Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Shaved Brussels Sprout, Carrot + Cabbage Soba Noodles

Serves 4
For the soba salad

  • ¼ head green cabbage
  • ¼ head red cabbage
  • about 8 Brussels sprouts, bruised, outer layers removed
  • 1 large carrot, sliced into matchsticks
  • 8 oz buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • handful sesame seeds, toasted
For the dressing
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and very finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
1. Using a mandolin (if you have one) slice the cabbages and Brussels sprouts thin (or do it manually). Place in a large mixing bowl, add carrots and set aside.
2. To make the dressing: Add all the ingredients aside from the oils and mix to combine. Slowly drizzle in the oils until incorporated.
3. To make the soba: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a few pinches of salt and place soba in the water. Cook for 4-6 minutes (or according to package instructions) until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.
4. Bring it all together: Place the noodles in the bowl with the veggies, pour the dressing over and mix to combine. Season with sea salt if needed and top with scallions and sesame seeds.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Canada's Food Guide: New dish, with a dash of condescension

After years of celebrating our agricultural know-how, the guide has gone urban - and is more than a little patronizing

By Sylvain Charlebois
Senior Fellow
Atlantic Institute for Market Studies
Sylvain Charlebois
Sylvain Charlebois
Say goodbye to the four food groups.
Almost 12 years after the launch of the previous version, the new Canada's Food Guide celebrates food by displaying a plate filled with greens, fruits, plant proteins and grains. And if you look very carefully, you'll see a cup of yogurt alongside a piece of beef that looks a little like a piece of wood.
Unlike the old version, the new guide can apply to different demographic groups and lifestyles.
In a somewhat less innovative vein, it also encourages Canadians to cook, eat with other people, and consider water as their drink of choice.
In all, the new food guide is a bold move from Health Canada, but it still misses the mark in some areas.
The plate concept is clever. Few Canadians could tell how big portions should be in the old version and many can relate to the size of a plate.
Dominated by vegetables and fruits, grains and proteins are now sidekicks. And, as expected, animal-based proteins are now second fiddle to plant-based proteins. Dairy and meat products have lost the protein wars, which means that in Ottawa, Health Canada won over Agriculture and Food Canada, probably for the first time.
Nutrition-conscious minds prevailed, for better or worse.
The guide has always showcased our agricultural know-how, beginning with the first edition in 1942. Then, not only did almost 30 per cent of our population live on farms, but nearly 30 per cent of our national gross domestic product came from agriculture. It was expected that the government promote commodities grown in our backyard. That guide displayed products we all knew: milk, fish and meat.
Now, less than two per cent of Canadians live on farms and agriculture represents a fraction of our national GDP.
The tone of this new guide is different as well - it embraces a different language: the nutrient-focused jargon Health Canada believes Canadians are ready for.
Fibre and proteins are at the core of this new publication. The guide has gone urban for the first time. It's more contemporary, multicultural and adaptable to varying modern diets.
It's about time.
For the Liberal government heading into an election in the fall, this city-friendly platform will do no great harm, only alienating regions that historically support the Conservatives.
There are some weak points in this new guide, though. Some of it is quite condescending, with trite advice only an idealistic health professional would give. Phrases like "Enjoy your food," "Be mindful of eating habits," and the patronizing "Be aware of food marketing" are prominent.
As the guide became more sophisticated about what we should be eating, it also got a little smug, treating all Canadians like five-year-olds. The food industry spends billions on marketing and the average Canadian sees roughly 1,500 advertisements a day. Is Health Canada suggesting Canadians can hide from all of this for the sake of eating better?
That's a stretch.
And in the new guide, Health Canada is at odds with the buy-local movement.
Eggs, poultry and milk are by far the biggest losers. Supported by supply management, our grandiose protectionist policy that allows us to produce what we need, these sectors may end up overproducing in just a few years. As we institutionalize a new message, behaviours will change. Domestic production of these commodities may require recalibration soon and many of our farms could disappear.
Our agricultural trade policies aren't synchronized with our domestic food policies and the new guide will only make things worse. Ottawa can't carry on stating it unconditionally supports supply-management policy. It clearly doesn't anymore.
On the fruit and vegetable front, things could get tricky as well. We're highly vulnerable due to our dependency on imported fruits and vegetables, especially in winter. It's the most volatile food category for consumers. For example, lettuce prices went up by a whopping 39.4 per cent over 12 months in Canada. These price shifts are hard for consumers to cope with.
We need to raise our veggie game in Canada - fast.
So the new food guide is a step forward, despite the dash of demeaning comments.
Now if we can get Health Canada to review the guide every five years like most other industrialized nations, perhaps it will stop treating the release like it was revealing the location of Cleopatra's tomb.
Sylvain Charlebois is scientific director of the Canadian Agrifood Foresight Institute, a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University, and a senior fellow with the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Wrinkle Injections: Vegan Millenials refuse Botox

Wrinkle Injections: Vegan Millenials refuse Botox:

The main ingredient in Botox is botulinum toxin, produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria.  Although the main ingredient in Botox comes from bacteria, since another ingredient is from humans, 
Botox is not vegan.

 Not only is Botox made of a non-vegan ingredient, the injectable is also tested on animals.

Botox and Fillers. As most fillers, including lip and derma fillers, are made from non-animal origin hyaluronic acid, they are considered vegan
However, much like Botox, they are required by law to be tested on animals because they're classified as medical products.

Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) is considered a Millennial

Thursday, January 24, 2019


The caramel process must be watched. Do not walk away. Do not answer the door. Do not begin to empty the top rack of dishwasher. Stay put. Keep watch. Sugar is sneaky. I’ve had the best results without using a candy thermometer, so standing watch in order to see the color change can mean the difference between a smooth result or an over-burnt sticky clump.
Have all the ingredients and tools needed ready to go. Since a watchful eye is required, and the end of the process moves quickly, there won’t be a bunch of time to calmly gather everything.
Avoid stirring. Stirring can trigger crystals to form. Crystals are the enemy of smooth caramel. The recipe below follows the wet caramel technique. Once the sugar dissolves in the water, don’t stir until it’s ready to add other ingredients.
Make sure all tools being used for cooking are clean. Crystals can be triggered by any impurities.
Make sure to use a saucepan/pot that has tall enough sides for the amount to double as it will bubble and foam up toward the end. It will get very hot! So splattering is not a good thing. A heavy-duty, non-coated saucepan or skillet with tall sides will work well.
The recipe below lists refined granulated sugar. Other sugars, like brown sugar, can be used as well, but it can be tricky to get consistent results due to impurities. If you choose to try it with something other than refined granulated sugar, be extra vigilant.
David Lebovitz is quite the expert on caramel. Check out his tips and tricks for making caramel. AND be sure not to miss his Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream recipe. Oh my … it’s worth all the effort. It’s the best!
Don’t give up. If you botch a batch, try again! You will learn with each attempt and begin to see the pattern. You’ll become a caramel making champ in no time.
Salted Caramel Sauce

This Salted Caramel Sauce is the perfect addition to so many treats. It refrigerates and rewarms well too.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: Makes a little over 2 cups.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Only Zucchini Recipe You'll Ever Need


Millie’s 1980 Bake-Off® Contest recipe is a no-fail summer staple.

Italian Zucchini Crescent Pie
This recipe was a Bake-Off® Contest entry long before I was even helping my mom in the kitchen. It’s so easy and delicious, it’s no wonder it has stayed relevant today. I think the secret to its success iscrescents; they make a super-easy, no-fail crust. Not only does the savory pie make for a quick and easy summer supper, but if you cut smaller servings it’s also a great way to start a meal with friends. I’ve served it for grill-outs, book club gatherings and more!

Here's how I make it my own:

  • Try a ½ teaspoon of herbs de Provence instead of the oregano and basil. It simplifies the recipe ever so slightly and adds a little flavor boost.
  • Swap in Parmesan for the mozzarella for a more savory pie.
  • Use whatever mustard you keep on hand. I’ve had success with Dijon and even whole-ground mustard.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Did you know !!

1891 patent blueprint for toilet paper. Concrete proof that sheets fall to the front.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The wisdom (or lack of) in prescribing opiates after tooth removal A mother and a dentist team call for an end to routine opioid use for teens after wisdom tooth removal

By Amy Ma
and Susan Sutherland
We're writing as a parent and a dentist to spread a message to parents and dental health-care providers across Canada: there are alternatives to prescribing opioids after wisdom teeth removal.
Removing wisdom teeth is considered by many as a rite of passage for teenagers. It's one of the most common surgical procedures done in young people aged 16 to 24.
Amy Ma
Amy Ma
Amy's 16-year-old son, Felix recently had his wisdom teeth removed. After surgery, the surgeon's assistant advised that to "stay on top of the pain," Felix should take a Percocet right away. Percocet is a combination of the pain reliever, acetaminophen and an opioid, oxycodone. The assistant provided him with enough Percocet to take every three hours for the next day.
Thankfully, Amy knew of the possible harms associated with powerful opioid medications, such as Percocet, especially for young people. Abuse of opioids is a national public health emergency, with growing numbers of opioid overdoses and deaths.
So she asked the surgeon's assistant whether there was another pain management option for Felix. Tylenol 3 was suggested (acetaminophen with the opioid codeine), which still seemed too powerful.
How did Amy know to question the advice she was given?
Susan Sutherland
Susan Sutherland
Amy serves as the patient adviser for the national campaign Choosing Wisely Canada, which partners with national clinician societies to develop lists of tests, treatments and procedures that may cause harm. So she knew that the Canadian Association of Hospital Dentists recommends non-opioid based pain medications to be prioritized following dental surgery and to resort to opioids only if the pain can't be managed.
Amy asked for Naproxen for Felix - an over-the-counter pain reliever in the same drug class as Aspirin and Ibuprofen. Felix took the Naproxen as directed when the anesthesia wore off and he didn't require anything stronger. In fact, he was quite comfortable.
We need to think twice about whether an opioid prescription is needed after wisdom teeth removal.
After having her wisdom teeth removed, Lady Gaga posted pictures of her puffy face and tweeted out to her millions of followers: "Wisdom teeth out. P-p-Percocet p-p-Percocet." Percocet after minor oral surgery should not be an expectation of teenaged patients.
What's at stake?
Persistent opioid use after elective surgery, like wisdom teeth removal, is a risk, especially in young people whose brains are developing and are highly susceptible to the effects of opioids. Leftover opioids are equally dangerous for teens, who might be tempted to experiment or share with friends and family members.
Dentists and oral surgeons have a critical role to play here - they're among the leading prescribers of opioids to young people. An American study published recently found that dentists are the leading source of opioid prescriptions for children and adolescents aged 10 to 19 years in the United States. Dental prescriptions account for over 30 per cent of all opioid prescriptions in this age group.
This study also found that young people who received opioid prescriptions after wisdom tooth extraction were more likely to be using opioids three months and one year later, as compared to their peers who didn't get an opioid.
The evidence is clear: a short prescription for opioids poses a real risk of ongoing opioid use to our teenagers.
Many patients experience pain and swelling lasting three to four days and sometimes up to a week after wisdom teeth surgery. The intensity and duration of these symptoms varies considerably depending on the position of the teeth, how deeply they're buried in bone and the surgical difficulty in removing them. While many oral surgeons and dentists prescribe opioids routinely after dental surgery, pain management for all patients should be handled individually.
In most cases, post-surgical dental pain can be controlled without opioids and through anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen, in combination with the non-opioid pain relievers such as acetaminophen. For some oral surgery procedures, such as such deeply impacted wisdom teeth or jaw reconstruction, an opioid may be needed for pain control for a short time.
It's time oral surgeons and dentists move away from a one-size-fits-all pain management strategy. Avoiding unnecessary opioid prescriptions for teenagers is critical part of staving off the harm of the opioid epidemic.
Amy Ma is a parent of three living in Montreal. She is the co-chair of the family adviser forum at the Montreal Children's Hospital and patient adviser to Choosing Wisely Canada. Dr. Susan Sutherland is the chief of dentistry at Sunnybrook Health Sciences in Toronto. She is the president of the Canadian Association of Hospital Dentists.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Decoding Green Labels 101

A guide for consumers to navigate through all those ‘sustainable’ products
TORONTO, Ont. —From “natural” tea, to “green” cleaning supplies to “eco-friendly” clothing, there are endless products being marketed with claims that attempt to convince consumers that they are making the right decision when shopping.

“Canadians are concerned about the state of our environment and worker conditions, and are opting for more sustainable, conscientious products and services,” says Laurie Simmonds, President and CEO of Green Living Enterprises. “With companies using various ‘green’ claims and labels now more than ever, it can be difficult to distinguish between what looks and sounds ethical and sustainable, and what actually is.” 

Product certifications alleviate this challenge for consumers, as any certified product has undergone a rigorous third party evaluation; examining everything from environmental impact, ingredient procurement, worker conditions and compensation to name few.  Choosing products with the following labels will help you shop smarter and feel more confident about your buying power:  

·         While many may think it’s the most obvious, Fairtrade is often a confusing term. The Fairtrade mark means the ingredients in a product have been produced by small-scale farmer organizations or plantations that meet social, economic and environmental standards. Equifruit for example, is the Canadian market leader of Fairtrade-certified bananas, with a large number of retail partners in Quebec and Ontario.

·         B Certified is to a business what Fairtrade is to fruit or coffee. Launched in 2006, B Certified companies meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability. Dedicated to offering bee-derived superfoods, Beekeeper’s Naturals is a great example of a B Certified company that has undergone strict analysis and understands their overarching duty to the environment. It is one of 2,048 B Corporations in 50 countries around the world, all demonstrating a desire to make change and be part of something bigger.

·         Eating organic is one of the most popular ways to lead a healthier, more sustainable life. This can be made easy by purchasing products with the Canada Organic label and certification (define what it means – pesticides, antibiotics, etc..). Canada’s organic standards are among the most recognized in the world and Harmony Organic is a Canadian company that wears this label with pride. With 14 family farm producers, Harmony Organic is passionate about the quality of their dairy, their cows and the earth.

·         Sustainable food choices continue to be important to Canadians, changing the way they think about what’s on their plates. With overfishing being the biggest threat our oceans face today, consumers who choose to eat seafood can make a difference by choosing fish that is responsibly sourced or by visiting restaurants, like Hawthorne Food & Drink that use the Oceanwise symbol — an assurance against overfishing, harm to other aquatic creatures and protection of the marine ecosystem.

·         The Leaping Bunny logo is one to look out for when purchasing personal-care products and cosmetics. Companies like Skin Essence Organics that are certified through the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, make a voluntary pledge to eliminate animal testing from all stages of product development.

“We are all trying to make better choices for our health and wellbeing that will help build a better world, with a healthy environment and strong communities,” adds Laurie. “Learning about these various labels and certifications is a great step in that direction”.

This April, visit all of these people- and planet-friendly certified companies, plus 400  sustainable companies at the Green Living Show taking place April 7th to 9th, 2017, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Please RSVP if you would like to attend as media.

For more info on leading a healthier, greener lifestyle, please visit ‘Like’ them on Facebook, or follow @GreenLivingPage.

About Green Living Enterprises 
Green Living Enterprises is Canada’s leading cause-marketing agency focused on social and environmental program development. Our team is led by award-winning industry experts in the fields of brand and program development; custom content; advertising, marketing and communications; and event management. Green Living Enterprises also includes and The Green Living Show, Canada’s largest consumer show, dedicated to simple solutions for leading a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

Green Living Show
The Green Living Show is Canada’s largest consumer show dedicated to simple solutions for leading a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. This three-day event offers inspiration for all ages and features influential speakers; innovative products; eco home and garden design; local and organic food and wine tastings; health, wellness and yoga pavilions; eco fashion and green beauty makeovers; electric car test drives; nature exhibits and fun activities for the entire family.