“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.


  • 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!



Sea Fun and Seafood at Frutos Del Mar (in Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal)!


Being by the sea at a beach near the Mayan ruins of Tulum had me dreaming of all the seafood that was going to be offered for dinner that night at the Frutos Del Mar restaurant.

After Raj and I celebrated our one-year anniversary at Maiko restaurant, it was time for his sister and her husband to celebrate their ten-year wedding anniversary there the following night. While they were enjoying dinner at Maiko, Raj, his parents, and I took their kids (Raj’s niece and nephew) to dinner at Frutos Del Mar. It was great that this was a seafood restaurant, because we all were craving seafood after spending the day by the sea at a beautiful beach near the Mayan ruins of Tulum. Seafood can be a great source of lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals. If you are a big fan of seafood and are staying at the Bahia Principe Riviera Maya resort, then you definitely must check out the Frutos Del Mar restaurant. Here is a recap/review of my dining experience there…


I loved the nautical decor of the restaurant.


The apéritif was a refreshing and lightly sweet cocktail. I cannot remember what was in it, but it tasted like a light and fruity dessert wine. Also, I loved the star fruit garnish, which reminded me of a starfish.


The appetizer menu and a portion of the main course menu. For the appetizer, you could choose one of the starters or one of the soups or their seafood buffet. Since I prefer plated service over buffets, I opted for a starter (as did Raj and his parents), while his niece and nephew chose the seafood buffet to start.


Look at the incredible variety of seafood dishes at the appetizer buffet! Some highlights include various ceviches (scallop/salmon/tuna), slices of seared tuna steak, prawns, crab legs, and a variety of caviar! As wonderful as this seafood buffet was, I was glad I opted for a plated starter for my appetizer instead, because I would have been so overwhelmed with all the choices! I would have tried a bit of everything and spoiled my appetite for the main course. This spread was beyond an appetizer buffet. You could have just ordered this alone and been more than satisfied.


Raj’s niece and nephew ordered the buffet for their appetizer. I found it so funny that the first item his nephew eagerly reached for was a fruit salad amidst all the succulent seafood options! Ha ha ha. The kids loved all the fresh fruits that were available in Mexico at this time of the year and I cannot blame them.


“Sea Scallops Carpaccio – with Porcini mushroom duxelle, mustard vinaigrette, Piquillo pepper and tangerine foam.” The scallops were succulent and fresh and I loved the flavourful minced mushrooms underneath. The mustard vinaigrette and tangerine foam did not overpower the delicate flavours of the scallop carpaccio. Instead, the condiments highlighted the flavours of the scallop carpaccio beautifully. I also ordered a glass of semi-dry sparkling white wine to pair with my seafood courses since I ordered very light seafood dishes.


The other portion of the main course menu and the dessert menu.


“Whisky Shrimp – with vegetables macédonie and celery cream.” I ordered this dish without the celery cream and I still loved it! The shrimps were large, juicy, and perfectly cooked. I especially loved the crispy beet chips (those red string-like things on my plate). I wanted an entire plate of those beet chips! My only criticism was that the portion was too small for a main course. It was essentially only six pieces of shrimp with two pieces of asparagus. On a positive note, this was the perfect excuse to order dessert and not feel guilty!


“Impossible Cake – Kahlúa sponge cake and cottage cheese crème caramel.” When you order a very light appetizer and a very light main course, I think you are entitled to order whatever your heart desires on the dessert menu! This dessert was highly recommended by our server, so I ordered it. Although I loved it, it was too heavy and decadent for me. I only managed two bites with the fruit and chocolate garnishes. If you enjoy rich desserts and love coffee and caramel, you would definitely love this dessert!


I thought I would share and end with this cute picture. After our dinner at Frutos Del Mar, we bumped into Daffy Duck and Donald Duck! They were both super nice. 😉

All in all, the food was great and everyone had a blast that night. The quality of the seafood was exceptional. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who loves seafood. I also highly recommend visiting the beaches by the Mayan ruins of Tulum, if you are in the area. The water, sand, and views are spectacular!



Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal: Le Gourmet Restaurant Review

“Raddy” is back! Raj and I recently returned from our one-week vacation at the Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal all-inclusive resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. We had a blast with his family and we managed to dine at five of the several à-la-carte restaurants there. Although this resort seems very popular (I have several colleagues who have visited this resort and we met many fellow Torontonians there along with many other Canadians, Americans, Europeans, Asians, and Australians), there were not many recent online reviews of the à-la-carte restaurants and their menus to help us decide which restaurants would best accommodate everyone’s dietary restrictions and preferences. So Raj booked all the dinner reservations blindly prior to the trip, hoping there would be something for everyone on the menus.
While I was there, I made sure to take pictures of all the menus and of everything I ordered at the à-la-carte restaurants, so I could share them restaurant-by-restaurant on this blog to help future visitors with specific dietary restrictions and preferences decide with which restaurants to book dinner reservations. Let us start with the French restaurant, Le Gourmet

Wonderful ambiance.

Wonderful ambiance.


Menu for the first two courses.


The apéritif was lightly sweet and refreshing. It was a great way to prep the palate for all the food that followed. I cannot remember what was in it exactly, but it was alcoholic. There was a non-alcoholic version, which was also sweet and refreshing.


Like the apéritif, the amuse-bouche was also a pleasant surprise and not on the menu. The salad and sauces were refreshing and tasty, but the gelée was too bland.


“Fresh Salmon Salad – with a crown of shrimp in a citric vinaigrette, caper mousse and a mango emulsion.” This was not what I was expecting based on the description. I was expecting a bed of leafy greens with either slices of smoked salmon or chunks of freshly cooked salmon. Instead, there were no leafy greens and the salmon tasted like canned salmon flakes mixed with mayonnaise. The salmon and mayonnaise mixture was sandwiched between slices of avocado and then topped with shrimp. I found this “salad” to be too creamy and heavy for a first course.


“Cream of Almond Soup – with a Serrano ham brunoise.” Raj’s mom and I ordered this, because we have never heard of an almond soup before and we were so curious. It was very tasty and smooth. It almost tasted like a cream of cauliflower soup with fine granules of almond throughout. Although I enjoyed it, I regretted not ordering the Shellfish Bisque soup like Raj did. I tried his and it was way tastier. His bisque tasted like a very flavourful prawn broth with a richer consistency and texture. I made him swap bowls with me for a bit, because his bisque was just that good!


Main course menu.


“Garden Vegetable Millefeuille – vegetables layered in thin leaves of pastry with fresh coriander and a smooth tomato coulis.” Once again, Raj’s mom and I ordered the same menu item, because we both were not in the mood for meat that day. We were both very disappointed in this dish, because we were expecting much more pastry for a “millefeuille”, which translates to “a thousand layers” in English. Instead, there were just two small triangular sheets of phyllo. However, the vegetables were perfectly cooked (al dente) and the tomato coulis added a nice touch of tangy sweetness.


I forgot to take a picture of the separate dessert menu, but I ordered the papaya tart. It was layers of very thin papaya slices, which were lightly soaked in some kind of sweet syrup. The papaya slices were layered over a very thin pie crust and this was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I did not have any of the vanilla ice cream, but the papaya tart was decent.


My supplementation protocol was very different in Mexico. Instead of vitamin D being my must-have supplement as I was out under the sun so much, digestive enzymes were my must-have supplement with all the delicious food on the resort.

Even though I indulged more than usual at the resort, it was a vacation after all and, as you will see, I kept all my dinners at the à-la-carte restaurants on the lighter side. Digestive enzyme supplements were definitely crucial to surviving this vacation, but at least I got the majority of my vitamin D during this trip via sunlight instead of supplementation. 😛

Stay tuned for the other four à-la-carte restaurant reviews!



Raddy Recipe: “Cuckoo for Coconut” Salad


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!


“Cuckoo for Coconut” Salad


  • 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


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


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!




Raddy Recipe: 1 Larabar = 8 Deliciously Healthy Cookies!

Featured Image

Larabar Fruit and Nut Energy Bars are simple (contain no more than nine whole-food ingredients), gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, low-sodium, and vegan. They are delicious right out of the wrapper, but since they are made with only such few pure and raw ingredients, I thought to myself, “Why not bake with them?” So I experimented with that thought and managed to turn one Larabar into eight delicious and nutritious cookies! It works with all the Larabar flavours, but I will be showing you how with my favourite flavour, Coconut Cream.


The Coconut Cream flavour contains ONLY dates, unsweetened coconut, almonds, cashews, and extra virgin coconut oil.

1. Select your favourite Larabar flavour (mine is Coconut Cream) and preheat the oven to 150°F.


2. Cut the Larabar into eight equally sized pieces (cut the bar into halves and then, cut each half into quarters).


3. With the palms of your hands, flatten each piece as much as possible into thin, round cookies.


4. Bake the cookies for about 30 minutes or until crispy.


5. Let the cookies cool down completely to get even more crispy and then, enjoy!

These cookies are so delicious and nutritious (high in fibre and healthy fats) since the only ingredient is Larabar. Also, this recipe, which makes eight bite-sized cookies from one Larabar, is great for portion control. So the next time you are craving cookies, try this out!



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!


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

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.



Quick Tip Thursday #2: Smuggling Salad Toppers into Restaurants!

I smuggled some non-GMO tempeh and hemp hearts into a restaurant to add to their boring garden salad! Shhh...

I smuggled some non-GMO tempeh and hemp hearts into a restaurant to add to their boring garden salad! Shhh…

In the last several years, it seems that more and more restaurants have been expanding their salad options, offering more variety and selection. However, salads are not always the healthiest choice at restaurants, depending on what gets added to your lettuce base. Firstly, skip the iceberg lettuce and opt for more nutrient-dense, dark, leafy greens instead. Then, steer clear of unhealthy lettuce toppings such as high-sodium and high-fat dressings, processed cheeses, bacon bits, croutons, etc.

Sometimes though, restaurants offer so few healthy salad options that if you want a lean salad, you must resort to a plain and boring one, which typically consists of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, lemon juice, and light oil. The key to delicious and sustainable healthy eating is PLANNING. When I dine out, I usually know ahead of time which restaurant and what I will be ordering. If I see nothing healthy on the menu that excites me, I plan out how to alter the menu to suit my health needs and taste buds.

When I am dining at a restaurant with little to no healthy options for their entrée salads except for the boring garden salad, I order the boring garden salad with a light dressing on the side and I bring my own salad toppers! For instance, in the picture above, I was at a restaurant whose salad entrée menu only offered a garden salad, a Greek salad with feta cheese (I am lactose intolerant), a typical high-in-bad-fats Caesar salad, and a chicken salad with processed and rubbery chicken meat. So I planned ahead and I brought my own tempeh (which was non-GMO, by the way) and hemp hearts to add to their otherwise boring garden salad. I also asked for their light Italian dressing and hot sauce on the side, both of which I added to the salad in small amounts. (Don’t forget to ask for your dressing on the side, so that you can control the amount!) It was easy turning their plain garden salad into a delicious, high-protein, high-fibre, and omega-3-rich one! Hope you all get to check out this health tip!



Quick Tip Thursday #1!


Welcome to this new “Quick Tip Thursday” series on our blog where we’ll be sharing a quick health tip every Thursday! Our first “Quick Tip Thursday” is about how to build muscle and stay fit without a gym and with a busy life. Although I have a free gym membership through my mom’s work benefits, I hardly visit the gym in the winter due to the cold commute. I try to stay in shape and build muscle throughout the day by:

  • Repeatedly contracting and relaxing my abdominal muscles every now and then during work. (This is similar to doing kegel exercises throughout the day to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This stationary exercise, which you can do while sitting or standing, helps to strengthen your core muscles.)
  • Taking public transit. (Taking the bus/subway instead of driving is not only better for the environment, but it involves more walking and just more muscle activity in general. In the winter, taking public transit also boosts your metabolism since your metabolic rate needs to increase to cope with the greater exposure to the cold weather and to maintain your body’s homeostasis.)
  • Taking the stairs instead of escalators/elevators whenever possible. (Work those leg muscles and get that cardio in when you can!)

These are just a few simple activities you can incorporate into your daily life to help stay fit. I hope they helped! See you all next Thursday for another quick health tip!



Raj’s Work Out Plan

Kanye Raj’s Work Out Plan

So as most people on a weight loss journey, December was a bit of a bump in the road, now I didn’t gain weight, but my weight loss gains were low single digits.  January has also proven difficult, but I am resolved to get back on the proverbial horse.  In my own health journey there are several strategies I am going to deploy to help get me back on track.

#1 A food journal

I think this is pretty self-explanatory, but just in case, it’s simply a written record of what I’ve eaten and general amounts.  I know some can be very precise, but measuring everything just isn’t doable for me on regular basis.  I think the most important aspect of this is consistency.

#2 A regular workout schedule

This might not work for everyone, but I’m starting to plan out my workouts.  I find this helps hold myself accountable and pushes me even in this freezing cold to hit the gym, plus, I give myself a treat at the end of my workout with 10-15 minutes in the hot tub.

#3 Keeping my diet flexible

Now in the last month and a half, I’d say I haven’t been holding as steadfast to my 80/20 rule (Healthy vs Regular food), but as of right now. That is no longer an option.

#4 Creating support for my efforts

Now this one is hard to do.  My master plan would be to broadcast my gym sessions using social media (Four Square/Twitter/Facebook) more so to get encouragement to keep going and to reinforce my efforts.  I’m not one to share images of such on IG (Instagram).  Though maybe I should take a second look at that policy. As hash tags like #fitfam , #workout , #fitness , #getfit , #fitgirl , and #beastmode (My personal favorite!) help you connect with others on IG ,twitter, and the like.  Which I believe can help grow your online support group

#5 Keeping yourself social

Especially during these winter months, It’s important you get out and socialize and see friends and be active.  Evidence from studies have shown:

“ that individuals with the lowest level of involvement in social relationships are more likely to die than those with greater involvement” – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3150158/

My suggestion on that part, is if you don’t have a circle of friends to go out with, try to make some.  With the age of the internet, there are Meetup groups, tweetups, volunteer organizations, heck even karaoke nights at the bar, which could lend itself to making new friends.

So that’s my plan of attack for the moment, Let me know what you think, and in the mean time I’ll leave you with a track from Kanye.

HiM Promotions – Gorgeously Fit Men + Messy Show = Hot Mess! (Sorry!)

Me  and Milan

Me with Milan, who was one of the runner-ups for the cover spot on the HiM 2015 calendar. (The 2014 UFC Ultimate Fighter winner, Elias Theodorou, won, but Milan was my first pick.)

HiM (Handsome International Men) Promotions is a company that offers “classy, dynamic and sensual show[s] of male athleticism” to “liven up your events, fundraisers and promotions”. Raj and I were invited to their HiM Coliseum show production last Wednesday and it was nothing like what we expected. If I had to sum up the show in two words, it was a “hot mess”. Let me start from the beginning…

Me and Greg Collage

One of the HiM men, Greg, greeted everyone at the entrance and literally carried me to my seat!

Upon entry and signing in, we were greeted by one of the great looking HiM men, Greg. He actually lifted and carried me all the way to my seat, which was fun!

Me, Greg and Milan Collage

Milan and Greg definitely take care of their bodies in terms of fitness and diet!

At the back of the seating area, there was a HiM Promotions backdrop, in front of which you could take pictures with two of the HiM men before the show. As you can see, I got pictures with Greg and Milan. Milan was one of the runner-ups for the cover spot on the HiM 2015 calendar. He was actually my first pick for the cover spot, which ended up going to Elias Theodorou, the 2014 UFC Ultimate Fighter winner.

Show About to Start

Getting ready for a show that was nothing like what we anticipated.

With such great looking buff guys to greet guests and with $35 ticket prices, which do not cover any drinks or food, I was expecting to be amazed by “feats of strength, speed, and agility” as HiM Promotions describe it. Instead, I was scratching my head at the random kicks in the air, ball tossing, pretend sparing, running in one spot, etc. Sure, there were a few neat flips here and there, but for the most part, it was just a series of random jumps, leaps, kicks, and punches in the air, which lacked coordination at times. You can see and judge for yourself…

Me, Raj and Calendar Collage

You can purchase the HiM 2015 calendar with the 2014 UFC Ultimate Fighter winner, Elias Theodorou, on the cover HERE. A portion of the proceeds goes toward Rethink Breast Cancer.

All in all, I think HiM Promotions has a gorgeous roster of male models, but they need more of a “wow factor” in their show, especially when general admission tickets alone are $35 each. For $20 more ($55 ticket), you could get a HiM 2015 calendar featuring the HiM men along with your general admission. You would be saving a bit since the calendars sell for $29.80 each online here. Either way, a portion of the proceeds go to Rethink Breast Cancer. Although I can’t stand behind the show, I can stand behind gorgeously fit men raising money and awareness for breast cancer.