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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.

How To Workout At Home While Juice Cleansing

ELXR Home Workout

So you’ve ordered your juice cleanse, prepped your body and rid your kitchen of any tempting treats, but what about your workout routine? Besides asking whether surviving off only juice for a few days is tough, “Can I work out?” is the second most common question I get about juicing.  The answer to the latter is yes, but done in a smart and safe way. Getting in a good sweat actually helps the detoxifying process but it’s imperative that you listen to your body. Light workouts not only stimulate lymphatic flow, respiration, and blood circulation but they also improve liver, lung and kidney function. This all helps process and eliminate the toxins being released from your body while cleansing.

ELXR Home Workout

As someone who is used to frequent and intense workouts, I know how difficult it can be to scale back on your physical activity, but trust me you will thank me later. Through my own trial and error, research and speaking with health professionals, I’ve discovered that the best routines are the ones that increase your heart rate slightly and help you break a bit of a sweat.  My go-to for a short to moderate length juice cleanse is ELXR Juice Lab. Providing eight juices and two tonics, the brand’s detox packages provides adequate nutrients, hydration, energy and calories to not only keep hunger at bay but also gives your body what it needs to sustain light exercise. In case you missed my thoughts on my first experience with ELXR, you can check it out here.

My recommendations are to get in a yoga workout first thing in the morning before your first juice or an hour afterwards. If midday workouts are best for your schedule, some light cross-training or rebounding would work well after consuming ELXR’s “Deep Breath” blend as it’s re-energize the body in the middle of the day and keeps you hydrated. I find that mediation is great either first thing in the morning to help you set up for your day or can also be effective at night to help you unwind and de-stress. The latter works well after drinking the final juice for the day – the “Smooth Operator”.

ELXR Home Workout

Because you’re taking in less calories than normal and you’re body is in a bit of a shock to a new way of functioning for a few days, during this time it’s best to remember the “less is more” mantra. Whether you’re just resting your digestive system for a day or cleansing for five, here are a few detoxifying workouts you can do from the comfort of your home…

ELXR Home Workout

YOGA: I think we can all agree that there is no exercise routine more detoxifying than yoga. Whether you are doing a grounded Moksha style flow or practicing jivamukti, ashtanga or bikram, the poses in your chosen flow are meant to help build smaller muscles that don’t get as much attention, give some much needed love to the muscles that are generally over worked while stretching and twisting the body which helps in the process of eliminating toxins.

The “At Home, How-To”: There are tons of amazing videos online but what could be better than having your own personal Nike Master Trainer leading you through a series of awakening flows perfect to start off your day? Traci Copeland’s “Reach and Recharge” yoga workout on the Nike Training Club (NTC) App is an amazing 30 minute power building flow to develop strength and improve flexibility. The app is free and can be downloaded here. You can find Traci’s yoga workout under the “Get Focused” section within the app.

ELXR Home Workout

REBOUNDING/BELLICON: If traditional workouts aren’t really your jam but you still want to get in some low-impact cardio, this is going to be your jam. I have become obsessed with doing these workouts regardless whether I’m on a juice cleanse or not. The low impact bouncing stimulates the lymphatic system, improves cardiovascular health, bone density, circulation and is said to also reduce cellulite.

The “At-Home, How-To”: There are loads of instructional rebounding videos that can be found online. Some of them better than others. I went through about 30 that made me laugh so uncontrollably because of the funny looking exercises, I was not able to even make it through the workout, but this 20 minute JustBounce Bellicon video is effective (if you can get past this guy’s hilarious accent!)

The “At-Home, How-To”:  PopSugar is a site I go to sometimes for quick instructional, out of the box workout videos and this fun “Becoming Beyonce” 10 minute workout video will have you breaking a light sweat in no time.

MEDITATION: Ok, so meditation is not really considered a typical form of exercise but it’s definitely a mental one. When your mind is cluttered and not focused, it can slow down the body. In theory, meditation sounds like a rather simple task but if you have never tried it before, sit down for a few minutes and try to think about nothing but your breath. With our fast pace life with everyone having a to-do list every day with at least 30 things on it, you will be surprised how challenging it is to calm the mind. Mediation gives your brain some much needed exercise and your body some much needed rejuvenation by making you focus on your breath which helps ease anxiety and any pent up emotions that have a tendency to stand in the way between us and our goals.

The “At-Home, How-To”: I would be telling a little white lie if I said that meditating was easy to do. It takes some people months, scratch that, years to learn how to do it effectively. Attempting on my own became frustrating because my mind frequently wandered to all the other things I could have been doing with my time instead of focusing on breathing and clearing my mind. Thankfully, there is an app for everything and I recently stumbled on a great one that helps teach the basics of mindfulness meditation. It takes you through a guided mediation lasting about 10 minutes and allows you to choose the background noise, think rain falling on leaves or crashing waves on the shoreline, to help get you centred. It’s called “Calm” and can be downloaded for free on iTunes.

ELXR Home Workout

ELXR Home Workout

LIGHT BODY CONDITIONING WORKOUT: No gym? No problem! There are tons of workouts I do in the comfort of my home or hotel room while traveling that is safe enough to do while on a cleanse and use only your body weight. 5-10 minutes doesn’t seem like a long time but you would be surprised at the type of workout you can get in during that timeframe. The goal here is to break a light sweat, get your heart rate up a bit and your muscles engaged.

The “At-Home, How-To”: I like create unique workouts based on moves I have learned from Canadian Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath and the NTC app and keep rotating them to avoid boredom. Below you will find a sample workout that I love to do when I am in a pinch for time – and because of it’s low impact, it’s great to do when detoxing:

20 seconds – RUN IN PLACE

40 seconds – FLUTTER KICKS (click here for instructional video)

20 seconds – RUN IN PLACE

40 seconds – MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS WITH OPPOSITE KNEE TOUCHING OPPOSITE ELBOW

20 seconds – RUN IN PLACE

40 seconds – STEP UP’S WITH KNEE DRIVE CHANGING SIDES AFTER 20 SECONDS (shown in photo above)

20 seconds – RUN IN PLACE

40 seconds – OPPOSITE ARM AND LEG EXTENSION (click here for instructional video)

20 seconds – RUN IN PLACE

40 seconds – TRICEP PUSH-UP TO FROGGER (click here for instructional video)

Finish off this workout with holding a plank for 3 minutes. I know that duration sounds like an eternity…to help me get through I find a song approximately that length of time and work on holding myself in position until the track is over. If you want a bit of a challenge, try alternating your legs off the ground for more stability and core work

ELXR Home Workout Photography by Daneille Reynolds for ELXR Juice Lab. Apparel courtesy of Nike Canada

For more information on ELXR Juice Lab’s remedies and juice cleanses, head to ELXRJuiceLab.com and enjoy 15% off your online purchase when you use the promo code “SO SASHA“. ELXR juices can also currently be purchased at Bolt Fresh Bar on Queen Street West and Maman Toronto located on the mezzanine level inside First Canadian Place.

My Juicing Guide For Runners With Cedar Juice

Juicing For Runners with Cedar Juice

There are so many opinions these days on the topic of juicing but I will always stand behind it because of all the benefits I’ve enjoyed while doing it over the last few years. It is the perfect way to detox and reset your body while bringing your digestive system back into balance. Each quarter I do a 3-5 day juice cleanse, that is inline with the change of the seasons and throughout this period, I usually defer from physical activity with the exception of perhaps restorative yoga and deep stretching sessions. In preparation for the Nike Women’s 15k race in June, I have been doing some research on juice cleansing and fresh pressed juices for runners, to see if there is any major benefits or areas of concern for those who are training for a race. While juicing has amazing benefits and is a great way to reset your system, runners need to choose a program that can be safely executed during their training. There seems to be only a few studies that have looked at the effects of cleanses on athletes and much of this research comes from studying Muslim athletes during Ramadan…when they are expected to fast from sunrise to sundown. These findings suggest that runners can train safely during this time, but may need to reduce the length and intensity of workouts.

Cedar-Juice

I recently tested this out a few weeks ago with the assistance of Cedar Juice. I have happily cleansed with the brand before and has been the most enjoyable and effective program I have used to date. You can check out my previous juicing experience with them here). I was in the midst of a fibromyalgia flareup at the beginning of the month and desperately needed to remove inflammatory foods from my diet and clean my system. However, I was a bit anxious to be honest as I was not awarded the luxury of not running during the cleanse due to my training program for the 15k. I discovered a three day juice cleanse doesn’t really interrupt training (especially if you do it over a weekend and take advantage of Sunday being a rest day) because it’s so short. These cleanses encourage a higher intake of nutrients from fruits and veggies, which can boost the immune system and have an overall positive effect on both the mind and the body. If done properly, meaning intaking an adequate amount of water to help flush out the excess of toxins faster, you should actually experience a boost of energy by the end of day two. I started my three day cleanse on a Saturday consuming only hot water and lemon followed by Cedar’s “Kale Me Good” juice an hour and a half before my long run. I played it safe that morning, listened to my body and significantly reduced by long run down to 9 km.  On the Sunday I rested the entire day and made sure to significantly increase my water and green tea intake.  On the Monday, I had a raw salad filled with good fats like avocados and did a light 6km run in the evening. I really felt that I needed that one meal that day to give me the energy for my team run.

Cedar Juice

If you’re interested in trying out a juice cleanse this season and still would like to run or train, I highly suggest you first consult with a physician or nutritionist plus consider adding one raw meal a day to your plan. Especially on the days you plan to exercise. You do not need to to avoid hitting the pavement, but you do need to listen to your body and perhaps run fewer km’s during this time. If you’re in the midst of training for a specific race and are within a month of race day, I would not recommend a “juice only” cleanse as it tends to slow down your times, you can try incorporating 1-2 raw meals a day to supplement the juicing program. However adding fresh pressed juices to your regular diet while training for a race can also be extremely beneficial. Many runners swear by “beet doping” in other words consuming beet based juices before race day or long runs. A series of small but mostly well designed studies have associated beet juice consumption with improved exercise performance because it allows your muscles to perform the same amount of work while using less oxygen – somehow making your body’s energy production more efficient. Cedar Juice’s “Skip To The Beet” concoction also contains carrot, apple, lemon and ginger to give this juice a bit of a kick. When I am not juice cleansing, I still love this blend before my Saturday long runs. Kale based juice is also considered to be an excellent addition for a runner. Kale is one of the most detoxifying foods on the planet. It also helps fight inflammation due to it’s high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which can be a huge benefit while training and for those who suffer from chronic pain issues like myself, rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorders. More importantly, constant pounding while running apparently affects your body’s red blood cells, according to Nutritionist Joy McCarthy of Joyous Health. Kale based juice is high in iron. Without iron, your body cannot produce red blood cells and these are responsible for transporting food you eat but also the oxygen you breathe. The last to round off my juice for runners trifecta is the brand’s refreshing “Pineapple Head” juice which contains pineapples, pear and mint. Pineapples, both in food and juice form, contain enzymes that help digest protein and also offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Rich in Bromelain (the natural digestive enzyme & natural anti-inflammatory agent), vitamin C, B vitamins and potassium, making it a perfect compliment to your existing training diet.

For more information on Cedar Juice’s cleanses and delivery options, head to CedarJuice.com. Interested in trying out a Cedar Juice cleanse or implementing some of the juices into your existing diet during your training? I have teamed up with Canada’s “Best Cold Pressed Juice” company to offer my readers a 15% discount at the time of purchase by using the code “SoSashaSpring”. Make sure to follow Cedar Juice on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date on other special discounts, news and offers.

Detoxing & Metabolism Boosting with Cedar Juice

Cedar Juice

There are many opinions on the topic of juice cleanses but as an avid juicer I find it odd how people can ignore the direct benefits associated with juicing and cold pressed juice. Sure, you can’t guarantee the amount of weight loss to expect, which really shouldn’t be a primary reason to do one, or event the rate of detoxification each time, but the truth of the matter is there are several other proven benefits and I am living proof of the results.

Just to give you a little history as to how juicing got introduced into my life. After being diagnosed with a rare kidney ailment and subsequently fibromyalgia, I suffered for years in pain and my body became increasingly toxic from all the pain, sleep, and depression meds I was putting into my system. My Naturopathic Doctor started to make changes to my diet and soon after suggested that I try a 3 day cleanse. The results…astounding.  I had felt fatigued for as long as I could remember and by the morning of the last day my energy was through the roof. I was getting the best sleep I had gotten in months, skin irritations caused from stress started to clear up (and colour had started to return to my face), my bowel movements were more regular, not to mention a very considerable decrease in body and joint pain. Turns out, this thing called juicing also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory based on some of the concoctions included in the most programs. And just like that, I was a believer and have been religiously doing them quarterly ever since.

Cedar Juice

As you can imagine, I’ve tried just about every juice cleanse in Toronto and definitely have my opinions on each. Some I will do again happily, others I wouldn’t suggest to even my worst enemy. I decided to kick off 2015 by trying out Cedar Juice. I had tried some of their yummy juices at Equinox post workout so I was keen on giving it a go for 3 days. The entire process was a breeze from beginning to end. The website is super informative, which will be a relief to first time cleansers and clearly gives all the deets you need regarding delivery, cleanse benefits and even how to cleanse during the program. Immediately after placing my order I received an email from Cedar outlining helpful tops to help me get ready, the pre-cleanse regimen and what to do during the cleanse to get the most optimal cleansing. When my shipment arrived via FedEx to my doorstep, it was accompanied by  a little booked that provided extra advice such as; using a body brush on my skin prior to showering and having a sauna/steam room session to help with the detoxification process.

The cleanse includes 6 juices for each day and it’s recommended to drink as much water and non-caffeinated tea in between each.  Although they are all quite tasty, here are my favourites – Pineapple Head, Skip To The Beat and Cracked It:

Cedar Juice Menu

To be completely honest, the juicing experience is different for each person. Some may find it extremely easy while others will find it unbearable. It can be difficult, as your body is used to chewing food. I have found that chewing my juice helps. I know it sounds weird but it actually tricks the body into thinking that you are eating plus it helps eliminate indigestion and bloating after drinking juice all day. Getting your body ready for the cleanse is almost more important than what you do during the cleanse. It is vital that you eliminate processed foods and sugars as much as possible and stick to a clean diet a few days to a week before to avoid the unwanted “die-off” effects; fatigue, migraine, flu like symptoms, which could potentially happen on days one and two if your body is highly toxic. Although unpleasant, this actually means that that the cleanse is working. If all is done right, this 1,100 calorie a day juice program will give you the kick start you need. Our bodies are very similar to cars. We can’t just keep putting gas inside, aka food, we must reset or change our oil every season if you will, every few months to keep our bodies performing.

My friends at Cedar Juice are giving my amazing readers who want to try out this program a discount code to help you get started.  When ordering use “SoSashaJuiceCleanse” to receive 15% off your entire order.  Head to CedarJuice.com for more information, offers, and to order your cleanse. If you have any specific questions regarding my juicing experience feel free to email me – info@sosasha.com or tweet me @sashaexeter

Product Review: Cuisinart’s Life Changing Juice Extractor

Cuisinart-CJE-1000Over the past month of so I’ve been using Cuisinart’s juice extractor at home and I loved it so much that it was the focus of the second episode in the Cuisinart video series I am doing with my “Cooking With Cuisinart” crew; Garrett of Gtonge1.com and Casie of CasieStewart.com. For far too long I avoided prepping my own juices at home worrying about it being too time consuming and the thought of a difficult clean up process, but learned my fears were completely unwarranted. Although I have used both the large and compact juice extractors, turns out that the larger one better meets my juicing needs. Majority of my juices are prepared with hard fruits and veggies and the 5 speed control dial and 1000 watts of power allows for optimal extracting with ingredients such as beets, carrots, apples, and ginger – some of the ingredients I use on a regular basis. With a 3″ (7.5 cm) tube opening, the juicer can accommodate larger items without having to cut them into smaller pieces, virtually eliminating the prep time for recipes. After trying out every single recipe from the Cuisinart Juice Recipe book (which is included with the machine) within the first two days of using it, I was thrilled to discover that it has a built in foam management filter disk.

Cooking With Cuisinart

Similar to the rest of the products offered in the Cuisinart brand portfolio, the quality and sleek design is unmatched by any it’s competitors. Also setting it apart from the pack, this machine is uber quiet. I was shocked to discover that I could quietly juice early in the morning and not disturb anyone else. And the best part, the clean up is super fast and simple. I use a small compost bag  to line the 2 litre pulp container and it conveniently contains the waste, allowing for easy disposal. The locking hinge eliminates necessary spills, the entire machine breaks down so easily and is dishwasher save, making clean up ridiculously simple.

Cuisinart Juicers

Want to learn more about this kitchen necessity? Visit Cuisinart.ca or visit the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

Cooking With Cuisinart: Juicing Made Quick & Easy at Home

 

CookingWithCuisinart

I’m a huge fan of juicing and for the last year and a half I’ve made a habit of doing 3 or 5 day juice cleanses, once per quarter. I have become obsessed with both the physical and psychological benefits that I went from cleansing just every three months to also juicing once a week on Sundays. Trust me when I say it’s an easy decision and simple sacrifice after experiencing the benefits first hand. Consuming fruits and veggies in juice format instead of eating them whole is great because your body absorbs the nutrients much quicker and also gives your body’s digestive system a much needed rest from breaking down processed foods. More importantly, juicing can also help reduce the risk of some cancers, boost immune systems, remove unwanted toxins from the body, reduce pain related issues due to inflammation, improve skin and sleep issues and if that’s not enough, it helps with weight loss – which is everyone’s goal after packing on winter lbs.

Cooking With Cuisinart

Cooking With Cuisinart

In the second installment of our Cooking With Cuisinart series, I shared one of my favourite juices after a yoga class with  Garrett and Casie using Cuisinart’s Full Size Juice Extractor:. Super fast and easy, it was the perfect way to recharge and rehydrate after a demanding Moksha Yoga session.

“Ginger Beet Juice Recipe”

1 medium size orange

3 kale leaves

2 medium sized Fuji apples

2 medium sized carrots

1 large beet

1 1-inch piece of peeled ginger

Ice Cubes (optional)

Click here for more delicious juice recipes you can try out at home. Get social and follow Cuisinart Canada on Facebook and Twitter
Missed our first episode of the #CookingWithCuisinart video series? Find out what we made with the Combo Steam + Convection Oven
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