“ManGO-Away-Cold-and-Flu” Salad!

A healthy diet should be naturally colourful!

A healthy diet should be naturally colourful!

You know how there are those few times during the year when everyone around you seems to be getting sick? Well, I am going through one of those times right now and I am proud to say that I still have not fallen sick. I have been taking preventative measures to ensure I remain cold/flu-free. In addition to taking oil of oregano daily while so many are sick around me, getting an adequate amount of sleep every night, and always staying hydrated, I have been having my “ManGO-Away-Cold-and-Flu” salad for dinner quite often lately. This high-in-vitamin-C and antioxidant-rich salad helps keep sickness away and is so yummy! I make this salad so often that I have never measured any of the ingredients. However, while making this salad for dinner last night, I measured the ingredients so that I could share the recipe with you all today! Enjoy!

One of my secrets to making a great tasting salad is using all organic ingredients! Organic produce just tastes better.

One of my secrets to making a great tasting salad is using all organic ingredients! Organic produce just tastes better.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium (red, white, or yellow) onion, diced
  • 2-3 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1-2 pinches garam masala powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 ripe mango, diced
  • leaves from 1 head of green kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
If you are a salad lover like me, this recipe serves one.

If you are a salad lover like me, this recipe serves one.

  1. In a medium frying pan over medium to high heat, sauté the diced onion in coconut oil until translucent.
  2. Add the diced zucchini and spices (cumin powder, fine sea salt, chili powder, garam masala powder, and turmeric powder). Sauté everything until all the water that comes out from the zucchini evaporates.
  3. Place the chopped kale leaves in a large bowl and add the sautéed zucchini and onion mixture on top.
  4. Top off the salad with the diced mango and chopped scallion.
  5. Mix everything together. Allow the flavours to mix and mingle for 5 minutes and then enjoy!

XOXO,

Addy

Combating STRESS!!!

stress-538x218Combating Stress using Breath focus:

Some Background and benifits:

The human body has a response to stress (also known as the “stress response”) termed “fight or flight” which the body uses to confront or avoid danger.  The stress response helps us meet challenges.  The trouble we face with the stress response though is when it is provoked constantly by less serious daily issues like: job worries, relationship problems, money woes, and traffic jams.

One of the results of this are health problems.  One of the biggest examples is high blood pressure, which is a major risk factors for heart disease.  Not only can a buildup of stress contribute to depression and anxiety, it also suppresses our immune system, increasing the chances of getting colds and other illnesses.

Stress is unavoidable, nor would we want to avoid all stress.  What we can do, and what we should do is develop better ways to respond to such stressors.  One method is to use the relaxation response.  Through a technique developed by a cardiologist by the name of Dr. H. Benson at the Harvard Medical School in the 1970’s.  The relaxation response is a deep state of rest brought on in many ways such as (but not limited to): meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and yoga.

Breath focus, is a common feature of many techniques used to elicit the relaxation response.  The first step is learning to breathe deeply.

Deep breathing has many names: diaphragmatic breathing, paced respiration’s, belly breathing, and abdominal breathing.  When you breath deeply, you breath in through your nose, fully expand your lungs, and rise your lower belly.  This may seem unnatural to some, and there could be several possible reasons for this. Body image: A flat stomach is considered attractive, so men and women tend to hold their stomach muscles in which in turn gradually makes shallow chest breathing seem normal, which increases tension and anxiety.  Shallow breathing also limits the range of motion of ones diaphragm, leading to the lowest part of our lungs not getting all oxygenated air possible, which could lead to making you feel short of breath and anxious.

Belly breathing promotes a good exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide, and in fact it can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize ones blood pressure.

Breath focus:

Breath focus helps you disengage from distracting thoughts and sensations by focusing on slow and deep breathing.

Find a place to sit or lie down that is quiet.  Take a normal breath, and then attempt to take a deep breath: slowly breathing through your nose allowing your lungs to fill and your chest and lower stomach to rise. Let your abdomen expand completely.  Then breath out through your mouth or nose slowly (whatever feels more natural to you).

Once you are use to deep breathing, you can move on to practicing breath focus regularly.  Sitting comfortably, with your eyes closed and practicing deep breathing, try to think of helpful imagery and focus on words or phrases that will help you gain a deeper level of relaxation.

Take Away:

Try several relaxation techniques, to see which ones work best for you.  If one fails you, you will be able to use alternate techniques.

  1. SCHEDULE practice once or twice a day, this helps enhance the sense of ritual and establish the habit
  2. Don’t try too hard, that will only be counter productive.
  3. Find a special place you can go to sit or lie down comfortably and quietly.
  4. Be somewhat active in eliciting the relaxation response, as the key to it is shifting your focus from stressors to deeper calmer rhythms.
  5. Try to take 10-20 minutes a day to practice.

 

belly-breathing

 

 

 

 

Raddy Recipe: “Cuckoo for Coconut” Salad

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Now that it is finally warmer and sunnier in Toronto, I have been craving fresh salads and coconut water lately. So I wanted to create a coconut-based salad to complement a nice, cold, refreshing glass of coconut water. I came up with this “Cuckoo for Coconut” salad and it was delicious! This vegan salad is high in fibre, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

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“Cuckoo for Coconut” Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons creamed coconut, finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut chips
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 3 baby bok choy, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

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  1. Mix everything together.
  2. Let set for 5 minutes to allow all the flavours to mix and mingle.
  3. Enjoy!

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We packaged this salad in Mason jars and brought them with us to Scarborough Bluffs Park. The salad tasted even better with the beautiful view of Lake Ontario and with some coconut water on the side. I hope you get to try this recipe and enjoy it outdoors in the beautiful weather this summer!

XOXO,

Addy

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welliBOX: a Box of Supplement Samples Delivered to Your Door!

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Are you familiar with “beauty box” companies like Luxe Box or Birchbox that deliver a box full of beauty samples and/or full-size beauty products to your door every month or every few months? Well now there is a company called welliBOX that delivers monthly “supplement boxes” right to your door for all you health product enthusiasts out there like myself! I love the idea and value of it, so I had to share!

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Just the full-sized CanPrev Magnesium Bisglycinate 200 and the full-sized Orange Naturals D3 Drops are worth almost $40!

 

From only $12.50 per month with free shipping across Canada, you will get delivered monthly a box containing 5-10 supplement samples, at least $25 in instant savings on their online shop, at least one full-sized sample, and more, depending on the renewal plan you select. You can select for yourself or gift to someone one of the following three renewal plans:

Renewal Plans
Month-toMonth 6-month 1-year
Monthly Price(with FREE shipping) $14.95 $13.33 $12.50
What You Get Each Month ·    5-10 supplement samples·    $25 in instant savings on their online shop·    In-store discounts ·    5-10 supplement samples·    $30 in instant savings on their online shop·    An e-book for healthy living ·    5-10 supplement samples·    $30 in instant savings on their online shop·    An e-book for healthy living·    Live phone consultation with a Certified Nutritionist
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I finally got to try the new Garden of Life Mangolicious Raw Protein flavour thanks to welliBOX and it is delicious!

 

welliBOX also offers three different types of boxes, which are a “her welliBOX” (for women), a “his welliBOX” (for men), and a unisex “welliBOX Xtreme” (for female and male fitness buffs). Although I do not consider myself a fitness buff, I believe I got a “welliBOX Xtreme”. This particular one included a full-sized CanPrev Magnesium Bisglycinate 200 (which helps with muscle relaxation and retails for around $25), a full-sized Orange Naturals Vitamin D3 Drops (which supports bone and teeth development and is a necessary daily supplement for everyone, especially Canadians), two Garden of Life Mangolicious Raw Protein samples, a Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts sample, and a reusable BioCore bag. Even for someone like me who is surrounded by all kinds of high-quality natural health supplements everyday at work, I was super impressed with their great selection of samples! You definitely get way more than your money’s worth! I highly recommend this as a monthly treat for yourself and as gifts for the people you love. For more information, you can check them out on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram.

XOXO,

Addy

Raddy Recipe: Healthiest and Tastiest Low-Fat Onion Rings!

I prefer these healthy onion rings over the battered and deep-fried ones! These are NON-fried, nutritious, low-fat, high-fibre, high-protein, vegan, cancer-fighting, and best of all, super tasty!

I prefer these healthy onion rings over the deep-fried ones! These are NON-fried, nutritious, low-fat, high-fibre, high-protein, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, cancer-fighting, and best of all, super tasty!

This is one of my favourite snack recipes I have ever created! Who knew onion rings could be LOW-FAT (no deep frying involved), VEGAN, EASY-TO-MAKE, and SUPER TASTY?! With my and Raj’s free lecture on “Staying Cancer-Free Through Nutrition” coming up next Thursday night at The Big Carrot, I thought I should share my cancer-preventing onion rings recipe, in which onions and chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are the primary ingredients. Raw onion rings are generously coated in chickpea hummus and then placed in a dehydrator for hours until crispy. The flavonoids and sulfur compounds in onions have been shown to lower the risk of various cancers. Similarly, the antioxidants (manganese and various phytonutrients) in chickpeas also help protect against cancer. These non-fried and nutritious onion rings take a long time to make, but they are well worth the wait! I actually prefer them over the battered and deep-fried onion rings!

Sunflower Kitchen makes the most delicious flavoured hummus! Their HUMMUS + is vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, dairy-free, sugar-free, nut-free, and preservative-free!

Sunflower Kitchen makes the most delicious flavoured hummus! Their HUMMUS + is vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, dairy-free, sugar-free, nut-free, and preservative-free! I tried their “Edamame with Sesame Roasted Carrots” flavour for this batch of onion rings, but my favourite flavour is the “Curry Lentil with Spicy Cilantro Chutney”.

What you will need:

  • 2 medium onions (preferably Vidalia onions, which are sweeter than yellow, white, and red onions, especially when raw)
  • 1 container of Sunflower Kitchen HUMMUS + (I used the “Edamame with Sesame Roasted Carrots” flavour) or about 300 grams of good quality store-bought hummus or about 1 1/4 cup of homemade hummus
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • mixing bowl
  • dehydrator
I set the dehydrator temperature very low at 110°F to keep the onions "raw" for raw foodists, who can also substitute the Sunflower Kitchen HUMMUS + with raw hummus. If you want to lower the dehydration time significantly from 24 hours, you can increase the temperature to 150°F-160°F and this should cut the time in half (about 12 hours).

I set the dehydrator temperature very low at 110°F to keep the onions “raw” for raw foodists, who can also substitute the Sunflower Kitchen HUMMUS + with raw hummus. If you want to reduce the dehydration time significantly from 24 hours to about 12 hours, you can increase the temperature to 150°F-160°F.

  1. Slice onions into 1-centimetre-thick rings and separate each layer of rings.
  2. In a mixing bowl, pour in the hummus, add in the onion rings, and generously coat each onion ring with hummus. (I like to use my hands as the only utensils for this step.)
  3. Lay out the hummus-coated onion rings on the dehydrator trays.
  4. Dehydrate them at 110°F for 24 hours or until crispy.
  5. Let the onion rings cool completely in the dehydrator before removing them and indulging in them. (They get even crispier as they cool down.)
So healthy and delicious!

So healthy and delicious!

Hopefully, you all can check out this recipe! You do not need a fancy dehydrator. Mine is by Salton and was well under $100 (I cannot remember the exact price). I hope you all can also check out our free lecture on “Staying Cancer-Free Through Nutrition” this coming Thursday, March 26th at 7pm! 🙂

XOXO,

Addy

Making Raj Keep the Cold and Flu Away Naturally… with Oil of Oregano!

Despite the ugly facial expressions I always make after taking oil of oregano, I love taking this stuff daily to ward off the cold and flu! I haven't been sick yet this year! *Knocks on wood.*

Despite the ugly facial expressions I always make after taking oil of oregano, I love taking this stuff daily to ward off the cold and flu! I haven’t been sick yet this year! *Knocks on wood.*

With a lot of stuff coming up for Raj and me and with many people getting sick around us, we both really need to take preventative measures against the cold and flu. So I introduced Raj to oil of oregano, which is a great, natural antimicrobial for warding off illnesses. This immune-supporting oil is usually made by extracting the essential oil from oregano leaves via distillation and then, diluting the extracted oil with olive oil (usually in a 1:3 ratio, respectively).

The one we use by St. Francis is one of the more potent ones out there; the essential oil from oregano leaves is diluted with olive oil in a 1:1 ratio, respectively. Thus, ours tastes very strongly of oregano with a strong, lingering aftertaste. It also gives a slight burning sensation in the mouth. For these reasons, Raj hates taking it, but I still make him. He’ll thank me later.

Yes, oil of oregano has a strong, unpleasant taste and it slightly burns the mouth, but it's good for your immune system, Raj! I'm just glad this M.D. is open to my more natural and holistic health remedies.

Yes, oil of oregano has a strong, unpleasant taste and it slightly burns the mouth, but it’s good for your immune system, Raj! I’m just glad this M.D. is open to my more natural and holistic health remedies.

Oil of oregano doesn’t just have to be taken orally to reap the benefits of its active ingredients (carvacrol, thymol, terpenes, rosmarinic acid, and naringin). Here are some other uses for oil of oregano:
  • Do a steam inhalation with oil of oregano to combat respiratory infections. Fill a glass bowl with steaming water and add a few drops of the oil into the water. Place your head over the bowl and cover the back of your head with a towel to trap the steam. Breathe in the oil-of-oregano-infused steam.
  • Make a moisturizing hand sanitizer with oil of oregano. Add several drops of the oil to every 100 grams of coconut oil, shea butter, or your favourite natural moisturizer. Mix well and use as needed to moisturize and sanitize your hands.
  • Make a mild household surface cleaner with oil of oregano. Add a full dropper of oil of oregano to two cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray onto hard surfaces for everyday cleaning.
  • Use oil of oregano as a spot treatment for the skin. In addition to the oil’s antimicrobial properties, oil of oregano also has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it great for spot treating pimples, blemishes, acne breakouts, and rosacea. You can use it directly on affected areas. However, if direct application is too strong, you can dilute it with some aloe gel.
The oil of oregano that we use is the St. Francis Oréganum Plus 1:1. It's one of the most potent ones out there (one part essential oil of oregano leaves to one part olive oil).

The oil of oregano that we use is the St. Francis Oréganum Plus 1:1. It’s one of the more potent ones out there (one part essential oil of oregano leaves to one part olive oil).

These are just my top uses for oil of oregano, but I’m sure there are many others. It’s a great supplement to have on hand, especially during the cold and flu season. When taking it orally, the recommended dosage is usually a few drops daily under the tongue or mixed with water. We, however, take a full dropper daily under the tongue. Once you get used to it, it’s really not that bad (although Raj would probably beg to differ). In the pictures above, we took a full dropper just before heading off to a farmers’ market. What a fun day that was! We will share our adventure at the farmers’ market that day in our next blog post, so stay tuned!
XOXO,
Addy