Christmas Week Treats

Its Christmas treat week at the Studio once again. Here are the recipes for all the wonderful treats we are featuring. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday Season! Lisa, Lorrie & Sherry:)


Author: Sweetphi

Serves: 12-13 energy bites

  • ⅓ cup cashews
  • 10 medjool dates, pits removed
  • ½ cup coconut, shredded, divided
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs water (I added another TBSP of water and it mixed better)
  1. Put cashews in a food processor and pulsate for 10 seconds.
  2. Add pitted dates, ¼ cup coconut flakes, 1 tbs coconut oil and water. Process for a minute or until the mixture comes together and no big nuts or dates remain.
  3. With a tablespoon scoop or a spoon scoop out 1 tablespoon of the mixture and roll in between hands to form a ball.
  4. Put remaining shredded coconut in a bowl, and then roll the ball in the coconut. Place ball in a mini muffin liner and refrigerate for an hour and then serve.Store in refrigerator.

Spicy Cranberry Salsa

4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1 seedless orange, skin on

1 cup seedless raisins (Golden, Sultana or Thompson)

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons finally chopped preserved ginger or 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

1 tablespoon finely chopped red Thai Pepper

Quarter the orange and finally chop in food processor with candied ginger if using.

Remove to a non-metal bowl.

Coarsely chop cranberries with three short pulses in the food processor.

Add berries to oranges.

Mix in all other ingredients.

Cover and let stand overnight in the fridge so that flavours marry.

Refrigerated salsa will keep for about two weeks. Can be frozen.

The combination of seeds, nuts and oats offers a wonderful array of minerals, including high calcium and magnesium, as well as high fiber. But watch out–these are addictive!

Makes 20-24 cookies

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 T. almond butter
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1-1/4 cups oats
  • 1/4 c. spelt flour
  • 1/2 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease 2 large cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, honey, vanilla, almond butter and tahini.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. Pour wet mixture over dry and stir to blend well.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets (you may have to press the dough to hold together). Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Cookies will firm up as they cool. Makes 20-24 cookies. (from Sweet Freedom).

Ho Ho Hold the Weight Gain: Managing the Season of Excess

As we revel in the holiday season many excesses present themselves: socializing with loads of calorie dense foods and alcohol; treats at work; running around shopping and wrapping not to mention travelling; stressors run the gamut from feeling tapped financially, feeling overly busy and include all the emotions related to the season. Add in a potential lack of sleep and being out of routine with exercise, the holiday season can create a perfect storm poised to ruin your weight control goals and intentions.

Some of you won’t want to limit the festive holiday food and drink. No judgement at all (I personally cannot wait to scarf sausage rolls)! But if you happen to be on a weight or sugar management journey, I’m excited to share with you some tips and info I learned from a book titled The Hungry Brain- Outsmarting the Instincts That Make Us Overeat by Stephan J. Guyenet, Ph.D.

Food can be a powerful reinforcer tugging on the reins of our behaviour. Certain types of foods can trigger addiction-like behaviour in some people: high concentrations of sugar (refined grain carbs), fat, salt, and caffeine. There are hormones, called endorphins, in our brain which release when something pleasurable happens in our body. Eating things like chocolate is one of those things. The brain and body are hardwired to survive and historically foods high in fat and/or starch would be sought after to sustain the body. So when we eat something sweet or fatty, and we find that food rewarding, the pleasure chemicals are released but in addition, the learning chemical (dopamine) also gets released. So the brain begins to be motivated to eat such foods. And after you’ve learned that the sight and smell of say french fries predicts a fatty, starchy reward in your belly, your brain will trigger motivation to eat fries when you encounter them.

A bit more on addictive properties of foods: those properties listed above (sugar, fat, salt, caffeine) become significantly more addictive when highly refined and processed. Plus, modern chemical combinations in processed, look-like-food substances may increase their addictive qualities. Witness me with certain cookies, fresh bread or cinnamon buns… if easily accessible to me they call to me – there’s no stopping at one… rather I keep eating even when I know I’m heading into a stomach ache. Guyenet advises us to beware highly rewarding foods.

So what to do?

Guyenet’s top tip is to fix your food environment. Ideally don’t allow your brain to sense “high reward” aka addictive foods. Avoid feasting your eyes on those treats and avoid smelling them if possible. Keeping such foods out of your world/house is the best strategy. However at this time of year that can be very difficult. He suggests playing a little game with your brain in those moments when you’re about to reach for that pastry or french fry. When deciding whether to eat that treat, imagine yourself in the future, vividly enjoying the positive events you’re striving for (maybe 20 lbs lighter, laughing, healthy, in a really positive environment, maybe summiting that hill you’re hoping to climb, or finishing that race). If you delay picking up that treat to play this little game, your brain’s decision-making will weight your future self more heavily than your present tempted self and reduce your intake of the wrong foods (apparently by 1/3 in women).

Another little tip is keep your food simple: less sauces, condiments and spices (I would struggle with reducing spices). His point being – design as simple of an eating plan as you can live with in the long haul to reduce the tendency to overeat. At a buffet or with things like tapas, this could work well during the holidays if you simplify your plate ie. choose three items you think would make a satisfying meal and stick to them. You’ll probably feel full on fewer calories.

Another good tip for anytime but especially as you head out to holiday gatherings is to manage your appetite by pre-eating a healthy meal with lots of fibre and healthy fats to tell your brain you are not starving. If your brain thinks you’re starving it will eventually wear you down no matter how strong your resolve.

Finally, don’t forget the importance of sleep for weight control. Make sleep a priority. And equally important is moving your body to burn calories but also to manage stress and help trigger those feel-good endorphins. Hitting the gym is not the only way: Dance the night away or calm the beast with some mindful movement practices.

From all of us at Balanced Motion Pilates and Yoga to all of you, we wish you a very happy holiday season and a healthy, peaceful, enriching 2018!!

Lisa for Sherry and Lorrie

Lisa Goddard, BA, BScOT, Certified Pilates Mat & Reformer Instructor-Owner Balanced Motion Pilates, HWL (Healthy Eating Weight Loss) Coach, Certified Yamuna Practitioner (Body Rolling)


Recipe Of The Week:  Chai Tea Golden Milk -(a la Lorrie)

This is my own version of Golden Milk. The main ingredient of Golden Milk is Turmeric, which is an amazing spice for reducing inflammation. Sometimes though it can be a little chalky tasting or over powering so I LOVE to combine it with my Chai Tea ( from Findlay’s). It is a wonderful Fall/Winter drink. It gives you a little bit of a pick-me-up and satisfies my craving for something smooth and creamy mid morning or mid afternoon.


1 tsp your favourite Chai Tea Blend

1 cup of your favourite base ( I often use soy but you can use almond, cow’s milk, coconut milk)

1/8 – 1/4 tsp Turmeric




1. In a small saucepan ( on medium heat) , combine base, tea and turmeric

2. Give a little stir to combine and set the timer for 5 minutes

3. After 5 minutes, strain the tea in to a cup ( I like to heat to hot but not boiling so might take some experimenting with the stove setting)

4. If you have a handheld frother, give it a good froth and sprinkle with cinnamon ( you can also give it a good whisk)

Grab a blanket, your magazine and enjoy your tea!

Lorrie Mickelson, M.A., B.A./BPHE, Registered Yoga Teacher, Certified Pilates Instructor, Certified Personal Trainer,, 705 647 2848.

Recipe of the Week: Mild Vegetable and Tofu Curry

This recipe from Mayim Bialik (aka Amy Farrah Fowler in The Big Bang Theory) was given two thumbs up at my house from both curry lovers and non-curry lovers. The flavours are subtle without being bland, and it allows for substitutions depending on what vegetables you have/like. The recipe here is how I prepared it. Serve it as is or with rice or udon noodles. It froze really well in lunch portions. Thanks to Jen McIntryre for sharing it with me.

Source: Mayim’s Vegan Table

Serves 4

2 tbsp grape seed oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 medium-size garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp peeled and finely grated fresh ginger

1tbsp ground coriander

1.5 tsp ground cumin

.75 tsp ground turmeric

.25 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 cups vegetable stock

1 (3inch) cinnamon stick

1 tsp sea salt

.25 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 small cauliflower in bite sized florets (about 2 cups)

1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (2-3 cups)

1 (14oz) package extra-firm tofu*, cut into .25 inch cubes (about 1.5 cups)

4 medium-size tomatoes, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 1.5 cups)

2 large carrots, peeled and diced (about 1.5 cups)

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

2 tbsp fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped, for garnish

1. In a large pot, heat oil to medium-high and cook onions, stirring occasionally until beginning to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Lower heat and continue cooking til onion is browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, stirring for 1 minute to blend flavours. Add coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne and cook 1 minute.

2. Add tomato paste and stir. Add stock, cinnamon stick, salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add cauliflower, sweet potato, tofu, tomatoes and carrots. Return to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, until veg are soft. Discard cinnamon stick. Add lime juice. Serve garnished with cilantro (or parsley).

* Original recipe calls for Sprouted Tofu

Nutrition per serving (not including rice/noodles): Calories 371; Protein 16.9g ; Fat 14.3g; Carbs 47.2g

Lisa Goddard, BA, BScOT, Certified Pilates Mat & Reformer Instructor-Owner Balanced Motion Pilates, HWL (Healthy Eating Weight Loss) Coach, Certified Yamuna Practitioner (Body Rolling)