Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro70 - Review and Contest

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro70 – Review and Contest

I’m really not a big fan of protein powder of any kind. I believe in eating clean (salad, vegetables, nuts, seeds, some fruit, a little starch, no sugar, lots of water) and training dirty. Yes I sweat a lot and when I’m in the gym ; I’m in the zone! I don’t eat meat so when I work out with my trainer I try to consume three boiled eggs at least an hour and a half before my work out. I find that it gives me enough energy to handle a tough workout and I very rarely get light headed. The thought of a plant based protein powder was very appealing to me. So when I was asked to take part in this Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro70  review (nod to Fit Approach,  I’m a Sweat Pink Ambassador) I was a little hesitant yet somewhat excited to give it a try.  So here goes!!

According to the sample packages received the ingredients are as follows:

  • Hemp protein concentrate
  • Organic coconut sugar
  • Organic fair trade cocoa powder
  • Natural plant extracts

It’s NON GMO and proudly Canadian! All great things wouldn’t you agree? Now to create a memorable smoothie!


My Hemp Pro70 Plant Based Protein – Spinach Smoothie

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup spinach
  • Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon homemade nut butter
  • 15 g chocolate (or vanilla) Hemp Pro70 plant based protein powder
  • 4 ice cubes

Blend and enjoy the heavenly goodness! You’ll find that it’s creamy, light, easy to digest and full of flavor. I felt full for a longer period of time and think that it’s safe to say that this may be my new go to for protein on my heavy workout days!

If you’d like to give HempPro 70 a try for yourself, you can buy it here. Plus, if you use the code “sweatpinkpro70” you can get 20% off the vanilla and chocolate flavors! For a chance to win a whole case of your favorite flavor for FREE, make sure to share the hemp love by snapping a pic and tagging @manitobaharvest on Instagram or Twitter with #pro70.

Entry deadline for the contest is September 30th! #GetYouSome

15 health benefits of eating apples

Many of us forget that sometimes, the simplest answers are the best. Better health could be as easy as reaching for the fruit bowl for some apples next time you need a snack.


What makes apples so great?

In 2004, USDA scientists investigated over 100 foods to measure their antioxidant concentration per serving size. Two apples—Red Delicious and Granny Smith—ranked 12th and 13th respectively. Antioxidants are disease-fighting compounds. Scientists believe these compounds help prevent and repair oxidation damage that happens during normal cell activity. Apples are also full of a fibre called pectin—a medium-sized apple contains about 4 grams of fibre. Pectin is classed as a soluble, fermentable and viscous fibre, a combination that gives it a huge list of health benefits.

1. Get whiter, healthier teeth

An apple won’t replace your toothbrush, but biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.

2. Avoid Alzheimer’s

A new study performed on mice shows that drinking apple juice could keep Alzheimer’s away and fight the effects of aging on the brain. Mice in the study that were fed an apple-enhanced diet showed higher levels of the neurotransmitter acetyl choline and did better in maze tests than those on a regular diet.

3. Protect against Parkinson’s

Research has shown that people who eat fruits and other high-fiber foods gain a certain amount of protection against Parkinson’s, a disease characterized by a breakdown of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells. Scientists have linked this to the free radical-fighting power of the antioxidants contained therein.

4. Curb all sorts of cancers

Scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research, among others, agree that the consumption of flavonol-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 per cent. Researchers at Cornell University have identified several compounds—triterpenoids—in apple peel that have potent anti-growth activities against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast. Their earlier research found that extracts from whole apples can reduce the number and size of mammary tumors in rats. Meanwhile, the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. has recommended a high fiber intake to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

5. Decrease your risk of diabetes

Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples. Apples are loaded with soluble fibre, the key to blunting blood sugar swings.

6. Reduce cholesterol

The soluble fibre found in apples binds with fats in the intestine, which translates into lower cholesterol levels and a healthier you.

7. Get a healthier heart

An extensive body of research has linked high soluble fibre intake with a slower buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries. The phenolic compound found in apple skins also prevents the cholesterol that gets into your system from solidifying on your artery walls. When plaque builds inside your arteries, it reduces blood flow to your heart, leading to coronary artery disease.

8. Prevent gallstones

Gallstones form when there’s too much cholesterol in your bile for it to remain as a liquid, so it solidifies. They are particularly prevalent in the obese. To prevent gallstones, doctors recommend a diet high in fibre to help you control your weight and cholesterol levels.

9. Beat diarrhea and constipation

Whether you can’t go to the bathroom or you just can’t stop, fibre found in apples can help. Fibre can either pull water out of your colon to keep things moving along when you’re backed up, or absorb excess water from your stool to slow your bowels down.

10. Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and bloating. To control these symptoms doctors recommend staying away from dairy and fatty foods while including a high intake of fibre in your diet.

11. Avert hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are a swollen vein in the anal canal and while not life threatening, these veins can be very painful. They are caused by too much pressure in the pelvic and rectal areas. Part and parcel with controlling constipation, fibre can prevent you from straining too much when going to the bathroom and thereby help alleviate hemorrhoids.

12. Control your weight

Many health problems are associated with being overweight, among them heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. To manage your weight and improve your overall health, doctors recommend a diet rich in fibre. Foods high in fibre will fill you up without costing you too many calories.

13. Detoxify your liver

We’re constantly consuming toxins, whether it is from drinks or food, and your liver is responsible for clearing these toxins out of your body. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good. Luckily, one of the best—and easiest—things you can eat to help detoxify your liver is fruits—like apples.

14. Boost your immune system

Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin. Recent studies have found that quercetin can help boost and fortify your immune system, especially when you’re stressed out.

15. Prevent cataracts

Though past studies have been divided on the issue, recent long-term studies suggest that people who have a diet rich in fruits that contain antioxidants—like apples—are 10 to 15 per cent less likely to develop cataracts.


Watermelon – Fresh Fruit Popsicles

You can replace the watermelon puree with honeydew melon or cantaloupe puree. Use any fresh organic fruit you have on hand. We used contrasting colors because it makes the popsicle look delicious!  Don’t forget to use seedless watermelon.

3 cups watermelon puree (about 1/4 to 1/2 a watermelon)
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 peach or nectarine, diced small
handful fresh cherries, pitted and chopped

Cut the watermelon into chunks and then puree it in a blender until smooth. Set aside.

Set out about 1 dozen popsicle molds (amount needed will vary depending on size of molds). Fill each one with the chopped fresh fruit. Then pour in the watermelon puree until each mold is full to the top. Place a popsicle stick into each one. Place into your freezer and freeze for about 6 to 8 hours.

When ready to serve, run the popsicle molds under warm water for a few seconds and then pull each one out and enjoy. Summer here we come!!

Your friends at Socially Fit

Using egg whites and only a portion of the yolks really helps to cut down on the fat and caloric intake and loading these little muffins with veggies gives them that extra nutritional boost! Be forewarned the house will smell amazing as these bake in the oven.


  • Olive Oil Spray (Pure Olive Oil)
  • 4 scallions (or green onions), minced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, minced
  • 14 egg whites
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1 slice partly skimmed mozzarella cheese, or 1/4 cup shredded
  • Dash of sea salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 12-muffin tin with a small amount of olive oil spray to prevent sticking.
  2. Combine vegetables in a big bowl. Fill each muffin tin 2/3 full with vegetables.
  3. Whisk eggs and seasonings in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Use a 1/3-measuring cup for the egg mixture and pour slowly into each muffin tin. Egg mixture should fill tin the rest of the way. Top each cup with a sprinkle of cheese.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until muffins have risen and are slightly browned.
  6. Serve or keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and grab as snacks to go!

To make these muffins even more filling and more of a meal deal, use a jumbo muffin tin and add a couple tablespoons of cooked quinoa to each muffin! This alteration would up the protein and add some extra energy in the form of healthy complex carbohydrates!


Your friends at Socially Fit!


As many people search for ways to cut back on expenses and survive on a shoestring budget, making good nutritional choices are often sacrificed.  Cheap and convenient foods are the ones people are reaching for, instead of more healthy nutritional choices. The winners in this are the producers of those pre-packaged foods and fast-food restaurants pushing their value menus.  The losers are the people who think eating healthy is now a luxury because so many of the better food choices often cost a little more. After all, it can be difficult to justify spending more on healthier food items when you can buy a hamburger, french fries and soft drink for under $4 at fast food joints like McDonalds.

However, my question is can you really “afford” not to spend a little more now if it saves you more money in the end?

We are not going to run down the laundry list of reasons why it is a good idea to eat healthy.  We all know the many benefits.  I will though tell you a big one that is ultimately tied to your pocketbook – health insurance.  What do I mean?  Well, think about it.  If you persist in cutting back on eating healthy, the long-term result may very well be a litany of health concerns such as obesity, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease and diabetes, just to name a few.  These medical conditions are not just life threatening but costly and unfortunately medical insurance if you are lucky to have it, just isn’t covering all the costs associated with these conditions any more.  That means, more money that you will have to pay out of pocket.

So, my question to you, “Is it really worth it to save a little now only to have to spend more later?”  Chances are you will say “No”.  I understand this does not help when you are watching every dime now, but there are steps you can take to still eat healthy and not strain your wallet.  Here’s a few tips to get you started:

Avoid fast food.  It is convenient and cheap, but just one meal can cost you big time in terms of calories and fat ingested, especially if you eat it more than once a week as many people do.

Shop at farmer’s markets and produce stands.  We’re seeing more and more of these types of operations popping up.  They are a great resource for finding fresh, in-season produce that is typically less expensive than what you find in most supermarkets.  Moreover, you can feel good about helping local farmers.

Buy in bulk.  Sam’s Club, Costco and Bulk Barn are great examples of wholesale food stores that offer consumers the ability to buy in bulk.  Items such as brown rice, lentils, beans, pastas, lean meats, poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables can be bought for a lot less and stored or frozen for later use.

Think big.  When cooking a meal, make a little extra to use for lunches or to freeze.  Soups and casseroles are always easy, filling and definitely more nutritional than most fast food menu options.

Vitamins and supplements.  If you find you just cannot eat healthy all the time and must cut back on fresh fruits and vegetables, think about taking a good multivitamin that can fill in the nutritional gaps.

These may be difficult times and trying to eat a well-balanced, nutritional diet can seem challenging, but it definitely is not impossible.  It may require a little more effort, time and creativity on your part, but the long-term savings definitely make it worthwhile.

Your friends at Socially Fit


Eating Clean made Easy!

I have been making a lot of salads lately. Here’s a delightful and refreshing one that I made recently.  The lime juice adds a nice zing and a hint of freshness to the couscous.

(for 2 large servings)
3 cups cooked couscous
1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped into cubes
1 cup of cooked black beans (I used half a can of beans after draining and rinsing)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
2-3 scallions, chopped
4-5 chives, minced

For the dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 3 limes
1/2 tbsp agave
3/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
Salt, Pepper and spices to taste

Cook the couscous according to the instructions on the packet. Fluff it up with a fork after cooking and let it cool.

Throw the couscous along with the rest of the salad ingredients into a large bowl.
Add all the ingredients for the dressing into a small bowl and mix well. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle with chives before serving. Eat clean!

Your friends at Socially Fit!

That simply means – No breadcrumbs, no buns!


The list of ingredients:


Ground beef, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, tomatoes, avocados, red onion, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and (optional) pickles!


Throw the ground beef in a bowl and sprinkle in some salt…


And pepper (incl other fresh herbs and spices to your taste)


Add several dashes of Worcestershire sauce.


Knead it all together with your hands…


Form the beef into patties…


And cook them in a skillet over medium-high heat…


Until they’re totally done in the middle.


Make the sauce by throwing the mayo into a bowl.


Add the Dijon…


And a few dashes of Worcestershire, then stir it together to combine.


Cut an avocado in half…


And scoop out the good stuff.


Then slice the halves.


Thinly slice some red onion…


And slice a tomato.


Now for the fun part! Peel off the outer couple of leaves of lettuce if they’re bruised or unsightly, then use a knife to cut each leaf loose at the base.


Very carefully peel off individual leaves of lettuce, leaving them as intact as you can.


Place a patty on top of a leaf…


Then throw on some tomatoes, avocado, and onions.


Drizzle on some of the sauce…


Then tuck in the sides and wrap a second leaf around the burger.

You can even wrap a third lettuce leaf around the burger if you’re feeling decadent and naughty!

Just kidding. It’s lettuce. I’m glad we had this talk.


Then just pick it up and dig in as you would any ol’ burger! It’s best if the lettuce is super cold and crisp when you begin. And if you want even more cool-crispness, pile on some lettuce before you wrap it with more lettuce! Or you can pile on cilantro leaves, pico de gallo—anything that floats your boat.

Either way, enjoy. You can’t go wrong with this one.



  • 2 pounds Ground Chuck or any lean ground meat (or combination of)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 5 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 whole Avocados, Sliced
  • 1 whole Tomatoes, Sliced
  • 1/4 whole Thinly Sliced Red Onion
  • 1 head Iceberg, Green Leaf, Or Butter Lettuce
  • Optional Toppings: Chopped Pickles, Feta Cheese, Cilantro, Pico De Gallo

Preparation Instructions

Make the sauce: Mix together mayonnaise, Dijon, and Worcestershire. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine ground chuck, salt, black pepper, and 5 dashes Worcestershire sauce. Form four patties and set aside.

Heat butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry patties until done in the middle.

Top patties with tomato slices, avocado slices, and red onion slices. Drizzle with the sauce to taste.

Cut the base of each lettuce leaf on the head and carefully peel it away so that it stays as intact as possible. Use 2 or 3 leaves per burger patty and wrap them around the patty as tightly as you can.

Slice in half and serve immediately!

Your friends at Socially Fit


The main premise of the Eat Clean Lifestyle involves taking care of your body. This eating plan allows you to lose weight while increasing your overall health. Clean eating starts with using foods the way nature intended. Natural whole, fresh foods are at its core. The Eat Clean Lifestyle change involves making healthy meal choices versus relying on the convenience of processed foods.

Avoid Processed, Refined Foods

Avoid all processed foods, refined grains, sugar and alcohol. Examples of these types of foods include canned foods, breads and pasta made from white flour, convenience foods, frozen meals, boxed mixes and processed meats. Play it safe by staying away from any manufactured foods.

No Bad Fats

The Harvard School of Public Health identifies bad fats as saturated and trans fats. These fats increase the risk for heart and other diseases. The Eat Clean Lifestyle expressly forbids trans fats and limits saturated fats in meals. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, or good fats, play an important role in the plan. Healthy fats reside in olive oil, avocados, raw nuts and salmon.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates, found in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, lay the groundwork for the Eat Clean Lifestyle. The plan recommends including a complex carbohydrate with each meal. A soup containing fresh vegetables, legumes or brown rice provides a good source of healthy starch.

Lean Proteins

Each clean eating meal must contain at least one lean protein. Consider chicken breast, turkey and fish when planning menus. According to FitBuff, other lean proteins include nuts, eggs and low-fat dairy products.


It is suggested that you eat six small meals every day. Space the mini-meals two to three hours apart to maintain an even metabolism and blood sugar levels. The closely spaced meals of 300 to 400 calories will prevent hunger attacks and minimize the risk of cheating.

Stay on Schedule

The Eat Clean Lifestyle emphasizes the importance of beginning each day with a healthy breakfast and never skipping a meal. Missing a meal decreases metabolism and energy levels, making weight loss more difficult. warns that skipped meals sometimes cause low blood sugar, resulting in a weak and lightheaded feeling.

Plan Ahead

Plan, shop and prepare meals in advance. Doing so will make eating multiple meals away from home less complicated than preparing everything the night before. Make sure your meals consist of healthy foods that transport easily in a small cooler.

Drink Water

Drink two to three liters of water per day. An easy way to regulate your water intake is to drink one liter in the morning and one in the afternoon. Gradually taper your water consumption during the evening hours. This will help curb overnight trips to the bathroom.

Your friends at Socially Fit.

Top 4 reasons why these blueberry pomegranate popsicles ROCK:

1. It just takes 3 ingredients to make them.
2. These 3 ingredients each happen to be “superfoods” that are packed with nutrients upon nutrients!
3. They take about 1 minute to make and another minute or two to pour into cups and freeze. Easy peasy!
4. Their flavor is perfect – slightly sweet, slightly tangy, slightly creamy.

Cheers to great snacks that you can feel great about enjoying and sharing with those you love!


  • 1 (8 oz.) bottle of POM pomegranate juice
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, plus some extras for “garnish” if you’d like
  • 1 (6 oz.) container plain Greek yogurt


Combine all ingredients in a blender, and pulse until combined. Pour the mixture into Popsicle molds or Dixie cups, add Popsicle sticks (and some extra berries for “garnish” if you’d like), and then freeze until frozen.

This mixture was thick enough for the Popsicle stands to stay in place. But if they do start to fall over, just cut a small slit in a square of wax paper, thread the Popsicle stick through it, and then place on top of the Dixie cup. Remove wax paper once the Popsicles are frozen.


If you don’t like pulp in your Popsicle, you’re welcome to strain the mixture of the blueberry pulp before freezing!

Your friends from Socially Fit.

ali @

Keep Things In Perspective


Adjust fitness goals
Tis the season to be jolly fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!! For many people, keeping to your current fitness routine can be very difficult. Simply adjusting goals such as changing the number of workouts per week or adding to the miles you walk or run on the treadmill during the holidays can help you stay on track and go into the new year with a positive attitude.

Develop a holiday fitness plan
Take the time to plan out the next few weeks to be sure you’ve got workout time scheduled, among the other activities. Mark your workouts on the calendar and consider it as important as any other appointment. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity daily, and more if possible. By physically seeing the complete holiday “picture” you can effectively schedule your personal time and the calendar makes you more accountable to your responsibilities (to others and yourself).

Identify obstacles
Although you have a plan, obstacles and challenges are inevitable. Take the time to think about the types of obstacles that will get in the way of your scheduled workouts. Once you’ve identified the obstacles, work on the solutions to overcome them. For example, try scheduling your workouts first thing in the morning before any other scheduling changes can occur. Or, add a 10-minute exercise break into your road trip.


Stick to your meal plan. It’s ok to indulge in veggies!

One day at a time
Know that Newton’s Law is in full effect. Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Things will inevitably need to change to accommodate unpredictable situations. Just take it one day at a time. If you miss a workout, figure out another time where you can realistically fit it in. If you can’t fit in a whole workout, do as much as you can in the time that you have available. Try breaking your workout into four 15-minute exercise blocks.

Recognize victories
Reward yourself for your dedication to your fitness goals. Don’t get so caught up in the hectic nature of the season to lose sight of the small victories, like squeezing in a 10-minute walk between work and the office holiday party.

Enjoy the time with your family and friends
Involve your family in your workouts. Turn off the television and take a walk or bike ride with the kids to look at Christmas lights and holiday decorations in your neighborhood. Or, if the weather is nice, take a trip to a nearby park.
Go ice-skating, or skiing. Dance or exercise to your favorite holiday music. Make a New Year’s resolution with friends to start a daily walking or running group. Most of all enjoy the NOW! Be present in the moment, and if you indulge so be it. You’ve earned it. Happy Holidays!!

Your friends at Socially Fit