Sunday Cortado 15: Siempre Con Amor

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Life lately has definentily been all over the place and unpredictable, and I'm just not talking about my own.  When I started Sunday Cortado, I wanted EVERYONE to feel connected.  There are wars on the fence, innocent children too common becoming victims, and history being made in the name of love.  How can you not feel something all the time?  

Even with all the shit and fear, is it still possible to feel that light?  The one that makes everyday doable and worth a little more.  Whether smiling and feeling love with another or with a passion still fiery inside you.  I ask you give it a chance, this thing called love... amor.  

If you fear you haven't yet felt it or don't have enough in you, like I sometimes do, maybe something as small as this cortado can help.  Because, I still believe in the simple things, and the ones we hold close us to enjoy them with.  

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1.  I've been working incredibly hard trying to create and bring together new content to share with you all.  Whether new recipes or pages OR news, I'm excited for the changes that lie ahead!

2.  Rekindling my love for Ayurveda through this fool-proof Idiots Guide.  I only just begun, and already started making connections I haven't seen before. 

3.  Flowers.  I have never been a flower kinda girl, and I say girl because it is the norm for girls to receive flowers for any occasion/reason.  That's cool and all... but they die.  So I never understood the point.   Although, I guess for that moment, the beauty is simply that... beauty.  

4.  These 70's NY photos.  One amazing point made, no-one is looking at their phones.

5.  I love women who empower women.  Nothing says empowerment like owning and knowing your body.  I've already tried the menstrual cup once, but I love this honest and positive review to inform even the most skeptical lady.  

6.  Speaking of empowering women, you can hate on me all you want, but she has the confidence, heart, and badass I will always need in my life.  

7.  A Kitchen Alter.  How have I not thought of this before?!  Where the therapy, joy, magic, dance, and even tears happen all at once. 

8.  The farmers market, because nothing there is nothing like mother earth working her own magic to make this world a little more beautiful . 

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siempre con amor,

~yesenia

Spring Cleaning, Your Way

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A confession before we begin...  1) Sorry, for the hiatus!  But, not really.  Sometimes we need a change or a break.  Mine was a change, and blogging was something that just didn't fit into what I was doing and trying to achieve.. for a bit. 2) I wanted a comeback - an informative post full of food facts, nutritional advice, and stories!  After I spent a few hours writing, I deleted it.  Because once again, things change.  And personally, this place of "change" is exactly where I'm at.  Let's begin.   

Spring has officially came and has decided to stay.  I could not be any more psyched!  Let's be real, I don't even love Spring, as my heart belongs to Summer. And that just means we are so much closer.  Heat and humidity, where you at?! 

During this season, our bodies can start to take a toll. Not only with the weather change, but the longer days, change of pace, or the sudden realization of all we need or want to do.  Winter hibernation is no longer an excuse.  So what should we really be doing?  Getting rid of all the stuff weighing us down! From some extra pounds, toxins, clutter and past bullshit.  Yes, I said it.  That bullshit. 

It's so easy to get caught up in unnecessary clutter.  We can even call it the excess that no longer serves us.  Whether it is extra weight from the winter to our unorganized thoughts and closets, I wanted to find a way to make it not so intimidating, rather something you want to get done.  Your own way of therapy.    

What it's going to come down to is CREATING SPACE.  In 3 areas, how I've been able to get it done, and make it my own.  

Create Space in Our Bodies

Anybody else dramatic about the cold?  Eating all the heavy comforting food, and maybe very well experienced in hibernation.  That would be me!  From all the winter's heavy foods and lack of movement there is an excess that needs to be rid of (toxins and weight) and a digestive system that needs to be reset.  By ingesting seasonal cleansing foods and igniting some inner fire, we can rid and make space for a new seasonal diet and a much lighter feeling.

~ Eat Seasonally.  Dandelions, spinach, sprouts, radishes, and asparagus are my favorite.  Play with recipes!  I found cooking to be my therapy as of late; even being able to make a simple nourishing plate beautiful.  Maybe you're not a big cook?  Find some local restaurants that specialize in seasonal and local fares.  Cleansing does not have to mean depriving! 

~Move!  Sweat!  I took a break from yoga, but as soon as I went back, I couldn't believe why I stopped in the first place.  It felt amazing (and scary) and I immediately felt a difference.  Keep your body moving and the rest of your systems and endorphins will follow!

Create Space in Our Minds

This one was tricky for me.  Food and health, I can write and talk about forever, and feel pretty confident about.  The mind?  Well working on myself alone, that was a challenge in itself.  Basically, I knew that I needed a change of mindset.  Whatever that has happened in the last few months, good or bad, had to take a backseat.  I needed to reevaluate what exactly it was that I wanted to feel and where I wanted to be for right now.  I needed space in my head, not for it to be filled with more ideas, but a clarity of what I was already doing for myself.   

~Get active! The past few months I've had every excuse to not get moving.  I stopped yoga and really became an expert in not leaving my house.  After getting out and going back, I decided to take advantage of this new lifestyle.  The "just do it attitude" came about, no contemplation.  I got rid of all the excuses in my head.  Time, money, and motivation.  Being active became my excuse to let go of those repetitive thoughts.  

~ Surrender.  Because the bullshit is going to keep on coming.  Honestly, I learned to feel it out and let it be.  I let go of things I could not change or handle.  From relationships lost to selling my car, I felt my world being turned upside down.  And it truly did.  Accepting what I had to do allowed me to be in the present.  Let go of the past and what could have been, do not worry about the future and what is unknown.  Be Here

Creating Space in Our Surroundings

Pick just one or two things.  No matter if you discard or reorganize, you will find yourself wanting to see less around you...more space.  I've had some very messy habits in the past.  Now I live to see clear surfaces.  Especially in my kitchen.  It became my canvas.  My space to work from scratch again and again.  

~Clean out your closet and drawers.  Donate or recycle!  Plenty of ways to discard guilt-free.

~Organize your pantry.  Or whatever it is that you use everyday.  A bookshelf?  Computer?  Make your space manageable again.

~Your relationships.  Friendships, family, or lovers, where might the space serve you?  I'm not even talking about completely letting go. It does not have to be all or nothing, which is something I'm. Still. Learning.  Keep in mind what it is you need out of them and what can you be without them?

Spring is 3 months long.  It's never too late.  Don't rush.  Work with what you got.  Small means can do great things.    

 

 

Sunday Cortado, 14

 Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley

Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley

Happy New Year, my dears!  I wish I could have done an end of the year post, but internet service and life get's in the way.  As there hasn't been a Cortado in almost two months, and I even miss the one planned, we have some extra links and loves.  I think there may be a little bit for everyone here to enjoy.  Or, maybe just me? 

Enjoy this Cortadito, set a little different for my wide (but pretty predictable if you know me, and I think you all do) selection of interests and reads!

New York Lovin'

Help the homeless as these freezing temperatures hit for frequent New Yorkers. 

Otherwise, enjoy like some of these people who clearly aren't afraid of a good flurry.

Case for the Subway:  It helped build the city, now it's time for the city to help build it back.  

Latino History and Literature

Dare I say that Puerto Rico is a VISIBLE example of colonialism gone wrong.  Here is something for those who still dream.  

I'm on mission to get through the most influential literature by latinos (is this a college elective or book club? Sign me up) of my time.

My favorites so far?  Juniot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.  And Drown and This Is How You Lose Her.  

Rights and Movements

Boston. Racism. Image. Reality.  Surprising statistics from a well known "progressive and liberal" city.  

How these celebrities are standing up and helping ALL WOMEN.  Time's Up!

Single people.  We still exist, now more than ever.  Don't underestimate us.  

Food and Health

5 Superfoods to Eat in 2018.  Or forever. 

Inflammation-Fighting Winter Vegetables.  Still yummy. 

Who want's to go out in this cold weather anyway?  What to Cook This January.    

2018 Intentions and Visions (Yes, I have them too)

Yoga. Yoga. Yoga. And practice.  A great way to look at the New Year using this Yoga Trifecta

Let's talk money and savings.  I had a scary revelation on my everyday Americano habit....

I always say, Rihanna as a singer, eh.  Rihanna as style and fashion bad ass, show me the way!

 

4 Steps To Wellness In The Winter

 Lavender Oatmeal Facial, Sweet Treat Beauty

Lavender Oatmeal Facial, Sweet Treat Beauty

You guys.  It's winter.  Whether it feels like it by you or not, the winter solstice has come and gone, so let's (if we must) embrace those changes .   

I'd be lying if I said it's been too busy.  Honestly, I have taken more time for myself.  Whether it be reflecting, taking on new hobbies, prepping for the new season, or staying warm, there is no guilt in me-time.  This is what I tell myself, but in reality I think most of guess a little shaky if we are not constantly working.  What's up with that?

Anyway, I wanted to share how I TRY to keep sane, warm and well during the holiday and winter season.  From different beauty tricks, everyday detox, and digestion tips, the way we take care of ourselves drastically changes if you experience drastic shifts in seasons. I mean, it's 20 degrees where I am at...  If my hot-and-humid-Florida-loving self can adjust, so can you!

I've actually done something similar in previous posts, a mini series if you will.  For now, here are 4 quick steps and hacks to have on hand this winter!

1. Everyday Wellness

Probably the most important one.  I feel like in the summer, wellness routines can go astray, yet the warmth, humidity, and longer days are a little more forgiving and allow us to be a little more flexible.  During the winter, no so much.  Consistency is key to maintain health all year round. 

Mentioned in previous posts, there are habits and rituals to incorporate everyday and they make a hell of difference these months!

  • Lemon water - Get those digestive juices going!
  • Dry Brushing - Blood flow of the lymphatic system which supports your immune system.
  • Netti Pot - Clear out your sinus every damn day.  Prevent bacteria buildup.

2. Light Fasting

From the time you have dinner until breakfast, you should just be looking at about 12 hours of light fasting.  It may also be looked at for many as a natural fast, but of course everyone's body clock is different.  Fasting gives your body just the right amount of time to rest, balance sugar levels, and let your digestive system work its magic. 

Find what works for your lifestyle and schedule though, and prepare the next day's breakfast based on today's dinner. If you have a late dinner, for example, you may just want to whip up a quick juice or smoothie to hold you over until the next mealtime. 

3. Movement

This one is definitely the hardest to get myself into.  It's not until I actually start moving and sweating do I remember why I recommend this in the first place.

It's easy to feel sluggish, tired, and COLD during these next few months.  Although, exercise is beneficial all year-round, if you want to combat those winter blues, you betta get moving!  Simple stretches and twists can warm up and loosen your muscles, especially if you are at a desk all day, automatically getting your digestive system moving and fired up as well.  If you're feeling it, it's a great time to take on a new workout routine or challenge.  Why wait till the new year? Watch how quickly your mood, health, and boo-tay get a boost!

4. Oil Up.

This step doesn't get enough love I think.  When I tell people I use oil instead of lotion, I get surprising, sometimes perplexed, and sometimes mortified looks.  But really, it makes perfect sense. 

For those who retain heat well, you can use coconut oil all year long, but for those of us who need an extra layer of moisture, almond oil is your best bet.  Before or right after a shower, massage into your skin and pat dry.  This will seal the moisture and vitamins in, keeping you warm and soft all day/ night long.  

*For a more healing and therapeutic effect use sesame seed oil.  It's the perfect warming body oil before bed.  If this is too much to start, try massaging it into your feet and hands first.  As temperature conductors you won't regret this healing sensation.  

 

Sunday Cortado, 13: Feminist Fire

I have been reading and chatting with you guys over quite a few cortados now.  And let's be real, sometimes it's all about the goods.  The links to something new, thoughtful, questionable, even yummy. 

Today's cortado is brought to you by the women.  I found that most of the articles I have read and bookmarked had a theme, and it was too good to ignore.  

Now with all the accusations and confessions of sexual harassment and assault being brought to light, the little representation of women in political office, and the history of how we have been treated in EVERY part of the world, I knew I wanted to spread the world in my own way... in my own space 

We are woman of different color and culture, talents and beliefs.  Stick together and stick it to them.  I believe in using where you came from and who you were born to be to your greatest advantage no matter what is to be expected.  Lately, and even looking back as a woman, I've noticed commentaries from men are way too common, sarcastic, and inappropriate to ignore.  You may play it off as that's just how they are, but no, that's how we allowed it.  

Every time I read an article of woman strength, bond, leadership, I can't help but think in the words of Kendrick, "We gonna be aight."

~~~ 

The Life and Death of A Radical Sisterhood, the history and commentaries that were brought to light right in my favorite city, New York.

The UN plans are making steps to help climate change, and female focused initiatives are leading the way.  

Free speech and abortion. California, what you going to decide?

The 2018 World Economic Forum will be co-chaired by seven women - and zero men.  BAM! 

Lady Gaga and Joe Biden coming together to help sexually assaulted and abused woman.  Add this to the list on why I admire these people. 

I did love the movie Wonder Woman, but now I really love Wonder Woman

We have the first Hijab wearing Barbie, and she has an amazing story. 

More men are marrying up now to successful educated women.  Future feminist families to come?

Now let's unwind.  This woman wants others to feel... a little more comfortable when doing yoga. I can dig it. 

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Rosemary Pistachio Kabocha and Balsamic Reduction

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Well, that is a mouth full.  But, I promise, worth every syllable and word once you make it. 

How's life?  It's Thanksgiving next week and I just heard my first Christmas song on the radio as I type this.  I don't hate it. 

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As a healthy living enthusiast and and Holistic Health Coach, I feel it's my duty to give you those wellness hacks.  The ones that keep you feeling good, when the feasts begin, the booze is flowing, and the parties run a little later.  Oh, and it's cold.  I want to keep you warm.  Next post!

Kabocha squash.  Have you heard of it?  TASTED IT?!  It's delicious.  The great thing about all the squashes this season are the subtle differences and versatility.  (Except for spaghetti squash, you pretty much get the same deal --  a beautiful, orange flesh, easy to puree and pleasurably sweet. 

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I chose to use Kabocha for this recipe.  It was actually my first time and it came out pretty damn good.  This squash is particularly a bit sweeter with a consitency more like pumpkin; easily mashed or pureed.  The perks of this recipe are the simple production, playful use of herbs and your choice of enjoying it mashed, chunky or pureed!

Perfect freshly made and warm, or some hearty leftovers.  On a piece of sourdough toast...Heaven.

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Rosemary Pistachio Kabocha and Balsamic Reduction

  • 1 medium/large kabocha squash
  • 3 sprigs rosemary(tarragon or oregano work as well!)
  • 1 cup pistachios (roughly chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375.  Cut squash into 1/8, wedged.  Spread on baking sheet and dress with oil (I use grapeseed) and salt to taste.  Roast for one hour, turning just once to ensure caramelization.  Once done, take out and let completely cool.  This is to ensure squash stays together for easy preparation. 

In a medium sauce pan, bring vinegar to a boil over high heat.  Lower heat to about medium, keeping the vinegar to a high simmer for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.  Turn off once reduced and slightly thicker. 

Once squash cooled, peel skin and chop into large cubes.  It's okay if it's soft and fall apart a bit.  Transfers straight into bowl.  Add rosemary, chopped pistachios, and olive oil.  Toss adding salt and pepper to taste.  Using a spoon drizzle reduction over squash.  Serve!

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Sunday Cortado, 12

 Union Square Greenmarket, NYC

Union Square Greenmarket, NYC

Let's get cozy.  

I hope you are lucky enough to have a cortado or espresso in hand, with a chunky sweater, and fuzzy slippers.  These months are sometimes a bit trying, but contain the most beautiful moments and scenes I know.  

With a world so unpredictable and the weather that follows, how are you keeping inspired to just keep going?  To make it all worth it? Reading, Christmas movies, cooking, and cozy blankets, have been my therapy of choice.  The inspiration to share, connect, and constant talks with friends and family have been the push to keep it going.  

Not many, but definitely the standouts... Happy Sunday, my dears!

An Explanation on U.S. Mass Shootings, gives a harsh reality about our countries faults.  

Why They Didn't Stop The Harassment, because sadly looking the other way seemed like the only thing to do.  

An interview with Deb, from Smitten Kitchen and Ella, from Deliciously Ella.  If you are a food or wellness blogger, you may understand the anxiety in change and social media.  The common ground? Stay true, ya'll. 

Settling in Paris.  Kind of like vacationing like a local, but on a whole, pretty funny, level.  Take notes!

What to Cook This November.  It's warm and yummy. 

A moisturizer made out of your own blood.  Blood Cream.  I am intrigued.  

The time of year for boozy festivities, cheese platters, and very dry cold weather.  Activated charcoal, the supplement for detox and beauty this season?  

Baby, it's cold outside.  Let's treat ourselves to a jacket or two.  

 

Sunday Cortado, 11

 Bite 22, NYC

Bite 22, NYC

What a week.  If you read my Cortado's often, you know I always have something to say.  For now, I am not so much speechless, but rather in thought.  But, here is a little something....

I never feel safer than when I walk the streets of New York.  A place, even state of mind, where you can be anyone and do anything.  Then reality hits, close to home, and you remember it's just another place and we are all human.  Let's not forget to reconnect, hold the elevator, hold the door, let the mothers and kids pass when you're in a "rush".  Sometimes we get lost in the hustle.  The streets are busy, but keep your head up and walk fierce.  We going places.

Culture cannot excuse racist insult, but here's a standpoint that hits close to home as a Hispanic American.  

Use your phone for this video!  A 360 on Latino NYC.

Lion King cast is out.  And it's a-mazing.

Minoi, the sister of my beloved coconut oil.  I wanna try! 

It's pumpkin pie season.  Let's get super Martha Stewart and make our pumpkin puree

Harissa Lentils and Roasted Veggies.  I need.   

Butternut Squash in my bourbon.  Let's be open to all possibilities in life. 

Burnt Butter.  I substituted NY local apples in this crumble.  Yum. 

Is it too early to start my Christmas List? Kitchen wants

Women Aren't Ruining Food.  Thank you very much!

 

 

Rosemary Italian Plum Compote

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Sigh... Until the good stuff begins.  

This is just the beginning ya'll.  I am ready.  Ready for all the pies, cookies, and festive activities I can find and part-take in.

You see, Thanksgiving and Christmas kind of blend as one for me.  I want to enjoy them both as soon as November.  Don't hate. You see, I love the idea of family get-together's and family-style traditional American foods.  I am always about those mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts (hello, wellness blogger!) macaroni, and stuffing.  Clearly, I have a thing for carbs.  Oh, and I don't care for turkey.  Moving on. 

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But, Christmas... I am in love with the lights, glamorous to humble decorations, shops and markets, and COOKIES galore.  I still recognize the true meaning and celebration of the holiday, I just can't help but get into the spirit of a little magic and beauty.  I am actually writing this while watching a recording of Elf, cozy in blankets.  Hellooo winter wonderland!

So, if you are anything like me, you will give any excuse to keep it festive, but also keep it light and fun.  I believe in the simplicity.  The little things that make this season worth while.  Because, shorter and colder days are rough.  And, isn't it about the time spent with others that matter most? So, let's take it easy and make it yummy, shall we? 

A simple compote to spruce up almost any recipe.  Whether it be your everyday breakfast granola and yogurt, to a small cheese plate enjoy with friends and a glass of wine. An aroma that will have your kitchen smelling of something sweet and cozy, and leaving it feeling quite festive.  Rosemary Plum Compote.  For the love of Fall.

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Rosemary Italian Plum Compote

(1 or 2 servings)

  • 4 or 5 imperfect plums (bruised and super soft)
  • 1 tbs raw sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Roughly chop the plums discarding the pits and stems.  Heat sauce pan over medium high, and add the plums, 1/2 tbs of sugar, and rosemary.  Let sit for a few minutes then add about 2 tbs of water.  Make sure to mix and let cook for about 10 min, mixing only about twice in between.  Once softened, take out the sprigs of rosemary.  Transport plums in a bowl and top with remaining sugar.  Enjoy!

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Sunday Cortado, 10

 Doughnut Plant, W 23 St

Doughnut Plant, W 23 St

The last couple of weeks have ranged from completely booked and overworked, to a complete mental break filled with baked goods, home cooked meals, organization, and day dreams.  Ya'll, your girl was tired. 

I think the point of this wellness thing (yes sometimes it's still a thing to me) is to learn it doesn't ALWAYS have to be that way.  In reality, it may seem we are constantly busy and overbooked, but at the end of the day (or week), our bodies deserve that break, our minds deserve that sanity, and our souls deserve that peace.  Ya hear me?  I wanted nothing more than to come back to writing, serving delicious new recipes and ideas.  Consistently brainstorming and wanting to share, I had no choice but to wait.  That my dears, is okay.  

Grab a coffee or cortado, and a donut if your lucky.  

At such a young age, I don't think it's necessary to separate.  If girls and boys want to work together through challenges and lessons, let them.

Food Inequality in Venezuela.  Quick video to show perspective of what's really going on. 

Helping your former student through a prison cell.  When your job is truly your passion and heart. 

I've really been into literature of the Hispanic Culture.  A story that allows you to look back into their history, relate to our own culture, and be proud of where we came from.  Drown did not disappoint. 

If your a woman in business, finance, or any type of male dominated work-force, please read.  The Moment that Made Me A Feminist.  

More important than ever for minorities to have a face in world of wellness.  Black Women and Wellness: What it means to be Well in 2017.

Inner Life of an Introvert.  Simple drawings to let you know what's really going on in our head.  We still love you!

Fall Kitchen Guide.  Bring this list with you to your nearest Home Goods.  They always know the way to my heart. 

One of my biggest dreams is to have a small gathering on a rustic table to serve amazing food in a creative ambiance.  How To Throw a Fall Party is pinned 

Anti-Inflammatory Diet on a Budget.  I can dig it. 

Chocolate Mint Matcha Cups.  I have matcha sitting in my cupboard and this seems like the only logical use for it right now. 

I'm still a believer and still a lover.  The 10th Anniversary of the Kale Salad, where has the time gone!

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.