Soft and Chewy Granola (aka~ The Best Mistake I Ever Made)

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My friends I’ve shared this recipe with also know this one as “the best mistake I ever made”! In an attempt to make my own granola bars, I may have altered a few of the ingredients this way and that which prevented the ingredients to hold together well into a bar, but did it ever make a great crumble mixture!! Which today, I make once a month and hold in the fridge as my granola. A great fridge staple to have with yogurt as a snack, added to cereal, or enjoy on its own!

Serves: 18, -Cup portions


  • ½ Cup Unsalted dry roasted pumpkin seeds
  • ½ Cup Unsalted Dry roasted sunflower seeds
  • ½ Cup Lightly salted cashews, chopped
  • 1 ½ Cups Large Flake Oats
  • ⅓ Cup Dried apricots, chopped
  • ⅓ Cup Dried Cherries, chopped
  • ⅓ Cup Dried Rasins, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • ¾ Cup Natural Peanut Butter
  • ¼ Cup Honey


  1. Mix the first 8 ingredients into a bowl.
  2. In a larger microwaveable bowl, add the peanut butter and honey. Microwave for about 15-30 seconds (depending on the intensity of your microwave), so that the ingredients mix together well with a spoon.
  3. Once the peanut butter and honey are well mixed, pour the oat mixture into the peanut butter and honey mixture, stirring well until everything mixes together.
  4. Place the mixture into the refrigerate for 20 minutes or up to a day (if you’re not in a rush to eat it)!
  5. Once ready, remove the bowl from the fridge and break it apart with a spoon. Place in a large container and keep in the fridge to keep fresh.

You can choose whichever dried fruit you would like to use. I use these three because I like the combination and often have them all on hand! Try dried apples, figs, Gogi berries or whatever you’d like.

Are You Hard on Yourself?

Andrea Falcone Uncategorized Leave a Comment

The conversations I have on a daily basis with others, both professionally and personally, help to spark the conversations I want to have with all of you through this blogging platform. Over the month of April I found myself saying, as well as hearing from my circle of people, “don’t be so hard on yourself”! So it seems only appropriate to try to get to ‘why’ so many of us can embrace the support amongst those around us to recognize all of the value in our accomplishments, yet then be so hard on our own selves for not quite getting to or reaching what we had set as our intention.

We live in a culture where doing more seems to be the main thing to stay on top of for the next day to come. You know how I feel about goals… just have a read here, here and here as a start! We need them, whether they’re small or big, or simply, “I want to just get through today with a smile on my face at the end of it”. Goals are defined by you, the individual, based on what YOU want to achieve, not what others want you to achieve. And if we don’t achieve those goals or set things-to-do list, have we failed? Are we hard on ourselves? Well, I think that has to do with your expectations and your perspective!

The expectations we put on ourselves are for our own growth, our own responsibilities, and I truly think they’re important to have – BUT, that’s simply my perspective! What we need to recognize is whether those expectations are being put on us from our own thoughts, our own goals, or from others. I find this so frustrating in the “dieting and health business”. We are flashed with so many unrealistic diets, diet programs, fitness programs, or whatever it may be, that amplify the before and after of said person, and if you try that “program” out and don’t reach the same results promised to you from said company, how do you feel about yourself? Or rather, how are you supposed to feel about yourself? Do you feel you’ve failed? That you’re not good enough? In my profession, with the clients and groups I see, the programs I develop and the lectures I give, it always comes down to that – what about this diet? What about that diet? Hey, what about YOUR life? Your diet? Your goals? Your expectations of yourself and your realistic views of what your lifestyle is all about and finding what will fit, is only yours to decide. The marketing tactics and easy-as-1-2-3 programs that are out there are not often looking after your lifestyle and health. And why do I know this? Because, well, it’s not as easy as 1-2-3. Especially if you’re an adult with set behaviours and patterns in your life. Can we drop 10 pounds in 5 days – sure we can! But it’s not realistic for your long-term life and that’s what you should try to ask yourself before jumping on another wagon.

It’s about being honest with yourself. What type of coaching or accountability do you need? What resources do you have at your fingertips? Many times I work with people and they are successful, but at some point during the process, something may happen and we need to side step to reflect on what resources are available around them to use to support them at that time to help get them to the next step. It can be done! So before you step into the “I’ve failed again” or “What is wrong with me” mindset, stop that thought and ask yourself, “what of this strategy didn’t work for me that I have to change?” Is this truly a priority for me right now, or is the fact that changing jobs, getting my kids through dance competition season, supporting my child through something, buying a house, planning a wedding, getting my finances in order – whatever it may be in your life – needs to take precedence at this point? It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. There is a time for everything, and if your health is worth it, which I know it is, you will find that time to make it a priority and give it the attention it needs.

Before you start the riff-raff about what you did wrong though, celebrate what you did right! Is it simply that you slipped but recognized it? Hey, that’s you being aware, so a light bulb is flashing at you. And remember, at the end of the day, to do what you need or want to do for You and Your health. Setting out to do something to please other people, or to “look” a certain way is not a great starting point. You! You are important! You are capable and able…just look at all that’s around you and start tapping into those resources and your own set of skills that you already have!


Pesto Shrimp and Rapini Barley Risotto

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If you know me, and follow my blog, you may be pretty familiar with my love for pesto! Just check out this recipe here….oh and this one here too. And to prep you for gardening season, have a read here! When you have an overabundance of basil growing in the garden during the summer, it can be difficult to use it all up at once, but preserving it into homemade pesto is a great opportunity to quickly flavour up any dish when needed! Check out one of my favourite pesto recipes here.  This past Friday night was one of those evenings where I thought I had to stop at the grocery store….but a quick scan in my head of what was in the freezer, topped with an extra green veggie I had picked up earlier in the week, I was set for dinner!

Serves: 4


  • 1 Cup Dried Barley
  • 2½ -3 Cups Water
  • ½ Cup Dry white wine
  • 2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Bunch Rapini
  • 16 Large Shrimp, thawed, shelled and de-veined
  • 1½ Cups Frozen Green Peas, thawed
  • ⅓ Cup Pesto
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil for flavor
  • Grated Fresh Parmesan Cheese


  1. Rinse 1 Cup of Barley and place in a large saucepan with 2 Cups of water (*note, you would normally need 3 Cups of water, but in this case, we are making risotto, so check out below). Place on high heat and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, remove the lid and lower heat to medium-low to continue cooking for about 30 minutes. Prepare the remainder of the dish as per the directions below, while keeping an eye on the barley. As the barley soaks up the water, add about ½ Cup of water at a time until the barley is cooked, including ½ Cup dry white wine in there too!
  2. Meanwhile, wash and trim the rapini, cutting slits at the bottoms of the stems to help release some of the bitterness as they steam, and soften quicker.
  3. Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil for the rapini. Once boiled, add the rapini and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove and allow to drain in a colander.
  4. Cook the shrimp in a small fry pan. Once cooked, leave aside.
  5. Reserve 8 whole shrimps if you’d like to top each portion off at the end.  Chop up the rapine and remaining shrimp into small pieces.
  6. Once you add the last ½ Cup of water to the barley, add the green peas, pesto, and salt into the saucepan mixing all ingredients together. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes. *Keep an eye on the barley making sure it doesn’t dry up, adding a bit more water (or vegetable broth) if needed.
  7. Add the rapini and shrimp pieces and stir to combine.
  8. Serve into individual plates, topping with 2 shrimp and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Green Pea and Basil Pesto

Andrea Falcone Recipes, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Did you know that ‘pesto’ is not only made with basil? Sure we may associate pesto with basil most often, but parsley, arugula, mint, fresh dill, fresh sage, or anything else you can think of can be made into a pesto. I grew up with the basil kind, freshly made from all of the basil growing in the garden, and during a trip to New Zealand, I set my taste buds on a mint pesto with Asiago cheese! It was incredibly delicious. So get creative with whatever you may have in abundance. One of my favourite new creations is below! You know me, adding in some extras wherever I can.


  • ¾ Cups Shelled Walnuts
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Cup Green Peas, thawed
  • 1½ Cup Basil, firmly packed
  • 1 Lemon
  • ⅔ Cup Asiago cheese, grated *or Parmesan Cheese if you’d like
  • 5-6 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Add the walnuts in a food processor and pulse about 15 times. Add the garlic cloves and pulse to mix into the walnuts.
  2. Add the green peas, basil, juice of 1 lemon and pulse to combine all ingredients.
  3. Add the cheese and allow to combine while adding in about 2 to 3 Tbsp of Extra virgin olive oil at a time until the mixture turns into its desired consistency.
  4. Add to your favourite dish as a sauce to enjoy the flavours.

Other Uses:

  • freeze into individual portions (think ice cube trays) to have ready on hand for your next dish.
  • add as a spread to an egg sandwich


Do you Eat with Your Eyes, Mouth, Heart, Nose or Stomach?

Andrea Falcone Health Leave a Comment

The start of spring brings this wonderful feeling to my heart, my eyes and to my stomach!! But it IMG_4019starts in my eyes!! I often look at this picture I took of my garden tomatoes last summer to remind me that the journey is going to start again all over again soon and what new vegetables will tickle my palate and inspire me with some recipes!

As we head into the warmer weather (I swear it’s coming!), there are so many great things to think about when it comes to the vast opportunity that could surround our weekly grocery list: fresh local foods will be in greater abundance! The larger amounts of nutrients in whole, natural foods – fresh always better, as they have traveled shorter distances, and therefore nutrients are better preserved – is just one great thought to consider. But do we all eat with our eyes? Do you think this way too? Food plays with our emotions, as I have often written about, personally gone through, and now in recognizing that, have learned to view food as the fuel that moves me through my day.   Many people are tempted by foods in other ways, and registered dietitians alike often try to recognize whether people are eating with their eyes, their mouth, their heart, or their stomach. I throw nose in, because you and I both know that that initial scent of some foods, can then shift our wanting to eat with our mouth as we begin salivating (think hangry and angry after driving 45 minutes in traffic to get home, and making sure you stop to pick up bananas for tomorrow with that fresh roasted chicken or French fries smacking you in the face when you walk into a grocery store).

True hunger comes from our stomach – which actually only makes up about 5 to 10% of when the majority of people actually eat. Everyone is different, and have their own habits and behaviours when it comes to food, but it is a great exercise for you to stop for a moment before you eat, or find yourself reaching for a cookie or that nut bowl on your countertop as you pass by to throw something into the sink and ask yourself, “Am I actually hungry now? From my stomach?”  I learned this about 8 years ago when I was able to teach the Craving Change program with a group of individuals, and it has evolved in so many ways with the education I provide now!  As you practice mindful eating, it will eventually lead you down the path of intuitive eating, which is the most incredible thing when you can hear your body saying, ‘you want some crunchy veggies’ or ‘maybe some salt tonight’ or one of my strongest cues ‘You need some iron, it’s energy kick time’!

So, whether you do eat with your heart (emotions), mouth (salivation – often from smelling something), eyes (possibly colour, which could mean nutrients for my body) or stomach (true hunger), it’s an interesting little lesson you could try. Start by asking yourself these questions to see how you may be able to shift your perspective and desire or cravings for foods!

1.  Do I chew foods slowly and allow myself to taste the flavours and feel the textures in my mouth?

2. Do I make sure there are more than 3 colours of foods that make up my meals?

3.  Do I see a commercial or advertisement on television and automatically want a similar type of food?

4.  Do I graze on snacks such as crackers or nuts throughout the day?

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but definitely one to start you on your path of mindful eating to support a food as fuel mentality.  Think colour as you head into April!  Take a few extra minutes in the produce aisle of your local grocery store, or better yet, venture to the family-run supermarket!  There are so many wonderful things happening — embrace them with all of their colours!


~Friday Night Frenzy~ Baked Sole, Roasted Veggies and Lentil Pilaf

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Do you sometimes wait for that phone call to say, “I’m 15 minutes away” to make sure dinner will be ready to serve for when the whole family is home? I grew up like this. We ate together as a family each night, and still aim to have at least one family dinner meal bringing everyone together. Sometimes this can be difficult with “hangry” kids, or bed times that may be earlier than when the last person gets home, so we adjust when we need to and when we can. This is one of those dinners that you can prep, and when you get that call, pop it all into the oven to finish cooking off! It was one of those Friday night eats for me and my family, where I knew I have to disconnect from the rest of the world and cook!  I hope you can enjoy it just as much with yours too!

Serves: 4


Lentil Pilaf*

  • 1 Cup Dried lentils, rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp Avocado or Flaxseed oil
  • 3 Carrots, chopped
  • ½ Fennel, chopped
  • ½ Red onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ Orange, juice of
  • 2 Tbsp White wine
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Dried Cherries
  • 4 Tbsp Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Baked Wild Filet of Sole

  • 4 Wild Sole Filets
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, divided
  • 2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice from
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Capers
  • 3 Tbsp Finely chopped Fresh Parsley

Roasted Vegetables

  • 1 bunch Asparagus, trimmed and rinsed
  • 3 Yellow Zucchini, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Avocado or Flaxseed oil
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice from
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


To prepare the Lentil Pilaf

  1. Cook the lentils.  Place lentils in a pot and cover the lentils with water and slightly more. Bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes until cooked through but not mushy.
  2. Meanwhile, chop and prepare the remaining lentil pilaf ingredients.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, fennel and onion and allow to cook through until translucent, about 4-7 minutes. Reduce heat until lentils finish cooking, or, if lentils have finished cooking, drain and rinse, adding them to the vegetable base.
  4. Add the apple cider vinegar, juice from ½ of an orange, white wine and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low to allow the pilaf to stay warm and the flavours to blend.
  5. Once you put the fish and vegetables in the oven (see below), add the dried cherries and pumpkin seeds until ready to serve.

To prepare the Baked Wild Sole

  1. Rinse the pieces of sole and allow to dry on paper towel.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 2 Tbsp of butter and the olive oil. Add in the minced garlic and allow to combine to form a garlic marinade.  Add the juice from 1/2 of a lemon and stir to combine.  Remove from heat.
  3. Place the remaining 2 Tbsp of melted butter in a baking dish. Place the pieces of sole overtop the butter and then top with the garlic marinade, spreading evenly on each piece of sole.
  4. Sprinkle with capers and fresh parsley and cover with foil paper.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. When “the call” comes – place wild sole and roasted vegetables (See below) in the oven for 16-20 minutes.

To prepare the Roasted Vegetables

  1. Place the washed asparagus and yellow zucchini on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, juice from 1/2 of a lemon, salt and pepper and mix with hands to allow ingredients to coat.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit . When “the call” comes – place wild sole and roasted vegetables (See above) in the oven for 16-20 minutes, tossing the vegetables once in between.

Serve the wild sole with sliced lemon, roasted vegetables, the lentil pilaf, and a slice of toasted Artisan bread and of course, a glass of White Wine!

*The left-over lentil pilaf was a fabulous cold salad the next day, or even added into a vegetable broth for a wonderful twist to soup!

Do You Worry?

Andrea Falcone Health Leave a Comment

Do You Worry? No really – do you worry? And in some of your heads right now I’m sure you may have some answers: ‘Is she serious?’  ‘Seriously Andrea – what are you getting at?’  ‘How are we not supposed to worry?’  ‘What’s up her sleeve with this one?’  But really I want to know. Do you worry? About what you’re going to eat for your next meal. What your kids are learning in school, or from other people in their circle. What the number on the scale is. Why the number on the scale changes so much within a day sometimes. So yah, I wonder, do you worry about all of this?

In keeping this along the lines of my profession of health and wellness (as I’m not a therapist – most days anyways), I see time and time again so much worry about what to eat, what not to eat, what to buy at the grocery store, whether we can allow ourselves to have that creamy alfredo sauce at dinner, and most importantly what the number on the scale is going to appear as on any given day. I mean I used to weight myself every day — all day — any point I could.  And now I step on the scale once a year at my annual physical! But that was a learning curve and so I know what may be going on in your minds half the time. But who’s putting it there? Is it society? Is it your circle of friends? Is it the newest “cleanse” popping up on every other post along your social media newsfeed? Maybe it’s the commercial that gets played EVERY time you happen to be in the car. Or the news story that fills your radio at your lunch hour. How are we not supposed to worry? People are putting it out there in their own tactful (most times manipulative) ways to make us have those worrisome and wondering conversations in our heads!

So how do we get out of our heads and into the game. Do you think the athletes on your favourite sports teams have time to worry about what the opponent or defence on the other team is going to do, or whether they know the move they’re about to execute to get ahead of the game? I’m going to go with NO……any of the best athletes that is! You just go out and do. I work with many strategies and suggestions with some of my clients in this realm of nutrition and health. It is natural to worry about the number when we’ve been trained as a society to keep an eye on it, and obsess over it…..but that is wrong when it gets to a point where it stops you from living.  At what point is too much thought and obsessing over it though? I must say, only you can answer that question, and reach out when you’re ready to take the help. But I also must add that you shouldn’t be worried about that number for the majority of your day. There are certain conditions out there where we may have to be mindful of our weight – whether needing to gain or lose weight, BUT we must change that focus so-to-speak and shift it to what we can control. At the end of the day, we all need to eat to survive. But we must understand what so much of the world is doing to take our own power and control away from us to make us question and worry so much.

Nowadays, I personally don’t have any worry about the number on the scale or what my weight does year to year, BUT it’s been a road to get here.   I do know that there are things I love to do each day, which do support a healthy relationship with my overall health and that I can make happen like exercise (cause it makes me feel strong and energized), have breakfast each morning, take time to prep my lunch, and SLEEPING — amongst everything else that goes on in a day, of which some you have control over and a lot of them you don’t.

So I encourage you to sit down with yourself and ask yourself if you worry — yes, maybe about weight, or what to eat, or whether you’re allowed to have that birthday cake or cereal with a bit of added sugar, or butter on your toast.  But maybe it’s about other things too — will he like me, will she like me, will the weather be right, will I get the promotion, will the recovery time be short or long — whatever it may be, I want you to physically roll all of that worry up into a ball.  Go outside.  Stand in front of the sun and throw it up into the air.  Cause some things are just not worth our time to worry about when we have so many other possibilities of what to do with that time — things that fill our souls, our hearts, and our minds with goodness.  And if you need the support – reach out.  There is something or someone there to help you and be ready and willing to help you get to where you want to be.  Be careful if someone is trying to get you to where THEY want you to be…..this is your life and your journey! Embrace it and love every minute of it!

Remember, there are diagnosed clinical conditions in which you will need to get additional support and advice from, and monitor closely.  I can only encourage you to seek the advice and information and then act on it (sorry, I can’t do the work for you)…..but you have to believe that you can do it.  That you can accomplish such amazing things, and recognize what is worth “worrying” over and what you need to “let go of”!


Fiesta Dinner Jam

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Cooking with friends is one of my favourite things to do! Well, cooking with anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my “experimenting” and focus needed with some recipes, but who wouldn’t love to share one another’s company! It was initially a Friday night out, but when my girlfriend asked if we could stay in and cook….well, she’s my friend for a reason right! The perfect Friday night! I asked her what she felt like, she mentioned she had this gluten free pasta, possibly something with spice, then she let me take the ropes in the development stage….AND she was O.K. to be a guinea pig! This dish….she called it a little something “exciting”, but hopefully this resonates with you and your family or group of friends!

Serves: 5


  • 3 Tbsp Avocado oil, divided
  • 450 g Ground turkey
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp Fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¾ tsp Cracked Salt
  • 1 Red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Green pepper, chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 Cup Cooked Black beans
  • 1/3 Cup Sliced Kalamata olives
  • 2 Cups Dry pasta*

For the Sauce:

  • 1 Cup 1% Sour Cream
  • ½ Lime, juice from
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce**
  • 1-2 tsp Turmeric (fresh or dried)***
  • 1 Avocado, for garnish


  1. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey and cook through until brown throughout. Transfer to a plate for later.
  2. Remove any turkey liquid from the pan, and place back on the stove. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the red onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the green and jalapeno peppers and allow to sautee for 5-7 minutes. Once cooked through, lower heat to medium-low.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to box directions.
  6. While the vegetables are sautéing and water is boiling, prepare the sauce: mix together the sour cream, lime juice, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and turmeric in a bowl. Stir well to combine all flavours.
  7. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse. Add it to the pan with vegetables, along with the black beans, ground turkey, and the black olives, mixing all ingredients together. Heat through, about 2 minutes.
  8. Keeping the pan on the stove, turn the heat off. Add the sour cream sauce and stir well to combine all ingredients and flavours, mixing gently so as to not break the pasta.
  9. Serve immediately, topping with avocado pieces.


*I used the Catelli Gluten Free fusilli pasta, or you can also use the GoGo Quinoa macaroni, or any pasta of choice.

** If you prefer spicier, feel free to add more Worcestershire sauce or chill flakes.

*** You can use the dried turmeric. Turmeric has a very subtle taste, but if using fresh, be careful as it will stain your fingers! Nothing soap and water won’t take off, but just a forewarning



Fennel and Zucchini Seafood Pasta

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I’ve learned over the years that when you really miss something and you start to crave it, it often means you haven’t done “that thing” in a long time, or from a food perspective, eaten it in a long time. That’s your body asking you to do something, or eat something. Intuitive eating is a skill. It takes time to master, and continually work at it, but it is beautiful when you can hear the whispers of what your body needs. For this recipe, it wasn’t necessarily the food I wanted, but rather the act of cooking! With a little more busy-than-normal life going on lately in my personal life, I haven’t cooked in a while, and Saturday night called for “I just want to cook!” And we had this! Enjoy any night of the week with your family.

Serves 5


  • 3 Tbsp Butter, divided
  • 15 Shrimp, peeled and deveined (~3 each)
  • 20 (~200 g) Scallops (~4 each)
  • ½ tsp each Salt and Pepper plus more for seasoning
  • 1 Clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
  • 2 Shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 Bulb Fennel, thinly sliced
  • 2 Zucchini, thinly sliced (mandolin)
  • ½ Cup Dry white wine
  • 227 grams Macaroni
  • ½ Cup Basil, torn
  • ½ Fresh Lemon


  1. Clean and dry the shrimp and scallops. Place on a paper towel for a few minutes. Once dried, remove from paper and sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp of butter in a large fry pan. Add the shrimp and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute.
  3. Transfer shrimp to a clean plate and add the scallops to a pan, cooking for about 4 minutes with the garlic. Remove to the same plate as the shrimp and cover to keep warm.
  4. Heat the grapeseed oil in the same pan. Add the shallots and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the fennel, salt and pepper, and continue to sauté, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Add the zucchini, 2 Tbsp of butter, white wine and allow to cook through and blend flavours for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. I used a red and white quinoa pasta this time around!
  7. Just before the pasta is cooked, add the shrimp, scallops and garlic to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine.
  8. Add the pasta to the pan, basil and the juice from ½ of a lemon and stir well to combine all flavours.
  9. Enjoy with yours truly with some extra basil or a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese if you’d like.

Why All of the Numbers?

Andrea Falcone Health, Nutrition, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

If you read a few headlines, listen to the news, or frequent a fast food restaurant, you may have noticed a few more numbers beside the meal or drink you purchased last time you were out. I have read a number of articles on this topic, and had many discussions with friends and colleagues, all resulting in these thoughts for all of you.

Calorie counts became more prominent on January 1, 2017 when chain restaurants with 20 or more locations were required by law to indicate the calorie counts of their menu items. But is the level of accountability on the restaurant’s part all chalked up to what you, as a consumer, need to know?

Well, let me ask you this. What meal would you choose of the two below?

2 Cups mixed greens + 4 oz salmon + ½ Cup corn kernels + 1 Tbsp roasted almonds + 1 Cup chopped beets + 2 oz goats milk cheese + 1 Tbsp olive oil + 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar + 1 tsp honey + ½ lemon squeezed


Small Hamburger (regular bun + patty) with 1 Tbsp each ketchup, mustard and relish + Small French Fries

I know you may be drooling right now, so which one did you choose? Would you choose a meal based on a healthy choice, or by the numbers that are aligned beside the ingredients? We seem to be a society fixated on numbers. The number on the scale, the number in inches of our waist line, and the numbers attached to the calories (of energy) in our food. And I know this because I used to be all worked up about this calorie in and calorie out equation too because society dictated this through headlines and lack of research….but yah, I fell for it, until I became empowered with the right knowledge. We know that if we consume more energy in a day (adding up in a week and then a month), then what we expend in a day, those extra calories may be bottled up and stored as fat. I say may here because the more metabolically active your muscles are, the more efficient your body becomes at burning your food substrate into energy substrate. Or do we know this? Why is there not enough information floating through our headlines about how you can make your body more efficient in burning fuel you eat. No, that doesn’t give you the green slip to eat out high fat, greasy food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but there is an information gap here, which comes down to the quality of the food nutrients you’re eating.

The quality of the calories you eat is so much more important than the number of calories you eat sometimes. Yes, this takes an understanding and knowledge share, but that’s a lesson for you to all take to the manager at the restaurant with the fancy new calorie board. Or maybe this just strikes that next bit of awareness to the company that the consumer is inquiring about what makes up those calories. Hopefully this number will help steer some recipes in a new direction, for the better of all of our inside health. Would you change your meal choice based on knowing how many calories are in one food item over another?

Some restaurant chains have begun re-thinking their menu items once seeing some of the calorie counts, whereas others aren’t quite ready to alter the flavor and taste of their foods. I mean, at the end of the day, I know that when I don’t want to cook and opt for take-out, whether it’s pizza, a nice salmon dish, chicken wings and nachos or a burger, I’m just making the choice to eat that for my meal and not carry any guilt with it! Yes, it may take time for someone to get to this place, but we all have a choice to know more about the food we are eating, whether we’re cooking with it, or buying someone else’s creation. The opportunity lies in setting time aside to learn about all of these different foods, and how the quality of their nutrients can add value or not to our overall health.

And on the numbers front. Our salmon salad meal up above comes with a total of 754 calories for that beautiful fully balanced meal, and will leave you full, satisfied and energized until your next meal, while the small hamburger topped with condiments and a small French fry, has 706 calories, without providing a whole lot of key nutrients your body needs to fuel optimally and stay strong and healthy.