Archive | February, 2013

The Green Beaver Company

27 Feb

Green-Beaver-LogoI have been a big fan of The Green Beaver Company for quite some time! I absolutely love their products, especially their products for children, as I have a little one! Plus they are Canadian, which is awesome, and they believe in providing consumers with products which only contain the best ingredients! Love that!

The Green Beaver Company was founded in 2003 by Alain Ménard and Karen Clark, who are husband and wife. After they had their son Joshua, they were inspired to create natural and safe personal care products, as their son, like my daughter, was always drinking the bath bubbles!

Alain and Karen, who both have science degrees and backgrounds in chemical and pharmaceutical industries, already had concerns about the ingredients that were in everyday personal care items. After conducting some research and being surprised about what was actually in these items, they decided to develop their own chemical free personal care products at home, and thus The Green Beaver Company was born!

The Green Beaver Company is the largest natural, eco-friendly and organic certified (EcoCert) product line in Canada. They manufacture soaps, shampoos, sunscreen, toothpaste, etc. They only use all natural ingredients in their products. Their product line includes ingredients that are edible, vegan and gluten-free, or wild, ecologically wild-crafted from coast to coast or organic Canadian. They believe if an ingredient is not safe to swallow, it should not be placed on the skin either. Their products are free of artificial, synthetic, chemical or petrol-derived ingredients and are not tested on animals.

I highly recommend their products for the whole family, especially children. They are all great quality and reasonably priced.

For more information on The Green Beaver Company, please visit their website at http://www.greenbeaver.com/. You can find their amazing products at natural health food stores across Canada. In Hamilton they are available at Goodness Me, S&H Health Foods (Limeridge Mall), and Fortinos… to name a few!

Products

Do you know what’s in your beauty products?

18 Feb

Putting good quality food in your body is just as important as putting good quality products on your skin. Most people don’t think about the number of creams, lotions or potions that we use every single day. It’s actually quite scary for some of us, if you think about! I hate to admit it but, I am definitely a product junkie however, I am careful when buying products and I do try to purhcase products which have good quality ingredients and don’t contain the major harmful ingredients such as parabens and sulfates.

Parabens, which could be listed as methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben, are found in most personal care products. They stop fungus and bacteria from growing in skin creams, shampoos, make-up, etc. Even though they provide some benefit, many reports claim that they are harmful, cancer causing, and should be avoided. As a result you will notice that a lot of brands have stopped using parabens in their products as more data is becoming available on their harmful effects.

Sulfates, which produce lather, are another harmful chemical which are found in most shampoos and body washes. The problem with sulfates is that even in small quantities, they are irritating to the skin and scalp and have also been found to be damaging to the hair follicle which can stop hair growth. There have also been published reports that claim sulfates can cause cancer and harm the immune system. Once again, you will notice that a lot of main stream and organic brands have stopped adding these chemicals to their products.

For a list of the worst chemicals in cosmetic products, check out the David Suzuki Foundation’s “Dirty Dozen’ cosmetic chemicals to avoid”.

My suggestion is to always read your labels and be well informed on what you are putting on your skin. If a product does not contain harmful ingredients it will be highlighted on the front label of the bottle. Great places to find good quality products are Goodness Me, Organic Garage, Sephora and the organic section of your local grocery store, such as Fortinos.

Kudos to Kale

18 Feb

One of my favorite green foods is kale. It is super healthy and nutritious with many health benefits. I like to eat it raw, lightly steamed or cooked. I started to eat a lot of kale while I was pregnant as I don’t drink milk and needed to load up on calcium.  After doing some research I discovered that kale is actually higher in calcium than milk when compared per calorie – I hit the jackpot! At first it was hard to eat everyday but, the more I started to experiment with recipes and changing things up, the easier it became to eat!

My lazy way of ensuring that I get all of the wonderful nutrients and antioxidants from kale is to make smoothies. It’s quick, easy and super nutritious! Even my daughter loves them! Another way I eat kale is in salads. There are so many variations you can make – it’s endless! I will usually massage my kale with lemon and pink Himalayan sea salt to soften it up which makes it easier to eat!

Top benefits of kale:

Vitamins Galore!
Kale is full of vitamins which include vitamin A, C and K. Vitamin A is very good for your skin and vision. Vitamin C is also great for the skin and may assist in anti-aging. It is essential for your immune system and fighting off viruses. Kale is also full of vitamin K which is a powerful aid in bone health. Kale also contains calcium (more per calorie than milk) which together with vitamin K, help to maintain healthy bones. Once again, per calorie, kale has more iron than beef and is often referred to as the “new beef”.

Anti-Inflammatory Food
Kale contains omega-3 fatty acids which help fight arthritis, asthma, and other autoimmune disorders. By eating kale you will help prevent and also treat these disorders which are caused by inflammation.

Antioxidants
Kale is a very rich source of immune-boosting antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavanoids. These are great for cancer prevention and overall health.

Detoxification
The fiber and sulfur in kale aid in detoxification and liver health.

So kudos to kale and make sure you load up!

Heavenly Carrot Cake, Gluten Free

11 Feb

carrot cake final

I was on a bit of a baking frenzy yesterday and also made a gluten free carrot cake, with cream cheese frosting, from the 50 Wholesome Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes book. So all I have to say is OMG! It tastes so good, has so much flavour and the cream cheese frosting is to die for! Not only does this cake taste amazing, it looks stunning, if I do say so myself! I sent pictures of the cake to all of my friends and now everyone thinks I am a culinary goddess! Umm… which I totally was way before I ever made this cake!

This cake tastes delicious for something that is gluten free and pretty much all organic. The only two ingredients that were not organic were the baking soda and baking powder. The cake is very easy to make; you literally just mix all of the ingredients together and bake it! It does contain a lot of ingredients which prevented me from making it before but, let me tell you when you sink your teeth into this masterpiece you will not be disappointed! And on top of it, it’s full of wholesome and good quality ingredients, and there is nothing to feel guilty about after eating it!

Ingredients:

1 cup almond flour
½ cup coconut flour
¼ cup arrowroot flour
¼ cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar (I used a coconut version)
½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 cups carrots, shredded
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans, plus more for topping
1 cup crushed pineapple, un-drained
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9” spring foam pan with butter. Whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Add the brown sugar, applesauce, carrots, eggs, coconut oil, coconut, 1 cup chopped pecans, and pineapple. Mix until well combined. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Meanwhile make the frosting by beating together butter and cream cheese in a bowl with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Frost the cake and add pecans around the edges and in the center.

TIP – Ensure the cake is completely cooled before you start frosting. If you do not wait, you will find the frosting will start to melt and slide off the sides. I also placed my frosting in the refrigerator for a little while before frosting as I find it easier to work with.

I hope you try this recipe. This is by far my favourite recipe that I have ever made. It’s delicious, healthy and looks good! Let me know if you make it and what you think!

Enjoy!
Irena
xo

Gluten Free Cookie Dough Truffles

11 Feb

TRUFFLE_FINAL

My husband is really into health and nutrition and recently purchased the 50 Wholesome Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes e-book for me. Typically on Sunday’s we like to indulge in some type of healthier dessert and this e-book has been a great resource.

Yesterday I made the Cookie Dough Truffles. The recipe is super easy to follow and the end result was amazing and so yummy. This is a no bake recipe; you basically combine the dry and wet ingredients, place the dough in the fridge for a couple of hours, rolls the dough into balls and dip into chocolate. In addition to being easy to make, the recipe contains all wholesome ingredients. I used all organic ingredients.

The only somewhat challenging part was the dipping of the truffles. I should have done some research online on how to do this before my attempt but, I ended up using two toothpicks. I inserted the toothpicks into the centre of the truffle, dipped it into the chocolate and then placed the truffle onto wax paper. The toothpicks will leave a little mark but you can just dab some chocolate on there or place a chocolate chip on top. My other tip is that if you leave the dough in the fridge for more than 2 hours, which I did, it will get really hard and you will have to thaw it out before you can roll it into balls.

 Ingredients:

½ cup almond flour
¼ cup coconut flour
Dash of sea salt
1/3 cup sugar – I used ¼ teaspoon Stevia powder (you can also use whatever alternative you have to sugar)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for topping
1 cup dark chocolate chips

In a bowl, stir almond flour, coconut flour, salt and sugar together. In a separate bowl combine the butter, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in mini chocolate chips and refrigerate dough for 2 hours.

Roll dough into balls and stick in the refrigerator while you melt the dark chocolate. In a saucepan melt the chocolate chips over the lowest heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Dip balls into chocolate to coat, and place on wax paper. Sprinkle the tops with mini chocolate chips and place in the refrigerator or on the counter to cool. Serve when hardened!

My family and I really enjoyed the truffles and I will definitely make them again! I hope that you try the recipe and please let me know how it turns out and what method you used to dip the truffles!

Enjoy

Irena
xo

Blog Goals – Class Assignment

10 Feb

Please note this post is an assignment for my Building Social Media Relationships class at McMaster University Centre for Continuing Education.

As part of my Social Media class we were required to start a blog. Immediately I knew what I wanted to write about; food and fashion… two things that I am most interested in. I love all food but I mostly eat organic, raw, and local food. A lot of my family and friends make fun of the foods my husband, daughter, and I eat. We don’t eat anything weird, just real food without all of the chemicals, and junk in it. Having said that, I am NOT perfect when it comes to food; I enjoy trying different things and experimenting but, for most of my meals, I can confidently say they are, what I believe to be, healthy. I think a lot of people have the misconception that if something is organic it doesn’t taste good. And people are right, not everything organic is going to taste good, and the same goes for the non-organic foods. What I find most amusing is when people (some family members-not mentioning any names here, you know who you are) make a weird face or question me when I tell them what I bought or made just because it organic – and the funny thing is the only difference between the organic and non-organic is that the organic is not full of chemicals and preservatives! Wouldn’t you rather eat food that is not full of ingredients which you can’t pronounce or have no clue what they are?

I don’t force or push my beliefs on anyone but, I love to share information with anyone who is interested!

Because of the challenges and misconceptions I have encountered from others when the topic of healthy and organic food comes up, I wanted to write my blog about it. My main goal with this blog is to educate people on healthy food, inspire people to make better food choices, and also share my likes in fashion and style! I also wanted to illustrate that eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring or feel like a deprivation of any sorts!

I hope to achieve this goal by writing about healthy food choices and by sharing recipes of the delicious foods which I enjoy! I also like to eat out, and there are so many restaurants and shops in and around my community which offer organic, local and raw options which I plan to visit and also write about in hopes that people will also want to explore these places and make better dining choices. I also love fashion and exploring local shops and boutiques, and hope to inspire readers to also do the same.

Goals are a road map of where you want to be and unless you measure them in some way, you really will not know if you have reached them! So, how will I know if I reached my goals? Hmmmm… it’s a hard question but, I think I will know based on my blog post comments and the number of people that follow my blog. What’s a good number? I think 100 followers is great but, I think 200 is even better! That will really make me feel like people are interested in what I’m writing about and I will continue to do so! I hope you enjoy my blog and stay tuned for lots of yummy and exciting posts about food and fashion!

Thank you reading!

Irena

xo

verawnika

Nutrition,Raw Food,Healthy Living...

LifeOfKSong

A love triangle between Beauty & Fashion

The Evolution of Eloquence

Improving the English language one letter at a time

Top 10 of Anything and Everything!!!

Animals, Gift Ideas, Travel, Books, Recycling Ideas and Many, Many More

TechTalk X

TechTalk X is a series of interviews with the Tech and Creative Startups that are building growth in Ontario.

Canadian88.ca

Food | Drink | Travel | Cars | Lifestyle | Finance | Tech

The Dark Geek Rises

Talking Comics with the Nerdiest of Geeks

PonderPuss

Think about it...

saysshelly

Sassy. Sage. Sometimes Sarcastic. Never Dull.

A man and his racquet

Opinions on pro tennis to recreational tennis and everything in between

BIG BROTHER CANADA

A reality favourite close to home! All you need to know about what's going on in the Big Brother Canada House!

SWEAT, SOUL & SEQUINS

A synchronized swimmer’s adventures in fitness outside of the pool.

My Year In Gear

Adventures in 2013

Blue is the Colour - Chelsea FC

News and Updates on Chelsea FC

Nosh with Naho

Nosh -- Definition: Noun: Food, Verb: Eat food enthusiastically or greedily

Wanderfood

The hunt for delicious food with a dash of adventure along the way.

LU's News & Views

"List with LU...or call to VIEW!"

markinthehammer

Markin' my observations about the corner of the world at the head of the lake

two tickets to paradise

Follow me on my travel adventures

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: