Happy Monday, friends! I can't believe it's already 4 p.m. – where has today gone? Oh well. Here's the lucky winner of Weekly Giveaway #7. Congratulations to...
...Tara! She's the proud mama of a new baby girl, and they've already been crafting together, as she explains:
"What a timely contest. Just a couple of weeks ago, I got up super early with my several-weeks-old daughter and I helped her to fistpaint. Not fingerpaint, but fistpaint. See, newborns have a hard time keeping their hands splayed. For her to paint what would eventually become the front of our baby shower thank-you cards, I had to paint her fist with various coloured goops of fingerpaint and then let her mash her fist into the cardstock. It was great fun and I think we’ll try it again soon.
And yes, we used non-toxic, baby-friendly paint. "
Sounds like fun, Tara! (Keep an eye on your inbox for an email from me.) I hope that you enjoy your copy of
Feathering the Nest: Tracy Hutson’s Earth-Friendly Guide to Decorating Your Baby’s Room.There were lots of other good ideas about kids' crafts on that post, so if you're searching for things to keep the kids occupied this summer, head over and
take a look!
And now, of course, it's on to weekly giveaway #8, and this is a good one. One lucky winner will receive a copy of
Creative Keepsakes: Joy of Scrapbooking (completely revised and expanded) by Lisa Bearnson, PLUS a selection of treats from
Stampin' Up! (a set of stamps, a stamp pad, and a collection of scrapbooking paper). Whether you're a dedicated scrapbooker or someone who's just starting, I think you'll find something to like about this prize! For your chance to win, leave a comment on this post telling me what event you'd like to commemorate most this summer. A wedding? A new baby in the family? A great vacation? As always, I'm interested to hear all about it.
Leave a comment by 5 p.m this Friday, June 19, and I'll post a winner on Monday, June 22. See you tomorrow!
We needed help demystifying the seemingly endless list of milk alternatives, so we went to the experts for real talk on dairy-free drinks.
Whether you're lactose intolerant, vegan, or just like the taste, there are plenty of reasons to experiment with adding milk alternatives to your diet. But with more varieties than ever before, how do you know which option is best for you? We asked two registered dietitians, Carol Harrison and Crystal MacGregor, for the skinny on dairy-free drinks.
Why does cow's milk get a bad rap?
Carol Harrison: Some people are worried about hormones or antibiotics in milk. But the truth is, growth hormones are not approved for use in dairy cattle in Canada. As well, The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reports compliance for veterinary product residues in milk is greater than 99 per cent.
Crystal MacGregor: Cow’s milk is a nutritious and safe choice. Non-dairy beverages are actually not suitable for children under the age of two because they do not contain enough calories, protein and fat to support children’s needs.
Which beverage is closest to cow’s milk in terms of nutritional profile?
CM: Soy is the closest to dairy in protein per serving at 7 grams of protein per cup. When possible, choose organic versions, as many conventional soy milks can come from genetically modified soybeans, which may contain higher levels of pesticides and fertilizers.
CH: The only beverages I consider nutritional substitutes for cow's milk are goat’s milk fortified with vitamin D and soy beverages fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
What are some things a person should consider when choosing a dairy-free beverage?
CM: If choosing a non-dairy alternative for a source of protein it is important to note that not all are created equal—most nut milks such as almond, coconut and cashew milk contain less than 1 g of protein per cup.
CH: Aim for 30 per cent daily value calcium and 45 per cent daily value vitamin D. Also choose unsweetened options to curb unwanted added sugars.
Check out our slideshow of popular dairy-free drinks, with pros and cons from our experts.
Canadian-made fashion, beauty and personal-care brands are just a click away! Whether you're on the hunt for minimalist stackable rings (British Columbia), colourful, affordable beach attire (Ontario) or handmade beard oil (New Brunswick), we've found it online and want to spread the good word.
Artifact Masque in Moroccan Tangerine Clay, Brazilian Supermask and Egyptian Honey Rose, $52 each, artifactskinco.com. Necklace, $189, jenny-bird.com. Handbag, $79, nella-bella.com. Hudson's Bay Company + Lacoste watch, $95, thebay.com. Anointment Natural Skin Care Woodland Sage Soap, $7.50, anointment.ca. T-shirt, $42, roots.com. Saje Natural Wellness Arnica Rescue Acute Injury Ointment and Saje Natural Wellness Stress Release Tension-Reducing Mist, $20 each, saje.ca.
Strong and free While Canada celebrates almost a century and a half, our red-and-white flag with a maple leaf at its heart is a mere 50 years old. To commemorate the design and the first use of our national emblem back in 1965, Roots has launched a clothing collection made entirely in Canada. If you're feeling particularily loyal to your hometown, choose a style with a city patch on the sleeve or back; the places represented are Victoria, Vancouver, Whistler, Banff, Calgary, Mont-Tremblant, Montreal, Quebéc City, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Ottawa and Halifax—each available only in its respective location.
Dress, $78, roots.com. Under the sea Montreal-based twins Dexter and Byron Peart of Want Les Essentiels de la Vie are known for their simple yet luxe design esthetic. Their latest collection, A Life Aquatic, features a colour palette inspired by the ocean and its creatures.
Shoulder bag, $650, wantessentiels.com. Painted ladies Jolie handbag designer Ivy Chen first met illustrator Jocelyn Teng when Teng drew her portrait at a fundraiser. "I still have it framed in my house," says Chen, who approached Teng to collaborate on her Le Sac collection for spring 2015. "Illustration has always been my strong suit," says Teng. "My style is abstract and dramatic."
Tote, $295, and illustration, $60, worldofjolie.com. Office space Inspired by the shape of manila envelopes, these red vegan-leather handbags from Nella Bella by Tarek's Nu Essex collection are perfect for a working lunch or a boardroom presentation.
From left: Handbags, $139, $149 and $99, nella-bella.com.Canadian Maple Beloved Toronto lippy brand Bite Beauty has finally launched a collection that's exclusive to its Canadian customers. The new limited-edition lipsticks, from bright orange to lush berry, are maple-scented and come in five shades inspired by the changing colours of maple leaves. Or try the Agave Lip Mask in Maple, which smells (and tastes) sweet and is perfect for rough, dry lips.
Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lipsticks, $28; Agave Lip Mask in Maple, $30; sephora.ca.
Marriage material Whether you're planning your big day, leading the way down the aisle as a bridesmaid or simply attending as a guest, Canadian retailer Le Château now offers all the goods to get you dressed for a wedding from head to toe. The Wedding Boutique collection includes wedding gowns, flirty bridesmaid and guest dresses, jewellery, headpieces, clutches and shoes—all to make that special day easy and affordable (pieces run from $10 to $395). The online shop also features info on the latest in bridal hair, makeup, colour and decor trends from experts in the biz.
Shoes, $90, lechateau.com.
Face time Beards are having a moment and, contrary to popular belief, they require a healthy dose of care (tell your man!). A high-quality beard oil can work wonders, balancing oily and irritated skin and softening tough bristles. This oil from New Brunswick's Anointment Natural Skin Care features certified-organic sunflower and jojoba oils to moisturize, plus sage, cedar and lavendar essential oils to calm irritated skin. The plaid packaging bursts with Canadian cool. "I drew inspiration from the men in my life," says founder April Mackinnon. "Almost every Saturday, my father and brother can be found cutting trees for firewood or planting to replenish the forest. My childhood memories of my father largely include him wearing a black-and-red plaid work jacket."
Anointment Natural Skin Care Beard Oil, $16.50, anointment.ca.
Amazing lace A graduate of George Brown College's jewellery-arts program, Sarah Dobranowski of SarahAnaDesigns makes beautiful baubles cast from moulds of intricate pieces of lace. Indulge your feminine side with a sterling-silver bracelet or embellish your wedding attire with a sweet pair of earrings.
Necklace, $125, etsy.com/shop/sarahanadesigns.
Tiny treasures Vancouver-based Katherine Huie of Foe and Dear has always loved jewellery making but was especially motivated by a summer in Brooklyn, N.Y. When she returned to the West Coast, she took some classes and began designing refined minimal pieces in her Gastown studio.
Top to bottom: Choupette kitten ring, $33; Tiny sparkler point ring, $160; Point stacking ring, $30, all foeanddear.com.
Tressed to impress When Toronto-born hairstylist Marc Anthony first launched his hair-care range, there were six products sold at just one Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. Now, the line's 20th anniversary year, the wildly successful brand's more than 60 SKUS are available in 45,000 stores across 20 countries. One of Marc Anthony's oldest and most popular lines is Strictly Curls, including the iconic Curl Envy Perfect Curl Cream, which is great for waves and soft curls. For women with tight, coarse spirals, the brand-new Kinky Girls with Wild Curls line features coconut, avocado and argan oils to nourish and hydrate while eliminating frizz.
Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Envy Perfect Curl Cream and Marc Anthony Kinky Girls With Wild Curls Exotic Oil Treatment, $11, marcanthony.com. Working for le weekend Known for her colourful prints, Toronto's Virginia Johnson has released Le Weekend, a series of swimsuits, beach coverups, flip-flops and more, all inspired by her grandmother. "She is my biggest style inspiration—and she had a great sense of humour," says Johnson. "She loved polka-dots, Hawaiin florals and brightly coloured sunglasses." The collection honours her well. We're especially enamoured with the flamingo print and the fabulous price point—everything is $50 or less.
Swimsuit, $50, virginiajohnson.com.
Colin D. Ford, Artistic and educational director for Kérastase Paris
"The biggest mistake women make is using the incorrect hair-care products for their hair style, which can leave mid-lengths and ends looking dry. A professional consultation will [determine] what hair-care regimen is best."
Hair advice that professionals swear by
Stacey Staley, Founder and creative director of Blonde in Toronto
"Make sure you're rinsing your hair correctly. That means spending between two and three minutes in the shower rinsing both your shampoo and your conditioner. Contrary to popular belief, warm water isbetter for rinsing products. Then, finish with a 60-second cool rinse to add shine."
Hair advice that professionals swear by
Danilo, Global ambassador for Pantene and celebrity stylist
"Hair needs all the help it can get. It needs added moisture, emollients, supportive structures. Treat your hair like you do your skin."
"The tendency to want what we cannot have is universal, but a cut will sit better, last longer and be so much easier to maintain if you work with your hair type instead of fighting against it. With a cut that's customized, getting ready is so much simpler—and prettier."
Hair advice that professionals swear by
Kevin Mancuso, Global creative director for Nexxus
"People with really fine hair and lack of density should consider colouring their hair because they're going to benefit by swelling the hair fibre. If your hair is not damaged, you should consider double process, or single process with your own colour. When you damage the cuticle, you're going to lose some lipids, and that may be good for someone with fine hair looking for volume. Once the hair cuticle is lifted, the hair fibre can look nearly double in size."
Your body needs some sugar to function, but Canadians, who consume the equivalent of 26 teaspoons of the sweet stuff every day, are probably overdoing it. We break down what too much sugar does to your body, and how you can cut back.
Good news for those with sweet tooths: Glucose is our main source of fuel, so, yes, we actually do need sugar in our diets. But don't get too excited— they're not all alike.
"All carbohydrate-containing foods, whether candy, pop, fruit, vegetables or grain products, break down into glucose in our bloodstream," says Patricia Chuey, a Vancouver-based registered dietitian. "But our bodies respond differently when we get sugar from nutrient-dense, fibre-rich foods, eaten as part of a balanced meal that contains protein, compared to 'empty' calories from zero-nutrient, fibre-less foods."
Those carb-heavy, low-nutrient foods cause our blood-sugar, or glucose, levels to spike, triggering the release of insulin in response. One of insulin's jobs is to move glucose from the blood to our liver, muscle and fat cells for storage, and when there's more in our bloodstream than what our bodies need for energy, it can end up as stored fat—"even though fat, per se, wasn't consumed," says Chuey. That's partially why excess sugar consumption is linked to fatty liver disease, as well as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Fibre-rich, nutrient-dense foods, on the other hand, break down more slowly, so they don't cause as much of a blood-sugar spike, or the resulting weight gain.
That doesn't mean you have to skip your favourite sweet indulgences entirely. What we know today is that moderation is key—a little sugar won't hurt you.
But, for the most part, Canadians are not consuming a little sugar. According to Statistics Canada, on average, 22 to 26 percent of our total daily caloric intake consists of sugar. Put another way, that's an average of 110 grams, or 26 teaspoons, per day. And it's not just how much; experts are also concerned about where it comes from.
"Whole foods that are sweet, like fruit, can be good sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre, which can contribute to overall health," says Gita Singh, a research assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Boston's Tufts University.
It's added sugar, regardless of the source, that's the problem. You'll find it in processed foods, such as many breads, soups, salad dressings and pasta sauces. And then there's pop, sports drinks and fruit drinks, which experts collectively refer to as sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). These drinks are among the top causes of obesity and its attendant ailments, which include heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and other chronic diseases. In fact, Singh coauthored a report published in the medical journal Circulation that estimates SSB consumption is partially responsible for the diabetes-, cancer- and cardiovascular disease–related deaths of 1,600 Canadians each year.
The fact that SSBs are a leading source of excess sugar in our diets is galling but encouraging. That's because the solution is straightforward: Stop, or at least cut back on, drinking them.
Chuey says you can further reduce the added sugar in your diet by avoiding convenience foods that list sugar (or maltose, corn syrup, cane sugar or honey) among the first three ingredients; swap your caramel macchiato for a latte; and top plain yogurt with fresh fruit. The less sugar you consume, the less you'll end up craving.
But when you do indulge, go all in. "Apply the pleasure maximization principle," says Chuey. "Make it really worth it! Not in terms of quantity, but the kind of quality that will really satisfy." So skip the soda fountain. But those homemade cookies? Enjoy!
YOUR BODY ON SUGAR
Click on image for larger view. Illustrations, thenounproject.com.
There are lots of table sugar subs on the market, but how do they stack up, health-wise?
Stevia: Zero calories per teaspoon
Stevia is a zero-calorie, fructosefree option.
Date sugar: 11 calories per teaspoon
Date sugar contains all the fibre and nutrients found in the dried fruit.
Coconut sugar: 15 calories per teaspoon
Made from the sap of coconut-tree flowers, coconut sugar has the same calorie count as table sugar, but it's lower on the glycemic index.
Agave nectar: 15 calories per teaspoon
Agave nectar is about 1 1/2 times sweeter than refined sugar, so you can use less. But it's high in fructose (hello, blood-sugar spikes!).