• 6 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

    Jan 31, 2017

    There’s no denying it, Canadian winters can be harsh. They leave our bodies cold and shaky and can do a number on our state of mind and well being. For many of us, dreary winter days can lead to the winter blues. For some this may mean feeling a little down, for others it can trigger true depression. Winter can be a bummer for anyone, but don’t let it get you down. Here are a 6 ways to beat the winter blues from the team at Timbercreek Communities.

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    Stay Active Outdoors

    Harsh winter weather may make you feel like hibernating, but it’s important to get outside and stay active. Studies have shown that 1 hour of aerobic activity outdoors is as effective as 2.5 hours of light therapy indoors. You don’t have to do jumping jacks outside in a snowstorm to reap the benefits of getting outside this season -- go for a brisk walk, run, ski, sled, do whatever you enjoy. Exercise of all kinds helps to improve mood, reduce stress and can combat feelings of depression.

    Light Therapy

    If it isn’t possible or convenient for you to get outside for an hour of activity during the winter, light therapy may be an effective treatment for you. This simply means sitting, even working, near a light therapy box that simulates outdoor light. It’s believed that this treatment affects your brain’s chemistry and eases symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

    Stay Warm

    Something as simple as staying warm during the winter can have a positive effect on your mood. Being cold can make you depressed. Stay warm by keeping your home between 64F and 70F (18C to 21C), wear warm clothing and footwear, and enjoy hot drinks and food. Studies have shown that staying warm can reduce the winter blues by as much as 50%.

    Eat Well

    The cold weather can cause many of us to crave more carbohydrates. Too many carbs can lead to weight gain, which can reduce energy and negatively affect mood. A healthy diet full of vegetables and fruit can make you feel much better. Be sure to eat enough hot, nutrient dense foods, especially during the winter.

    Maintain or Cultivate Healthy Relationships

    Feelings of isolation are not good for our mental health. When we feel down, we are less likely to socialize, and when we stop socializing, we feel down. Break the cycle by seeking out and talking to friends and family, or by joining a club or team. If you are experiencing the winter blues or feelings of depression, don’t keep it to yourself. Reach out and talk to someone you trust, or talk to a mental health professional, or a doctor.

    Stay Active and Engaged

    A little solitude can be a healthy thing, depending on how you spend that time. Rather than sitting still and watching TV, stay active, even when you’re home alone. Take up a new hobby, make something, meditate, do some yoga, or write a song. Do anything that makes you feel engaged and active mentally and/or physically.

    Timbercreek Communities hopes that these ways to beat the winter blues improve your mood this season.

  • Petiquette 101: How to puppy proof your apartment

    Jan 30, 2017

    Welcoming a puppy to your apartment can be a wonderful and exciting experience...until an unexpected injury or accident happens. Puppy proof your space to protect your little buddy. Find out how in today’s Petiquette 101 guide from Timbercreek Communities.

    Start with your electronics

    Make your apartment safe by taking note of any household items you have that feature cords -- this can include everything from your laptop to your bedroom lamp. Remove loose or hanging cords or wires that your pet might trip over or yank accidentally. Whatever wiring remains, cover with a standard cord protector to prevent your puppy from chewing them.

    Keep toxic cleaners out of reach

    Having a puppy in the house is similar to having a toddler. You have to hide your cleaning products! Equally life threatening for baby and pup alike, make sure that wherever you store your cleaning supplies, they are completely out of paw’s reach. Seeking an even safer storage solution? These Baby Proof Storage tips might be just what you need. Don’t stop with your cleaning products, the same rule applies to any medication in your apartment. Trust us, childproof lid or not, your puppy’s teeth will find a way to open that bottle.

    Snag your houseplants before your pup does

    Dogs love to sniff and chew on household plants. This may seem fine, but you may be shocked to learn that some household plants are extremely dangerous for animals to eat. If your favourite plant makes the caution list, make sure to move it well out of your little friend’s way. But let’s be real -- even if it wasn’t toxic, you’d want to keep that prized plant away from your curious puppy’s eager mouth.

    iStock-584209746Invest in chew toys

    Your apartment isn’t officially puppy proof until you have at least half-a-dozen dog toys scattered about. As puppies teeth, high-quality chew toys are absolutely essential.

    The team at Timbercreek Communities can’t wait to welcome your furry friend to one of our pet-friendly apartments. For more info about Timbercreek Communities apartments, located in five provinces and dozens of cities across Canada, please visit our website

  • 10 Ways To Get Your Vegetables This Winter

    Jan 24, 2017

    Winter is all about comfort food. The cold weather makes most people want to curl up with something rich and delicious and ride out the storm. Its very important to eat your vegetables in winter because you are more prone to illness during the colder months. The Timbercreek team has a list of 10 ways to get your vegetables this winter.

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    Start With Soups

    A hot bowl of soup can be incredibly comforting on a cold winter night. This basic vegetable soup recipe is easy to make. All you need is vegetable (or chicken) stock, lots of veggies and a little salt and pepper. You can use any vegetables you have on hand. Prefer broccoli instead of cauliflower? No problem. This recipe is so easy to follow, it’s hard to make a mistake.

    Sneak Veggies Into Hearty Meals

    A great way to get some extra veggies into your everyday life is to sneak them into a hearty meal. This Veggie Bolognese Pasta is satisfying and substantial. The meaty sauce is secretly full of veggies like carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes (technically a fruit, but let’s count it here). We promise you won’t miss the meat.

    Roast Them For A Sweet Treat

    Roasting veggies brings out their delicious sweet flavour as their natural sugars caramelize. When you come in from out of the cold, hot roasted root veggies can be deeply satisfying on their own or as a side dish. Leftover roasted veggies taste delicious cold the next day.

    Sip On Them In Smoothies

    Green smoothies are a great way to get some extra veggies in. This Veggie Cocktail, is a healthy take on a Bloody Mary, complete with a classic celery stalk garnish. This version of the cocktail is packed with 2 cups of kale! That’s a lot of greens in a delicious package.

    Hide Them In Pancakes

    Having trouble getting your kids to eat their veggies? Hide some spinach in your next batch of pancakes! Hulk Pancakes are delicious, healthy and vibrantly green. Kids will love their fun name and bright colour, and won’t be able to detect their healthy secret. 

    Embrace Stew

    Hearty beef stew with veggies is perhaps the perfect winter meal. The stew’s flavour is so rich and meaty you’d never guess this recipe packs in so many vegetables. Make a big pot of it, keep it in your fridge, and heat up a bowl to warm you up whenever the craving strikes.

    Turn them into pasta

    Spiralized vegetables offer an amazing new way to eat your veggies. Zucchini Noodles are the most common and a great option if you are looking for grain-free pasta or a way to pack more vegetables into your diet. They are easy to make, all you need is a vegetable spiralizer or mandoline. Add your favourite sauce with even more veggies and you’re on your way to getting your five a day.

    Turn Them Into Wings

    If you love the taste of buffalo wings, but are trying to eat more vegetables, consider whipping up a batch of cauliflower wings. This video will walk you through the process of preparing your cauliflower and buffalo sauce. Serve them with some blue cheese dressing, carrots and celery sticks.

    Bake With Them

    Is there anything cozier than baking? Vegetables aren’t just for savoury recipes. This winter, bake a warm loaf of Zucchini Bread to share with friends and family. Grated zucchini keeps the sweet loaf moist and delicious. It’s basically a spice cake with the added benefits of vegetables!

    We hope these ideas will help you sneak extra veggies into your meals this winter. To learn more about Timbercreek’s rental communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Top 4 Apps for New Year’s Resolutions

    Jan 23, 2017

    Making New Year’s resolutions is pretty easy, but not keeping them can be even easier! Before you give in, you should know that there’s an app for that. Check out our top picks in today’s blog post.
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    Clear up some brain space

    Whether you’re committing to a healthy new grocery list or a project with your coworkers, sticking to your resolution is going to require a place to save and share ideas, reminders or lists. We love apps that clear brain space. They help you get things done in an organized way without having to remember much. If this sounds like a dream come true, check out Evernote and OneNote.

    Watching your wallet?

    For money-related New Year’s resolutions, Mint is a must. We love this app because it connects all of your accounts, credit cards, loans, bills, etc., in one place, providing you with a more honest view of the money that you do (or do not) have. Create savings goals, budgets and overspending alerts to keep yourself financially focused for the next 12 months.

    My Fitness Pal

    What more could you wish for than a healthier, happier 2017? There are a ton of different apps to choose from when it comes to monitoring your health and fitness goals. My Fitness Pal is our top pick because of its extensive food log, making calorie counting super easy. You can also use My Fitness Pal to track your exercise, helping you stick to your workout schedule.

    Don’t go it alone! Download an app that can help you keep your New Year’s resolutions all year long, Timbercreek’s amazing apartment communities are located in several provinces across the country. For more information, please visit our website today. 

  • Top 10 Winter Salads

    Jan 16, 2017

    Winter is the perfect time of year to enjoy hearty, rich foods. They fill you up and warm your soul on cold, blustery days. But rich foods can become overwhelming after months of indulging. Your body may be ready for something light and refreshing. Try a tasty detox this week with one of our top 10 winter salads.

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    Apple Pecan Arugula Salad

    Peppery arugula pairs brilliantly with crisp apples and crunchy pecans in this Apple Pecan Arugula Salad. Make your own (vegan!) dressing and throw this salad together in just 15 minutes. Best of all, you only need 8 ingredients!

    Warm Mushroom Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

    We love this Warm Mushroom Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette. Mushrooms are amazing for your health and will help you ward off the flu this season. The warm temperature of the salad will also leave you much more satisfied than a typical cold salad when it's cold outside. Pro tip: simmering some oil with garlic will create the perfect flavourful base for your mushrooms-of-choice.

    Warm Quinoa, Sweet Potato and Kale Salad

    Quinoa, sweet potato and kale is an amazing superfood trio. Try it for yourself in this Warm Quinoa, Sweet Potato and Kale Salad which packs a powerful punch of protein, vitamins and minerals. Give yourself 40 minutes to cook everything and combine all the ingredients of this healthy and tasty weeknight winter meal.

    Winter Spa Salad with Lemon Chicken

    Brightly coloured cara cara oranges, avocado, pomegranate and fresh herbs come together in this stunning Winter Spa Salad with Lemon Chicken. Marinate the chicken as you prepare the rest of the salad for approximately 30 minutes. This recipe tutorial includes a recipe and instructions for the marinade, as well as step by step instructions for an easy homemade salad dressing that you’ll want to drizzle on everything.

    Crunchy Thai Kale Salad

    If you haven’t embraced kale, we don’t blame you. On its own its bitter, hard to chew and very green. Despite being hard to love for its taste, your body loves kale and you should try to add it to your day whenever you can. We LOVE this healthy alternative to Thai takeout. Make this sweet and savoury Crunchy Thai Kale Salad, it may just make you love kale.

    Kale & Butternut Salad with Ginger-Miso Dressing

    Turn an ordinary combination, like kale and butternut squash, into an extraordinary pairing by topping it with a bold Japanese dressing. For this Kale & Butternut Salad with Ginger-Miso Dressing you will need rice vinegar, miso, sesame oil, honey and finely grated ginger to finish.

    Fig, Prosciutto and Goat’s Cheese Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

    If you’re looking for a delicious salad that borders on indulgent, this Fig, Prosciutto and Goat’s Cheese Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette is for you. A perfect balance of creamy (goat’s cheese), sweet (fig), salty (prosciutto) and sour(citrus), take just one bite and you’ll be hooked!

    Brussels Sprout Salad with Chicken and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

    For a weeknight meal that calls for the seasonal brussels sprouts you snagged at your local market, try this Brussels Sprout Salad with Chicken and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette. If you’ve never paired brussels sprouts with bacon before, you’re in for a treat! The combination takes the cruciferous vegetable to a whole new level of deliciousness. This recipe is easy to make and ready in less than 30 minutes. Best of all, this salad is hearty enough to be enjoyed as a meal.

    A “Christmas” Salad

    The holidays may have come and gone, but you can keep the festive spirit alive with this Christmas Salad of Winter Greens and Fruit. We love the combination of crunchy cabbage, radicchio and kale with sweet and tart organic cranberries and pomegranate. Top this festive salad with a homemade clementine-coriander vinaigrette.

    Chickpea Shawarma Salad

    Chickpeas are hearty and tasty, loaded with protein, easy to throw into any salad, and make delicious leftovers. If you love them as much as we do, you have to try this vegan Chickpea Shawarma Salad. This salad is healthy, light, and bursting with shawarma flavours thanks to a delicious blend of middle eastern spices. It also has a great balance of crunchy and creamy textures.

    Give your body a little love this winter with a tasty salad, like one of these 10 amazing winter salads from our foodies at Timbercreek Communities.

    For more information about Timbercreek Communities apartments, located nationwide, please visit our website today. 

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