About Shela K

Member since 10/20/2014
Occupation: Registered Dietitian
City: Mississauga
Twitter: @ShelaKwong

A foodie enthusiast that believes in the power of good cooking, good food, and good company. As a Registered Dietitian, my goal is to translate nutritional sciences into a common language to help people make better food choices!

Favourite food: Gnocchi
Favourite piece of kitchen equipment: Spatula
Favourite cooking shortcut: Smashing garlic cloves to remove the skin
Favourite meal(s) to prepare: Pasta
Recipe that you have always wanted to make but have yet to attempt: Turkey

Comments by Shela K:

  • SodaStream - sparkling water maker
    Thanks for the opportunity to try out SodaStream Play! I made a few fruit infused sparkling water drinks, including cucumber with mint and another one with mandarin orange with lemon and basil. I even got a chance to make a SodaStream recipe, the Smashed Summer Twisted Lemonade. (http://recipes.sodastream.com/recipe-items/smashed-summer-twisted-lemonade/). It was a super delicious drink for a girls night in. I loved the slim design, simplicity, and user friendly instructions. More importantly, I really liked how it provides an opportunity for people to get creative with water and hydration. I would definitely recommend it to patients who struggle with achieving proper hydration status. However, the SodaStream does come with a price tag and can become quite pricey. Therefore, it may not be appropriate for all patients. Another drawback that I came across is that the carbonation can get a bit flat after the water has been left out for awhile. From a healthy eating standpoint, I think it's wonderful how it encourages people to infuse their water with fresh fruit, veggies, and herbs. Maybe it can even increase people's fruit and vegetable consumption! However, SodaStream offers flavour mixes and some of them are pop, kool-aid, and other artificial flavourings... which may be a bit concerning. Nevertheless, I enjoyed my experience and would use it again. However, I'm worried the novelty of the machine may wear off with time. Overall, it's a good product and lives up to their slogan: 'water made exciting'.
  • Truvia® calorie-free sweetener
    I used Truvia calorie-free sweetener to sweeten my coffee and tea. As expected, it was significantly sweeter than table sugar. It doesn’t have as strong of an after taste as some other artificial sweeteners. When it comes to choosing between different artificial sweeteners, I think it’s important to read the nutrition label and ingredient list, understand how it’s made and if there are any side effects. The primary ingredient in Truvia is erythritol, a sugar alcohol. A common way to make sugar alcohol is to add hydrogen molecules to sugars. The added hydrogen makes it harder for the sugar to be absorbed in the digestive tract. Therefore, there will be fewer calories than regular sugar; however, if consumed in excess, it can cause GI distress. Generally, stevia leaf extracts will not affect blood sugar or insulin levels, so it might be a better choice for some. However, like all other artificial sweeteners, Truvia is still a highly refined extract. Overall, I would be cautious about choosing any artificial sweetener and would use it in moderation. Luckily, they’re all so intensely sweet that we usually only use a minuscule amount to sweeten food.
  • Chia seeds
    It was a pleasure to try Nutiva’s Organic Chia Seeds. Chia seeds are extremely versatile, as they are nutritious, and can be added in numerous ways to your diet. I sprinkled them over my morning parfait and then over my pasta at lunch. It gave both dishes an extra crunchy texture. I also tried adding them to my homemade banana bread for more fibre, protein, and essential fats. Overall, I find that chia seeds tend to take on the flavor of the dish very well. Chia seeds provide a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which has been linked to heart disease prevention. You can also find omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseeds but they must be ground to gain the benefits. The advantage of chia seeds is that they don’t need to ground to gain the same benefits. Although they have their nutritious perks, I would use them in moderation, keeping in mind that one tablespoon provides 60 calories. Overall, I would rate the product 4 out of 5. I look forward to finding more ways to add them to my cooking.