Ok friends, I’m just going to say this up front: I’m excited about this post. Our family has been juicing for some time and having the chance to work with a company whose products you love was a great way to kick off this month. Will and I shared a comparison of two styles of Breville juicers on Instagram Stories earlier this month (look under the Food highlights and tap through to see)- our existing, centrifugal juicer and our new slow compression juicer- and I’m now sharing some more information about them, plus giving away a juicer to one lucky Canadian reader!
If you’re interested in trying juicing, or already do, read on to learn more + enter to win!
We’ve been really happy with the juicer we got from Breville five years ago, the Juice Fountain Elite, but we’ve been wanting to try a slow compression juicer like The Big Squeeze for some time. The main difference between the two styles is that the centrifugal juicer (the Juice Fountain Elite) uses rotating blades at high-speed to extract the juice, while a slow compression juicer (The Big Squeeze) crushes and squeezes the juice out. The idea being that there is no heat generated during the process, leaving the nutrients intact.
When we had the opportunity to try out a slow compression juicer, we wanted to test the two juicers to compare and honestly both perform very well, it just comes down to the style of juicer you prefer and what your budget is.
As I mentioned with our existing Breville juicer, the Juice Fountain Elite, that we purchased a couple of years ago, we’ve been very happy and impressed with the quality and performance. Before purchasing Will did research into the different styles of juicers and Breville came back at the top of the list. This juicer still performs great, and we have replaced the filter basket twice simply due to use (which cost us approx $55 CAD each time, an investment we feel was well worth it both times to extend the life of our juicer).
Let the testing begin!
When it came time to try our new juicer, we decided to test them side-by-side and use an equal amount of ingredients for both juicers to get as accurate of a comparison as we could. This was a fun way to try out out new The Big Squeeze while also comparing the performance of two different styles of juicers. Having recently replaced the filter basket in our Juice Fountain Elite it was almost like having two brand new juicers to compare.
Centrifugal vs Slow Compression: The Results
To cut right to the chase, the new The Big Squeeze is quieter than our other juicer and produced more juice with the same amount of produce, and the pulp that was leftover was much dryer (we weighed the pulp from both batches of juice to compare how much moisture was left over, ie how efficient the juicers were at extracting the juice). One item to note in the preparation process for The Big Squeeze is that you have to cut your produce into smaller pieces than with a centrifugal juicer like the Juice Fountain Elite to fit into the shoot at the top, as opposed to simply feeding it straight down. It’s a minor additional step in the preparation, then you simply use the wand to help push the produce down the shoot where it is crushed and then squeezed. (Visit this link for our go-to juice recipe)
To view the juicing process of both a centrifugal juicer and a slow compression juicer, check out the videos on my Instagram Stories under Food highlights. Our family has been very happy with all of the Breville products we have bought over the years, especially the juicers, and we would happily recommend this brand and either of these juicers. Note: A fun bonus with The Big Squeeze juicer is that you can watch the process through the clear shoot, which is something the kids like to watch. Our kids already like to help in the kitchen, but this brings another level of involvement and fun to a healthy food option they can be a part of.
What we liked about this juicer
– yields more juice
– easy to clean
– great value for the price
If you’re in the market for a juicer I highly recommend either of these models, and I feel The Big Squeeze is an exceptional value for what you pay- especially when you take into account how efficient it is in extracting juice. Groceries aren’t cheap and the more juice you can get the better! I’ll include some basic product stats onThe Big Squeeze below, but you can also find both the juicers mentioned in this blog post on Amazon, including product- specific info. One more note: when we bought our originalJuice Fountain Elite on Amazon a few years ago, Will did quite a bit of research and found the reviews very hopeful. It’s definitely worth it to take some time to read them and I hope that this review helps inform your purchase when it comes time to buying a juicer.
What does having a more positive mindset mean to you? A few weeks into the year and I feel like a word that keeps circling around in my head is mindfulness. It was something that I thought about a lot in the second half of last year and I feel like it will continue to be a focus this year, especially when it comes to having a more positive outlook and inner sense of peace and calm.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing your attention to what is happening in the present moment. Not worrying about the past or the future, but being fully present in the now. The idea being that focusing on the present will bring you inner peace and calm rather than worrying about things that can’t be changed in the past, or the ‘what ifs’ of the future. This inner calm and focus takes practice and is developed through practices such as meditation and other actions/ activities, such as breathing exercises.
For me, mindfulness has come to be a daily focus, working towards healthy mental habits. On a good day, it’s a lot simpler, more of an enjoyable habit. On my bad days it’s a constructive, challenging exercise to help manage anxiety and stress. Like honing any habit it takes time and effort, but it’s something I’m making an effort to work on a little bit every day and slowly but surely these efforts are paying off and I am developing new tools to manage my anxiety and counter it in a positive way by redirecting the way I think about things (ie the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘should bes’, etc).
Mindfulness is a word I heard a lot last year, but it wasn’t something I pursued until towards the end of the year. To be honest, I sometimes had a hard time focusing and this is where a lot of my effort comes in. In order to be more positive, more mindful, I needed to turn inwards and focus, not fall into old mental patterns simply because they were my old internal go-tos.
In other words, focus on the present.
Don’t focus on things in the past you can’t change and don’t worry about the future. Easier said than done, but not impossible. By living in the moment, by being present, you can free your mind from things that are weighing you down and infuse more positivity. There are many simple things you can do each day to help create a more positive, calm mindset, and the best part is you don’t need much else outside of yourself to do so.
From chatting with others, I think mindfulness is something a lot of us are thinking about. We’re becoming more self- aware and reflective; we’re looking for ways to bring peace and calm into our lives, and for all the external things we can do, there are just as many internal things we can do as well. Enjoying a happier, calmer, more fulfilling life doesn’t depend on anyone else or our circumstances- though those things can certainly have a big influence- it depends on our outlook and how we travel through each day.
I’m no expert. I don’t have a degree in psychology and I navigate this mindful path anew every day- because what two days are the same, right?- but I can speak from my own experience and share about it here, hoping some of the simple actions and rituals I try to include in each day will be helpful to others trying to focus on the positive, seeking peace, and a more fulfilled, content life not chained by anxiety, worry and stress.
I still have bad days, bad moments, I still stumble and fall. But what I notice is that I can pick myself up a little better, combat anxiety a little easier, and focus on the positive a little faster to pull myself out of a negative thought spiral than I could before. And this is because I’ve made it a personal goal to be more mindful of where my mind is in this present moment, working to keep my mind traveling down a positive path, redirecting it when negative thoughts jump into the mix and try to take the driver’s seat.
So if being more mindful is something you’re also working towards, for whatever reason(s) you’re seeking it out- a sense of calm, better sleep, feeling more content, having a more positive outlook- etc, I hope some of the simple tools that I’ve turned to will also be helpful for you. I try to use methods that can easily be incorporated into my daily routine, but I’m also trying to put aside 5- 10 minutes each day to help focus on a more calm, positive mind space. Nothing over-the-top or fancy, just simple things that add up over time to create positive, mindful habits.
None of these ideas are necessarily groundbreaking, you’re probably familiar with some if not all of them, but the reason I’m sharing them with you is that they have been helpful for me and I have found that over time they’ve become positive triggers for me, working a little quicker, becoming more of a go-to response than that of unease and anxiety. Finding inner calm is unique for everyone, but these ideas will hopefully give you some ideas or have you reconsidering ones you’ve heard of when you hear it from someone who has herself felt overcome and trapped by anxiety and has found ways to combat it through mindful practices.
I would love to hear what you think and what methods you use to create a more positive, mindful mental space for yourself. Have you tried any of these methods? Liked or disliked them? Sharing ideas around this can be so helpful, especially when you realize you’re not alone. So here they are, my 5 favourite mindful habits.
5 Ideas to be More Mindful Every Day
Think: the smell of something baking in the oven, the scent of a loved- ones perfume/cologne, etc- smells can be comforting. Find a scent you enjoy, one that is calming and encourages you to breathe deeply. Essential oils and diffusers are a popular choice, but scented candles, room sprays, and fresh flowers are other options. Take long, slow, deep breaths, calming your mind and body from the inside out
Put aside a few minutes to quiet your mind. Even 5 minutes at the beginning or the end of the day. Think about goals, things you’re grateful for, etc. My mind tends to wander. A lot. So this is a positive, challenging exercise for me and one that I find very helpful. Ideally find a quiet spot to sit or lie down and put on some relaxing music, light a candle, and create a calming space. You can even meditate while going about your day- while making breakfast, sipping your coffee, etc, activities like this are great opportunities to focus on the moment you are in and focus/ quiet your mind without stopping what you’re doing (I find this especially helpful since my anxiety will often creep up during the day when I’ve got things to do and have to find ways to quiet my mind while carrying out my to-do list).
Find Little Rituals
Light a candle, play calming music, water plants, dig in the dirt, or find some other little ritual to help you recenter/ refocus on positive, calming thoughts. Whether you sit and really focus on the activity itself or the action of creating a more calming space helps you subconsciously calm down, seek out visual cues and actions that trigger inner warmth and joy. Really focus on the simple task at hand, noticing little details, redirecting your mind from negative thoughts to become fully present with what is right in front of you. Pay attention to your five senses and try to allow yourself to be fully present in what you’re doing.
Practice an Attitude of Gratitude
It’s a pretty safe bet there will be ups and downs with every day. Some days those highs and lows are more pronounced and others the day seems to coast along nicely. But regardless, a helpful way to bring your mind into a positive space and create a positive mental habit is to think about what you’re grateful for each day. If you prefer to start your day with this practice, great, it’s a solid way to kick off your day. But it’s also something you can do throughout the day when you need a pick-me-up or notice yourself slipping down a negative rabbit hole. I like to think about what I’m grateful for at night before bed, it helps me wind down and sends me off to sleep in a positive mind frame. I have a gratitude journal that I jot bullet- points in, thinking back over the day and pulling out all the positives. Some days I make a few simple, general notes; maybe it wasn’t such a great day, but I find something to remind me of the positives. On others I fill the page, recounting everything from the biggest to the smallest moments that filled my heart that day. A simple little ritual that has had a big impact on my overall mental state and if you haven’t tried this method I hope you do. Even if a day feels hopeless/ lost, something as basic as fresh air, a cup of hot coffee, or hearing a favourite song can be a cue for other things that happened throughout the day that made it a little better. Let the positive flood gates open!
Focus on Breathing
Probably one of the simplest, most self- contained of any mindful practices I’ve come across and found helpful. But in moments of angst and panic this can feel like a much tougher task. Try and take long, slow, cleansing breaths. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Repeat. Feel your lungs and body fill with oxygen, spreading the calm throughout. Sometimes this can help almost instantly and others it takes a longer period, but slowing and concentrating on your breathing can help create an overall feeling of calm.
As I said before, I’m no expert. Just someone looking for methods to help enjoy a more peaceful, content, joy-filled life. Through these mindful practices I am learning how to address my anxiety and stress in a much more constructive way, and breaking it down rather than having it build up and become overwhelming. There are days that are more challenging than others, but the more I work on these mindfulness techniques, the better I feel that I can bounce back.
I hope you find this post helpful. Sometimes simple is better and I am finding that these simple techniques add up to create a big difference. If you’ve tried these methods I’d love to hear if you find them helpful, or if not, what you have found that is.
Hands up who wants to up their health game this year? Before you jump to conclusions and think this will be just another blog post about new year resolutions I want to let you in on a little secret: it’s not. This is about rethinking lifestyle choices on an ongoing basis by making incremental changes- such as giving your body a boost with a shot of plant-based protein in a tasty smoothie instead of reaching for that bag of chips, that bag of candy (hello leftover Christmas candy!), or whatever your naughty snack of choice is.
One thing we notice in our house is a general lack of energy (in the adults that is, the kids- yeesh can we bottle some of theirs?!). Some days are good, but many are clouded with that not enough sleep/ not enough coffee/ can’t wake up fogginess. I’ve enjoyed Botanica’s products for about a year now (see this post and this post) and we have recently been trying out some of their vanilla Perfect Protein Elevated Protein Powder in smoothies. We opted to try the Adrenal Support blend protein powder in a batch of smoothies as a family and everyone loved them. What I love about this plant-based protein powder is that it’s made with whole-food ingredients (quinoa, vanilla, coconut, brown rice) alongside superfoods recognized to improve/ balance adrenal function (more on those later).
Other reasons I love this plant-based protein powder:
I sometimes find that protein powders can be overpowering when you mix them into drinks- smoothies, shakes, etc- but that wasn’t the case with this one. It only made a slight difference to the flavour and texture, definitely not like others I’ve tried where the taste of the protein powder takes over and you’re left with a thick chalky consistency that isn’t very enjoyable. This powder isn’t lumpy or grainy, making it a subtle (and enjoyable) addition to smoothies.
Give your health a boost by rethinking your lifestyle choices.
Botanica has a few protein powders to choose from, but I wanted to try the Adrenal Support blend because both Will and I are working to restore adrenal function in our bodies. So many of us seem to lack energy and/ or suffer from chronic fatigue and blame it on not enough sleep or not enough coffee (who is else is guilty there??), but these symptoms could also be indicative of other underlying imbalances in our body, such as adrenal fatigue. Lifestyle choices such as diet can have a large impact on how our bodies function and the quality of what we put in our mouths plays an important role.
Smoothies are a simple and convenient way to pack in nutrients!
I like smoothies as a quick and healthy snack or breakfast option and admittedly don’t make them often enough. When I saw how much the kids loved the smoothies we made with Botanica’s protein powder it reminded me how great of an option they really are. Even though at this time of year I’m definitely craving warm comfort food, I know I have to make more of an effort in the colder months, because the effort pays off. See below for the recipe we made + find out more about the adrenal-boosting ingredients in this plant-based protein powder.
Frozen Fruit Protein Smoothie
1 scoop of Botanica’s Elevated Protein Powder
2 cups of your favourite frozen fruits/ berries
1 banana (fresh or frozen
1 cup milk or non-dairy beverage of choice
1/2- 1 cup of water (add as needed to reach desired thickness/ consistency)
Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse to help break up frozen fruit/ berries. Blend until a smooth consistency has been reached (Tip: pour into popsicle molds for healthy popsicles!)
About Perfect Protein
Botanica Perfect Protein is a fermented and sprouted complete plant protein blend packed with naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats and fibre. All in light vanilla taste so it’s easy to digest and absorb. Crafted in small batches with just a few simple organic, fair trade ingredients. So good there’s no added sweeteners, not even stevia. Great to add to a smoothie or mixed into milk/ non-dairy beverage.
5…4…3…2…1… Counting down to the new year with a final giveaway here on OHP with JORD Watches! Enter to win a $100 shopping credit for one of their wood watches + everyone who enters will receive a 10% discount! These timepieces are a stylish addition to your accessory collection and if you don’t already own one, their wood watches are great statement pieces.
Kick off the new year in style with JORD’s wood watches!
Whether you’re a New Years resolution/ goal-setting type, or just counting down to the start of 2019, you can stay on time in style thanks to JORD. Choose from a variety of styles for men and women, with many styles available in different colour ways and wood finishes. Once you’ve made your selection you can also customize your watch by having it engraved- perfect if you’re giving as a gift or to mark a special occasion.
A new meaning for arm candy!
I went for the FRANKIE watch with gold details and love the large face, clean design, and dark wood (this colour combination is ebony wood with gold, but the FRANKIE design is available in 5 other colour combinations). It’s a bold piece that stands out and it’s perfect for everyday wear. This is a piece that gets noticed and I receive compliments every time I wear it, whether by itself or layered with bracelets.
Put the finishing touch on your holiday gifting with these cute printable Christmas cards!
Whether you’re at the end of your Christmas to-do list or just getting started, these printable Christmas cards are a sweet addition that you can print right at home! Pick your favourite set or print both, they’re perfect to give to family, friends, teachers… everyone who’s on your nice list this year! Add some fun and cheer to any gift, or insert a gift card (or some cash) for sweet all-in-one gifting.
It’s as easy as click, print + trim!
Each set contains four festive designs plus inserts if you want to add a little extra detail to the inside (or use as envelope labels). Tip: if you want to print multiple sets, upload the PDF file to Staples or another print centre website to save you from using up all your printer ink. I printed mine on a mid-weight paper, but opt for cardstock if you want something a little more sturdy.
Download yours below!
Click below to download these printable Christmas cards!
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