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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Best & Easiest Natural Homemade Blush + Lip Gloss!

The best and easiest natural homemade blush + lip gloss ever!

The best and easiest natural homemade blush + lip gloss ever!

In my and Raj’s lecture on “Staying Cancer-Free Through Nutrition” tomorrow night at The Big Carrot, I will be briefly touching on how the toxins that we absorb from the environment and synthetic products are just as important to consider in cancer prevention/fighting as the toxins and nutrients that we consume. Our skin is our largest organ. What we put on our skin matters and we should always try to keep our body-care and cosmetic products as natural as possible. I will admit that I struggle with trying to use more natural cosmetics, especially when natural cosmetics tend to be less readily available, less pigmented, less lasting, and/or less diverse in colours. I am taking baby steps though with the more foolproof natural cosmetic products like blushes and lip glosses (I will explore the more daunting natural cosmetics like eyeliners and mascaras another time).

Aside from a few drops of filtered water, these are the only two other ingredients!

Aside from a few drops of filtered water, these are the only two other ingredients!

Although there are numerous natural cosmetic companies out there making wonderful blushes and lip glosses, I wanted to make my own two-in-one (blush + lip gloss) from scratch. Unlike all the more natural blushes and lip glosses I have seen on the market, I wanted mine to be completely free of preservatives, made with minimal ingredients, and good enough to eat! I finally came up with a super easy recipe that requires only three (edible) ingredients and that makes an absolutely gorgeous blush and lip gloss!

Ingredients:

It is LITERALLY good enough to eat!

It is LITERALLY good enough to eat!

Steps:

  1. In a very small bowl (i.e. dipping sauce bowl), add the red beetroot powder and then stir in the hot filtered water a few drops at a time until the red beetroot powder/crystals have dissolved and the mixture has a syrup-like consistency.
  2. Find a small glass jar, in which you would like to store this two-in-one blush + lip gloss product. Pour the liquid raw organic virgin coconut oil and the water-dissolved red beetroot powder/crystals into this small glass jar. Close the lid tightly and then shake the jar well to mix everything together. The coconut oil should turn deep red in colour (it will apply pink on the skin though).
  3. Place the jar in the freezer for about a hour to let the contents solidify and then keep it stored in the refrigerator. Take it out of the refrigerator anytime you want to apply a gorgeous berry pink colour on your cheeks and/or lips. Enjoy!
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Who knew beets and coconut oil could be so pretty on the skin?

 

I just love using this as a blush! The gorgeous berry pink colour stays on my cheeks all day (i.e. from early in the morning to when I come home from work, which is over eight hours). Not only does this easy-to-make product give a beautiful and lasting colour on my skin, but it also nourishes and moisturizes my skin. I really hope all my beauty-product junkies out there give this recipe a try, especially those who are also trying to go the more natural route. Your skin will thank you. 🙂

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

Raddy Recipe: Water Kefir for a Flatter Tummy!

Drinking water kefir is my current favourite way to build a healthy gut flora and prevent dis-symbiosis-induced bloating.

Drinking water kefir is my current favourite way to build a healthy gut flora and prevent dis-symbiosis-induced bloating.

So you want a probiotic food source for better digestive health and a flatter tummy, but:

  • you are lactose intolerant and cannot consume yogurt or dairy kefir
  • fermented vegetables like kimchi and sauerkraut are too high in sodium
  • you are trying to avoid fermented soy products like miso or tempeh, because they may be genetically modified or because of their phytoestrogen content
  • you need to stay away from kombucha due to its caffeine content
  • you are simply not patient enough for the fermentation process

Well, I have got some great news! My friend, fellow Nutritionist, and fermentation connoisseur, Suzanne, introduced me to water kefir, which is a non-dairy, caffeine-free, probiotic drink that only takes one to five days to make! Not only did she make me some of her blueberry-flavoured water kefir to try for my first time, but she also gave me some of her extra water kefir grains so that I can start making my own! This delicious and good-for-you beverage tastes mildly sweet and slightly tangy. Also, it may or may not have added flavour and/or carbonation. I have not seen water kefir sold in stores (yet). So if you would like to try this drink, find a knowledgeable water-kefir maker in your area and then try making your own perhaps! If you can get your hands on water kefir grains from a health food store, from online, or from a trusted water-kefir producer, here is how I have been making this healthy beverage successfully (thanks to Suzanne for the recipe and all her help and guidance):

I was so shocked by how quickly the grains multiply and how fast the water-kefir making process is compared to kombucha making! Water kefir is ready for consumption in as little as 1 to 2 days!

I was so shocked by how quickly the grains multiply and how fast the water-kefir making process is compared to kombucha making! Water kefir is ready for consumption in as little as 1 to 2 days!

Materials:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) to-be-boiled filtered water
  • 2 cups (500 mL) cold (refrigerated) filtered water
  • 1-litre glass jar
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar
  • 10 drops ConcenTrace trace mineral supplement (Instead of this, Suzanne uses 1 tsp of molasses, which is also mineral-rich and works.)
  • 1/4 cup water kefir grains
  • an elastic band with a coffee filter or cheesecloth or towel to cover the jar
  • plastic strainer
  • glass bottle or glass jar with a lid for completed water kefir
Water kefir grains need a mineral-rich environment to thrive. I find that 10 drops of ConcenTrace trace mineral supplement per 1 litre or so of sugar solution with the water kefir grains works well. Suzanne uses 1 tsp of molasses for this same amount instead and she has great success with it. I have heard of some other successful alternatives such as eggshells, raisins, and sea salt, but do some research on the amounts before trying any of those out.

Water kefir grains need a mineral-rich environment to thrive. I find that 10 drops of ConcenTrace trace mineral supplement per 1 litre or so of sugar solution with the water kefir grains works well. Suzanne uses 1 tsp of molasses for this same amount instead and she has great success with it. I have heard of some other successful alternatives such as eggshells, raisins, and sea salt, but do some research on the amounts before trying any of those out.

  1. Boil 1 cup (250 mL) of filtered water and add it to a 1-litre glass jar.
  2. Dissolve 1/4 cup of organic sugar in the jar of hot water.
  3. Add 2 cups (500 mL) of cold (refrigerated) filtered water into the jar.
  4. Add 10 drops of ConcenTrace trace mineral supplement or 1 tsp of molasses into the jar.
  5. Add 1/4 cup of water kefir grains into the sugar and water mixture, which should be lukewarm. (If the mixture in the jar is warmer than that, place it in the fridge until it is not warmer than lukewarm BEFORE adding the water kefir grains. Hot water can kill the live bacterial cultures.)
  6. Cover the jar with an elastic band and a coffee filter or cheesecloth or towel. Let the jar sit somewhere at room temperature away from direct sunlight for 24 to 48 hours. Since fermentation occurs more rapidly at warmer room temperatures, both Suzanne and I like to keep our jars on the kitchen countertop beside the stove.

    Pic 3 - 1st Batch

    Some signs of thriving and healthy water kefir grains include some floating grains and some bubbles (particularly arising bubbles when you tap or slightly move the jar). I flavoured my first batch of water kefir with a few fresh ginger pieces during second fermentation and it was DELICIOUS!

  7. After 24 to 48 hours, the liquid in the jar has turned into water kefir! Strain out the water kefir grains with a plastic strainer (the live bacterial cultures dislike metal) and repeat steps 1 to 6 with the strained grains for your next batch of water kefir! You can drink your first batch of water kefir as it is, or you can flavour and carbonate it during a second fermentation process.
  8. To flavour your water kefir, add pure fruit juice/jam, dried/fresh fruits, herbs, spices, ginger pieces, and/or whatever else you want to try and let this concoction sit at room temperature for a second fermentation period of 1 to 3 days before drinking. For carbonation, seal this mixture with a lid or bottle it up during the 1-to-3-day flavouring period. Make sure to taste test the water kefir daily as it carbonates, because it can carbonate quite rapidly and you do not want any explosions!
My second batch resulted in even more water kefir grains! Soon enough, I will have to start giving away my excess grains to friends and teaching them how to make water kefir! I flavoured my second batch with this rose flavouring that Raj's parents brought back from India. It was SO GOOD and even more delicious than my first ginger-flavoured batch!

My second batch resulted in even more water kefir grains! Soon enough, I will have to start giving away my excess grains to friends and teaching them how to make water kefir! I flavoured my second batch with this rose flavouring that Raj’s parents brought back from India. It was SO GOOD and even more delicious than my first ginger-flavoured batch!

Note: The water kefir grains will multiply during every batch, so you will start to accumulate more and more grains. Soon enough, you will have too many grains. I recommend you share these excess grains with friends and teach them how to make their own water kefir for good health! Cheers!
XOXO,
Addy
P.S. Raj and I will be hosting a Thursday Night Lecture on “Staying Cancer-Free Through Nutrition” at the Carrot Common (348 Danforth Avenue, room 212) on March 26, 2015. Come join us! 🙂

Raddy Recipe: Dairy-Free Chai Tea Latte (From Scratch)!

The recipe was a success! I liked it better than any of the almond milk chai tea lattes I've had at cafés.

The recipe was a success! I liked it better than any of the almond milk chai tea lattes I’ve had at cafés.

A chai tea latte is Raj’s go-to drink at cafés and coffee shops and it’s one of my favourite kinds of tea lattes. The special combination of spices makes this tea so uniquely flavourful and it gives the tea various health benefits (i.e. source of antioxidants, digestive aid, immune booster, anti-inflammatory support, etc.). So when I found out that Raj can make chai tea lattes from scratch, I HAD to get him to teach me how! The chai tea latte that we made was foam-less (which is how I like my lattes), but if you like foam in your latte, use a milk frother before serving. Anyways, here’s the recipe with step-by-step pictures…

Add 2 cups of your favourite dairy-free milk to a pot over medium to high heat and then, add 2 bags of black tea leaves to the pot.

Add 2 cups of your favourite dairy-free milk to a pot over medium to high heat and then add 2 bags of black tea leaves to the pot.

Chai Tea Latte - Steps 3 & 4

Add 1 tsp. of fennel seeds and 1 whole star anise (broken up into pieces).

Add 1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon and 5 cardamom pods.

Add 1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon and 5 cardamom pods.

Add 2 tsp. of chopped ginger and 2 tbsp. of coconut sugar.

Add 2 tsp. of chopped ginger and 2 tbsp. of coconut sugar.

Add about 10 whole peppercorns and stir everything together!

Add about 10 whole peppercorns and stir everything together. Bring mixture to a boil. Then, reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Pour mixture through a sieve and strain out the spices and tea bags.

Pour mixture through a sieve and strain out the spices and tea bags.

Pour the liquid into 2 cups. Serve and enjoy! Makes 2 servings.

Pour the liquid into 2 cups. Serve and enjoy! Makes 2 servings.

This was actually Raj’s first time making chai tea latte with almond milk (he normally uses 2% dairy milk) and he really liked it! We used almond milk, because I’m lactose intolerant and because it’s my favourite non-dairy milk. If you don’t have or don’t like almond milk, feel free to use low-fat dairy milk or any other dairy-milk alternative instead. Also, if you don’t want to use black tea leaves like we did due to the caffeine content, feel free to try using unflavoured decaffeinated tea leaves or unflavoured rooibos tea leaves. You can even adjust the spice measurements to suit your liking, if you like more or less of a certain spice. This is a simple recipe that can be easily tailored to suit your preferences. We hope you check it out!

XOXO,

Addy

P.S. Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for 2 tickets to the National Women’s Show HERE!