Week 57 1/2- FODY Foods for sensitive tummies!

If you ever had food intolerances, you may be familiar with the low FODMAP Diet.

Never heard of a low FODMAP diet?

It’s basically a temporary restrictive elimination diet that can assist with identifying the source of any digestive pain you may experience.

Having been feeling random cramping for some time, my doctor prescribed this diet! He gave me the Low FODMAP name, told me to study the details and follow-it for the next few months.

As I was reading up on it, I reached the Do Not Consume food list:

No apples, no dattes, no mushrooms, no garlic/onions, no lactose, no honey, no lentils, no wheat and the list goes on and on. 

“Woah, what is there left to eat? Just meat?! Sigh… so much for sticking to a more plant-based diet, luckily it’s temporary.”

After two weeks of filtering the grocery aisles, it became clear that the only way to eat while following this diet is by making your own food. The large majority of snacks, condiments, pre-made items contained something high in FODMAPS which means it’s off limits. Although I always recommend cooking fresh and healthy meals yourself,  it’s also a good thing having a few items on hand that you know you can safely consume or snack on. That’s when I discovered FODY Low FODMAP Food Co. and not a moment too soon!

Week # 53 Challenge (Part 2) – Test FODY Foods products!

Full-disclosure: I was sent these low fodmap items at no cost by low FODY Food Co.

What is FODY Foods? It’s an online store that specialises in low FODMAP snacks and condiments. It’s the only store of it’s kind that I discovered caters to Canadians.

Types of products

  • Spice mixes
  • Sauces
  • Salsa
  • Snacks
  • Soup bases
  • Garlic infused Oil

The FODY Low FODMAP FOOD Co. offers a 10% discount (enter code: happy10) for your first time order and free shipping for orders above 75$!

The shipping to my house was incredibly fast, I got it the next day! When I opened the box, I was thrilled to see snacks, steak spices and OMG yes Ketchup!! In case you didn’t know, all grocery store Ketchup (including the organic varieties) contain garlic or onion powder which has to be avoided at all cost. Meanwhile, potatoes are part of the “Things you can eat”. What are homemade fries without ketchup?!

Snacks

Snacks of all kinds are available on the online FODY Food Shop including Trail Mixes, Granola Bars and BBQ Chips. Perfect for TV watching, at work or anywhere on the go!

Not the best lighting, it gets dark so early these days!

You know these are amazing when even your cat tries to grab one!

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The Mockingbird Trail Mix (red packet) contains delicious ingredients like dairy-free chocolate, banana chips, salted nuts… yum yum yum! On a day I was running late, I just grabbed a FODY bar or trail mix and a fresh fruit and had an instant breakfast on the go. Simple as that!

Steak Seasoning

I was looking through my pantry and realised, I have plenty of spice mixes but all of them (aside from the Italian seasoning) have garlic/onion powder.. useless I tell ya! Getting a chance to try a FODY Steak Spice Blend Seasoning was wonderful..

I went pretty generously and was surprised at how spicy it made the steak. I really enjoyed it. If you prefer milder less spicy tastes, just add a little dash here and there.

Ketchup

Ketchup is a staple item that you find in pretty much all households. The Fody Ketchup tasted very similar to the original. The boyfriend, who was curious, tried it too and totally agreed!

I love the products so much I already have my next order lined up, don’t forget to use the 10% off (enter code: happy10)!

They sell a cool BBQ Cookout Set for $64.99 which includes 8 Fody Food Products, a beach ball, cooler bag and 21 Low FODMAP recipes to try!

All Fody Food products are healthy, taste great and what’s best is that they are good for everyone. So if you find yourself sensitive to food or looking for digestion-friendly options when recovering from a flu or hang over even, Fody Food Co. products are your best bet!

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Week 57 – Ottawa based Gluten-Free treats!

Finding great gluten-free bread, cakes, pies and more in Ottawa is no easy task. If you are, or have ever had to eat solely gluten-free foods, you understand how limited your options are to this day.

Is gluten-free just a trend? Not at all! The reason most people resort to gluten-free items is simply because it aids your body with your overall digestion.

Whether you maintain a gluten-free diet for medical reasons or simply by choice the obstacle remains:

Where can I find delicious and affordable gluten-free food in Ottawa?!

Week # 57 – Try Pete’s Gluten Free Products!

As I was searching, I came upon Pete’s Gluten Free which is located in Ottawa. After touching base with the owner, Pete, I scheduled to come in one night to get a feel for this local business!

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What is unique about Pete’s Gluten Free?

  • It’s a bakery that is certified gluten-free, nut-free and peanut-free.
  • The base of all their products is a S.M.A.R.T. flour made of Sorghum, Millet, Arrowroot, Brown Rice and Tapioca. It’s a unique blend developed by hollistic nutritionists.
  • It took 6 months and 600 batches to develop their bread line. That is dedication right there!
  • All of Pete’s Gluten Free items are free of GMOs and are created to include plenty of protein, fiber and grains.
  • You get comfort in knowing that each recipe was created to reduce risks of inflammation and has health benefits for everyone!

What items do they make?

  • Pizza crusts
  • Breads (pumpernickel, quinoa, sandwich, buns, etc.)
  • Desserts (including cookies, cupcakes, pies, etc.)
  • Meat Pies
  • Custom Cakes
  • S.M.A.R.T flour blend bags
  • and more..

Coming soon: pies and scones in 5 different flavours (keep an eye in the freezer isle)!

Where can I purchase these?

I was under the impression that most of their products were sold at their new facility but many local businesses actually carry Pete’s Gluten Free line. They can be found at Farm Boy, Independent Grocers and various Natural food stores – list of retailers here!

*For the freshest batches, keep in mind that Tuesdays and Fridays are the days deliveries are made in store!

If you prefer online shopping, products are available for purchase on Pete’s Gluten Free order page.

Can’t find a specific product or looking for custom orders? Simply contact Pete’s Gluten Free: info@PetesGlutenFree.com. He will be happy to help!

Pete’s Gluten Free location

They recently left the Ottawa Market and moved to:

5390 Canotek Road – unit 20, Gloucester ON, K1J 1H8

Product testing Time

On Friday, I stopped by Farm Boy to pick-up a fresh loaf of bread! I purchased Pete’s Gluten Free Sandwich bread to make.. oh you guessed it: sandwiches!

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I kept the it simple home cooked chicken breasts, Pete’s Gluten Free sandwich bread (toasted), lettuce, mayonnaise, a dash of salt & pepper with a side of steamed vegetables!

Honestly this bread was really really good! Something about the density and texture made it so enjoyable, unlike most other gluten-free breads I’ve tried!

Cost? It’s a bit pricey, at $6.99 a loaf, but it’s an average price tag in the gluten-free world. You can freeze it too, so you don’t waste a single slice!

Overall, I would say my first experience with Pete’s Gluten Free was a success, looking forward to trying more… especially those pies once they are released!!

 Week 56 – Soap up from head to toe, naturally!

It’s been a long day.. you’re cold, your skin is getting dryer by the minute and all you want to do is clear your mind?! That’s when your shower comes in. Perhaps you prefer morning showers which, to be fair, are a great way to kick-start your day! No matter your preference, one thing that can really transform your cleaning routine is what you choose to clean yourself with…

To the gentlemen reading, don’t be fooled by the pink, I dedicate a paragraph below to you as some of the products cater specifically to men!

Week #58 Challenge: Discover a local bath and body company – Pink Soapworks

As anyone would, I took to google to conduct a search on local bath product companies and Pink Soapworks caught my eye! I touched base with the lovely owners, Lori and Kristin, and next thing you know I was chatting over coffee with them!

What is Pink Soapworks?

A line of natural and homemade bath and beauty products based right here in Ottawa.

What products do they carry?

  • Goat Milk Soaps, bath bombs, deodorant, lip balms, body butter and much more. See the Pink Soapworks Catalogue to view them all!

For gentleman, you can find beer soap (contains real Belgium Citrus Beer), beard oil and don’t forget bath salts to sooth those strong and aching muscles too!

 Pink Soapworks fun facts

  • This business started out of the blue when Kristin and Lori, who were only colleagues at the time, both took an interest in soap-making classes!
  • Both owners continue to develop new bath and body items and carry signature items around various holidays!
  • On top of using natural ingredients they try to use as many locally sourced ones as possible! Such as the honey, Sunflower oil and Apple products that are produced at nearby farms.
  • The Goats milk used in their products is actually coming directly from one of the owners, Lori’s, farm. She has 15 goats currently which are all loved and well taken care of. See for yourself (Warning: cuteness overload ahead):
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Picture taken by Lori – Cranberry Barn

I was kindly offered a box of goodies, at no cost, which contained four of their signature natural products including:

Rosey Orange Body Scrub (8oz glass jar)

Rewind Aging Face oil (30ml glasss jar)

Apple Cider Goats Milk Soap bar

Peppermint Green Tea Goats Milk Soap bar

I was so excited when I received the box, I took a moment to read about each product and set everything up to enjoy them in the following weeks! Bath time….

Product Experience

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I used the Rosey Orange Body Scrub in my bath every two/three days. img_1351-4

Instructions: Rub the product onto your skin, in a circular motion, and rinse.

My skin felt so soft and a tad bit oily, and I had no dry skin on my legs. The orange/floral scent was really nice and fresh, other scents are available too! I think spacing the use of scrubs is ideal to avoid irritation if your skin is sensitive and also means your product will last longer!


As for the Rewind Aging Face oil, I’ve been using it every night!

Instructions: After cleaning your face, you only need two or three tiny drops on your hands and you gently apply it to your skin.

I have a combination of dry and oily skin and I was nervous about applying oil! I hardly ever use creams or moisturizer on my face because the shiny look is definitely not for me. Turns out, this product doesn’t make your skin look oily at all, just helps moisturize! Oh and the smell is incredibly soothing. I didn’t think I would like this product and turns out…… I LOOOVE IT!

As for the soaps, I used the Peppermint Green Tea Goat milk mostly in the morning as it’s a more vibrant scent and applied the Apple Cider Goat Milk Soap bar at night! The soaps lather well and do no irritate your skin at all. You can also use the Apple Cider soap as a shampoo bar, which makes it a versatile product perfect for traveling!


Soap tip: You can increase the lifespan of your soap bar by slicing it in smaller pieces. Simply run hot water on your knife, dry you knife and slice your soap into pieces.

Purchase options

Products are available online by shipping (free with $100 purchase), by pick-up at two locations in Ottawa (no additional fee) and at multiple retail locations.

Make sure to go visit the Pink Soapworks kiosk at these upcoming Holiday Craft Fairs:

Holi-yay Freewheeling Christmas Market
November 26th, 10am – 4pm

613flea Christmas
December 2nd, 10am – 5pm

Mac Fair Christmas
December 2nd

Pink Soapworks bath and body items make a fun, useful and natural Christmas gift or stocking stuffer for your friends, family and even colleagues. For gift baskets or specific requests for yourself even, simply contact Lori and Kristin as they will be happy to personalize your order or gift!

You can feel great knowing that your purchase also helped support a local Ottawa business that is run by two wonderfully dedicated and caring women!

Stay tuned – I will be hosting a giveaway with Pink Soapworks products within the next weeks!

Isabelle xo

Week 55 – Submerged in Nordik water!

Oh baby, it’s getting cold outside and the need to stay warm is imminent. Not to worry, I have an activity for you that will do just that and so much more. I was granted a very luxurious opportunity which I turned into a solo escape, such a daredevil at times I know 😌 But in all honesty, it gave me a different appreciation for this beautiful facility and made it clear that you gain something entirely different from visiting alone, with a friend, a group or a partner!

Week # 55 challenge: Spend an evening at the Nordik Spa-Nature!


Full-disclosure: the majority of my experience was offered at no cost by Nordik Spa Nature.

If you haven’t yet been, you should know that Nordik Spa-Nature in Chelsey, QC is a one of a kind indoor and ourdoor spa in the Ottawa/Gatineau region. It offers an escape from our stressful daily lives and is luckily just a short drive away. It offers all kinds of luxurious services, one of which I was introduced to during this visit named the Källa treatment but I am getting ahead of myself…

Pre-visit

With all that Nordik Spa has to offer, it’s worth exploring the website to plan what you want to incorporate during your stay. Also, consulting the site map is a great idea since there is so much to try.

My self-established itinerary included:

 5:30pm: Arrive, change and begin with a Källa treatment

6:30pm: Begin my thermal cycle experience

8:00pm: Dine at one of the four Spa restaurants

( Restö, Mëzz | Café, Lounge Panorama, Biërgarden)

8:45pm: Take a last dip in a hot tub of choice

Keep in mind that Nordik offers many more amenities including health and wellness retreats, yogaovernight accommodations, massages and body treatments.

I booked my stay at the Nordik Spa-Nature, early evening on Friday, so I headed there directly after work! I had packed everything ahead of my visit:

  • Extra Towel (one is provided on site, along with a wristband lock) √
  • Bikini √
  • Flip Flops √
  • Bath robe (You can rent one for 12$ – they are so soft) √
  • Plastic (not glass) water bottle (can be refilled on site) √

During the visit

I arrived, changed and was ready in no time to begin. I wanted to respect the no phone policy and so I had to be strategic when capturing a few pictures.

A quick little shot before accessing the outdoor site!

 

Källa Treatment

First, I tried the Källa Treatment; a salt-water floating experience. This treatment can be added to your bath pass at a discounted rate and will compliment your thermal experience or can be purchased as a standalone 60 minute treatment.

Being in the pool felt surreal, it was a really unique feeling being able to float! I hung on to the side of the pool to avoid accidentaly drifting and making contact with someone but as you get more comfortable just let go! Whatever you do, avoid contact with your eyes.

Thermal Cycle Experience 

This spa is renowned for it’s thermal cycle experience where you expose your body to warmth, then cold followed by rest!

Step # 1 –  Sauna (15 min.): There are a total of 7 saunas/2 steam baths to choose from, three of which I describe below.

First Cycle: I  started in the Banyä sauna, it was dry, warm and incredibly humid. Although I am not a big fan of humid heat, the temperature (between 95 °C to 100 °C) in this room was heavenly. You may find breathing in the humid/warm air a bit difficult, just take deep breaths and that should help! Not to be too graphic but I was shockingly soaked after 15 minutes and actually ready to take on the cold bath..

Second Cycle: I tried a sauna infused of essential oils called Aromi. A change of light in that sauna is accompanied by a new natural aroma. The heat was much milder (between 60 °C and 65 °C) and found it more comfortable.

Third cycle: On my last turn, I opted to try the Tuli Sauna. This sauna has a beautiful fireplace and is a bit warmer then the Aromi sauna (between 85 °C and 95 °C)! It’s a silent sauna but, as luck would have it, in came a group of social butterflies celebrating a friend’s birthday. We were the only ones occupying the sauna so we may or may not have chatted a bit!

Step # 2 – Cold bath ( 20 to 30 seconds): After each sauna, I slipped on my bathrobe and flip flops and walked over to one of the 4 cold baths!

First cycle: I made my way to the Tempër bath (it’s the least cold bath at 21°C)! I was so warm after the Banyä Sauna that I managed to immerse my entire body. Give this step a chance and listen to your body. You may be surprised to see that you get accustomed to the cold rather quickly.

Second cycle: I skipped this step and that’s ok, you get to customize your very own thermal cycle as you see fit.

Third cycle: I tried the Kylmä bath, a glass above ground bath which is slightly colder at 15°C. I dipped my toe to determine just how cold it was – dip toe- “Woah… that’s cold alright”! I managed to put both my feet in for a 15 seconds and well that was it for me.

Step #3 – Rest (15 min.): This is the best step in my opinion. Over the course of the night, I tried all three relaxation areas.

First cycle: I made my way to the Borëa area, a whisper zone. I opted for the Kaskad hot tub since it was a perfect contrast to the Tempër cold bath.

Second cycle: Panorama area, a social zone, was my second rest stop! An ideal stop to socialize and have a drink. I went into the Näkymä, a large infinity pool, which gave me a perfect view of the stars ✨!

Third cycle: On my last cycle I visited the Kaskad area, which is the quietest space, to rest. It’s great for reading and taking in the scenery. I just sat in front of a fire there before heading to the Panorama Lounge to eat.

Dining

After all this, I was ready for dinner. I chose the Lounge Panorama with it’s darker more cozy atmosphere. I ordered a Sweet Potato Burrito and the waitress had no problem slightly altering the item, no onions for me!


It was delicious and filling, I only finished half of my plate.

It was so relaxed that I opted to head home after my meal, but the facility was still active with music and lights. It was a perfect end to a long week!

New and Upcoming Attractions

Banyä Treatment – Starting November 7th, 2017

Yoga Sessions – Available on weekends

Health and Wellness Retreats – Various dates

Rates and Packages

They offer services for all price ranges and found the costs for the services, restaurants and boutique items all very fair. Massages are administered by registered massage therapists (RMTs) on site; therefore, if you require a massage for medical reasons this is by far the best place to go!

If you are ready to live a soothing spa experience or want to offer it as a Holiday gift by purchasing a gift certificate, make sure to have a look at Nordik Spa-Nature’s current rates and packages. You can book here right now!

A special thank you to Marianne for coordinating this special Nordik Spa-Nature evening visit! It was a truly memorable experience and looking forward to many more visits!

Isabelle xo