You say Smoothie, I say Bananas!

My dad might be psychic – for Christmas this year he bought me a blender, something I’ve been wanting for a while but finding hard to justify the purchase of what with my already at-a-premium counter space. And what better use of a blender than smoothies, smoothies, smoothies! (Except maybe Margaritas) Needless to say, my son is thrilled. And I’m pretty happy too to add another quick and healthy breakfast option to my morning. Here’s one of my favorites. Not only does it taste great but the oats make it suprisingly filling and a good source of fiber to keep you going. I like my smoothie alongside a slice of whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter, sliced banana and a generous drizzle of honey. Yum, yum, yum – then I’m ready for a full day of massages and superhero pretend play. Bring it on Batman! Continue reading

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Arugula Salad Topped with Lentils and Poached Egg

Between overdoing it over the holidays, the warmer weather bringing the promise of spring and a little special something else going on in my life – I’ve been on a health kick lately. (If I’m allowed to still call it that despite a wicked sweet tooth.) Now when I say health kick, keep in mind I don’t do diets or fad food crazes. Just good, clean, yummy foods and lots and lots of veggies. I threw this little number together for lunch the other day using leftovers from the night before and thought I’d share  it with you all here. This salad is loaded with protein to keep you going the rest of your day. I don’t know about you, but I can use all the help I can get in the energy department! Continue reading

Tell Migraine Pain to Cool It

Balanced Living Tip #113
Tell that head pain to cool it – with ice

Next time you have a headache or worse, a migraine, try this trick: lay
on your back with your upper body slightly elevated and your head
supported by pillows in a quiet dark place and surround your head with
ice packs. (The flexible gel filled ones work best) Place them at the
base of your skull, across the top of your head and over your forehead
for starters, but feel free to add more anywhere that feels good.

The ice works as a vaso-constrictor to reduce the flow of blood to your
head and the cold temperature numbs the area like an anasthetic.

Give it a little time, try to catch a 15-30 minute catnap while you lay
there to allow yourself to really relax into it.

Read more about the How and Why of Ice here.

 

Sicilian Cauliflower Pasta

This recipe form the Food Network is simple and delicious and perfect for the change of seasons between summer and fall.

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat penne
  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped ( I usually leave this part out)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese, plus more for topping (optional)
  • 2 – 3 scallions, chopped
  • A good handful of pine nuts toasted

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.
  1. Meanwhile, trim the thick stems off the cauliflower and coarsely grate the florets on the large holes of a box grater (it’s fine if some small florets remain whole). Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower, raisins, garlic, red pepper flakes and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is crisp-tender and slightly browned, about 4 minutes.
  2. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the pasta, parsley, dill, lemon juice, cheese and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water. Add more cooking water to loosen, if needed. Season with salt. Serve with more grated cheese.
  3. I also like to add toasted pine nuts and lots of scallions

I laughed, then cried then laughed some more

In five … four … three … two … one … and breathe. April was one hell of a month. Hence my absence and overall apathy for anything other than basic needs and chocolate. I won’t get too much into it, but I unexpectedly lost someone very dear to me and that pretty much sucked. A lot.

I could carry on here about all the ways in which this has shaken me and made me sad, but I won’t. Instead I’ll give a short list of the positive things I will take away from the experience.

Here goes:

1) People don’t last forever. Even though we seem to take for granted that they do. So I’ve been telling a lot of people I love them lately and that feels good. My mailman looked at me a little funny though.

2) Most of what we get worked up about is crap. I wish I realized this sooner but will try not to get confused again. Although I am sure I will.

3) The definition of who your family is becomes much broader and much clearer in a time of crisis. And that is comforting.

4) Not “keeping in touch” is laziness.

5) Little things count.

6) Laughter does in fact make things better.

7) When people don’t know what to say or do they will feed you. And you will like it. A lot.

8) An empty seat next to you on an airplane is a joy akin to no other.

Not a very long list, but I’ll take what I can get! I’ll be back soon with something undoubtedly witty or some gourmet recipe to share. Till then I’ll be nursing my wounds with a good book, some goobers and lots of snuggles from my little guy. But not all at the same time because ten minutes to read and three-year-old don’t exist in the same sentence.

 

 

Detox Naturally

Chances are you’ve heard mention of the practice of “detoxing.” And a quick search will show you a whole host of products, programs and diets designed to help you do this. From simple teas to add to your current meals to the downright insane near-starvation diets.

But maybe you’re wondering what the detox hype is all about.

There are seven channels of elimination in the body that work together to: transport oxygen and nutrients to the cells (lungs and blood), filter toxins, waste and bacteria from the blood (liver, lymphatic systems and kidneys), eliminate waste products from our bodies (colon, kidneys and skin) and support immune function (lymphatic system). Continue reading