Tag

Fit

Browsing

Next Level Wonderful Pistachios Crusted Salmon

Elaborate and sophisticated meals is not what I am known for at our house. I leave all the culinary heavy lifting to the Mister. Not quite sure why but the longer the list of ingredients I see in a recipe, the more intimidated I get. Probably because the more ingredients usually means more (preparation) time and more clean up at the end. Neither of which excite me. We made a pack at home to eat dinner together every night and in the kitchen not sitting on the couch in front the TV. I know it sounds a bit corny but I think it’s been integral to the success and strength of our relationship. With our work week hours being later than most, this sometimes becomes a challenge resulting to turning to quick fix dishes that can be on the table in 30 minutes or less.

Salmon is definitely a hit around here because it’s a super easy way to incorporate healthy Omega 3’s into our diets but let’s be real here, when you’re eating fish 1-2 times a week, you need to start getting a bit creative with your recipes. With salmon being so soft and fleshy I thought creating a pistachio crust using Wonderful Pistachios with a touch of honey and mustard would be a perfect juxtaposition of both taste and texture. Occurring to me while woofing down a handful of the brand’s addictive “Sweet & Salty” flavoured nuts. Sure there’s a few other nuts I could have chosen, so why Wonderful Pistachios? Besides tasting amazing, they are a source of vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and fibre, adding extra nutritional value to this ridiculously delicious protein option. Making this is pretty much fool proof for those of you who also get intimidated with Julia Childs-like recipes (trust me!) and literally goes well with almost anything.

PISTACHIO CRUSTED SALMON


Prep Time: 5 minutes     Cook Tim:e 20 minutes     Total Time: 25 minutes     Servings: 2


INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 salmon fillets (approx. 6 oz each, skin on)
  • half cup of crushed unsalted Wonderful Pistachios
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 tbsp course grain mustard (or Dijon)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive or canola oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Rinse salmon and pat dry with a paper towel. Arrange fillets on foil (or parchment paper) lined baking sheet, skin side down. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste
  3. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard and honey. Spoon mixture and spread evenly over top of each piece of fillet
  4. Coarsely chop pistachios in a food processor, coffee grinner or by hand and combine with Panko bread crumbs and oil. Spread pistachio mixture pressing lightly to adhere
  5. Bake until salmon is cooked through to your liking and nuts are golden for approximately 15-20 minutes. Let salmon rest for 5 minutes outside of the oven before serving. Pair with a side of your choice; salad, quuinoa or grilled veggies and enjoy!

This post is sponsored by Wonderful Pistachios®, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Snacking Just Got Fresher with Harvest Bakes

Guys, snacking just got a little easier and a whole lot healthier this month thanks to Country Harvest who has just launched the best thing since sliced bread (sorry, I couldn’t resist myself!) I have absolutely no shame in admitting that I am a serial snacker – big time! I eat small meals with several snacks throughout the day to keep me going but just like everyone else, having healthy snacks when I’m on-the-go all the time can be a bit of a challenge.  And let’s be honest, we ALL have good intentions when it comes to our food choices however we are all prone to fall off due to the options, or lack thereof, around us when we are not at home.

Over the past few weeks we (ok, mainly me) have been eating our way through Harvest Bakes snacks prior to it’s arrival in stores to see what all the hype was about. So what exactly are Harvest Bakes snacks? I know for thing thing, they are insanely delicious but to pigeon hole them into just one thing would be unfair. Yes, they are shaped in the form of a square like bread slices but they couldn’t be farther from. A flat bread if you will but will the density and texture of a baked good that is packed full of whole grains, protein, fibre and iron. And covering all the bases and making sure all palette preferences are accounted for, there are three delicious varieties to appease all; Wild Blueberry with Flax Seeds and Rolled Oats, Apple & Cinnamon with Raisons – my current favourite and Super Seedy & Quinoa with Sunflower, Flax, Pumpkin and Chia Seeds…I know that’s quite a mouthful isn’t it? All tasty. Super healthy and the perfect snack to pack, toast or spread your go-to topping on. I have yet to try toasting them, much preferring to smear natural peanut butter over top with sliced bananas sometimes even sprinkling with a dash of chopped pistachios – YUM right?!

Photos by Jilly Botting

Harvest Bakes are now available in the bakery aisle in your local grocery store. To learn more and to discover more nutritional information head to CountryHarvest.com

Make Your Move Towards Your 2017 Fit Goals in Joe Fresh Activewear

It’s the start of yet another year. Despite the frigid cold temps here, January is one of my favourite months because no  matter what has happened in the previous calendar year, January marks the beginning of something new and fresh (pun intended). And the best part is, wherever you are right now is far from who you will be at the end of 2017 and that excitement is what fuels me every single day. After a much needed break over the holidays, I’m kicking off the year by sharing four activewear looks I curated with the amazing team at Joe Fresh from their forthcoming Spring ’17 collection. To showcase how diverse and versatile the line is, I was able to show each look in three different ways, giving you guys more inspo and wearable options at a price point so amazing you’d be crazy to not get the entire head to toe looks.

As seen on JoeFresh.com

When it comes to activewear, I have seen and worn just about everything on the market so my standards when it comes to quality and functionality are higher than most. It’s so important to have the right support and fabrications in your clothes to allow you to feel and perform at your best, or chances are you’re not going to stay committed to working out. Joe Fresh has stepped things up this year and has created what I think is a very solid collection of activewear that can take you from the gym to the street (and everywhere in between) – that feels good, looks great, and is affordable…making it accessible to everyone!

If you were to take a peek inside my closet, you would find a common thread with my workout clothes. I have been known to get a bit crazy about tights. I am VERY particular with the cut and length, preferring a high waisted silhouette to give me adequate coverage in the rear during certain bending, yoga poses or lifting in the gym. Also, with  spring transitional weather being so unpredictable at times, the options of layers is always welcomed.

Photography by Jess Baumung for JoeFresh.com

Floral Running Active Jacket $39  –  Print Contrast Active Legging $29  –  Scoop Neck Active Tank $16  –  Reflective Active Long Sleeve Tee $29  –  Cut Out Active Tee $29

Check back here every Monday over the next month as I will be sharing a new look each week built around my fave pieces from the new collection, which will do doubt be yours as well. For more of my #MakeYourMove curated looks and to view the entire Joe Fresh activewear collection head to JoeFresh.com/MakeYourMove.

7 Ways to Avoid The Festive 15 This Holiday Season

It has arrived. The time of year that I like to refer to as the “Danger Zone“.  Sure, we’ve attended a handful of pre-holiday parties and most of us have done a great job in pacing ourselves when it comes to our food and cocktail intake. Until now. The weeks leading up to Christmas and New Years is when most people are likely to succumb to their weaknesses and over indulge. And how can we not…? If you’re lucky, during the holidays you are spending more time at home if you have taken a few days off, however that can mean unlimited access to the kitchen. Family and friends you go all year without seeing, invite you over and how could this not be a cause for celebration, right? Pair that with the temperature dropping far below zero, hectic holiday schedules, cocktail parties, dinner parties and missed workouts – it’s virtually impossible to escape the dreaded Festive 15. Ok, so calling it the “Festive 15” may be slightly dramatic because who really gains 15 lbs in the span of two weeks BUT by the time the New Year rolls around, it can sure feel like you have.

After feeling like complete and utter crap come January 2nd due to self induced food comas, a couple years ago I vowed to never start off the New Year feeling like I have to put in work to get back to my pre holiday weight. So, consider this my prezzie to you all, here’s 7 full proof ways to avoid weight gain during the holidays:


START YOUR DAY WITH PROTEIN

The way you start your day, is the way you live your life. Eating a protein-rich brekkie combined with some complex carbs, is like a match made in heaven.  Not like you need another reason to devour some Avocado Toast with Poached Eggs, otherwise known as the most popular meal posted on Instagram! This approach will help you feel full longer, prevent you from unhealthy snacking and give you the energy to tackle the day. You’ll also have enough energy to exercise and have the confidence to say “No” to unnecessary sweets.

A SHORT WORKOUT IS BETTER THAN NO WORKOUT!

Let’s not fool ourselves, most find fitting in daily workouts a challenge, so when the holiday season rolls around it seems virtually impossible to get to the gym. The only way to avoid skipping workouts when your schedule is tight is to make them both convenient and accessible.  For those days you can’t make it to the gym or your favourite class, make sure to have a backup plan to workout at home using your own body weight and minimal equipment. Exercise videos and apps, like my faves on AppleTV, are amazing options too. Invest in a medicine ball, resistance bands, skipping rope and/or a kettle bell that can you give you an effective total body workout right in the comfort of your living room.

AVOID BANKING CALORIES

I remember my younger days when I somehow convinced myself that if I cut back on my calories throughout the day, I could indulge at an event later that night. DUMBEST IDEA EVER! This theory, fuelled only by ignorance, just leads to pigging out. Why? You’re effing starving! It’s easy to get out of control when you’re faced with so many delicious options at a party. Always, and I mean always, eat a little something prior to leaving the house. First and foremost, if you’re a picky eater or have food restrictions, you won’t die of starvation for example if the hostess forgets that you’re a vegan or gluten intolerant. More importantly, it will take some of the hunger edge off but still leave you with some room to eat only what you need and nothing more once you arrive.

A mini plate of protein and veggies are my go-to; a salad with chicken or a piece of salmon with veggies. In my personal opinion, this is single-handedly the most underrated tip to avoid a weight gain, bloating, indigestion and binge eating during the holiday season.

CUT BACK ON BUBBLY BEVERAGES – OF ALL KINDS

Yep, I bet you never believed me – the lover of all champagnes and Prosecco, would be saying this however sadly it’s true. Bubbles are not our friends and is the biggest culprit of belly bloat. Even soda and sparkling mineral water like my current obsession Bottle Green, can be an issue. The carbon dioxide trapped in the bubbles of fizzy drinks causes a build up of air, which can often lead to gas.

AVOID MORNING-AFTER FOOD

Are you hosting family and friends at your place this year? Allow yourself to enjoy the meal you prepared or the items your visitors brings as part of a potluck but be sure to send your guests home with food filled tupperware. You may feel as though the tasty leftovers should be your compensation for being such a gracious host, but believe me, it’s the leftovers that will do you in!

BREW SOME HERBAL TEAS

Photo by Jess Baumung

This one should come as absolutely no surprise but research shows that herbal teas like peppermint and ginger, in addition to chamomile,  can help calm stomach muscles and reduce gas. No teabags in sight in your pantry? Boiling a knob of raw ginger in a pot of water or a cup of hot water with lemon can also do the trick.

DON’T SWEAR OFF DESSERTS

Remember that time when Mariah Carey was doing the “morsel diet” a decade ago where she would literally eat only three bites of any food she wanted, before discarding it to limit her intake of calories? Definitely not a healthy or recommended approach for weight management, but this method is quite effective and the perfect plan of attack for the dessert table during the holidays for people like me, who have a wicked sweet tooth. You’ll get that amazing first taste, a satisfying middle one and then the lingering third bite – that should have you satisfied.

Tech Talk: What You Need to Know About Apple TV 4G

I did a TV detox for almost a year. Not intentionally, but with Netflix, Shomi, Crave and other online streaming options allowing us to watch our fave programs on our laptops, what was once one of the most used things in my household ended up sitting on a console collecting considerable amount of dust. Well, a lot has changed around here since getting Apple TV. Since it’s launch in 2010, it’s design had really not evolved and it was still using an interface dating back to the iPod days, quite possibly the reason why the device has consistently been eclipsed by it’s prodigy siblings, the iPad and iPhone. If you’re one of those people who prefer to wait for a later generation of a product so a brand has time to get all the kinks out, then now would be the time to try out the best version to date of Apple TV.

The latest version has powerful hardware, a significantly redesigned remote and an operating system worthy of an Apple product in 2016. Plus, there’s a legit app store now, which turns the device into a killer platform for entertainment, workouts and gaming right in the comfort of your own living room.

Apple TV Fitness Apps

The ultra sleek new Siri remote not only looks attractive when placed on your coffee table or TV console, but it’s also super functional. Say goodbye to endless button pushing kids. With the smooth touch surface, selecting and navigating is made so much easier with swipe capabilities. In addition to the menu and play/pause buttons, which the remote had before, there is now a home button and volume controls. Plus, since it’s wireless you don’t even have to point it directly at the Apple TV console. Worried about having to add yet another remote to your collection? We’ve trained the intelligent Siri remote to adapt to work as our television remote control.

Apple TV Fitness AppsHere’s what you will receive with you Apple TV purchase. *Note HDMI cable is sold separately

Once you’ve set up your Apple TV, which can be done simply on the corresponding app on your iPhone, the well laid out home screen makes it easy to search iTunes for movies, shows and music, and search/download from the app store etc. There aren’t any third-party apps installed by default, which is kind of a good thing in my personal opinion. This means, only the apps you love and use frequently are displayed on the home screen. The only downfall so far to be honest, is not having access to some of the new and amazing third-party apps that have been developed for 2016 that are not available in Canada *welp*. I frothed at the mouth thinking of all the potential binge watching I could do on HBO, Showtime and HULU and the workouts on Beach Body On Demand but nope – no dice for us Canadian residents. However, there are still a handful of apps making Apple TV a worthwhile purchase even if you reside south of the border…and let’s start with some that will get/keep you in shape:

Apple TV fitness apps

Fitness Focused Apps

Think you have no time to get to the gym after work? Can’t get out of bed extra early to make it to that yoga class? Or better yet, need some inspiration for some active mobility stretches before you run? I’ve combed the app store and online to find fitness apps that ticked all the boxes; high quality videos of varying lengths and forms of exercise, affordable prices, an app perhaps with an iOS version that sends me push notifications to nudge me when I haven’t worked out. Even a corresponding Apple Watch app component that will tap into the watch’s sensors to track my heart rate and cals burned. This may be too much of an ask, but I remained hopeful. After spending some considerable time trolling and testing, I’ve realized there is a HUGE potential for health and fitness apps on this platform and has even got me thinking of someday creating my own third-party app. With the updated version of Apple TV, tvOS has made it much easier for third-party apps to be created, so I suspect we will see a lot more comprehensive fitness apps popping up in the near future. Although there are some great options out there, I still think the fitness focused apps haven’t reached their full potential yet. Here’s a few of the contenders that were able to meet some of my tough criteria…

Zova:

Apple TV Fitness AppsPhotography by JessBaumung.com

One of the first tvOS fitness apps created, Zova also comes highly recommended by the peeps at Apple. It offers a ton of free video content, which is awesome, and is even equipped with Apple Watch integration so you’re able to see your heart rate on the TV screen while you workout. However, you have to pay $10+ a month to unlock the premium version. Still cheap in comparison to most others though, but I would have liked to see at least one option in the app store that was available free to users. Furthermore, majority of the videos are much shorter than I would have liked to see – 15 mins or less and no instruction. There’s just a model demonstrating each move sans voiceover. On the plus side, Zova is great for those who want to be led through a quick ab workout, short flow sequence to start the day or pre run stretch routine.

Daily Burn:

Apple TV Fitness Apps

Daily Burn has been featured in Vanity Fair, the New York Times, Shape, Good Morning America and the Today Show because of the success of it’s subscribers and now I know why. With over 500 workouts in 20+ amazing programs from strength training, HIIT, weight training, yoga, dance and more – there is something for everyone. Plus, there is a new 30 minute Daily Burn 365 workout every single day at 9am EST that replays on demand for 24 hours, specifically designed for beginners. When you download the app on Apple TV, your eligible for a 30 day free trial – something that most apps should allow you to do so you can ensure you are getting what you’re promised prior to purchasing. Once your free month is up, the premium membership will run you $36.99/mth. Workouts average anywhere between 30-40 minutes making them great on their own but also works well when you add in a run or other cardio workout but the app does not sync with the Apple Watch to monitor calories burned and heart rate.

Grokker:

Apple TV fitness apps

This yoga focused app also provides users with nutritional plans and cooking videos for those who are looking for some food inspo. Grokker’s program ranges from one week to six weeks in length and the series are designed to save you time with over 70 goal oriented series to choose from. My suggestions, “Get Tight in 28“, “x5 Intensity“, “Daily Muscle Relief” and the “21 Day Relax Mindfulness Meditation“. Love that you can schedule workouts in the in-app calendar as a reminder of which series you should be doing next. Users can also easily track progress such as total minutes of exercise and calories burned to stay motivated. If you have an Apple Watch, you will be able to track your heart rate and active energy during both fitness and yoga workouts while also contributing to your Activity Rings. Free to download and use, but just like the rest of the more sophisticated fitness apps out there, you have to pay for the good stuff. A premium subscription enables you to download an unlimited number of premium videos per month and will cost you $14.99 or $119.99 monthly or annually respectively.

Cody:

Apple TV Fitness Apps

Cody is the priciest out of the bunch because you actually pay per plan, not by month – so if you’re looking for an affordable fitness app, this isn’t it! The cost depends mainly on which plan you pick but on average will cost you somewhere between $40-50 and there is no free trial option. Some may argue that it is in fact good value for money because the videos are super high quality plus Cody offers offline downloads so you can do your workouts on your iOS device while traveling. If you’re the type that likes a variety and prefers to switch things up each day, you may not love that the app forces you to stick within a program, however on the plus side, this is the best way to achieve results.

Honourable Mentions

I would be straight up lying if I told you this was my only use of my Apple TV at home. Let’s be honest here, there are a plethora of entertainment, news, music, food and television streaming apps to make you forget all about cable television. On heavy rotation at our place right now – Netflix, TED Talks, Shomi, CityTV, People Entertainment Weekly Network, The Scene, Kitchen Stories, Made to Measure (for all my fave fashion documentaries and movies), and RedBull TV.

Apple TV is available at Apple stores, Best Buy locations and online at Apple.com starting at $199.

Activia Women #InSync Series and Commercial

This year has been very emotional for me. The word “emotional” usually has a negative connotation to it, but in this particular instance, its all positive. A few months ago I was approached by Danone to be apart of an amazing campaign with Activia Yogurt. The very first thing that stood out about this potential partnership was that it did not appear to be a blatant product push. In fact, when I read the campaign overview I was surprised to see that the project was not product focused at all, but rather a chance for 9 Canadian women to be able to tell the country their story on how they live a balanced life.

Could this really be possible? Can a company actually want to focus on my personal story and journey, rather than promoting their existing products or a recent product launch? Well…turns out, yes they most certainly did and the timing couldn’t have been any more perfect. After the struggles I’ve had to endure, there has been many times where I wanted to give up and didn’t understand why I kept getting faced with so much adversity. However, 2016 has been my best year yet and I have finally started to reap the rewards of all the hard work I put into getting healthy and building a personal brand.

Activia Women InSync Series

I’ve fought my illness for a very long time, only becoming more successful with managing it’s ugly symptoms in recent years by learning to live in sync. Meaning, putting a system in place and developing a new lifestyle for myself that contained the right amount of exercise, activity, diet and meditation. Furthermore, also learning to create boundaries between my work and personal life. So goodbye to working until midnight and never having a day off.  Creating a more harmonious balance in my life not only helped facilitate my recovery, but it also allowed me to spend more time with my family, friends and to nurture the first serious relationship I had been involved in for what seemed like ages. Don’t get me wrong, this was no easy feat. This turn of events began almost five years ago and at this time, my full time job was to just get healthy. My weekdays were filled with medical appointments, meetings with my dietician, naturopath, acupuncturist, reiki specialist, chiropractor and RMT, oh and let me not forget my psychologist and the numerous Cognitive Behavioural Therapy classes I had to attend to help me deal mentally with everything going on. My illness isolated me and caused me to become anti-social, ultimately was the end of my engagement (which truth be told was a relationship that was flawed and toxic from the start) not to mention the tangible losses such as; my loss of income from not being able to work, my vehicle, and having to move back in with my parents as an adult. Trust me, it was a lot of loss all at once and looking back now, it’s not at all surprising why I was also suffering from depression and anxiety.

People always ask me how I found the strength to turn things around. To be honest, a lot from that time was a blur and I cannot really remember every single detail. I am athlete and competitive by nature so I think I just wasn’t going to go out without a fight. I knew truly deep down that up until that point, I had not done everything I could to rehabilitate myself, besides drowning my body in pharmaceutical meds prescribed by specialists and laying in bed watching my life pass me by – which was clearly not working. I mean, I didn’t think things could possibly get any worse, so I decided to attempt the alternative route with eastern medicine. This change of direction, in addition to my ridiculously supportive family, eliminating stress, changing my diet and consistent exercise was critical in getting me to where I am today.

As part of this multi-faceted campaign with Activia, I shot an individual commercial going a bit deeper into my personal story, which was shot earlier this summer in Montreal. When you live something day to day, it’s difficult to see how far you’ve come but being a part of this project has allowed me to reflect on everything that has happened and see my exponential growth. I cried uncontrollably the first three times I watched this video.  Almost not recognizing the person in it because just five years ago I was a young women on bed rest suffering from a debilitating illness not knowing what the future holds. My life has changed dramatically and through balance I’ve created, I feel strong, I am happy, I am creative, I feel limitless and I am finally in sync.

activia-chatelaine_100eos5d_2167

There’s so much more to come in this campaign and I can barely contain my excitement, so stay tuned. In the meantime, click here to learn more about the other 8 women and their stories, search the hashtag #InSync on social media or follow Activia Canada on Instagram and Youtube.

GapFit x AKT Hamptons Summer Retreat

As picky as I can be with my workouts, I’m just as particular about the clothes I wear when doing them. Gap has been making workout wear for several years now and it’s growing success and popularity was the catalyst for @GapFit launching separately on Instagram last week, which will focus solely on promoting the latest from the brand’s activewear collections. To celebrate their coming of age in the social space, the GapFit team hosted a fitness retreat in the Hamptons, the destination every New Yorker dreams of spending their summer at!

GapFit2016-Montauk_5580

GapFit2016-Montauk_4845

GapFit2016-Montauk_5503

GapFit2016-Montauk_5291

GapFit2016-Montauk_5163

GapFit2016-Montauk_5427

GapFit2016-Montauk_5954

So what was on the itinerary for this epic summer weekend? Sweat, sweat and more sweat. Gap teamed up with Canadian cutie and the creator of AKT in Motion, Anna Kaiser, to put us through a handful of workouts and ended the weekend with a stretching and foam rolling class designed for us to test out the GapFit’s hero pieces from the current collection. Women from all over the world arrived in Montauk last Friday (Editors from some of your fave glossies and digital publications; Vogue, Elle, Refinery 29, and Fashionista.com just to name a few) and stayed at the infamous beachside resort Gurney’s Montauk. If you’ve never been to the Hamptons before, the Gurney’s property is exactly what you would expect a hotel there to look like. Fresh minimal, clean aesthetic but not in a stuffy way. A very relaxed vibe that immediately makes you feel like you’re at home visiting a friend at their beachside compound.

Gurney's Montauk

gurneys montauk

gurneys montauk

Aside from the hotel being dreamy, it was the workout gear that got most of the ladies excited when we each arrived to our rooms. Beautifully coloured prints adorned the bras, tights and shorts and the perfect light weight tanks to layer over our looks during or post workout were all packed into the a black quilted Gap backpack. My faves –  Lightweight Mesh Tank and the Breathe Air Twist Back Tank, which both have GDry moisture wicking fabric to keep you cool and dry even during the most intense workouts. Not to be outdone by the Summer Sports gFast Training Tights and matching bra. I’m actually a “workout in my sports bra” kind of girl and the GapFit bras did not disappoint. It was legit 95 degrees during our Hamptons stay so we greatly appreciated the Coolmax® lining in the bras and four way stretch fabric.

GapFit AKT Summer Retreat

GapFit2016-Montauk_5640

GapFit2016-Montauk_4934

GapFit2016-Montauk_5623

GapFit2016-Montauk_5715

Capris are not my favourite thing and if you’ve been following me on snapchat you are already well aware of this. I have had many a rants about how I feel about my long legs in capri tights BUT I couldn’t deny the cuteness of the gFast cross training tights that also came with matches bras. Not only do they look good but their functional too! The four way stretch system in the tights allowed to move during our sessions with ease and they each seemed to retain their shape throughout the day without the fabric becoming baggy in the wrong areas (you know the unsightly sagging in the bum, crotch and waist areas). Also, have you ever had the drawstring from your favourite pair of tights come completely out of the waistband in the washing machine? It’s one of my pet peeves to be honest. The gFast capris include an adjustable enclosed drawcord to prevent this from ever happening and a flat lock system to also stop everyone’s worst nightmare – chaffing.

GapFit2016-Montauk_6218

GapFit2016-Montauk_6339

GapFit2016-Montauk_6406

GapFit2016-Montauk_6368Photography by Max Breslow Photography for GapFit

Special thanks to Gap Canada and GapFit for an unforgettable experience in Montauk. I left the Hamptons with sore muscles, a belly full of amazing seafood, new friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. All these GapFit looks are currently available in store and can also be found online at GapCanada.ca.

My Journey to Being Pain-Free with Genuine Health’s Fast Pain Relief+

When I created my site a few years back I made it a point to promise myself. It was to only align myself with brands that had products or services I would use if SoSasha.com didn’t exist. In other words, these things would have to be so good that I would use my hard earned money to purchase them. That was a barometer I felt I needed to have for myself to avoid getting caught up in promoting something just for a paycheque or free product etc which happens far too often in this industry. I was introduced to Genuine Health a while back and got immediately hooked on their Greens+ Extra Energy formula. A month or two later, the company rolled out a new line of vegan fermented protein products in the form of protein powders and bars. I was skeptical – I believed the brand was on to something with their Greens+ product line, but was certain that their fermented products wouldn’t measure up. Well, boy was I wrong. Turns out the brand’s Greek yogurt fermented powder is one of our favourite protein supplements and we have yet to find another protein bar that tastes as good as theirs. After my experience with Genuine Health products over the course of the last 7 months, I became intrigued and wanted to try other things.

I have shared my stories on my health condition more than a handful of times so most of you are well aware of my kidney diagnosis and other interrelated issues associated with chronic pain and gut health issues. The muscular and joint pain I have experienced since 2009 at times has been debilitating. I am not proud of the amount of pharmaceutical drugs I have pumped into my body but for years I thought it was the only way to survive. I found relief with medicinal marijuana but extended use just was not a viable option. It would cause me to eat the entire contents of my fridge and it was simply not practical for work and driving purposes. So, I have been suffering in silence trying to regulate the pain with diet and exercise and both may I had has given me dramatic results. However, there is still a few times a month where I am sidelined to crippling pain.

Genuine Health Fast Pain Relief+

Genuine Health

With my current track record with Genuine Health products when I discovered that they had branched out into pain relief, I couldn’t get my hands on the products fast enough. I did my research first and the first thing that stood out was the claim it worked in 5 days. “Impossible. There is no way that is accurate information!” was the first thing out of my mouth, followed by an eye roll. The second thing that caught my eye was the name Biovaflex, the key ingredient to Genuine Health’s FAST Pain Relief+ and FAST Joint Care+ products. This name was brand new to me but after doing some reading, I soon discovered the ingredient that dervices from natural eggshell membrane, has key bioactives that reduces pain and inflammation, while feeding the body all the essential nutrients we need for proper joint health and flexibility in addition to collagen, elastin and nourishing proteins.

Genuine Health

Ok, so back to this “results in 5 days” theory. I admit, I was a pessimist at first but when you suffer from pain as bad as I do, you would be a fool to not try an all-natural product that promises to keep pain at bay in a safe way. When the my package arrived, I immediately ripped open the box, read the instructions for the FAST Pain Relief+ and FAST Joint Care, while my boyfriend poured me a glass of water. I wanted to waste no time getting started. The former is a clinical strength supplement to help relieve acute pain caused by headaches, muscle aches, back pain and chronic flare-ups – and three out of four of these are the bane of my existence. In addition to this life altering ingredient we now know as Biovaflex, this miracle pill also includes Devil’s Claw (a natural inflammatory ingredient) and White Willow Bark, nature’s Asprin, making it the fastest, most natural and effective way to manage pain. And to be honest, the word fast is in the product names for a reason. I started to notice visible difference in just 4 days which exceeded mine expectations. I also started taking the Joint Care product as well at the same time. It increases mobility and range of motion with a noticeable reduction in inflammation markers like C Reactive protein and helps to rebuild joint cartilage. It’s been approximately 3 weeks and I have noticed a huge difference in my joints and neck, which have lead to a dramatic decrease in headaches and migraines. I have only had to take an over-the-counter pain medication once in 3 weeks which used to be a four time a week occurrence. Would I consider this a success – absolutely! Not to mention, I have just decided to personally challenge and push my body into a 2-a-day program where each day consists of a run and workout in which I am sure the only way this is going to be possible is with Genuine Health’s pain relief products.

Genuine Health Fast Pain Relief+

While I have seen some incredible results, I am not 100% pain free. I am not quite sure if I will ever be to be honest, but I am thrilled at the improvements I have seen from using these products. I think if I re-introduced an anti-inflammatory diet, I could essentially be pain free, but only time will tell.

Genuine HealthPhotography by JessBaumung.com

To make complete this pain relief category and to make it a true trifecta, Genuine Health also has FAST Arthritis Pain Relief+ for those suffering from osteoarthritis or severe joint pain. Interested in giving any of the products a try? Click here to find a coupon to receive $5 off your purchase online or at a Genuine Health retailer. For more information on the brand’s diverse product offering head to GenuineHealth.com.

Guilt Free Meal Ideas: Ahi Tuna Quinoa Poke Bowls with SOTO Sake

Ahi Tuna Poke Quinoa Bowl

Shoyu like Tuna, you say?

Our crew here at SoSasha.com is always looking for guilt-free indulges when it comes to our food. Just because we want to eat clean and healthy doesn’t mean we should have to feel like we’re sacrificing anything, know what I mean? Enter my Ahi Tuna Poke Shoyu Bowl served with SOTO Sake. Shoyu (pronounced SHOW-YOU) is just another name for soy sauce and let’s be honest, a good use of word for a pun! Last year my boyfriend and I were lucky enough to travel to Hawaii.  If you’ve never been before, it should definitely be on your destination bucket list. The country is beautiful, the people are warm in nature and the food does not disappoint.  It wasn’t until our trip that I discovered that Hawaii has a huge Japanese influence, which largely impacts its cuisine.  This is likely where and when my obsession for Poke bowls started. By the way, “Poke” is pronounced POH-KAY and all it really means is to cut or chunks of raw fish…sorry for the pronunciation lesson guys!
Ahi Tuna Poke Quinoa Bowl
adapted from IAmFoodBlog
 
I decided after digging through millions of Tuna Poke recipes on pinterest, that I would just doctor my own.  One that would be manageable, keeping in mind the ingredients I have access to. Side note: I get that using raw fish at home can be completely intimidating. For the longest time I thought it was sketchy and you needed some special kind of fish.  This is not entirely the case.  All you need to find is a fish monger with great reviews and no funky smells.  Reviews and blogs can be really helpful when sourcing out these types of shops.  When you go to buy your tuna, just make sure you ask for sushi grade.  This means that by wholesale standards you are getting the highest quality of fish available. Check out this link for more info and guides on how to shop for sushi grade. My Tuna Poke bowl is a little off the traditional path, but none the less delicious and healthy.
What you’ll need…
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated garlic
  • 1 lb. fresh ahi (sashimi grade) tuna, cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • smoked sea salt, to taste
  • toasted sesame seeds, to taste
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • radishes
  • cabbage (next time I will be adding Kimchi instead)
  • cucumbers
  • sprouts
  • crispy shallots
Directions
  • In a small bowl combine soy sauces, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. 
  • In a separate small bowl, gently toss together the tuna, green onions, and diced onion. Add the soy sauce mixture to the ahi and toss until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Remove Poke from fridge and taste to see if you need too adjust any seasoning (soy sauce, sesame oil, and smoked sea salt). 4. Scoop quinoa into bowls and add your toppings of choice.  Add a generous amount of poke to the bowls and sprinkle on sesame seeds. 

Ahi Tuna Poke Quinoa Bowl

Ok, so what are we doing to wash down this bowl of deliciousness? SOTO Sake. We are kinda crushing hard these days on SOTO for various reasons. I am passionate about quality ingredients, so I love it for it’s dry finish and mild taste. It’s a super premium sake, using only the very best ingredients – finely polished rice and fresh mountain water. If you were to ask Sasha why she loves it, I have no doubt that besides the taste, she would mention the fact that it’s gluten free and has no preservatives or additives.  The best part, each bottle comes with this chic, decorative square piece of denim over the cork, as a nod to the Japanese craftsmanship of their beloved denim. SOTO Sake is currently available in both New York and Miami but will be made available in additional markets soon. For a full list of establishments and retailers carrying the brand click here.
Ahi Tuna Poke Quinoa Bowl
Photography by Nathalia Allen www.amillionminds.ca
For more recipe ideas and inspiration (we all need some from time to time), follow me on Instagram @KristenVanderHoeven. Mahalo!

Hudson’s Bay Lifestyle Collaboration: Hearty Winter Recipes

HBNewYou

I think we’ve all had those days, or let’s be honest weeks, where the hours just seem to fly by. We are running around from meeting to meeting, picking and dropping of kids, chained to our computers trying to make yet another ridiculous deadline and barely have time to get around to eating, let alone cooking a healthy meal. Over the years I have learned the hard way how imperative it is to make this a priority because it’s the only way you will survive these kinds of super hectic days.

HBNewYou

Gone are the days where we need to slave over a stove for hours in order to prepare a hearty meal and as convenient as it is to purchase cold pressed juices from the store, you can do these things at home easier than you think. I love chilli’s, meatballs, and if I didn’t have to stay away from gluten 90% of the time I could eat risotto every single day. But I never had the time to make these things until now. A slow cooker, otherwise known as a crockpot, isn’t something I saw around my household growing up. My mother was a bit old school when she was in the kitchen and slaved in there for what seemed like hours to prep us well balanced meals. Let me just say a slow cooker, is a gift from above. The Mister and I are still finding it hard to believe how easy it is to prepare some of our favourite foods and trust me when I say the dishes prepared in this Kitchenaid Architect Slow Cooker yields the juiciest and most flavourful foods imaginable.

HBNewYou

HBNewYou

Although slow cookers do majority of the preverbal “heavy lifting”, cooking this way still requires some prep. For instance, meats and fish need to be browned or seared on the stove top first, veggies need to be washed, cut and diced. But seriously, after everything goes into the cooker and the temperature and timer have been set, it literally does the rest. This means you are free to carry on with your day, going to the office, working out at the gym and the other 101 things you do in a day. Anywhere from 5-10 hours later, your arriving home to a delicious home cooked meal.

Some other amazing benefits of using a slow cooker at home:

Easy Clean-Up: With the exception of a cutting board, utensils and perhaps a pan for browning, you’ll only be cleaning one pot.

Reduced Energy Usage: Crock pots use substantially less energy than a conventional oven.

Useful Year Round: We usually associate slow cookers with comfort food in the winter, but they are really great to use all year round and during the summer it can eliminate the need to use the over, which can generate unwanted heat making your house hotter.

Whether or not you’re following a Paleo diet, this chill recipe is to die for. Just prep the ingredients and let the slow cooker work it’s magic!

HBNewYou

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. of ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, both diced
  • 1 cup of carrots, finely diced
  • 1 cup of celery, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • (1) 28-ounce can of crushed or stewed tomatoes
  • (1) 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • (1) 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. of chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. of oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. of basil
  • 2 tsp. of cumin
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of cayenne

Garnish (Optional but highly recommended)

  • About 4 strips of cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 or 2 avocados, diced

Instructions:

  1. Sauté onions and garlic together in a large saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add in ground beef (or turkey) to the saucepan and cook just until browned. Drain excess fat
  3. Transfer the cooked onions, garlic and meat to your crockpot/slow-cooker
  4. Add all the above vegetables and spices (except garnish ingredients) to the crockpot
  5. Give the pot a good stir
  6. Set crockpot to LOW, cover, and slow cook for about 6 hours
  7. Spoon into individual bowls. Garnish with crumbled bacon and avocado slices
  8. Serve hot and enjoy!

HBNewYou Paleo Chili

 

 Winter Juicing Recipes

HBNewYou Juicing Recipes

The winter months can wreak havoc on our bodies – you name it; skin, energy and most importantly immune system. Besides nourishing my body with the right foods, I also add additional nutrients by pressing my own juice at home. This is the optimal time to experiment with juicing recipes if it’s something you’re in to as we are not in the season for summer produce. Whether you’re an avid juicer or just a beginner, Breville’s Juice Fountain Compact Juicer gets the job done. It’s extra wide 3 inch chute cuts down juicing time because it eliminates the need to finely chop fruits and veggies prior to juicing. And the bonus, it resembles effortlessly for a super easy clean up.

HBNewYou

HBNewYou Juicing Recipes

When people think of juicing, one often thinks of the standard green or beet based juice, but theres a whole world of other options you can try out at home that I tested out with the Hudson’s Bay team that are a tasty departure from your average juice blend. If you don’t mind tartness, you will love the “Hudson” fondly named after the HBC brand…

HBNewYou Juicing Recipes

The “Hudson” Ingredients:

  • 1 Large apple, rinsed and halved
  • 1 Large pear, rinsed and halved
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cranberries, rinsed

Our “We The North” blend is a unique mix of root veggies that turns into a creamy, frothy concoction that has a little kick thanks to the ginger.

“We The North” Ingredients:

  • 3 Medium carrots, rinsed
  • 1 Small parsnip, rinsed
  • 1 Medium apple, rinsed and halved
  • 1/2 Small sweet potato, rinsed
  • One 1-inch knob ginger, smashed

Even though our “Chic Canuck” is simple, it’s still power packed and it’s a juice that you can make at home even when you are low on groceries.

The “Chic Canuck” Ingredients:

  • 6 Medium or 4 large carrots, rinsed
  • 2 Oranges, halved and juiced into a glass using a reamer

HBNewYou Juicing RecipesPhotography by: David A. Pike

Shop the rest of my kitchen must-haves from The Bay Le Creuset Soup Bowl // Le Creuset Bowls // Kitchenaid 14 Piece Knife Set

Hudson’s Bay is your one stop for just about anything you need to complete your home while also making every day tasks a bit more easy. Head to TheBay.com right now to view the retailer’s household collections and to check out The Home Sale” for everything you need to make your house a home. Make sure to follow @HudsonsBay on Instagram and Twitter for more house wear inspiration and get more of our tips by following the conversation on social using the hashtag #HBNewYou.

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: