This feels like a strange day. I’ve never featured alcohol here on the blog before so either my cold is completely clouding my judgement or this recipe truly is the best way to feel better while battling a terrible cold. I hope it’s the latter.
Over the weekend I finally came down with the cold that everyone’s been fighting. I woke up with all the gross symptoms and tried my best to rest as much as possible, stay hydrated, and eat lots of greens. I knew these behaviors would help me to heal faster in the long run, but in the short run, I just wanted something to make my throat feel better and to take my mind off of my terrible headache.
And that’s exactly how this lemon and honey tonic with bourbon was born.
Let me back up for a minute here. In case you don’t know what CrossFit is, it’s basically an intense strength and conditioning program that focuses on functional movement. (You can see a visual demonstration in this video.)
I started CrossFit last week and just finished my first week of beginner classes. At the end of each workout I find myself laying on the floor thinking that this is how I am going to die…
And the scary thing is that these are only the beginner classes! Our workouts are only 15 minutes long! It honestly makes me feel a little pathetic because I love intense workouts and have done plenty of kettlebell and boot camp classes before this, but CrossFit definitely takes the cake in terms of intensity.
Next week I start the regular classes and I’m honestly a little worried if I’ll make it through the full class…. which is exactly how I got inspired to make my own healthy version of an “energy drink.”
Let’s start this with a confession: today I need a margarita.
After a long weekend of dealing with website troubles and technology that I still don’t quite understand, I am ready for a drink.
After three and a half years of blogging through Blogger, this year I made the decision to switch my website to WordPress. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a fabulous and knowledgeable professional to help me move everything, but there have still been some kinks to work out along the way. Some of you may have noticed that this website wasn’t loading over the weekend, but hopefully everything should be resolved by now. But, if you’re still having some trouble or things are acting weird (broken links, missing images, etc), would you mind shooting me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and letting me know? Big thanks in advance.
Regardless of how your weekend was, perhaps you need a margarita too?
This isn’t the typical combination of alcohol and sugar like most mixed drinks though. This one is actually a nutritious drink that energizes our cells while making our tastebuds feel like we’re doing something a little naughty. And it has a special stress-relieving ingredient that I know I definitely need after this weekend…
The first sunny weeks of the season finally hit Seattle. And, apparently, it’s all we can talk about right now.
Last weekend I spent all day sitting on my back porch working on my laptop under the shield of an umbrella. Somehow a three-inch section of my wrist didn’t quite make it under the shade and now I have a funky tan rectangle on my arm. I like to think of it as my Vitamin D patch.
Before we get to today’s recipe, I just wanted to say thank you again to everyone who joined us the other night for Conscious Money, Conscious Eating. I teach a lot of classes in Seattle, but this was my first time doing a workshop where I didn’t get to see you all face-to-face! I loved all of the emails and responses we got about the material we covered and it’s so great to hear that it’s already changing the way many of you are planning, prepping meals, and cooking at home! Awesome! (Psst, if you’re sad that you missed out, you can actually purchase the webinar recording package– which includes our awesome 55-page ebook! Details here.)
Now, onto the most amazing drink that only takes 3 ingredients to make! This one is going to be a must-make as we head into late spring and summer!
This soda starts with a simple rosemary tea made from boiling water with fresh sprigs of rosemary. I love the taste of rosemary in drinks, especially combined with a little sparking water and vanilla. Yum!
To make this “soda” sugar-free, I used vanilla stevia drops as a sweetener. If you prefer not to use stevia, then pure maple syrup or a little coconut sugar will also do the trick! If you are going this route, then you will need to add a vanilla bean when you boil the rosemary to infuse the vanilla flavor.
Once you boil the rosemary tea, simply let it cool in the fridge (I like to make a big batch and let it cool overnight) and then assemble your drinks with a little ice, sparkling water, and stevia to taste. You can add more or less rosemary tea depending on your preference. (I really like the flavor of rosemary so I tend to add more to my glass.)
And, if you are into this kind of thing, this recipe is fabulous with burbon. But, if you’re not, then you didn’t hear that from me.
If you ever come to Seattle, one of the places that you absolutely have to visit is Remedy Teas on Capitol Hill. I am obsessed with this tea house. They carry over 150 organic loose leaf teas in the cafe, including white, green, oolong, black, rooibus, yerba, and a variety of herbal teas. If you are a tea drinker, this place is pure heaven.
One of my favorite combinations was a seasonal holiday tea they featured several years ago that tasted like chocolate peppermint candy. Let me tell you, I bought out the store. Literally. And over the next eleven months I drank it all.
Then the following Christmas I anxiously awaited for this seasonal tea to return, but they never brought it back. Several months ago I found myself craving this tea again and I finally decided it was time to just make my own combination. So I did.
Rooibus is a sweet, caffeine-free tea from South Africa. I love drinking it as an afternoon treat and this combination is perfect with a little almond milk and stevia.
I was pleasantly surprised by how cost effective it is to make my own loose leaf blend by purchasing the ingredients separately and then mixing them together. A small tin of this blend can usually run around $15, but I found that purchasing the ingredients in bulk and making this myself cut the cost to a little less than 1/3 of the price. I found the ingredients at my local health foods store, but I also provided links below to order online if your store does not have a bulk section or does not carry these items. Since vanilla beans are quite pricey, I kept mine whole and added it to the tea blend to help infuse the tea with vanilla flavor. Storing the tea in a tea tin kept the vanilla bean fresh enough that it still has plenty of flavor to reuse in future batches of tea.
The general rule of thumb when brewing loose leaf tea is 1 teaspoon of tea per cup of water, but I tend to like stronger tea so I usually add 2 – 3 teaspoons per cup of water. I am by no means a tea expert, but here are some other helpful tips I typically use for brewing rooibus tea:
Always use fresh, cold, and preferably filtered water for boiling. (This will help your tea to taste the best.)
The recommended temperature for making rooibus tea is 205°F, which means you can usually bring the water to a rolling boil and then steep the tea right away. (Some teas are better at a lower temperature so you have to wait a few minutes after boiling.)
For steeping the tea, I usually opt for my trusty Bodum teapot or tea filters if I am using a travel mug on-the-go. Lately I’ve been using a tea infuser, which allows me to steep the tea directly in my mug. For some reason this has felt easier than using a teapot, but it’s all personal preference.
Rooibus tea should steep for 3 – 5 minutes, and then the leaves should be removed. It’s also recommended that the cup is covered during steeping, but if you use the teapot or tea infuser, this usually has a lid of its own.
Finally, enjoy your tea! Add some milk of your choice and your favorite sweetener (if desired) and serve hot!
I first began drinking mate tea in college and instantly fell in love. Later that year I completely gave up coffee for mate and have never looked back. Yerba mate tea is a South American tea that tastes sweet and grassy. To me, it has a milder taste compared to green tea. I prefer to drink mate because it gives me an energy boost without the side effects of caffeine (e.g. headache, jitters, etc) that I experience when I have black tea or coffee. You can find mate at any health food store or online.
I love drinking mate tea with just a little homemade vanilla almond milk, but I decided to change it up this week with a simple mate chai. If you don’t like the taste of mate tea or prefer to have a caffeine-free version, simply sub rooibus tea instead.
2 heaping tablespoons of yerba mate tea (or another tea of your choice)
3 cups almond milk (or milk of your choice)
Sweetener of choice, to taste
In a small saucepan, add spices and water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 5 – 20 minutes, depending on how strong you want the spice flavor to be.
Add almond milk to the water and spices. Bring the milk and spice mixture just to a boil and remove from heat. Add the tea and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Add sweetener to taste, if desired. Strain into a pot and serve warm.
How are your magnesium levels? (I bet that’s not a question you’re typically asked!)
Several months ago I began reading about magnesium and how important it is to supplement since magnesium is responsible for over 325 enzyme reactions in the body! Magnesium is a mineral that you can find in sea vegetables, dark leafy greens and green vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and cacao. However, due to mineral depletion in our soil and cooking/heating our food, most of the magnesium in our food supply is minimal by the time it reaches our bodies. And, if you consume coffee, sugar, or high amounts of protein, this can also deplete magnesium levels in the body.
Why is this important? Well, magnesium deficiency can cause a variety of conditions, including:
I don’t know about you, but most people I know (myself included) have at least one of the issues mentioned above. For many people, stress is a growing problem and magnesium plays a vital role in managing blood pressure and blood sugar. If you are under stress and magnesium deficient, this can lead to hypertension, blood clots, anxiety/panic attacks, headaches, and muscle tension. Magnesium also helps ease PMS symptoms, including bloating, fluid retention, muscle tension, moodiness, irritability, and digestive issues.
Furthermore, magnesium deficiency plays a huge role in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Magnesium helps to relax smooth muscle (including the colon) so if you include lots of fresh vegetables and fiber sources in your diet and still experience constipation, you should definitely try supplementing with magnesium. And, since magnesium helps to relax muscles, it is really important for athletes to supplement in order to prevent muscle cramps and tension.
One other things that I think is important to mention here is that magnesium balances calcium. Maybe it’s just my perspective, but I feel like in America we are obsessed with taking calcium supplements and preventing osteoporosis. However, what we don’t often know is that we need to have a balance between calcium and magnesium. If we have too much calcium and not enough magnesium, this can actually cause symptoms of excess calcium, including: osteoporosis, heel spurs, kidney stones, gallstones, and fibromyalgia. (I won’t go deep into my personal history here, but I actually developed gallstones at the age of fourteen and I definitely attribute this to excess calcium from dairy products and calcium-only supplements.)
About a month ago I began including Natural Vitality’s Natural Calm magnesium supplement in my diet and have already noticed a huge difference. I am sleeping better, feeling less stressed overall (even while moving!), and saw a huge decrease in PMS symptoms. This is the only magnesium supplement I have tried so I can’t personally recommend others, but I love how easy it is to add this powder to water. It’s vegan, gluten-free and sweetened with organic stevia so when mixed with water, it makes a bubbly, sweet drink. It comes in several flavors (including one plain without stevia) and the raspberry-lemon is definitely my favorite.
If you are interested in learning more about magnesium, I definitely recommend reading The Magnesium Miracle by Dr. Carolyn Dean. And, please keep in mind that while I am a certified holistic health coach, I am not a medical doctor and this post is not intended as medical advice. This is simply my own research and my personal experience so please consult your naturopath or doctor before adding any supplements or making dietary changes.
I typically drink Natural Calm mixed with plain, filtered water, but I thought it would be fun to experiment with with some seasonal citrus fruits so I created this special Blood Orange Spritzer. The magnesium powder mixes best with warm or room-temperature liquids so be sure to mix the juice and powder together before adding any ice.
Disclosure: Natural Vitality provided me with complimentary samples of their products, but I was under no obligation to write a positive review or create a recipe. I was so shocked by my findings on magnesium deficiency and the difference that this supplement made for me that I wanted to share it with you. I would never recommend a product here that I do not personally use and believe in.
I have been told by numerous people that the life of a food blogger seems really glamorous. I think sometimes when we see a picture of a beautiful dish, we imagine the chef/photographer standing in their kitchen, leisurely making a delicious meal about to be served to their family, while casually stopping to snap a photograph or two. As a food blogger, I can tell you that this is rarely how it happens. At least, not in my house.
Instead, here’s the scene: a rainy Saturday morning. At home, alone, with two crazy cats. The best light in my house is in my living room, with giant windows that face a main road. There I am, still in my pajamas, standing on a stool above a table to get the best angle as people walk by and shoot me puzzled looks.
Randomly a rogue cranberry falls from the table, inspiring one of my cats to bat it around the living room with all his might. As I’m trying to balance on a stool, ignore the passerbys, and get a decent shot, I knock over the martini glass and spill cranberry juice across my living room. By now both of my cats are engaged in a cranberry-chasing battle and all of this running has managed to make one of them lose his lunch. Clean-up on aisle five, please?
Nevertheless, I managed to get a decent photograph of an amazing drink that you need to try this holiday season. Whether you leisurely enjoy this at a beautiful dinner with your loved ones, or simply use it as a reward for cat clean-up duty, I promise that it will energize your taste buds while flooding your body with nutrients.
Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants and Vitamin C, making this refresher the perfect winter immune booster. This was my first time juicing cranberries and I was pleasantly surprised by the intensely-tart flavor of fresh cranberry juice. Pairing it with fresh apple juice mellows the flavor and sweetens it up a bit without the use of refined sugars.
If you don’t have access to a juicer, simply substitute 2 cups of unsweetened 100% cranberry juice and 2 cups of 100% apple juice. Fresh cranberry juice has a more intense flavor so even though my cranberries only yielded 1 cup of juice, if you are using bottled juice, you will probably want 2 cups.
3 fresh sprigs rosemary (more for garnish, if desired)
1 pound fresh cranberries (makes about 1 cup of juice)
4 apples (makes about 2 cups of juice)
Add water to a covered saucepan or small pot and bring to a boil. Add the rosemary, and lower heat to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep, covered, for one hour. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Juice the cranberries and apples. Mix with the chilled rosemary water. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and serve over ice.
Have you tried teecchino before? Teecchino is an “herbal coffee” that tastes and smells very similar to coffee, but doesn’t have any caffeine. Teecchino is actually made up of nuts, dates, chicory root, carob, and figs.
I gave up coffee a little over five years ago because the acidity was very hard on my stomach. However, when fall rolls around, I always miss holding that warm cup with that beautiful coffee aroma. I just wanted to share it with you in case anyone else was missing coffee like me this week.
At the moment I am in love with teecchino’s vanilla nut flavor and you can find teeccino at most health food stores or online. I also love using iced teeccino as a “coffee” base in smoothies. Yum!
Have you tried teecchino before? What are your favorite ways to enjoy it?
Note: I was not asked to endorse or mention any of the products in this post. All opinions here are my own.
I am not one of those gals that enjoys clothes shopping. In fact, it downright stresses me out. What basics do you need in your closet? How do you figure out your size? What is the heck is the difference between flared and boot cut jeans? Do shoes that look nice, don’t hurt your feet, and are waterproof even exist?
The nice thing about summer is that I tend to do well with bright colored tops, capris, and sandals. This is a winning combination in my book. And if I lived somewhere where these things could be worn year-round I would probably be a much more fashionable person.
My talent lies in the kitchen. I can stock a kitchen pantry like nobody’s business. I can take random bits from your fridge and create a meal any day. And I can always take some produce just-past-its-prime and turn it into something incredible.The inspiration behind this week’s chia agua fresca is that I just needed a way to use up half a watermelon. Done and done. And delicious.
This recipe is a fun twist on the traditional agua fresca, a fruit-flavored water cooler. My version involves the addition of chia seeds, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well as full of fiber and antioxidants. Once the seeds have absorbed liquid, they will be soft and float in the drink. It’s definitely a fashionable drink for any picnic or party and a great way to cool off in summer.