July 2016 | Tanvii.com - Indian Fashion, Lifestyle and Travel Blog

Weekday Lunch Date at Cava Mezze

As you know we are a big fan of lunch dates. And our dates are not restricted to weekends, we are notorious about heading out for lunch in the middle of a working week. It has been a case with us for years. 

One of my favorite places for lunch (especially a working lunch) is Cava Mezze. The first time I had been to one of their location was over a year ago, when we were new to the DMV area. I had heard so much about them on social media that I was skeptical whether it would live up to its hype. 

As it turns out, I had no reason to worry. Not only did it live up to the hype, it went above and beyond. And now it's been almost two years and I am eating there every few weeks. 

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Their option for Mezze Mania is fantabulous. 
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Crazy Feta is a popular choice and for good reason!
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I cannot, NOT, order Tzatziki at a Mediterranean restaurant
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While I prefer their Zucchini Fritters more, Falafel are my next favorite.
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Brussels Sprouts are my personal favorite! 
Just writing this post, I am salivating. Don't be surprised if I you find me there this afternoon. Also, to add to the quality of food, their service is attentive, courteous and prompt. 

If it was not a weekday I would have definitely ordered a dessert, but that only means that I need to go back and have it soon. 

Check out more on their website

Three Ways Thursday - Blue Skirt

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You know when you purchase an item on sale and it becomes your most favorite piece of clothing? This skirt is that item! I got it about a year and a half back from Piperlime (right before it shut down it's doors) and I have worn it so many times since then. Four time on the blog already (recent). Cobalt blue is one of my favorite shades of blue and I personally feel it is so versatile too. It can be paired with neutrals as well as most bright colors alike. Looking forward to styling it at least a hundred times more. 


Morning Face Routine with Nourish Organic

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I had received skin care products from Nourish Organic about six weeks back. usually I am vary to trying a new line which I haven't heard of but after learning more about the brands my doubts disappeared. Nourish Organic based out of Beaver Falls, PA, and they create cruelty-free, eco-friendly skin products that are completely natural and organic. It is the first company to be USDA-certified to develop products which are nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables and plant extracts. Al their products are 100% natural, food-grade and GMO-Free!

Not only that but they are also a socially responsible company that works closely with charities like The Women's Center, Rescue Mission, Meals on Wheels, and the Salvation Army. They support local schools and donate surplus materials and products to World Vision. Their commitment to responsible production matched with top-notch quality of their products, makes them a force to reckon with. After over a month of using ONLY Nourish Organic facial products, I can honestly say I couldn't be happier. P.S. Don't forget to scroll down and check out the video of my morning face routine.

1. Face Cleanser: This is hands down my favorite face cleanser to date. In the beginning I was not sure about the product as it is fragrance-free and that has a 'smell' of it own but once I got past that and started using it daily, I couldn't be happier. Your face not only feels clean but also moisturized after the wash. 

2. Face Toner: I usually use rose water as toner. I was ecstatic that their toner had rose water plus witch hazel both. This works just as good as the rose water. It removes impurities and balances the skin pH level. It leaves the skin refreshed. I use it twice, once in the morning and once in the evening before applying any other products.

3. Eye Treatment: I have used a fair share of eye creams in the last decade. This is above average. It's applicator is it's highlight as it gives a cooling sensation but the treatment itself is light (in application). If you require deep moisturizing in the eye area then this is not for you, but personally it worked well for my morning routine, where I prefer light eye creams. 

Argan Face Serum: After the cleaner, this is my second favorite product from Nourish Organic. It contains moroccan argan oil, apricot kernel oil and rosehip oil to smooth, replenish and soften the skin. I specifically like the packaging, as you only require one pump for the whole face and it hydrates the shizz out of it. It is extremely hydrating which might require a few extra seconds of massage on the face.

5. Face Lotion: This is a perfect lightweight moisturizer which smells divine (hello rose water!) and absorbs quickly.  It contains moroccan argan oil, rosewater and shea butter. It evens out the skin tone, and improves texture.

I am so excited, after a long time, to have reviewed a product line which actually works and I absolutely love. These are the products I have incorporated in my day time routine and I highly recommend them. 

My skin typesensitive, and oily. I scar easily. I have big pores which I need to keep clean and unclogged. Easily prone to acne and inflammation. 

One of the most requested posts in the past months has been on my daily beauty/face skin care regime. While I had posted about it last summer, this year I have included the make-up products to the mix as well. Check out the video below and let me know what you think. 


How to accessorize with jewelry?

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Accessorizing an outfit is not as intimidating as it might seem. All it takes is practice and a little planning. If you are not sure then start with one body part at a time - earrings or necklace and bangles or rings. 

However, if you feel completely lost, then this might help you get started as today I am sharing some of the basics I try and follow while accessorizing an outfit: 

1. What color is your outfit? If, 

  • Neutral - add dash of color
  • Monochromatic - use metallics
  • All Black or All White - could mix and match colors and patterns
  • Colorful - go for neutrals

2. What style are you sporting today? If, 

  • Professional - depends on your work place but statement pieces work well. 
  • Girly - could mix colors, play with patterns, use scarfs, headbands, etc. 
  • Night out - bling & statement pieces
  • Bohemian - an opportunity to wear everything exotic & eclectic

3. What is the neckline of your top/dress? 

This would help you determine what you wear on your neck. If you are ...
  • wearing a v-neck blouse or top then a pendant would look great with the look.
  • wearing a round neck then a statement collar necklace or a long beaded string would look good too
  • willing to experiment and/or have already mastered the art of basic accessorizing then you can have a go at stacking different lengths of pendant and necklaces to make a statement

When it comes to bangles/bracelets and rings, I match them either to the necklace I am wearing or to the colors of the outfit. Sometime it can also be fun to mix-random-colors and patterns and stack them up. You can also read, an article I found interesting on 6 rules of accessorizing. I hope I have encouraged convinced you to give accessorizing a shot. Haven't I? ;)


People I met on a plane

Update: Please read the post with a dash of humor. Thanks! :)

Recently, I was traveling on a long-haul flight and didn't sleep because I was managing my time in order to beat the jet-lag when I reached my destination. Now people watching is my favorite activity and this flight was filled with some annoying interesting characters. Here are a few people whom I met (observed) on the plane:

- Lady who went to touch her make up every two hours on a 13 hour flight. She seemed to be traveling by herself. I am not sure for whom or why she was re-touching her make-up over and over again, on a 13 hour flight?

- A couple who went to the rest room together. They didn't go inside together, but they came all the way up till the lavatories, even if only one of them needed to use the loo. I wonder why?

- A condescending flight attendant who treated me like this was my first flight and he was doing me a favor by doing his job.

- Old ladies who kept asking me to straighten my seat. Lady I feel your pain and I know it's uncomfortable but I can't spend the whole flight (13 hour long flight!!!) sitting up straight. 

This weekend has been hot and humid. We spent the afternoons at home being couch potatoes and sipping sparkling water. 
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Dress - Lucky Brand // Same


Life Lately

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I have been trying to read a book per week lately. The work load has been high and finding time to read is starting to get challenging so my new routine is to read a chapter or two of whatever book I am on right before bed time. On Sunday I finally finished reading The 5 Love Languages (reviewed it here) and now I have opted for a fiction after a month or so (this). 

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Monday evening I was invited to a salon opening - Shobha! I had the pleasure to meet Shobha in-person and learn about her vision for the brand. I had previously visited their locations in NYC and DC. I am excited that the new location is in Maryland at Rockville Pike (1800 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852)

Ever since I have moved from Texas, finding clean, professional and hygienic hair removal service has been a struggle. If you are on Snapchat you already saw my hand-waxing experience. My experience at Shobha was exemplary. I am impressed by their attention to detail and customer service. I am definitely going back there for my monthly waxing needs aka #HairlessHappiness. 


Tuesday was a standard work-from-home day. I had posts to complete, emails to reply, trips to plans and the usual. While doing it all I watched The Namesake in the background (on HBO). The first time I had seen the movie about a decade back in India and this time I saw it as am immigrant, and boy! the feelings were real. Have you seen the movie? or read the book


Wednesday morning I went to my first DayBreaker Party. Again, if you are on Snapchat you already saw some of the action, but if missed it press play above. DayBreaker is a pre-workout dance party where the DJ spins your favorite tunes and you dance your heart out like you would at a club, except this is in the morning and in stead of alcohol you sip fresh juices and iced-coffee (if you like): My kinda-party. Click here and see if they are in your city as well.


We finished Game of Thrones till Season 4. Finale for Season Six had aired on June 26th and in less than a month, husband and I, have watched Season 1 to 4 all over again. It has been such an experience. We had forgotten so many small incidents, characters and story lines. In the beginning I had a hard time even registering the names of the characters and now five years later it is hard to remember every single death and marriage. We are so glad we watched it the second time around. We are truly able to appreciate the show 10-folds more. P.S. It is quite like watching Mahabharat. Each time to watch it, you get something more out of it. 

How has your week been?

If you like such content, then you would love Snapchat (username: tanviidotcom). That's where I share most of my daily happenings, events and behind-the-scenes. 

Burn Fat & Curb Your Appetite

If you are a regular here then you know I workout hard. However, in spite of all my efforts there have been areas that I have struggled to tone down. Partially because I have a sweet tooth and I like carbs, and partially because of my body composition. If 'live' my life then I have to bare the consequences, and if I stay 100% clean (food wise), life seems not-worth-living. So you catch my drift?

Two months ago I incorporated Apple Cider Vinegar to my morning routine (which with all the moisturizing and anti-aging routine and workout and breakfast is already quite extensive). First thing I told myself when I started this was to be patient and that there will be no miracles. And there haven't been any. What they say about, "all good things take time!' happens to be true by my experience. 

Below, in the video, you can checkout how I prepare my drink. If you are not a cayenne person, you can switch it with honey which would make it sweet. I prefer cayenne as I like things hot and spicy, also because it helps subsiding post-workout cramps and curb (unnecessary) appetite. 

As for Apple Cider Vinegar, you must ensure it is organic and "with mother" mentioned on the bottle. The most popular and reliable one is from Bragg (shop here) but you can get any as long as it is organic. Other benefits include: 
  1. significant decline in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference, and triglycerides (when regularly consumed for three months or more)
  2. improves heart health (The vinegar contains malic acid which clears clogged arteries, lymph nodes, and organ tissues)
  3. helps eliminate acne, warts, and many other skin blemishes and discolorations (when applied directly to skin)
  4. treats heartburn
  5. improves sleep quality
  6. is a home remedy for insomnia
  7. improves energy levels
  8. helps with digestion
  9. strengthens the immune system

What else could you ask a single ingredient to do? Right? Hit play below and find out the magic. 

Hope you enjoy this video. Do leave me your feedback in the comments below or on the YouTube video itself.


My Favorite Thing About Blogging

After so many years, I am still excited about blogging. I still enjoy taking pictures, editing them, putting a post out there. That is the only reason I still do it. 

I have been asked numerous time, what I love the most about blogging and the answer to that question is 'the people I meet through this medium'. I have found my tribe via blogging. I have found the people who cheer me on, the people who speak my (creative) language, the people who see the world (some what) like I do and want to share their thoughts and opinions uninhibitedly. 

I can honestly say that my life would be complete different today if I hadn't started this blog back in 2009 (first post!). Everything I do today (or have done in the last seven years) has been a bi-product of blogging. All my close friends (post school/college) and or people I interact with on daily basis, are creatives I met through blogging. For example, last weekend I did an outfit shoot with Lauren in Alexandria. This was a first time I was collaborating with a photographer for an outfit shoot. And boy! was it fun. Usually either my husband or a tripod takes my pictures, but this was different. Lauren was so encouraging, supportive and willing to take as many shots, from various angles and different locations. She didn't just want to get done with it, she was enjoying it as much as (if not more!) I do. I felt a creative connection with her instantly. I had a hard time picking just a few shots for the post. I wanted to post all 70 of them. Ha! Needless to say I LOVE the end result, and I hope you do too. 

Photography by Lauren Empson
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Dress - UO // Similar
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Shoes - Adidas // Same
Bag - Lo & Sons // Similar
Pendant - Anthropologie // Same
Sunglasses - 3.1 Phillip Lim // Similar


How to keep the weight off once you have lost it?

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Nothing happens until something moves - Albert Einstein

I have been slacking for the past few weeks, but it is time to get back to my usual life. Below are some of my tips on how to keep the weight off. And no it is not easy. It never gets easy. You just learn to enjoy the workouts. 
  1. Eat everything but in small portions. I do not deprive myself of anything. History has taught me that if I do, I only end up binge eating at one or the other point 
  2. Restrict Alcohol. I never drink more than may be once a month and never over 2 drinks! Although I have not had alcohol for past seven months. I don't crave it, so why have the calories, right? 
  3. Help of my partner. Me and Dr. Fab workout together (whenever we can). This way when one of us is losing our path of sanity the other one intervenes. 
  4. Keep challenging myself. I like every form of workout. Indoors/Outdoors. Yoga/Kickboxing. Cardio/Strength. It helps me stay motivated and interested 
  5. Support Groups. I have formed my own circle of support. I am in touch with ALL my personal trainers. It kinda feels like I have to always prove myself to them [Just like how we still want to prove to our school teachers that we are still good students?!?] 
  6. Cook it! I try and cook my food at least 5 days of the week. I avoid eating processed and outside food as much as possible. [Holidays and vacations don't count :P] 
  7. Public Humiliation. With this blog and pictures and my inability to shut up! I have dug a grave for myself. I cannot lose face in front of everyone by becoming fat and unhealthy now, can I? 
  8. Love my clothes. I do not have the heart to throw/give away so many clothes. I cannot be fat or change in size 'coz if I do what will happen to all my amazing clothes? I workout so that my clothes have a roof over their head. 
  9. Love Myself. I do! I do not like being sick, or weak or even bloated. I like feeling strong and having the mental and physical strength to over come any obstacle. 
  10. My Life. Over time working out and eating healthy is no more 'a part of my life'. Having a good lifestyle is 'my whole life'. And I like it like that. [To each their own, right?!]

Featured In Bethesda Magazine

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 featured in the July-August issue of the Bethesda Magazine 
When Jenn, their features writer contacted me for an interview regarding my travels, I couldn't rely back fast enough! I have actively been incorporating travel as much as fashion on these pages. Finally, I was being asked to share my tips about travel and not just fashion. Don't get me wrong, fashion is great but travel is life! 

P.S. You might remember I was at the mall here (15:00 mark) getting make up done and then going through the day with wardrobe changes. It was for THIS magazine shoot. 

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Products I Managed To Finish In The Past Year

I had seen an "empties" video sometime last year, for the first time. I remember thinking, "Wow, that's interesting!" It would have never striked me to save my empty bottles to review them post-use. So I started saving them all. I found that to be quite a difficult task, as my reflex reaction is to throw them right away. I think 10 out the 18 products mentioned, I had to pick out of the trash, as I realized a second later that I needed them for this video. It took me about six to eight months to collect these many products. Clearly, I don't get through very many bottles. Hit play below and find out my "empties". 

The products mentioned in the video: 
1) Bath Gel & Body Lotion - Target
2) Firming Balm -  Dr. Grandel
3) Almond Oil 
4) Jojoba Oil  
5) Hair Mask 
8) Face Oil 
10) Eye Cream 

Hope you enjoy this video. Do leave me your feedback in the comments below or on the YouTube video itself. 

Seven Step Nail Care Regimen

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SallyStrong #CollectiveBias
I had been quite diligent about self care since my teenage year. I am quite certain I have mentioned this before here, but I will repeat myself - Back in college I spent at least 40 minutes post shower, applying body lotion, foot creme, hand creme, nail cream, moisturizer and sun screen. While my make up regimen was non-existent back then but everything else was on point. However, as I have grown older, I have gotten lazier. Its only when I start to see some cracks (metaphorically) that I get back to my sense and start taking care. 

Since about a year or so, my nails have been quite brittle and cracking easily, in spite of a good regimen and monthly manicures. That's when I decided to add more steps to my nail care.

STEP 1 - Try and keep your nails (and hands) clean. Take a small brush (or toothbrush) apply some soap to it and scrub your nails daily. This will not only clean but also exfoliate any dead skin.  

STEP 2 - Trim them regularly. While till my late 20s I did keep my length medium-to-long, however in the last five years I have mostly kept them short and square. They, look neater, are easier to manage and do not break.

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STEP 3 - Use base coat before applying nail paint. I started using Sally Hansen Complete Care 7-in-1 Nail Treatment and it helped restore my dry and brittle nails into a much visibly healthier looking and beautiful nails within three days.

STEP 4 - Use top coat after applying nail paint. Do not skip on this step, as it helps seal in your color. And another reason why Sally Hansen Complete Care 7-in-1 Nail Treatment is so great, is because it is all-in-one Base Coat, Top Coat, Growth Treatment, Strengthener, Ridge-Filler, Brightener, and Ultra-Moisturizing Nail Treatment.

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STEP 5 - Give your nails a break! Every now and then I give my nails time to rest and repair with a clear gloss. Experts warn that without giving your nails a break can dry them out, turn them yellow, and over time, even weaken the structure of the nail.

STEP 6 - Moisturize! It is not enough to moisturize your hands. You must keep your cuticles hydrated as well. Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail & Cuticle Oil has been a a great tool in softening my cuticles and restoring my brittle nails. Massage in to help increase circulation to the nail bed and stimulate new nail growth.

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STEP 7 - Diet! Last but not the least, every starts with your food. Just like rest of the body, healthy nails too require a healthy diet. Increase the intake of protein rich foods like beans, lentils and nuts. Also consider adding vitamins and supplements like biotin, Vitamin E, and fish oil to your daily regimen.

PLEASE NOTE: I do not use acrylic nails or apply gel treatments because no matter what anyone tells you, they are hard on your nails. 

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If you too are looking to restore your nails back to health and strength check out these two Sally Hansen products at your closest Target. 
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The Change I Am Scared Of

... 'change' has been on my mind lately. It is difficult to change, right? That's what we are told and that's what we believe even before we have had a chance to think about change ourselves. But aren't we changing every minute of every day? It is of course involuntary change. It is happening, without our conscious decision. But I am talking about the change, I had mentioned last Monday. The change that requires us to question ourselves and adapt to our new learnings or surrounding. 

Personally I find it easier to change myself, once I have found a fault in my thoughts or actions. If I know my ways are wrong or incorrect, I change in a heartbeat. All it takes is making that decision in my active part of the brain. I have mastered the art of accepting most forms of external and physical changes. 

The change I am scared of is the one which I am not prepared for, or the one which will cause me inconvenience beyond my tolerance. The change which might cause emotional turmoil. The change which changes me and forces me to become a new version of me. That's the change I resist sometimes. Sometimes I like the 'current' me and don't want to hit download on the next version of myself. 

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DITTO: sunglasses subscription service, where you can pick any designer sunglasses for $24/month only. Use the code: TANVII to receive first month free.
Shirt - Equipment // Options
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Footwear - Kenneth Cole // Similar
Bag - Lo & Sons // Options


Be Great Out There

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This post was sponsored by Nature Valley as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
In the last couple of years, one of the most important things I have learnt in life is to compliment people on everything that I appreciate and/or find admirable in them. That, not only makes someone else's day but also makes me feel good. It is like my positive deed of the day. Hence, when I heard about the #BeGreatOutThere campaign by Nature Valley, I knew I had to share that message with my readers as well as my friends and family.

I spend majority of my day online, a pre-requisite of my work and life but that had driven me to make an extra effort connect with people in real life. Whether it is by a simple text, tweet or call, I try and reach out to my friends and  family constantly. The power of positive thinking and words is magical. One can not imagine what it might mean to someone who is having a bad day. I message my parents daily to let them know I love them, I message my brother weekly to let him know I am there for him, I message my friends often to let them know I care and I miss them. I message my husband daily, to let him know I love him! We all could use a little (more!) love, appreciation, and kindness, every now and then.

I had not been a person who gave many compliments, but I have consciously tried and changed that about myself in the last couple of years. Even when I feel I might sound ridiculous, I choose to with my gut feeling and tell strangers how fabulous they are, or how gorgeous they look, or how I admire them for who they are! 

If you too would like to show your support to your friends and family you can join in the initiative to #BeGreatOutThere too (and download the Nature Valley coupon to save on your next purchase!)

Three Ways Thursday - White Button-down

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This shirt has been in my wardrobe for over 5 years, and thats after husband handed it down to me. It is in perfect condition and the cotton is just so soft that you can practically live in it 24/7. I usually wear it with denims and have styled it with each pair that I own. Time to experiment it with dresses ... and may be short? How do you wear your white shirts? 


Summer Salads Galore

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  1. Mega Chickpea Salad - Lately, I have been having salads for dinner. Now I know how depressing that might sound, but this salad is anything but sad. Hence, the name Mega Chickpea Salad! It is a flavorsome mix of fruits and vegetables with a dash of lemon juice. You have to really try it, to believe me. 
  2. Summer Salad - Another wholesome salads with generous serving nuts (cranberries, almonds, etc.). It tastes fresh and filling. What else you can expect from a salad. Ha!
  3. Watermelon and Feta Cheese Salad - This has to be my favorite salad of all times. Considering summer is almost over, that just leaves us with last few weeks to enjoy this juicy salad. P.S. Go light on the cheese!
  4. White House Salad - This is an easy 'no brainer salad'. 9 out of 10 times all these ingredients are available in my kitchen. Toss them together for a tasty and filling salad. P.S. I usually skip or use very little oil.  
  5. Mixed Berry Salad - I tried this salad for the first time this summer and I am in LOVE. I specifically like the mix of berries and goat cheese. 
  6. Cous Cous, Quinoa and Veggie Salad - This has practically been my go to salad for the last 5 years. I am past that age when I could eat leaves and be full. I need a good portion of healthy grains to keep me going the whole day. And this does the job. 
  7. Shredded Spinach Salad - I came up with this salad few years back with whatever I could find in my kitchen that day. It has been a hit with my readers ever since. Try it, if you haven't already.
  8. Mozzarella and Grilled Pepper Salad - If you like bell peppers, you are going to love this salad. It is filling and easy to prepare.
  9. Mango and Avocado Salad - I might be a tad-bit late in informing you of this recipe as the mango season is almost over. But you can always save if for next year or if you can get your hands on a few still then try is right away.
Hit play below to see some of the healthy recipes from my kitchen! 
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