LOOK GOOD AND FEEL EVEN BETTER WITH LOVE ARCTIC

If you follow my Instagram @melinamagnatta_; You would know that I am a bit obsessed with making smoothie bowls. I love trying out new powders, supplements, and toppings for my bowls and Love Arctic had everything I needed.  Love Arctic carries healthy products with a taste of the arctic and their goal is to share peaceful moments when enjoying the products. All of their products are Vegan, Non- GMO and Gluten-Free which makes me feel a bit better about what I am consuming. I was lucky enough to try 4 different products from the company and they were all unique and tasted really healthy!

“It could be the moment you sprinkle our lingonberry powder on your breakfast oatmeal, snack dried bilberries in between a hectic day of meetings at work or sit on your couch in the evening with a cup of arctic herbal tea in your hands. That moment you forget the rush of your life and just enjoy your arctic moment”- Saara, Founder of Love Arctic.

CRISP – ORGANIC LINGONBERRY POWDER

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The lingonberries are handpicked from the woods in Northern Finland and are then ground into a powder form. By adding 1 tablespoon of lingonberry powder, it is equivalent to 90 g of fresh berries. The colour of this powder is really fluorescent pink, which is an easy way to make your smoothie look pretty. Lingonberry powder is also an excellent way to add a bit more fibre to your diet. 

 

DAWN – GROUND FLAXSEED AND BILBERRY

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This product is harvested at the most northern part of Finland, close to the Arctic Circle. The flax is ground and mixed with handpicked bilberries, this is good to add to yogurt with some granola. Dawn is high in omega-3 fatty acid and is a great source of magnesium. Magnesium helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue throughout the day. Dawn is also an easy way to add protein to your meal. The recommended serving size is 19g of protein!

 
SWEET BLUE – ORGANIC DRIED BILBERRIES, SWEETENED

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This is perfect to add to your oatmeal or smoothie bowl! Also excellent for baking, I could imagine would be good in some berry bran muffins. What I love most, is that these berries are infused with pear juice concentrate to sweeten them. NO SUGAR!

 

FRESH – ORGANIC BLACKCURRANT POWDER 

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Blackcurrant powder is high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to maintain the healthy function of the immune system during and after physical exercise. Also high in Vitamin K. Vitamin K contributes to the maintenance of strong bones. The powder also adds a beautiful dark blue colour to smoothies and a great taste. 


THANK YOU LOVE ARCTIC FOR THIS AMAZING COLLABORATION AND EXPERIENCE. ALTHOUGH THESE PRODUCTS WERE COMPLIMENTARY, MY OPINION AND CONTENT REMAIN UNBIASED.
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Winterlicious @ Hawthorne

This past weekend I was invited to a Winterlicious menu tasting at Hawthorne Food and Drink. The restaurant is located on Richmond Street East with easy parking and is 100% wheelchair accessible. They are open Monday-Friday for breakfast and lunch and Tuesday-Friday for dinner. They open Saturday and Sunday for Winterlicious only.

Hawthorne Food & Drink’s sole purpose is to give back to the community and deliver farm to table meals. The restaurant serves delicious dishes made from local and seasonal ingredients. They also provide careers for people in need of skills and employment. I love that the staff were passionate about their jobs and carried a friendly attitude. Hawthorne’s menu changes often and takes inspiration from the farms of Ontario and the neighborhoods of Toronto. The presentation of the food was always creative and artistic which I enjoyed the most. This restaurant was a bit out of my element when it came to certain textures and concepts. The flavors were incredibly bold and pungent at times which I also wasn’t expecting for some dishes. 

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Pickled Platter

It was very sweet that the Chefs at Hawthorne wanted us to taste their famous pickled platter but most of the pickling just was not for me. There are not a lot of things that I WON’T eat but unfortunately, blue cheese is one of them and that was a part of this massive spread of pickled foods. The platter also included two different types of boiled eggs. Tumeric and Beet, both which were bold and tangy. This is a great option for someone who appreciates pickled foods!

 

 

Appetisers

Wontons+Tartare * (Can be made GF), (Local)

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The servers and Chefs were all wonderful and accommodating when it came to choosing a gluten free dish. Instead of the Tartare being served with wontons we substituted with watermelon radish slices. The tartare was served a huge portion size and was big enough to share. The taste was good but this ain’t no beef carpaccio.

 

Daily Croquette Poutine * (Local)

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This was a creative spin on the “poutine” I thought I was ordering. Really crispy, which I loved and the gravy was perfect. Was tasty, although I did not really taste the cheese in the dish.

 

 

Entrées

Jerk Pork * (Can be made GF), (Local)

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Pork belly on top of a rice and edamame cake. The flavors in this dish were bold, especially in the jerk sauce. This dish was awesome but I would personally like it better if the pork was jerk seasoned, not just the thick paste globbed on top. It was a bit difficult to evenly disperse the jerk “sauce” evenly. Some bites getting too much jerk and others not getting any at all. Overall this dish was good and glad it was gluten free. Also really enjoyed the presentation and look of the candied decor.

 

Whole Roasted Carrot Ginataan * (Vegan), (Local), (GF)

dsc_0732Just by looking at this dish, I was impressed. It was a fair portion size and felt like I was eating clean and healthy. The red and puffed quinoa were light yet filling and the roasted carrots were well done. Topped with coconut-ginger velouté, which kind of tasted like green curry to me…This was AWESOME.

 

 

 

Desserts

Pasteis de Nata – Portuguese Egg Tart * (Local)

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I was expecting a bit more from this, probably because I work in a bakery and love egg tarts. The taste was really nice and light but I found that it wasn’t cooked enough. It was a bit rubbery and jello like, which I’m not familiar with or fond of.  The crust on top was delicious and I kind of wanted more of it.

 

Winter Vegetable Cheesecake* (Vegetarian), (Local)

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This was a nice choice for a Gluten-free dessert, minus the cake crumbles on top. The taste was very healthy and did not really feel like I was eating dessert. Not typically a “sweet” I would crave because I am more of a chocolate dessert kind of girl but, it was well done for what they were trying to achieve.

 

 

 

 

Thank you Hawthorne Food and Drink for having me it was an awesome experience!

Basil Box – Toronto

This past Monday, I visited Basil Box @ Ryerson University . I had been eyeing this place for a while now and everything looked so yummy on their Instagram account. Going out for Asian inspired dishes is my favourite. The style of the restaurant is build your own meal style, which I love! Customizing my options is great because sometimes I can get a little picky sometimes. You begin with a base for your bowl. The options are noodles, rice or greens. Next you add in your veggie options, proteins and last sauces and toppings.

What I really love most about Basil Box, is that there options for any type of diet. Every option on the menu is Gluten Free (Sauces and all). I love this because most places only have one or two options for those who are Gluten free. There are also options for those dairy free or vegan as well.

All the employees are super friendly and helpful. One worker, Phoebe was assisting us was awesome and very polite! Everything is super clean and organized at the Basil Box and is a pretty big space. You can get your food to go if you are in a hurry or are pressed for time. This is a great place to grab lunch quick while at school and honestly have enough to eat later on in the day also.  The bowls are filling and  affordable. If I went to Ryerson, I would probably be here everyday.

I have honestly found my new obsession, I am so glad that I tried Basil Box and wish I had tried it sooner.

Thank you BASIL BOX for the delicious food!
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Impact Kitchen – Toronto

This is a place I had been meaning to go to for a while now and was really excited about taking my Gluten Free boyfriend here. This is because their entire menu is Gluten Free friendly and there is so much to choose from. I was introduced to Impact Kitchen through Instagram and thought this would be a good place to try out with someone that has a Gluten Free diet and see how they like it too.

We went this Saturday around 1:30 for a late lunch and ordered a few things. We each ordered a “Power Bowl” and shared a salad. Surprisingly there was a lot of food, usually I find that healthy food restaurants still leave me hungry. I was honestly full until dinner that evening and felt amazing throughout the day. We ordered two different bowls the Asian Rainbow Slaw and the Zesty Mexican. They were both amazing, although I liked the Slaw better.. Just felt like it was more my kind of meal. The salad we chose was the Beet Citrus Salad, which was so refreshing on such a hot day. I loved the salad and would honestly eat one everyday if Impact was closer to my house. Everything we got was very good and I highly recommend ordering them when you check them out.

I loved the atmosphere of Impact Kitchen, just made me feel really healthy and fresh. Its super clean in there and the servers really make you feel at home. This is a place that a lot of athletes come to eat because the menu is so pure and healthy. They use local farmers for the menus ingredients and don’t use processed foods, which is great!
I can’t wait to go back to impact Kitchen and try out some new things. I really did love it here and is a great place for anyone who is Gluten Free or just wanting something healthy and fresh to eat.

Check out Impact Kitchen

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Coffee Bar
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Salad, Slaw, Mexican
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Asian Rainbow Slaw
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Zesty Mexican
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Beet Salad

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Mamma Chia

I currently have a new obsession with Mamma Chia products! I recently received a box of stuff from them and have really been enjoying most of the snacks. I like the Chia Squeezes, they come in many flavors and are to perfect snack when Im in a rush. At first the texture takes some getting used to because its kind of jelly like. These pouches are super high in omega 3s, so I really recommend adding something like this to your diet. All of the flavours are super yummy but my favorite was the Strawberry banana squeeze!

You can order these healthy, affordable, to go snacks HERE!

THANK YOU AGAIN MAMMA CHIA 🙊

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My Diet | What don’t I eat … 

Ever since I was little, I loved eating and trying new foods. I feel happy about new restaurants and meals that I try, and want to share them with my friends. You don’t always need to go to the fanciest, most expensive places to have a good bite to eat!

Lately, I have been getting a lot of messages asking me about what type of diet I follow, which I find funny. A lot of people are confused and think that I am a strict vegan or follow a Gluten free diet and that is something I could probably never do, unless it was for health reasons. I have had days where I have eaten 100% vegan or free from gluten, although; this is not something I follow.

Typically, I eat what I want and what makes me feel good. I try to stay away from dairy, because it does cause some issues with my stomach. For me dairy causes too much mucus and gas, which does not make me feel the greatest. Although I am not very strict with this issue, because once a week I find myself eating ice cream.

I find it exciting when I discover an enjoyable food place that people with different diets can enjoy aswell. This does not mean that I am trying to be vegan or gluten free or any of that. I do support those who do take on that lifestyle change, but myself personally am not interested. I don’t really want/need to eat a certain way, I eat what I like and that’s about it.

I feel my best when eat multiple meals throughout the day and not to late at night. I feel better when I don’t eat lots of red meat in the week, when I eat to much I feel sluggish. There’s not really a lot that I don’t like or don’t eat. I’m not very picky and honestly love all fruits and vegetables. Carbs are my weakness but what can you do. So I just try to eat the best that I can.

I just wanted to get that all sorted out because it seems that every post I make or photo on my Instagram, I get a message asking me if I’m vegan or gluten free. I try to eat as healthy as possible, but also like to enjoy a big juicy burger and fries once and a while.

 

If anyone has anymore questions about my diet, feel free to contact me.

Bunners Bakery 

A while back, I visited Bunners Bakery @Kensington Market. This is a gluten free, vegan friendly bakery, that I had been meaning to  check out for a while.  I tried the blueberry mini tart and it was good. I think it was around $3.50 , which is a fair price. As for Gluten free and Vegan bakeries , Whisked takes the cake! Bunners is worth a try, but not worth a return.  

   

Whisked Gluten Free Bakery

I discovered Whisked Gluten-Free, about 8 months ago and love everything about it! Having a boyfriend with a gluten intolerance can be pretty hard at times, especially when you are craving sweets that he can’t enjoy with you. I have tried many gluten-free options, but so far nothing has been better than what you will find @ Whisked. Not only do they have amazing desserts, but the gluten-free bread is also fantastic. I normally buy a pre-cut loaf and stick it in the freezer, this works out really well after toasting.  I have tried the Cheese, Teff, Cinnamon Raisin, and Italian Style loaf and I love them all! A lot of their products are not only gluten-free but also vegan friendly.

Every week they have a flyer of what they are going to be selling, unless you want to order something specific. As for prices, they are very reasonable especially because anything gluten-free  is usually a lot more expensive. Whenever I go to Whisked it puts me in a better mood, I have never been disappointed with the quality of the products.

I recommend anyone trying out Whisked, even if you do not have a gluten allergy. They have some really great stuff!

Location :
1970 Ellesmere Rd. Unit 4

 

Bang Bang Ice-Cream

Bang Bang Ice-cream has the best ice-cream flavors I have ever tried! I have visited Bang Bang a hand full of times and I have not once been disappointed. My first choice would be, chocolate peanut butter for one scoop and hazelnut ice-cream to top it off. I have tried the puffle cone that they freshly make and I have also tried the cookie sandwich option as well. I really did enjoy both! They also carry gluten-free and vegan options, for customers in need of alterations. I have tried the Gluten free ice-cream sandwich and it is amazing and super fresh. The cookie was the perfect texture and didn’t have a “Gluten-free” taste what so ever.

Some of their other flavors include….
Avocado, Burnt Toffee, Cinnamon Toast, B’day cookie doh, Corn on the Cone, Candy Apple, Cheesecake, Matcha, Fresh Mint, London Fog, Totaro, Rocky Roadkill and Mojito.

As for the store itself, they would definitely benefit by making it a bit bigger or even a bit more attention grabbing. The store is fairly small and usually very crowded, especially on a nice sunny day. There is also not much parking around on weekends because the streets are so busy, so its best to make a day out of it and go for a nice walk.

I can’t wait to head back to Bang Bang Ice-Cream as the weather gets warm again. Always up to try some of their new flavors 🍦

Check them out Here 

or @

93½ Ossington Ave