Tag: dairy

Fitness Swellness: How I get stronger with protein


My schedule is always pretty full. Sometimes too full (I think it’s just my nature to try to pack in as much as possible) and then, yes, I take a step back to find more balance. But I’ve accepted that it’s just my personality to maintain a busy, demanding schedule. I’m often rushing from meetings and lunches to hopping onto conference calls and then over to events. Besides work demands, I also am working out whenever I can—I’m trying to fit in more dance classes, more workouts like yoga and Pilates, and to learn how to play tennis during the warmer months. And you may also know that I’m a runner. The fitness in my life gets way more intense when I’m training for a marathon since this calls for running up to five times a week.


(And we haven’t even touched on a social life yet. I also cram in movies and dinners with friends and hikes and play time with my dog, Billie Jean, too).

This post isn’t a humble brag about how busy I am, I promise! It’s about how I power up to have the stamina for all of this. After all, to power through my workouts and life, I have to make sure I have the energy and feel strong enough and so what I eat is really important—and getting enough protein in my diet is a crucial part of that. Many of us know that protein is essential to our health (it helps boost the immune system and helps to build and repair muscle tissue). And while meat is often what comes to mind when you think protein, dairy is an excellent source of high-quality protein, too.

How do I get my dairy, which contains two kinds of protein—whey and casein, to help power me through my day? On a regular weekday, I don’t have time to have a huge breakfast, but I do need something satisfying and filling. The solution? One of my favourite breakfasts is Greek yogurt topped with berries and something for a bit of crunch (that might be hemp hearts, nuts or granola). For an everyday snack, I need something I can prepare quickly, so I’ll often just grab some cheese (I always have cheese in my fridge!) and either an apple or some whole-grain crackers. And 50 grams of cheddar contains 12 grams of protein.

When I am training for a marathon, the most satisfying post-workout replenishment, especially so in the summer, is a smoothie with yogurt in it or an ice-cold chocolate milk. I swear that during a long run, it’s probably around the 15k mark that I start craving and salivating about the smoothie or chocolate milk that I plan to have right after that run. Besides being thirst quenching, the protein in these drinks help your muscles to recover more quickly. Research has proven that. And besides protein, milk products also contain up to 16 essential nutrients.

An interesting fact about protein: Did you know that your body benefits most from protein when you spread out your consumption over your meals throughout the day? It should break down roughly into 30 grams per meal. Which I think works well when it comes to getting your protein from dairy, since I find it easier to incorporate milk products into my meals than meat. The right cheese can top most any dish, for example; I can easily cube some cheese to throw into a salad at lunch or with my eggs in the morning compared to having to cook up some chicken or fish (which I wouldn’t have on hand at home anyways; that’s not how I personally stock my fridge).

Roasted broccoli mushroom mozza frittata

What’re some of your favourite ways to power up with protein through dairy sources? I know I mentioned chocolate milk after a run in the summer, and I’ve now found an option for lunch to warm me up after a run on a cold winter morning: roasted broccoli mushroom mozza frittata. You can find the recipe on dairygoodness.ca (but I’ve also included it here in this post). Round out your lunch with a leafy salad and you’re all set! I’d love to hear about your favourite recipes for fuelling up on protein, please share!

Roasted broccoli mushroom mozza frittata close up

Roasted Broccoli Mushroom Mozza Frittata

Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 40 minutes. 4 servings.


2 cups (500 mL) small broccoli florets
1 cup (250 mL) quartered mushrooms (halved if small)
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter, melted
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper, divided
1/8 tsp (.5 mL) salt, divided
6 large eggs
1/4 cup (60 mL) milk
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried basil or thyme
1 cup (250 mL) shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided



Preheat oven to 425 °F (220 °C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) glass pie plate or 6-cup (1.5 L) shallow baking dish.In a medium bowl, combine broccoli, mushrooms, melted butter, and half each of the pepper and salt. Spread on prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 15 minutes or until tender and browned. Let cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 350 °F (180 °C).In the same bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, basil and remaining salt and pepper until frothy. Stir in half of the Mozzarella.Pour egg mixture into prepared pie plate Sprinkle broccoli and mushrooms evenly into eggs, pressing to immerse slightly.Bake for about 25 minutes or until evenly puffed and almost set. Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining Mozzarella on top. Broil for about 3 minutes or until cheese is until melted.



Pilates photos shot on location at Misfit Studios in Toronto. Photographer, Sean Pollock.


Leave a Comment December 18, 2017

Foodie Swellness: Enjoying a #tallcoldone

kick back with a tall cold one

For the current #tallcoldone campaign, Dairy Farmers of Canada asked me to recreate a vintage beer print ad; a tall cold one doesn’t have to mean a beer after all.

I researched online and found a ton of great ones, but I knew given the timing and other production details I wouldn’t be able to execute them well. For example, I loved ones I found featuring a sunny beach or mountains, but since I’ve been home in Toronto for the past month, that wasn’t a going to be possible (if only I’d known when I was in the Kootenays at Panorama Mountain Resort in January, the Purcell and Rocky Mountains would’ve made the perfect backdrop!).

Then I stumbled across some of the Pabst Blue Ribbon ads from 1957 that fashion photographer Richard Avedon worked on. The slogans for them was “Pabst makes it perfect,” and I knew I had found the one I would recreate.

Pabst Richard Avedon history_vintage_ad_1957c

I love the end result, and had a blast working on this. Now to kick back and, yes, enjoy a tall cold one!

Clothing: Banana Republic. Photographer: Daniela Cancilla.



Leave a Comment February 27, 2017

Foodie Swellness: Riviera Petit Pot

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The last time I was in Paris (about three years ago with L’Oreal and Julianne Moore), I fell in love with their yogurts, which come in darling glass jars. I kept one (I store hair ties in it).

Just recently launched in Ontario is Riviera Petit Pot, a line from Quebec of yogurts and dairy products such as sour cream, crème fraiche (which is always hard to find), butter and cheese. And the liquid-y products all come in those cute French-style glass jars. There’s just something pleasing about the experience of eating a yogurt out of the jar, both visually and in a tactile sense.

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What the products taste like is, of course, what matters most and I like the full flavour of the yogurts; they’re not overly decadent tasting (I find some yogurts can seem like dessert and that’s not what I’m looking for at breakfast!) but also aren’t thin or have a tinny taste I find some yogurts have. Plus, Petit Pot has a fig yogurt (which I’ve never seen in the yogurt section) and it’s a nice departure from my usual choices (plain, honey or strawberry, and sometimes peach). The crème fraiche I used in a pasta dish and it turned out great.

I have butters, cheese and sour cream to taste test still but I have a feeling they’ll be as satisfying as the yogurts.

Riviera Petit Pot is available in select retailers across Ontario.


Leave a Comment March 9, 2016

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