sustainable

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.

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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.

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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

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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

 

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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.

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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!

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

 

Conscious Beauty: DIY Face Scrub

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My dears, I have another beauty post for ya’ll!

My skin care and beauty routine has definitely taken a huge leap over the last few years.  Whether its converting myself from drug store products to expensive brand cleansers and creams, I have tried it all.  The perfect skin is still far from reach, but after all this time, I finally discovered the secret! Or, rather experienced it.  Not only does it reduce puffiness, but it actually makes you feel and look a little more radiant and alive! SLEEP!

Yes, I said it.  I know it’s been something everyone’s been raving about.  But for the first time I had consecutive days of early rises FOLLOWED by early bed times.  Magical.  I found myself not needing to put a load of make up (eye-makeup) to feel and look alive.  What I noticed most were the under eye baggage not being as prominent, which is actually a hereditary struggle for myself.  Try sleep, it’s great.

Any way, I promise this was not the only thing I wanted to share with you.  I just thought since we were on the subject of break-through beauty thangs…. On to the good stuff.

How has these winter months been treating you?  Well, what I really want to know is how your skin is doing? If you are anything like my vata-self (windy, dry, and cold), then you most likely feel like the whole world is ending at times.  Or rather, you might just feel itchy and dry.  Same thing?

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As you know, I’ve been experimenting with lot’s of DIY products.  From homemade deodorant, to easy face cleansers, I try to always make it easily adjustable for everyone. This one is no different.  It is pretty simple, and does what’s needed for anyone looking to get rid of dry skin, and help skin feel rejuvenated and soft.

Natural ingredients, each having their own reason to shine and have you shining as well.

  • Sugar – Natural scrub/exfoliator.  Helps rid dead and flaky skin.
  • Coconut oil – Helps moisturize and hydrate dry skin.  Fight acne.  Antibacterial and antioxidant properties to keep skin healthy and protected.
  • Lemon – Balances pH on skin.  Helps brighten and soften skin.  Rids dead skin cells combined with sugar.

This recipe calls for a pretty small portion, but it is perfect since a little goes along way and you don’t need to use it everyday.  I recommend about twice a week at least.  It keeps in the fridge for at least a month, but I recommend smelling and keeping it eye on it after.  Like any natural food like product, use your senses for any spoilage.

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DIY Face Scrub

Ingredients

  • 4 tbs sugar
  • 3 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 lemon squeezed

Mix then refrigerate.  Use small portion and make pliable on hand first.  Apply onto skin, moving softly in slow circular motion all over face.  Rinse with luke warm water, then splash with cool water.  Pat dry with small towel.

You may add another nightly moisturizer to seal hydration.

 

 

 

August Thangs: Foodie Style

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I love these kinds of posts. I just drown you in pictures.  It’s amazing.

August, has been one of those months.  Felt like the longest month ever.  I almost feel bad for rushing it, but I’m over it.  I’m ready for a new season, new lipsticks, different foods, and a detox.  But until then, I enjoyed what I could.

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So, I wanted to start on touching base about getting back into it.  Into the holistic healthy way of living I love so much.  Seriously.  My cravings for greens and fresh ingredients were at it’s highest this season than ever before.  So, for starters, I got back into meal prepping.  Mostly breakfast and lunch.

IMG_0215Chia Seed Pudding


IMG_0404Tomato and Cucumber Quinoa Salad (Recipe coming soon!)

Coming home, I will not lie that I do not stray far from the usual.  This is that “growing up hispanic” things.  Especially with a Grandma who always wants to see you eating.  Rice and beans.  Avocado. Kimchi for good measure (and good digestion).

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Did we notice anything different?  Meeeeaaaaattt!  My other craving.  During the month, I’ve become a bit of a crazy sleeper.  Sometimes 3 hours, sometimes 8 hours.  That’s where I fell most short when trying to get on track.  I used food and a lot of coffee to keep me energized.  No, I didn’t picture all the starbucks and cafe con leche I consumed in two weeks.  Protien and fats kept me full the most, and my paychecks allowed for the extra goodies and pounds as well 😉

Then you have the times when you are sans groceries or rushing around trying to put on crazy eyeliner.  Whole Foods Market always has my back.

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I don’t think I COOKED anything for myself this month.  Don’t ask me to cook for you.  Only breakfast.  I own breakfast.

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IMG_0161I live for eggs. And simplicity.

I also went out a few times.  I think twice out of the those times I did, I was pretty impressed.

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I finally found a Peruvian restaurant in Tampa, that lives up to the ones in NJ I hold near and dear.  Machu Picchu Restaurant did it for me. A standard Saltado de Mariscos, that was delicious in it’s own simplicity.  Out of trying two other places in the area, I was so happy to find a place I really enjoyed!

Let’s talk about brunch.  I have been brunch deprived.  It’s a shame too, because you can never go wrong with brunch, just need enough mimosas to cancel out bad food.  Luckily, I have some foodie friends here who are willing to show and try new places with me!  First stop, Ella’s Folk Art Cafe for Soul Food Sundays!

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There’s bacon on my Bloody Mary.  Super Lame fact:  I didn’t eat it.

IMG_0372Tofu and Portabella Barbecue Sandwich.  It made my heart and stomach warm.

Would definitely love to try this place again.  The menu looked amazing!

Other times, you are a little cheap, kind of lazy, and ready for a weekend.  That’s when frozen vegan pizza and cheap wine come to the rescue.  Late night cozy lovin’.

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Other events did occur that didn’t have much to do with food.  I discovered a new mall.  Tanned at least once.  And I WENT TO YOGA.  AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK.  Big deals people.  It was scary and hard.  But it brought back feelings and memories.  Those inspirational kickass feelings you get doing a warrior 2 while your sweat turns into puddles.  Remembering that even though your body cannot do what it once did one year ago, you know your body still has the ability to get there again.  Goddamn yoga, you win me over every time.

August, you were alright.  Started out slow, but how quickly did everything happen all at once.  Feelings, decisions, and a start in planning something new.  September, I hope you are ready for me.

IMG_0367Super fullmoon ritual.  Candles, incense, and wine.

Until next time, my dears,

yesenia

 

Whole Foods Favorites

Hey heyy!

Well it is finally here! Spring!!  This Friday will mark the start of a new season, new moon, solar eclipse, and end to the Zodiac Year.  How’s all that for a Friday?  I will most definitely be celebrating 😉

So around this time, it is most popular to talk about slimming down, detoxes, and change of diet.  All very interesting (some of my favorite things to talk about), but I thought we try something new.  I would like to talk about where, how, and why I shop at my favorite store for my favorite buys

Whole Foods Favorites!

These are things I buy as part of my everyday essentials.  When I splurge, where I save, and how it’s actually possible to get yourself a cabinet/fridge/home full of amazing products.

1. Local Fruits and Vegetables.  I know it depends mostly on the time of year and where you live for this to happen, but I’m almost positive I stress it every chance I get.  If you live in the northern part, summer farmers markets are the way to go.  Here in Florida, I noticed quickly the abundance of local vegetables in January!  To say I was excited is an understatement.  Until I find a farmers market in the area, I will continue to shop for more local and pick and choose when to be organic.  Local is usually cheaper, tastier, and always in season.  If it isn’t organic, it’s ok!  Tomatoes and apples are my go-to organics, if not I know that most likely less pesticides and travel time were used before they ended up in the shelves.  This equals yummier and healthier produce!

2. Coconut Oil.  Whether Whole Foods brand or larger named brand, you can usually get a good deal on a jar of coconut oil.  I love organic and fair trade, so Dr. Bronners is my go-to.  I buy a big jar, usually whenever it is on sale because I go through it so fast!  Especially now in a more tropical setting, coconut oil is actually one of the more cooling oils to use for warmer months.  From make up remover, moisturizer, DIY deodorants, and mouth wash, I dare say one day I may have the guts to drink this stuff.  Buy in bulk and distribute how you like!

3. Apple Cider Vinegar.  Yes, because of so many reasons.  Benefits are endless and real.  Buy in bulk and wait for that sale!  So worth it!  So cheap and will last you depend on how much you take advantage of this stuff.  My love for ACV goes into my morning cup of lemon water, EVERYDAY.  As a way to keep your skin and gut happy, it may also be use as a toner and hair shine.  If you tried for anything else, please share!

4. Nut butters.  Whole Foods always has a sale. Whole Foods always has an amazing selection.  Try them out.  Really,  all are beneficial and tasty in there own way.  I’m all about having fun with food.  This is the perfect way.  From traditional, to chocolaty, to cinnamon raisin, you can keep it as healthy or naughty as you like 😉  Whoops!  I’ve enjoyed mine in oatmeal and smoothies, on toast, or straight out of the jar!  Healthy fats and protein any way you like.

4. Toothpaste.  Natural toothpaste is the way to go for me.  I go to Whole Foods for the wide selection, which allows me to pick and choose.  Even though I have my favorite brand Auromere, sometimes if others are on sale, I experiment.  Why not?  This allows you to figure out which works best for you!  And going to a larger supermarket allows for more customized preferences, while trying to stay on YOUR budget.  Why natural though?  Less chemicals and ingredients I don’t understand.  This helps your sensitive gums, strengthen teeth, and keep both you and the environment healthy as well.

5. Pasture-raised or local eggs.  I’m not fully convinced with organic.  I’m more of a “want my chickens to be eating grass and worms all day-everyday.”  Chickens are actually meant to eat insects and feed off of other animals (poop) and grass.  Organic usually means vegetarian-fed and which is still great considering less pesticides and antibiotics.  Although Whole Foods gives me the selection I crave, so I may make my own decisions on how I like my eggs.  I’ve noticed that most New Jersey Whole Foods have local eggs, here in Florida not so much.

These are just everyday and weekly favorites of mine.  Of course, there is so much more I love to buy and try, but I thought I keep with the basic necessities.  You have your veggies, protein, and edible healthy beauty products 😉  I think it’s the perfect time to really get to know your grocery stores, health food stores, and farmers markets.  These items and brands will not only help you transition into a healthier new season, but an overall healthier new way of living.

If you would like to know a little more about certain items, please let me know.  If you are fortunate to live by a major health food store (like myself) check out there products and prices!  I find some stuff to be cheaper and if you are one to get overwhelmed with a lot of choices, definitely check those out.  It’s a great way to try and talk with the workers too, as it’s usually a more intimate setting.

Remember, it’s not easy, especially in our culture, to spend good money on good food.  Choose your priorities.  Choose them wisely and humbly.

 

The Skinny on Keeping Healthy on a (very) Low Budget

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Straight to the point, no?

I decided to this post, because quite frankly, I’m living it.  Moving takes a tole on everything front the mental and physical aspects, to of course the material financial parts.  It’s a crazy adjustment for myself to get used to, and I think there are plenty of people who are trying to get both themselves and finances put together.

Everyone I believe chooses the lifestyle they live.

That is were this post comes in.  Whether you are new to this healthy living movement, trying to lose weight, or want to feel better about your footsteps among this earth, this post is for you.  Healthy-living gets a bad rap for being too expensive, which I find is one of the top reasons which turn people off.  Well, I’m here to tell you it can be, but I start with this first piece of advice on staying healthy,

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1.  Where are your priorities?  As someone who openly speaks about health and nutrition, I get a lot of people who come to me and say, “Wow, I want to be/eat healthy, but I love cake.” or “I would love to be healthy, but all these healthy things are too expensive.”  Well, my response to both types of remarks is usually “If you want it, you can make it work.”  What is important to you?  Is it your own health?  The health of your family?  I find that people who only want to lose weight tend to lose track a bit more often.  Start with why?  And keep on asking.

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2.  Whole foods become every week staples.  It’s all about the basics.

  •  Whole grains for fiber which keeps your digestion happy and yourself full long.  Brown rice, quinoa, organic pasta, and sprouted whole wheat bread are some of my favorites.
  • Fruits such as bananas, apples, oranges, tomatoes, and avocados, give you an array of vitamins, fiber, and energy to keep you healthy and GLOWING.
  • Greens are a great source of calcium and vitamins D, C, A… etc. to add to your diet.  Kale, chard, romaine, spinach (great source of iron), and broccoli are great to rotate into your meals.  Color vegetables such as carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes are amazing for your health and skin as well.
  • Proteins.  I swear by eggs, yogurt, nut butters, and beans as an everyday staple.  With healthy fats, bacteria, and protein, you can not go wrong with these vegetarian staples.  They are cheap and affordable, even the pastured raised organic versions!
  • Limit red meat and cheese.  I try to buy one kind of cheese a week.  It may be cheddar slices for a sandwich or crumbled cheese for salads or fancy egg breakfasts.  Red meat can get expensive.  I ask that when you do buy meat, please, please, make it grass fed and organic.  Not only is it more nutritious, but you learn to really appreciate the life on your table and therefore don’t abuse the power of energy, the life of the animal GAVE to you.  Yes.  I went there.  The occasional wild caught salmon is a big thumbs up as well.

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3.  Buy a whole chicken!  Not only are you saving money buy avoiding the precut, skinned parts of the animal, but you are gaining a whole lot of nutrition.  I love it when you can just roast a chicken and can become a meal for a family, or made for different days of the week.  My family may have had some for dinner, and then they would take a part the rest for toppings on salad or a chicken salad.  It’s a rewarding and cheap way to bring a more sustainable way of everyday meat into your diet.

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4.  Treat yourself to a different superfood every week.  Almost how we like to have the Friday night drink or buy ourselves a new pair of well deserved heels, treat your body to something amazing as well!  Cupboard basics such as coconut oil(antibacterial), apple cider vinegar(alkalizer), flax and chia seeds(omega 3 and fiber), etc… are items that last and definitely have amazing nutritional benefits!  You don’t have to spend a fortunate your first grocery trip!  Little by little your kitchen will be filled with healthy delicious items and condiments.  Splurge on an organic green juice or a a couple kombuchas (probiotics), which by the way, can sometimes cost less than two Starbucks lattes… ouch!

5.  Keep active.  Whether you have an active job or an active exercise routine, that’s all you need.  To be honest, I’m not a very athletic person.  But my job is on my feet, running around sometimes to get stuff done.  I don’t like to be sitting down bored pretending to work.  If you do have a job where you sit, make sure to do a run before work or a walk in the evening.  I know for most the weather is COLD now.  Best thing to do?  Stretches and movement in the morning are your best bet if you don’t go out for exercise.  Seriously, the skinny is you don’t have to spend crazy money with excise.  Abs are made 70% in the kitchen, 30% in the gym 😉

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For me, I live a healthy lifestyle for how it makes me feel good inside and out.  When I feel good about myself, I can do my best and be a better person.  I want to smile at people.  I want to try and make other’s feel good and smile too.  I want to show people you don’t have to be a skinny rich model to feel and look amazing.

We are all people with different means and beliefs, and if you read this, than I assume you might have some sort of belief in healthy living.  These are just a few of my tips on staying healthy and fit.  What are yours?  You don’t have to start doing all of these, but maybe may try something new.  Share or think it through!  How can you make a healthy lifestyle with what you already have?

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PS.  Keep it organic if possible.  No greed or gluttony.  Always choose avocados.  Pure enjoyment always.

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Truth

I got cravings.  Like every other mamacita (and chico!) out there, I can crave anything from sugar and caffeine to kale salads and some hummus.  I believe in following your  cravings.  Not necessarily giving in to them, but understanding them.  You want some sugar – try eating more fruit.  Craving a juicy burger?  Try eating more healthy fats and proteins like avocados and almonds.  Catching my drift?

Yet, sometimes going right to the source solves that salivating thought.

It’s simple really, and we all have heard it.  We shouldn’t deprive ourselves.  We shouldn’t eat what we don’t like (even love).  We should enjoy every bite of  food we are blessed to have.  It almost seems simple enough, but in reality, most of us find it difficult.  Too busy to cook, too poor to buy healthy food, too stressed, lazy, … the list goes on.  In today’s world and American ways, people are busy!  Convenience has become God’s gift to the world.  We are tempted to eat foods that we ourselves know aren’t good for us.  Maybe, we just give in, and say “Hey, I’m too tired and lazy to cook, chips for dinner sounds awesome.”

My excuse?  I’ve been craving cheese for the longest, mac ‘n cheese, pasta, enchiladas… bring it on!  Why I don’t usually eat cheese, is a matter of ethical and sustainable beliefs on where my food comes from.  I want to know where, how, and in what conditions did this milk come from.  Now, I know most people say, huh?  Now a days cheese gets the rep of something that is utterly delicious, but high in fat and calories.  Especially, when melted and hot and oozing all over your plate.  Not what I’m concerned about, and sometimes it sucks.

Lately when I’ve been craving something, I make sure I know whats going on.  If it’s dessert, I make it myself, usually dairy-free.  Eggs?  Buy them and make them myself.  Meat?  Organic, pastured-raised, or local is what I look for to cook at home.  Not for nothing, that’s money, time, and effort.  I don’t live on a farm or live in an area where chickens are grazing all year long.

I thought this was something that I was getting over through the years, and maybe this was just a slip up, but I actually sat down with my own will-power and consciously ate pizza.  No restaurant messed up my order, no person was unaware of my lifestyle, and nobody made me feel bad about not eating.  I sat down and helped myself to a few slices of pizza.  With the family and a glass of wine, couldn’t have been better, right?  It’s part of the reason I had it, family time.  Well in my mind, yes.  I actually felt guilty.  Not because it was my second dinner or because it was later than my usual dinner time or because it was so fattening, but because I thought about hormones and factories.  I thought about how it wasn’t even necessary since I wasn’t that even that hungry.  I thought I could get over it after a couple of bites, even if I focused on the family time and bonding, but afterwards I felt exactly the same… deprived.

Isn’t it just more convenient just to get something from your local pizzeria, then the closest Whole Foods 20 minutes away?  Fuck yea!  Please nod your  head with me.  Put that attitude on.  Fuck yea!

The point is, when satisfying a craving, you aren’t truly satisfied if your not happy after you’ve indulged.  Guilt, sickness, or punishment, is never ok.  Sometimes, I may eat too much, may not eat enough, or have too many desserts in one day, but I stop and remind myself it’s  my body.  I care about it and want to respect it and be grateful for what I am able to have.

I hope this made some sense.  This is another one of those posts of me putting myself out there.  This is a healthy living blog, and I can’t think of anything more healthy right now than me being honest.  “All this because of a few slices of pizza,” you may?  Yea, because this is my passion.  Food, people, and the environment.  I want to save the world.  Or maybe just a cow for now.  I want to make you and the bunnies eating off the land happy.  Damn, I sound corny, but tis true.  I want to show everyone they can eat the best without being greedy, and without going hungry, because out there is somebody who really could use that meal.

“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” ~ Michael Pollan

 

“and satisfy your chocolate cheesy oatmeal cravings!!!”

~ yesenia