Something sweet with your coffee in the morning? A snack with your afternoon tea? A little something to fill your tummy before bed? This amazing, gluten-free “monkey bread” is just the thing. Old habits die hard, and those little somethings — whether it’s at your desk while you get that first crack at your email in the morning, or in the afternoon with a hot cuppa while the baby naps — are rituals you just can’t ignore.
Rituals are comforting. You deserve comfort. You deserve something delicious! The trick is to learn to appreciate healthful, delicious indulgences that satisfy your craving for comfort food and provide you vital nutrients to satisfy your hunger and help you stop at just one piece (okay, maybe two). You can be good to your body and be good to your soul…isn’t that what comfort food is all about?
Not to mention that little people L.O.V.E. this combination of bananas, peanut butter, and dark chocolate. It’s familiar and just sweet enough, but you can feel good knowing it’s filling their little bellies with healthy fats, carbohydrates, and fibre and is free of added sugar.
Never mind. We’re pretty sure we had you at peanut butter and dark chocolate.
gluten-free peanut butter banana monkey bread
based on a recipe from The Paleo Mom
yields 20 squares
- 2-3 ripe or overripe bananas (the more brown, the sweeter!)
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup almond flour
- 3 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup dark or semisweet mini chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13″ tin with coconut oil. 2. Mash bananas well with a fork. 3. Combine all other ingredients, except chocolate chips, and mix well. 4. Fold in chocolate chips. 5. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly with spatula. 6. Bake 17-18 minutes; cool, and slice into squares.
Meet Jo from our Leslieville location! Jo joined us shortly after her daughter’s birth and has been training twice per week ever since. Jo is a natural leader in every class and we love her indomitable spirit — she works just as hard whether baby is happily napping or strapped to her in a carrier, and she’s always up for a challenge. Thanks, Jo!
Crab. Cake. Two delicious words. One delicious recipe. No actual cake involved. With the festive season underway, slot this super yummy crab cake recipe into your holiday entertaining menu to impress your guests. Or make these for a fun weeknight meal that will win over the littles while you secretly save calories and carbs for an after-dinner glass of rum and eggnog.
One of our fave things around here is taking typical nummies and showing you how they can be just as delicious and easy, minus some of the less savoury ingredients, plus a superfood here or there. Crab cakes don’t need white flour and breadcrumbs to be delicious. In the old days, everything had flour in it. OK, maybe that’s not entirely true, but in 2014 we know we don’t need to eat bread at every meal. This recipe relies on coconut for binding, upping the healthy fats, fibre and protein while keeping gluten out and lowering overall carbohydrate in a dish that’s really all about the meat.
If you’re eating a crab cake, the only thing it’s gotta have is crab. One rule and one rule only (well, other than the no flour rule): no imitation crab. The rest is all negotiable. Feel free to adjust seasoning, herbs, and spices to your family’s tastes. Got fresh crab? Even better.
festive crab cakes
based on a recipe from thehealthyfoodie.com
- 3 cans (170g) crab meat, drained
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup real mayonnaise (homemade is best — here’s a great 2-minute, one container recipe!)
- 2 eggs
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup cilantro or parsley
- 1 tsp each thyme, paprika, fresh black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- pinch each nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves
- sea salt
- coconut oil, for frying
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/4 tsp each thyme, paprika, garlic powder
- pinch sea salt + fresh black pepper
1. In a coffee grinder or small food processor, grind shredded coconut into an almost flour-like consistency. 2. Combine all crab cake ingredients thoroughly; refrigerate at least 10 minutes to firm up. 3. Use coffee grinder/processor to combine breading ingredients into coarse meal and transfer to a plate. 4. Form 10-12 even patties, pressing to approximately 3/4″ thickness and coat evenly in breading on both sides. 5. Heat coconut oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat & fry in batches until golden on both sides (about 3 minutes per side) — consider wiping pan out between batches to prevent burning remnants of breading and tainting future batches. 6. Serve warm with lemon wedges and your fave seafood sauce; try sriracha blended with your homemade mayo for a creamy kick!
Holiday entertaining? Make the world’s most figure-friendly cocktail, and try these…
- low-carb jalapeño poppers
- gluten-free sweet & sour meatballs
- go-to guacamole
- fresh tomato basil bruschetta
- sweet potato + black bean fudge bars
- gluten-free salmon cakes + horseradish sauce
Let’s be honest. We know your eyes roll back in your head at the first mention of “pelvic floor exercises,” but the deep muscles of the female core are super important… and sometimes you don’t know how important until you’ve had your first baby and you have to wear a maxi pad to watch a comedy flick. Most of us have heard of these ambiguous “Kegel exercises” historically prescribed to women in pregnancy and postpartum to prevent, ahem, leakage and help maintain the function of the deep abdominal unit. How do you do a kegel exercise, anyway? And do you have to do them every day for the rest of your life? Are they even necessary?
If you are looking for a way to:
- Prevent and correct bladder control issues
- Prevent and treat hemorrhoids
- Restore proper… um… tightness after childbirth
- Enhance intercourse for yourself and your partner
- Ease future childbirths and recovery
…then you should do kegels! If you want to feel loose, sore, unsatisfied and unable to control your bladder, be our guest.
** in some cases, a woman’s pelvic floor muscles can be too tight in postpartum and kegel exercises are not recommended; if you had a traumatic delivery, have pain during intercourse, or suffer from incontinence, please see your qualified physiotherapist for a personalized treatment plan. In third trimester, when the pelvic tissues are loosening and trying to open up, kegels may be ineffective and counterproductive; consider resuming in postpartum instead.
So what the heck is a Kegel, anyway? Kegels are named after the doctor who designed them, Dr. Arnold Kegel. A kegel exercise strengthens the muscles of the pelvic floor — these muscles support the uterus, vagina, bladder and rectum. Pretty important muscles when you think about what it is they’re holding up. There are many factors that can weaken the pelvic floor muscles: childbirth, aging, chronic coughing, pregnancy, and even just being overweight.
What happens when they get weak? Do we need to go through the loose, sore, peeing yourself scenario again? Not only that, the pelvic floor muscles are directly connected to another key component of your core: the transversus abdominis (TA). The TA functions as a stabilizer and “girdle,” if you will, for the other abdominal muscles. When TA and pelvic floor are properly contracting together, you have the most stable, safe, and strong position from which to perform ALL exercises and daily movements. You also have the sleekest possible look to your midsection, the holy grail of postpartum.
Watch our Everything You Need To Know About Abs in Pregancy & Postpartum video! (coming soon)
To find your pelvic floor, think of stopping mid-stream while peeing or of contracting as you would during intercourse. If you have never done Kegel exercises before, try sitting on the floor cross-legged, and push down (as you would during childbirth or a bowel movement) to feel the floor pushing back against you; then, lift away from the floor. Did you lift? You just did a “Kegel.”
For all kegel exercises, sit cross-legged or stand comfortably.
Here are 3 Kegel exercises to try, from simplest to most challenging.
Classic Kegel: contract the kegel muscles, pulling them upward and holding 1-2 seconds. Repeat and build up to 20 reps.
Super Kegel: contract the kegel muscles, pulling them upward, and hold as long as possible. Build up to 20 counts.
The Elevator: contract the kegel muscles and pull them upward in several stages, like floors in an elevator. Pause at the top, then release in several stages downward. Build up to 6-7 floors each direction.
Kegels should be performed daily for best results. The best part about Kegels (aside from the no peeing your pants, smoother labour and better sex) is they can be done anytime, anywhere, while you are in the middle of doing almost anything else. If you are a new mom and bottle feeding or breastfeeding several times per day, do them at each feeding. You’ll forget sometimes but, chances are, you’ll remember once or twice per day and be on your way to a healthier pelvic floor in no time.
Once you’ve mastered the Kegel Elevator, you’re ready for the Kegel Olympics. Just kidding. But you can probably stop doing Kegels, except when you need to call those pelvic floor muscles into action. For example…
One more tip: another great time to do a kegel exercise is during any core workout. As we mentioned, the pelvic floor works together with the abdominal muscles; no muscle functions alone in the body. Here’s an idea for the next time you do a plank: contract not just your abs but your pelvic floor and glutes (butt).
Ready, set, Kegel!
It’s one of our favourite times of the year. And not just because we can drink champagne and eat shortbread with abandon. Its time for our annual BB diaper drive, and we can’t wait to see how this year’s BB mommies will impress us with your generosity!
We are super excited to share some fun news with you! We had an amazing weekend at last month’s Babytime Show. Mommies and mommies-to-be from across the GTA came to meet Dara, Kristen, Suzanne, Jessica, and Kara at the Belly Bootcamp booth, asking questions about BB and prenatal/postnatal exercise in general. You told us where we should put our newest BB locations to reach the most mommies possible, and shared what is happening in your neighbourhoods.
And you entered a BIG draw to win an entire year of BB classes FREE. No strings attached! After compiling hundreds of entries, we have a winner… (more…)
Meet Samira from our St. Clair West location! Samira is a new mommy and new Belly Bootcamper; she joined us for a free trial class with her daughter, Neela, last summer and never looked back. We love her determination and enthusiasm; she’s brightened every class she’s participated in and we can’t wait to see that smiling face doing more squats! Thanks, Samira.
Greetings Belly Bootcampers! I’m popping in from (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean to share what might just be the healthiest chocolate treat ever invented. Fudgy brownie bars made with the goodness of sweet potatoes and black beans. Which I realize sounds like a massive chocolate compromise. But one taste of these fudge bars and you may never go the butter/flour/white sugar route again. (more…)
It’s that time of year again. Coughs and colds, not to mention head-spinning vomit scenes from the Exorcist cutting room floor if you’re unlucky enough to be hit by a real flu. Hooray for winter! If your little one has recently started daycare or school you can expect several viruses in your first year, and unless you intend to stop cuddling each time she gets the sniffles, chances are you’ll come down with a few sniffles yourself. (more…)
Sneak out after bedtime for an evening workout that’s fun, fresh, challenging, AND suitable for the needs of prenatal and postpartum women!
Pregnant & working 9-5? Back to work soon? We’re delivering more classes for mommies who work during the day but still want to be a part of the BB community. (more…)