Tag: organic

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

Beauty Swellness: Refresh Botanicals GIVEAWAY


THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED FOR ENTRIES. Congratulations to Maria T., the winner of the complete Refresh Botanicals line! (Maria, check your email for more details about your prize, enjoy!)

You know I couldn’t leave the beauty-loving readers of the blog out in the cold without a superb holiday giveaway! (If you haven’t been keeping on top of reading the blog, well, you should be, haha, and I’ve currently got giveaways when it comes to Norman Hardie Winery in partnership with Wine Country Ontario’s 12 Days of Christmas, Elmwood Spa aaand Sport Chek! But you’d better enter those pronto as they end soon!)

As you may know, I’m a big fan of Refresh Botanicals (and I’m an ambassador for the line). I’ve been using it for a couple of months now and find my skin feels smoother and more hydrated, and I really love the really clean cucumber-y scent of it (I find so many skincare products have potent fragrances that give me a headache,  but not this natural line). Another benefit of the line? Of the seven products in the line, you can travel with four of them in  your carry-on since they’re 100 mL or smaller, and as someone who travels at least once a month, I love any beauty goodies I can just throw into my carry-on as I pack last minute like a madwoman (I try to travel without checking a bag as often as possible).

And because I want a lucky reader to start off the year with a refresh to their routine, I’m giving away the entire Refresh Botanicals collection to one of y’all. The collection includes the Facial Toner, BB Cream, Night Restore Complex, Eye + Face Makeup Remover, Foaming Facial Cleanser, Intensive Serum and Daily Facial Moisturizer (the collection is valued at $148).

Ready for a refresh to your beauty routine? Here’s how to enter! (Note: this giveaway is open to Canadian residents only.) You can enter in four different ways (each way counts as one entry, so go ahead and enter in each of the four methods!):

1. Email me at healthandswellness@gmail.com with your name and mailing address (it just makes it quicker for us to send you the prize  if you provide me with your address off the bat). Please put “Refresh Botanicals” in the subject line.

2. Twitter: Follow me on Twitter (@healthswellness) and  tweet:

Win the @refreshbotanicals natural skincare line from @healthswellness? Yes, please! #refreshswellness Enter here: http://bit.ly/1PlbWHn

3.  Like the Health and Swellness PAGE on Facebook (at the top of the page) and then leave a comment on the photo of this Refresh Botanicals giveaway — tell me which product from the collection you want to try the most and why.

4. Instagram: Follow me on Instagram (@healthandswellness) and in the photo for this giveaway, tag a friend who you’d be happy to have win this giveaway if you don’t win it yourself!

The prize is valued at $148 and the giveaway will close at 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 30, 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 with the prize winner.

Good luck! Here’s to a refreshing new year to each of you!

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1 Comment December 23, 2015

Beauty Swellness: Refresh Botanicals

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A big part of this blog revolves around how I approach life. I think balance in most everything is key, and I think it’s important to be good to yourself (and, sure, for me sometimes that means eating ice cream or a doughnut, but it also means going for a run with a girlfriend so we have time to work out and catch up). A refreshing routine in which you put yourself first and treat yourself well; now I don’t always succeed at this, in fact, I typically feel like I”m running on empty, but then I make sure I keep it in check by then pausing to get that balance back into my life by, for example, skipping that party because a night in is really what my mind and body needs.

My beauty regimen is another way I look to treat myself. Yes, I do get many products to test out, but not for a second do I take it for granted. The girly girls and beauty junkies reading this should related to how you’ll always have the tiniest squeal of joy when you pull that luxe lipstick out of your handbag and touch up your lips, or how good it feels when you catch a whiff of your own favourite perfume.

Most recently, it’s been a skincare line, Refresh Botanicals, that’s been rewarding me daily. The natural line is based out of Toronto and is 88% organic, so it feels good to know it’s local and free of harsh chemicals. What struck me most about the line when I first tried it (and indeed one of the things I love most about the line) is the clean, fresh scent it has; cucumber is the scent I sense first and foremost and instantly makes me feel as though I’ve escaped to a spa. Because I’m often running late and rushing out the door, I typically slap on my skincare as fast as I can, but since I’ve started using Refresh Botanicals, at night I take the time to apply it with care and try to imagine I’m getting a soothing facial as I massage the product into my skin. I know it probably sounds really corny, but those two extra deep cleansing breaths as I do this helps me calm my mind, which is often just set to go, go, go!

So far, my three favourite products include the following (and I’m soon testing out the toner and makeup remover, too).

Refresh Botanicals Daily Facial Moisturizer, 100 mL,  $18.99. This product is free of artificial fragrances, oils and alcohols, and is 99.7% natural or naturally derived. I have combination skin, but with the cooler temps now, I thought this might not be hydrating enough for the dry skin I can get, but it’s worked well for me. While it has a light texture that absorbs quickly, it’s still rich enough to keep my skin hydrated.

Refresh Botanicals Intensive Serum, 50 mL, $23.99. This contains fig fruit extract and grape seed oil to help diminish fine lines, and also a proprietary Aquacell complex that includes watermelon, apple and lentil extract, that reduces fine lines within two hours and boosts intracellular water by 85% within two weeks. I doubt it’s apparent to others, but I think I see a subtle difference in my skin’s suppleness (and even if only I can detect it, well, that’s worth it in itself because it makes me feel good from the inside, right?).

Refresh Botanicals Night Restore Complex, 50 mL, $23.99. Like all of the line’s products, this is free of parabens, gluten, petroleum and animal by-products. It feels deliciously cooling going on, and it also boasts the same Aquacell complex as the Intensive Serum. My skin, which often feels parched and tired (because it is…) has definitely had a little boost since I started using this at night.

Oh, and last two things: I like the simple white and green packaging and love that these three products are 100 mL or 50 mL as I can easily travel with them.

I’ll be incorporating a few more of the Refresh Botanicals line into my routine soon. I’m particularly keen on trying the Eye & Face Makeup Remover.




Leave a Comment October 30, 2015

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