healthy living

Summer Series: Farmers Market Guide

IMG_3231*Warning: Beautiful pictures to follow. May cause an urge to be out in the Summer sun all day with a green juice.*

I did my first official run to the farmers market about a week ago.  For myself, that means a beautiful day required.  I need to take my time and enjoy what I love to do best.  SHOP FOR FOOD.  I scope the premise and options.  Then I start picking what I like, grab a little snack, and I am on my way.  Simple.

IMG_3180

IMG_3176

If you are finally entering a warmer climate for the Spring Season, the markets I believe are finally here and with a lot to choose from.  Now is the perfect time to get the most out of them.  It’s not just about organic and locality, it’s really about getting in tune with yourself and community.  I say yourself, because what the Earth provides you with is what would be most beneficial for you.  You support your health and your community as well.  Knowing where and who is putting the food on your table is rewarding for both sides.

IMG_3229

Where I’m at it’s a late Spring haul.  This is the time for much more seasonal variety.  What we are still loving:

  • Greens – Kale, lettuces, spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Radishes
  • Asparagus

Then we have some new additions:

  • Strawberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Zucchini
  • Spring onions galore! IMG_3185

IMG_3215

With this produce, you are easily good to buy for the week.  And you definitely do not want to skip the herbs.  So many to choose from!  They have both in bulk and then in the pots, which is very accessible and practical for those that want to buy their own to plant.

My personal favorites to always have on hand:

  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Cilantro

 

IMG_3204

And for my meat-eaters and cheese-lovas, we got you covered.  Most of the meat you see in farmers markets are hormone-free, free-range and pastured raised.  Since not operated by big corporations, you can be assured that animals were raised and killed in humane ways.  You are ALWAYS welcomed to ask questions to the farmers who raise the animals or obtain the meat.  They are usually very pleasant and informative about those things.

IMG_3221

Don’t forget to try out local vendors!  Seriously amazing foods.  Usually made with seasonal ingredients, they are a great way to try something new and get ideas for yourself.

I have a few ideas of my own and have already started!  Can’t wait to share with you all very soon!

IMG_3300

*Pictures from Summit Farmers Market, New Jersey.  Look up your local market here!

 

Summer Series: Tips to Staying “Healthy” On Vacation

IMG_3028

“Healthy” – What makes you feel great.  During the act.  After the fact.  Simple.

I am back and trying to get things moving, you guys!  My trip was just what I needed for a little relaxation, inspiration, and motivation, to give all I had to give out to you all.

This is the first post of my Summer Series!  From today until the first day of Summer, I have a few posts lined up, on how to enjoy and prepare for the hot months to come!  This one was inspired from my recent trip.  I dealt with extra heat and humidity, so I thought I would start with something we all get to enjoy this time of year.  Vacation!!

A vacation is a way to incorporate both new and exciting, with tried and trues of what really makes us feel centered.  You want that, trust me.  I used to stray very far from eating habits and routines during vacation, so much so I would need a detox to feel back on track, lose that extra weight.  I don’t believe a vacation has to be like that.  You want to feel great during and even better after.  You went on this vacation to feel renewed, inspired, adventurous.  Your health is the gateway to being able to enjoy that much MORE.

IMG_3017.

Keep to most of your everyday routines.  I used to be told that on vacation, you have to let go, that it’s unrealistic to take what you use and do somewhere else.  Not true!  Whether you find yourself in a house or hotel, most likely you have a bathroom, mini fridge, and a kitchen of some sorts within the area.

Unless you are going hiking, then disregard.  Since I was staying for about a week, I bought a few things that I could not bring with me.

  • lemon
  • applecider vinegar

*If you don’t have a fridge or kitchen to take advantage of,  I recommend water every morning and night.  Hydration is the key.

That’s it!  Everythingh else of non perishables, I used mini-jars ($5 at target) and bought travel sized beauty products.  Even my tea and salt, I was able to bring in a small bag.

IMG_3054

  • Jars filled with coconut oil.  One as my body and face moisturizer.  Another for oil pulling.
  • Jar of deodorant.  I make mine in bulk, so needed only a bit.
  • Store bought cleanser/toner.  This is good to limit extra oils, since you would be at risk of spilling during travel.
  • Mini dry brush for everyday skin and body detox.
  • Triphala.  My morning digestion supplement

If you happen to have a fridge, take advantage, please! I like to keep to light snacks.  Lots of fruit.  With no kitchen, going out to eat is inevitable.  But even you eat right in between, and keep to just one splurge meal, the only thing you are going to crave after is a home cooked meal.

  • Fruits.  Bananas, apples, oranges.  If you have a fridge, pineapples and berries are a great addition!
  • Rice chips and hummus
  • Granola and yogurt
IMG_3023

Chia Seed Pudding (check my recipe page!)

IMG_3063

Did you know that travel and different surroundings can effect you regardless if you are eating right or not? Everything from your digestion to skin can be impacted.  We are sensitive creatures.  The good news is that even one simple product or food can help that.

Aloe vera became my go to.  My digestion wasn’t perfect leaving so a couple of days in I had to take action.  Alittle bit cut up to sooth bloat and constipation.  It worked like magic.  Since I was also in the sun, I used it as a soothing ointment for my face and neck.  The most sensitive parts of my body.

So here are some of my favorites.  Whatever is your morning beverage and your favorite cleanser, stick with it!  Vacations should be packed with what you want.  Whether relaxing or adventure.  Feeling great is part of the package that I hope you signed up for!

IMG_3129

 

 

Making Inspirations into Realities

IMG_3053

Sidewalk inspiration by Emma of Tampa, Florida.

We all love those morning mantras or Monday motivations.  Those little doses of inspiration to get our gears going into action.  Anytime of day, I say we could use some of those quotes.  Some stick with us more than others, to soon shape our whole perspective.

But how do you see those coming to be?  The mantras that give you that “aha” moment, do you really see them in your everyday life.  How do you incorporate ways to fit them in?

Lately, I’ve been in a little funk.  Not terrible, but enough to make me go, “No, you have a dream, you have a goal, so be there.”  Questions on what is my next step came up.  How can I show up? How can I be there in the most authentic way to show others what I believe?  Will I embrace the connections that have shown up themselves? More than ever I have questioned is this what I want to be doing right now.

“Just question if you still love what you once loved.” ~Danielle LaPorte

There are times the universe controls what happens, but there are times you need to make the happens in the universe.

Here are some steps to making those inspirations become your reality.

1.  Where were you three years ago, and where are you now?  Take any perspective you like.  But, don’t sugar coat it.  Do have a different job?  Different partner?  Newly Single?  Newly open?  For me, I found myself almost in the same exact place.  Same job, same house, most of same friends.  Inside, I am actually trying to get right back where I was before too.  Can you believe it?  I want the same openness.  I want the practice and commitment.

2.  How can you make it different?  Yes you can be in that same job, but are you in a different position or more goal-oriented?  Can you take living in the same place, but take random weeks to make up for the adventure?  That’s exactly what I did.  Taking a spontaneous trip, to do almost the same as what I’ve could have done home… was one of the better decisions I made in a while.  You can get out of your comfort zone and still do what comforts you!

3.  What ways will you practice?  When you look at an amazing liner, write down how you can or have made it happen. Try saying to yourself, “Fuck yea.  This is what’s gonna go down now!” I have this amazing planner that helps me with that.  Everyday I use it, to figure out what I can change or do, to make that mantra come to life.

So much easier said than done.  The funks and rough patches might seem they are coming up more often than you prefer.  But, after a while, I guarantee it’s because you are thinking more frequently of having those inspirations become a reality.

“Do stuff.  Be clenched, curious.  Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead.  Attention is vitality.  It connects you with others.  It makes you eager.  Stay eager.” 

~ Susan Sontag

My Favorite Teas, Tonics, and More!

IMG_2401Photo by Maryanne Guinto

I believe that everyday your body has the opportunity to cleanse and heal itself.  Through mindful practices that soon become habits, your body can instantly start to change for the better.  From the inside out, you may experience more energy, better skin, and overall better feeling about not just your body.

Here are some of my tried and true favorites.  For only a week, to maybe a consistent healthy ritual, how long is up to you and how you want to feel.

Morning:

Warm Lemon Water with ACV and Turmeric

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

Green Juice

  • kale
  • spinach
  • parsley
  • apple
  • ginger
  • lemon

Smoothie

  • kale
  • pineapple chunks
  • mango
  • almond milk/coconut water
  • avocado
  • flaxseeds

 

Day:

Cleansing Water

  • Slices of cucumber
  • fresh parsley
  • lemon
  • pitcher of water

Beet Juice

  • beets
  • carrots
  • apple
  • ginger
  • lemon

 

Night:

Tea Packets (or fresh)

  1. Milk Thistle (liver cleansing)
  2. Dandelion (spring detoxing)
  3. Ginger (gut health)

Turmeric Latte

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • cinnamon
  • raw honey

PS.  What are your go to superfoods??  What would you add?  Take out?  I think this is a basis, but feel free to have a little *healthy* fun!

 

When In Doubt, Keep It Going

IMG_2071

Just keep GOING.

Seriously, that is the message I have for you and myself.

As part of human nature, we depend and love momentum.  A constant need and love for movement and feelings of progress.  Although, what happens when we lose it, or feel as if it is gone?

I know I am guilty of  just wanting to give up.  From coming out of an argument with loved ones, or having a sudden feeling of panic, rapidly everything you worked for seems pointless.  Unreachable.  Unimaginable.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been going through ALOT of doubt.  It usually comes out after being a little scared, nervous, or upset.  Automatically, I attack the things and people I love most.  How can I get hurt by others I care for deeply (that is called ego, discussion on that sometime soon) and then on top of that, tell myself what I love isn’t worth it?  Questioning my passions and growth being worth the work, the failures, the smiles, and the growth.  Sometimes the question turns into, “Am I even moving?”

What growth has actually happened? Regardless of what you believe in the moment, what keeps you going and smiling is helping you grow everyday.  That subject, work, or dream is worth it and tangible.  That smile you have is a constant assurance.  The feedback you receive is the reflection of your work.  That lightness in your heart, only grows when we the constant growth of love.  Love of family, work , and your own being.

We always hear how to never give up or to get back up when you fall.  But, growing up.. there are times when you do need to let go.  Letting go is the conscious phrase for quit.  Because when you let go, you are letting go of what doesn’t serve you.  When you quit, you quit a habit, a job, a dream.

So when you feel doubtful, stuck, or unsure of your passions, stay in the feelings a little longer if you must, maybe cry a bit.  And then, let them go.  Because what you want will always come back to you.  Passions are inescapable.  Almost like love.  That feeling lingers forever.  And if it’s something you care for deeply, that made you work harder, smile brighter, and left you to be a better person, then maybe it is the best thing for you.  So move on, and keep it going.

IMG_2157

How to Get Over Being Busy. Now.

IMG_1932

You know those days.. weeks?  months?  Those times you can’t believe you still have enough energy to even eat.  When we really think about it, the question “How they are doing?” usually ends with busy.  Nowadays more than ever, if you aren’t busy, then your way of living is questionable.  You must have a shit-ton of loans to pay off, jobs, a family, or rather busy trying to create a family.  How did that happen?  When did we want to be so busy all the time? And to the point, that should we have a little free time, we become bored?

IMG_1697

DIY coming up soon!

I must say that I found myself about to break last week.  I have this very bad tendency of sacrificing sleep above anything else.  I know I can function (enough for what I need) on four to six hours for a few days.  Then I crashed.  There was also a sense of guilt.  How can I neglect my passions!  Whether it’s writing this blog or thinking of new ideas and programs, I love to spend any free time I had doing it. For myself, it’s not just a hobby, but a bigger part of my life.  I didn’t remember saying everything else was more important.  This is when I stepped back and remembered, “I got this.”  This is what I want.

IMG_1739

Sofrito for the soul

So where do we draw the line in order fit in what and who is most important to us?  When can we say stop, THIS is what I want to do?

  1.  Prioritize.  Yes, your job is important.  Your family is important.  Your health is important.  Your passions are important.  But, I might go further to say what will sustain you.  What will give you that balance?  A job does provide money for food and shelter, whether for just yourself or anyone else.  So, first accept that you do what you can to get what you need.  Then stop.  Work your ass off and breathe.  Because, at the end of the day you probably have a few other things that you want to get done, even experience.
  2. Find something you enjoy.  And become good at it.  This is one key to being happy by yourself, with yourself, and for yourself.  Become good at something that makes you want to work hard and find time to do this new hobby/side-hustle/art.  Whether it be as simple as reading a book, to a whole new yoga practice.  You will find yourself working just as hard on other priorities and love being able to come back to that.  You can keep busy doing what you love.  Who knew?
  3. Let it go.  This seems to work for almost anything.  As a culture, the goal is to do better, stay focused, and stay busy.  Even I at times find myself thinking, “Ok, now what?”  That’s when it’s time to say, “Yes!” and enjoy a good old comedy show.  It actually feels great.  There is always something to do, but sometimes it’s best to just hang out.  Laugh with others or to yourself watching something good.  If you feel you can do a little more, but still want to just relax, Pinterest!  Ideas and creativity while in your sweatpants is always a great thing.
  4. Start with yourself.  Don’t wait for anything or anyone. Eat well and get sleep.  Everyone has short-comings  when they become busy and mine is the latter.  These two things alone help me stay focus on busy days and enjoy life how I like the other days.  Staying focus helps you understand what has to be done and what you want to do, which really comes down to how you want to feel.

Nobody wants to feel too busy they can’t find time for what they love.  And when you do find the time, you don’t want to feel anything other than happy and relaxed.  This is for you not to forget about what’s important.  In kindergarden we have nap time and snack time.  As adults, we have me-time.  Let’s get back to that!

IMG_1922

yesenia

 

Quick and Easy Fried Rice

IMG_1769
So, one of my goals to eat healthier and get back into a more consistent/routine practice had to do with cooking.  Now, more than ever I have a great opportunity to utilize a working kitchen, using a lot more of the ingredients I love.  As well, I am trying to use methods to create the cost-effective and health conscious meals for myself and others.  If you struggle with feeding yourself and others with limited time and budget this post is for you.  Even if you don’t, this is a great easy break for you experienced-love-to-cook chefs 😉

I wanted to make enough food in one day to last almost three.  From one meal of rice and beans, I used the left over rice to make an easy and quick fried rice recipe.

IMG_1752

What makes this recipe cost-effective are the use of frozen vegetables and cabinet spices.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I slip on keeping up with planned meals and end up having VERY old wilted vegetables.  Also, it’s a great way to get a variety without buying a crazy amount.  Cabinet spices definitely helped when you forget the fresh basics, such as garlic and ginger, but still makes for a great taste.

I saved time having the rice cooked.  After that, you just cook the egg!

Disclaimer:  I don’t tend to measure ingredients when cooking.  I use the old taste and tell method of measurement, so most of these are estimations.  Feel free to change to your liking!

IMG_1776Quick and Easy Fried Rice

  • Half pot of already cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 2 packages frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola or sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 cup kimchi juice or rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup tamari soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 4 scallions chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat up your rice and defrost the vegetables in 2 different pots.  As they heat up you can create your sauce.  I used canola oil, kimchi juice from the jar, tamari, and spices.  Set aside.

Combine the vegetable and rice once warm.  Scramble the two eggs and add to the pot.  Mix together and then combine with sauce.  Add the scallions in, plus more for garnish. Salt and pepper to taste!

IMG_1783

I served mine with a little hot sauce and a dijon Mahi Mahi.  I only defrost the fish and then smothered it with dijon mustard and leftover sauce!  Right into the oven it went!

I hope you enjoy!