Posted in Healthy, Home Economics, Opinions & Commentaries, Product Testing

Food Magazine Review: Milk Street

I have to confess that as much as I am tech savvy, I’m still in love with traditional print. The ability to bring things to read without requiring a cord or battery is still brilliant in my mind.  I also love turning the pages and the whole experience of knowing that it will never require downloading and can be recycled in some way or kept as a reference for later and possibly repeated use.


Meet what I consider the Foodie version of Nutrition Action Newsletter: Milk Street.  (As a backstory, the Nutrition Action Newsletter was my favourite until they stopped producing a print version early last year to many nutrition experts’, including myself, discontent.)

What Milk Street does is take the approach to be ad-less.  That’s right – it is all CONTENT and absolutely NO advertisements.  The editor retains complete control of content and doesn’t have to play nice with the big box businesses of food.  Consider it the high-end, grassroots magazine that allows the best recipes and so much knowledge of how to cook well at home (and yes, at times, gourmet).



I stumbled upon the “Charter Edition” (read: FIRST EVER ISSUE published!) in Chapters when I wanted to find some cottage magazines to inspire my best friend while taking a much needed vacation.

My May-June 2017 Issue set my opinion in stone for future editions and so I thought to share this with others who might appreciate the fun & experience of cooking at home.

Christopher Kimball’s obvious experience and depth of knowledge plus passion is displayed in every page and picture.  The once in a while caricatures bring a New Yorker edge to the magazine, the quality of paper makes you feel like you stepped into a stationary heaven and the content…. well have a look at the table of contents that really is a Recipe Index AND my favourite parts: Every Issue “staples”.


The editor founded Cook’s Magazine in 1980 but is back to the new approach of The New Home Cooking – It’s a Professional Home Economist’s dream!  It not only inspires you with recipes that range from beginner/easy to more advanced, but as well explanations of the basic WHYs of food science along the way.


There are even step-by-step PHOTOS that teach you how to make the recipe, showing exactly how whipped egg whites should look with “gentle peaks” and WHY this consistency is important!


The Book Reviews are more about history, memoirs and stories behind food rather than cookbooks galore.  There are tidbits of mini stories, creative ingredient ideas and frugal tips along the way.  Plus reviews and explanation of equipment to consider in your kitchen.  A great balance to all the recipes, all issues also include Cocktails & Wine sections.  Because a great cook always knows that food needs a drink to compliment it.

This is a well-thought out master plan “that’s both simpler and smarter”, even touts the editor.


This is a magazine you should try out.

Pros

  • Easy for the average cook to follow
  • Great recipe ideas
  • Digital option included with subscription
  • Background Stories included with a recipe
  • Global flavours represented often
  • Explanation of ingredients – completely assuming they are teaching you
  • Paired with a public television show and public radio show
  • Online video recipe guides

Cons

  • American / Published in USA – Increases cost & content might sometimes (not usually) reflect that (Canadian order site http://www.milkstreetmagcanada.com)
  • Cost without advertisements increases what you pay
  • It is paired with its own private cooking school (so it does have a pseudo & inadvertent advertisement for a company)

Final Verdict – Thumbs Up!  I don’t mind paying a premium at times for amazing content and no fillers!  (Kind of like Epicure spices, ūüėČ )

Note: These opinions are my own.  I have no way been endorsed or asked to write this review.  I purchased the magazine myself and have no affiliation or kickbacks to suggesting this magazine.

Posted in Healthy

Sunshine Tea


A lightly flavoured, caffeine-free tea that brightens up your morning by drinking during the moonlight. 
Ingredients

  • 2 slices of a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger, peeled & chopped 
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honey

Directions

  1. Boil water. 
  2. Place ingredients in a heat-safe mug. 
  3. Pour boiling water over ingredients in mug until covered & mug is almost full. 
  4. Stir gently. Savour. 

Find more recipes at http://www.nutritionbites.ca 

Posted in Healthy

Daytime London TV Debut

I made it to one of my dreams last week….. Cooking on a TV show! ¬†Thank you to Rogers for asking me to be on their show. ¬†You can watch me here while Bob Smith, the host, makes 2 of my vegan recipes – Banana Muffins & Cherry Vinaigrette.

Nutrition Bites: Helping others get healthier in little bites – Tuesday, February 28, 2017
rogers-daytime

You can always find the recipes and media links at http://www.nutritionbites.ca

 

 

Posted in Healthy

Local Business, Nutrition Bites selected as a finalist for the 2017 Mompreneur¬ģ Start Up Award

finalist-banner

Local Business, Nutrition Bites selected as a finalist for the 2017 Mompreneur¬ģ Start Up Award

London‚Äôs Own Sandra Venneri of Nutrition Bites is proud to announce that she has been named a finalist for the 2017 Mompreneur¬ģ Start Up Award. The winner will be announced at The 2017 National Mompreneurs¬ģ Conference on Saturday, March 4th, 2017.

For Immediate Release:

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18, 2017 ‚Äď LONDON, ONTARIO ‚Äď The Top 22 finalists have been selected for the fourth instalment of The Mompreneur¬ģ Awards brought to you by Mompreneur Showcase Group Inc. and ParentsCanada Magazine.¬† Every year this award gets bigger and recognition gets more renowned as the achievements and contributions of women and their businesses in Canada grows. This year two new awards were added to include women across all areas of business.

 

Local Mompreneur Sandra Venneri of Nutrition Bites has been named a finalist by her peers and the business community. The task of determining who will win one of the four Awards being presented at this year‚Äôs 2017 National Mompreneurs¬ģ Conference will now be left up to an expert panel of judges. The winner will be chosen based on a select set of criteria for each award including track record of success; product innovation of business idea; growth potential and scalability; revenue; inspiration to others; and impact on the community.

Nutrition Bites empowers others with practical skills, such as cooking lessons and mindful eating workshops, to become more confident in their daily health choices. The company recently launched Growing Up Healthy Seed to Fork Kits, an affordable food literacy activity for all ages and stages.¬† It teaches the connections between growing food at home and cooking fresh ingredients while encouraging healthy eating. Conceived by Sandra, this social enterprise started in response to the confusing and contradictory health messages constantly facing consumers. Sandra is excited to be a Mompreneur Top Finalist. ‚ÄúIt recognizes my hard work and efforts in my first years of business but also shares my passion and story.¬† I hope it encourages other women and our daughters to design their dream jobs!‚ÄĚ

The 2017 Mompreneur¬ģ Awards presented by TruShield Insurance will be handed out at The 2017 National Mompreneurs¬ģ Conference taking place over 2 days during International Women‚Äôs Day Weekend, Friday, March 3rd, and Saturday March 4th 2017. The conference will take place at the Sheraton Airport¬†Hotel & Conference Centre – 801 Dixon Rd, Toronto, ON.

 

To interview Sandra Venneri about being a finalist or to provide commentary on being a Mompreneur and business leader please contact:

Sandra Venneri, Owner of Nutrition Bites

sandra@nutritionbites.ca

Phone: 226-377-2223

For more information on the Conference & Awards, to obtain a Media Pass or to speak to CEO Maria Locker please contact:

Rania Walker, PR & Media Relations

rania@FrontDoorPR.com

Phone: 416-258-8953

 

About Mompreneur¬ģ Showcase Group Inc.

Mompreneur¬ģ Showcase Group Inc. (www.TheMompreneur.com) is the trusted national network that supports, educates, and empowers moms in business across Canada. With close to 20 satellite locations in Canada supporting over 17,000 women entrepreneurs, the company also includes Mompreneur¬ģ Magazine and Mompreneurs¬ģ Momentum Enterprise of Canada (non-profit) under its umbrella of properties.¬† www.themompreneur.com

 

 

About ParentsCanada

ParentsCanada Magazine is one of Canada’s leading resources for parents of newborns to teens. Its focus is on providing parents the tools they need to make positive choices for their families. www.parentscanada.com

 

 

About TruShield Insurance

The TruShield Insurance solution was specifically created to provide Canadian small businesses with the insurance coverage they need. TruShield Insurance is the small business division of Federated Insurance Company of Canada, a leading specialized insurance provider. A 100% Canadian owned company, Federated Insurance has been part of the Fairfax family of companies since 1990.  Learn more about TruShield Insurance at www.trushieldinsurance.ca.

Posted in Gluten Free, Healthy, Home Economics, Kid Friendly, Opinions & Commentaries, Product Testing

I’m officially… a Love Bug.¬†

Being a mom of two girls has had its challenges. In the beginning, I thought if they could wipe their bum and sleep through the night it would just be smooth sailing from there.

HA HA!

It’s ok. You can laugh at me too. Every stage with child rearing has its benefits & struggles.

Starting daycare or school is thought to be the ultimate in breaks. We get our life back, we get to go back to work, no extra daycare costs …. um, no!

Having another set of hands and feet other than our own is even more complicated when we can’t be with them constantly to take care of them.

That’s when I discovered Lovable Labels. I purchased a set for each of my daughters.

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(And one package has lasted until now!)

It was a Canadian company that made my life easier. ¬†No more worrying about what wouldn’t be making it home that day (1 mitten, new indoor shoes, the expensive lunch thermos, etc.). ¬†With Costco dressing many kids in durable snowsuits and backpacks, there’s bound to be a mix up of who’s is who’s.

Lovable Labels are made for a lifetime of use and stand up against the toughest kids.  They are:

  • Waterproof
  • Dishwasher Safe (Tested and true by this Professional Home Economist!)
  • Microwave Safe
  • UV Resistant
  • Peel & Stick (Except for the Iron-ons & non-label products)
  • Laundry Safe (Clothing labels only)
  • Bleach Safe

So I’ve been using these labels ever since. Well, mostly my kids’ stuff but there are tons of uses for adults too including work lunch containers (no missing leftovers from the lunch room fridge!), seniors in long-term care/nursing homes, sports (hockey, soccer, basketball, etc) equipment, students sharing dorm rooms/bathrooms etc. ¬†Plus there are household labels (see my Top 5 list below!) that help homes stay organized inside (kitchen, office, crafts) and outside (recycling, compost & garbage bins!).

I even used them to do a fundraiser for the charity I work with, NSTEP, a few years back.

Recently I wanted to run a free promotion for my business, Nutrition Bites. As a Mompreneur, I have a home-based business but use expos to showcase as my temporary storefront. This season I was booked back to back at VegFest London and Whoa Mama! Marketplace. Many of my clients are parents & children. So what better way to advertise & market healthy eating to kids AND help out parents than to offer customized Lovable Labels to them as they walked by!!!?  I thought it was a very useful idea!

Here’s what my custom Nutrition Bites Lovable Labels looked like:


I attached them to a sheet explaining what they were & how to use them. You should have seen the kids light up! FREE stickers for their lunches? One girl took a few extras to share with her friends.

It was my little part to be marketing HEALTHY messages to kids and go up against the giants that unethically use millions of dollars trying to get low-density nutrition/foods into your kids all day long! (Can you tell I’m a bit passionate about health for kids & communities?!)

One of the best parts of ordering from Lovable Labels was their personalized touches:

A handwritten note to me!


After that I couldn’t help but be even more of a “Love Bug” unofficially of Lovable Labels. ¬†Who takes the time to appreciate a customer’s orders? ¬†This small, Canadian company sure does!

So I decided to support their company by registering to be an official Lovable Label Love Bug.  It was pretty easy, and within a few weeks my  Welcome Package arrived so I could share my love. All I do is be me: share my love of Lovable Labels with others.

What do you get?

  • Giveaways (FREE stuff for you!) – Seasons, themes, etc.
  • Cool ideas on how to use Lovable Labels from me, Sandra, aka Nutrition Bites

What I get?

  • Monthly Incentives & Free Products to review – No clue what these are yet but I plan on sharing them with my followers & Nutrition Bites customers somehow! ¬†(Check out #1 on my Top 5 list below!)
  • Welcome Package to launch my love to you and the rest of the world – GIVEAWAY from me!
  • Content ideas for my blog, social media and home to get creative with Lovable Labels

So with all of the uses for Lovable Labels, I’m going to share with you MY list of the top 5 products I love.

Top 5 List of Lovable Label Products

From a Nutrition Consultant & Professional Home Economist

1.¬†Lil’ Dose of Love Labels: Tutti Frutti

An extra little gift for being Customer of the Day (another sweet thing Lovable Labels does that I had no clue about – who doesn’t love FREE stuff and surprises!?) were these amazing labels. ¬†Their website talks about giving kids positive messages in their lunches & backpacks but I thought – wow – exactly what I believe in – using FRUIT, not candy, to market to kids. ¬†Plus the punny food humour is sure to make any kid-at-heart smile!


2. Allergy Alert Labels

Food allergies can be deadly for some. ¬†Most are aware of this fact as schools, daycares and camps are trying to protect those that have severe allergies. ¬†These labels help to remind others when you can’t be there, to not give your child certain allergens. ¬†Allergy Alert Labels can also just be used for those wanting to have a certain lifestyle – like vegetarianism, veganism, gluten-free, etc. ¬†And if your child has diabetes or other conditions that require a modified diet or lifestyle, the medical alert label will help you define that for others simple with a “peel & stick”.

3.  Canning Labels & Pantry Labels 

Keeping healthy can start by being organized in your kitchen. ¬†With personalized Canning Labels (which also help to make great gifts or for small farmers’ markets!) and an extensive pack of 88 Pantry Labels (almost ALL are very healthy staples to have in your home!), you’ll be sure to stock your home and others’ with healthy foods to nourish your bodies and busy lifestyle.

 

4.  Date It! Labels  & Write-On Labels  

These labels allow you to write & personalize AFTER you receive them in the mail. ¬†Date It! Labels are perfect for food safety at home. Ever ask yourself (or someone else asks you), “When were those leftovers made? ¬†Are they still good?”. ¬†Well less work for you and this way you can customize with some Retro, Mayan, or Country styles without having to personalize before you actually make those pickles, roast or banana muffins.

5.  Outdoor Bin Labels 

As a person that has moved a lot in my life, these stickers were my gift to me (along with a local newspaper subscription) when I began my new life as a single mom. ¬†No more chasing a black garbage can down the street to wonder if it was actually mine (Notice how almost everyone has the same one these days!). ¬†No family name needed, just the address to keep your identity private but your bins easy to identify. It’s kind of like a “Return To” if found, during windy days. ¬†And it looks way better than the spray-paint or sharpie method that’s bound to wear off during our harsh, Canadian winters!

 

fruit-starter

BONUS #6 – Don’t forget where Lovable Labels started – their personalized labels great for lunch & drink containers as well as clothes, shoes and bags. ¬†I suggest their healthiest theme, Fruition, to (subconsciously) market fruits & veggies to your kids (and maybe you or your spouse!)

 

A LOVABLE GIVEAWAY FOR YOU!!!

I thought I’d start it of right by sharing the love right away with fellow bloggers & Nutrition Bites followers.


I’m giving away THREE different items from my Love Bug Welcome Package & my Nutrition Bites Promotion:

  • “Blogging is Bliss” & “I love Blogging” Labels/stickers
  • Lil’ Dose of Love Labels: Tutti Frutti (A sampler!)
  • My “personal”-ized favourites #NutritionBites Lovable Labels

Visit my Nutrition Bites Facebook Page to comment to win!

Find the blog post and follow the easy instructions! (Contest not in affiliation with Facebook in any way.  Open to age of majority in Canada. Contest deadline: December 18th, 2016 at 11:59pm.)

Stay tuned for more creative ways to use Lovable Labels and giveaways for my followers – YOU!

Follow me on Social Media:

Facebook:   NutritionBitesCanada

Instagram & Pinterest: @NutritionBites

Twitter:  @NutritionBites8

Blog (this is it!):   nutritionbites88.wordpress.com

Website:   www.nutritionbites.ca

Posted in Farm, Healthy, Home Economics, On Location, Opinions & Commentaries

Harvest Moon Reflection

Tonight in Ontario is the Harvest Moon – a signal to past generations that the crop was ready.  I thought it was fitting to reflect (pardon the pun) on my recent trip to Manitoba.

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Months ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to a Food & Farm trip during harvest time in the prairies.  All expenses paid, yes.  What did they ask of us all participants?  NOTHING.  Yes, I truly mean that.  How they picked us all, I don’t know – the only connection I can figure out was our love of good food!

After settling in to my regular life, I have had a few days to gather my thoughts (and my sleep). I am sure to blog about my specific experiences of a whirlwind 3 days but this summary at least represents the table of contents.

  • I had a quick walk (twice) to The Forks for a few hours in Winnipeg, MB.
  • I met 9 other amazing “foodies” who ranged from Registered Dietitians, chefs, restaurateurs, a food photographer, a news anchor and a travel & food blogger.
  • After a weekend, the titles of these strangers faded away.  The names turned into personalities and the glimpse of everyone’s passion started to come through.
  • Visits to vegetable, bison, honey, beef, grain, bean & canola farms were the main staple of our tour.  It definitely kept us busy & active with the full itinerary.
  • Throughout the tours and conversations with farmers, it became apparent that everyone had their own interest and investment into food.  The questions and comments helped to clear up misunderstandings as well as provide us with many facts and figures we didn’t know.
  • On top of the educational pieces about the agricultural processes and business side of farming, some history was retold.
  • The families and farming community were like Pleasantville.  Yes, I was told that they are regular folk too but, coming from a metropolitan city of London, Ontario – it was like walking INTO history and old fashioned values – everyone was so sweet & nice in EVERY conversation plus hospitable, opening their homes to us (literally)!
  • Farmers really care about sustainability and being stewards of the earth.
  • The food served was out of this world and amazing – ranging from a Pinterest-like party setting in a barn catered by several amazing chefs to my roomie cooking me breakfast (who is an award winning executive chef) and having it ready after my shower (so sweet).
  • The farms were stunning pictures that really captured the essence of how much space Canada has and how beautiful every turn, hill top and valley is.
  • Everyone has a story to tell – Using media (videographers followed us, social media used by guests & farmers ) with so many Canadian farms out there, can help continue the conversation about our food.

My takeaway from a 3 day weekend is that I feel even more passionate for food.  It has sparked new interests, questions and ideas that will last me for years to come.  What I love most is that this experience has now become part of my story and memories.  It will shape my future of food, not just in my career, but personally.  I will share what I’ve learned on my path, because connecting more with our food and health can help us all live a great life. This trip definitely fed my body, but more importantly, my mind and spirit.

 

The most sincerest Thank You goes out to:

  • the Canola Connect team who invited & hosted us,
  • the farmers who were welcoming and asked ANY question we had,
  • the families that showed up to help to host us at their farms (children & adults alike),
  • the other people who toured with me.

 

Posted in Healthy

Honey is under lock & key …¬†

A quick run for a green tea left me stunned. After returning from a Farm & Foodie tour hosted by Canola Growers, I think I wasn’t prepared for the simple misconception that filters down to even coffee shops. 

Honey needs to be asked for at Starbucks. I have known that you have to ask but the reason became clear by the clerk’s response when I requested 3 packets:

“Oh, ok. Well we keep it behind because it’s sought after so much, people take it (not for their tea/coffee).”

She then goes on to say it’s in short supply. 

Does this look like short supply? I was just touring a facility that supplies many companies including BeeMaid. BeeMaid only sources from Canadian honey farmers, I found out! (Supporting local & Canadian? I’m going to choose BeeMaid whenever I can.)


I assured her it was for my tea as I prefer to let it steep first then add honey. (Diffusion & saturation lesson 101!) I added I’m into nutrition. 

The clerk goes on to say how if I’m into healthy stuff, that stevia is out and available with the cream and sugar. A new option for customers. 

I told her I thought stevia was expensive too and she might want to lock that up too. 


See anything weird about it?

Then I realize why honey is still being stolen. It’s sad to know that the honey farmer actually has lots of honey & it’s actually a price (for farmers/supplier so) decrease due to “honey laundering” of many offshore companies using rice syrup to cut or dilute honey to sell it cheaper than real honey. 

All I know is that the media has a lot to do with it. 

I’m glad I talk to farmers, read labels, question things & educate myself with reliable sources. 

Next time, I hope they don’t charge me extra for supporting Canadian honey & buying a very pure, natural product. I’d hate to carry around a jar of honey every time I want to order a tea. 

Some food for thought…