Tag: foodie

Foodie Swellness: How I snackKIND

Kind Snacks

I’m always struggling to add more routine to my schedule but the nature of my work means I’m almost always running around the city and fitting in things whenever I can, and that includes working out, spending quality with friends and, of course, the pets (Billie Jean needs to get plenty of exercise!), and eating well.

Having healthy snacks makes my life a helluva lot easier. I don’t always have time to make a smoothie or bake superhero muffins, so snacks from Kind Snacks, for one, often save the day. So I’m so happy to join the #snackKIND movement as an ambassador!

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I’ve long been a fan of their bars. You can see the whole ingredients they’re made of, and when you compare it to other bars on the market, they contain much less sugar (5 grams compared to 23 grams). And they have such a variety of flavours (and gourmet combinations at that!), so there’s always something that appeals to me (almond sea salt and dark chocolate when I’m craving something more dessert-like, or almond coconut when I want something with a hint of tropical funcoconut always takes me away to a faraway beach).

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Add to this some of their newer offerings and I’m a snackKIND fan for life. The Breakfast Bars are more substantial in size and it’s something I can eat quickly and easily as I’m rushing out and onto a streetcar to get to a meeting. The Almond Butter Breakfast Bar has saved me from starting off the day hangry more times than i can count. And because some days I schedule my day so tightly going from one event to another and I forget to schedule in important things like stopping for a bite to eat, I always try to keep either a Kind Bar or a Kind Healthy Grains bar in my purse. The Healthy Grains bars are more like the granola bars I grew up with (and they’re thinner and crunchier than the Breakfast Bars) and these convenient 150-calorie bars are filling enough to keep me going until I have time to stop for a meal. My fave is the Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt, perfectly sweet and savoury. (Oh, and the Healthy Grains bars are all gluten-free, for those of you who follow a GF diet!).

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Last but not least are their Pressed by Kind Bars. I think of these as healthy versions of a fruit roll-up. They’re only made of either fruit and veggies or fruit and chia, and sometimes I’m just more in the mood for something fruity and not nuts, grains or seeds, and since I can’t stash a fresh fruit in my purse all the time (I’ve had too many apples and bananas get too bruised and forgotten about in the depths of my handbag!) I can stash one of these bars as an essential emergency fruit snack. Since these are conveniently portable (more so than fresh fruit), I also often travel with a Pressed by Kind bar when I’m out of town. Oh, and each bar is two servings of fruit (and getting my RDA of fruit and veggies is something I’m always working on!).

Are you a Kind Snacks fan, too? I’d love to hear your faves (I’m sure I haven’t tried all the flavours yet!).

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Leave a Comment November 19, 2018

Fitness Swellness: It’s Bike Month in Toronto!

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I’m always for making your commute into a way to keep active whenever possible. So I was super into helping to launch Bike Month with Bike to Work Day last Monday in partnership with CLIF Bar.

Bike Month, if you’re not familiar with it, is an annual event to promote cycling in Toronto and Hamilton running from May 28th until June 30th. It’s the 29th anniversary of this event, which brings together cyclists at events, races, tours and more through the month of June. In fact, have you heard that every Wednesday during the month of June Bike Share in Toronto is free!

I rode Bike Share for the first time this Monday for the launch event during which we rode from Yonge and Charles down to City Hall with Mayor John Tory. The police shut down traffic so we could do the ride there and it was a fun leisurely ride that, hello, ended with a CLIF-powered pancake breakfast, some speakers and photo opps (check out the cute CLIF Bar bike below, couldn’t resist getting a fun shot with Hawley Dunbar of Sidewalk Hustle and Gracie Carroll of Edit Seven).

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I don’t ride my bike to commute that often but I’ve been slowly trying to do more. Last summer, I rode my bike to a few dance classes and to get to an event or two (and then got a flat but I just got my tired fixed so I’m back on the road!). I will admit that I am a little afraid of riding my bike on the busy city streets but with careful planning using the Toronto cycling map, I can usually find a route with a bike lane or a quieter street i can take where I can confidently ride to get where I need to.

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As for CLIF Bar, did you know the company was born on a bike? Founder Gary Erickson was exhausted and craving a good tasting and nutritious energy bar dying a 175-mile bike ride in 1990. Talk about the perfect match, Bike Month and CLIF Bar. Their bars are what I pack in my bag when going on a hike or for a bike ride (or eat before I head out for one) so I can be sure I’ve got the energy I need for my adventures of the day. And whether you bike as a means to commute to work or just a fun ride on the trails or in the Leslie Spit (where I’ve ridden to view some epic sunsets) there’s a CLIF Bar variety that’ll tempt your palate. And by the way, if you need something new to tempt your tastebuds, just launched in Canada are two new CLIF Nut-Butter Filled energy bar varieties: Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter and Caramel Chocolate Peanut Butter. My fave of the two is the sweet and savoury Caramel Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Plus, a little hat tip to Canada: those oats in the Nut-Butter Filled energy bars? None other than organic Canadian oats and the Nut-Butter Filled Bars are made in Canada!

With a both a Bike Share membership and my bike, and a new helmet, I’m excited to bike more often during Bike Month and beyond! I’d love to see where your bike takes you, be sure to share with the hashtag #feedyouradventure and #bikemonthTO!

If you’d like to learn about more Bike Month events, be sure to check out the site!

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Leave a Comment June 4, 2018

Foodie Swellness: The ultimate hibernation meal, homemade “Hamburger Helper”

Homemade hamburger helper

Is this dish full of veggies and fibre? Nope. Paleo? Nuh-uh. A rainbow of ingredients chockfull of vitamins and minerals? Not really. It’s pretty beige. But sometimes, like when it’s colder than -30C out and a bomb cyclone is hitting the east coast, you just crave plain old comfort food.

I didn’t grow up eating Hamburger Helper. I actually am not sure if I’ve ever had it. I have always thought it looks delicious in commercials, though. Meaty, creamy, carby. So I suppose I should state that I am not sure if this tastes at all like the boxed HH.

In any case, my recipe is inspired by this one from Dinner Then Dessert, except I added milk to make it creamier and some spices. And the result is everything I wanted for my winter dinner (warm and hearty), eaten tucked under a blanket all cozy, while watching The Mindy Project. It’s the ultimate winter hibernation meal.

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Homemade Hamburger Helper

  • 1 pound large elbow macaroni
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded (depending on how cheesy you want it!)
  1. Cook the macaroni according to the package directions and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, brown the beef in a large skillet.  Remove beef from skillet.
  3. Add butter to the beef fat in the skillet and saute onion and bell pepper for about five minutes.
  4. Add beef back to the skillet.
  5. In a bowl, mix the beef broth, milk and cornstarch together.
  6. Add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, paprika and beef broth mixture into the skillet.
  7. Cook about three minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
  8. Add the macaroni to the skillet and mix together gently.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in grated mozzarella.

I’d love to hear from HH fans if this is at all what the boxed variety tastes like. I like the idea of making it from scratch versus using the powdered ingredients and am so pleased with this stick-to-your-hones results of this meal. I rounded out my dinner with a glass of Cabernet but a nice crisp green salad would be a nice side (I just didn’t have anything for a salad in my refrigerator at the time).

Happy hibernating!

4 Comments January 5, 2018

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