Well hello you!

How are you this morning? After some gross rainy weather, we are experiencing some absolutely gorgeous temps here this week! Yesterday after work one of my friends and I made a stop at David’s Tea for a little bevvie, then headed out for a walk in the sun. I’m hoping to spend many more evenings like this over the coming months!

Today’s Try Something New Tuesday recap features two products that I was recently asked to review. One is a foodie find and the other one is something I think will be very useful to me post-workout in the coming months. Keep reading to find out about them!

1. Recipe of the Week: I don’t do a whole lot of French cooking because I don’t find it that exciting in comparison to other cuisines like Thai, Indian, and Asian. Yes, I know, famous French chefs like Jacques Pepin would probably like to whip me into a souffle for saying that, but it’s true. In fact, the only French thing that comes out of my kitchen is French toast. Well, almost the only thing. As you’re already aware, I like my poisson.

Baking fish in parchment paper, or en papillote as the French call it, has got to be one of the easiest, most foolproof methods ever. You can do it with any fish you like, but my favourites include salmon and mild white fish like cod. Tilapia isn’t a fish I eat often because it’s really mild, but I know a lot of you out there aren’t into ‘fishy fish’ so this recipe is for you.

Here you are, a ridiculously easy  Tilapia en Papillote, complete with a side of herbed baked vegetables.

They’re even cooked in the same bit of parchment paper, so you don’t have to clean another pan. See? I told you this was easy.


2. BENGAY Zero Degrees Menthol Pain Relieving Gel. As you may already know, I’m currently getting myself back into racing shape for the Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon in August. One of my goals for this month is to get outside for at least 4 longer runs, and so far this is going splendidly! I haven’t had any serious pain (knock on wood), but doing hill sprints in my shorter workouts has left me feeling sore a couple of times. I’m usually pretty diligent with the foam roller, but sometimes there are pains that need a little more work.  That’s why I was thrilled when a representative from BENGAY contacted me about a month ago to ask if I’d be interested in trying the brand’s new Zero Degrees Menthol Pain Relieving Gel.

I’ve dabbled in topical pain relievers in the past for running (like Icy Hot, Tiger Balm etc) but generally stick to ice packs. Since the SeaWheeze is going to be a hilly race, I figured experimenting with BENGAY might be worth it.

But did it work?

I think so. In order to put it to the test, I did the same tough hill workout yesterday morning that I did last Tuesday. (It has to be a controlled test, right?) After I got home from the gym yesterday morning, I felt fine but figured I’d wait until before bed to see if any soreness set in throughout the course of the day. Sure enough, it had. I rubbed the gel into my legs just before going to sleep, mostly on my quads. On this morning’s workout agenda was a 30 minute easy-ish run, followed by some upper body strength training and teaching my usual Wednesday spin class. I’ve got to admit, my legs did feel considerably better as I made my way to the gym. I’m planning to use the product again on Saturday after my long run, but so far, so good!

To sum up my first BENGAY Zero Degrees experience, here are some of the product’s features that I liked:

  • The stick can be stored in the freezer, so it’s super cold when you need it. You don’t have to store it like this though- it just won’t be as icy if you don’t. The chill felt really refreshing, and I bet I’ll appreciate this even more as the temperatures rise outside.
  • The tube is a convenient size – it looks like deodorant and is easy to hold.
  • The gel is blue and very easy to apply. You don’t even have to get your hands sticky because you can rub it into your legs with the end of the tube, like you would with deodorant – minus the wet pits. Zero Degrees absorbs quickly, so if you wanted to put pants on over your freshly BENGAY-ed legs you wouldn’t have to wait very long

So far I have just one criticism. The gel has a very menthol-y smell at first, and even though it fades faster than other topical creams/gels I’ve tried, I still noticed the scent for about half an hour after applying. For this reason, I’m not sure I’d want to use it first thing in the morning if I was going out right away.

3. Crispy Pitas. This is another product I was asked to review by a representative of Ozery’s Pita Break. You may not recognize the name of the brand upon hearing it, but do these look familiar?

(Source)

The company recently launched a new product, this time in the snack category: Crispy Pitas. I’m pretty critical when it comes to ingredients of packaged snack foods, but I have to admit that there’s not a whole lot wrong with these. They come in the following flavours:

  • Cranberry Pumpkin Seed, filled with juicy cranberries and nutty pumpkin seeds for a sweet and salty crunch
  • Rosemary Garlic, baked with fragrant rosemary and roasted garlic
  • Organic Spelt with Flax, packed with nutrition and dotted with nutty flax seeds, a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Organic Wheat, simply made with organic wheat flour and dusted lightly with sea salt.

They all sounded tasty to me so when a massive box FULL of Crispy Pitas arrived on my doorstep, I didn’t know where to start! I exercised my best self-control though, and waited until yesterday afternoon to try my first sample. I popped open the Rosemary Garlic ones, which smelled delicious the second I tore it open.

Here’s a look at their stats:

Not bad, hey? Maybe a little high on sodium, but in terms of fat and fiber, they’re looking much better than many other savoury chip/cracker snacks.  They also don’t contain any trans fat, and whole grains are listed first on the ingredients panel – another good sign. The stats don’t tell the whole story though – don’t forget to check out the ingredients list too!

Ingredients: Whole grain wheat flour including the germ, filtered water, unbleached wheat flour, sunflower oil with rosemary extract, organic evaporated cane sugar, sea salt, dehydrated tomato flakes, dehydrated garlic, yeast, rosemary. (Source)

Looks pretty good – there’s sugar, but it’s far from being the first ingredient. There are also whole grain flours used, and I can picture what each of the other ingredients looks like (unlike the chemicals and preservatives added to other crackers). Taste-wise, I really liked them. My cravings tend to be for salty foods rather than sweet, so this hit the spot at work yesterday afternoon. Next time I’d like to have some sort of dip with them, perhaps hummus for all except the Cranberry Pumpkin Seed flavour which I haven’t tried yet.

Need another reason to love Ozery’s Pita Break? They company is Canadian! It began in a small Toronto bakery in 1996 and has grown up a lot since. Other products include preservative-free flatbreads, pitas and Lavash crackers, which baked fresh each day. You can check ’em out here.

Alright, that’s all for now! Before you head off to get on with your Wednesday, tell me…

  • How do you deal with post-run/post-workout muscle pain?
  • What’s your favourite salty snack? I’m a sucker for anything salt and vinegar flavoured, especially when it comes to kale chips!