Our Meat Selection

Our Meat Selection

We have a wide selection of meat at Health Essentials.
We do our best to source all of our meat as locally as possible from the most natural sources available to us. We have everything from Locally Sourced Organic & Grass-fed meats, wild-Sourced Kangaroo.  We are what we eat eats, so ensuring that the animals that we’re consuming are eating the diets that they were naturally meant to do will ensure the health of the meat that we get from them.  All of the local farms that we work with are committed to sustainable, humane and top of the line practices – and we’ve talked to them all personally about it! 🙂

Grassfed Butter 101

(Grassfed) Butter 101

Butter – known traditionally as “Nature’s Multivitamin” – is definitely in high demand at Health Essentials. We definitely put that s*** on everything ;).  But, like anything else amazing in this world… not all butter is created equal.  In fact, there is definitely a plethora of butter on the market today that is best avoided altogether.  Here, we’ll outline some of the major things to look for in a quality butter.

Why Grassfed?

Exactly how humans do better eating natural, whole-food derived diets made from seasonally available foods… animals that graze on pastures and eat the diet that they’re biologically designed to consume, have healthier, happier lives.  AND just how humans do best in healthy, natural environments, so do animals!  Grazing animals that live on pasture are allowed to eat the foods that their bodies NEED to thrive, and can soak in the environmental nutrients that keep them healthy as well – such as Vitamin D from the sun!  The nutrient level of the foods that we consume from animals (such as meat and dairy) are of higher quality when the animal’s lives are enriched and healthy.  Real, LIVE grass that grows out of the ground and isn’t treated with pesticides or chemicals provides animals with the nutrients that they need to thrive. Herbivorous animals (those who consume grass) have fermentation-based digestive systems that depend on grass, specifically, to fuel them and keep them healthy.  Ensuring that animals get what they need to be healthy helps to ensure that the dairy and meat we consume from them are full of nutrients as well.  Thus, the quality of the animal’s diet = the quality and quantity nutrients in the foods we derive from them.

Butter that is derived from grassfed cows is generally higher in nutrients such as butyrate, omega 3’s, CLA, beta-carotene, fat soluble vitamins – A, D, E & K, and antioxidants.  It also tends to be LOWER in toxins.  This is because toxins often accumulate in the fat tissues of animals, so the healthier the animal producing the milk, the less toxins to worry about!

Grassfed versus Seasonally Pastured

“Grassfed” is a term thrown around quite loosely in today’s food market.  Its meaning is rather straight forward, however, there are multiple levels of it.  Here’s why: As soon as an animal spends ANY length of time grazing on fresh grass, it technically qualifies them to be considered “grassfed”.  Like… that could be a day in their whole life, which in our books just doesn’t quite cut it on the quality side of things. So, what’s important to look for is the specification of TIME that the animal spends grazing.

(Real) Grassfed Butter

Provided that the farms who produce this butter are reputable and the sourcing is fabulous, this butter is generally the best of the best.  The cows who produce this butter are eating a wholesome and natural diet and their milk production reflects this.  

We carry two main Grassfed Butter Options:

Golden Ears Grassfed Butter:

Golden Ears butter is sourced locally in Maple Ridge, B.C. from a family farm.  This butter is cultured, meaning that it contains healthy bacteria that can improve the digestion of the butter.  This can help the digestion process in people who are sensitive to dairy.  With somewhat limited seasonal availability, we try to stock as much of this gold as possible so that everyone can enjoy it for most of the year! This butter has a very distinct yellow colour, and rich flavour due to the high beta-carotene content from the grassfed milk! #delicious

Kiwi Pure Butter:

Kiwi Pure butter is sourced from New Zealand dairy where there is plenty of grass to go around all year! New Zealand is actually known to have the best butter in the world, and this butter definitely stands up to that title! Kiwi Pure is consistently golden yellow all year, denoting both high beta-carotene content and high fat content! #yum

Seasonally Pastured Butter

Seasonally Pastured animals are grazing and consuming real grass for a minimum of 60% of their diet.  This means that for up to 40% of the time they can be consuming some form of grains to supplement their diet.  When shopping for seasonally pastured butter, it’s important to look for the “Organic” certification, and/or choose to buy that particular butter during “grazing” seasons.

We carry two great Canadian-sourced options for Seasonally Pastured butter:

Organic Meadows Butter

Organic meadows butter is sourced from Ontario, Canada.  It is an Organic Seasonally Pastured butter.  The cows that produce this butter are on pasture from April – November most years. It’s also a cultured butter, which is great for those who are a bit dairy sensitive.  A few times of the year, we’re able to get in this butter with a special badge on it denoting that it’s sourced from 100% pastured cows!!  We are sure to stock up on this butter at those times of the year to help ensure there’s enough to go around even into the off-season.

 

L’ancetre Butter

L’Ancetre butter is another seasonally pastured option.  The cows that produce the milk used for this butter graze for 60% of their diet on pasture.  The other 40% of their diet consists of Organic grains.  This 60:40 ratio is guaranteed at any time of the year, and since its produced in Quebec with a typical grazing season of April – October, this butter can be a great choice throughout the spring and summer months.

 

 

P.S. If you’re lactose or dairy sensitive, and you’d like to learn about an alternative, check out this post about Grassfed Ghee, which is clarified butter! 🙂

For more information on the butter options that we carry, or for clarification of any of the information in this post, please feel free to contact us! 🙂 Our phone number is 250-590-5524, and our email is hello@myhealthessentials.ca

 

Best Walks in Victoria


The Best Walks in Victoria, B.C.

We are so blessed to live in such an absolutely amazing part of the world.
There are SO many beautiful areas to explore right here in #yyj! We have
come up with a list of our very favourite places to walk in Victoria, B.C.

  1. Thetis Lake Regional Park Trail

     

    Thetis Lake Regional Park is a fabulous spot to go for a walk, swim, or run! There are two walking trail options, one “Lower Thetis” which is a shorter loop and the other “Upper Thetis” which is just about 5km around.  The path is nice and clear, and the walk is kid-friendly, with only a few short uphill climbs! Thetis is also very dog friendly, and there are even some off-leash beach areas that are time and season dependent.  Thetis makes for a fabulous walk all times of the year, and is especially nice in the summer, with the accessible option of dipping in the lake afterwards! 🙂

  2. The Gorge Waterway 

    The gorge is an extremely accessible walk for us at Health Essentials! It’s a beautiful 2km walk (one way) with the option of extending to approximately 3km with the addition of Kinsman Park across the water.  The walk is completely paved (but with the option of toes in grass most of the way, if you’re into that), and accessible for all ages and fitness levels!

  3. Island View Beach

    Though not necessarily a walking trail, Island View Beach is an amazing ocean-side walk, with a fabulous view and a vast choice of terrain.  We do find this walk is done better barefoot 😉 with toes in sand, or in a great pair of shoes for jumping log-to-log on the driftwood strip that borders the beach! The beach is also pet-friendly, with the exception of the summer-months from June 15th – September 15th.

  4. Dallas Road

    Dallas Road is a beautiful road with a fabulous walking trail that runs alongside the ocean.  The walk goes from Ogden Point, where the Breakwater is, and goes all the way along until your heart desires, right through to Beach Drive. The distance from Ogden Point to Clover Point is about a 3km walk one-way with an option of many different terrains along the way! There is a paved/gravel path that runs alongside the road, and there is a beach, that is at-times quite rocky that runs along the ocean.  The Beach along this walk doubles as a great swimming pit-stop, and the perfect destination for a Beach-Day come-summer… or winter, if you’re like Wim Hof ;).

     

  5. Elk & Beaver Lake Trail

    Elk & Beaver Lake Trail is a fairly well-known trail in Victoria.  It’s a 10km loop around both lakes, and it’s fairly flat the whole way!  Perhaps most commonly used for a perfect length 10km run for race prep or fitness, this trail is great for a long walk and is very dog friendly! The loop is long and borders the lakes for most of the distance, and you’ll notice it cuts through a vast array of differing greenery along the way. The thick tree cover also makes this a great option for a rainy-day walk as well! 🙂

 

 


 

Our Hours are Changing

weekend-hours

Beginning on Sunday, September 25th, our hours of operation will be changing for both Saturdays, and Sundays. We will be open a bit longer on Saturdays, and closed a little earlier on Sundays!

We’d like to explain why we’ve chosen to change our hours slightly. At Health Essentials, we are strong believers in holistic wellness. This includes physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, social, & occupational aspects of overall wellbeing. Part of the concept of holistic health involves prioritizing time for oneself as well as spending time with family & friends.  We contemplated long and hard on what day of the week would be best for our team of amazing staff members to be able to consistently enjoy an evening off, while avoiding major inconvenience to our community of thriving customers.  What we decided was that being open slightly later on Saturday evenings, and closing earlier on Sunday evenings, would be a perfect compromise.  Now you can plan on pushing back your Saturday errands a little longer, resting assured that we’ll be open the same hours as we are throughout the week!

Here is what our new hours will look like: 

health-essentials-hours


We are sorry for any inconvenience that this schedule change may cause for you. Thank you so much for understanding!

Would you love to be a part of our team? Now hiring!

We’re expanding our team!! 🙂 We are looking for passionate, enthusiastic & ready-to-learn individuals to help us cultivate extraordinary lives! If this sounds like you, then come down and drop off a resume!  For more information on what Health Essentials is all about, check out the video below. You can also contact us at the store at hello@myhealthessentials.ca or by phone at 250-590-5524.  We can’t wait to meet you 🙂

hiring-poster

 

 

 

 

 

Luna Sandals – THE Ultimate Adventure Shoe

Luna Sandals

At Health Essentials, we’re crazy about the outdoors. Whether it’s super sunny outside like it has been this August, or it’s crazy rainy like it tends to be from time to time on the Wet West Coast 😉 … We just can’t get enough fresh air!  Perhaps as much as we love being outside, we love spending time barefoot, which is why Luna Sandals are one of our year round footwear essentials.

It can be hard to navigate on some outdoor terrains without a little protection for our soles, especially since most of us are so used to having worn shoes our whole lives.  Luna Sandals are the perfect medium between protection and freedom.  

What are Luna Sandals?

manuel Luna

Luna Sandals were created by a man named Ted MacDonald – aka: “Barefoot Ted” – whose journey of learning how to run pain-free led him to the concept of barefoot running. Running and moving without the impeding modern day “technology” of conventional shoes can have amazing benefits for our body, and actually reduce risk of pain and injury. Our bodies were meant to move – just not the way most modern day footwear forces them to.

Luna Sandals were inspired by traditional cultural styles of sandals, much like those in the Tarahumara natives of Mexico. On a trip to run a 50-mile Ultra Marathon in the Copper Canyons, Barefoot Ted became friends with a man named Manuel Luna, who made him his first pair of “huarache” sandals out of tire rubber and rope (see above). And thus, the name Luna Sandals came to be – inspired by and named after a true Tarahumara native.

Why we LOVE them.

We find ourselves regressing back to what our ancestors did and how traditional cultures lived again, and again when it comes to virtually all aspects of natural health and wellness. Allowing our bodies to express their natural biology seems to be the key to human vitality. Humans were created to move like humans, and Luna sandals allow our natural movement to be expressed to the fullest, while still providing protection.

Luna Sandals are a line of highly durable, adventure sandals that allow your ENTIRE foot to feel like it’s free!

This sandal is amazing for the heat – letting your feet fully breathe.
They are also fantastic for rainy weather – allowing water to wick away from the foot and rubber sole of the shoe.. puddle free!

There are different styles available for all types of weather conditions, terrain and preference, but they all keep the same simple concept in mind: Allowing your feet to act like the strong foundational bases that they are, allows your body to be aligned and supported properly.

sandal-luna-leadville

One of our very favourite, and perhaps one of the most versatile Luna Sandal styles that we carry is The Leadville PacerEquipped with a 9mm Vibram rubber sole, and aggressive tread that is designed to help you navigate any terrain, this sandal is perfect for even the most adventurous types.

 

 

 

 

9 Best Beaches in Victoria BC

Looking to hit up all the best beaches in Victoria this summer? Here are our top picks:

1. Agate Beach:

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Location: Cordova Bay

Beach Terrain: Soft sand with big logs

Agate beach is a charming beach located in a sunny bay. Perfect for relaxing and recharging as it is very quiet!

2. Esquimalt Lagoon:

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Location: Colwood

Beach Terrain: Soft sand with lots of logs and driftwood.

The Esquimalt Lagoon is a Victoria classic. Situated between two bodies of water, this windy beach stretches for miles, perfect for a long walk or to sit and eat while enjoying the view.

3. Gonzales Beach:

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Location: Oak Bay

Beach Terrain: Very soft sand and driftwood

Gonzales beach is perfect to relax at, lay a blanket down and enjoy a picnic.

4. Gyro Beach:

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Location: Cadboro Bay

Beach Terrain: Extremely soft sand and logs

Gyro Beach is perfect for the whole family. The beach itself is great to relax on, and there is a huge park backing it that is every child’s dream! It includes massive iconic sea animal sculptures that kids love to climb on, swings, a boat-themed jungle gym, and even a new zip line!

5. Dallas Beach:


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Location: James Bay/Downtown

Beach Terrain: Rocks and logs

Dallas Beach runs along the beautiful Dallas Rd very close to downtown. This rocky beach has lots to explore, including fun staircases and the famous Ogden Point breakwater at one end.

6. Saxe Point:

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Location: Esquimalt

Terrain: Big boulders, walking path, rocky beach.

Saxe Point is a very versatile spot! It includes a field, big rocks to explore and climb on, a walking path, a lookout, gardens, and a rocky beach. It boasts a great view of the Olympic mountains, making it a popular wedding spot. Great for picnics, sports, adventuring, exploring, walking, and sunset watching.

7. Island View Beach:

islandviewbeach

Location: Central Saanich

Terrain: Very soft sand and rocks

Island View Beach is another Victoria classic. Paired with a dog-friendly walking path, it’s great to relax at and/or to take a long stroll.

8. Willows Beach:

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Location: Uplands/ Oak Bay

Terrain: Soft Sand and logs

Willows Beach is located in a charming neighbourhood filled with lots of character. Take a walk around Cattle Point and take advantage of the great park beside the beach too.

9. Taylor Beach:

taylorbeach

Location: Metchosin

Terrain: Medium to large rocks

Taylor Beach is a quiet rocky beach just after Whitty’s Lagoon. Walk the beach and then explore the beautiful hiking trail beside it.

 

Do you have any suggestions for more great places near home?? Let us know, we would love to hear about them!

Meat: How Your Choices Affect Your Health and the Planet

Why Grassfed?-2

Are you ready to make the switch to ethically and responsibly raised healthy meat?

You’ve probably seen the factory farming documentaries, the PETA campaigns, and the mass farming videos that are all over the Internet lately. The truth is that factory farming is a huge issue in today’s world, and we need to make a change.

In factory farm settings the animals are usually ripped away from their mothers at birth, kept in tiny cages or areas with little to no time outside, pumped full of antibiotics and sometimes growth hormones, and then slaughtered inhumanly in a very stressful and terrifying environment. Doesn’t sound like a very nice life to me.

These animals are sick, stressed, deprived, terrified, and living in the most unnatural environment possible. Have you heard the term you are what you eat? What do you think eating sick and unhealthy animals will make you eventually?

Factory farming is devastating for the animals and our health, but what about the environment?

Approximately 700 million cattle are slaughtered in Canada for food each year. Just to name a couple ecological issues, factory farming accounts for 37% of methane emissions, which has more than 20x the global warming potential of CO2. The cattle’s manure also contains dangerous levels of heavy metals and nitrogen. Nitrogen robs water of oxygen, destroying aquatic life when it eventually ends up in bodies of water. These plus many more environmental concerns are growing by the minute.

Animals need to be free of enclosed spaces and outside as much as possible in order to thrive. Having animals graze and roam is great ecologically as well as it promotes new agricultural and environmental growth. Grass eating animals actually increase soil quality by breaking it up and helping it absorb water. They also fertilize the land as they graze, helping prevent desertification and creating a dynamic ecosystem.

We are so lucky here on the Island and most places in BC to have access to amazing ethically raised meat. We carry a huge selection including grass fed/finished pastured bison, water buffalo, and beef all raised here on Vancouver Island. The farmers practice varying techniques of managed intensive grazing, where they rotate their animals’ grazing spots, keeping the animals happy while increasing the health and growth of the soil and environment. We also have local pastured heritage pork, which is a less domesticated bread that can live and thrive on pasture. We have organic pastured free range chicken, and wild meats as well including wild boar, kangaroo, and camel.

What to look for when buying meat:
Beef and Grazing Animals: 100% Grass fed/finished, pastured, organic (Including dairy too).
Pork: Pastured (living on the land), organic.
Chicken and Eggs: Free range, pastured, organic.

The more you buy ethically raised meat, the more you support traditional farming to help diminish mass farming. We can make a difference!

lynnwithpig

 

We are Hiring!

If you are someone who values health and wellness, and enjoys inspiring others to be the best they can, then Health Essentials could be a great match for you! Health Essentials employees are happy, healthy, active and fun-loving people who genuinely care about the wellbeing of others. It is a fun and fast-paced job with an ideal environment for working, learning, and living well.
If you have never been, Health Essentials is located at the corner for Gorge and Tillicum Rd.
If this interests you at all, get your resume into the store ASAP!