Lookin’ Good Girl — Food for Your Face

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By Vanessa Vaillant

Here at Fat Girl Food Squad, we’re always talking about delicious food. We all love to nourish our bodies with food, but it can also be great for nourishing our skin! Often when you think of foods that are good for your body, they will have properties that are nourishing to the skin as well. Feeding your face and body with food-­based ingredients is a fun and healthy way to take care of yourself.

Green Tea

We all know that green tea is good for the body but it’s also fantastic for your skin. Green tea is very high in antioxidants and also has antibacterial properties. Antioxidants help to fight against free radicals that are all around us, coming from a variety of sources like pollution and cigarette smoke. An easy way to get green tea into your skin is to simply brew up a cup and tone your face with it. Toning your skin before adding moisturizer will keep your skin more hydrated, and you won’t need to use as much moisturizer. You can also use matcha green tea powder mixed into a face mask.

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Papaya

Papayas are not only delicious, they are also jam packed full of vitamins for your skin. They’re full of vitamins A, B, and C, contain powerful alpha hydroxy acids, and also their own powerful papaya enzymes. Fruit enzymes are a great way to naturally exfoliate the skin without actually scrubbing it because they’ll eat away at dead skin cells. This is especially good for anyone who has a sensitivity to exfoliating. The naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acids and papaya enzymes will brighten up the skin and help to remove dead cells. You can also look for fruit enzymes in facial cleansers, masks, and moisturizers.

Lush Cosmetic’s The Sacred Truth face mask combines papaya, matcha green tea, and fresh wheatgrass to pack a foodie punch to your skin!

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Beet Root

Eating a rainbow of colourful foods is what you often hear about when aiming for good internal health. If you’ve ever prepared beets before, you will know that they are incredibly pigmented. Beets also contain a high amount of vitamins and phytochemicals. Beet juice can be used to naturally stain the skin — you can use it all on its own as a lip or cheek stain. The colour that beets give is very natural looking on the skin, and can be layered for a bolder look.

Small-batch organic skincare company, Fat and The Moon, make a great lip and cheek stain that
uses beet root for pigment.

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Peach

Peaches were once thought of as the fruit of immortality, so it’s no wonder that peach kernel oil (and as apricot kernel oil) is often used in “anti­-ageing” products. Peach kernel oil is extracted from the pit of the fruit; this oil is naturally high in good fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins A and E, meaning it’s great for keeping skin looking fresh and youthful. This type of oil is also easily absorbed into the skin, so it won’t feel heavy or greasy. Look for apricot or peach kernel oil in moisturizers for the face, lips, and body.

Tony Moly makes a super adorable peach hand lotion!  I picked mine up at Pacific Mall.

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Honey

Honey has been used topically on the skin since Ancient Egyptian times. It has both antibacterial and soothing properties, which makes it exceptionally good for anyone with skin conditions like eczema. It’s wonderful for healing because it will sooth the skin and encourage the growth of healthy skin cells. You can apply honey directly onto your skin, or look for skincare products containing honey in the base. You can also make your own body scrub by mixing honey with an exfoliating base like sugar, salt, or ground coffee.

No Bull Burgers keeps it fresh, local and organic

Originally posted to Ama’s bi-weekly column on Toronto is Awesome.

Sometimes when you’re looking for food, you just want the classic burger & fries. Well guess what Toronto? No Bull Burgers has just what you’re looking for to satisfy that craving and they are doing so without any of the fillers or processed ingredients. Just plain, pure and simple hamburger goodness.

No Bull Burger has been serving customers in the Queen and Parliament area for some time now however co-owner (part of the father/son team) Tony Tsakanikas decided it was time to expand the business and venture into the Upper Beaches area. Just recently, No Bull Burgers opened at 1019 Kingston Road in a bigger, brighter and more family-oriented expansion.

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When I sat down with Tony, he told me: “I just recently punched a home in the area and fell in love with the neighbourhood. There was no doubt in my mind that this area would be the perfect spot for our second location.”

As soon as guests walk through the door, they are treated to a variety of fresh, local and organic burgers prepared and treated on the grill-top. All burgers in the menu come with your choice of toppings (the usual: ketchup, mustard, pickles, etc.) as well as the option for guacamole,caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, and roasted red pepper sauce (all free of charge).

But if that had not sold you on No Bull’s brand of burger offerings, then perhaps their signature burgers like the Redneck ($8.95/burger only), which has beer battered peameal bacon, two types of cheeses, homemade whiskey BBQ sauce and a fresh 4 oz. house-made patty, made fresh with local and organic beef. Topped with lettuce and tomato. When I chatted with Tony about the signature burgers he told me, “A lot of the Signature Burgers came from trial & error over time through development with the staff. Sometimes we’ll change some of the signature burgers up and we’ll have regular customers asking where that burger has gone.” In chatting with Tony, he told me that they are hoping to develop a monthly feature burger, like a Turkey Thanksgiving Burger perhaps. I tried out the Redneck Burger and it was delicious! All the toppings were fresh and the burger was juicy. The biggest highlight was the beer battered peameal. A great burger, in a great spot.

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But if burgers aren’t your thing perhaps, then No Bull has other offerings: poutine (ranging in price between $5-9, you can get everything from Cheeseburger to Pulled Pork) or milkshakes (served up with Kwartha Dairy’s famous ice-cream) or perhaps you’re feeling like sandwich today (brisket and pulled pork on the menu, daily).

All food is made ready to order and takes about 8-12 minutes from time of order. Tony tells me, “Since we’ve opened the new location, we’ve had a really great response. There was a demand for food is this area and now, we’re offering it.” He tells me that with this location since its bigger than the original Queen and Parliament location, people can sit down, relax and enjoy their burgers without hurry.”

Check out No Bull Burgers, one of Toronto’s best kept (burger) secrets.

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We Love Our Sugar Mamma’s Mini Donuts!

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It’s Saturday morning and the smell of freshly fried dough has hit the air. If you’re in the Christie and St Clair area, then you might be smelling the sweet, delicious, mad-cookery of Sugar Mamma’s Mini Donuts at the Wychwood Barns Farmer’s Market every Saturday.

Say hello to Wade Vroom and Keith Barker, your two bad boys behind the mobile mini donut pop-up.  We sat down together on Saturday morning during the Farmer’s Market and chatted about all things, well… donuts.

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“When we originally sat down to come up with the concept for Sugar Mamma’s in 2009, we were seriously considering opening up a mobile coffee truck,” Keith tells me.  However, a family member from Texas was already in the donut business in Texas selling mini’s at flea markets and farmer’s markets and they changed their concept. “We sat down and really thought about if we wanted to perhaps do coffee and donuts, but then we just decided, donuts – we’e doing it.”

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Since then, their donuts have been a hit amongst all for their unique cooking and delicious taste. Each of the Mini Donuts are cooked in a organic coconut oil which gives them a unique taste and aroma then they are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. “We’ve been working lately on making some new donut mixes that could be vegan, organic and/or gluten-free.  We’re really committed to expanding the types of donuts we have but also trying to expand the different types of markets we will be attending,” Keith mentions.  As it stands, the new mix uses a combination of coconut flour, brown rice flour, tapioca flour and chickpea flour.

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Each order is made right in front of you and can cause much joy and delight to watch the donuts run down the line.  Your donuts are then scooped up and put into a little baggy with both Wade and Keith mugs and the Sugar Mamma logo. When I ask them about the branding, they tell me, “Travis Murphy put together everything we have and he has made it look great.  He’s a genius!”

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Biting into your first Sugar Mamma’s donut is crisp, fluffy heavenly goodness.  At first glance they may look like your average Tiny Tom Donuts, but these are much better and way more than average.  On deck, they have been thinking about introducing different flavours (like cayenne pepper, for savoury folks) or perhaps a flavour of the month (in their next season), but as it stands, they are sticking with Cinnamon Sugar.

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So what is in store next for Keith, Wade and Sugar Mamma’s?  They would both love to see their pop-up turn into a potential food-truck but most importantly, taking the Sugar Mamma’s brand and donuts further.  “We love what we do and we want to continue doing it and pushing ourselves.”

Visit your Sugar Mamma every Saturday at the Wychwood Barns.

Tour de Taco – Los Angeles Tacos by Bike Part I

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Heather immortalized us (in chalk) somewhere in the heart of Los Angeles!

Meet Heather, our homegirl in holding it down in LA. You can read more about Heather, the proprietor of not one, but two food businesses, in her bio here. Heather’s first piece for FGFS is a two parter bike tour of LA tacos. If you’ve ever visited California we hope you’ve experienced some legit tacos, but maybe now like this. Read on!

Let me start off by saying that conquering more than 3 or 4 taco spots in one day all on your bike is quite a task! This is why I will be doing this in two parts. Here we go! Enjoy the first four stages of Tour de Taco.

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Stage 1: Sharkey’s (13238 Burbank Blvd.Sherman Oaks, Ca) Sweet squad car, LAPD.

Stage 1: Arts District Downtown Los Angeles to Sharkey’s Mexican Grill, Sherman Oaks, CA.
Distance: 20.1 miles (32.3km).

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Heather hunkers in.

We took the metro most of the way here so we technically only rode about 3 miles to the first taco stop. I was traveling with my awesome photographer, Alex, and our friend Daniel. Neither of them had ever been to Sharkey’s so I was pretty excited for them and of course myself. Daniel, the vegetarian, enjoyed some fajita tacos with tofu, while Alex had a tempura battered mahi mahi taco and a vegetarian taco as well. I had a steak taco and a grilled fish taco. Everyone was stoked, including all of the cops that were there. Perhaps tacos are the new doughnuts? If you’re looking for some uber healthy and delicious tacos, Sharkey’s is the spot.

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Tofu Tacos, y’all.

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Hunky Fish and Tofu Tacos

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Stage 2: Mixto (2827 Hyperion Ave, Silver Lake, Ca)

Stage 2.: Sharkey’s Mexican Grill, Sherman Oaks to Mixto, Silver Lake, CA. Distance: 13.7 miles (22km)

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Mixto Soyrizo Tacos

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Mixto Pork Taco

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Heather and co. chilling

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Heather place that order.

Although all of us pass Mixto on a daily basis, none of us had ever stopped by to eat. I was pleasantly surprised that everything was grass fed, free range, and organic. (Go figure; a free range, organic taco spot in Silver Lake? No way!) Daniel had some super spicy soy chorizo tacos and Alex and I couldn’t pass up on the succulent pork tacos. They also had cold pressed watermelon aqua fresca and almond milk horchata, all fucking amazing — I’m craving some right now if you must know! Since it was Tour de Taco and not Tour de Mexican food, we didn’t have the pleasure of trying other things on the menu, but don’t get it twisted; we will.

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Stage 3: Guisados (1261 W Sunset Blvd, Echo Park, Ca)

Stage 3: Mixo, Silver Lake to Guisados, Echo Park, CA.
Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)

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Julie diggin’ in.

We stopped by Golden Saddle Cyclery to pick up our friend, Julie, for stage 3 of Tour de Taco. None of us had ever been to Guisados but everyone has been raving about it. The original location is a hop, skip, and a jump from my loft downtown but we went to their new location in Echo Park that opened back in January. Julie and Daniel both had veggie tacos and Alex and I tried the sampler plate. It was the first 6 tacos on the list, chicken, pork, and beef, all totally delicious. I kinda didn’t want to share with Alex but I didn’t want to be too full for the ride home.

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Veggie options

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The Sampler

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Armando Palmero

We also indulged in an Armando Palmero (think of it as like a Mexican Arnold Palmer) which was lemonade and hibiscus mixed together, muy refreshing! (It was also quite nice to see a super hot dude working the cash register, see for yourself, rar! I’m such a sucker for long hair and facial hair –Jesus complex?)

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Jesus?

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Stage 4: Guisados back home to the Arts District.
Distance: 2 miles (3.1km)

After a long day of riding and eating it was nice to be back on home turf. But I didn’t stop there. I made some leftover soyrizo, potato, and egg tacos that I had from breakfast from the day before. That brought my taco tally up to 12 for the day. I’m quite proud. It also helps that I’m participating in, “500 Taco Summer” that my friend Erin does every year. As of this day, I am at 274 tacos since June 21, 2013. Don’t be fooled; it’s hard work!!!

Keep an eye out for Part Dos of Tour de Taco.There are so many other places we have to hit up. If everyone’s schedules align, we will pick where we left off in about a week or two. Can’t stop won’t stop.