Sunday Cortado, 9: Portland, Maine

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Unbelievable, I know, it's actually been three weeks!  I've been dying to share these yummy and beautiful pictures from my latest adventure, but I had to get all that good detox info out first.  

Anyways, I made a promise to myself early this year: I WILL GO TO MAINE.  Maybe it was a calling or just another personal mission to get out, but I knew for sure Portland would be my first stop.  

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With a six-hour drive from Jersey, we headed to our destination with a rather short list of places and people in mind to see; as well as a promise of a simple, relaxing getaway.  

We settled in Scarsborough; the middle point of most of the places we wanted to get to.  And ugh, the setting was perfect!  Just a block away from the beach, it was quiet, clean and beauuutiful.  (The only downfall being the strong, fishy smell in the morning and nights, I assume from the tides, but that's just something our city/suburban selves are not used to.)

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Our first night we headed into Portland, just to get a little nightlife in.  And by nightlife, I mean dinner, gelato, and before-bedtime strolls. :) The first restaurant we tried had a two-hour wait... LOL, not for these three hungry people.  So, we decided on Duckfat

Ohmygod, I wish I took better pictures.  Such a cute space, not too packed, and such a yummy theme.  The menu was small, but everything looked delicious with an emphasis on local, Maine potatoes, seasonal options, and craft beers.  We started with the well-recommended and known Duckfat Putine, and of course with an egg on it.  Amazing.  I ordered a salad, which in my opinon, if you can make a salad look good, then you have a good thing going.  It did not disappoint.  If I had been hungrier, I would have definitely enjoyed it as a side to share.  Please go check this place out!

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Now, let's talk donuts.  If I can go back to Maine for one thing, it would be these donuts.  Fuck the lobster and seafood.  The Holy Donut came highly recommended and for good reason.  We actually went both days we were there, and since we are good people, we got donuts to share with our loved ones back home.  These. donuts. are. amazing.  Light and doughy and not too sweet!  You can definitely taste that all the ingredients were fresh and natural.  My personal recommendations:  chocolate sea salt, the original, and blueberry glaze.  Do it

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The next day we further explored Portland.  But our real first stop was Eventide.  I heard it is impossible to get in after 5pm, which is what happened our first night.  So 11am seemed like a safe call and we were right.  Seated pretty quickly, we got some Bloody Mary's and enjoyed a little bit of everything.  We got the oysters with a salad for appetizer.  Oysters were delicious.  I'm no connesuer, but we took recommendations from our waiter and he knew what he was talking about! So fresh and so good

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Okay, now The Lobster Roll.  I heard this roll was the best in all of Portland.  Very strong words, guys.  Supposedly, the bun is steamed and the lobster is dressed in brown butter.  I know, you can't really go wrong. But damn, it was SO RIGHT!  The butter was not overpowering, the perfect amount of richness, and still felt kinda light.  You guys need this brown butter lobster in your life.  It was the only one I had and I was OK with that

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Next we walked around, did some touristy things.  I'm about it every now and then.  

We went to Peaks Island, which my friend loved and for good reason.  So beautiful!  We took a ferry to the island and then a golf cart around the island.  It felt like we saw the whole island, but who knows, I let my friend and brother take the wheel and just enjoyed the views.  Something wonderfully different from the city life of Portland.  

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Afterwards, we treated ourselves to gelato at Gorgeous Gelato.  Again, highly recommended. (You guys should know, I only go to recommended places of food bloggers and trusted foodie friends. Spread the good world people!)  This was the second gelato place we went to and I really did like it best.  Kept it simple with Pistachio.  Yum.

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We were able to take a ride down south to York.  It was gorgeous.  I really think all of Maine has this kind of beauty that, for some reason, I feel like I've never seen before.  Rivers, lakes, oceans, it had it all.  I always say I love nature, but really I think I love the water.  And we actually saw the stars at night!  Seriously mesmerizing, especially to us city-dwellers. 

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Our last stop on the way back home was Kennebunkport.  Through word of mouth it seemed like small town known for estate of former President Bush.  We didn't see it, but just a fun fact.  And tons of cute little shops, coffee places, and beautiful scenery; it was a fast but cute stop!

Alisson's Restaurant.  I'm not much into pub food, but this place is on to something.  We ordered Lobster Pizza, which was tasty, but the lobster was a bit overcooked, not my favorite. But the Lobster Mac n Cheese and Lobster Fries were another story..  Ugh, the sauce was creamy and oh-so rich. A little goes a long way!  And the chunks of lobster were perfection.  You could say after all that we were a little full and lobstered out.  Perfect last stop!

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I don't usually give little itineraries of "What I Did", but since this was a small getaway with the agenda to relax and eat good food, I could share without going crazy.  The perfect Cortado catchup!  Everyone travels differently and I'm definitely one who likes to live like a local when I do.  This trip was less about the must-do and instead was a must-experience.  Couldn't have picked a better place or people to share that with.  

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Sunday Cortado, 8

Chelsea, New York City

Chelsea, New York City

How do I put into words?  Sometimes it feels I say too much.  About the world, politics, and events that I educate myself through a lot and a lot of articles.  Other times it feels I don't say enough.  When shit happens in our world, and I can only express through a simple quote.  Not even.  

Between small talk with many people, it all came down to "life's short".  I just feel like there is so much more to it.  Life is unexpected, but nevertheless a gift.  Enjoy it, yes, but also, use it wisely.  Spread light and love, yes, but shed light on your rights as well.  Times aren't just crazy, they are challenging.  Challenging us to live with a greater heart.  

As the days go buy, and much busier than planned,  I find myself thinking and being told something must give.  Well, I can guarantee the first thing that comes to mind is my 9-5.  Truth, I've stopped doing a few things I loved and revolved other passions on my everyday obligation.  So much, that I now have this notion to complete it all.  Before, after, and every weekend. The days have definitely proved to be shorter, and everyday I think "do I have to do this?"  Write this blog? Test this recipe?  Create this product? 

While I write to you, drinking my espresso with almond milk, I know this is going to stay for now.  Because, I care.  So, maybe somebody else reading this does to.  

So you want to celebrate Columbus Day?  Let's educate instead.  Puerto Rico sheds light on American colonialism now more than ever.  

I think the connection with your mother is vital for every child.  Check out what's going on in this prison in Lima, Peru

I shower twice a day almost every day.  Excessive? Maybe.  But once a week?  And she looks amazing!

What's your gut type?!  Let's find out, compare, and talk about it, over a green juice. 

Even with the new, but not so new, concept of grass fed will not save our planet.  So appreciative of the way people are becoming more conscious of their meat and dairy consumption in general.

She was the first person to teach me how to make brown sugar and I'll let her do it all over again.

Guess what?  My detox is over.  Bacon Brussel Sprout Fried Rice.  Oh baby.  

When I travel, I love to explore the local markets and food vendors.  Of course LA, you are my dream, now I know exactly where to go.  First stop, Grand Central Market

 

Everyday Cleansing Into Everyday Wellness

York River, Maine

York River, Maine

You know that point during the vacation when you put your hands on your stomach and then think to yourself, " I def need a detox when I get home."  I had that feeling during my last meal in Maine.  I think it was the lobster pizza and mac'n cheese that put me over the edge (pictures to come!), but a girl gotta live!

For the most part I was able to maintain a couple of everyday rituals to keep me grounded and prepared for whatever the day would bring, while I was there.  Things I knew were essential to waking up feeling better and ready for whatever lied ahead.

After only a couple of days of being back home, I was able to drink my green juices and smoothies, have some yogurt, and still enjoy some Indian and Thai take out.  After missing the weekend, I was trying to get settled ALL WEEK, which means groceries was done in increments.  I find it easier for me to go to the market a few times a week for what I need than a huge haul.  I blame the farmer market.  

People believe it's all about what you eat that effects your overall health, but wellness taught me something greater.  It's a lifestyle. Where the mind, body, gut, all connect and work together to help you live your best life.  When you feel good you do good, and when you do good you feel even better.  So, I always use key practices to help me stay on track.  Know matter where.  To keep my body healthy and my mind open, it's not always perfect, but consistency is what plays a major role.

*These are practice I have been doing for more about four or five years.  They may not work over night, but I do recommend a consistent practice for at least a month to feel/see results.

Lemon Water

The wellness trend that took the tribe by storm.  You've probably heard of it, probably tried it, but are you still doing it?  A cup of warm water with lemon every morning is known for doing the body sooo good, and for great reason.  We hydrate first thing in the morning and automatically get our digestive system fired up for the day.  Especially during colder months are digestive systems actually slows down.  Makes sense since your body is trying so hard to keep itself warm.  We want to get the gut going for maybe the heavier foods we may be putting in.  Also, with a swig of apple cider vinegar you are balancing your pH (which is super acidic in the morning), stabilizing blood sugar, and getting your metabolism going.  Point is to hydrate, cleanse, and fire up our systems every morning.  No special detox needed. 

Dry Brushing

An ayurvedic ritual that seems to be growing.  People actually do this for different reasons, but the point is they all work and you feel great.  Dry brushing allows you to help stimulate the lymphatic system, which actually is one of your larger systems that runs throughout your whole body.  You help stimulate the vessels and fluid that help carry these immune boosting, infection fight white blood cells throughout the body.  Want to get sick less?  Add this to your morning routine before a shower.  Also a natural exfoliation and known to reduce the look of cellulite, it's become an easy way to actually appreciate my whole body every morning.  How to here.

Therapeutic Oil Massage

Because nothing says love like a massage.  And you can give yourself one every night.  I find myself doing this as a relaxation method more than anything else.  With a warming oil to help massage and release fluid from muscles after a long day,  I do right before bed.  After a shower at night while the skin is still warm and wet, you want to massage oil deeply into your skin. Using sesame seed oil, which is a warming oil, (or almond if sesame feels too much for you ) you work it into your whole body from feet to neck.  Pat softly with a towel to remove any excess/  Doing this while still wet will help your skin absorb the oil, leaving you moisturized and not oily ,the whole night.  These winter months can be brutal so keeping your skin hydrated, your body warm, and muscles relaxed is essential.

Triphala

An ayurvedic blend, it naturally supports cleansing, digestion, and an antioxidant.  I think it's perfect to start to take on a detox as it will work even further help cleanse internal system and although it does say it will keep you regular, this is not a laxative!  A gentle support to help regular bowel movements release toxic buildup.  This is meant to help all three doshas according to Ayurveda practices. For more information, check out this link!

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Sunday Cortado, 7

Kennebunkport, Maine

Kennebunkport, Maine

What a week.  Catching up after a mini vacation is no joke for this girl.  It's straight from reality, to vacation, then a nap back into reality again.  In between all that are things happening, the world changing, and mind racing.  Or is that just me?

I'm struggling to find this balance, you know?  And a part of me wants to say "f*** balance!"  This is lifeI have never been one to put my belief in wellness to the side, but I must admit that meals are skipped, time with loved ones are being sacrificed, and I'm finding it very hard to keep motivated all week long.  

Then I sit down and write these Cortado's.  I gather everything I've read, articles I connected with, from events in the world, to the little things that I want to share. It's not much, but it puts me back in reality, at the same time, taking me away from it.  That's been my goal all along, to share and fight for a world that is so much more beautiful than we give it credit for.  Even if it feels like a whole different one sometimes.

Honestly, I don't have all the answers.  As of late, it's been a lot of, I don't know.  Could it be this transitional period? My cancerian emotions?  Who knows.  What I do know, is that I'm sticking to what I know I love to do.  Posts, recipes, beauty, adventure.  Somebody recently asked me if this is what I want.  My first answer was weak and full of excuses.  Asked me one more time.  I said I couldn't picture myself doing anything else.

~~~

If you know me, you know that family is one of my top priorities.  I called my grandma everyday until I knew she got in touch with her sisters, nephews, and nieces.  Not knowing if loved ones are safe for days seem unimaginable.  To know that the place you once called home has been wiped out and in dire need of help can hurt.  Here is what's happening in Puerto Rico and how to help.  

Even after great natural disasters, the beauty in how people come together is one advantage, if any.  Here quick look how Mexico came together after their earthquake.

Are girls smarter than boys? Who cares, give us the opportunities and watch us shine!

Happiness and Health.  But, where do you live?

Do you suffer from juicing guilt?  Here is why you might and how to solve it.  Someone help me though!

Are you into oils, serums, and toners? You need to read this!  It's all about the layers.

It is officially Detox Season!  As I wrote how to create your own, here is help creating your own detox meals. Inspiration, ya'll!

The Art of Fermenting.  My local farmer recommended me this book.  Some people just get me.

Chorizo Pumpkin Pasta and a Pear Galette.  I'm cold and ready for all of it.    

 

Creating Your Own Detox

Peaks Island, Maine

Peaks Island, Maine

One of my favorite topics.  Honestly, it both excites me and makes me nervous, but I can't deny the fact that I always find myself in need of it this time of year.  

I want to make this thorough, but still quick and painless. Let's jump right into it!

What is a detox?

First thing.  There isn't a one sentence answer I can give, mostly because there isn't just one kind.  From kidney and liver detoxes, to Spring and Fall detoxes, Ayurvedic Detoxes, and the infamous juice cleanse.  What do all of these have in common?  They are all meant to remove a buildup of toxins, rejuvenate your internal systems, therefore give you more energy and clarity.  If done correctly, guaranteed.  Simply put, release the bad, fire up the good.  

Why and When to detox?

Every couple of seasons our bodies go through drastic changes to adapt and keep us healthy.  Particularly during extreme summer months and frigid winter months.  It is during spring and fall, that we focus ridding the toxin buildup in our systems, such as lymphatic and intestinal, so we may stay healthy and feel good for the next season to come.  Our bodies have different routines, sleep schedules, food intake, and digestion processes during summer and winter, as it should be, it's only fair to help ourselves readjust so we feel our best.  Think heavier foods and fats in the winter and longer days in the summer. 

When we rid the toxins, we at the same time fire up our systems.  Especially our digestion system.  Our gut is actually responsible for most of the endorphins that are connected to our brain.  When our gut is healthy and happy, we are.  We obtain more energy, immunity, and clarity all while simply nourishing selves during these transitional (or any) seasons.  

How to detox?

I think this is the part that surprises people the most.  There is not just one way to detox!  Even simple everyday tools will put you on the right track.  That's for another post.  For now, here are a few different kinds that you can try or take a bit of information from each to create your own.

Juice Cleanse.  This is one of the more obtainable intense resets.  The point of the juice cleanse is for one day to three days, you give your digestion system a complete break.  Instead you get all the nutrients you need to help target and detox other areas.  With organic nutrient dense juices, you cleanse your liver and kidneys, while other internal systems get the bulk of attention and energy.  Our digestive system NEVER STOPS WORKING.  We eat all day, everyday, you can only imagine the amount of energy our body puts just to digesting food and fiber.  A juice cleanse focuses to detox other systems so we rid toxins, heavy metals, while still having great energy.

*This cleanse is not for the faint of heart.  It's important to get a lot of nutrient dense juices throughout the day to keep you hydrated, sustained, and energized.

Ayurvedic Cleanse.  My, oh my.  This one is pretty dear to my.  It is actually one of the first cleanses I ever did.  The perfect cleanse designed for your body type.  Ayurveda simply means the science of life.  An ancient way of living from India, it has remained prominent practice both in India and has made it's way into the wellness world  Depending if you are Vata, Pitta, or Kapha, everything is taken into account from everyday practices to how to detox and cleanse your body.  Everything from meals and liquids, oils and scents, even when to work out is for your specific Dosha.

*This may be difficult for those with a fluctuating schedule.  Hot lunches and meal times are important to keep in mind, as it's about eating (or not) consciously throughout the day

Whole Foods Cleanse.  Not to be confused with the Whole 30 cleanse.  This one focuses on clean eating through real and all three meals. Snacks, smoothies, and juices all included.  This is great for those who maybe are experimenting with the whole wellness-clean-eating thang.  It's actually one of my favorites.  Vegan is the best option, but for those who need a little something more, eggs, organic pasture raised chicken, and salmon are my favorite protein options to include.  By eliminating refined sugars, caffeine, alcohol, heavy meats, and then adding organic seasonal produce, herbs, and superfoods, you are giving your body optimal nutrition.  This will help rid toxins, get energy, clear skin, and shed a little weight!

Who can detox?

Anyone and everyone.  It's just figuring out what is right for you.  If you have any health concerns such as diabetes, autoimmune diseases, or intestine inflammation, consult with a doctor first.  Insist that you are interested in taking a holistic approach and then do your research!  Partner with a nutrition or health coach (hey, there!) and get the ball rolling.  A detox is the perfect way to jump start your way to wellness and make space from the inside outside. 

 

 

Sunday Cortado, 6

Union Square Green Market, NYC

Union Square Green Market, NYC

You guys, I really do believe the next couple of weeks are going to fly.  Changing leaves, apple pies, brisk mornings, and cold nights, all soon to come or already here.  I say I don't really care for the Fall, but truth be told, I'm kinda excited to use my oven again.  

My Whisk and Mat will be doing it's own changes the next couple of weeks as well.  I'm a little nervous and a lot overwhelmed.  I decided I need to go back to yoga, because that mixture can be scary.  With a transitional season, comes a new mind set, ideas, routines, even wardrobe!  With a New Moon this week, Wednesday Sept 20th, and I am going to make it the MOST....

DACA.  What it means for us and what it means for them.  And, why we all need to care. 

Ending the war on women's health... Who knew we would have to fight so hard for the rights of our hormones and lady parts. 

Ethnic cleansing.  This has been going on for generations in Myanmar.  If you can't get yourself to read the article, PLEASE watch this video.  

I drink almond milk for my health.  Now can we drink it with a better conscious? Milkadamia and free range trees

The Best Places for Vegans to Eat in ALL 50 STATES.  I'm not vegan, but I can appreciate a good plant-based meal. 

Part of my routine every morning are fresh juices and smoothies.  Whether you are a frequent juicer or not, here are some ingredients and recipes to help you start or look out for in the Fall.  

What to Cook in September.  The perfect guide and inspiration!

I am so not a soup person, but I know sniffle season is about to come.  This green noodle soup looks like perfection, and not just on a sick day!

A Peruvian Almuerzo.  Because when you give a healthy-living-wellness-loving Latina an idea to make herself and recreate her family's dishes, you take those ideas and run. Or give them to your dad to make...

WASTED, The Story Of Food Waste.  The perfect mix of Anthony Bourdain, fruits and vegetables, and saving mother earth.  I'm very into it. 

 

Watermelon Mint and Goat Cheese Salad

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POP UP RECIPE!

A woman of my word.  Although, it was almost a bust.  This weather has been playing with my mind and my heart.  I'm pretty sure the week before was 50's and 60's, but this week and weekend, 80! How do we cope? Easy, just go along with it!

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I was wondering whether it was worth putting a watermelon salad recipe up.  I must be honest, I've started shopping for apples, pears, and squash at the markets.  I couldn't help it!  The knit sweaters made me do it.  Then this hot humid weather comes along and I'm almost ready for the beach again.  Just going with the flow people.

So here's a bit of a pop up.  Believe it or not, many summer produce is at it's peak.  Tomatoes, peaches, and melons are still good in September.  At least in Jersey.  Want to make this a little more warming and comforting?  Grill the watermelon.  I haven't tried it myself, but I can't imagine how tasty it would be.  With little salt and lime, yum! 

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Feel free to use this recipe for those of you who are looking to do a mini detox early Fall.  Per usual, omit the cheese. 

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Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad

  • 1 medium seedless watermelon
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup mint leaves
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tsp fine Himalayan Salt 

Cube watermelon, starting to cut in half, then quarters, and slice into a triangle first.  Cut the rind off and cube from there.  Place in a bowl or large baking/serving dish and add most of the mint leaves.  Juice the lime, sprinkle salt, and toss to combine.  Right before serving sprinkle the goat cheese on top and add the rest of mint leaves.  Keeps in the fridge 3-5 days.  Enjoy! 

Sunday Cortado, 5

Mad Sq. Eats, 5th and Broadway, NYC

Mad Sq. Eats, 5th and Broadway, NYC

These weeks have been flying by.  Both in good ways and ways I wish they wouldn't.  Somehow life happens and it's during these transformation periods we wonder, "What the hell have I been doing?"

Seriously.  It doesn't even have to be so deep or thoughtful as I probably make it.  We can't all help but wonder how this summer has ended. I guess it really started to hit me this week.  Scarfs and chunky knit sweaters made their grand appearance most mornings and I sometimes find myself unable to fully enjoy the quiet nights on the patio.  I am officially making myself readily available to those with fire pits.  I will bring you wine and homemade cheese and fruit platters.  Please?

For myself, I really tried to think about what stood out for me this season.  While I am a firm believer of making the most out of the little things, sometimes you kinda want to shake it.  I went to new and local beaches, reconnected with a few friends I haven't seen or lost touch with, and ate pretty damn good.

I just thought I had timeee.  Time for the passion to explode, beauty to be created, and adventures to be taken.  So, I made a commitment.   I wanna bring a new kind of living to life.  Inclusive, connected, and unrestricted...

~~~ 

There are major disasters going on, everywhere.  Yes, I get upset and empathize, but it isn't until now, hitting places where I used to call home and with loved ones, I get nervous.  A lot of what if's.  For family and friends, please be safe and stay compassionate.

I've been try to cut plastic out of my life.  No more tubberware, but I can say giving up cheap razors may be the challenge.

I've heard rumors of the not so sustainable practices that go on in the palm fruit oil industry.  Here's a little more personal information and something to think about on your next beauty purchase. 

I bet you didn't know and sometimes I forget, but being an adult is hard.  Making friends is hard.  Why can't we just share our crayons and be bff!

Fall = Fashion.  At least that's what I've heard and learned.  So, help!

Fall also equals squash! This is one of my favorite quinoa salads to make.  Perfect mix of sweet and savory, perfect meal prep lunch...

Arugula Pesto Zucchini Noodle Bowls.  I'm not gonna lie though, if I'm gonna eat a bowl full of veggies, Italian meats just may give me that lovely life balance . 

As we say good bye to the peaches and blueberries, I would like to welcome other things.  Fig Jam seems fitting for this Fall season ahead.

I'm going to Maine!!! I've been reading so much about, but as soon as I saw this post, I knew it was meant to be.  Have any recommendations?  Things I MUST DO? Please let me know! I'm a newbie to road trips and mini travels, so I'm open.  

Don't get it twisted though.  I do plan on relaxing.  I am so over 4:45am wakeup calls...

 

 

 

Detox Introduction and Tomato Corn Salad

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Yes, we are still in summer mode.  Pumpkin, squash, apples, and pears will have to wait.  I promise, they will still be making their appearance soon and for a while.  

Now is the perfect time to start weaning yourself away from the hot dogs and hamburgers, the spritzers and rosé, and all the ice cream.  Just kidding.  Not all.  Not ever.  Allow me to explain. 

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For the fall, I always recommend a little detox.  The question as to which kind, I always leave up to the you guys.  I could do a session and help you figure out which one is meant for you, or we can try them all!  I have, and not only did that allow me to learn more about myself and body, it helped me figure out there was so much more to learn. 

We have a whole new season and ball game around the corner, and even though we won't be in our bikinis and attending hella cook outs, our body needs a reset.  If you live in the northern parts like myself, winter can be brutal.  We need to plan, prep, and assimilate.  All the why's and how's I'll go through soon enough, but here is a nice idea or start. 

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Personally, my go to detox is one based off clean vegan foods. Lots and lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  Basically, what I offer on Detox Delivered would be my go to meals for those few days and this salad coming up will definitely make the cut.  A quick way to get your veggies in, simple ingredients, and LOTS of flavor. Also, soooo adaptable.  Add quinoa, garbanzos, black beans, boiled eggs, or cheese.  Although, nix the cheese for detox inspiration. I know, scary. 

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How have you been enjoying the last of Summer produce?  Although, the favorites are becoming scarce, we do have the new ones coming up.  Squash, apples, and pears are what I've been peeping late this season.  Yes, I peep.  

These hardier grounding foods will be great to add to later detoxes and clean eating.  Yes, we can still eat clean and healthy-ish during Fall.  For now, I got you with a late Summer no-cook meal.  Because, it's still pretty warm and I like you guys.  A lot.

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Tomato Corn Salad

  • 2 fresh sweet corns
  • 1 pint grape or heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 lime
  • salt

Remove all the kernals from your corn cob by simply running a knife through.  Cut in half or quarters your tomatoes, depending how big.  Remove leaves from cilantro stems and roughly chop.  Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  Add the olive oil, lime juice, and a pinch of salt!  Enjoy!

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If you are interested in detoxes or coaching services, please let me know! 

Sunday Cortado, 4

Hudson River Park, NYC

Hudson River Park, NYC

Sometimes, I feel as if I live in my own world.  It was something I found out last year around November, election time.  Whether you are a blogger, health and wellness advocate, sport enthusiast, foodie, or political junkie, you most likely spend most your time researching and reading those topics.  You may even surround yourself with like minded networks of people, Instagram feeds, live or visit those places that just... get you.  

For example, myself, my Instagram is made up of food lovers, health and beauty brandsjunkies, feministas, with the occasional life of friends and family.  I work in the most diverse, fast paced, and accepting cities in the world and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I go to farmers markets where most people have a common belief and love for what local sustainable food/brands has to offer. 

In a way, I think I wanted to keep these Sunday Cortado's going as a way to share interests, educate (both you and I), and maybe learn how to relate to others somewhat better.  My fellow wellness warriors, family, and friends, what's on your mind?  What do wish others would know and see?  We are more than foodies, activists, aspiring artists, travelers.  We care, and that makes our own world a little greater, a little more connected. 

I was having dinner with my family the other day, and my father made a valid point.  You make a greater impact talking face to face with someone, than anything you read or say on the internet. Touché. 

Want to meet and talk with me?  I'm thinking of getting out more, hosting mini pop up events, and making appearances to yours!  If not, let's meet for a Cortado...

There are natural disasters impacting this country to the other side of the world.  Effects are devastating and it's hard to believe there are people now on survival mode and re-adjustmenting.  Please don't forget, we are human and must believe we can always help each other.      

As Summer transitions into Fall, not only does that effect our food and harvest, but body and skin! Summer is a time for protecting and hydrating that sun kissed skin.  Fall is a time for nurturing, nourishing, and revitalizing.  Here is a guide stepping into natural skincare.  

Sweet Treats Beauty is getting a makeover and expanding for the Fall!  Here is what is available now, but I'll make sure to keep you updated with new products to come.

Anyone retired perfumes and fragrances?  When I stepped into natural beauty, it was one of the first things I let go.  Chemicals, money, and strong scents made that very easy.  I think I'm ready to bring it back with this simple DIY

If I can make summer last in any way, it would be with food.  Let's pickle.

How delicious does this Creme Brûlée French Toast sound? I think they use this as a dessert, but with just a little fruit, I'm down for breakfast.  

Watermelon and candied pistachios?  I'll be having that until September 20th, thank you.  

 

Sunday Cortado, 3

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Happy Sunday! New week, new things to look forward too.  For me?  I'm kinda looking forward to resetting, cleaning, cleansing, motivating myself for the next month or two to come.  

It's hard to believe that August is almost over, and I'm trying really REALLY hard to accept the colder mornings and shorter days to come along with it.  I don't know if I ever mentioned, but I love summer.  It usually loves me back.  Any one else hoping for another month of hot humid days? Beaches, grilling, fruits, and tacos too.

So did you hear... *sips almond milk cortado*

Around the world things are happing, not so much about war with other countries, but a war within for many women.  From India to Chile, these latest lifts on laws and bans can give a us a little more knowledge and hope. 

I was one of those people who were worried about this "partnership" between Amazon and Whole Foods.  This article tells me, "Fear not!"

This article is telling me what's really gonna happen.  Tomorrow. 

Since the weather is cooling off.  I'm thinking about breaking out the oven.  And I want cake

Corn is one of summer's greatest abundance. I want it any which way.  

Please tell me this is not one of the most beautiful things you have ever seen.  Who knew a cauliflower can make you feel this way.  

How To: Seasonal Pasta Dishes

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Recipe time!  Kinda.  A "How To" is similar to a recipe, minus the exact ingredients and measurements.  Total freedom.

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I think most recipes are kind of like general instructions and ideas anyway.  The great thing about cooking is there are really no rules and it's totally how you like it!  Seasoned and advanced cooking junkies usually can recreate, adjust, and play with any recipe.  For other new-comers looking to experiment or just trying to keep it simple, recipes are our lifesavers.  

For myself, I am notorious for looking up recipes, getting an idea, and starting a commotion in my kitchen.  Great successes, more cheese or less cheese, and great disasters have all come about from this.  But, I like to say it taught me to make the most out of ingredients. 

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Ever have those days or weeks where you kinda go crazy at the market and don't know what to do with all the veggies you were inspired to buy.  No?  Yes?  If it's yes, this is the recipe for you. If not, it's still the recipe for you because, PASTA. And vegetable that I know you are dying to get rid of in the most delicious manner. 

With simple, but fresh ingredients, everything will sure stand out and then blend magically together.  Trust me.  

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What you will need:

  • Pasta.  Any kind.  Maybe not lasagna.  That could get weird.
  • Garlic.  1 bulb or even garlic scapes!  A late spring, early summer must!
  • Yellow Onion.
  • Seasonal Vegetables.  My favorites are eggplant, any summer squash, grape tomatoes (every and any color), and leafy greens.  Red Peppers and artichokes are great too.
  • CHEESE.  Of course always optional.  I like Parmesan or any other strong flavor.  Less will be more!
  • Herbs. Salt. Pepper.  Generous amount of parsley, basil, or oregano.  I always like to add red pepper flakes for a little kick.

What to do:

  • Cook pasta, save about 2 tbs of pasta water
  • Sauteed the garlic and onion in a generous amount of oil, maybe 2 tbs since that will be your "sauce".  Cover to create moisture, or keep pan open for more crisp!
  • Grill or sauteed vegetables.  I honestly like to grill just so I don't have to dirty anymore dishes.  And maybe somebody else can do the work...
  • Combine pasta and vegetables into the same pan as the garlic and onion. 
  • Add alittle cheese, salt, peppa, and herbs of choice!  
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Sunday Cortado, 2

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We are talking links and love again!  I know.  I just did this post last week, and I had every intention in doing an amazing recipe or How To post.  But, things are happen and thing are happening.  

I spent most of my week reading, catching up on events, news, and yummy recipes.  It's the mix I love and crave.  Although my cravings for tacos and local vegetables has been hitting a little more often this summer.  Can you blame me?? Two months of Summer are just not enough.

8 Ways to Help After Charlotte.  It's not just for those who live close or want to be more hands on.  Stay in the know and understand what's going on.  This article was the one that caught my eye, because even I have my doubts.  

This Solar Eclipse is happening tomorrow!!! If you are bold and eager enough to follow it's path, amazing!  If not, check out how it may look where ever you are using this map!

10 Small Ways To Be Happy.  Not all of us can take trips around the world every week, let alone every year.  But I can clean the place I call home, my therapy, my pride and joy.  Then I have cake. Because cake. 

Finished a new book!  But this one I been reading for awhile.  It was one of those you have to be in the right mind set.  White Hot Truth, helps you not take it too seriously, relate, and make you want to own your Goddess Gifts.

Fluffy AF Cornbread Pancakes.  I usually never have all the ingredients for some pancakes.  Always missing some syrup or butter.  But, I have that now.  I am prepared for life, and pancakes. 

On a healthier note, if I step up my spice game, this yummy plate is sure to be an easy side staple.  Summer tomatoes and eggplants are already a weekly thang.

PS. I am trying to post a "How To" on Summer spagetti  dishes.  Because, I can't imagine a week without a bowl of pasta, and I need you to understand why. 

 

 

 

Sunday Cortado

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Have you guys ever had a cortado?  A strong espresso shot, always served with a little milk and your choice to sweeten.  Basically, a Cuban coffee.  It brings me back to my cafe con leche days as a child first drinking coffee.  Then later to the days I lived in Florida and happily drank my Pilón or Bustelo every morning.  

During the week I enjoy my coffee black, always Bustelo, always in my coffee pot, half full.  With me gone early in the morning I like to have my coffee strong and while I have my quick me up, I use it to serve the purpose to jump start my day... maybe heart.

But the weekends... Oh, how I love the weekend.  I start it (after my lemon water, of course) with a full bodied strong cup of coffee lightened with hot almond milk and sweetened with traditional cane sugar.  Not exactly a latte, not a exactly a cortado, but my version of a homemade spanish coffee special.

We are calling this a cortado, for no other reason to give you something short, a little bold, with a sweet touch.  Let's start with the key ingredient, that morning shot...

White Nationalists March on University of Virginia.  If you haven't heard, this happen, and it kind of blew my mind.  There are not many words I can say, but what I think is obvious, or maybe it's not.  So wrong.  So shameful.  We cannot accept this and let it go unspoken.  

I'm all about how one person can make a difference.  Whether if it's just one who made a stand, or each individual unknowingly making the same commitment and now all of sudden there are thousand of just "one person."  Climate change is real, and it's refreshing to see individual cities are looking to make a change.  

New book!  I became a bit of a book nerd as of late, so this might become a thing.  The Unit, used a fiction novel that maybe covers the deep underlying thought of many woman feel the pressure to have children and contribute to society, and the growing number who choose to childless.

I love a good review.  Especially ones that give research, honest trial and opinions.  If you haven't been able to get your hands on my Whipped Cream Deodorant, I highly recommend giving this article, The Best Natural Deodorant for 2017, a read and maybe get your hands on another trustworthy product!

I've become a lover of the farmer's market in many ways.  Plants and cactuses included.  I post my trips pretty frequently through instagram, so keep updated on my post and stories here!

I'm making scallion pancakes soon.  It's necessary.  Hopefully they are as good as these Zucchini Fritters.  I'll keep you updated though. 

 

 

Quick Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

That beautiful moment when you get back to writing your whole blog post AGAIN because you just like to randomly delete all your hard work and effort.  That’s this moment. Stay with me....

It’s summer and there are really only a few things I want to do every week.  Sip my summertime cocktails and dine out alfresco, sometimes barefoot. Okay, I really want to do this every day.  Homemade dinners every night, made on the grill, settling down with the sun.  Sigh.  A girl can dream.  If you saw my last post on Summer Favorites. You have an idea how I am feeling.  If not, I am here to remind you, always and forever.

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Okay so now let’s talk food.  Ever have those dishes or cuisines that scream summer?  I’m talking cold Italian pasta salads, Mediterranean hummus, cheese, and vegetable platters, hamburgers and hot dogs straight from the grill.  I just had my first hot dog in over a year and OH MY GAAAHH, so good. I like to go all out because sometimes you need to be a little bit extra, so I topped it off with baked beans, raw fermented sauerkraut, and yellow mustard.  One of the better decisions I made recently.

As for Mexican food.  Once the weather warms up, give me all the tacos, all the time.  It’s one of my first cravings come summer.  Sweet and savory elote, fajita with fresh peppers and onions, guacamole, agua frescas...  I could most definitely go on, but then we start getting complicated.  And hungry. 

I’m a girl who makes decisions on dinner based on the type of cuisine, if you haven’t noticed.

For now, we are keeping it light and simple.  I found myself this summer experimenting with new ideas and recipes, more than I have in years.  Maybe it’s the abundance of vegetables in season or a little kitchen therapy after a long day, the outcome hasn't been so bad.  Also, I am trying this thing called recipe testing and photography as I go.  Giving you that in-the-moment effect of what’s really going on in my kitchen.  A bit of that homestyle cozy feel.

Quick Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers 

A Latin healthy spin on a Mexican dish, using sofrito from Puerto Rico (or my kitchen), a filling similar to Cuban style congri, and topped with a little queso blanco and cilantro for a wellness balance.  Both easy and delicious you cannot go wrong.  I used a grill, but an oven should work out just as well.  

*PS.  Make the sofrito ahead, while using leftover rice and bean.  Save time. Enjoy!

Sofrito

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 cilantro bunch
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt

Blend, jar, and enjoy!  Holds for three weeks in the fridge or months frozen!

Black Beans

  •  1 can black beans
  • 2 tbs sofrito
  • 2 tbs tomato sauce
  •  ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt

Assembly

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 2 large bell peppers, cut in half
  • Olive oil
  • Cojita cheese
  • Cilantro

To cook black beans, heat over medium high about 2 tbs of olive oil.  Add the sofrito and cook for about a minute, then add the tomato sauce and cook for another 2 min.  Quickly rinse the black beans before adding them in.  Add about another ½ cup of water, the spices, and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.  Lid closed.

Mix together rice and beans. Add a little salt and pepper to taste.  It should be very moist (don't hate me) or wet looking.  This will ensure no dryness when cooking on the grill.  Oil and salt the bell pepper halves inside and out. Distribute the rice and bean mixture into the peppers.  Lay on baking sheet with foil.  Transfer the peppers still on the foil onto the grill.  Cook for another 10-15 or when the peppers start to brown and look soft.

Top with cheese, tomatoes, and cilantro. Hot Sauce is always a plus

Buen Provecho.

Summer Time Fine Favorites

Summer Solstice Mind Over Matter - Times Square NY

Summer Solstice Mind Over Matter - Times Square NY

Since I am now the person who craves the weekend, I thought we keep it somewhat casual.  Almost like a Saturday morning coffee date or brunch.  I wanna chat with ya'll.  Talk about what's been going on and what we are totally in love with right now.  There is a recipe waiting for you all but I thought I save that for a Monday.  It's actually pretty healthy and easy, which is all I'm throwing down in this kitchen lately.  

This is an update, shoutout, and way to get some inspiration from you guys on what you are loving about this Summer season.  Are you traveling?  Hitting up the beach?  What's your favorite? What are you eeeeaaaatttingggg? I hate to admit the the Summer is flying by, so I really trying to take in everything and anything I can get. And eat, duh. 

MOGOS - Asbury Park Boardwalk

MOGOS - Asbury Park Boardwalk

Before we get all foodie, know I love current events.  It maintains my humility and awareness, sometimes from another point of view.  

For the everyday update sans bullshit, The Skimm.

I also love it when other amazing foodie bloggers do the same.  That's where the humility comes in.  Example here, or just cut to the chase here

Al fresco dining.  Some people love it, others can live without it.  I actually rarely eat outside, but when I do, most of my dining takes place in the backyard.  I'm working on one day getting a long picnic bench for the future gatherings and dinners, but for now, my set up does me well. 

Summer Cocktails... HOMEMADE.  Yes, I have fell in love and probably won't turn back.  I love at home cocktails (even mocktail!) drinks.  They keep me portioned and save me $$$.  So easy and so delicious, mostly because you make it however you like best.  I like to skim different recipes and do my own concoction on whim.  Even though, they might turn out better if I followed a damn recipe.  

Oh and I also am drinking A LOT of green juice.  Every morning to be exact.  I like to keep it homemade to save $$$ once again.  It's so important for us to have the opportunity to reap amazing benefits of raw greens, so if you are on a budget, time is your BFF.  Take it.  I also do weeks where smoothies work magic.  Super foods are key to knock out some amazing benefits!

Union Square Green Market - Union Square, NY

Union Square Green Market - Union Square, NY

NEW. YORK. FARMERS MARKET.  Specifically the Union Square Green Market.  There are tons of in-season fruits and vegetables, homemade jams and local honey, Kosher, vegan, and gluten-free goodies.  In all honesty, most markets got it like that, but like most things that come from the city, a certain vibe is not comparable.

So what's next? I guess some of the more common Summer loves.  The beach, the ease, wondrous travel, or some backyard barbecues.  Ya feels me?  I am learning now more than every that less can mean a great deal.  It's actually giving.  Giving to your sanity and sense of appreciation.  A work in progress, but with just a few months left, can we handle doing a little less?

Zucchini Fritters

Well, I had this whole other recipe and post set up for you guys.  Full of healthy greens, summer flair, and gorgeous color.  Actually, thinking about it, this recipe has all that good stuff too, with just  a little more soul, inspiration, and grease....  

I decided to take a little break.  Totally intentional, totally necessary, and totally worth it.  I wanted recharge, recreate, and enjoy every part of what I saw myself doing for the rest of my life.  Dramatic?  Maybe, but I call it passionate.  So, I started cooking with just that, passion .  Reading food blogs, testing techniques, and recipes, while getting re-inspired.  Yes, I know it's possible to do this whenever, but I wanted a different experience and feeling while I did what I enjoyed.  I wanted no pressure. 

My background of health, diet, and cooking is quite extensive, so when I write my memoir you will all be very aware, but for now, I basically rekindled with what it felt like to just learn.  Hands on, without any obligation to share or perfect on the first try.  Just being in the kitchen for pleasure.   Not saying I don't get that from creating with an incentive to capture and share.  There is just a different energy and routine when it's just you and your ingredients.  

No props, camera, or Instagram stories.  Just good food and company.

So, I made zucchini fritters.  Just so happens I was looking around the internet for some dinner inspiration when I saw these bad boys and I remembered I had a few in the fridge.  No joke, I almost refuse to turn on the oven these days.  It's getting hot, and while I love having fresh warm air run through my place, I don't want to add unnecessary heat. Trust me, you don't want to be around when I'm home.  For that, I am dramatic and keep it a nice 80. 

Light salads (or pasta salads) are my preferred meals as of late.  And while I would like to say it's because I'm trying to keep it light and tight, it's sometimes (most of the time) not really about that.  Especially this time, because I FRIIEEED these baby zucchinis.  One of the better decisions of my life.  Served over garlic oil pasta... ah-mazing.   

So here is my welcome back present to you all.  Because nothing says true love and shit happens, like some good fried deliciousness.  

Zucchini Fritters

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 2 large zucchinis grated
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup parmesan (or handful)
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • salt and peppa 
  • grapeseed oil

Heat oil in the skillet over medium high heat.  Mix all the ingredients together well in one bowl.  To test if the oil is hot enough, drop a shred of zucchini in the pan and it should start to bubble.  Using 1/4 measuring cup, drop the batter with enough room to cook and flatten while frying. Flip over after 8-10 min or when edges start to brown.  Flip over and fry for another 5 minutes.  Place on top of paper towel to soak up extra oil.  Enjoy!  

Feminine Fire Pt. 4: Recognizing Your Feminine Truth

Asbury Park Boardwalk, NJ.

Asbury Park Boardwalk, NJ.

So we finally made it.  Happy Summer Solstice, my dears.

The last month has been somewhat of an eye-opener.   I knew for sure I wanted to get this off my chest and out to you all.  By "this" I mean these posts filled with everything I believe in and love.  From Feminism, to the beauty given by mother earth, to even a little beauty cheat sheet, I had one more topic to bring into this series.  I wanted to talk about the beauty possible in every woman.  That energy.  That soul.  It is what I believe truly connects us all.

The universe. Our planet.

I am no more than lover of the Sun.  I'm a worshipper of the moon.  I do not look for the stars to tell me how to live, but rather understand how I am already doing so.  Our bodies are mostly made up of the same water that embodies most of Mother Earth.  Her waves run through us, and though her currents may be strong at times, she is only following the cycle of the moon.  Every month we have the opportunity to cleanse and release.   Internally our body, just as strong as the currents of the ocean, sometimes painfully, pushes out what does not belong.  Like every month, the moon becomes New.  Not a coincidence, but a cycle of miracles

We are given the opportunity to live in sync with the universe.  Once we work towards that, I believe we get closer to understanding the powerful connection within us all.  Just like we follow the patterns of night and day, we can live consciously within the seasons of our community.  We are gatherers, care-givers, and providers.  She grows the grass, raises the cattle, and feeds the earth.  How amazing is she?  How amazing are we? 

Compassion.  Ahimsa.  To do no harm.

Words and practices I always try and live by.  Even when I go astray, I have another woman there to remind me.  When I don't have her, I have the permanent ink engraved on my skin, on top of my ribs that protects my heart.  For to understand pain, is to live through it ourselves.  We have the power to go past sympathy.  We have the power of empathy.

I wanted to have this post as a conclusion.  I wanted to leave this series as a beginning.  I only hope that one day all women will have the courage to realize we are all in this together.  We are powerful and strong, sometimes so much so we scare ourselves.  I don't want to confuse our great gifts with what society has named us.  Emotional. Crazy. Dramatic. Spiteful.  Do not speak about yourself what you wouldn't want to hear from others.  

If I am emotional, then I am privileged to feel.  Crazy?  I am crazy in love with Mother Earth.  So much so, that I revolved my whole life to make it a better place.  I am dramatic for the injustice and hurt that people endure from the those who are fearful of the unknown.  Sometimes we need to make a bigger fuss for the bigger things.  And I will never try to get even, but only make you realize that there was a better way.

So here is to a better way.  

My women, the ones who came before me, the ones who walked beside me, and the ones I may admire from a far,  I hope you always keep your beauty unique, your privilege honest, and your FEMININE FIRE always burning. 

Not only with love... with respect and pride.  

 

 

 

Feminine Fire Pt. 3: My Favorite Beauty Hacks and Picks

I thought I would do this series with a consistent flow. I honestly haven't written so much consecutively in a while, I almost feel a little in your face.  Am I in your face?  If I am, I apologize, but not really.  This is some gooood stuff.  I promise. 

Last week I discussed with you the secret of effortless Summer beauty through the power of food.  Because food is medicine, food heals, and food gives back. The good stuff from mother earth, at-least.

You know me though.  As I concluded, I am nothing more than a HOLISTIC FOODIE, who believes in the miracle of greens and therapy in a glass or two of wine.  So what happens when maybe you had a little too much?  Maybe sensitive heated skin from too much sun or maybe a pimple pop-up when approaching that special time of the month.  I still turn to fast relief, quick fix DIY products and solutions.

These are TRIED AND TRUEEEEE.  They are my go-to whenever I can't wait for my green juice to work miracles.

Raw Honey

This is my go-to cleanser.  I hope to one day make this into a face wash but for now, I enjoy this one ingredient quick cleansing mask. Raw honey is not only full of vitamin and minerals great for the body it is also great for the skin.  Both an antibacterial to act as a cleanser and full of antioxidants it actually rids blemishes with out clogging pores.  Once I rinse the honey with cold water my skin automatically feels smoother and softer, a natural moisturizer.  I do this mask at least three times a week. Yes, I swear by this.

Lemon Sugar Scrub

My homemade Lemon Sugar Scrub to be exact!  This is the perfect night or day scrub.  Ingredients that brighten (lemon), cleanse (coconut oil) , exfoliate (sugar), and moisturize, it's hard for me to go a day with out it.  Whether I use in the morning when my face is feeling a little dull or tight, I like to make sure I'm starting my day and face routine in an invigorating way.  After use my skin feels soft AND clean while riding any dry spots that come about.  For a spa feeling, I use this face scrub at night to prep for any mask I choose.  It opens pores, so make sure to rinse with cold water to lock moisture!

Tea Tree Oil

I honestly cannot even go on vacation without this stuff.  This product is an astringent which both cleanses and clears skin.  Perfect to combat acne, you can do one of two things.  Purchase a cleanser or make your own that features a low amount of Tea Tree Oil or if you usually only get spots of acne or that one annoying pimple, apply a low amount on that area. I usually do it the night before and wake up always with the pimple practically gone.  A small amount does wonders, so it is definitely worth the money spend on a small bottle.    

Rosehip Oil

A light weight skin absorbing cleanser.  I love this as it doesn't feel as if it's an extra layer to my skin.  It really does absorb easily leaving no greasy feel.  This is perfect for those who aren't big on high fragrant or ingredient moisturizers, since this one ingredient does it all.  The benefits over time? Rosehip actually has anti-aging properties, which help prevent or decrease visibility of wrinkles, visibly reduce pores, and treats sensitive skin.  Perfect for day or night.  

Rosewater

I swear by hydration.  Not just drinking tons of water, but actually keeping it on your face.  I love humidity for that reason, my skin automatically will retain the moisture.  But, what about when the heat kicks in? Despite my love for heat, the sensitivities are too real.  Rosewater actually contains anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, AND antioxidant properties.  Spray onto face and you will feel instantly refreshed, while leaving your skin soft and cleansed.  I keep a little spray bottle with me at all times during the Summer months!

PS.  There are always honorable mentions.  Vitamin E, clay masks, and my DIY Yogurt Face Mask does sensitive skin goood. 

Feminine Fire Pt 2: Summer Beauty Foods

Happy June!  So excited to start off this month with a few of my favorite things. Summer, food, and beauty!

It actually wasn't until a few years ago, I started to get into beauty.  Like skincare, makeup, and eyebrows-on-fleek beauty.  (Yes I still use fleek, even fleeky sometimes....)

I was a Jersey Girl in Florida figuring out new roads, befriending new people, living in what felt like another world sometimes.  I was becoming more involved with my full-time job, which was transforming from working in retail, to working in the fashion industry.  I started to put my clothes together differently (I somehow managed to maintain what I call City Tropics), wearing makeup as both a feature enhancer and bold statement, and then looking into natural beauty options.

You see, no matter how much makeup I wore and experimented with, I wanted to stay true to my roots.  Yes, I wore foundation, but would I love my skin even if I didn't?  I caked, contoured, and penciled in every bare spot, and then washed it all off at the end of the night.  Keeping my face clean and healthy became more important than ever before.  I made sure to buy the cleanest vegan makeup I could find and purchasing natural face mask and cleansers.  Read: Shit got expensive.  In Florida, not only did I divulge in this whole other world, I learned to incorporate what I already knew to be true.... Food creates Health and Beauty.

That is when I began to believe in feeling beautiful in every aspect of my life.  From using inside out practices, to creating products to take care of the skin I was in.  

Now that is is Summer and seeing that I started this love in the hot humid days of the south, I thought it was only fitting to do this post as a little tribute .  My Northeast, down South, and West Coast loves can enjoy most of the in season foods and ingredients.  These are just my favorite, there are many more to experiment and enjoy for your specific skin type.  Also because this is food, most of the ingredients are great to use on your skin as well!

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Aloe

My summer favorite.  This is a regular/must for me when I travel to hotter and more humid climates.  Aloe serves double duty too!

The Aloe Vera plant has very cooling and healing properties.  Full of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, this plant is great topically or taken internally.  Notice I say plant, get more for your buck ya'll!  Everything from healing rashes, sun burns, to even constipation and digestion.  Quick little tidbit, if you're digestion is not track, most likely neither is your skin. It's in your gut, not genes.  

How To:

  • Peel off the skin, chop jelly interior into fine pieces.  Put into a gallon of purified water and refrigerate.  
  • To drink, enjoy a glass with some pineapple juice, agave, and/or herbs for an easy go to cocktail.
  • To heal irritated or sensitive skin, apply aloe mixture on top and let air dry.  

Avocado

How can I not?  If I don't have avocado in a day, I sometimes feel incomplete, like I missed something so delicious to make it my day/dish ten times better. 

Rich in all the good GOOD fats, which is great for overall body health, the effects are amazing for the skin as well.  These good fats are anti-inflammatory which is also play a key role for the skin.  If you are prone to redness (rosacea), dry patches, and feel your skin becoming dull or loosing elasticity, this is for you!  I find myself more often than not poking and pulling at my skin.  Have I reached the time in my life where I worry about wrinkles?  Yes, I think I have.  But, I embrace it and now have the excuse of eating all the avocados.  Honestly, a win-win.  Also containing antioxidants which repair cell damage, so for those who love the summer sun, you absolutely cannot say no to a bowl of guacamole. 

Whether eaten or applied as a mask, affects are the same! On the skin for fast relief, eaten for overall maintenance.  

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Greens

From vegetables such as kale, spinach, and dandelion, to herbs like cilantro and parsley, every green has an abundance of properties to help maintain great skin.  Full of vitamins and minerals that basically start the journey to clean beauty.  Whenever I do a detox, the first thing I notice right away is my skin.  It is calm, clear, and because of less inflammatory foods, less likely to get irritated.  The chlorophyl in greens is one of the most detoxing properties which rid heavy metals and impurities which cleanse your gut and colon, which in turn automatically helps clear your skin.  Vegetables like cucumbers and celery are great for keeping you and your skin properly hydrated, helping the cleansing effect and keeping your skin glowing!

How To:

  • You DO NOT need a detox.  Simply just up your greens.  Green juices and monsters, salads, and super greens will do!
  • Play with different facial mask using herbs such as parsley or basil.  More to come on next post!

Fruits

Fruits don't get enough praise and love as they should.  They are first healing, full of antioxidants which as previously mentioned help repair cell damage.  Whether from the sun or harsh temperatures, we sometimes miss how to properly care for our face and skin.  Antioxidants are an easy way to do any reversal.  Along with Vitamin C which creates radiance within the skin, it helps to absorb other nutrients such as magnesium which serves your body and sleep well.  My favorites are blueberries and raspberries (I sometimes eat a pint for a light dinner), mangos, pineapples, and watermelon more for hydration.  If there is one thing that your skin is usually missing no matter if you have dry or oily skin, is proper hydration.  

Another plus for fruit, natural sugars which help curb cravings!  Some may have a higher sugar content than others, but I guarantee you, it is better than that piece of cake, ice cream, or even nutrition bar, that you save your calories for.  Those ADDED sugars wreak havoc.  

So there you have you it,  not a complete list, but a great guide to keep your skin looking and feeling amazing.  It all comes down to following three different keys/nutrients... hydration, anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, and CONSISTENCY. 

Yes, I could add all the ingredients and foods to stay a way from, but in reality, I like pizza, meaty tacos, coffee, and a cocktail every now and then.  This practice is called MODERATION.

Dedicated to all my summa lovin' beauties.