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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National Women’s Show 2014 Recap

Me on Escalator to #NWSToronto

I was so excited to introduce Raj to the National Women’s Show this year!

The National Women’s Show definitely hit a home run this year at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre! We attended on Sunday, which was the last day of this weekend-long trade show, and none of the booths seemed to be running low on samples or products. Everyone was well prepared and well stocked for the massive crowds! Raj was thinking of packing a lunch for the day, but I told him he wouldn’t need a lunch and I was right. There were so many food booths handing out samples this year that we were so full by the end of the show. There were also many great deals on food, beverages, beauty products, clothes, supplements, accessories, etc. One of my favourite parts about the show was discovering many new and/or Canadian companies and getting to meet the people behind them. We managed to visit and chat with most (not all) of the booths and here is just the tip of the iceberg…

We arrived at the National Women's Show prepared for a lot of walking and sampling, both of which counteract each other.

We arrived at the National Women’s Show prepared for hours of walking and sampling!

Me & Biocore

We visited the BioCore Food Science booth and I introduced Raj to their “microGREENS” product, which is one of my favourite tasting greens drink mixes. His response after sampling some: “Oh wow, that was actually pretty good!” Yep.

Me & Almond Fresh

This was my first time hearing about and trying this almond milk company called Almond Fresh. Raj’s favourite flavour was chocolate and mine was coconut. I just wish their chocolate flavoured one wasn’t so high in sugar (21 grams of sugar per cup) and their coconut flavoured one wasn’t sweetened with refined white sugar. However, they do have an unsweetened and unflavoured almond milk, as well as an unsweetened vanilla flavoured one.

Me & Made Good

I loved these granola minis by MadeGood, especially the strawberry flavoured ones! Their organic and peanut-free granolas are rolled up into bite-size pieces and they contain vegetables (spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, and shiitake mushrooms), all of which you cannot taste! It’s always great when you find a tasty way to add a bit more veggies into your diet.

Me & Pranin Organic

One of my most exciting finds at the National Women’s Show this year was Pranin Organic. Their supplements are 100% organic, non-GMO, dairy-free, corn-free, yeast-free, soy-free, and gluten-free. They are also made entirely from food (so no synthetic nutrients) and they do not contain any binders or fillers. We tried their “PureFood B” (a B-vitamins supplement), “PureFood Iron” (a bio-available, non-heme iron supplement), and “Complete A to Z” (a powdered multivitamin mix). Raj and I were both pleasantly surprised that they all tasted great!

Me & Van Dyk's

I’m not a big fan of fruit juices in general, but I love Van Dyk’s By Nature pure wild blueberry juice. It is made only from grade-A wild blueberries that are grown in Nova Scotia and it does not contain any sweeteners, preservatives, or additives. My favourite way to enjoy this pure blueberry juice is in salad dressings.

Me & Raj w/ Muskoka Roastery Coffee Co.

Muskoka Roastery Coffee Company served amazing coffee at the National Women’s Show. There was an unflavoured coffee and a flavoured one at the show. Raj chose their flavoured “Muskoka Maple” coffee and he really enjoyed it. I, on the other hand, strongly dislike all flavoured coffees, so I chose the “Loon Call Breakfast Blend” unflavoured medium coffee and it was delicious!

Me & Clarisonic

I have friends who swear by the Clarisonic and believe that this oscillating facial cleansing brush should be a necessary tool in everyone’s skincare routine. I have contemplated purchasing it, but I have been skeptical about its effectiveness. However, after getting a demonstration done on the back of my left hand, I have added this beauty tool to my Christmas wishlist! It was so gentle and left my hand feeling so clean and smooth! Imagine the potential skin improvements if I used this brush on my face daily! I sense a Clarisonic purchase in my near future.

Raj knows my favourite lipsticks are from Yves Saint Laurent (YSL). So when we spotted a YSL booth at the National Women's Show, he knew we just HAD to visit. The makeup artist there suggested some products for me to try. He applied one of the new Rouge Volupté Shine lipstick shades on my lips, a complementary Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain lipgloss shade on top, and some of their

Raj knows my favourite lipsticks are from Yves Saint Laurent (YSL). So when we spotted a YSL booth at the National Women’s Show, he knew we just HAD to visit. The makeup artist there suggested some products for me to try. He applied one of the new Rouge Volupté Shine lipstick shades on my lips, a complementary Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain lipgloss shade on top, and some Touche Éclat complexion highlighter under my eyes. I was glad the YSL booth was actually our second stop, because I got to show off the fabulous YSL makeup and his application skills for almost the entire show.

Me and Phasion Village

I’m a minimalist when it comes to my hair. I use clean shampoos that are free of sulfates, parabens, and phthalates. Also, I hardly ever apply conditioner, styling products, or heat to my hair. At the show though, I treated my hair to some large loose curls by a woman from Phashion Village. There was so much to see and do that I only had time to curl a quarter of my hair!

Me and Camry Collage

We got to check out the new 2015 Toyota Camry. Afterwards, we received a small gift bag containing a bottle of hot sauce, a pair of red socks, and Sally Hansen press-on nail designs.

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After SIX hours of walking and exploring every booth, we were exhausted and couldn’t wait to get home to sift through the bags of goodies and samples we received.

#NWSToronto Loot

The goodies and samples from this year’s National Women’s Show were amazing! Some of my highlights include: BioCore coreOMEGA omega-3 supplement, Schick Intuition razors, Stayfree sanitary pads, a basil plant starter, and a portable cellphone charger.

Congratulations to the National Women’s Show for putting together another successful and super fun trade show in Toronto this year! The next one will be in Québec City this weekend (November 15th-16th, 2014), followed by one in Montréal (March 13th-15th, 2015) and another in Ottawa (April 11th-12th, 2015). If those shows are anything like the one in Toronto this past weekend, I highly recommend checking it out and setting aside at least a few hours to explore everything. Even if you don’t meet any celebrity guests like we didn’t this year, the show is still a blast!

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