Posts Tagged ‘Healthy’

Jul
09


Another Sunday = another opportunity to host a brunch for friends that were visiting form Ottawa. My friend graciously offered to bring bagels and cream cheese but I was eager to try to try out some new recipes that I found on Pinterest. As for the recipes I tested….I scored. They all came out perfect and of course I’m going to share the details with you.

The table looked like this. Don’t you just love the grass runner and those adorable shot glasses (which were perfect to serve mimosas?)

brunch - table

As for the food…. the main attraction was this Easy Overnight Blueberry French Toast Bake from www.thesaltymarshmallow.com. Once again I need to thank Pinterest for helping me find this incredibly easy and tasty recipe!

Recipe: Easy Overnight Blueberry French Toast Bake
Ingredients
  • 2 French Baguettes cut into 1/2 slices. (I used one long baguette and it was fine)
  • 1 12 ounce Package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 2 Cups Blueberries
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream or Milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Topping:
  • 1/2 Stick Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Lightly butter a 3 quart casserole dish.
  2. In a medium bowl using a hand mixer or large spoon, (I used my Cuisinart and I’m glad I did) to combine the cream cheese with the maple syrup, and cinnamon, then fold in the blueberries. Pretty easy eh?

  3. Spread about a tablespoon (or so)  of the blueberry cream cheese mixture onto one side of each slice of bread. Place bread slices evenly in a row in the prepared baking dish.
  4. In a medium bowl,  whisk together the eggs, cream (I used cream) or milk, and vanilla extract. Pour mixture evenly over bread slices.

    Cover pan with foil and refrigerate at least 3 hours – overnight. (Overnight is best and I agree!)
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Place the bread mixture in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown.

  5. Prepare the topping: Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the maple syrup and cinnamon. Drizzle over french toast as desired. (note: I forgot to do this step and it was still delicious).

    brunch - blueberry dish

I also served baked eggs in rep pepper shells! For added flavour I put in some vegetarian sausage and chives (for color).

brunch - eggs

Healthy. Oh so healthy.

This fruit salad served in kiwi cups were also an idea I found on Pinterest.

brunch - fruit

Hope this blog post encourages you to host a brunch one day soon and hope everyone is enjoying their summer too!!

 

 

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Jun
29


I must admit that there was a time, where I hated making salads. Mainly because I hated to chop. Well things have changed….I now love making salads!!

A facebook friend asked me “why do I love making salads” and indeed its’ a great question. Here’s my answer.

  1. I enjoy LOVE going to Farmers Markets and then coming home to make a fresh salad with produce thats’ local and fresh. The other week, I found this beautiful bibb lettuce for $3.50 at Wychwood Barns. How could I NOT buy it? In fact I bought two!!

salad - bibb

  1. I love that you can take a few ingredients and create something that is ever so pretty!!
  2. Salads are healthy which means I can eat more!!
  3. I consider it fun to scour Pinterest looking for unique recipes to try. (Please don’t judge me)
  4. Salads provide you the opportunity to include something crunchy, sweet, savoury etc.

Here’s a few photos to prove my point:

  1.  I had leftover chicken in the fridge, leftover corn on the cobb and before you know it – there was this beautiful salad on the table.

salad - chicken:corn

2. I had some kale in the fridge, some tomatoes and some blue cheese. Perfect ingredients for a delicious salad.salad - kale?

3. Bought some sea asparagus for my first time (apparently they are FULL of nutrients) and once again, I threw a few ingredients into a bowl which resulted in a nutritious salad

salad - sea asparagus4. This salad simply consisted of Bibb lettuce, grapefruit segments, avocado and toasted almonds. Freaking delicious. Oh ya – I threw in some edible flowers.

salad - grapefruitSee what I mean? I hope that I encourage you to get out there and visit your local Farmers Markets AND to make more salads!! All that chopping is worth it. Promise.

Have a wonderful long weekend everyone!

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Feb
21

21 Days….


I’ve just completed a 21 day challenge with Jamieson Vitamins. They made it super easy for me to participate in this challenge by providing me with this cool “Advent” style calendar.

jamieson - advent

For the last 21 days, I took daily vitamins (thanks to this calendar). I’m not kidding, the calendar was a great reminder to commit to better health!

jamieson - 4 pills

Did you know that 44 per cent of Canadians are unsure if they are taking the correct vitamins and supplements to suit their needs and a whopping 31 per cent do not take them at all for this reason?

Also, 61 per cent of Canadians agreed that when it comes to taking supplement they wish someone would clearly identify what they needed to take.

Jamieson Vitamins has a great website that takes the mystery of taking vitamins. For example, if you aren’t sure what to take then you simply click on the reason that you would like to take a vitamin.

jamieson-chart

Jamieson’s team of experts have done the work for me and identified Multivitamin, Omega-3, Probiotics and Vitamin D as the four products Canadians should take every day as a foundation for healthier living.

I really enjoyed this challenge which helped me achieve my goals to a healthier me! Still trying to exercise daily (loving my Yoga app too), eating better and getting enough a sleep. It’s definitely a challenge but I know it’s important!

For more information on Jamieson Essentials visit www.jamiesonvitamins.com.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post however all opinions are my own

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Feb
09


I make a batch of banana muffins about twice a month. They are the perfect snack, freeze beautifully and the muffins are a nice addition to a lunch box as well.

Recently I was introduced to the Guiding Stars program which is now available at No Frills, Loblaws and Real Canadian Superstores. Next time you are shopping, look for these signs which indicates a “better choice”.

PC - Guiding Stars

Here are two examples of Star Ingredients:

Egg
★★ White Eggs – Large
★★★ Omega-3 Eggs

Flour
★ White Flour
★★ Whole Wheat Flour
★★★ Whole Spelt Flour

Therefore you could take my amazing banana recipe and make it even healthier just by using an Omega-3 Egg or by adding a high-fibre cereal, flaxseeds, hemp hearts and/or your favourite nut to turn this snack into a healthy breakfast option!

See what I mean? It doesn’t take a lot to make an ordinary recipe a much healthier recipe!! Plus the Guiding Stars program is an easy way for you to accomplish this.

Once again, look out for these blue stars!

pc - two stars

Not to mention, that certain Loblaws stores have In-Store Dieticians to assist you as well!!

Here’s my banana muffin recipe but feel free adapt it with Star Ingredients!

pc - ingredients

Ingredients

2 cups of mashed bananas (about 5) Note: the darker the better
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg (see options below with Star Ingredients)
1/3 cup melted butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (see options below with Star Ingredients)

Star Ingredients

Egg
★★ White Eggs – Large
★★★ Omega-3 Eggs

Flour
★ White Flour
★★ Whole Wheat Flour
★★★ Whole Spelt Flour

Note from In-Store Dietitian, Lauren Baker:
Add Ground Flaxseed
Add Hemp Hearts
Add Cinnamon + Vanilla
Add “crunch” with Bran Flakes or Quick Oats

I really do believe that homemade muffins are a convenient snack for on-the-go routines, and can be lower in saturated fat, sugar, and calories than store bought or fast-food alternatives! For improved portion control, try making mini-muffin and enjoying only one or two with your morning coffee. Its a win-win!!

Happy Baking!

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post, however all opinions are my own

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Feb
01


It’s now February 2017 and for many of us the Near Year is the start of developing the New You. However often we set unattainable health-related goals. (Um, far too often) Which is one of the reasons I’m not signing up for a 10k race.  I’m trying hard to have goals I can achieve!!

Plus there’s competing information out there, which makes it difficult to understand how to be the healthiest version of yourself or to know where to start.

Heres’ some interesting stats:

  • Half of Canadians find it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle yet 73 per cent wish they were healthier;
  • 62 percent of Canadians make New Year’s Resolutions and the most common resolution, according to 80 per cent of the country, is to live a healthier lifestyle;
    Yet, the majority of the country (86 per cent) agree they never stick to their New Year’s resolutions and many do not even attempt making health related resolutions stating it is too hard to stay on track.
  • Over one third (34 per cent) of Canadians are unaware of how to tackle resolutions

I’ve made an effort to use this Yoga App to help me improve my flexibility. I’m a disaster when it comes to flexibility and it’s time to address this issue.

yoga - app

I’m also enjoying this app because it has a calendar embedded in it so that I can keep track how many days I actually did the 10 exercises. Here’s what January looked like. Not bad eh? As you can see I started off strong and then got distracted with “vacation mode”.

yoga - january

I’m also aware that I need some vitamins in my life!! With nearly 100 years of experience, Jamieson’s team of experts have done the work for you and identified Multivitamin, Omega-3, Probiotics and Vitamin D as the four products Canadians should take every day as a foundation for healthier living.

jamieson - 4 bottles

These four essential supplements provide me with a perfect foundation to baseline health, which targets my digestive system, heart, bone and whole body health.

I’m a big believer in the whole picture; exercising regularly, good food choices (I’m trying), getting enough sleep, and taking Jamieson vitamins. 

I’m also a huge fan of meatless Mondays. There’s nothing like starting off your week with a lot of colourful healthy food.

jamieson -meatless monday

Here’s wishing you a wonderful New Year that includes a Healthy New You and Jamieson Essentials too!

For more information on Jamieson Essentials visit jamiesonvitamins.com.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post, however all opinions are my own

 

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Jan
23


I tried this recipe yesterday morning and it was so delicious that I believe I’ve washed my Blendtec  three times in one day! Oh how I hate cleaning up but I do love discovering new recipes.

This is one of those easy recipes that requires ingredients that most likely you have hanging around your kitchen.

OK here’s the recipe for your healthy frosty!

All you need is the following:

2 frozen cut up bananas

frosty - banana

1 cup of milk (almond, regular, soya, rice – whatever you like)

2 tablespoons of real cocoa

2 tablespoons of all natural peanut butter

Instructions:

Put all ingredients into your mixer and mix till smooth.

 

frosty - blendtec

We are totally addicted to this drink. However I would really like a cleaning fairy to help me rinse out my Blendtec.  Not kidding – I really do hate cleaning up.

ENJOY.

frosty - final

PS Next Blog Post will be written from Puerta Vallarta. Totally excited about this upcoming vacation.

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Jan
02


I stumbled upon this new cafe while working last week. Sadly they didn’t require any of the cheese I sell, but that didn’t stop me from returning!! I really liked the space they created and the menu too! #healthy

nut-bar-space

Even the art work is cool.

nutbar-art

I decided to go super healthy and ordered a tumeric latte.

nut-bar-tumeric-latte

I also ordered their savoury toast( housemade cashew spread, watermelon radish, sesame seeds). It was just what I needed. Not only was it pretty but it was super-tasty as well.

nut-bar-toast

There’s a also a range of smoothies, energy balls (supersuperfood, key lime pie, chocolate, and cookie dough) and bars (nut bars, breakfast bar, superseed). Plus there’s salad options (acai, pink acai and a golden noodle – made with kelp).

Naturally they are committed to sourcing organic and local products! In fact, the almond milk that will be offered with your coffee will be houesemade.

So if you are looking for a cute place for a healthy snack – the Nut Bar should be on your radar.

Heres to a healthy 2017!

For more information:

Nut Bar: https://www.facebook.com/nutbar.co/

Address: 1240 Yonge Street. Toronto, Ontario
Phone: (416) 519-2700

Instagram: @nutbar.co

 

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Dec
06


I recently went to a Loblaws event that identified Canadian Food Trends for 2017. Here are five themes that they believe will impact Canadian kitchens in the upcoming year.

Drum roll please….

1) The New Home Chef: There’s no question that people want to cook at home but always feel like there’s no time.  Chef Mark Russell believes: “Canadians want to feed their family great tasting quality food and are now more than ever willing to ask for help through recipes, new kitchen gadgets and meal kits.” I agree with this statement. I really do.
loblaws-home

4. The New Conscious Consumer – Canadians are more interested than ever before about where their food comes from and how its’ grown. In 2017, Canadians will be “bugging” out as they increase consumption of alternative proteins, such as insects and plant-based proteins. I tried crickets at at event several years ago and found myself indulging in a hot dog laced with crickets this summer at the CNE. I’m all over this trend!!

loblaws-conscious

3. The New Mindful Foodie– There’s no doubt that we Canadians have been placing  a greater emphasis on what we’re eating and how we’re eating it to improve our physical and mental health. The Loblaw Food Council also identified that Canadians will  also want to cook with simple ingredients to create great tasting food. See this photo? Well it’s not grated cheese. It’s …… grated cauliflower that Loblaws sells. BRILLIANT. I know multiple people personally who will be all over this product! (including myself).
loblaws-cauliflower

4.  The New Canadian Cuisine: International flavours and spices, such as Za’atar, Turmeric and Togarashi will make their way into Canadian homes. I don’t know about you but I’m already on the Tumeric and Za’atar trend. A few months ago I picked up fresh tumeric and have been grating it into boiling water. As for Za’atar – i not only like the smell of it but I like the look of it too!

loblaws-new-canadian-cuisine

5. The New Connected Shopper: Canadians will opt to shop at retailers that offer enhanced digital experiences layered with personalization to make their shopping seamless, accessible and efficient. I also agree with this trend. I’m using my smart phone more and more and I’m also using apps to help me with EVERYTHING. Plus those cooking videos are also inspiring me that seem to appear on my faceboook feed a lot!

Throughout the year, the Loblaw 2017 Food Trends will come to life in many different ways in-store, online and in kitchens across the country. As the hub of food innovation, the Loblaws® store at Maple Leaf Gardens* will feature the trends at various times throughout the year and provide opportunities for customers to taste, learn, and understand new food experiences like never before. Loblaw invites food lovers from across the country to unite and taste what’s new in food in 2017.

I’m excited about Food Trends. Are you? Feel free to share if you think one more trend should be added.

For more information:

Website: www.Loblaws.com

Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens 60 Carlton St, Toronto ON

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Nov
13


I try hard to participate in Meatless Mondays and thought I would share what I made last week. This plate contains; arugula salad with shaved parmesan and tomatoes, wilted spinach, and cucumber noodles topped with sesame seeds. Not bad for Meatless Monday eh?

banana-healthy-meal

This meal should be called: Three Shades of Green!!

An hour later, I had a “not-so-healthy” moment as I had discovered a recipe on Pinterest (click on the link to see my Food Board. Hint)  that I always wanted to try: Banana Fritters.

Before I knew it, I was whipping up dry ingredients and mixing them into the wet ingredients. Then I was DEEP FRYING. I even brought out a thermometer to make sure the oil was hot enough!

banana-final

Here’s the recipe for this super easy but not-so-healthy-dessert:

Banana Fritters (recipe courtesy of OMG Chocolate Desserts)

Ingredients

Approximately 4 large bananas

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup plain greek yogurt

1 egg white

Vegetable oil for frying

Powdered sugar for dusting…(I used cinnamon)

Instructions

  1. Peel bananas and cut into 1.5 inch long pieces .
  2. In a bowl mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Add egg white and yogurt into dry ingredients and stir well with a wooden spoon until it’s smooth.
  4. Heat about 2 inch oil in a frying pan.( Be careful not to over heat the oil or the fritters will be too brown, it should be about 350F). This is an important step!!
  5. Using a fork dip each banana slice into to batter to coat it well and transfer it into oil and fry until it’s golden brown. Work in small batches because you have to work fast. (agreed – I had to work fast. Do not answer the phone or do anything else)
  6. Remove fried fritters to a paper towel lined plate to drain .
  7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve

Happy Meatless Monday Everyone!!

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Dec
02


Oats & Ivy has you covered when it comes to health food and convenience!! They know that their customers have busy lives and have limited time to prepare healthy food, so they take care of that for you. Sweet eh?

It’s easy to find Oats & Ivy due to the bike cart (which is sponsored by Thorium Power Canada) that was located right in front of this take out kitchen and juice bar!

oats - store

They take their cooking very (very) seriously and make everything from scratch. That’s right – the almond milk is made fresh daily and they even ferment their own sriracha. Their menu includes sandwiches, soups, lunch boxes and treats.

I’m impressed with this statement that I found on their well-designed website : “Quality is king in our kitchen! From free-run eggs to organic apples, grass-fed whey protein to hand-harvested sea salt, fair-trade coffee beans to compostable packaging. We use the best because you deserve the best!

oats - quality

At the media event, we made delicious egg free, dairy free and wheat free cookies. If you want the recipe, please ask!! Happy to share.

oats - cookies

Hope you get a chance to visit Oat & Ivy in the near future.

For more Information:

Address: 127A, 171 Liberty St, Toronto, ON M6K 3E7
Hours: Monday to Friday 8:00AM – 6:00PM, Saturday 10:00AM – 6:00PM, Sunday – Closed
Twitter and Instagram: @OatsandIvyTO
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