May 192015
 

Life is like a box of chocolates – full of nuts! 😛 They’re also similar in that we never know what we’re going to get. Life gave me a tax refund this year so I decided to put the money to good use and invest it in chocolate. I believe the cocoa industry will continue to grow and I don’t want to miss out on all the potential gains. 🙂

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Produced from the tropical cacao tree people have been cultivating cocoa for at least 3,000 years. It’s one of the oldest, sustainable food we know of. Dating back to circa 1,100 BC the Aztecs were the first to use it by making cocoa into a beverage. Over time cocoa products have become an important part of the world’s social fabric. 😉

The Global Cocoa Market 🍫

Generations of confectionery marketing experts worked hard to integrate chocolate into as many parts of our lives as possible. We eat chocolate at weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and many other events. It’s also customary to buy chocolate on Valentines, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and other holidays. It can be a part of breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, appetizers, and desserts. Globally about $100 billion worth of chocolate is eaten every year. It has even made it into the hospitality industry, especially in fancy hotels and restaurants where guests are offered complimentary chocolate.

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Apr 082013
 

With the cost of food going up each year it’s becoming harder these days to eat healthy on a budget. Well here’s something nutritious and easy to make that can serve a small group of friends and doesn’t cost a lot of money :0) A guacamole dip can be eaten any time and is vegetarian friendly 🙂 All you need are some onions, tomato, and of course avocado. You’ll also need something to dip with. In my case I’ll be using a regular baked bun. You can also bake your own rolls, or use whatever kind of chips you like.

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There’s no specific formula or need for a measuring cup. I’m using 1 avo and 1 tomato. But some people like to use 2 avos to a tomato, it’s up to your personal taste.

Instructions:
1) Slice and toast the bread in the oven for 5 to 10 min
2) Meanwhile, pit and peel the avocado and chop up everything else
3) Mash all the dip ingredients together with a fork, eh Voila, bon appétit (^◇^)

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A simple healthy snack that only costs a couple dollars if you know where to shop for the ingredients and can be prepared in under 10 minutes. Just add salt and pepper to taste and serve 🙂

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Random Useless Fact: There are more monkeys living in India (50 million) than people living in Canada (35 million)

Aug 132012
 

A new study by experts reveals that only 1/3rd of Canadians will admit to being overweight, despite national statistics suggesting the real proportion of people overweight is approaching 2/3rds.  Speaking in general terms, maybe we’re just too afraid or embarrassed to admit how we really feel about ourselves. A professor at the University of Calgary said that “we collectively as a nation don’t tell the truth on our driver’s license. We’re two inches taller and five pounds lighter.

image credit: funny-addictive-blog.tumblr.com/

But denial isn’t just a river in Africa. It’s time we faced reality. This will become a big social and economic problem down the road if we don’t do something about it now. I strongly believe that self motivation is more effective than any government program. So instead of lobbying for more public awareness, education, or medical funding, I say we take this matter into our own hands.

Here is one way you or your friends can live a healthier lifestyle. A CMA study suggests that for households making less than $30,000 a year, only 39% reported to have very good or excellent health. But for those making more than $60,000 a year, the reported number is 68%!  The lesson here is obvious. Wealthy is healthy. You can increase the quality of your health just by making more money. Canadian doctors agree. And best of all, it’s free \(^_^)/

There you have it! One more reason to become financially stable. You can potentially live longer and decrease your chances of diabetes and other illnesses just by making more than $60,000 a year. There are many ways to do that. Here’s one example from personal experience. Work diligently and live modestly, and put any savings towards dividend growth stocks. Over time as your wages and dividends grow, you should eventually reach a combined income of $60,000. You may take on a second job to speed up the process . It may take 5 or 10 years, but it’s not impossible. Think about all the good it will do for your health, according to medical experts anyway ( ̄ー ̄)

Of course nothing beats the old fashioned way to a healthier lifestyle. From now on I’ll try to eat more whole foods, and less junk/fast foods. Watch my meal portions. Drink lots of water. Watch my caloric intake and go get me some exercise (^◇^)Feel free to join me!

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Random Useless Fact: The word count for this post, without the title, is exactly “404”

Jan 122012
 

The provincial government is giving us the opportunity to balance its budget. This is normally the responsibility of the finance minister but now we can voice our opinions as well.
What a great idea. Unfortunately what I really want to see are the live results of everyone’s inputs because it’s not like they don’t have that data already. Maybe they’ll post it up later with the final numbers but I doubt it. Governments are not known to be transparent.

Even if you don’t submit your ideas you can learn how we’re being taxed, and where those tax dollars are being used on. I’m surprised how much of the pie health and education take up. Health supports the old, and education supports the young, no wonder the working age people are getting taxed so much. Perhaps we should look at alternatives to health and education in Canada. Right now it seems like the waiting list for just about anything is too long. Other developed nations like Switzerland for example, has a 2 tiered health care program so people can either wait for a long time to have an operation, or pay money for quicker treatment. I work at a post-secondary private school. Our students have higher rates of employment than traditional universities, despite students paying the same amount of tuition to graduate. More solutions like these will take the stress off our public system and boost the economy by creating supply where there is actually demand. But what’s good for the economy doesn’t necessarily benefit everyone. I doubt current health and education workers want to lose their jobs. I hope we can find a happy medium to balance the books. In the meantime, save, invest, and continue to take control of your own money.