FitFinds

My blog about fit & healthy discoveries!

Archive for the category “Healthy Eats”

Chia Love

Talk about tiny little seeds that pack a nutritional punch. Rich in fibre, omega-3s, antioxidants and iron, chia seeds are considered a leading super-food.

They’re also versatile and tasty when added to foods such as yogurt, oatmeal, scrambled eggs or smoothies.

Lately, I’ve been drinking-up a daily dose, thanks to trachealth’s convenient packets and my favourite Soda Stream.

Chia and soda stream

Available in a few flavours, I’m loving Strawberry Lemonade.  Just one packet has 80 calories, 10grams of carbs, 4grams of fibre and 2grams of protein.

Sweetened with stevia, I add one serving to about 1 litre of water (lightly carbonated) for a perfectly light and refreshing drink. What’s more, when left for an hour or so, the chia seeds take on a deliciously smooth, jello-like texture which I find richly satisfying.

So where does one find these magical little packets of chia goodness?

Check out Nutrition House – specifically the one under the Bay (at Bloor).  Or Healthy Planet, located on the Danforth.

#ch-ch-ch-chiA!

 

 

 

 

My latest greatest and tastiest…

A quick post featuring a few of my current favourite things:

Kewaza Protein balls:
Holy incredibleness is all I can say! Super clean ingredients, amazing (!) intense cocoa and rich peanut butter flavor. Low in calories and natural sugar. These balls are the bomb! Since finding them a few weeks a go, I swear I’ve become a PR agent – telling everyone I know, sharing a pack with those deserving (ha ha). So much, my local Noah’s ran out, but they’ve since re-stocked. Thank you very much!kewaza


Karma Leg Warmers:

My Flashdance look combines comfort with coziness. Yoga with dance. I’m loving these leg warmers made by Karma. More than that, when they arrived by courier, inside was a lucky dollar coin with a note to pay it forward and share good karma, or hold on to it as a gift. “A small token can empower a big change.” So cool! Leg warmers

Hard Candy Fitness:
Probably the best spin studio in the city. Bikes are smooth. Huge amount of space between riders. Plasma screens, killer sound system – including live DJ – on Friday nights. Harder is better, and this gym delivers! Highly recommend a test-ride. #NosweatNocandy Hard Canday

Hot Vanilla-Protein-Milk
My healthy twist on hot chocolate during cold wintery months: Unsweetened almond milk, a scoop of Genuine Health’s proteins+ vanilla with a dash of cinnamon. Blend into a smoothie. Pop into a mug and microwave for about 1.5 minutes. Add a pinch of maple syrup, drink and enjoy. Vanilla hot choc

YYoga Queen West
Stunning new space on Queen St. West. Gorgeous yoga studios, spin room, change rooms and boutique. I could go on and on about this place! Tons of classes and the nicest staff. I took a 30-day pass recently and got my serious sweat-on, thanks to Jock Yoga classes, M-F, 6:45 AM. YYoga

Simply Whey Bar

With SO many protein bars on the market today, how do you choose?

For me personally, I go for ones that aren’t loaded with a ton of ingredients and contain good quality protein.  I look for bars under or around 200 calories, low in sugar (5 grams or so) and carbs (15 grams), and provide about 15 grams of protein.

I seriously avoid anything chocolate coated (preferring REAL dark chocolate) – same for bars containing sugar alcohols, sucralose, corn syrup, and any other sneaky fillers disguised as ‘healthy’.

Currently, my favourite is the new Simply Whey protein bar.  It meets all of the above – plus delivers great crispy texture and coconut taste.WHEYC-2

For a truly outstanding snack, I’ll slice a bar lengthwise in half, and spread organic coconut oil and peanut butter on the 2 halves.  Seriously off the charts delicious! (I’ll have to take a photo and tweet sometime.)

Find the Simply Whey bars at all leading health and grocery stores, including Bulk Barn – which conveniently enough – I now buy my organic coconut oil and organic peanut butter at too :).

Vega’s Maca Chocolate Bar

Those who know me, know I love dark chocolate – every day. Lindt 85% has remained a staple for years (and years), but every now and again I’ll try another brand.

While Vega’s maca chocolate bar isn’t exactly ‘new’, I recently discovered it at the CHFA Show in Toronto.  And by discovered, I mean devoured it!

Containing 70% dark chocolate infused with maca root powder (a super-food providing a host of health benefits including energy, stamina and hormonal balance), this bar reminded me of the raw chocolate I used to buy from Chocosol years a go.

Its potent taste provides the perfect amount of bitter with sweet. Its smooth texture is really nice, same for its easy ‘snap’ into bite-sized squares.

One bar down, and I can already sense a new addiction (sorry Lindt!) on my horizon.  A guilt-free one too.  That’s because this bar is considered a health food, with a daily recommended dosage of 1 bar/day!

I’ll take that kind of recommendation gladly….after lunch, with a cup of matcha green tea.

Talk about sensory heaven. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s dose!

Unjunk Your Junk Food

Potato chips, pop and ice cream – part of a healthy diet?  They can be, IF you know which brands to skip and those to enjoy.

Enter: Unjunk Your Junk Food, by Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer (the creative force behind NaturallySavvy.com) with chief nutrition expert, Lisa Tsakos.

Whether you’re a salty or sweet person, inside this guide you will find healthier, just as tasty alternatives to your favourite snack brands -from Doritos to Oreos, Vitamin Water to Special K bars.

Beyond food swaps, it’s also loaded with tons of information about commonly used ingredients, what to look for when reading labels, and how best to avoid the worst of the bunch.

For example, I knew high fructose corn syrup (found in colas, ice cream and cereals) was bad, but didn’t realize when consumed it goes directly into the liver where it is converted into fat. What’s more, new research shows fructose (like that in HFCS) causes cancer cells to metastasize in a way that other sugars don’t! Lovely.

Bottom line, the more informed choices you can make when it comes to your diet, the better your choices can be.  In the case of junk food, this couldn’t be more true.

And thanks to Unjunk your Junk Food, you really CAN have your cake, and eat it (guilt-free) too!

For more healthy inspiration, I highly recommend NaturallySavvy.com as your go-to resource. Bookmark it now and visit often for the latest news, product reviewsFacebook/Twitter give-aways and more.

Also join their edible (R)evolution, and get a free excerpt of Unjunk your Junk Food! Visit: http://www.naturallysavvy.com/book/unjunk-your-junk-food                                             

Wilderness Family’s Coconut Spread

Hello new healthy addiction!

I recently decided to give-up peanut butter and swap-it for something healthier. One visit to The Carrot Common, and I found my answer: A sweet, melt-on-your toast coconut spread made by Wilderness Family Naturals.

No wonder the coconut-craze is so bloody popular, this stuff is amazing!

Besides its insanely delicious taste and buttery texture, the coconut (specifically its natural oil), is a super-food unlike any other. Here are just a few health benefits:

  • Used for energy, not stored as fat
  • Promotes a faster metabolism, with easier weight loss 
  • Increases immunity
  • Supports heart health
  • Promotes healthy skin, hair and nails
  • Improves thyroid function

What’s great about this particular spread too – is that not only is it organic, it’s made from fresh coconut meat that is dried at low temperatures, and cooled without heating. (Meaning, it’s pretty close to raw, and not overly processed like the majority of other coconut products.)

For all you almond butter/peanut butter lovers out there, I urge you to give this coconut spread a try! You won’t believe the difference in your energy and digestion…not to mention how wonderful it tastes in baking, smoothies, on toast – pretty much anything!

To learn more, visit: www.wildernessfamilynaturals.com

For more on the amazing health benefits of coconut oil, check-out this article by Dr. Mercola.

Prana’s Organic Chia Oil

Is it a supplement or a condiment/dressing?  Call it what you will, but it’s definitely tasty and extremely good for your heart, skin, hair, nails, joints, mood and more.

I’m referring to Prana’s Cold pressed Organic Chia Oil.

Made from ground chia seeds, it provides a whopping amount of Omega-3s per tablespoon (8.5 grams!), has a delicious nutty taste and subtle sweet aroma.  And thanks to its naturally occurring antioxidants which protect the essential fatty acids, it’s also a very stable oil (doesn’t go rancid so quickly -unlike flax or fish oils).

Other benefits include:

100% organic-vegan-raw • Shelf stable for 1 year • No fishy tasteNo cholesterol • No risk of heavy metal contaminationEasy to integrate in your daily diet.

I enjoy it most on my salads or rice bowls, as well as in smoothies, yogurt or oatmeal.  I absolutely love its nutty taste, not to mention the healthy fats I know it’s feeding my entire body.

Available at health food stores, learn more about Prana’s Organic Chia Oil here: http://www.pranana.com/en/chia_oil.php

Sibu Beauty Chocolates

Move over chia, there’s a new superfood on the scene.  Chocolate-covered too! 

Coined the ‘holy fruit’, ‘the fountain of youth in a berry’, sea buckthorn really isn’t new.  Tibetan people have been enjoying it for hundreds of years.   And according to recent research, it may hold the secret to their very long, very healthy (they don’t get sick!) and vibrant lives.

But the real kicker? Sea buckthorn promotes ageless, youthful-looking skin.  For real.

Containing 190 bioactive compounds, it provides a superior source Omega 3, 6, 7 and 9, plus a host of antioxidants and vitamins including  A, B, C & E.  There’s simply no other ‘skin food’ source like it.

Now for the chocolate part…

Sibu Beauty, the world’s largest purveyor of Himalayan sea buckthorn, recently added dark and milk chocolate truffles containing 250 mg of sea buckthorn oil to its extensive line of skin care formulas and supplements. 

For a dark chocloate lover like me, these truffles are decadent tasting, rich and smooth.  Delicious! Available in dark mint flavour or milk orange, just 1 satisfies a chocolate-fix -and then some.

Now will these infused chocolates make my skin more beautiful?  I’m not too concerned. Mainly because I’m also taking a sea buckthorn supplement and enjoy sea buckthorn tea – daily.  

Such is the fountain of youth my friends…I say eat and drink it up.

(For more, check out a recent article in Town & Country magazine.  You couldn’t ask for a better, more convincing article about sea buckthorn!)

Allergic Solution, Muffin Mix

I love muffins.  Like, really love muffins.

Unfortunately, healthy muffins are very hard to come-by.  Hello, a typical Starbucks or Second Cup muffin packs about 350+ calories, 30 grams+ of sugar, 10 grams+ of fat!

So what’s a muffin lover like me to do?  Besides enjoying the occasional Delica Superfood muffin, or my sister’s fantastic creations…. make my own, right?! 

Unfortunately, I’m not much of a healthy baker, nor do I have a a pantry featuring almond flour, coconut oil, flax, etc.

Enter Allergic Solution, a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free (everything-free) brand of mixes, designed for those with special food allergies (or not) and want great-tasting muffins, cake, bread, etc. without the hassle of buying multiple ingredients.

For muffins, simply add olive oil, almond milk, your preferred sweetener plus some water (you can also add coconut oil, berries, currants, cinnamon – anything you want really) and bake for about 25 minutes. 

Besides being WAY less in calories, fat, bad carbs and next to no sugar, muffins turn-out plump and tasty!  (I like to top mine with peanut butter/hemp butter, and spread with a touch of jam.)

Now that I’m using my muffin pan more often, I think I’m ready to try Allergic Solution’s carob cake mix for some healthy cupcakes :).

Look for Allergic Solution mixes at Noah’s and other health food stores.

To learn more, visit: www.allergicsolution.com

From Farm to Table: Kettle Corn Popcorn

I don’t eat popcorn too often, but when I do, I tend to like the homemade stuff best: A bit of oil, organic kernels, lots of salt. 

Unfortunately, corn doesn’t exactly have the greatest reputation.  It’s highly sprayed with toxic chemicals, genetically modified, and hidden in a ton of foods. 

So when I recently found From Farm to Table’s popcorn made from local, Ontario corn that’s GMO- and pesticide-free, I knew I had to try it. 

Their snack-sized bag of kettle corn also caught my attention due to its added Omega-3s derived from fish oils.  (Fish oils and popcorn? )  Not to mention its rather kind nutritional info: Just 90 calories per bag, 4 grams of fat, 14 grams of carbs and 6 grams of sugar. 

A few handfuls in, I was hooked! This popcorn is slightly sweet and salty, with no trace of fish – NONE.  It’s light and crunchy, and definitely hits the snack-spot.

According to the company’s website, they also make dill, butter & salt, white cheddar flavours – though I’ve yet to see on store shelves (here’s hoping soon!).

In the meantime, check out The Health Shoppe (on Yonge St.) to find the Kettle Corn.

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