Chatting with the Surfrider Foundation about Single-Use Plastics…

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First, thank you Emily at the Surfrider Foundation Los Angeles Chapter for taking the time to do this interview with us.  Let’s jump in!

Please tell us about Surfrider!  What is your nonprofit Surfrider Foundation about?!

The Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.  We have a small staff on the national level to help provide critical support for areas like accounting, technology, and HR, and raise money.

That being said, our irreplaceable national network of chapter volunteers serves as the first response to local threats in coastal communities across the US.

They are the boots on the ground who collaborate on both the local and national level with regional staff and issue experts to carry out our mission through campaign, program and educational initiatives in their local communities. Our ocean and special places must be proactively protected!

Swallz at cleanup, Image copyright: Surfrider.

Is Surfrider only in the United States, or do you also have Chapters in Canada too?

Surfrider Chapters are located around the world.  In Canada, there are chapters in Vancouver, and on Vancouver Island.

Do you have any events coming up that we can share with our readers?

 

Our Chapters with Ocean Friendly Restaurant programs often host events at these restaurants; in LA, we have monthly OFR meetings and Pa’u Hana Happy Hours at our restaurants.

  There is an interactive map on the program website that will point you in the direction of the OFR nearest you! https://www.surfrider.org/programs/ocean-friendly-restaurants

Ocean Friendly Restaurants, Image copyright: Surfrider.

Let’s chat single use plastics?  What places in North America are making headways on reducing their plastic usage? Why is it so important to start using reusable plastics, or ocean-safe biodegradable items?

San Francisco is really leading the charge by banning plastic bags, plastic straws, and plastic foodware.  Seattle, Washington DC and Santa Monica have implemented similar bans. It’s inspiring to see the innovations presented in the wake of this legislation. 

In San Francisco, Dispatch Goods is working to create an ecosystem of stainless steel, reusable containers to be “rented” during check-out from food delivery apps.

Image copyright: Surfrider

Their goal is to eventually pick them up curb-side, like recycling, so that it mimics normal consumer behavior.

Switching to reusables is crucial because we are running out of places to dispose of trash, we’re causing irreversible pollution by manufacturing new items instead of using what we have, and we’re spending money we don’t need to on single use items instead of reusing items.

I also want to take a moment to warn against bioplastics; they appear to be a great alternative to plastics, but they often cause more problems than they solve.  There are a lot of different types of biodegradability.

Some bioplastics biodegrade with oxygen and ultraviolet radiation, so litter left out in the sun will degrade. However, it doesn’t completely decompose, & the process takes years, while releasing toxic chemicals.  Also, bioplastics often mistakenly wind up being recycled, and they end up damaging the recycling apparatus. They have a different melting point from standard plastics.

Paper is always better than plastic, and reusables are best of all!

Image copyright, Surfrider.

Do you have any recommendations for Food Businesses in their goals of looking to reduce single-use plastics and other take-out items that are showing up on Coastal beaches?

There are many, many companies that are manufacturing alternatives to single-use plastics for practically every product a restaurant would need to use.  But the most productive and most helpful way to begin is to ask: what products are necessary in the first place? Straws, for example, are an item that many restauranteurs assume their customers can’t do without. 

And, paper straws are a great replacement for plastic, but asking the customer whether or not they even WANT a straw is a way to lessen overall waste, which will help even more.

We are a society that values convenience and, when we’re willing to take a moment to consider reusables and to avoid using something disposable, we stand to make a huge impact.

Rustic Canyon Image, copyright, Surfrider.

How can people or businesses get involved in supporting your Nonprofit? Do you have community partners, or public memberships?

Individuals can get involved with their local Surfrider chapter by attending a meeting; find out about events for the chapter nearest you by checking this site: https://www.surfrider.org/chapters  

You can take action by giving your feedback on local legislation on pertinent issues here: https://secured.surfrider.org/action/

We will contact you about volunteer opportunities if you give us your info here: https://www.surfrider.org/volunteer

You can fundraise or donate here: https://give.surfrider.org/campaign/fundraise-for-our-coasts/c1

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Image copyright: Surfrider

Connect with Surfrider Foundation:     

Surfrider Website: Click here.

Twitter: Click here.

Instagram: Click here.

Facebook: Click here.

Good As Gold: Learning About Cian’s Mustard!

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We had the pleasure of chatting with Colina  from Cian’s Mustard and learning all about their great company for this weeks featured business. We hope you enjoy our interview.

Let’s jump in!

Please tell us about Cian’s Mustard! Why did you start a mustard company?

It all began with a family recipe and one young man’s taste for mustard sandwiches. My father, Colin, is a Master Butcher who began making homemade mustard. When I married, my husband Cameron loved his mustard and we often thought about sharing the mustard with others.

When our son was young, his favourite snack was mustard sandwiches: bread and mustard.

With more thought about sharing this mustard with others, a decision was made to start a family business, though we struggled to find a name that we all liked.  That’s when Colin suggested that we call it Cian’s Mustard. I believe our first market was in 2013 and we have been growing ever since.

We have faced numerous challenges in growing our business over the years. Our appreciation of those challenges has created an opportunity for us to assist other food producers.

We operate an AHS approved facility with a 304 litre steam kettle, which is a rare piece of equipment.  We rent it to other growing producers.

It is marvellous to collaborate with other business owners when you see these local food producers growing sustainably.

Curious, what are some of the health benefits of consuming mustard?

Mustard can benefit your metabolism – the seeds are packed with B-complex vitamins like folates, niacin, thiamine and riboflavin, which are great in speeding up one’s metabolism.

Mustard contains selenium and magnesium which can be anti inflammatory too. Mustard seed can be used in a warm bath, or as a mustard paste.

Where do you source your mustard ingredients? We see you mention local ingredients on your website, and would love to know more about this process!

Mustard production in Canada began on 40 hectares down in Southern Alberta. Currently, Saskatchewan grows the most volume of mustard though, & it can be found across Canada now.

We secure our mustard from Viterra who sources it from Alberta and Saskatchewan farmers.

As we go beyond the traditional formulation of prepared mustard (mustard and vinegar) we source ingredients from local producers and suppliers such as Bles-Wold Yogurt. Even our Maple syrup is sourced from a local supplier who’s family operates a Maple company in Quebec.

What are your favourite mustards that you make?!

I am fortunate to enjoy making all of our mustards as I know each are favourites for a friend or a family member. However, my personal favourite to make and enjoy is Cian’s Honey Hot.

Can you please tell our readers about your upcoming events that you will be attending?

As our outdoor market season has now come to an end, we step inside the world of Fall and Christmas Markets. Every weekend until December we can be found at a variety of local and not so local markets.

We have expanded into Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Regina and Saskatoon this year. Recently, we had our first show in Fort McMurray.

As there are too many to mention, I would encourage checking out our website calendar by clicking here.

We know you also have amazing Recipes on your website! Is there a particular recipe you’d like to tell us about and we could link back to it for our readers? What was the inspiration behind the recipe? A family favourite etc.,

As most know, I live with all men so variety is limited.

I encourage anyone with recipes to share them for our quarterly draw for a jar of mustard, I need all the help that I can get!

My favourite recipe is our sausage roll. It’s quick, easy and customizable. Each of us at home has a favourite sausage and mustard, so I can prepare it as it is wanted. AND, I can freeze them once cooked, to be thawed and heated at a later time for a quick and easy meal. Here is a link to the Sausage Roll recipe, just click here.

Where can people find your mustards?!

Here is a link to help people find us, please click here. That being said, please look at the information below too.

Airdrie: On Tap Oil & Vinegar, Skyefire Bakery, Homegrown

Calgary: Fresh & Local, Avenida Mercantile, Harry’s Natural Meats, Spolumbo’s Italian Deli, Bon Ton Meat Market. Damit Amit’s Food Truck also uses our Honey Hot on his delicious Smokestack burger.

Strathmore: Pure Country Meats, Origin Malting & Brewery

Southern Alberta: Burgardt’s Butcher Shop (High River), Country Food Mart/AG Foods (Black Diamond), Hirsche Frazer Meats (Okotoks)

Central Alberta: Sunshine Blends (Innisfail), Messinger Meats (Red Deer)

Edmonton & Area: Real Deal Meats, Butcher Block & Smokehouse, Acme Meats, Spruce Park Ranch, Ben’s Meats & Deli, Grapevine Deli, Wilhauk’s.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your Mustard Business with our readers and us.  We loved learning about your company, and the health benefits of mustard too.

To connect with Cian’s Mustard, please visit their website, click here. And, definitely support and follow this amazing Mustard Company by reaching out to them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please click here to see their new Healthy Menu Showcase!

 

 

 

 

 

Chatting Slow-Grown Chickens with Country Lane Farms!

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My husband, son, and I had the pleasure of meeting Jerry Kamphuis and his wife Nancy of Country Lane Farms over this past weekend. They graciously gave us a tour of their impressive chicken farm!  We learned a lot about their farm operations and how they create a very healthy low-stress environment for their chickens. 

Come and learn what sets Country Lane Farms apart, and how you can support their Farm-to-Table Business.  Let’s go!

Please tell us about Country Lane Farms. How long has your farm been running for, and what do you specialize in? Every farm has a food philosophy, too. What is yours?

Our goal is to provide our customers with healthy products that are reasonably priced and taste great. The chicken has a great flavor, and all we use when cooking is salt and pepper.

We don’t use any antibiotics or animal products OR chemicals. We have been raising great chickens since 1984.

Country Lane Farms in Alberta, Canada.

How have you seen the chicken and farm industry change over the past 20+ years and how are you different from other commercial farms these days?

That’s the problem…the industry hasn’t changed much. We decided to raise antibiotic-free chicken in the early 1990’s and did all the research on our own…zero help from the industry. Now they say they are trying to catch up.

We raise our chickens longer than the industry to get a good-sized roasting bird about 7 lbs., to our customers, however we raise them slower…meaning we never overfeed the birds.

We also give our chicken LOTS of room…about 2x’s as much as what is normal on commercial farms.

Country Lane Farms in AB, Canada

Let’s talk about chickens and their genetic changes over the years that have occurred within the industry. Can you explain to our readers how long big industry farms take to get their chickens to full weight and how you differ? Plus, why it is better to not have your chickens grow so quickly?

The chickens have been bred over the years to get a high-yielding meat bird. We are different in how we raise them in that we restrict their feeding as well as supplementing with the highest quality of minerals and vitamins. By restricting their feed we can ensure they don’t grow too fast which causes leg problems. We monitor air quality and have designed our barn with high ceilings to get the best air quality.

The best nutrition, as well as lots of room with controlled temperature, ensures a high quality bird.

Do you offer any other food products people can purchase?

We have sourced a high-quality salmon as well as beef…both farmed with the same standards and philosophy we have for our chickens. We also have honey from the The Honey Mill which again, is the highest quality. We will ONLY provide the best quality of products for our customers. 

Salmon Fish Fillet

How can people order your farm products? As you are a direct “farm-to-family- style” business, some people may not be aware how easy it is to order and pick up from your business in Calgary. Can you share how the sales process goes?

Anyone can buy directly from us. All that is required is for the customer to set up an account on our web- site. We don’t take any financial information as customers only pay when they pick up their order.

Once their account is set up, they can choose the delivery locations/time that is most convenient for them and place their order. There is no minimum- order requirement, but we do offer discounts for bulk orders.

We, the farmers, are at EVERY delivery so customers can interact directly with the farmer!

Whole Chicken from Country Lane Farm

Last question, we saw you have an open-door policy where people in the community as well as clients can come and bring their families to see your farm operation in action. Do you have any annual farm events at this time? And, how would a person go about planning a visit to your farm?

Anyone is welcome to come see our farm. All they need to do is call and set up an appointment. We used to do regular large-farms tours but prefer the one-on-one interaction with our customers.

Jerry at Country Lane Farms in AB, Canada

Follow this amazing farm on social media:

To connect with Country Lane Farms, please visit their website: http://www.countrylanefarms.com/

Facebook: Click here.

Instagram: Click here.

Twitter: Click here.

Healthy Dine Out, Menu Showcase: Click here.

Thank you, Jerry and Nancy!  Truly, we came away from our Country Lane Farms tour feeling well educated!  We value that you raise your chickens using high-quality vitamins and organic minerals, which support and maintain the optimum health and growth of your birds.

An Interview with Subir Bagchi of Chi’s Tea Company!

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Welcome to our Interview with Subir Bachchi of Chi’s Tea Company!  We had the pleasure of learning about his company and what makes his tea so therapeutic and amazing!

Let’s get started!

Please tell us about Chi’s Tea Company? What made you start your business?

Chi’s Tea Company was started to help our diverse communities to explore plant-based alternative therapies, to promote holistic natural tea blends for health and wellness and to share their benefits.

Our Master Blender has benefited from natural foods himself by making lifestyle adjustments that have helped him to heal himself. After spending over two decades in the food and beverage industry, and being a proponent of all things natural, he wanted to share his knowledge and expertise, his love for tea and Ayurveda along with his passion for natural healing and health and wellness. All of this got translated into his experimenting with tea blends and before we knew it, Chi’s Tea Company was formed.

Chi’s Tea at Maddog.

Can you share with us what Chi stands for and your corporate philosophy around Chi and tea?

Chi means universal energy or life force.

Our corporate philosophy is based on the premise of consuming natural foods to harness this inner energy within oneself for self healing.

Our corporate values are to provide holistic tea blends using the best ingredients for one’s health and wellness as well as enhancing the experience of savoring a pleasurable cup of tea filled with nutritional goodness. We believe in providing a great quality product with excellent customer service.

Stampede 2019 pic, Chi’s Tea Company

Can you share with our readers some of your most popular tea blends, and what makes them so special?

Each of our tea blends has its own unique character. Cosmic Spice Chai made with premium Assamese black tea and nine aromatic spices is our flagship blend.  It is very good for fall and winter seasons and is super delicious. We also carry a caffeine-free version of it.

Turmeric Twist the healing touch is one of our bestselling blends, and encompasses all of the benefits of curcumin and moringa.

Moringa is a miracle plant and a super food, good for inflammation and arthritis.

Our Endless Love blend is extremely popular as an after meals tea due to a slight natural sweetness and it is caffeine free.

We have introduced two new teas: London Fire, an earl grey blend for hormonal balance, and Heartbeat of Rockies, for heart health. Both are based on Ayurveda and are picking up pace alongside the Sweet pH Balance, Rhythms of Chaga, and Crohn’s Support Tea blends.

Our organic Japanese Matcha Tea is very popular with University staff members and students alike for its taste and potency.

Chi’s Tea Company

What else?

Our raw cane sugar that we carry is vegan and contains trace minerals like zinc, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus which make it stand out amongst other sweeteners.

There is a lot of research and development done for each tea blend we create before we launch them into the market. We use sustainably sourced and fair trade organic ingredients mostly.

A lot of our herbs and spices come from the Himalayan region, South America, and Africa, to name a few places, because these are not available locally in Canada.

The purity of our ingredients and utilization of our expertise in blending technique using precise proportions is what makes our blends so special. We do not use any flavorings, fillers, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), synthetic materials or sweeteners. Our tea blends are completely natural, vegan and gluten free. They are also keto and paleo friendly.

We see you also share recipes on your site. Do you have a favourite recipe you’d like to tell us about and a link to it?

We love sharing recipes with our patrons so they can enjoy our teas using fresh fruits, and our iced tea recipes are very popular. Our favorite is the Mystic Mango Iced Tea made with our Mystic Arabia Chai. The recipe can be found by clicking here.

We also offer a fresh tea line where we prepare ready-to-serve custom orders for weddings, birthday parties and corporate events. This can save our patrons time and they can enjoy a therapeutic blend of their choice with their guests for a healthier lifestyle.

We also do custom pack our loose-leaf tea blends as party favors and corporate gifts.

We have soft launched herb and plant extracts as natural top up supplements for beverages and food.

Endless love snow display.

Do you have any upcoming events that you will be at? We’d love our readers to keep an eye out for your Chi’s Tea Company when out and about. Are your teas in any stores, as well?

We have lots of events lined up from October through Christmas. We are participating in Calgary Woman’s Show at BMO Centre on October 26 and 27, after which we have the Millarville Christmas Event November 7 through 10. We have also been invited by the University of Calgary to participate in their United Way Market Day Event on November 25.

You will find us for 3 consecutive weekends in November in the Candy Cane lane booth #3 for Spruce Meadows International Christmas Event and then at BMO Centre on December 6 through 8 for Market Collective. It is our first time participating in these two major events.

This year we are also participating for 2 weekends at the Saskatoon Farms Christmas Event.

We are extremely excited about all these events, and you can find more details on our website and our Facebook page.

Our teas are served and available to purchase at the Mad Dog Café in Canmore. As well, they are available to purchase in Purple Carrot Food and Wellness Inc. in Lethbridge and in Mainstreet Market and more in Okotoks. Camrose Coffee in downtown Camrose serves our teas, and you will soon be able to purchase them there. We are also looking to partner with some Calgary stores.

And of course, we have our online store through which we ship within Canada and worldwide: www.chiteacompany.com

 

 

An Interview with Paros on Main’s Effrossini Tzigalanis!

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Paros on Main is Airdrie’s best and longest-running Greek Restaurant!

Today, I had the pleasure of interviewing the owner of Paros on Main, Effrossini Tzigalanis! It was truly a great experience, and I hope you enjoy our interview below.

Let’s go!

Welcome to Paros on Main!

Please tell us about Paros on Main! We love your Greek food.

Okay! Well, we moved here in 2002, I think, in September then. At that time, there were only about 25,000 people in Airdrie, and yes, it was hard because people were not familiar with Greek cuisine and there weren’t too many people at the time. The first 2-3 years, it was hard. It was a struggle for the business to keep going.

Yet, then I have Louis! He was a teenager at that time, and I have Mario, too; he was the youngest by one year. After school, both of them would come here to the restaurant. Louis would be at the front and Mario… he would be at the back cooking with me every day!

I would need help back then, as I couldn’t afford cooks at the time. Louis would be the front person. He loves people! Slowly, Louis got to know the customers, and then we started having repeat customers. He was funny and he would serve back then, too. He wasn’t even allowed to give alcohol as he was young, just taking orders and accepting payments back then. Slowly, customers loved him and our business got busier!

I supported him being friendly and talking to the customers for a long time. So, customers loved him and wanted him to serve them. We even had customers call to ask for him. They loved the food and then talked to friends and it became busier! I can tell you the community supported me a lot, even today. I think they love us, and they keep coming back!

This Rack of Lamb Platter is incredible. A must have menu item when dining at Paros on Main!

Many restaurants don’t stand the test of time, but Paros on Main has been in business for 17 years now? What is your secret to such a successful restaurant? We’d say you are a part of what makes Airdrie special!

I think the food and the friendly atmosphere and I get to know most of the customers, and customers come to the kitchen to say hi! They hug me, and I think because I am cooking “open to close” every day, I don’t have cooks all of the time, and the food is different. It is the same all of the time! When people come here, they feel like they go to their home, not their restaurant.

We make them comfortable. I think you have to love the business and you have to make sure they are happy, and I ask all of the time, are they happy.

So that makes me happy when they are happy! Lots of people say the food is amazing, that makes me, oh my gosh, it is very rewarding!

One of Paros Booth’s where couples sit, eat and make memories!

What would you consider some of your healthiest menu items? Why?

The salads. We make our own dressing for the salads. The spices we use. It’s everything fresh.

We never pre-make the salads. We make it by the order.

We cook the meats right there. We have good quality ingredients. People pay and the menu is not inexpensive, so we order the best quality we can get of the meats, & the vegetables! Even when we are crazy busy, we make salads as they are ordered.

Horiatiki- The Greek Village Salad is not only stunning to look at, it tastes amazing!

Let’s chat about your lemon potatoes! They are so amazing. I had a friend who, when she was pregnant, would come in just for a side of them as part of her pregnancy cravings.

Okay the Lemon Potatoes are very popular and very famous.

Almost every table asks for how we make the potatoes and Tzatziki. Those two are the most popular. They want to know.

Well it is a secret, ha ha ha. But, I have given the recipe for real to a couple of people, and they say it is not the same! They try to make the potatoes! But, it is true, I do give the recipe.

By far the best Lemon Potatoes you will ever have!

Do you have any other locations outside of Airdrie?

Okay, we have Royal Oak; it is called Paros Real Greek. And then the other one is downtown. I think it is 8th and 14th or 15th, that one is also Paros Real Greek. There is a third one coming up with my boys! They are doing very good, working hard open to close and they make everything there, everything fresh. Yet, it is not a big restaurant like ours, but they make everything there. They have the guiro, and it is homemade!

The exact locations for each of the Paros Greek Restaurant’s are:

Paros on Main: 113 Main St N, Airdrie, AB T4B 0R2

Paros Real Greek, Royal Oaks, Calgary: 8650 112 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T3R 0R5

Paros Real Greek, Downtown, Calgary: 1436 8 St SW, Calgary, AB T2R 1R7

Paros Salad with Romaine, tomatoes, onions, grated feta, olives & Paros Dressing!

We see you wrote a book ‘Reservation for 10’, about your Paros on 4th. Please tell us about it!

It is really neat. Actually, it is available on Amazon right now, click here! It is a funny book, because all of those years, what’s happened here is a little crazy with the staff. I wrote down when I had time a little, a little bit and I made the book. And everybody, I think they find the book is funny! So my husband and me, right, his English is bad, bad, bad.. But mine is bad, but his very bad! How my husband talked to the staff was like an old fashioned, Greek man. When the staff works here a long time, they get to understand him. The way he acts and talks. M hmmm. It is on Amazon. It’s a true story.

The most important is how we got Paros on 4th and it is the most funny part, and then the Paros on Main. We were at 4th month for month with no lease, and because the business was very long. And some company bought the whole building, so they took it down, and now it is a big, brand new high rise, but they promised we would go back at the new location and we lost the money and the location from this development company. So, we lost the money.

After that, we looked for a new location, and a friend of mine mentioned a location and then I came here with Louis and Mario, and Louis said no mom, no mom, because it was in chaos here. I told him, don’t look the way it is now, I have a vision of how I am going to fix it now. Slowly we were going to fix it. No money either at that time. And friends, Greek good friends helped a lot. They did a lot. They did the renovations, no payments!

An incredibly beautiful vase with silk flowers greets you when you walk into Paros on Main.

Let’s briefly chat “community”, as you are a big part of it! You recently were a sponsor for Volunteer Airdrie Society’s award that was given to Rabia Abdullah for her amazing volunteer efforts. Can you tell us a bit about why you sponsored this non-for-profit and why volunteering is important to you?

Even when I first opened, when it wasn’t busy, still I wanted to help, right? It doesn’t matter. A little bit or not. I wanted to be involved in the community, and the only thing I could think, I could do something. Like, they can have food here, they can have families here, meet with the kids. With the Community Links, they are very nice people, all the ladies that are there. I started 9 years ago, for families that meet here that have no jobs, unemployed people, before Christmas, they have a whole big party here, Santa Claus, lots of presents for the kids, that’s Paros’s doing for 9 years now, and that is my Christmas party every year. I enjoy it! You can see the kids happy, excited, and they enjoy it! The community links organize the families, and I have the restaurant open for them and their kids.

A large beautiful blue vase is stationed between tables.

I had a server back at the time, and he mentioned that his sister worked at Community Links, and so I asked if they needed help with something, whatever you wanted to offer and that was the start of the Christmas party!

In 2009, I had a surprise party and was awarded Airdrie Ambassador 2009 for volunteer work.

In 100 years, I have gotten it and no one had gotten it. I think I never did big things, but I did, anybody asked for something, I say yes. I know how it looks when people need help. You have to give, not only to get, you have to give when they need it. Maybe I don’t have gas money, but I can say you can come in to eat. Now, when I am supported, I can give back to the community. The community and the people keep us going.

Thank you Effrossini Tzigalanis for taking the time to do this great interview!  We are thrilled to share it on Healthy Dine Out.  It was a delight to meet you and have you share your restaurant’s history and stories with myself and our readers. You are an inspiring entrepreneur in the food industry, and your incredible high-quality foods and restaurant are a wonderful part of what makes the City of Airdrie so special!

Paros On Main’s website, please click here

To Like and follow Paros on Main on Facebook, please click here

To view their Healthy Menu Showcase, please click here. 

What Food Businesses can have a Healthy Menu Showcase?

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Technically, any Food Business can! Even if you don’t have a healthy menu item yet, we can look at creating a new healthy menu with a Registered Dietician for your Food Business!

That being said, most Food Businesses already have healthy menu items, and can create a Healthy Menu Showcase right away on our site.

What are the current kinds of Food Businesses that can share a Healthy Menu Showcase on Healthy Dine Out?

We currently have these Food Business Categories on our website listed below, and we will add more when needed. If you don’t see your food business category below, please reach out to us. We are on all of the major social media outlets: Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. We’d love to hear from you!

Food business Categories on Healthy Dine Out:

  1. All Restaurants
  2. Bed and Breakfasts
  3. Café
  4. Campus Dining
  5. Catering
  6. Fast Food
  7. Food Delivery
  8. Food Truck
  9. Golf Course
  10. Hotel Restaurants
  11. Juicery
  12. Pub
  13. Retirement Home
  14. *Soon to be: Farm Businesses

What Certifications do you offer?

We have 2 different Certifications!

Our Free, Basic, and Chain Membership options are all Healthy Dine Out Preferred Memberships. To get a Healthy Dine Out Certified Membership, you must apply for Certification by clicking Apply Now under our Certified Listing on our Food business registration Page, click here.

Healthy Dine Out Preferred

The Restaurant’s Head Chef and Business Owners have specially chosen this restaurant menu for Healthy Dine Out. This Restaurant is aware they are to choose their healthiest menu items and offer full ingredients lists per menu item.  We recommend that Head Chefs post nutrient-dense foods that are not deep-fried and have a limited amount of sodium used in their menu-item preparation.  We recommend posting menu items where fresh ingredients are used, along with menu items that have low levels of refined sugars and processed ingredients.

Healthy Dine Out Certified

A Registered Dietician has approved this restaurant’s menu on Healthy Dine Out.  We take this approval process very seriously and work with the best dieticians to find a restaurant’s healthiest menu items.  There are times when a restaurant may even choose to work with a dietician to create a whole new menu for this certification, Healthy Dine Out Certified.  We are confident in saying this restaurant has taken the time to work with a Registered Dietician to find the healthiest dietary recommendations with specific product ingredients and nutrient values.

Thanks for stopping in, and we look forward to your joining us!

We hope you like our new site and find it a great way to market your Food Business to the public! Truly, you will be helping everyone to make healthier choices too, by sharing your healthiest menu items in one spot! At Healthy Dine Out, we are all about marketing your healthiest menu items, and a Healthy Food Community Platform.

Do you have any questions, or need help with your Healthy Menu Showcase? We are here to help you out! Please reach out to us. Click here to start your FREE Healthy Menu Showcase; just click Join under Free listing!

Healthy Food Businesses in the News!

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Each week we will be skimming different Social Media Platforms and News portals from around the world for the latest Healthy Food Businesses making the news. This past week, what’s been in the headlines?!

Let’s jump in!

The True Food Kitchen – an Oprah supported Healthy Restaurant Chain will be offering vegan-friendly whole foods at its newest location in New Orleans. Read more about The True Food Kitchen and how Oprah is involved with this restaurant chain by reading LiveKindly website’s article, click here.

Café Nune is opening its’ second location across from the RVCC in October in Branchburg, New Jersey! You’ll find salads, smoothies, breakfast bowls and other healthy menu items. Here is a link to their Instagram account, click here.

In the Tampa Bay Times, there is a new restaurant review on Forbici. This restaurant is said to be bringing Roman-style pizza and offers a healthy twist to Modern Italian Cuisine in Hyde Park! Click here to read more on this restaurants vegetarian options and how they accommodate all kinds of diners.

Down in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, Press Blend Squeeze Super Foods & Juicery now offers healthy catering services. Click here to see their Instagram post about their catering, and to follow them.

And, click here to check out their great catering menu!

Last up for Healthy Food Business making the headlines…

Have you heard of these new Fresh-Food Vending Machines?!

On Aviation Pros website, there is a great article about Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport now offering these new healthy and fresh food options 24 hours a day thanks to Farmer Fridge’s two new healthy vending machines. As the article mentions, Farmer’s Fridge makes the food daily, and then restocks them overnight. We love that travellers will have healthy options now on the go! To read the full article, please click here.

Do you have Healthy Food News you’d like us to share?  Are you a Healthy Food Business that has something great to share?  Please reach out! We are on all of the major media platforms: Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram @healthydineout.

Why All Food Businesses Need a Healthy Menu?

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We have just started to reach out to all kinds of different Food Businesses (Restaurants, Cafes, Pubs, Juiceries, Caterers, Golf Course Restaurants, Retirement Homes, Food Trucks to name a few…) to get them up on our newly relaunched website(s) by way of a Healthy Menu Showcase and to be a part of Healthy Dine Out’s Growing Food Community.

And, things are going great! We are very excited for Food Businesses of all sorts to join our web platform! That being said, how can a food business benefit from sharing their healthiest menu items?

No Food Business will ever choose to share a Healthy Menu if there isn’t an upside, right?!

Here are our thoughts on “WHY” Food businesses can benefit from taking the time to post a Healthy Menu Showcase on Healthy Dine Out:

  1. The public can easily find your healthiest menu items when you share a healthy menu on Healthy Dine Out. It saves time for your customer when dining at your location too, which means that customer will know what they want without sifting through other menu items. There is a possibility of freeing up more dining space sooner because people are prepared when arriving at your location!
  2. Having a Healthy Menu with a simple ingredients list creates more food transparency and trust between your business and your client. People want to know what’s in their menu item, and many people these days with eating restrictions can feel better informed, and enjoy their dining experience.
  3. People who want to eat clean, or even on a specific diet can look at your items and make informed decisions right away. They also don’t need to be tempted by deep fried items when they view your Healthy Menu.
  4. The majority of Food Businesses have healthier menu items to offer the public… A lot of these businesses just haven’t had a place to share them without creating more menu brochures. We offer a Free membership with no catches where such Food Businesses have an opportunity to promote their healthiest menu items.
  5. The public needs your Healthy menu! People love the idea of a one stop place to find healthy menu items, and we offer that to them! There is a need for your business to share its healthiest menu items as we have a growing audience that wants such a service!
  6. Healthy Food is all the rage! Yes, there is a growing healthy movement where people want to be healthier, exercise more, and live a cleaner life.  Sharing a healthy menu helps people out, and supports their healthy food decisions.
  7. It is positive marketing for a Food Business. We have taken almost 1 year to create our new web platform with 2 websites enjoined: Our main Food Community Website and our Food Businesses Directory Website. We wanted to create a Food Community around healthy eating, and have the public connected to Food Businesses Healthy Menus…  A win-win idea we think! Our Healthy Menu Showcases are beautiful when filled out and easy to use and edit when needed. It takes no time to share your healthy menu items on our website!
  8. We’d love to get your Healthy Menu on Pinterest where a huge healthy following exists. We love sharing our web platform content, and your Food business is sure to benefit! We also share content to our growing Twitter, and Instagram Accounts. We are @healthydineout on these social platforms.
  9. Our business is based on positive social change, and we want you to be a part of it! As mentioned, it is Free to have a Healthy Menu Showcase! You can register your Food Business here: Click here.
  10. We love helping Food Businesses get their content out to our growing audience! If you’d like to have a guest article, please reach out to us on any of our social media platforms! We have 2 different blogs…

If you have come to our website and own, or manage a Food Business,  please consider a Healthy Menu on our new Healthy Dine Out Web Platform.  We’d love for you you join our growing Food Community!  We promise you won’t be disappointed, and that the upsides of sharing healthy menu items are there for your business… And, don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need help with your Menu Showcase.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article.

Eating out, but Staying Healthy!

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When a lot of us eat out, we tend to throw our healthy cares to the wind and indulge in not so great choices. I’m talking about deep-fried options, when we could actually be making better dining choices that add nutritional benefits to our diet.

For instance, if your restaurant has the option, add some raw veggie slices, or opt for steamed veggies.  Both are low in calories and add extra fibre which is great for your digestive system.

Or, ask for a side house salad with dressing on the side so you can control the amount you place on your salad.

As for portion sizes, look at getting a half order and ordering more if needed, and look at menu choices that offer lower sodium levels.  Saturated fat can be another hidden issue, yet if you keep your menu choices to fresh, and simple ingredient-filled menu items, you are less likely to have saturated fat in your meal choice.

What about drinks when dining-out?

Opt for water and avoid sweet soda drinks, or other higher calorie drinks.  It is quite simple: have water before you eat your meal, as it’ll curb your appetite.  That old saying of, “you may be more thirsty than hungry” has a lot of truth to it!

Other quick dining tips?

Think about sharing a few menu items; a salad and a main dish or even just a healthier appetizer is great, or a few healthy side dishes. And, avoid that buffet, unless you are only going to have plate that isn’t loaded to the brim with food.  Buffets can really add to the idea that we need to pack ourselves full of food: plates and plates of food.  That overly full feeling isn’t great, nor is it good to over-eat.

Lastly, choose your restaurant wisely. If it isn’t clean, and the hygiene isn’t there…

No matter how tasty the food is, it can possibly make you really sick if people don’t take care of the restaurant environment and kitchen area, plus practice good hand washing etc.

So can you eat out and still be healthy: Yes!

Just follow these tips above and have a great meal.

 

Eating Out, but Staying Healthy: Number One Tip!

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So is it possible to dine-out and eat healthy? Yes, of course it is possible. There is a misnomer that when people eat out it is bad for a person’s health. Yet, truly you can get “really healthy” meals when eating-out depending on where you eat and what you choose.

So what is one of, if not the most important dining tip to keep you feeling healthy and alive?

This dining-out ‘health tip’ might surprise you…

  1. Is the restaurant you are dining at clean? That is, do they practice good hygiene and food safety?

When dining out, so many people first jump to the food choices to locate what they are going to eat, and I don’t think that is necessarily wrong, yet maybe consider doing this first before looking at the menu. Ask yourself: is this current restaurant’s hygiene practice(s) amazing?! You see, you can choose a very healthy menu item, but if the employees are not keeping up on the hygiene of the facility and their own hand washing and kitchen cleaning you might be in for an unhealthy illness experience after dining…

With all of the Hepatitis A scares of late, and food poisoning issues occurring at restaurants, people need to be vigilant when choosing a place to eat out at. Even when we are aware diners who look for clean restaurants with staff members practicing good hand washing and hygiene practices we can still be caught off guard by risks associated with dining-out.

I can vouch for the need to have a clean restaurant first-hand. Recently, my son and I had a health scare when we had dined-out at a local popular restaurant that I have always thought was very clean and well maintained.

Yet, even so, after discovering a news article on Hepatitis A exposure at ‘said restaurant’ I was then caught up in the potentiality that my son and I may have been exposed to this nasty virus. One of their chef’s had fallen ill and had come down with Hepatitis A.

Thankfully, we did not eat at the time the person was working. Yet, there is still a risk involved as we still dined during the possible exposure dates. My hope is that my choice in this restaurant due to its cleanliness, excellent high-quality food, and first-rate hygiene practices pays off and my son and I are in the clear of catching this virus.

Until we experience these kinds of food-related potential health issues, we don’t always think it can happen to us, and once it does… we become diners with an eye for cleanliness even more so than before.

What do I look for, as a person who dines out a lot?

Mainly, I tend to check out the bathrooms before I order my food. Are the doors to the bathroom washed down and clean? Have the sinks recently been cleaned and the floors too? Are the bathroom stalls clean and well maintained? Or, is there toilet paper everywhere on the ground, dirt in the grout, and on the walls? Are the mirrors clean and sinks without slime or mould?

If you think there is a cleanliness issue in the bathroom, or in and around your dining table… Simply leave. Chances are, if they aren’t maintaining the bathrooms then they aren’t keeping up with food safety and cleanliness in the kitchen.

Other things I look for when dining-out:

Is the food fresh? Are the lettuce leaves not wilted and are they free of redness when my salad arrives? Is my meal hot and steaming, or has it been left out for a while waiting to get to my table? Has my table been wiped down and are my utensils clean? Is there an employee wash your hands sign if both employees and diners use the same restrooms…

Stay tuned for more noteworthy articles around dining-out tips that will benefit you and your friends. I’d add more tips here, but this is getting to be a long article in itself. Thanks for stopping in and I hope you keep my dining cleanliness tips in mind and don’t hesitate to leave a poorly cared for dining location before you risk getting a food borne illness.