Monday, 18 February 2013

Monday Feature: Stoked Oats

Being healthy and staying fit is such an important aspect of life that so many of us shove into a corner closet and forget about. I'm as guilty about this as the next person. I occasionally look into the closet and think, "I should get back into running/working out" or "I should eat carrots instead of chocolate". Sometimes I do get back into it, and sometimes those thoughts get shoved back into the closet.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being healthy and have been changing my lifestyle for the better, but I am human, and I simply have days where all I would like to do is sit on my butt, watch a movie and eat ice cream topped with score bits, chocolate chips, caramel sauce and honey (even as I wrote that I cringed with the sweetness overload). I will admit that since having my munchkin, even though we have been eating healthier (with allowances here and there), I haven't been out as much lately walking, running, or even doing small things here at home. I did during the summer, multiple times a week, but I really hate being cold, thus I have no desire to bundle myself and L up to go for a walk in even +5 temperatures. If I lived in a warmer climate, I would be outside a heck of a lot more, but in Canada, especially Alberta, we have this season called "Winter" that lasts for an excruciatingly long time. Even though this is our second mild Winter in a row, I'm still a pansy.

There was a time when I went to the gym, ran a few times a week and worked out abundantly. I even trained and completed a sprint triathlon (which I would love to do again). All this to say, I desire immensely to get back into it and my body is craving it. I do supposed chasing after my 1 year old and carrying her around all day is like weight lifting and a form of work-out. My arms have never been so strong :) But with a surge of physical activity, we need to make sure that we are feeding and fueling our bodies appropriately for the increased activity. Otherwise, our bodies will suffer even more for it. You need input with output, but make sure the input is healthy and nourishing.

Those who have run races of all sorts, or are highly athletic, know that we are told to carb load, to help sustain our bodies through intense times of training and activity. The problem with this is when we carb load with the wrong type of carbs, filling our bodies with bleached,  insufficient, empty carbs such as breads, white pasta's etc. It's time to energize and sustain our bodies with healthy foods that make us feel good and give us endurance, not just fill our stomachs. Breakfast is an important meal to consider, as we need to start our days off (with or without crazy activity) properly. I love oatmeal, as does my husband, and it's always a delicious way to start our day. Especially on those cold, Winter mornings. Sadly for me, many oatmeals are no longer safe for my consumption, do to my gluten sensitivity.

Thus I bring you today's feature that I'm quite excited about, Stoked Oats. A gluten-free oatmeal that is packed with flavour, nutrients, and the perfect source of all you need for your day, whether your chasing a toddler around, shopping, climbing a mountain, or running a marathon (which is similar to chasing a toddler). How many other foods do you know of that can claim the same? Not many. My husband and I found out about Stoked Oats at the Millarville Farmers Market this past summer, while Hayden was selling his art. Once we tried Stoked Oats, we've never looked back! I'm looking forward to trying all the flavours (especially the Aphrodisi-oats ;) )

The creators and brains of this fabulous company, Stoked Oats - with the most incredible oatmeal you will ever enjoy - are friends, Simon Donato and Brad Slessor.

(Simon Donato)

Looking back on their journey to where they are now, and how it all happened, Simon recalls, "Brad and I are huge fitness fanatics and oatmeal fans. We actually came up with the concept for the company while working out (bench press actually) in our corporate gym. We had both been creating our own high-performance oatmeal blends independently because there were no high quality oatmeal blends available on the market. We had friends and colleagues who had asked to try our special blends and we were both independently known as "the oatmeal" guy in our respective work groups."

"We decided that we could fill the void on the market and incorporated in April, 2011. Throughout the summer, we perfected our blends through taste tests with friends and family."

Simon and Brad sourced all their ingredients and made the wonderful decision to use gluten-free oats from another Canadian company, Avena Foods, located in Saskatchewan. "Since we eat our product religiously, it was definitely important to us to use the highest quality ingredients in each blend."

There are no added preservatives, no added sugar, and nothing cooked in oil or sulphured. Can this be true? Sure can!

Simon continues, "I love everything about our company - working with a close friend, seeing our creative ideas come to life, meeting and talking with customers and providing a really nutritious product to help people stay healthier. It's easy to sell something you believe in and we whole heartedly believe in Stoked Oats and what we're doing."

Stoked Oats is looking forward to partnering with Breakfast Clubs of Canada this Spring, to start providing healthy breakfast options to disadvantaged students, to give them a healthy start to their day. How amazing is that?

"We are community oriented guys and really look forward to being able to give back via charity, sponsorships, etc." This is just another reason why we should all support and eat Stoked Oats!

Stoked Oats have some definite highlights of the past year, which include a fantastic summer meeting customers at Millarville Farmers Market and learning about what their customers want in a product. "Growing rapidly has been exciting and receiving really strong endorsements and feedback from customers about how much they love the product. It feels really good to provide a product that people love."

At Millarville, next to my favourite mead - Chinook Arch Meadery

Simon also has some exciting news of his own. "I'm the host of a new television show called Boundless - which airs February 17th, 7pm MST on Travel and Escape (and on their website). In the show, I travel the world competing in tough, ultra-endurance races, so my life is really all about health and fitness, and oatmeal is a huge component of my diet - especially when I'm racing. Redline is my go-to, race day breakfast!" Way to go Simon! We will check it out for sure.

Stoked Oats offer 5 blends - fruit based, nut based, some with organic dark chocolate chips, and a vegan option as well. "We are a unique product on the shelves - no other oatmeal company puts as many healthy ingredients into their blends. If a customer wants the best oatmeal - that's us. We designed the blends with specific goals in mind - antioxidant blends, healthy fats and high protein, flavenoid rich blends, performance blends, and vegan. We feel that we've reached these goals and are very excited about what 2013 holds as we continue to grow."

Lastly, Simon simply puts it, "we wanted to create a product that is cool, edgy, and fun. We're not grandma's boring, mushy oatmeal. We've created a product for consumers who want to eat well and demand quality and simple, raw ingredients. Hell, we're a couple of guys who just love oatmeal - it's not rocket science. We keep things simple and healthy. It's good for us and it's good for our customers." That it is, indeed.

Simon's personal Stoked Oats favourites are Stone Age and Redline. "Redline is great before I race because of the caffeine in the coffee - caffeine is still the best legal 'performance drug' out there! Stone Age is just really hearty with the nuts, has the highest protein at 9g per 1/3 cup serving, and very low sugar - 1g. We also have Vegan Oats launching in March and are very excited about it. We created Vegan Oats in response to customers, and potential customers, who asked for a whey free option. It's basically Stone Age without the whey."

Stoked Oats can currently be found at a number of locations: Calgary CO-OP grocers; Nutters in Airdrie, Canmore, Okotoks, and Red Deer; Cochrane Cook House; In Calgary: Market on 17th, Blush Lane (and their farmers market booth), Sunnyside Market & Luke's Drug Mart (prices will vary).

Stoked Oats also sells in BC and the Yukon, however, no matter where you live, you can purchase your Stoked Oats online at their website Also check out their website for more info on their product and to see their store locator.

Stoked Oats will be back at Millarville this Summer, beginning in June and hopefully some other Calgary farmers markets as well!
The best way to stay up to date on where you can find Stoked Oats and what markets they will be at, is to "like" their Facebook page here.
You can also follow Stoked Oats on Twitter at

If you have any further questions you can also email Simon at or Brad at

Stoked Oats is giving Growing Green readers a special deal as well! If you purchase 2 containers of Stoked Oats online, you will receive $3.00 off the second container! Simply use the PROMO CODE #stokedGG by entering it in the message to vendor section on Stoked Oats website. When they see the code, they will refund you the $3.00.
This offer expires 30 days from today (March 20th, 2013), so hurry and take advantage of this PROMO and try out some, or all, of Stoked Oats oatmeal blends!

next week's feature hint: essentially oiled

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