Golden Milk

“Herbs and spices promote well-being in your entire body, not just in one particular area.” – Dr. Mercola While in Sagaponeck, NY last weekend celebrating Grandma’s 85th birthday, my cousins and I stumbled upon a hidden gem down a small … Continue reading

Garlic Miso Dressing

I am a big fan of homemade salad dressings… They are usually super easy to make, taste delicious, and are free of harsh, unwanted ingredients that most store-bought dressings contain (you know, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, unhealthy oils, and other ingredients that are hard to pronounce).

I use my zesty dressing almost always, but last week decided to make something a little different.IMG_5317

You will need:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons white miso paste

1 large clove garlic (or 2 small)

1 tablespoon raw honey

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

This is the perfect dressing for almost any salad.  It has a light, sweet flavor with a little bit of bite, making it a real crowd pleaser.

Let me know what you think!

 

with love and well-dressed greens,

Amanda

Dry Brushing Your Way to Healthy Skin

When we think of caring for our body, we want to support and nurture it as best we can, both inside and out.  Last week I spoke of some ways to cleanse and support the body with foods this time of year, so this week I wanted to mention a wonderful way to love and care for your body from the outside.

Skin is our largest organ.  It helps to regulate our body temperature, prevents the entry of bacteria, plays a huge part in our sensory functions, and also is responsible for eliminating toxins in the body.  It is estimated that the skin secretes about 1 pound of toxins everyday!! Gross!  But also awesome… (Thank you skin!)  With all that it is responsible for and the fact that it covers our entire body, I think it is safe to assume that keeping our skin healthy should be a top priority.

There was a time in my life where CVS was one of my favorite places to shop, but as I have become more conscious of what I put IN my body, I have also learned the importance of what I put ON my body.  Consider that we are feeding ourselves through our skin.  Products are absorbed and ingested into the body just as if we were to sit down and enjoy a big bowl of them.  Realizing this has created shifts in my life, such as moving away from products found on most store shelves and onto techniques like dry brushing.dry brush

Dry brushing is a great way to support the health of your skin, ensuring that it is properly excreting waste and toxins through the pores while also keeping it smooth, bright and healthy.  Why purchase all those chemical laden exfoliators, lotions and oils when you can dry brush?  This technique also supports the lymphatic system, the immune system and the urinary system, and increases circulation, which in turn supports detoxification and drainage throughout the body.

So, how do you dry brush?  First you want to purchase a body brush online or in your local health food store.  Then, spend 5 minutes each morning before your shower or workout to brush your entire body.  The goal is to exfoliate the top layer of your skin, and this is done by GENTLY stroking each part of your body about 5 times.  Start at your feet and work up towards your heart with straight or circular strokes.  Then, start at your hands and work in towards your heart.  Use straight strokes over your arms, legs, back, etc… and circular strokes over your joints.  Brushes with long handles make it easier to brush your back.  And don’t forget those butt cheeks!

This is a gentle process and in no way should you be in pain.  While you brush your body, think loving thoughts, reflect on what is to come in your day, and simply love yourself.  This can be a beautiful time to treat your body and your mind to some real nourishment.

It is recommended to clean your brush once a week by soaking it in warm water with a splash of white vinegar for about 30 minutes.  Then, let it dry.  Dry brushing is always to be done with a dry brush on dry skin.

Over time, you may not need all those fancy lotions and oils anymore.  Dry brushing causes the skin to release natural oils, keeping it extra soft and not clogging up the pores the way most products do.  Remember, we want our pores to be able to breathe so they can properly detox bodily waste throughout the day.

To continue the release of toxins, alternate between warm and cold water in the shower.  This stimulates our blood circulation and  invigorates the skin, further encouraging the body’s natural elimination process.  You can also support the health of your skin by exercising and sweating regularly, staying properly hydrated, and eating the right foods (think healthy oils and fats).

Is dry brushing right for you?  The only way you’re going to know is if you try it out.  Happy dry brushing!

 

with love and radiant skin,

Amanda

Crumbled Tempeh Curry Stir-fry

The other night Topher and I both got home late and were more or less starving, we took a quick inventory of what we had around and came up with this concoction — fast, easy, delicious, makes for great leftovers — perfect, right?! I love keeping tempeh and tofu on hand to create fast meals with. I estimated our ingredient amount here (sorry, I didn’t know it’d turn out so good so I didn’t capture it as we made it! ), so please feel free to adjust according to your liking. Really, almost any veggies that you have around would make a great addition to this dish. It’s great as is, or over a grain (we had it with quinoa; basmati or jasmine rice would work well too).
tempehcurrystirfry

Ingredients:
Serves 4

red curry paste, about 2 tablespoons
1 can of coconut milk, about 1 cup
organic unrefined coconut oil, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped
1 package of organic tempeh (I like to use the Lifelight flax variety ) , crumbled
1 package of green beans, cut into halves
2 carrots, sliced
1 zucchini, chopped
red pepper flakes
sea salt
fresh cilantro (optional )

The tempeh crumbles very easily; break it apart into bite size pieces and set aside.
Heat the coconut oil on medium high heat. Once it’s melted add in the garlic and onions and cook until the onions become translucent.
Add in the tempeh crumbles and mix well. Add in the zucchini, carrots and green beans.
While the vegetables are cooking,  in a separate bowl mix the coconut milk and curry paste until the paste has dissolved. Take the coconut milk and curry mixture and add it to the pan. Stir thoroughly so that it’s all mixed together well. Add a bit of red pepper and sea salt to taste. It’s nice to leave the vegetables a little crunchy so be careful not to over cook them. Heat through and serve! I like to add a bit of fresh cilantro as a garnish.

with love and healthy-quick-meals,

Jackie

Simple Sautéed Broccoli

I am a big fan of this veggie… Maybe because it brings back memories from my childhood, pretending to be a giant and eating trees. Maybe because I know how beneficial it is, full of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. Probably because it is priced reasonably and super easy to cook. Definitely because it can be thrown on top of, mixed in with, or served as a side dish with SO MANY different meals.

Although I include broccoli into many different dishes, this way is one of my favorites. I always get complimented on this dish, and it is so easy… really.

Start with a head (or 2) of broccoli, depending how many people (or pets) you are making it for. Using a sharp knife, chop off the very bottom part of the stem because it is usually very tough and fibrous. If you want, you can save this for juicing.

Using a smaller knife or a veggie peeler, begin to cut away the tough, outer layer of the “trunk” along with any of the small branches until you see the lighter green, tender interior.
peeling stemSeparate the crown of the broccoli from the stem.

Slicing the stem in half, and then lengthwise a few times, usually leaves you with the perfect size pieces. A lot of people discard the stem, not aware that it is just as tender and tasty as the florets.

Cut into the crown lengthwise, using the small stems as guidelines. Personally, I like to leave it in bigger pieces, but feel free to chop it as small as you like.florets

Put all of your pieces into a pan with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover, and turn the heat on high. Once the water begins to boil, let the broccoli cook for just a few minutes. You want it to be cooked through, but still bright green and crispy. Strain the water and top with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. That’s it!

Steaming the broccoli in water reduces the amount of oil used in the usual sautéing process, which cuts down on fat and calories.  Cooking the broccoli for just a few minutes still leaves it alive and tender, not mushy and puke green (like we all have witnessed once or twice in our lives).

This cooking method keeps  the broccoli great in the fridge for a few days, so feel free to cook up some extra.  Chop it up and throw it into a soup, mix it in with your omelet, or simply re-heat it over the stove.

Like always, there are optional toppings. I have used spirulina, hemp seeds, garlic salt, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast, fresh grated garlic, turmeric, red pepper flake, melted parmesan… you get the idea. But even without these extras, this freshly cooked broccoli is delicious!

If you prefer eating your broccoli raw, try out this raw broccoli dish that was featured on kriscarr.com.

As always, thanks for checking in… and keep eating those veggies!

with love and edible trees,

Amanda