Monday, November 19, 2018

Banana Oatmeal Walnut Cookies

Snacking is a big deal, especially in a household with active youngsters who are hungry and on-the-go. Instead of handing your kids a prepackaged snack made with artificial sweeteners and chemical additives, bake healthy, nutritious snacks they love. This recipe for Banana Oatmeal Walnut Cookies is surprisingly simple. Rich in potassium and pectin (a soluble fiber), simple mix mashed bananas, quick oats and chopped walnuts to form tablespoon-sized cookies and bake. That’s it! Three ingredients and you’ve got three-ingredient cookies—a nutritious snack your kids are sure to love.

More on Healthy Snacks from Mother Earth Living

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Gay Lea Foods- Shortbread Bliss

Classic shortbread recipes bring bliss this holiday season

– Canadians have come to love shortbread as a classic holiday tradition, yet they are always looking for new, delicious and easy recipes for their holiday dessert trays. To provide Canadians with new ideas, Gay Lea Foods, the shortbread expert, has two new recipes that are sure to add to the joy of the holiday season.

“With more men spending time in the kitchen, we believe that both sweet and savoury shortbread will be popular this holiday season,” says Bernard Yeung, product manager at Gay Lea Foods. “Using a superior quality butter, like Gay Lea, will ensure the ultimate taste and texture for all your shortbread favourites.” Both recipes can be prepared in advance and will be sure to delight both friends and family:

Banana Coconut Cream Stacks Chipotle and White
Banana Coconut Cream Stacks

• Banana Coconut Cream Shortbread Stack – Bring the retro back to your kitchen with these sensational holiday cookies. Layers of shortbread, filled with blissful custard and bananas, make this a delight your guests will love.
Chipotle and White

• Chipotle & White Cheddar Shortbread Cracker– A twist on the classic shortbread cookie, this savoury treat with a spicy kick is something both men and women alike will be excited to prepare and serve. These piquant shortbread crackers are easy to make, slice and bake and are a delicious accompaniment for wine or beer.

For more recipe ideas, expert shortbread tips, and a chance to win exciting prizes, visit

About Gay Lea Foods

Made with cream from Ontario cows, Gay Lea butter is a homegrown natural choice for all your holiday baking. Established in 1958, Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd. is Ontario’s largest dairy co-operative. Owned and operated by more than 1,200 farmers, it is a leading Ontario manufacturer and distributor of dairy products to retail, industrial and foodservice markets. Committed to delivering Ontario consumers the highest quality products, Gay Lea Foods is the proud producer of Gay Lea Butter, Gay Lea Real Whipped Cream, Gay Lea Sour Cream, Nordica Cottage Cheese, Lacteeze lactose-reduced milk and Ivanhoe Cheese. Visit for more information.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Intouch Insight Adds Internet of Things (IoT) Capabilities to Its CX Solutions

Intouch Insight announces that it has added Internet of Things capabilities to its suite of customer experience management products and services to help brands gain deeper location-level insights and drive customer experience improvements

OTTAWA, Canada, Nov. 7, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Intouch Insight Ltd. ("Intouch") (TSXV: INX) (OTCQB: INXSF) today announced that it has added Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities to its suite of customer experience management (CEM) products and services. Intouch will use sensors and other devices to help location-based businesses collect real-time contextual data such as temperature, sound, and traffic, and identify how these elements impact purchase behavior, customer satisfaction and overall customer experience.
Location-based industries such as restaurant, retail, finance, and healthcare will gain tremendous value by leveraging Intouch IoT capabilities in their customer experience programs. All data collected through location sensors will be pulled into the Intouch reporting platform in real-time and compared with customer experience and sales data. Automated key driver analysis will identify which location conditions drive things like poor customer experiences and missed in-store sales opportunities, empowering businesses to make improvements to the physical environment of each location to deliver better experiences.
"At Intouch, our vision is Perfect Information. Instantly. Our new IoT capabilities help us deliver on this promise in an innovative new way by providing our customers with real-time intelligence that helps them understand how contextual data correlates to business outcomes like revenue, profit, upsell rates and customer satisfaction. This value equation is significantly enhanced with our Action Campaign™ technology, which provides both management and frontline employees with the data and tools to take action and measure the impact on business outcomes," said Ravi Puvan, VP Product Management, Intouch Insight.
For more information on Intouch Insight's new IoT capabilities and how contextual data can be used to help improve customer experience visit:
About Intouch Insight
Intouch Insight offers a complete portfolio of customer experience management (CEM) products and services that help global brands delight their customers, strengthen brand reputation and improve financial performance. Through its flagship SaaS product, LiaCX™, Intouch helps clients collect and centralize data from multiple customer touch points, gives them actionable, real-time insights, and provides them with the tools to continuously improve customer experience. Founded in 1992, Intouch is trusted by over 300 of North America's most-loved brands for their customer experience management, customer survey, mystery shopping, mobile forms, operational and compliance audits, and event marketing automation solutions. For more information, visit
Certain statements included in this news release contain forward looking statements, which by their nature are necessarily subject to risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect the Company's current views with respect to future events, and are based on information currently available to the Company and on hypotheses which it considers to be reasonable; however, management warns the reader that hypotheses relative to future events which are beyond the control of management could prove to be false, given that they are subject to certain risks and uncertainties.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
For further information, please contact:
George Aizpurua
Vice President, Communications
First Canadian Capital Corp.
Tel: 647-500-2389/416-742-5600
George Pretli
Chief Financial Officer

SOURCE Intouch Insight

Friday, November 2, 2018

HyVIDA, the First Hydrogen-Infused Sparkling Water, Launches in Giant \ Martins

HyVIDA Brands, Inc., producer of the World's first Hydrogen-infused sparkling waters, announces a partnership with GIANT Food Stores, LLC, compromised of GIANT and MARTIN'S neighborhood supermarkets located in the Mid-Atlantic region.

MUSKEGON, Mich., Nov. 01, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- HyVIDA Brands, Inc., producer of the World's first Hydrogen-infused sparkling waters, announces a partnership with GIANT Food Stores, LLC, compromised of GIANT and MARTIN'S neighborhood supermarkets located in the Mid-Atlantic region. HyVIDA will be offered in more than 150 GIANT/MARTIN's locations.
"We are especially proud to partner with GIANT/MARTIN'S and its parent company, Ahold Delhaize," says Rick Smith, President and CEO of HyVIDA. "The company's recent pledge to remove all artificial ingredients, colors, or harsh chemicals in their own products is on point with HyVIDA's mission to create and deliver innovative, healthy beverages."
As one of the newest, fast-growth startups in the sparkling beverage industry, HyVIDA, launched on Amazon in May 2018, and has since added hundreds of independent, natural, and specialty retailers across the Northeast and Midwest regions.
HyVIDA's Hydrogen-infused sparkling water is the first of its kind due to its antioxidants properties, zero calories, and no sweeteners. HyVIDA is available in three varieties: Pure, Raspberry, and Lemon Lime.
"Hydrogen is a powerful antioxidant that has been proven in more than a thousand scientific studies to have a significant, positive impact on the mind and body," says Smith. "Hydrogen is the smallest molecule in the universe, and as a result, HyVIDA's infused Hydrogen and added magnesium electrolytes deliver significant functionality and an extremely smooth bubbly taste experience."
GIANT Food Stores, LLC is comprised of over 170 GIANT and MARTIN's neighborhood supermarkets, focused on offering transparent, healthy, product options.
For more information on HyVIDA, visit: For digital press kit items, visit:
About HyVIDA Brands Inc.
HyVIDA Brands is an early-stage, award-winning beverage company that is pioneering Hydrogen Infused Sparkling Waters and related beverages that offer healthy lifestyle benefits due to hydrogen's unique antioxidant properties.
Launched in 2018 by experienced medical technology entrepreneurs, both the HyVIDA headquarters & research facility are located in Muskegon, Michigan. HyVIDA has a robust intellectual property portfolio including multiple patent applications and trade secrets that enable low-cost highly scalable hydrogen infused beverages.
In partnership with Cascadia Managing Brands, HyVIDA is selling its RTD beverages in the natural, specialty, and e-commerce sales channels. For more information, visit:

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Before implementing national pharmacare, look at what provinces already offer

Instead of using scarce health-care dollars broadly, we should identify and support those Canadians falling through the cracks

By Bacchus Barua
Associate Director
Centre for Health Policy Studies

The Fraser Institute
Bacchus Barua
Bacchus Barua
Modern medicines can improve health outcomes and quality of life for those stricken with illness. As a result, policy-makers and ordinary Canadians are understandably concerned about patient access, affordability and insurance coverage for prescrip­tion drugs.
However, recent calls for a national pharmacare program would have many believe that Canadians without private drug insurance - about one-third of the population - are out of luck.
Fortunately, this is far from the truth. There actually exists a vast network of provincial plans to help Canadians - particularly those who may be at higher risk of forgoing prescriptions due to financial considerations - pay for their prescription medications.
Perhaps most crucially, recipients of social assistance have drug coverage at very low or no cost in every province. And provincial governments across Canada also cover the severely disabled and those diagnosed with conditions such as multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis.
But most provinces go even further and ensure that most seniors and lower-income individuals and families with high drug costs don't face undue financial pressure.
For example, British Columbia helps cover the cost of prescription drugs for residents through a number of drug plans. The province's largest plan, Fair PharmaCare, covers 70 per cent of the cost of eligible pre­scription drugs for families with a net income less than $15,000. Once a family spends approximately two per cent of its net income on drugs or related costs, the province pays for 100 per cent of any subsequent costs for the rest of the year. The plan also covers families with higher incomes but requires them to first pay for their drug costs (up to two or three per­ cent of their income) before provincial coverage kicks in.
In addition, B.C. maintains specific plans for individuals with HIV, certain psychiatric conditions and palliative care patients, among others.
Ontario operates three principal drug programs: the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan (for seniors), the Trillium Drug Program (an income-based plan for all Ontarians) and OHIP+ (for children and youth). The plan for seniors covers residents over 65, plus those living in long-term care or special care homes, Ontarians on social assistance and those with disabilities. Those eligible for the plan pay very low amounts up front (ranging from zero to $100) before coverage begins, after which only small co-payments (ranging from $2 to $6.11) are required.
Like B.C., Ontario also covers the cost of some medications for people with specific medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis, HIV infection, anemia, age-related macular degeneration and inherited metabolic disease.
Quebec takes a unique approach by mandating all residents not covered by private group insurance to enrol in the government's drug insurance plan (RAMQ). Participating individuals pay premiums that range from zero to $616 per year, depending on family income. Individuals must pay the first $19.90 of drug costs out of pocket, then they only pay 34.9 per cent of the cost of eligible drugs up to a monthly maximum of $90.58 (after which all costs are covered).
However, the premiums along with the deductibles and co-pays are waived for a host of groups, including Quebecers on social assistance, children under 18, full-time students and persons with a functional impairment. In fact, 1.4 million Quebecers pay no annual premium (39 per cent of beneficiaries) - 900,000 of which are not required to make any direct contribution for their medication.
More generally across the provinces, lower-income Canadians have access to some form of provincial insurance that helps limit out-of-pocket costs to a small percentage of income for prescription drugs, if not more extensive coverage.
That being said, there's evidence that some Canadians may struggle to cover the costs of their prescription medications. One study recently estimated that one of every 12 Canadians (8.2 per cent) who required a prescription in 2016 had difficulty paying for it. If true, policy-makers should first identify these Canadians and help with the costs of their medications.
Somewhat bizarrely, however, the current prescription seems to be a national single-payer pharmacare program that would use scarce health-care dollars to subsidize everyone, including the majority of Canadians who likely don't need it.
Instead, we should help Canadians understand the coverage already available, and identify and support those Canadians falling through the cracks.
Provincial governments should remain able to tailor drug plans to address the needs and preferences of their populations.
A decentralized system also better fosters different experiences in each province, which makes it possible to better assess what works and what doesn't.
This dynamic may be lost with a national pharmacare program.
Bacchus Barua is associate director of the Centre for Health Policy Studies at the Fraser Institute.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars
Yield: 16 to 20 bars
    for the streusel:
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted, plus room temperature butter for pan
  • 3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • for the bars:
  • 1/2 lb. rhubarb, cut into 1/2'' pieces
  • 1/2 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4" thick
  • 2 T. light brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 c. powdered sugar, plus more for dusting finished bars
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9'' square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2'' overhang on 2 sides. Butter and flour parchment paper and pan, tapping out the excess flour. Set aside.
for the streusel:
Whisk together the butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
for the bars:
In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of the flour. In another medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1-1/4 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Top with rhubarb and strawberry mixture, then top with prepared streusel. If you like to have some of the pretty red of the rhubarb and strawberries show on top (I do!), poke a few pieces up through the streusel.

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a bit of moist crumbs attached, about 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and, using the parchment paper overhang, lift cake from pan. Cut into bars and dust with powdered sugar. Serve as is, or with some freshly whipped and sweetened lovely!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Chocolate-Hazelnut Meringue Layer Cake


1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ chocolate fudge cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup ground toasted hazelnuts

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup Nutella™ hazelnut spread with cocoa
2 tablespoons icing sugar
12 Ferrero Rocher™ candies, unwrapped

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Safety Pin Clutch

Safety Pin Clutch

This is the most talked-about silhouette from BODHI and has been featured every where from Gossip Girl to the Glamourai. The signature safety pin hardware accents this perfectly sized clutch, making this bag a huge statement wherever you go. The Interior is completed with two cell pockets and one zip pocket.



• Signature BODHI Safety Pin Handle. 
• 2 Mobile Phone Pockets. 
• 1 Zipping Accessory Pocket.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Big health-care change takes big courage

The status quo is no longer good enough to deliver equitable access to high quality care in a cost-efficient manner

By Karen Palmer
and Noah Ivers
If there's one thing provincial governments across Canada can agree on, it's that the status quo in health care is no longer good enough to deliver equitable access to high quality care in a cost-efficient manner.
Ontario's Ministry of Health under the previous government led the way by altering how hospitals are paid, in an effort to encourage implementation of best practices in patient care.
Karen Palmer
Karen Palmer
Successfully executing big policy change in hospitals is hard work. So has it worked so far in Ontario?
Yes and no.
And are there lessons learned for other provinces?
Unequivocally, yes.
Some hospitals managed the change better than others. The 'secret sauce' has been open communication and strong collaboration between experts who best understand patient care - like doctors, nurses and patients, along with those who understand how hospitals work - like finance experts, hospital decision support teams and policy analysts.
In 2012, Ontario hospitals started replacing some of their global budgets - the annual amount hospitals traditionally receive to fund all patient care - with something called quality-based procedures or QBPs. These "patient-based payments" give hospitals a predetermined fee for each diagnosis (like pneumonia) or each procedure (like knee replacement) when patients are admitted.
The good thing about paying hospitals through global budgets is that they are predictable, stable and administratively very simple. The bad thing about global budgets, critics argue, is that they lack incentives to boost efficiency, are not always transparent or equitable, and funding isn't necessarily targeted at areas with the most impact on patients if government and hospital spending priorities don't align.
Noah Ivers
Noah Ivers
The hope with QBPs was that they would improve access to care, reduce costs per admission, reduce variation in both costs and clinical practice and, most importantly, improve the quality of patient care.
As part of this funding shift, hospitals were also given clinical handbooks - outlining evidence-based care pathways for each QBP diagnosis and procedure - to give doctors, nurses and other care providers better guidance on how to provide "the right care, in the right place, at the right time" and at the right cost.
How did this all pan out?
We recently published a study showing that, as with most complex system change, some hospitals managed better than others at rolling out QBPs. As one senior hospital executive put it, "I think the hospitals are pushing back and saying: slow down, because this is tougher to manage than we thought and it's got all kinds of complication in the implementation."
Hospitals struggled to adapt if they were less ready for change, especially when it was more complex in nature or they didn't have the management capacity to support it.
Conversely, hospitals that were able to adapt showed a high degree of readiness for change and had good capacity to manage it, especially when new requirements were less complex.
Change never goes as planned and large-scale change in complex health care systems is no exception.
Old patterns can be difficult to break. The first time you try, failure may seem inevitable. But as every entrepreneur knows, it should be viewed as an opportunity to learn and try again. Similarly, the ability to take stock along the way - through embedded evaluations - allows health system leaders to honestly look at what is working and what isn't.
Whether as individuals or in complex systems, knowing when to admit that it's time to change course is critical to any improvement.
We suggest that a structured process be put in place to help identify and choose the right tools for the job, so that adoption of new initiatives is enabled and desired outcomes are achieved. To that end, we propose that those seeking change - regardless of the setting - ask three questions:
  • Who needs to do what differently?
  • Why isn't that happening now?
  • What can we do to enable change and overcome barriers?
Big change takes big courage, a shared vision and clear communication. Ontario's efforts to explore how to implement change are valuable and instructive, and Ontario's Ministry of Health, hospitals, provincial health care agencies and care providers should be lauded for their efforts.
Scaling up Ontario's successes to other provinces, and continuing to experiment, would help ensure that high quality affordable health care is available to all Canadians.
Karen S. Palmer is a health-care systems and policy research at Women's College Research Institute in Toronto, an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University and a contributor to, which is based at the University of Winnipeg. Noah Ivers is a family physician at Women's College Hospital, scientist at Women's College Research Institute, and assistant professor at the University of Toronto.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Prolonged journeys in space help inform research into frailty

Astronauts and seniors with frailty have much in common and innovative research may help solve problems for both

By John Muscedere
John Muscedere
John Muscedere
For decades, researchers have studied the effects of reduced physical activity on astronauts during prolonged journeys to space. But what's surprising is one of the uses of that research.
It turns out that understanding the effects of space travel on the body may be important to understanding what happens to us on Earth as we get older. And the reverse is also true: studying frailty in aging seniors has much to offer space travel.
A novel partnership between the Canadian Space Agency, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Frailty Network is examining the health impact of inactivity both on older adults and astronauts. It's a world first.
On space missions, astronauts, like Canada's Chris Hadfield, may spend months in a zero-gravity, weightless environment. One cosmonaut, Russia's Valery Polyakov, spent 438 days in space, but even brief journeys into space may have significant health consequences. Surprisingly, research on these effects is often conducted using prolonged bed rest in humans on Earth.
Floating in space looks innocuous, even peaceful. But the health impacts of weightlessness are similar to those found in people who are inactive here on the ground, which results in rapid muscle and bone weakening. Other consequences of weightlessness mimic what we see in older adults living with frailty: hardening of the arteries, retention of fluid, loss of bone density or osteoporosis, among others.
In Canada, the most rapidly increasing segment of the population is individuals over 80 years old - of whom over half are frail. As a result, a large and growing proportion of our health and social care spending goes toward older Canadians living with frailty.
Frailty can occur at any age, though it most often occurs in seniors, and describes those with precarious health who are at heightened risk of dying. For those with frailty, illnesses - like minor infections or injuries - may result in rapid deterioration in health.
The goal of the research partnership is to help identify ways to better detect frailty to improve outcomes or reduce the severity of frailty in older adults.
The new partnership builds on previous inactivity studies and will also help highlight the hazards of inactivity and bedrest. Bedrest or inactivity continues to be common in acutely ill patients and those in long-term care, whether by prescription, by health-care professionals, by institutional design or lack of understanding regarding the need for activity by the human body.
There are some notable differences in the space-frailty comparison, however. Although the effects of bedrest are reversible in younger volunteers and astronauts with intensive therapy, they may not be in older individuals, where short periods of bedrest may convert someone who is independent to functionally dependent.
Other research has included looking at how low-gravity environments affect the onset of osteoarthritis, a common condition among Canadian seniors. Osteoarthritis also happens to be a common condition for astronauts once they return to Earth. There has also been research studying cardiovascular health and an aging population by looking at the lifestyle of astronauts. Research has shown that increased carotid artery stiffness occurs in astronauts in a span of months, which is equivalent to changes seen in 20 years of aging.
Importantly, results yielded by this partnership will be shared internationally with other researchers and space organizations to enable the collaborative efforts necessary to solve the complex problems posed by aging and space flight.
Although we don't usually associate aging and space travel, the space exposure of astronauts is informative and offers accelerated models for studying the effects of aging on the ground. With nearly six decades of human spaceflight history, space agencies have a wealth of data to inform life sciences research on frailty.
Pooling knowledge and resources may help us develop innovative approaches to the problems posed by both aging and prolonged space flights.
Dr. John Muscedere is the scientific director and CEO of the Canadian Frailty Network. He is professor of Critical Care Medicine at Queen's University and an intensivist at Kingston General Hospital, and a contributor with, which is based at the University of Winnipeg.