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Springtime In-Season Produce for the West Coast

Happy Meatless Monday!

Although spring isn’t officially here yet, it sure feels like it on the west coast. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of kale, chard, potatoes, and carrots. I want a freakin’ strawberry. And melon.

And rhubarb.

Fruits and veggies always taste better when they’re in season–that’s how you can tell they’re fresh! When your cantaloupe and watermelon start tasting spongy, it’s because they’re old, and out of season. When produce is fresh, it’s crisp and incredibly flavorful.

So when can we expect the first, earliest harvest of this long-awaited season? Pretty soon! Here’s what’s in its prime on the west coast from March until May:

Artichokes

artichoke

Asparagus

asparagus

Fiddleheads

fiddlehead

Kumquat

kumquat

Nettles

nettles

New Potatoes

new potatoes

Radishes

radish

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Curious what’s in season for each month in the Vancouver, BC area? Here ya go (graph from the BC Association of Farmer’s Markets):

Product Season
APPLES AUGUST – JUNE
APRICOTS JULY – AUGUST
ASPARAGUS APRIL – MAY
BASIL JULY – SEPTEMBER
BEANS JULY – OCTOBER
BEETS JULY – OCTOBER
BLACKBERRIES AUGUST – OCTOBER
BLUEBERRIES JULY – SEPTEMBER
BROCCOLI JULY – OCTOBER
BRUSSELS SPROUTS OCTOBER – DECEMBER
CABBAGE JULY – FEBRUARY
CARROTS JULY – NOVEMBER
CAULIFLOWER JUNE – NOVEMBER
CELERY JULY – OCTOBER
CHERRIES JUNE – JULY
CHINESE VEGETABLES JUNE – SEPTEMBER
CHIVES APRIL – OCTOBER
CILANTRO JUNE – OCTOBER
CORN AUGUST – OCTOBER
CRANBERRIES OCTOBER
CUCUMBERS JULY – SEPTEMBER
CURRANTS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
FIDDLEHEADS MAY
GARLIC AUGUST – DECEMBER
KALE JULY – OCTOBER
LETTUCE JUNE – OCTOBER
LEEKS SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER
MELONS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
ONIONS (SWEET) AUGUST – OCTOBER
ONIONS (COOKING) SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER
PEACHES AUGUST
PEARS AUGUST – APRIL
PEAS JUNE – JULY
PEPPERS JULY – OCTOBER
PLUMS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
POTATOES JUNE – OCTOBER
PUMPKINS SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER
RADISH MAY – OCTOBER
RASPBERRIES JULY – SEPTEMBER
RHUBARB APRIL – JULY
ROSEMARY YEAR ROUND
SAGE YEAR ROUND
SALAD GREENS JUNE – OCTOBER
SHALLOTS AUGUST – SEPTEMBER
SPINACH APRIL – SEPTEMBER
STRAWBERRIES JUNE – SEPTEMBER
SUMMER SQUASH JULY – AUGUST
SWISS CHARD JULY – OCTOBER
TOMATOES JULY – OCTOBER
THYME JUNE – NOVEMBER
TURNIPS MAY – FEBRUARY
WINTER SQUASH MID SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER

NEU Skin Botanicals: a product review

NEU Skin Botanicals vegan

Happy Meatless Monday!

Usually I’d talk about food today, but instead I want to tell you all about the latest and greatest skin care product line I’ve been indulging in! I live close to Vancouver, BC, and this product is local for me, which I love. NEU Skin Botanicals makes handmade, all-natural body products that are kind to your skin and smell great.

Here’s why this product is so fabulous: our cosmetic industry is super sneaky, and even when certain products are deemed “natural” or “vegan” or “kind,” it might not mean that they truly are. Something might be vegan, but it can still possess artificial fragrances that can give you hives, or phthalates that are related to cancer development. For a skin care product to genuinely be amazing, it needs to be free of parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, petroleum, artificial colourants, and laureths. All of these chemicals contribute to toxic overload, and should always be avoided if possible.

Fortunately, NEU Skin Botanicals is on it, and the creator describes her product as “natural, eco-friendly, and unprocessed.” Here’s what else the company has to say about their products:

“Tired of applying strange unpronounceable ingredients to your skin? We couldn’t agree with you more! NEU Skin Botanicals handcrafted products give you a wonderful moisturizing and aromatherapeutic experience, using only 100% natural ingredients to smooth, soften and promote healthy, well-balanced skin. Each product has unique healing and aromatherapy benefits. Our products are chemical-free, preservative-free and fragrance-free and are only tested on human animals. We have high standards when it comes to environmentally-friendly packagaing, too. You won’t find any plastic here! We use only recycled and environmentally-friendly packaging like glass jars, reusable tins and recycled kraft paper. NEU Skin Botanicals encourages you to please recycle by providing a $1 off your next order for every jar/tin returned.

Our product line includes our luxury sea salt and sugar body scrubs, moisturizing solid lotion bars, exfoliating shower scrub bars and whipped Shea body butters. Lip Balms – COMING SOON!” *

NEU Skin Botanicals vegan
If you love gorgeous, thoughtful, environmentally friendly, and truly kind body products, you need to check this new company out. Visit their Facebook page HERE. You can order online from them HERE. xo

*Quote taken from HERE

Local Food Products that are Rocking My World

Save-On-foods Vendors

This past weekend, I took part in an event at Save-On-Foods that was promoting local products. I signed Happy Healthy Gut books, and the other vendors were Happy Water, NutraCleanse, and Everyday Superfoods.

It is SO much fun to hang out with people who are like-minded when it comes to health. While the Happy Water reps kept the rest of us hydrated and genuinely happy (they literally danced and hoola-hooped the WHOLE time while playing Top 40), I was fortunate enough to chat for an extended period of time with Tony from NutraCleanse and Gordon from Everyday Superfoods about their products. I decided that this week’s blog should inform consumers of these fairly brand-new products, and perhaps you’ll all fall in love with them as I did.

Happy Water

Happy Water: This product is an award-winning, naturally alkaline lithia water. The water originates from Canada (Kootenay region), and is produced in Vancouver, BC. It contains “naturally occurring lithia, calcium, magnesium, potassium and fluoride.”[1]

For community events such as the one last weekend, Happy Water will send their “Smile Squad,” and the energy and positivity is definitely in the air. For information on how to request the Smile Squad to attend your event, visit http://livehappywater.ca/contact.

The product goes for about the same amount as other bottled waters.

Nutricleanse

NutraCleanse:  Although I’ve seen this natural health product around for awhile, I’d never before tried it, which is VERY unlike me. I’m a sucker for new health products (especially foodstuffs), and I’m surprised at myself.

This product is manufactured in Mission, BC, and the ingredients are organic, gluten-free, and limited to ground flax seed, psyllium husks, dandelion root powder, burdock root powder, and fenugreek seed powder.

That’s it.

The purpose behind adding this product to your daily smoothie or yogurt or whatever is to increase your overall fibre—and it sure works! If you’re someone who feels as though you could benefit from increased fibre consumption (ahem—EVERYONE), then you should give this product a try. I am a huge promoter of gut health, and this particular product is a goodie!

A 1 Kg. bag goes for roughly $29.99, but you can get it for $20.99 if you keep your eyes peeled.

Everyday Superfoods

Everyday Superfoods: Again, I’ve seen this product around (the rep told me it’s been around for a couple of years, but they only recently have become very mainstream and distributed), but hadn’t tried it yet. The main ingredients in their mixes are chia seeds, hemp hearts, and buckwheat.

The blends are great on oatmeal, in yogurt, or added to baking, and there are at least four different mixtures. The one I’m trying right now is called Cocoa Wow, and I also took home a bag called Trim.

They go for about $6.99 per bag (the weight isn’t disclosed, but it looks like it’s just over a cup’s worth), and the product is mostly organic, gluten-free, and vegan. It’s manufactured in Richmond, BC.

So there you have it! My newly acquired fun foods! Give them a try, and let me know what you think. Ciao, peeps!

 

[1] http://livehappywater.ca/our-water/