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,

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.

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. 

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.


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!!

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?

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.


I absolutely could NOT wait to post about Kombucha! I remember in 2012 when I first tried the vinegar-like tasting drink, I had just left Central Market in Houston and I wanted to gag! LOL! It took me almost another year before I circled back around to try it again. This time, it was homemade and I fell in love!! So of course, you know that it quickly became an obsession, right? Well, as with most things that I obsess over (not men), I have to be mindful to remain consistent, Kombucha took a backseat to my freshly pressed organic juices. This was until I got settled in my juicing business and quite frankly, did not want juice on a daily basis. In walks Kombucha, for the third and final time! It is guaranteed to be a staple for the long haul, especially GT's Kombucha.

So what is Kombucha? You might be asking yourself this question or perhaps, you already know. And if you already know, I hope you know what I know and incorporate it in your nutritional regime quite often. My sister is not a fan of it, so I will say that it is an acquired taste. I will also say to be present with the health benefits and try to pay the above "acquired taste" comment no mind and drink it anyways!

Kombucha, in layman's terms is fermented tea. It is made with a kombucha culture mushroom, cane sugar and green or black tea. Due to the fermentation process, you will find that most organic kombucha's have a certain percentage of alcohol. Very little, but if you drink it first thing in the morning (like me) or on an empty stomach, you are sure to experience a mini buzz! Kombucha is a healthier alternative to soda, due to its carbonation - it bubbles and fizzes like a Coca-Cola! I promise, it is much healthier for your overall health and well-being though.

So what benefits have I noticed about drinking kombucha? I have been consuming it 7 days a week for the past four months now and so far, I have more energy (as if I need it), clearer skin and a very healthy and happy gut (due to all of the yummy probiotics). Kombucha contains Vitamin C, B Vitamins, Probiotics, Polyphenols, Organic Enzymes, and Amino Acids.

Depending on where you live, you can find this brand at Whole Foods, Sprouts (they usually have it discounted at $2), and Publix.

As mentioned above, you can brew kombucha at home. I would suggest that you research it. If your personal items are not sterile, you can become extremely sick. You want to make sure that you know exactly what you are doing before making a homemade batch.

Wellness Break: Natural Products Part VI

I am a product junkie fanatic! I swear, if I see a product that I love (especially at TJX Stores), I never hesitate to purchase it!

Dr. Bronner's products have been a staple in my mostly shower routine, so I was eager to try the toothpaste ($4 cheaper than Whole Foods at TJMaxx). I actually enjoy all of the fragrances/flavors, except the Anise, as I do not care for licorice anything.

Here are some uses for the all natural Castile Soap:
  • Showering
  • Hand Washing
  • Face Washing
  • Shampoo
  • House Cleaner
  • Dish Washing
  • Vegetable Washing
  • Laundry Soap
  • & more!
As for the toothpaste, I really like it! I have been using it in between my Auromere toothpaste since November 2015. I like that Dr. Bronner's reformulated their toothpaste last year and removed carrageenan. You will find that their toothpaste doesn't foam - I don't mind this, but if you need the foam, I would not suggest it. They do not use synthetic foaming detergents, so you know you can extend the same health and wellness to your oral care.

Here is a link to all of Dr. Bronner's products. Be sure to check your local TJX stores to save a few extra bucks!

To take you back in time, here are links to my series of finding Natural Products: I, II, III, IV, & V.

Be well, folks!

Fancy Veggie Ramen Recipe

I contemplated posting this recipe for some time now. I think it was for the sheer fact that it is a packaged item and then I thought, "Who the hell doesn't like a fancy Ramen"?! If you don't, then exit stage left. I kid, I kid. But seriously guys, it's so good! Plus, I make it lower in sodium, by tossing the packet and creating my own seasoning blend. So here's an ode to your not-so-memorable college days, just a little spruced up!

Fancy Veggie Ramen Recipe:
  • 1 packet of Ramen, break the ramen in 4 and toss the seasoning packet
  • 5 Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 Green Onions
  • 2 cups of Veggie Broth
  • 1 Handful of Spinach
  • 1 tbs of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sriracha Hot Sauce
  • Seasonings: Cayenne Pepper (I like it hot!), Garlic Salt, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Himalayan Pink Salt. - please only season to taste. You know your taste buds and I hate measurements!
In a small pot, heat up your olive oil and lightly sauté (do not overcook) your mushrooms, garlic, and onions. Season them to taste. Add your broth and bring to a boil. Once your broth is at a rolling boil, add your ramen noodles and spinach. Cooking until the noodles are done. Serve in a bowl and if you are daring like me, add Sriracha...I put that #$^& on everything!!


Health Benefits of Pure Cranberry Juice

I don't think I know of anyone who actually enjoys the taste of raw cranberries. This juice is super beneficial for your urinary tract and kidneys. If you have ever had a UTI, I would highly recommend consuming cranberries, preferably juiced, but supplement form works as well.

Here are 8 reasons why cranberry juice is good for your health:
  1. Prevents Kidney Stones
  2. Reduces Risk of Stomach Ulcers
  3. Helps Avoid Respiratory Infections
  4. Cures Sore Throats and Colds
  5. Prevents Scurvy and Tooth Decay
  6. Aids in Heart and Cardiovascular Health
  7. UTI Relief
  8. Combats Inflammation of the Lungs

Stay Hydrated with FIJI!

Thanks to my brother, I have been geeking out on all things mineral and artesian water! My latest obsession has been FIJI water. Someone who is not a water connoisseur, may not even notice a difference in the plethora of bottled waters housed in your local grocery store, but I happen to not be that person. As I shared with you in this post a few years ago, I absolutely loathed drinking water as a child. Now that I can think back, I grew up in the 80's and there was not as many issues with tap water then as there are now NOR could you go to the grocery store and select from a variety of bottled water brands. But I think for someone who was inclined to go into the field of wellness, I could tell the difference early on, that tap water was not my friend! :-)

So far, I am not able to speak on how I feel by drinking this fairly expensive water. However, what I can tell you is that it has become increasingly easy for me to drink plain water. I am known for adding ACV, Aloe Vera, fruits, etc. to liven my water drinking experience. I like the fact that FIJI is extremely smooth tasting, which according to their website, is attributed to its electrolytes and minerals.

What's your favorite bottled water? BPA free, of course! 

Magnesium Boost!

As I am known to be an almost "random" person, I was getting a manicure and attempted to recall the reasons for my nails having almost zero half moons. You know the one that sits at your cuticle bed? Well, I only have 3 out of 10! As well, some nails are rigid. So the possibility of having mineral deficiencies began to plague my mind!

After I got home from the nail shop, I took to the net and found two supplements that I just know that I could use more of. The first was Magnesium, which I so conveniently had these packets in my pantry. It was midday and I poured half a packet into my 26 fl oz water thermal. Within the next couple of hours, I felt as though I was a lot calmer and relaxed to the point of wanting to do absolutely nothing. Once I finished racking my mind at why I was so "chill" all of a sudden, I knew that it had been the Magnesium!

So here, my friends, are Dr. Axe's "9 Important Magnesium Benefits":
  • Calms Nerves
  • Helps You Fall Asleep & Treat Insomnia
  • Helps Increase Energy (I'm assuming you should take it at night, so it can help you re-energize once you awaken - verdict is still out for me)
  • Helps With Digestion By Relieving Constipation
  • Relieves Muscle Aches & Spasms
  • Regulates Levels of Calcium & Potassium
  • Important for Heart Health
  • Prevents Migraine Headaches
  • Helps Prevent Osteoporosis
Here is also a link to Dr. Axe's page, where he discusses being able to recognize signs of Magnesium deficiency.


What if I told you that your body is the home of tiny living intestinal parasites that feed off of certain foods that you consume? Would you be totally grossed out? Well, I MUST warn you to not research how they depart from their beloved home (your GI tract), after conducting a parasite cleanse.

I will not write an entire blog post on parasites and all of the fun stuff that I enjoy discussing when speaking on colon health. I will just urge you to do research on human parasites and how EVERYONE is affected (yes, even you!).

Below is a list of ways that parasites enter your body:
  • Contaminated water and food supplies (including fruits and vegetables)
  • Raw/undercooked meats
  • Walking BAREFOOT outside. Yes, I said it! I do enjoy it too. Or think of the beach or pool that you walk on when on vacation. Human parasites enter in and travel through the bottom of your foot. Not just walking around, but swimming in the ocean and the pool.
  • Having pets!
  • Traveling overseas
  • Improper hand washing or lack of
  • & more! yikes!!
So now that I've gotten your attention. It is not a matter of IF you have parasites, but what you can do to rid your body of them on a routine basis.  Parastroy is one product that I invest in, to cleanse my body. I only utilize a parasite cleanse every 6 months, so that is twice per year. I enjoy Parastroy the most because it has been extremely gentle on my system. The only con is that there are so many pills that you have to take daily (4) and the length of time to finish is 20+. There are other options and it comes in liquid form and most can be completed within a couple of weeks.

Also, there are some other holistic colon cleansing methods that you can use on a continuum, that will kill parasites and I have listed those below:
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Wormwood
  • Cloves
  • Raw Pumpkin Seeds (a handful a few times per week)
  • Black Walnut Hull

Easy Acorn Squash Recipe

Ever met a vegetable you did not like? Well, sheesh, me either! Well, except for Sauerkraut, but come to think of it, I LOVE cabbage - so never mind! :-)

Since becoming certified in 2013, I have tried my best to not be intimidated by trying new fruits and vegetables. With that being noted, the acorn squash was one vegetable that has always scared me a little, mostly based on its external and my lack of wanting to be disappointed by its taste. I am happy to report that the flavor and texture were both amazingly delicious! Keep reading to see how I made a simple and easy Acorn Squash recipe.

  • 1 Acorn Squash
  • 2 tsp of Raw/Organic Honey
  • 2 tsp of Coconut Palm Sugar (or Brown Sugar)
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cooking Directions:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Safely slice your squash in half. Scoop out the inside guts (mostly seeds), until it is smooth. Gently poke holes in the squash to prepare it for absorption.
- In a bowl, mix together the honey, sugar, vanilla and olive oil. Then carefully spoon the mixture and coat the insides of your squash.
- In a baking dish, pour a little water in the base, to avoid the squash burning in the oven. Then place the squash halves in the baking dish.
- Bake for about an hour. Do check on it after about 45 minutes to ensure that neither your pan or squash are burning. Be sure to not undercook the squash, by simply checking its texture with a fork.


Today is June 8, 2016 and it is exactly 1 month since my 35th birthday! My couple of months away from my blog has not been without thought. I actually missed blogging, but I have been working and more importantly LIVING! *big smile*

Anywho, just thought I'd say hello! I have a ton of posts that will begin Friday and will post 3x per week this month, so bookmark the site and check back soon!

Be well!! xo

Natural Cold Remedy

I very rarely get sick and I attribute this to being in tune with my body. The first sign of a twinge or a sneeze attack, I am in the kitchen whipping up a homemade remedy! I have posted many variations before, so these ingredients should be of no surprise.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1/8 tsp of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp of Turmeric, grated 
  • 1/8 tsp of Garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8 tsp of Ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 of a Lemon
  • 1 tbs of Raw Organic Honey

Directions: Add all of the ingredients to a cup of boiling water and allow them to seep for 5 minutes. Then drink and chew all of its contents. I would say "Enjoy!", but it hardly enjoyable!! Drink this two times a day, until you are feeling better!

Wellness Break: Natural Products Part V

I am literally a product junkie, oftentimes carrying a long list of products that I absolutely must try! This deodorant is no different. I have been on a quest to find the best natural products that agree with my body. As an aside, I will share that I like this deodorant, I really do! However, I hate the fact that I have to re-wet it before every use. Also, with the re-wetting disclaimer, I should also note that your skin need be clean. This is a con for me, considering that I have been experiencing a bout of overactive sweating.

Nonetheless, this deodorant is good for anyone who doesn't care about the above. Someone who also likes to use natural products. I prefer natural deodorants because of the link between breast cancer and aluminum. The less chemicals I can control seeping into my body, the better. Crystal deodorants are made from natural mineral salts, void of any dyes, perfumes, parabens and any other chemical you can think of! This deodorant is great for combating odor causing bacteria, due to the mineral salt. You can usually find it for roughly $7, although, TJMaxx has an assortment of this brand in spray and rock form for a few bucks cheaper!

Quick Oven Roasted Veggie Recipe!

In an attempt to gain more weight, I am having to eat foods just to keep from being hungry. Here is a quick and easy side dish, using only 4 main ingredients, along with a variety of seasonings.


  • 10 Red Potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 lb. Whole Green Beans, trimmed
  • 10 Mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Organic Raw Honey
  • Seasonings: parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, garlic salt, and black pepper

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss all of your ingredients in a bowl, place in a baking dish and cook for 25-30 minutes (or until tender).


Wellness Break: Natural Products Part IV

If you recall, I have been attempting to add as many natural products to my regime as possible. For an update, see Wellness Break: Natural Products Part I, Part II, and Part III. As you can see, I am a huge proponent for oral health care. I had braces at the age of 5 and have not wavered in my personal oral hygiene ever since.

These two products have been staples in my day to day use for the past year. I found both at one of my favorite stores, Sprouts Farmers Market. (Side-note: there are a lots of new locations, sprouting up all over, so check to see if there is a Sprouts located near you.)

l-r: Dr. Tung's Tongue Cleaner, MouthWatchers Toothbrush
  • Dr. Tung's Tongue Cleaner: tongue scraping has been around for years and it is a commonly known Ayurvedic self-care ritual. Did you know that there are a ton of toxins and bacteria deposited on your tongue while you sleep? Brushing your tongue is helpful, but gently scraping it each day, allows for removal of the toxins, instead of reabsorption. Tongue scraping is great for the following reasons:
    • Taste buds - remove those toxins so that you can taste your food flavors much better!
    • Immunity - as mentioned above, remove the toxins first thing in the morning to avoid them being reentered into your body.
    • Bad breath? Clean it up! Literally!! Ever smelled someone's breath and couldn't breathe? They perhaps may have suffered from Halitosis.
    • Proper digestion. Tongue cleaning activates production of saliva, which aids in healthy digestion.
    • You understand the importance of oral hygiene. :-)
  • MouthWatchers Toothbrush: what can I say about an expensive toothbrush other than I love how it makes my teeth feel? Well, I can tell you that their website promotes it as one of a kind, providing an optimal cleaning experience. According to the site, "The revolutionary antimicrobial dual layer flossing bristles, reach into areas untouched by prior toothbrushes, leaving teeth and gums feeling just as clean as after a professional dental cleaning." I can truly attest to that - remember, I've been in the dentist/orthodontist chair since I was 3-4 years old! This brush also does not allow bacteria to build up as others, so you do not have to discard them as often as your traditional nylon bristles.
What are some of your go-to's as it relates to oral health care? I'd love to know!

Vegan Black Bean Soup Recipe

This is an old post, but its so quick and simple to make, I wanted to share it with you! Of course, when I am a pseudo vegan for 100 days out of each year, I like to experiment with different recipes. This time, I opted for a protein rich, black bean soup! It took all of 25 minutes to prepare and cook before consumption. Here's what you'll need:

  • 4 cups of Black Beans (soaked overnight)
  • 2 whole Tomatoes
  • 4 cups of Vegetable Broth
  • 2 handfuls of Spinach, chopped
  • 2 handfuls of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 handfuls of parsely, chopped 
  • 1/2 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 Red or Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • Seasonings: garlic powder, garlic salt, chipotle, cayenne, cumin, fresh oregano, 1 bay leaf, onion powder (amount varies pending on your taste buds)
In a pot, saute your red onions, bell peppers and garlic in your olive oil, along with all of the seasonings. Once finished sautéing, stir in only 2 cups of the black beans, veggie broth and worcestershire sauce. In your blender, blend the other 2 cups of beans, along with your tomatoes and half of the parsely and spinach. Pour this blended mixture in your pot. Bring to a slight simmer, then add spinach, cilantro and parsley. Let it cook for another 10 minutes before serving.

Another tip (especially if you have a high powered blender), is to blend half of your finished soup to a smooth consistency. After blending, add that half portion back to your pot and stir. I am huge on texture and taste, which is why I chose to blend some.


Evening Primrose Oil Benefits

I'd like to start by saying that every woman should add Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) to their regime. In the past, I have toyed with taking many supplements in pill form, but through the years, I have limited myself to only taking two. The other nutrients that I need, are all within a variety of powders that I toss into my daily green smoothie.

I've noticed a change within the past year, either I have been experiencing early menopause (hopefully not!) or my sweat glands have been working OVERtime! My excessive sweating led me to believe that I may have an overactive endocrine system/hormonal imbalance. I have found that EPO has been significant in alleviating this concern.

So earlier, I mentioned that every woman should add EPO to their daily regime, however, I think it would be beneficial for everyone, especially considering the potential healing properties for symptoms related to:
  • Anti-inflammatory (arthritis, acne, joint health, etc.)
  • Anti-aging (nourishes skin, hair and nails)
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Eczema
  • PMS, menstrual cramps
  • ADHD
  • Diabetes
  • Menopause
  • Asthma
You can find Evening Primrose Oil here. In addition to EPO, I also take Ashwagandha.

Homeade Cashew Mylk

You know that adage old saying: "put your health into your own hands"? Well, I often take that quite literal. This is one of the main reasons why I prefer preparing my own foods, over buying them in convenience stores. My dairy-free nut milks are no different, especially being that I suffer from IBS. To avoid having to read labels, creating a homemade version will ensure that your health is actually in your hands.
If interested in making this quick and easy homemade cashew mylk, all you will need is 5 ingredients (as shown above).
  • 1 cup of Cashews. Be sure to cover them in water and soak between 6-12 hours. The longer they soak, the better for processing.
  • 8 Medjool Dates
  • 1 tbs of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 pinch of Sea Salt
  • 4 cups of water
Once you have allowed your cashews to soak overnight, gather all of your ingredients and blend for roughly two minutes. As you can see below, I was able to produce roughly 56 ounces of my homemade cashew mylk. Be sure to place in the fridge to chill prior to consuming.
It should be no secret that cashews are high in mood-boosting benefits. In fact, "just two handfuls of cashews is the therapeutic equivalent of a prescription dose of prozac, (FoodMatters). Go figure! I like cashews because I can not only chew them raw, but drink AND use as a non-dairy base to various sauce/cream recipes, such as Alfredo.

*Please do not consume, if you have a nut allergy.*

Green Protein Smoothie

It has been a long while since I have posted a Green Smoothie recipe. I still make them daily, however, as of late, I have had to increase my protein intake. As apart of my focus on my "body" for 2016, I have decided to train as if I were going to be in a bikini competition. In other words, be more consistent with my workouts, to see the results that I seek. Anywho, more on that later. :-)

This green smoothie is packed with protein to repair my post-workout muscles. 
  • handful of Spinach (Popeye has huge muscles, right?)
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 cup Mango chunks
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop of Almond Butter
  • 1 tbsp Maca powder
  • 1 tbsp Vitamineral Green powder - still my "go to" green powder
  • 1 tbsp Hemp Hearts
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Sunfood Superfood Smoothie Mix
  • 1 tsp of Matcha Powder

What's in your green smoothie?

Happy 2016!

I am late to the party, but still made it here within January! So far, 2016 has been good to me. How about you? In new years past, I had set many goals to accomplish. This year, I really just want to focus on being better at 3 essentials: mind, body and spirit. I spent so much of the past several years focused on goals, that I simple forgot to BE. You never want to spend all of your efforts on "doing" that you neglect your "being". 

So cheers to investing in yourself for 2016! Many wishes for an abundance in your health, happiness, finances, wisdom and last (but definitely not least)...your self-love!

with lots of love,

Artichoke Benefits

I have always enjoyed my meals with artichoke, but was never a true fan. This may have been in part due to my intimidation of this lovely veggie. If you are wondering how to prep an artichoke, here's a video to show you exactly how to trim them to get to the goodness. And if you are considering adding artichokes to your dishes, I have listed some health benefits to help persuade you. :-)

10 Health Benefits of Artichokes:
  • Reduces bad cholesterol
  • Good for liver health
  • High in anti-oxidants
  • High in fiber
  • Maintains a healthy heart
  • Anti-cancer
  • Diuretic
  • Improves digestion
  • Glucose stabilizer
  • Relieves hypertension
While living in Houston, TX, I frequented a restaurant called Baby Barnaby's and they make a killer Green Eggs dish, with artichokes. If you are ever in the Houston area, it is definitely worth checking out!