Tag: snacks

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: Ozery’s Pita Break (+ Giveaway!)

Mini PItas


** This giveaway is  now closed **

Congrats to Katherine H. (check your email, Katherine!) as the winner of this Ozery’s Pita Break giveaway — enjoy!

With my marathon training in its 11th week, I’m always looking for healthy carbs to incorporate into my diet. (I’m running Around the Bay 30k on March 29, 2015, and I’ll likely run the Goodlife Toronto Marathon, I just haven’t registered yet).

So receiving a box filled with products from Ozery’s Pita Break last month was timed just perfectly. I was familiar with the brand (it’s been in provided as post-race fuel at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon and I’ve purchased it on my own, too) but I had no idea it’s a family-owned company out of Toronto. I’d just liked their tasty products and the fact that the line is free of artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and additives.

Having had a chance to taste test much of the range now, these are some of my favourites:

Just Minis 

I’m always struggling with finding things I can eat quickly before a morning run. It has to be something that won’t bother my stomach during the run, too. I sometimes have half a bagel or a bowl of steel -cut oatmeal, but I need to change it up because it’s come to a point that I ruin foods for myself by eating them over and over and over before a morning run (right now I can’t even fathom having another bowl of steel-cut oats). Toasting up three of these Mini Rounds (I like the Muesli ones) is quick and  tasty (I usually eat them plain or with some almond butter).

Ozery's large pitas with shakshuka

Large Pitas in Multigrain

I could eat these in any way: with an olive tapenade, stuffed with souvlaki, toasted with avocado smushed overtop. Most recently, I used them to dip into the shakshuka dish I made. Yummers!

hummus and lavash and pita crisps

Crispy Pitas and Lavash Crackers

One of my favourite snacks is hummus because it’s filling and it’s a good source of protein (I’m often looking for more protein sources because I suspect I don’t get much in my usual diet at home). I always make hummus from scratch because it’s so simple and inexpensive to do and I can adjust it to how I like it, so I know the recipe off my heart but if you  need one, there’s an Ozery Pita Break recipe for hummus. Ozery’s Cripsy Pitas and Lavash Crackers make great dippers for hummus, and I also like to have them with cheese (a cheese board and charcuterie plate and a glass of wine is another fave dinner for those I-don’t-feel-like-cooking nights!).

Those are my faves from Ozery’s Pita Break and how I like to enjoy them…and now you could discover which Ozery’s Pita Break products are your faves if you win my giveaway!

Ozery’s Pita Break Giveaway

What you could win in the giveaway: The prize is valued at more than $100 and includes a range of Ozery’s Pita Break products, a toaster, a cutting board and a set of dipping bowls (so you’ll be all set to prepare some delicious snacks and meals with your pitas!). How to enter?

You can enter in five different ways (each way counts as one entry, so go ahead and enter in all five methods!):

  1. Email me at healthandswellness@gmail.com with your name and mailing address. Please put “Ozery’s Pita Break” in the subject line.
  2. Twitter: Follow me on Twitter (@healthswellness) and tweet:

I want to #win some @ozerybakery foods from @healthswellness. Here’s how to enter: http://bit.ly/1BWtLHM

  1. Comment on this blog post about what Ozery’s Pita Break product you most want to try.
  2. Like the Health and Swellness page on Facebook and then leave a comment on the wall post about this Ozery’s Pita Break giveaway — tell me how you’d eat your Ozery’s Pita Break products.
  3. Instagram: Follow me on Instagram (@healthandswellness), like the Instagram photo related to this giveaway, and tag 2 friends in the comment section.

The prize is valued at $110 and the giveaway will close at 11:59PM on Friday, March 13, 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. Good luck!

For more recipes and inspiration, head on over to the Ozery’s Pita Break Facebook page!


19 Comments March 6, 2015

Mid-morning snack–your diet’s demise?

That nibble you have between breakfast and lunch may be causing you to shed weight more slowly than if you were not having that snack. Research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that women who have this snack lost 7 percent of the body weight, compared to the 11 percent that women who did not have the snack.

The researchers believe this may be due to the short time period between breakfast and lunch, perhaps making the snack more something you have out of habit rather than hunger.

Another tidbit from the study? Women who report snacking twice a day consume  more fibre than those who don’t snack twice or more daily.

(To store your post-workout carbs (and your candy stash, we all deserve a gummy bear now and then!), check out these canisters above from Jonathan Adler; spotted them at his shop in San Fran).

1 Comment November 29, 2011

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