Spring Beauty Essentials

pexels-photo-72473

With spring just around the corner, the weather changing and the possibility of spending more time outdoors, I felt compelled to share some of my recent go-to beauty products that I’ve been incorporating into my beauty routine. Most of these products are either green or very clean so I’m thrilled to share them with you all today.

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 10.12.51 AM

DERMA E Hydrating Facial Oil Treatment

This face oil is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten free and GMO-free. It’s perfect to mix in with your daily moisturizer as it helps target dull, dehydrated and also premature signs of aging. I take this Californian green beauty product with me on my travels and use it either once or twice a day depending on the weather and how my skin feels.

0466 Jar

DERMA E Hydrating Night Crème

This clean night cream has been my go-to these past couple of months. Its extra-rich properties deeply penetrate the skin helping to moisturize and reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. The cream is enriched with antioxidants, Vitamins C and E as well as aloe. It also helps your skin fight against free radicals and the effects of the environment. It is also, 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten free and GMO-free.

 

overnight-repair-serum_138-01_590x617

Dermalogica Overnight Repair Serum

Slowly getting to know this incredibly popular and successful line of products. This overnight serum helps enhance skin nourishment, cell renewal and also hydrates your skin while you sleep. Argan and rose oils help revitalize your skin and smooth away fine lines. This product contains no artificial fragrances or colors.

 

101976270_L-copy

Dermalogica Skinperfect Primer

Dermalogica’s primer is a great asset in your daily makeup routine because it does many things at once. Not only does it contain SPF 30, thus protecting you from the sun but it also helps smooth away fine lines while also creating a great base for your makeup, so that your makeup lasts all day. I usually combine this primer with my moisturizer and face oil.

active-protection-lip-balm-pink-grapefruit-spf30-open

EOS Active Protection Lip Balm

EOS’s latest product combines jojoba oil, shea butter and antioxidant-rich Vitamin E along with SPF 30 to create a lip balm that will not only nourish your lips but also protect them from harmful UVA/UVB rays while you’re outdoors. The lip balm is also 80 minute water resistant as well as PABA-free, Petrolatum and paraben-free. I know it will become my go-to on warmer spring days or in the summer while I’m out running or surfing!

31qOGRBM5dL

Belif Cleansing Gel Oil Enriched

This Belif product is the latest addition to my daily beauty and wellness routine. Their light gel cleansing oil helps remove makeup and residue while also leaving the skin feeling refreshed. The oil is free of synthetic fragrances, dyes, preservatives and animal-origin ingredients.

B5000020_BF1_m

Belif Peat Miracle Revital Cream

I have been blending this Belif cream along with my face oil and primer every morning. The cream which contains peat extract, helps rejuvenate and hydrate the skin while also helping to increase the cell turnover cycle of your skin. This cream is free of synthetic fragrances, synthetic colors, preservatives or any animal by-products.

OFW_TRAVEL_1024x1024

Consonant Natural Foaming Face Wash

Consonant have become one of my favorite organic and green beauty brands. Added bonus – they’re Canadian! I recently tried their 30-day discovery kit and realized that their products left my skin feeling great throughout. I particularly liked their 100% natural face wash that is packed with tea tree oil and grape see oil that help not only remove makeup but also hydrate the skin and fight blemishes. It is the perfect travel buddy!

DSM_TRAVEL_1024x1024

Consonant Ultra Moisturizing Organic Face Cream For Dry Skin

Another great travel-friendly product is their non-greasy hydrating face cream. The use of cassia angustifolia seed extract and grape seed oil help with hydration and also work as antioxidants to help make your skin feel hydrated and radiant.

3825_WB

Saje Wellness Tingle Mint Invigorating Foot & Body Lotion

Get your feet and legs feeling minty fresh and energized post-shower with Saje’s 100% natural, vegan and plant-based peppermint, shea and tea tree lotion. Their body lotion has become a favorite of mine post-runs and also in the morning.

PRANA

fullsizerender-33

I am all about wholesome living and when I find a brand of snacks that shares the same philosophy on healthy eating and living your best life, I am all about it.

If you haven’t heard of PRANA before, they’re one of my latest healthy snack discoveries. This family-owned Canadian company was born out of the love for food and the belief that food can fuel our appetite for life. I couldn’t agree more! I love fueling my body with food and ingredients that will help me become the best version of myself that I can be.

This 100% organic, gluten-free, GMO-free, preservative-free and vegan line of product is the perfect compliment to my active lifestyle. I can enjoy these snacks before and after workouts while feeling guilt-free!

fullsizerender-32

The PRANA coconut chips are a great post-workout snack and easy to drop into your workout bag in the morning. I also love their PRANA Proactivchia seeds. It is the fusion of two beneficial foods, a « 2 in 1 » solution where you get all the goodness of chia combined with 4 BILLION LIVE probiotics in just one portion. I make homemade chia seed pudding with them. This is one of the only things I can eat before I head out on an early morning training session or run because it isn’t too sweet and filling yet very nutritious. I sometimes even add some of their PRANA Kilimanjaro mix (which is comprised of dark chocolate chunks, almonds, walnuts and salty cashews mixed with sultana raisins and sweet cranberries) in my chia seed pudding to make it even more wholesome.

Not only are their snacks healthy and tasty, the company itself also works on making this planet a better place. They obtained the B Corporation certification in 2015, which is awarded to companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. More companies should follow in their footsteps when creating a business.

Processed with Snapseed.

With all of these great products available, I’m excited to see what this family brand will come out with next!

For more info on PRANA, visit: https://www.prana.bio/en_ca/.

Photos by: Offner

This post was written in collaboration with PRANA but all opinions are my own.

Summer Juices

FullSizeRender(4)There’s nothing quite like a cold-pressed organic juice on a warm summer day so I decided to compile some of my favorite summer juices for today’s #FoodieFriday post!

1) Village Juicery – These guys always come up with great summer flavours that will not only quench your thirst but that are also super nutritious. Their special “Spring & Summer 2016” juice with hazelnuts, strawberry, coconut water, alkaline water, vegan protein and salt is my favorite refreshing and also filling snack. If you’re looking for something with more veggies in it, “Be Radiant” is my go-to. It has carrot, sweet potato, lemon, granny smith apple and fresh tumeric root. Finally, if you’re the active type, you’ll want to try “Be Active“, with pear beet, apple, ginger, lemon, perfect for energy after your workout.

FullSizeRenderfs3FullSizeRender(1)2) Dose Juice – Newly available in Ontario (you can find them at Whole Foods, amongst other places), this little company from Montreal makes a great selection of original and tasty juices. I was particularly drawn to the names of their juices like Amazon, Cactus, Yogi and Tango, just to name a few. They have a huge variety of juices but some of my favorites are “Basil“, the perfect refreshing lemonade with a bit of basil and also chia seed. I also love to drink “Samba” before my workouts which contains apple, beet, carrots, cucumber, orange, kale, lemon and ginger.

FullSizeRender(5)FullSizeRender(3)3) Forbidden Fruit Juice – This is one of my latest dicoveries, I had never heard of them until very recently. They are also great with creating original blends of juices and clever with their names. I love “Breathe” because it gives me the perfect morning kick with pineapple, cilantro, kale and jalepeno. I’m a big fan of “Blue Majik“, for its antioxidants. The juice is made of blue pigment algae from E3 Live as well as homemade young thai coconut milk and pineapple. Another one of my favorites is “Breath of Fire” for its super original ingredients – dragonfruit, pineapple and chilli.

fsFullSizeRender(2)fs#

Greens + EXTRA ENERGY Smoothie

FullSizeRenderI recently discovered Genuine Health‘s product called Greens + EXTRA ENERGY. In a very short period of time, it has become an important part of my daily nutrition routine.

For a while, I had been looking for an extra source of energy but had never found a product that would not only be good for my energy and vitality but that would also be clean. In addition to giving me that extra kick, the Greens + EXTRA ENERGY also contains superfoods and helps with digestion, balancing pH levels, etc. Another reason why I like this green food powder is because it is cafeine and sugar-free plus it is Non-GMO. Being a no-coffee kind of gal, this powder has provided me with that extra boost of energy I need pre/post-workout and after a short night of sleep.

Some of the amazing things you can find in the Greens + EXTRA ENERGY are: Spirulina (most nutrient-rich of any blue-green algae, a superfood and great source of beta-carotene), Royal jelly (supports immune functions and increase energy), Siberian ginseng root extract (anti-fatigue and anti-stress herb), Japanese green tea leaf extract (assists digestion and the proliferation of “friendly bacteria” in the intestine), Chlorella (source of protein, vitamins and minerals, helps detoxify the body), just to name a few.

I have been taking Greens + EXTRA ENERGY for two months now and have felt a huge difference in my energy levels. I feel a lot more focused and also feel a lot more awake in the morning and throughout the day.

The product comes in 2 flavours: orange and mocha. Every morning, I either make a cold-pressed juice (orange, grapefruit and ginger is my favorite combination) and add a scoop of orange Greens + in it or put a scoop of mocha Greens + in some organic almond milk. I’ve also started making smoothies after my runs and workouts using the green powder and wanted to share with today you my go-to recipe.

1What you’ll need:

2 frozen organic bananas
1-2 spoonfuls of all-natural organic peanut butter
4 organic pitted dates
1 spoonful of ground chia seeds
1 scoop of Greens + EXTRA ENERGY
1 cup of organic almond milk

Throw all of the ingredients in a blender for a few minutes and top the drink off with some organic coconut chips (if you like!). It’s my favorite healthy and energizing post-workout treat!

FullSizeRender(1)There are lot’s of other ways you can incorporate the product in recipes, juices and smoothies. For more information on Genuine Health’s Greens+ EXTRA ENERGY, go here.

The Cure Apothecary

FullSizeRender(20)

Part of my wellness journey this past year has been about finding good and natural skincare and beauty products. If I put so much effort in working out, eating clean and being healthy then I realized I should also be putting just as much thought into the products I choose to put on my skin.

A lot of research has shown lately that unfortunately, many products we use on a daily or even weekly basis can be very toxic for our health. A lot of these products are readily available and backed by tons of marketing and advertising dollars. Educating oneself about these products is key because they could be just as toxic if not more than the food we eat or the environment we live in.

FullSizeRender(21)

I’m grateful to live in a city where shops like The Cure Apothecary exist. I happen to find this boutique while walking home from work one evening. The super cute shop located on Queen Street West has been open for just over a year now and is the brainchild of Nitasha Goel. She made the switch to natural beauty products 8 years ago and found it difficult to find certain products that she wanted to try in the city. She’s also a big boutique shopper and has always been a fan of the one on one shopping experience. So when came time to open up her shop, she made sure that she would carry that experience over to The Cure Apothecary.

FullSizeRender(12)

Anyone that has been to the shop before, knows that Nitasha is incredibly knowledgeable, approachable and helpful. She’ll let clients touch, feel, smell and trial products before purchasing them. Though people are becoming more and more aware of what they’re putting onto their skin, Nitasha still feels that the transition has been slow towards adopting more natural skin and beauty products “A lot of people started changing their food and eating habits but that light bulb never really went off that what you’re putting topically is being absorbed. So it’s counteractive if you’re eating really healthy and then putting all this garbage on your skin,” she says.

FullSizeRender(14)

When she opened the store, Nitasha wanted to make sure that the boutique was both for men and women, that all walks of life felt comfortable there and wanted her shop to be a really easy transition place for those who were new to natural products yet also providing different products for early adopters or veterans.

FullSizeRender(17)

Nitasha tries to source newness to Toronto and the area and wants to make sure she only carries the best products available. She makes sure that each product line that she carries comes from the cleanest source. “A lot of essential oils and coconut oil are widely available on the market but you have to do your research. You have to know where that coconut oil is coming from. All of these brands have done that research for you. Even though it may say organic, you don’t know if the farm beside it is using pesticides. So even though it may be an organic farm, pesticides will affect the ingredients, it’s just like our food. All of these brands are using local farms if they can or their own farming facilities so they know what is happening there. They are doing that legwork for you and producing a good product,” explains Nitasha.

FullSizeRender(13)

Don’t stick with one brand, find what’s working for you in each brand. The beauty of organic brands is that you don’t have to buy A, B and C to get one result. You can mix and match and make the formula that works for you,” she adds.

FullSizeRender(18)

People who tend to compare prices between natural products to generic pharmacy products are usually concerned with the sometimes hefty price tag that these products have but Nitasha points out that these are products that will last up to 6 months whereas the generic products tend to only last 1-2 months. She tells all of her customers that less is more when comes to applying these natural products.

FullSizeRender(15)

FullSizeRender(16)

The whole skincare and food thing goes hand in hand. You want to eat local, know that our food is being treated in a certain way and the employees are being treated well so you would want the same thing for skincare,” she says.

Nitasha’s 5 product recommendations for those leading an active lifestyle:

FullSizeRender(9)

Oils – “They are such a big thing. There’s a misconception that if you have oily skin, that the oils are going to make you oily. Oil really balances out your skin. I carry a good amount of oils because I think it’s the best way to hydrate. With moisturizers, people just keep adding, adding and adding and not getting the result. Whereas a little bit of oil will give you the best result. Evanhealy‘s rosehip oil and hydrosoul tonic spray creates a beautiful formula that is great for hydrating.”

FullSizeRender(7)

CV Skinlabs – “They use turmeric, ginger, aloe and mushroom extract. Being in the elements, your skin’s going to get dry (especially if you already suffer from eczema, it’s going to get irritated) so this is going to help heal your skin. It comes in 4 formulas but the spray is great for someone that goes outside a lot, especially in the summer. The spray helps repair the skin. Their balm is also perfect for wind burn and for your lips.”

FullSizeRender(10)

Kypris moisturizer – “For dark spots, when you’re in the sun or outside, you need vitamin C. This moisturizer has Vitamin C Ester, so it’s very gentle but effective.

FullSizeRender(8)

Skin Essence Mask – “Being outdoors, you have to be careful and you have to know what you’re doing to your skin. Any sort of hydrating mask is good for your skin. We do all invest in masks and it’s hard to get through them because they sometimes turn. So 90% of my masks are in clay form. All you have to do is mix it with water or toner or honey and you apply it. It won’t turn so it saves your product a little bit more.”

FullSizeRender(11)

One Love Organics Konjac Sponge – “It’s a plant-based product from Japan. You soak it for a couple of seconds to puff up. You can apply your cleanser directly to the sponge, you can also remove your makeup and cleanse your face while using the sponge to buffer your skin. You can also use it just with water. If you aren’t going to invest into a good scrub, it’s good to at least buffer your skin and get your cleanser right into your pores. If you suffer from blackheads, this is amazing.”

For more info on The Cure Apothecary or to check out their online shop, go here. You can also drop by the shop and say hi to Nitasha at 719 Queen St. West, Toronto.

Friday Faves

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

1) PAI Copaiba Aha Deep Cleanse Mask – I recently discovered this brand of certified organic, vegan and leaping bunny beauty products. Pai started in London in 2007, having as a goal to create a line of products that were clean and plant-based. This mask features ingredients like rosehip, strawberry leaf (who knew?!), copaiba and pink pomelo. My skin is pretty fair and sensitive so I enjoyed the delicateness of this mask. My skin always feels super smooth afterwards.

2) Saint Cosmetics Precarious Peach Blush – This vegan and natural brand of cosmetics is from Pickering, Ontario. Their products are created from naturally occurring and derived ingredients from nature. They are all free from parabens, sulfates, petrolatum or any products that could be harmful for the skin. I’m a big fan of the packaging, it looks very high-end. I also really like the color of the blush, it doesn’t look too bright and also feels very light!

3) Pureology Red Illuminating Caring Oil – Though I have natural red hair, I sometimes like to give my natural color a little boost. I recently heard of this vegan hair oil that I’m very excited to try. The problem with dying your hair red is that it always comes out so incredibly fast so I’m hoping that this oil will help make it last a little longer. I like that the brand is a Global Green partner and is working to create a sustainable future in the salon professional community. I’ve always disliked going to the salon because of the heavy use of chemicals in their hair products but it’s nice to see that brands are slowly moving towards more natural alternatives. Here’s hoping it continues that way.

5 Questions With: Ashley Cuff of CEDAR Juice

Beet Alone (1)

Photo credit: CEDAR Juice

I LOVE fresh pressed juices. Hands down one of the best purchases I made last year was getting my own juicer. I try to make at least one fresh juice a day but when I don’t have time to make them myself, I love grabbing a CEDAR Juice.

Since I’ve started training intensively for my two upcoming races – the 10k in May and the Nike Women 15k in June, I noticed that adding these juices to my daily food regimen, have been a great energy boost. In case you haven’t heard of them yet, CEDAR Juice, is a rad local fresh pressed juicery based in Toronto that has been making delicious organic juices for the past couple of months. They’re known for their doorstep delivery cleanses but they also offer maintenance packages and custom juice packages for those wanting to incorporate juices into their daily diet. If you live in the city, you’ve probably seen their juices pop up more and more at different shops and events.  I really wanted to know more about the benefits of drinking these juices particularly when training so I was thrilled that Ashley Cuff, the co-founder of CEDAR Juice agreed to answer a few questions about their juices. Hope you’ll learn as much as I did from reading this 5 Questions With interview!

1) What was the goal behind starting CEDAR Juice?

Everyone is working hard, living busy lives, but wanting to be healthy. It’s just hard to do when you are constantly on the run. We wanted to create a healthy juice, which tastes amazing that people can incorporate into their daily life and make being healthy just a little more easy and simple. There is a lot out there which claims to be healthy, but is really just filled with sugar.  At CEDAR the only ingredients are listed on the label, so you know exactly what you are getting – all 3-4 lbs of fruit & vegetables  in each bottle. 

2) How did you go about creating these juices?

The juices which are apart of our cleanse were developed to replicate our normal eating throughout an average day.  We give you our Kale Made Good at breakfast & lunch when you are looking for a hit of energy & nutrients.  As the day progresses and you are looking for something heartier we have Skip to the Beet (our beet, carrot, apple, lemon, ginger) and lastly  Cracked It (cashew, hemp, vanilla and coconut nectar), which has the health fats, glucose and protein you need for a restful sleep.  The juices are chosen to have a balance of green juices, fruitier juices and lastly a cashew nut milk to end the day.  We try to really balance the efficacy of the juice from a cleansing perspective with flavour.

3) What separates CEDAR Juice from other cold pressed juices?

There are some great cold pressed juice companies across Canada, but we hope that ours tastes better…nutritious & tasty! Our juices are 100% organic & cold pressed.  We use local ingredients when we can (tough in the winter), and are made in the west end of Toronto in the Junction.  

One of our big goals is to excel at simplifying the cleanse experience.  By having our bottles numbered, making it easy to order, shipping to your door at a reasonable price (quickly) and providing a lot of resources and support for our juicers during their cleanse, we think we achieve this.  We get a lot of positive feedback on our customer service and this is keeping us motivated to keep moving in this direction – make it simple, stupid.  

4) Can you explain some of the benefits you can get from drinking these cold pressed juices?

A cold pressed juice has 2-3x the nutrients of a typical juice.  With minimal heat & oxidation of the fruits and vegetables during the making of the juice all of the nutrients, minerals and enzymes stay intact.  That really is the simple science behind cold pressed.  Our most nutritious juice is our Kale Made Good. This is because the 3-4 lbs of greens which is in just one of our bottles, such as kale and swiss chard are alkalizing, loaded with minerals such as calcium and magnesium, plus they contain a lot of vitamin C.

5) How you would recommend incorporating these juices into one’s training regimen and diet?

Any one of our juices can be a great addition to your diet if you are training for a run, or other sport event.  However there are 3 juices in particular that I think should get a particular shout out!  Skip to the Beet (beet, carrot, apple, lemon & ginger) is a great endurance enhancer & is the perfect juice to have 2-3 hours before a workout.  Cracked It (cashews, hemp seed, vanilla & coconut nectar) has got the right amount of protein and carbohydrates, is easy to digest, and is therefore your perfect post workout juice. Lastly is our Kale Made Good – our green juice is filled with the nutrients and alkalizing effect your body is craving. 

**Ashley and CEDAR Juice are offering a 10% discount to those interested in their doorstep delivery cleanses and also maintenance packages. They offer free shipping to anyone in the Toronto area but can ship elsewhere across the country. Get all the shipping details on their site. If you’d like to place an order with them, please use the code: melsays10% to receive a 10% discount! If you’re looking for a great package of juices to drink while training, I recommend getting the “Fitness Freak” pack but you can also make your own customized pack by emailing: orders@cedarjuice.com. Want to pick up a CEDAR juice at a local retailer in Toronto? Click here for more info. 

5 Tips to Stay Healthy While Traveling

10888513_10154964439225291_4369193968875909467_n

1) Look up grocery stores or markets in advance. I was recently traveling to Regina and Winnipeg, two cities that aren’t renown for the healthiest food options. Knowing that, I decided to look up in advance the areas I would be staying in to see if there were any organic or local markets I could shop at while I was there. Sometimes, there won’t necessarily be some healthy grocery options in your area so you’ll have to make due with what’s available. For example, while we were in the prairies, our hotels were only close to a Safeway, which isn’t the best grocery store chain but they did have a few organic and healthy food options. It was a lot more expensive than let’s say in Toronto, but even if the groceries were a bit pricier, you always end up saving money by buying groceries instead of going out to eat.

IMG_2457

FullSizeRender (32)

2) Pack snacks and lunches. If you have the luxury of bringing a cooler or a lunch box while you’re traveling, bring one with you. If not, pack a few Tupperware containers or re-usable bags that you can use to pack some snacks or lunches with you while you’re traveling. It’s also a good idea to travel with a canteen, so that you can always drink water instead of buying water bottles, sodas, juices, etc. I always pack snacks or a lunch, depending on how long my flight is when I’m traveling. Airport food is always SO expensive and also there are very few airports that actually have healthy organic snacks available. Granted, so do! Airports like San Francisco, Paris, London, Vienna and even Toronto do now have some healthy options for food but most of them don’t.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

3) Ask for a mini fridge in your room. Most hotels in North America will carry mini fridges in their rooms, which is perfect when you’re staying somewhere for a while. Having a mini fridge will allow you to buy things from the grocery store like fresh fruit, veggies, yogourt and milk that you can use for your breakfast, to make lunches, etc. Having a fridge will also allow you to save a lot of money, by not going out. In addition, you’ll be able to control what you eat and what you put in your body! Also, if you are making food at the hotel, there’s always the possibility of asking for cutlery or even dishes at the front desk or the hotel’s restaurant, that you can re-use every day. If you’re staying in an airbnb, instead of a hotel, chances are they’ll have a fridge and full kitchen, which is even more awesome than a hotel room!

FullSizeRender (34)

4) Pack your workout clothes and a pair of sneakers. If you’re traveling to a warm’ish place (like basically anywhere but the prairies in February), lace up and go for a run. You can map out your run in advance either using the Nike + running app or your app of choice. It’s a great way to also see the city you’re in. If you’re also traveling to a big city, chances are they’ll have a local run club that you can join depending on what days you’re in the city. Nike has run clubs in many big cities around the world and they’re always free to join.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

FullSizeRender (31)

 

If you’re staying in a hotel chain, chances are they’ll have a gym or even a pool. While I was recently traveling to the prairies, both of the hotels I was staying at had potentially the WORST gyms I had even seen. They only have 1 or 2 machines, no free weights and no space to do exercise beside the machines. As a result, I didn’t use their gym facilities as often as I would have liked. Luckily, on my phone I have the free NTC app (there are lot’s of other free similar apps and videos available for working out) so I was able to get a few workouts in, in my hotel room. Also, packing something like a skipping rope or rubber bands can be very useful if the gym isn’t your thing. Skipping for a few minutes is always great cardio exercise and great for your arms. Another alternative is if you’ve got a gym membership with one of the big gym chains in the country, chances are, there may be a branch of that gym where you’re staying.

FullSizeRender (33)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

FullSizeRender (29)

5) Walk. If you don’t feel like hitting the gym, you forgot your bathing suit, you have no space to exercise in your room or you don’t feel like it, go for a walk. It’s a great way to explore the area you’re staying in and also a great way to get a bit of exercise in. If possible, walk to get groceries, walk to get to where you’re working or visiting, etc. Walking will always be better than no exercise at all. It’s always a good thing to get fresh air, maybe listen to some tunes and relax. It’s a great way to air out your ideas and get inspired for whatever’s next on your travel agenda!

Hope these tips were helpful! Share with me some of your healthy travel tips!

Friday Faves

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

1) Phoney Baloney’s Coconut Bacon – The most delicious and healthiest mock bacon I’ve ever had. Hands down, the thing that tastes the closest to bacon I’ve tasted in my 12 years of being a vegetarian. Even my boyfriend agreed that the taste was pretty darn close. I found this amazing snack at Fiesta Farms in Toronto. It’s vegan and also gluten free. It’s perfect on salads, quinoa, sandwiches, burgers, etc. Adds crunch and flavor!

2) Filsinger’s Organic Apple Butter – I also found this product at Fiesta Farms in Toronto (hands down the raddest grocery store in the city for organic products!). Whenever I see apple butter, it automatically reminds me of Stowe, Vermont and Cold Hollow Cider Mill, the cutest and yummiest local apple product producer. My mom would always buy us apple butter for our toast in the morning when we’d stop in Stowe. Though the taste isn’t exactly the same, it’s just as delicious! Not only is it great on toast, it’s also perfect with yogurtfruit or just on its own!

3) Shasha Co. Spelt Lemon Snaps – Picked these up the other day at Metro and they’ve become a great dessert that isn’t too sweet or that isn’t filled with bad ingredients. They’re an all organic, vegan, non-gmo snack. Shasha Co. have what seems to be a great line of organic snacks, breads and baked goods. I’m excited to try more of their tasty treats in the future!

5 Food Discoveries in New York City

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Looking for new spots to check out next time you travel to New York City? I’ve got you covered! In such a big food city like NYC it’s hard to only pick five, but here are some of my latest favorites!

1) Chalk Point Kitchen. One of the newest restaurants that I discovered upon my last trip to NYC. I was immediately attracted to this place for two main reasons a) they’re all about supporting the local farming and food community and b) they’re very social media savvy! I was welcomed with a super cute personalized card on the table. I loved their farm and barn-inspired interior. Everything that we ordered tasted incredibly yummy and FRESH! They also have lot’s of amazing vegetarian options. You can pay them a visit for brunch and dinner, they’re located in Lower Manhattan. Make sure you also check out their ultra cool bar just underneath them called The Handy Liquor Bar, love the old library and speakeasy vibe they’ve got going on.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

FullSizeRender (6)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

2) Doughnut Plant. If you’re a doughnut fanatic like I am, you have to stop by the Doughnut Plant in NYC. There are two main locations on the island: one close to the Williamsburg bridge entrance and another in Chelsea. Whatever area you’re staying in, it’s definitely worth the trek to get these handcrafted gourmet doughnuts. They make their doughnuts every day from fresh seasonal fruits and ingredients (organic if possible), they’re all natural, all of their jams are made in-house plus they don’t contain any eggs, trans fats, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. You’ll want to try their signature Jelly-Filled Square Doughnut, I had their peanut butter and jelly doughnut and it was hands down the best doughnut I’ve ever tasted (and I’m starting to be quite the doughnut pro)! If you’re on the go, you can always download their app, so that you are sure to find a doughnut near you!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

3) Le Pain Quotidien. My favorite spot for breakfast, brunch or lunch when in the city. I love their seasonal and organic menu. This place has such a European feel to it, with the big communal tables, their jams, pastries, etc. It’s really homey spot that makes your dining experience really fun and relaxed. I’m a huge fan of their avocado on toast for lunch, their quiches and fresh salads. For breakfast, I love having their organic granola (they also have a Gluten Free option for those in need) as well as their chia seed pudding! The portions are the perfect size so you’re never left feeling too stuffed!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

IMG_1780

4) Baked by Melissa. By far the cutest cupcake place in NYC. Melissa’s little cupcake shops are located all around Manhattan. I stopped by the one right by Central Park and Columbus Circle. She opened up her first shop in Soho in 2009. In her store you’ll find more than a dozen different kinds of bite-size cupcakes. I decided to try a box of three, my favorite being the peanut butter & jelly (are you noticing a theme yet on this blog? I have a thing for pb&j!).

IMG NYC

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

5) The Grill at La Piscine / SNOB. Located in the heart of Chelsea, this summer rooftop pool and restaurant or winter lounge will give you one of the best views of Manhattan. In the summer, they have an amazing outdoor grill where they serve Mediterranean specialties and in the winter, you can relax in their comfy sofas and dreamy lit lounge. Located in the Hotel Americano, this is one of my new favorite hotspots to hang out in. A perfect place for drinks after work or weekend outing!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset