If you follow nutrition news, you might think eating the right kind of protein is getting more complicated.
Recent studies are calling into question just how bad the saturated fat in red meat and the cholesterol in eggs really are. But it’s not yet clear how much meat and eggs we should really be adding to our diets just yet.
Meanwhile, there’s a protein player most food scientists agree remain a great option: nuts.
No, not salt-and-candy coated bar nuts, but almonds, walnuts and other "nutritional powerhouses," as the New York Times calls them. (Macadamia and cashew nuts are high in saturated fat and are often left off the list of recommended nuts.)
While we’ve long known about the beneficial fats and proteins in many kinds of nuts, a series of new studies –on adults and children – are underlining how good they can be. And how we may have been avoiding them for all the wrong reasons.
In a nutshell (pun intended), the first study found that in a group of 200,000 people, the more nuts a person ate, the lower their death rates from all causes, most notably heart disease and stroke, reports the Times.
New thinking on allergy prevention And while nut allergies continue to be a vexing problem, especially for parents of young children, there is new evidence that children born to mothers who ate peanuts during pregnancy were less likely to have nut allergies.
A study published last month contradicts the now-common practice of holding off on feeding nuts to infants until they pass the one-year mark. United Kingdom researchers found that infants exposed to peanuts at ages four months and older had a reduced risk of having a peanut allergy at age five.
While nuts can be fatty and caloric, as the Times reports, studies have shown that adults who eat nuts tend to weigh less than people who avoid them – and dieters lose more when they include nuts in their diets.
Why? It could be, researchers think, that the fat and protein helps fill us up so we don’t turn to other high-calorie fare. There’s also a theory that that the calories in whole nuts may not be entirely absorbed during digestion.
(Also: They sure taste better than rice crackers and celery sticks.)
There’s evidence that for people at risk of diabetes, nuts and peanut butter for breakfast can help keep blood sugars steady and reduce appetite, too.
So while the great debate over meat, saturated fats and cholesterol continues, you may want to take a second look at whether nuts work for you.
Want an in-demand job with a healthy future? Look no further than the skilled trades in Canada. "There is an incredible amount of opportunity in the trades industry in Canada right now," says Peter Harris, editor-in-chief of Workopolis, who reports on trends and changes in the Canadian job market.
"Trades workers need not be subject to the boom-and-bust cycles of provincial economies, because trades jobs are evergreen and also come with a great deal of freedom of mobility," he says. For example, in every city across the country, homeowners are always looking for reliable, affordable work on their homes: renovation, plumbing, electrical, roofing and more, says Harris.
Positions in the skilled trades offer another bonus: These roles are far more insulated from being sent offshore and to automation, says Harris. "[These are] the two biggest threats to many career paths," he says. Furthermore, Canada faces a shortage of one million tradespeople by 2020, as many people in that field will be retiring, he says. "The average age of welders is 57, and large numbers of trades workers across the board are also into their 50s."
Defining the "best" trade is highly subjective; it depends on where you live and what you consider most valuable: lots of demand, high pay, flexibility to set your own hours or whatever you feel is vital to a good job. That said, based on the job opportunities being posted online in the skilled trades, Harris says the most sought-after employees are in these five vocations.
1. Construction workers Whether it be working on new home construction, infrastructure (like roads) or commercial enterprises, construction workers are in high demand in Canada. Construction is considered a cornerstone of Canadian industry and it represents about seven percent of the Canadian workforce, according to the Canadian Construction Association. While positions may be plentiful, construction work is often seasonal and contract-based.
2. Vehicle repair In the past year, the number of job postings for the mechanic trades has spiked 94 percent over June 2013, says Harris. As anyone who has ever owned a car knows, auto mechanics tend to be perennially busy. According to Human Resources Skills Development Canada, this job is also called automotive service technician, helpful keywords if you're searching for post-secondary education programs, which tend to use this title instead of "car mechanics."
3. Maintenance worker Although maintenance work comprises a very broad array of specialties, these jobs are in high demand across the country, says Harris. Not just hands-on repair (although it can include these skills), maintenance work encompasses operations, planning and information management skills as well. These jobs are posted under a variety of names, such as maintenance technician, maintenance mechanic, maintenance specialist and, of course, maintenance worker.
4. Electricians Electricity is vital to life as we know it in Canada. Licensed electricians lay out, assemble, install, test, troubleshoot and repair electrical wiring, fixtures, control devices and related equipment in buildings and other structures, according to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Electricians are highly sought-after in commercial, industrial and residential spheres. There are many positions open with electrical contractors, maintenance companies and industries, and there are also ample self-employment opportunities.
5. Heavy machinery operators (such as a backhoe, bulldozer) Wherever there's a freshly paved road or newly built construction, a heavy machinery operator isn't far behind. Operators work backhoes, bulldozers, graders and other heavy-duty construction vehicles. Another term that describes this trade is heavy equipment operator, which is the terminology post-secondary schools and colleges use to designate program offerings. Like construction work, these roles can be plentiful across the nation, but also tend to be seasonal.
You've spent all afternoon baking a cake only to have the centre cave in. Or perhaps it didn’t rise to begin with, and now you have a dense, stodgy brick. Here are the four main reasons why that’s happening and how to prevent it.
1) Your leavener is expired. Air bubbles are essential for a cake to rise, but if your leavener is stale, the chemical reaction that causes the air bubbles to form will never happen, leaving your cake dense, gummy, and flat. Before setting out to make any baked good, it’s smart to check your baking powder or baking soda for freshness, especially if you don’t bake very often.
To test baking powder for freshness, mix a small spoonful with a little boiling water. It should bubble and fizz vigorously. To see what that looks like, click here.
To test baking sodafor freshness, mix a small spoonful with a splash of vinegar. The same fizzy reaction should happen. If they don’t fizz, toss them out and buy fresh containers. 2) Your eggs are too cold. Eggs are a key ingredient when it comes to incorporating air into a batter, and room-temperature eggs will whip up far more readily than cold ones. In fact, in all our Canadian Living baking recipes, we assume all eggs are used at room temperature.
Before you start making a recipe, be sure to take your eggs out of the fridge first and let them stand while you collect all your other ingredients (30 minutes is usually long enough, depending on the temperature of your kitchen).
In a pinch, place your eggs in a bowl and pour very warm water over them to cover. Let stand until the eggs are no longer cold to the touch, about 5 minutes.
Pro tip: If your recipe calls for the eggs to be separated, do it while they're still cold and then let the yolks and whites stand separately at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before using. The membranes of a room-temperature egg are much more delicate than a cold one, so you’re way less likely to break the yolk if you separate them while they're still cold.
3) You under-baked the cake, or peeked while it was baking. That old adage about not making any loud noises while a cake is baking is true! The structure of a half-baked cake is very delicate and anything from a loud noise to a drastic drop in temperature (i.e. opening the oven door to peek) can cause it to fall.
It’s easy to tell if a cake is under-baked: If it’s high and fluffy around the edges, but fallen, dense and gummy in the centre, it needed more time. To avoid under-baking your cake, check it for doneness no sooner than 5 minutes before it’s supposed to be done. To do so, insert a cake tester in the centre—it should come out clean. You can also gently tap the top with your finger. If it feels firm and springs back, it's ready. Pro tip: Unless directed, don’t try to remove a cake from the tin straight out of the oven — it can sometimes be a bit too delicate at this stage. Let it cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove it directly to a rack to cool completely.
4) There isn’t enough flour in your recipe. This one is a bit trickier and only really happens when you’re adapting another recipe or playing around with recipe development.
A cake relies heavily on protein—in eggs and flour—to maintain its structure. The protein in flour is called gluten. Gluten is a bit of a four-letter word lately, but it serves an important purpose: over-develop gluten and you’ll end up with a doorstop; avoid it entirely and your cake will likely fall.
If you don't have enough flour in a recipe, there won't be a strong enough foundation to allow for proper expansion and the cake will collapse. You’ll notice gluten-free and flourless cakes are often sunken in the centre, and that's why.
If you're trying out your own cake recipe and the texture is gummy, or the centre is fallen no matter how long you bake it, try increasing the flour by a tablespoon or two until you get the desired consistency.
Remember that a sunken cake isn't the end of the world. Most of the time, it will still be delicious and you can cover up that fallen centre by piling it with some creative toppings, like whipped cream or sweetened mascarpone and fresh fruit.
The important part is to get into the kitchen and have fun! Everyone will love your efforts, regardless.
For a collection of 25 Tested-Till-Perfect chocolate cakes and cupcakes, click here!
From cold showers to the best must-have products, here's our best fashion and beauty advice.
The most fashionable people know how to mix old and new. Anyone can swipe plastic at a department store, but it takes a strong sense of style—and creativity—to score a treasure at a vintage or thrift shop. Try this approach to building an outfit: Pick one key vintage piece (when shopping, look for intricate beadwork, embroidery and luxurious materials) and pair it with newer items in your closet. That rare vintage find will get you tons of compliments, trust me!
Hot showers may feel great, but they're a real bummer for your skin and hair. They strip away skin's natural defences against dryness and irritants and can weaken hair and make it susceptible to breakage. Lukewarm water, on the other hand, leaves skin hydrated, while cool water helps to close the hair cuticle so tresses look shiny.
"When I have to be fast, I skip traditional eyeshadow and use a shadow stick instead. It blends seamlessly, looks flawless and there isn't any powder fallout... A lifesaver!" - Jodi Urichuk, hair and makeup artist
If you've ever fallen in love with an almost-perfect item of clothing, you know the value or a good tailor—a hemmed pant leg or nipped-in waist can upgrade an entire outfit. But some fixes are easier than others: It's best to buy a coat or blazer that fits properly at the shoulders and then hem the sleeves if necessary. Even with a good tailor, taking in a shoulder seam can be risky.
Tip to toe
Not sure how to ground an outfit? Take a modern approach to pairing and juxtapose styles. If you want to show off your bare legs with a hem that hits midthigh or higher, go for a chunky heel. If the base of your outfit has an obvious masculine look (wide-legged trouser, cargo pant or cuffed jean), opt for a dainty heel.
Tools of the trade
1. Teardrop-shaped sponge
Use it to blend foundation, cream blush or highlighter by lightly bouncing the sponge across skin—the pros call this technique stippling.
Forget youth. With age comes wisdom—and some great style and beauty sense. Just ask these brands.
We know that in the fashion and beauty world (and notably in Hollywood as well) it's difficult for women over a certain age to continue to work. Which is why we're always excited to see a fashion or beauty campaign featuring women who aren't twenty anymore—and who aren't apologetic about it.
J.Crew presents a diverse fall/winter 2017 collection
For its fall/winter 2017 presentation, J. Crew enlisted the help of friends and family to show the latest designs. This meant that the collection (which was a fashion mash-up—think tulle paired with tartan and rugby shirts with satin skirts), was worn by women and men of different ethnicities and ages. One of our favourite looks was a simple white top, bold pants and a white-haired beauty who did them both justice. Bravo J.Crew.
J.Crew fall/winter 2017 presentation
Bette Midler and Sandra Bernhard in Marc Jacobs
When it comes to the women in his fashion campaigns, Marc Jacobs sure knows how to pick 'em. While you might see young things like Kiernan Shipka, or seasoned models like Noami Campbell, Jacobs' ads are always most interesting when they feature women you don't normally think of in relation to his brand. Take the spring/summer 2016 fashion campaign. Both Bette Midler and Sandra Bernhard make appearances—and outshine their younger counterparts.
Julia Roberts for Givenchy
In 2015, Julia Roberts (who is now 49) became the face of Givenchy beauty, in a stark departure from her America's Sweetheart persona. She posed in a boxy menswear-inspired outfit with minimal makeup, undone hair and without a trace of her trademark smile.
Jo Malone London's The Herb Garden Collection
When images for Jo Malone's Spring 2016 collection of perfumes, The Herb Garden, came across my desk I was reminded of how refreshing it is to see women with grey hair and laugh lines in fashion and beauty campaigns. Of course, this is hardly the first more mature woman to be the face of a major brand.
Jo Malone London
Winona Ryder for Marc Jacobs Beauty
Okay, so at 44 actress Winona Ryder isn't exactly what you would call old. But after years of playing the ingenue in her 20's, followed by a bit of a career drought, Ryder is back in a big way with several film roles in the pipeline and also, as the face of Marc Jacobs Beauty. Though we've yet to see the whole campaign, this snapshot shows Ryder with sleek cat eye makeup, penciled brows and a soft pink lip—a beauty look inspired by Delphine Seyrig in the 1961 film Last Year at Marienbad.
Tilda Swinton for NARS
Everyone's favourite other-worldly beauty, Tilda Swinton was the face of NARS beauty in spring 2015. The 55-year-old actress and mother of two showed off her stunning visage against a simple black backdrop, the makeup playing second fiddle to her alabaster skin.
Linda Rodin for J. Crew
Linda Rodin is no stranger to the camera—she spent many years as a model and then took her turn behind the scenes as a stylist. Now, at 67, Rodin is preoccupied with her skincare line, Rodin Olio Lusso. Known for her incredible style (and her poodle Winks) you can still see her in front of the camera—she models for Coach, Karen Walker and J. Crew (pictured).
Charlotte Rampling for NARS
English actress Charlotte Rampling has a career spanning over 50 years and has appeared in English, French and Italian cinema. At 69, Rampling's most recent roles include a stint on TV series Dexter, and the film 45 Years. In spring 2014, beauty brand NARS tapped her to be the face of its 20th Anniversary Audacious Lipstick Collection.
Joni Mitchell for Saint Laurent
We might be more familiar with Canadian songstress Joni Mitchell's many musical hits, but the 72 year old also became the face of Paris fashion house Saint Laurent earlier this year. Shot at her home in California, Mitchell sports looks in keeping with her folk roots—a peasant blouse, wide-brim hat and of course her guitar complete the spread.
Joan Didion for Celine
At 81, Joan Didion's status as a literary icon remains entrenched. (Her oft-shared "Packing List", and classic Slouching Towards Bethlehem continue to inspire women everywhere.) Now the writer can add model to her impressive resume. At the beginning of 2015, Didion starred in a fashion campaign for Celine—wearing a simple black shirt, oversized black sunglasses and a gold pendant. As a woman who started her career in fashion (writing for American Vogue) it makes sense to see her as the face of Celine—still effortlessly cool and collected.
Iris Apfel for Kate Spade
Iris Apfel is 94 years old and something of a superstar in the fashion world. Selections from her wardrobe has even been featured at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The documentary about her life and style, aptly titled Iris, gives us a glimpse of the former business woman and interior designer's personal style. Luckily for her, brands like Kate Spade (pictured) and Alexis Bittar have taken note and have featured Apfel in their campaigns.