Health Facts Monday – Calories Face-Off: Starbucks VS. Tim Hortons

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In “Health Facts Monday“,  we will REVEAL ANY HEALTH SECRETS THAT MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT AWARE OF and ANY NASTY TRUTH PEOPLE WANT TO EARMUFF THEIR EARS BUT THEY STILL HAVE TO KNOW.

Going to Starbucks and Tim Hortons has became Canadian’s daily routine. When something has become a daily routine, people are not aware of what they consume.  Do those people really know how many calories are in their favourite bagel? or their favourite breakfast? or their favourite donut? I AM ABOUT TO REVEAL THESE UGLY AND NASTY TRUTHS WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT.

1) Breakfast (Tim Hortons WINS!)

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Tim Horton’s Biscuit, Sausage, Egg and Cheese Sandwich (left) – 490 calories (SCORE)

Starbucks’ Sausage, Egg and Cheddar English Muffin Sandwich (right) – 500 calories

2) Sandwich/Wrap (Starbucks WINS!)

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Tim Horton’s Tuscan Chicken Panini (left) – 560 calories

Starbucks’ Turkey Rustico Panini (right) – 480 calories (SCORE)

3) Bakery (IT’S A TIE!)

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Tim Horton’s Sesame Bagel (left) – 300 calories (TIE)

Starbucks’ Sesame Bagel (right) – 300 calories (TIE)

4) Drink (Timmies WINS!)

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Tim Horton’s Latte (left) – 80 calories (SCORE)

Starbucks’ Tall Latte with 2% milk (right) – 150 calories

5) Yogurt (Timmies WINS!)

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Tim Horton’s Strawberry With Berries Yogurt (left) – 140 calories (SCORE)

Starbucks’ Strawberry and Blueberry Yogurt Parfait (right) – 270 calories

Ultimately,Tim Hortons’s food and drinks have less calories than Starbucks in general. Well, this does not apply to every food and drink (I used the popular products to compare), but my goal is to give people perspective and to make people aware of how many calories are these two chains serving. For myself, I seldom buy food from both places because I do not like their food and I sometimes buy Starbucks mocha as a treat for myself.  I also hate Tim Hortons coffee because they taste yucky (maybe thats why the calories is lower than Starbucks).

Do you always go to Starbucks or Tim Hortons? What do you usually buy in there? Post your comments below. Till next time.

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Toronto Restaurant Review: Whole Foods Market Markham (Rating: 2 out of 5)

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I love going to Whole Foods Market not because it is very organized and clean, but also the service is superb because Whole Foods Market’s staff would bring you to the product you are looking for in person while the staff in other supermarkets would just point you to which aisle is your product is located.

Not only I love shopping there, I also want to try their prepared food because they look so fresh and organic.  Therefore, this morning I have decided to go on a little adventure and try their food.

Even though Whole Foods Market open from 9am to 9pm everyday, they did not have much choice of prepared food before 11am. When I got there around 10:40am, all they had were burritos.  They did not even have soups yet. Therefore, I got myself a Vegetarian Breakfast Burrito ($3.99 CAN) and a Breakfast Sausage Burrito ($4.49 CAN).

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I also bought a hot chocolate ($3.00 CAN for 12 ounces) from the drink bar (they made it in-house like Starbucks) and tried a sample of cold blended mocha. The mocha was PRETTY GOOD.  In total including taxes, I paid close to $13 CAN.

So here I am. Sitting in a very modernized and comfy place and ready to enjoy my breakfast.  To be honest with you, I did not feel I am having breakfast at a supermarket at all. In the picture below, the two on the left side are Vegetarian Breakfast Burrito and the two on the right are Breakfast Sausage Burrito.

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I tried the vegetarian first.  Inside the burrito, it had eggs, tomatoes, potatoes and jalapeno pepper.  Also, the burritos was not too chewy and inside was really juicy (you may want to have tissue paper on the table because there are juice coming out from the burrito).  I thought it was NOT BAD AND DELICIOUS.  But after I bit the first pepper, I felt the pepper in my mouth.  OMG! IT WAS SO SPICY. IT WAS BURNING IN MY MOUTH. I guess they had to give the burrito some kicks, but it was too spicy for me.

Then I had the sausage burrito. WHAT A RIPOFF!!! Inside the burrito it had eggs, tomatoes, potatoes and pork that were not sausage.  It was either bacon or some fatty part of the pork.  I WAS NOT IMPRESSED BECAUSE I DID NOT TASTE ANY SAUSAGE.

Finally I had the hot chocolate.  Interestingly, it had some coconut taste in it.  They may have put some coconut extract in the drink. Although I am not a big fan of coconut, but I found this hot chocolate pretty unique.

Ultimately, if you live near Whole Foods Market and you are in a hurry and you just want to grab a quick bite, Whole Foods Market is a good choice for you.

Have you been to Whole Foods Market? What do you usually buy in Whole Foods? Have you tried their prepared food before? Post your comments below. Till next time. 

P.S. Here is how my rating system works:

0 out of 5 – Disgusting. The restaurant should shut down right now. 

1 out of 5Mediocre. How come the restaurant is still around? 

2 out of 5Disappointed. They can do better =[

3 out of 5Satisfied. One of best place to eat.

4 out of 5Excellent. I am the restaurant’s regular customer. 

5 out of 5Exceptional. I would recommend the restaurant to my friends and family. 

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To Farmers Market We Go (Village Market)

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In “To Farmers Market We Go”, we will go explore the many farmers markets that are held in Toronto. Even though Canada is cold, there are still some farmers markets that operate year round.  I think this is great because people always look for good produce.

There are a few farmers markets that are located within driving distance from my house. This market, Village Market, is located at a school in Thornhill (a suburban area in Toronto). In addition, they are open on every Saturday from 8:30pm to 1:30pm year round. I feel welcomed even before stepping into the market because there were signs guiding me to the market near the school.

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The farmers market is located in the basement of the school.  Once I got down, I already felt the sense of a community.  Pretty much everyone knows everybody and most people know what they are looking for.  Not only the vendors are selling organic produce, but also gluten-free pastries, arts and crafts, skin care products, beeswax candles, fermented vegetables and other natural health products.  There was also a massage practitioner who offered on-site seated massage. In addition, I got to try soy-free sausages (porks are fed with barleys and peas) and one of the best pestos in Toronto (OMG! THEY ARE SO YUMMY. YUM YUM!!!!). Usually pesto is made with basil, but I got to try lemon dill pesto(left, below) and coriander (right, below) pesto and they are both DELICIOUS. Those pestos made me very hungry even though I had a huge rolled oats breakfast.

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Another good and cool thing about this market is they offered seat and tables for people to enjoy prepared goods.  Also they also had MUSICIAN IN DA HOUSE.

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Overall, I would go to this farmers market again even though it is VERY SMALL because the vendors are all very nice and the produce are very fresh.  In addition, I like the positive energy (a sense of community) coming from this market. I really recommend people who live in Thornhill to come and check this out.

Here are more pictures I took.  I wanted to take more but I am afraid I will get kicked out.

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Have you been to any farmers market? What do you usually look for in a farmers market? Any good and bad comments on the farmers market you have been?  Post you comments below. Till next time. 

 

My Journey To Lose Weight (Second Weekly Update)!

If you have been following my blog, I have been tracking my weight because I am slightly overweight according to my Waist-To-Height Ratio. In addition, I did my first update and my waist got smaller, but I am still overweight.  Let’s see how I did this week.

  • Eat oats for breakfast – CHECK. I have been having rolled oats every morning except last Wednesday and yesterday because I was out early Wednesday morning and I was having my sourdough bread plus yogurt yesterday. 
  • Eat multiples meals with small portions – CHECK. I would eat or drink something in between meals for example yogurt and milk.
  • Have less carbs diet – FAILED.  I usually have brown rice for dinner, but the noodles and dumplings I have for lunch were FULL of carbohydrates
  • Train at least three times a week – CHECK. I trained three times this week.
  • Eat at least one fruit per day – CHECK. Now I am also having blueberries and I eat my blueberries with rolled oats.

Unfortunately, My BMI and Body Fat Percentage are normal and my waist is still 30.5 inches, but I gained 1lb and now I am 126lbs. I am so confused, but am going to stick with my goals for now.

Are you also on a diet? What is your plan? How long does it take you to reach your goal? Post your comments below.  Till next time.

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread Recipe (1 Small Loaf)

A few days ago, I showed you guys how to make sourdough starter. I feel this would be more complete if I ACTUALLY make bread with the starter.

But before we go on, I just want to say thank you to the people who looked at my post yesterday. I posted the link to my own Facebook page, and I did not even know so many people are interested in knowing why did I start doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).  This is one of the reason I am still doing this sport today because the BJJ community is very supportive and everyone is helping each other out. There are some outliers of course, but I will talk about this later.  Many of the comments on my Facebook were positive.  Here were some (names were covered due to privacy reasons):

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THANKS GUYS! I REALLY APPRECIATE IT!

Okay! Now back to sourdough bread recipe.  I used whole wheat flour because it is healthier.  Whole wheat flour is more expensive than all-purpose flour, but not that much (probably one or two dollars more for the same weight).  Since bread making is a long process, therefore you also have to make sure you schedule your time properly.  Here is the recipe:

3.5 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups warm water

0.5 cups sourdough starter

2 teaspoons salt

Noticed I did not weigh my ingredients (weighing ingredients are more accurate when baking)? This is because I think some people do not have a scale at home, and this recipe worked for them as well.

1) Put all ingredients in a BIG bowl in this order: starter, water, flour and salt.  You do not want starter and salt to interact with each other at this point because salt inhibits yeast’s growth.

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2) Mix everything until a dough is formed.  If it is too wet, put more flour; if it is too dry, put more water. Transfer to a floured surface when dough is formed.  Knead the dough until windowpane test is passed (just grab a small piece of dough into golf ball size and stretch dough into translucent membrane.  Your dough is ready to rise when the membrane does not break).  It took me less than thirty minutes to knead the dough.

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3) When dough is ready to rise, put it into a bowl, cover with a wet cloth and let the dough rise to double its original size in a spacious environment. It may the dough four hours to twenty-four hours to rise, depends on where you put the bowl.  Mine took twelve hours to rise.

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4)  When dough is rise properly, punch dough to release carbon dioxide from the dough and re-incorporate oxygen to the dough.  After you punch the dough, let the dough rise to double its original size again.  Mine took another twelve hours.

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5) When dough is ready, round dough on a slighly floured surface and let is rest for thirty minute.

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6) Turn on oven to 150F and grease loaf pan with oil.  When oven is ready, put dough into loaf pan and put loaf pan in oven.  We are now proofing the dough so the bread is ready for final baking.  Make sure you turn on the steam in your oven because steam is needed for proofing and baking process.  Since I only have a toaster pan, I had to fill a cup with water and put the cup inside the oven. Mine took almost 1.5 hours to proof.  I know my dough was ready when I use my finger to push the dough and the dented part slowly came up.  If you did that and the dented part came up instantly, that means your dough is not ready to be baked.

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7) When dough is ready, turn up your oven to 350F and slash one side of your bread.  I put tin foil on my dough so it did not get burnt easily. Bake your bread for  twenty-five minutes to one hour.

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8) When you see your bread has browned (about twenty-five minutes), you can check to see if your bread is done by using a thermometer and poke a hold to your bread.  Your bread will be ready when the dough reaches the temperature between 190F to 210F.  Let the bread rest for at least thirty minutes after baking.

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9) When bread is completely cool, you can start eating it!

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There you go! The bread will taste slightly sour when cooled, but it is still good for your homemade sandwiches or just with butter or your favourite spread alone.  Also, you can see the bread is very easy to make and you spend most of the time just waiting.  So give it a try!

Have you made sourdough bread before? What is your recipe? How long did it take you to make yours? Post your comments below. Till next time!