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The Etiquette Behind Afternoon Tea

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In our busy, time-poor lives, what is nicer than momentarily stopping for a scone and a pot of tea? Afternoon tea gives us a break in the rush of modern life, just like it did back in the nineteenth century, when the custom originated.

Afternoon tea has been around for many centuries, but became popular in the 1840s by Queen Victoria’s best friend, Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, who suffered hunger pains during the long afternoons between lunch and the late evening meal. She would have scones and tea in her boudoir to satisfy her cravings, and it soon became the it thing to do, eventually turning into a social affair among the English aristocracy.

Recognizing that we all live in a world where it is too busy to make time for one another, a group of women from all over the Fraser Valley got together and planned an afternoon tea event to share the significance of reconnecting with one another. Held last weekend on May 28, 2016 at Fleetwood International Church, the elegantly intimate afternoon was a stylish opportunity for nearly one hundred women to sip on sponsored Tega Teas, nibble on savory sandwiches and sweet treats, and just be girls again.

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Top 10 Do’s & Dont’s for Afternoon Tea:

1. It should never be referred to as “high tea”. High tea is a hearty, simple, sit-down meal that the Industrial Revolution workers of the 19th century originated. The workers came home in the late afternoon from the fields, factories and mines starved after a long and hard day of work. Traditionally, the high tea meal was served in the late afternoon. It was set-up family style with tea to drink and meat to eat, now known as a supper buffet.

2. Sit up straight. Posture is everything.

3. Hold the cup by the handle and bring it up to your mouth — avoid leaning forward to drink. Never cradle the cup in your hands and avoid raising your pinky finger!

4. Take small sips and don’t slurp, and/or blow on the hot tea to cool it. The cup is put down on the saucer in between sips.

5. It is usual to enjoy two cups of tea; one is never enough and three is too excessive.

6. Savories are to be eaten first. These include your tea sandwiches, followed by the scones. Desserts are to be consumed last.

7. All of these accompaniments are put down on the plate in between bites, and eaten with the fingers, never a fork.

8. It is never pronounced “skōn”, but “skɒn”. The scone is to be broken in half lengthways by hand.

9. The purpose of this meal is to socialize. Talking about money is off limits, and similarly you would not ask someone what they did for a living. Opt for light conversation topics as you are there in a social capacity, not a professional or business capacity.

10. As expertly done by her Majesty herself at the end of meals, it is perfectly acceptable when in the company of everyone to quickly reapply lipstick while at the table.

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Why tea?

Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world, has more health promoting properties than coffee, has more variety and diversity, and herbal teas like Tega Organic Rooibos teas are non-addictive and can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

All teas, whether green, white, oolong, black or herbal, contain powerful antioxidants and health promoting properties. Tega Organic Rooibos teas are naturally caffeine free, calorie free and are smooth and delicious.

Unlike teas which get bitter when steeped too long, Tega Rooibos teas won’t get bitter. Not only does it maintain its smooth, rich flavor, but it is de-stressing.

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Looking for a clear alternative to unhealthy and non-organic beverages? Voted #1 for Canada’s Favourite Fairtrade product in both 2012 and 2014, you can order their tea online, or find it at your local grocery in Save On Foods, Urban Fare, Whole Foods, SPUD and Nature’s Fare, just to name a few.

There is nothing to lose by kicking the caffeine and drinking a good ol’ fashioned cup of tea. Brew your batch now and begin experiencing all the benefits of this healthy beverage.

See more photos of the event below.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Getting ready for your Spring afternoon tea? Here’s the top 10 do’s & dont’s!” hashtags=”Surrey “]

Krystele was born and raised on the beautiful island of Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands. Although from a tiny community, she was already traveling to North America at the age of 12 to compete and champion international public speaking competitions. Her global perspective has helped her branch out to discover new opportunities when she moved to BC seven years ago. At just 21, she has received a B.A. in Communications from SFU and has already worked for numerous organizations including Metro Vancouver, Canadian Cancer Society, Special Olympics BC, and the BC Non-Profit Housing Association to name a few. She is an entrepreneur, and handles social media for reputable brands. Krystele's passion is to help others find their voice and be heard, as well as inspire others to make the world a better place.

Food & Drink

Make a Commitment to More Family Meals

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Spending moments together with loved ones carries obvious benefits like time to catch up and opportunities to bond, but sharing meals actually provides definitive value for families.

With restricted social interactions and confinement at home due to COVID-19, many families are facing meal challenges that have shifted from juggling busy schedules to seeking new ways to mix up the traditional menu or using digital solutions to reconnect at a virtual table.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior shows that more frequent family meals are associated with better dietary and family functioning outcomes. The results build on years of previous research studies to punctuate the creation of the Family Meals Movement, which encourages to pledge to share one more family breakfast, lunch or dinner at home per week.

Considerable findings from the study:

Family meals improve fruit and vegetable consumption. Studies show a positive relationship between family meal frequency and fruit and vegetable intake when examined separately, but also when fruit and vegetable intake are combined.

Family meals improve family dynamics. Nearly all the studies included in the systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated a positive relationship between family meal frequency and measures of family functioning. Family functioning is defined as family connectedness, communication, expressiveness and problem-solving.

There are thousands of individual studies that examine the impact of family meals on nutrition and family behavior. We can confirm that family meals are a valuable contributor of improved nutrition and family dynamics

German Fruit Tart

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half or cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced
  • cornstarch
  • sliced strawberries
  • sliced kiwi
  • sliced banana
  • blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado or powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. To make crust, beat together flours, sugar, egg, half-and-half and almond extract. Add butter slices and mix together until sticky ball of dough forms. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes.

On heavily floured surface, knead dough a few times and roll out to fit greased 10-inch tart pan. Carefully spread dough into tart pan and bake 15-20 minutes, or until tart starts to turn golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool. Dust crust with cornstarch to help fruit stick to crust. Arrange strawberries, kiwi, banana and blueberries on top of crust; sprinkle with sugar, if desired.

Hawaiian Chicken Pizza

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken\
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 ready-made pizza crust or whole wheat pizza crust (10 ounces)
  • 1 cup canned or jarred tomato sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese or part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple or canned pineapple tidbits packed in 100% juice

Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat pizza pan or baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In medium bowl, combine rotisserie chicken and barbecue sauce. Place pizza crust on pan and evenly spread tomato sauce over crust. Sprinkle evenly with cheese.

Top evenly with rotisserie chicken mixture and pineapple. Bake until crust is crisp and browned around edges, about 10 minutes. Let pizza cool 10 minutes before cutting into eight slices.

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Baked Oatmeal

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 packets stevia (sugar substitute) or preferred sweetener
  • 1/2 cup powdered peanut butter
  • 1 scoop (1/4 cup) vanilla plant-based protein powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons liquid egg whites
  • 1 ripe banana (4 ounces), mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana (4 ounces), sliced into 24 slices

Preheat oven to 350 F. In large bowl, combine oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, stevia, powdered peanut butter and vanilla protein powder. In separate bowl, combine almond milk, yogurt, egg whites, mashed banana and vanilla extract.

Add oat mixture to wet ingredients and gently stir until fully combined. Line 9-inch brownie pan with parchment paper. Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly. Top with banana slices in four rows of six slices each.

Bake 27-35 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Let cool and cut into six rectangles. Wrap and refrigerate extras until ready to eat.

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Food & Drink

5 Reasons To Reduce Your Caffeine-Intake

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Everybody likes to start the mornings with positive affirmations and a cup of warm coffee. Most Americans use caffeine as a source of energy and mood-booster. Also, you might experience withdrawal symptoms similar to addiction on the decaf days.

While consumption of coffee induces some health benefits, reducing the caffeine-intake might incorporate holistic wellness. It leads to a reduction in headaches and fetches a sound sleep. Not to forget, you might experience relief from anxious thoughts once you quit coffee and caffeinated energy drinks.

Here are the top reasons to reduce your coffee intake and adapt to a caffeine-free lifestyle.

Reduces Anxiety

Around 90% of adults depend upon coffee to kick start the day and induce an energy-boost in no time. However, excessive consumption of coffee leads to severe anxiety and might contribute to frequent panic attacks. You get to experience a spurt of energy right after drinking the morning coffee.

Along with this, it activates the fight and flight mechanism in the body. Further, it contributes to increasing heart rate, racing thoughts, and excessive nervousness. In case you’re prone to anxiety or depression, then you must stay away from caffeine. Not only will it increase the frequency of panic attacks, but it also contributes to depressive episodes.

You are likely to face the withdrawal symptoms like headaches and restlessness in the initial decaf days. However, it gets better in the consecutive days and fetches the body’s salubrity as a whole.

Improves Sleep

Do you remember the exam days when you used to consume caffeine for the all-nighters? Excessive intake of caffeine might interfere with your sleep-wakeup cycle. Along with this, it alters the duration and the consistency of the sleep in the long run.

In case you experience difficulty falling asleep at night, it might be due to the coffee you gulp down all day long. Due to the stimulating effects, caffeine affects hormonal production and disturbs the neurotransmitter levels.

All you need to do is reduce your caffeine intake to induce a refreshing and consistent sleep cycle. Also, try to replace your morning beverages with healthy alternatives like lemon water or chamomile tea. That way, you get rid of the higher levels of alertness and experience a sense of comfort.

Aids Nutrient Absorption

Another reason to give up on your morning coffee is the nutritional benefits. Caffeine, as well as tannins present in coffee, might inhibit the absorption of certain nutrients.

Also, it leads to nutritional deficiencies and might cause health derangements in the long run. You can get all the nutrients from your diet with lesser consumption of caffeine. Some nutrients like Vitamin B, Calcium, and Iron are less likely to assimilate into the body with higher caffeine consumption.

Along with this, an imbalanced diet and increasing age add to the limitation and make you devoid of nutrients. It transforms into nutritional disorders and affects the physiological processes in the future. Hence, you must take good care of your diet and quit caffeine to make the most of the nutrients available in it.

Controls Raised Blood Pressure

More than 1.3 billion all over the globe suffer from cardiological ailments like hypertension. It leads to symptoms like tachycardia, headache, and visual disturbances that interfere with your daily life. With the consumption of coffee, you predispose your body to hypertensive states.

Research suggests that excessive consumption of coffee leads to raised blood pressure and other related conditions. It stimulates the central nervous system and increases blood pressure through the circulatory system. Along with this, caffeine is a potent vasoconstrictor and constricts the walls of your arteries.

In case you drink more than 3 to 5 cups per day, your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases increases two to three folds. Also, it takes a toll on your heart functions and might lead to heart derangements in the long run. You must reduce the caffeine intake to keep the cardiac ailments at bay.

Balances Brain Chemicals

Caffeine is one of the potent stimulants that alter brain chemistry in the long run. You are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms within 24 to 48 hours of decaffeination. Also, it leads to disturbing effects like frequent headaches, nausea, confusion, and heart palpitations.

Caffeine addiction comes under the list of addiction disorders, owing to the severe impact on the brain. Also, it acts on the brain and promotes the release of potent neurotransmitters like adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin.

Due to this, you experience a sense of comfort after drinking coffee and an energy-boost. Also, it binds with the adenosine receptors and makes us feel less exhausted. With excessive consumption of coffee, you might experience unusual alertness and insomnia-like states in no time.

Final Verdict

Most caffeine lovers can’t think of decaf days and depend upon coffee to start the day. However, caffeine might induce specific harmful effects on the body and interfere with brain chemistry. Along with this, it makes you quite alert and hinders with the sleep cycle of the body.

As a result, you experience insomnia-like states and excessive heart palpitations. It affects nutrient absorption and reduces the assimilation of certain nutrients like vitamins and calcium. Make sure to reduce your caffeine intake for a healthy and relaxing lifestyle.

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Food & Drink

Bring Italy to You with the Art of Aperitivo

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The pandemic may have shifted your travel plans, but if this year has taught us anything, it’s to learn how to adapt. With international travel looking unlikely for the foreseeable future, now’s the time to bring home the best cultural experiences from your favorite destinations and recreate them with your close friends and family, no boarding pass required.

Craving a taste of Italy? Take a break from this unsettling time and bring the beautiful Mediterranean sunshine to you with the art of the Italian aperitivo. As per the Italian tradition, aperitivo is the time of day to take a break to unwind with friends. This custom is present throughout the country; it’s a state of mind and an attitude which demonstrates gratitude for everything that makes life possible.

Here are three simple ways you can master the culture and art of aperitivo:

1: Give yourself some time to slow down

  1. The aperitivo represents the time of day when taking a break is most needed, so it’s of utmost importance to put yourself in a relaxed state of mind. Stop scrolling, sign out of Zoom, and connect with your socially distant bubble.

2: Recreate an Italian-inspired ambiance at home

  1. Aperitivo is always best enjoyed in the relaxed comfort of your own home. Treat your guests to an Italian-style spritz like Bella Amari on your patio during a sunny September afternoon. An effortlessly refreshing beverage, Bella Amari balances sweetness with bitterness and is available in three natural flavours: Blood Orange, Pomegranate Cherry and Limone.

3: Prepare a delicious charcuterie platter al fresco

  1. Italians consider it important to prepare the body for a meal by slowly waking up the appetite, hence the concept of a small snack beforehand. Charcuterie, mozzarella, bruschetta with fresh herbs (maybe from your quarantine patio garden), pickled olives, peppers and gourmet chips served with a spritz over ice can all enhance your aperitivo.

With seemingly so many moments, vacations, and celebrations on hold this year, it’s more important than ever to practice gratitude for the small joys in life, like spending time with your close loved ones, that likely would have been easy to take for granted in any other year. Salute!

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Food & Drink

Pandemic Puts Sustainability at the Top of the Shopping List for B.C. Residents

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Oroweat Organic releases new research revealing an increased desire to shop locally and eat sustainably following the outbreak of COVID-19

B.C. residents are prioritizing eating locally-sourced food and making more sustainable food decisions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a newly commissioned study by Oroweat Organic. The research shows that fears around food scarcity at the start of the pandemic have shed light on the importance of being more self-sufficient, in turn leading to a greater desire to support local food producers and adopt more sustainable eating habits.

The survey was commissioned by Oroweat Organic, sustainably baked bread produced locally in Langley, BC, to mark its launch in Western Canada. Results revealed that 85 percent of B.C. residents are more aware of the importance of supporting locally-sourced food as a result of the pandemic. Additionally, one in three residents are more likely to prioritize locally-sourced food, and notably, this stands true regardless of household income. When it comes to sustainability specifically, 75 percent of B.C. residents are more aware of the importance of eating sustainably and the environmental impacts of their food choices, as a result of the pandemic.

While survey results indicate that shoppers are putting more focus on sustainability, this year’s unique and unpredictable back-to-school season raises concern. Fifty-two percent of B.C. residents are worried about their ability to juggle their schedules in the ‘new normal’ this fall and 48 percent worry this will impact their renewed efforts to shop and eat sustainably.

This September, three varieties of Oroweat Organic hit shelves in Western Canada, making sustainable and healthy bread options simple and accessible for British Columbians. The brand is locally produced in B.C., using sustainable baking practices and certified organic ingredients.

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Food & Drink

Celebrate National Organic Week With the Launch of Coors Organic

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Did you know that tomorrow marks the beginning of National Organic Month (or even more widely celebrated, Organic Week (Sept 7-13)? To help celebrate this month, Coors has launched the latest addition to its line introducing: Coors Organic a new, organic beer that is brewed with one thing in mind – simplicity.

Coors Organic decided to offer a simple way to feel better about your choices for Canadians looking to integrate healthier alternatives into their day-to-day lifestyle but who feel overwhelmed by all of the options to choose from. Next time you are reaching for a beer, enjoy an organic option and feel good about the healthier choice you made.

Certified organic, 90 calories and 4g carbs (per/355mL), this light, refreshing organic lager is expertly brewed with minimal ingredients including organic hops, organic barley, and water.

Product:

  • Made with three simple ingredients: Organic hops, organic barley and water.
  • Certified Organic
  • 3.8% ABV
  • 90 calories, 4g carbs (per 355ml)

Taste:

  • Light and refreshing malt-forward taste with a crisp and clean finish.

Availability:

  • Coors Organic is available at BC Liquor Store and Independents.
    • Single can – $3.05
    • 12 x 355ml can – $27.50
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