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Shed Your Sugar

  • Renewing My Thoughts on Relaxation

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    By Cathy Richards

    As another holiday winds down, I am sitting at a cafe with a very large pot of tea. I am utterly wrecked, but thrilled to find myself with nothing but paper and pen to talk to, and blessed to have had this week away.

    Why do I tell myself I will return from trips well-rested? I never have. Between airline delays, cramped trains, random lingering smells, paper thin walls, snoring neighbours, forgotten luggage, strange food and language barriers, relaxation was never a possibility. Compound that with the self-inflicted damage of long bike rides , too much cheese, too much champagne, and it makes for a tired, worn-out body.

    Yet despite the physical fatigue, I feel as though I am restored and ready to take on new challenges, both in life and at work.

    We have been discussing this distinction between rest and renewal a lot recently. Rest is what you do when you plop on the couch at the end of a long day, enjoying a glass of wine or a bath. It requires very little of you. Renewal on the other hand harder, but more rewarding. It gives back only as much as you put in. Good examples are yoga or painting or hikes in the woods. With renewal you drain your energy to zero in order to bounce back up to full. With only rest, you'll never fully operate at your maximum capacity.

    This trip has not provided rest, in fact, quite the opposite. But I am certainly renewed.

    Share with us: How do you renew? What activities help you recharge instead of relax?

    (Photo - Sunset Yoga via Flickr user Ursula Le Guin)

  • Simply Summer Chip Challenge: First Place

    stuffed

    After all the votes had been counted and results had been tallied, one recipe stood above the rest. Using our Simply Protein Herb Chips, Sina Faust submitted us a delightful take on a stuffed mushroom recipe that simply won us over. We can't wait to try these delicious stuffed mushrooms along with all the other recipes that were submitted to us! Congratulations to the 3 top prize winners, and thanks to all who participated. We may even use some of our other favorite recipes from this contest in the near future, so stay tuned!

    Crunchy Protein Chips stuffed Mushrooms

    Ingredients:
    - 15 fresh stuffing mushrooms
    - 3 tbs coconut oil (can substitute butter or margarine)
    - 2 tbs thin/finely chopped bell pepper (whichever variety you prefer)
    - 1 tbs finely shredded Cheddar Cheese
    - 3 tbs fine grated Parmesan Cheese
    - 2 tbs thin/fine chopped red onion
    - 1 tsp Italian seasoning (Basil, Oregano, Marjoram, Thyme, Rosemary, Pepper, Salt, Garlic)
    - 1 package (33g) Simply Protein Herb Chips (Processed into fine/medium bread crumbs)

    Steps:
    1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (205ºC)
    2. Cut out the stems of your mushrooms, keeping half of them
    3. Finely chop the remaining stems and set them aside
    4. In a small pan heat coconut oil, add mushroom stems, onions and pepper, cook on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes (stirring constantly).
    5. Remove pan from heat and add your Italian seasoning, Parmesan, shredded Cheddar and your Protein Chips
    7. Stir until ingredients are evenly mixed with the oil
    8. Fill your mushrooms with the micture, put in the oven for about 15 minutes
    9. Take the mushrooms out of the oven and eat right away if preferred hot, or later when cool

     

  • Simply Summer Chip Challenge: Second Place

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    We just loved this recipe for BBQ Protein Ketchup from our friend Sarah Martorella (@thenutritiousprincess)! With summer in full-swing, this recipe adds a delicious homemade touch to any meats or veggies grilled at gatherings in the great outdoors. Drizzle it on a burger, or as a dunking sauce for your favorite sweet potato fries.

    BBQ Salad

    Ingredients:
    -1 can tomato puree (156ml)
    -1/8 cup honey (vegan option: maple syrup)
    -¼ cup apple cider vinegar
    -½ tsp pink Himalayan salt
    -1 ½ tsp onion powder
    -¼ tsp oregano
    -1 tsp smoked paprika
    -1 pinch of black pepper
    -1 pack bbq tomato Simply Protein chips

    Directions:
    -Using a food processor or rolling pin, crush the simply protein chips into powder
    -Place the tomato puree, honey and apple cider vinegar in a small pot. Add all the spices. Bring to a boil and then turn down to medium heat.
    -Add the powdered chips to the pot
    -Let the ketchup simmer for 40-45 minutes.
    -Store in a glass jar, let the sauce cool and enjoy!

    What dish would you use this BBQ Protein Ketchup in?

  • Simply Summer Chip Challenge: Third Place

    Thanks to all who entered our Simply Summer Chip Challenge! All of the recipes submitted looked delicious, and it was very hard to pick our favorites. This week we'll be sharing our top three favorite recipes with you from the dozens of delicious options submitted.

    In third place - BBQ Tomato Zucchini Patties submitted by Isabelle Lebel:

    We loved this recipe for its wholesomeness and simplicity. Using the savory flavors of our BBQ tomato chips to contrast some of the lighter and more aromatic flavors of the zucchini patties makes for a well-balanced entree.

    BBQ Zucchini Patties (1)

    Ingredients (8 patties):
    -1 large zucchini
    -1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (if possible, freshly grated)
    -1/4 tsp paprika
    -1 garlic clove, minced
    -1 egg
    -1 bag BBQ Tomato Simply Protein Chips, crushed
    -1-2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (for cooking)

    Steps:
    -Grate the zucchini, then remove excess water (very important!) by putting the grated zucchini in paper towels or a cheese cloth and squeezing to release the water
    -Beat egg with hand whip, then combine with drained grated zucchini, Parmesan cheese, paprika, minced garlic, and crushed protein chips
    -Using a heaping table spoon, form 8 patties
    -Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, then add patties and cook until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes/side).

    Try this recipe out for yourself and share your results with us on Facebook and Twitter!

  • 5 Easy Ways to Spruce Up Your Home This Summer

    With long days and plenty of sunshine, summer is the perfect time to get creative with DIY projects. You may not have time for a full-blown renovation, but periodically refreshing your home with easy projects is a great way to shake things up and revitalize both yourself and your space. Here are some simple spruce-ups to try this summer.

    1. Plant a garden.

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     (via Flickr user KateMonkey)

    While springtime gets the most press for planting, midsummer is a fine time to start a garden—and nothing will rejuvenate your backyard more. Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale are perfect for second season planting, as well as flowers like pansies, poppies, and sweet peas. Worried that your black thumb can’t handle a whole garden? Start small with a planter of herbs—cilantro, chives, and parsley are all good choices.

    2. Create a gallery wall.

    Turn those memories of summer fun into a gallery wall that you can enjoy all year long. Gallery walls are a wonderful way to let your personality shine through because they’re so versatile and can showcase anything from family photos to favorite works of art. Check out Pinterest for ideas, or get started with one of these tutorials instead.

    If space is an issue, fill a collage frame instead. You won’t have to worry about spacing each frame perfectly, either.

    3. Make a fire pit.

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     (via Flickr user Jamie Beverly)

    Whether you’re enjoying a few drinks with friends, or making s’mores with your kids, there are few things better than cozying up to a warm fire on a cool summer night. You can build one yourself, or let Home Depot do the heavy lifting. It can be as inexpensive or elaborate as you’d like, making it an accessible project for anyone. Arrange a few Adirondack chairs around it, and you’re all set for outdoor entertaining.

    4. Paint an accent wall.

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     (via Flickr user Nancy Hugo, CKD)

    The fastest way to brighten up a room is to paint it, but who wants to spend the dog days of summer on such a laborious project? Instead of painting the entire room, try painting an accent wall instead. Not only does an accent wall take less time, but it also allows you to be bold with your color choice and style.

    5. Befriend backyard birds.

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     (via Flickr user Jerry Platter)

    Bring some life into your yard by setting up a bird feeder, or better yet, a hummingbird feeder. It’s quick, inexpensive, and fun to see which birds live in your area.

    Keep squirrels at bay by hanging your feeder on a metal post, which they’ll have difficulty scaling. You can also use safflower seeds instead of sunflower seeds, since squirrels don’t enjoy munching on them as much.

  • Natural Sugars and Holiday Treats

    The holidays are upon us, and that means lots of holiday parties and get-togethers will be filling our calendars in the weeks to come. There will be plenty of opportunities to connect with family and friends, while indulging in yummy foods and tasty drinks galore. But wait! That means lots of extra sugar too!

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  • Living with Diabetes

    There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Patients with type 1 diabetes struggle with insulin production because their immune systems actually destroy the cells that release insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps the body control the level of glucose in the blood. A lack of insulin means cells cannot absorb sugar (glucose) and use it properly for energy.  Continue reading

  • Weight loss - what's in a number anyway?

    waistAnyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows it’s not an easy task. Many people struggle with weight loss, and try endless diets and fitness regimes in an effort to shed those pounds.

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  • Changes in the Brain

    Change happens

    brainIt’s a well-known fact that, with age, our brains change. They not only change in size (unfortunately, they get smaller) but they also change in terms of regular functioning and susceptibility to certain illnesses such as stroke and dementia. Changes in levels of neurotransmitters and levels of hormones generally lead to some form of memory impairment that comes with age.

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  • Obesity: A growing problem in Canada

    The obesity rate in Canada has almost tripled in the last 30 years. According to Statistics Canada, last year 53.6% of Canadian adults were overweight or obese, and 20.7% of Canadian youth were overweight or obese.

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