A glimpse into my (little) garden…


One of the places I love spending my free time is in my garden. Living in a townhouse, and having a concrete patio in the back isn’t ideal for having a vegetable garden, but I do well with planting everything I need in containers. I love more then anything the whole process of starting with a seed so small and watching it grow each and everyday into something so beautiful and sustainable.

When I think of healing myself, it doesn’t involve singly around what I am eating, its an all around physical and mental practice that involves many activities other then foods. Your mind is such an important key component in the healing process. To keep a healthy mind is to help keep a healthy body. When I think of a healthy mind, I think of positive energy. Staying positive, engaging in things that ease your thoughts and worries, activities that take you away into a special world of tranquility. That place for me is my garden. If my small little concrete patio takes me away to that special place of peace, I can’t wait to see what my future house will bring me!

Come take a tour…

My cucumbers are starting to climb!

Tomatoes, Parsley, and Jalepeno Peppers. I have every herb growing except mint and oregano. πŸ™‚

I’ve had great success with my first batch of red lettuce so I started a BIG pot full (shown on right). Its growing in so fast…I also threw in some arugula. 

My honey is growing hops. It can grow up to 12″ a day! It’s amazing to watch this grow everyday. To the right is my zucchini plant just starting to grow. 
In the front yard I have a whole bushel of neon pink and purple impatients. My favorite shade plant to grow is Coleus. They are so vibrant!

Lavender Lemon Nettle Sun Tea

Juice from 2 lemons
handful of fresh lavender
1/2 cup dried nettle
few lemon slices to float around
filtered water
dropper full of lemon Stevia (optional) 

As I work in my garden I love having a pitcher of tea brewing in the hot sun. I look forward to having it over ice that night when I’m settling in from getting my hands dirty in the garden. These flavors meld so lovely together. Its refreshing, calming, and good for you~ I love the subtle hint of lavender in each sip. 

First you want to soak and swish around the lavender
in a bowl of water to remove debris or little buggies.
I like to add nettles to a nut bag so its easy to remove.

The other day I enjoyed a salad that was solely made from fresh ingredients from my garden. (except the Avocado of course!)
red lettuce, radishes, parsley, chives, & kale. 
super fresh, super yummy!

I’ll be back next week with a yummy blog post of
all my good eats!


New Products and what I’ve been snacking on….

I mentioned on FB that I found the BEST goji berries. Here they are! Nothing like the brands I’ve been buying. These are juicy, plump and sticky! I can’t wait to mix these in with cereal, coconut yogurt, raw brownies and energy bars….they are filled with antioxidants! 
I bought mine HERE
You can throw them into smoothies too.
Here is a recipe from Young & Raw (LOVE these guys!)
Mine looked like this – I also added strawberries to help sweeten it up more because I found the original recipe a little bland. It turned out perfect with the added berry! I also love the beautiful orange hue the goji berries gave this smoothie πŸ™‚
I loaded up on Pure bars with a big order to Amazon. I love how these are RAW, GLUTEN FREE, & VEGAN! My favorite is the Apple Cinnamon Bar. The Blueberry is tasty too, as well as the Cherry Cashew. Heck, they are all good!
These are a great snack for kids – entice them (or your picky hubbies) to grab by displaying in a big clear cookie jar on the counter.
These were a new flavor I had to try: Peanut Raisin. This particular flavor is not RAW but still made with pure simple ingredients. I love a short ingredient list!
They are made of peanuts, raisins, dates, coconut oil ,chia seeds…great for an afternoon pick-me-up with natural energy coming from the chia seeds.  
You can get Pure Bars HERE.
Another snack that I love to get occasionally are Danielle’s Toasted Coconut Chips. I am not  particularly a big fan of the company. I contacted them requesting info on how their vegetable/fruit chips are “toasted” and they informed me that they are fried, then baked. They taste great but no thanks – I’d rather not eat a fried, dead, vegetable. 
With that said, the only snack of theirs I do like as a treat, are these. Its a bag of giant coconut flakes that taste like heaven. I don’t endorse eating these all the time because I am not sure if they are fried or just toasted as the bag says. 
Speaking of coconut…I love sprinkling shredded coconut on top of fruits salads! I made a big salad made of watermelon, strawberries, pineapple, & mango and drizzled a little honey on top. 
I can’t get enough of these Watermelon Slushies! I just blend watermelon, strawberries, one peeled lemon and a can of coconut water.  Soooo refreshing! 
My boyfriend and I have been enjoying fresh Carrot, Apple, & Lemon Juice, or what I like to call Carrot Lemonade. It’s detoxifying, alkalizing and provides so many nutrients directly to the cells. The best part – it tastes amazing.  I find a perfect balance when I juice 4 apples, a small bag of carrots, and two whole lemons (skin on). This makes just enough for two or a large mason jar full for one. 
I made my first ever batch of flax seed crackers. I was so excited for them and to share the recipe with you but I’ve got to be honest – didn’t like them one bit.  All those tiny seeds stay in tact and do not breakdown and are roughage on my system. I don’t think my delicate intestines are fans of these. So I have no recipe for you – because they stunk!
I do however have an even better recipe for you~ 
Almond Milk Kefir

Talk about easy. This is a great way to get loads of probiotics into your body. By fermenting the probiotics in the almond milk, they proliferate and double in strength. Adding this as your base to smoothies will benefit your good bacteria count in a fast way! It will make your skin glow, strengthen your immune system, make you regular and help digestion. 
I found this recipe on Linda Wagner’s blog. 
I love her site – it’s filled with great information and beautiful, simple, healthy recipes. 
You can find the Almond Milk Kefir recipe HERE
Note: I went out and bought Jarrow’s probiotics just for this because 
Linda says these worked the best for her. Can’t wait to make my second batch of this tomorrow. 
One more goodie before I go….my friend Lauren from Ginger is the New Pink has been talking about how good these are….HOLY CANNOLI! I tried the White Passion tonight and it was AMAZING. I will definitely be buying more raw Sacred Chocolate in the near future. 

My new digestion & immune tonic!

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I’ve been making a new morning elixir lately. I have to say that I definitely feel such a difference in my energy and overall well-being since adding this into my daily regimen. Two products that are new to me (and excited to share with you!) are Sunwarrior’s Immune Shield and Marine Phytoplankton drops.

Digestion & Immune Tonic
1/2 tsp Sunwarrior’s Immune Shield
10 drops of Ocean’s Alive Phytoplankton 
2 oz. George’s Aloe
11oz. can of Nirvana Coconut water
I have been drinking this right upon rising and it gives me 
energy, clarity and makes my tummy feel balanced. The pure, live nutrition that I am getting from the phytoplankton drops are instant. It’s the same feeling I get when I am drinking a green juice! 
Mixing with coconut water and the the ionic silver of the Immune Shield helps to send direct goodness straight to my cells. 

Here’s a little more about the products in this tonic
Sunwarrior’s Immune Shield 
  • Another powerful (and convenient!) way to give your entire immune system a boost
  • A natural Fulvic acid mineral complex fortified with silver ions
  • Fulvic acid aids your body in absorbing nutrients better.
  • Silver ions are smaller then colloidal silver, making it easier to travel right into our cells, killing off any bad guys that are plaguing them. 
  • The Fulvic acid /mineral complex is a catalyst and chelater which delivers trace minerals, various nutrients, and electrolytes freely to all of the cells and body fluids.
  • used to help purify and cleanse the body and build up immune system

Recommended Use:

  • One serving twice daily. For children : 1/2 of adult use.
  • Under Stress or Exposure to Health Threat: One serving every two to three waking hours of the day.
  • Non toxic and does not accumulate in body tissue.
A video testimonial about Sunwarrior Immune Shield:
Marine Phytoplankton
“The future of nutrition is found in the oceans” 
– Jacques Costeau
  • 400 times the energy of any known plant. It is considered a microscopic whole food. 
  • It will help turn around nutritional deficiencies in the body, especially in those with disease. 
  • The appearance of tiny organisms with the ability to convert sunlight, warmth, water and minerals into protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and amino acids marked the beginning of life. 
  • Marine phytoplankton, these single-celled plants, are the basis of all other life forms on planet Earth and are the ‘vegetation’ of the ocean. 
  • Marine phytoplankton are consumed by the smallest to the largest forms of life. Whales that feed on Plankton and krill are known to live up to 200 years with healthy sexual function all those years!
  • Assists to regulate blood sugar naturally
  • Eye sight improvement and increased strength
  • Speeds the recovery from illness and disease
  • Skin appeears more vibrant and young
  • Assist to strengthen the immune, nervous and endocrine system
  • Helps cells defend against radiation
  • Memory improvement
  • Powerful antioxidant properties
  • Improves circulation and heart function
  • Allergy relief
  • Essential fatty acids, Omega’s 3,6,7,9
  • Instant trace mineral gratification with 92 macro and trace minerals
You are probably wondering how the taste is. If you mix with plain water, you can definitely taste the strong “green” taste. Its not tasty in my opinion. I mix mine with Nirvana coconut water and I don’t detect it at all. I also add the drops straight with my smoothie, and you for sure can’t taste it then either! 
Here is an interesting video on the benefits of marine phytoplankton and how it is farmed: 

Aloe Water
  • Aloe benefits Crohn’s disease symptoms by optimizing the digestive system.
  • It contains 6 anti-inflammatory agents.
  • It also contains anti-inflammatory fatty acids that are helpful for the stomach, small intestine and colon. 
  • It naturally alkalizes digestive juices to prevent over acidity – a common cause of indigestion. 
  • It helps cleanse the digestive tract by exerting a soothing, balancing effect.
  • Aloe has been used for centuries to help in maintaining a healthy digestive tract. Evidence through different studies seems to indicate that beneficial properties in the Aloe help in allowing the body to maintain a healthy mucous membrane system.
  • A healthy digestive tract ensures that nutrients from the foods we eat are absorbed into the blood stream.
  • Aloe Vera soothes, cleanses and helps your body to flush out toxins.
  • The cells of the intestines are the fastest growing cells in the body (replaced every 4 days or so) so they have to be continually replenished to maintain the immunity barrier.
  • The main fuel they need is the amino acid I-glutamine; we do not get much of this in our diet. Aloe Vera contains this substance thereby enhancing the ability of cell regeneration.
  • Aloe Vera has natural, detoxifying abilities. Drinking Aloe Vera gel regularly improves bowel regularity and increase protein absorption, while at the same time decrease unfriendly bacteria and yeast – all done naturally!
*George’s is by FAR my favorite brand of aloe. It tastes just like water, with the same consistency as water.  Changes are slow, so you may not notice anything of significance for 2 to 3 weeks by drinking 2 oz two times a day. I mix in with my smoothies, drink it straight or add in my tonic recipe above. 

Easy Creamy Vegan Alfredo Shells with Broccoli

What I love most about this recipe is the ease of preparing and the simple ingredient list. It doesn’t require any non-dairy milk and it mimics real alfredo sauce in look and in taste. The secret ingredient is Cashews! I bet you could even make this into a raw version over kelp noodles and be totally satisfied! 
Easy Creamy Vegan Alfredo Shells 
with Broccoli
serves 4-8 (I cut recipe in half and it was a perfect 2 servings)
1lb pasta of choice 
1 onion chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup raw cashews
2 cups water
juice from one lemon
2 teaspoons miso paste (I used chickpea miso)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 small head of broccoli
Cook pasta according to box directions. (In the last 2 minutes, throw in your broccoli florets and cook directly with pasta)
While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a saute pan and cook onions and garlic until transparent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. 
In a blender, combine rest of ingredients along with the onion and garlic. Blend on high until smooth. 
Toss pasta and broccoli with sauce.
Sprinkle with fresh black pepper. 
P.S. This is my favorite kind of gluten-free pasta!
The Quinoa pasta really holds its shape and bite compared to 
brown rice pasta that typically gets mushy  or gummy. 

Happy Wednesday!

As promised here is the recipe for the 
Pina Colada Smoothie 
that I shared with you on facebook
1 can Light Coconut Milk
1 cup fresh pineapple
2 frozen bananas
1 tsp maca
optional: vanilla stevia
The coconut milk really makes this smoothie creamy and dreamy to drink. Feel free to add some baby spinach to this too! 
Macro bowl with mint cilantro dressing and butternut squash soup. 
I’ve been eating a lot of macro bowls lately with hot soup on the side. A Macro bowl typically consists of steamed vegetables including kale, squash, a bean of some sort, seaweeds, tofu and a grain such as brown rice. A Macrobiotic diet is a way of eating that combines it’s meals according to the principle of balance. I always feel really good after eating macro bowls! 
Last week was my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday. I made a special trip to the famous Babycakes Bakery in NYC to pick up some of these gluten, sugar, & dairy free vanilla donuts. Only two fit in the box so I was left with 5 to myself. I don’t like having sweets like this in the house because I EAT THEM! I had one each morning for 5 days straight. Let’s just say I’m now back on the craving sugar boat. I don’t like being aboard that ship. Mmmm….I could go for one of these right now!
Mid-week my honey and I loaded the bikes on my new bike rack for the first time and took a sunset cruise down on the boardwalk. It was so much fun! We rode about 6-7 miles and worked up quite an appetite for dinner. 
We decided to go to Porta in Asbury Park. They have brick oven pizza that is so delicious. Unfortunately they don’t have gluten free, but they have Vegan pies so I cheated a little and ordered the Marcus pizza – san marzano tomatoes, cashew cheese, pear squash, garlic, watercress, olive oil and vegan pepperoni. Yummmmy! 
It was a beautiful crisp summer night and I felt like grilling. My honey wasn’t home yet so I wanted to surprise him when he arrived with a grilled dinner. To his dismay there was no real meat, but nonetheless I think he still enjoyed it.  Veggie burgers (Trader Joe’s Tofu Burgers) peppers, zucchini ribbons, tomatoes and scallions. I added mine to a pile of fresh picked lettuce from the garden and Bubbies Raw pickles on the side πŸ™‚
I was notified that I won a blog give-away for NuNaturals from the Grass Skirt Blog. I was SOOO happy to receive these 3 flavors – Vanilla (my favorite!), Orange and Lemon. If you haven’t tried stevia drops and not sure which brand to get – THIS is it. NuNaturals do not have the bitter aftertaste other Stevia brands have. I’ve never had the heart to spend $15 on a bottle but now I wish I had earlier because I now know what these things are worth. I now carry one in my purse, keep one at home and even have some in my desk at work. They go great in smoothies, coffee, tea, raw desserts…and this next recipe. 
The Best and Easiest Lemonade EVER. 
First off, I finally bought a Citrus Squeezer! If you do not have one, get one. It makes squeezing lemons a breeze and a joy to do. It was about 5 bucks at Homegoods. 
Get a large mason jar and fill with filtered water.
Squeeze 2 lemons in there. 
Add 7-14 drops of NuNaturals Lemon Stevia. 

Feel free to get creative: 
Add basil.
Add Lavender.
Perhaps some Mint.
Or keep it classic & simple. 

Lemon water is so healthy for you to drink. Lemons are very alkalizing and a smart thing to start your day with. Before anything, try to drink a large glass of water with lemon in it. This will wake up your insides, get your digestive juices flowing, which in turn helps you “eliminate” in the morning. Those of you that rely on coffee for this, try doing the lemon water for a change. You may be surprised! It will help neutralize your acidity and prepare your inside environment for the day. Don’t leave this just for the morning though – drink throughout the day. Your body begs for you to hydrate it!

I leave you with a hello from Mr. Deer. I get such a kick when we get visitors in our backyard. He wouldn’t stop peering into our back sliding door so I snapped a shot of him.
Hope you are having a beautiful week!