Monday, February 20, 2017

Recipe: Braised Chicken Drumsticks with Bell Peppers

Braised Chicken Drumsticks with Bell Peppers & Onions
Serves 4-6

Braised Chicken with Bell Peppers


8-10 chicken drumsticks
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp cooking oil
3 bell peppers, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 large red onion, cut into 1/4 inch strips
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste


1) Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Dust the tops of the chicken with light coating of flour. Season with salt and pepper.

2) In a large pan, add the chicken and sear both sides until golden brown. Transfer to large dish and set aside.

3) Set to medium heat. In the same pan that was previously used, add peppers, onions, garlic, and Dijon mustard. Cook until vegetables begin to soften.

4) Increase the heat to high. Pour 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar and cook until most of the liquid has been evaporated. Scrap bottom of pan to loosen any brown bits that have formed. Add the seared chicken drumsticks. Then add chicken stick and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes until meat can be easily pulled apart.

5) Serve with cooked white rice.


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Thursday, February 16, 2017

TWG Tea comes into bloom this Spring with Always Sakura Tea

Few things are as evocative of Spring as strolling beneath a canopy of delicate cherry blossoms. This year, TWG Tea, the finest luxury tea brand in the world, pays a joyous tribute to the season of hope with the introduction of the Spring 2017 Haute Couture Tea Collection® featuring Always Sakura Tea.

Encased in a blush pink collectable tin, this marvellously luxuriant green tea is blended with notes of Rainier cherry and sweet florals which produce an airy and intoxicating aroma and yield a smooth and tender aftertaste. Produced in small quantities, the Always Sakura Tea will be available for a limited time, in celebration of this ephemeral season.

Always Sakura Tea will be sold at the TWG Tea Salon & Boutique in Vancouver from 2nd March 2017 and is priced at $47. Canadian orders can be made online at www.VanSingDG.com.

TWG Tea wishes one and all a wonderful Spring!

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique in Vancouver
1070 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 2Y2, Canada
Tel: 604.692.0071
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10 am to 8 pm

Follow them on social media and tag #TWGTeaOfficial #TWGTeaCanada #AlwaysSakura2017 #HauteCoutureTeaCollection

Facebook - www.facebook.com/TWGTeaOfficial & www.facebook.com/TWGTeaCA
Instagram - @TWGTeaOfficial & @TWGTeaCA
Twitter - @TWGTeaOfficial & @TWGTeaCA
YouTube - www.youtube.com/user/TWGTea1837

About TWG Tea

TWG Tea, the finest luxury tea brand in the world, was established in Singapore and celebrates the year 1837 when the island became a trading post for teas, spices and fine epicurean products. TWG Tea, which stands for The Wellbeing Group, was founded in 2008 as a luxury concept that incorporates unique and original retail outlets, exquisite tea rooms and an international distribution network to professionals. Committed to offering teas directly from source gardens, TWG Tea's collection is the largest in the world, with fine harvests from every tea producing country and exclusive hand crafted tea blends. Internationally recognised as a true innovator with the creation of new varieties of tea every season in collaboration with the world's most renowned estates, TWG Tea also offers exquisite signature modern tea accessories and delicate tea-infused sweets and savouries.

After launching its first Singapore tea salon & boutique at Republic Plaza in 2008, TWG Tea has opened in iconic destinations such as ION Orchard, Marina Bay Sands and Takashimaya Singapore. Expanding its presence internationally, TWG Tea has heralded the opening of exquisite Tea Salons & Boutiques in Bangkok, Dubai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Tokyo, Manila, Jakarta and Shanghai. In addition, TWG Tea's exclusive collection of the finest teas of the world is available from TWG Tea Boutiques in Harrods Knightsbridge, London and Dean & DeLuca Madison Ave, New York. The premier tea supplier to the finest hotels, restaurants and international airlines, TWG Tea is retailed around the world in gourmet épiceries, including El Corte Ingles in Portugal, Feinkost Kaefer in Germany, David Jones in Australia and GUM in Moscow, Russia, and served in Business Class, First Class and Suites and in the Lounges of Singapore Airlines and Nippon Airways.

TWG Teas are available in Singapore, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Vietnam. European online orders can be made at www.Harrods.com; online orders within the USA can be made at www.DeanDeluca.com; Canadian orders may be made online at www.VanSingDG.com; worldwide online orders can be made directly from the TWG Tea e-Boutique and m-Boutique at www.TWGTea.com.

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Eight Simple Steps to Retrain Your Body to Digest Wheat Again

A globally recognized leader in the fields of natural health, Ayurveda and sports medicine, Dr. Douillard's article reveals that while the standard diet, which includes processed wheat, is likely responsible for health concerns like diabetes, obesity and digestive distress, there is also plenty of science that links a diet rich in whole grains including whole wheat to weight loss, better digestion and lower blood sugar. He provides eight simple steps to retrain your body to digest wheat again.

Eight Simple Steps to Retrain Your Body to Digest Wheat Again
By Dr. John Douillard

In a recent report, 70-80 percent of people experience some form of digestive distress, while over one-quarter are obese and more than 5.7 million Canadian adults are pre-diabetic and don’t know it. While many like to blame all of this on wheat, many food scientists do not agree.

While the standard diet, which includes processed wheat, is likely responsible for these health concerns, there is also plenty of science that links a diet rich in whole grains including whole wheat to weight loss, better digestion and lower blood sugar. The Mediterranean Diet is still revered as one of the healthiest diets on the planet, and is replete with whole grains and wheat. The centenarians (folks over 100) who live in the Blue Zones eat a non-processed whole food diet, once again, rich in whole grains and wheat.

So, why are so many Canadians having trouble digesting wheat? That’s just it… They are not digesting it! Many who are gluten sensitive today digested wheat fine when they were young, but are currently having trouble. Somewhere along the line, our ability to digest foods that are a bit harder to digest, like wheat and dairy, became compromised.


The first step in re-booting digestive strength is removing all the processed foods. A processed food diet has been linked to a 141 percent increase in belly fat, high blood sugar and high cholesterol. In the same study, a diet of whole grains including wheat reduced the risk of these health concerns by 38 percent.

Fitness pioneer Jack LaLanne once told me the best way to eat is to never eat anything out of a package. The reason why processed foods are processed in the first place is so they can sit on a shelf for extended periods of time. Whole foods, as we all know, go bad quickly and it is not always possible to eat freshly cooked food. So, here are simple ingredient label navigation tips to avoid highly processed foods.

1. Avoid all added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Allow nothing over 6 grams of naturally-occurring sugar per serving.
2. Avoid refined, cooked oils. (Anything baked with oils or fried, i.e., bread, baked goods, chips, etc.)
3. Avoid all chemicals. Don’t eat it if you don’t recognize the name in the ingredients.


In the 1960’s, when cholesterol was put on the nutrient concern list, food manufacturers started boiling, bleaching, deodorizing and refining vegetable oils. They were used as preservatives to keep bread squishy and “fresh” for weeks. After almost 60 years of blindly consuming these indigestible oils, they remain the number one reason for the great digestive breakdown. The processed oils both congested the liver and gallbladder, rendering the liver’s bile unable to break down both good and bad fats and insufficient to buffer stomach acids. Without adequate bile production to neutralize stomach acid, the stomach will not produce the needed acid to digest proteins like gluten and the casein in dairy. This has resulted in a huge spike in gallbladder surgeries and epidemic levels of obesity, high blood sugar and food intolerances. It is natural to blame the hard-to-digest foods, but removing them only addresses the symptoms and leaves the cause – weak digestion left untreated only to haunt your health down the road.


The first step in strengthening the stomach’s digestive acid is to make sure there is plenty of bile flow from the liver and gallbladder. To boost bile flow, enjoy these foods daily:

4. Eat one red beet and one apple day. They can be raw, cooked, juiced or blended.
5. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and one teaspoon of high quality olive oil.
6. Eat more artichokes, celery and leafy greens.
7. Drink fennel and fenugreek tea with meals.


Once the liver is making adequate bile and the bile ducts and gallbladder are less congested, then you can stimulate the stomach to make the stomach acid needed to break down hard-to-digest so-called “allergenic” foods. Instead of taking digestive enzymes or a HCI stomach acid pill, I prefer to stimulate the stomach to make its own acid, and the small intestine and pancreas to make their own digestive enzymes. This is best done with the following five spices:

8. Ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamom and fennel.

Studies suggest that when these five spices are used together, they act as a total upper digestive re-boot. They can be taken as a supplement, in cooking or used to flavor food. These five star spices:

* Increase bile flow (no need for bile salts)
* Increase pancreatic enzyme activity (no need for digestive enzymes)
* Increase small intestine enzyme activity (no need for digestive enzyme supplements)
* Decrease gas and bloating (no need for HCl supplements)
* Increase fat and sugar metabolism
* Are powerful free radial scavengers
* Support optimal weight
* Support microbiology health (especially ginger)
* Improve gut health
* Support a healthy growth rate of good bacteria (especially ginger)
* Decrease H. pylori from adhering to stomach
* Are digestive stimulants
* Quicken the transit time in the intestines – supporting better elimination

Following these eight simple steps of nutritional navigation, boosting bile flow and stomach strengthening, will set you on the right path to retrain your body to digest (and enjoy!) wheat again.

Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP, is a globally recognized leader in the fields of natural health, Ayurveda and sports medicine. Over the past 30 years, he’s helped over 100,000 patients repair their digestive system and eat wheat and dairy again. He is the creator of LifeSpa.com, former NBA director of player development and nutrition advisor and author of the book, Eat Wheat: A Scientific and Clinically-Proven Approach to Safely Bringing Wheat and Dairy Back into Your Diet. For more information, please visit, www.eatwheatbook.com and connect with Dr. Douillard on Twitter, @johndouillard.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

SkinCeuticals by Project Skin: First Medical Aesthetic Boutique Launches in North America

It’s glow time! Project Skin and SkinCeuticals Canada are thrilled to announce the upcoming opening of SkinCeuticals by Project Skin: a destination for advanced skincare and expert skin treatments.

An expansion of their mothership location in South Granville, BC, Project Skin is opening their newest Professional Glow Room in CF Richmond Centre Mall in partnership with SkinCeuticals Canada. The first SkinCeuticals medical aesthetic boutique of its kind in North America, SkinCeuticals by Project Skin will host an acclaimed lineup of professional treatments tailored to help you achieve healthy, glowing skin. A perfect fusion of SkinCeuticals’ science and Project Skin’s legacy of skin innovation, the partnership is a match made in skincare heaven. The result? Advanced skincare backed by science and fuelled by soul.
Advanced skincare and expert skin treatments.
SkinCeuticals by Project Skin will deliver signature  medical aesthetic treatments and clinically-proven products within an inviting, luxurious setting. Skin benefiting services will include both full and express peels, dermaplaning, MAX+ LED light therapy and advanced professional skincare all tailored to target individual concerns over aging, hydration, sensitivity and problematic skin.
Grand opening.
Open to the public on February 17, 2017, the SkinCeuticals by Project Skin Grand Opening weekend promises to deliver, with mystery rebate cards for the first 50 customers every day, Friday through Sunday, and a special appearance from bloggers Boyu Ba, @boyuba and Sydney Socias, @theworkinggirl.ca.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

AccuWeather and Spotify Launch "Climatune", Combining Weather and Listening Data to Reveal Perfect Playlists

AccuWeather, the global leader in weather information and digital media, announced it has partnered with the music streaming service, Spotify, on a new site titled Climatune. Climatune was created by AccuWeather and Spotify to give music fans around the world insights into how the weather around them affects the music they listen to everyday, providing the perfect musical score for any weather.

Through a yearlong study comparing 85 billion anonymized streams on Spotify in over 900 cities nationwide, AccuWeather and Spotify analyzed the impact weather has on the music people listen to. Conclusions included:

  • * Sunny days typically encourage listening to happier and higher-energy music.
  • * Rainy days bring lower-energy, sadder-sounding music with more acoustic vs. electronic sounds.
  • * Snowy days encourage more instrumental music.

However, there are variations in weather/listening behavior based on location. For example, in the U.S.:

  • * New York City and Philadelphia listeners are the most affected by bad weather; with residents of these cities substantially changing their listening when it rains.
  • * Chicagoans get excited by the rain and stream happier music.
  • * Miami and Seattle listeners buck the trend and listen to more energetic music on cloudy days.
  • * San Franciscans, on the other hand, seem saddest on cloudy days.
  • * Houston responds the most strongly to rain, with acoustic listening increasing by 121 percent when it rains.

"There is a clear connection between what's in the skies and what's on users' play queues," said Spotify data researcher, Ian Anderson. "For almost all of the major cities around the world that we studied, sunny days translate to higher streams of happier-sounding music," said Anderson. "Sunny weather has an even bigger impact in Europe."

"AccuWeather is pleased to partner with Spotify, combining the power of AccuWeather's comprehensive global weather data and music," said Steven Smith, President of Digital Media at AccuWeather. "Climatune is another innovative, engaging way that AccuWeather personalizes the weather so people can improve their lives."

Climatune provides Spotify users with music playlists based on the weather in that user's area, and the moods which fellow local music listeners experience during weather conditions, such as sun, clouds, rain, wind, and snow.

The Climatune site is available here.

AccuWeather gathers the best and most comprehensive weather data to deliver forecasts with Superior Accuracy™. Forecasts are pinpointed for every location on Earth and extend further ahead than any other source. With the most complete global real-time and historical data, most robust database of forecast models, most advanced forecast engine globally, patented proprietary technology, and comprehensive validation results, AccuWeather is the most accurate weather company worldwide.  AccuWeather saves lives, protects property, and helps customers and the public prosper.

AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions' D3 Analytics takes the most complete global real-time and historical weather database correlated with customized data sets by client using proprietary statistical analytics and predictive modeling. AccuWeather uses its Superior Accuracy to make predictions for logistics, sales planning, inventory control, and more, providing the most actionable, customized data driven decisions for businesses, partnering with the world's leading brands.

Visit www.AccuWeather.com/EnterpriseSolutions for additional information.

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Happy Valentines

Inspired by LOVE

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Vancouver Public Library Releases New Children's Book "The Reading Tree"

Growing up reading illustrated books was always my interest. Even my son loves reading and listening to stories since he was a baby. Vancouver Public Library has just published their first children's book called "The Reading Tree" and was released January 26, 2017! When I first heard about this, I thought it was pretty awesome!

The Reading Tree book was illustrated by award-winning B.C. children’s illustrator Dianna Bonder, whose art have appeared in more than a dozen children’s books over the years. The Reading Tree is a project of VPL with partial funding from the Province of B.C. through the Ministry of Education.

Included as part of The Reading Tree is a guide for parents and caregivers to support them in reading to their children and building reading and literacy development into everyday activities. Translation of guide will soon be available in languages such as Arabic, Chinese, French, Tagalog, Punjabi and Vietnamese.

To pick up your FREE COPY, visit your nearest Vancouver Public Library branch and ask the librarian.

Quote from Sandra Singh, VPL chief librarian:

“Vancouver Public Library is pleased to offer this free picture book to Vancouver families with young children. Reading aloud to children is one of the best ways adults can support the growth of language and literacy in the early years, and the library is proud to be a supporter of children's success.

Each year, VPL's children's librarians help thousands of families and children build a strong foundation for early literacy. The Reading Tree gives families tools to extend this experience every day at home and while out and about on their daily activities.”

Quote from Dr. Patricia Daly, Vancouver Coastal Health chief medical health officer and vice-president of public health:

“In the first few years of life, 700 new neural connections are made every second. It is at this time that the young brain is capturing experiences and is especially responsive to external input. That’s why projects like the early literacy book are so important – they are an engaging way of building the crucial role that parents and caregivers play in stimulating optimal patterns of brain development.

“As the book so beautifully shows, early literacy goes beyond reading, and includes promoting curiosity in the world and imaginative play and encouraging questions and the exploration of new ideas. This strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development that, in turn, builds language, literacy and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime.”

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