Bryson Blog

Bryson Family Inspired Back-To-School Meals and Snacks

It is getting very close to the Back-to-School time of year! For many, this means getting back into the routine of the daily practice of making packable lunches for your entire family.

We asked a few Bryson team members to share their their favourite healthy back-to-school recipes with you. Which will be your favourite? Leave us your answer and your favourite recipe ideas in the comments.

The recipes include two quick-to-make snacks and two hearty salads.

Recipes included are Vicky’s 1+1 Cookie Dough Bites, Donna’s No Bake All Gym Class Bars, Tammy’s Arugula Arithmetic Salad, and Linda’s Tex(t)-Guacamole Salad.

Healthy Back-to-School Food Ideas

First the very easy-to-make and super healthy snacks:

Vicky Murphy’s 1+1 Cookie Dough Bites

Vicky made this instant classic recipe for the Bryson summer picnic. We asked to to please share the recipe with the world!

Small Batch:

  • 1 scoop (or packet) of vanilla protein power
  • 1/3 cup of old fashion oats
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk (or water)

Mix ingredients and then sprinkle in dark chocolate chips to taste. Roll into bite sized balls and store in the fridge or freezer. These are also great for parties and events!

Donna Murphy’s No Bake All Gym Class Bars

You know that 3pm wall? Break through it with Donna's "No Bake All Gym Class Bars". These bars are packed with delicious energy boosting foods.


  • ½ cup Raisins
  • 2 cups Rolled Oats
  • ½ cup Coconut milk
  • ½ Protein Powder
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 1 cup natural Peanut butter
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chia seeds or ground flax seeds

Directions: In a blender, pulse 1 ½ cups of the oats until a flour like consistency. In a large bowl, toss to combine oat flour, remaining ½ cup oats, protein powder, chocolate chips, chia or flax seeds, and raisins. Stir together in a medium bowl the coconut milk, peanut butter, and honey. Pour Peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.

Spread mixture into a 9x9 inch square pan or an 11x7 inch pan. Press mixture down and cover with a lid or foil and refrigerate overnight, or until they harden some. Slice into 12 bars and keep stored in the refrigerator.

Tammy McCarthy’s Arugula Arithmetic Salad

Most of Tammy's recipe is grown in her own backyard garden. When not engaged in her passion for gardening, Tammy is creating great meals like this one.


  • ½ cups ripped fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup ripped fresh kale leaves (de-stemmed)
  • ¼ cup ripped arugula
  • ¼ cup walnuts or cashews (can also sub with almonds, or mix)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese (can sub with asiago or romano)
  • A separate 1/3 to ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients into blender except the separated 1/3 – ½ cup olive oil
While pureeing them in the blender, slow add the 1/3 cup of olive oil
Puree until texture is creamy and smooth.

Freezes well. Keeps in fridge for several days.

Linda Colgan's Tex(t)-Guacamole Salad

Linda's always bubbling with positive energy. As soon as we asked for a recipe, she was quick to share one of her favourites from a high-end restaurant from her trip to Texas.


  • Recipe for Guacamole Salad
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed
  • ½ orange
  • Lots of fresh cilantro
  • Roasted roma tomatoes
  • Purple onion
  • Sea salt
  • 1 avocado

Squeeze juice into shallow salad bowl. Cut up avocado, put in onion, tomato, dice finely. Shake in cilantro and salt. Mix.

Let us know your favourite back-to-school recipe ideas in the comments!

Maintaining effective work-life balance

The nature of my business, as an insurance broker, allows me to meet new and interesting people every day. Our combination of personal lines, commercial business and specialization in truck fleet insurance, introduces us to all walks of life and the many challenges families and business owners face in today’s fast paced environment. Change is constant and work-life balance is a constant struggle.

I love what I do and enjoy belonging to the Durham business community. We are in the “helping” business and by insuring our clients appropriately, we help protect them against unforeseen perils with their personal, home, auto and business requirements.

I would like to share a few thoughts that have helped me to strike a better balance as a mother to 2 teenagers, a business owner who has just expanded to a second location in Brooklin and after nearly 20 years of marriage, have just completed building our own home. It makes me exhausted just thinking about it!

Tracy’s 5 TIPS for better work-life balance

  • 1 I keep a positive mindset and remind myself daily of everything I have to be grateful for. I try very hard not to allow negativity to be part of my life – at home or at work. I highly recommend the book “A Complaint Free World” by Will Bowen as a guide to the power of positive thinking.
  • 2 I walk to free my head of clutter and read books like “Thrive” by Arianna Huffington, who stresses the importance of getting enough sleep, meditation and making small gestures of kindness. I listen to Brene Brown, a research professor who speaks to the importance of embracing who we are.
  • 3 I plan trips with my family in order to physically get away from our day to day surroundings, rediscover and enjoy each other’s company… no interruptions including cell phones, emails etc.
  • 4 Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is high on my priority list. Personally, I have a movement specialist and a nutritionist I reach out to weekly. I also encourage our team to partake in annual community events we help sponsor like relay marathons, duathlons, Tough Mudder, Muderella and multiple 5 KM walks.
  • 5 I surround myself with people who have strengths in areas I don’t. I delegate tasks that I simply don’t have time to do and align with those who I trust and have confidence in. We are not alone and as part of the Durham community there are those we can help and can help us. It’s extremely rewarding in both directions.