“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

Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal: Le Gourmet Restaurant Review

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“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.
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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.

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Menu for the first two courses.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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!

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Main course menu.

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“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.

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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.

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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!

XOXO,

Addy

Gardening Fun!

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Out of both Raj and me, Raj definitely has the greener thumb. Every spring and summer, he grows a different variety of organic produce. I thought I would do a brief blog post to show you all what he is growing this year. I cannot wait to try the fruits of his labour!

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I will be sure to keep you all posted on the progress of his garden throughout the summer!

XOXO,

Addy

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

Raj’s Cancer Experience: Episode 1: The Timeline

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Hey guys, so this vlog series is close to my heart, it’s about me!  Well my cancer experience! A lot of people have asked me about it when they find out I’m a cancer survivor.

 

So next week, I’ll get into how it felt going through the experience, and how it changed me. Might be a bit of a emotional roller coaster for some.  But hey, I am here, I am alive, and going on 11 years in remission!

So tell me, what did you think of my vlog?  Do you have questions, or details maybe you think I glossed over? Do you want me to talk about specifics of my Non Hodgkins experience?

 

Some organizations fighting the good fight!

Canadian Cancer SocietyCanadian Cancer Society

 

 

 

Lymphoma CanadaLymphoma Canada

 

Be sure to also catch RaddyHealth.com lecture at The Big Carrot Thursday March 26th, 2015: Staying Cancer-Free Through Nutrition

My Live Blood Cells Are Beautiful!

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Let me preface this post by saying that both Raj and I do not believe in Live Blood Analysis (LBA). We believe that this test, which is done by some alternative/holistic health practitioners, is pseudoscientific. LBA ‎is not accepted by the medical community since there is no scientific evidence to support the validity of its results. Having said all that, I was offered a free LBA by a Live Blood Cell Microscopist a few days ago at work. Although I do not believe in the scientific legitimacy of LBA, it was free (normally costs just over $100 here in Toronto), non-invasive, and harmless. So I thought, “Hey, why not give it a try for fun?” and so I did.

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Firstly, I had to abstain from eating for at least three hours before the test. Then, the middle finger of my right hand was pricked with a sterile, single-use lancet. A small drop of blood was gently squeezed out, placed on a slide, and sealed with a cover slip. For those wondering, it was not painful at all. I have seen this Live Blood Cell Microscopist prick children without any fuss or issues many times before.

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My live blood sample was then placed under high-resolution dark field microscopy for observation and analysis. The Live Blood Cell Microscopist showed me a chart comparing an ideal blood sample with abnormal ones. She explained the possible ailments that are associated with each abnormality. I have seen her perform LBA on many others before and the results have always been far from ideal. Her clients, even the more health-conscious ones, always end up with an extensive protocol to follow. I was expecting similar results.

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Much to my surprise, most of my blood cells looked like what healthy and ideal ones are supposed to look like in LBA. The Live Blood Cell Microscopist said that my blood sample was the best she has seen in a long time! If there was ever a moment I wanted to believe in LBA, it was then.

LBA Results

We had to search actively for abnormalities in my blood sample to analyze since there were not many. The Live Blood Cell Microscopist managed to find a few crystals (pictured above), hypochromic cells, macrocytes, misshaped cells, and hypersegmented cells. In the end, her only recommendations for me were to take digestive enzymes with every meal and to increase my intake of vitamin B12 and iron. She also mentioned that although a bowel cleanse is not mandatory for me, it would be good thing to do. I must admit that since I trust a medical blood test more than a LBA, I took her recommendations with a grain of salt. It was a fun experience though! Now I can say that I have at least tried it.

XOXO,

Addy

P.S. Check out my latest beauty post on Connected & Co. HERE. 🙂

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Quick Tip Thursday #1!

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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!

XOXO,

Addy

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

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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…

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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!

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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.

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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…

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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.

XOXO,

Addy

My Weight loss adventure ….

 

Raj has lost noticeable weight after just a few months of changing his diet.

So over the last couple months, I’ve taken on the challenge of losing weight.  It was a personal choice, I haven’t developed diabetes or had some sort of health crisis necessitating a real lifestyle change or even been ashamed of my body. The reason I am stating that at the outset, is I think any REAL change has to come from within as a result of some sort of internal dialogue. I also don’t want to be premature and label myself a success story.

GNC Total Lean Shake 25

GNC Total Lean Shake 25

What I will say, is that what I am currently doing is working for me. One of the biggest components to my weight loss has been the GNC Total Lean: Lean Shake 25 (Taken four times daily). It comes in four flavors, Vanilla Bean, Strawberry & Cream, Chocolate, and Orange cream. I am not a fan of the orange, though I have some friends who really like it. It is also important I mention Addy DOES NOT approve, but respects my decision to use the shakes. I try to stick to an 80/20 rule. Meaning 80% of the time I take the shakes and 20% of the time are regular meals (trying to be healthy when possible in meal choices) and snacks.

There is the occasional cheat meal in the week as well (as part of my 20%). I find with healthier snacks like 100 calorie chocolate chip granola bars, skinny pop popcorn, bananas and the occasional apple. It all helps me to feel satiated.

Currently I’m buying into the idea that calorie cycling helps trick my body that it is not in starvation mode and for me, it seems to be working.

I don’t think weight loss is a one size fits all approach. So what works for me may not work for you. But at the end of the day, it might be worth a shot?

If you want to know more specifics about what I’m doing, let us know in the comments below. Also, let us know below what you’re doing in your own weight loss adventure!

xo

~Raj

PS ~ Be sure to chime in on our poll about lean shakes below!