My neighbor Ann is amazing! Despite being in her 80’s (and still working part-time as a lawyer) she’s my entertainment guru. Whether she’s throwing a holiday gala, decadent dinner party, or casual drop-by of wine and nibbles she entertains with grace, charm and elegance. She always sets a beautiful table and serves wonderful food making her fêtes very memorable. At her last dinner party, she served this stunning gem lettuce salad to the oohs and ahhs of all her guests. Not only was this salad well received but not a leaf of lettuce was left. Now, I’m sharing this beautiful salad here.
If you love the texture and taste of milkshakes than you will love this healthy, vegan Cinnamon Chai Froth. It’s my latest addiction. This light foamy beverage combines sweet coconut water, vanilla almond milk and frozen banana with a ton of cinnamon and other warming spices like cardamom and cayenne. Plus, I snuck in a few hemp seeds for protein and Brewer’s yeast for Vitamin B. It’s the perfect Fall drink when you’re tired of Pumpkin lattes.
As it turns out, cauliflower isn’t always the vegetable on people’s minds. In fact, this humble superfood often goes completely unnoticed. Seriously, when was the last time you ate cauliflower? If you can’t recall, you are not alone. It’s easy to overlook this white Brassica but it ranks among the top 20 foods according to the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index score (source). I am certain this cauliflower detox salad will surprise you. It’s fresh, tangy and delicious, you’ll hardly notice that you’re eating cauliflower!!
The first time I tried fresh coconut water I thought it tasted like dirty socks. It was back in 1994 before coconut water became popular in the US. I’d just arrived in Costa Rica where carts of fresh young coconuts or “Pipas” were being sold for 25 cents each. My friend handed me this giant green bowl with a straw popping out of the top that had been hacked off with a machete. The bowl was brimming with a golden liquid which to me tasted “off”.
My friend insisted that I hydrate my body after the flight and she rattled on about how healthy this vitamin rich elixir was. Her enthusiasm was catchy but she sold me on the prospect that these unruly nuts prevent aging and weight gain. Pretty soon, I was drinking one a day and loving how great I felt.
Coconut water is incredibly hydrating and your body will love how nutrient dense it is. The flavor quickly grew on me and honestly – who wouldn’t drink the fountain of youth for that price????
I’ve been exercising a lot lately. I like to work out extra hard in the summer because it’s light out early and I tend to have more energy in general. My routine this summer is to get up around 5, lollygag in bed for 15 minutes, drink a cup of tea (Rooibos chai) and go out for an hour of cardio. I either power up the hill behind my house, take a 4 mile run, or climb the stadium stairs at the local high school. Afterwards, I take a yoga, barre or Pilates class to strengthen my core and keep me flexible.
I prefer not to eat before I exercise so by the time I am done, I’m hungry and ready to replenish my system. If this sounds like a lot of working out, it is. But I’m training for a 5 day hike in the Andes which I will enjoy it a lot more if I feel strong and well-conditioned.
Broccoli sprouts recently hit my radar. I spotted them at Whole Foods when I was looking for powerhouse salad additions. Several days later I was at the farmers market buying Christmas gifts and I stumbled upon a stall exclusively selling broccoli sprouts. I’d never seen this guy before so it felt like the universe was mirroring my newly found broccoli sprout enthusiasm.
We just had a flurry of guests visiting us in Mexico. Our friends are wonderful and it’s fun to share our love of Baja with them. What ends up being hard for me is the consecutive days of eating out. Dining out is festive and offers a plan for the evening but truth be told, I’d rather eat at home. I have noticed that cooking for guests is tricky. Some feel guilty as if they are putting you out, others want the full Cabo experience of dining on the beach. Who could blame them?
I haven’t ventured much into the world of papayas. Mainly because the smell can be off-putting. But in Mexico they are plentiful and their health virtues make them difficult to ignore. I’ve made several papaya smoothies in the past but tossing in the peppery seeds…………really takes it up a notch.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a phrase we’ve all heard before. In the past, I didn’t care for apples. I’d much rather eat a juicy peach or velvety mango. But now, I crave this fruit/seed combo and can’t help but eat an apple a day. It’s my favorite breakfast.
There was a time when I was eating so much fruit that a wise friend gently asked if I was a vegetarian or fruitarian. It was a simple question with a powerful message. I was eating too much sugar.
Before making this 3 seed mix, I learned about Chia seeds from a healer I’d seen in Mexico who suggested I add more protein to my diet. I’d never heard of them before aside from the infamous “chia pet” I tried to grow as a child. But there they were in Mexico, a bin of little black seeds.
Little did I know then, they’d hit super-food stardom. Once I began learning more about these odd seeds, other nutritionally dense seeds fell under my radar. Eventually, I developed my protein rich 3 seed mix which I can’t resist sprinkling on nearly everything………