Archives for category: Grocery

It seems as if cold and flu season has snuck around again. Biting me in the butt  this time around! I’m not one for taking a bunch of medications to fight off a cold, I prefer a more natural method of healing. Lord knows I love food so I have been consuming anything I can to help myself feel better. I wanted to share some of the foods and natural remedies that I have been shoving my face with while fighting the cold and flu season.

Emergen-C 

This is a tiny little packet filled with a powerful blend of vitamins, antioxidants, nutrients, electrolytes and more that all help to enhance your immune system and give you energy. Available in a variety of flavours also in a kids formula. You can find Emergen-C at most drug stores in single and boxed packets. They taste good and are so easy to consume.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon has been used for years as a natural remedy for many ailments. Cinnamon aids in clearing sinuses, clearing cough, works as an antibacterial and aids in circulation. In its powder form it’s easy to add to smoothies, plus it tastes great to it’s easy to consume. You can also boil cinnamon sticks in water on the stove then steep your tea in the cinnamon water for drinking.

Honey

This is one of the most common natural treatments for coughs and colds. When added to a steaming tea it helps to sooth and protect a sore throat and eases coughing. It also has  many antibacterial components and helps the spread of micro organisms in the body. Honey is full of vitamins and minerals. When purchasing honey remember the darker the honey the more antioxidants. Most importantly, honey doesn’t contain any chemicals or harmful ingredients that are commonly found in other medicines, therefore making it free from side-effects.

Happy Planet Health Drinks

Vancouver based company Happy Planet has an excellent little remedy to help you feel better, faster. Happy Planet Shots are little 75ml bottles of natural vitamin extracts, minerals and more that aim to make you feel better naturally. I recommend their ‘Immunity’ shot that contains, Vitamin C, Echinacea, elderberry, ginger roots and many more medicinal and non-medicinal ingredients. Happy Planet shots don’t contain any added sugars, colours or preservatives and come at a reasonable price. You can find 2 for $5 at Whole Foods Market or usually around $3 a bottle at many drug stores in Canada and the United States. Best of all they taste great and are available in a variety of remedies.

Ginger

Ginger is a spicy little remedy that hosts a strong anti-viral property. When boiled in water and drank as a tea it can helpt to reduce fever, treat sore throats and inflammation of the mucous membrane aka a runny rose. Ginger can be easily added to smoothies and blends surprisingly well. Add ginger to a super smoothie for an added health boost. Ginger can easily be found at any grocery store. So there you have it a few things to help keep your feeling healthy this cold season. Along with many other things such as lots of fresh fruit and vegetables these are some of my favourite remedies.

East Indian Food

Speaking of spice, Indian food is another excellent thing to consume when fighting a cold. Many Indian dishes contain garlic, chilis, cumin and an abundance of other spices that make you sweat and your nose run which helps to clear out a virus our of you system faster. Many spices also have antibacterial and antioxidative properties. Check out Gurpareet Bains (the creator of the world’s healthiest curry) website that has a variety of  ‘Indian Superfood’ recipes that will have you fighting off that cold faster than you can say “butter chicken”. Other spicy dishes will work as well such as Thai, Hanan or Szechuan.

So there you have it, a few natural remedies to use the next time you’re starting to feel under the weather. I’d love to hear some of your favourite cold and flu busting remedies!

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Do you have a foodie in your life to shop for this holiday season? Or maybe you are a foodie, looking to add a little something to your Christmas wish list? I’ve put together a list of a few of my favourite food lovers themed holidays gifts. So have a peek.

First item up is this retro cow-girl print apron. How cute and unique is this? This little sweet treat of an apron is sure to bring a smile to the face of your daughter, friend, mother, aunt and also makes a fun bridal shower gift. Made by Carolyn West of Carolyn’s Aprons you can buy this item for $39.95 on www.getgoretro.com Love it!

What’s more thoughtful than a personalized gift? This rolling-pin is handmade from solid birch and customized handles. It’s a full size, working kitchen utensil, ready for whatever pie crust your bringing its way. The designs on the rolling-pin are wood burned by hand and can be custom designed to fit any theme. Maybe flames on it for your hubby or a sweet flower design for your sister? I just like this one because of a certain M.S. I know, wink-wink. You can contact the designer directly and she is happy to help you. Only $28 on www.etsy.com

Next up are Eggies. If you haven’t already seen these on tv don’t let the cheesy infomercial scare you away. These are actually very handy little items. You simply crack an egg into an Eggies container and boil away like you would a regular egg. When done there is no peeling, no burning, less stinky egg smell, you just open and your done. One of my favourite things about Eggies is that the bottom is flat so you can make deviled eggs to stand up on a platter. Perfect gift for a hostess or to use if you’re hosting a party yourself this holiday season. They are only $14.99 in Canada ($10 in the states) and comes with 12 Eggies containers and 2 egg slices which comes in handy for salads and such. www.Eggies.ca

These adorable cupcake timers are the sweetest gift for the baker in your life. They come in a variety of colours. Just leave it on your counter and see how many people try to take a bite. A handy little gift to have, especially over the holidays when you’re cooking more than one thing at a time. Available for $22.99 on www.etsy.com

This is a unique blend of spices from the gorgeous host of Top Chef, Padma Lakshmi. I choose this latina spice blend as it is such an interesting blend of flavours that most North American mouths aren’t used to. Tastes incredible when blended in with ground beef for burgers, spaghetti, meatloaf or also used in grilling chicken. It’s also gluten-free which is perfect for the celiac on your list. Available for the low price of $7.20 on www.urbanaccents.com

This is one of my favourite new cook books from Chef Emeril Lagasse. Full of amazing ideas from side dishes to desserts and more. All based on ingredients you can easily pick up from your local farmer’s market. This cook book is going to be my sidekick this summer while grocery shopping. The fresh local ingredients list and recipes on every page are all a must try. Available at www.Amazon.ca for $16.99 plus free shipping!


What’s a better hostess gift than a fantastic bottle of wine? This Okanagan winery called Moon Curser formerly known at Twisted Tree Vineyards has an amazing repertoire of reds. All wines are made from grapes grown exclusively on the East Bench in Osoyoos. They are strong, full-bodied sometimes smoky wines that are sure to be a hit for any wine lover on your list. Another reason why I like Moon Cursor wines is that they support local farmers who supply the grapes for this wine. So next time you’re sipping on that Moon Cursor Cabernet Sauvignon it just could have been hand planted by me at my boyfriend’s family vineyard in Osoyoos. One of my favourite wines from Moon Curser is there Contraband which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (29%), Carmenere (23%), Malbec (23%), Merlot (20%), Cabernet Franc (4%) and Petit Verdot (1%). Available at fine wine retailers or at www.mooncurser.com for $25 a bottle.

Last but not least on this foodie Christmas wish list are glamour gloves. The fanciest way to wash those Christmas dinner plates. You need something to make washing dishes fun right? These plastic dish washing gloves come adored with accents, including a faux diamond ring! These are so cute I’m tempted to wear these even when I’m not washing dishes! Available on www.simply-whimsical.com in a variety of colours for $15.

Hope everyone has a lovely holiday season. Please remember to help those in need this Christmas and make a donation to your local food bank. There are over 70,000 people in British Columbia that rely on your generous donations.

Happy Holidays!

At lunch time for many people having  just 1 turkey wrap just isn’t enough to keep you full untill diner time. Many people load up on crackers or what have you to keep their tummies from rumbling for a mid afternoon snack. Here’s a little  trick that I recently discovered (possibly invented – patent pending haha).  To accompany your light lunch. Make a smoothie,but not just any smoothie – an oatmeal smoothie. Since oatmeal is a soluble fibre is slows your digestive system which helps you to feel fuller longer. Oats boost

A wrap and an oatmeal smoothie. A filling lunch option.

your fibre intake and are extremely beneficial to ones health.  Oats are considered a heart healthy food and help lower the rick of  heart disease.  Eating oatmeal can assist in stabilising your blood sugar as well as work as an anti carcinogenic which fights cancer. Sounds pretty good right? Personally I prefer Quaker banana nut oatmeal. It adds good texture and flavour to a smoothie.  This is my recipe for my all time favourite lunch time smoothie.

1 package Quaker banana nut oatmeal

3 tbsp water

2 cups vanilla soy milk

1 hand full frozen field berry mix

1/2 a handful of fresh raspberries

3-4 tbsp raspberry yogurt (any flavoured yogurt will do)

1 tsp of matcha green tea (optional)

Now try that and tell me you don’t love it!

Today I decided to try a recipe that I came across on  the very addicting website www.pinterest.com. These No-Bake Energy Bites sounded like just the thing I needed, sweet without the calories. Who doesn’t want that, right? I went to my nearest Capers aka Whole Foods Market to get the ingredients that I needed. After my shopping experience in Trader Joe’s on the weekend and seeing what great prices the lucky Americans get on organic food I was totally let down by what Capers Market had to offer.  I needed to get a bottle of vanilla extract, which was going for $1.99 a bottle at Trader Joe’s, the price of vanilla extract at the Canadian equivalent of Trader Joe’s? $7.99 a bottle! That’s craziness, why do Canadian always have to pay so much more for everything? Capers Market was a complete let down as they had such a small bulk food section and not the right prices. So I picked up  a few things from there and headed over to the trusty ol’ Great Canadian Superstore where I found vanilla extract for $2.99 a bottle, plus I picked up an awesomes weater from their Joe Fresh label (love that I can grocery shop and get new clothes and makeup and the same time!). Once I finally had all the ingredients I needed I headed home to make the bites. They are very simple to make, hardly take any time and don’t make much of a mess either. I will definitely be making these again. The recipe below yields about 10 bites which just is the perfect amount you can eat before getting sick of them. This is my adaptation of the Pinterest recipe.


Ingredients:

1 cup Oatmeal

1/2 cup creamy salted peanut butter (or another nut butter of your choice)

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes

1/2 ground of whole flax-seed

1/2 milk chocolate chips

1tbsp vanilla

Directions:

Mix all above ingredients in bowl until throughly incorporated. Let chill in fridge for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into medium-sized balls and enjoy. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated. Lasts up to one week.

I have been hearing for months from friends that Trader Joe’s grocery store in the states is amazing. Anyone I know who goes over for cross-border shopping has been telling me that it’s like a Whole Foods Market except a lot less expensice. I finally had a chance to go this weekend to the Bellingham location on a shopping trip with a friend of mine. The parking lot was a nightmare (probably because of the upcoming American Thanksgiving) and the store was ridiculously busy but I managed to fanagle my way down the aisles and bought some ‘border friendly crossing” food. I couldn’t belive how good the prices were. Another great thing about the Trader Joe’s label is that they promise NO trans-fats, No MSG, No genetically modified ingredients and NO artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. I wanted to buy wanted to bring home the whole store. The stores itself was on the smaller side but still managed to have everything one would need. The employees are all very friendly and were  decked out in funky Hawaiian shirts & handing out yummy samples.  Here’s a few of the items I picked up at Trader Joe’s this weekend.

Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s – I assume that these cookie are only for the holiday season so get them while you can. These are basically oreos with REAL pieces of candy cane in the icing.  Why hasn’t oreo thought of this sooner? A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Great little treat with a cup of tea on a cold winter night. Even better, the box is huge and comes with three rows of cookies.

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt  – Himalayan salt has many benefits. It is full of minerals such as potassium, iron and magnesium. It can stimulate circulation and helps remove toxins. Not to mention it’s much for flavourful than regular table salt. The Trader Joe’s version comes with a built-in grinder and is only $1.99 a bottle.

Organic Peanut Butter –  I’m a huge fan of peanut butter, I like mine soft, salted and creamy. If it’s organic even better. This peanut butter covers all those bases and comes at the right price as well. I’ll be picking this up again next time I’m at Trader Joe’s.

Organic Sugar – This sugar from the Trader Joe’s label is organic and reasonably priced. It comes from evaporated cane sugar and is very flavourful. With zero of polyunsaturated, trans, monosaturated fats per 2 tablespoons that is pretty darn good in my books.

Split Pea Soup – Mmmmmm thick and creamy  split pea soup, what could be better on a gloomy cold day? This soup is not only tasty but it’s inexpensive as well, only $1.99 a can. It’s seasoned with sea salt, cracked pepper, basil. Perfect for celiacs as well or those with lactose intolerance as  it is gluten-free.

I will definitely be stopping at Trader Joe’s next time I do a south of the border shopping trip and I can’t wait to see what I’ll discover on my next venture into  Joe’s world. For those American readers lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe’s I would love to know some of your favourite products found at Trader Joe’s?