Best post-workout snacks

As a mom of 3 young boys and a chiropractor who promotes a healthy lifestyle, I lead a very full life with health always remaining a top value in our family.  I read a quote today that highlighted the fact that the ‘greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you’. So, we invest a lot of time and energy eating well and working out to keep our bodies healthy and strong.

The following are some of the snacks we like to make often so they can be added to the kids’ lunches for their busy days or to come in and eat following a rigorous workout. We typically eat a diet high in vegetables, healthy fats, adequate protein and low glycemic fruit. Keeping the blood sugar stable is key to lowering inflammation in the body and promotes optimal hormonal health.

Many of the ingredients used in the following recipes can be found on along with a great list of recipes for some healthy snack options.

  1. Guacomole- Add some fresh chopped cucumbers, carrots, peppers, or whatever veggies you love to this easy to make dip for a quick, nutritious snack.


2. Creamy Chocolate Smoothie- Make this on your way out the door in the morning and keep it cold and ready to consume following your workout.


3. Date Balls- Throw all the ingredients in the food processor and roll these into delicious date balls your whole family will enjoy.

Date Balls

4. Chocolate muffins (flourless)- These high protein and deliciously moist chocolate muffins can also be made as a cake.  No one will ever guess the main ingredient is black beans, promise!

chocolate cupcakes

5. Paleo Power bars- These are much healthier than most power bars out there and you’ll know exactly what you’re fueling your body with-all natural ingredients.

power bar

Southwestern Chopped Salad

Today, I hosted my son’s grade 3 class at my home to have them make a few recipes.  This was one of those recipes because it is relatively easy to put together and very tasty.  I wanted them to have taste explosions from the freshness of all the ingredients mixed together.  They enjoyed the smell of the limes and cilantro and some of them had never tasted avocadoes.  It was a pleasure to watch them put this together and have most of the class enjoy it. It is the perfect summer salad and goes especially great with a bbq. A friend of mine got this recipe from facebook…
swsaladingredientsSW salad dressing
Southwestern Chopped Salad


  • Large head of Romaine 15 oz.
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large orange bell pepper
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups corn (fresh or frozen, thawed)
  • 5 green onions
  • Optional: avocado


  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt


  1. Making the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  2. Making the salad: Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions.Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.Toss with desired dressing.

50 Shades of Grain (summary from Dr. William Davis talk)

Dr. Bill Davis

Dr. William Davis (Cardiologist and author of Wheat Belly)

Hi Everyone, Jason’s turn to write a short post.

I was recently in attendance at Dr. William Davis’s second Halifax presentation and would love to provide a short synopsis of his work.  As a cardiologist in practice he has always been interested in treating the cause of disease and not masking problems with medications.  This is our philosophy as well, especially as it relates to pain and dysfunction.  He started his presentation talking about mammals and what each of them would need to eat in order for them to have ideal health and how different mammals have a different nutritional requirement.  For example, a lion needs meat and a cow needs grass, switch their diets and both animals would not be able to survive.  So what is the ideal human diet?  Well there are a million books, a million experts and a bunch of scientific studies proving one model and disproving another.  He explained how the consumption of grains started roughly 10,000 years ago but our genes were not designed or ready for this shift.  He feels we have been given very bad nutritional advice when government, agencies and experts say to watch fat but eat your healthy whole grains (ie: wheat).

In his first book Wheat Belly, he goes into detail about all of the issues that wheat can cause in the human body.  For some people (like me) that enjoy detail, I appreciated his use of examples and clinical experience with real patients.  He has different chapters in the book explaining several health issues including heart disease, diabetes, weight loss, joint issues, autoimmune diseases and more. Tonight, he offered a very short synopsis of what happens when we consume grains and especially wheat. One issue is blood sugar and he makes a point that 2 pieces of whole wheat bread have a higher glycemic index that a Snickers bar. High blood sugar leads to an excessive insulin response. Over time this is what contributes to type 2 diabetes, belly fat, and increased levels of inflammation in the body.

Another issue which can affect our own immune systems is the lack of digestion of certain proteins in wheat and other grains.  When our bodies cannot completely digest a protein such as the wheat protein gliadin, it can affect the lining of our intestines causing them to be “leaky”. When this happens, other proteins and particles cross into the blood stream and our body will mistake it as a threat and mount an immune response. This is what happens in some cases with autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Phytates are chemicals that will block absorption of positively charged minerals such as zinc, iron and magnesium. He stated grain induced iron deficiency is the 2nd leading causing of iron deficiency world wide. If you are having iron issues, this is a possible source. We see many patients that respond well to magnesium supplementation for muscle cramps, poor sleeping, etc. What about addressing this potential cause of magnesium deficiency?

He is also very clear to not replace wheat with high starch gluten-free items. While they may be “less bad”, it does not make them healthy.  These items are high in corn starch, potato starch and corn which can also create havoc for our blood sugar and digestive systems.

After removing grains from the diet, he feels the next most powerful step we can make is to optimize our vitamin D levels.  He is also very supportive of having optimal gut flora (found in probiotics and fermented food), which often takes some time to rebuild. He is a huge supporter of omega-3 fish oil and specifically endorses the brand we carry, Ascenta. These recommendations would mimic our basic supplement philosophy and we carry these items at the clinic.

So what can you eat?  REAL FOOD. Healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and organic butter should be staples.  Vegetables should also be a staple. We recommend 8 servings or 4 cups/day. Be careful with excessive fruit intake for blood sugar reasons. Excessive fructose is not ideal for most people. Wild fish, grass fed beef, free range chicken/eggs are quality sources of protein. Nuts and seeds are great snacks and additions. We limit dairy intake and he would advise the same (use with caution as it can also create an immune response in many people).

veggieshealthy meats

I will likely be doing Saturday afternoon or Wednesday evening seminar to fill in some of these details and to help with implementation. If you are interested, please message us or email and your preference of Wednesday evening from 6-9 or a late Saturday afternoon from 2-5pm.

Yours in health,

Dr. Jason Plotsky

How the 3 S’s can impact your life in 2015…

health quote

There is something interesting about the month of December and the holiday season that makes people feel exempt from the laws of the body.  As chiropractors, Jason and I usually see a trend of increased stress that becomes measurable in the bodies of our patients particularly this time of year. The following 3 things are the biggest culprits for causing symptoms in our bodies:

  • Sugar- it has become a well-known fact that over the years, we as a society are consuming excess sugar in our diets. Over the holidays people over-indulge in sugary drinks and sweets laying around at gatherings. Sugar can cause inflammation in the body and can weaken your immune system.
  • Sleep- lack of this key ingredient in our lifestyles can wreak havoc on the systems of our body. I am always shocked at the percentage of patients who begin care experiencing challenges either getting to sleep or sleeping through the night for one reason or another.  Luckily, one of the side benefits of chiropractic care that we see in our patients is better sleep over time.
  • Stress- whether it’s financial, the stress from travelling and having to be in so many places, this can be a stressful time of year for many. We typically get away from our daily routines of exercising and taking supplements which can be added stress as well.

These are the 3 main things to keep in mind not only during this time of year but throughout the year.  Getting symptoms like a cold or flu is not by chance.  This is our body’s way of letting us know we have tripped a switch in our system. Pay attention to which of the above you may have violated and focus on avoiding this throughout the year.  You may then find yourself happier, healthier, and more vibrant by following these simple steps:

  1. Get proper rest.
  2. Limit sugar intake by crowding it out with healthy vegetables; you’ll have less cravings.
  3. Drink an abundance of water.
  4. Take vitamin D.  Our recommendations are within the guidelines of the Vitamin D Council (adults- 5,000 IU’s/day and approx. 2,000 IU’s/day for kids).
  5. Probiotics are essential for proper digestion and affect your immune system.  Take 1 capsule/day (billions of bacteria/capsule with multiple strains).
  6. Take 1 teaspoon of fish oil/day to reduce inflammation and keep your body sufficient of this essential nutrient.
  7. Last but not least, visit your chiropractor to have your nervous system cared for throughout the year. Your nervous system is protected by your spine and controls the function of every cell, tissue and organ in your body.

Healthy Holiday Snow Balls

health holiday snow balls2Holiday snow balls recipeHealthy snow balls3

We decided to make these after school today and with my niece here it was an easy job for me as I pretty much just set her up and watched her roll them.

The original recipe is from a local holistic health coach (Michelle MacLean  She posted it in her weekly newspaper write-up.

Makes 24 balls (ours are about an inch wide)

  • 1/2 cup walnuts (we used pecans)
  • 1/2 cup fresh dates with pits removed
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 20-24 whole almonds for stuffing
  • shredded unsweetened coconut-for rolling
  1. Place walnuts (or pecans) in a food processor and process until coarsely ground. Add the dates, and pulse until well combined with the nuts.  Add cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract and sea salt.
  2. Process until mixture is thick and smooth.
  3. Add almonds and pulse a few times until combined but left in coarse fine chunks.
  4. Add almond butter and mix well.
  5. Form mixture into golf-size (or smaller) balls with your hands placing one whole almond in the center of each ball.
  6. Roll each ball in the coconut.
  7. Place in a sealed container in the freezer until hardened.
  8. Enjoy them straight from the freezer!



Oil of Oregano (part of our ‘wellness cabinet’)

This is a product we have on hand at our house year round. We use it particularly as our family’s natural anti-viral, antibiotic and anti-fungal. You can take a few drops in water throughout the day until your scratchy throat or cold symptoms dissipate. You can also apply it to your child’s feet to help their body absorb it for the same benefits. We always pack it when we go away on trips as well. Can be found at most health food stores and at Nova Spinal Care.
oil of oregano

Pumpkin Muffins

pumpkin muffinsAdd dry ingredients to a bowl:

  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp guar gum
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Add to another bowl:

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 cup coconut oil, liquefied
  • 4 room temperature eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin


  1. Mix the wet ingredients
  2. Add dry ingredients and mix again using a food processor or electric mixer.
  3. Pour into individuals muffin tins.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Yields approximately 13-15 muffins

Note: The batter will be dry but the muffins will become light and fluffy.

Recipe taken from The Spunky Coconut Cookbook by Kelly V. Brozyna

Raw Chocolate Brownies

raw brownies1We visited friends who made us these delightful brownies on the weekend.  I came home the next day and made sure we had all the ingredients to make them.  My oldest son David and I made them in minutes, placed them in the freezer for the recommended time and they were a hit.  What I love most about the recipe is that it makes great use of superfood ingredients like coconut oil, cocoa, cocoa nibs and hemp seeds. Hope you enjoy!

Find the recipe here by visiting the wonderful blog Oh She Glows Raw Brownies.

Planetbox lunch box


It makes me happy to know I only have one more day in this school year to send my kids away with their lunch box. I think I’m speaking for most households when I say it often gets a little hectic trying to get everything ready in the morning so the kids can get off to school on time and have a healthy lunch too.  In addition to that we are often getting ourselves ready for work and the list of things to do in the morning goes on.  I can honestly say these Planetbox lunches have made it easier to prepare the lunches with no added containers and just a few separate compartments to neatly place all the food.

Now is a good time of year to look into it as they are always busier of course in the fall.  That way you can use the lunch boxes for summer picnics too.  Hope this helps, I really enjoy this product!

Blueberry Waffles (Paleo)


These waffles have been a big hit in my house over the last few weeks.  I love the great recipes from Against All Grain’s Danielle Walker.  We add blueberries since they are in abundance all year round (frozen in the winter) in our beautiful province of Nova Scotia.  We simply top them with butter or ghee (clarified butter).  Sometimes we add some strawberry jam (sweetened with xylitol) and/or a nut butter.  You and your kids will love them. My friend Kerry Maher who also has 3 young boys convinced me to purchase my waffle maker as she found it quicker than pancakes to feed the hungry mouths patiently awaiting their breakfast, I now agree.


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup raw cashews (I sometimes use roasted when I can’t find the raw ones, still taste good)
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (or any non-dairy milk)
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup blueberries


  1. Preheat your waffle iron.
  2. Combine the eggs, cashews, milk, honey, and melted coconut oil in a blender. Blend until very smooth and creamy. I sometimes have to stop the blender a few times and scrape the sides to make sure all the ingredients are mixing well together.
  3. Add the salt, baking soda, and coconut flour, then blend again until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet.  Mix in the blueberries with a spoon just before pouring on waffle maker so they don’t get blended up and turn the waffles blue.
  4. If your iron requires oil, spread a little coconut oil on both sides. Pour the batter into the waffle iron so it just covers the bottom portion of the iron, being careful not to overfill it as these do rise quite a bit and will spill over.
  5. Cook the waffles for about a minute, more or less depending on the heat of your waffle iron. If they release easily with a fork when you open the lid, they are probably done.
  6. Repeat until the batter has been used up.

Yields approximately 10 small waffles