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Nutrition

Wellness Blog

Why Fad Diets Don't Work

Everyone would love a quick fix or a magic pill. Unfortunately, diets, supplements and products that promise things that seem too good to be true are often just that. We're taking some time to discuss why fad diets rarely work and how to implement healthy lifestyle changes instead!

Fad diets could increase your weight

UCLA study found that, "people on diets typically lose 5 to 10 percent of their starting weight in the first six months, the researchers found. However, at least one-third to two-thirds of people on diets regain more weight than they lost within four or five years, and the true number may well be significantly higher". Rather that starting a diet, strive towards a healthier, satisfying lifestyle.

Deprivation isn't the answer

Depriving yourself of calories can set in motion a chain of events that may cause your body to hold onto weight in order to sustain life in what it perceives as a life-threatening scenario. A sustainable, healthy mindset would be to simply eat nutrient-dense foods when you feel hungry. Take time to sit down and enjoy each meal without distraction; that means away from the television, computer and cellphone.  

 

Exercise is important

Researchers state that, "Eating in moderation is a good idea for everybody, and so is regular exercise.. Exercise may well be the key factor leading to sustained weight loss. Studies consistently find that people who reported the most exercise also had the most weight loss". Not sure where to start when it comes to getting active? Find great tips in our Fitness Tuneup article.

 

Eat a whole food diet

Consume nutrient-rich foods that are filled with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Keep in mind that protein and fiber will help to satiate and stabilize blood sugar. Low-calorie foods like rice cakes are empty carbohydrates that will leave you feeling hungry in no time! Adequate protein intake is also very important when it comes to weight management. If you have trouble consuming enough protein, try Garden of Life RAW Fit, a protein powder that also contains key ingredients for weight loss like green coffee bean extract. Simply add a scoop to a nutritious smoothie or enjoy on its own in almond milk or water.

 

Be mindful of added sugar

A major issue when it comes to excess weight gain is not added fat but added sugar. The sugar that is added to sweets, processed foods and even found naturally in fruits can greatly affect our insulin levels. Irregular blood sugar levels not properly controlled through a whole food diet is a contributing factor in excess weight gain.

 

Reduce your stress levels

Daily stress promotes the release of cortisol, a hormone that plays a role in our fight-or-flight response. Cortisol triggers the release of glucose into the blood, which can be stored as fat when stress is not managed or reduced. Finding ways to decrease stress is a very important aspects of weight management - try yoga, Tai Chi or meditation.  

 

Smart supplements for weight loss

There are a variety of supplements that have been clinically proven to support a healthy body composition. One of these is Lorna Vanderhaeghe’s GLUCOsmart, which contains Chirositot, a nutrient that supports healthy glucose metabolism and blood sugar levels. Some people opt for a short cleanse or detox to help kickstart new healthy habits. We like to recommend the 12-day Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox or 6-day ReCleanse. You may also be interested in trying a new product in North America called I-REMOVE by BMISmart. It is made with Litrimine Fat Binder™, the top-selling proprietary weight management complex in Europe.

Wellness Blog

The Kardish Starter Kit To Fitness

So, you’ve purchased a yoga mat, some hand weights or maybe even a gym membership. You’re trying to workout on a regular basis but struggling to wade through all ways to “optimize your workout”. Maybe you’re feeling so sore that standing is a challenge. Whatever the struggle, we have the suggestions you need to have the best workout!

Feel energized with a pre-workout supplement

 

A pre-workout supplement is designed to give you an energy boost while improving overall exercise performance. A product like VEGA Energizer provides these benefits along with anti-inflammatory support from herbs like devil’s claw and turmeric.

 

VEGA offers two formulas designed for different types of activity. The sugar-free (sweetened with stevia) energizer is a great option for shorter, less intense exercise like a brisk walk or gentle yoga class. The other option which is sweetened with sprouted brown rice syrup and organic palm sugar is a great option for someone participating in high intensity activities like CrossFit and spinning.

Boost your benefits with a proper recovery

 

Protein is an important macromolecule throughout the entire body, especially in our muscles. When we workout, muscle fibers are broken down. It’s the repairing and replacing of these fibers that makes muscle bigger, creates leaner bodies and boosts weight loss. We can help facilitate this repair by consuming protein after a workout. A protein powder like Progressive provides an adequate amount of well-absorbed protein. Simply mix a scoop with water and drink within twenty minutes of working out.

Soothe sore, aching muscles

 

Like we mentioned earlier, as we workout we break down muscle. It’s this breaking down of muscle along with inflammatory molecules that causes sore muscles a day or two later. It’s the painful feeling that stops you as you rise from bed or sit on the toilet. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can be eased by the anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin and omega-3s. A high-quality magnesium supplement like Pure Lab can also help to relax muscles and reduce pain.

Try these too!

Optimizing your workout isn’t just about what you do leading up to and after a workout session, it’s also about what you do the rest of the time. Try to incorporate a multivitamin designed for athletes and active individuals like Platinum Naturals Activ-X (NSF certified). Multivitamins help to fill in nutritional caps and support overall health. Active individuals usually require more calories, making protein bars a great snack option.

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If you are looking for more ways to stay active, check out our Fitness Tune Up post! Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.  

Wellness Blog

Stay Cool With These Simple Popsicle Recipes

What better way to beat the heat than with a delicious popsicle? Nothing refreshes on a scorching day quite like an icy treat pulled straight from the freezer. Best of all, there is one for every palate—and diet.

Making your own popsicles at home is surprisingly simple. All you’ll need is a set of popsicle moulds and a bag of popsicle sticks, both of which can be easily found online or at your nearest home goods store.

Once you have your tools, you’re ready to get mixing! We’ve listed some of our favourite popsicle recipes below, but they are truly just the beginning. Don’t be afraid to experiment with juices, fruit, yogurt, and any ingredients that you and your family enjoy.

Raspberry Yogurt Pop

1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt

1 cup raspberries

3 tbsp honey

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Blend yogurt, berries, honey, sugar, and vanilla until combined but still chunky. Pour into popsicle moulds and add sticks. Freeze until solid, about 6 to 8 hours.

Frozen Pina Colada 

1 can coconut milk

1 cup crushed pineapple

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp sugar

Blend coconut milk, pineapple, and lime juice until just combined. Pour into popsicle moulds and add sticks. Freeze until solid, about 6 to 8 hours.

Strawberry Lemonade Pops

2 cups homemade or store-bought lemonade

1/2 cup thinly sliced strawberries

Carefully place sliced strawberries in each mould, arranging slices as desired. Pour lemonade into moulds over top. Freeze until solid, about 6 to 8 hours.

Strawberry Banana Swirls

1 1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 banana

1/2 cup strawberries

Blend yogurt, berries, and banana until combined but still chunky. Pour into popsicle moulds and add sticks. Freeze until solid, about 6 to 8 hours.

Tropical Treat

1 can coconut milk

1/2 cup fresh or frozen sliced mango

1/2 cup canned or fresh diced pineapple

3 tbsp pineapple juice

Blend coconut milk, pineapple, mango, and juice until just combined. Pour into popsicle moulds and add sticks. Freeze until solid, about 6 to 8 hours.

Strawberry Watermelon Pops

3/4 cup strawberries 

2 cups cubed seeded watermelon

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tbsp sugar

Blend strawberries, watermelon, and lime juice until just combined. Pour into popsicle moulds and add sticks. Freeze until solid, about 6 to 8 hours.

Peach Yogurt Swirls

1 1/4 cups plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup diced ripe peaches, nectarines and/or plums

1/4 cup honey

3 tablespoons water

In a small saucepan, combine peaches, honey, and water. Cook over medium heat until the fruit is tender, about 4 – 7 minutes. Let cool. Gently fold in Greek yogurt, but do not over mix in order to maintain a swirl pattern. Pour into popsicle moulds and add sticks. Freeze until solid, about 6 to 8 hours.

Blueberry Lemon Ices

1 cup blueberries 

Zest of 1 lemon

1 cup vanilla yogurt

In a blender or food processor, puree the blueberries until smooth. Mix in lemon zest. To create a fun pattern, alternate adding the blueberry puree and yogurt in popsicle moulds. Add sticks and freeze until solid, about 6 to 8 hours.

Wellness Blog

Seven Unexpected (And Tasty) Uses For Protein Powder

Protein powder has a world of benefits. For fitness junkies, it’s a great way to get the most out of a workout and help your body build muscle. For vegetarians and vegans, it’s an excellent alternative or supplement to plant-based protein options. And for everyone, it can be a great way to ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs, especially on busy days. 

But as anyone who uses protein knows, there’s only so many days in a row you can drink a protein shake before it starts to feel a little stale. Luckily, most powders are super versatile—you can use them for cooking, baking, or even as a quick add-in to your favourite snack foods.

Here are some of our best ideas to change up your protein routine.

Pancakes

Add an extra boost to your weekend breakfasts by tossing some protein in your pancake batter. Whether you make your flapjacks from scratch or from a mix, the powder should blend in perfectly. If you’re finding it thickens more that you’d like, just add a little extra milk to balance out your batter.

Oatmeal

As it turns out, protein powder blends flawlessly into good old-fashioned oatmeal. Try it with fresh berries, chia seeds, nuts and dried fruit, or simply a touch of cinnamon sugar. It’s an easy, ultra-nutritious breakfast that never disappoints.

Granola bars

Turn a basic homemade granola bar recipe into a nutrition-packed protein bar in no time. Simply choose a granola recipe that suits your tastes, and add protein powder in with the other dry ingredients. If you’re using pre-sweetened powder, just remember to drop the sugar levels in your recipe accordingly.

Cookies

If you haven’t had a protein cookie before, you’re missing out. There are countless recipes to choose from online, ranging from classic chocolate chip to oatmeal peanut butter to banana nut. If you’re not an expert baker, don’t worry—protein cookies are famously simple to put together. Just mix and bake.

Burgers (or veggie burger)

It is unbelievably simple to add an extra kick of protein to any burger recipe. Simply add the powder along with your flour or oatmeal, and you’re all set. This is an especially great option for vegetarians and vegans who want to make sure they’re hitting the protein levels they need each day.

Mashed potatoes

Protein potatoes are delicious, and so easy to make. Just peel and boil your potatoes, then mash in a few spoonfuls of flavourless powder along with milk, eggs and salt. For protein garlic potatoes, just add in some minced garlic and parsley.

Yogurt

Fun recipes are great when you have time to burn, but life can get a little busy to cook up your protein every day. If you’re in a rush, mixing powder into yogurt can be an ideal option. Just scoop in your desired amount, and swirl it in. For this one, strawberry protein powder really hits the spot.

Need to stock up some protein powder? Try Kardish Better Vegan Protein. Available in both chocolate and vanilla, Kardish Better Vegan Protein is sure to give your recipe a healthy boost!

Wellness Blog

Seven Essential Vinegars And Oils To Add To Your Pantry

Are you ready to up your pantry game? One of the easiest ways to elevate your everyday cooking is to stock up on a variety of oils and vinegars. Integral to everything from sauces to stews, maintaining a wide-ranging stock of vinegars and oils allows you to vary the flavors in your dishes and expand the scope of your cooking.

Most of us have standards such as olive oil and white vinegar on hand. However, now might be the right time to branch out and add a few new pantry staples. 

Coconut oil

With its creamy, fatty quality, coconut oil is outstanding for baking, adding richness to your cakes, cookies and muffins. It also happens to double as a stellar beauty product, with uses as a moisturizer, makeup remover, cuticle treatment, and more.

Balsamic vinegar

If you don’t have balsamic vinegar in your arsenal yet, it’s time to add it to the rotation. Dark, sweet, and rich, it produces gorgeous salad dressings and marinades. In a pinch, you can also simply drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil over your salad as a substitute for dressing.

Sesame oil

With its intense sesame flavor, it only takes a teaspoon or two of this fragrant oil to make a big impact on a dish. Use sesame oil to sauté vegetables, cook rice, drizzle on soups, or even as a mix-in for popcorn. It’s also the key ingredient to the ultimate cold noodle salad.

Apple cider vinegar

Forget making bread—it’s time to get into pickling! If you want to try your hand at pickling your favourite vegetables or preparing gorgeous antipasto, apple cider vinegar is an ideal choice to add rich flavor to your brine. And since it has the added benefit of making you feel full longer, there is some evidence to show it can help with weight loss.

Rice wine vinegar

Also known as rice vinegar, rice wine vinegar is subtly sweet with just a touch of acidity. It’s perfect for Asian cooking, whether you’re preparing a stir fry, a dipping sauce, a marinade, or you’re looking to give a batch of rice a little something extra. Oh—and don’t forget to try it on your fries. It might just be the ultimate French fry dip!

Avocado oil

It’s a bit of a splurge, but if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to traditional vegetable oil, avocado is a great option. With a neutral flavour and a high smoke point, it’s ideal as a frying oil for your favourite stovetop dishes.

Red wine vinegar

Made from fermented red wine, this tangy vinegar is an all-purpose workhorse. Like most vinegars, it is great for crafting salad dressings or marinades. But because of its potent flavour, it also pairs well with red meats and other heartier foods, making it a perfect addition to stews, soups, and glazes.

What are you waiting for? Pick up a couple new cooking options and start experimenting. You’ll be glad you broadened your culinary horizons.

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