Food on Sticks

YAWN! (rumble)

Bored and feeling nibbly, I decide to take on a new, part time, and mostly temporary career. As experts recommend, I took two of my top self-diagnosed strengths: criticizing and eating, and came to a logical conclusion – I was both hungry and feeling the need to opine. This then led me to a career related decision – it was time to let my inner food critic out.

Nelly the Food Critic

Next, liking this whole dual combination theme, and having the perfect item on hand (convenience rocks!), I easily find the first item to put up on the judge’s table:

Cupcake pops!

Whimsical, fanciful, relatively new and wonderfully unknown to many, cupcake pops are to dessert lovers what vodka is to my martinis – a natural fit! Attending a fund raising bake sale (I live to give…to my stomach) I pick up my first cupcake pop made by local bakery Sweet Teas Cupcakesand am both excited and annoyed:

Excitement = So pretty! So cute! So yummy looking!

Annoyance = $3?! For 2 bites of cake?? Yes, I’m cheap but I can also buy a slice of cake for $5. Heck, I can get a whole cake for $10! This had better be an amazing 2-bite cake bit.

After taking a few perfunctory pictures (smile for the camera lil cupcake pop), I take a huge bite into this delectable looking baked good and it’s………..

I luv u so much I'd marry u!

Disgusting.

The cake pop was heavy. Which should have been my first clue that it wasn’t going to be the light and fluffy treat I envisioned. It was like eating a chunk of half-cooked pound cake dunked in super sweet fondant icing. I force myself to chew as its mammoth, unwelcome shape lumps around in my mouth, my tongue unwillingly pushing it side to side.

Finally, after much hesitation, and quite a few pep talks, I choke down the half chewed mass. I wonder if there are any rules in this food critiquing business. Like rule #1 – do I have to eat all of anything I decide to critique?

Looking down at this un-delectable, un-yummy creation, and glancing at my garbage can in the corner, I know there’s only one thing I can do with this ‘crapcake pop’.

I take another bite.

I dislike u so much I'd divorce u & leave u with the kids...

Confirmed. It’s just as bad as the first bite but this time I intelligently decide to spit it into the garbage can versus taking on wasteful calories (food critiquing rules be damned!).

As most of my blog inspired part time jobs (pie critic, art critic, trade show critic, etc. ) my role as food critic was fun but seemingly short lived. The thought of having to force down another wad of yucky cupcake on a stick in order to critique it was both unpleasant and undesirable (yet not altogether unreasonable – suffering for my readers!)

However, as my friend pointed out to me, there are so many tasty food items out there that come on sticks, I can easily branch out and move away from just ‘cupcakes’ on sticks.

Genius!

Later, on my way out that night, I pass by my local Starbucks and see another stick-ed food item:

Mmmmm. (pic via Starbucks.com)

Cake pops! So whimsical, so fanciful, and so completely different from those cupcake pops I’ve heard too much about.  What a unique and original idea. Nelley the Food Critic is back with her next original ‘food on stick’ assignment – Cake pops.

Ooo I can’t wait to try one!

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Cupcake pops pic source
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Unexciting, Non-Adventure

I saw the ad weeks ago and was excited ever since. I’ve been dying to do some exciting outdoor stuff in Vancouver and knew (I KNEW!) The Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show would be the show to help me do it. Woo!

Grabbing an equally excited friend, we excitedly went to the venue, excitedly bought our tickets and excitedly burst through the doors of the convention centre.

And that’s when all the excitement ended.

For a show with the words  “Outdoor Adventure” and “Travel” in it, you would assume  interesting and, well, exciting, right? Well you shouldn’t.  To put it in perspective, the most exciting thing about the show was the free bag of Old Dutch potato chips we got on our way out.

So what was I expecting, anyway?

New ideas! Fun (and preferably local) activities to do on the weekend. Affordable would be nice but outside the box would be better. I already mountain bike, snowboard, hike, camp, ice skate, roller blade, box, kick box and run (well light jog). Gimme something else to do.

Enter the boredom

Soooo many booths. And they all look the same. Oooo! maybe it’s like a maze and if you can find your way around you win a prize? No? Just confusing and maze-like by accident. Oh. Call me lazy (because I can be) but I didn’t want to have to use a map to navigate my way to the one booth I came to see anyway or to have to figure out where I was in the large room without the incentive of a prize for my efforts.

The lows

Free stuff

Free stuff? Yes, usually a highlight anywhere, the Motts Garden Cocktail booth was giving away huge cups filled with tomato juice – I mean garden cocktail. Now I love tomato juice (although I’m used to it including vodka and a celery stick…) but even I couldn’t stomach two and a half cups of the stuff in one sitting. Sure enough, one booth over, there were piles of half filled cups all over an empty table.

Adventure slide shows

As per the website:

See breathtaking slide presentations, and hear from seasoned adventure travelers as they share incredible stories of the thrill of adventure travel!

Yes, that’s what a true adventurer wants to do. Hear about other people’s fun times and thrilling lives. Complete with a slide show of static pics?? Whoa. That doesn’t sound boring at all!

Even the cafeteria/food services area was un-adventurous. Nowhere was there Eagle meat burgers, Dodo bird flavoured potato sticks or even Unicorn taquitos.  The most adventurous item on the menu – hot dogs.

Whose booth is this anyway?

If any of the following booths cause your breath to quicken, your heart to skip or your pulse to race…then you lead a very boring and sad life:

  • We introduce to you…The Safeway Pharmacy booth
  • The Province Newspaper booth– I like the province newspaper and read it all the time, but I also like Entertainment Weekly, O Magazine and the daily 24 hours newspaper. My point – none of them belong at the outdoor adventure/travel show.
  • Canada Border Services Agency boothreminding you of what you can and cannot travel with (still have that ‘no weapons’ rule? Party poopers!)
  • Canadian Diabetes Association booth????
  • Canadian Food and Inspection Agency booth – ????
  • Green Party of Canada booth????

The highs

Campink – Pink camping gear! We all know we can get camping gear anywhere  (ever heard of M.E.C or Walmart?) so you really need to give me some kind of incentive to buy it at the show and lug it all home.

Answer: Make it pretty and colour it pink.  A unique twist on an original product.

I don’t even need to go camping to use this stuff either. I will happily find a use for a bright pink flantern.

You'll go perfectly with my neon green living room set!

Surfsister – surfing lessons on the beach. They provide the wetsuits and gear so all I have to do is show up. Sweet. That’s how l like all my activities – pre set, exciting, and requiring little more than for me to show up (kinda like a good first date). Now while I’d prefer if they were in Vancouver (they’re in Tofino, BC – a 4 hour trek away), they tell me the reason for the Tofino location is because they need an ‘ocean’ and ‘waves’ in order for us to surf.

Bah humbug. Call me when we can start surfing ‘inland’ or in a ‘wave pool’ (which is a really good idea so somebody invent that!)

On the other hand

iparaglide – It’s the newest thing I want to try – paragliding!  I went to the show specifically to see what price I could get and where they were located (the office address is located downtown which sort of didn’t make sense…).  Turns out that beginners paraglide off a big hill/slope located 2 cities to the south of Vancouver and then after we get better we get to paraglide off a mountain located 4 cities to the east of Vancouver. That (out-of-the-way locations) and it’s pricey are two of the reasons I decided to put my wallet away. Starting in the hundreds, I also have to add in the cost of renting a car to get to the various public transit-unfriendly mountains.

Boo.

So although I love adventure and I crave excitement and I live for something fun to do, it seems I still have no problem doing anything fun and adventurous…

As long as it’s within my city limits.

And for free. 😉

The Follow Up

Following up has never been my thing. I live for loose ends. I feed off half-stories and partial tales. Once something happens, it’s done with. Plus, if it’s that important then I’m sure I’ll hear about it from someone else soon enough (let someone else worry about that). This is true for me, but for others, these nagging bits of unfinished business might be the end of you. Maybe I’ve been leading you on for the last while. I’ve started topics, piqued your curiosity, engaged your mind, made you all hot and bothered about an interesting topic and then stopped abruptly before getting you to the literary climax you deserve.

 Well to all of you still sitting in limbo, consider this edition your happy ending.

Where we left off

Original post: How to pick up guys and other inanimate objects  

Where we left off: I wanted to find a man (I was bored that day) and asked you yahoos what the best way was. Taking a look at the poll – you suggested I ridiculously leave it to fate. Like god doesn’t have anything better to do than send a hottie my way. Sheesh.

The follow-up: But as suggested, I did leave it to fate….and fate led me to plenty of fish.com. Priced @ $0, it was definitely within my price range. Now my potentials can find me in person or online, woo! I’m so multidimensional now.

I'M my own fate, dammit!

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Original post: At first I was afraid

Where we left off: I claimed I was a social media marketer (only cuz I am!)

The follow-up:  I’m now working with 3 companies (2 paid, one volunteer) as a Marketing/Social media specialist. I love it when slight exaggeration turns into happy reality.

Lesson kids: When you keep lying to yourself, everyone eventually believes it too and then it becomes a reality. Yay!

——————————

Original post: A novel idea  

Where we left off: Me- the novice novelist. You – the critical critic. Together we made a lopsided cake (there was no support, get it??). I promised gifts of power, unrestrained judgement, the title of ultimate critic and a $25 Visa Gift card prize contingent on me receiving at least 25 comments.  Even after a massive social media marketing campaign, I only received just over a dozen responses (all great!). 

So what’s a girl to do?: the only rational thing to do – Run the contest again! All the current entries will remain intact but I’m giving everyone else till Jan 31st to read the snippet and post or email a comment. If I get 25+ comments, then I’ll randomly select a winner. Anything less than 25, then EVERYONE who responds gets a $5 gift card to a popular location, woo!

——————————

Original post: DAM that sounds good

Where we left off: At the end of this post I promoted several posts that I planned on writing.

The follow-up:  

  • Budget Life: Math time! Add up all the money you spend in a month on the fun stuff, cut it by over 60% and then try to live off the rest. Can you reach the end of the month before you reach the end of the money?
  • The $10 Dinner Party: Serving a party of 7 on a $10 budget.  Macaroni and cheese not allowed… Darn it.
  • What in the world?: Sometimes I attend events that can go really, really well…or the complete opposite.  Either way it makes for a great story.
  • Bye-Bye Mustard: Pineapple slices; chutney; alfalfa sprouts; cranberry sauce; butter chicken sauce; bacon wrapped and deep-fried. Creative and delicious (?) ways the old-fashioned hot dog has being revamped.
    • STATUS: Ya, well I did actually start going to a few hot doggie places but after trying 6 different types of hot dogs, I realized that I never wanted to eat another hot dog again. Perhaps next time I shouldn’t try eating all 6 in one sitting…. Burp.

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Original post: Pie Times

Where we left off: We didn’t leave off anywhere. I just love that there were 22 homemade pies to try and none of them were boring ol  apple. I will never get over this very wonderful day!

The bottom line: I will attend anything as long as there’s food involved. 😉

When's the last time YOU had 22 pie samples?

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The original post: Happy 365! (My one year blogging anniversary)

Where we left off: Another post tantalizing you with upcoming post ideas.

The follow-up:

  • Gastronomic Anomalies: with so much good food out there, why do people feel the need to make this stuff??
    • STATUS: postponed. This was in regards to an invention by my favourite late night poutine parlour – poutine pizza. Regular pizza crust, gravy and cheddar cheese as topping, and deep-fried French fries on top. Sound delicious? Yup, to me too. Gotta try this little bit of heaven one day.
  • Happy Sexy You
  • How am I supposed to eat THAT?
    • STATUS: Well this one’s still coming up so I’m not gonna give this one away just yet…
  • The bartering system: the real oldest profession
    • STATUS: Ditto for this. I’ve got some great ideas for this one too!

 Did I miss something?

 So there you have it. A follow-up to most, if not all of the open-ended posts I’ve left you hanging with for the past few years. If I missed anything or if you have questions about something I’ve done in the past (or said I was gonna do is more likely), feel free to drop me a line and ask me a question in the comments box below or @ nelleytimes@gmail.com.  Maybe I’ll follow up your question with a whole blog post…or maybe I’ll just start a blog post and leave the ending up to your imagination. After all, the #1 rule for everything is simple:

You gotta leave ’em wanting more…

Wedding Fever

I want to get married!

Well, not anytime soon (pencil me in for 2020 – a nice round number)

…and certainly not to anyone in particular (whomever fits in the tux!)

…and if you pressed me on this point, I could certainly forgo the whole ‘marriage’ thing too (who needs that stress??)

But after attending the Urban Wedding show and the Welcome Wagon Wedding show, I’ve decided what I do want is a big party dedicated to me, moi, MEEE!

Urban Wedding Show freebies

I like to tell everyone that I’m shy (I’m really not) and the ultra extravagant, once-in-a-lifetime, blow out extravaganza I’m planning in my mind would prove 2 things to everyone:

  1. I’m a liar
  2. I’m really an egomaniac
  3. I love an open bar  (Yeah, Yeah. I know I said 2 things but please refer back to point #1…)

Invited by a wedding minded friend (she’s a wedding consultant looking to make contacts with unique and reputable wedding service providers), I excitedly RSVP’d yes once she casually mentioned that there’d probably be free food samples (woo hoo!) My head dancing with lemon chiffon dreams and white chocolate butter creams, I swooned into the wedding shows and sought after my favourite things to do:

Where’s the food @?

High-End Appetizers: C Catering had beautiful food on display that I immediately fell in love with and almost as quickly inhaled. mmmmm

I want u, & u, & u too!

Apparently what I ate was:

  • Cubed watermelon, crispy prosciutto and seasoned cucumber
  • Salmon wrapped cheese with avocado (not pictured)
  • Sliced persimmon, sliced radish and creamed cheese
  • Vanilla cookie with whipped cream and shaved chocolate
    • Cost: They have a whole range of catering options but @ $35 for 14 of these tasty items, I had better start saving $$$ now

Random Booth: Finally some real cake. A shame it’s chocolate though. Pass!

Be gone from my sight, chocolate cake!

Restaurant Fare: Not a big fan of the items served here, we’re later told that this is a sampling of the appetizers provided by the host restaurant (oh dear).

I'll always wonder what was in that empty dish...

  • Gyoza (generic quality)
  • Bruscetta (I did enjoy the salsa)
  • Vegetarian spring rolls (not a fan)

Get my drink on:

V, a reception/venue located in downtown Vancouver, created the Urban Wedding Martini, made just the way I like my drinks: booze+more booze+even more booze and then a hint of juice. Hiccup. Oh and they had free samples too. mmmm.

so....what r u doing later? 😉

That’s original (or at least new to me):

  • Photo booths!  Ones that print great quality, fully customizable photo strips for attendees too
    • Cost: Rates start @ approx $600+ for 3hours
  • Online Wedding Streaming: Sick of wedding planning and want to elope to Vegas? With this service, you can. Have your stress-free Elvis inspired wedding while all your stressful in-laws get to take part just they way you want them to: far, far away via the live stream on the internet.
    • Cost: Rates start @ $500 for a basic package
  • Flipbooks! This service turns digital video clips into a stop motion type flipbook in a matter of minutes.  You have to see em to love em too.
    • Cost: Rates start @ approx $900+ for the minimum 2 hours required. This includes the flipbook system and a crew to make it happen @ your event

I think I forgot something (AKA the unforgettables):

  • Bad Photography: As an expert in this myself, this ‘photography’ booth showcased amateur photography in an unattractive display case. They also rented dresses but didn’t have pictures of the specific dresses they rent. Hmmmm…
  • How to waste your $1300 booth fee: a duo whom we think are event planners (I thought they were photographers, another friend thought they were videographers, another had no clue what they did) who simply handed out business cards and thanked us for coming to their sparse booth.
  • Fashion blows Shows: Brides, listen up. After 2000+ years, it turns out that white dresses are still in (surprise?). After a painfully boring parade of white dresses go by (ecru, off-white, mother of pearl, whatevs), I decide to wear a dress with colour to my ‘wedding’ and to put my bridesmaids in boring white (ecru, off-white, mother of pearl, whatevs).

Well not THIS one, obviously... but you get the point.

Just Married

All the food samples finished, it was the universal sign that it was time to call it a very long and drawn out day. I never realized how many options there were for a wedding or how much planning is required to orchestrate it all. I also forgot about the only other reason for even having a wedding in the first place – the exorbitant amount of high priced gifts!

Firmly decided on having a cash grab event love-filled wedding, I’ll happily go along with whatever my momma wants so long as I get a photo booth, the flipbook booth , tons of tiny, classy food options and whatever was in that drink. And of course, to avoid any and all stress and headaches, the big day will have to be planned out by my Vancouver, BC based wedding consultant extraordinaire @ www.weddingblingz.com

Oh ya, and I guess I’ll probably need a groom too*…

(*groom still optional)

Living la Vida Libre

In recent not-like-me-at-all scenarios, I have been staying in and spending less. No longer trying to keep up with the Jones’, I wondered what it’d be like to keep up with people who spend as little as possible (their opposites the Senoj’s?). $0 being the closest to ‘as little as possible’ out there, I want to try for the free life. As a beginner though, rather than trying to acquire free trips, gifts and cars (aka living la vida gold digger), I figured I would keep it simple and amass as many free samples and giveaways I could in a day.

Inspired by a coupon cutting, flyer reading, deal-spotting, freebie getting friend who amazingly finds freebies across Vancouver that most others miss; I set out one rainy afternoon to do the same. Minus the coupon cutting and flyer reading. I just want the free stuff with no extra work required. Sure it was raining out and the weather had gotten significantly colder and giveaways are more likely to happen when it’s sunny and busy in the city but I wasn’t going to let something like actual facts slow me down. To the streets!

First stop – the downtown marina concourse. Hopping off the skytrain near the site of the 2010 Olympic flames, I’m hoping there’s something happening today. Here I’ve recently scored many free samples and gifts:

  • Speed stick deodorants
  • Black Diamond cheese strings
  • Gilette brand shavers
  • T-Shirts
  • Etc.

But alas, today it’s a ghost town. There’s nothing going on and I’m the only one here. Following the tumbleweed’s hint, I take off from this desolate place.

Free Status: FAIL

Heading nearby to the Convention Centre, I hope for numerous events as they’re a great source of freebies. Most recently at the Flight Centre Travel Expo I scored a few handy re-useable bags and entered to win (but lost) several free trips.

This time, however, as I stroll into the front lobby, a security guard tells me the only event happening today is by invitation only. She then kindly informs me they’ll offer convention centre tours next month and gives me an info card to follow up.

Although a crappy consolation prize, it’s still free and today that’s all that matters.

Free Status: Moderate WIN!

Next, I traipsed over to Vancouver’s famed and always popular Granville Street, where I had recently acquired:

  • NO2 energy drinks (think Red Bull with less PR)
  • Mini bottles of Vitamin Water (4 flavours)
  • XM Radio baseball caps  (I gave this ‘stylish’ item away)
  • Pantene Pro V shampoo and conditioner packs
  • Etc.

Today, on a typical Vancouver day  (cloudy, just finished raining, now intermittently raining with a chance of more rain), the crowds are out, the sidewalks are relatively full but there are no booths on the strip, no events taking place and definitely no free stuff or giveaways in sight.

Boo.

Free Status: Epic FAIL

Now desperate, I go to the last two possible places to get me some freebies in Vancouver:

#1. First stop is the Rogers Arena- where the Vancouver Canucks play hockey. Previously on a random rainy walk by, I stumbled into:

  • Free playstation game stations and contests
  • Free hot dogs (I had 2 qty. mmmm)
  • Free Van Houtte coffees
  • Free coca cola brand soft drinks

However, it appears that when the Canucks aren’t playing a game in the arena, there will be no crowds out front and thus no ANYTHING out front.

Free Status: Ridiculous FAIL

#2. Finally, my last chance to score the elusive freebie today lay with the epitome, nay, the shrine of all freebie shrines – Costco!

Heck, there are even Facebook pages and websites devoted to fans who love Costco’s free sample offerings.

Rumour had it too that Costco no longer gave out samples on weekends, as the cost was too high. If this rumour was true, it could ruin my freebie day.

With a deep breath, I walk into the busy Costco store…and right into a sample booth.

  • Genuine crab meat on crackers
  • Peach jam on toast
  • Beef Lasagna
  • Mini rib sandwiches (or ribwiches as the kids call ’em)
  • Tempura chicken (from the freezer? Really?)
  • Yogurt (oh ya, what does yogurt taste like again? I’ll need a taste of that please)
  • Sausages with sun dried tomatoes
  • Pita bites with hummus
  • Shortbread cookies (a cookie? oh I’ll need several samples of this)
  • Granola bars
  • Doi Chang coffee
  • Etc.

I literally couldn’t turn a corner without stumbling over someone offering me a free sample of something.

Free Status: EPIC win

I’ll probably never say this again but thank you Costco! Although I didn’t try any of the free samples (even if I liked it, I’d have to buy the 100-pack!)  the long lines in front of each booth were a testament to how good they must have tasted. That or people just really, really like free stuff.

I could have gone on to get free makeup, makeovers and maybe even perfume samples but I consider that a whole other advanced level of free seeking. Still entrenched deep in the beginner level, I had gotten enough of not getting enough. It was time to call it a day and take my sad, empty bags home and try again another time. I figure I’m just like everyone else and want the best things in life.

I just don’t wanna pay for em. 😉

Metabolism. Kick it up a notch!

The invitation couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. After cramming a month’s work of Halloween inspired binging into one week, I had just stepped off a scale and was then ready to jump off a ledge. Luckily hope, in the form of the email notification sound on my BlackBerry, brought me back from the edge. This email contained potential knowledge, insight, foresight and answers to my loud, selfish prayers: Dear Lord, if you can’t help me to drop 5lbs, then at least make my friends gain 10. Amen. A bonus with this invite: it would only require 2 hours of my time. Double bonus: there would be snacks.  I excitedly (and hungrily) RSVP’d yes.

Peak Metabolism

Frustrated with trying to lose weight or achieve your training targets? Learn how to work with your body instead of against it by using key super foods for power-packed performance and sustainable weight-loss… ignite the natural fat-burning furnaces that lie dormant within.

A lot of buzzwords in the mix so had it been anyone else, I would have had many doubts about its touted promises. However, as I had worked with the instructor back in 2009 (Registered Holistic Nutritionist & Certified Personal Trainer Judy Chambers, RNCP, CPT, of DynamicByNature fame) to kick ass in a weight loss competition, I knew this could be one fat-busting, kick ass class.

Top 3 Diet Myths that make you fat

  1. Starving yourself is a good way to lose weight
  2. Consuming non-fat dairy products or processed soy milk
  3. Avoiding fats or avoiding carbs

Arriving to class (on time, no less!), I thought we’d be forced to cook all the food ourselves (like 1950s housewives) and was pleasantly surprised to find that she had prepared and made all the snacks for us in advance (like we were 1950s husbands). Sample foods included an array of all natural, green foods:

  • Free range boiled eggs
  • Buckwheat polenta
  • Yam & kale curry
  • Cilantro pesto
  • Lemon coconut date balls (not pictured)

Free food, woo!

Even the drinks were metabolism boosting and included:

  • Maca tea
  • Herbal teas
  • Filtered water with sliced lemons

We’re invited to have a taste of the food and drink samples as we sit down for the workshop. The recipes for the food we sample are also included in the provided workbooks. Simple and straightforward, most recipes involve only a few items plus seasonings and all are easy to prepare. Best of all, everything tasted great.

Nutrigenomics

This is the science of how food talks to our cells and Judy starts off by explaining to us that what we put into our bodies has an immense effect on everything we do. Our diet (what we eat) affects how our bodies function, how our bodies look (physical appearance) and our bodies’ health (ability to fight off illnesses/repair and regenerate itself). This leads us right into the good stuff we all came for – how to shed those unwanted pounds.

3 Dishes that will actually make you fat

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake
  2. Donut Ice Cream Sandwiches
  3. Grease Lightning(pictured) : seasoned curly fries topped with chicken nuggets, chicken fried steak,  pizza rolls, sliced corndogs then smothered in melted mozzarella cheese topped with a mixture of chili, bacon, and cheddar cheese.

    Courtesy – This is Why You’re Fat

Judy lets us in on several factors that cause weight gain and one resonates immediately with me – the cortisol connection: An inability to wake up in the mornings, a sluggish/tired feeling in the afternoons and an unbelievable burst of energy late at night (I could easily run a marathon – if the marathon started at 9pm). Essentially, my body thinks I’m stressed, pumps out cortisol inefficiently and needs to calm itself down to regulate my adrenal glands. My cure – proper rest, yoga/breathing exercises and a reduction in artificial stimulants like caffeine, alcohol and refined sugars.

Metabolism- Kick it up a notch

While I grieve for my morning double lattes and my mid afternoon gin and tonics (say it ain’t so!), we jump into a section titled Metabolic Mastery and learn 3 ways to kick start our metabolism:

#1 .Eat Natural, Whole Foods: obtain body/mind balance by eating foods found in nature

Examples:

  • Natural condiments (sea salt, fresh herbs, organic spices, unrefined whole food sweeteners, etc.)

    Food Pyramid: Seasonings at top, Fruits/ Veggies at base

  • Unrefined fats and oils (virgin coconut oil, cold pressed olive oil, organic ghee, etc.)
  • Whole grains (brown rice, millet, quinoa, 100% wholegrain pastas, breads, cereals)
  • Naturally raised protein (Beans, peas, lentils, fresh nuts or seeds, free range eggs, wild fish, pasture fed meats, etc.)
  • Fresh Vegetables (lots of green veggies) and Whole Fruits

#2. Optimize your digestive track: increase your intake of enzymes and minerals to promote nutrient absorption and elimination of toxins

#3. Balance your hormonal systems: reduce stress, eat better, enjoy life!

Putting it all Together

The Peak Metabolism workshop stressed eating natural foods and reducing and eliminating processed foods. As you can tell, each aspect of the course can be a course on its own.  There are even upcoming cooking classes on preparing gluten free grains, vegetable dishes, superfood snacks and peak protein dishes.  To simply it all, Judy encourages you to start small by either breaking one bad habit or adding one healthy habit for 7 days.

All the tips learned in this workshop are straightforward and easy to follow and detailed how many foods, drinks (organic beer and wine are okay!), herbs, and spices a natural food diet can include (hint – a lot), where to find them and which local brands are best.  It may be overwhelming for some but for me one thing is clear:

I need to find me some free-range, organic gin.

.

.

.

Trick Question – which is the better choice:

  1. Butter or margarine?
  2. Cow Dairy or Soy milk?

Surprisingly, the answer is neither. Use coconut oil or ghee instead of butter or margerine and coconut milk or goat’s milk instead of dairy or soy (but if you have to have dairy, try to use whole or full fat, organic & NON-Homogenized).

A special thanks to Judy for inviting me to attend this informative class. Want to improve your health too? For more information on how to do that and to check out class details, please feel free to contact Judy directly @:

www.dynamicbynature.com

Judy Chambers RNCP, CPT

Registered Holistic Nutritionist & Certified Personal Trainer

Tel #: 604.250.9999

Thanks for the Giving

Thank you for coming!

Thank you for staying!

Thank you for leaving!

 

Just like momma used to make

Thanksgiving Dinner has traditionally been consumed any day on the 3 day holiday weekend. Although I typically have several dinner invites to wade through over the Thanksgiving weekend, this holiday season I was remiss and only managed to eke out one solitary invite. This lack of a social dinner life gives me a lot more free time for the holiday. Every year I look forward to sliced turkey, fresh cranberry sauce (from the can), buttery mashed potatoes, roasted fall vegetables all covered in thick, delicious gravy (on everything. Pie too). This immense meal will be followed by the biggest slice of pumpkin pie covered in the largest ‘dollop’ of whipped cream (the serving is done when the can is empty).  While I’d normally spend countless hours digesting the first through third turkey dinner, I now have the unfortunate luxury of time to think, and more specifically, think about Thanksgiving in Canada and why the heck we celebrate it anyway.

We’ve been inundated with US culture for so long that I’ve forgotten what Canadian thanksgiving even means. I’m definitely happy for the day off, of course, but WHY do we get that day off and more importantly, how can we slip in a few more?

I don’t want to blame my high school history teachers for this but I’d like to think and definitely imply that they’re at fault. Surely they could have made Canadian history more interesting and memorable. Besides Jacques Cousteau discovering poutine in Quebec and the Metis taking over middle earth, I have little recollection about the rest of Canadian history.

A proud Canadian late-night, after-the-bar tradition

I think I know that US Thanksgiving has to do with pilgrims and native American Indians and discovering maize and the subsequent American proffered gifts of tainted blankets (tainted with little dipper pox, jungle fever, a case of the mondays?) and then subsequently taking over the nation. What a proud heritage they have down there but before I shoot off my sanctimonious Canadian mouth, perhaps I should first review our own potentially salmonella covered Thanksgiving history.

Checking in with my good friend the Internet, it looks as though our reason for the Thanksgiving celebration is similar to our peeps to the south:

Some explorer dude- Martin Frobisher, held a formal ‘thanks for the grub’ dinner after surviving a long journey. That meal is now considered the first Thanksgiving celebration by landed immigrants (aka the Europeans) in Canada.

Other Thanksgiving origins include being thankful for a bounty of fruits and vegetables from the preceding year. Also, something about native Canadian Indians and farmers harvesting or what have you but luckily, it didn’t mention anything about us poisoning the locals, woo (or maybe it just wasn’t listed, but I’ll leave that up to history teachers to continue to cover up).
Then I got bored of wikipedia and various other Canadian thanksgiving websites and found these cool facts instead:

From the Guinness Book of world records

  • Heaviest turkey 86 lbs (39kg)
  • Largest pumpkin pie? 2,020lbs (916kg), 3.7m long
  • Heaviest sweet potato? 82bs (37kg)
  • Largest pumpkin? 1,469lbs (666 kg)
  • Fullest belly? Mine, after thanksgiving dinner. Mmmmmm 😉

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Poutine image

Pumpkin image