St. Patty’s Day FOMO

Happy St. Patty’s Day!!!

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I love holidays. One of the things I miss the most about living Stateside is that we go ALL OUT for holidays, and Chicago especially goes all out for St. Patrick’s day. Between the parades (yes plural, the South Side has their own), dyeing the Chicago River green (45 pounds of eco-friendly vegetable dye are dumped into the river every year), the city practically turns into one huge day party. Since the holiday falls on a Tuesday this year, the big celebrations happened over the weekend, but since today is the official day, here’s what I’m doing to “celebrate”:

 

1. This recipe, except I’ll be nixing the cheese, subbing one cup of water for coconut milk, and sprinkling a little parmesan on top. <-spinach turns the dish green, therefore making it festive.

2. Wearing green. Duh.

3. If I didn’t have to work, I’d totally be drinking this right now, but no worries, a big glass of wine awaits me.

4. On repeat.

 

Hope everyone had a fun weekend, and don’t forget to wear green today!

 

xo,

Natalia

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Homemade Ginger-Turmeric Beer

Hi there, long time no write šŸ˜¦

2014 proved to be one of the most challenging but also exciting years of my life. There have been many changes, some wonderful, some not so much, but overall, I think 2015 has a lot of good things in-store.

SomeĀ changes:

1) I’m engaged! This was obviously super exciting and I am so happy. Exciting times ahead!

2) We moved! We are now living in the beautifulĀ Lowveld, and I am loving the small town vibe, along with the relaxed atmosphere of country living. I think I might be a country girl at heart after all.

3) I am now, very proudly, a contributing writerĀ on greendock.com, a green and healthy living portal that is currently focused on South Africa, but making its way into the world. It is chock-full of interesting articles and information, a calendar of events, a directory, and more. Check it out!

Another change, or rather a discovery: this Ginger-Turmeric Beer. This creation was a light-bulb moment one very hot day, when I was craving something refreshing and fizzy but not water or some sugary soda. This drink is refreshing, healthy, and the perfect thirst quencher when water just won’t do. It can also be made in a pinch!

turmeric beer

Homemade Ginger-TurmericĀ Beer (side note: beer=ale… this is non-alcoholic)

serves 1

  • sparkling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/4 of a lemon
  • pinch of ginger
  • stevia or honey (I add about 6-7 drops of stevia, but sweeten to your liking. When I tried it with honey 1TBSP was nice)

Place turmeric, ginger, juice from 1/4 of a lemon, and stevia (or honey) in a glass. Slowly add sparkling water (it will fizz up very quickly) and carefully stir to incorporate all the ingredients. Add ice and enjoy!

Some benefits of Turmeric:

  • Immunity booster
  • Can relieve Arthritis
  • Reduces Cholesterol
  • Good for weight management
  • Supports brain health
  • Improves digestion
  • Has anti-aging benefits

I’m down with all of those benefits, and at the very least, this drink is tasty and refreshing. Let me know if you give a shot!

see you soon, promise šŸ™‚

xo,

Natalia

Friday Delights

Happy Friday!

 

Any plans for Mother’s Day? Mother’s are so special, and definitely have one of theĀ hardest jobs. I’m lucky to have a mama who always let’s me know she’s close even though she lives in another hemisphere. She’s a special lady, with one of the biggest hearts, and is someone I continue to learn from everyday. Here are a few delightsĀ that I have on mindĀ in honor of Mother’s Day:

parents

(my parents <3)

1) This recipe for Raw Chocolate Brownies. My mom would probably roll her eyes and say “let’s just makeĀ the real thing”, but I have a feeling she wouldn’t turn these down… Chocolate is chocolate.

2) Tulips, mine and my mom’s favorite. I know it’s Autumn here in South Africa, but to me Mother’s Day means spring flowers, specifically Tulips. How gorgeous is this arrangement?Ā Tulips, green snowball viburnums, peonies, and geraniums.

3) This cocktail… Blood Orange Tyme Paloma. I love a good Paloma, but this is a lovely spin and perfect for a sunny lunch.

4) Ceviche. I would love to share my mom’s recipe for this delicious Peruvian dish, but she has yet to share it with me! It’s such a tasty, fresh, and healthy dish, I could eat it daily.

5) This video. No words, just watch it.

 

Before I go… A little cuteness overload. Check out our little house guests! Their new mom (Matt’s mom) will be collecting them this weekend,Ā but she might have to pry them out of my arms.
puppies

 

Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to give your mamas some love šŸ™‚

 

xo,

Natalia

 

Juicy Wednesdays: Family-Friendly

Is it really only Wednesday?! Yes, yes it is. But while it’s only Wednesday, it is more importantly also my Dad’s birthday and therefore I’ve been thinking about him quite a bit today. My Dad is a father, a husband, a New Yorker, an academic, a friend, a guru and my rock. He was also one of my first inspirations when it came to living a life that was more conscious and green. My dad HATES toxins, and weekends spent reluctantly pulling weeds from his proudly organic garden, were a regular thing growing up. As youngsters, my sister and I often suggested he use Round-Up (weed killer) so we could be free of this dreaded chore, but his insistence that it was toxic and we must always first look for natural solutions is something I now regard as a lesson.

Natural solutions are great when there is an existing problem, but nature is also an excellent source for preventing problems and maintaining health and vitality. My parents love fruits and vegetables, but superfoods and green juices/smoothies are not in their regular regime, and I find some of these superfoods are nature’s best source of preventative medicine. While I was home I decided to make them a mix and instructed them to add 1-2 TBS of the mix (each) to their breakfast daily (it mixes well in smoothies, oats, yogurt, or over fruit). I believe this mix is best enjoyed in a green smoothie, but truthfully its nuttiness and texture is a delicious addition to most sweet breakfast foods. Below is a recipe for a kale smoothie that I made several times for my parents while I was home, and below that is the recipe for the mix. It’s full of natural goodness that will start your day off beautifully and keep you feeling strong and healthy.

kalesmoothie

(Vitamix…how I miss you)

Berry-Banana Kale Smoothie

serves 2

4-5 leaves of kale, washed

1 cup of berries

1 large banana

1.5 cups of almond milk

4 ice cubes

3 heaped TBS of the Family-Friendly breakfast mix

honey or agave to taste

1) Start with ice, kale and almond milk and blend until smooth.

2) Add berries, banana, mix and optional sweetener and blend.

3) Enjoy!

Family-Friendly Breakfast Mix

equal parts of the following:

Chia seeds

Flax seeds

Goji berries

Hemp seeds

1) In a blender, blend the chia and flax seeds until they become meal, be careful not to over-blend, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

2) Pour the meal into a container, add the goji berries and hemp seeds and give it a good stir with a spoon.

3) Add 1-2 TBS to your breakfast and store in the fridge.

*note: This mix must be enjoyed in its raw form in order to reap all the benefits, therefore if you are adding it to something cooked like oatmeal, dish out your oatmeal first and then sprinkle the mix on top right before you dig in.*

Some benefits:

Chia-Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, excellent for joint health and weigh loss/management.Ā Flax– have a protective affect against some cancers, can lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and great source of Omega-3 and fiber.Ā Goji Berries– incredibly high in antioxidants which fight against free radicals in the body and can slow down ageing, high in Vitamin A and beta-carotene, and they have been found to help control the amounts of cortisol released by the body when under stress.Ā Hemp seeds– high in protein (containing 10 essential amino acids), anti-inflammatory, Omega-3 AND Omega-6 fatty acids, high in zinc, iron, and other minerals.

Cheers to you Dad!

xo,

Natalia

Juicy Wednesdays: Tickled Pink

I hate pink. There I said it. I think it has something to do with the fact that it’s pegged as a “girly” color, and I firmly believe this business of “boy” and “girl” colors is one of the many problems of society… it’s a color. Colors are universal.

Anyway, for someone who’s not a fan of pink, a lot of my juices lately have been pink. This might have something to do with the big bag of beets that I bought, but I have to admit, there’s something fun and springlike about sipping on something pink. So without further ado, here is the beverage that had me tickled pink and with a lovely soft pink lip stain. Please excuse the quality of the photo, I was too busy guzzling my juice to notice… sorry.

prettyinpink(Converse photobomb…)

Tickled Pink

serves 2

1 large cucumber, peeled, unless organic

3 small, or 2 medium beets

2 carrots

1/2 a pineapple

1 orange, peeled

Clean, Juice, Guzzle.

Some benefits:

Hydrating; detoxifying; good for bone health, skin health, eye sight, blood health; anti-inflammatory; high in Vitamin A, B2, B6, C, beta carotene, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, and more.

Hope your Wednesday and week are tickled pink!

xo,

Natalia

Friday Delights

It’s Friday (hurray!) and here in South Africa we’re headed for a 3 day weekend thanks to something called “Youth Day”. South Africa is definitely not short of public holidays and since hibernation season is upon us, a 3 day weekend calls for relaxing indoors and staying warm. If a 3 day weekend isn’t a delight in itself, I don’t know what is.

I started my Friday with something equally delightful and a bit out of my ordinary. I normally like a green juice in the morning because it gives my body a huge dose of nutrients from a stack of vegetables that I wouldn’t be able to ingest by simply eating them. This morning I steered from the green juice and decided instead to have a green smoothie. The biggest difference between a smoothie and a juice is fiber. When you juice you’re removing fiber/pulp from fruits and vegetables, allowing you to take in more nutrients because you’re reducing the volume of the drink. Smoothies are a blending process that incorporates the fiber of the fruits and vegetables, and therefore reduces how much fruit and vegetables you can actually include, but you’re getting all the fiber. Regardless of preference, both are very very good for you and excellent ways to start your day. So today a banana and avocado were staring at me and begging to be used or die, so a delicious smoothie and morning delight was born:

Chai Green SmoothieĀ 

serves 2

1 large handful of spinach or swiss chard

1 inch of fresh ginger, chopped

2 cups of chai tea, chilled

4 ice cubes

1 banana

1 apple

1 avocado

dash of cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

a bit of blackstrap molasses, stevia or your sweetener of choice, to taste

 

1. Start by blending the spinach, ginger, tea and ice until smooth.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and any superfoods of your liking, blend and then adjust the sweetness to your preference.

3. Enjoy!

chaigreen

 

 

(in green drinks we trust!)

 

Delightful indeed and it has inspired me to get back into the kitchen as soon as I’m home. I foresee this weekend involving a lot of experimenting in the kitchen, followed by some magazine goggling (Vogue is so damn delightful), and walking the fur baby in the gorgeous winter sunshine (the only time it’s ok to come out of hibernation).

Goal for the weekend: make it delightfully green and try a juice or smoothie (or both!), but most importantly enjoy it ā¤

 

xo,

 

Natalia