Tag Archives: food

My Love Affair with Walter – A F&B Romance

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My Love Affair with Walter – A F&B Romance

It started off with a teasing photo on someone’s Facebook page, which lead to some tasty shots on another’s Instagram feed and then he was staring me down on a friends counter top. Next I knew there was an introduction, the anticipation and well, the rest as they say, is history…Are your cheeks burning yet? This is no 50 Shades of Grey storyline…it’s a love affair with Walter – Walter All-Natural Craft Caesar Mix that is.

 

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Over the years I’ve always had a few go-to drinks that I use if ever in doubt traveling and a Caesar has usually been in the mix with a good Dirty Martini or Sidecar – the kind of drinks that usually one can make at any standard bar. But as I and my healthy minded community have realized over the years, the standard mix for Caesars is just kind of , well full of a lot of junk like MSG (gives me blinding headaches), artificial colours & flavours and usually a High-fructose Corn Syrup which really is wrong on so many levels for our bodies. This is why I was so excited to be able to try Walter Caesar Mix – so much better and so tasty!

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Walter_MildlySpiced

Let’s break down the “Walter Difference”

  • ·         100% All-Natural Ingredients
  • ·         NO MSG
  • ·         NO Artificial Colours or Flavours
  • ·         No High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • ·         Made in Small Batch Production
  • ·         Bottled in Premium Glass Bottles
  • ·         Comes in 2 Flavours – Well Spiced or Mildly Spiced
  • ·         It’s CANADIAN and launched by two fellow Vancouverites

All of these things honestly make an awesomely better tasting Caesar or straight up on its own if you like your tomato juice to have some zest and body!

I played around with the flavour and made up one heck of a tasty bevvie for myself on one of our now many snowy nights and this is what I came up with.

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A good amount of Walter Well Spiced, some lime juice, some premium vodka, some tasty garnishes (home-made Daikon pickles, bacon, and cucumber – my own snacky topper). The perfect blend of seasoning for me in the Well Spiced and on other days I most likely would add in even more heat.

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Currently you can find Walter at select BC and Ontario grocers, specialty food and gift shops, select restaurants and bars. For their complete, up-to-date list, visit their website at www.waltercaesar.com/find-us

I’m looking forward to my second hot date with Walter’s alter ego – Walter Mildly Spiced – just the right speed for a long week, snowed in on the proverbial “Hump” Day. Now just to sort out the tasty garnishes or perhaps think up some alternative recipes to use this amazing new all natural product in to further extend the tasty goodness of Walter.

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Go out and get some soon – it’s now a regular in my house for sure!

Much foodie love,

@TraveliciousDee

 

DISCLAIMER

This is a personal blog. All content is based on my opinions and experiences. I received Walter Products and Product Information from Walter All Natural Craft Caesar Mix  to review.

Deborah Peniuk  Freelance Writer. Dream Travel Maker. Health &Wellness Retreat Specialist and Master Planner of Culinary Adventures and Escapes. Enjoys Wine+Food+Travel+Music+Yoga+Good Humans

http://www.aya-life.com  www.lifeblissandallofthis.com

 

World Food Day 2013

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World Food Day Banner

“Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition” will be the focus of World Food Day in 2013.

The official World Food Day theme – announced at the start of every year by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – gives focus to World Food Day observances and helps increase understanding of problems and solutions in the drive to end hunger.

About World Food Day

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations marks World Food Day each year on the 16th of October, the day on which the Organization was founded in 1945.

The objectives of World Food Day are to:

  • encourage attention to agricultural food production and to stimulate national, bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental efforts to this end;
  • encourage economic and technical cooperation among developing countries;
  • encourage the participation of rural people, particularly women and the least privileged categories, in decisions and activities influencing their living conditions;
  • heighten public awareness of the problem of hunger in the world;
  • promote the transfer of technologies to the developing world; and
  • strengthen international and national solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty and draw attention to achievements in food and agricultural development.

World Food Day 2013 video feature: Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security

A Vietnamese Recipe for a Food System that Works.
What is a sustainable food system? One Vietnamese model harnesses tradition and bolsters that with technology and the right policy mix: ‘V-A-C’ farming. It’s a no-waste system integrating fish farming, raising livestock and growing fruit and vegetables, all on the same farm. It has assured sufficient, healthy food to Viet Nam’s rural farmers — about half the population — while generating income and feeding the growing cities. In V-A-C, livestock can even power the lights.”

World Food Day focuses on better food systems, including reducing food waste. Here’s what YOU can do: http://bit.ly/WlciOY 

What are you doing today on World Food Day? Tell them about it in a tweet to @FAOWFD tagged .

World Food Day Canada

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“Do your part to Engage, Empower and Inspire everyone to make a difference in the world”

Toronto – Fresh Canteen – Garam Masala Seared Duck Breast Out of A Box

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Fresh Canteen – Garam Masala Seared Duck Breast Out of A Box

Fresh Canteen

A short while ago, I was pleased to be invited to join a handful of other blogger and food media guests for a hands-on experience with Fresh Canteen’s new ready-to-cook meal-in-a-box service. This awesome new food delivery service in town is really doing some exciting things. They offer up to the consumer a new version of food prep, giving you an assortment of recipes to choose from each week, and sending you all the ingredients you need to make the dish of your choice. Easey peasey – no shopping required (except selecting on their website) and creative editing allowed!

Refreshing Herbal Iced Tea

Fresh Canteen Flyers

Bloggers and Writers St. Lawrence Market

Table Set Up

We had our taste buds tantalized by some amazing appetizers from their recipe box such as their Asparagus Gruyere Tart & Lamb Kofta With Cucumber Yogurt .

Asparagus Gruyere Tart

 This service that caters to people who want to cook fresh, delicious dinners in their own kitchens but are often just too busy to shop or perhaps intimidated to shop for all the ingredients they need. They are very committed to using local food producers, focusing on fresh, seasonal ingredients whenever possible and that has a great appeal as I like to support local as much as I can.

 

#FreshCanteen

Working in teams, (my team consisted of @the awesome duo of @gavmartell & @DailyBreadBlog and myself @TraveliciousDee) and under the guidance of the Fresh Canteen team, we worked our way through the easy-to-follow step by step recipe for –  DUCK!  The dish to be made was Seared Duck Breast with Garam Masala and Sautéed Grapes (no intimidation at all).  While it has been something I have rarely prepared myself, I do so love duck, I love Garam Masala, (yes I could stand and just sniff for a while) and fresh crisp grapes – mmmmhhhmmm. I think we all were impressed by the results of our efforts especially given that our fry pan had its temperamental moments with its heat source.

Duck Breast in a Box

pulling out the goods

Finished Duck dish

Each week you have a choice from a great selection of recipes online you can choose from by Friday and then on Tuesday you will receive an insulated box filled with all of the ingredients that you will need to make that dish. Each recipe is portioned out for two (or you can order a double enough for four) but easily the recipes that I have made would easily feed at least three or two with enough leftovers for someone to take to lunch the next day at approximately $12-$15 per serving (includes delivery to your front door) it’s a pretty amazing deal with no tip required (but better ask the chef at hand on that). The included recipe card shows its difficulty rating, estimated time and the step-by-step instructions which guide you through the cooking processes and there is also basic nutrition information – calories, carbohydrates, fat & protein info.

Fresh-Canteen-Menu

This is such a great idea for those friends who eat out or do take away at least 3 to 4 nights a week because of their busy schedule and when they get home from work the last thing they are going to do is go shopping. It’s also a great option for a weeknight dinner party or intro cooking lesson for your friends – you just come home from work, open the box, and create some kitchen magic with some amazing food and voilà. Having 4 brothers I know this would have been a great way to teach them some cool fancy meals to impress a girlfriend or partner, not break the bank and know that at least on few nights they were eating well.

The food is packed in an insulated bag with some reusable freezer packs and will stay cold all day in case you aren’t home when the box comes. If you pop the whole thing in the fridge, it will stay fresh for a couple of days too so you don’t even have to make it that night. Also, each recipe comes with a plastic covered recipe sheet with super detailed instructions and photos – kind of like DIY cooking for those not friendly with shopping and following a regular cookbook so even those who aren’t 100% confident in the kitchen are going to be able to finesse a meal and feel like a “TOP CHEF” in the kitchen. Most recipes can be made within 35-45 minutes with minimal prep of washing and chopping. Three new recipes are offered each week, and each recipe is available for 2 weeks. The minimum order is $60 with Fresh Canteen (so it’s 2 recipes serving 2 people = 4 servings total) and the maximum order is $180 (4 recipes serving 4 people = 16 servings total)

Right now delivery is only available in the downtown Toronto are but a great idea is to get it delivered to your office downtown and take it home at the end of the day(packaged in an insulated bag with freezer packs so you are safe to have a full day at work). Expansion of their delivery area is sure to follow the more people find out about the quality, value and ease of this great service.

At the end of the night our well-fed bodies left with some great goodies like our wonderful long red Fresh Canteen aprons, signature shopping bag, our box of our next meal and a lovely knife chef knife from Nella Cucina.

Take Home Package

What I got to come home with for our #recipe challenge was their Mock Butter Chicken of which I made a few additions and a substitution to the original recipe. I was very happy to open the box 2 days later and find that all of the ingredients were still super fresh and enticing.

Still keeping it with an Indian theme I chose to add in peaches to my Chicken instead of the recipe included ingredient of raisins (never been a big fan of raisins in my cooked food but understand their place in the original recipe), toasted coconut to the most amazing light and fluffy rice (think nutty pilaf) and the addition of pan toasted black mustard seed to the great crisp cucumber and radish salad dressing.

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So here is my mashup redux recipe from Fresh Canteen’s Mock Butter Chicken

Dee’s Peachy Chicken Remix

Recipe Ready

Ingredients:

2 Chicken Breasts

1.5 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (I prefer EVOO)

1 Tbsp chopped Garlic

1.5 Tbsp chopped Ginger

1 heaping Tbsp Tomato Paste

1.5 Tsp Cumin Seeds

1.5 Tsp Ground Coriander

1 Tsp Turmeric

1.5 Tsp Garam Masala

½ tsp Chili Flakes (I like mine hot so I did ¾ tsp)

1/5 tsp Brown Sugar

½ tsp Salt (this is always to taste but you do need some with all of these spices)

3 tbsp Plain Yogurt (I find if you are doing dairy free – plain coconut yogurt works)

½ Medium Onion chopped

½ tbsp Butter (optional – I use Coconut Oil)

1 small Japanese style cucumber

2-3 large radishes

2 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

1-2 tsp Olive Oil

1 cup Basmati Rice

1-2 Naan Bread

1.5 tbsp toasted unsweetened coconut flakes

1  tbsp toasted Brown Mustard seeds

1 medium peach diced small

What you need to cook:

1 small saucepan

1 frying pan

Instructions:

Prepare ingredients and read through the recipe noting what needs to be washed, chopped and sliced.

ingredients mustard seed

Chop the onion, garlic, ginger and cilantro. (I use my Cuisinart chopper for the 1st three ingredients and it creates a great chunky paste which is very traditional for Indian starters for recipes.

Cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Slice cucumbers and radishes into similar size pieces.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add ½ tsp of salt (sea or Himalayan preferred). Add rice, reduce the heat to minimum, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. When done, fluff with a fork and add in toasted coconut. (Coconut can be toasted in fry pan quickly over medium heat to a golden brown and leaves pleasant oil behind to sauté your onions etc. in)

Coconut Rice

In the fry pan head up your 1-2 tsp of Olive Oil on medium heat and add in the mustard seeds. When you hear the first popping of the seeds immediately take off of the heat and allow the oil to cool. This is the base of your dressing. In a small bowl, add the sliced cucumbers and radishes. Whisk together the Olive Oil, Mustard Seeds, 1.5 tsp of Red Wine Vinegar and add Salt & Pepper to taste. Set this aside.

mustard seed

cucumber radish salad

Heat the remaining oil on medium-high heat until shimmering (or if using a wooden cooking utensil it should start to bubble where it touches the pan). Add your chopped ginger, garlic and onion. Cook until the onions are slightly golden in colour. Add your peaches at about a 2 minute mark and cook for about 4 minutes.

onion garlic ginger

peaches in the mix

Remove the pan from the head and add in the cumin seeds, coriander, tomato paste, garam masala, brown sugar, chili flakes and turmeric. Return to the heat and cook stirring constantly for another 2-4 minutes to infuse the spice mix into the onion, garlic, ginger “paste” and releases the fragrances and flavours of the east.

spice mix

Add the chicken, stirring to coat all the chicken with the spice mixture. Add 1/3 cup of water and the 3 tbsp of yogurt. Cook until chicken is done approx.7-9 minutes. If your sauce is too thick add a bit of water while cooking and you can finish with a tbsp of Butter or Coconut Oil to put an extra shine on the sauce (totally optional)

Chicken Dish Cooking

Chicken Dish Cooking

Sprinkle with chopped Coriander and serve with the Toasted Coconut Rice. Enjoy with your Cool Crisp Cucumber and Radish Salad and your Naan Bread which can be heated and sprinkled with your Chopped Coriander as well on the side.

Finished products

Enjoy!

pot of chicken

As long as you get your order in by end of day Friday, you’ll get boxes Tuesday. They currently have a serious PROMO going on! Use code “FALL30” at checkout for $30 dollars off your first Fresh Canteen order of two recipes.

I know the next time I am trying to plan ahead I will have Fresh Canteen  bookmarked and on speed dial for easy access to order my next food experience to share! I’m excited to see how Fresh Canteen grows and develops as a local start-up and to see the recipes experiences they choose to create for your shopping and cooking pleasure!

 

Happy Canada Day!

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canadian flag

What is Canada Day?

We, as a nation are still very young as a country – just a mere 146 years old in comparison with other great nations but we acknowledge and recognize the day we became our own nation every year.

According to the latest info recorded in Wikipedia:

“CANADA DAY:(French: Fête du Canada) is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act, 1867 (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united three colonies into a single country called Canada within the British Empire Originally called Dominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), the holiday was renamed in 1982, the year the Canada Act was passed. Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as well as among Canadians internationally.”

 

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What do we do on Canada Day?

Many communities across the country of Canada will host organized celebrations for Canada Day, usually consisting of outdoor public events, such as parades, carnivals, festivals, barbecues, air and maritime shows, fireworks, and free musical concerts, as well as citizenship ceremonies for new citizens to Canada.

Internationally, Canadian expats will organize Canada Day activities in their local area on or near Canada Day. Many celebrations have been held at Trafalgar Square—the location of Canada House—in London, England; initiated by the Canadian community in the United Kingdom, and endorsed by the Canadian High Commission. Celebrations have also take place in Hong Kong, entitled Canada D’eh and held on June 30 at Lan Kwai Fong, where over 10,000 have been known to participate. Overseas in Afghanistan, where members of the Canadian Forces mark the holiday at their base and in  Mexico, at the Royal Canadian Legion in both Chapala, and the Canadian Club in Ajijic. In China, Canada Day celebrations are held by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai at Bund Beach. These are just a few locations globally that participate in celebrating Canada’s birthday!

 

 

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This year our own loved TV Host, George Stroumboulopoulos is hosting Canada Day International in NYC and London, England. You can catch all the details including clips from hockey games in Central Park to amazing concerts through the links below.

“Canada Day Is Taking Over New York City And London, England – And George Is Hosting”

Wherever you are, you can join the conversation by tweeting with the hashtags #CanadaDayNYC and #CanadaDayLondon.

You can follow George on Twitter at:

@Strombo
@Strombodotcom

Wherever you are, whoever you are with – take a moment to wish Canada a very Happy Birthday and enjoy a little moment today to be a “Canuck” however you see fit!

HAPPY CANADA DAY! I’m proud to be a Canadian – born and raised!

A Culinary Night of Celebration – Toronto’s Recipe For Change

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A busy schedule and lots of travel put my writing on standby for a while but I had to make sure I got this tasty article up and readable to share!

Back on February 28th, Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market looked like a stage set for a culinary celebration! The event – Toronto’s Annual Event – Recipe For Change

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I timed my arrival to the North Market Building for the 6pm door opening and before I could reach the inner sanctum of the market building, I experienced a taste-bud explosion by way of an amazing Smoked Duck Tostada by @FidelGastros – Matt Basile, star of “Rebel Without A Kitchen”.

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The evenings’ event was a market done in complete transformation! This building is generally left to those farmers and craftspeople selling their edible bounty to the public of fresh fruit, eggs, vegetables, cheeses and many other tasty little bits of flavour. That night the team at FoodShare designed a map through a garden of flavor overload put forth by those who rise to the top, sometimes are seldom seen by the general public, and have a deep love for their craft, for their annual Recipe for Change fundraising event.

Over the course of the next few hours, with fork, napkin and wineglass in pocket, the room filled to capacity with over 400 Toronto eager food fans supporting such a good cause and sampling  culinary delights from over 30 chefs and students, 8 wineries from Niagara and Prince Edward County, and a few breweries as well. I eagerly sipped, nibbled and photographed as many tasty tidbits as I could. This year’s FoodShare event was presented by GE Cafe Appliances and students from both the Bendale Business and Technical Institute and Eastdale Collegiate presented some tasty offerings that they cooked in their culinary programs that are in collaboration with FoodShare.

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Some of my most memorable bites were: Brisket Steamed Buns from Momofuku Toronto, Yakitori Bar/Seoul Food’s vegetarian Bibimbap, Torito Tapas & Monforte Dairy’s collab of Dates stuffed with Toscano Cheese, Orrechiette with White Pork Shoulder Ragu by Ascari Enoteca, Savoury Bread Puddings by the George Brown Chef School, and the Luscious Beet Root Chocolate Brownies from Pimenton.

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It was a joy to see that Toronto’s culinary community spotlights the collaborative efforts for such an amazingly good cause. It was fun night to be out and about as many enthusiastic chefs served their very best and  I had a chance to catch up with some of my favourite restauranteurs, chefs, bloggers and food writers. From the culinary schools to top chefs, breweries, wineries and to my love…the Detour Espresso Bar, Recipe for Change certainly gave those of us in attendance, an honest testimony to the talented and creative culinary industry in this city I now call home.

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Food Share empowers and enables Ontario children to identify what good food is, where it comes from, not only teaching them that healthy food also tastes great, but educating and helping them learn to choose it for themselves. The organization is leading the challenge to create a healthier future for our children by working with students from JK to Grade 12 ,parents and educators to ensure that good food education is an included part of the Ontario curriculum and make Food Literacy a requirement for graduation. Children across Ontario are being taught how to plant, tend, harvest, prep ,cook and compost – something I took for granted growing up when I was a child, having a family involved in food and backyard farming.

Foodshare Video

This year’s event also marked the launch of FoodShare’s first cookbook – “share:Delicious Dishes from Foodshare and Friends” which showcases affordable, healthy, and culturally-diverse cooking that is a joy for the palate and the eye.  Just $24.95 + HST at your favourite bookstore or available on www.foodshare.net

ShareCover

“A delight for the palate and for the eye, share showcases the joy of healthy, affordable culturally-diverse cooking and highlights the power of good food to bring people together. Celebrate home-cooked meals with Adrienne De Francesco and Marion Kane as they guide you through recipes that are thoughtfully selected, carefully tested and thoroughly delicious. Feast on contributions from FoodShare’s chefs, staff, volunteers and program participants, along with local celebrities who all share their favourite recipes in this beautiful full-colour cookbook.”

Take time to support the Foodshare community on any level ! I came with to Recipe for Change with an appetite on full tilt mody,  ready to be amazed and flavour – challenged by  the 30 chefs works in food and I left satiated with an even better appreciation of the chefs I know and new wonder from all the ones I met for the first time and what the Culinary Culture of Ontario truly has to offer. A delish food adventure  experience that I would highly recommend all of you look out for next year and make certain you have tickets as soon as you can.

Positive Attitude on the Road and At Home – 5 Basics!

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Positive Attitude on the Road and At Home – 5 Basics!

balancing act

Attitude is everything and can make or break your day, week or month without issue! The winter months of January, February and March are always tough months, but here are 5 basic steps to overcome a negative attitude. You will feel better and improve your view and those around you immediately.

Being in a good mood is not really that difficult. It does take a little work and it does take personal responsibility. Because it’s better to be happy than upset, putting yourself in a good mood is definitely worth it and your body and mind will thank you.

Did you know that even the most happiest of people can find themselves in a bad mood now and then? You definitely see this both on the road and off in your travels near and afar. Others unfortunately may find themselves in low spirits more often than not. The following quick tips can help both types of people to create a better mood atmosphere each day they wake up and greet it.

choices

1. TAKE INVENTORY – Realize that you are in a bad mood. If you don’t realize it, it’s going to be pretty hard to change it! This realization might come from several sources. You are usually the best judge of your own mood and you can also venture to get the feedback from others – a stranger or someone you trust.

2. DECIDE TO CHANGE – So now that you know you are in a negative mood, you have to decide that you want to change it. This isn’t always as easy as it sounds! When we are upset, we want to roar and not hear how we should be HAPPY. We usually want to be left alone and that is why these is probably the hardest step – especially if you happen to be travelling in a group or are surrounded by friends/family.

Regardless of this – IT’S WORTH IT! A few days a week in a bad mood can really add up and take its toll. A friend or colleague might comment that you are usually in a negative mood without YOU even realizing it. So ok – it’s hard to make this decision but after you take the time to change your mood, you will be so happy you did – you’ll look at things with a fresh perspective.

3. FIND THE SOURCE – Analysis time – you know you’re not happy and you want to change. So now is the time to look for the source of this bad mood/attitude. A common feeling when things start piling up is to get just a wee bit tense! A great way to tackle when you are feeling like you are getting upset is to make a list of what things you are concerning yourself with. Write them down – you can address so many things when you take the thoughts and feelings swirling around in your head and put them to paper.

Look for the sources of your negativity. Did someone say or do something that upset you? Are you worried about something that you did or something you still have to do?

4. FIX THE SOURCE – When you find the source, it’s definitely time to fix it! If someone upset you, take the time to talk to them. Don’t lose it – keep your calm but state your issue. If you are worried about getting something done, be like Nike – Just Do It! And if you are worried about something that you can’t change, accept that you personally cannot change it and move on.

5. DO SOMETHING THAT JUST MAKES YOU HAPPY-There are times when fixing the source isn’t enough to change our moods! In this case though, try to think of things that put you in a good mood. It could be anything that you choose. Calling a close friend, going to lunch, grabbing a coffee or tea, hitting the movies, playing a sport, etc. If you fix the source of the problem and you still feel down, do something fun.

This quick fast and furious system can help to change your “DOWN” days into some of the best “UP” days you’ve ever had. Make sure to practice this when you are travelling or stuck in the midst of family or work functions as well…life is just too darn short to be stuck in a bad mood!

stand positive

©Deborah Peniuk aka@TraveliciousDee

February Love – Recipe From The Beach

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February is a month of love and sharing! Enjoy the following Healthy Recipe from a family member from the Caribbean

Papaya, Mango and Fresh Fig Salad

1/2 large Papaya, peeled and cubed

1 Mango, peeled and chopped

4 Fresh Figs, chopped

1/2 tsp. Lemon Juice

1 tsp. Cinnamon

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon and love.

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