How to Get U.S.-only iPhone Apps with Hotspot Shield

hotspot shield logo With a few easy steps that take only minutes to complete, iPhone users the world round can get access to some (but not all) of the iPhone Apps that are only available in the U.S.. I’m surprised it took me so long to try this.  I just used it to d0wnload the Lose It! which was previously not available to me in Canada.

[Note: Rogers is somehow still blocking Pandora and Skype even when I removed the SIM  card. Grrr! Here’s a Skype iPhone App workaround for Canadians – I haven’t tried it yet.]

configuring a vpn on the iphone with hotspot shield Setup is a breeze. It took me about two minutes. You essentially set up a VPN connection to the U.S. through the HotSpot Shield servers. This, of course, would also be useful for safe surfing at coffee shops and other wifi locations.

Once you have set up your account, configured and activated the VPN (see instructions below), navigate to the App Store on your iPhone. Search for the app you want and (if its there) download it. It’s that simple.

Survives Desktop Sync

I was concerned that if I downloaded apps this way, they would be wiped out after I synced my iPhone with iTunes to my desktop. Not so. The sync went fine and the apps remained on the iPhone.

No Need to Keep VPN Turned On

You only need to activate the VPN to download the app. Once downloaded, you can use the app with the VPN shut off.

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Canadians Losing It! iPhone Apps Segregated by Jurisdiction

lose it! iphone app The bloom has just been taken off my iPhone rose somewhat. Prior to today I thought all iPhone Apps were available in all jurisdictions. Turns out that is not the case.

[June 25, 2009 Update: I was able to download Lose It! using Hotspot Shield on the iPhone. See my post: “How to Use Hotspot Shield to Get U.S.-only iPhone Apps” for details.]

As a Canadian long suffering the woes of countless U.S. web-based and other consumer applications, products and services not being available here, I had been extraordinarily happy with the understanding that iPhone apps would not be blocked by national borders.

After hearing so many comments on how terrific the ‘Lose It!’ iPhone App was, I decided to try it out today. When I tried to access it I got this error message:

iTunes error message - your request could not be completed. The item you've requested is not currently available in the Canadian Store. 

Sad, very sad!

Sautéed Squash in a Wok

sauteed squash with a wok Wow! I knocked my own socks off with this one. Following my chilled cucumber salad dish, next on my Michi’s Ladder list was squash – a vegetable I’ve never liked in the past.

I found this sautéed squash recipe on the curiously ravenous blog. I adapted it for the ingredients I had at hand and cooked it up.  (click thumbnail on the left for a bigger picture of the result)

acorn squashPeeling and cutting up the acorn squash was the toughest part. Once that was done it took me 10 minutes cook this delicious dish.


  • one acorn squash
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 packet OXO chicken broth packet(10 calories) – or vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • extra light olive oil, for frying

I think next time I might add some chopped onions and add only half a packet of OXO chicken broth – or stir-fry with real chicken pieces.

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Chilled Cucumber Salad

cucumber salad long cucumber

Easy to make, light and tasty.


  • 2 cups thinly-sliced chilled cucumbers (I use one long and skinny cucumber)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup thinly-sliced fresh onions (50% ratio to cucumbers)
  • 1/4 cup dill pickle juice (or 1/4 cup vinegar)
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (or a 1 packet of sugar substitute)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • cherry tomatoes to taste (optional)

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Wokking Up Michi’s Ladder

As part of my commitment to healthy eating, I’ve embarked on two new, and related, pursuits:

  1. wokCooking with a Teflon Wok: Until recently I didn’t cook at all. It struck me that cooking with a wok might be easy and fun.  Last Christmas I purchased a Teflon wok for use on the stove-top. I’ve used it almost every day since. It’s turned out to be fun, easy and quick to clean.
  2. michi's ladderEating From Michi’s Ladder: As part of my P90X training, I was introduced Michi’s Ladder. The ladder consists of 5 tiers of foods. The goal is to eat as much from the top two tiers and as little from the bottom tiers as possible.

In the last few months I’ve eaten, and enjoyed, more vegetable dishes than I have in the last decade.

Going forward I’m looking for and experimenting with tasty, easy to wok recipes for the food listed in the top two tiers of Michi’s Ladder.

I’ll kick things off with my latest recipes for a chilled cucumber salad and my sautéed squash in a wok.

Weight-loss Diet Tips for the Single Geek

Dales Biceps

In December 2006 I decided (for the final time) to get fit and stay fit. For the prior decade my weight had yoyo’d within a 30 pound range.

In order to loose weight and keep it off forever I personally committed to making two fundamentally integrated life-long changes:

  1. Regular Workouts: I needed to first loose 40 pounds (to get to my goal weight) and thereafter maintain and and improve upon the weight loss and fitness with a lifetime of fun and sustainable physical activity.
    (Note: I reached the weight goal in 90 days with P90X)
  2. Healthy Eating: I needed to find ways that worked for me (the single geek) to match my initial weight loosing workout regime and then, for the first time in my adult life, to consistently eat right, and enjoy it, for the rest of my life.

For me, the far harder of the two was, and remains, healthy eating. This post summarizes the calorie reduced eating strategies that worked for me as I lost those first forty pounds.

Note: I will cover some of my ongoing healthy eating ideas in future posts.

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