Clover Leaf is Re-Inventing Fast Food with Michael P Clive!

Clover Leaf, with the help of celebrity chef Michael P Clive, is helping Canadians get healthy in a tremendous way through their recently launched Re-Invent Fast Food campaign.

I’ve been invited to help share the news with you and I’m ecstatic to do so as it’s something Canada needs right now. With Jamie Oliver focused on America it’s great to see such a well known chef in Canada take charge of our community.

As part of my efforts to share this wonderful campaign with all of you I have asked Chef Michal P Clive and Clover Leaf 10 questions relating to their campaign, goals and 5 recipes they created in support of our health.  (I’ve tried 2/3 of these tuna recipes and they are amazing! Everything they say they are and more.)

Keep reading to know how Chef Clive enjoys his Mac and Cheese, from a drive thru and his phrase he’s trying to make known.

Meet Chef Michael P Clive:
1) To start us off on a light note do you prefer creating a meal, talking or eating your creation?

I like all three, in that order. I prefer to create the meal, discuss its attributes and then consume the meal. I tried coining the phrase “I’d much rather feed the masses than eat the masses” – it wasn’t widely accepted.

2) Michael, when you decided to become a chef did you ever imagine you’d have to help Canadian’s get healthy and avoid a pandemic of childhood obesity?

Not so much. Growing up at home my family taught me the importance of relatively healthy eating. Later my culinary training I focused on the standards of French cuisine which introduced me to the various ways of using rich creams and butter. Taking all this knowledge and finding a balance became something I was intrigued by.

3) What is your favourite healthy meal to make for you and your loved ones?

I really like to spend time with my loved ones so in order to have more time and still deliver a flavourful, meal explosion that is quick and easy, I’d choose any one of the Clover Leaf take 5 recipes. Something easily prepared in under 5 minutes. Perhaps you’ve heard of Take Five? 5 ingredients, five minutes? Reinventing fast food? Intriguing recipes? Chef Clive? No? C’mon.

4) Tell us the truth, do you ever get something unhealthy at a drive thru or do you make all of your own dishes?

Fast food drive thru is a slippery step. Once upon a time I could lean that way due to exhaustion after long hours of work. But I also learned some time ago that I simply felt better about myself if I kept my fast food selections “clean”. For example, fresh sandwiches and salads, cow calorie vinaigrettes instead of creamy dressings, and limit the road tacos. My wife also pretends not to know me if I frequent such places.

5) What kind of cheese do you prefer on macaroni with Clover Leaf tuna?

I prefer a five to seven year old Cheddar cheese – something with creaminess and tang. However, I suggest preparing your next Mac n’ Cheese utilizing the awesomeness of the Garlic & Hot Pepper flavoured flaked light tuna to add a new dimension to this classic comfort food.

6) Speaking of macaroni and cheese, do you recommend with ketchup, without, or with honey mustard? What is your favourite way to eat a classic?

Condiments don’t so much complete my Mac n’ Cheese experience, but rather spinning it around to include more protein. Whether it be smoked ham, grilled chicken, poached lobster or even canned tuna.

7) With Clover Leaf you created 5 recipes with tuna that are pitted against popular, easy and quick favourites such as pizza, burritos and a cheese burger. What is your favourite fish that could be used to compare to these items, besides tuna? Is there a fish you would recommend to regular non-seafood eaters to start?

Well, tuna is a favourite of mine but if the world were to run out I suppose I’d choose something from the fond memories of my youth. Salmon. So versatile, so much flavour. I’m a lover of so many species. Sole, Perch, Catfish, Swordfish. So may faves! Hard question.

8) Michael, do you have any advice for up-and-coming chefs who want to make a difference by lowering the rate of childhood obesity while making eating affordable and easy?

Keep it clean and keep it simple. Avoid grazing and prepare more food at home. Your home is less likely to have a deep fryer…for the time being that is.

9) And lastly, but maybe most importantly, if you had to eat one meal for a year what would it be?

Wow, I’m never ready to fully answer this question. Right now I’m feeling like the original Shawarma every day. Maybe some fruit infused soda water to go with it! If not that, then perhaps a captain burger…or beef wellington.

10) Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Check out these recipes and many more for your next culinary adventure at

Thanks for reading, sharing, eating well and cooking!

Sarah Butland

author of Sending You Sammy

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and Parents Canada

Parents Canada has joined Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution in a big way. Ok, ok. Jamie started in Huntington, West Viriginia in North America (he actually started in his own home country of England in the very beginning) but that doesn’t mean Canadians can’t learn from this and take their own spin from it.

Parents Canada did just that. Every issue they are asking for your stories on how you’re starting your own Food Revolution whether it’s just in your own home or beyond. It starts somewhere and it’s vital it starts with you.

On page 74 of their printed magazine you can see my part in this revolution that will help children make the right decisions when it comes to food and activities.

Are you doing something to help the health of your family, community, country and/or beyond? Make sure you tell Parents Canada for your chance to help change the world.

And make sure you sign Jamie Oliver’s petition to show your support.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah Butland

On the Web at Nourish Interactive

Nourish Interactive is a wonderful site that is instilling healthy habits in all its visitors. I recommend visiting their site on a regular basis to get news, information and tips and to have fun while learning!!

Maggie included a list of other books recommended to help children learn about the benefits of eating healthy and I’d recommend checking them all out.

Thank you for reading,

Sarah Butland

How Important is Stretching Before Playing?

The body is flexible and is supposed to be flexible. You must be able to bend and reach that something you dropped on the floor. You must be able to zip the back of your favorite dress on your own. And you must be able to reach that book you need to read at the top shelf. All without hurting yourself!

These are simple activities however, if there are difficulties in doing such simple motions, then you have to stretch your limits. You already need a stretching program and it’s important to keep it fun.

What Is Stretching?

You’ve done it before, in fact you’ve probably done it today already. It’s so easy to do that it’s almost as automatic as breathing and just about as important. It’s simply the act of extending your body, or a part of it, to it’s full length.

How Does One Stretch?

Stretching can be done at almost any time by everyone, no matter your age. Stretching should be a part of your every day routine. Before a sports event, exercising, even just to make yourself feel better, stretching can be done quickly and effectively.

Stretching exercises can also be done while training. Actually, stretching is an essential part of any training or sport. It must be done first before anything else. Stretching the body and the limbs is a good preparation for a more rigorous activity.

Most athletes would do the sit and reach, wherein they position on the floor, extend their legs and reach the tip of their foot with the tip of their hand. Actually, most trainers actually require their athletes to really do the stretching before playing.

There is actually an ideal length of time in stretching which is 10 minutes. This will give the body enough opportunity to move and flex the muscles, thus preparing it for more complicated and strenuous movements.

Experts however would frown upon going way beyond 10 minutes. Stretching the exercise to 30 minutes or more will already wear out the body. This will not be favorable if one is preparing for a game.

Can’t you spare ten minutes a day to make your body feel better? Spend these moments with your child and you’ll see them enjoy gym and sports much more than ever before. Just 10 minutes a day can help save your child from become another notch in the childhood obesity stats.

What Are the Benefits of Stretching?

1. Increase the Range of Movement
As you constantly do the stretching exercises, the length of your muscles and tendons are also increased. This will help in increasing the range of your movement. Thus, the limbs and joints will be able to move, way before an injury can take place. You are definitely physically fit.

2. Increased Ability to Perform Skills
When you have a wide range of movement, the more you will be able to do more things. For example, you can jump high without feeling any pain when you land back on the floor. This will also help you start a new sport or improve more if you are in one. Stretching in this aspect also allows you to have a more active lifestyle.

3. Injury Prevention
One can prevent injury to joints, tendons and muscles with stretching. When the muscles and tendons are well-flexed, they are considered in good working order. This will help in a faster recovery and decreased soreness. The muscles of the body will be able to take more exhausting and rigorous movements with less probability of being injured.

4. Reduce Muscle Tension
If the muscles are given their regular exercises and stretches, it is less likely that they will contract. This will definitely relieve you of any muscle pain or problems.

5. Enhance Energy
Being able to move more will also give you more energy. Stretching will also help enhance your awareness, like knowing that you have a body that is capable of doing many things. As such, you are going to be more driven to move rather than sulk in the corner.

6. Reduces Cholesterol
Research also shows that doing prolonged stretching exercises, like yoga, will help reduce the cholesterol in the body. This of course must be done with a healthy diet at hand. This could prevent, and even reverse, the hardening of the arteries, allowing you to avoid coronary diseases.

Incorporate stretching in your everyday lifestyle. It has benefits you can not say no to. It also does not require much. It can be your usual activities, bending and flexing every now and then. After all, your fitness is everything so do what it takes to keep the body healthy.

Make sure you or your child sign up to the Banana Boy Fans newsletter for fun ways to stretch! Go to today to sign up.

Sammy Creates Buzz at the Zoo

What a beautiful morning to spend at the zoo. The sun was shining, the breeze took the flies away and Sending You Sammy gleams in the bright light. With everyone geared up for a run in the zoo for the great cause of building a new Tiger Exhibit for the Magnetic Hill Zoo, Sammy was on everyone’s lips.

Literacy, eating healthy and exercise all go together in Sammy’s world as they should in yours. Enjoy your day the healthy way!