Tag Archive: healthy living

Better Health Together!

November 17, 2015

Every month, it’s the same old, same old. I make the trip to my local lab, have my blood drawn and tested, and hope I don’t hear from my doctor. Such is life while managing an ongoing health issue.

If he needs to see you, we’ll call, the nurse at my doctor’s office says.

Which I suppose is well and good, except often, I’d like to know what my blood work says – even if I’m in the clear. As a patient, don’t I have the right to see the results from my own tests? Of course I do. And now, I can. Last Tuesday, as I rolled my sleeve down and prepared to leave the lab, the technician handed me a leaflet with a tracking number.

You can now access your results online, she said with a smile.

Sweet success! I simply had to create an account and provide the info I received, et voila! In 24 hours, I became part of the digital health initiative.
INFOWAY_TWITTER (2)What is digital health?

It’s an easy, secure and digital way to manage you and your family’s health! Simply put, digital health allows authorized health care providers to quickly access your health information in order to make important decisions about your care. Think about it: if you still have a traditional paper medical file, it does not follow you everywhere you go. So, in the unfortunate event you had to make a trip to the emergency room or a walk-in clinic, the attending doctor would not have access to your complete health record.

But imagine if they did! With digital health, this is possible.  (more…)

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Living the GoodLife: Falling into Health and Wellness

October 22, 2015

There’s no use denying it: one of the reasons I love fall so much is the excuse to wear sweaters and coats. Big, warm, bulky articles of clothing which hide the extra bit of bulk I may be hiding underneath. It’s true, fall is my worst season for managing my weight. You too? Yeah, it’s not surprising at all.

In the beginning of the year, there are resolutions and promises. And for a while, it works. Then comes early spring, also known as travel season, where myself and countless Canadians are vacationing down south to escape the Canadian climate and reset our perspective on life. And since a bikini body is always top of mind, chances are, diet and exercise are happening in some form or fashion.

Then there’s summer. The season where extra clothing is not an option, and fitness routines are easier to stick to thanks to the availability of both indoor and outdoor options. As a result, weight is managed and self-esteem remains intact.
DSC_0895-876x1024(Pictured above: Me, in summer. Just like every summer – at my best weight of the year.)

But then… then comes fall. And after months of watching what I eat, fitting in exercise, squeezing into skinny jeans and jumping on the weighing scale, I’ve had enough. Enough! I will gladly ensconce myself in the sanctuary of oversized sweaters and strategically cut blazers and always say yes to that second helping of lasagna.

Fall Body. It’s a thing, folks.

And the most dangerous thing about Fall Body is that it sets the pace for Holiday Body, the free-for-all of overindulgence (usually involving copious amounts of sweets, stuffing and sangria) which ultimately leads to Resolution Body in January.  (more…)

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That’s a Wrap! Peanut Butter, Honey and Banana Breakfast Wraps

October 21, 2015

Looking for a quick and delicious breakfast your whole family will love? Spread whole wheat tortillas with peanut butter (or wowbutter) and honey. Roll around a peeled ripe banana, and wrap in foil. Bake in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes. Serve warm!
DSC_1299aYou can switch it up by substituting peanut butter and honey with Nutella or REESE Spreads, or add a touch of texture and sweetness with dried cranberries or raisins. And, if you’re looking for something really special, dip the wraps into extra honey. So good!

I begin to crave these wraps whenever the colder weather settles in. They’re a perfectly nourishing and satisfying way to start to your day… stay warm friends!

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Join us for an #AvoSocial!

October 2, 2015

Love an avocado today.

Tomorrow, 18 awesome influencers from Toronto will enjoy an ‪#‎AvoSocial‬ brunch at my home! (And I don’t even have to cook! Thanks Avocados from Mexico!)

Fresh, delicious, authentic, and available year-round, avocados contain nearly essential 20 vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds like 81 micrograms lutein and zeaxanthin, which research suggests may help maintain eye health as we age. And, more than 75 percent of the fat in avocados is considered “good” fat, with 3g coming from monounsaturated fat and 0.5g from polyunsaturated fat (per 1-ounce serving). Not only that, but avocados are also free of cholesterol and sodium.

Want to learn more? You’re invited to follow along! Join us as we share delicious Avocado-inspired recipes, and one lucky tweeter will have a chance to win an Avocado Green KitchenAid blender!
AvoSocialBe sure to tweet us with any questions you may have. See you on Saturday!

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Fall into Better Digestive Health: Take Control and #OwnTheThrone

October 2, 2015

It’s the season for tall riding boots and warm, cozy sweaters. The crisp, clean air is accented with the tempting aroma of Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Leaves are changing, days are shortening, and the holiday rush is just around the corner.

Welcome to Fall.
seasonNow, besides your wardrobe and your choice of coffee house beverage, can you think of any other changes you’ll make this season? Chances are, some of your adjustments will be so subtle, you may not even notice. Like, you’ll probably sleep earlier as the days get shorter. You may even spend a little more time selecting clothes as you layer and accessorize for the cooler temps. And you’ll likely alter your diet and lifestyle, eating heavier meals while exercising less, which can lead to digestive troubles.  (more…)

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Get Back to Natural Sleep.

September 24, 2015

“With PASCOFLAIR you can fall asleep quickly and stay sound asleep.”

That was the plan. Over a month ago, I had turned to PASCOFLAIR with the hope that I could achieve a restful sleep with the help of this safe, herbal alternative to traditional sleep aids.

Truth be told, I was mildly skeptical.

As an A-type, overstimulated, multitasking mom and mompreneur, it’s hard to simply turn off and fall into a peaceful slumber. In fact, after banning my nemesis – the cell phone – from my bedside table, I still found myself waking up 2-3 times per night, simply to go through everything I had to do the next day. (And maybe to reach for the cell phone that was no longer there.)

I know many of my readers were interested in hearing my experience with PASCOFLAIR after I wrote about it in a previous post. However, for those that are just joining us, here’s what turned me on to the product:

Passionflower is traditionally used in Herbal Medicine as a sleep aid, in cases of restlessness or insomnia due to mental stress. PASCOFLAIR is a high dose of Passionflower which helps promote relaxation and calmness resulting in a better night’s sleep.
passionflowerNow here’s the important part: Passionflower does not act as a sedative: in the brain, it regulates neurotransmitters associated with calming rather than sleep. Therefore, you’re less likely to feel drowsy or “foggy” when you use PASCOFLAIR. It is fully registered with Health Canada and has been found to have no known drug interactions, no toxic effects for overdosing and have no known dependency potential.  (more…)

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Getting Back to Sleep, Naturally.

August 30, 2015

I’ve always prided myself on my ability to prioritize, especially when it comes to my health. A clean(ish) diet, eight glasses of water a day, and a good night’s sleep. In fact, I once stated that I couldn’t function on less than 7 hours of shuteye, and I meant it.

Now *I know* you’re waiting for me to insert some anecdote about being a mom, and how I rarely have a restful night, but the truth is, I can’t blame this one on the kids. It’s all me, and it’s all terrible.

It’s the iPhone on the night table – one of the most detrimental habits known to mankind.

A stronger person wouldn’t be lured at all hours of night, but admittedly, I am weak. Because if I wake up for any reason at all, I simply must check my e-mail. And Twitter. And Instagram and Facebook and sometimes even Periscope even though I’m following 6 people and really have no interest in it whatsoever.

Do you know what happens when you succumb to the lure of the iPhone on the night table? You stay awake for much longer than you should. Multiply this by two, three times per night, and all of a sudden, I’m robbing myself of a good night’s sleep. In fact, it’s fair to say that I haven’t slept uninterrupted for over 2 years now.

I need to get back to me.

So, I’m trying two things. The first is that I’ve made a conscious effort to leave my phone in another room. On another floor. And from a standpoint of not checking my phone, it’s working. However, I honestly thought that by simply removing access to the offensive object, I’d gain a proper night’s sleep. It’s not that easy – after years of waking up multiple times per night, I’m now conditioned to awaken every 2 hours or so. It’s horrible!  (more…)

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This Dried Fruit is Anything But Dry.

August 16, 2015

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

I’ll admit it; I don’t think a food dehydrator has ever been on my culinary wishlist.

I mean, I’ve never sat around on a Saturday afternoon thinking, I wish I could dry some fruit. I mean, who does… right? Except now that I have spent a Saturday afternoon drying fruit, it’s a process I’d definitely like to repeat again… and again… thanks to the Hamilton Beach Food Dehydrator.
DSC_1246Back-to-school is around the corner. The opportunity to load up my boys’ lunchbox with healthy snacks – without preservatives or additives – is very attractive to me. And since my little guys love fruit, why not concentrate the flavours, make it completely portable, and have it available for them when they want it? Friends, I’ve seen the light: I totally need a food dehydrator.  (more…)

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Discover a Healthier Way to Delicious

August 6, 2015

METROSEXUAL. [Noun] met·ro·sex·u·al \ˌme-trə-ˈsek-sh(ə-)wəl: a usually urban heterosexual male given to enhancing his personal appearance by fastidious grooming, beauty treatments, and fashionable clothes.

Thank goodness for my husband. As a bona fide metrosexual, he pays attention to things that most men don’t (or won’t, or can’t). He tells me when my hilites are due for re-touching and my wardrobe requires updating. He purchases moisturizer with the same finesse he uses to purchase power tools, and when my self-tanner is almost done, he knows to buy a replacement because he understands that the struggle for perfectly bronzed skin is real.

However, the most beneficial thing about being married to a self-aware man: he’s vain. Truly, it’s a GOOD thing! My husband helps me stay on top of my health and fitness; he’s often the “diet police” in the household, yanking carbs from a grip like an ogre snatches candy from a baby. I’ve accused him of raining on my junk food parade more than once, but in the end, I can’t fault him for being a better person, at least health-wise.

So, a couple of months ago, just in time for Father’s Day, I presented him with a small appliance that was near the top of his wishlist: the Philips Airfryer. Featuring Rapid Air Technology, the Philips Airfryer circulates hot air with speed and precision for perfect results with less oil.

Spoiler Alert: These chicken drumsticks were “fried” in the Philips Airfryer. DELICIOUS.
DSC_1053Let’s pause for a second. YES, even though it’s called the Airfryer, come on, you really didn’t expect to fry food with just air, did you? Remember the saying, man cannot live on air-fried food alone. (Or something like that.) The truth is, you do need a bit of oil to get the unit going, but, perspective please! The amount you use is only a tablespoon or two, and even that amount is drained from food while frying. What you’re left with is crispy, flavourful food that is healthier for you, too.  (more…)

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Healthier Habits for the Summer

July 31, 2015

It’s summer. Hallelujah!

And just in case you hadn’t noticed (how’s the weather under that rock?), people are vacationing, dining out, drinking on patios and festival-hopping in full force. Honestly! Some days I need to stay off Instagram, where I’m constantly reminded of friends’ summertime travels and exploits.
10865108_422184224655700_1749091094_nThe above photo is courtesy of my blogging bestie Stephanie Holmes, who’s currently in Turks and Caicos. I know, right? You can say it. I was totally thinking it too.

However, I’m not mad at her, because we’re off to Niagara Falls for the long weekend! There, we’ll get wet at the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, enjoy a special meal in the revolving dining room at Skylon Tower, and even take in a little cross-border shopping action (I miss Target!).  (more…)

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Even a Travelling Germaphobe Needs to Own the Throne

July 12, 2015

I feel like the title of this post is somewhat of an oxymoron; generally speaking, germaphobes don’t travel – they stay close to their bubbles homes and encapsulate themselves in a clean, sanitary surrounding. Ah, disinfected bliss.

I, on the other hand, travel frequently, and I *may* have a few germaphobe tendencies.
11419046_1451116841855144_386192179_nI’m the kind of gal who has three travel-sized bottles of hand sanitizer tucked into her carry-on bags. Safely nestled in my checked luggage is a full-sized can of disinfectant spray, which I use on every “suspicious” surface of the hotel room – bathroom fixtures, light fixtures and of course the remote control. I wear long sleeves and pants on flights to discourage transfer of viruses via contact, and if I can help it, I never ever ever ever ever use public bathrooms. Especially not plane bathrooms. Ew.  (more…)

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Find Your Perfect Balance

July 8, 2015

Summer is finally here! And one of the reasons I love the warmer season is the abundance of fresh, local produce coming our way. All those vitamins and nutrients fill me with glee!
free-oranges-wallpaper-27804-28526-hd-wallpapersHowever, there are times when, despite my best intentions, I fall short of my nutritional goals. Let’s face it – life is hectic, and takeout is simple. And that’s when I rely on supplements to bridge the gap.

Want to know more about the benefits of supplements? << Click there. It will take you to an article I recently wrote to help you Get the Most Out of Life. And, for more information on health and wellness, here’s your source for the season’s top health topics and advice from Shoppers Drug Mart’s panel of experts. Here’s to your health!

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Help With the Hard Part: Your Plan. Your Way.

June 11, 2015

It’s been exactly six months since I joined Weight Watchers. If you’ve been following my journey (see Help with the Hard Part and When the Hard Part is Easy), you’ll know that I made a commitment to conquer my “hard parts”:

1. It’s hard to separate hunger from boredom. 10:00 PM snacking is “a thing”.
2. It’s hard to say no to leftover cheesecake.
3. It’s hard to fit in exercise when I work 14-hour days.
4. It’s hard to stay on track when eating out and cooking for picky eaters.
5. It’s hard to eat well without feeling completely and utterly deprived of delicious food.

With the help of Weight Watchers, I did it. I conquered them.

Now I won’t leave you in suspense – I did reach my goal of 20-pound weight loss. And I attribute a large portion of my success to the new 24/7 Expert Chat. Coaches who have successfully lost weight on Weight Watchers are available to subscribers through 24/7 Expert Chat for instant advice on how to get started, get back on track, and stay motivated.  This new feature is available to all Weight Watchers subscribers through online and mobile chat, 24 hours per day, seven days a week!

Yet, I stalled in publishing this 6-month check-in photo. Maybe it’s the old insecurities creeping in; maybe it’s just hard to put oneself out there for judgement. But after thinking about all I’ve accomplished, and how I got here in a healthy, habit-changing way, I’m throwing caution to the wind.

Screw it – I’M HOT! I LOVE MY NEW LOOK!wwOkay, so I’ll never get rid of the Kardashian hips (I’m not sure I want to) and I’m okay with a little tummy action too (I was totally sucking in my stomach here), but all in all, I feel confident, pretty and most of all, healthy. I feel like a 37-year old mom of two who’s on top of her game (albeit slightly sunburned). To be honest, I feel a little giddy.  (more…)

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Find Your Oasis

April 17, 2015

10 years ago, I viewed the appearance of spring-like weather with nothing more than a renewed excitement for warmer days ahead. Coats became jackets; boots were swapped for ballet flats, and every pink lipstick in my beauty arsenal was moved to the top of my makeup bag.

Today, the promise of higher temps still brings about all those exciting changes, in addition to one more: revealing more of my “winter body”, once safely ensconced in bulky, cold-weather clothing.

Let’s just say that Dolman-sleeve sweaters are an upper arm’s best friend.

Alas, before we know it, Canadians will be treated to our long-awaited summer, and this year, I plan on being a few steps ahead of tank top season.

First and foremost, I’ve lost 20 pounds! (If you’re sick of me mentioning it, I apologize. But this is BIG news in my life, and I plan on gushing about it for a while… and then a little longer.)

Second, I’ve rediscovered physical activity. No, I haven’t joined the gym or signed up for a boot camp just yet… but I have decided that as long as I’m moving at least as often as I’m sitting, I’ve achieved a good physical balance in my life.
DSC_0740Finally, I’ve made breakfast a priority. Perhaps I should clarify: I’ve always enjoyed breakfast, but now, I ensure that I have a GOOD breakfast. Tons of fruit and whole grains. Low-fat dairy and lean protein. It keeps me going throughout the most hectic part of my day – morning – and gives me the fuel I need to think clearly and stay on plan.

And with almost every breakfast, I enjoy a low-calorie, low-fat and nutritionally-dense fruit smoothie.

This season, try my Cranberry Razz Smoothie. It’s made with Oasis Nutrisource, a great tasting cranberry juice cocktail that offers an alternative to sugar and sucrose (stevia) with no compromise on fruit taste – and only 40 calories per serving. What a refreshing way to get healthy!  (more…)

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When the Hard Part is Easy

March 13, 2015

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

Earlier this year, I shared my hard parts.

1. It’s hard to separate hunger from boredom. 10:00 PM snacking is “a thing”.
2. It’s hard to say no to leftover cheesecake.
3. It’s hard to fit in exercise when I work 14-hour days.
4. It’s hard to stay on track when eating out and cooking for picky eaters.
5. It’s hard to eat well without feeling completely and utterly deprived of delicious food.

And then, I decided to get help with my hard parts.

It’s been two months since I joined Weight Watchers. And I won’t keep you in suspense; I’m proud to announce that I’ve lost 16 pounds! And I did it while eating the foods I love, sharing meals with friends and family, and most importantly, making healthful choices that have changed the way I feel about food, nutrition and hunger.

And if I’m going to post a “big reveal” photo – I may as well be standing next to a celebrity! Ta-da!IMG_2179 aBut the key to my weight loss success? When I needed help, I asked for it.

I asked for help just a few days into the program, when I found it difficult to balance my portion sizes, especially at dinner.

I asked for help when I found myself fearing food, a complex emotional state that happens to almost every dieter when he/she begins to see the results of their regime.

I even asked for help while I was on vacation! That’s right – during our recent family adventure at Walt Disney World, I found myself confronted with limitless food choices… and lacking the strength to make the right ones.

And when I asked for help, whether it was 11:00am in the morning from my bedroom, or 11:00pm at night from a hotel room in Florida, there was always a Weight Watchers Certified Coach available to answer my questions and offer advice.  (more…)

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Are You a Cooking Nut? Health Nut? You’ll Love Your Coconut.

February 16, 2015

It’s been called one of nature’s true superfoods. A health food that provides a great flavour option to many new cuisine recipes and old favourites. A healthy product that adds zest to the flavours of everyday life.

It’s the coconut, of course.

Growing up in a South Asian family, I have a longstanding relationship with this delicious fruit. From coconut milk in curries to flaked coconut in desserts, it is a dietary staple and offers a supporting role  in almost all of our meals. In fact, one of my fondest memories is watching my dad grind fresh coconut flesh, which my mom would freeze and later drop into soups and stews.

Today, I’m proud to continue our traditions with more options than ever before. Our planet’s “most nutritious food” is now in a wide range of products for everyday use: New Grace Organic All Natural Coconut Products are processed to the highest organic and natural standards, and conveniently packaged for use in your kitchen.

So, what can you do with Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut Milk, Organic Coconut Sugar, All Natural Coconut Chips and Organic Coconut Vinegar? You can make Tomato Coconut Soup – a flavourful, comforting soup bursting with aromatic spices and seasonings.
DSC_0368aThis soup is perfect for cold winter nights when you want to snuggle up to comfort food. The classic tomato soup has been reinvented with the addition of coconut milk and pungent spices popular in Jamaican cookery – ground coriander, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon and smoked paprika.  (more…)

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Have Your Dessert… and Eat it Too!

February 7, 2015

Family Dinner. One of the best ways to connect as a family, bond with your children, and create lifelong healthy eating habits.

(It’s also a great time to find out who your child’s first crush is. Tee-hee!)

Unfortunately, sitting down to share a meal with loved ones is becoming less common; Statistics Canada has reported that Canadians are now 10% more likely to eat meals alone than they were in previous decades. But there are so many benefits to sitting down to eat with your children on a regular basis! First and foremost, it provides structure to a child’s day. It helps build a stronger family unit, especially when kids share some of the responsibility for picking the meal and helping with its preparation.

And when parents provide a balanced meal, children eat more nutritious food, and they learn to respect their appetite.

But what about dessert? How often does the entire family stay at the table together to satisfy their sweet tooth? When dessert is a regular part of a family meal, children develop healthier attitudes towards sugar and sweets. Because not only is sugar a necessary part of the daily diet, let’s be honest – we all crave something sweet every now and then. When you eat sugar in small quantities, it satisfies your craving and prevents you from going overboard.

The good news is that dessert can also be nutritious. Something like Danette is the perfect example – it’s made with 75% milk, has only 15 grams of sugar and comes in individual-sized containers that take the guesswork out of portion sizes.

Want to learn more? You won’t want to miss our #DanetteforDessert Twitter Party!
DanetteforDessert Graphic YM 03_V3Join us on Tuesday, February 10th at 8:00pm EST as we chat about family dinner (and dessert!), and introduce you to a healthy, delicious way to treat your entire family. Of course, you know we’ll have some amazing prizes up for grabs!

We’ve got a TON of Free Product Coupon bundles to give away, and to the GRAND PRIZE winner… Dessert for a Year! And when it’s Danette for Dessert – with a silky texture in six delicious flavours, including classics like Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Caramel, Choco-coconut, Vanilla and Coffee – you know it’s a scrumptious way to spend time with the family.  (more…)

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Help with the Hard Part

January 19, 2015

I don’t normally make excuses for my behaviour, choosing to own my actions rather than deflect my choices by trying to provide justification.

Do, or do not. There is no try.

(Oh, Master Yoda, is there anyone wiser than you?)

And for the most part, I’ve been successful; pushing beyond my limits and into unfamiliar territory with gusto. Recognizing my mistakes and apologizing when appropriate. Trying to do the right thing.

However, when it comes to making healthy dietary choices, that’s when I have a ton of “reasons” – not excuses, right? – for my lack of motivation. I’ll be honest: I have a complex and emotional relationship with food. Because…

1. It’s hard to separate hunger from boredom. 10:00 PM snacking is “a thing”.
2. It’s hard to say no to leftover cheesecake.
3. It’s hard to fit in exercise when I work 14-hour days.
4. It’s hard to stay on track when eating out and cooking for picky eaters.
5. It’s hard to eat well without feeling completely and utterly deprived of delicious food.

Those are my hard parts. What’s your hard part?
WW_Image_1In 2015, I’m done making excuses. I’ve realized that making healthy food and life choices only seems insurmountable when I focus on the change as a whole. Eliminate sugar? I can’t! It’s too much a part of my life. Lose 15 pounds? Impossible! I’m not cut out to go on a diet. Exercise? When! I have no time.

And when I’m happy, sad, bored, tired, stressed, multi-tasking, shopping, reading, talking on the phone, working… among a slew of other triggers… I eat.  (more…)

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We All Love to Connect. That’s the #CheeriosEffect.

November 16, 2014

In today’s busy, fast-paced, technologically-advanced (obsessed?) world, it’s easy to go days – even weeks – without having face-to-face contact with friends, family and neighbours.

Guilty, as charged.

And while it may seem normal to us, we’re actually missing out on the amazing benefits that direct connections provide, such as learning, happiness, resilience and longevity. Think about the spring in your step after a coffee date with girlfriends. Or the smile on your face following some uninterrupted family time. And now imagine how much healthier you’d feel if you made this a habit.

To help celebrate the happiness and joy connections bring to our lives, Cheerios has launched the Cheerios Effect.

You might ask yourself, what does cereal have to do with human connections? Well, the Cheerios Effect is a real scientific principle that is nicknamed after the cereal. The principle highlights the fact that if you drop two Cheerios into a bowl, they’ll always eventually float together and connect. Because just like those two tiny, floaty little Os, we’re all drawn together. In fact, we’re hard-wired to connect with those around us; nothing could be more natural.

And no matter who you are, where you live, or who you choose to share your life with, Cheerios believes that everyone is worthy of love and connection.

Share your personal connection story at CheeriosEffect.ca, where each unique story will be brought to life with a personalized video of Cheerios connecting in a bowl. And, join our #CheeriosEffect Twitter Party on Thursday, November 20th at 8:00pm EST, where we’ll celebrate all those connections that add value, happiness and health to our lives.
CheeriosEffect GraphicIn addition to an uplifting, inspiring chat, we’ll have some amazing prizes up for grabs, including 6 x $75 Visa gift cards (plus three boxes of Cheerios), and a grand prize of a $200 Visa gift card, with six boxes of Cheerios.  (more…)

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The Curious Thing About Curiosity

July 3, 2014

Before I became a mother, I associated curiosity with many positive traits: growth, intellect, analysis and inquisition. To me, curiosity represented a willingness to learn, better oneself, and most importantly, be cognizant of the wonderful world around us. I admired those who challenged the status quo by becoming curious about things, people and places that matter.

Of course, after I had children, my interpretation of the word shifted just slightly.

Now, curiosity means sticky fingers and broken electronics. It means a glass figurine pulled from a top shelf; a centipede trapped under a bowl, a melted crayon found on white berber carpet. And that’s just scratching the surface. My home has been taken over by amateur scientists, hell bent on discovering who, what, when, where and WHY – sigh, always why. Does everything need a reason?

Yet as I type this, I realize how short-sighted I’ve been. I’ve let my petty frustrations mask the true joy of raising curious children. Because for every shattered glass figurine, there’s an appreciation for how fragile life can be. For every trapped insect, there’s respect for our living ecosystem. And for every melted crayon, there’s a lesson in science – namely, coloured wax + expensive carpet = mom furiously scrubbing with a bucketful of chemicals while muttering obscenities under her breath. Okay, so maybe there’s a lesson in science and linguistics.

Maybe it’s time I rethink my views on curiosity.

And now I’m smiling, because I’m thinking about the very first time Ryder tasted ice cream; a tiny lick off a tiny spoon, and instantly, his eyes became twice as large with sheer delight. I’m remembering Reid’s first bites of corn on the cob; holding the ear of corn at arm’s length, trying to decide what to do with it. I’m laughing at Ryder’s introduction to steak, where he chewed the fibrous meat for about 5 minutes before he pulled it out of his mouth and declared, “Beef is broken. Can’t eat.”

In fact, for little ones, I truly believe that curiosity begins in the kitchen – and a fun and delicious way to encourage kids to be curious is by involving them in preparing and tasting new flavours and textures. I’m pleased to once again partner with Minute Maid, who along with the Canadian Living Test Kitchen has created a new line of recipes that will spark creativity and help pave the way for future curious culinary exploration.

Today, I showed the boys how good greens can be with this delicious and simple Berry-Banana Green Smoothie.

1 can (250 mL) Minute Maid Frozen Smoothies Strawberry Banana
2 cups frozen mixed berries
1-3/4 cups milk
1 cup baby spinach leaves
Half avocado

In blender, combine Minute Maid Frozen Smoothies Strawberry Banana, mixed berries, milk, spinach and avocado; purée until smooth.

Minute Maid SmoothiesI am blessed; both my boys have pretty adventurous palettes, and rarely do I need to “hide” vegetables from them (ten times out of ten Ryder will eat the broccoli, Brussels sprouts or beans first). I sincerely hope they continue to be curious about the foods they eat, the things they do and the places they see… and if that sense of curiosity brings them to melted crayon territory, I’ll just remember to look back on this post, and chill out.

For more delicious recipes that are perfect for curious little individuals, visit Minute Maid.

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