Category: healthy eating

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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Check In One: The Good and The Bad on My Healthy Start

Week Six: Healthy Living

My first week is officially done in my healthy lifestyle challenge and I had quite a few ups and downs. While I am not 100% happy with how well I committed to it, I can’t look back but only forward as tomorrow is always a new day. I need to focus on my overall health and well being and each positive and healthy step forward is a win for me.

Check In One

So here is the breakdown:

Last week’s goals: 

  • 2 pound weight loss.  Completed!! Woohoo!!
  • Follow my vegetarian diet with a meal plan. I stuck to this like glue and while I wish I had some additional emotional support for this change I am happy with how I feel and I am sure my loved ones will too over time.
  • Yoga four times a week. I managed to complete my yoga practice twice this week and it made me feel so good! I love how my body feels so relaxed afterwards and this will be something I will do more of.
  • Daily evening meditation. While I did complete this in the bath (the only time I am given absolute and complete silence) it still felt good to just quiet my mind and focus on nothing.
  • Daily squat, lunge, push up and crunch challenge. I actually kind of forgot about this one so this week I am going to make a fitness calendar to keep myself on track!
  • Run daily for five minutes (I am starting out here!!). Does chasing after kids at soccer count??
  • Stay hydrated with eight glasses of water a day. This is the part I loved the most and left me feeling less bloated.
  • 10,000 step minimum a day. Oops, not even close! I was very bad last week while on vacation!

This week’s goal:

  • 1-2 pound weight loss
  • Continue to maintain my vegetarian diet with a meal plan.
  • Yoga fours times this week.
  • Daily evening meditation.
  • Daily squat, lunge, push up and crunch challenge with a fitness calendar.
  • Two litres of water a day.
  • 10,000 steps minimum a day.
  • Daily morning detox tea.

Make sure you check out my initial post on my healthy start and enter to win a giveaway to focus on your healthy start!

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Natural Detox with Purgo Teatox to Feel Better and Re-Balance Your Body

Purgo Teatox review

Since one of the areas I wanted to re-focus and examine is what I am eating and change-up my diet, I thought it would be a pretty great idea to kick this off with a detox. But where to start? I have seen many ‘detox’ diets online but these are not for me. I could not stick to a liquid diet nor would I be able to do so and have energy for work and the boys. What I was looking for was that something that could help heal my gut that would be easy to follow and not be too restrictive.

Purgo Teatox review

I was on Twitter when I came across Purgo Teatox on Twitter. After heading over to their website, I read the incredible story that founded the Purgo Tea and realized I had a lot in common with Ben. Over the last couple of years, I have been neglecting my health, making poor choices and constantly remained stressed. Some days my stomach hurt and other days I just had poor energy levels. I was not myself but did not know where to start. I started by removing gluten from my diet but even this alone was not enough. I needed something natural to help heal my gut from the inside out.

Purgo Teatox

Purgo Tea is a two tea system that works by using all natural tea formulas to cleanse, detoxify and balance your body. It comes in either a fourteen day plan or a twenty-eight day plan.

Purgo Teatox Review

The Morning Detox is had to drink every morning before you consume food or coffee. The Morning Detox contains: sencha, goji, dandelion, lemon grass, hibiscus, chamomile, acai and ginseng. It has a pleasant taste (better than some of the other herbal teas I have tried) with a slightly pink/red colour to it. I added the tiniest amount of honey to sweeten it up but the hardest part was remembering to have my cup before I had my coffee. For some reason I had such a hard time with this! Purgo Tea recommends using a calendar to help remember to drink this first which I found beneficial for me in remembering to brew my tea first.

Purgo Teatox Review

The Evening Cleanse is made every other night and works to help relieve bloating naturally and effectively. The Evening Cleanse is made up of Locust plant, sencha, key lime, lotus leaf, cassla see, pu’reh, oolong and chamomile. I found this was extremely effective at cleansing my body but I usually saw the results the night after which was nice because other natural cleansers can be quite painful and immediate. I found the tea relaxing and semi sweet with no need to add anything extra in.

Purgo Teatox Review

Purgo Tea encourages you to follow these four steps: drink your morning detox tea, eat nourishing food, exercise for at least thirty minutes and drink your evening cleanse. I love that Purgo Tea encourages you to live healthy and nourish your body instead of starving it or restricting it. While I did not lose extra weight on the detox, I felt better inside and out, less bloated and my stomach felt lighter (if you have ever suffered from food sensitivities I am sure you know what I mean!).

You can find more about Purgo Tea on their website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Orders can be placed on their website and shipping is free in Canada.

Have you tried a tea detox before? What are your experiences and what do you look for? 

Disclosure: I received a fourteen day trial of the above mentioned products free of charge in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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