Whole30, an intensive one-month dietary reboot that requires cutting out dairy, grains, sugar and processed foods, took the Internet by storm last year, as much for its strict approach (cheat once and you have to start from scratch) as its health benefits. But Melissa Hartwig, one-half of the duo behind the program and a certified sports nutritionist, knows that ditching bad habits is usually a more long-term project. Enter her new book, a guide to rethinking your relationship with food, complete with advice on creating your own perfect diet and strategies for overcoming slipups. — Stacy Lee Kong
When Zoe Walker sees a photo of herself in a personal ad that she didn't place, she's confused, but not afraid. Soon, more ads, featuring different women, all commuters, appear. Then, Zoe starts seeing those women on the news, the victims of increasingly violent crimes—but no one save Kelly, a transit cop, believes her when she says there's a link. This fast-paced read will have you looking over your shoulder on your way to work, wondering who has been paying attention to you, without you noticing. — SLK
Canadian-born, U.K.- based YouTube star Estée Lalonde's debut book is full of charming no-pressure advice for creating a stylish life, including chapters on beauty, fashion, food and home, all punctuated with regular appearances by her boyfriend, Aslan, and their greyhound, Reggie. But it's in the sections on people and life, where she candidly describes her ever-present struggle with anxiety and what it was like to grow up on the fringes of the in crowd, that Lalonde gets real. — Grace Toby
Bloom (Appetite by Random House) by Estée Lalonde, $28.
Trevor Noah was born in South Africa during apartheid to a black mother and a white father—so the title of the comedian and Daily Show host's first book, Born a Crime, is, pardon the pun, no joke. A hilarious but thoughtful read, Noah's essays touch on poverty, racism and his heartwarming, complicated bond with his mother, who, despite her tough love, shares his penchant for laughter. — Kate Wells
Love at first bite
Any Ina Garten fan knows that her husband, Jeffrey—who can often be seen smiling blissfully while enjoying a homemade feast on Food Network Canada's Barefoot Contessa—is the one true not-sosecret ingredient to any recipe Ina cooks up. Her newest cookbook (her 10th!), Cooking for Jeffrey, is an edible love letter to her husband, and to the dishes she's been making for him for decades. It features a plethora of recipes that are perfect to serve at a dinner party, such as Camembert & Prosciutto Tartines, Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken, Challah With Saffron, and Limoncello Ricotta Cheesecake. Another reason to love the book: Almost every dish comes complete with a make-ahead tip, so you'll never have to scramble in the kitchen while your guests are enjoying one another's company. If you've been meaning to entertain more, or if you just want reliable, full-flavoured, simple, rustic food to add to your repertoire, this is what you'll want to curl up with. — Jennifer Bartoli
We asked some of Canada's top celebrity designers to spill the beans on their best-kept design secrets—and did they ever! Read on for expert advice on everything from space planning and choosing paint colours to styling shelves and how to create a foolproof gallery wall.
The inside scoop on space planning
How much space do you need around your dining room table? Can you really make a room feel larger? Our experts weigh in.
Tip 1: Sofas should be two-thirds the length of the longest wall, and seating is placed close enough around so no person is more than eight feet from another to allow for easy conversation. — Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander
Photography by Arnal Photography
Tip 2: One easy rule to figure out what size dining table you need: allow for a minimum of 30 inches walking clearance on all sides. — Karl Lohnes
Tip 3: Space planning is critical. For a kitchen island, for example, leave three feet of space between the island and surrounding counters. Ensure that appliances (like the fridge or dishwasher) can open without blocking traffic flow or hitting neighbouring walls or cabinets. Not leaving enough room is a mistake people make all the time, before they call a designer in a panic to help fix it! — Lisa Canning
Photography by Arnal Photography
Tip 4: Use mirrors strategically to expand space and increase the amount of natural light reflected in the room. Framing a wall with floor-to-ceiling mirrors adds a dramatic effect to the feeling and scale of the room. — Brian Gluckstein
Photography by Arnal Photography
Tip 5: Allow for 18 inches between the sofa and the coffee table so people have enough room to pass by and to make it easy to reach for drinks or food. — Amanda Forrest
Tip 6: Want to make sure furniture fits before it arrives at your door? There are a host of free sites (like planyourroom.com) that allow you to put furniture onto a scaled floor plan. Another option? Many furniture and decor stores offer free design services, and they'll do the calculating for you. — Janette Ewen
Light it up
Follow these five rules and your lights will shine in all the right ways.
Tip 2: Install dimmer switches; they're a practical way to control light and energy consumption. — Amanda Forrest
Tip 3: The bottom of the shade of your bedside reading lamp should be at shoulder height when sitting in bed. Do the math! — Karl Lohnes
Tip 4: Choose a pendant or chandelier that's one-third the size of the table or kitchen island. Hang it approximately 30 to 36 inches above the table or island; if there are more than one, place them 12 to 18 inches apart. — Mia Parres
Tip 5: Incandescent bulbs are great for atmosphere lighting, but LED bulbs are more suited to task lighting, when you really need to see what you're working on. — Janette Ewen
The inside scoop on paint and palette
Did you know that paint selection should be one of the last decisions you make when decorating a room?
Tip 1: I'm a firm believer in mood boards. They're not just for designers! Gather together fabrics, paint samples and inspiration images for a room before starting. It will create a picture and a trajectory that you may not have thought of. — Steven Sabados
Tip 2: When you design a room, pull your palette from one inspiration fabric. Whether you use a whimsical print or a more traditional pattern, take all the colours present in that material and allow those to guide fabric selection for pillows, throws, drapery and upholstery in the room. Take that same fabric to the paint store and have a custom colour mixed that matches one of the hues exactly. — Lisa Canning
Tip 4: Fine finish Choose a fresh trim colour in a semigloss, such as Benjamin Moore's Chantilly Lace OC-65. It creates a subtle separation from a matte wall, and it's a much more durable finish, which comes in handy since trims are usually the most touched, bumped and scuffed parts of our homes. — Mia Parres
Tip 5: Colour pop If you buy that cool orange statement chair, give it a buddy. When you're adding a colourful piece to a space, always have at least one other subtle hit of that colour elsewhere in the room to create a cohesive feel. — Tiffany Pratt
Tip 6: Want to make a room feel taller? Paint baseboards and crown moulding the same colour as the walls. Want it to feel huge? mix one-third of the wall colour into the ceiling paint. — Karl Lohnes
The inside scoop on styling
You've bought the sofa and painted the walls. Now what? Our experts show you how to style a room like a pro.
Tip 1: Shop at stores that have liberal return policies and buy three times as much as you think you need. This gives you plenty of merchandise to play with to see what works and what does not. Mix in unique family heirlooms and vintage finds with the new pieces you purchase to create a naturally curated look. — Janette Ewen
Photography by Magdalena M
Tip 2: For a no-fail pillow combination, you need only three: one 20- by 20-inch, one 16- by 16-inch and one 12- by 16-inch. Those sizes look good together no matter how you arrange them! — Jo Alcorn
Tip 3: Beauty is in the details When styling a console, include framed art on easels or leaning against the wall; it's a great way to display smaller pieces. Create a dynamic vignette by mixing in boxes, vases and vintage pieces in differing heights and dimensions. — Brian Gluckenstein
Tip 4: Mix and match Use these common elements when styling shelves: stacks of books, gorgeous flowers and at least one accessory that has a lot of shimmer and shine. Varying heights and textures is also really important for visual interest. — Lisa Canning
The inside scoop on art
Take the mystery out of hanging art.
Tip 1: Make your own art! Buy a canvas in a size you're looking for, then grab some paint in the colours you're decorating with, and see what happens. Great masterpieces are born of happy accidents or beautiful mistakes. — Tiffany Pratt
Tip 2: When hanging art on an empty wall, the middle of the art should to be hung 66 to 72 inches off the floor. — Karl Lohnes
Tip 3: Art relates to furniture, not the ceiling: Keep art about six to eight inches above the sofa, or any piece of furniture, when hanging it. — Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander
Tip 4: For a gallery wall, use different-size frames in one single finish and select artwork with a consistent theme in colour or subject matter to keep the display cohesive. — Brian Gluckenstein
Each year, top designers and brands showcase the best in innovative and inspiring design from around the world at The Interior Design Show in Toronto. We’ve picked our top Canadian designers that you may not have heard of yet, but should.
When Health Canada announced they planned to expand food irradiation to ground beef earlier this week, we had some questions. Like, what's irradiation? Are we already eating irradiated food? And mostly importantly, is irradiation safe? Luckily, Dr. Rick Holley, professor of food science in the faculty of agriculture and food sciences at the University of Manitoba, was available to teach an impromptu Irradiation 101 class. Here are his answers to our five most pressing questions.
What exactly is food irradiation? Irradiation is a food-safety measure that involves the use of high-energy electrons to kill undesirable bacteria, like E. coli and listeria, both of which have caused serious food recalls in recent months. Holley explains that the electromagnetic energy makes changes to the bacteria’s DNA, effectively killing them.
Is it safe? Holley says there is absolutely no risk that irradiation will make your food radioactive: "The energy levels are not high enough," he explains. And he has years of research—from the World Health Organization, American Food and Drug Administration and even the Canadian government—to back him up. There has been some concern about whether chemicals produced by irradiation (what researchers call radiolytic products) are potentially harmful, but experts agree the levels found after irradiation are not toxic. In fact, when you compare the chemical changes involved in food irradiation with those involved in conventional cooking methods, the changes caused by irradiation are less significant. "The benzopyrenes that form in burnt animal tissue [when you barbeque] are far more risky," Holley says.
Does irradiating food change its nutritional value or taste? Holley says that irradiation can change the nutritional profile of a food, particularly by reducing levels of thiamine (also known as vitamin B1), but that change isn't nutritionally significant. And at the levels that irradiation are used in food, you won't notice a difference in flavour. "We did some work on beef three years ago with a test panel here at the University of Manitoba [using] a hamburger," says Holley. "They couldn't tell the difference."
How common is irradiation? Are any foods already irradiated in Canada? "Back in the 1960s, Canada was a pioneer in the area of food irradiation," says Holley. Onions, potatoes, wheat, flour and spices have already been approved to undergo irradiation in Canada. But the process is not actually used all that often, partly because of the cost associated with the process. This is true even in countries where it's more common, like the US, which has approved beef, pork, shellfish, fresh fruits and veggies, poultry and some sprouts. "Less than 0.002 percent of food in the United States, for example, is irradiated right now," says Holley. "And the biggest application is in insect control for elimination of transport of Mediterranean fruit flies." As we see the transport of more fruits and vegetables internationally, Holley says we'll likely see more irradiation to restrict the movement of pests from country to country.
Why add ground beef to the list? Ground beef is vulnerable to contamination by E. coli, which causes flu-like symptoms and can be particularly dangerous for young children and the elderly. "As we see more and more instances of illness that develop from hamburger as a result of contamination by E. coli, the need to have some additional means for control becomes quite evident," says Holley. "If irradiation were brought in, in the U.S., you would have a million fewer cases of food-borne illness in that country each year. It's really quite significant, the contribution that irradiation can make to the safety of food that we eat each day."
How much do you know about food safety? Get your results—and learn how to protect your family from foodborne illnesses like norovirus and salmonella—with our handy quiz.
Our best cooking tips for making dough and so much more!
When prepping grains (think quinoa, bulgur or rice), enhance their flavour with tea rather than the usual broth or water. Cook with your favourite brew: I prefer a full-bodied tea, such as smoky lapsang souchong, fragrant Earl Grey or aromatic chai, but you can also choose a milder green tea or herbal blend. Before adding the liquid to grains, steep black teas for three to five minutes, green for two to three minutes, and herbal for five to seven minutes—tisanes don't become bitter, so they can take a longer brewing time.
Here's a foolproof way to remove a lingering garlic scent from your hands: Rub your fingers against a stainless-steel object, like your kitchen sink or a spoon, then rinse under cool water. Garlic is packed with sulphur molecules (that's what gives it a lovely taste and a not-so-lovely smell), which scientists say can form a chemical bond with stainless steel.
Out of vanilla? Head to your liquor cabinet—Kahlúa makes the perfect replacement.
Save your parmesan rinds! Store them in the freezer (they'll keep for months), then drop them into simmering soups or sauces for an amazing flavour boost.
The next time you're making dough, instead of using a pastry blender or the two-knife method to cut in cold butter, try grating it over the flour mixture, then tossing to coat. The butter will be more evenly distributed in the flour mixture, resulting in a light, flaky crust.
Tools of the trade
Three must-have items for a well-stocked kitchen.
1. Y-peeler: The wide grip makes peeling easy, plus the blade creates perfect Parmesan shavings and vegetable ribbons.
2. Large canning jar: This kitchen MacGyver doubles as a cocktail shaker and storage for dry goods. It's also a great place to keep fresh herbs—stand your mint or basil leaves in about two inches of water and change the water daily.
3. Kitchen scissors: This gadget is a huge time-saver when it comes to chopping herbs, segmenting a whole chicken or trimming veggies.