Tag Archive: healthy living

Even a Travelling Germaphobe Needs to Own the Throne

July 12, 2015

I feel like the title of this post is somewhat of an oxymoron; generally speaking, germaphobes don’t travel – they stay close to their bubbles homes and encapsulate themselves in a clean, sanitary surrounding. Ah, disinfected bliss.

I, on the other hand, travel frequently, and I *may* have a few germaphobe tendencies.
11419046_1451116841855144_386192179_nI’m the kind of gal who has three travel-sized bottles of hand sanitizer tucked into her carry-on bags. Safely nestled in my checked luggage is a full-sized can of disinfectant spray, which I use on every “suspicious” surface of the hotel room – bathroom fixtures, light fixtures and of course the remote control. I wear long sleeves and pants on flights to discourage transfer of viruses via contact, and if I can help it, I never ever ever ever ever use public bathrooms. Especially not plane bathrooms. Ew.  (more…)

Keep Reading

Find Your Perfect Balance

July 8, 2015

Summer is finally here! And one of the reasons I love the warmer season is the abundance of fresh, local produce coming our way. All those vitamins and nutrients fill me with glee!
free-oranges-wallpaper-27804-28526-hd-wallpapersHowever, there are times when, despite my best intentions, I fall short of my nutritional goals. Let’s face it – life is hectic, and takeout is simple. And that’s when I rely on supplements to bridge the gap.

Want to know more about the benefits of supplements? << Click there. It will take you to an article I recently wrote to help you Get the Most Out of Life. And, for more information on health and wellness, here’s your source for the season’s top health topics and advice from Shoppers Drug Mart’s panel of experts. Here’s to your health!

Keep Reading

Help With the Hard Part: Your Plan. Your Way.

June 11, 2015

It’s been exactly six months since I joined Weight Watchers. If you’ve been following my journey (see Help with the Hard Part and When the Hard Part is Easy), you’ll know that I made a commitment to conquer my “hard parts”:

1. It’s hard to separate hunger from boredom. 10:00 PM snacking is “a thing”.
2. It’s hard to say no to leftover cheesecake.
3. It’s hard to fit in exercise when I work 14-hour days.
4. It’s hard to stay on track when eating out and cooking for picky eaters.
5. It’s hard to eat well without feeling completely and utterly deprived of delicious food.

With the help of Weight Watchers, I did it. I conquered them.

Now I won’t leave you in suspense – I did reach my goal of 20-pound weight loss. And I attribute a large portion of my success to the new 24/7 Expert Chat. Coaches who have successfully lost weight on Weight Watchers are available to subscribers through 24/7 Expert Chat for instant advice on how to get started, get back on track, and stay motivated.  This new feature is available to all Weight Watchers subscribers through online and mobile chat, 24 hours per day, seven days a week!

Yet, I stalled in publishing this 6-month check-in photo. Maybe it’s the old insecurities creeping in; maybe it’s just hard to put oneself out there for judgement. But after thinking about all I’ve accomplished, and how I got here in a healthy, habit-changing way, I’m throwing caution to the wind.

Screw it – I’M HOT! I LOVE MY NEW LOOK!wwOkay, so I’ll never get rid of the Kardashian hips (I’m not sure I want to) and I’m okay with a little tummy action too (I was totally sucking in my stomach here), but all in all, I feel confident, pretty and most of all, healthy. I feel like a 37-year old mom of two who’s on top of her game (albeit slightly sunburned). To be honest, I feel a little giddy.  (more…)

Keep Reading

Find Your Oasis

April 17, 2015

10 years ago, I viewed the appearance of spring-like weather with nothing more than a renewed excitement for warmer days ahead. Coats became jackets; boots were swapped for ballet flats, and every pink lipstick in my beauty arsenal was moved to the top of my makeup bag.

Today, the promise of higher temps still brings about all those exciting changes, in addition to one more: revealing more of my “winter body”, once safely ensconced in bulky, cold-weather clothing.

Let’s just say that Dolman-sleeve sweaters are an upper arm’s best friend.

Alas, before we know it, Canadians will be treated to our long-awaited summer, and this year, I plan on being a few steps ahead of tank top season.

First and foremost, I’ve lost 20 pounds! (If you’re sick of me mentioning it, I apologize. But this is BIG news in my life, and I plan on gushing about it for a while… and then a little longer.)

Second, I’ve rediscovered physical activity. No, I haven’t joined the gym or signed up for a boot camp just yet… but I have decided that as long as I’m moving at least as often as I’m sitting, I’ve achieved a good physical balance in my life.
DSC_0740Finally, I’ve made breakfast a priority. Perhaps I should clarify: I’ve always enjoyed breakfast, but now, I ensure that I have a GOOD breakfast. Tons of fruit and whole grains. Low-fat dairy and lean protein. It keeps me going throughout the most hectic part of my day – morning – and gives me the fuel I need to think clearly and stay on plan.

And with almost every breakfast, I enjoy a low-calorie, low-fat and nutritionally-dense fruit smoothie.

This season, try my Cranberry Razz Smoothie. It’s made with Oasis Nutrisource, a great tasting cranberry juice cocktail that offers an alternative to sugar and sucrose (stevia) with no compromise on fruit taste – and only 40 calories per serving. What a refreshing way to get healthy!  (more…)

Keep Reading

When the Hard Part is Easy

March 13, 2015

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

Earlier this year, I shared my hard parts.

1. It’s hard to separate hunger from boredom. 10:00 PM snacking is “a thing”.
2. It’s hard to say no to leftover cheesecake.
3. It’s hard to fit in exercise when I work 14-hour days.
4. It’s hard to stay on track when eating out and cooking for picky eaters.
5. It’s hard to eat well without feeling completely and utterly deprived of delicious food.

And then, I decided to get help with my hard parts.

It’s been two months since I joined Weight Watchers. And I won’t keep you in suspense; I’m proud to announce that I’ve lost 16 pounds! And I did it while eating the foods I love, sharing meals with friends and family, and most importantly, making healthful choices that have changed the way I feel about food, nutrition and hunger.

And if I’m going to post a “big reveal” photo – I may as well be standing next to a celebrity! Ta-da!IMG_2179 aBut the key to my weight loss success? When I needed help, I asked for it.

I asked for help just a few days into the program, when I found it difficult to balance my portion sizes, especially at dinner.

I asked for help when I found myself fearing food, a complex emotional state that happens to almost every dieter when he/she begins to see the results of their regime.

I even asked for help while I was on vacation! That’s right – during our recent family adventure at Walt Disney World, I found myself confronted with limitless food choices… and lacking the strength to make the right ones.

And when I asked for help, whether it was 11:00am in the morning from my bedroom, or 11:00pm at night from a hotel room in Florida, there was always a Weight Watchers Certified Coach available to answer my questions and offer advice.  (more…)

Keep Reading

Are You a Cooking Nut? Health Nut? You’ll Love Your Coconut.

February 16, 2015

It’s been called one of nature’s true superfoods. A health food that provides a great flavour option to many new cuisine recipes and old favourites. A healthy product that adds zest to the flavours of everyday life.

It’s the coconut, of course.

Growing up in a South Asian family, I have a longstanding relationship with this delicious fruit. From coconut milk in curries to flaked coconut in desserts, it is a dietary staple and offers a supporting role  in almost all of our meals. In fact, one of my fondest memories is watching my dad grind fresh coconut flesh, which my mom would freeze and later drop into soups and stews.

Today, I’m proud to continue our traditions with more options than ever before. Our planet’s “most nutritious food” is now in a wide range of products for everyday use: New Grace Organic All Natural Coconut Products are processed to the highest organic and natural standards, and conveniently packaged for use in your kitchen.

So, what can you do with Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut Milk, Organic Coconut Sugar, All Natural Coconut Chips and Organic Coconut Vinegar? You can make Tomato Coconut Soup – a flavourful, comforting soup bursting with aromatic spices and seasonings.
DSC_0368aThis soup is perfect for cold winter nights when you want to snuggle up to comfort food. The classic tomato soup has been reinvented with the addition of coconut milk and pungent spices popular in Jamaican cookery – ground coriander, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon and smoked paprika.  (more…)

Keep Reading

Have Your Dessert… and Eat it Too!

February 7, 2015

Family Dinner. One of the best ways to connect as a family, bond with your children, and create lifelong healthy eating habits.

(It’s also a great time to find out who your child’s first crush is. Tee-hee!)

Unfortunately, sitting down to share a meal with loved ones is becoming less common; Statistics Canada has reported that Canadians are now 10% more likely to eat meals alone than they were in previous decades. But there are so many benefits to sitting down to eat with your children on a regular basis! First and foremost, it provides structure to a child’s day. It helps build a stronger family unit, especially when kids share some of the responsibility for picking the meal and helping with its preparation.

And when parents provide a balanced meal, children eat more nutritious food, and they learn to respect their appetite.

But what about dessert? How often does the entire family stay at the table together to satisfy their sweet tooth? When dessert is a regular part of a family meal, children develop healthier attitudes towards sugar and sweets. Because not only is sugar a necessary part of the daily diet, let’s be honest – we all crave something sweet every now and then. When you eat sugar in small quantities, it satisfies your craving and prevents you from going overboard.

The good news is that dessert can also be nutritious. Something like Danette is the perfect example – it’s made with 75% milk, has only 15 grams of sugar and comes in individual-sized containers that take the guesswork out of portion sizes.

Want to learn more? You won’t want to miss our #DanetteforDessert Twitter Party!
DanetteforDessert Graphic YM 03_V3Join us on Tuesday, February 10th at 8:00pm EST as we chat about family dinner (and dessert!), and introduce you to a healthy, delicious way to treat your entire family. Of course, you know we’ll have some amazing prizes up for grabs!

We’ve got a TON of Free Product Coupon bundles to give away, and to the GRAND PRIZE winner… Dessert for a Year! And when it’s Danette for Dessert – with a silky texture in six delicious flavours, including classics like Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Caramel, Choco-coconut, Vanilla and Coffee – you know it’s a scrumptious way to spend time with the family.  (more…)

Keep Reading

Help with the Hard Part

January 19, 2015

I don’t normally make excuses for my behaviour, choosing to own my actions rather than deflect my choices by trying to provide justification.

Do, or do not. There is no try.

(Oh, Master Yoda, is there anyone wiser than you?)

And for the most part, I’ve been successful; pushing beyond my limits and into unfamiliar territory with gusto. Recognizing my mistakes and apologizing when appropriate. Trying to do the right thing.

However, when it comes to making healthy dietary choices, that’s when I have a ton of “reasons” – not excuses, right? – for my lack of motivation. I’ll be honest: I have a complex and emotional relationship with food. Because…

1. It’s hard to separate hunger from boredom. 10:00 PM snacking is “a thing”.
2. It’s hard to say no to leftover cheesecake.
3. It’s hard to fit in exercise when I work 14-hour days.
4. It’s hard to stay on track when eating out and cooking for picky eaters.
5. It’s hard to eat well without feeling completely and utterly deprived of delicious food.

Those are my hard parts. What’s your hard part?
WW_Image_1In 2015, I’m done making excuses. I’ve realized that making healthy food and life choices only seems insurmountable when I focus on the change as a whole. Eliminate sugar? I can’t! It’s too much a part of my life. Lose 15 pounds? Impossible! I’m not cut out to go on a diet. Exercise? When! I have no time.

And when I’m happy, sad, bored, tired, stressed, multi-tasking, shopping, reading, talking on the phone, working… among a slew of other triggers… I eat.  (more…)

Keep Reading

We All Love to Connect. That’s the #CheeriosEffect.

November 16, 2014

In today’s busy, fast-paced, technologically-advanced (obsessed?) world, it’s easy to go days – even weeks – without having face-to-face contact with friends, family and neighbours.

Guilty, as charged.

And while it may seem normal to us, we’re actually missing out on the amazing benefits that direct connections provide, such as learning, happiness, resilience and longevity. Think about the spring in your step after a coffee date with girlfriends. Or the smile on your face following some uninterrupted family time. And now imagine how much healthier you’d feel if you made this a habit.

To help celebrate the happiness and joy connections bring to our lives, Cheerios has launched the Cheerios Effect.

You might ask yourself, what does cereal have to do with human connections? Well, the Cheerios Effect is a real scientific principle that is nicknamed after the cereal. The principle highlights the fact that if you drop two Cheerios into a bowl, they’ll always eventually float together and connect. Because just like those two tiny, floaty little Os, we’re all drawn together. In fact, we’re hard-wired to connect with those around us; nothing could be more natural.

And no matter who you are, where you live, or who you choose to share your life with, Cheerios believes that everyone is worthy of love and connection.

Share your personal connection story at CheeriosEffect.ca, where each unique story will be brought to life with a personalized video of Cheerios connecting in a bowl. And, join our #CheeriosEffect Twitter Party on Thursday, November 20th at 8:00pm EST, where we’ll celebrate all those connections that add value, happiness and health to our lives.
CheeriosEffect GraphicIn addition to an uplifting, inspiring chat, we’ll have some amazing prizes up for grabs, including 6 x $75 Visa gift cards (plus three boxes of Cheerios), and a grand prize of a $200 Visa gift card, with six boxes of Cheerios.  (more…)

Keep Reading

The Curious Thing About Curiosity

July 3, 2014

Before I became a mother, I associated curiosity with many positive traits: growth, intellect, analysis and inquisition. To me, curiosity represented a willingness to learn, better oneself, and most importantly, be cognizant of the wonderful world around us. I admired those who challenged the status quo by becoming curious about things, people and places that matter.

Of course, after I had children, my interpretation of the word shifted just slightly.

Now, curiosity means sticky fingers and broken electronics. It means a glass figurine pulled from a top shelf; a centipede trapped under a bowl, a melted crayon found on white berber carpet. And that’s just scratching the surface. My home has been taken over by amateur scientists, hell bent on discovering who, what, when, where and WHY – sigh, always why. Does everything need a reason?

Yet as I type this, I realize how short-sighted I’ve been. I’ve let my petty frustrations mask the true joy of raising curious children. Because for every shattered glass figurine, there’s an appreciation for how fragile life can be. For every trapped insect, there’s respect for our living ecosystem. And for every melted crayon, there’s a lesson in science – namely, coloured wax + expensive carpet = mom furiously scrubbing with a bucketful of chemicals while muttering obscenities under her breath. Okay, so maybe there’s a lesson in science and linguistics.

Maybe it’s time I rethink my views on curiosity.

And now I’m smiling, because I’m thinking about the very first time Ryder tasted ice cream; a tiny lick off a tiny spoon, and instantly, his eyes became twice as large with sheer delight. I’m remembering Reid’s first bites of corn on the cob; holding the ear of corn at arm’s length, trying to decide what to do with it. I’m laughing at Ryder’s introduction to steak, where he chewed the fibrous meat for about 5 minutes before he pulled it out of his mouth and declared, “Beef is broken. Can’t eat.”

In fact, for little ones, I truly believe that curiosity begins in the kitchen – and a fun and delicious way to encourage kids to be curious is by involving them in preparing and tasting new flavours and textures. I’m pleased to once again partner with Minute Maid, who along with the Canadian Living Test Kitchen has created a new line of recipes that will spark creativity and help pave the way for future curious culinary exploration.

Today, I showed the boys how good greens can be with this delicious and simple Berry-Banana Green Smoothie.

1 can (250 mL) Minute Maid Frozen Smoothies Strawberry Banana
2 cups frozen mixed berries
1-3/4 cups milk
1 cup baby spinach leaves
Half avocado

In blender, combine Minute Maid Frozen Smoothies Strawberry Banana, mixed berries, milk, spinach and avocado; purée until smooth.

Minute Maid SmoothiesI am blessed; both my boys have pretty adventurous palettes, and rarely do I need to “hide” vegetables from them (ten times out of ten Ryder will eat the broccoli, Brussels sprouts or beans first). I sincerely hope they continue to be curious about the foods they eat, the things they do and the places they see… and if that sense of curiosity brings them to melted crayon territory, I’ll just remember to look back on this post, and chill out.

For more delicious recipes that are perfect for curious little individuals, visit Minute Maid.

Keep Reading

It’s More Than a Feeling… It’s #FeelGoodBread!

November 25, 2013

Today is a very good day. The heavens have parted; a ray of sun shines down and with reverence, a spotlight is focused on Dempster’s Healthy Way breads.

Canadians, it’s time to feel good about your bread. Great taste, good-for-you ingredients and customized to fit your lifestyle. What could be better? From boosting your protein intake to maintaining a healthy diet, these new Healthy Way breads from Dempster’s are made for movers and shakers who like to look and feel oh so good.

Double My Fibre!: Provides you with 48% of the recommended daily intake of fibre to help keep things moving. ;)

Say No to Fat and Sugar!: If you want to say ‘no’ to added fat and sugar it’s time to say ‘yes’ to this multigrain bread and make it part of your healthy diet. It’s chalked with 12 essential nutrients to help maintain your weight and make the most out of every Feel Good moment.

Boost My Protein!: With a jam-packed schedule you don’t always have time for a late-afternoon snack. That’s why Dempster’s created a bread that’s high in protein, to help keep you feeling satisfied long after your last meal. So go ahead, book those back-to-back meetings, honey.

Want to learn more about how these delicious breads can become part of your healthy diet? Join us for the Dempster’s #FeelGoodBread Twitter Party!

Host: @Dempsters
Moderators: @Listen2Lena @Kidsumers @OurFamilyWorld @TeacherMomofTwo
Date & Time: Wednesday, November 27th at 9:00pm EST
Hashtag: #FeelGoodBread

We’ll be chatting about ways to make healthy, satisfying food choices that can help keep you on track and complement your busy lifestyle. As with all Dempster’s Twitter Parties, make sure you bring your best foodie questions, tips and tricks – it’s always a great conversation!

Join us and tweet to WIN over $1,400 in prizes including a $1,000 Grand Prize ‘Feel Good’ Life experience for you and a friend! RSVP now, and see you on Wednesday night!


Keep Reading

The Best Defense is a Good Offense #Giveaway

October 3, 2013

Folks, it’s that time of year again. You know, when that unwanted, unapologetic, pesky little visitor infiltrates our communities for the next 6 months or so. Its name?

Influenza. Also known as the crappiest feeling of your life.

According to Health Canada, in a typical year, up to an estimated 25 per cent – or about 8.6 million Canadians – come down with the seasonal flu. I’ve been lucky to avoid the dreaded virus in winters past; but then, I don’t get out much, so my protective little bubble has served me well. However, for those who brave the elements (and germs) head on, Shoppers Drug Mart would like to offer one of my readers a chance to win a Cold and Flu Defense Kit to help prevent the flu and manage cold symptoms when they do occur.

Valued at over $150, the Shoppers Drug Mart Cold and Flu Defense Kit contains a $50 gift card to use at your local Shoppers Drug Mart, plus essential items you should have on hand including Life Brand hand sanitizer, Vapo Rub, a digital thermometer, sugar-free cough drops, facial tissue, Vitamins D and C, a cool mist humidifier and Simply Food Chicken Noodle Soup.

(FYI:  You can now get your annual flu shot by walking-in to SDM or booking an appointment online.)

Although I’m not here to tell you whether or not to take the flu shot (for the record, I do not), I do have one solid piece of advice I’d like everyone to follow: If you’re sick, for the love of God, please stay home. Seriously. NOBODY wants your germs, and no job/ class/ shopping trip/ get together is so important that you need to infect everyone within a 3-metre radius of your phlegmy curse. If more people took the time to isolate themselves and simply get better, we wouldn’t have an epidemic on our hands.

Ah well. One can dream. In the meantime, there’s the Cold and Flue Defense Kit. To enter, simply fill the form below with your qualifying entries. Good luck – and stay healthy! (more…)

Keep Reading

It’s a Dempsters #WinWithTHINS Twitter Party!

September 4, 2013

Once upon a time… a very long time ago… I gave up the good stuff. You know – the stuff that begins with the letter C.


A staunch anti-carb activist, I banned scrumptious foods like bagels, breadsticks, potatoes and pastries from my diet. For the most part, I survived… but I was just a shell of my former self. Barely recognizable; I was moody, depressed, and flat out craving the sweet comfort of delicious, soft, chewy bread.

And so, I caved. With just one bite of a Dempster’s Everything Bagel, lightly buttered and oh-so satisfying… I was off the wagon for good. No longer a slave to a high-protein diet, I found happiness. I found security. I found love.

But I also found myself wondering: Isn’t there a happy medium? Couldn’t I have my bread… and eat it too?

And just like that, the heavens parted, and Dempsters created Dempsters THINS. With 50% less calories than the leading competitor, even carb counters can rejoice!

Dempsters THINS are available in a 100% Whole Grain Tortilla, Multigrain Loaf, White Loaf and Whole Wheat Loaf. And they’re not just for the carb conscious – they’re also for the health conscious, or weight conscious – because if there’s one thing that North Americans need to do, it’s tone down our serving size. And Dempsters THINS allows us to enjoy all the benefits of multigrain and wheat products… in a slightly slimmed down portion. Perfection!

Another bonus: they’re a great option for little lunch boxes! My little guy loves a good sandwich, but often complains that there’s “too much bread”.

(Huh. In time he will learn there is no such thing.)

That’s why Dempsters THINS are perfect for elementary school sandwiches – all the nutrition, served light! I can’t wait to experiment with the 100% Whole Grain Tortillas – if you’re a loyal reader, you know that we like to #WrapitUp :)

Of course, the BEST way to celebrate the new Dempsters THINS is with a Twitter Party!

For your chance to win, RSVP below. Looking forward to partying with you! (more…)

Keep Reading

Have You Had Your Daily Dose of Delicious?

July 11, 2013

Work is busy. My schedule is crazy. The kids are driving me insane. I have no “me” time. I need balance.

Sounds familiar? Yeah, it sure does. Let’s face it: LIFE IS BONKERS.

Adding to the chaos? The fact that every single moment seems to be “scheduled” with activities, deliverables, commitments and “must dos”. In fact, raise your hand if you feel guilty when you’re just sitting around and enjoying a quiet moment. Guilty!!

However, I’m a realist; no matter how many times I scold myself and make a promise to rearrange my priorities, the truth is, I’m a workaholic, helicopter parent and part-time obsessive-compulsive. And if life isn’t scheduled, I start to lose my grip on reality. Must. exercise. control. over. everything!

So, I’ve made a new promise to myself. It’s not about changing my ways, or priorities, or life. It’s about finding a daily dose of delicious; a daily reminder of love, luck and laughter. It’s about finding those moments that I’ll think about before I go to bed – and be thankful for another amazing day on this incredible journey.

It’s a reaffirmation that life – when lived in a robust, healthy and wholesome way – is simply delicious.

Over the past week, I’ve made good on my promise to find my daily dose of delicious. Here’s what I came up with:

Clockwise from top left: (1) A discounted designer handbag; (2) a little boy drinking cream soda… and pretending it’s beer; (3) a “Lena” necklace – on sale!; (4) homemade nachos from the grill; (5) a roller coaster I like to enjoy – from afar; (6) a little boy on a carousel. DELISH! (more…)

Keep Reading

It’s a Dempsters #VeggieBread Twitter Party!

June 14, 2013

It’s a win-win situation, friends.

You take the veggies, you take the bread; 
You take them both, and there you have… Dempsters Vegetable Bread!

Okay, so it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue… but seriously, you can now super-charge your sandwiches!

Dempster’s Garden Vegetable Bread offers the delicious taste and same smooth texture as your favourite 100% Whole Wheat bread. PLUS, with the added nutrition of vegetables like finely ground carrot and pumpkin baked inside, every 2 slices contains ½ a serving of real vegetables. So you now have a tasty way to add extra nutrition to any sandwich!

Let’s be real, folks. Dempster’s Veggie Bread is NOT a substitute for vegetables (even though technically, there are REAL vegetables baked inside). So yes, you’ll still have to eat your broccoli and maybe even your brussels sprouts.

However, given the opportunity, why not sneak in as much nutrition as possible? Garden Vegetable Bread is a source of fibre, 13 essential nutrients, and is low in fat. And I’m pretty sure I would adore a Toasted Western made with Dempster’s Garden Vegetable Bread (pictured below), a Chipotle Club Sandwich, Double Decker Grillers or a Dilled Salmon Spread with Cucumber Sandwich. They’re just a few of the drool-worthy recipes (created by the magnificent @Chef_Bob_V) that you’ll find on Dempster’s Pinterest Page!

Of course, sandwiches are just the tip of the iceberg; think of all the things you could make with delicious Dempster’s Garden Vegetable Bread: savoury stuffing, breadcrumbs for coating foods (and for incorporating in meat loaves), layered egg casseroles, croutons, garlic bread, pizza sticks…. oh yum, I could go on for days!

Want to get in on the conversation? Join Dempster’s for a #VeggieBread Twitter Party! (more…)

Keep Reading

The Best Multivitamin is The One You Actually Take

April 18, 2013

Three questions for you:

1. Would you be more likely to book your annual checkup… if your doctor was Ryan Gosling?
2. Would that time of the month be more bearable… if the government subsidized chocolate?
3. Would mornings be better… with a live-in Starbucks barista?

While we’re at it, here’s another one: Would you be more likely to take your daily vitamins…if they tasted like gummy candy?

The answer to all of the questions above… YES!

Taking vitamins has always been an issue for me. They’re big, chalky and have *the worst* aftertaste. For too many years I’d purchase bottle after bottle, trying in vain to supplement my less-than-stellar diet. Then, they’d sit in my cupboard. Until they expired. And sometimes, for a year or two after. Why? Because they’re big, chalky and have *the worst* aftertaste, of course.

(In fact, I recently stumbled upon an old box of multivitamins that expired in April 2009. Durr….)

I’m not alone. Most readers agree that they’d be more likely to stick with a vitamin or supplement regime if they didn’t have to swallow horse pills. Because when it comes down to it, the best multivitamin is the one you actually take.

Now you all know that I’m a fan of Adult Essentials Gummies. Earlier this year, they generously sent a supply of their gummy vitamins and supplements for me and my husband to enjoy. And I think “enjoy” is the key word here – great tasting, gummy vitamins in the most delicious fruit flavours? Twist my arm!

Of course, I haven’t been popping all of the products on a daily basis like candy – because despite appearances, they’re not. There is a very real danger in over-supplementing, especially if your diet is packed with vitamins and minerals. Hence, your first step is to speak with a nutritionist to help identify some of the gaps in your diet and how certain vitamins can help you meet your RDI. When you have, Adult Essentials are an easy, great tasting way to keep you at your optimal health and performance.

(For those wondering, my diet is kind of lame. Though I’m working on it!) (more…)

Keep Reading

Be Fresh For Less: The Lure of Fresh Cut Fruit

March 7, 2013

At any given time, you can find a variety of fresh fruit in my home. Both my boys are addicted to nature’s candy, and I make a habit of reaching for handful of ripe, tart raspberries or a slice of cool, refreshing melon a few times per day.

But not every day. And certainly not five (5) times a day, the minimal requirement according to Canada’s Food Guide.

The truth is, if the fruit in my fridge looked more like the picture on the right, I’d likely indulge much, much more often. It’s the lure of fresh cut fruit.

It’s colourful, inviting, and most importantly – all the work is done for you. You simply have to grab a fork and enjoy… and grocery stores do enjoy charging you a premium for something as simple as slicing a few strawberries and adding a handful of grapes for colour. $6.74 for a small bowl of fruit, likely valued at about $1.30? Someone will pay it.

I used to. I too was once swayed by the promise of cold, delicious fruit; all pretty and juicy and full of vitamins and just enough to fill me up with a variety of tastes and textures that I craved. In fact, when I was pregnant with my second, my husband will grudgingly fondly recall tales of 11:00pm grocery runs to deliver a bowl of fresh cut fruit to me (I’d literally wait at the kitchen table with a fork in hand and an eye on the front door).

However, spending $5+ on fruit got old really quick, and I resigned myself to once again sneaking the odd serving of berries or a banana. Not. very. inspiring.

So I thought to myself, “What is stopping me from having the perfect fruit salad at home? Surely I can make it myself – for a fraction of the cost!” (Newsflash – cutting up fruit takes exactly one knife and one bowl – how simple!)

But then it goes all brown and yucky. And I’m too lazy to spend all that time making a whole bowl that gets runny and limp after a few days…. any more excuses?

Here’s what I did: I searched Tips for Keeping Fruit Salad Fresh and Tasty. And I came up with:

– Fresh cut fruit stays fresh in the refrigerator for a maximum of three days. The good news: you’ll only have to do your cutting twice per week.

– Most people will tell you to sprinkle your fruit salad with lemon juice to keep it from oxidizing, but really, a little bit of acid from sliced oranges or pineapple is all you need to help it stay bright and firm.

– Stay away from apples, pears and bananas. They lose colour and texture quickly, and can be unappetizing after being exposed to air for about 15 minutes.

–  If you’d like to include apples, cut the fruit in water to prevent the browning process. Water washes away enzymes that will break down the fruit – just be sure to dry the fruit slices before storing them, since the moisture can cause them to spoil more quickly.

– Cut up fruit at night when you’re less likely to be in a rush. I’m lucky to have a television within view of my counter top, so I tune into the latest must-see-tv and peel, chop and slice away.

And here’s the key: single serving, air-tight containers. It may be tempting to dump the whole works in a big bowl, but too many juices can macerate the fruit, and every time you lift the top, you’re accelerating the decaying process (sounds so romantic, eh?). So grab those food storage containers and divvy your fresh cut fruit into 3-4 servings.

Et voila! Fresh cut fruit you can enjoy daily with minimal preparation and maximum enjoyment. I grab a bowl with breakfast, add granola and yogurt for a healthy afternoon snack, or for a yummy dessert, top off with a dollop of Cool Whip. Enjoy!

Keep Reading

Your Best Health: It’s Not a Coincidence

February 10, 2013

Faithful readers of my blog will know that I began this year with one goal in mind: Get Healthy.

Of course, this essentially translated to one thing: CUT OUT THE CRAP.

It’s actually very simple. A few months ago, while thinking deep thoughts, I realized that there are some things that come without effort. Size 2 naturally? Good for you. A born athlete? Amazing! Math and science whiz? I wish!

But when it comes to good health, it’s never a coincidence, is it? Good health is a direct result of the choices we make – nutrition, lifestyle, sleep habits and exercise – and they all play a role in being your best. In fact, it’s no surprise that most diseases do not happen spontaneously; they are a result of lifelong lifestyle choices. And in the case of hereditary diseases – sometimes, the result of our ancestors’ lifestyle choices.

I do not want to make poor choices. I do not want my children to be affected by my poor choices.

So, what’s the crap?

1. Crappy Diet. Which includes refined sugar, simple carbs, trans fats and those unpronounceable ingredients you find in practically every boxed food – I need to limit the amount of the bad stuff we’re exposed to, so when it’s time to enjoy that bowl of potato chips, it’s a treat, not a dietary staple.

2. Crappy Stress. Often, I place too much importance on things that don’t really matter, or dwell on the things (or people) I can’t change. How often do we find ourselves measuring our self worth based on the opinions of others! This year, my goal is to let it all go…

3. Crappy Sleep Habits. Staying up too late because I “need” to work. To get just one more thing done. To watch the last 10 minutes of that news special. Since having children and working from home, I have the worst sleep habits I’ve ever had. Is it any wonder I’m now up to 3 cups of coffee per day?

4. Crappy Laziness. I’ll admit it: I’m too lazy to exercise. Which probably means that I haven’t found the right workout – one that is fun, challenges me and is a routine I can stick to. Oh, I have a “dreadmill” in the basement, and for some reason I own 6 pairs of yoga pants… but don’t actually do yoga. Before winter ends, I’d like to make friends with physical activity and get moving.

This year, it’s my choice to cut out the crap. It’s my choice to make better food choices. And it’s definitely my choice to be an exemplary role model for my two sons. (more…)

Keep Reading

Orange Granita with Balsamic and Mint Strawberries

February 4, 2013

We’re BA-ACK!

Well, technically we’ve been back for exactly 6 hours… because after a late night flight and two flight delays… we didn’t touch down in Toronto until well after 2:00 a.m.

Did I mention that -10°C in the middle of the night, after vacationing in Florida, feels like pure torture?

Now I’d like to say that I’ve got my wits about me and am ready to bang off another brilliant blog post, but the truth is, I’m exhausted from four days of non-stop sight-seeing; two whiny children who slept at the wrong times and fought a few hundred times; and frankly, am depressed that I can’t live in Orlando year-round. It is quite honestly my happy place.

However, I realize that you’re probably tired of seeing my same old post from last Wednesday (in the spirit of family travel, I decided to shut down completely and enjoy time spent with my loved ones). So, to take myself back into a Florida state of mind, I’ll be making this recipe for Orange Granita with Balsamic and Mint Strawberries very soon (maybe even today). It’s just one of the fabulous recipes you can find on the Florida Citrus Facebook Page, where they feature a Citrus Recipe Swap

The thing I love about granitas is that while they sound incredibly sophisticated, they’re really just scraped ice. Ever wonder what to serve your boyfriend’s parents, a discerning friend, or others you’re out to impress? Serve them a granita. The traditional Italian ice dessert is the perfect way to cleanse the palette, particularly after a rich meal. And with the addition of orange juice, this dessert is full of purifying antioxidants and will satisfy most sweet tooths in a fresh, healthy way.

Think this dessert will take me back to the Sunshine State? I’m counting on it! I can already taste the tangy, citrusy goodness. Serve in martini glasses for extra panache.

¼ cup sugar
1¾ cup 100% Florida orange juice
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp fresh mint cut into long, thin strips

Place sugar and 1/4 cup orange juice in a small saucepan, and bring the mixture to a boil.

Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups orange juice and lemon juice. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch by 13-inch shallow pan and place in the freezer.

Every few minutes, stir and scrape the granita with a spoon to create an icy texture. This procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes depending on your freezer.

Combine sliced strawberries, mint and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl and let sit while granita freezes. Serve 2 ounces of granita topped with 3 ounces of strawberry mixture in individual dessert bowls.

Keep Reading

Join us for a #BreadJuicer Twitter Party!

January 19, 2013

If you were reading my blog just before the holidays, you’ll recall that I shared my recipe for a Grilled Vegetable Sandwich on WholeGrains Bread with Basil Goat Cheese Spread.

(Yes, it does sound delicious! And yes, I really do think you should try it. Lunch will never be the same.)

The basis of my post was a mission towards nutritious eating, and a humble request to start looking after your health. It was reminder that 2013 is the perfect time to make those small changes that help bring about long-term health benefits. It was a reality check when it comes to finding excellent food sources of vitamins, fibre and iron. In essence, it was a refresher course in good eats… WholeGrains-style.

Well, I’m excited to share that Dempsters has chosen my sandwich as the featured recipe on their new social website, Naturally Dempsters! That’s right – simply scroll down for a peek at my tasty creation. You’ll also find delicious submissions from other bloggers around the web (including sandwich recipes for Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato & Avocado, Chicken Divan, Mediterranean Chicken and Turkey and Veggie Crunch).

Next, head on over to the Dempsters Facebook page and watch their featured video, Gerry Dee Hijacks Juice Bar. (I promise, hilarity ensues!) If the laughs aren’t enough to make your day, when you’re finished watching, you can enter for a chance to win $3000 in FREE groceries. Now isn’t that a delicious way to start off 2013?


We’ll be talking Nutrition Naturally at a Dempsters #BreadJuicer Twitter Party on Thursday, January 24th at 9:00pm. Join us to find out amazing ways to incorporate fruits, vegetables and whole grains into a balanced diet.

Prizing is available to Canadians only. For your chance to win, RSVP below! Looking forward to partying with you! (more…)

Keep Reading