clean eating

Jumpstart Your Health this Fall with the Arbonne 28-Day Clean Eating Challenge

If you are at all like me, you had a really enjoyable summer and you indulged…a lot! That’s ok though…as Canadians, our summers are super-precious because they give us the fuel to make it through the cold, hard winter. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

I have a good remedy though and I’m excited to share it with you today because I have been offered a really good deal to share, so read on to learn all about it.


Last year, a few things happened in life, like getting extremely overworked and stressed at work and a few other “life” things that were hard to balance…the first thing to go on my list was looking after me. I ended up gaining a lot of weight and getting really out of shape. It sucked!

In December, I decided to take control of my life and get things back on track. I started with something I knew I had liked in the past and that was a particular class at the gym that I had had success with years ago. So I joined the gym and started going two to three times a week.

I knew this was going to require a lot of hard work and dedication and I knew it was going to be difficult to stay motivated so I wanted to make small goals. I could handle two to three times a week and I had planned to get my eating on track once I was in a good routine.


After a few months at the gym, I was really starting to see changes in my body. I started to lose weight and gain muscle mass. I knew it was time to introduce the nutrition aspect into my goals.

I was looking for something that was relatively easy to do, but I wasn’t into counting things, measuring things or cutting out entire food groups. I didn’t want to do a “fad diet” or get caught up too much with science; I just wanted to eat healthy, get the right nutritional requirements and support my workout regimen.


Weight loss before and after

Detox is a really strong word for this program. I have done strict detoxes before, and thankfully this is not nearly as rigid. There are some foods that you need to eliminate, but they are the obvious items like sugar, caffeine, refined carbs etc.

The program is best summarized by using the term “clean eating” – if you don’t know what that means, don’t worry because you get lots of coaching, lots of information and lots of recipes to choose from.

After completing the program I felt fantastic and ready to hit “bathing suit season” with confidence. In total, since my lifestyle change in December, I have lost 17 lbs, 12 inches total and gained 5 lbs in muscle.

Even though I “slipped” a little over the summer, I have been able to keep my weight off and stay fairly active. I have a renewed self-confidence, more energy, I sleep better and my skin has really improved.


I have tried a lot of fad-diets and I now know, that the only real way to get results is to start from the inside out. A healthier inside just naturally leads to a healthier outside. So take my advice and focus on your health, rather than weight loss in particular and it will all fall into place.

I chose the Arbonne Detox for the following reasons:

  • Easy to follow program that doesn’t include counting calories or tracking of any kind
  • Pure, safe and beneficial products to support and supplement nutrition
  • An active community of support
  • Delicious protein shakes to support nutrition and weight training
  • A wealth of information, recipes and education on clean eating


Free Arbonne Shaker Cup

The next challenge starts on October 5, 2015. This is the perfect time to shed some of the summer fun and get the ball rolling before the holiday season starts. Think Christmas parties and cocktail dresses.

Joining in on a particular date, allows you to follow along with an entire community of people just like you, as well as daily coaching form the “experts”.

How you can join: contact Melissa Ublansky, Arbonne Independent Consultant to sign up.

Cost: Melissa is offering City Mom readers the Arbonne 28-Day Detox at 40% off plus a free shaker cup full of Arbonne goodies.

What you get:

Arbonne Essentials

Arbonne Essentials Pack®

  • Protein Shake Mix Meal Replacement— Chocolate (1)
  • Protein Shake Mix Meal Replacement— Vanilla (1)
  • Daily Fibre Boost (1)
  • Energy Fizz Tabs — Pomegranate (1), Citrus (1)
  • Omega-3 Plus (1)
  • Herbal Tea (2)
  • 7-Day Body Cleanse (1)
  • 30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond Guide (1)
  • Access to the Facebook Detox community for support, coaching and comradeship with fellow detoxers
  • Free shaker cup for your shakes on the go – full of other Arbonne goodies
  • Shopping list and meal plan for 28 days
  • FREE $60 product for being a new Preferred Client
  • Suggested Retail Price $410.00  – but you get 40% off when you mention City Mom


For more information on the Arbonne 28-Day Detox, and other Arbonne products for you and your family, visit Melissa Ublanksy – Arbonne Independent Consultant on Facebook, Instagram and web.

Here’s to a healthier you this fall!

City Mom



Clean Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Yogurt Frosting

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you today from Tosca Reno’s The Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook. This week on City Mom’s Kitchen, Little S and I (along with my sister) show you how to make these delicious and healthy muffins/cupcakes. Thanks to Tosca & team for sharing this recipe with City Mom viewers and readers!

Keep reading to the bottom to enter to win your very own copy of Tosca’s The Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook.

To say it was challenging to be a show host and a mom at the same time is an understatement. During taping it felt chaotic but the finished product is actually quite cute! Enjoy!


Prep: 20 minutes | Cook: 27-30 minutes | Yield: 10 cupcakes

Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Yogurt Frosting

Photographer: Donna Griffith

 This classic combo tastes great on a sandwich, but in cupcakes? Even better! Best of all, these are guilt free and they wear many hats! Learn more in the tip below.

  • 1¼ cups (300 ml) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) finely ground potato flour
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) flax meal or ground flaxseed
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) baking soda
  • ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) baking powder
  • ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) virgin coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Sucanat or other unrefined sugar
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) low-fat milk or plain, unsweetened soy or almond milk
  • 1 cup (240 ml) mashed very ripe bananas, about 3 large


  • ¼ cup (60 ml) all-natural peanut butter, sugar and salt free
  • ½ cup (120 ml) Yogurt Cheese* (see p. 276)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) pure honey
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F (177˚C). Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners.
  2. In a bowl, mix together whole wheat flour, potato flour, flax meal, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, mix together coconut oil and Sucanat. Add flour mixture and mix together until texture resembles slightly wet sand. Slowly stir in milk. Fold in bananas until just combined. Batter will be thick. Scoop a heaping ¼ cup (60 ml) batter into each lined muffin cup until all batter is used. Bake 27 to 30 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.
  3. To make frosting, mix together peanut butter, Yogurt Cheese, honey and vanilla extract until well combined. Frost tops of cooled cupcakes.
Try This!

Basically, the only difference between a muffin and a cupcake is the frosting, so if you want to skip the topper – go ahead! Your cupcakes will become delicious and healthy banana muffins.

Chill Out

The cupcakes will keep in the refrigerator up to five days.


*Yogurt Cheese must be made ahead of time.


Prep: 5 minutes + overnight draining of yogurt | Cook: 0 minutes | Yield: 4 cups

  •  2 quarts (1.9 L) low-fat, plain yogurt, dairy or soy based (see Prep Tip)
  • Place four layers of damp cheesecloth in a fine mesh sieve or colander. Place the colander over a bowl.
  •  Add yogurt and let it drain overnight in the refrigerator.
  •  Discard the water from the bowl.
Prep Tip

The yogurt you use for this recipe must be all natural and free from gelatin or other binding agents.

Nutritional Value per Serving (½ cup):

Calories: 80 | Calories from Fat: 14 | Protein: 12 g | Carbs: 5 g | Total Fat: 2 g |

Saturated Fat: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Fiber: 0 g | Sodium: 43 mg | Cholesterol: 5 mg

Recipes credits: Tosca Reno with Kierstin Buchner


The Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook

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Clean Green Bean Casserole {Recipe}


Clean Green Bean Casserole

The art of clean eating is actually a lot easier than one might assume. Once you learn a few basics and gain the ability to consider substitute ingredients, you can be well on your way to cleaning up your favourite recipes.

For my family Christmas dinner, I was in charge of bringing a vegetable dish. I wanted to keep my dinner as clean as possible but I didn’t want to compromise on the comfort and heartiness of traditional holiday favourites.

By cleaning up a classic like green bean casserole, I was able to lower the calorie count, fat content and glycemic index, remove the gluten and up the nutrient value without forfeiting taste.


Dirty may be too harsh a word, but it sounds fun and makes sense since the opposite of clean really is dirty. So here we go…

Below is a classic green bean casserole recipe. It sounds and looks delicious:


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 (14.5 ounce) cans French style green beans, drained
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled buttery round crackers
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Yum right? Now take a look at my cleaned up version of the same dish:


  • 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 tablespoons spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup goat’s yoghurt
  • 5 cups fresh green bean, ends snapped off (steamed)
  • 1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled gluten-free crackers
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance Organic Natural Buttery Spread, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 2 – 3 minutes
  3. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute
  4. Stir in the sea salt, agave syrup, onion, and yoghurt
  5. Add green beans, and stir to coat. Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top.
  6. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and buttery spread, and sprinkle over the cheese.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.


Some key concepts to note are a few of the easy substitutes that really clean this recipe up.

For example, butter is replaced with olive oil and organic buttery spread; sugar replaced with agave syrup; sour cream replaced with plain goat’s yoghurt and cheddar cheese replaced with a smaller amount of low-fat cheddar cheese.

I’ve also replaced the white flour and buttery crackers with gluten-free options like spelt flour and gluten-free crackers.  I’ve also opted for a fresher and healthier choice by using fresh green beans opposed to the canned variety and added some garlic for flavour and health benefits.

Follow the simple directions and you’ll have a clean and hearty recipe that you can feel good about serving your family!

What are some of your favourite recipes that you’d like to see cleaned up? Share your favs and I might just try to work some magic on them.


City Mom’s Clean Tacos


I love Mexican food. Enough said. While on my path of clean eating I’ve gained more confidence in trying new things. I am now at a place where I am seeking to ‘clean’ up some of my past favourite recipes.

A Friday night favourite in our house is Taco Night! We love setting all the ingredients out on the table and personalizing our own tacos.

Usually I buy a taco kit and mix it all together, but sadly, that’s not clean, so I did some research and made a few adjustments and created a clean taco recipe.


Note: this is a gluten-free and cow dairy-free recipe


  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Mix all the ingredients together and set aside.


  • 1 can of organic diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of filtered water
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Mix all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor. Mix until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a pot and simmer over medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes.


Select your protein. I used organic ground beef.

Brown the meat and add taco powder with 1/2 cup of filtered water. Mix until thickened, about 5 minutes. (Note: you may need to add more water.)


Select your favourite taco fixings and clean thoroughly with fruit & veggie spray. I used romaine lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeno and gluten-free brown rice wraps for the taco shell. I also used plain Greek-style goat’s milk yogurt as a sour cream substitute.

Place all the ingredients in separate bowls and place on your table. Create your tacos at the table over fun and family time.

DETOX Diaries: My first 5 days


If you missed my first DETOX post you can catch up here.

Day One – No chewing

Today was a difficult day. It started off with a glass of water and lemon and ended with exhaustion! I found many food combinations that tasted great but I spent hours in the kitchen cutting, chopping, peeling and blending.

I wasn’t as hungry as I expected I’d be after consuming only liquids and pureed foods and not being able to chew. This is something  I learned; when you chew, you send a message to your brain that you’re eating food and your brain responds by sending the food down the full digestive tract. On the other hand, if you don’t chew, the food you consume goes a different route giving your digestive tract a much-needed break.

I’m really looking forward to seeing some benefits and feeling healthier overall. I’m happy I started this journey.

Day One suggestion: Coconut Curried Carrot & Squash Soup (from the Dr.Sara DETOX Manual) – this was a life saver. It was tasty and filled the void felt from not consuming solid foods.

Day Two – I can chew!

Well, I lost 3lbs yesterday! Seeing that number on the scale go down makes it all the more worth it.

I had a terrible sleep last night. I couldn’t seem to stay asleep for any significant length of time and woke up multiple times with hunger pangs. I persevered though and woke up this morning looking forward to some ‘real’ food; food that I can chew.

I started with my glass of water and lemon and devoured some juicy green grapes. I’m washing all of my fruits and veggies with a special fruits & veggie wash to ensure all pesticides and chemicals are removed.

I’m dying for a coffee. I am substituting with Green Tea but it’s just not the same. Bonus is that Green Tea increases your metabolism so it’s a win-win situation but I can’t stop thinking about coffee.

The first five days of this plan follow a vegan diet. I had no idea being a vegan was so much work! Today I felt lethargic and kind of blue and a little nauseous. I didn’t feel much like cooking so I nibbled on some fresh fruit and veggies and the soups from Day One. Near the end of the day I got my energy back and perked up. I can see a silver lining.

Day Two suggestion: the Dr.Sara DETOX Forums. It’s like having access to your own personal doctor 24/7. You can ask any question, big or small and Dr.Sara will personally reply within 24 hours (always sooner though). You can also read past posts to learn from others and gain support from people who are going through it with you.

Day Three – Renewed hope

I lost another pound today. That’s 4lbs in total. When I looked at myself in the mirror this morning I immediately noticed a less bloated look in my stomach area and my skin appears to be brighter and clearer. Hmmm…maybe I can do this after all.

Today was my first day being away from the house all day. I wasn’t sure what to pack for lunch but Day Three is also the day I can begin to add some grains to my diet like brown rice, Quinoa and Buckwheat. That made it easier to throw some things into my lunch bag for convenience.

I made a visit to Organic Works yesterday and picked up some delicious vegan breads. If you’re a gluten-free fan you’ll love this bakery. It’s located on 222 Wellington Street. I’m so thankful they’re so close by.

I’d kill for a coffee. Today at work someone was brewing a pot and the whole office smelled like it. This was a good time to read my ‘Committed to the Cleanse Card’. It’s a small card that Dr.Sara provided where you write your reasons for committing to the Cleanse. You can keep in your purse or wallet and pull it out when you need a reminder. I just keep telling myself, it’s only 22 days. That’s nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Honestly, the obvious results and in such a timely manner are what are keeping me going. Long term I want the positive health effects, but when you’re struggling it’s the immediate gratification that pulls you through.

Day Three suggestion: My newly created vegan pasta recipe that incorporates brown rice pasta, red pepper, zucchini, garlic & olive oil. Check it out here.

Day Four – This is easy

You read that subheading right, this is easy. I’m shocked to see myself write that but it’s true. I have always had a love/hate relationship with food. Mostly love. The part I hated was my inability to control my eating and not being able to say no to the cravings.

Day four has brought a pleasant surprise (one I read about but didn’t believe would apply to me) and that is the fact that my cravings for sweets and unhealthy carb-type snacks is gone. Dr.Sara explained this phenomenon to us at our first support meeting. It has something to do with the yeast in our digestive tacks and with the Cleanse it’s eliminated and therefore no longer able to ask for demand sugar and refined carbohydrates.

I’m feeling more energized and I actually noticed on day three that I didn’t hit my after-lunch-low that I usually get while working in the office. I’m not hungry as I can eat whenever I want.

The only inconvenience I feel at this point is the work involved in creating the healthy meals. It’s true that good things are more work so this makes sense. It’s something I have to get used to and learn to plan ahead, which I’ve done for this Cleanse. I hope that as the days go by, I get more and more comfortable with the process and it becomes seemingly less work.

Day Four suggestion: Quinoa Fruity Cereal (from the Dr.Sara DETOX Manual) – a great way to start your day. A stick to your ribs meal.

Day Five – Just a regular day

It feels like a normal day, which it is. I woke up, drank my lemon water, ate my millet cereal with almond milk and blueberries, packed my lunch, grabbed a Green Tea from Tim Hortons and came to work.

Sure, I thought about tackling the guy ahead of me at Tim’s and taking his coffee and chugging it back with no remorse but I know better. Coffee can wait and so can I.

I’m steady at a 4lbs weight loss and feeling ‘calmed’ in my digestive tract. I’m feeling good and hopeful. Interesting thoughts are entering my mind. Things like ‘maybe I’ll become a full-time vegan or vegetarian at the least,’ or ‘maybe I’ll replace one coffee a day with green tea.’

Day Five suggestion: The Online Dr.Sara DETOX Program. The program I am participating in allows me four, one hour, in person meetings with Dr.Sara and the DETOX group for education, support and discussion. The Online program is a bit cheaper and will provide those not interested in group meetings or who are not local to London with the same DETOX program.

Read my week two journals.

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