Category: healthy eating

Refresh Your Summer Goals with Low Carb on the Go #DKCanada

DK Canada

Low Carb on the Go, contains more than eighty fast, healthy low carb recipes for busy lifestyles.

Refresh Your Summer Goals with Low Carb on the Go

About Low Carb on the Go

Low-carb eating is a sustainable lifestyle choice for people who want to lose weight, stabilize blood sugar, or simply avoid the afternoon carb coma. Fitting a low-carbohydrate diet into your busy day is easy with more than 80 meal and snack recipes bursting with modern, vegetable and protein packed ideas such as Chia Seed and Turmeric Pudding, Coconut and Vanilla Energy Balls, and Chicken Teriyaki with Cauliflower Rice. Discover tips and tricks for healthy meal prep, and the best way to store and transport your low-carb lunch to keep it looking and tasting fresh. Each recipe contains nutritional information, including the all-important carb count, as well as a handy guide to prep time and equipment you’ll need. With Low Carb on the Go, you can plan your low-carb diet and stick to it with more than 80 delicious, healthy meals and snacks for anytime, anywhere.

My Thoughts

I have been on a low carb, high protein and vegetable diet for the last three years. It has successfully helped me to lose and maintain a loss of just over one hundred pounds. When I first started the diet, I was afraid of all carbs – growing up in an Italian home carbs were essential right? But they also led me to a weight gain and being obese. What I didn’t truly understand was that carbs were not my enemy – it was the choice of carbs in combination with portion sizes (to this day I have a hard time with portion sizes and my kids constantly tease me about how much food I dish them when they say just a little please!).

Low Carb on the Go starts off with a great section on how low carbs is not no carbs and the difference between good and bad carbs. This is so important for all individuals to understand, whether you are following a low carb diet or not. It helps to understand the effects of bad carbs on our blood sugar and the way we feel overall after eating bad carbs (I am sure you can all relate to the crash and burn after a sugar rush?).

Variety is key to this diet – it can be so easy to get into a rut and then give up on following the diet. Trust me – I have done it myself so many times! Recipes can become boring, you want to stick with what works or you may not have enough ingredients to complete a recipe so you may just give up.

Planning ahead and keeping variety in your diet is so important – your body needs it! I liked how this book gives you recipe ideas for every type of meal – from breakfast to snacks to breads (yes breads!) to vegetarian and meat dishes. The recipes were easy to follow and are spread out over two pages. One page being an enticing photo of the completed recipe and the second an ingredient list and directions. Each recipe also contains a breakdown of the caloric content including carbohydrate count, protein, calories as well as many recipes have tips included to ensure the recipe comes out as planned. This is a great recipe book which will be extremely helpful in planning out and building on your low carb diet with its easy to follow instructions and simple recipes. It is a great starting point for those starting out on a low carb lifestyle.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Chapters and DK Canada.

About the Author

Sandra and  Mirko Stupning run the Low Carb Rezepte (Recipes) website, dedicated to everyday delicious low-carb recipes, which attracts more than two million unique visitors a year. The success of the website led Sandra and Mirko to publish their first e-book, The Low Carb Cookbook, to enthusiastic feedback. With a large social media presence (more than 130,000 likes on the Low Carb Rezepte Facebook page), Sandra and Mirko have successfully turned their collection of low-carb recipes into a high-profile brand. Sandra Stupning is a qualified nutritionist; both authors are passionate about cooking and healthy eating.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Cook Healthy and Quick #DKCanada

DK Canada

What is one of the greatest barriers people state when it comes to eating healthy? Time! Let Cook Healthy and Quick guide you to making healthy and fast meals for the whole family.

Cook Healthy and Quick Book Review

About Cook Healthy and Quick

Want to eat healthy – fast? Cook Healthy & Quick makes it simple. This cookbook includes 300 easy-to-follow recipes that tap into the latest health trends, from gluten-free eating to intermittent fasting. Bursting with ideas for clean and green salads, plant-based main courses, protein-paired breakfasts, and grab-and-go snacks that can all be prepared in 30 minutes or less, Cook Healthy & Quick doesn’t require combing through a health food store for the ingredients; they can all be found at your local supermarket.

Get inspired by the food photography throughout the book. Keep track of your calorie, fat, and sugar intake with the detailed nutritional information highlighted for each recipe, from Muffin Frittatas to No-Cook Mozzarella Salad to Marinated Lamb Chops, Cajun-Spiced Salmon, Crispy Seasoned Vegetable Chips, Chocolate-Covered Kiwi Pops, and more.

My Thoughts

Life is busy whether you have one partner staying at home or with both parents working. Many families (and individuals as well) are constantly on the go – from work, to doctor and dentist appointments, to extra curricular activities and to the holidays. The last thing so many of us want to do is to have to come home, cook an elaborate meal while trying to make sure it hits all the nutritional guidelines. Many of us have good intentions and will check the internet for recipes, print them out, get the ingredients but then when the day comes we are too tired and resort to the old and faithful recipes. I am one of those!

This recipe book breaks daily meals down not only by the type of meal (breakfast, soups, mains, sides, etc..) but also by time. Only have fifteen minutes to whip together something before soccer practice? Check the list in the beginning of the book and head straight to those pages to pick out a recipe. All of the recipes (and there are over 300) can be prepared in under thirty minutes. Most of the ingredients you will find at home in your pantry but some of the items are a bit more specific (for example not all of us stock veal or liver in our freezer). There are enough recipes that you could easily prepare two weeks of meals that are different each day and gives you plenty of variety while satisfying the whole families personal preferences.

The recipes each take up about one page and include a colour photo as well as easy to follow instructions that are straight and to the point leaving no guess-work. Each recipe also includes a colour coded nutritional guide that highlights whether the recipe is dairy free, low in saturated fat, high fiber, gluten free and so on. Which is very helpful for those that have dietary restrictions due to health or personal reasons.

This recipe book would make an excellent gift for the cook in your life, the individual that loves healthy food but just doesn’t have the time to prepare meals and even a young adult moving out on their own who needs to learn how to prepare healthy meals for themselves.

You can purchase a copy of this book on DK Canada and Amazon.

Rating: 4.5/5

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Snacking Made Healthy with Spokes

Snacking, despite its bad reputation, is actually quite important for our body. It helps keep our metabolism up and can actually help with weight loss goals. Many people have even shown that it is actually better for weight loss to eat several small meals a day spaced out every 2 to 3 hours. I swear by this rule and it has helped improve my physical well-being and aided in weight loss.

Where people tend to go wrong is what they are snacking on. We want our snacks to be easy to prepare but sometimes this can lead us to choose options that are not so healthy and full of empty and not so good calories. But we all get that craving for chips now and then (trust me I know!) and I think it’s so important to balance out our diet so we don’t cheat and feel worse afterwards.

Snacking Made Healthy with Spokes

Spokes, puffed potato snacks, are that perfect alternative for snacking that lets you feel like you are being bad but you aren’t because it so much better for you than other snacks like chips.

Spokes are a light, crunchy potato snack that is air puffed (no frying in oil here), lightly misted with oil and seasoned for their delicious taste. They taste delicious and are quite addictive (I am munching away on a bag of Barbecue Spokes as I am typing). One cup of Barbecue Spokes equals only 40 calories with 8gm of carbs and only 1gm of sugar. The brand is available in nine different flavours, including: Sea Salt, Mango Habanero, Sea Salt and Vinegar, Barbecue, Dill Pickle, Salt and Pepper, Fiesta Salsa, Sea Salted Caramel and Simply Bare.

Snacking Made Healthy with Spokes

Top nutritional benefits:

  • free of 11 major allergens including: dairy, gluten, wheat, soy and egg
  • no artificial preservatives or colours
  • no trans fat or cholesterol
  • Non GMO project verified
  • 40 calories per a cup

Besides tasting delicious, I loved the fact that they were created by a Canadian Mom who wanted better snack options for her family. Moms are pretty creative when it comes to keep our families healthy! She definitely developed quite a hit – I struggled with just having one cup. They were full of flavour and had that crunch that you are craving especially in the afternoon. The best part was that I felt guilt free munching on them because of how healthy they were.

Snacking Made Healthy With Spokes

You can learn more about Spokes on their website. Spokes are sold in many retailers across Canada including: Whole Foods, Goodness Me!, Planet Organic, Blush Lane, Safeway, Sobeys (Western Canada), Thrifty Foods, Metro (Quebec), London Drugs and Bed, Bath & Beyond. To locate the nearest retailer, head over to their handy retailer locator on their website.

Make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date and learn more about this healthy snack.

Disclosure: I received the above named product in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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My 100 Pound Weight Loss Journey: Healthy Food At Its Core

My 100 Pound Weight Loss Journey: Healthy Food at It's Core

On April 27th of last year, I decided my life needed to change. I was obese, unhealthy, had high blood pressure and my mental health was suffering for this. I knew that I needed to make a change and I had to make it quickly. But where to start? For me this was simple: my diet.

My 100 Pound Weight Loss Journey

The pictures above were taken roughly nine months apart from each other. When I took the one on the left I was just about to participate in the Race Around the Bay with my sister. Looking back at it now, I am still in shock at that picture – I never realized how big I was. I knew I fell in the obese category but I still thought I was okay. Mentally, I did not see that girl in the picture. But my weight was affecting other aspects of my life: playing with my kids, going on rides with my family, am I going to fit in that chair and the constant worrying about whether my clothes would fit.

When I started my weight loss journey, the first and most important aspect of my life that I changed was my diet. When people ask me even today how I did it, I always tell them that diet was the number one contributor to my weight loss. Now when I say diet, I don’t mean that I followed a fad diet – I mean that I ate smarter, made myself accountable and stopped beating myself up for poor choices. After coming across the Dietprobe site, I realised I needed to substitute unhealthy choices for healthier choices and learned more about nutrition. While I knew the basics, I was by far no expert and meeting with several dietitians really helped me to examine the choices I was making and how to make better choices.

My 100 Pound Weight Loss Journey: Healthy Food at It's Core

The top changes that I made in my life were:

  • I set myself a calorie and nutrient goal in My Fitness Pal on my phone and stuck with recording my daily intake every day. I record every item of food I eat – it is incredible how quickly calories add up when you start paying attention to what you eat and what your body really needs. I also included nutrient goals for carbohydrates, protein and fats. Your body needs a balanced diet and it is so important that you are giving your body the fuel it needs.
  • Food is fuel! Your body needs all the good food it can get so make each bite count. Cut out all processed foods and sugar. This included all white grains, juices, pop and caffeine (I now drink decaf coffee every day). I never cut out carbohydrates (and I think this is a very bad idea) but I made better choices by using whole grains and quinoa.
  • I drink a lot more water now. My water bottle is always by my side and you can use water enhancers or lemons to sweeten the taste of the water.
  • For personal reasons, when I started my journey I was a vegetarian. Because of my iron levels dropping I had to re-introduce meat back into my diet in the form of beef. I still don’t eat chicken, pork or fish for personal reasons. Protein is very important in your diet and you need to ensure you are eating enough whether it be vegetarian or not.

The  most difficult times during this journey was eating out. You are still going to want to go out with your friends to restaurants, buy take out or order in. The trick is to make healthier decisions in where you go and what you purchase.

My 100 Pound Weight Loss Journey: Healthy Food At It's Core

The Chopped Leaf is an excellent option for dining in, ordering in and take out. They offer high quality nutritional food that leaves you feeling full and good (not that bloated, I am going to regret this when I enter it in my calorie counter and in the morning feeling). They pride themselves on offering their customers high quality, fresh ingredients. They offer a wide range of products from whole bowls, salads, soups and they even have a kids menu. My personal favourite is the whole bowl number two which comes with spinach, chickpeas, roasted pecans, sun-dried cranberries, carrots, cucumbers, goddess sauce and warm basmati rice. The bowl was divine, a delicious blend of sweet with the cranberries and crunchy with the vegetables. The goddess sauce, I can’t even begin to explain how delicious that was. The bowl was the perfect size for lunch or dinner and filled me right up. The service was friendly, quick and brought right over to our table.

My 100 Pound Weight Loss Journey: Healthy Food At Its Core

To introduce you to their fabulous line of nutritious and clean food, The Chopped Leaf is offering you a free chef inspired salad! Just download the coupon here and head into the Dundas and Appleby store before March 31st, 2017 for some delicious (and free) chef inspired tastiness. Even if you are on a weight loss journey like mine, you don’t have to sacrifice eating out when you can have nutritional, delicious food found at The Chopped Leaf.

My 100 Pound Weight Loss: Healthy Eating at Its Core

Make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get inspired to make healthier choices and life a healthy lifestyle (not to mention the amazing photos that will leave you hungry!).

How has changing your diet affected your life? What do you look for when choosing restaurants to dine in or take out from?

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Week Two Update: Onward and Upwards With My Healthy Living Goals!

Week Six: Healthy Living

My second week turned out a lot better than my first week with regards to my goals, for which I am quite proud of. My daily routine became much easier to stick to (thankfully) and I have begun to notice some differences with how I feel mentally (not so foggy brained) and my stomach feels lighter and not so heavy feeling. This has made attaining my goals that much easier to accomplish.

So here is how I did with last week’s goals:

  • 1-2 pound weight loss. I maintained my weight but did not lose anything extra.
  • Continue to maintain my vegetarian diet with a meal plan This is becoming easier and easier! 
  • Yoga fours times this week. Honestly, yoga has become my favourite new form of exercise. It leaves me feeling so refreshed from head to toe.
  • Daily evening meditation.
  • Daily squat, lunge, push up and crunch challenge with a fitness calendar. I posted my calendar on the fridge so now I have no excuses! I go through each day highlighting what I have completed.
  • Two litres of water a day
  • 10,000 steps minimum a day. I did it!! I am so proud of myself – all week I reached a minimum of 10,000 steps.
  • Daily morning detox tea I am using Purgo teatox which I love. 

This week’s goals:

  • 1-2 pound weight loss.
  • Yoga four times this week.
  • Daily evening meditation.
  • Daily squat, lunge, push up, crunch and plank challenge.
  • Two litres of water a day.
  • 11,000 steps a day (got to up my goal a bit!).
  • Two 3km walks.

Here is my big surprise: I am taking part in the Canaccord Genuity Great Camp Adventure Walk on September 26th! I am officially ‘in training’ mode as my team-mate would like to complete the 10km walk. You will find more out on my upcoming walk for this great cause this week.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win a $50 Shoppers Drug Mart gift card!

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