My Top Five (captivating) Podcasts of 2018

top podcasts of 2018

Podcasts are a great source of information and entertainment. Some are life changing!! I play them in the car, on a hike, at the beach, while traveling, and when I cook. I also find listening to a good podcast before bed is great alternative to watching television since the flickering light of the TV can interfere with a sound sleep. Lucky for me, my husband is a podcast aficionado and passes along his favorites to me. Great podcasts stretch the mind and impart powerful ideas. So, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite podcasts of 2018.

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Homemade Vege Broth Fast

During the holidays, it’s pretty easy to increase your sugar intake with all the parties, cocktails, and extra chocolate. You may notice your clothes fitting tighter or heightened sugar cravings…hello Chestnut Praline Chai Latte!!! To keep my weight and sugar cravings in check, I’m fasting one day a week on homemade vege broth. At first I thought fasting a whole day would be unbearable, especially with all the sweet temptations around, but actually, it’s not that hard once you get over the mental hurdle of “wanting to eat”. In fact, it actually feels good.

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Kale Chip Anyone???

I love kale!!! I always keep two bunches in the fridge at ALL times (you’d think it was a fire extinguisher!!) Kale gets a bad rap because it can taste bitter and tough which is result of not being massaged to perfection. Once you know how to massage kale to tender glory – you will LOVE it. Aside from being a super-food, kale holds up to strong conditions (unlike other greens). For example, add it to soup, and it stays vibrant and green rather than turning into a sad sap, wilty mess the next day. Even dressed up kale salads hold their perk in the fridge. Turns out kale does well in the oven too. Have you tried kale chips? I mean who ever thought to roast leafy greens???

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Holiday Cranberry Sauce

easy cranberry sauce

When I was growing up, I only wanted canned cranberry sauce to accompany my mashed potatoes and stuffing. I loved watching it wiggle out of the can keeping the exact same shape. Who even knew it was fruit???? In my case, older IS wiser!! I’ve learned how much better it is to serve freshly made cranberry sauce on your holiday Thanksgiving or Christmas table!!!

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Avoid the Crowds in Venice, Italy

avoid crowds in venice

When my husband suggested we go to Venice, I hesitated. Venice is one of the most unique and beautiful cities in the world but during the last 15 year, it’s become a circus of tourists (an estimated 30 million a year to be exact). For this reason, I’ve avoided it. But, on route to the Dolomites in July, I snuck into Venice and managed to avoid the crush of visitors. I meandered through it’s narrow streets, walked along it’s romantic canals, crossed over it’s petite bridges, chatted with locals, and avoided the massive crowds. So, how did I enjoy Venice during the busiest month of the year??????

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Golden Milk – Yay or Meh???

vegan golden milk

So, what do you think of the Golden Milk trend?? Are you on board with sipping this hot Turmeric Ayurvedic drink or would you rather have a hot cocoa or pumpkin latte??? Since I’m a sucker for anything “healthy”, I had a bee in my bonnet to try making this at home. My Kind Organics Golden Milk powder was on sale, so I bought it out of curiosity and played with the recipe to customize a yummy, frothy GOLDEN YELLOW hot liquid beverage.

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Rich Decadent Blondies (Vegan and Gluten Free)

vegan gluten free blondies

If you are craving rich, decadent blondies that are vegan AND gluten free, these are them!!! I baked a batch of these “beauties” to see if they’d make a good hostess gift for a weekend visit to our dear friends in L.A. Not everyone drinks wine and I’ve given too many floral bouquets. But WHO can resist a box of home-baked treats? (I even went to Micheal’s craft store to buy a special box for them – presentation counts!!).

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Fall in Love with Cortona!!

beautiful cortona

It’s difficult to say what captures your heart when you visit a place, but you might just fall in love with Cortona. Cortona is an artsy hill town on the Tuscan/Umbrian border. Many hill towns have been overrun by tourism, but Cortona’s  year round residents maintain it’s authenticity. Francis Mayes put Cortona on the map with her book, Under the Tuscan Sun.  The story of a recently divorced woman whose spontaneous purchase and of a crumbling villa in Italy, restores and revives her own broken heart. Cortona is also a favorite destination of Jordan Schlansky, Conan O’Brian’s quirky producer and Italianfile. I spent 4 days in Cortona and it left a strong impression.

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Baba Ganoush- The Bean-Free Hummus Alternative

delicious baba ganoush dip

I don’t like eggplant. I admit it!!! It’s one of the only vegetables I struggle with. Eggplant can taste bitter, greasy, or cause digestive problems. Oddly enough, I’ve ALWAYS loved Baba Ganoush , a hummus-like Middle Eastern dip made with………eggplant.

Eggplant works perfectly in this dip, lending a smoky flavor and creamy texture. It’s neither bitter nor greasy and it’s easier to make than traditional chickpea hummus. Having reduced my intake of beans (to nearly nothing), this healthy Baba Ganoush dip has become my FAVORITE bean-free hummus alternative.

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