TACO NIGHT WITH WALMART.CA GROCERY PICK-UP

Taco Night with Walmart.ca Grocery Pick-Up

Every year I set a handful of New Year’s resolutions, many of which are rolled over from the previous year. One of these consistent resolutions is always to eat healthier and exercise more. 2017 is no different. This year, I’d like to make being healthy a priority. Being a food blogger takes a toll on my body (waistline), especially when it comes to alcohol and salt intake. I’ve gained a few pounds last year, my pants are getting snug and my coats have been clingy. For 2017, my goal is to get back to being comfortable in my own skin. Since I know I’ll still be eating out plenty, my focus will be on mindful eating because I have a tendency to snack when I’m bored, sad or happy.

One way I’m planning on staying on track is to prep my meals ahead of time whenever I can. This will hopefully help me control my eating without being super time consuming. I’ve already started the habit last year and it’s been working well so far! With prep, one of the musts are big grocery hauls. Since I live in North York with limited access to a car, this can sometimes be a challenge. Grocery pricing in my neighbourhood is also ridiculous. It’s common for a single lemon to be priced at $1 or even higher. Walmart.ca‘s online Grocery PickUp service is a huge help, giving me access to their affordable prices, without needing to drive.

Walmart.ca’s Grocery PickUp site was incredibly easy to use with a great search functionality. I placed my order at 10pm and was able to schedule to pick-up the order after work the next day. There are currently 4 PickUp locations around the city from Harbourfront to Yonge and Eglinton and three condos that will receive direct deliveries. The PickUp service had a great selection of grocery products, everything I needed from fresh vegetables to ground beef, and both national brands like Boursin and Walmart’s Great Value line of products. I loved that there were also organic and lactose free products! I was able to get lactose free sour cream for The Hubby.

Prices online matched their in-store pricing and Walmart.ca even offers price matching with their competitors. Regular and sale prices were clearly marked on the website, with the final price on the emailed receipt. I would love to see how much I saved as well. When I arrived at the pick-up location, my groceries were packed in shopping bags making them easy to carry home and kept fresh in a refrigerator. Orders do need to reach a $50 minimum to qualify for pick up and there is a $3 pick-up fee, or $10 direct to condo.

A quick and easy recipe that’s part of my meal prep rotation is taco salad. Swapping out the taco shell for a bed of leafy greens and limiting the fattier toppings makes this a delicious and vegetable filled dish. Also, depending on what you have in your fridge, it’s easy to customize your salad and add a bit of variety through the week. My go to toppings are avocado, diced tomatoes, cilantro, onions and salsa. Optional toppings include sour cream and cheese, but that depends on what other meals I have planned that day.

Tip: If you’re packing this for lunch, pack the ground beef, onions and cilantro is one microwaveable container and heat up all together. This cooks the onions and cilantro in the juices of the ground beef and adds a level of flavour.

I also like making my own taco seasoning, which gives me the ability to control the amount salt in it and increase the spice. You can also make a big batch of seasoning and save in an airtight jar for later. The recipe I use is:

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

I’m starting 2017 motivated and inspired, hopefully this lasts past February (*fingers crossed*).

This post is sponsored by Walmart Canada as part of the Walmart Grocery PickUp program. In exchange for this post, I have received perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.

Taco Night with Walmart.ca Grocery Pick-UpTaco Night with Walmart.ca Grocery Pick-UpTaco Night with Walmart.ca Grocery Pick-Up

MAKING HOLIDAY PARTIES EASIER WITH PURE LEAF TEA

Making Holiday Parties Easier with Pure Leaf Tea

Every year, The Hubs and I love hosting a small group of friends for New Year’s Eve that’s filled with food and a well stocked bar. While he cooks, I’m usually in charge of plating cheese, charcuterie and pouring drinks. For us, the biggest challenge is balancing the time we spend prepping in the kitchen vs actually hanging out with our guests. The key to solving this problem, shortcuts! Like using Pure Leaf flavoured tea as a mixer.

This summer I worked with Pure Leaf to create three iced teas using their 100% real brewed tea. One of these drinks also works perfectly for the upcoming holiday season and can be even more streamlined! Combining a few simple ingredients with Pure Leaf lemon tea creates the perfect beverage for any #HolidayParTea or cozy night in.

When I first made my Ginger and Lemon tea cocktail, I used a simple syrup infused with ginger and Unsweetened Pure Leaf Lemon tea. To save a step, supplement the simple syrup with ginger beer and normal Pure Leaf Lemon Tea. I liked a 1:1 ratio of ginger beer to tea, which was the perfect sweetness for me. If you feel like you need a bit more sugar and have the time, you can add a few tablespoons of simple syrup or honey. With a shot of vodka, the tasty, spicy drink will warm up anyone on a cold day. It’s also incredibly fast and easy to put together, giving me the time to enjoy my company rather than only serving them.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Pure Leaf Canada. All opinions expressed are wholly mine.

Making Holiday Parties Easier with Pure Leaf TeaMaking Holiday Parties Easier with Pure Leaf TeaMaking Holiday Parties Easier with Pure Leaf Tea

STAYING HYDRATED IN THE FALL AND WINTER

As my lips begin to dry, and skin begins to flake, I know there’s no denying it. Winter is coming. With the wind outside turning cold and brisk, and the heating in my condo kicking into high gear, my body needs every drop of water it can absorb. While I unpack my humidifier from storage to keep me misty on the outside, I also try to stay hydrated from within by guzzling plenty of water. However, I’ve recently changed jobs at work and often find myself in back to back meetings, which makes getting my daily fill of water more challenging. I have to remind myself the importance of staying hydrated and prioritize my water bottle as important as my cellphone.

Staying Hydrated in the Fall and Winter

Staying hydrated isn’t only good for chapped lips and dry skin, but helps with weight loss, body temperature regulation, energy levels and headaches. Dehydration can even affect your mood and make you more vulnerable to colds.

Some tips on staying hydrated through the colder months include:

  • Reusable Water Bottles: Since I’m often away from my desk, having a water bottle to tote around the office is key. Indigo has an awesome selection of stylish water bottles, turning the container into a cute accessory. I’ve also been known to re-use 1L Evian bottles, which are sturdy and easy to carry.
  • Fill up at the start of the day: Sometimes, I forget to drink water until I realize I’m parched at the end of the day. To fight this, I try to fill up a 1L water bottle at the start of the day and again at lunch so I always have water on hand, even if I don’t leave my desk for hours at a time.
  • Get your water content from fruit: If you’re The Hubby, who hates drinking plain water, try eating fruit that’s high in water content like watermelon.
  • Infuse water with flavours or try coconut water: An option for those who get bored with just water is to add a squeeze of lemon or lime to their glass. Coconut water’s also a great option that’s also a great source of vitamins and electrolytes. Thirsty Buddha’s new All-Natural Coconut Water with Watermelon adds a touch of sweetness to each sip.
  • Tea: If cold drinks aren’t your thing, switch to tea. I am in love with all the berry flavoured teas from David’s Tea.

However you do it, staying hydrated in the cooler seasons is just as important as the hotter ones. I even have calendar reminders to keep me drinking throughout the day.

Staying Hydrated in the Fall and Winter

Disclaimer: A sample of Thirsty Buddha All-Natural Coconut Water with Watermelon was provided complimentary by Buddha Brands Co. All opinions expressed below are wholly mine and not indicative of the opinions or positions held by Buddha Brands Co.

EAT TO THE BEAT 2016 GIVEAWAY – CLOSED

Hands down, Eat to the Beat is The event of 2016 that I am looking forward to the most. The evening, supporting the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, features delicious sweet and savoury treats from 60 of Toronto’s top chefs (who happen to also be women). To date, the event has raised over $3.9m to help support people living with breast cancer. This years event will be held at Roy Thompson hall on November 1st.

Eat to the Beat 2016 Giveaway – Closed

I had the honour of attending last year’s event and was blown away by every aspect of the evening, from the food to the incredible positive and fun energy. In addition to food and drinks, a wonderful tradition of the event are fun, food inspired corsets created and modelled by cancer survivors. 

Participating chefs include RenΓ©e Bellefeuille (Art Gallery of Ontario); Alexandra Feswick (The Drake Hotel); Lauren Mozer (Elle Cuisine); Bonnie Gordon (Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts); Jacqueline Lo (Ruelo Patisserie); Emma Beqaj (Emma’s Eatery Catering); Donna Dooher (Mildred’s Temple Kitchen); Nuit Regular (Pai Northern Thai Cuisine); Felicia Derose (Colette Grand Cafe); Alison Ferland (Byblos); and so many more.

Join me for an evening filled with good eats, supporting a great cause! Tickets are $189 and can be purchased online at http://www.eattothebeat.ca/ (a tax receipt will be issued for the maximum allowable amount).

To one of my lucky readers, I am giving away one pair of tickets to the event!

Enter the contest below for a chance to win. Contest closes Thursday October 27th at midnight.
Where: Roy Thompson Hall, 60 Simcoe St, Toronto
When: Tuesday, November 1st β€“ 7pm

Good Luck!
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