Category Archives: Healthy Eating

More Herbs, Less Salt Day: The Benefits of Eating Less Salt

We’ve all been there; “this sauce needs just a little extra… something.” This conundrum usually results in a generous sprinkling of salt. While salt is usually able to provide that ‘je ne sais quoi’, too much of it can wreak havoc on our bodies. Overconsumption of salt can result in a plethora of negative side effects, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and even obesity. LiveScience states that an approximate 50-70 million people in the United States alone suffer from high blood pressure and hypertension. High blood pressure is often referred to as a silent killer, as many people aren’t even aware that they suffer from the affliction. Many times we don’t realize how much salt we’re consuming, since 75% of sodium consumed is by way of processed or prepared foods. Based on this, we certainly do not need to be adding extra salt to our diets! So what’s the alternative? How can we get that extra dose of flavor without damaging our health? It’s easier than you may think – herbs and spices! Here are a few scrumptious spices that will keep your recipes heavy on the flavour, and low on salt.


Oregano: One of the most commonly used herbs, oregano is a great way to add flavor and seasoning to most vegetables and meats (especially lamb). Oregano is easy to keep on hand in dried format and pairs well with other herbs such as thyme, basil, and garlic.

Rosemary: Traditionally added to sauces and marinades, rosemary also makes a great addition to meat rubs in lieu of salt. Although rosemary is most fragrant when fresh, it’s also great to keep on hand in dried format.

Ginger: Add a fragrant burst to a stir-fry or vegetables with some fresh ginger. Although grating fresh ginger can be tiresome, there are inexpensive and organic minced ginger options available for purchase in a jar! Ginger packs a strong punch in small doses and adds an exotic kick to most vegetable dishes.

Basil: Just like rosemary, basil is best used fresh! However, basil is still great to use in sauces and salad dressings to increase the flavour. Basil is also great to mix with pine nuts and olive oil in a quick pesto to top pizzas, fish, and meat.

Cilantro: Fresh cilantro packs a potent punch. If you’re looking to add a kick to rice or noodle dishes, then cilantro is the perfect mate. Whether fresh or dried, the unmistakable flavor will ensure you’re not missing the taste of salt!

Citrus: While herbs and spices are an incredible way to amp up the flavor in your dishes, citrus will also do the trick! Adding lime juice, lemon juice, or even zest from the rind will help create complex flavors. Don’t underestimate what a squeeze of lemon over your poultry or pasta can do!

On your next adventure in the kitchen, don’t be afraid to skimp on the salt and experiment with spices! This will help tremendously in lowering your sodium intake and increasing your overall health. What are your favorite spices? Share them with us on Facebook!

Cut Costs and Your Waistline: 5 Yummy Lunch Ideas

Sunday meal prep is a great way to save on both time and money. We all know how tempting it is to spend that $10 on a pre-made salad, or splurge on a lunch out with coworkers. Alas, we have a better option for you! As hard as it may be to believe, making a delicious, but also creative, lunch can actually get you excited to eat at your desk! Here are 5 of our favourite desk lunches that will keep your waistline and wallet happy!


  1. Asian Salmon Zucchini Noodle Bowl

A delicious low-carb noodle option! Spiralizing zucchini is so easy, and a great way to get your necessary greens!



  1. Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

Crunchy, fresh, gluten-free, and vegan! This delicious salad is yummy enough to take for a whole week. Load it up with limejuice and cilantro, and you’re good to go!



  1. Protein-Packed Tuna Salad Pita

Lemon and olive oil are a delicious and healthy substitute for mayo in tuna salad. Serve in a whole-wheat pita and voila! A high protein, low calorie lunch option!


  1. Thai Peanut Soba Noodles

Love pad Thai? This healthier take is easy to make and is an excellent lunch option! What’s better? It’s recommended you enjoy this dish cold – no microwave or re-heating necessary!



  1. Asian Fried “Rice”

This recipe incorporates everything you love about comfort food, without the guilt. Take away the greasy fried rice and sub in cauliflower rice instead! This makes for a low-carb lunch that will keep you energized all day.



If you’re looking to not only eat better, but also increase your overall wellbeing, consider a QRay bracelet!Learn more about the QRay difference.

The Paleo Diet: What You Need to Know

It seems like every week there are new fads, detoxes and diet trends. One of the most buzzworthy as of lately is the Paleo diet. Haven’t heard of it? Here’s what you need to know! pLEO

The ‘Paleo’ diet is short for Palaeolithic diet and is based on food that our ancient ancestors would have eaten. Sometimes the diet is referred to as the caveman diet having the foods included in its regimen consisting of meat, nuts, berries and other things our ancestors may have hunted and or gathered. The Palaeolithic era that the diet is based on occurred approximately 10,000 years ago. The logic behind this diet suggests that the drastic change in diet from the Palaeolithic era until now have been responsible for modern disease such as type 2 diabetes, most autoimmune diseases, heart disease, and obesity in general. Advocates say that during this era humans were at their most healthy and fit and thus we should be eating the food that our genes evolved with. Furthermore, it is believed that even today, humans are maladapted to eating food items such as dairy, processed sugars, refined oils, grains, legumes, and even corn. The Paleo diet stipulates you must refrain from eating:

  • Dairy

  • Grains

  • Corn

  • White potatoes

  • Legumes

  • Refined sugar

  • Refined oils

  • Processed foods

  • Alcohol


So what can you eat on the Paleo diet? The diet revolves around healthy fats from natural sources, natural carbohydrates derived from fruits and vegetables. Compared to many other diet plans, the Paleo diet incorporates more protein as a staple. Approximately 20-35% of the Paleo diet revolves around meat and seafood. The diet also calls for a reduction in carbohydrate intake and starchy fruits and vegetables. Many proponents of the Paleo diet boast that unlike many other fad diets, it’s much more sustainable for long-term adherence. This is because unlike other fad diets that have the end goal of weight loss, the Paleo diet promotes an actual lifestylechange. Now this doesn’t mean going to your local supermarket and picking up any meat from the butcher and assume you’re accommodating a Paleo lifestyle. The idea is that you’re sourcing free range, hormone free, naturally fed animals. For example, bacon has had a bad rep for being greasy and fatty. In actuality, bacon is high in healthy, saturated fats that aid in the functionality of the brain, bones and almost every cell in your body. What the diet doescondone a lot of is: fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, eggs, nuts (excluding peanuts which are technically legumes), seeds, animal fat, avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, unrefined seed and nut oil, honey, and last but not least, maple syrup.


Here are some helpful guidelines to follow for developing a Paleo lifestyle:

o   Accept that fat is not a bad thing. Animal fats and saturated fats are healthyand actually good for you. Just make sure they come from well treated, grass or grain fed animals.

o   Protein, protein, protein! Make sure your diet includes plentyof organic chicken, beef, pork (especially the fatty cuts), eggs, and wild caught seafood. Bonus: the bones can make an excellent broth!

o   High starch vegetables such as yams and sweet potatoes are an excellent source of good carbohydrates.

o   While eating in this manner is healthy for the human body, the key to this diet is portion control. Especially regarding items like nuts; eating too many can result in calorie and fat overload. Exercise self-control in snacking and portion size!

o   No. Added. Sugar. Perhaps one of the hardest parts of being Paleo is cutting out sugary fruit juices, soft drinks, and pre-packaged sweets.

o   Cut out dairy! Except butter.

o   Get used to cooking big batches of food. Take the time consuming effort out of cooking Paleo meals by making big batches of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks on Sundays. This will save you time and money throughout the week while also preventing cheat meals and overeating!

o   Easy rule of thumb, if it comes in a box don’t eat it! To ensure you stick to your diet guidelines it’s often easier to prepare meals and snacks yourself.


Do you have any must-try Paleo recipes? Share them with us below!


The Most Versatile Veggie: 7 Scintillating Cauliflower Recipes

You may have avoided this veggie as a kid, but it’s time to give it a second chance. That’s right, we’re talking about cauliflower! There are so many other ways to prepare cauliflower aside from simply steaming or eating raw. Don’t believe us? Check out these 7 mouth-watering recipes!

  1. Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Rice Collard Wraps

Step up your lunch game! This delicious low-cab option will have you satisfied until dinner. Check out the recipe, here.


  1. Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Cauliflower Rice

The perfect side dish is here. Warm, healthy and filled with (vegan) cheesy goodness! Why not make some for dinner tonight? Find the recipe here.


  1. Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Who doesn’tlove Buffalo wings? This is a much healthier option! All of the spicy, yummy crunch without the deep fried calories! Want to make these? Here’s the recipe.


  1. Beet Pesto Cauliflower Pizza with Greens

Cauliflower can be more than a side dish; it also makes a great crust. If you’re a pizza lover and are looking for a healthier option, look no further! Check out this awesome recipe here.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 11.24.29 AM

  1. Cauliflower Breadsticks Recipe

Make pasta night a little bit less heavy. We all love dunking gooey breadsticks in our pasta and sauce, but it can be a carb overload. To enjoy a lighter version of breadsticks, check out this recipe!


  1. Cauliflower Crust Pizza Bagels

Everyone knows the only thing better than a bagel is a pizzabagel. These make the perfect snack or appetizer while watching the game! Find the recipe here.


  1. Vegan Cauliflower Tacos with Creamy Vegan Slaw

If you thought you tried every kind of taco – think again! Cauliflowertacos. That’s right, a delicious new twist on classic. Interested in trying out the recipe? Check it out here.


Have you tried any creative cauliflower recipes lately? Share with us on our Facebook page!

9 Mouth-Watering Healthy BBQ Recipes

It’s almost summertime, and that means BBQ season! While burgers and hotdogs are classic BBQ staples, why not take a healthy approach? A healthy BBQ doesn’t have to mean a sad salad and some wilted veggies; there are somany delicious alternatives to grill up! Here are some of our favorites:


  1. Quinoa and Edamame Salad with Basil, Mint, and Lemon


Let your Aunt Martha down easy when you tell her to not bring her ‘famous’ ambrosia salad to your next family BBQ. This delicious salad is a healthy and delicious addition to your veggie burger!


  1. Sweet Potato Burgers with Edamame Guacamole and Portobello Buns


This recipe is sure to impress anyone. Talk about a new take on burgers!


  1. Beets with Tahini


A sweet and simple side dish that not only adds a punch of color, but flavour as well!


  1. Moroccan Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers


An alternative to an alternative, these stuffed peppers are sweet, spicy and tangy!


  1. Vegan Asian Style Coleslaw


A lighter take on a classic BBQ favorite! You won’t even miss all the mayo!


  1. Apple Fennel Seitan Dogs


If you’ve been shying away from veggie dogs, this recipe will definitely change your mind!


  1. Sweet Zucchini Relish


The perfect BBQ topping – zucchini relish! This yummy alternative to regular, boring relish will soon become your summer go-to!


  1. Watermelon, Mint and Feta Salad

watermelon salad

Is it a side dish? Is it a desert? It’s both! Though an unusual combo, we promise that this salad is sure to please any BBQ attendees!


  1. Homemade BBQ Sauce (Sweetened with blueberries)


That’s right – blueberries! This homemade BBQ sauce is gluten free and paleo! This summer you’ll be putting this stuff on everything!


Do you have any favorite summer BBQ recipes? Feel free to share them with us on Facebook!

10 Foods That Make You Happy

We all know that food has the power to improve our day – whether it is a special treat or a warm, home cooked meal. But did you know that certain foods are scientifically proven to boost your mood? Here are 10 of them:

  1. Chocolate

You’re probably thinking, “Duh, who doesn’t take a bite out of a chocolate bar and feel an instant dose of happiness?” According to science, eating just over 1oz for 2-weeks everyday can actually help to reduce stress hormones!

Chocolate with Cocoa

  1. Oranges

Even thinking about oranges just makes you feel happy! These tangy treats are chalk full of B6 and folic acids, vitamins which have shown to be lacking in people who suffer from depression.


  1. Tea

Like a warm hug in a mug, there are few things as soothing as a cup of your favorite tea. To help clear your head, it is suggested that 5-6 daily cups of either oolong, green or black tea will help to improve your alertness and attention!


  1. Saffron

Now this may surprise you, but some researchers believe that this special spice has the same mood-lifting effects as Prozac! Most notably, saffron has been known to reduce symptoms of PMS, depression and mood swings.


  1. Honey

Well, it certainly makes everything sweeter! It is suggested that depression is a symptom of low-grade inflammation. Luckily, honey is packed full of compounds to help reduce inflammation.

dripping honey

  1. Avocado

We all know avocado is brimming with deliciousness, but it is also full of serotonin which is a neurotransmitter associated with happiness!


  1. Chia Seeds

Many of us add a spoonful or so to smoothies to pack an extra punch, but did you know they’re filled with omega-3s? If you’re not into fatty fish, stock up on chia seeds!


  1. Greek Yogurt

Disturbances in your body’s calcium levels can actually have a negative impact on your mood and contribute to anxiety, depression, irritability and slow thinking. Fortunately, Greek yogurt has a huge amount of calcium and digestion boosting probiotics!

Greek yogurt with honey

  1. Coconut

With such a tropical scent, even just the smell of it can be uplifting! We’re not joking – simply the smell of coconut can reduce anxiety induced ‘fight or flight’ responses in times of stress.

Coconut on wooden background

10.   Carbs

Its no surprise that your favourite comfort food may provide some instant gratification, but healthy carbs can actually help in producing serotonin!

garlic bread and Chili Spaghetti

What foods make you happy? Share them with us on Facebook!

5 ‘Meat’ Dishes That Are Actually Vegan

Being a vegan doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy dishes that are traditionally made with meat! There are plenty of delicious and healthy meat substitutes that taste just as good (if not better than the real thing!) Here are 5 of our favorite recipes to try out!

  1. ‘Meat’ loaf with crispy onion rings and mashed potatoes


  1. Kimchi and Coconut ‘Bacon’ Grilled Cheese


  1. Black Bean Burgers


  1. Pulled ‘Pork’ BBQ Burgers


  1. Baja ‘Fish’ Tacos with Lime Cumin Slaw


Diet Tips for Cold Prevention

As the winter season is upon us, it is no secret that cold and flu season is upon us as well. While we may think we know all there is about cold prevention, here are a few tips to ensure you stay in tip-top shape throughout the winter months!

winter diet tips

1)      Eat Phytochemical Rich Foods

Phyto means ‘plant’ and this natural chemical in plants gives vitamins found in food a super charge! This means don’t sub in vitamins or supplements – go for the real deal. Lots of dark green, leafy veggies this winter!

2)    Cut down on alcohol intake!

Alcohol effectively suppresses the immune system and dehydrates the body. Neither of these things make it likely that your body will be able to fend off cold and flu attacks. Cut back and improve your chances of staying healthy!

3)    Garlic, garlic, garlic!

Garlic is well known to boost your immune system and increases resistance to infection. Bryan Rade, a naturopathic doctor based in Halifax. “If you happen to come in contact with a flu virus, [garlic] can help destroy it before it becomes a full-blown flu in the body.” Cooking Tip: Make sure when using garlic in your cooking to crush with the side of your knife in order to release the immune boosting juices into your cooking! An alternative, if you’re brave enough, is to chew a raw clove of garlic every 3-4 hours to get the maximum benefits of garlic!

4)    Lots of Liquids

Any (decaffeinated) liquid will keep your mucous membranes moist, whereas dry nasal passages and throat can be a breeding ground for cold and flu bugs. When your mucous membranes are moist, they are then able to trap the cold and flu viruses. Another tip, when choosing a juice, make sure to choose unsweetened or low-sugar juices!

5)      Honey

If you start to feel a cold coming on, skip the usual cough medicine and try some old fashioned honey! It is suggested that one to two tablespoons straight from the jar mixed into a cup of tea can be just as (if not more) effective!

6)      Don’t Cut Calories
A study in mice showed that mice who were on low calorie diets took longer to recover from cold and flu symptoms than those not, so skip the diet until after flu season!

7)      Vitamin D
For people who are not deficient in vitamin D, it can be a great prevention tool, but for the 40% of people in Canada  and the US who are deficient, it can be nothing short of miraculous in terms of preventing cold, flu and respiratory infections. The winter months are short on the sunshine, and therefore leave us low on vitamin D. In order to ensure you’re getting enough, eat lots of oily fish such as trout, salmon and tuna!

8)      Spice it up!
People tend to forget that spices are a treasure trove of health benefits. In terms of cold and flu, there are numerous spices (maybe in your kitchen right now!) that can keep cold and flu symptoms at bay. Doctors suggest that adding spices such as oregano, mustard and thyme to your everyday cooking can actually help to boost your immune system!

9)      More fruit!
In the winter months, people tend to neglect their fruits and veggies, which is the exact opposite of what you should be doing! Studies suggest, “People who ate three or more servings daily had 25% fewer days with respiratory symptoms during cold-and-flu season than those who ate one or fewer. The vitamin C content may provide part of the punch, but fruit also contains polyphenols, which have antiviral properties.”

10)  Protein!
The less protein you intake the more of an effect it will have on your immune system! Protein is the building blocks of infection fighting antibodies, so it’s an important factor in cold and flu prevention. Fish and yogurt are all relatively high in protein and make a great supplement to your existing diet.

In addition to a healthy diet, you can also optimize your natural positive energy with a QRay bracelet! To learn more about our product, visit our website! Have any other tips for beating cold and flu season? Share them with us on Twitter or Facebook!

10 Vegan Desserts to Try Tonight

We all enjoy something a little decadent every now and then, so why not indulge in a healthy way? Vegan recipes, especially desserts, have become masters of disguise in terms of replacing healthy sugars and fats with healthy alternatives. Here we have compiled a list of 10 yummy and healthy desserts for you to try out tonight!

1. Maple Walnut Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Think it’s too good to be true? Think again! This vegan cake is also cholesterol free and filled with delicious chocolate ganache!

vegan cake recipe

2. Raw Almond Joy Bites

A new take on a classic favorite sweet! These bites are gluten free, vegan and even dairy

almond joy

3. 5 Ingredient Red Velvet Fudge

Rich, chocolatey, smooth – and vegan! What makes it red? That’s a secret you’ll have to find


4. Brownie Cake with Raspberry Chocolate Frosting

You’d never guess this gooey, sweet treat is vegan!

vegan chocolate cake

5. Salted Caramel Maple Nut Clusters

5 ingredients + 10 minutes = caramel maple nutty goodness!


6. Caramel Apple Pie Milkshakes

Vegan, gluten-free and no bake! Everything you love about apple pie… in milkshake form!


7. Double Glazed Pumpkin Scones

A yummy sweet vegan treat!

vegan pumpkin scones

8. Dark Chocolate Avocado Pudding

A desert that is equal parts decadent and healthy!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Draft Blog Post for Review: December, 2014.

9. Vegan Pear & Fig Tart

A delicious and vegan play on the traditional Tarte Bourdaloue!

vegan tart recipe

10. Fudge Butterscotch Brownies

‘Nuff said – who doesn’t love vegan brownies?!

vegan brownie recipe

14 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes That You Will Love

Eating a great meal without meat is a fantastic way to make sure that you’re loading up on the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs! If you aren’t a vegetarian, you might think that meatless meals can be bland or boring, but these recipes will definitely convince you otherwise. We’ve put together a collection of some of the tastiest and most interesting vegetarian recipes available! Take a look and think about what you can make for dinner tonight! Hungry yet?


1. Broccoli Quinoa Burgers

2. Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili with Avocado

healthy vegetarian chili recipe
3. Vegan Chili

delicious vegan chili recipe
4. Vegetarian Spring Rolls

spring roll recipe
5. Sweet Potato Burrito

creative burrito recipe
6. Eggplant and Kale Parmesan

vegetarian lasagna recipe
7. Panko Mozzarella Sticks

mozzarella stick recipe
8. Swiss Chard Frittata

healthy fritatta recipe
9. Caprese Garlice Bread

healthy garlic bread recipe
10. Healthy Mac and Cheese

healthy mac and cheese
11. Fried Avocado Tacos

creative healthy taco recipes
12. White Pizza Dip

healthy pizza recipe
13. Butternut Squash Lasagna

healthy lasagna ideas butternut squash
14. Crispy French Toast

creative french toast recipe

Which was your favourite? Did we miss any recipes that you love? Let us know!