Spring Party Tooth Sensitivity Tips

I have officially decided spring is upon us. I am also choosing to ignore the dire warnings for this week where I live of potential snowstorms and instead focus on the season that is just begging to fully arrive any moment…really, any moment now….how about now? Nope, not yet huh?

Alright, what we’ll do instead is plan ahead and daydream about the parties we’ll attend, and the treats we’ll have…and enjoy with some tips from my friends at ProNamel. I felt it important to go to the experts for us so we’re all set for maximum enjoyment.

Multi-Action

I do, in fact, have sensitivity as a result of enamel loss and am a very long-time user of  Sensodyne and ProNamel. ‎At the bevvy of parties and fun gatherings a multitude of cocktails and assorted beverages make an appearance, from wine to hot apple cider and hot chocola te (still in season and lovely). What are ‘better’ choices and ‘less than ideal’ ones that might put a sour note on the event?

Beverages that are often served at parties like red wine, white wine, apple cider and hot chocolate are high in acidity and have the potential to cause long-term erosion and tooth wear. Other beverages that are high in acid include soft drinks, coffee and tonic water.

Interestingly enough, a recent survey conducted by GSK revealed that Canadians rank coffee and wine among their favourite beverages but the majority don’t realize that these beverages are acidic.

I try my darndest to eat a lot of fruits and veggies at  parties to offset a couple of treats. Are there any in particular I, and others like me, should avoid or gravitate towards in order to not eat too many of those craved sweets?

Fruits and vegetables like broccoli, cucumber, avocados, bananas which are many of our favourite foods are low in acid.

Fruit like blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, grapes, grapefruit, lemons, limes, pineapples, pomegranates, raspberries and strawberries are high in acidity.

But you don’t have to give up on your favourite appetizers. Canadians can still enjoy the foods they love without compromising the strength of their teeth. Utilizing proper oral hygiene techniques and using a toothpaste specifically designed to help protect against the effects of acid erosion can help to mitigate the harm done by acidic foods. Toothpastes such as ProNamel help strengthen and re-harden acid-weakened enamel making it healthy, stronger and better-protected so it’s more resistant to enamel loss and future Acid Wear, which could lead to sensitivity.

Chocolate? Cookies? Brittle candy? Cakes? Which are better ‘not so great’ choices?

Apart from the issue of introducing sugar to the teeth, the sweet items mentioned have other damaging effects.  Most of us are well aware of the benefits that cocoa provides.  However, chocolates may also contain caffeine which can exacerbate acid reflux for those suffering from the condition.  Therefore, for those people, eating chocolates in moderation would be the key to reducing acid challenges on the enamel.  Candies and cookies that are of hard consistency can introduce micro fractures in the enamel.   Furthermore, enamel that is already weakened by acid can fracture or simply chip away small portions at a time.  For this reason, hard foods such as brittle candies, nuts and hard candies should be avoided at all times.

I’ve heard that sometimes straws help with beverages, is that an option? Difficult with some drinks for sure, but perhaps with others it might work?

To help reduce the risk of enamel wear there are many things you can do. You can try reducing the amount of time that acids are in contact with the teeth. To minimize swirling, swishing or holding acidic drinks in your mouth, you can use a straw.

In addition to this, there are a few other tips to help protect against Acid Wear:

  • Make an appointment to see the dentist. They will be able to look at your teeth for early signs of Acid Wear and assess levels of risk likely from your diet and brushing habits.
  • Try not to brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking acid foods and beverages, and make sure you’re using a soft bristled brush. Ideally wait 30 minutes before brushing.
  • Encourage children and teenagers to brush twice a day with a toothpaste like ProNamel to encourage good brushing habits and prevent future acid challenges.

Enamel loss is caused by acids acting on the tooth’s surface. In fact, as few as four acidic exposures a day can put tooth enamel at risk of Acid Wear. Each time teeth are exposed to acidic food or drinks, the acids can weaken the enamel as it loses minerals, making it easier for the enamel to wear away.

If enough of the enamel wears away the dentin layer becomes exposed and the nerve in the center of the tooth becomes susceptible to stimuli, resulting in a short, sharp pain caused by certain triggers, such as hot and cold foods and beverages.

ProNamel toothpaste builds up a protective barrier and insulates the nerve (with twice daily brushing) so you can keep enjoying hot and cold beverages.

Visit www.pronamel.ca for more information on Acid Wear, its effects and its causes.

Thank you to my friends at ProNamel for these wonderful tips and tricks to maximize our return to gatherings in warmer temps…which are coming…the groundhog said so…right? 😉

How to Get Your Non-Christmasey Hubby into Christmas ;)

A simply fun post for your Friday, aka ‘weekend-eve’.

I love Christmas. I love decorating for it. I love the specials on TV (Rudolph remains my fave) and I love the calm that always happens between present opening and breakfast. It’s something I cherish.

Hubby is trying as it isn’t his thing as much as mine and every year I put in a special effort for him. We have started a new tradition, it qualifies because we’ve now done it 2 years in a row, and that is to have our picture taken with the big guy, Santa himself.

‎How did I accomplish this feat? Bribery! Hubby-style! 😉

Step 1: Get him interested in decorating‎. How did I accomplish this? I found ornaments just for him. He is a big Rocket Raccoon fan, also Groot, so I found them as ornaments :).

Step 2:‎ Get him involved with ‘the big guy’. We went to visit Santa at Bass Pro Shops. Win for the wife!

I got to be a big kid and go through Santa-land and get into the fun with the families in line with us (so much fun!), and he got to shop for bbq and smoker accessories and items after.

Step 3: Then, I found the crown jewel of my plan. A definite hubby friendly way to celebrate the day. His very own Santa hat! Styled according to what he would actually wear too, in camo!
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Step 4: Christmas Eve. I’ve informed him we’re watching my favourites on tv/Netflix: Rudolph, The Polar Express, Santa Claus is Coming to Town (I love Topper the penguin) and Frosty.

I’m also hoping to go for a drive and see all the lights :).

We’ll see how this goes. So far, so good.
Muwahaha!

Holiday Baking Fun with Becel

The holidays and baking go hand-in-hand and I know every year I try to come up with a fun new recipe to try out, I try to top myself and usually when I start doing my recipe searches I get intimidated and can’t get over the amazing creations others come up with.

Here’s where Becel’s ‘Anything Goes’ Cookie Dough recipe comes in. It’s a lovely basic dough and you can add all sorts of things to it without having to find a whole new recipe (but your cookie-eating friends likely won’t notice –wink wink).

Deciding what to bake each holiday season can cause stress, but with this recipe you can do a half-batch one style, and the other another. Definitely a way to get more out of your dough ;).

And, just in time for the holidays for the baker in your life, Becel is having a fantastic contest! Read on for the details!

I’m thinking of adding some of the leftover Halloween candy to make my dough and cookies more fun! How yummy does crushed up peanut butter cups sound? Or Reese’s Pieces? Mmmm!

BECEL ANYTHING GOES COOKIE DOUGH RECIPE

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups  all-purpose flour

1 tsp.  baking soda

1/2 tsp.  salt

1 cup  Becel® Buttery Taste margarine

1 cup  firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 Naturegg Omega 3 eggs (where available – otherwise, please use your preferred brand)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°F (190° C). Combine flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl; set aside. Beat Becel® Buttery Taste margarine with sugars in large bowl using electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla until blended. Gradually add in flour mixture; beat just until blended. Add your choice of mix-ins (i.e. chocolate chip, dried fruit, seeds, toffee bits, etc.). Drop by tablespoonfuls on ungreased baking sheets, 2-inches (5 cm) apart. Bake 7 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool 2 minutes on wire rack; remove cookies from sheets and cool completely.

About the contest:

Get into the holiday spirit by #BakingWithBecel!

Share a photo of your Anything Goes Cookie Dough creation with Becel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest and be entered for your chance to win 1 of 4 baking prize packages valued at $625! See below for additional details, and be sure to visit becel.ca for the full rules and regulations, or click here.

Contest Entry Dates:

Monday, November 16 to Sunday, December 13

How to Enter:

Get creative! Add your favourite ingredients and/or mix-ins to the Becel Anything Goes Cookie Dough recipe (included below) and share a photo of your #BakingWithBecel creation alongside a tub of Becel Buttery Taste margarine in one of the following ways:

  • Instagram:  To enter via Instagram, log in to your public Instagram Account and post a photo of your cookie creation using the hashtags #BakingWithBecel and #Contest and an explanation of your suggested added ingredients to the Becel Anything Goes Cookie Dough Recipe
  • Twitter:  To enter via Twitter, log in to your public Twitter Account and tweet a photo of your cookie creation using the hashtags #BakingWithBecel and #Contest and an explanation of your suggested added ingredients to the Becel Anything Goes Cookie Dough Recipe
  • Facebook:  To enter via Facebook, log in to your Facebook Account and post a photo of your cookie creation to the Becel Facebook Page Wall using the hashtags #BakingWithBecel and #Contest and an explanation of your suggested added ingredients to the Becel Anything Goes Cookie Dough Recipe
  • Pinterest: To enter via Pinterest, log in to your public Pinterest Account and create a Pinterest board with the title #BakingWithBecel and pin your Photo to that board, including the hashtags #BakingWithBecel and #Contest , the date, and your added ingredients to the Becel Anything Goes Cookie Dough recipe in the Pin description

To enter, participants must post a photo of their baked-with-Becel creation alongside a Becel tub to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest using the hashtag #BakingWithBecel and tagging Becel’s pages where appropriate.

Prizing:

Each week, one winner will be drawn to win a #BakingWithBecel baking prize pack valued at $625.

Baking prize packs include a 5.5 quart stand mixer, baking sheet and set of measuring cups and spoons from Cuisinart Canada, four packages of HERSHEY’S CHIPITS Baking Chips and product coupons from Burnbrae Farms (outside Atlantic Canada) and Becel!

Prizing Eligibility:

To be eligible to enter the contest, an individual must be a resident of Canada (excluding Quebec) and have reached the legal age of majority in his/her province or territory of residence.

Happy Baking to all!
This post was sponsored by Becel, however, all opinions are my own 🙂

Staying Healthy March Break with Sunkist

March Break is here and with it comes travel or at least visiting new places and being exposed to new people.

It’s also still cold and flu season, and with airports and sporting and fun venues comes germs and the potential to get sick. We all look forward to spring and March Break (if you have kids), no one wants to spend that time at the doctor’s office or under the weather in general.

Sunkist has come up with some great ideas using the power of citrus (which I admit I am a big fan of) for keeping us in top form so we can be on our game for the arrival of spring.

Cold and flu season is in full swing, and this year opt for a natural remedy rather than a drugstore dose. It’s common knowledge that citrus fruits — including oranges, lemons and grapefruits — are praised for their cold-fighting abilities.  And what a natural coincidence that these fruits reach their peak during the virus-prone winter months. This winter forget the apple and choose an orange a day to keep the doctor away!

Being that I had the flu 3 times in the fall, I’m beyond on-board with these tips so I can stay flu-free.

Did you know:

  1. When juiced and stored in the fridge, grapefruit juice will retain 98% of its Vitamin C for up to a week
  2. Add fresh lemon juice to tea to help increase the absorption of antioxidants
  3. Start your morning with hot water and lemon juice to neutralize acid in your body and stimulate the immune system to fight infections
  4. 1/4 of a Pomelo contains over 100% of your daily Vitamin C
  5. Relieve a sore throat by combining lemon, honey and ginger into hot water

How about a delightful salad guaranteed to get us in the mood for spring and perk us up?

Sunkist® Grapefruit Panzanella Salad

Recipe developed by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

This is an excellent salad to serve as a starter or alongside grilled steak or roasted chicken.

Makes 6 to 8 servings 

Toasted Bread

4 cups 1-inch-cubed rustic French or Italian-style bread

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic

3 tablespoons grated high-quality parmesan cheese

Salad and Dressing

1 Sunkist® grapefruit

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2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

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1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 large tomato, diced

1 large fresh mozzarella ball, diced

2 cups gourmet greens or arugula, washed (optional)

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. 

To make the toasted bread: In a large bowl, toss the bread with olive oil, garlic and parmesan cheese. Spread on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for about 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly crisped and golden. Let cool.

To serve the salad: Cut the top and bottom off grapefruit, then with a small paring knife cut the peel and white pith off the sides of the grapefruit. Slice the grapefruit and then dice. Set aside.

Right before serving, in a very large bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Then add the grapefruit, veggies, cheese, greens, basil and (cooled) toasted bread. Toss together to coat ingredients well. Serve immediately.

Sunkist Twists:

  • Top salad with diced avocado.
  • Substitute the Sunkist® grapefruit for a Sunkist pommelo.
  • Try with baby spinach instead of arugula.

Sounds divine to  me! I’ll also be sure to post a couple other delightfully fun recipes on the NonMom Facebook page to help bring a little bit of summer into your diets, and keep away that nasty cold and flu that no one wants to get.

Nonmom attempts to survive the holidays…with a smile!

I have admitted and still admit it, I am way behind this year. In fact, ‘some’ of my Christmas cards are going in the mail shortly…it’s December 22nd incidentally. Yeah, having had a nasty cold/flu not once, not twice, but yes, three times in 2 months really did me in. I’ve been playing catch-up all fall. Note to self, do everything at the start of November next year….but I digress. 😉

In order to survive the holidays this year I have had to seriously prioritize. Easy? No way, but necessary. And really, it has made me realize what is essential to the holidays, so it’s got a sparkly side to it. Where did I get the idea to make a holiday survival list? From the cool people at www.ManCrates.com. Seriously, they have some neat stuff for the guys on your list…can we say ‘Bacon Crate’. 😉 They actually arrive in crates too, you need a crowbar! So cool and definitely on my list for the near future.

Surviving the Holiday Sweet Tooth: To get through the temptation (and it’s been hard this year) to nibble on every delectable treat I’m presented with I have had to ration myself. So far it’s worked too. And trust me, the cake pops my boss and his wife got me were beyond hard to not gobble up all at once. I really take a look at the treat and ask myself if it is something I can have access to all year, or just at the holidays. Then I look at how strong my willpower will be to only have one or two. A treat really has to be special in order to get to my lips let me tell you ;). And if that all fails, I go up to my closet, look at my gorgeous Duchess dresses and decide that I need those to keep fitting ;).

Surviving the Decor: The next part I need to get through is decorating. I’m normally quite the little Elf around my home. I genuinely love it. I think it would make Martha Stewart proud (of course I also own a tonne of her line of decorations so yeah, she’d definitely be proud). This I had to scale back and get realistic. With a new kitten (Princess Dory Grace arrived in late spring) who has never seen a Christmas tree before, let alone the decor for the holidays, I decided, I think rather wisely, to keep it simple. So, how does Minimartha (moi) handle this? I took my bins of decorations to my office of course and decorated there. Is it the same? No. But, since I’m at the office throughout the holidays I get to enjoy my silver and gold decorations (can we tell I’m also a massivve Rudolph fan?) every day :). Scaling back doesn’t have to mean sacrifice though. There is something about doing my tree in the multi-coloured lights with the ornaments I grew up with as a kid that makes me smile in a truly uniquely Christmas-esque way.

Surviving the Social Baking: My baking is next. I honestly didn’t do much of it the past couple of years, mostly to avoid temptation (I’m weak, I admit it), but this year since I’ve had to give up a lot, this is something special I want to do a little bit of. I’ve found a way to make this part of the holidays work too. I have the most amazing store with a delectable bakery in it around the corner from me. My strategy: bake one or two things that are just plain essential to the holidays and then ‘cheat’ and incorporate treats from there. I can even use their cookies and decorate them myself. I dare anyone to ask who made them up at a party ;).

Surviving the Stores: Normally, when I have a less nutty schedule, I do the bulk of my shopping online. This year that just didn’t happen. My strategy, that for my hubby and I works (I know having kids makes a difference), was going shopping together and pick stuff out for each other. We sacrificed the surprises of Christmas morning, but in return we got to spend some invaluable time together…which I’ll take as a win. We also went early in the morning (and I’ve been later at night too) to avoid the crowds. So far so good on that one. 😉 Also, I did sneak out and get a couple fun surprises for hubby.

Holiday survival for me has meant prioritizing and really trying to hone in on what’s important about the holidays: being with family. Mine may be a small on with myself, my darling hubby and our three furballs, but it’s still oh-so-special and I plan on smiling as brightly as Rudolph’s nose glows ;).

Merry Christmas!

Review & Christmas Reading Gift Idea for Kids

This fall I was fortunate enough to get to read Scott Clements’ final book in his Trip Montgomery series: The Protector of Peace.

The Protector of Peace Scott Clements

I personally adore this series and have from the start with Gasparilla’s Treasure and then The Forgotten Secret. The books are full of action and the characters are incredibly relatable. I constantly pictured one of my favourite childhood movies, The Goonies, in my mind’s eye while reading it. Scott’s career in the film industry is wonderfully apparent with his attention to detail and plot progression.

This last book in the trilogy brings the group (Trip, Sarah and Josh) together again as successful treasure hunters who have one more piece of the puzzle to solve.

What I also love about Scott’s books, and this series in particular, is how he incorporates history into the plots. Because of him, I want to learn more about Florida history. Honestly. This time he brings in Benjamin Franklin and the founding fathers of the U.S. as well as some beautiful tropical Florida backdrops. The kids race against time and a character called The Destroyer who is after them and the final piece of the puzzle.

They are now teamed up with someone new, but can they trust her? And what about the Triumvirate? Who is The Protector of Peace? All of this answered as you read about their adventure.

The Protector of Peace, and the entire trilogy, are available in paperback as well as digitally (for a wonderful last-minute digital surprise) on Amazon. A series that will have your middle-grade reader competing with you to see who can read it first, because I assure you, you will want to read the books too.

You can learn more about the series and Scott on his website here.

Happy reading!

The great Christmas shop has begun!

I freely admit it. I am beyond behind this year. Like, really, beyond behind in everything related to the holidays. I blame it on being sick since the end of September combined with a crazy schedule and a trip to the desert.

I have literally been non-stop trying to catch up from trying to catch up and failing because more stuff came up.

But I digress.

Time to put on my big girl pants and move on, the holidays are upon us and I have got to get moving.

This year is going to be all about simplicity and getting back to basics.

I’m having to redefine what Christmas essentials are and prioritize accordingly.

First up, my family Christmas is, gasp, tomorrow! Yes, I was the slightly panicked Aunt at the store tonight making sure I had something special for the kids. Thankfully I used my ‘back to basics’ strategy and it paid off. I went to my old faves: board games! I love them and my sister and I always played them as kids so I thought why not grab a couple for her kids to build memories with?

After debating between several favourites including Monopoly Junior and Hungry Hungry Hippos, I decided upon Chutes and Ladders and Minion Memory.

I have wonderful memories or both of these and no matter how old we get, these are fun to play.

So, phase one of Christmas is now complete. What is phase two you ask? Well, I need cards, need ideas for my hubby (more on that to come) and of course, I still need to decorate.

How are you managing? Have you started? Any advice for this Nonmom? 🙂

Hasbro Gaming Chutes and Ladders, Minion Memory