Health Products I’m Loving!

22 Apr

In my effort to switch over to organic foods/products, I’ve become obsessed with the organic and natural food store around the corner from my place called Nature’s Buzz. Here are a few things that I found the other day that I’m super excited to bring into my pantry!

Navitas Naturals Coconut Sugar

While no sugar is good sugar, coconut sugar seems to be one of the lesser of all evils (compared to cane sugar, agave, honey*). My blood sugar spikes like crazy (and I’m a sugar fiend), so one thing that appeals to me about this product is that it’s fairly low on the glycemic index as far as sugars go! And as an added bonus, it has the most vitamins and minerals out of all of the sugars (coconut Sugar has high mineral content. It is a rich source of potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. In addition to this it contains Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6.)

*I do enjoy natural honey from time to time and maple syrup as well. I would try and replace my sugars with stevia, but sadly I really am not a fan of the taste.

Coconut Sugar

Coconut Sugar

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

ACV is an age old remedy for many ailments. It’s rich in natural minerals, vitamins and enzymes and is apparently great for detoxification, digestion, weight loss, skin problems and preventing sickness (to name a few). I’m not going to lie, the first time I tried drinking it (2 TBSP ACV + 1 cup cold water) I thought it tasted like vomit. But I gave it another try (1 TBSP ACV + 1 cup warm water + 1 TSP Honey) and it was drinkable. If it’s as magical as everyone says, I’m willing to take it for a while and see if I notice any positive results!

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Vega One All-In-One Nutrition Bar (Chocolate Cherry)

I try to stay away from store bought power bars when possible, but when in a pinch they do the trick! This has to be the best bar I’ve ever had – it’s gluten free (yay) so I can actually eat it. It also has 15 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 1.5 grams omega-3s + antioxidants, prebiotics & greens and only 12-14 grams of sugar (depending on the flavour) which is one of the lower amounts I’ve seen (but if you know a bar that’s lower in sugar, please let me know).

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Bench Hop-Overs (do these at home or the gym!)

18 Apr

My first time doing bench hop-overs with Tanya (on a really high bench!).

Alright you salads, get dressed!

16 Apr

It’s dress up your salad week!

Standard salads don’t really do it for me (with the exception of kale salads) – I often find them unbalanced with too much tasteless lettuce and overpowering store-bought vinaigrettes (many of which I can’t eat anymore as they surprisingly contain wheat products/gluten).

But they are a great way to get your veggies in, so I’ve decided to give them another chance. I once heard that a great salad should always include veggies, fruits, nuts, meat, and a cheese or a fat (like avocado). I try to follow that rule of thumb, and this is what I came  up with!

Tandoori Chicken Citrus Salad with Romaine and Black Leaf Kale 

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Salad Ingreds:

Romaine Lettuce

Black Leaf Kale (stems removed and sliced thinly)



Thinly Sliced Almonds (we toasted them in honey)

Apple (sliced thinly)


Rub chicken with tandoori spice, honey, salt & pepper and oil. Grill.

Lime & Pepper Dressing:

Combine 1 lime, 1 TBSP cold pressed olive oil, 2 TBSP honey, and  lots and lots of pepper!


How You Can be in Charge of Your Own Happiness

12 Apr


I have a secret to tell you. You, and only you, are in charge of your own happiness.

A lot of people think that happiness comes from getting their dream job, finding the perfect partner or fitting into size 4 jeans (this one applies mostly to the ladies, but you get the point). I’m not saying these things won’t bring happiness into your life (hell, I would love to win the lottery), but what if they never happen? Or what if you do land yourself that “dream” job or the “perfect” relationship, but at the end of the day still feel like a little something is missing? Are you going to sit around waiting until you reach the next milestone in life to let yourself be happy?

For a long time, I truly believed that happiness was something that would just happen to me one day. Or that the fate of my happiness depended on my job, my relationships or the numbers in my bank account. But things aren’t always perfect, and life often throws us curveballs. It might be losing your job, it might be going through a bad breakup, or it might be going something more serious like a mental or physical illness. We’ve all been there in one way or another. And as tempting as it is to hide away and sulk, or blame the rest of the world for your problems, you’re not going to hurt anyone but yourself in the long run. Full disclosure: I didn’t used to want to take responsibility for my happiness, until one day (not too long ago) I made a conscious choice to try to look at the positive side of things no matter what. And I really do think that when you have a positive outlook, you will attract positive people and opportunities into your life.

“You can’t change how people act towards you, but you can change how you react towards them.” Somebody once told me this when I was going through a hard time as a very young teenager, and I think this applies to life in the broader sense too. While we don’t have a lot of control over many of the things life throws at us, we do have control over our outlook on those situations. So next time you can’t seem to catch a break, remember, it’s your choice. You can let it get you down, or you can choose to smile, laugh it off and look on the bright side. As they say, every cloud has a silver lining, and isn’t that a happy thought?

My emilyfindsbalance posts typically focus on food, health and fitness, but I today I decided to write on the topic of happiness based on many conversations that I’ve had lately with friends and acquaintances who are feeling stuck or unhappy in their lives or current situations. While many people around me are making inspiring changes, I figured it couldn’t hurt to put some positive vibes out in the world (for myself as much as for others). 

Quick Workout for the Abs

10 Apr

Just a little vid that I made last spring with my friend and (sometimes) trainer Tanya Robertson (