Quick Tip Thursday: Long, Luscious Hair with Argan Oil!

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Argan oil, which is extracted from the kernels of argan fruit trees, is high in essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and other antioxidants. I use this nutrient-rich oil as a hair treatment at least once every month to help grow and maintain long, luscious, healthy hair! I love the New Roots Herbal Argan Oil, because it is pure, organic, cold-pressed, non-GMO, hand-sourced from Morocco, and very affordable (usually around $16 CAD for a 50-ml glass bottle). Here is how I use it as a hair treatment at least once every month for long, healthy hair:

Pure argan oil like this one has an earthy and slightly nutty scent. I am not fond of the scent, but it will not keep me from doing this hair treatment at least once each month!

Pure argan oil like this one has an earthy and slightly nutty scent. I am not fond of the scent, but it will not keep me from doing this hair treatment at least once every month!

  1. Pick a day when your hair does not need to look great (i.e. an uneventful day-off or a work day with no important meetings).
  2. In the morning, apply a generous amount of argan oil all over your hair. (For my hair length, I use about 5 full droppers.)
  3. Massage the argan oil well into your hair and then, tie your hair up in a bun.
  4. Let the argan oil sit in your hair for the entire day (at least 8 hours).
  5. Shampoo your hair once or twice (no need to condition it afterwards) and let it air-dry.
  6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 at least once every month and enjoy your beautiful hair!
Your hair will look greasy during this all-day hair treatment. That is why I tie my hair up in a bun. Another nice alternative is to braid your hair in a ponytail.

Your hair will look greasy during this all-day hair treatment. That is why I tie my hair up in a bun. Another nice alternative is to braid your hair in a ponytail.

If you complement this at-least-monthly hair treatment with minimal to no use of hair-styling products and heat, a healthy diet, and minimal stress, get ready to watch your hair grow in length and volume!

XOXO,

Addy

I cannot stop playing with my hair every time after I do this hair treatment! It just feels extra soft and silky!

I cannot stop playing with my hair every time after I do this hair treatment! It just feels extra soft and silky!

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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

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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How to Eat Like a Skinny Socialite at Events…

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In a busy city like Toronto, there are always numerous social events going on. I always find that at such events, the catering is quite calorie-laden (i.e. high-fat and/or high-sugar) for the most part with few to no light options. ‎Last Thursday, Raj and I were invited to a grand opening event and the catering at this event was no exception. There was a cornucopia of indulgent foods and drinks that was served buffet-style. I know some people who would starve themselves the whole day before such events and then overindulge at the event. That is a very unhealthy and ineffective way to enjoy social events without packing on the pounds. So how do skinny socialites do it? If they do it healthily, this is how they do it…

#11. Eat a small meal before you go. Don’t go hungry! There is nothing worse than arriving at an event hungry and wanting to devour everything in sight, especially when most of the food is unhealthy. Going to an event when you are somewhere in between hungry and full helps you determine what foods and/or drinks you truly want to have. For instance, at the event last Thursday, we were greeted at the guestlist check-in with freshly popped popcorn. If I arrived hungry, I would have eaten all the popcorn in that bag without even having checked out how extensive the catering menu would be. On the other hand, since I did not arrive hungry, I did not find the popcorn appealing and I passed on it.

 

 

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2. Check out all the menu items first. Then, pick out a few items that you want to try the most and try a bit of each. The dessert buffet table at the event last Thursday was HUGE! There were cannoli, a variety of mini dessert tarts, cupcakes, macaroons, brownies, a white chocolate and caramel fountain with fresh fruit, mini cupcakes, freshly baked cookies (chocolate chip, double chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and white chocolate macadamia), chocolate bars, a make-your-own-hot-chocolate station with marshmallows, a variety of macarons, and much more! With my sweet tooth, I had to narrow all that down to just a few items that I wanted to try the most. It was not too hard in this case, because macarons are my favourite dessert! There were four flavours (chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, and passion fruit). I took one of each, ate half of each, and took home the rest in a popcorn bag from the guestlist check-in. The leftover halves were just as delicious the next day! My favourite flavour was definitely the vanilla.

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3. Engage in other festivities, socialize, and/or network. Do not make the event just about the food. Even though I am a huge foodie, I do not make social events revolve around the food. I make sure to engage in all the other festivities going on and converse with great company. At this most recent event, Raj and I had a lot of silly fun in the photo booth, enjoyed all the live performances, and took time to take in all the beautiful decor. The food was only one of several highlights that night.

 

 

#44. Limit yourself to a maximum of two drinks. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, sugary drinks are simply empty calories. The calories that they contain provide minimal to no hydration, vitamins, or minerals. However, if you enjoy drinking at events, feel free to indulge as long as you can keep it at two drinks per day maximum. Also, size DOES matter! For instance, although there was an open bar at the event for white wine, red wine, and Cosmopolitan cocktails, there was more than eight ounces of wine in each wine glass! That is a lot of wine for one serving! A glass of wine should only be around five ounces. I love white wine, but if I had drank that entire glass, I would have reached my daily drink limit with that one glass. Instead, I drank half that glass of white wine and enjoyed a Cosmopolitan after.

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5. Practice mindful eating like the Buddhists do amid all the commotion. At social events, I always see people eating while standing up and while talking and/or listening to multiple people. I, on the other hand, take a timeout from all the mixing and mingling to eat mindfully and to savour every bite. Mindful eating helps you feel satiated with smaller portions and helps prevent bingeing and overeating. For instance, at the oyster bar at the event, I zoned out all the commotion to garnish my oyster and mindfully eat it. As a result, I was satisfied and happy with just two oysters. Mindful eating should definitely be practiced at every meal.

 

I really hope you all found these tips helpful. Although I do not personally know any real skinny socialites like Paris Hilton, I do know that following these tips would definitely be the healthy way to maintain a title like that! Who says you can’t have your cake (or macaron, in my case) and eat it too?

XOXO,

Addy

 

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!

XOXO,

Addy

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