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Wellness Blog

How To Upcycle Food Waste In Your Kitchen

If you’re looking to adopt more planet-friendly practices in your home, the next area to tackle might just be your refrigerator. 

Food waste is a tremendous and growing problem in Canada and around the world. Each year, 396 kilograms of food are thrown away per person in Canada, and that number is only growing.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to reduce your food waste by upcycling it in your kitchen. 

Make your own soup stock

Throughout history, soup has been a tried-and-true method for making use of food scraps. If making your own soup stock sounds intimidating, you might be surprised to learn that making stock is quite simple.

The next time you make a turkey, chicken, ham, or roast, save the bones. To make stock, toss the bones in a pot, along with a few of your favourite veggies and herbs. Alternatively, you can use vegetable scraps such as broccoli stems, onion skins and ends, celery leaves, and carrot ends. 

Cover your scraps and bones in water, and simmer the mixture on low, uncovered, for 6 to 8 hours. When your stock is ready, strain it through a thin mesh strainer and store or use it as desired.

Bake your brown bananas

It’s tempting to get rid of bananas when they start developing spots, but they’re still useful after they go brown! Brown bananas are filled with delicious natural sugars, making them a perfect sweetener for your favourite baked goods. So instead of throwing them away, freeze your overripe friends and save them to use in muffins, loaves, and pancakes.

Whip up some simple citrus syrups

Don’t throw out those citrus peels! Grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lime peels are packed with zesty flavour, making them perfect for creating delicious, simple syrups. 

To make your own syrup, bring 1 part sugar, 1 part water to a boil, then simmer the mixture until the sugar is dissolved. Next, pour it over your discarded peels in a jar and shake to combine. Leave the syrup overnight to infuse with citrusy flavour, then remove the peels the next day. The leftover syrup is ready to add a delicious burst of citrus to your favourite cocktails.

Cube and freeze your herbs

Fresh herbs add lovely flavour and aromatics to every recipe, but they often come in huge bunches and go bad quickly. To keep your herbs from going to waste—and to enjoy them for weeks to come—create your own frozen “herb cubes.”

Before they go bad, chop up your herbs and mix them with vegetable oil. Then, pour your oil mixture into ice cube trays and pop them in the freezer. The next time you need fresh herbs, simply defrost a few cubes and drop them into your recipe.

Re-purpose your bread crusts

If you hate wasting the crusts and ends of bread, there is a simple remedy—dry out your leftover bread instead.

When your bread is getting stale, or you have only the ends left, break it into pieces and leave them out on a plate to dry for a day or so. Once dry, store your breadcrumbs in an airtight container and use them at your leisure. The crumbs can be turned into croutons in salads, used as breading for chicken, fish and vegetables, and much more.

Wellness Blog

How To Stick To Your Health Resolutions This Year

It’s that time of year again—resolution season. 

As we all know, it can be tough to stick to resolutions, especially wellness goals. Whether you are looking to lose weight, be more active, get stronger, or simply feel healthier this year, we want to make that journey easier for you. 

Here are some of our top ideas to help you create habits that last.

Ask someone to keep you accountable

Goals are always more manageable when you’re working toward them with someone else. This year identify a person in your life who would be comfortable keeping you accountable to your resolutions. Then, fill them in on your plan and discuss how they can help you stay on track. Your buddy could be a friend who helps by joining your workouts, or a partner who shares the load by cooking healthy meals. Invite your loved ones to be part of your team and together you can determine a strategy that works for you.

Keep the house stocked with healthy natural foods

When there is nothing in the fridge, it can be tempting to surrender to cravings. But if you keep the cupboards stocked with healthy snack options, you’ll be much less likely to stray from your diet. To ensure that you feel full longer, be sure to select foods that contain whole grains and good fats. And of course, make sure your fridge is full of plenty of fruits and vegetables. 

Set reasonable goals

At this time of year, it can be tempting to make bold, ambitious plans for your health. But if you create goals that are not realistic for your life, you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. Establish resolutions that you can reasonably achieve this year. They can still be ambitious, but you should ensure that they are possible within the limits of your schedule and your lifestyle.

Measure your progress

Keeping track of the progress you’re making can help you stay motivated—especially when you’re tempted to throw in the towel. Once you’ve set your wellness goals, determine the best way to measure your success and track it on a chart. Then, keep your tracker somewhere handy—like on the fridge—so you have a visible reminder of your progress.

Integrate activity into your routine

It’s not always easy to fit regular exercise into our busy lives. However, on days where you can’t fit in a full workout, there are plenty of other ways to add small amounts of activity into your routine. If you need to take a trip to the store, walk it instead of driving. If you’re spending time with your kids, make it an active outdoor game. There are countless ways to get your body moving throughout the day without hitting the gym.

Remember your why

Whenever you’re feeling like giving up, stay motivated by reminding yourself why you’re doing it. If you’re considering skipping your workout or giving up your healthy diet, take a moment to remember what led you to create those goals in the first place. That moment of reflection might be exactly what you need to get back on track.

Wellness Blog

How To Make All-Natural Homemade Cleaning Products At Home

If you are interested in using more natural products in your home, consider mixing your own cleaning products. Switching out your usual go-to products for homemade, natural alternatives is easy to do, and it’s an excellent way to make your home safer and healthier.

Think you don’t have time to make your own products? You might be surprised to learn how simple natural cleaning products are to produce—and how great they smell!

Plus, the cost is unbeatable. Most ingredients for natural cleaning products are items you already keep in your home and can easily be bought in bulk. Plus, a DIY solution means that you can customize the recipes with your favourite essential oils. Say goodbye to unpleasant-smelling bathroom sprays and overpowering window cleaners! Essential oils are great for deodorizing and giving your home an aromatic boost with only a few drops.

Where to begin? Get started with a few of our favourite formulas below—but don’t be afraid to tweak the recipes to get that fresh scent just right.

Lemon fresh all-purpose cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 30 drops lemon essential oil
  • 750mL spray bottle

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake vigorously. Use an all-purpose cleaner to wipe away daily messes, hard water stains, soap scum, and more. Note: Avoid using acid-based cleaners on granite, as they may etch the stone permanently.

Zesty orange glass cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup rubbing alcohol (70%)
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 10 drops orange essential oil
  • 750mL spray bottle

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake vigorously. To use, spray solution directly on a soft cloth or paper towel and wipe mirrors, windows, appliances, and other shiny surfaces throughout your home.

Tea tree toilet cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 500mL spray bottle
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 15 drops tea tree oil
  • Small container with shaker lid (a clean spice container works perfectly)

Directions: Pour vinegar into a spray bottle and set it aside. Combine salt, baking soda, and tea tree oil in the small shaker container and mix thoroughly. To use, spray vinegar into the toilet bowl and sprinkle in the baking soda mixture. Wait for fizz reaction to occur, adding more vinegar if necessary. Allow to stand for 10 – 15 mins, then scrub with a toilet brush. Flush when cleaning is complete.

Eucalyptus dusting spray

What you’ll need:

  • 250mL spray bottle
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 3/4 cups distilled water

Directions: Combine all ingredients except water in a spray bottle and mix thoroughly. Add water and shake the bottle vigorously to combine. To use, spray the mixture on a microfibre cloth and wipe down surfaces. Eucalyptus is also a superstar oil in the kitchen for stubborn grime on pots and pans. 

Lemon pine floor cleaner

What you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons castile soap
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • 15 drops pine essential oil or Kardish Burglars Oil 
  • 1 gallon of water

Directions: Combine castile soap and essential oils in a mop bucket. Add water and mix thoroughly. To use, mop surfaces as desired with essential oil solution. Rinsing floors is optional, as the natural formula leaves minimal residue.