Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentine's Essential Oil Recipes

Love is in the air!! Valentine's day brings happy, cozy feelings during a rather long, glum winter. With its infectious feeling of love, joy and bright pink and red colours, how can you not help but feel a little bit happier. 

     Whether you're celebrating with a significant other, your family, pets or with a little self love; make your Valentine feel pampered or just make your home smell a bit more sweet with these DIY essential oil recipes below!

Sweetheart Diffuser Blend

     This sweetheart diffuser blend will have your home or office smelling so sweet, you'll think you're in Candy Land. 

     Add water to your diffuser and add:

Bringing Sexy Back Massage Blend

     This massage blend will keep things spicy and sensual all while providing an antioxidant powerhouse to the skin. This can also be used as a hydrating body oil. 

Love is in the Air Room Spray

     This room spray will make your home smell like a citrus garden with these lovely floral oils. 

Be Mine Perfume Blend

     This blend makes for a nice, alluring and natural perfume. 

     In an amber 10ml roll on aromatherapy bottle, mix:

Thursday, January 30, 2020

How to stick to your New Year's Health-olutions!

   There's something fresh and fun about starting a new year. We get excited about setting goals and dreaming that this year will be different. We start off well and impress ourselves by eating kale and going to the gym. But then somewhere in the middle of January we trickle off and before we know it we're eating out every night and skipping the gym for social gatherings on weekends. We then feel defeated and as though we've failed, when that's simply not the case. When we set goals to be healthier, we can't expect that we will change everything overnight. If you find yourself struggling to keep your new years health-olutions, read below for a few pointers on how to make this your healthiest one yet. 

Start Off Slowly:

   Make small changes over time. By doing so you will feel like this lifestyle change is something you can handle and the small changes will add up and lead to your new healthier lifestyle. 
  • Swap the sugar in your coffee for Cinnamon or Manuka Honey to reap extra health benefits. 
  • Switch your fast, sugar laden breakfast foods for overnight oats. Plus, the fibre from the oats will keep you feeling energetic throughout the day!
  • Drink a glass of water before anything else in the morning, extra points if it's warm water with lemon!
  • Swap your morning coffee for Mushroom Coffee to gain the health benefits from these fungi's. ;)
  • Take part in Meatless Monday's and on some other days of the week, switch  meat for seafood to consume healthy fats. 
  • Find an exercise regimen you enjoy and start off with 30 minutes twice a week and increase the amount of times gradually. 
By making these small adjustments daily, you will notice that in time your nutritional and exercise habits will have changed and you won't feel overwhelmed or deprived by making such a radical switch all at once. 

Set Yourself Up For Success:

This one is very important in reaching your health goals. You must become aware of your excuses and triggers so you can set yourself up for success, not failure.
  • Set a day to do the grocery shopping and don't go when you're hungry!
  • Have easy ways to get your nutrients. Ensure you're stocked up on green juice, antioxidants and protein to help curb your hunger cravings.
  • Find healthy alternatives to your favourite treats and sweets.
  • Join a gym or studio that's en route to work or home so you don't have an excuse that it's out of the way. Or, better yet, workout from home so you have no reason not to do it.
  • Bring your own snacks to social gatherings or movie nights.
  • Ensure you're getting adequate sleep and nutrients so you don't feel fatigued. When we're tired we crave greasy, sugary foods and our discipline for self control weakened. If you have trouble falling asleep or getting adequate sleep, try a Magnesium drink before bed.

Make Healthy Living Part of Your Routine:  

  We stick to things that naturally fit into our day. Think of the things you do everyday. All of these things happen without us really thinking about them. Healthy habits should fit into your life this way too. In order to not feel overwhelmed by healthy habits, schedule them in so they can become a natural part of your day. 

  • If you're a morning person, wake up and start your day 30 minutes earlier and get your expertise done first thing. 
  • If you're a night person, schedule your exercise to be done on the way home from work or as soon as you get home before eating dinner. 
  • Schedule an afternoon each week for meal prep and get the family involved. 
Just like anything else that has become a routine, this will feel natural and fall into place. 

So, if you're someone who's found themselves struggling to keep their health-olutions in tact, give these tips a try, your health will thank you for it. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Healthy Holiday Swaps

Create healthy, festive meals this holiday season to keep you and your family from indulging in too many unhealthy treats. Read on to satisfy your cravings without the guilt.

  The holidays are a time to celebrate, get together with loved ones and of course indulge in our favourite festive foods. Sometimes it's easy to get a little too carried away in the indulgences and we end up eating more processed or sugar laden foods than we wanted. These recipes will below will help keep your meals wholesaled food centric and your desserts healthier. 

Coconut French Toast

  Start your Christmas morning on with a hearty breakfast to get you through the day. By eating a filling breakfast, you won't feel as hungry throughout the day, therefore you won't over indulge in snacking. This recipe also gives you a hint of sweetness with cinnamon, stevia and maple syrup, without spiking your blood sugar.


2 whole eggs, or use equivalent of egg substitute combined with nutritional yeast
2 slices of sprouted bread
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon + more for sprinkling on top
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
A pinch of stevia


  • In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon and stevia 
  • One slice at a time, dip a piece of sprouted bread into mixture- ensure it's fully coated on each side- Note: If you like soggier french toast, place both pieces in at a time and let them sit for a few minutes before flipping.
  • Once done, place on a baking sheet and top both slices with shredded coconut, sprinkle with extra cinnamon
  • Bake in the oven for roughly 10 minutes, or until egg has fully baked and the toast is a light brown/golden colour. 
  • Serve hot & enjoy!
  • Top toast anyway you like it. We enjoy it with warm berries and a light drizzle of pure, organic maple syrup or manuka honey. 

Non Potato Maple Mash

  Add extra vegetables to your holiday meal by substituting mashed potatoes for mashed turnips! They have the same consistency and with a taste this good, no one will be missing the other. 


3 medium raw turnips, chopped
4 cups carrots, chopped
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil 


  • Chop carrots and turnips into smaller pieces, making it easier for them to soften faster. Place in a large pot filled with water, bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • After roughly 20 minutes, vegetables should be soft. Pierce them with a fork to test if uncertain. Remove from heat, drain the water. 
  • Place vegetables in a large bowl, add in maple syrup and coconut oil. Mash with a hand masher. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper
  • Serve hot!

Creamy Broccoli Vegan Risotto  

  Forgot the stuffing this year and make this whole food, gluten free alternative instead! Pairs well with any main dish and there's no pressure to make a full turkey if it's a small get together. 


1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white cooking wine or water
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 
1-1.5 cups risotto rice
3 cups gluten-free vegetable broth
2 cups non-dairy milk
3 cups chopped broccoli florets
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
3 green onions, chopped


  • Sauté onion and garlic in large pan over medium heat until onions are tender
  • In another saucepan, over medium heat, bring dairy-free milk and broth to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer
  • To onion mixture; add white wine or water and lemon juice. Keep on heat until all liquid has been cooked away
  • Add rice to onion mix. Gently cook over low-medium heat for a few minutes
  • Measure out 1 cup of broth and pour into rice. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring just enough so it doesn't burn
  • Once that broth is absorbed, repeat the process with measurements of 1/2 cup of broth at a time. 
  • Keep 1.5 cups of broth in saucepan and add broccoli. Keep repeating process until all broth is absorbed and broccoli is tender.
  • Serve hot and garnish with green onions
You can make this dish ahead of time and store in fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. 

Sugar Free Cacao Truffles 

  This seasons most decadent dessert just got an upgrade! Put a healthier spin on your holiday dessert with these guilt free, sugar free truffles.


Chocolate Butter:
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
2 tbsp grape seed oil
3 tbsp cacao powder
5 drops stevia concentrate
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
100g cacao paste or unsweetened dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup cacao powder, divided
1 tsp alcohol free pure vanilla extract
25 drops stevia concentrate 


Chocolate Butter:
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until fully combined. 
  • Tip: Sometimes sunflower butter can be a little oily, if this is the case, adjust the recipe by removing the grapeseed oil. Set aside. 
  • Over low heat, melt coconut oil and stir in cacao paste, coconut palm sugar and chocolate butter. Stir consistently to avoid burning or sticking
  • Once combines, slowly add half of cacao powder, making sure it's fully incorporated before removing the pan from heat
  • Stir in remaining ingredients and place in fridge for 2-3 hours- you want the mixture to be a little more firm and easier to handle
  • Place remaining cacao powder in a small dish. Set aside
  • Using hands, take the firm mixture and create bite sized truffle balls
  • Roll in the cacao powder and place on a serving dish or in an airtight container. Repeat until all mixture is gone. 
  • Serve right away or store in fridge/freezer until you're ready to serve! 

  Healthy doesn't have to mean sacrifice. These healthy swaps aren't only loaded with ingredients and superfoods that are good for you, they're also loaded with flavour. These healthy alternatives will satisfy your cravings and keep you healthier too. Happy Holidays from National Nutrition!