Immune System Boosters

immune-boosters

 

I’m not a health care professional. Please consult your medical physician before complete information and guidance.

Fall and Winter are dubbed “cold and flu season” since it’s inevitable during the colder months, we will catch a cold or flu. This doesn’t mean we have to let them knock us out of commission for days or even weeks. There are a handful of ways to be proactive and take control of your health this fall/winter season.

1. Get Plenty of Sleep

Our bodies produce and release certain proteins and chemicals while we sleep which aid in fighting off infections. A lack of sleep may prevent the production of these proteins and chemicals which leaves us vulnerable to sickness and can even prolong the infection in our body.

2. Exercise + Be Active

Exercising or keeping physically active is good for your immune system because it helps to lower stress levels. When we exercise our bodies release natural “feel good” chemicals and helps us get a better nights sleep.

3. Stick To A Balanced Diet

Cut back on sugar as it suppresses your immune system. It’s okay to have a sweet treat once in a while, but packing you day full of sugar won’t do your body any good in the long run. Instead, eat more vegetables and fruits that are rich in vitamin C + E. Also be sure to limit the amount of deep fried foods you consume, especially if you do have a cold since this prevents your white blood cells from protecting against infection.

4. Limit Alcohol Intake

One or two alcoholic drinks won’t have any major effects on your health, but three or more can hamper the white cells in your body from fighting off harmful bacteria.

5. Probiotics

Although there isn’t any extensive research to prove this, probiotics might be an aid in supporting your immune system since it maintains your digestive system and helps to expel toxins from your body.

6. Herbs + Minerals

I know there is a lot of scepticism around vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements, but there are many medicines which derive from plants and are used medicinally, such as marijuana and coca, so why can’t herbal oils and minerals do the same? They may not be fast acting like the aforementioned, but I believe they definitely can be an asset to our immune system, like oil of oregano and magnesium. I take a multi-vitamin (almost) every day along with magnesium. When I feel like I could be catching something I add echinacea drops to my morning drink and at night I have a few drops of oil of oregano (be sure to place it UNDER your tongue) until my symptoms seemed to have cleared.

7. Wash Your Hands

Wash your hands frequently during the cold and flu season. I try to stay away from hand sanitizers and just use soap and warm water.  Wash your hands after using the washroom and remember to do so if you travel on public transit.

8. Prevent The Spread of Germs

If you are sick, help prevent the spread of germs by sneezing into your elbow, not your hand, cover your nose and mouth with tissue when you sneeze or cough, and stay home and rest to help your body recover.

 

Did I forget anything? Are there any special practices you do to keep your immune system strong during the cold and flu season?

 

Photo | Road To 80kg

Continue Reading

Dark Under Eye Circles: 5 Simple Remedies

mens-concealer-for-dark-circles-under-eyes

 

We often hear that dark under eye circles are caused by being tired, a lack of sleep, or hyperpigmentation for those with coloured skin tones. These causes are usually true for most, but there are other factors you may not be so aware of.

Up until March, I had noticed a change in the dull tone of my skin and a big difference in how prominent my under eye circles became. Even family and friends noted this change, but I didn’t think much about it other than I had probably been rubbing my eyes too much. My doctor suggested that I might have low iron, but when my blood test showed the opposite, I was stumped.

Shortly after my visit to the doctor, it dawned on me that my increasingly dark under eye circles could be health related as I had been having health issues and felt like I had a cold ALL. THE. TIME.

Turns out I have asthma. Soon after learning this, I had developed a sinus infection and I didn’t realize that’s what it was until 6 weeks into it!

All this health stuff started to take a toll on me emotionally and mentally. I gave up and was just eating carelessly and not doing much to keep myself active or healthy – a result of not knowing what my health ailment was and afraid of the uncomfortable asthmatic symptoms I experienced during my gym workouts.

Accepting that I have asthma was the first step in learning how to better care for my health. Knowing what triggers my asthma is one part, but being aware of what I eat is one of, if not THE most important factor in improving my overall health.

Continue Reading

2016 Wedluxe Wedding Show: La Dolce Vita

IMG_3465

 

This post is so incredibly tardy, but there was no way I wasn’t going to share it with you all. Too many beautiful things to share and gush about!

Right before the Christmas and New Year holidays, Tom and I put our wedding planning on hold. Seeing that we had gotten an incredible amount done in the first couple of months of our engagement, we were able to release all planning from our thoughts (and keeping wedding talk with family and friends to a minimum or non-existence) until after the holiday season.

Prior to the holidays, I knew that between January and April there would be endless wedding shows being held. Having been to one of the larger shows at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre years ago, I knew I didn’t want to have to go to too many of them, since they can be overwhelming.

When I learned out about the Wedluxe Wedding Show, I made up my mind that this was the show I couldn’t miss. Although the price tag can be a little deterring, I knew that, after reading about past Wedluxe shows, it would be well worth it. Being a DIY bride (and groom couple), I decided to splurge and attend with my sweetheart of a friend, Cece. I’m very, very happy I went (including Cece!).

This year’s Wedluxe show took place at The Carlu, in Toronto, ON. We were greeted in the lobby by towering trees that immediately took you away from the cold and rainy day we were having in Toronto, to a whimsical garden in Italy. Or so it seemed…it definitely built up the anticipation of waiting to step off the elevator into the show room and what could possibly be waiting…

 

[supsystic-gallery id=7 position=center]

IMG_20160110_095246

 

I think both Cece’s and my jaws dropped and I’m pretty sure our eyes popped out of our heads too like cartoon characters. It. Was. Spec-tacular. I’m still in awe. Not only because of how immaculate the décor was, but because the vendors are a specifically handpicked group who are the absolute elite of their industry and in a class of their own with incredible vision, taste, and definitely not lacking creativity that can’t be matched by any other wedding show you will attend.

We were greeted by very friendly Wedluxe hosts and given a complementary glass of sparkling lemonade, followed by endless complimentary hors d’oeuvres provided by Oliver & Bonacini, complimentary Italian sodas, cotton candy in flavours such as chai tea, lattes and cappuccinos, alkaline boxed water, gourmet cupcakes and chocolates, gelato, and so much more! On top of all that, we received gift bags with a 24 carat gold face mask – we were spoiled.

 

[supsystic-gallery id=8 position=center]

 

The show was a display of beautiful and enchanting décor ideas you wouldn’t usually consider or dream of. Although the cost of implementing these idea’s would break the bank, I’m sure if you’re determined and don’t mind getting a little DIY savvy(speaking though my inner adventurer and crafter here), you can get similar looks, for considerably less.

 

[supsystic-gallery id=10 position=center]

IMG_20160110_094653

[supsystic-gallery id=11 position=center]

 

It was a sugary feast for our eyes – oohing and ahhing over intricately designed cakes covered in breath taking details. How someone could eat these sugar sculptures of art is unimaginable to me.

 

IMG_3387

[supsystic-gallery id=12 position=center]
[supsystic-gallery id=13 position=center]

 

It was an unexpected pleasant experience. Vendors took the time to speak one-on-one with attendees and seemed genuinely happy and excited to be there. It was nice to have conversations with them rather than a few words exchanged and then mounds of loose papers jammed into my hands. It’s an event I would attend again.  Heck, I suggest attending just for the fun of it with friends for a day out, even if you’re not getting married!

 

Continue Reading

Gifts for Your Handsome Bearded Fiancé

beardcarekitUrban Beard Box , $193. It has everything to help your honey keep his beard in tip top shape and super touchable!

DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Quadcopter Drone with camera

DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Quadcopter, Drone with camera – $1399. So he can “get cool aerial shots when we go camping.”

record player by audio technica

Audio Technica USB Turntable, $199.99. Tom has a bunch of records he has sitting there and I actually got this for him last year. Since then he/we’ve been slowly adding to our record collection. This one also has the ability to turn the sound from the record into an mp3 file so you can take your tunes with you.

Bose portable speaker soundlink

Bose Soundlink Portable speaker, $139. It’s great for when you go on picnics.

sratch n sniffe whiskey book

Scratch n’ Sniff Guide To Becoming A Whiskey Know-It-All, $29. A fun way to become a whiskey connoisseur without the hangover.

beef jerky kit

DIY Beef Jerky Kit, $29.99. This would pair perfectly with the dehydrator Tom bought last year and encourage him to get some good use out of it!

chomps-5

Grass fed Beef Snack Sticks, $49. A much healthier alternative to the one’s we find at the grocery store and a great way to keep him fed during the workday if he’s on the go.

Canadiano_Cup_Walnut

Compact coffee maker, $69-$249. Made of various types of wood that rest on top of your coffee mug for a quick on-the-go brew.

flannel duffle bagFlannel Duffel Bag, $198. There’s a point when a man needs to graduate from a backpack to a real travel bag. Besides, this one is super sexy. I love the lumberjack look and yes, a flannel duffel bag would have me swooning.

leather tray

Leather storage tray for Keys, etc., $34.95. One for the front hall to keep keys and one for the bedside to catch everything that is accumulated in pant pockets from the work day.

 

In case you missed them, check out our other guides here.

Continue Reading

10 Best Christmas Cookie Exchange Recipes

cookie exchange recipe

 

It’s been a while since I’ve attended a cookie exchange, but the holidays always seem to entice me to bake up a batch of sweetness to pair with a cup of hot chocolate or to share with friends and family. I really had hoped to host a cookie exchange of my own this year, but adding wedding planning to my “spare time” activities as well as my new card making hobby, I just couldn’t make it happen for the holidays. However, I’ve complied a list of my favourite cookie exchange recipes that are simple to make and ones I absolutely love – I’ll definitely be making at least a batch of each to give as gifts or just for the heck of it!

 

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie recpieAll Time Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookies | Gimme Some Oven

Amazing jam thumbprint cookie recipeThumbprint Cookies | Kraft Canada

Hello Dolly BarsHello Dolly Bars | Flour + Paper Tom’s Pick

chocolate crinkle cookiesChocolate Crinkle Cookies | Simply Recipes

toblerone shortbreadChunky Toblerone Shortbread | Taste Book

shortbread cookiesShortbread Cookies | The Endless Meal

Double Chocolate BiscottiDouble Chocolate Biscotti | Once Upon A Chef

sugar cookies recipeSugar Cookies | Canadian Living

White Chocolate Cranberry CookiesCranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies | Sally’s Baking Addiction

matcha shortbreadMatcha Shortbread | The Globe And Mail

Happy baking!!

Continue Reading