Maple is truly the pride of Canadians; its leaf is our emblem, and its syrup delights our taste buds.
Canada is the world’s main maple syrup producer, accounting for over 70% of the market. Maple products are even offered as diplomatic gifts to foreign dignitaries. It’s not for nothing that we say “as Canadian as maple syrup”!
But apart from maple syrup’s smooth taste and its undeniable contribution to the Canadian economy… did you know that maple also has incredible health benefits?
Maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than sugar. That means that it increases your blood glucose level less than refined sugar or corn syrup does. If you replace sugar with maple syrup, your pancreas won’t have to work as hard and will therefore tire less. Ultimately, this may reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Maple syrup and maple water contain polyphenols. These antioxidants help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and help prevent obesity.
Quebecol, a molecule that is only found in maple syrup, was named for Quebec – the Canadian province that produces the most maple syrup – and has anti-inflammatory properties. Discovered in 2011, researchers are still investigating this molecule, but in the long term, it could be used to counter joint pain. Why not have a sweet taste of syrup and a big glass of maple water to help with back pain?
Provided that you stocked up in spring during your visit to the sugar shack, now is the time to make yourself some healthy treats using maple syrup. Here is a super easy recipe for banana crepes that you can cover with golden nectar.
Imagine sinking your teeth into dark chocolate fudge studded with caramelized almonds, dried apricots, cranberries, blueberries and raisins. Or, dipping a spoon into a bowl of whiskey raspberries with chocolate mousse and pistachios. Sounds delicious, right?
It may surprise you to learn that both these culinary creations are actually nutritious. Dessert? Nutritious? As it turns out, any guy can whip up an after-dinner treat that doesn’t involve waistline-expanding sugar, refined flour, and unhealthy fats.
The rise of the “Three Pleasures”
These two desserts are among dozens shared on Twitter and Instagram using the #3ForDessert hashtag, which is being popularized by Harvard nutrition scientist Walter Willett. Fed up with the unhealthy treats available at restaurants, Willett is promoting the “Three Pleasures” — nuts, fruit and dark chocolate — as the ideal ingredients for simple desserts that deliver great taste without being bad for you.
What makes the “Three Pleasures” so good? Fruit is refreshing, naturally sweet and will add colour to your creations. Nuts are crunchy and full of flavour, while dark chocolate beautifully compliments the sweetness of fruit and requires no explanation – It’s chocolate!
Making your own “Three Pleasures” dessert
For a beginner’s “Three Pleasures” dessert, there are no instructions or ingredient amounts. All you need to do is copy the picture – crazy easy! Start with the 3 ingredients listed below and arrange on a small plate, pile into a martini glass, or present on a big platter that people can share.
Start simple with these ingredients:
Dark chocolate almond bark
Fresh blueberries and blackberries (or fruit in season)
Got some skill in the kitchen or want a good challenge? Here is a “Three Pleasures” recipe that kicks it up a notch.
You’ll be amazed how easy and delicious these healthy desserts can be. Once you’ve tried this, you can swap in different ingredients to mix it up. Serve this dessert, or another of your creation, to a significant other or friends, and they’re bound to be impressed.
Join in the fun on Twitter and Instagram by snapping a photo of your sweet creation and sharing it using the #3ForDessert and #DontChangeMuch hashtags.
Let’s be honest guys, if our true loves got us the “magic cure” for hangovers as a gift this holiday season, we’d be stoked. All those cups of cheer can add up, especially when everyone around you is slamming down one drink after another.
The good news: It can actually be easy to avoid a hangover while still enjoying some festive cheer. Heed these five tips and you can get your buzz on without paying for it like the boys in The Hangover.
1. Chase every drink with a glass of water
Not a sip or two of water after every drink. Not a glass of water for every three drinks. One bottle of beer. One glass of water. One scotch on the rocks. One glass of water, you get the picture. Water helps your body process and eliminate alcohol, so removing it from your system ASAP with plenty of water will result in a milder, or even non-existent, hangover.
2. Drink plenty of water after indulging as well
If you didn’t follow #1, this definitely applies to you: Dehydration isn’t considered to be the main cause of hangovers, but it does contribute to symptoms such as thirst, headache, fatigue, dry mouth. Okay, if this is starting to sound a lot like a hangover, you get the point: Drink water during and after a few highballs.
3. Drink clear liquor on the rocks
Adding ice to drinks dilutes them, cutting the alcohol content (by volume) and reducing the frequency of refills. Fewer mixed drinks mean less fuel for a hangover. It also turns out that whiskies and other dark liquors cause worse hangovers than vodka, gin and other clear liquors.
4. Wine and dine…on protein, not sugar
A full stomach slows down the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream. High-protein foods such as eggs, nuts and lean meats take longer to digest, and so they give your body more time to break down alcohol.
Booze is full of sugar, especially when mixes such as pop and juice are involved, and this sugar is thought to be part of the reason we get hangovers in the first place. That’s why shortbread cookies and milk-chocolate Santas are not ideal foods to eat while drinking.
5. Get your Zs
Alcohol can impair both the sleep quality and duration of sleep, and staying up late while drinking can disrupt your entire sleep schedule. Although poor sleep doesn’t cause hangovers, it contributes to the fatigue and irritability associated with them.
There you have it folks, it’s easy enough to get your buzz on and come out of it feeling great. But remember, the key to preventing “Rudolph Nose” is simply moderation.
Even James Bond takes a break over the holidays. He puts away his license to kill…and pulls out his license to graze. 007 is far from alone in this. Most guys let loose on the buffet table at one time or another over the holiday season, which probably explains why so many of our New Year’s resolutions involve gym memberships and abstaining from fried anything.
Thankfully, there are ways to enjoy festive fare without packing on the pounds. For instance:
Eat a healthy snack or light meal before going out so that you don’t fill up entirely on cheese log, cookies, chocolate truffles and bacon wrapped everything at the party. Try this EZ Mediterranean Salad Recipe.
Not all festive food is fatty. Go for veggie sticks, fruit trays, nuts and shrimp rings, for instance, over the aforementioned belly bloaters.
Bring your own healthy show-stopper dish. Be the man behind a spectacular holiday dish that’s sure to impress your bros and ladies, like Chef Ned Bell’s healthy Sweet & Spicy Shrimp with Coconut, Lime & Tomatoes. And maybe we can rename this recipe “Dip Another Day?” or “Her Majesty’s Secret Shrimp?”
Committing to more exercise and healthier food this New Year is a very good thing but there’s no reason to let your fitness or form slip between now and then. If Bond did that, he just might succumb to Gold Finger, one of Bond’s most popular henchmen. Or, worst of all, the Bond Girls might lose interest. The horror!
As much we love the holidays, most guys would agree that gift shopping is the worst. If the idea of standing in long lines with “Santa Baby” blasting in your ears makes you cringe, just stay home… and give online shopping a shot! It will save you major time, and more importantly, lower your stress levels.
That is why we’re giving away a $100 Amazon gift ecard to help you #keepitcool and end the year right! Follow us on Instagram and complete the steps below by this Friday for a chance to win!
Wait, it get’s better. Over 35,000 are already following us and by joining now, you’ll getaccess to even more healthy tipsto survive the holidays.