I thought it would be fun to share a bit of my own and my family’s back story with you so that you have a better sense of who we are and why I write about and share the things that I do.
We are a family committed to eating healthy, staying active and enjoying each other for a few really good reasons.
My husband and I met way back in Gr. 11. Having been born into a family of BlackBelts, Jim (at 16) was already a BlackBelt in Wado-Kai Karate. As friends, I went to his tournaments and followed along while he taught karate to students at his parent’s club. Time passed and we began dating and then went off to University in Sudbury. With his background in fitness he was able to stave off the Freshman 15. I, on the other hand, could not. I gained some extra weight and then lost some of it before we got married in our 4th year of university. The next year, while pregnant with our 1st (of 4) I gained a significant amount and afterwards I kept most of it on. Our second child came along 18 months afterwards and I gained more again.
6 months passed after our 2nd son was born, the weight was still there, and I was feeling a bit down and disappointed in myself for not taking better care of me. So, being the go-getter that I am, I began to research food and fitness and over the next 8 months I lost almost 50 pounds. I became a Certified Personal Trainer and a SportYoga Instructor and I dove into teaching fitness and wellness to others. This was all almost 13 years ago!
There’s much more to this story but I’ll save it for another day. You can visit The Rawtarian for an interview that I did for her that will fill in some of the holes that I haven’t mentioned here ~ click my name to be taken to it ~ Jodi Lebrun.
Fast-forward significantly to the last few years and we’ve had 2 more babes (now 5 and 3) and we’ve moved here to London, ON where we’ve got our own Karate Club and Reiki training business that focuses on providing families with the resources, classes and workshops that they need to enjoy healthy, active living. We really try to make things kid-friendly, creative and fun for the whole family!
One of the parts of our family’s healthy eating plan is raw but please don’t be turned off by this word – it really is just code for sneaking in more fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and herbs and spices to our meals and snacks. I swear. We do eat meat (smaller portions and lean cuts) and we don’t exclude anything really. We’ve learned (and we teach others) that balance is the key to staying healthy. We walk every night, we do yoga and Jim runs, plays hockey and we all do karate in one form or another. Again, it’s truly all about balance. We are all healthy weights (I’m 41 and 131 lbs – when I lost my weight years ago and was teaching fitness full-time I was 118 and was always stressed out about food and gaining it back – I’m soooo much happier and balanced now and I loooove food!)
So, with all that being said, I’m sharing one of our favorite raw recipes with you to try. They literally take minutes to make and are super-healthy!
RAW Caramel Cookies (to be stored in freezer)
Here are the ingredients:
2 cups of pecans *
2 cups of dates
1 ripe banana
+ butterscotch chips (or carob nibs) on top ~ my kids love pushing them in!
You’ll also need:
A food processor
A spatula, a measuring cup and a spoon
Ziploc Freezer Bag
Here’s how you make them:
1. In your food processor, pulse the pecans until they almost look like coarse flour.
2. Start by adding 1/2 the dates (I chopped them a bit smaller first) and process them until they disappear.
3. Add the rest of the dates.
4. Let the kids break off chunks of the banana for you to add to the mixture. Blend the entire mixture until it’s well mixed.
* You may need to add a few extra pecans as the batter will be (and is supposed to be) quite sticky. It’s absolutely delicious right out of the food processor so make sure to not eat it all before they make it to the freezer!
Using your spoon, drop the batter onto the wax paper (that is covering your cookie sheet) and use your fingers to make them resemble a drop cookie. Now let your kids push a butterscotch chip into the top of each one!
Pop the entire cookie sheet into your freezer for a few hours and then transfer the ‘cookies’ into the ziploc bag for further storage in the freezer. *adapted from The Rawtarian*
My kids know that they are welcome to sneak into our freezer and steal a few whenever they need a ‘sugar’ fix.
Oh, and I’ve definitely been caught a few times with my hands in the ziploc bag full of ’em!
I’d love to know your favorite healthy snack and if you’d like to know more about sneaking raw food onto your own and your kid’s plates, stay tuned as I’m working away on our very first © Ka-RAW-te UNCooking Workshops and will be releasing the details soon!