Tag: carbloading

Foodie Swellness: Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow GIVEAWAY

cookbook cover

When I was in Chicago last weekend for the Chicago Marathon (have you checked out my race recap?), one of the many awesome things from my weekend with Nike (besides Nike Chicago surprising me with my own Nike billboard on Michigan Ave.!) was getting to attend a session on Friday with Elyse Kopecki, co-author with Shalane Flanagan of Run Fast, Eat Slow and its sequel Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow.

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I got a copy of the second cookbook signed and personalized and chatted a bit with Elyse about carbloading, which I’d been stressing about that week after being recently reminded by an article about the daunting amount of carbs that is recommended. “In the days before a race, you don’t need to force feed yourself,” she said. “Eat so you feel good and don’t feel overstuffed. Eating easy to digest carbs like rice and sweet potatoes, and the treats we have in here, the sweet potato breakfast cookies in our first book and the superhero muffins in this book, and in the final weeks leading up to a race, adding in an extra snack per day to get those extra carbs will help you, but you don’t have to force feed self to eat huge bowl of pasta day before the race. You don’t want to change your diet too much.”

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On Saturday, the Nike crew hosted us for a family-style brunch so we could fuel well for the race, and we all received a signed copy of Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow…and since I already have my own copy, I’ve decided to give this one away!

You can enter on my Instagram (details on how to enter are on the IG post — look for the pic that is at the top of this blog post on my Insta feed), but here on the blog, you can get one additional entry by commenting on this post and sharing what you like to eat before a run. For me, if it’s in the morning, i’ll have some toast with peanut butter, or some steel-cut oats. If my run is after work or mid-aft, I might have an apple or a Kind Snacks bar.

This giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, October 22. The winner will be chosen at random. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the U.S. and the prize is awarded as is.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy the cookbook as much as I have so far! I’ve made the superhero muffins and a soup from the first book, and the slow cooker beef and minestrone from the second book, yum!

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment October 15, 2018

Foodie Swellness: From Italy with Amore at Loblaws

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Can’t we all use #moreamore in our lives? More specifically, more Italian cuisine made with authentic Italian ingredients?

I say sì! And I recently had the chance to learn to learn how to make some dishes from Chef Massimo Bruno at Loblaws. Bruno is from Puglia, and has lived in Toronto for about 16 years, and he said that when he first moved to Canada, it was hard for him to find the Italian ingredients he needed to make his dishes. This is not the case anymore because Loblaws carries more than 350 authentically Italian — they’re certified by the Italian Trade Commission — including many of Bruno’s favourites such as Lupa cheese.

Chef Massimo Bruno at More Amore

It was such a treat to get to learn from Bruno; I’ve been keen to go to one of his monthly supper clubs for ages but now I was getting to learn to cook alongside him. We made a few dishes: fettuccini with tuna and lemon, and a fresh pasta with tomatoes and garlic.

I learned a lot from Bruno over the course of the evening about Italian cooking:

  • When cooking with pecorino romano, be careful with how much salt you add to your dish as the cheese itself is quite salty, so add salt sparingly (if at all).
  • Don’t cheap out; spend the extra $5 on authentic pecorino romano (he likes the romano lupa) as it’ll really make your dish sing. When you buy a bottle of olive oil, go for a quality one, such as the President’s Choice Extra Virgin Olive Oil From Tuscany.
  • When making a sauce using ingredients like fresh tomatoes and garlic like the one we made, prepare it and let it sit so that the flavours come together.
  • There are two types of gorgonzola, dolce and piccante. Dolce is sweeter. Bruno recommends using Dolce if you’re cooking since many people find gorgonzola to be quite strong, so Dolce is a safer choice given it is more subtle.
  • There is no such thing as too much parmigiano reggiano.
  • There is also no such thing as too much fresh basil. Pile it on, says Bruno. He says you’ll never get a complaint, “Oh there’s too much basil in this.”
  • When using tomato purée to make your pasta sauce, add a little bit of water. If you don’t, your passata will cook off and become too thick and paste-like.
  • A quality dried pasta will have a slightly rough texture to it before you throw it into the pot of salted boiling water. (And don’t be shy when salting the water, Bruno threw handfuls into the water; he says it’s essential to cooking the noodles that the water be well salted).
  • You can trust in the imported Italian food products with the DOP label. This label is the product’s certification, which means you can be confident the product has been locally grown and packaged in Italy using traditional methods. DOP stands for Denominazione di Origine Protetta, which translates to Protected Designation of Origin.

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Besides all of these foodie lessons, we ate so well (above is a beef dish Massimo prepared for us) and that fettucine we all helped prepare? It’s so simple to make and you can be eating in about 10 minutes, which is exactly the kind of recipe we all need when we get home and it’s late and we’re too tired to cook, right? Here’s the recipe:

Fettucine with tuna, lemon and basil

Fettuccini with tuna, lemon and basil

In a large bowl, add one can of Rio Mare tuna, drizzle with olive oil. Add the zest and then the juice of one lemon. Add some fresh basil (you can just tear the leaves with your fingers) and season with pepper. In the meanwhile, cook your pasta in salted boiling water as per the package. Take about a half cup of the starchy water the pasta has been cooked in and add to your tuna mixture (this will make the sauce easier to mix with your noodles). Drain the pasta and add the noodles to the tuna sauce and mix to combine.

And you’re done! Dinner is on the table. So simple yet so good.

Here’s to more amoré in your life! Buon appetito!

(sponsored)

 

1 Comment November 3, 2017

Foodie Swellness: #TrainWithGrains GIVEAWAY

savoury oats

 

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Congrats to @blondefriesen who is the winner of this prize!

I’m in training for a marathon about 45 weeks out of the year for the past five years. And I’ve been called a machine by many people. I actually use this idea of being a machine to help me during a run; I try to really think of myself as a machine, one that can keep on keepin’ on without feeling any of the agony and pain marathon training can entail. I’ll likely be thinking of this next weekend when I’m running the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon as I work towards my summer of sweat #keepsweating goal.

To keep this machine performing well for training and racing, grains are key part of my diet. Healthy whole grains help the body to recover from a tough workout and they help provide the energy our muscles need to get through the training (whether it’s speed work on a track or an easy recovery run) or the 42.2 kilometres of the big race day.

Another great aspect of whole grains? They will have you feeling full so I’m a fan of having a bowl of steel-cut oats for breakfasts, and especially so before a morning run. And while I’ve been eating it simply (usually with just a touch of honey and a small handful of nuts), I’ve started trying it as a savoury dish.

avocado, bacon, eggs, oats

 

With a splash of soy sauce and chopped scallions, it reminds me a lot of congee (that soupy rice that’s a comfort food I grew up with).  Thanks Mark Bittman for the idea. Post-run, I have more time to cook so one of my new favourite savoury ways to eat my steel-cut oats is topped with some crumbled bacon, avocado and a fried or poached egg (I finally tried poaching eggs using a mesh strainer and, yay, success!) and some chopped chives and sriracha. I think it’d also be delicious with some caramelized onions and a soft-boiled egg, and maybe even some blue cheese, hello, stinky but yummy breakfast bowl!

Whether you’re just kickstarting a new workout routine or are a fitness buff, #trainwithgrains and you’ll have the fuel and improved recovery your body needs to perform at its best. Want to add this to your diet! Well…I can help you with that!

To help you #trainwithgrains for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon ( or your personal fitness goal, Grain Farmers of Ontario has given me a $50 President’s Choice giftcard to give away to one lucky fitness fan in Ontario. This way you can create your own delicious recipe with barley, grain corn (think corn meal, flour or starch), oats, soybeans or wheat so that you can ensure your body is getting the wholesome, clean fuel it needs to help you perform your best.

N.B. To enter this Good in Every Grain Giveaway, you must be a resident in Ontario.

You can enter to win the $50 President’s Choice giftcard in four different ways:

  1. Email me at healthandswellness@gmail.com with your name and address (please put “Good in Every Grain” in the subject line).
  2. Twitter. Follow me on  Twitter (@healthswellness) and tweet:

I want to #trainwithgrains and enjoy the good in every grain by winning this @healthswellness #giveaway! http://bit.ly/1N0VYz6

  1. Instagram: Follow me on Instagram (@healthandswellness), “like” the photo of this savoury egg, bacon and avocado oats bowl, and tag a friend who you think would also benefit from the good in every grain.
  2. Facebook: “Like” the Health and Swellness page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/healthandswellness)–not just the photo but the page for Health and  Swellness — and comment on the savoury oats photo about what grain dish you think you’ll make using the giftcard if you’re the winner.

This giveaway is open to Ontario residents and you can enter up until 12 p.m. EST, Tuesday, October 13, 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.

Good luck! And stay tuned for another tasty grains dish from me next week!

 

Leave a Comment October 8, 2015

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