Thank you for visiting! Walking the Walk is meant to be a source to assist you in your quest for a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Through my own lifestyle, I hope to give you creative ideas that make adopting a healthier, more holistic lifestyle as enjoyable and easy for you as possible!

Friday, June 29, 2012

I Almost Forgot...

Happy Pride, Everyone! If you aren't aware, Toronto has the 2nd largest (after New York City) Gay Pride Parade in all of North America!  Pride helps teach tolerance and equality by allowing people to feel comfortable being their authentic self.  Sadly, this human right is still seen as a "luxury" in many cities across North America.  Sometimes it's easy to look the other way on an issue when you don't personally know anyone dealing with the negative effects.  I've linked a video of a very adorable couple who helped organize the very first Toronto Pride Parade so that you can put a face to an issue and hopefully realize we're all people and we're all in this together.

Is "Kellog's" French for "Big Fat Liars"???

I'm sure you can tell from the title of this post that I'm a bit angry.  I have news, dear readers, of yet another corporation that is lying to their unsuspecting consumers by telling them that a product they sell is healthier than it actually is just to get their slimy hands on a few dollar bills.

I'm sure you've all heard of the cereal Kashi.  They seem to be everywhere now and they're making pasta and pizza crusts and god knows what else.  Turns out the only thing they can't seem to make is truthful labels.  What's going on? Well, Kashi has always sold itself by claiming to be natural and wholesome.  So many of their customers misbelieved that they were making their Kashi products from whole grains and unprocessed ingredients, but alas it is not so.  Turns out Kashi cereal uses GENETICALLY MODIFIED SOY PRODUCTS IN ALL THEIR KASHI PRODUCTS.

So what? Read this article on this smart Danish farmer that stopped feeding his sickly pigs GMO soy feed and they all got better! Hate to break it to you people, but we're animals too and we need good fuel just as much as those pigs.

What is making my SO ANGRY about Kellog's Kashi is that not only did they blatantly try to mislead their consumers, but they also denied their use of GMO soy publicly (aka lying), causing the Cornucopia Institute to publicly release their third party evidence that proved that Kashi was, in fact, using GMO soy.  Think of all those consumers who were trying to make a healthy choice in their lives just to be exposed to this confirmed toxic substance!  It's just as bad as putting lead paint on baby toys, in my humble opinion.  Read the full story by clicking here.

The moral of the story?
If you want to eat any type of cereal, better stick to plain old reliable oats.  Steel cut, rolled or quick it doesn't really matter; you get the fiber and a pure product, with no additives or preservatives and (for the moment, anyways) are completely GMO-free.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Sights of Summer: A Photo Diary

Newly blooming flowers everywhere 

A sun-drenched Fish Creek Park 

 Werewolf stilettos for those warm nights out on the town  

Typical patio scene: a cold beer, a burger and short shorts

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

If You Must Do Dairy...

Silly me, I was so unorganized back in May that I forgot to order my probiotics to take with me to Calgary.  Because I'm a money saving student and only get my supplement discount at the store on campus, I decided to turn to whole foods for my summer probiotic fix.

As many of you will already know, the only food sources that probiotics are present in are as follows:

  • yogurt
  • sauerkraut
  • kombucha 
Kombucha in Calgary is horribly overpriced and I never liked the taste of sauerkraut, so I've opted for the yogurt.  Remember, I always suggest organic animal products since they have the highest amount of nutrients and lowest amount of toxins.  However, because I am lactose intolerant I couldn't eat yogurt made from cow's milk.  What was I to do?

Lucky for me, I found probiotic sanctuary in the form of Goat and Sheep Milk Yogurt!  Here's the skinny: if you are intolerant to cow products, first try sheep products.  If you are still intolerant, your last chance is with the goat products.  Scientists hypothesize that the sheep and goat genetics are closer to humans than cows, making their milk more easily tolerated in human stomachs.   If you are still bothered by the goat products, you may be out of luck and have to resort to plant based yogurts.  

I buy my goat milk yogurt from the Farmer's market and my sheep milk yogurt from the Community Health Food Store.  Both organic, both unflavoured with no added anything.   I eat 8 ounces of yogurt every morning with my oatmeal and fruit and my tummy feels fantastic.

Who knew?  

Goats are cute, no?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rockin' the Rockies

Map of the Kananaskis Hiking Trails

The best thing about Calgary is its proximity to the Rocky Mountains.  This past Sunday, I went on a hiking excursion with a group of very fit 50 year olds in the Kananaskis Provincial Park.    There are a plethora of trails to choose from, but we decided to hike the circumference of Upper Kananaskis Lake, an easy 6 hour hike.  Upon speaking to the park ranger, we were informed that a portion of the hike had possible avalanche warnings so we decided to avoid that section and thus our hike only ended up being 4 hours ("only", haha).  It was an amazing group/day/experience with the company being well matched and the weather bang on (ie. no rain!).  Luckily, I brought my trusty iPhone with me to treat you to some of the breath-taking views.  Enjoy!

 View from the parking lot

 Misty mountains

Hello, sunshine! 

View from our lunch perch
"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not."          ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

And This Too Shall Pass

This summer, one of my side projects is to study and understand addiction.  I've come to realize that many modern day addictions, whether it's alcohol, drugs, food, shopping, sex etc., are simply a way to numb the addict from the unpleasant feelings in life.  The only problem with this method of coping is that it's two-fold.  You see, when you numb yourself to the bad you also numb yourself to the good.
"Men do not like to feel themselves in danger.  Yet, it is because there are real dangers, real failures and real earthly damnation that words like victory, wisdom or joy have meaning.  Nothing is decided in advance, and it is because man has something to lose and because he can lose that he can also win."               ~Simone De Beauvoir
Basically, if your life was a perfectly flat road, you would be horrifically bored.  You need to experience the highs and the lows, the uncertainties and the sureness, in order to experience life.  If you do not do this, you cease to live.  And as Jack London once eloquently observed "Man is meant to live, not merely exist".   I can only speak for myself of course, but today I choose life.  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sock-It-To-Me: My Newfound Love of Sockeye Salmon

The facts:
Wild Sockeye Salmon is in season until September.
Wild Sockeye Salmon is full of healthy omega 3 fats.
Wild Sockeye Salmon tastes phenomenal.

I am in heaven!  The best place in the city of Calgary for fresh, wild Sockeye Salmon is Blu Seafood & Market.  Phone up Maurice and gush to him about how much you adore his Sockeye Salmon and he will put aside the biggest side of Salmon that he receives that morning so that you can make your "world-famous" cedar plank Salmon for your dinner party guests that very evening.  That is what I do and both me and my dinner guests have been ridiculously happy ever since.  Hopefully this continues for the entire summer and I get as much heart healthy and incredibly delicious Salmon as I can get my hands on.

Salmon on the Cedar plank, ready to go on the BBQ.

Blu Seafood & Market
9675 Macleod Trail South
Calgary, AB

Ode to Olive Oil: Soffritto Olive Oil Review!

My newest purchase: Cinnamon Pear White Balsamic and Blood Orange Infused Olive Oil

How I adore Olive Oil, it is truly a magical oil and because of its many health promoting properties it's really no wonder Homer dubbed it "liquid gold".  Did you know that only 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil a day can lower your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose levels in as little as 2 weeks? Some people are even able to take Olive Oil instead of Statins (talk to your ND about this!) and therefore never have to risk the nasty side effects of prescription medications.

The problem isn't with taking it (2 tbsp a day is easy if you make it into a dressing for your salad!) but rather the problem is finding REAL, QUALITY OLIVE OIL amidst the world wide Olive Oil scam that was described in Tom Mueller's book Extra Virginity: Truth In Olive Oil.  Basically, there are people out there that are selling you something labelled as pure extra virgin Olive Oil but is in fact only about 30% Olive Oil and 70% heart clogging oils like Sunflower, Safflower, Soy and Canola oils.  And these people are actually....THE SUPERMARKETS!

Yup, because there are no laws that limit what you can put on an Olive Oil label the big shady multinationals are constantly selling people an inferior product that is actually incredibly unhealthy in order to make a few million dollars.  Completely unethical and heart breaking (quite literally), I know.  

The good news? You can find little shops run by people who are ridiculously passionate about offering a real and honest product because they love the taste and want you to love good food too.  In Calgary, one of these shops is called Soffritto and it is run by an uber passionate, super friendly, extremely knowledgeable man named Gordon.  Gordon deals with high quality olive oil by sourcing it from the orchids directly and cutting out the middle man so that he gets all the high quality olive oils delivered fresh to his store.  Not only does he offer traditional Olive Oils, there are also infused Olive Oils (blood orange and truffle, to name a few) as well as a plethora of gorgeous Balsamic Vinegars.  Soffritto saves you money and ensures freshness by offering their oils and vinegars in big bulk canisters that they use to fill individual dark glass bottles to keep the light out (remember, light and heat make your Olive Oil go rancid more quickly).   Check out some of the different flavours below.

Raspberry Balsamic 

Dark Espresso Balsamic 

My favorite: Traditional Style Balsamic.  There are no words...

The man himself: Gord making a kick-ass Quebec cheese tray (Soffritto caters,too!)

Truly life changing and if you are in Calgary, you'll want to check out Soffritto.  If you aren't in Calgary but have a bit of money to spend, you can give Gord a call and he will ship you out anything you want!

380 Canyon Meadows Drive SE
Calgary, AB