Tag: clean eating

Foodie Swellness: Healthy fueling with PRANA

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I feel like I’m always on the run. Both literally (training for a race) and figuratively — with my flex schedule, I’m typically dashing from one event to another during the day and into the evening sometimes, or heading out to meet friends for dinner or a workout.

Which means I need to make sure I’m fueling my body well. I have had some days that I’ve scheduled so tightly so that I can get all of the meetings and events done back to back that I forget to include a meal. Doh!

So I value healthy snacks as much as I do my meals. Besides helping prep me for my workouts and restore my energy after a sweat sesh, wholesome snacks help me get through the flights and long waits in airport lounges when I travel.

PRANA is one brand that’s a mainstay in my kitchen. This Canadian brand’s products are certified organic, and they’re also all vegan, kosher, preservative-free and sulphate free. That’s not all, they’re also non-GMO, too. And they taste great. Do a blind taste test of say their almonds against some you buy in bulk, and I swear you won’t be able to go back.

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I try to have a small breakfast every day and a snack 30 minutes to an hour before I exercise (without a snack to give you a small boost, you could be low on energy and this could mean you’re won’t be able to workout to your full potential). Greek yogurt is a usual go-to for me and I top it with PRANA raw almonds. I use their almonds when it comes to dessert, too — by adding a drizzle of honey to the yogurt and nuts, or by eating a few almonds with a piece of dark chocolate (I always seem to have a steady supply of plain dark chocolate at home, one of the perks of my job is a lot of chocolate!).

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I also am unexpectedly a fan of chia pudding, which I make with PRANA ProactivChia. Unexpectedly because I can see how the texture is off-putting to some people, but when you top it with fresh fruit, some coconut chips, and yes, PRANA Almonds, the crunch and flavours make it less “slimy” (as one friend calls it). I find it’s a nice change from the Greek yogurt and I like incorporating probiotics into my diet when I can for a healthy gut.

And I prefer PRANA ProactivChia because it’s not just chia seeds, but the brand’s exclusive blend of chia and probiotics. In fact, each serving of PRANA ProactivChia provides 4 billion live probiotics, which helps promote healthy gut flora (while the chia is a good source of fibre, omega-3s and calcium).

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And because half of my life seems to be on a plane or waiting in an airport lounge, in my handbag, I keep something from PRANA to snack on, such as this Kilimanjaro Deluxe Chocolate Mix. Just a small handful, though; I have to remind myself to watch portion sizes when snacking on nuts and trail mix, because I could easily just keep eating and not realize I’m polishing off the package (in case, you’re wondering, a serving size of this Mix is a ¼ cup). Best of all, with its mix of almonds, walnuts, cashews, sultana raisins, dried cranberries and dark chocolate, I can feel good about my snack providing protein, antioxidants, fibre and vitamins A and C.

But since I tend to crave savoury snacks more often than sweet, I dig much more often into PRANA Coconut Chips, They’re dry roasted so they’re nice and crispy (so there’s that satisfying crunch I crave!) and I’m partial to Jive (the Spicy Chili flavour). So they’re good replacement for the potato chips I would eat daily if I could without hurting my health.

With a focus on healthy, wholesome snacks such as those from PRANA, I have the energy to make it through my active lifestyle feeling energized. And I haven’t even yet tried all of the products from the wide PRANA range (I’m definitely eyeing the PRANA Sumsuma sesame squares!). Oh, and for that chia pudding, it’s simple to make: just add three tablespoons of chia to one cup of liquid (I usually use coconut milk but I’ve also made it with almond milk; you can use the milk of your choice!).

Bon appetit!


Leave a Comment October 14, 2016

Foodie Swellness: #TrainWithGrains with this edamame and corn salad

Edamame and corn salad

With the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon I’m running this Sunday, I’m trying to eat wholesome meals and hydrate well (OK, I did indulge in an ice cream cone yesterday, oops!) and as I mentioned #trainwithgrains (I shared my savoury breakfast idea last week).

I’m looking to get healthy carbs and protein in my diet this week, and am sticking to foods I’m used to. This is not the time to be experimenting with new ingredients and new recipes (you don’t want to have stomach issues before or on race day, after all!).

Continuing with my #trainwithgrains routine, I made this refreshing edamame and corn salad (the Self recipe is from epicurious) as a side for the filet of salmon I roasted in the oven. The only change I made to the salad recipe is omitting the mayo (it’s just a small amount but I didn’t want a creaminess in the dressing). There’s a half-cup of edamame in the salad, which equals 7 grams of protein, so it’s a great side dish to have with your meal after a run to help with recovery. Oh, I also just used canned corn as I didn’t have time to roast cobs of corn. I think roasting would add loads of flavour, though, so if you have a grill and the time, then do that.

For more recipes using healthy grains such as barley, grain corn (including corn meal, flour or starch), oats, soybeans and wheat, be sure to visit the Grain Farmers of Ontario website Good In Every Grain.

Leave a Comment October 14, 2015

Foodie Swellness: Smash Juice Bar’s Executive Cleanse


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!).




Leave a Comment August 27, 2015

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