Tag: foodie

Healthy Swellness: Three Simple Ways to Boost the Nutrition of What You’re Eating

smoothie making

When it comes to eating well, I take a balanced approach. One of the greatest pleasures in my opinion is eating delicious foods, including those that aren’t so good for youso I eat a balanced diet most of the time, and then savour without any guilt the less than healthy items once in a while. I’ve always railed against that thinking, that healthy means kale and celery juice and quinoa only.

And another thing: Eating nutritiously doesn’t have to mean spending more. You just have to make smart budget-conscious choices with what you purchase and shop in stores where you can count on lower prices, like Giant Tiger. (Bonus: you can buy other items you need there, like cute workout gear, too, so you can limit your shopping excursions at the one convenient location that’s nearest you). In the past year, I’ve switched from only going to my usual (pricey) grocery store, and I can tell you the savings are significant if you make the effort to shop for groceries at a budget-friendly store like Giant Tiger.

Anyhow, as for the balanced approach to eating well? I look at every meal and snack as an opportunity to up the nutrition of what I’m consuming. You can accomplish this with some simple tactics, like these three, which work well for me:

1. Add veggies whenever possible. More often than not, I tend to cook one-pot type meals. So when cooking up my all-in-one dish, I consider how I can throw more vegetables into it as well. A pasta with meat sauce? Well, you can easily include some mushrooms in there, too, and celery and grated carrots. 

Or consider your breakfast; it’s a prime opportunity to eat more veggies, especially as veg is not a typical breakfast ingredient. I used to make fruit and juice smoothies all the time, but I realized you can easily throw some kale or spinach into the blender too (and some Greek yogurt for richness and protein) and it tastes great. Another great vehicle for veggies? Frittatas and breakfast wraps: throw in your usual eggs and sausage but add tomatoes, black beans, spinach and green peppers, too.

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Also, why not enjoy a salad for breakfast? Instead of just making bacon and eggs for your first meal of the day, take inspiration from a BLT and make a salad with those same ingredients, and throw in a hardboiled egg for protein, some avocado (which provides omega-3 fatty acids), some flax, chia seeds or hemp hearts for texture, and a vinaigrette made with olive oil (a staple of the Mediterranean diet, considered one of the most healthy in the world). I’m really digging salads for breakfast when I have time to throw one together as it’s not only tasty, but I always feel like I’ve kicked off the day on the right track with a healthy helping of veggies, which is a great motivator to staying on the wellness train the rest of the day.

2. Include some protein in each meal or snack so that your body feels satiated. Plan what you snack on for the week (so that you’re not opting for a danish when you feel that tummy grumble) and make sure your snacks have got some protein so you can keep plugging through your day well fueled. A quick snack I often go for is an apple, but eat it with some nut butter (I enjoyed this apple with Wow Butter, a tasty nut-alternative option available at Giant Tiger) and not only will your snack feel more like a treat but your body will feel more full longer. 

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Or for dinner on those nights you don’t feel like cooking? Do a ploughman’s lunch-inspired meal to snack on: here I’ve included almonds, hummus and a hardboiled egg for protein, carrots for some colour (and then you’re also accomplishing point #1 above!) and a serving of Saint Paulin cheese (one of my all-time favourite cheeses, and I love that it’s carried at Giant Tiger).

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3. Stock up on smart staples that make eating well easy. It’s always easier to eat healthily if you make it super simple to incorporate into your schedule. Having ingredients on hand that help you eat a more balanced diet can make a world of difference when you’ve got tons of work to get done, a dog to walk, piles of laundry to do, etc, etc.

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Some of the convenient staples you can stock up on at Giant Tiger that I love: 

  • natural almonds (good as add to salad or as a quick snack on their ownjust watch your portion size; keep it to a small handful or approximately 23 almonds); 
  • hard-boiled eggs (this package of ready-boiled eggs is a lifesaver when you’ve got a busy week); 
  • canned tomatoes (great to have on hand so you can whip up a shakshuka meal or a quick pasta sauce; plus canned tomatoes are an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene); 
  • frozen fruit for smoothies; 
  • hummus (which research has shown is linked to fighting inflammation in the body); 
  • Gardein products, the meat-alternative products from this brand make meatless Monday meals no brainers;
  • Larabars (when buying packaged snacks to enjoy on the go, look for ones with ingredients you can identify, like Larabar, which is one of my favourite bar brands).

I know when I go to Giant Tiger I’ll be able to get everything I need to make loads of affordable meals and snacks as they sell fresh produce and fresh meat, along with the pantry staples I always keep on hand, like canned tomatoes and flavoured Perrier, and it’s all at fantastic prices. Because a lot of us, especially now during the pandemic, are more conscious about our spending than ever, I know I am. So on top of making Giant Tiger a go-to shop for your groceries and more, be sure to also sign up here for GT VIPyou’ll save even more on grocery items, plus you’ll get exclusive weekly deals.

Happy shopping (and savings)! I’d love to hear about your own nutrition-boosting tactics!

(sponsored partnership with Giant Tiger)

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Leave a Comment January 27, 2021

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

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