You’ll never go back to store bought toothpaste.

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If you haven’t already, try making toothpaste at home. It’s so easy that there’s no reason not to!

All you need is:

1/2 cup Coconut Oil
2 tablespoons Baking Soda
2 packets Stevia
about 10-15 drops essential oil (I use peppermint)

Melt to oil then mix in remaining ingredients. Store in a glass jar and let cool.

I love it, and my teeth have never been so sparkly!

Daily Prompt: Something So Strong

My best friend and I met in high school, we had a class together and she was just very friendly so we became great friends. At some point a few years later, we parted ways and eventually got back in touch when we were about 20 years old. We were both the same and got along just as though we had never been apart. Since that time, we have been greatest of friends and each others number one fan and supporters. We both share the same zodiac sign (Leo) and have many things in common. We just get along so well. I have had some deep friendships in  my life, but this one has them all beat. I feel like just having this one best friend, is loaded enough to take the place of 10 friendships. After some friendships that I thought would last but ended at some point, I feel lucky to have a best friend that I can fully trust, that supports me, loves me, has my best interest at heart and that I have the best time with. 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/prompt-something-so-strong/

Get your Beet on! 3 ways to enjoy beets.

You don’t have to be Dwight Schrute to enjoy beets. I don’t own a beet farm but I am just as enthusiastic about them as Dwight! Beets are awesome! I love them but I know they can be difficult to work with at times. There are many health benefits of beets, and eating them raw is the best way to get all that goodness!

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Here are a few ways to prepare beets and enjoy them:

1. Juicing – Try these two juices:

Juice 1 – Beets, carrots, and apple – one of the easiest juices with very few ingredients

Juice 2 – 1 Beet, 1 batch of carrots (usually about 4-5), 1 stalk celery, 1 apple, 1 lemon, 1 lime, about half an inch ginger – This juice is tasty and a great way to also enjoy celery which I find very hard to eat. You can’t taste the celery at all 🙂

TIP:  Swish the juice around in your mouth a little to mix your saliva to get more out of your juice. Saliva has enzymes that will help break down the ingredients to better absorb them in your body, it gives your heart a break from doing all the work of moving everything through your bloodstream.  It helps expand your veins, this is called Vasodilation.

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2. Salad and Salad Dressing

– Juice one beet, add the juice of 1 lemon, about 1/4 cup olive oil, some salt and pepper and mix them all together for a delicious salad dressing. I created the following salad to pair perfectly with the beet salad dressing.

Here’s what you need for the salad:

– 1 Avocado, chopped (not too small)
-1 cup chopped Kale
– 1 cup chopped Lettuce ( I used the lola rosa kind)
– 1/2 cup chopped Green Onions
– 1 cup chopped Green Cabbage
– 1 cup chopped Red Cabbage
– 1/4 cup Walnuts
-1/4 cup Kalamata Olives

Just mix everything together in a bowl and top with beet salad dressing. You can add more walnuts or less if you like.

Here’s a better picture of the salad once everything was mixed in:

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3: Slice them thinly and eat with pretty much anything!

What I did was take one beet, slice it with my veggie pasta cutter (this was about a $35 investment that has come in handy) then combine it with some sweet potato chips (homemade, just preheat oven to 350, slice thinly and roast for 30 mins), 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1/4 cup lentils.

Drizzle some olive oil on top and just eat together, with a spoon, sandwich style or however you like.

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Almond Milk: How to make it yourself, and why.

I’ve been making almond milk for a while and after some trial and error I have finally perfected it. Here are the exact steps I take to get the most out of my money and the almonds.

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What you need:

– 2 cups raw (preferably organic) Almonds
– 6 cups filtered water
– Cheese Cloth
– Blender

Step 1:
I always soak my almonds over night. Soaking nuts is very beneficial, and helps absorb its nutrients better. All nuts contain anti-nutrients. These anti-nutrients are removed during soaking and leave you with a better version of nuts, nutritionally and taste wise.

This picture shows the almonds before being soakedImage

This picture shows the almonds after being soaked. As you can see the water is murky, so make sure you rinse well and get rid of the bad stuff.

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Step 2:
After you have soaked your almonds, drain and rinse them well

Step 3:
Take 1 cup of almonds and transfer to blender, add 2 cups filtered water and blend on high speed

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Step 4:
Pour almond milk through cheese cloth into a bowl, strain the almond pulp through the cheese cloth to get all the milk out

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Step 5:
Repeat steps 3 and 4 with remaining 1cup of Almonds and another 2 cups of the filtered water

Step 6:
Pour the almond milk into the container you will use to store it. Add the remaining 2 cups of filtered water to the almond milk and you should have a creamy, flavorful almond milk that will last 3 to 4 days.

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You will have some leftover almond pulp from making milk, I usually use the leftovers to make a face scrub or almond crackers, and many other things. I will update my blog in the next few days with what you can do with almond pulp.

 

Why you should make it at home:

I used to buy organic almond milk all the time and thought it was providing me with an alternative to cow milk that was as healthy as can be. It’s still better than cow milk, but the truth is that pretty much anything on a store shelf is processed and has additives. If you read the ingredients for almond milk, it doesn’t look like there is anything bad in there right? Well, if you do some research into it you will find that is not the case and the big manufacturers managed to trick us yet again!

Some of the additives in store bought almond milk are Calcium Carbonate, Tocopherol Acetate, and Vitamin A Palmitate. All of these additives are synthetic and do no good for you but I want to focus on just one of them for this post: Vitamin D2. Vitamin D2 is not Vitamin D, it’s again, synthetic and toxic! There is an entire study done here: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/84/4/694.full 

 The most shocking thing I’ve read is that experts are finding that Vitamin D2 may actually be a cause of Vitamin D deficiency by desensitizing the D3 receptors in our body! And to think Doctors even prescribe this to patients! Vitamin D3 is vitamin D created by our bodies through exposure to the wonderful sun.

So, if you’re buying almond milk from the store, try making it at home instead and get your vitamin D from other places like mushrooms, eggs and the best vitamin D comes from our power and life source, the sun! Get outside, get some sun and let your body do the rest. 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective

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From this perspective this photo just looks like a car driving on a cloudy day.

 

 

Pull back, and there are kites flying all over, turning this gloomy day into something lovely. This was a holiday in Athens, Greece where people fly kites all day. The cars driving on the streets (including ours) got kite strings tangled around them.  

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Swiss Chard Wraps with Rutabaga

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This was actually the first time I have ever tried raw Swiss Chard and Rutabaga… and I have to say, I loved it! This recipe is my take on a vegetarian wrap, made with a simple and easy cashew cream.

Cashew Cream:

– 1 cup Cashews

– 2 tablespoons Almond Milk 

– 1 Tablespoon juice from a lemon

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method for Cashew Cream:

Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add Cashews to a glass or heat proof bowl and pour the boiling water on top. Put the lid on and let sit for about 30 minutes. 

Drain the Cashews and transfer to a food processor, add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Add more almond milk if you would like a thinner consistency. 

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Swiss Chard Wraps:

– 1 bunch Swiss Chard

– 1/2 cup Quinoa (Already cooked)

– 1/2 Cup Lentils (already cooked)

-1/4 cup cherry tomatoes (optional)

– 2 cloves of Garlic (chopped)

– 1 Rutabaga (peeled and chopped)

– 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds

– 1/4 cup Goat Cheese crumbles

– Coconut Oil

Method:

Saute Rutabaga, Pumpkin Seeds and Garlic together in a pan with Coconut Oil for 5-7 minutes. Once cooked, add Rutabaga mix to Quina, Lentils and tomatoes in a bowl and mix together. Take your Swiss Chard leaves and cut off the stems, carefully cutting the leafy part away from the stem. Add mixture to each leafs center then top with goat cheese and finally the cashew cream. Wrap leaves up and secure with a toothpick. 

NOTE: I usually have Quinoa and Lentils ready to eat but if you have to cook them, it’s very simple. Quinoa is cooked just like rice 1 part Quinoa to 2 parts water, and boil. You can also use a rice cooker. Lentils also just boil on the stove top until tender.

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Take a BIG bite into this healthy dinner and enjoy! Healthy food IS easy and delicious!

Some Dark and Sparkly

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Happy Monday Everyone! Hope today is an unusually awesome Monday for all! Today, I am in the mood for some Dark Chocolate alongside something sparkly. One of the greatest pairs in my opinion, such an enjoyable little snack sure to put anyone in a great mood. If this is a super busy Monday for you all too, pour yourselves a glass and let that dark chocolate melt in your mouth and forget about all your stress. This combination is sure to put you in a better mood, relax you, and let you enjoy the finer things life has to offer.

CHEERS!!!!

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LeftoverS Pizza- Friday Treat!

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No, it’s not leftover pizza.. it’s leftovers pizza, plural.

Almost every Friday, I make this pizza which is basically topped with everything I have left in my fridge from the days before. It is the easiest thing you can make on a Friday evening (when really, no one wants to cook) and a great way to not have to throw out food!

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Note: I always use Goat Cheese, since it is the less mass produced option.

There’s no recipe here, just add your leftover toppings, preheat your oven to 425 and cook for 15-18 minutes depending on how crispy you like your pizza!

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Last week’s pizza had Sesame Seeds, Spinach, Arugula, tomatoes, broccoli, goat cheese and garlic.

This week’s had Sesame Seeds, Kale, Broccoli, Goat Cheese, Garlic, Olives, Tomatoes, Pumpkin Seeds, Arugula.

Note: In order to get the most out of having Garlic, I always add them to the pizza when there’s about 5 minutes left in the oven, this way the garlic doesn’t get over cooked and maintains it’s wonderful qualities.

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Just add some Avocado, topped with lemon, Himalayan salt,  black pepper and hemp seeds on the side. Yum!