Fit for the holidays with Vega

*Insert my singing voice* It’s Christmas tiiiiime in the city!

… Okay save your eardrums and don’t, but I think you’re reading what I’m writing.

Who doesn’t love the holidays?!  Time to enjoy yourself with friends and family.  Obviously I love this time of year, however, battling an existing sweet tooth on a daily basis can make the holiday seem a little tormenting.  I’m already a very active person by nature, so I think I’m doing well by avoiding the endless supply of baked goods; Working out with a trainer, running our gorgeous seawall and planning all my meals ahead of time, including whipping up some smoothies with nutritious ingredients.

I’ve been a HUGE fan of Vega for years, I try to keep my diet as plant-based as I can and absolutely no dairy.
When I heard that Whole Foods and Vega teamed up to create a juice bar at the Cambie location… I got a little excited!

The Vega team and I met to chat ways of keeping healthy and fit over the holidays.

With Vega Team Sarah Skalzub & Jaclyn Cummings

With Vega Team Sarah Skalzub & Jaclyn Cummings

Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Vega Educator Sarah Skalzub shares here:

Michelle Morton: I found last year juicing was extremely popular.  What is the difference between juicing and making a smoothie?

Sarah Skalzub: “When you’re making a smoothie, you’re consuming the whole fruit or vegetable.  So you are getting the fibers in there, you are getting the protein in there.  You are getting a better well balanced nutritional profile by consuming the whole food.”

MM: What are your favourite superfoods that you like to add to your smoothies?

SS: “I love using hemp seeds or hemp hearts, those are great additions. They really kind of boost up the consistency and make your smoothie a lot thicker; they’re a great source of protein, great source of healthy fats.  I also love adding chlorella to my smoothies as well.  So chlorella, not a whole lot of people are familiar with chlorella, but its a microscopic algae and it’s like nature’s multivitamin; it’s so jam packed with vitamins and minerals and enzymes,  so it’s definitely a great addition.”

Green Goodies!

Green Goodies!

MM: Yes, I’ve heard of chlorella.  I add spirulina to my smoothies for an extra kick of protein and, I love it, I always feel energized.  What is the difference between chlorella and spirulina?

SS: “Basically spirulina is higher in protein, chlorella is higher in chlorophyll.  Chlorophyll is an antioxidant; great for cellular repair and cellular rejuvenation.  Something else that’s cool I want to point out, is that our new formulation of Vega One, that’s going to be in all the smoothies at the Cambie smoothie juice bar location, has both spirulina and chlorella.”

MM: What is your favourite smoothie to make?

SS: “I’m a huge fan of green smoothies.  So the greener, the better. For me, I will toss everything that I can into there.  There is one smoothie, The Stanley Park smoothie, at the Cambie smoothie bar that is definitely going to be my new go to.  The Stanley Park is your go-to green smoothie.”

MM: What’s in that one?

SS: “In the Stanley Park, there’s almond milk, there’s bananas, some spinach, flax seeds, chlorella, so added chlorella, and than the new formulation of Vega One french vanilla.”

MM: Where can we go to find more smoothie recipes over the holidays?

SS: “Myvega.com has an amazing recipe centre.  So all you do is log on to myvega.com, highlight the recipe centre icon and you will get a ton of smoothie recipes that have been created by our Vega staff from all throughout North America.  So you are getting a wide variety of smoothies; There are green smoothies or something to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

MM: It’s no secret Vancouverites are always in a rush to go somewhere.  How do you suggest being prepared in advanced?

SS: “Pre-portioning is great for someone always on the run. What I’ve done before is kind of frozen my fruits and vegetables into pre-frozen smoothie packs so I can just grab that package, throw it into the blender, blend it up and then you’re good to go.  You can also bring it to work with you as well, so that’s a great option.”

MM: Being surrounded by all these holiday treats is not easy! Haha what is a way we can avoid binging on all the sugar to avoid those holiday pounds?

SS: “This is something that I think everyone struggles with.  I always notice over the holidays, especially if you go away to visit family or if you have family come and visit you, if you have some house guests, schedule some time to be active; whether it’s packing your gym clothes when you go to visit your family or scheduling some family activities when you have them come to visit you; go snowshoeing, go snowboarding or skiing or ice skating.  Just make sure that you’re still adding that activity there throughout the holidays.”

MM: Are there any foods or snacks that you can include into your diet to help you curb those cravings?

SS: “Yes, for sure.  I always find during the holiday season, it’s so easy to be tempted to graze and snack all the time, because there are so many treats around you, so I always make sure before I’m going to a holiday party or get together, I make sure that I’m having a snack before I go out or a light meal, like smoothies. Those are a great option because they are light and you won’t feel super heavy or weighed down. Adding some proteins and adding healthy fats into your smoothie will help keep you feeling full and satisfied and less likely to graze on those holiday treats.”

The Stanley Park Smoothie

The Stanley Park Smoothie

MM: I like the sounds of those outdoor activities, I’ve been wanting to try snowshoeing!  What are some indoor options to try?

SS: “Yoga is great, I love yoga, and especially in Vancouver where there are so many studios. Go to a hot yoga class, it’s absolutely amazing if you’re wanting to feel like you’re in a tropical atmosphere for a little while. Hit up your local gym, those are some great options.”

For more plant-based nutrition tips, you can follow Vega on Twitter @VegaTeam and VegaVancouver || Instagram @Vega_Team

My Favourite Smoothie Recipe:

1.5 Cups Almond Milk
1 Leaf Kale
1 Tsp Spirulina
1 Cup Frozen Berries
1 TBSP Organic Almond Butter
2 TBSP Hemp Hearts and Chia Seeds
1 Scoop Vega One French Vanilla

BIG Thank you to the Vega Team!

MMXO

Video: Raincouver Umbrella Etiquette

I love Vancouver.  I even sometimes love the rain, especially when I go running.  Those times, however, when I am without my car and I’m walking to my destinations in pouring rain- not so much… especially those times when I almost lose an eye because someone is not watching where they are going…

Time to set the record straight.

Big thank you to the team at The Umbrella Shop!

 

Interview with singer/songwriter Jann Arden: The Arden Collar & Bracelet Indiegogo Campaign

Canadian singer/songwriter and author Jann Arden wrote a new tune by launching an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the Arden Collar and bracelet.

This collar is used as a tracking device for your pet, however, can also be used for loved ones that suffer from dementia or alzheimers disease.

Listen to my radio interview here where we talk about the campaign and what other projects Arden has in the works!

I grew up listening to Jann Arden and her personality and energy is just as captivating as her music!

Interview with The Fox’s Karen Khunkhun: The Covenant House Sleep Out 2014

The Covenant House recently had their annual Sleep Out on Thursday November 20th to raise awareness of homeless youth.  Community leaders, from a variety of fields, united for one night on Seymour and Drake in downtown Vancouver, and experienced first-hand what it is like for so many living in cold and wet conditions.

Below is my radio interview with Karen Khunkhun, who particpated with 39 others, raising over $365,000 dollars for homeless youth and bringing new hope to the streets of Vancouver.

Styling Shaw Vancouver’s Dream Homes Season 3

No pun intended when I say it has been a dream collaborating with Le Chateau and Shaw TV’s Dream Homes’ Bianca Solterbeck and Peter Verge!

We have been having a lot of fun playing with a variety of styles from Canada’s fashion house and their exceptional selection.  The ensembles we chose for each episode compliments our hosts’ personalities, while being on trend and timeless.

Here Bianca and Peter share their favourite looks so far:

BIG thank you to Tyler Hooper for shooting and editing this video!

You can catch Dream Homes on Shaw Tuesdays at 5:30pm & Sunday evenings at 8pm.

MMXO

XPOCITY VANCOUVER

Photo Courtesy @XpocityVan

Photo Courtesy @XpocityVan

Vancouver has an exciting side that I’ve been fortunate to experience by attending events; From elaborate evenings attracting glamour at fashion happenings to grand openings of new restaurants; they get the city buzzing.

While events are always exciting, an element I love is meeting new and inspiring guests that also attend. With that said, I’m happy to share I learned that tomorrow there will be an opportunity for women of Metro Vancouver to unite, celebrate and become inspired by one another!

The Socialettes are hosting the launch of a Women’s Lifestyle Expo, XpoCity from 4 – 10pm at the Four Seasons Hotel to celebrate female leaders in a variety of fields. With a focus of Brand Strategy, Social Media and Business Startups, to name a few. Founders Prianka Dhir and Sonal Haria wanted to host an evening of discovery and, of course, shopping!

When I spoke with co-chair, Prianka Dhir, she said they learned of “American Business Women’s Day” on September 22, however, no celebrations similar in Canada. Dhir and Haria created Xpocity to inspire canadian women of all professional backgrounds.

At the beginning of the event there will be a networking session to provide guests with the opportunity to meet each other and make connections, followed by an evening of pampering, a book signing and complimentary beauty services by vendors.

Also in attendance, will be health and fitness professionals, beauty experts, fashion bloggers and dining experts. For a full list of vendors and tickets, click here!