Monday, October 10, 2016


Me taking a photo break during a 10 mile bike trek to be one with nature :-)
Today is 10/10/16 & it is officially 1 year since I have been back living in Atlanta! Though I miss living in Houston, moving back closer to family has been one of my better decisions made. Of course, I moved back with business in mind and after working so much over the past several years, I decided to slow it down and truly focus on mind/body/spirit (self-care). When I moved to Houston in 2012, I quit everything and truly took a leap of faith! No job, 1 friend, no family...just savings and my dog!! In fact, I had never been to Houston prior to my commitment to moving there. It was purely my "Santiago journey", from the book, "The Alchemist". I landed there on a Sunday, had some job interviews lined up for that Monday and secured two job offers by the end of the week. I was able to cultivate life-long friendships there and have an amazing experience that I never ever take for granted. I grew closer in faith, purpose and passion, which led me to healing myself through nutrition. After doing so, I began assisting others in their health & wellness journey. Consulting led me to move back to Atlanta and open my juice bar, which has been an even more fruitful experience. Because I continued to work my full-time job, run my juice bar and consult as many clients as I could, I began to feel as though my personal well-being was neglected. Things that I truly honor and value, like spending time with loved ones, traveling...just being, were all fleeting memories.

At the beginning of 2016, I decided to get back to my center. I wanted to truly create a balanced life. However, the year had other plans and started pretty rough. In January, I served as a juror for two emotionally draining weeks. The outcome was that 2 young men would be sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison. February came and I lost an uncle. Then a friend passed the day that I was burying my uncle, from congestive heart failure. Then in April, I lost a close friend - my friend who encouraged me to get a colonoscopy in 2013, she succumbed to colon cancer. In June, the biggest blow - one of my closest friends in life, committed suicide. His suicide was the 2nd suicide of a friend within 8 months. Not to mention, the dark cloud that has been plaguing African-American communities, with police brutality/violence. The ongoing natural disasters around the world, etc. As an empath, it has all been very heavy for me. However, despite all of the traumatic events happening to me and to those close to me, I have managed to stay aligned with my intentions of "self-care". It ultimately has been what has kept me genuinely happy and full of gratitude, amid what could have been a mentally breaking year. 

Anyways, this blog post was not for nothing other than to say "hello", but I chose this picture from yesterday's bike ride and began free flowing! It is Mental Health Awareness Week, which is somewhat fitting. I assist individuals on a daily basis, with the best options for living a healthy life - mentally and physically, despite their circumstances. No one is void of having problems or being faced with life's many challenges - some subjected to intentionally and others apart of natural order - all serve a greater purpose and that is for your continuos evolution/growth. What we do with our problems, once we encounter them is what matters most. We can choose to be depressed OR we can force ourselves to keep pushing. Allow yourself to safely experience whatever emotions that you feel, but do not stay there. Obviously, I recommend seeking a mental health professional to address the more aggressive issues. 

Here's a link of a blog post I made a few years ago. It is of a "Healthy Living Manifesto" image, which has so many positive tips to keep you uplifted, consistently and authetically.

Be well,

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Protein Rich Great Northern Bean Recipe!

I know it may not look like much, but guys this dish was surprisingly flavorful! I go through periods where I just want to live as minimally as possible and when that feeling strikes me, I opt to clean out my pantry and fridge before going grocery shopping. I had several bags of great northern beans and wanted to make a veggie meal and in walks this random recipe of mine!

Here's what you'll need:
  • 4 cups of Great Northern Beans
  • 1/2 Onions, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 3 cups of Vegetable Broth
  • 2 tbs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • Seasonings (1): Parsley, Celery Flakes, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Garlic Salt
In another skillet:
  • 2 cups of Spinach, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • Seasonings (2): Cayenne Pepper, Garlic Powder, Garlic Salt, Onion Powder, 
  • 2 tbs of EVOO
  • 1 large Tomato, diced
  • In one pot, sauté 2 garlic cloves, onions, and seasonings (1) in your EVOO. Add great northern beans and vegetable broth. Boil for 7 minutes.
  • In a skillet: Sauté 2 garlic cloves in EVOO. Add spinach and toss seasonings (2). Only sauté for a minute or two.
  • Serve beans in a bowl, topped with sautéed spinach and diced tomaoes.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Go Phyto!

Meet Phyto: my child that has been evolving for almost three years (4 years, now)! I am so excited to introduce to you a way to experience my concept of a Food-Mood nutrition model via my raw cafe + elixir bar!

So what is Phyto you may be asking yourself? Well, for starters, Phyto means "plant" in Greek and all fruits + vegetables contain phytochemicals/phytonutrients. Phytochemicals are what gives produce their smell, taste and color (among other things). They are equipped to ward off the bad guys, on the inside of us. Some have been known to keep diseases away and boost brain function. Secondly, I had visions of starting my own juice bar for years, yet for some reason I had always talked myself out of it. In 2014, I founded a nonprofit and realized that I wanted a sustainable for-profit business that was going to aid in revenue generation, which is why eventually $1 from every purchase at Phyto will be donated to the nonprofit. I'll tell you more about the nonprofit in a future post, as I am still working on the programming.

It took months for me to complete a nutritionally dense menu, one of which incorporates all things "food and mood" and I am very proud of it! The menu includes a full list of elixirs (juices + smoothies + wellness shots), and a raw foods selection of smoothie bowls, salads, wraps and a dessert. Over half of the ingredients are desired to be purchased from local farms that Phyto partners with (remember my Wheatgrass post?). All ingredients used remain fresh, organic and local. In my duty to remain sustainable, some juice pulp is donated to the farm for compost! :-)

I introduced Phyto to a very small community of people who were interested in my 3-day Renewed Vitality Cleanse. The participants absolutely loved their juices and experienced immediate results in the way that they viewed nutrition and their overall lifestyles. 

Since I originally made this blog post (over a year ago), many many clients have purchased the 3-day cleanse and my guys have lost up to 10 lbs. The most a gal client of mine has lost, was 7 lbs. So it works! I utilize much of my nutritional counseling experience and I work to tailor the cleanse package to meet each individuals needs.

If you consider us, but feel that we are far from where you are located, we offer same day delivery to your place of business only, within the Atlanta metropolitan area. I gain many of my corporate clients via their employee wellness programs. Food-Mood has also been utilized via employee wellness presentations on nutrition and behavior.

Please visit Phyto's website here, take a look at the menu and place your order today! If you are on Instagram or Facebook, find us at GoPhyto. Remember, we only work with individuals at their place of business, with a minimum order. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Creamy Homemade Chimichurri Sauce Recipe

I have crossed over to the dark side, ya'll. Let me explain. So, since I have been blogging, well, actually for over 4 years now, I had not eaten red meat whatsoever. If you may or may not know, I briefly blogged in 2013 about the "Eat for your Blood Type Diet" (here), which discusses understanding specific foods geared towards your particular blood type. I circled back around to this in 2016, after donating blood and remembered that I am Blood Type O, which if you recall, requires certain enzymes only found in red meat. I thought to be experimental and add beef into my diet, only on a 1x per month basis. I was surprised to learn that after 4 years of no meat, I had no adverse reactions. Of course, I stuck with farm-raised/organic beef and please, no pork on my fork! Let's not get carried away... But my bowels moved pretty smoothly (sorry - I like to discuss colon health). It is still too soon to tell what I feel overall, but I have been enjoying the occasional steak and burger.

Now that I have gotten my long-winded disclaimer out of the way, I wanted to share a chimichurri sauce I created to top my delicious grilled steak with. Yummers! If you are reading this and you know me, like know me, know me, you know that I am an avid SAUCE fanatic! I love a good homemade sauce, but just sauces in general, because I'm saucy! haha!!

Moving right along, this sauce is super easy to make and it freezes pretty well. Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 bunch of Parsley
  • 1 bunch of Cilantro
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 Green Onions
  • 3 Tbs of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp of Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Seasonings: Red Pepper Flakes, Garlic Salt, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper, Oregano, Cumin (sorry guys, no exact measurements, as I measure to taste - you should do the same. Don't go overboard!)
Simply place all of your ingredients into a food processor (or blender) and pulse away until it reaches a smooth consistency. You can add more Olive Oil to get it really creamy. Only use what you need and of course, you can freeze the rest. Just think of yourself in a Brazilian Steakhouse (if you enjoy that sort of thing)!

So this sauce, is obviously VEGAN, but I do not want to think of anything vegan that would be good to top it off with. If you do eat meat, aside from beef, you can find some delicious shrimp and chicken recipes to top this chimichurri sauce with.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Detoxifying Green Juice Recipe

Please excuse the tiny pics. I was unable to strategically place two medium sized photos here, but I think you get the drift. Just click to enlarge...I think! :-)

Anywho, it has been a while since I have graced my blog with a refreshing juice recipe. Being that I own a juice bar, it is not as exciting when juicing for myself anymore. I no longer have the luxury of enthusiastically juicing whenever I want, so I tend to use the leftovers from juice sales. This however, was one of the times when I could bask in my juicing glory, all to myself. 

Here's what you need for this detoxifying blend:
  • 2 Cucumbers
  • 3 Celery Stalks
  • 3 Navel Oranges
  • 1 Pear
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple
  • 1 Nub of Ginger
  • Juice, serve over ice & enjoy!!
Be well!!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Fourth of July!

I am loving this festive idea for fresh fruit, via Party City! 

Hope you enjoy your day of food & fun!


Friday, July 1, 2016

Superfruit Baobab Powder

I have a "thing" for superfoods, so I was happy to find this powder at TJMaxx for a discounted price. I had done some previous research, but did not care for the hefty price tag, but this 8oz bag was $12, so I decided it was time to give it a go. It is considered "The King" of Superfruits, so I had to!! :-)

The Baobab fruit has the following health benefits:
  • 3x more calcium than milk
  • 4x more potassium than bananas
  • 6x more Vitamin C than an orange
  • 10x more antioxidants than Goji Berries
  • 8 essential Amino Acids
  • It is also good for: Skin, Respiratory and Digestive Health
So what is it? As stated above, it is a superfruit. No, no, it is THE King of Superfruits! I have to do it some justice. It is Africa's true superfruit. If you have some time, do a search on the fruit and the tree that it grows from. It is one of the most beautiful trees, in my opinion. Its trunk circumference is very large and it is also called "bottle tree" or "upside-down tree". The trunk is known to store 60,000 gallons of rainwater.

I have been adding a tablespoon of this powder to my green smoothies in the morning. To be honest, I do so much, nutritionally, that I cannot tell what difference it is doing to my well-being. It doesn't have a particular taste, though I know that it is there. I rest in the fact that it has the benefits listed above and I find joy that I am doing my body good!

Have you tried Baobab before? What other superfruits do you get excited about?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Liver Flush Cocktail

I love a good cocktail, don't you?! Well, if you are a non-alcoholic drinker, this might be right up your alley, just pretend its cranberry and vodka for the fun of it!

Our bodies are cleansed by a myriad of ways and one of the most important ways to rid ourselves of toxins is via the liver. I post of liver cleanse recipes often, but this is a new one that I wanted to share. It is very energizing, so I would recommend drinking at least 1 glass per day for at least a week or two.

Quick Liver Flush Cocktail Recipe:
  • 4 oz of raw cranberries. You can juice these yourself for added nutrition or you can purchase the purest, unsweetened glass bottle of Cranberry juice you can find. Typically a $5-$9 price tag.
  • 4 oz of water
  • 1 tbs of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (see my old post here on the brand to purchase)
  • 1/2 of a Lemon juiced or freshly squeezed
  • 10 drops of B-12
  • Mix all of the above ingredients together, serve over ice & enjoy!
This cocktail is not your average cocktail, it is very tart to the taste. Hopefully your taste buds will become acclimated the more that you continue to consume it.