Feature, Interviews, Lifestyle, Products, Uncategorized, Vancouver

Planting the seed

I try to live a very active lifestyle, but the summer can be hard! There is always so much going on. Some weeks are great; out hiking and eating well – and then there are other times with the ‘vacation mode’ mentality… deciding to just slack off and indulge.

So it comes down to balance. As much FUN as the summer has been, and I hate to say it, I’m sort of ready for the fall and to get back a bit of a routine.

Give me 3 months and I’ll be singing a different tune.

Getting back to balance – like most of you, I like to know what I’m eating, read labels, know where my food is from etc. Since I don’t eat animal products (meat, dairy, gelatin, fish etc). I need to make sure I’m getting all the nutrients I need, especially to be fuelled for all that I do.

That said, I’ve been a fan of Vega for years; vegan and a local company – are just a couple of reasons why I dig them. I’ve been lucky to meet the Vega team and to collaborate on projects with them too.

READ MORE: Fit for the holidays with Vega, Smoothies with Vega on Novus TV, Surfing in Tofino #MMxLB

That’s how I met rock star nutritionist – Bridgette Clare! Let me tell you a little bit about B…

Bridgette Clare

(Jeremy Jude Lee)

Bridgette is a nutritionist and instructor at Spin Society in Vancouver.  As a nutritionist and an indoor cycling instructor, she ensures that people are heard and encouraged to be their best self. Bridgette has an outstanding background in nutrition, she attended CSNN where she graduated as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and went on to be a Product Specialist. Now she’s the Customer Experience Team Lead at Vega.

Teaming up again, we’re chatting all plant-based tips!

MICHELLE MORTON:  Let’s start with some myth busting! So often I hear vegans don’t get enough iron, calcium, protein, or become low on energy. With that said, what are the most common concerns you’ve heard from people wanting to cut dairy and meat from their diet?

BRIDGETTE CLARE: I love myth busting! A concern I often hear is “will I get enough protein?” With a balanced diet, you get the protein you’re looking for. There’s a world of protein options out there. I love plant-based protein because it has what you’re looking for – the amino acids needed to help support muscles, without compromise.  If you’re looking to up your protein game I love Vega Sport Protein with 30 grams of plant-based protein coming from a blend of pea, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed and alfalfa.

MM:  How do you track if you are getting enough nutrients? Do you have any apps that you prefer to use? 

BC: My app space is reserved for Instagram so I don’t use any food tracking apps. I’m a believer in eating a balanced diet loaded with fruits like cotton candy grapes (yes – cotton candy grapes! You can find them at Whole Foods. They’re honestly the best grapes I’ve ever had) and veggies like broccoli.  If you have specific nutrient concerns, I recommend that they work with their health care practitioner, a nutritionist or a dietitian to create a plan that works for you.

MM: What are the benefits of living a plant-based lifestyle? 

BC: Variety is the spice of life and there’s so much variety with plant-based foods.  The biggest benefit is enjoying delicious plant-based foods every day.

MM: How do you transition your diet to plant-based?

BC: Start with one plant-based meal a day!  Starting your day with a smoothie made with real whole food ingredients can be a great way to get started. If you’re feeling up for a challenge — Take this 7 day smoothie challenge. 

MM: What are some key foods you always have stocked in the kitchen? 

BC: Oh man, there are so many. My husband loves coconut water so that’s always in the fridge. I’m a huge Mexican food fan so I always have beans, corn tortillas, shredded cabbage, cilantro and fresh salsa on hand.

MM: Being vegan really is more than whipping up yummy smoothies and flavourful salads – and I always see you posting a variety of fun meals and recipes on myvega.ca, where do you get your cooking inspiration from?

BC: I get my inspiration from Instagram (Erin Ireland is a source of constant inspiration), my friends and fellow Vega recipe creators like Sarah Skalzub. Speaking of, if you’re looking for a dish to make for your next potluck or even for dinner tonight check out her Savory Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms.

MM: Summer is coming to an end, and now that we are getting to our regular routine again, how do you stay on track preparing healthy meals with a busy schedule?

BC: I always take a step back and look at my week ahead before planning my meals for the week. If you have a lunchtime meeting on Tuesday and a big family dinner out on Friday, incorporate those into you plan. Knowing what you’ve got going on will help you decide how much you need to prep for the week.

MM: For those days you’re in a crunch, do you have any favourite on the go snacks you like to take with you?

BC: Yes! I always have chopped veggies, olives and washed fruit in my fridge so that a snack is never too far away. I grab something out of the fridge before I head out the door.

MM: Where is your favourite restaurant for a vegan dish? 

BC: I love, I mean love smoothie bowls. My all-time fave dish is the Dessert Sunrise Bowl from Choice Health Bar on Maui. If you can’t get to Maui there are loads of places to pick up a smoothie bowl in Vancouver and you can easily make them at home too.

MM: Now let’s be real, it’s hard be 100% on your healthy game 365 days a year – so how do you satisfy your sweet tooth when you want to cave?

BC: Two words: Smoothie Bowl (what can I say – I love them)

And a BIG Thank you, Bridgette!!

You can find Bridgette online too: Twitter/Instagram @Bridgettelclare and find more of her recipes and tips at myvega.ca/blog

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Feature, Fitness, Interviews, Radio, Television, Uncategorized, Video

Up to speed…

I’m back again! …Again!  The past several months have flown and it’s exciting to see what’s changed, and what’s to come.

Before I update you on what I’ve been up to, I will note that I don’t consider myself a blogger (power to you ladies and gents who rock theirs on the daily!), so I don’t know how consistent I will be updating the site moving forward, but I will be as much as time allows.

When I used to blog (a LONG time ago) it was very inconsistent, mostly because I never felt fully fulfilled with the content I wrote about – don’t get me wrong, it was fun, but I wanted to write about more – just didn’t know what.

Now I found my niche.

I love sharing my work, discussing relevant news and sharing my passions/hobbies – and talking about what the Best Coast Vancouver has to offer.

You’ll see what I mean as time goes on – lets get to the now.

I’m so happy to share that I am part of the Corus Entertainment family with AM730 as a Traffic Anchor (follow on Twitter @AM730Traffic).  I can’t even put in words how rewarding it is to work with my awesome team and to be reporting here in Vancouver.
I am extremely fortunate to be in the same building to work alongside the talented reporters/announcers at CKNW, CFOX and Rock 101.

Then this happened – Guest Co-Hosting #SWSTV with my buddy Adam Baldwin (@fatandbrown) from the The Jeff O’Neil Show!

You guys need to watch these videos – HILARious and Adam drops them every Friday with Silly, Weird, Strange, Trending, Viral stories! For more – go to The Jeff O’Neil Show’s page (@JeffONeilShow).

Here is a couple videos we shot:

The new pizza app for your smartphone:

annnnnnd…

Working for Netflix as an Instagrammer:

In September I joined the City Lights roster at Novus TV (@NovusNow) where I mostly produce/report fitness, nutrition and a little bit of entertainment. The very talented team is an absolute pleasure to work with; they’re open to ideas and creating eccentric content.

Here are a few of my favourite segments, and of course for more, go to Novus TV’s YouTube channel.

Novus TV goes to Vega Headquarters to learn all about making the perfect smoothie:

Keeping our fitness on ‘track’ with Eastwood Cycle:

Turning up the heat at Oxygen Yoga & Fitness Yaletown:

In a couple weeks I will be sharing some more exciting ‘news,’ so stay tuned!

MMXO

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Feature, Fitness, Interviews, Lifestyle, Vancouver, Yaletown

A new way to sweat in Yaletown

I’m not going to lie, I felt so cliche while I was walking to my Oxygen Yoga class! Blonde girl walking to a yoga studio, with a yoga mat, black leggings, hair in a top knot, Lululemon bag and a green drink in hand. I feel like if I threw the Valencia filter on myself, it would of completed my look!

Days are shorter and that cold crisp feeling is back in the air, but when I walked into Oxygen Yoga and Fitness studio – it felt like summer again! Owner Kate Marshall, this blue-eyed bombshell, welcomed me with a big hello and I immediately felt pumped for a work out!

I couldn’t help but note how the studio was so trendy with funky lights and high ceilings, which made sense after Kate told me Janelle Langevin of Elle Creative Inc. designed the studio.

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“We coupled with a contractor, Eco-Construction, who also builds Kit & Ace stores for them, so it was a really good synergy working for them… and we did try to go with a lot of really natural elements, so natural cork floor, all of our benches and majority of our counter tops are Douglas Fir live edge from Nelson, B.C.”

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Growing up on the island, Kate was constantly involved with competitive sports (full contact football and rugby) playing on national teams in the U.S. and Cayman Islands.

“I always did yoga to compliment all the craziness that was going on with my body. So whether it was concussions or tears or sprains, yoga was always something that I went to to make myself feel better. It always made me feel super rad!”

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Script Work @kalbarteski

Vancouver has almost as many yoga studios as it does Starbucks, including Y Yoga, Westcoast Hot Yoga and Chopra Yoga. Why Yaletown – location of all locations? Kate smiles and tells me that she loves the city and wants to be in the mix, to build a name for her passion project, in arguably the hardest market to open a yoga studio.

“I don’t want a walk in the park! I know that sounds weird, but something that’s a walk in the park is boring.”

With big players in the ring, Kate explains to me that she doesn’t look at them as competition, she is focussed on making her studio unique by offering a variety of classes; from relaxing hot yoga to butt-kicking fitness with cardio and weights.

The studio is fully equipped with 31 spa grade infrared panels. Kate explained these panels are what you would find at an infrared spa or in the same environment that a physiotherapist would prescribe for an injury.

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“Your traditional hot yoga room heats the air around you. You start sweating to cool down. That’s really how being in a hot studio, or a hot area works. The infrared, what it actually does, it’s actually centrally heating your muscles. So it heats an inch and a half to two inches into your skin, gets your muscles working and that’s what you actually feel that heats you up.”

Kate explained there are more benefits for the body from infrared heating:

-Skin Detoxification
-Promotes Immune System
-Overall Health

Flashing a smile, Kate tells me I’ll feel it during the Fast & Furious Fusion class I signed up for.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was told this particular class is a combination of yoga, pilates and fitness. I knew I was going to feel it after the long weekend!

When I walked into the studio, I told my reflection in the big mirrors staring back at me – lets do this!

It wasn’t until I set up my mat that I began to feel the warmth in my body, unlike other studios I’ve been to where you feel the heavy humidity in the air.

There is Kate getting ready with a headset and house music playing loud – I don’t think we’re in just any regular yoga class, Toto.

My butt got handed to me! Kate kept me going with upbeat energy, good music and constant body movement. You name it, we did it. Anaerobic moves from weighted squat jumps to pulsing yoga moves.

At the end of the night I felt badass and ready to take on the night, farthest from a calm yogi.

Oxygen Yoga and Fitness is having their Grand Opening this Saturday, September 12th from 10am – 4pm. I highly recommend checking it out!

You can follow Oxygen Yoga and Fitness online:

http://www.facebook.com/oxygenyaletown
@OxygenYaletown

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@OxygenYaletown

MMXO

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FOOD, Interviews, Lifestyle, Video

Feature | The Juicery Co.

The Juicery Co. opened their 4th location in Kitsilano since launching in February 2014 and I had the opportunity to learn about their driving force that inspires them everyday.

Big thank you to Christina Prevost and Alex Troll for sharing your story!

Co-Founder Christina Prevost, myself & Co-Founder Alex Troll

Co-Founder Christina Prevost, myself & Co-Founder Alex Troll

Photo By Christina Prevost

Photo By Christina Prevost

MMXO

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Interviews, Lifestyle, Radio

For The Record: Dining & food trends with Erin Ireland

Hola!

Spring is back and I am loving every moment! Hiking, running the seawall and, of course, hitting the patio with my girlfriends.

I had the opportunity to chat with Food Reporter Erin Ireland on Evolution 107.9’s For The Record and she gave me the scoop on exciting new restaurants and food trends to watch for this season.

If you missed it, you can listen here!

For more information on dining events throughout the mainland, food trends, restaurants and more delish news- check out Erin’s website To Do For! Or you can find her on Twitter @ErinIreland.

Enjoy!

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FOOD, Interviews, Lifestyle

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

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