I know, I know, I know. I said I’d never do another juice cleanse.
But, the Executive Cleanse from Smash Juice Bar is not like the other two juice cleanses I tried (and was quite miserable on). First off, this one comes with lunch and a snack aaaaand you eat your own healthy dinner. It sounded much more healthy and easier to complete given the amount of actual food involved. And so I took Smash Juice Bar up on the offer to try it out.
I started out the day with the Purify cold-pressed juice. It contains cucumber, celery, green apple, parsley, lemon and ginger. It was tasty (my tastebuds are much more used to green juices now, and for me, it makes a huge difference if there’s ginger, so I quite enjoyed this one).
Then this was to be followed by the green Refreshing smoothie. It contains pineapple, kale, mango, dates, coconut water, almond milk and chia seeds. And this was not only delicious, it was also filling. Another advantage of this cleanse over your typical juice cleanse.
And what do you know, it was lunch time and I wasn’t ravenous yet. For lunch was a delicious crunchy zucchini linguini and the sauce was made of tomatoes, hemp hearts, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, herbs, sea salt and spices. This was so tasty, it had me contemplating buying a spiralizer so I could replicate this dish!
Mid-afternoon, what a nice surprise to not only have a bubbly probiotic beverage (kombucha, orange and mango — like a tropical delight and the fizziness was a nice change!) to enjoy, but a delicious little coconut power ball as well.
I wasn’t remotely cranky or craving more food, in fact, I even went to do a tough workout at Surfset Toronto in the evening…and then I ended up at Terroni, and well, I didn’t really stick to the clean eating like I was supposed to. I ordered pizza (it had veggies on it, if that redeems me in any way!).
I chatted with Aly Shoom, Smash Juice Bar’s Chief Nutritionist about the Executive Cleanse. It comes in at about 750 calories, she told me, and it’s meant to work well for the busy executive who doesn’t have time to cook healthy meals. When I asked whether one day is enough to benefit someone, she noted it can be a great kick-start to healthy eating. “For see more drastic benefits, I would recommend doing the cleanse for a few days, or one of our full-day cleanses for one to five days,” says Shoom. She added that some clients do the Executive Cleanse for up to five days. “It’s a great option for the busy exec who has dinner commitments but wants to jump start their health.”
While I didn’t stick to a “clean” choice for my dinner, I feel I easily could have. I weighed the pros and cons and given I don’t feel a particular need to “cleanse”, I opted for the pizza instead of something leaner or more veggie-based. I also could see how this Executive Cleanse could encourage you to start eating more healthily; with your healthy lunch and snack and all the bevvies provided and they’re all satisfying, you only need to consider your dinner (and not have your cleanse conflict with dinners you have on your schedule) so it greatly simplifies eating well overall.
For these reasons, I would happily do this Executive Cleanse again, and possibly even for more than one day (and yes, I could even attempt to make a less heavy choice for my dinner!).
August 27, 2015
One of my favourite foods is pasta, and even more so, fresh pasta. Delicate and laced with a delicious sauce and maybe some spicy ‘nduja. Or with some fresh veggies. Or carbonara (with salty chunks of pancetta, mmm)…gosh, is anyone else hungry now??
I’ve made fresh pasta in a cooking class or two, and have had friends make it for me, but have never attempted to make it myself at home. Partly out of laziness (it seems like a lot of work), plus I didn’t know if I wanted to invest in a manual pasta machine. But when I had the chance to try the Philips Pasta Maker (which essentially does all of the work!) I jumped at the chance. I eat pasta at least a few times a month, after all. And with all the running I do, I feel like I’m always looking for carb-y meals to fuel me.
I’ve used the machine over the past month or so and I love it. All you have to do it throw the ingredients into the machine, press start and it mixes them and then extrudes it out (I’ve made linguini with pesto, peas and avocado, spaghetti with buttery mushrooms, and penne with spinach, sausage and roasted peppers — the machine comes with a choice of shaping discs) and you slice it into the length of pasta you want.
I’ve made both the smaller recipe (which serves 1 to 2 people) and the larger recipe (serves 2 to 4), and I swear it only added maybe 10 to 15 minutes to my cooking time, it’s that fast and simple. While the pasta hasn’t come out exactly the texture I had in mind (I think I need to find some semolina flour, rather than the whole wheat flour I’ve been using, to get it to the taste and consistency I prefer), I had dinner ready so quickly and it was still tasty.
I’ll be playing with the machine more to perfect my pasta (and then I’ll start experimenting with making flavoured pastas and other types of noodles!), but for a fresh pasta lover, I am pleased as punch with having this appliance in my kitchen and am looking forward to having friends over for a pasta dinner. The only downside? The machine is a bit bulky and storage in my downtown Toronto condo is limited. And I’d say you have to be eating pasta a fair bit if you’re investing in a pasta machine…
But here’s the thing: you don’t have to invest in the Philips Pasta Maker yourself if you WIN this one that I’m giving away!
You can enter to win the Philips Pasta Maker (retail value $299.99) in four different ways:
- Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address (please put “Philips Pasta Maker” in the subject line).
- Twitter. Follow me on Twitter (@healthswellness) and tweet:
I love fresh pasta! And I want to win this #giveaway of a Philips Pasta Maker from @healthswellness! http://bit.ly/1hjkOQf
- Instagram: Follow me on Instagram (@healthandswellness) and like the photo of the fresh pasta dish I made with the Philips Pasta Maker on Instagram, and tag a friend who loves fresh pasta as much as you do in the comments.
- Facebook: Like the Health and Swellness page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/healthandswellness) and comment on the photo of the Philips Pasta Maker about what pasta dish is your favourite.
This giveaway is open to Canadian residents and you can enter up until 12 p.m. EST, Wednesday, August 26, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random and notified via the method they’ve won. If they do not claim their prize within five days, another winner will be selected at random.
August 17, 2015
Say hello to one of Gatorade’s newest ambassadors! That’s me! Hiiiii!
I’ve been absolutely dying to share this news! I’m beyond thrilled to be one of four athletes (wait, am I an athlete? I think of myself more as just a girl who runs…) across Canada who’s set a Gatorade Summer Sweat Goal and has the sports drink’s support to make it happen!
My goal: to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Although 2014 was a fantastic race year for me, so far 2015 has been a little disappointing. But I’ve been set up with a new coach: I am now training with Pace & Mind (lead by none other than Rejean Chiasson). It will be intense, and I expect it to be hard (I am not fond of speed work…) but I know it’s what I have to do in order to BQ (that’s short for qualifying for Boston, in case you’re confused). I was less than two minutes from qualifying in Chicago last year so I am more determined than ever.
Gatorade is of course also hooking me up with all of the Gatorade I need to hydrate for my training. I train with Gatorade and it has helped me get to where I am in my running “career.” A cold Gatorade during and after a long, hot run? “This is the best thing I’ve ever had,” is usually what I’m thinking as I gulp it down. True story.
I’ve tried other sports drinks but I trust Gatorade because it is backed by 50 years of scientific research. In Canada, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute has been partnered with the University of Guelph for more than a decade exploring nutrition and hydration in hockey through research including athlete testing. And they’ve just launched a Canadain site, www.GSSIweb.org/en-ca, where there’s loads of great resources such as videos of experts discussing fueling for sport and research articles on sports science interviews.
Follow me in my journey as I work towards my Gatorade Summer Sweat Goal here on the blog, on my Instagram, and Twitter! The hashtag is #keepsweating.
Bring on the sweat. I’m ready.
August 13, 2015