Friday, June 20, 2014

[Food Series] 3 Detoxifying and Anti-Inflammatory Homemade Juices

For years now, I witnessed the debilitating pain that inflammation can cause a body. I have a close family member who has been dealing with the painful issues associated with osteoarthritis and I am always trying new ways to keep their symptoms at bay. I truly believe that diet assists 99.9% of our health and well being, as well as regular physical activity and I am hoping, if you are dealing with any inflammatory dis-ease, these simple and delicious juices might just give you a bit of relief! Enjoy!

3 Detoxifying and Anti-Inflammatory  Homemade Juices

Rise and Shine
1/2 Papaya
1 Orange
1/2 cup Pineapple
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric

The Afternoon Anti-Inflammatory
1 Apple
4 Asparagus
3 Celery
1 bunch Parsley

Evening Star
2 Golden Beets
3 Carrots
1 Pear
2 Cucumbers

Monday, June 16, 2014

4 Reasons Why I Have to Go Back to Costa Rica

Four years ago my husband and I reluctantly stepped back on US soil, with the echo of howler monkeys still ringing in our ears, the heavy dew of the rain forest still kissing our sun-soaked skin and our hearts full of every single happy, soulful person we met on our 2 week road trip across Costa Rica. The initial concept of a Costa Rican trip sprung from my brother, as a picture perfect locale to propose to his then girlfriend. When we were invited to go along and be a part of his surprise, life-changing moment, we simply asked, "When do we leave?!" 

Every second of our whirlwind 15 day trip was planned with an adventurous spirit. Having rented a four-wheel drive vehicle, we made a conscious decision to tackle the rugged interior jungle roads and washed out coastal passages head on with the confidence that the villages and the people and the eco-systems we would discover off the beaten track would be a thousand times better than any walled-off, all-inclusive resort. We were right.

I will warn you that the title of this blog is a bit misleading. As you scroll down, you might notice that three out of the four reasons appear to be the same: Adventure. But, I will tell you that the adventure that exists on the west coast surf town of Playa Negra is completely different from the adventure that awaits in the northern rainforests of Monteverde which is a complete one hundred and eighty degrees away from the adventure that we found on the more laid-back Caribbean coastal town of Puerto Viejo and the Panamanian border-town of Manzanillo.

Every single inch of the more than one thousand kilometers we traversed, was brimming with Pura Vida. I'm here to tell you that once you visit Costa Rica, it will live in your bones, your blood, your heart forever. We are dreaming of the day we will go back with our daughter, to introduce her to its wild jungles, watch her eyes widen at the sight of its majestic coasts, revel in its beautiful family-oriented culture and most of all inject her with a little of its happiness. Pura Vida! 

1 | Adventure

This is an awesome video my, now sister-in-law took as she and my brother zip-lined through the cloud rain forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica! My husband and I were right in front of them! It was a magical and exhilarating once-in-a-lifetime experience!

2 | Adventure

The surfing in Playa Negra is world class, the beaches are stunning and the villagers are warm and inviting!

Surfing in Costa Rica

3 | Adventure

The chances of walking 5 feet without a wildlife sighting is pretty low, in Costa Rica. One of my absolute favorite things while we were exploring the west coast was being woken up in the middle of the night by the howler monkeys. It was like a deep, melodic reminder that I was in the middle of the jungle. It's also a nice added bonus to have a professional photographer for a husband to capture all of the beauty we witnessed, so we can remember it for ever!

Wildlife in Costa Rica

4 | Pura Vida

This totally out of focus and not-so-flattering picture of me and my hubby biking through the Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge on the southeastern most tip of Costa Rica pretty much sums up the pure joy and happiness we felt.

Biking in Costa Rica

Friday, June 13, 2014

[Food Series] Roasted Leeks & Carrots

Sometimes I fall in to a rut when it comes to cooking. Chicken and rice, Fish and Broccoli, Pork and ... er, um, rice? As a work-at-home mom, it can be challenging to keep dinner time new and exciting. Sometimes, all it takes is a thick slice instead of a fine dice or slow roasting in lieu of sauteing and out of nowhere you have an exciting and delicious, new dish! That's precisely how this dish came into existence! So incredibly simple, bursting with nutrients and mouth-watering flavor. Enjoy!

Roasted Leeks & Carrots Recipe

6 Carrots
4 Leeks
8 Garlic Cloves
4 tablespoons of Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel and quarter the carrots, legnthwise. Remove the tough, fiberous outer laters of the leeks, then slice them on the diagonal, about 3 inches thick. Peel the garlic, leaving them whole. Toss everything in the olive oil and bake for about an hour. That's IT! Enjoy!
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