The Goodness of Grains: How These 19 Wholegrain Recipes Benefit Your Health | The Health Sessions

The Goodness of Grains: How These 19 Wholegrain Recipes Benefit Your Health

Grains have gotten a bad reputation over the past decade. Considered the cause for intestinal problems, leaky gut syndrome and brain fog, a growing number of people are choosing to avoid bread, pasta and other grains. Especially gluten are seen as the culprit – although the scientific verdict is still out on whether gluten should be avoided if you don’t suffer from celiac disease.

There’s something to be said for over-consumption of wheat. Wheat’s the grain that forms the base of many foods. You might be thinking you’re eating a varied diet when you’re having granola for breakfast, toast for lunch and pasta for dinner, but they probably all contain wheat.

Also, most grain products on the supermarket shelves – white bread, white rice, flour tortillas, cereal, crackers, pastries – are made from refined grains. Refined grains are stripped of their hull, which contains the fibers and nutrients.

Whole grains in their natural form, on the other hand, contain valuable vitamins and minerals. Thanks to the dietary fiber, whole grains are slowly digested, gradually releasing their energy. What’s more, research also shows that regularly eating whole grains lowers your cholesterol and blood pressure, which decreases your chances of heart disease. The fiber in whole grains may also help improve insulin sensitivity and prevent constipation.

Unless you suffer from certain medical conditions, whole grains can be part of a healthy diet.

To get the most benefits – and shake things up in the kitchen – you could incorporate a wider variety of grains into your diet. Take a look at these 11 whole grains, with 19 delicious sweet and savoury recipes to get you started.  

Read more >The Goodness of Grains: How These 19 Wholegrain Recipes Benefit Your Health



Have Your Cake: 10 Healthy Holiday Desserts | The Health Sessions

Have Your Cake: 10 Healthy Holiday Desserts

Tis the season for sweet temptations. From holiday office parties to family celebrations, who can resist all the delicious treats this time of year has to offer?

Now I’m not one to preach healthy eating throughout the holidays. As the saying goes, it’s not about what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s, it’s how you eat between New Year’s and Christmas that matters.

But if – for medical reasons or by choice – you’d like to eat healthily without depriving yourself, you can easily swap traditional sugar-laden desserts for healthier alternatives. The dessert recipes below all use wholesome ingredients like natural sweeteners, whole grains, plant-based dairy and even veggies. And by the looks of it, you’d never guess that these sweet treats are actually pretty healthy.

So have your cake and eat it too with these 10 healthy holiday desserts!

Read more >Have Your Cake: 10 Healthy Holiday Desserts



The Nicest Ice Cream: 11 Healthier Frozen Treats

The best summer days end with ice cream. But all that gelato doesn’t sit well with everybody, especially if you have gut problems or lactose sensitivity. Luckily, there are plenty of recipes that contain less refined sugar, heavy cream and artificial food colouring. From the original ‘nice cream’ to dairy-free options with natural sweeteners, there’s a healthier version of this frozen treat for everyone.

Have a look at the nicest ice cream for the next hot summer’s day. 

Read more >The Nicest Ice Cream: 11 Healthier Frozen Treats



Sweet Seduction: 14 Healthy Chocolate Recipes | The Health Sessions

Sweet Seduction: 14 Healthy Chocolate Recipes

Chocolate is the ultimate guilty pleasure. From the Aztec times, the cocoa bean has had a feel-good, romance-inducing reputation. Besides being known for its aphrodisiac qualities, chocolate’s considered an indulgent but not-so-healthy treat. And while that certainly can be true for regular chocolate bars, science shows some chocolate is actually good for you.

In it’s purest form, raw cacao contains health-boosting antioxidants called flavonoids. These plant nutrients support a healthy heart, keep your blood sugar in check and fight inflammation in your body. Unprocessed cocoa powder is also rich in minerals like iron and magnesium, which help boost your energy.

But not all chocolate’s created equal: only dark chocolate with a 70% cocoa content or higher, and little milk and sugar added, counts as the real deal. And remember that chocolate is a stimulant, so it may not be helpful for those sensitive to caffeine.

If you want to really treat yourself and harness the power of raw cacao, look no further and try the healthy chocolate recipes below! 

Read more >Sweet Seduction: 14 Healthy Chocolate Recipes



Curb Your Cravings: 6 Steps to Resisting Sweet Temptations | The Health Sessions

Curb Your Cravings: 6 Steps to Resisting Sweet Temptations

This past year I’ve been having cravings – strong, insatiable cravings.

During my pregnancy, my stomach became a bottomless pit, constantly demanding energy to grow my baby. It only got worse after our son was born. I was burning so many calories from the nonstop nursing and sleep deprivation. With no time or energy to make a healthy snack, I just grabbed whatever I could get my hands on: cookies, granola bars, even pastry and desserts.

All that sugar only left me wanting more. Because unlike natural sugars in fruit, starchy vegetables and whole grains, refined sugar contains no vitamins, enzymes and fibres that help to release sugars more slowly into the bloodstream. Instead, it’s just ‘empty calories’ – pure energy that cause a spike in your metabolism, followed by a crash. This quick change in blood sugar levels leaves you feeling tired, cranky and craving more sweets to get another sugar ‘high’.

And we all know that too much sugar wreaks havoc on our health.

Of course I’ve been meaning to curb my cravings. But there always seemed to be a plausible reason to treat myself “just this once”, whether it was a birthday, special celebration or a get together with friends. I’ve gotten used to automatically (albeit enjoyably!) eating the temptations right in front of me again and simply ‘forgot’ about healthier options.

But I need every ounce of energy to keep up with my kids, work and home life, so it’s time to get control over my snacking habits again.

Do you want to curb your cravings and cut down on sugar too? Here’s the plan.

Read more >Curb Your Cravings: 6 Steps to Resisting Sweet Temptations