And the winner is...

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Hello folks,

I've just returned from a whirlwhind cruise of the Western Caribbean so this post is late, I do apologize.

Thank you to all who entered the Vitalicious giveaway.

Anyways, the winner of the 12 pack deep chocolate VitaTops is...

April 18, 2010 4:39 PM

eatingRD said...

I didn't know it would take 13 minutes to walk off a vita-top! haha not too shabby. I enjoy these little treats :)


The winner has been contacted.

Review: Sweetpea Baby Food Organic Cookies

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There is something nostalgic about cookies that brings me back to my childhood, especially digestive cookies that I used to eat as a kid. I don’t normally eat cookies these days but awhile back, Molline from Sweetpea Baby Food provided me with some samples of Sweetpea Baby Food’s organic cookies. Sweetpea Baby Food is a growing Toronto based company that began by producing baby food and has now expanded to include organic cookies in their product line.

I know what you may be thinking. Baby cookies? But hey, if the cookie is good enough for an enfant it must be good enough and wholesome for anyone right?

I was curious to find out.

That is definitely the case with Sweetpea Baby Food’s organic cookies. They were wholesome AND yummy and if I were a parent I may end up gobbling them all up before any of my kids got them!

The cookies came in three varieties and here are my thoughts on each flavor.

Banana Pear: Yummy. Tasted just like banana bread pressed into a cookie with a hint of pear coming through at the end of each bite.

Pumpkin Spice: Subtle and mellow. Would compliment tea or coffee very nicely.

Sweet Apple: This one was my favorite of the three. The soft texture of the cookie suited the apple flavor the best.

Any parent would feel good about giving these cookies to their kids. They’re made with no artificial flavors, nor preservatives and are also egg and dairy free. They are made with 100% whole grain and have a really wholesome bite to them which I quite liked. They’re not overly sweet like other cookies and kind of reminded me like a really healthy shortbread!  They are not dry and crumbly like other store bought cookies but at the same time aren't chewy cookies.  They kind of just melt/fall apart when you put them in your mouth!

One of the ingredients in these cookies is spelt flour.  I really like making spelt flour pancakes and it gives the cookies a very nice nutty flavour. 

They paired really nicely with coffee and tea and while they are perfect for snacking, I even had them for breakfast on a couple of occasions when I was pressed for time. Although these cookies are marketed towards enfants, I genuinely believe that they could survive the shelves among other non-baby snack foods. It’s a lot safer to have a bag of these around the house/office than oreo cookies or fudge-e-o’s!

I definitely put these cookies in the comfort category. They gave me that same warm feeling that I get from eating digestive cookies that brings me back to my childhood.

 Thank you Sweetpea Baby Food!

Product Giveaway: Deep Chocolate VitaTops!

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Every morning on my way to work, I pass the local coffee and donut shop and my sleepy self is instantly hit with the alluring aroma of freshly brewed coffee and warm blueberry muffins. I’m not going to lie… it smells simply heavenly. But don’t let anyone fool you, store bought muffins from a coffee shop are nowhere near healthy. Unless you make them yourself, they are pretty heavy in added sugar and fat.  Not a good way to start the morning.


I am very pleased and excited to announce my very first product giveaway! The lovely people at Vitalicious have offered to provide one lucky winner with a 12 pack of Deep Chocolate VitaTops. Now, this is a muffin that would make a good breakfast. VitaTops are full of fiber, low in fat, and contain no artificial preservatives or ingredients whatsoever. I plan on recreating Janetha’s Greek Yogurt and VitaTop combo as blogged about herehere and here . Sounds positively delish. :)

In order to enter the giveaway:

1. Visit and leave a comment telling me one thing you learned about VitaTops or another Vitalicious product and come up with one VitaTop flavor of your own (Be creative!)

- OR -

2. Link my blog on your own blog and leave me a comment telling me that you’ve done so!

**Please ensure to leave your email address in your comment**

I will pick a winner at random on April 21st, 2010. Open to US residents only.

And for all you mid-westerners (that is anyone residing in the following states: IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, OH, WI ) Deep Chocolate Vita Tops are now on sale for the next 4 weeks at Costco for a limited time only! Time to stock up.

Review: Jentree Whole Foods Gourmet Granola

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This review is seriously overdue. I’ve been missing out on the blogging action because I’ve been busy planning for my upcoming vacation. In less than two weeks I’ll be sailing aboard Royal Carribbean’s Liberty of the Seas for seven days in the Western Caribbean.   Yep, that's the vessel right there.
Words cannot describe my excitement for this trip! But I have to say that the pre-cruise planning has been quite exhausting. There’s a lot of research that needs to be done (in my opinion) on what to do at each port and what to pack and if you get to know me, well than you'd know that I like to plan every minute detail. Call me a control freak if you will, I won’t take it personally :)

But back to the review.

Awhile back, I contacted Jenny (The Granola Girl) at Jentree Whole Foods to sample their gourmet granola. Jenny was ever so generous to send me some wonderful samples and I dove in right away.

I love granola. I really do. There’s nothing more satisfying than the combo of some fruit, nut, and whole grain oats especially when it’s slightly sweet and salty at the same time. Yum.  And Jenny's granola does not skimp out on the dried fruit, folks.  There were huge pieces of apricot and dried apple amongst the oats.

There’s something really special about Jenny’s granola. Unlike most boxed granolas that you can find at the grocery store or bulk food store, Jenny’s granola was very moist and chewy which I liked. I find that a lot of times, granola is way to dry and crumbly or almost stale. Jenny’s was the exact opposite. In fact, eating it made me realize how much I really do like eating granola. I couldn’t keep my hand out of the bag and it got quite dangerous at one point. Anyways, I think I’ve been eating store bought granola for far too long. I actually thought that granola was supposed to be overly hard and crunchy!

Jenny’s granola comes in five flavors: Cranberry, Raisin, and Honey, Maple Pecan and Date, Apple, Blueberry and Vanilla, Apricot Almond and Agave, and their feature flavour-Double Almond and Cherry. My top two were definitely the Maple Pecan and Date and the Apricot Almond and Agave (mostly because I love anything almond flavoured.) What I really enjoyed about Jenny’s granola is that the flavour in each one really came through.  I'm so used to granola tasting like cinnamon all the time that this was a welcomed change. 

You could definitely tell that each batch was baked slow and made from pure, high quality ingredients. It tasted very different than store bought granola and the gourmet touch is definitely present. You can feel good about eating it too because Jentree Granola is preservative free and made with 100% Canadian rolled oats.

Jenny has some recipes up on her site on how to incorporate granola into your cooking. But I’ve mostly been eating it straight out of the bag as a snack. I’ve also been sprinkling it on my yogurt and pancakes for breakfast. You can order the granola online and I can vouch for the fact that you will not be disappointed. Like I said, this granola is made with a lot of love and you can taste it in each bite. I will definitely be spreading the word on her yummy granola!

Review: 2010 CRFA Show

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I've been meaning to sit down and write this post for awhile, but life (mostly work) got in the way.  Don't you hate when that happens? Yeah, I know. 

Anyways, here it is.  My review on the 2010 CRFA (Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association) Show held last weekend at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto from March 7-9 2010.  Now for those of you who’ve never heard of the CRFA trade show, it’s basically the big kahuna of trade shows when it comes to anything in the food service/restaurant industry.  Tickets for the event were $30 the day of or $20 for pre-ordering online.  

Anything imaginable about running a restaurant from the food to the supplies, equipment, advertising etc… could be found at this show.  There were vendors among vendors on everything surrounding this industry.  Aside from the food vendors, there were exhibitors for uniforms, sanitation, security, publishing, drive thru equipment, china, furniture, and the list goes on... To emphasize the breadth and depth of the show, there were five booths on footwear alone (because we all know how important it is to keep our feet comfortable if we're standing/cooking/serving all day.  I was a me, your feet take a beating!)  

And since I have a food blog and because I grew up in the restaurant industry I thought I would attend to check it out.  (A big thank you goes out to Prasanthi for arranging a pass to attend the show!)

I always find trade shows to be a little overwhelming especially when considering the sheer size of the venue and all the people milling around.  This show was no exception.  It was huge! There were 1200 exhibitor booths this year and 12,000 industry professionals.  If you plan on attending next year, be sure to schedule at least 3 hours if you want to take it all in.  It’s definitely an experience to say the least. 

When it comes to food, we first feast with our eyes.  I’m now going through all my pictures taken at the show and the flood of flavors is all coming back to me.  The biggest perk of attending the show is the bevy of samples to be had.  (And by bevy I really mean a buffet… )  I’ll just let some of the pictures do the talking:

I made you hungry.  Sorry.

Be sure to arrive on an empty stomach next year.  In addition to the likes of the above, there was a lot of meat sampling (pulled pork, pulled beef, wings, crab cakes, prosciutto etc…) smoothie and tea samples, plenty of cheese and dairy products in general, lots of olive oils and tons and tons and tons of cake and gelato.  On top of that, there were plenty of ethnic vendors offering up their samples of dumplings, noodles, sauces etc…

Yes, it was truly a food lovers paradise especially if you have a sweet tooth and I’m sure everyone who attended found it pretty easy to overindulge.  My stomach was feeling the repercussions as I was leaving.  You literally had to roll me out of the there. 

But food aside, there’s a lot to be learned at the show and it’s a prime opportunity to talk with industry professionals who are so passionate about food.  Did you know that that only difference between brie and camembert cheese is 5 degrees during the ripening process? The show also had a full schedule of seminars and demonstrations like a cooking demo with Susur Lee and seminars on economic forecasting, foodservice trends, maximizing profitability, and customer service.  A couple of them sound really interesting and next year I’m going to make it a point to check some of these out.  There is so much to see/do at this show that you may need to schedule two days to fit it all in. 

To close, I’m going to highlight some of my favorites from the show.  You may be surprised to hear that among the sticky toffee pudding, baklava, cheesecake, truffles, etc… my favorite treat was more on the healthy side.   
Pomegranate frozen yogurt! 
The perfect amount of tartness to balance the sweetness/creaminess of the vanilla. 

Second runner up was cous cous and spinach (no picture).  I kid you not.  Among all the carbs and sugar it most have stood out like a sore thumb.  But it was so fresh and flavorful that I could have eaten a giant bowl of the stuff.  

Third runner up was mousse.  They had little samples on spoons that you could just pick up and stick in your mouth.   Thick, creamy perfection.  

Now, I’m all about healthy eating but when it comes to attending a food show honestly, I think it’s best to leave those little carb free, fat free, sugar free thoughts aside for a couple hours and enjoy your time there. 

A little tiramisu never did hurt anyone right?

Liberte Greek Yogurt Review

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I don't know why it took so long for Greek yogurt to hit the North American market. Not only do I find the taste superior to regular yogurt, nutrtionally, this stuff is pretty awesome (that is if you purchase the 0% fat kind.) I purchased a 500 g tub of fat free Greek yogurt at my local Sobey's keeping my fingers and toes crossed that it would live up to the beloved Chobani as discussed in this post here. Chobani, Oikos, and Fage are three Greek yogurt brands that are ubiquitous in the U.S. but are not widely available in Canada. But thankfully and not all too soon, Liberte Yogurt has finally come out with yogurt of the Greek variety. You should have seen my eyes light up when I spotted this at the grocery store.

Did it live up?


Yep. It did. Thick, creamy and without that tang of regular fat free plain yogurt.

But let's talk more about why this stuff rocks. Protein, protein, protein. Each 175 g serving (about 3/4 cup) has 20 g of protein whereas Yoplait's Source Plain yogurt only has 8 g of protein, making this stuff the perfect post-workout snack. Add some chopped fruit, granola or a crumbled protein muffin into it. Or do like I do and add all three.

I'm a total yogurt-head. I don't think there's such thing as bad yogurt (unless it's full of sugar and fat) but I might make the permanent switch to Greek yogurt. I'm finding my usual low-fat yogurts a tad too liquidy and runny these days.

The only thing better than eating Greek yogurt.... would be eating Greek yogurt in GREECE. Santorini perhaps?

Sigh, maybe one day.

Anyways, this stuff is for sure a staple in my fridge moving forward.

The secret to acheiving your fitness goal...

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is that there is no secret. And that's the plain, simple, honest truth.  All it takes is hard work, dedication, and sheer motivation from someplace you may not know exists right now.  That's not what most people want to hear (at times, it's not what I want to hear either) but the truth isn't always pleasant.

This week, I want to shake things up in my workout and challenge my body to move in ways it isn't used to.  I'm going to try integrating some Tabata training into my plan.  If you aren't familiar with Tabata, I found a great post on it here.  There's a Globe and Mail article that you can read here about a Toronto mom who used Tabata to lose the baby weight.  And no, I won't be restricting myself to only one interval.  Wish me luck!

Anyways, here is my workout quote of the week to inspire you all to get moving:

"Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second." - William James.

The point is, dig deep people.

dig deep.