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Tuesday, October 25, 2011


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Contact Manulife Financial for your future.
Financial Advisor - Jonathan Showers 514.421.7090 x 264


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Protein does more than just build strong muscles. It also strengthens bones, increases satiety, protects against heart disease, and helps support a healthy immune system. We also know that consuming plenty of protein is an essential component of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. When most people think about protein, foods like chicken, beef, pork, and eggs usually come to mind. But there are several hidden protein treasures that can help you meet your needs while also helping you cut back on your meat intake.


Beans are well-known for being high in fiber, but did you know they are also high in protein? Beans are a wonderful source of protein, ranging from 10-18 grams per cup cooked, depending on the type. They're also versatile and economical. Dried beans are very inexpensive and can be incorporated into a variety to dishes. Diets that include beans may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Another bean bonus: A recent study found that people who eat beans weighed on average 7 pounds less and had smaller waists than those who didn't eat beans. To reduce some unpleasant side effects, rinse beans in water to reduce their gas-producing effect.


Another surprising source of high-quality protein is quinoa. Quinoa, a seed that's commonly thought of as a grain, was originally cultivated by the Incas in South America but is gaining popularity worldwide. A quarter-cup of cooked quinoa provides 5 grams of protein. It is especially rich in the amino acid lysine, which is important for tissue growth and repair. Quinoa works well in soups and salads and can easily serve as a substitute for rice in most recipes.


Soybeans are the only vegetables that are a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids--amino acids that our bodies can not make and must be obtained from food. In fact, soybeans produce more than two times as much protein per acre of land than any other crop of vegetable or grain. Soybeans are used in a multitude of foods, including soy milk, tofu, tempeh (fermented soybeans), soy cheese, soy yogurt, soy nuts, edamame (green, immature soybeans), mature yellow soybeans, miso (a thick paste made from fermented soybeans and barley or rice malt--used in Japanese cooking to make soups or sauces), textured vegetable protein ('TVP'--used as a meat alternative), and others. The protein content of soy foods varies, ranging from about 25 grams for a ½-cup serving of TVP to 4 grams for a 2 Tbsp serving of miso paste.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are also a meat-free protein source. A one ounce serving of most nuts and seeds provide about 6-9 grams of protein.

Other Protein Sources

Other lesser known protein sources include:

Cottage cheese (14 g per ½-cup / 4 oz. serving)
Dried spirulina seaweed (8.6 g per 1 cup serving)
Bagels (7.2 g per small bagel, 3" diameter)
Oatmeal (6 g per 1 cup cooked)
Bulgur (6 g per 1 cup cooked)
Brown rice (5 g per 1 cup cooked)
Spinach (5 g per 1 cup cooked)
Baked potatoes (4.5 g per medium potato, skin included)
Peas (4.5 g per ½ cup serving)
Avocados (4 g per avocado)
Broccoli (4 g per 1 cup cooked)


Are you constantly misplacing household items like your screwdriver or tennis racquet? If so, perhaps your household needs a little re-organizing. Whether your home is a compact condo, cozy semi, or spacious detached, we can all benefit from a periodic check-in to see if we are making the best use of our space.

For house owners…
Take a peek inside many Canadian garages and chances are you won’t see a car. Garages and basements often become a dumping ground for all the things we rarely use. Here are five quick ways to makeover your garage and/or basement:

Clear the clutter! Have a yard sale, sell your unused goods online, or donate items to your local charity.
Add tall utility shelving to free up floor space, keeping any hazardous cleaning, garden, and automotive supplies out of reach of children by placing them on the top shelves.
Store lesser used items on utility shelving in plastic storage containers with lids to keep out dust and moisture. Use bigger bins on casters for more frequently used items and roll them out of the way, such as under a worktable.
Clear off your workbench and use a wall or pegboard to hang frequently used tools and store the rest in a tool chest. Use jars or plastic bins for storing and organizing smaller items like nails, screws, and nuts.
Hang skis, bikes, brooms, shovels, wheelbarrows and other unwieldy sport, garden, and household items off purpose-built wall hooks or in specialty containers to keep them free from damage.

For condo owners…
Even in the smallest of condominium units, there is often under-utilized space. Here are a few ways to help you optimize it:

Transfer your music collection to a digital format and sell your space-hogging records and CDs.
Keep out-of-season clothes and spare linens in vacuum-sealed storage bags under the bed. Use hooks for bathrobes, clothes, purses, or even jewellery.
Use decorative baskets for small items like magazines, hats, scarves, mittens, and children’s toys to keep things neat and organized.
Open or floating shelving will create the illusion of space while providing stylish storage for household and decorative items.
Invest in multi-functional furniture versus individual pieces which can take up valuable floor space. For example, a padded ottoman can be used as coffee table, storage space, and extra seating.