Category Archives: Food

You Should Know Squat

In the world of health and fitness, there are so many schools of thought, opinions, and techniques. How is anyone ever to know who to trust, what will work for them, and what is B*!!shit?

Find out for yourself. Do some research. I’m not saying you need to become the biggest expert and most forward thinker in the field, but knowing your basics can help you steer clear of the things that can harm your body – because there are tons of fads that are just plain bad for you.

I’ve always been the kind of girl that wants to get to the bottom of everything. I want to absorb all the knowledge that I can. This may come from my inherent need to be right (but at least I earned the right to be confident that I am!… right?). This also translated into me being the kid in high school staying home on friday nights watching documentaries in my room on my sweet tv/vcr combo. I like learning. I like knowing what I’m talking about. I like having conviction and not looking like an idiot.

I started an online class recently to receive a certificate in Sports and Exercise Nutrition. This is not to say I want to change my career, but I wanted to learn about what my body needs in order to be active, and the science behind it.

Also, let me tell you, the more you learn about this stuff, the better you’ll treat yourself. You realize the crap you’re putting into your body, and the damage you cause when you don’t give it enough fuel and energy. I’m not here to give you lessons on what you should be doing (we just like to share what WE’RE doing!), you need to find out what works best for you, because we’re all different. I see a lot of girls doing these insane diets and cleanses that I, personally, disagree with. These are unhealthy short term solutions to something that should be a slow and longterm lifestyle change. You may drop some pounds at the beginning (though, mark my words, they’ll come back with a vengeance once you fall off the wagon (which you will (because it’s unrealistic))), but your body needs nutrients to function; because it’s not just about weight, the things you put in your body – or don’t put in your body – affect so much more: energy levels, skin, hair, nails, sleep, brain functionality… but I digress.

Do your freaking research before you mix hot pepper and honey for 10 days, or whatever. Please. If you still want to do it – to each their own; but at least know what you’re depriving your body of. We need to stop with the “everything for vanity” mentality, and concentrate on being healthy and fit. Trust me, the hot bod will follow. It really will. It will be even better, because you’ll feel great.

-kylie

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Coo-coo for Coconut Oil

I’ve been using coconut oil (aggressively) for about a year now, and I still find new ways to reap its benefits.  Here’s my top ten list of uses for coconut oil:

 

  1. To cook eggs (whites for me) in. You won’t regret it.
  2. Cut up sweet potato, rub a bit of coconut oil on it, and bake. Delicious.
  3. To cook my protein pancake. Throw a bit on the pan and pour in the pancake mix (egg whites, oats, blueberries, and cinnamon). Heck, cook anything in it.  It’s healthy, smells amazing, and tastes delicious.
  4. Lip gloss. Yup. Lip gloss.
  5. Use a bit in your hair to smooth it out and style the ends.
  6. Leave-in conditioner. Rub a small amount mostly into the ends of your hair, comb through and leave in for about an hour before washing out. So silky and smooooothe.
  7. Use on the skin as a basic lotion.
  8. Popping popcorn! Instead of butter – coat the bottom of the pot with coconut oil  and add just enough kernels to make a single layer over the bottom of the pot.  Shake the pot up a bit, put over medium heat, cover and pop!
  9. Add a teaspoon to your coffee or tea.
  10.  Use it as a makeup remover, or on a sunburn, or even on your pets. It’s magic. Anything goes. Go crazy and enjoy!

 


coconut-oil

 

Alyssa

xoxo

Salmon with a Pea and Mint Puree

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lucky for me, the man I live with (aka my boyfriend, aka chris, aka a total dreamboat) loves to cook as much as I do. we made this salmon a little while ago when friends of ours came over for dinner, and broke the cardinal rule to never try something you’ve never done before for company. well screw that rule, because it was awesome – so awesome we had to do it again so I could write about it.

this meal is really healthy. you can see that one of two ways… the way I usually think – BORING! how I am now seeing all of this – SCRUMTRULESCENT!

 

Salmon:

-salmon fillets (the fresher, the better)

-olive oil

-a little butter

-thyme sprigs

-sage leaves

 

Pea/Mint Puree:

-peas

-fresh mint leaves

-olive oil

-lemon

-garlic

-s&p

 

boil your peas. they can either be fresh or frozen, doesn’t really matter, they just need to be soft enough to puree. once they’re done, strain them… otherwise it will be pea and mint soup.

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depending on how much peas you’ve made, you may need to adjust measurements of the other ingredients. to be honest with you, I don’t measure a lot, so you’ll have to bear with me… maybe 3 cups of peas? maybe the juice of a lemon and a half? maybe 2 sprigs of mint leaves?

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maybe 3/4 of a clove of grated garlic? maybe 2 circles of pouring olive oil? maybe as much salt and pepper as you can see in this picture? maybe add more later when you taste it? you’ll probably need more salt.

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puree with an immersion blender. word to the wise, put a towel over it while you blend if it’s a shallow pot/bowl/hat. this will happen if you don’t – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoQtYDyeMWE

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in a SUPER hot pan (that can go in the oven… no plastic handle) drizzle in some olive oil, and a little bit of butter with thyme and sage. Yes, yes. Butter isn’t awesome for you, but it’s a little concession for the sake of deliciousness.

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you want this to be so hot it’s scary. salt and pepper, then put the fish in skin down to get it delicious and crispy. maybe wear long sleeves. spoon the juices over the top of the fish while you sear the skin, for optimal moisture.

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this should only take a few minutes, then pop it in the oven at 375 for about 12ish minutes (or until it’s all opaque)

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to serve, spread out the puree, lay salmon on top, skin up, and you can garnish with the sage or thyme.

QUINOA BONUS!

-quinoa

-currants

-goat cheese

-pine nuts

make your quinoa. just follow the package. substituting water for chicken broth is tasty, or maybe just half and half, or just water!

I like to cool my quinoa down before I use it usually; especially when using a cheese like goat cheese. fridge or freezer, depending on how long you have.

roasting nuts it tough. well, no. you just have to WATCH THEM. med – med/high heat and toss often.

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then mix in your currants and goat cheese!

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super easy, and it was super delish.

let’s see a pic of the whole thing again. ok.

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Happy eating!

 

Kylie

What’s THE DEAL with food?!

A few years ago, if you told me I should be eating organic and local food, I would have said “haha, yeah, because I’m rich and pretentious”. I was wrong. Oh, so wrong.

Though it is definitely daunting when thinking about this stuff, I’m here to help! It always seems easiest to just run out to a big chain grocery store and grab a beautiful looking tomato or apple from the massive pile. You always know they’re going to be there, no matter what time of year… wait… even when they shouldn’t be growing? Yes. Even then. Weeeiiiirrrrrd.

It’s easy to see why factory and industrial farming operates the way it does… money! Who doesn’t love money?! AMIRITE?!  The trouble is that a lot of this is seriously affecting the things we are ingesting.

I’m not going to go on a huge detailed scientific rant, as I can tend to do, I’m just going to give you the general facts.

For veggies, it all starts with the soil. To save money, the soil sucks. This makes the veg more susceptible to pests and fungus. To remedy this, they spray all the food with pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and all sorts of crap. Crap that you’re eating. Veggies are now not growing with the same nutrients that they used to either. They’re concerned with uniformity, genetic modification, and long shelf lives. Food is picked before it’s ripe, then ripens along the thousands of miles that it travels to the store from wherever it’s grown. This is why non-organic, non-local produce is cheaper – it comes from government funded factory farms which get a higher yield, which has a longer shelf life, so they can charge less.

Meat is much worse. I’m a meat eater, and I don’t think I could do the vegetarian thing (though, to each their own). I am, however, a big advocate of humanely treated animals. Grass fed cows contain TONS more vitamins than grain fed cows (A, C, K, and the belly-fat busting Conjugated Linoleic Acid, or CLA for short). And free range eggs and chicken are from healthier happier birds. The better they eat, the better you eat. They’re not shoved into an arena with thousands of other chickens, made to live in their own feces and breathe it in until they’re sick, then pumped full of antibiotics to counteract their conditions. They’re not given zero room to walk around, then fed grains and hormones so they get giant and can’t even walk, their legs break, and they SIT THERE AND DIE!!! But I digress.

Chickens are seen inside cages on a truck near a poultry market in Dengzhou

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real-free-range

 

Take your pick.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, even non-organic, non-local foods are WAAAYYYY better for you than fast food and tons of other things we eat. All I’m saying is to be aware of where your food comes from. Take your vitamins to make up for the ones that were lost along the way. When you don’t get the proper nutrients, your body still thinks it’s hungry and will force you to keep eating… maybe even cookies. OHMYGODIWANTACOOKIE!!!

 

Now the $64,000 question… where’s the best place to get the good stuff?!

Farmers’ Markets are the best place – there are tons of markets in the city, and it’s really hard to beet the prices… see what I did there? Here’s a list of some of the great places to get local and organic foods in Toronto:

 

Fiesta FarmsThis little gem is tops. A family run grocery store on Christie St. (between Bloor and Dupont), this place has tons of organic and local food to choose from. They’ve got a great butcher section and carry Rowe Farms… which brings us to….

 

Rowe FarmsA farm with 3 retail stores in the city! Crazy! There’s one in the annex, one in Roncesvalles, and one in Leslieville – they’ve really covered their bases. You can get veggies and meat here, and also delicious pre-made soups and salads, all made with their products. If you like bacon, this is where you should be getting it. Oh man.

 

St. Lawrence Market I mean, this place just has everything. Just go. But check their hours. Every time I want to go, it’s closed. On Saturdays there is a special farmers’ market!

 

The Stop’s Green Barn at Wychwood BarnsFarmers’ Markets! You can get stuff from all sorts of local farmers and it’s a fun little outing too. Located up at Christie and St Clair Ave., it’s easily accessible by TTC, so no excuses! While you’re there, check out Footstep Organics!

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Other markets to check out:

Sorauren Farmers’ Market

Trinity Bellwoods Farmers’ Market

Dufferin Grove Farmers’ Market

Nathan Phillips Square Farmers’ Market

Evergreen Brick Works Farmers’ Market

Leslieville Farmers’ Market

 

 

Let’s not forget about growing your own!

Last year we started our first garden, and it was awesome. We were super lucky with our soil, because we either did or didn’t have chickens living in our backyard before that… (the freshest, most delicious eggs you’ve ever had!). That time of year is coming up quick, and we recently bought a new home with a HUGE garden area. So excited. If you can, I definitely recommend growing plants of your own. I will keep you posted on my planting!

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Happy, healthy eating!

 

 

Kylie

Tilapia Lettuce Wraps

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I love food. A lot. I love enjoying it, and when I struggle with eating clean and healthy, it’s because I get bored and sad with what I’m eating. My mission is to find tasty ways to put healthy food together. Sometimes there has to be a small concession in the meal to get me to eat everything else, and that’s still better than anything else I would have chosen. I put cheese in a lot of salad, and I may sometimes bread my fish in panko.

This recipe could be done with non-breaded tilapia, but I’m the kind of girl who people wouldn’t believe has this blog, so this is pretty good for me. Tasty too – I almost forgot I was eating protein and vegetables wrapped in another vegetable.

stuffs:

-tilapia

-panko bread crumbs (optional)

-romaine lettuce (would also work with iceberg)

-avocado

-red cabbage

-vegetable oil (for frying)*

*if you’d like to get super healthy, you could skip the breading and bake the fish

pico de gallo:

-tomato

-onion

-cilantro

-garlic

-yellow pepper (I threw this in for fun – you totally don’t have to. but you totally could)

-lime juice

-olive oil

-salt&pepper

sauce:

-mint

-plain greek yogurt

-olive oil

-lime juice

start with the pico de gallo, the longer the flavours sit together, the more excellent it gets.

dice up everything you’ve got (couple of tomatoes, an onion or half of one, couple of garlic cloves, medium bunch of cilantro, splash of oil, a lime…  look I don’t want to tell you how to live your life – make it how you like it).

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next, your lime and mint sauce. remember about the excellence of flavours hanging out?

I don’t really want to give you measurements – the best way is to just try it. everyone likes things a little different, so just add a good bit of everything, and start tasting and adjusting.

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now, on to the fish!

tilapia is a pretty firm fish, so breading it wasn’t too much trouble. some fish will be more difficult, but anything will work if you don’t love tilapia. you can also cook it any way you’d like if you skip the breading – bake, steam, whatevs.

general breading – coat in flour, egg wash, bread crumbs (I skip the flour most of the time because I’m lazy. breading doesn’t stick quite as well, but that’s probably for the best). you can add a little salt and pepper to the panko if you’d like, because it’s generally unseasoned.

fry up until golden, drain on paper towel, and slice it up (after it’s cooled some).

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sort out your lettuce (wash it… ), cut up your cabbage and avocado, and you’re ready to go!

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The healthier you eat, the healthier you want to eat. My mistake is that once I get off the rails, the train doesn’t stop. If I give in and eat pizza, then I think, “well I already had pizza, might as well have these mint girl guide cookies (YUM)”. Then it’s “well I already had pizza and cookies. Maybe today’s a cheat day! …Even though I was supposed to start healthy eating today”. STOP IT! One bad thing won’t kill you, but if you let it slide down the biggest effing mountain you’ve ever laid your sweet eyes upon, then it’s an issue. A tiny treat won’t be a treat if that’s your whole diet.

TO TREATS! I mean, TO MAKING HEALTHY FOOD TASTE LIKE TREATS!

-Kylie-

p.s. this recipe can also be found on my other blog Ky’s Kitchen. If you’re only about healthy eating, this one may not be for you. There are a lot of the first kind of treats I was talking about… sandwiched between healthy things. Mmmm, sandwiches.

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