Easy Dijon Vinaigrette

    

Garden Lettuce tastes better plus has a higher vitamin content than what you purchase in the grocery store. I grow romaine lettuce, red lettuce and kale. Also, it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance besides watering! I cut the lettuce with kitchen shears and pair it all summer long with my Dijon Vinaigrette and locally grown tomatoes. I love this vinaigrette because (besides being super easy to make) it matches up with any vegetable, in a pasta salad or as a marinade on any protein. I even like to dip bread in it (crunchy ciabatta or French bread). It’s amazing all summer long. 

  
Mise en place for dinner – this is the kind of stuff I LOVE making the most (bright, bold fresh summer food)! I made salmon with a brown sugar rub, than topped it with grapefruit. Cauliflower with gremolata (lemon juice, zest, parsley and garlic) and a crunchy salad with my Dijon Vinaigrette.

  
Super Easy Dijon Vinaigrette 

The key here is to not use any substitutes for the mustard – it has to be “Dijon!” Wine is the prominent ingredient making it sharp, spicy and bold in taste. 
You’ll Need: 

Garlic, 2 cloves crushed

3T Dijon Mustard

3T Fresh Lemon Juice

¼ tsp Black Pepper

¼ tsp Himalayan salt

5T, EVOO

3T, Champagne Vinegar 
Make It:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stir with a whisk or fork until it turns into a thick dressing. Enjoy!

Healthy Spring Drinks

 

Sparkling Ice: I hate soda and juices that are loaded with sugar. I love sparkling water – crisp, light and refreshing. There are so many of them on the market that have artificial junk that tastes really weird. I hate the generic-brand sparkling waters that go flat 5 seconds after you open them. I found Sparkling Ice a few years ago (my favorite is the grapefruit) but I’m really excited that they now carry strawberry lemonade and peach tea! They have 0g sugar and are sprinkle in Vitamins D, B6, B3, B12 (much needed energy), B5 and Biotin (great for your skin/hair/nails). I’m a big fan because they have a really strong sparkling fizz and a subtle flavor (not overpowering at all). My favorite combo:

1 bottle Grapefruit Sparkling Ice, Fresh mint & basil leaves, fresh grapefruit slices – pour over tons of ice and enjoy!
http://www.sparklingice.com

 Mansi: This year the pollen is out of control and my allergies along with it. I’ve had days where I can barely breathe, sneezing every five seconds – it’s so incredibly uncomfortable. I’ve been boosting my immune system with vitamins and I truly believe that this Mansi Drink has helped my allergies subside and ward off any colds. Calamansi juice is essentially “Filipino Lemonade.” To me, it tastes like a mix of tangerine and lime. A tart bite with a sweet finish. Mansi is packed with Vitamin C, here’s how I mix it up: 1 container of Drink Mansi, loads of honey (sorry, don’t measure it), 1T apple cider vinegar, tons of ice. Pour everything over the ice, give it a stir and cheers to good health J

http://www.drinkmansi.com
    

  Q Tonics: I have a little wine cooler that I don’t keep wine in but I stock it with Q Drinks (50* so they’re super cold). Q is made with organic agave as the sweetener, all-natural ingredients, and zero high fructose syrups (I hate that junk). Clean, crisp and the flavor is perfectly proportioned. Quinine in the tonic version is believed to improve circulation and accelerate digestion, improving health and overall energy. My Nana has told me for years that this is why she drinks G&T’s. I always thought they were strictly a tonic company, but some other favorites from their line are: grapefruit, club soda and line of ginger drinks. The ginger packs a big, spicy bite of flavor and they are one of the few companies that use real ginger root, coriander, cardamom, rose oil and orange peel. It’s a “luxury ginger ale.” It can be blended with many other beverages to create a delicious mix (I like to add honey and fresh mint). And also an essential for nausea, allergies or when you feel a cold developing.

http://www.QDrinks.com

  

Honey Drop: Manuka honey is truly liquid gold; very high in vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients. It is a natural antibiotic. HoneyDrop Beverages makes a delicious line of handcrafted, raw cold-pressed juices. And a percentage of the profits go to help beekeepers create new hives (honeybees are an integral part of the food chain as they pollinate 1/3 the produce we consume). My favorite varieties are the Lemon Cayenne Cleanse & Apple Ginger Lemon Daily Immunity (ginger and honey, my favorites). The apple ginger variety includes two cold pressed fuji apples, one lemon, an ounce of ginger and a generous amount of Manuka Honey. I would love to make this a part of my daily routine for health. 

http://www.honeydrop.com

  

   

Mushroom Matrix: I’ve been hearing loads of buzz about mushrooms becoming the new kale. Sidenote, McDonald’s is selling kale now (yuck, way to oversaturate the market). The health benefits of mushrooms have been revered in Eastern Culture for years.  The company owners spent over 30 years in research on wellness. I keep the matrix energy sticks in my purse and add them to a bottle of water when I need to wake up a little bit or my allergies are driving me nuts. Cordyceps is a natural fatigue-fighting and endurance enhancing mushroom. It also includes my favorite ingredients – yerba mate and turmeric all in one little tiny packet. It packs 119mg caffeine (yes, please)! I drink smoothies every single morning since I’m not a big breakfast person. I always end one scoop of Mushroom Matrix (Beauty or Fit varieties). It does not taste like mushrooms – I repeat, it does not taste like mushrooms! There is no flavor so you will get the benefits without even noticing. Both blends can be added to juice as well. My favorite morning smoothie is: 1 frozen banana (absolutely has to be frozen, makes a huge difference) 1C coconut milk, 1T espresso powder, 1T chia seeds, 1T flaxseeds, 1T Mushroom Matrix, 1T PB Lean. It fills me up and keeps me energized until lunch!

http://www.mushroommatrix.com


Wild Blueberries

  

Until recently, I thought all blueberry varieties were the same. With spring *finally* here I thought it would be the perfect time to share a post on “wild blueberries.” They come frozen at the height of freshness (Wyman’s is the brand offered at most grocery stores). They pack a more concentrated flavor, which is why you may have seen them more often in smoothies and baking recipes. They’re very tiny but packed with antioxidants (double that of regular blueberries). Research is indicating that they can fight diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. More people now than ever are picking Wild Blueberries. Here are just a few of my favorite ways to use them:

  

Blueberry Walnut Oatmeal

I combine 1/4C steel cut oats, 1/2C wild blueberries (plus more for garnish), 1C coconut milk, 1tsp vanilla extract, 1tsp flaxseed, 1tsp chia seeds. Cook according to the oatmeal directions, top with blueberries, walnuts and cinnamon and enjoy!

  Blueberry Pancakes

You’ll Need: 1/2C Wild Blueberries, 2  ripe bananas smashed, 1 egg, 1T cinnamon, 1T vanilla extract

Make It: Melt some butter in a griddle or pan. Combine the smashed banana, egg, cinnamon and extract in a bowl – mix very well until a batter forms. Take a small cookie scoop, and portion out the batter into the preheated pan. Sprinkle blueberries on top of each pancake, cook about 5 mins on each side. Serve with more blueberries.

  

Blueberry Smoothie

In a blender, I combine 1C Wild Blueberries, 1 frozen banana, 1C almond milk, 1T flaxseed and 1T chia seeds, drizzle of honey and blend away.

I hope you enjoyed all of these recipes, you can find more at http://www.wildblueberries.com

Gluten Free Snack Recipes for Work



Wal-Mart is known for convenience and affordability, but healthy food?! In the past, not so much! But over the years, they have expanded to include a huge plethora of options including…gluten free! My Mom is gluten-free, so I’m always looking for the newest products that are within her dietary restrictions. 

Quaker Popped Rice Snacks with Avocado & Lime
Quaker popped snacks are always in my grocery cart, I’ve tried the chili lime and the apple and I’m obsessed. The chili lime is the perfect combination of spicy, sweet and salty. And – they are filling and gluten-free! My favorite way to eat them is to make up a quick little appetizer-style recipe. This is great as a snack at work, at home or even for entertaining for friends and family.

You’ll Need:
1 Bag, Quaker Popped Rice Snacks in Sweet Chili
1 ripe avocado, smashed
½ lime, juiced
1 pinch, sea salt
Mini sweet peppers, sliced thin (mix of red, yellow, orange)

Make It:
Arrange your popped rice snacks on a plate. Smash the avocado with lime juice and salt. Spread the avocado on the popped snacks and garnish with mini sweet peppers. This is my favorite recipe for fighting hunger!

Luna Bars – did you know that all Luna Bars are gluten-free?!

You’ll Need:
luna bar in your favorite flavor combination (mine are shown above)
Big bowl of raspberries and blueberries

These are my absolute favorite for a sweet afternoon snack. Luna Protein bars are gluten-free and contain zero additives. I always keep the Chocolate Peppermint Stick variety in my desk or purse. For the perfect recipe for an “afternoon snack” when you’re feeling sluggish, I suggest a bowl of mixed berries and a Luna Bar on the side. Filling, calms down the “hunger beast” and keeps you on track with your diet! When I feel like dessert, I indulge in the Chocolate Coconut. A healthy little treat!

Glutino Chocolate Cookies

I always buy the chocolate variety from Wal-Mart but…they’re so popular they were sold out this time around! This is my first time trying the Glutino Vanilla cookies and I’m a fan! There is nothing that makes you feel better than a crunchy, sweet cookie in the afternoon. Made with all-natural vanilla and inside of a thin, crispy wafer, these have the perfect texture and just the right amount of sweetness. My favorite way to serve them? With a rich cup of espresso or cappuccino. I like to do this around 3PM when you’re exhausted and need a little kick of energy to make it through the remainder of the day.

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HUM Nutrition Review



Besides the grocery store, my next favorite place to shop is Sephora! I recently came across all these 5-star reviews for a product line they sell called “HUM Nutrition.” I was intrigued by their vitamins called “Red Carpet”  and the “3-Day Cleanse.”



  • Red Carpet vitamins for skin and hair. My hair is taking forever to grow! After bleaching, highlighting, flat ironing, I’ve done some serious damage. I read the other reviews for hair vitamins online, but HUM always had the best feedback. Red Carpet is a mix of black currant, sunflower seeds, vitamin E, GLA and ALA. I wanted to use it for a full month before giving an honest review. I took it daily and drank tons of water. After two weeks, I noticed a difference! My hair was thicker, shinier and grew a little bit. My skin was glowing and even, I didn’t need to use as much under eye concealer. I would highly recommend these vitamins, at $25 the price point is reasonable compared to all the stuff they try to upsell you on at certain health food stores. This has become part of my daily routine, now the only problem is that I have to buy more!!



  • 3-Day Cleanse: Honestly, I put off using this for a bit because I kept making excuses (ie: “I can’t take it today bc I’m having pizza and than what’s the point of doing a cleanse?”) I finally committed to it and decided to spend 3 days being healthy. For me that’s a big accomplishment :-) This promises a lot: flatter stomach, full body detox, clearer skin. At $12, why not?! It comes with little vitamin packs (2 between meals, 2 before…it took me a minute to figure out which were which). It contains a combo of detoxifying herbs like red clover, dandelion root, milk thistle and chorella. These all help to remove toxins from the skin and body. The “flatter me” capsule has 18 enzymes that support better digestion and eliminate bloat. In addition to taking the capsules, you should eat clean while on the program: raw foods, lean protein, avocado, coconut and avoid sugar and flours. I was eating a lot of sweets this winter and carbs, so this was very necessary to get back on track again. I wasn’t hungry doing this (best part) and I did lose 4lbs! In combination with a healthy diet and exercise this is a great addition! One thing about eating bad, you start to feel like absolute crap after doing it for too long! This cleanse made me feel like I had a fresh start again. I will be buying more this week!!

If you go to  Hum Quiz you can take a quick little quiz on the Hum Nutrition website and get a free, personalized health report. I love that they offer this!! Also, they were nice enough to provide me with a coupon code for everyone reading this!! Woohoo!! If you spend $29.95, you get $10 off your first order with the code HUM10 on Hum Nutrition What are you waiting for ladies?! Happy shopping ;-) xoxo

Carrot Cake Cupcake Smoothie



I’m so ready for spring!! I felt like a carrot cake cupcake without all the calories and baking involved. Instead, I made a fresh smoothie that’s packed with vitamins and not full of empty calories.

You’ll Need:

  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • Fresh pineapple, 3 generous slices
  • 1C whole milk (or almond, coconut, etc)
  • 1/4C quick cook steel cut oats
  • 1T flaxseed
  • 1T honey
  • 1T cinnamon
  • 1T turmeric
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract

Make It:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and drink right away! Enjoy! Cheers to health! Xoxo

Bite Beauty



Bite Beauty creates (nearly) edible, high pigmented lipstick in bold pops of color. Their lip crayons and masks are staples in my purse. Here are my favorite colors:

– Lip Mask, Agave: My #1 favorite product they sell. A blend of organic agave nectar, jojoba oil, vanilla extract + triple the amount of  the same antioxidants found in red wine. You leave it on and can wear under or over lipstick. 

Best of all, they are a cruelty-free company (cruelty free brands are very few and far between). My “essential” colors are the high pigment pencils in Tannin, Grapevine and Tulip. Usually I don’t wear dark colors but they’re not to overpowering and don’t smudge and look messy. I also like that they’re both a pencil and lipstick in one. Their products are sold at Sephora or on Bite Beauty