most countries have some sort of guide of portions of food in food groups, along with daily numbers of portions. In Canada it’s mostly the Canada Food Guide – which is admittedly controversial at best.

Almost every diet I’ve ever seen also has their own versions of portion sizes, along with total numbers of each food portion to eat in a day. Usually these portions are equal or smaller then the CFG, but they are almost always fewer servings – particularly of starches etc.

The issue I have is that this can end up being the same problem as mindlessly eating large bags of popcorn; if you simply follow a prescribed formula of portions you can also be ignoring your hunger and fullness signals, and end up restricting yourself because even though you are starving you’ve already eaten your daily allowed intake of grains or what have you.

So what can we do

I don’t see anything wrong with learning about portion sizes. But instead of simply going down to one serving (or whatever is given as a number meal amount) at a meal immediately, check out how much you are currently eating first.

This is the big starting point that we often like to skip: awareness of WHAT we are CURRENTLY DOING. We like to jump right into the changes, the portion cut backs, the different meal numbers. Etc.

From there decide if the number of portions (be it one, two, three or naught) is working for you. Do you leave the table satisfied but energized? Are you still hungry? Or too full? Be curious, not judgemental. Don’t tell yourself that you are such a pig for being hungry only 30 minutes after eating one serving of pasta or rice or chicken. Simply allow that to be what your body tells you. Then make changes – do you need a little more at meals? Or maybe better snacking is what would best work for you since two servings of pasta leaves you sleepy after dinner.

I know I sound like a broken record, but when it comes to our diet, to changing it or to being healthy it really is about awareness without judgement. Judgement and shaming do not make us want to change. Usually they make us rebel against the voice by eating more loudly and proudly, or sneaking it behind our own back.

To Conclude

Portion sizes can be a place of learning. Mindless eating can take the form of eating too much or too little; we can always get the supersized version of what we want to eat, or we can follow restrictive diet plans that allow little wiggle room. Awareness of what we are eating is important. And looking at how much food we comfortably eat, whether it meets standards like CFG or not, without judgement is also key to finding balance and healthy eating.

How Do you Actually Want to Eat

So if you weren’t trying to lose weight, how would you be eating?

I’ve posed this question to many of my clients. many of whom have been trying to lose weight for their whole lives. Their first diet started before they were fat, because they felt fat. And each decade has been defined by what diet group they were a member of; Atkins, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, the cabbage soup diet, the Master Cleanse… The list goes on.

Most come into my office, still hoping to lose weight. Sure that I have the diet to end all diets, that I have a secret meal plan up my sleeve so they can finally leave the dieting merry go round (sadly you just have to get off, before losing those pesky 10lbs).

As they proceed through their diet recall, each morsel of food that enters their mouth is justified by every food rule they have ever heard:

“Eggs for breakfast because they have protein. But only one because two is too many!”

“I can’t eat carbs; they are my downfall. Carbs are evil. I’ve only ever lost weight not eating carbs.”

“I shouldn’t eat after 7pm. I try not to eat after 7.” (and do you eat after 7? Actually I don’t know. But I try not to)

So when I ask them how they would be eating if they weren’t trying to lose weight they are flummoxed. Such a concept has not entered their mind since before their dieting days. Even the ones who are not actively dieting live with the plethora of food rules in their head, constantly circulating and directing their food choices.

Most diets tell you that you are either dieting or falling off the wagon. There is no concept of normal eating; the diets tell you the way you want to eat is to binge on junk food on whatever food is currently forbidden. Chronic dieters have been fighting a battle (against what they believe is falling off the wagon) for so long they can’t even remember what eating before the diet looked like. But they know (have been told) the eating and food enemy is out there, and it is their natural state, which they must fight.

What the diets don’t tell you is the very act of dieting creates the act of falling off the wagon. If you aren’t on the wagon to begin with  you can’t fall off. There is nothing inherently wrong with eating foods you enjoy. In fact permission to enjoy those foods makes them more satisfying, and you will be less likely to overeat them.

So ask yourself: “If weight loss weren’t the focus, how would I like to be eating?”

Think about it, the answer might be surprising.

Mindful Eating

Have you heard of it? Do you practice it, have you tried it?

I didn’t know this, but was alerted by this post at Upbeet.ca, (a wonderful blog by fellow dietitian Melissa Baker) that today, January 28 2016 is the inaugural Mindful Eating Day.

According to The Center for Mindful Eating, mindful eating is:

Mindful Eating is allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom. By using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body, acknowledging your responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) without judgment, and becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating you can change your relationship to food.

Mindful eating is near and dear to me, I first discovered this idea when I was nineteen and coming off several years (it felt like a lifetime at that point) of chronic dieting, and looking for a better way to think about and manage how I eat.

Mindful eating is about recreating your relationship to food. It is about paying attention to what you eat, without judgement. Being without judgement around food is a challenging task, because it is counterculture to our current North American Chronic Dieting mindset.

Instead of asking yourself;

“Will this make me fat?” “How good is this food for me?” “I must make sure to only eat x number of calories/carbs/grams of fat” “I am so bad, I can’t believe I ate that”

You have to ask yourself:

“Do I like this?” “Why am I eating this?” “How full am I?” “Do I want more?” “What else is going on while I eat?”

When it comes to healthy eating we aren’t used to asking ourselves those kind of questions. We think calories, carbs, fat, and protein, iron, calcium, vitamin C. But mindful eating is about the entire experience of food and eating. It is about pleasure, and enjoyment around food.

Mindful eating is also about giving time and space to food and eating; no distractions, no eating as a task secondary to work or the TV or whatever else you might often do while eating. Some might call mindful eating a meditation around food; because to truly answer the questions mentioned before you have to be paying attention to what you are eating.

A person’s relationship to food is often the step that gets missed when we discuss healthy eating, and it’s a shame. I would argue it might be one of the most vital steps to healthy eating. When we learn to feed our bodies what we’re asking for, and listen to our bodies own intuitive hungers, we get much better at feeding ourselves in the way we need to be fed.

While Mindful Eating was my gateway to this way of rethinking my relationship with food, it is by no means the only way. Other methods include Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, as well as Ellyn Satter’s Eating Relationship and definition of normal eating.

Find the way that works for you, and today try to find the time and space to be mindful around the foods you eat and ask yourself those questions.

Holiday Eating

Well the holidays are here, and with it, the fear of the Holiday Weight Gain.

Like the Freshman Fifteen, the myth of Holiday Weight Gain is just that – a myth. At most, on average, people gain less than 1 pound over the holidays.

Yes, you say, but my friend’s sister’s aunt totally gained ten pounds that one time!

Yes, you say, but my jeans got tight over night and had to really eat a lot of salads the week after Christmas and New Years for them to fit again.

Yes, you say, but I also totally gained five of the fifteen pounds in my freshman year!

The fear people have around food and weight is understandable. After all, as I talked about in my last post, we’re told a lot is bad about gaining weight. So fear around the possibility of weight gain just makes sense (especially with the morality and other problematic things we tie into weight).

But evidence does show that holiday weight gain just doesn’t happen.

And if I told you it was possible to totally enjoy the holidays without gaining weight, how would that make you feel? Safe?

It’s not wanting to stay healthy and enjoy the holidays that I have issue with – and in no way do I see these as separate entities, you can be healthy and indulge and enjoy.

When fear is what controls our actions, and our only motivation around eating is to avoid weight gain, or lose weight, we tend to actually eat worse – and in a way that might lead to weight gain. No longer will we be satisfied with one cookie, now suddenly we have “broken our diet” and it’s just a good idea to gorge ourselves on the entire plate (then they won’t be there to tempt us tomorrow!). And while it’s tempting to blame our bodies (after all the diet industry has been telling us forever that our bodies are wildly out of control) it really is not our bodies fault. I mean how do you feel after eating an entire plate of cookies? Unless you’re a teenager with the metabolism and appetite of a god, you probably don’t feel very good at all.

Your body doesn’t feel very good at all.

This Christmas I dare you to leave fear behind. Instead of asking yourself, how many calories are in this eggnog? I dare you to ask, do I even fricking like eggnog? When is the point of just the right amount of eggnog (ie do you kinda feel sick after that third glass…)? What do I like about it (the rum?!)?

The same goes for those cookies. Instead of giving those little doughy, sugary treats the evil eye as you chew your gum meant to quell your appetite, take one, and eat it in a quiet place. Do you like it? How does it feel in your hand, on your tongue as you chew? Who made it? Was it a special recipe? Did you and your son or daughter whip them up for the family, did you have fun making a giant mess in the kitchen?

Food is about so much more than weight. And when we can step away from weight being the only motivator to our food choices, we give ourselves a true chance to enjoy and indulge in food mindfully.

Please stop believing in the myth of the Holiday Weight Gain, stop looking over your shoulder for this mythological weighty creature. The holidays are about so much more than the size of your waist.

**PS Also think about what you really want to eat… you might be surprised by how much you and your body want something “healthy” amidst all the temptations. Or you might not. Both ways are ok. 

The conversation that broke my heart

I hear a lot of stories that break my heart in the conversations I have with clients. The conversations people have around food can be a surprisingly vulnerable place.

But when you think about it, what better place for it all to come tumbling out? Food touches on every aspect of our lives; our personal history with the food we were raised on, what our culture ate, what our parents thought about food. It touches on our income and our “place” in society. It touches on the world economics, of international trades, of political power and policy, of who gets what and who doesn’t. Food is in fact simply something that can be tied in into any emotional, moral, or political conversation you want to have.

But I digress.

The conversation I want to write about today happened during a weight management course I was running. It was the response to the following question:

What situations make you uncomfortable around food?

For those not in the know, these type of courses are built around the idea of chronic dieting, and it’s cousin overeating. Often when people diet (aka starve themselves) this results in a physical (and psychological) backlash where they tend to overeat (not necessarily a binge, but often a feeling of no control around food arises).

So the expected response to the question “What situations make you feel uncomfortable around food” should be something like “I feel uncomfortable when we have Halloween candy in the house.” or “When I attend parties with buffets” or “when I’m with my frenemie who makes me feel two inches tall” etc.

But do you know what made these women (it was all women, and all of them felt this way) uncomfortable around food?

Eating with other people: their friends, their family, their loved ones.

These women, many of whom had been “big” their whole lives had had so many loved ones comment on what they were eating that eating with others was no longer something joyful.

For many people the idea of asking their dieting friend (or their “bigger” friend), “Are you really going to eat that?!” might seem the least bit harmful, but to be entirely honest it is. Can you imagine someone saying that to (accompanied by a LOOK) you (no matter what your size currently is)?

And as many of the women reminded me, as I sat listening to their confessions, they were constantly under eating, constantly dieting and trying to lose weight, and be “good” (when dieting = good is another story completely). “But,” one said sagely, “We’re only human too!”

The truth is comments like, “you don’t really need seconds” and “do you know how many calories are in that” or “you shouldn’t have dessert you know” often say a lot more about the person giving the comment than the person receiving the comment.

As a society we have been told over and over of the health risk factors excess weight provides, this has often led to the belief that any time someone is of a weight outside the BMI range they are unhealthy. This is a false assumption. Some people are unhealthy and overweight, and some people are unhealthy and skinny, yet we mostly just hear about the ill health affects related to excess body weight. So it’s understandable we might think saying these small things to a friend could be considered a helpful reminder, but mostly they’re just shaming. And shame is never the birthplace of true and lasting change. As one woman said, “When someone says that [above comments] to me I just want to go home and eat more!”

The truth is these shaming comments are part of a larger problem of weight stigma. And weight stigma is known to contribute more to ill health than weight itself.

I wish I had a better conclusion, something grand and poignant to say. Many other people have written about weight bias and stigma (great blogs such as Dances with Fat or the Fat Nutritionist have too many posts I could link to) , as well as organizations like Kelty Mental Health and even the BC PHSA has recommended a change in paradigm from weight to health focus. And courses like BalancedView are offered online for professionals wishing to learn more. What can I leave you with? Just be mindful of what you say; the language we use is much more powerful than we realize and the people we might hurt the most are the ones we care about the most.

Good Morning Muffins

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These muffins are delicious; whole grain, with a slight sweetness and some pineapple and raisins thrown in for good measure. Of course they also have a secret ingredient. Well, maybe not so secret if you look at the picture close enough. Still can’t tell? Ok, check out this next picture.

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If you guessed red lentils, you guessed right! When I think about baking I don’t often think about using lentils. But in late January I received an email from Canadian Lentils about their Recipe Revelations contest, the idea for muffins sprang to mind. Originally I wanted to imitate morning glory muffins, but I didn’t have a lot of the ingredients for them, so I scratched that idea. And my first try at this muffins included some grated carrot, which I eliminated after for simplicity sake; it just wasn’t needed.

According to my guinea pigs taste testers, these muffins are delicious; cake-like in texture, and just sweet enough. For those among us who are extra sensitive there might be a slightly after taste, but most people didn’t even notice. The recipe makes a lot of small muffins; perfect for snacks! Or some big cake muffins for those extra hungry days.

I have to say my brain is buzzing with other ways to incorporate lentils into my baked goods. After this I feel like the possibilities are endless; muffins, cake, cookies…. maybe even bread. And if you replace the regular wheat flour, these make an excellent gluten-free high fiber ingredient. Other than fiber these little gems pack a serious nutrition punch; they’re a great source of iron, and make a full protein when combined with a grain (like whole wheat flour…).

Now that I’ve convinced you that not only are these delicious, but healthy too, why not move on to the recipe?

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Good Morning Muffins

Serves: 18 muffins
Time: ~30-40 minutes (including prep and baking)

Ingredients

1 cup cooked red lentils
1 & 1/3 cup whole wheal flour
3/4 cup canned pineapple tidbits, 1/2 cup of the pineapple juice reserved
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanila
1 egg
1/2 cup canola (or vegetable oil of choice) oil
1/2 cup raisins

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350*, and grease the muffin tins.
2. Using a blender, create a lentil puree using the cooked lentils and 1/2 cup of reserved pineapple juice.
3. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients; flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
4. In a medium bowl mix together the wet ingredients; pureed lentils, vanilla, egg, and canola oil.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine until just mixed; there should be no flour left but the batter will be a little lumpy. This is the time to add the pineapple tidbits and raisins.
6. Next scoop the batter into the muffin tins, filling them roughly 3/4 full if you want to make 18 muffins. Place the tins in the oven, and baking for 15 to 20 minutes (my oven runs hot, so I actually probably cooked them for 12 minutes).
To check for doneness, simply use a knife or tooth pick; prick the center of  a muffin and if it comes out with just a crumb or too they’re finished. If there’s still batter, put them back in for a minute or two!).
7. Allow muffins to cool on a wire rack – enjoy by themselves, or with a little butter for a yummy snack.

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So what’s your favourite way to use lentils? Have you ever used them in a baking recipe?

Tuna & Hempseed Patties

I like easy meals.

Easy delicious meals.

I made this recipe last week. And it was great. Easy. And did I mention delicious?

The hempseed adds a little nutty-health boost, and works well with the tuna. The flavours are simple, and if you like playing with recipes, the world is your oyster with something like this!

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Tuna & Hempseed Patties

Servings: 1.5 (or 1 very hungry person)
Time: ~25 minutes

Ingredients
1 can flaked tuna, drained
1 egg
1 tbsp bread crumbs
2 tbsp hempseeds
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh cilantro (~1 tsp dried)
Optional: 1-2 tsp fajita spice mix

Directions
1. Place tuna in a bowl, and using a fork “mash” it until you have mostly similar sized flakes.
2. Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl, and mix until it begins to stick together.
3. Divide mixture into three even sized balls, and press into a patty shape, ~roughly 1/2” thick.
3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place patties in the pan, and fry on both sides until browned, and patties are heated through.
4. Serve with crispy baked cauliflower or rice or a salad!

See, easier than pie!

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