Ding Dong Veggie Lady: Ottawa VeggieDrop delivers on fresh & local

I always get giddy when a fun, new, female owned Ottawa business starts up, and I get even more excited when I am asked to help promote it! This is the delivery I got on Sunday and I am so excited to tell you all about it.

Veggiedrop is Ottawa’s newest online grocery store providing high quality, organic, GMO-free produce and a vast selection of local grocery staples (like coffee, pasta, cereal and chocolate). And it all gets delivered right to your door! Talk about convenience.

The website is easy to use and organized in simple categories. I would recommend creating your profile first, then placing your order, but that’s just online shopping 101.

I was asked to spend $50, and had no idea where to start! The first thing I did, was peruse through the sale section. By doing this, I found delicious local shitake mushrooms. I also needed bananas, so I tripled my order on that. I did not need any more veggies because I still have lots of kale and tomatoes in the garden. I noticed the local section on the site and decided to splurge! I bought Equator coffee, Canadian made kamut pasta (to try it out), Alter Eco sea salt chocolate, nature’s path granola and some cashews. It was a pretty mixed bag of groceries, but I felt like stocking up my pantry. Overall, the prices are quite comparable to local grocery stores, and delivery in the Ottawa area is only $7. You can also pick it up for free.

I think Veggiedrop is perfect for a busy family who can place their order in advance and take advantage of the convenient delivery service, or pick up their order on the way home. I can also picture a university student who doesn’t have a car, but would appreciate some fresh local produce, totally loving Veggiedrop. I was a poor student once, and shlepping groceries sucks! I wish I could order my food online back then. Maybe this is the new “care package”, no more cookies for you… have an apple, a fresh local organic apple!

If you love a good deal like me, make sure you take advantage of this special and get 25% off on your first order! Use coupon code: vgfb25

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Chantsy Eats: Getting social over dinner at Social Thai

Looking for a new restaurant in Ottawa, to add to your repertoire? Spice things up with Social Thai on Bank Street!

I hosted a media dinner at Social Thai a few weeks ago, to bring a little love and share yummy pics of the newly owned restaurant. We had the chance to sample a few things off the menu, including spring rolls, pad thai, green curry, Social Thai curry special, mango salad and fried rice.

The meal was epic! Some dishes, spicier than others, reminded me of how much I miss having authentic Thai food at my disposal. The flavours were deliciously authentic and presented in beautiful ornate dish wear, specially handmade for the restaurant.

I think what impressed me the most, was the short, but effective cocktail list! My favourite drink was the “Phuket Wave” (pronounced pu-ket… not &*@# it! hahaha.). It had Gin, Coconut Rum, cucumber, lemon, salt and pepper! So fresh and balanced, perfect for our summer heat wave!

If you decide to go, do tell the owner Chaw, that Chantsy sent you!
If you choose to stay in the comfort of your own home, Social Thai is also available on Uber Eats Ottawa! Use my referral code “eats-chantals293ue” if you order!

Social Thai Ottawa Foodie Thai Restaurant

Social Thai Ottawa Foodie Thai Restaurant. blog

Social Thai Ottawa Foodie Thai Restaurant nightlife

Social Thai Ottawa Foodie Thai Restaurant food blogger

Social Thai Ottawa Foodie Thai Restaurant food blog

Social Thai Ottawa Foodie Thai Restaurant food blog nightlife

Social Thai Ottawa Foodie Thai Restaurant fashion

Social Thai Ottawa Foodie Thai Restaurant fashion blog

Social Thai Ottawa Foodie Thai Restaurant date night

Social Thai Ottawa Foodie Thai Restaurant cocktails

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Chantsy Eats: A Scotch tasting that Whiskey’d me away!

Ottawa Foodie Fashion Blog Cocktail Mixology Whiskey

I was invited to a private Whisky tasting at The Shore Club, the famous seafood restaurant located inside The Westin Ottawa. On a side note, have you ever noticed how all Westin’s smell amazing? Like a fresh lime scent? I need to know what is their secret!!

I got there early. At first, I was the only woman among a group of older men, and happily admitted that I knew nothing about Scotch/Whisky. But, I owed it because this year is full of “firsts” and “yeses” for me. And so far it hasn’t disappointed! Also, two more women joined us, which definitely helped.

Ottawa Foodie Fashion Blog Cocktail Mixology Whiskey The Westin

We started the lunch with a Glenmorangie whisky sour…yum! This cocktail had the tartness of the lemon and creamy egg whites that I love so much. The whisky is so smooth, and did not have a sharp aftertaste. Looking at the menu, I was excited to get the meal started.

Ottawa Foodie Fashion Blog Cocktail Mixology Whiskey The Shore Club

This fresh seafood chowder was excellent. The vegetables were crunchy and fresh, almost as if they were quickly steamed and added to the cream broth. This chowder definitely had more texture that I am used to. The seafood was abundant and delicious!

Ottawa Foodie Fashion Blog Cocktail Mixology Whiskey Steak Sandwich

This open-faced steak sandwich was a bit much for a lunch, but I had no problems polishing it off! I love that it was light on the bread too!

Ottawa Foodie Fashion Blog Cocktail Mixology Whiskey Hamish Torrie

Here is Hamish Torrie, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility of The Glenmorangie Company, who gave us a lovely guided tasting of Glenmorangie Original, Glenmorangie Milsean (new limited edition), Ardbeg 10 and Dark Cove (new limited edition).

As a person who knows nothing about Scotch, the conversation at this table left me taking more notes than my first biochemistry class! I’ll admit, I asked some pretty amateur questions, but in the end, I have brought back so many nuggets of information that I am so excited to share with you!

10 things you probably didn’t know about whisky…

  1. Whisky is around 1300 years old, and the taste has only really changed over the last 100 years. A whisky must be aged for at least 3 years before it is called whisky.
  2. A single malt is the purest (and best!) source of whisky, made from barley. It is responsible for providing the taste/flavour component in a blended whisky, when whisky is diluted with other alcohols. That’s why drinks like Jack Daniels makes you want to vomit. It’s the lowest form of “whisky product”.
  3. Single malts are a new way of preparing whiskey, it only started in 1960s/70s.
  4. Every whisky has a unique optimal aging range. This means that not all 35 year old whiskies are better than 10 year old ones, or that all whiskies need to be aged to 35 years.
  5. More and more women are choosing whisky as their beverage of choice. Apparently, women have a more complex pallet and can denote different flavours!
  6. Factors that affect the production of whiskey: the water source, the quality of the spirit, the height of the sill and the wood/barrel it’s matured in.
  7. In scotland, the names of the whisky describe the topography of the region and what you can expect from the drink. For example “Glen-morangie” means “Valley-Value of peacefulness” and “Ard-beg” means “Inside/top of hill- high/small”.
  8. Whisky is playing a huge role in mixology, and transforming the taste for whisky. It’s an excellent way to introduce the spirit to newbies (like me!)
  9. In 2005, Louis Vuitton-Moet-Hennessy aquired The Glenmorangie Company, as the first Whiskey brand to enter their Wines and Spirits suite of Houses. LVMH ensures the legacy of high quality products and helps small, successful family-run businesses thrive in their markets.
  10. There are different regions in Scotland that produce a different style of Whisky (much like wine). For example, Glenmorangie is from the Highlands region and Ardbeg is from an island. Because the preparation method and climate is different from the two regions, the whisky will taste very unique to its region.

And now for the tasting… (from left to right)

  • Glenmorangie Original (40%): 10 year old single malt whisky with a smooth, light, elegant and fragrant touch. It has notes of vanilla, orange and bourbon (from the wood). Although this is a great choice for beginners, it also has complex flavours that any connoisseur could enjoy. It’s smooth taste comes from the double distillation process and a very high sill, which helps to extract only the purest form of alcohol. This would be perfect as an aperitif.
  • Glenmorangie Milsean (new limited edition) (46%): Milsean meaning sweet things, embodies the candy shop look and taste. Although a bit darker, richer and higher in alcohol content, this limited edition would please any whisky aficionado. It’s a blend of Glenmorangie matured in different barrels. The dark colour comes from the toasting of the barrels, which are imported from Portugal. This would be the perfect whisky to pair with dessert. 
  • Ardbeg 10 (46%): 10 year old single malt, with a dark, smokey and sweet taste, leaving behind oily notes of smoked fish. This would be amazing in a spicy caesar or paired with seafood, like sushi or oysters. On the island, peat is used to fuel the heating process, and it generates a lot of smoke, which is captured in the whisky. The fishy notes are also from the peat, which provide a seaweed-like flavour.
  • Dark Cove (new limited edition) (46%): This very dark version of the Ardbeg is aged in Sherry barrels, which is why the colour is so dark. It also has a smokey flavour, but a little more meaty than fishy (think bacon vs smoked salmon). It would be paired perfectly with a charcuterie board!

My favourite was the Glenmorangie Original, as it was smooth and did not feel too high in alcohol content. It did not make me gag, which highly surprised me! I can definitely see myself sipping on this with my husband and feeling like I finally belong at the big boys (ahem, and girls!) table.

Are you a whisky lover? What’s your poison?

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Crushing the Urban Juice Press’ 2-day Kickstarter Cleanse

The truth is I didn’t. And I am so embarrassed of my story.

Urban Juice Press, Ottawa’s premier juicing company asked me to try out their beginner juice cleanse detox program called The 2-Day Kickstarter. I was like, “you bet, I’d love to try this, bring on the juice!”. I mean, the juices are delicious, fresh, organic, raw and sourced locally. You can’t get any healthier than that. I eat really well generally, and felt I could use a little boost to cleanse away my bad summer habits.

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I started my cleanse on a hot Friday morning. I had the day off, I was going to take it easy. I had 9 juices to drink, and felt like it would be plenty. I started this whole thing with an eager, positive and open-minded spirit. I mean what can go wrong? The instructions said that I would be irritable and have a slight headache (not me! I’m strong).

These juices look so yummy! Can I just start already?!

Because I had 9 drinks a day, I wrote up a schedule to ration them off throughout the day. Drinking fluids is not the same as chewing on food. Personally, I feel like it’s more difficult to tell when you’re actually full or weather you have consumed too much fluids. I felt like the schedule would help me pace myself and make sure I have enough to consume all day. It’s really all just a mind game, and your weapon is will power.

urban juice press cleanse Ottawa Foodie Fashion Blog
Early morning start to the day with a Skin Tonic!

urban juice press cleanse Ottawa Foodie Fashion Blog detox
Refreshing morning snack!

urban juice press cleanse Ottawa Foodie Fashion Blog blogger
This is lunch! A thick, creamy and filling smoothy loaded with matcha green tea flavours! Tastes like green tea ice-cream to me!
All that to say, breakfast, lunch and my afternoon snacks were seamless. But at 4 pm and 7 out of 9 bottles in, I hit a wall.

Crash and burn. It’s dinner time, and I don’t want to make supper for the family. So, I sent my husband and son off to eat pizza, while I had a nap to ward off my migraine. I had lots of water all day, what is going on with me? Even after my nap, my head was killing me. I was nauseous and couldn’t stand the sight of putting any more fluids in me. That’s it, I’m cheating. I munched on half a head of raw cauliflower… still I felt sick. Then I called Michael “GET ME PIZZA, NOW!!!” Sure enough a few minutes after the pizza, I started feeling better. But then, I felt like a failure.

I can’t believe my body did not tolerate juicing. I have gone hours without eating on busy work days and have felt fine. Some are saying it’s caffeine withdrawal, but I chalk it up to hyponatremia: over hydration. The reason I know this, is because I rarely drink water. I know it’s a bad habit, but I have to force myself to have at least one glass a day. That Friday, I had 7 x 250 ml of juices plus another 3 x 250 ml of water, that’s a total of 2.5 litres! That’s a lot of liquids for someone who barely drinks water. I am no doctor (although I am a Biochemistry student with a Science degree!), but the symptoms of hyponatremia were enough to convince me. The reason I felt better after the pizza, could be because I was replenishing my electrolytes with the salty pizza.

The next day, I decided not to continue with the juice cleanse, and instead gave the drinks to my son and husband. They loved them! I had a fairly light caloric day, not very hungry overall, but man was I feeling light and flat!

How to do a juice cleanse, properly.

The moral of this story is, I love Urban Juice Press, and my failure has nothing to do with their product. Trust me, otherwise I would not be writing this post. The goal of my post is to give you a few pointers on how you can survive a juice cleanse, and crush it every time.

  1. Try a pre-cleanse before you start your cleanse. This means drinking plenty of water (with lemon), eating whole organic fruits and vegetables that are uncooked.
  2. Cut processed foods, sugar, alcohol and coffee at least three days before.
  3. Get lots of sleep.
  4. Be in a restful state (be alone if you can, no children or partner to distract or irritate you).
  5. Have plenty of things to do to keep your hands and mind busy (run errands, get a massage, go window shopping).
  6. Keep your physical activity light (yoga, walking, stretching).
  7. Have a support system, a buddy who can guide you through it. Preferably, someone who has done a cleanse in the past.
  8. Do it when you’re ready and if you fail, try try again!
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