Infused water Source: Ryan Brook
Weight loss goals can seem insurmountable. To lose each pound of fat, you need to cut 3,500 calories, and that number can sound scary. But taking little steps to cut just 100 or 200 calories at a time goes a long way. Use two of these tips each day and you'll lose a pound in a little over a week—no starvation necessary.
We all know about the dangers of soda, but even drinking unsweetened juice will give you a sugar rush at a rate of 120 calories per cup. And chances are you don't just drink a cup. Individual serving-size bottles of juice are typically about 450 mL, and can clock in at over 200 calories. But if you're a juice drinker, it can be hard to switch to water right away. Try muddling some watermelon and mint into your water to get all kinds of flavour, and a touch of sweetness, for almost no calories. Or make iced tea using a fruity flavoured tea, and skip the sugar.
Who doesn't love pasta? But when your fettuccine comes with around 400 calories in two cups (even before the sauce!), you can feel guilty about eating it. Try replacing half the pasta with a cup of zucchini that's been cut into thin strips to match the shape of the pasta. Just throw it in the water a couple of minutes before the noodles are done. You'll still get the flavour and texture of the pasta that you crave, but with almost half the calories, because that cup of zucchini has just 30 calories.
Did you know that half a cup of barbeque sauce can contain about 250 calories? If you're someone who uses sauces liberally, this could be a big source of extra calories for you. Instead, give your meats a spice rub, which contains virtually no calories. And keep an eye on stir-fry sauces, such as teriyaki. You can often get a lot of flavour using spices (think fresh ginger, garlic and herbs) and little soy sauce, instead of using a rich sugar-filled sauce.
According to a study from the New England Journal of Medicine, potato chips are in fact the biggest contributor to obesity. In a study that found Americans gain about a pound a year, chips were the biggest cause of that weight gain. Though a serving might have about 160 calories, chances are you eat at least two to three times that. Instead, bake a cup of kale mixed with a teaspoon of oil and a bit of salt to make your own kale chips. For about 70 calories, you'll get a much more nutrient-dense snack that won't make you pack on the pounds.
If you haven't yet heard of cauliflower rice, you're missing out. This simple recipe is the perfect low-calorie replacement for white rice, which will set you back about 250 calories. Just process cauliflower florets in a food processor or grate them with a box grater, then cook with a bit of water or oil until soft. Use it for the bed of rice below meat or fish, or on the side of a curry dish. The cauliflower mimics the texture of rice but has only about 30 calories per cup.
Hamburger buns can easily contain 200 calories or more. Instead of a bun, sandwich your burger or chicken breast with veggies that contain almost no calories. You've heard of using lettuce instead of a bun, but how about grilled portobello mushrooms? Or a tomato cut in half? If you can't give up bread entirely, try a small wrap, which should cut the calories in half. Thinking outside the bun will help you lighten up your meal.
Getty Images Image by: Getty Images
This common succulent is known to be a great solution to relieve burns but did you know that it's toxic to both cats and dogs? Symptoms of aloe poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, depression, tremors and a change in urine color. Typically, symptoms begin to show about six to twleve hours after ingesting but if you fear your fur baby has nibbled on some, don't wait—get peace of mind and seek medical assistance to avoid any further complications. How to curb food aggression in dogs
Calla lillies, although quite beautiful, contain insoluble crystals of calcium oxalate that are toxic to dogs and cats if ingested. Symptoms of poisoning may be seen almost immediately and include pawing at face, drooling, foaming and vomiting. More severe symptoms include swelling of the lips, tongue, oral cavity and upper airway, making it difficult to breathe or swallow. In most cases where a pet eats a plant containing calcium oxalate, treatment can be managed at home by rinsing your pet's mouth thoroughly, but it's always best to seek medical advice from your vet.
This easy-to-grow houseplant contains a chemical that is toxic to cats and dogs. If consumed, your pet may experience mouth irritation, increased salivation, vomiting and difficulty swallowing. If you want to keep this plant in your home, be sure to store it in a place that is out of reach to ensure your pet's safety. How to keep your pet safe and healthy this summer
Hyacinth's toxicity is highly concentrated in the bulbs as oppose to the leaf and when ingested in large amounts, can result in problems for your pet. Depending on the amount ingested, symptoms can be moderate to severe and include irritation to the mouth and esophagus, profuse drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. In severe situations, symptoms range from increased heart rate to changes in respiration and difficulty breathing. If you fear your dog or cat has ingested hyacinths, contact your vet for treatment recommendations.
Like the calla lily, the satin pathos plant contains calcium oxalate. If massive amounts of plants containing this toxin are consumed, the symptoms become much more severe and include convulsions, renal failure, coma and death. It's possible for your pet to recover from severe calcium oxalate poisoning, but in most cases permanent liver and kidney damage will have already occurred. 8 ways to keep your dog healthy
Daffodils pose a danger to dogs and cats if ingested. Symptoms can include severe gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, low blood pressure, lethargy and kidney damage. There is no specific treatment or antidote for daffodil ingestion, but you can rinse any existing plant matter from your pet's mouth thoroughly to prevent further damage. If your pet's vomiting or diarrhea is extensive, take them to the vet.
The asparagus fern is another common houseplant and can be toxic to your dog and/or cat if ingested and can also cause minor skin irritation in pets with sensitive skin. Beware the berries, as they are more toxic to your pet than the foliage and thus cause more serious symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Since treatment is generally symptomatic, most pets will make a full recovery in 24 to 48 hours, but always consult with your veterinarian if you're concerned. 5 reasons you shouldn't declaw your cat
Tulips can signify that spring has finally sprung but that doesn't mean they're safe for your dog or cat to be around. If ingested, tulips can cause depression, severe vomiting and diarrhea, excessive drooling and loss of appetite. Induce vomiting and seek veterinary help.
This common houseplant is know for it's hard-to-kill properties and can not only cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested, it can also cause skin irritation if your pet is exposed to it repeatedly. Keep the plant in an out-of-reach spot or in a room where you can close the door to keep your fur baby away.
This flowering shrub can do serious damage to your dog or cat depending on the amount consumed. Symptoms can vary from excessive drooling, sweating (nose and foot pads), vomiting, diarrhea and low blood pressure to more serious side effects such as total loss of coordination, severe muscular weakness, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, coma and possibly death. If a small amount is consumed by your pet, don't fret! The toxin found in azaleas is metabolized and excreted rapidly, so your pet will generally begin to feel better within hours and can make a full recovery in 24 hours. However, if large amounts are ingested, activated charcoal should be administered to your pet repeatedly on the first day. As always, consult your vet. 7 ways to cope with losing a pet
Illustration by Jeannie Phan
Rediscover Ottawa, which walks the line between charming town and cosmopolitan city, with first-class cultural and historic experiences.
Modern digs: Alt Hotel Ottawa
Rest your head at the Canadian-owned Alt Hotel in downtown Ottawa, where you can grab snacks (or full meals) in the lobby and keep up your yoga practice with the hotel's new Nama-Stay yoga videos. Bonus: The Alt is eco-friendly, with geothermal energy used for heating and cooling, plus energy-efficient lighting.
Historic haven: The Century House Bed and Breakfast Ottawa
With just four rooms, The Century House offers a quaint stay without skimping on modern amenities such as free parking and Wi-Fi. It's known for its gourmet breakfasts (think indulgent waffles or a hearty frittata), served up family-style in the dining room.
Morning munch: Benny's Bistro
Hidden behind The French Baker in the ByWard Market, this is a tiny gem that serves some of our all-time favourite brekkies. Order the buckwheat crêpe, which is stuffed with ham and Gruyère and topped with an egg.
Dinner hour: Absinthe Café
Stop by this Wellington West hot spot for French-inspired cuisine and a taste of its namesake drink. On Monday nights, there's a special fondue menu; go with friends and order cheese and meat varieties to share, then finish with the Valrhona chocolate fondue for dessert.
Sweet treat: Moo Shu Ice Cream & Kitchen
Try small-batch ice creams and ice cream truffles made with Ontario dairy and fresh, sometimes surprising, ingredients, like craft beer or lime leaves.
Spring: C'est Bon Gourmet Food Tours
Take a guided walking and tasting tour of one of Ottawa's famed foodie neighbourhoods: the ByWard Market, Wellington Street, Preston Street (Little Italy), the Glebe or Chinatown.
This outdoor music fest will celebrate the country's 150th anniversary with performances by Canadian artists, plus contributions by other international artists.
Fall: The Canada Science and Technology Museum
After $80.5 million in renos, the museum will reopen in November, just in time for its 50th anniversary of celebrating Canadian innovations, such as a prototype of the world's first pacemaker and a cobalt-60 therapy machine from the '50s—at the time, a revolutionary new way to deliver radiation to cancer patients.
Winter: Nordik Spa-Nature
Spend a day rotating between the spa's seven outdoor baths and eight saunas. Book a massage for ultimate R&R.
WHAT'S CLOSE BY?
If you have the time to range farther afield, here are three other spots to see in Ontario.
2 1/2 hours away: Thousand Islands
A pretty archipelago with ton of history (it was once pirate territory!), this region is now an ideal spot to go boating, hiking and exploring historic castles.
3 hours away: Prince Edward County
Visit a few of the dozens of artist studios and galleries in the region, where you can even take an art class—in between wine tastings, of course.
OTTAWA THE GREAT
To celebrate Canada's sesquicentennial—the 150th anniversary of Confederation—Ottawa is leading the charge with a full year of awe-inspiring events. Here's a small sampling of what's on in our nation's capital.
March 3 and 4: Red Bull Crashed Ice
Watch downhill skaters race to the finish line on a huge track that runs along the locks of the Rideau Canal— which will be the final leg of the 2016–17 ice cross downhill championship.
May 20 to Sept. 4: Inspiration Village
Located in the historic ByWard Market, Inspiration Village will pay tribute to our provinces and territories, while also showcasing special exhibits and performing-arts events.
All summer long: Kontinuum, an "underground multimedia experience"
Though the Confederation Line of Ottawa's Light Rail Transit won't open until 2018, one underground station will be transformed into a futuristic world by a 10-weeklong multimedia presentation.
Nov. 26: The 105th Grey Cup
This year, Canada's capital will host the CFL's annual championship game.
Ignite 150: In a series of 17 stunts spaced throughout the year—from yoga on a barge accompanied by a live orchestra to gourmet dining at a table suspended nearly 50 metres in the air—Ottawa will delight visitors and residents with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Ottawa Welcomes the world: Ottawa's many embassies and high commissions will be given the opportunity to take over Aberdeen Pavilion and the Horticulture Building with multicultural celebrations including food, art and music.
Agri 150: More than 20 unique one-day outdoor events in 2017 will showcase Ottawa's food and drink, such as the Wine and Words Tour, which will take participants to local wineries to sample wine and cheese, with a local author to tell stories at each stop.
For more events and info, visit ottawa2017.ca.
Photography by Donna Griffith Image by: Photography by Donna Griffith
People didn't really have backyards in the olden days. They had a front porch, an outhouse and a lot of cough medicine that was, in fact, morphine. With no one else around for miles, you could do anything out front—even your laundry—because no one cared if you stood on your lawn, completely naked, hanging your wool bloomers on the clothesline. And if you happened to be treating that cough, chances are you didn't care, either.
Now, of course, if you have a house, it usually comes with a backyard; that's where you destress, relax and entertain. Your front yard is for showing off aspects of your personality that you want the world to see. The backyard, however, is where the real you lets loose. The modern home is the residential version of the mullet: business in the front, party in the back.
The façade of my 1840s cottage looks a lot like it would have in the 19th century: a white painted porch, some rambling roses and a little vegetable garden. Up until recently, my backyard was similar; it matched the house but didn't necessarily match me. Making it over was a chance to express another part of my personality; to show that, even though I love the past, I wasn't stuck living in it. So, to provide balance, I paired my period-appropriate front porch with a decidedly contemporary urban backyard, one where I may or may not hang my bloomers out to dry…while nursing a cough.
How to grow your own privacy
Being in the backyard is great, but sometimes you want to grab your morning coffee, curl up on the front porch and watch the world go by—without the world watching you. A dense leafy perennial vine is a great way to create a green privacy wall. Certain ivies will grow quickly, while others, like this climbing hydrangea, will take several years before they provide enough cover for you to feel comfortable in your ratty pajamas.
Porch swing, amazon.ca.
Timothy Oulton Canadian-flag cushion, upcountry.com.
Galvanized planter pails, terragreenhouses.com.
Instead of buying new cushion covers for your outdoor seating, wrap sun bleached fabric in burlap.
Tip: Give small planter pots a boost by displaying them on various rungs of a vintage ladder.
Outdoor chairs and table, walmart.ca.
Toss cushions, homesense.ca.
Floor & Patio paint in Deck Grey 122-71 (porch flooring), benjaminmoore.ca.
How to put a perpetually unproductive planter to work
My potting shed is packed with planters of every size that will never be filled with flora. (Mainly, they're filled with just spiders.) That's why I dragged a few planters out of storage, dusted them off and repurposed them as outdoor tables. Topped with a round sheet of glass, my black drum-shaped planter is the perfect complement to a pair of armchairs. And by setting an old pine plank on top of two smaller box planters, I created a custom outdoor coffee table without setting foot in a shop.
How to get a lawn in an instant
For most people, a lawn is nothing but trouble. In an effort to cajole their grass back to life every summer, homeowners arm themselves with lawn seed, fertilizer and a big bag of swear words. Save yourself the effort and fake it. Artificial grass is now sold edged and in rolls—just like indoor rugs—and it looks way better than it did years ago. You'll get beautiful colour and soft cushioning under your feet with minimal effort—simply roll it up at the end of the season.
Grass rugs, rona.ca.
Drum planter and lumbar cushions, homesense.ca.
Outdoor armchairs, costco.ca.
Wire lantern, rona.ca.
Square-cut flagstone, ferrellbrick.net.
How to create powerhouse planters
If you want a container garden that makes an impact, forget typical generic nursery plants—I'm looking at you, geraniums—and embrace the plants of the disco era. Tropical greens that were popular houseplants in the 1970s not only look great in planters but also tolerate dry conditions. Mix tall, spiky spider plants and wandering Jew with cascading creeping Jenny and sweet potato plants (Ipomoea batatas) for dynamic pots that command attention—especially if you're doing the hustle around them.
Planter pots, discountemporium.ca.
How to hang a window box without a window
It wasn't just for esthetics that I installed my backyard fence planks horizontally; it was also for function. The boards allowed me to hang window box planters with nothing more than a few large S-hooks. Positioning planters at different heights lends a contemporary feel, while mounting them evenly enters more traditional territory.
Tip: Add draping spiller plants to window-box arrangements. They'll trail down fences and walls as the season progresses, creating a living-wall effect.
Dollar stores often sell artificial grass in square tiles that clip together so you can design your own custom “carpet.” Linked in a long, narrow strip, they make a chic runner for an outdoor dining table.
Window-box planters, hollandpark.com.
Outdoor dining set, ikea.ca.
Drink dispenser, indigo.ca.
Check out designer Karl Lohnes' terrific terrace makeover.
|This story was originally part of "Now & Then" in the June 2015 issue.
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