All posts by Jeff Fidler

Change to healthy living

Healthy Living Changes You Can Make Today!

10 Easy Healthy Living Changes You Can Make Today

Most people want to be healthy but are slow to make the big changes they think are necessary. Gym memberships bought on January 1st usually go to waste a few weeks later, and most people cheat their diets by day three. Don’t stress the big stuff when you can focus on easy healthy living changes that can really improve your general wellbeing.

In this article, we will present 10 easy changes that everyone can make to their lives that will help them achieve healthy living. We will cover different aspects of life from sleep to eating to light activity, making sure there is an option for everyone.

Let’s look at 10 easy healthy living changes you can make today!

Read Nutrition Labels

Even a quick glance a food or drink product’s nutrition label can tell you how healthy it is and how you might feel after consuming it. Make sure that the first thing you check is the serving size, then the calories per serving, and finally, review the amount of saturated fats, carbs and sodium. Looking for products that are low in carbs and sugar and high in protein, fiber and vitamins can make a big difference to your health.

Walking

Replacing sitting on a bus or in a car by walking even twice a day is a fun change that can help your health. Especially in warm weather, walking can be pure joy and a great way to cross errands off your to-do list. If walking either to or from work isn’t an option, then a 20-minute evening stroll is all you need to add some activity to your day.

Daily Stretches

Take a break from your computer, sit up straight and perform a few simple stretches  that will make your muscles limber and do your body a world of good. A series of stretches can be done in under five minutes, and is perfect to combat the effects of sitting at a computer all day. Don’t be shy about doing it at your desk. You might be surprised to find your colleagues wanting to join in.

Black Coffee and Whole Wheat Toast

Coffee has several health benefits so try to keep it as part of your diet. By eliminating fats like milk or cream and not adding any sugar, you can remove the calories while still enjoying the caffeine and flavour. Another easy change is to switch from white bread to whole wheat. Whole wheat bread is higher in fiber and aids in digestion.

Establish a Sleep Routine

While essential, sleep is an often overlooked part of healthy living. Easy changes can help get your sleep routine in order, and get you on the road to starting each day feeling refreshed and strong. A proper sleep routine means trying to go to bed at the same time, given yourself enough hours of sleep, minimal distractions as you sleep, and adding elements like soft music or a sleep mask if you need that extra bit of help. Just as important to establishing a sleep schedule is to make sure you stick to it.

 Drink More Water

The easiest healthy living change you can make is to drink more water. Now, you might not have to drink the eight glasses that some recommend, but you can never have enough. Water is an essential nutrient that your body needs, and you can avoid dehydration by drinking more than your body outputs. Water helps maintain the proper balance of your bodily fluids. Drinking water is even a weight loss strategy as it helps control calories. You’ll enjoy how much more energy you have just from drinking more water.

Just think what that extra glass or two of water can do for your overall health.

Portion Control

Eating smaller portions of your favourite food can be beneficial to your health. Portion control allows for better digestion and you’re less likely to feel bloated and experience cramps and stomach pains. By making this a habit, you will train your stomach to fill faster and you’ll have no problem passing on seconds.

No one said you can’t eat delicious food. Portion control is about eating the proper amount of food. Doing so will help you maintain your weight, or you can even lose weight by consuming less calories.

Satisfy your Sweet Tooth

Who doesn’t like to indulge in an afternoon sugar rush. Instead of scarfing down a cookie, try some dark chocolate or a small fruit salad. This will help you avoid those dreaded sugar crashes and some raspberries instead of a slice of cake is just as satisfying without any of the guilt.

Start your day off right by replacing sugary cereals in the morning with yogurt topped with honey and granola. It’s delicious, healthy, filling, and will satisfy your craving while helping you avoid feel sleepy before lunch time.

Stay Home and Cook

Home cooking is directly linked to a healthy lifestyle and can save you a ton of money. Buy fresh produce and try out fun recipes until you find your signature dish. This will allow you to control the calories and make healthy adjustments.

Here are some tasty ingredients to help you make some delicious traditional Italian dishes that you’ll love.

Gardening as an Activity

Not everyone is a gym person but you need to find a way to fit a workout into your weekly routine. Instead of hitting the elliptical machine, try taking up gardening. The digging and tearing out weeds is a great workout while you get some fresh air. Best of all, you can enjoy the fruits of your labour.

If gardening isn’t your thing, examine your hobbies and interests to find one that is active and that you can do more often.

Conclusion

You don’t have to turn your life upside down to be healthier and feel better! Make easy healthy living changes and you’ll see some big improvements. We hope these tips are useful and that you give a few of them a try. You’ll be surprised by how rewarding they are and the ease in which you can make them part of your everyday life.

spring cleaning tips for the home

Spring Cleaning Tips & Tricks – Make your Home Sparkle

Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks to Make your Home Sparkle

It’ that time of the year again! As spring approaches, you’ll want to start thinking about your yearly spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is a time-honoured tradition meant to signal the end of winter and give the house, garage and any other outbuildings you have a thorough top to bottom scrubbing, as well as getting things organized for summer. There’s no better time of the year to spend a weekend cleaning, and you won’t regret it once the sunshine arrives.

In this article, we help you tackle the dreaded but rewarding spring cleaning. We will cover the main components of cleaning your home so that it feels more organized and sparkles. With these tips and tricks, you will be able to get your home in order in no time at all.

Defeat Soap Scum

Cleaning your bathroom is never fun. There’s a lot of icky buildup and tight spaces that require a lot of attention. Soap residue builds on your shower door every time you take a shower. You can proactively beat soap scum build-up before it’s a nuisance by coating glass shower doors with a product design for car windshields. Apply a rain-repellent product to create an invisible barrier that causes water and soap suds to run off towards the drain, preventing any substance from building over time.

Oven Cleaning

Cleaning an oven is so cumbersome that most people only do it once a year. Food, grease and oil find their way onto the racks, the walls and bottom of your oven every time you cook. There are a ton of oven cleaning products, all of which promise the same ease and cleaning efficiency but might require you to apply harmful chemicals that take hours to work.

Instead of relying on harsh oven cleaners, try a wet pumice stone (yes, that’s right, a pumice stone!). It will remove the caked-on dirt and grease, and works quicker than most oven cleaner brands without the toxic chemicals.

To clean your stovetop, there are all sorts of methods, including using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, salt and baking soda, vegetable or olive oil, ammonia, boiling water and more. Check out 11 ways to clean your stove and cook top for all the methods.

Wash Walls, Cabinets and Baseboards

Spring cleaning tends to put the focus on floors, bathrooms and carpets. To thoroughly clean your home, you’ll want to go that extra mile and focus on walls, cabinets and baseboards. To clean your walls, you want to be mindful of the paint or wallpaper. Start by cleaning a small test area to make sure you aren’t doing any harm. For best results, get a bucket of warm to hot water with a healthy amount of regular dish soap. Using a microfibre cloth and a used green scrub pad start by giving the area a vigorous wipe down with the cloth, and for marks that don’t come off with the cloth, use the scrub pad with very light pressure. Then hit the area with the cloth again to remove any particles the scrub pad removed. While this works well, you need to be careful that you’re not using too much pressure, as you don’t want to remove paint, you just want to remove the marks.

For cabinets, you may need to use a cleaner designed for the material of the cabinets. For instance, if you have unpainted wood cabinets, then use a product specifically made for wood. If it’s painted and clear coated, then you can use normal dish soap in hot water. Make sure you don’t scratch the surface by using scrub pads.

For baseboards you can use the same method as the walls – but you’ll obviously have to get down on the floor. By thoroughly wiping away dust, dirt and scuff marks, the room will not only look better, but it will also be more hygienic.

What ever cleaning method you decide to use, just remember to do a small test area so you’re confident that you won’t wind up destroying the surface area by cleaning too aggressively.

Floors

Floors can be made from a variety of materials, and each has its own cleaning practice and standard. For ceramic-tile floors, vacuum first, then use hot water with a touch of dish soap or all purpose cleaner. Use your favorite mop, the spin mop works really well. If you want to clean by hand, with a cloth, then wipe in a circular motion so that you don’t leave streaks. Use a small brush to clean the grout where required.

If you have hardwood floors, use super-hot water with a bit of cleaner like murphy’s hardwood floor cleaner, this cleans and helps protect your hardwood floors, and leaves them with a nice shine. One thing to be careful of when mopping your hardwood floors, is to watch how wet you get them. Too much water can cause warping and other issues, depending on what type of hardwood they are made of, and if they are laminate vs solid hardwood.

Organize with Storage

Cleaning doesn’t just mean scrubbing and mopping. It’s a time to organize different rooms and remove any lingering clutter. Those old 8-tracks…your children’s arts and crafts projects…tax documents from 1992…it’s time to get organized and throw away all items without purpose.

To quickly organize your home, make sure you add waste baskets to rooms where trash accumulates like your family room. Your family room probably needs the most work since it’s your home’s version of Union Station. Adding a cabinet that matches the style of the room is an ideal way to make sure magazines, books, toys and papers aren’t scattered around. Make sure your family knows to put everything in the cabinet once they’re done.

Turn closet space into storage centres by adding shelves or storage units with multiple drawers. Adding additional cabinets or drawers to a home office can also help combat the issue of paper clutter.

No home has ever been worse off by adding more storage and emphasizing organization.

Replace Old Light Bulbs

Spring cleaning is a good time to give your home some nice touches or small upgrades. To brighten up your home, you should install new light bulbs that will make your home look new. A small touch like this can work wonders.

Replace old light bulbs with low-wattage, energy efficient LED bulbs. These bulbs can deliver a more natural light, which has been known to lift moods. When you shop for bulbs, make sure that have the “daylight” label and contain a range between 5,000 to 6,500 kelvins.

Gamify

This idea isn’t for everyone but if you want to get your kids involved you could try turning it into a game. If it worked for auctioning abandoned storage units on Storage Wars, it could work for spring cleaning. Offer small rewards for completed tasks, set a timer, create a leaderboard or a point system to motivate the kids to roll up their sleeves and get to work. At the very least, it’ll turn a full-day job into an afternoon of fun.

Conclusion

Spring cleaning can be a great way to get your home in tip top shape and get rid of dirt & dust and re-organize your space. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to give your home a facelift. Best of all, it can set the tone for the summer and make you feel like hosting again!

Give some of these tips a try and we’re confident that you’ll get the spotless results you’re after. Cleaning doesn’t have to be torture, if you have a plan, know what you’re doing and enlist a bit of help.  Happy cleaning!

techniques to relieve stress

Easy Techniques to Relieve Stress

Techniques to Relieve Stress

Stress is a natural part of everyday life. Most people will experience stress from their professional lives, their social lives and their romantic and financial situations. Every person needs to learn proper coping techniques to relieve stress so that they can get on with their days and improve their general wellness. Living a healthy life isn’t just about exercise and eating well, it’s about taking care of your whole self.

In this article, we’re going to review some proven techniques to help you relieve stress. Techniques come in all different shapes and sizes, ranging from physical activity to emotional to some drastic life changes that could produce extremely happy results. With these techniques, you’re bound to find at least one answer to your stress.

Sleep

Sleep is one of the most overlooked natural cures to stress. It’s a biological process that allows our brains to recharge and our bodies to repair. Even a minimal lack of sleep can alter your mood and compound stress. Being well rested can combat the stress you will inevitably experience throughout the day.

This can be a double-edged sword as stress can disrupt your sleep. It’s important to create a relaxing sleep routine and make sure you are not distracted as you try to fall asleep. This is the perfect time to turn off the TV and put your phone on silent. You can even try listening to soothing sounds and wearing a sleep mask. Avoid consuming caffeine at night and, when possible, try not to work into the late hours. Leading up to bedtime, it’s ideal to be relaxed, which is why so many people enjoy a warm bath or reading before bed.

Time Management

Stress can hit us when we feel overwhelmed by our schedules. Even an active social life can create feelings of anxiety. Strong time management skills are a technique to pre-emptively cope with stress. Instead of feeling burdened by a ‘to-do’ list, prioritize your tasks and eliminate some that are low in priority. By clearing your schedule, you’re allowing more time for yourself to enjoy the things you like and that will surely alleviate stress.

Start the process by identifying the source of your stress. A popular method to do this would be to keep a stress diary, where you record:

  • The cause of each stress
  • How it made you feel
  • How it disrupted your day
  • How you responded
  • What you did to feel better

By recording your stress, you can discover patterns, learn to avoid certain stressful people or tasks and apply these findings to your weekly schedule. Time management is an exercise in editing, so make sure that the things that don’t matter aren’t taking up much of your time.

Relaxation Techniques

Try incorporating at least one relaxation technique into your day to help curb stress. These simple techniques can be done at your work desk or quickly during a break. These techniques can include saying a calming word repeatedly or different stretches to loosen your body. Dedicating five to ten minutes to relaxation techniques every day has proven to clear the mind and help people focus on a task instead of dwelling on their stress.

Hobbies and Activities

There is no better stress relief than doing something you enjoy. If you like hockey or basketball or dodgeball, then joining a team will force you to get out there and play. Hobbies that aren’t physical can also do the trick. Knitting or collecting something can be a great escape from daily stresses. Whatever it is you enjoy, be sure to carve time out in your schedule and commit to participating. For instance, if you’re a voracious reader, then join a book club or attend literary events, this will force you to spend time enjoying the things that give you pleasure.

Wherever you live there are tons of groups, activities and events that you can enjoy, all of which will relieve stress and provide enjoyment and interaction.

Take Time to Heal

Stress worsens when you don’t take care of yourself. If you are sick or injured, take time off work so that you can get back to operating at 100% more quickly. In addition to compounding your stress, working or running around while less than 100% won’t do you any favours at work and you will only prolong your sickness or injury.

Slow down to tackle anything that is negatively affecting your health. You owe it to yourself, and focusing on yourself will only help relieve your stress.

 Talk to Someone

Stress can spiral out of control, eventually overwhelming a person. Before you reach this point consider speaking to a trained professional. There are many healthcare professionals equipped to help you with your stress or any emotional issues you might be experiencing. If you have health benefits, consult with your provider to see if any form of therapy is covered.

You can also just speak to someone you trust like a friend, colleague or family member. It doesn’t have to be a doctor. Sometimes just airing your feelings and being heard can feel great and help your situation.

Dietary Adjustments

Avoiding certain drinks and foods that contain caffeine and alcohol could reduce your stress. Caffeine is a stimulant, which increases stress levels even if it feels like it is reducing it as you consume them. Alcohol is a depressant, but in small doses acts more like a stimulant. Relying on caffeine and/or alcohol to reduce stress is more smoke and mirrors than an actual coping technique.

That after work drink or second cup of morning coffee might feel like it is stress relieving, but it could be having a detrimental impact on your emotional wellbeing.

Conclusion

If you are experiencing stress, and you feel like it is affecting your daily life then try adopting one or more of these coping techniques. Even small changes to your sleep routine, activity level or eating habits can relieve stress and help you in your quest towards improving your wellbeing. Any investment in your emotional health can pay off with big dividends.

Stress might never go away but managing it can improve your wellbeing and happiness level!

low carb cheese snacks

Product Insight: Moon Cheese Crunchy Cheese Snacks

All About Moon Cheese crunchy cheese snacks

Every snack lover knows it’s a challenge to find cheese snacks that are salty, cheesy, crunchy and delicious. You deserve a cheese snack that can satisfy your salt craving without being chock-full of carbs and fat. If this rings true for you, then we’re thrilled to introduce you to Moon Cheese Crunchy Cheese Snacks.

In this article, we’re going to acquaint you to what we think will be your new favourite cheese snack. Moon Cheese is a product that’s beloved by everyone who tries it and it can be part of your low carb diet, instead of its enemy. What exactly makes this snack line such a treat for low carb dieters?

How is Moon Cheese Different?

Unlike other healthy snacks, Moon Cheese’s texture and flavour doesn’t feel like your typically dry diet snack food. This is because it’s crafted through a special process that maintains the crunchiness and intensifies the flavour.

Created by ND Creations, a leader in food innovation, who are committed to healthy solutions that will satisfy your snack cravings. Their products are always on-trend and natural. Moon Cheese is sustainable and healthy, and is truly a guilt-free product. It’s hard to imagine anyone not eating the whole bag in one sitting!

To prove its worthiness, just put out one bowl of Moon Cheese when friends are over and watch how fast it disappears.

Nutrition and Ingredients

Moon Cheese is crunchy goodness that won’t kill your diet. It’s gluten-free, high in protein, 100% natural, high in calcium, contains no additives or starch, and yes, is low in dreaded carbs. You might be surprised to find a healthy cheese snack that actually tastes like cheese, but that’s exactly what Moon Cheese delivers every time.

Choose from the below awesome flavours:

A fun tip is to put your favourite flavour of Moon Cheese into a Ziploc bag and crush it. Then use it as the crunchy topping for a mac and cheese recipe (using low carb pasta of course). This will add texture and a taste that is out of this world!

How Moon Cheese is Made

Moon Cheese relies on a drying process that combines radiant heat and vacuum technology. It works by placing raw food into a large cylinder that slowly turns, vacuum drying the food in the process. The ingredients are quickly dried at a low temperature for 90 minutes. During this time, close to 100% of the moisture is removed. The speed at which the ingredients dry doesn’t allow for oxidation to occur, meaning the usual microorganisms that cause food to go bad aren’t present. This process is more effective and efficient than other dehydration methods. Those methods require that food be dried at such a high temperature that it loses about half its nutrients while retaining much more moisture.

This process allows the ingredients to transform into a delicious snack that doesn’t sacrifice crunch, flavour or health. It retains its integrity long after it is made due to the technology that creates it, and not chemicals.

Summary

Replace traditional unhealthy snacks like Doritos and Cheetos with Moon Cheese crunchy cheese snacks. Most find it tastier and you won’t have to give up that cheesy crunch which makes these snacks essential. You shouldn’t feel deprived and hungry just because you are on a low carb diet. You can still experience flavour and enjoy a tasty cheese snack.

Try it once and we know you’ll love its addictive crunch!

sugar-free-zevia-natural-drinks

Meet Zevia: Sugar-free Soft Drinks & Natural Diet Sodas

Introducing Zevia

There’s something refreshing, nostalgic and fun about soda. It’s fizzy and bubbly and gives you a quick sugar rush to fight against the afternoon doldrums. The thing is, that despite your enjoyment of soda, it is an unhealthy beverage that can-do harm. It’s filled with sugar and calories and can make you feel bloated. Recognizing these negative qualities, people often start drinking diet soda or products like Coke Zero. Knowing the negative impact of soda, why not try one that has all the taste and is actually healthy for you!

In this article, we’ll introduce you to Zevia, an exciting all-natural soft drink. We’ll delve into what makes this beverage so popular among health enthusiasts, and why it should replace traditional carbonated drinks in your diet.

About Zevia

California-based Zevia is a company committed to health and balance. Their mission is geared towards reducing sugar consumption, using clean ingredients and turning the beverage category on its head by creating healthy alternatives. An innovative and imaginative beverage company, Zevia is leading the way when it comes to healthy options for people who don’t want to quit drinking soda. Zevia soda is also Non GMO Project Verified.

Zevia Flavours

Outside of its health properties, the best thing about Zevia is that it comes in traditional soda flavours that everyone loves. Most flavours even come in diet, giving consumers different health options. We carry popular diet flavours like black cherry, cola, cream soda, ginger ale, grape, lemon lime twist, orange and root beer. Trust us, the taste is so refreshing that you won’t even notice that it’s diet.

Ingredients

Zevia was the first soda brand to use Stevia, and their beverage line is made from clean ingredients that aren’t commonly found in sodas and diet sodas. Its ingredients include carbonated water, stevia and a natural flavour (depending on the flavour of the particular beverage). Sometimes the ingredients that aren’t used are as important as the one that are. Zevia contains no sugar or additives.

Recipes

Soda is a common ingredient for cooking and baking. By replacing soda with Zevia or Diet Zevia, you can still make delicious meals and tasty treats without the added calories and sugar. Zevia Ginger Root Beer Donuts and Spiced Orange Scones are two of our favourite Zevia recipes. Introduce Zevia to an ice cream recipe to add a punch of flavour. Our favourite is adding Zevia Cream Soda to standard ice cream ingredients. Once frozen, add your favourite toppings to enjoy a delicious sundae.

Vegetarians and non-vegetarians will love the yummy Zevia Orange Cauliflower Poppers. These seasoned cauliflowers deep fried in a Zevia Orange Soda and Tonic Water batter is totally addictive and can be eaten as an entrée, side dish or hot appetizer.

Cocktail fans should try Zevia Winter Sangria. Mix Zevia Lemon Lime Twist with fresh cranberries, a diced pear, merlot, cinnamon sticks, cloves and Grand Marnier to make a sophisticated and tantalizing drink.

Summary

Get ready to enjoy soda without any of the unhealthy side effects. Zevia’s all-natural ingredients and Stevia sweetness, will keep you refreshed, and by substituting it into your diet, you will see an improvement in your general wellbeing.

We hope you’ll give it a try! We have no doubt that once you do, you’ll agree that Zevia is every equal to traditional soda, and you’ll be immediately reaching for the next one.

hardbite root vegetable chips

Introducing Hardbite, the Delicious Root Vegetable Chips

Intro to Hardbite – Root Vegetable Snack Chips

For decades, potato chips have been a pantry stable and a favourite snack for people all over the world. There have been innovations like kettle cooking, ridges and funky flavours, but for the most part, this snacks product has remained the same. Hardbite Root Vegetable Snack Chips is a game changer, offering snack lovers a healthy alternative to the average potato chip.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to Hardbite, one of the most popular root vegetable chips that’s crunchy, salty, a little sweet and totally addictive. We recognize that finding delicious and healthy snacks can sometimes feel like an impossible challenge. Hardbite has overcome this challenge and offers customers a healthy alternative. It’s a snack that our customers rave about!

About Hardbite Handcrafted-Style Chips

The journey to create the perfect chip didn’t happen overnight, but the effort was worthwhile as Hardbite is true gourmet quality chip that is hearty, salty, rich in nutrients and contains no artificial ingredients. Hardbite tops the charts for lovers of root vegetable chips. Crafted in Western Canada, Hardbite is kettle cooked, utilizing small batches that allow for optimal cooking and maximum crunch. Chip fans should rejoice!

Using only the best and freshest ingredients, Hardbite is gluten-free, trans fat free, cholesterol free, non-GMO and have a lower amount of carbs than other popular chips. The goal was to create a chip that reflected the natural beauty of Canada and the value of clean living, and Hardbite did just that. The small and dedicated team at Hardbite carefully create and inspect every bag during production. This root vegetable chip has received accolades from food critics and writers and has developed an extremely loyal fan base.

Let’s take a closer look at the flavours and nutritional value to better understand why Hardbite is the perfect savoury snack.

Winning Flavours

Hardbite Root Vegetable Snack Chips comes in carrot, beet and parsnip flavour, letting you enjoy the natural sweetness of these hearty vegetables. These three delightful flavours are a great introduction into the world of root vegetable chips. While these are the three flavours we carry and that our customers love, you can check out the entire product line by visiting the Hardbite website.

Let us know if you think there’s another flavour we should carry.

Nutritional Value

Every time you pop open a bag of Hardbite, you are getting amazing quality and impeccable taste. These perfectly seasoned root vegetable chips are aromatic and higher in fiber and lower in sodium than many traditional potato chips brands. They are made from natural ingredients grown in Canada, offering a healthy alternative that can quench your snack craving. Just in case you need a bit more convincing, you can use Hardbite chips as a crumble on top of pastas and casseroles for that extra flavour instead of salty regular potato chips.

It’s a guilt-free option for people who like to indulge in a salty snack. Hardbite lets you do that as often as you want. It’s a great addition to your pantry.

Summary

 There’s so much to love about Hardbite Root Vegetable Chips! They’re so popular that it’s hard to keep on the shelf. The moment you try one, you’ll want to finish the whole bag. If you’re bored with potato chips and want a healthy and fresh option, then be sure to give Hardbite a try. Trust our customers who love Hardbite…you won’t regret it!