If you enjoy running, then entering a race, especially a half or full marathon, is a worthwhile endeavor. The discipline, the energy, the mind/body connection, and the accomplishment are all excellent rewards. I love to run causally but occasionally I enter races for the increased self-discipline, the joy of getting into shape, and the rush of being with other runners.
Do you ever get stuck when deciding what to serve your dinner guests? I do! Actually, I’m terrible at it. I fret and overthink it until I’m paralyzed. It’s a bad habit that can interfere with the joy of having company. This guest worthy French Lentil Soup will stop all that fruitless worry. It’s easy, delicious, healthy, and pretty enough to share with even your pickiest guests.
I’ve been engrossed in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic. In this enlightening book, she illustrates not only the importance of creativity but the idea that there is a touch of divinity or “magic” involved. Thus, it is critical for us to be receptive so when an idea or spark of genius comes flying towards us, we have an alluring vacancy sign attracting it.
Elizabeth is a beautiful writer whose sentences flow together like Tango dancers but she also understands and empathizes with the struggle of being creative. She recognizes the crushing perfectionism and self-doubt that hold us back. She’s been there herself and articulates it with heartfelt validation.
Picture yourself sitting at a primitive wooden table with your toes in the warm Mexican sand nibbling on tasty chips and roasted tomato salsa while sipping an icy cold Pacifico with a squeeze of fresh lime. The brightest blue ocean stretches out before you and festive Mariachi music plays on a small radio. Ahhhhh Mexico….a return to the simple pleasures.
I’m calling this an Everyday Kale Salad not because it’s ordinary but because you will WANT TO EAT IT EVERYDAY!! I recognize that not everyone loves kale the way I do – but this salad will change your mind. The thing you will love about kale is how HEARTY it is. It’s not “bird food” or fluffy like a butter lettuce salad. No, kale is strong and bold like Filet Mignon. It takes center stage as a complete meal that WILL satisfy your mind, body and spirit. Big shoes to fill?? Not for this green superhero.
Roasted Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite foods. Not only are they incredibly healthy but when they are cooked properly, they taste heavenly. In fact, a tray of these gems won’t last long – I gobble them up right out of the oven.
If you like adventure but also like the luxuries of indoor plumbing and hair dryers, then this is the trip for you! This past August, my husband and I hiked the Salkantay trail with REI. This stunning 43 mile (6 day) hike in the Peruvian Andes includes a 15, 200 ft. pass, dips down through the rain forest, and finishes at the legendary city of Machu Picchu. It’s one of REI’s highest rated trips and I can see why.
After completing the Tour De Mount Blanc with REI 2 years ago and loving it, we chose them again for this adventure. I wince at the rates, but in the end, you can’t put a price on an amazing experience. REI adventure travel is seamlessly organized and they hire the best local guides. Their active vacations are for anyone who wants an adventure with pampered accommodations.
This is a photo journey of my 5 day hike to Machu Picchu on the Salkantay trail.
(Above) llama love at Machu Picchu.
Cusco is a fun, energetic city that sits 11,200 ft. in the Peruvian Andes. It’s old world charm, hospitable locals, and delicious restaurants attract a variety of visitors. Budget conscious backpackers stay at inexpensive youth hostels while older folk opt for boutique hotels and fine restaurants. Even though meat dishes such as lomo saltado (beef stir fry) or guinea pig (cuy) are traditional cuisine, Cusco is one of the most vegan friendly places I’ve ever been to.
Traveling as a vegan is not always easy but I was excited to find so many restaurants with vegan friendly options labeled clearly on their menu. My Green Point Vegan Restaurant is 100% vegan and has excellent, organic cuisine. I found the food in Cusco to be light and healthy. They have a variety of beautiful produce.
A few weeks ago my husband was feeling run down and unwell. He complained of a sore throat and felt a cold might be coming on. I wanted to make him a healing soup. It had to be something warm that contained a ton of ginger and turmeric. Since he loves the coconut soup at our local Vietnamese restaurant, I had the idea for trying to recreate it using coconut oil, ginger, shiitake mushrooms and spices.