Tag: carbloading

Fitness Swellness: My Gatorade #KeepSweating progress and the importance of hydration

Gatorade and G2

As you may know, I’ve got a big fitness goal for this fall: qualifying for the Boston Marathon, and to help me, Gatorade has partnered with me to help me work towards that goal during what we’re calling the Summer of Sweat. They’ve provided me with a supply of Gatorade, G2 and Gatorade Protein Shakes for hydration and recovery, plus I’ve joined the Pace & Mind team, so I have help from running coach Rejean Chiasson.

Since officially kicking off this Summer of Sweat program, life has been a whirlwind. I now somehow find myself with less than 40 days until the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (it’s on October 18, 2015) and I barely felt like I’d officially started training and I’m all of a sudden running the longest distances we will be doing for training. I think I was caught off guard because it took me awhile to decide on a goal race, so while I was maintaining and slowly building distance, mentally, I wasn’t officially in marathon training mode.

It didn’t help that in August, I was home in Toronto for only 11 days. I can manage shorter runs when I’m traveling, I prefer to run my long distances at home. My busy schedule also means that I have yet to make it out to run with my Pace & Mind teammates as a group. I’ve run with one team member and am regularly in contact with Rejean about my training. There’s a lively group chat of some very enthusiastic runners in the group, though, so that’s a new element to my training. The next few weeks are less travel-heavy so, it’s a goal of mine to train with the Pace & Mind team.

Given the hectic pace of August, I managed to maintain a consistent schedule for training, but I have slacked on the speed training, which is precisely what I need to get me to my goal. So I definitely need to focus, work hard and #KeepSweating from now on.

As luck would have it, Toronto was also hit with some extremely hot and humid weather, which made sure I kept sweating. My pace for long runs decreased significantly and I can’t help but find that stressful. I can’t even meet the slowest pace that coach has assigned me but he assured me that the pace he refers to is during ideal conditions (i.e.: when it’s not 38 Celsius outside).

Given the conditions, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to hydrate with Gatorade during my runs. My favourite flavour is Cool Blue, but as it gets closer to my goal race, I’ll likely try to stick more to the Lemon-Lime since that is often served on race courses.

I see so many runners without water and it boggles my mind. Even on a run as short as 5K, I feel parched; on a 32k run last week, I drank two-and-a-half bottles of Gatorade and a one-and-a-half bottles of water, and immediately downed a chocolate Gatorade Protein Shake (which has 20 grams of protein and rings in at 270 calories) as soon as I got home to help with muscle recovery. I always try to be really careful with hydration when I run since I’m not so great at consuming enough fluids from day to day (a habit I still struggle with improving) and I’m a heavy sweater. Like, seriously heavy. I think this is why I dislike sweating so much; I don’t experience just a light glistening of sweat like other girls in my NTC class. I am dripping and my gear is absolutely drenched with sweat.

If you’re not too clear as to how an electrolyte sports drink like Gatorade helps you when you work at high intensity, well, when you sweat, you lose sodium and potassium, Gatorade contains 210 mg of sodium and 55 mL of potassium per 500m to help replace what you sweat out. For more information on the importance of sodium and potassium and the science behind Gatorade, check out www.gatorade.ca

This is why I tend to only drink sports drinks on my long runs (which last for more than one hour), but not so often during my other training runs. My easy runs are a much shorter distance so I can hydrate with water or G2 (I’ll drink the G2, which is lower in calories depending on the intensity of my run and other factors such as the temperature outside.

During a recent 32k run last week that lasted over three hours, based on what I’ve read, it seems I may be on the low end of carb replenishment based on how much Gatorade I consumed, but I also ate several Honey Stinger electrolyte gummies during my run as well. I’ve taken note and will now try to up my intake since I believe I sweat more than the average person.

By the way, when running, it can be easy to fall into a zone and forget to drink so to make sure I hydrate regularly; every two kilometres I take a big sip. (If you run with regular walk breaks, say if you’re running 10s and 1s, use your one-minute break to hydrate.)

With 24 days to go until the Scotiabank Waterfront Toronto Marathon, stay tuned because my next Gatorade #KeepSweating post will be my marathon recap! And in the meanwhile, follow along with my training on Instagram and on Twitter.



Leave a Comment September 23, 2015

Foodie Swellness: Philips Pasta Maker (+ GIVEAWAY!)





THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS FOR ENTERING! Congrats to Pam H. of Kitchener (Pam, I’ve emailed you!), you’re the lucky winner of the Philips Pasta Maker! 

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.

fresh penne

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.

Philips Pasta Maker


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:

  1. Email me at healthandswellness@gmail.com with your name and address (please put “Philips Pasta Maker” in the subject line).
  2. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Good luck!




6 Comments August 17, 2015

Foodie Swellness: Ozery’s Pita Break (+ Giveaway!)

Mini PItas


** This giveaway is  now closed **

Congrats to Katherine H. (check your email, Katherine!) as the winner of this Ozery’s Pita Break giveaway — enjoy!

With my marathon training in its 11th week, I’m always looking for healthy carbs to incorporate into my diet. (I’m running Around the Bay 30k on March 29, 2015, and I’ll likely run the Goodlife Toronto Marathon, I just haven’t registered yet).

So receiving a box filled with products from Ozery’s Pita Break last month was timed just perfectly. I was familiar with the brand (it’s been in provided as post-race fuel at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon and I’ve purchased it on my own, too) but I had no idea it’s a family-owned company out of Toronto. I’d just liked their tasty products and the fact that the line is free of artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and additives.

Having had a chance to taste test much of the range now, these are some of my favourites:

Just Minis 

I’m always struggling with finding things I can eat quickly before a morning run. It has to be something that won’t bother my stomach during the run, too. I sometimes have half a bagel or a bowl of steel -cut oatmeal, but I need to change it up because it’s come to a point that I ruin foods for myself by eating them over and over and over before a morning run (right now I can’t even fathom having another bowl of steel-cut oats). Toasting up three of these Mini Rounds (I like the Muesli ones) is quick and  tasty (I usually eat them plain or with some almond butter).

Ozery's large pitas with shakshuka

Large Pitas in Multigrain

I could eat these in any way: with an olive tapenade, stuffed with souvlaki, toasted with avocado smushed overtop. Most recently, I used them to dip into the shakshuka dish I made. Yummers!

hummus and lavash and pita crisps

Crispy Pitas and Lavash Crackers

One of my favourite snacks is hummus because it’s filling and it’s a good source of protein (I’m often looking for more protein sources because I suspect I don’t get much in my usual diet at home). I always make hummus from scratch because it’s so simple and inexpensive to do and I can adjust it to how I like it, so I know the recipe off my heart but if you  need one, there’s an Ozery Pita Break recipe for hummus. Ozery’s Cripsy Pitas and Lavash Crackers make great dippers for hummus, and I also like to have them with cheese (a cheese board and charcuterie plate and a glass of wine is another fave dinner for those I-don’t-feel-like-cooking nights!).

Those are my faves from Ozery’s Pita Break and how I like to enjoy them…and now you could discover which Ozery’s Pita Break products are your faves if you win my giveaway!

Ozery’s Pita Break Giveaway

What you could win in the giveaway: The prize is valued at more than $100 and includes a range of Ozery’s Pita Break products, a toaster, a cutting board and a set of dipping bowls (so you’ll be all set to prepare some delicious snacks and meals with your pitas!). How to enter?

You can enter in five different ways (each way counts as one entry, so go ahead and enter in all five methods!):

  1. Email me at healthandswellness@gmail.com with your name and mailing address. Please put “Ozery’s Pita Break” in the subject line.
  2. Twitter: Follow me on Twitter (@healthswellness) and tweet:

I want to #win some @ozerybakery foods from @healthswellness. Here’s how to enter: http://bit.ly/1BWtLHM

  1. Comment on this blog post about what Ozery’s Pita Break product you most want to try.
  2. Like the Health and Swellness page on Facebook and then leave a comment on the wall post about this Ozery’s Pita Break giveaway — tell me how you’d eat your Ozery’s Pita Break products.
  3. Instagram: Follow me on Instagram (@healthandswellness), like the Instagram photo related to this giveaway, and tag 2 friends in the comment section.

The prize is valued at $110 and the giveaway will close at 11:59PM on Friday, March 13, 2015. Please note that this giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. The winner will be chosen at random. If I cannot reach the winner within five days, another winner will be selected. The winner’s name will be announced on the blog once confirmed. Good luck!

For more recipes and inspiration, head on over to the Ozery’s Pita Break Facebook page!


19 Comments March 6, 2015

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