Choosing a Protein Powder

Lets face it, the world of protein powders can be confusing.  Do you need a Whey or a Vegan? Concentrate or Isolate? Fermented? Organic? Sprouted? Sweetened? It is a lot to take in and for many people it can become a huge hurdle that stops them from getting the many benefits available from supplementing with a protein powder. Not to mention the prices can vary greatly and for many reasons. The big tub of protein powder you saw for $15 at the discount store is likely not the same as the $75 tub at the health food store.  Does it matter? Is there a difference?  Yes.

Lets start with the basics, most stores will have 2 basic categories of protein powder Whey and Vegan Sources. Each of these will contain varying amounts of protein dependant on ingredients, sources and the type of processing.  Regardless of how many grams of protein a product claims – you should always calculate the % of protein per serving. To do this, take the amount of protein per serving and divide by the serving size (grams) multiply this amount by 100 to calculate the percentage of protein per serving.  The more fillers, sweeteners and other ingredients, the lower the protein %.

Whey Protein Powders

Most whey proteins are derived from cows milk. Whey is simply the liquid bi-product your get from making cheese – Curds and Whey! Whey contains proteins, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. After the water and casein are removed the whey concentrate remains.   An easily absorbed protein source, whey proteins tend to have a smooth texture.  Within the Whey category, protein powers are further divided into whey concentrate and whey isolate.  Both of which have full amino acid profiles and many benefits and many people still debate which is better.  When looking for a whey – the source in important. Ideally it should be free from hormones, antibiotics and more.  Canadian and New Zealand milk products both have very high standards in this regard, as do certified organic milk products.


Whey Concentrate

Whey concentrates contain varying amounts of fat and carbohydrates in the form of lactose. The percentage of protein varies from about 30% to about 80% (% of calories from protein), and includes a variety of protein subfractions including lactoferrin, immunolgobulins and beta-lactoglobulin (among others), many of which have significant biologic activity and health benefits. Lactoferrin is essential for iron absorption and immunolgobulins are antioxidants that provide excellent immune support.

Whey Isolate

Whey Isolates are made by further processing and purifying a whey concentrate. This expensive process produces a protein concentration in excess of 85%.  It eliminates the lactose and the carbohydrates found in concentrate, making it a more pure protein source that is rapidly absorbed by the body. This rapid absorption produces a more profound insulin response, making isolates a popular post work-out choice but not recommend for diabetics.  This process also degrades the subfactions of the protein, reducing or even removing many of the health benefits available in a concentrate.

Unless you have very specific requirements or are an elite bodybuilding athlete – I suggest getting the best of both worlds with a blended protein. Blended proteins contain both Whey Concentrates and Whey Isolates making them a high protein source with all the health advantages.  Many blended products such as Progressive Harmonized Protein are specifically designed for optimal absorption and digestion that provide health benefits above any individual protein source.

Shop for Whey Protein


Vegan Protein Powders

Vegan proteins are a vast and growing category. Historically hard to find, they are now available alongside their whey counterparts in most stores. They consist of protein derived from plants. There are many sources for vegan protein including pea, hemp, soy, pumpkin seed, chia, corn, brown rice, quinoa, coconut and more. Each of these sources have their own qualities and benefits and many of them can be purchased as a single source protein supplement; However, the key to a good protein lies in its building blocks – which are amino acids.  There are many different amino acids but 9 of them must be consumed and cannot be produced in the body, these are considered “essential”.  The Amnio Acid profile varies in all the above noted vegan protein sources. Grains are generally limited in some amino acids, while most legumes are limited in other ones, and corn in even different ones. Some beans are considered a complete protein while others are not.

Therefore blended vegan proteins are best in order to provide a complete amino acid profile containing both essential and non-essential amino acids.  When it comes to blends there seems to be an unlimited number of combinations to be had. I suggest looking for a blend that contains a full amino acid profile and does not contain processed soy unless it is organic and fermented. Rice, hemp, pea are three popular sources found in most quality vegan powders. Also look for co-factors such as vitamins, minerals, fibre and healthy fats… all of which will help aid digestion and minimize bloating. They also maximize the amount of potential protein that the body absorbs from that precious scoop of plant protein.

Organic? Fermented? Sprouted? Naturally Sweetened?

These are common words found on protein labels, but what do they really mean?


Like all other certified organic products, this means that almost all of the ingredients (95%) are grown or produced in compliance with the organic certification guidelines.  These products do not contain GMOs and are not grown using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. They also tend to have slightly higher nutritional content. Purchasing certified organic products is a good step towards sustainability, reduced carbon emissions and generally a better world –  but they do come with an additional price tag and tend to be slightly more expensive then their chemically grown counterparts.


This is a popular word these days but the technique is ancient. Fermentation breaks down the “anti-nutrient” found in grains, nuts, seeds and legumes called Phytic Acid. It’s a form of stored phosphorus in plants that protects them against–you guessed it–digestion! For some, this anti-nutrient (and others) can spell digestive troubles like gas, bloating and indigestion. Fermentation helps by breaking down the barriers so your gut can work in peace.  Fermented proteins are a good choice for people with digestive problems.


When a seed or grain begins to germinate (sprout) a desirable nutritional change occurs. Complex compounds are broken down during the processes increasing the bioavailable amounts of vitamins, minerals and proteins available. Sprouted grains and seeds have been shown to be higher in nutrients like the B-vitamins, Vitamin C and essential amino acids. Plus there is greater enzyme activity for improved digestibility and absorption. The net result is undeniably better nutrition.

Naturally Sweetened

Lets face it, most of us have a sweet tooth and would prefer a smoothie that tastes like chocolate or vanilla over one that tastes like peas!  But Beware, often cheap, chemical  sweeteners and flavours such as aspartame are used in protein powders and should be avoided. Sugar, while a natural sweetener, can quickly add extra calories to your day. Look for products sweetened with Stevia – a plant based sweetener that does not spice calories or blood sugars.

At The Granary we sell high quality protein powders from a variety of sources. Stop in and talk to the us about picking the right one for you!


Gluten Free Shortbread

Eating a gluten-free diet this holiday? That’s no reason to go without a little short bread! Try this recipe from “125 Best Gluten-Free Recipes” and indulge a little!

2/3 cup rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup GF icing sugar
1/4 cup potato starch
2 tbsp tapioca start
3/4 cup soft butter (or butter substitute)

In a bowl combine rice flour, cornstarch, icing sugar, potato starch and tapioca start. Mix and set aside.

Using a separate bowl and a mixer, cream butter. Slowly beat in dry mix until combined, scarping the bowl.

Gather the dough, kneading in any remaining dry ingredients. Dough will be soft, handle gently and try not to add extra flour. Roll into 1″ balls. Place 1″ apart on baking sheets and flatten with a fork dipped in rice flour.

Bake in a preheated oven (300*F) for 15-25 min until set but not brown. Cool on rack.




Cocoa Powder and Dark Chocolate on old wooden table

3rd Annual Chocolate Party – Dec 3

Its that time of year again.  Time for our annual Chocolate Party on Saturday Dec 3.  This yearly event is quickly becoming a favourite for staff and customers alike – and how could it not!  A fun filled day of chocolate.  Stop by to sample some of our best  – ranging from a 45% milk chocolate all the way to a 100% heirloom cacao.  Learn what makes good chocolate oh so good, ranging from the living conditions of the third world cacao farmer to the health benefits of the consumer. Sip liquid chocolate while you browse our ever growing selection – this year we are excited to announce the award winning Hummingbird chocolate will be available!

This is a great event to stock up on all your chocolate needs for the holidays.  Gifts, stocking stuffers and baking chocolate – Great deals to be had on everything chocolate.

This year we will even be sampling chocolate fish oil and protein!

See you there.


Fairly Traded Chocolate – The right choice.

First discovered by the Mayans in 250 A.D., Europeans developed a taste for cocoa after the Spanish conquistadors brought it to Spain in the 16th century. Cocoa crops were introduced to West Africa at the end of the 19th century. Today, 67% of cocoa production comes from West Africa, with 43% from the country of Côte d’Ivoire alone.

Close to 14 million people, in over 30 countries, depend on cocoa production. The crop is grown mainly in the tropical regions of the global South.

Around 90% of the world’s cocoa supply is grown and harvested on family-owned farms with plot sizes of 12 acres or less. Smaller family farms produce an average of 350 pounds of cocoa per acre in a year’s harvest, generating an average annual income of US$30-100 per household member.

Bitter Chocolate

Unfortunately, cocoa has a dark side. The production and trading conditions in the cocoa market make it very difficult for producers to earn a living.

Cocoa farmers are often forced to negotiate with intermediaries who pay only a fraction of the actual value of their crop. As a result, farmers are often paid prices which don’t begin to cover the costs of production.

Producers also have limited access to information about what is going on in the market or how much their crops are worth, and many cannot get affordable credit.

The difficulty in making a living from cocoa farming has led to an increase in child labour, and even slave labour, in the cocoa trade. In 2001, the International Labour Organization and others reported child slavery on many cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast.

Under the umbrella of Fairtrade International (FLO), farmers who produce Fairtrade certified cocoa are organized democratically and receive a minimum price which covers the costs of sustainable production. They also receive a Fairtrade Premium to invest in social and economic initiatives in their communities. And there’s more…

The international standards for Fairtrade certified cocoa are:

Producers are small family farms organized in co-operatives (or associations), which they own and govern.
The minimum guaranteed price is paid directly to the producer co-op. The minimum floor price is currently set at US$2000/metric ton (MT) for conventional cocoa beans and US$2300/MT for organic cocoa beans. When the world market price is higher than Fair Trade, the market price, plus the premium, is paid to producers.
A Fairtrade Premium of US$200/MT is included in the purchase price. This premium is used by cooperatives for social and economic investments such as education, health services, processing equipment, and loans to members.
Environmental standards restrict the use of agrochemicals and encourage sustainability.
Pre-harvest lines of credit, of up to 60% of the purchase price, are given to cooperatives if requested.
No forced labour of any kind, including child labour, is permitted.


Cocoa trees develop slowly, taking up to 10 years to achieve maximum yield. Cocoa pods are about the size of footballs and contain pulp and moist white cocoa beans which are fermented, dried, and roasted.

The beans often go through alkalization to improve colouring and flavour, and are then reduced to a cocoa liquor. This liquor can can be pressed to make cocoa butter, cocoa powder, or mixed with other ingredients to become chocolate. Fairtrade certified cocoa today is used in a wide variety of products including chocolate milk, frozen desserts, hot chocolate, baked goods and, of course, chocolate bars!


Canadians consume an average of 5.5 kg of chocolate per person each year.
Fairtrade certified cocoa was first sold in Canada in 2002.

Fairtrade certified cocoa sold in the Canadian market is mainly grown by 16 certified cocoa producer organizations, which represents over 70,000 cocoa growers in 11 countries.

For the complete article and more information of fair trade chocolate go to

Granary Lil' Sprouts are Healthy Sprouts

Lil’ Sprouts

The deadline to apply for The Granary’s Lil’ Sprouts Grant Program is quickly approaching. This is a chance for any local school or community group to get $500 towards helping us connect kids with the food they eat.  For applications, ideas and criteria check out our Lil’ Sprouts Page.  Applications are due by November 30, 2016.

Customer Appreciation Week Oct 31 – Nov 5

Once again The Granary will be celebrating you – the customers that make it all happen.  Join us during the first week of November for a full week of prizes, samples, savings and more.  Events are being planned for each day. Let us pamper you with big savings, free samples and new products.  Its our way of saying Thank you. Thank you for letting us be your local source for natural health.


Understanding the meaning and value of Non-GMO Project Verification

You have the right to know what’s in the food you’re eating and feeding your family. Most governments agree—nearly 50 countries around the world, including Japan, Australia, Russia, China and all of the EU member states, have either banned genetically modified organisms (GMOs) completely, or require that food containing them be clearly labeled. The experimental technology of genetic engineering forces DNA from one species into a different species. The resulting GMOs are unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional breeding. GMOs have not been adequately tested, and have not been proven safe for human consumption.
In Canada, we do not have mandatory GMO labeling, and the
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) does not require safety assessments of GMO foods or even review all of the GMO products hitting the market. Meanwhile, close to 75% of our conventional packaged foods now contain GMOs. In response to this dire situation the Non-GMO Project was founded, with a mission of protecting consumer choice and preserving and rebuilding our non-GMO food supply. By offering North America’s only third party standard and labeling for non-GMO products, the Project helps fill the information gap for the increasing number of Americans who are concerned about the health risks and environmental pollution associated with GMOs. This October is the third annual Non-GMO Month – an event created by the Non-GMO Project to help raise awareness about the GMO issue and celebrate Non-GMO Project Verified choices. As part of our participation in Non-GMO Month, we are sharing this article to help you understand what Non-GMO Project Verification is all about.

Since late 2009, the Project has verified over 5,000 products to its rigorous standards for GMO avoidance, and this number increases daily. Companies enroll in the “Non-GMO Project”: for many reasons. For some, it is part of their company’s mission. For other companies, verification is driven by the demands of retailers and consumers. Doug Foreman, the founder and chairman of Beanitos says, “We were totally unaware of what GMOs were until a health food store questioned us on whether we were verified Non-GMO. This was an eye-opening moment for us. We found an abundance of evidence revealing possible problems with genetic modification in our food supply and immediately began the process of verification.”
More and more people are looking for the Non-GMO Project Verified label, and asking their favorite brands to participate, but what does that really mean? The butterfly on the “Verified” seal is a real eye-catcher, but many people are still curious about what it takes for a food producer to earn that lovely lepidopteran. When you see the Non-GMO Project Verified seal on a product it indicates that the product is compliant with the Non-GMO Project’s Standard – a transparent document requiring producers to meet strict requirements for GMO testing, segregation, and traceability. The butterfly’s cute, but it represents a tremendous level of commitment on the part of the brands that have earned it.
Here’s an overview of what it takes to become Non-GMO Project Verified…
First, an interested manufacturer, farmer, or restaurateur reaches out. The Project answers basic questions and helps them understand what to expect. The company shares basic information, such as product names, ingredients and number of production facilities. All this info helps the Project’s technical advisors to pinpoint high-GMO risk ingredients and facilities, sketch out a rough idea of what any individual verification will entail, and figure out what the verification process will cost.
As a mission-driven Non-Profit organization, the “Non-GMO Project”: works to keep the cost of verification as low as possible – after all, the more Non-GMO options, the merrier! For the many brands that do decide to pursue Verification, contracts are signed ensuring that confidential product information stays confidential, and that products only get to use the Verification Mark once they’ve completed Verification. It’s all legalese to many of us, but it’s an important step in making sure that shoppers can trust any product bearing the butterfly seal.
Even more important is the Verification process itself. Companies provide hard data about the products they are enrolling: ingredient lists, production facility information, test results from approved laboratories, etc. Once the data upload is complete an evaluator with FoodChain, the Project’s technical advisor, begins the review process – and what a process it is!
To quote Brian Ray of Garden of Life,
Our Multi-Vitamins, for example, can contain 50 to 60 different food based ingredients.[…] It’s a staggering amount of work to evaluate each product. And the Non GMO Project auditors are extremely thorough. Even though we collect certifications from every supplier verifying that each ingredient is GMO-free, the auditors work tirelessly UP the food chain, challenging each statement and requiring that suppliers prove through adequate agricultural controls and regular DNA testing protocols that GMOs are not unintentionally introduced.
For companies with low risk ingredients the process can be quite a bit simpler. In describing their verification, Doug Foreman of Beanitos says:
The process itself took just a few months to complete. The longest part was waiting for our supplier’s 3rd party lab tests proving their commitment to sourcing Non-GMO ingredients. One of our seasoning suppliers couldn’t guarantee that the milk in our cheddar was sourced from hormone free cows. We subsequently moved to a supplier that is just as dedicated to Non-GMO as we are.
If a product contains only low-risk ingredients, with no GMO varieties on the market, testing is not required, but FoodChain conducts a thorough review of ingredient specification sheets for an in-depth assurance that there is no risk of GMO presence.
For companies with major high-risk ingredients in their products, the Non-GMO Project standard requires ongoing testing of those risk ingredients. High-risk ingredients are any derived from crops grown commercially in GMO form–from corn and canola to the occasional summer squash. After testing, ingredients must remain segregated from other GMO risk factors, and traceable from that point on. This ensures ingredient integrity through to the finished product. To ensure that everything’s being produced properly, manufacturers must pass onsite inspections of any facility that uses high-risk ingredients.
Upon successful completion of the verification process, the manufacturer receives a certificate of compliance, and can start using the Verified seal on their packaging. Even at this point, manufacturers who have committed to Verification aren’t off the hook – they must continue testing every single batch of their high-risk ingredients, and complete an annual audit process to remain verified.

As you walk through The Granary this October, then, keep an eye out for the many Verified products we sell. Supporting manufacturers who have committed to “Non-GMO Project”: Verification sends a powerful message about what you want on your family’s table, and helps support some of this country’s best farmers.
In this day and age, it can take a lot of extra energy to provide reliable Non-GMO products, but as Doug Foreman says, “Being verified by the Non GMO Project has been a 100% positive for us. Consumers want to eat food that is safe, and being Verified is a big part of making sure that happens.”

Save on Anne Marie Borlind during October

Treat your skin this fall with Anne Marie Borlind skin care.  Save 10% on this all natural quality skin care line during the month of October.

AB_Dekoration_LL_Export_280610_finalI want to introduce you to a new line of skin care products now available at The Granary. After looking into numerous options, I am happy to say we have decided to become your local retailer of Anne Marie Borlind products. When shopping for skin care I wanted a company with extremely high standards, not just for results but for social responsibility as well.  Thats why the Anne Marie Borlind’s Promise of “innovation, social commitment and sustainability” resonated with me. This 60 year old company prides itself on state of the art research and innovation with ingredients whose ethical origins can be traced, often back to socio-ecological projects happening all over the world.

These beautiful skin care products are made with certified organic or wild harvested raw materials that are free of all raw ingredients sourced from animals. They also reject the use of ingredients that are not biodegradable or may be unsafe such as PEG, paraffins, petroleum derivative, silicon oils and polycyclic musk compounds. Basically we found a complete line of high quality proudest that have been developed against a backdrop of maximum ecological and social responsibility – but do they work?

I am not a great judge of cosmetics as my experience and use is limited. Good thing I have a secret weapon – an on staff aesthetician with more than 20 years experience, Joy Noel. Joy has taught me a lot about my skin and skin care in general and she is really excited about this new award winning line. With a wide range of products Anne Marie Borlind has something to offer everyone.  Come into the store today and get a free mini consultation with Joy and leave with a pocketful of samples. We know you will be back for more!!  If you are interested in attending an information session, contact us.  We regularly do mini facial evenings where you can get a personalized skin care assessment to make sure you get the perfect products for you.

Young barley grass. Detox superfood.

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