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 1   Health & Fitness / Diet, Nutrition & Weight Loss / What's new in sports nutrition this summer?  on: August 23, 2016, 11:16:52 PM 
Started by cappuccino | Last post by cappuccino

(NC) Adding activity to your routine is a key contributor to health and happiness and the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) is dedicated to helping Canadians live to the fullest and achieve their health goals. With your summer workout routine in mind, CHFA's in-house holistic nutritionist, Michelle W. Book, has a few tips to help you improve power, enhance performance and optimize hydration:

Boosting power

When looking to boost your power or strength at the gym, you want to stimulate new muscle growth through resistance and endurance training. How effectively you repair and build muscle depends on the availability of protein in your body. Make sure your muscles have access to the protein they need by consuming protein-rich whole foods like lean meats, eggs and fish, and vegetable sources such as beans, lentils and legumes, nuts and seeds, tofu, and grains like quinoa.

If you're looking to supplements for a convenient source of protein, whey- and casein-based proteins from dairy sources are the most popular, but the growing trend towards plant-based foods and supplements has led to an increasing number of plant-based protein powders, including pea, hemp, soy and rice protein. These are available at a CHFA Member health food store in your community. Experiment with a few different options to find the fit that's right for you.

Enhancing performance

Can you push harder, run faster, reach farther and dig deeper?

“Fuelling smartly before a workout with complex carbohydrates for sustained energy release can give you an edge to push yourself that extra bit,” Michelle Book explains.

Chia seeds are a great source of carbs and also deliver protein and omega-3 fats. Whole grains like brown rice are also packed with complex carbs for sustained energy release while being low in calories. Chickpeas are another surprising energy-rich food, packed with protein for an added boost.

“Omega-3s are an often-overlooked supplement that can help to enhance your performance,” Book points out. These are heart-healthy fats that not only protect our blood vessels, but their anti-inflammatory effects help to reduce muscle soreness after a workout, as well.

Finally, B-vitamins, including vitamin B3 and vitamin B6 are key players in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which helps us contract our muscles and process carbs for energy.

“Making sure you're getting enough of these vitamins and minerals from foods or supplements is crucial,” Book says, “not just for your overall health, but also for optimal performance when you exercise.”

Optimizing hydration

One of the drivers of athletic performance is maintaining the balance of fluid and electrolytes in our bodies. Body fluids are essential for removing waste and toxins, maintaining proper neural and muscle function, regulating body temperature, delivering fuel, and taking the brunt of shock absorption while lubricating our joints.

“Skip the energy drink and try coconut water or maple water, which are naturally rich in electrolytes,” Book explains. Electrolytes are minerals, like sodium, chloride, magnesium and calcium, which keep neurons firing and muscles contracting.

Canadians are becoming more aware of the role nutrition plays in taking their exercise goals up a notch. Some are pushing for a new personal best time on a 10-kilometre run, while others want to add some lean muscle and lose a few centimetres around the belly, and many are looking to boost their energy. Visit to learn more about how you can reach these goals and more. This site will also help you locate a natural health retailer to assist you on the journey.

 2   Family & Home / food & nutrition tips / Take your health to the next level with sea greens  on: August 23, 2016, 11:14:51 PM 
Started by cappuccino | Last post by cappuccino

(NC) Our fascination with getting more greens into our diet continues to grow, along with our search for healthier and more sustainable food options. The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) named sea vegetables as one of the top natural health trends of 2016 — but it looks like they'll be more than just a trend. The unwavering momentum shows that sea vegetables have lasting power to become an important part of our daily lives.

If you're new to these greens, here's the lowdown on three of the most popular ones — spirulina, nori, and chlorella — and why they're being hailed as the newest superfoods, plus how you can easily add them to your daily routine for an extra healthy punch.


This proves to be the most popular choice of sea greens. In the past year, we've seen spirulina added to the aisles of natural health stores across the country in a variety of forms. This dried, blue-green algae, grown naturally in the ocean and some subtropical lakes, can be found in organic powder form, supplements, and even in snacks like dark chocolate (which is already rich in antioxidants), making spirulina an extremely versatile ingredient.

Spirulina is high in B-vitamins, specifically riboflavin (vitamin B2), which is essential in helping your body produce red blood cells, turning carbohydrates into fuel, and metabolizing fats and protein. Spirulina is also a source of C-phycocyanin, a powerful liver detoxifier that helps increase your liver's ability to break down and remove toxins from the body. An easy way to get more spirulina in your diet is by adding it to your morning smoothie.


If you've ever gone out for sushi, you'll know what this one is. Nori is the name for this particular type of seaweed (which is actually a type of red seaweed, but has a green appearance). While nori is a staple in Japanese and other East Asian cuisines, we're finding more and more uses for this delicious snack.

Nori contains many beneficial vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, folic acid, fibre and magnesium. Not only that, but it's rich in iodine, which creates thyroid hormones that help in the regulating of our weight and metabolism, as well as in the enhancing of our growth, development and energy. You can get nori cut up in small pieces in convenient snack packs, or in larger sheets that you can crumple up and sprinkle on your salad.


Chlorella is also a green algae that's typically grown in Asian countries like Taiwan and Japan, and is available in powder and supplement forms. Similar to spirulina in more than just colour, chlorella contains all the essential amino acids and is high in protein.

Chlorella is an excellent vegan source of iron and the form of vitamin B12 that can be absorbed well by your body. Both of these essential nutrients aid in the production of hemoglobin in your red blood cells, which helps to ensure that these cells — and your body — receive enough oxygen. The best part is that you can experiment. Try it in a supplement, in powder form in your shake, or in a homemade salad dressing.

These greens may not be new, but they've never been more easily accessible than they are now. Visit to find your nearest natural health retailer and discover how these supplements can help you.

 3   Family & Home / chicken & turkey recipes / Blended Chicken Cheeseburgers  on: August 23, 2016, 11:13:01 PM 
Started by cappuccino | Last post by cappuccino

(NC) These chicken and mushroom burgers are flavourful, simple to make and offer a lighter alternative to a traditional beef burger.

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Yield: 6 (1/3 lb.) patties

Blended Chicken Cheeseburgers


• 1/2 lb. mushrooms, finely chopped
• 1 lb. lean ground chicken
• 1/2 small onion, finely diced
• 1/2 tsp garlic & herb seasoning
• 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
• 1 egg
• 5 hamburger buns
• 5 slices of American cheese
• Toppings: Lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, pickles

1. Place the mushrooms in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until finely chopped.
2. In a large bowl combine mushrooms, beef, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs and egg; mix all ingredients until incorporated. Form into 6 patties (1/3 lb), and cook either on the barbecue or on the stove-top until internal temperature reaches 160°F. During last minute of cooking, top patties with cheese. Keep warm until cheese begins to melt.
3. Place patty on warmed bun and top with lettuce, tomato and red onion.

 4   Family & Home / beef recipes / Indo Jamaican Patties  on: August 23, 2016, 11:10:54 PM 
Started by cappuccino | Last post by cappuccino

(NC) A spicy blend of mushrooms and beef are packed inside a flaky pastry, making these appetizers hard to resist. The recipe is by Carol Nelson Brown of

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 mins.

Indo Jamaican Patties

Ingredients: Patties

• 2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed but still cold

• 1 egg beaten with a splash of milk and 1/2 tsp turmeric

• 1 bowl of beef and mushroom filling

• Kosher salt or fleur de sel

Ingredients: Beef and Mushroom Filling:

• 2 tbsp butter

• 250 grams ground beef

• 100 grams button mushrooms (4 large), rough chop

• 1 onion, rough chop

• 3 scallions, greens included, rough chop

• 1/4 cup frozen peas

• 2 cloves garlic, rough chop

• 1 scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and chopped

• 2 tsp curry powder

• 1 tsp kosher salt

• Fresh, black pepper to taste

• 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

• 1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken stock


1. First, whiz up some crusty Italian bread to make fresh crumbs.

2. Next, throw your mushrooms into the food processor and pulse until finely ground and put aside.

3. Now, put the onion, scallion, garlic and scotch bonnet pepper into the food processor and pulse until minced.

4. Melt the butter over medium heat in a frying pan and saute the scallion mixture for about five minutes until softened but not browned. Using a spatula, scrape the mixture out into a bowl and set aside. Now add the ground mushrooms and the beef to the pan and start to cook it, smashing the beef down with your spatula as you stir so that you don't end up with big chunks of meat. You want the meat/mushroom mixture to be crumbly.

5. When it's almost cooked, add the scallion mixture back into the pan and continue to cook until there is no pink colour at all left to the meat.

6. Throw in the curry, salt and pepper, frozen peas, bread crumbs and 1/4 cup of chicken stock and stir well to combine. Cover the pan and let it cook for about ten minutes, checking it from time to time to make sure it's not getting too dry. You want it to be very moist but not liquid.Add a slurp more stock during this time if you need to keep the mixture the right consistency.

7. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest. You can make this a day ahead and refrigerate until needed.

8. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

9. Lay out one of your sheets of puff pastry, on the parchment it's wrapped in. Keep the other roll of pastry in the fridge until you need it. If you use something else, put a piece of parchment onto your baking sheet.

10. Cut the pastry into 4-inch squares.

11. Lay out the puff pastry and brush each one with the egg wash. Put a heaping tablespoon of filling in the middle. Fold the edge over to make a triangle and seal the edges with the tines of a fork. Prick two rows of holes on top and move to a parchment lined cookie sheet.

12. Repeat with the second roll of pastry and when you have all the patties on the cookie sheet, brush them all with the egg wash and sprinkle with some coarse salt.

13. Pop those in the oven and cook them for about 35 minutes, until they have puffed up and are starting to brown a bit. The patties are best right out of the oven but are still really good at room temperature.

Find more ways to add fabulous flavour to your meals at

 5   Family & Home / cooking & preparation tips / Make more out of mushrooms  on: August 23, 2016, 11:08:26 PM 
Started by cappuccino | Last post by cappuccino

(NC) Keeping meals light and healthy is a clever way to beat the summer heat. Fresh mushrooms, for example, are a perfect choice for low energy-dense diets due to these three reasons. They have high water content, are low in fat, and contain valuable fibre.

Foodies remind us that by adding mushrooms to some of our favourite summertime meals, we instantly lighten the dish by lowering calories, cholesterol, and saturated fat. The technique is easy. In a classic family dish, for instance, blend finely-chopped, umami-rich mushrooms into a portion of ground meat. Or, mix mushrooms into burger patties for a full-bodied burger that tastes great at a fraction of the calories.

Blending beef and mushrooms together helps to bring another serving of vegetables to the plate, adds volume to meals, and extends portions. Not only can you slide those veggies past picky eaters, but they'll also be asking for seconds.

The trend is to blend-and-extend your menu this summer. Your family will love the taste and you'll love the benefits.

More information is available online at

 6   Family & Home / cooking & preparation tips / Take the flavour of your burger to new heights  on: August 23, 2016, 11:06:58 PM 
Started by cappuccino | Last post by cappuccino

(NC) No meal is more fun in the summertime than a delicious backyard barbecue. Gathered around the patio with family and friends, a perfectly grilled batch of burgers is always a crowd-pleaser.

But if you're looking for ways to really impress others at your next cookout, consider these tips on how to take your burger from ground zero to high flyer:

1. Stacked Up: Gravity, schmavity! The more toppings – the more flavour. Don't let a fear of heights stop you from piling your favourite burger garnishes sky-high.

2. The Three S's: The best burgers incorporate three flavour categories: sweet, spicy and smoky. One bite into the High Flyer burger (recipe from Bick's Pickles), and you'll savour the perfect blend of sweet green relish, smoky bacon and hot pepper rings which turn this burger into a summer sensation.

3. Pickle Perfection: While relish is a vital part of any classic burger recipe, don't forget to explore its other pickled friends. From hot banana pepper rings to spicy pickle slices, you can add an unforgettable crunch and flavour. Pickles are a trendy staple for any well-dressed burger.

Try this:

Bick's High Flyer Burger

• 1 brioche bun, lightly toasted

• 2 tbsp (30ml) cream cheese

• 1/4 cup (50ml) micro greens or salad greens

• 1 slice red onion

• 1/4 avocado, sliced

• 3 slices bacon, cooked crisp

• 1 burger, cooked

• 1 tbsp (15ml) Bick's Sweet Green Relish

• 1 slice pineapple

• 2 tbsp (30ml) Bick's Hot Pepper Rings

• 2 Bick's Sandwich Savers Hot n' Spicy Pickles

• 1 tsp each (5ml) mustard and mayonnaise, optional

Spread cream cheese evenly on top and bottom buns. Layer remaining ingredients.

The High Flyer burger will have everyone trying to get on your invitation list this year. To build even more gravity-defying intrigue, visit and find out how you can up the ante at your next barbecue party with a chance to win a visit from a drone.

 7   Family & Home / cooking & preparation tips / Host this summer's best backyard barbecue  on: August 23, 2016, 11:02:39 PM 
Started by cappuccino | Last post by cappuccino

(NC) Summer is heating up and many of us are thinking about heating up the barbecue too – especially for entertaining.

If you need a little refresher before your guests arrive, here are some helpful tips from Ozery Bakery, each one designed to turn up the heat on your next barbecue:

• Prep in advance. To ease last minute anxiety, marinate meats, assemble side dishes and chop any fruits or vegetables you'll need, beforehand.

• Plan your menu.Have a list ready before you leave for the store so you don't forget burger buns or any condiments.

• Transform the basics. Go beyond ketchup and mustard, and offer an assortment of cheeses, roasted veggies, hot sauces and other garnishes.

• Provide entertainment. Classic backyard games like horseshoes or badminton, cards or even a fun music playlist can liven up your backyard bash.

How about a fresh, homemade spread to tantalize your guests as well? This is a quick and easy appetizer to serve with pita, or even as a topping on your burger:

Sundried Tomato Spread

Total Time: 5-10 minutes


• 1 1/2 cups roasted pumpkinseeds

• 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

• 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes in oil

• 1/4 tsp black pepper

• 8 large fresh basil leaves

• 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


Place pumpkinseeds, parmesan cheese, sun dried tomatoes, pepper and basil leaves into a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds to blend. Add olive oil in a slow stream while blending, until desired consistency is obtained. Remove from processor, place in serving bowl and chill until ready to serve.

More entertaining and barbeque recipes are available at

 8   Family & Home / breakfast & snack recipes / Cinnamon Pita Chips  on: August 23, 2016, 10:59:54 PM 
Started by cappuccino | Last post by cappuccino

(NC) This summer, hundreds of us will hit the highways for an exciting road trip getaway, so let the fun begin. Don't rely, for example, on drive-thru fast food or convenience store junk when there are far better snacks to tantalize our taste buds. Keep your hunger at bay with this travel-friendly, and healthy, recipe from Ozery Bakery:

Cinnamon Pita Chips

Prep time: 10 minutes


• 2 Whole Wheat Pitas

• 4 tbsp coconut oil or butter, melted

• 5 tsp granulated sugar

• 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice each pita in half, then each into six equal-sized wedges. In a bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. Brush both sides of each pita wedge with coconut oil. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture evenly over both sides of the pita wedges, and place on baking sheet in a single layer. Do not overlap.

Bake for 15 minutes, turn over and bake another 10-15 minutes, or until wedges are crisp. Let chips cool on a wire rack before serving.

 9   Family & Home / fish & seafood recipes / Fish Taco Bowl  on: August 23, 2016, 10:57:59 PM 
Started by cappuccino | Last post by cappuccino

(NC) The warm weather is upon us, and what better way to start the season than with a summertime-suitable recipe? We may live in Canada, but there's no reason why a well-stocked pantry can't be the gateway to an easy-to-make, Mexican-inspired dish. With pantry staples such as Minute Rice Basmati Rice on hand, you're already a third of the way to a great taco bowl – and in a half hour. Now that's a #weekdaywin.

Fish Taco Bowl


• 2 pouches (125 g each) Minute Rice Basmati Rice

• 1 lb (500 g) fish fillets (such as tilapia, haddock or cod), cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes

• 1 tbsp (15 mL) Cajun seasoning

• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

• 3 tbsp (45 mL) canola oil

• 1 pkg (340 g) coleslaw mix

• 1/4 cup (60 mL) prepared coleslaw dressing

• Lime wedges

• 1/3 cup (75 mL) tomato salsa (optional)

• 1/3 cup (75 mL) guacamole (optional)


Step 1: Cook rice according to package directions.

Step 2: Meanwhile, toss fish with Cajun seasoning and salt. In large, nonstick skillet, heat half of the oil over medium heat; cook fish in batches, adding more oil as needed, for 2 or 3 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through. Toss coleslaw with dressing.

Step 3: Divide rice evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Top with some of the coleslaw, fish and lime wedge. Serve with salsa and guacamole (if using).

Nutrition Facts. Per 1/4 recipe: Calories 360, Fat 15g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 680mg, Carbohydrate 30g, Fibre 3g, Sugars 3g, Protein 26g

For simple meal ideas and inspiration, visit

 10   Family & Home / quick & easy recipes / Middle Eastern Rice with Spiced Chicken and Chickpeas  on: August 23, 2016, 10:55:56 PM 
Started by cappuccino | Last post by cappuccino

(NC) With the sunshine out, and outdoor activities in full swing, we are all looking for quick and easy meals that limit our time in the kitchen. The good news is that you can put flavourful meals on the table in 15 minutes, thanks to spices that most of us already have in the pantry and Minute Rice ready to serve rice cups.

Middle Eastern Rice with Spiced Chicken and Chickpeas


• 4 (125 g each) Minute Rice Cups Ready to Serve Long Grain & Wild Rice – Fine Herb

• 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil

• 1 lb (500 g) ground chicken

• 2 tsp (10 mL) paprika

• 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin

• 1 tsp (5 mL) ground coriander

• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper

• 1 cup (250 mL) canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

• 1 can (14 oz/398 mL) diced tomatoes

• 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley


Step 1: Cook rice according to package directions.

Step 2: Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook chicken, paprika, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper, stirring, for 5 to 8 minutes or until chicken is browned.

Step 3: Stir in chickpeas and tomatoes; bring to simmer. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Serve with rice. Sprinkle with parsley.

Tip: For a vegetarian option, replace chicken with ground tofu.

Nutrition Facts. Per 1/4 recipe: Calories 530, Fat 22g, Cholesterol 65mg, Sodium 960mg, Carbohydrate 56g, Fibre 5g, Sugars 4g, Protein 28g

For simple 1+1+1 meal ideas and inspiration, visit or share your #weekdaywin on social media to inspire others.

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