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Turmeric Juice:A Powerful Healing Beverage

A Recipe for Turmeric Juice: A Powerful Healing Beverage

When I lived in Bali, I fell in love with the Balinese-style turmeric juice, Jamu Kunyit. 

Tumeric is known to be one of the most powerful healing herbs. It is great for bones and joints as it has anti-inflammatory properties. It prevents metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer. 

Turmeric's also a natural liver detoxifier and a kidney cleanser, and it speeds metabolism and aids in weight management. Plus it heals and alleviates conditions of depression, psoriasis, damaged skin, arthritis and more. 

For these reasons, turmeric is ubiquitous both in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine.

Here's what you'll need to get started: 
  • 5-7 inches turmeric 
  • 5-7 tamarind
  • 2 lemons
  • raw honey
  • water
  • blender
  • strainer
  • bowl
  • mason jar(s) or other glass jar with lid
1. Peel turmeric. Your fingers will turn yellow. Don’t worry! All-natural dish soap gets it right out. If your cutting board or countertop get stained, slather on dish soap and rub it in. Let it soak in for 5 min or longer, then scrub with water and sponge. The turmeric stain will vanish!

2. Crack and open tamarind. Make sure you get all the inner roots off, too. We’re only going to use the inner fruit.

3. Fill a big pot with water, put peeled tumeric in and let it boil for at least 20 minutes until the water becomes a rich and vibrant marigold color.

4. While the tumeric water is boiling, get a pan and pour 1 inch of water in with the peeled tamarind. Move the fruit around with a wooden utensil, mix it in with the water so it can melt and dissolve into a jam like texture. More water shouldn’t be needed, but if it’s lookin’ a bit dry, pour water in as needed.

By this time, you should be able to see the little seeds coming out. When the texture looks soft, turn heat off and let it cool down.

5. Go back to the tumeric water. By now, the color should look ready. Pour a little bit of cold water to lower the temperature. Take the turmeric water and pour it into the blender with the tumeric. We boiled it so the root could soften and have more flavor, now it’s ready to buzz in the blender for even more flavor and richness! Blend, blend, blend. The color now should look like an extra extra fiery marigold.

6. Go back to the tamarind in the pan. Pour substance into the strainer that is placed on top of a small bowl to catch the tamarind. Swish the jam like substance around in the strainer with the wooden utensil-- we only want to use the soft bits of the fruit. No seeds, no seed peels.

7. Pour the tamarind that has been caught in the bowl into the blender with the tumeric water. Buzz it around again.

8. We’re almost done. Squeeze your lemons into the blender. Now take the blender and pour your yummy juice into your mason jar(s). Add honey to taste, close with lid, shake it up to mix.

9. Store in fridge up to 3-4 days and drink daily! 


Starting 10 Workout

Yes to Life Juice Recipe

Juice Recipe – Yes To Life

8 Tips For Recovering From Gluten Exposure

8 Tips For Recovering From Unwanted Gluten Exposure

After moving from San Francisco, one of the most conscious cities tailored for healthy eating, to Hong Kong, a respected multi-cultural cuisine-laden island in its own right, I’ve had the unfortunate experience of dealing with unwanted gluten consumption. The first time around, I was admittedly a willing candidate, adopting the “When in Rome” attitude and agreeing to dine at a dim sum restaurant.  

What was I thinking? I’ve had foods with gluten in other countries and experienced no ill effects, so I thought I would test my chances. I regret to report that although it was delicious at the time, I paid for it and learned my lesson — no can do gluten.

Since then, despite my best efforts to avoid gluten, I’ve been exposed to it unwillingly and unknowingly. This never fails to leave me in a hungover state, doubled over in bed with awful bloating, nausea and abdominal pain accompanied by a mental fog that doesn’t go away for a couple days. Needless to say, it's not fun, especially when you didn’t sign up for it in the first place. Sadly, this is likely to happen to any of us who are sensitive to gluten, no matter how careful we are in trying to avoid it. If you are someone who is intolerant to cross-contamination, it can be even more challenging when eating out or traveling. Gluten intolerance is increasing around the globe, with estimates suggesting 18 million people suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity. To make things more interesting, you could be sensitive to gluten and not be aware of it, despite negative test results. 

Let’s take a look at some of the helpful ways to assist your body in recovering from undesired gluten exposure. Note: If you're traveling to foreign countries, you might want to bring some of the below on your trip to ensure you have what you need to take care of yourself.

1. Hydrate.

This is an essential step to recovery. You body is working overtime to seek homeostasis and flushing out the harmful effects of the invader (gluten). Staying hydrated will aid your body in a faster recovery.

2. Supplement with activated charcoal. 

This supplement is generally used as an emergency treatment for certain poisons, and can be used to whiten teeth and remove plaque. It's highly alkaline, and has the ability to adsorb (different from absorb) the toxins from your stomach and intestines, and escort them out of your body via the intestines. Although it's best taken right at the onset of gluten exposure, it can also help within the first 24 hours. Activated charcoal should be taken with plenty of water to avoid constipation.

3. Drink herbal teas.

Ginger, mint and chamomile tea are great for soothing the belly by aiding digestion and alleviating an upset stomach or nausea. Consume as needed.

4. Rest.

Your body is going through a lot and needs time to recover. Give yourself permission to take it easy and sleep as needed.

5. Stick to easy eating. 

Give your digestion a break. You might not have an appetite at all, and that's ok. Honor what your body is telling you. Soups, stews, juices, cooked vegetables (avoid starchy or fibrous veggies), fruit (non-acidic) or a boiled egg are some good options.

6. Add L-glutamine.

The healing powers of this amino acid are not to be underestimated. We naturally produce glutamine; however, our bodies are unable to produce it when we're stressed or our systems are compromised. Its abilities include healing the gut lining, reducing inflammation and improving immune function for warding off infections. 

7. Probiotics

It’s becoming widely known that healing the gut is essential to having good health. Toxins and inflammation alter the balance of “good” and “bad” gut bacteria, but by supplementing with probiotics you can restore a healthy ratio of good bacteria. I recommend taking at least 30-90 billion a day during this time. It's good to continue with supplements if you don't have fermented foods in your diet. 

8. Practice gentle yoga.

If you're up for moving a little, this can facilitate some movement in the intestines to clear out toxins. Yoga can not only help your body, but can also help you to get your mind off things and feel better.

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RAW Luscious Lemon Bars

Luscious Raw Lemon Bars! So simple!!

1 cup almonds
1 cup soft dates
1 vanilla bean or 1 TB vanilla extract or almond extract
Zest from one organic lemon
2 TBS lemon juice (ideally from the lemon above)
1 cup dried coconut
½ tsp. sea salt

Place almonds in a food processor and process into a fine powder. Add dates, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest to the processor. Process again until well mixed. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl mix your coconut and salt. Place this mixture into your food processor and blend until well mixed. Transfer mixture into a glass brownie pan (8x8) and press down. Refrigerate for about one hour.
Serve and enjoy!!
Who likes lemon bars?  Luscious Raw Lemon Bars!   So simple!!  1 cup almonds  1 cup soft dates 1 vanilla bean or 1 TB vanilla extract Zest from one organic lemon  2 TBS lemon juice (ideally from the lemon above) 1 cup dried coconut  ½ tsp. sea salt   Place almonds in a food processor and process into a fine powder.  Add dates, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest to the processor. Process again until well mixed. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl mix your coconut and salt. Place this mixture into your food processor and blend until well mixed. Transfer mixture into a glass brownie pan (8x8) and press down. Refrigerate for about one hour.  Serve and enjoy!!

Grilled Leg of Lamb w/Aspargus & Chimichurri

Grilled Marinated Leg of Lamb with Asparagus and Mint Chimichurri

Picture of Grilled Marinated Leg of Lamb with Asparagus and Mint Chimichurri Recipe


2 Sprigs of Thyme Leaves
9 cloves garlic, 7 minced and 2 whole
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (6-pound) boneless leg of lamb
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 cups fresh mint leaves


1. Stir together the 7 minced garlic cloves,thyme, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper in a large bowl. Rub the marinade all over the lamb in a bowl, then truss tightly and marinate at least 3 hours in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat a grill for direct and indirect cooking over a medium-heat fire. Grill the lamb over direct heat until nicely charred, about 8 minutes per side, turning often. Then move to indirect heat, cover, and cook until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees F for medium-rare, about 50 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes.

3. Toss the asparagus with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill the asparagus until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

4. Pulse the remaining 2 whole garlic cloves in a food processor with the parsley, mint, the remaining 1/2 cup oil, the remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Serve the lamb, sliced, with the asparagus and chimichurri sauce.

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RAW Chocolate Ice Cream

Creamy Rich Raw Chocolate Ice Cream

What you need: 
2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
3/4 cup raw honey
2 cups nondairy milk (I like using Ani Phyo's raw almond milk)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use organic)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use organic)

What you do: 
1. Add avocado and honey to vitamix and thoroughly blend. Add the milk a little bit at a time until well blended. Add cocoa powder a little bit at a time until thoroughly blended. It should be the consistency of a chocolate pudding. If you wish a less richer ice cream feel free to add more milk.
2. Add vanilla and blend again.Than add your ice for consistency of ice cream.
3. Place in an air-tight container in the freezer until firm. Freeze left overs. Prior to serving left overs remove container from freezer and allow to defrost for about 15 minutes or so.
Source of recipe: I created this recipe which is on my newest blog,

DIY Eye Cream- Only 2 Ingredients

A Great Eye Cream(DIY)

This is what has to say about Vitamin E:

In terms of skin health and skin care, vitamin e benefits are numerous. In fact, skin care products that contain vitamin e have become an essential part of healthy skin care.

First of all, because of its antioxidant activity, vitamin e is vital in protecting skin cells from ultra violet light, pollution, drugs, and other elements that produce cell damaging free radicals. It is believed that vitamin e is most effective in its natural alcohol form rather than its acetate form where it is a less effective antioxidant. Watch for this in the labelling of skin care products.

Regulator for Vitamin A
The vitamin e benefits for healthy skin care also include its ability to regulate vitamin a in the body, which itself is important for healthy skin.

Anti-Aging Benefits of Vitamin E
Vitamin e added to lotions, creams, and other skin care products, as well as taken orally, plays a role in the anti-aging of skin. It helps skin look younger by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Also, free radicals are believed to play an important role in skin aging and therefore the antioxidant activity is quite valuable for this skin problem.

Treatment of Skin Diseases
Vitamin e can aid in the treatment of various skin diseases or skin conditions. Topical applications such as those used to treat psoriasis is one of the benefits of vitamin e. Orally ingested vitamin e can help treat erythema (a skin inflammation that results in reddish, painful, and tender lumps).

Skin Cancer Benefits of Vitamin E
One of the most important benefits of vitamin e is the prevention of skin cancer. This occurs because of its sun protection quality and of course its powerful antioxidant properties, which help reduce or prevent sun damage.

Other Vitamin E Benefits
There are a variety of other benefits of vitamin e for skin care:
  • vitamin e products help reduce the appearance of stretch marks
  • vitamin e can help prevent the appearance of age spots
  • it helps maintain the skin’s oil balance during the cleansing process
  • it reduces transepidermal water loss from skin and strengthens the skin’s barrier function
Overall for skin care, more benefit is obtained from topical application of vitamin e through creams or lotions rather than taking vitamin e orally. Skin is able to absorb natural vitamin e effectively. However, taking vitamin e orally is important for the good health of other areas of the body. 

Now that you know why we're using coconut oil and Vitamin E, let's find out how to turn them into an eye cream.  First you need to find a container to make your cream in.  The one in the picture is a miniature jelly jar.  My guess is that it is between a half and one ounce.  In the past, I've just used clean eye contact containers.  

Fill your container with coconut oil.  It is solid at room temperature and doesn't begin to melt until it reaches 76 degrees Fahrenheit.  So, at this point I put it in the microwave for just a couple of seconds until it begins to melt.  Next, you poke a hole in your Vitamin E capsules and add to the melted coconut oil.  For the jar above I used 3 capsules.  I use 1 capsule per side when using contact containers.  Then, I use a tooth pick or wooden skewer and blend them together.  At this point I put the cream in the refrigerator to become solid again.  After that happens there is no need to keep it refrigerated.  The oils will not become rancid.

Sandbag Soiree Workout-12 minute Athlete

Sandbag Soiree Workout

    Workout equipment:

    Workout type: 12 minute

    Timer setting: 18 x :10 x :30

    1. Sandbag burpees
    2. Handstand push ups
    3. Jump lunges
    4. Sandbag squats
    5. Tuck jumps
    6. Plank jumps (front to back

    Blueberry Honey Coconut Cups

    Blueberry Honey Coconut Cups


    blueberry coconut cups2

    Blueberry Honey Coconut Cups
    Prep time: 
    Total time: 
    Serves: 12
    1. Place a small saucepan over medium heat.
    2. Add your blueberries and honey. Mix to help break down the blueberries.
    3. Once your blueberries have esploded (that means exploded, but is just more fun to say that way), add your coconut oil and coconut cream concentrate.
    4. Mix thoroughly.
    5. Remove from heat and add your shredded coconut and cashews.
    6. Line your muffin tin with silicone liners or paper muffin liners, pour mixture into each cup to a height that you prefer, then place in freezer for 20 minutes.
    7. Consume.
    8. Store in freezer if you have self control.

    5 Signs Your Hormones Are Out of Whack

    5 Signs Your Hormones Are Out Of Whack

    When we hear the word "hormones," we often think of a woman’s estrogen and progesterone levels, and occasionally a man’s testosterone level. But there's so much more to these naturally occurring chemicals than you may realize.

    We have many different hormones that determine a state of balance or imbalance, from thyroid-stimulating hormone, which regulates the thyroid gland, to follicle-stimulating hormone, which directs ovulation in women. To achieve optimal, sustainable health and wellbeing, we need to strive for hormone health that includes the proper balance of all bodily chemicals. Below are five symptoms that indicate your hormones may be imbalanced.

    1. Fatigue

    Sometimes the symptoms of hormonal imbalance can be nonspecific. In these cases, it’s important to consider hormonal imbalance as a possible cause of the symptoms. For example, someone who suffers from fatigue could have an imbalance in her thyroid hormones, causing hypothyroidism; in her adrenal hormone levels, resulting in adrenal fatigue; or in her melatonin levels, causing poor sleep. Any of these imbalances can be the cause of fatigue.

    Fatigue in this sense may feel like illness-related fatigue, leaving you tired when you wake up and without energy during the day. Sufferers often describe this as if they're “running on fumes.”

    2. Poor sleep

    You either have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, which contributes to not feeling refreshed in the morning. This can result from a variety of hormonal issues, including melatonin, cortisol or even the brain neutrotransmitters.

    3. Mood swings and irritability
    These can become anxiety and even depression. People who have an imbalance in cortisol, testosterone, or estrogen can all have mood swings and irritability. Neurotransmitters that are out of balance can also cause this symptom.

    4. Skin changes

    Many people notice changes in their skin and hair and wonder if it’s normal aging or just “bad luck,” but the problem may be a hormonal imbalance. Low thyroid levels can cause dry skin and hair, hair loss, and brittle nails.

    5. Hot flashes and night sweats

    Perhaps the best known symptoms of hormonal imbalances, these are typical of menopause and result from changing levels of estrogen and progesterone. However, other hormonal imbalances can exacerbate these symptoms, especially cortisol imbalances.

    The obvious question, then, is how to address these issues and how to return to a state of improved hormonal balance?

    First, test your hormone levels. There are a number of hormone tests that look at hormones; blood tests are conventionally used, but salivary tests offer a more functional view of levels available for use in the body. 

    Once you've tested your levels, you can begin to address the underlying causes of the imbalances by:
    • Cleaning up your diet
    • Reducing your stress
    • Minimizing toxins in your food and environment
    • Addressing your digestive function and microbial balance
    • Getting more exercise
    You may also want to consider appropriate hormone replacement options with your physician. There are many solutions available, giving you many options from which to choose, including:
    • Hormone replacement therapy
    • Bioidentical hormones
    • Herbal remedies, especially adaptogens
    • Functional nutritional approaches
    Having a state of hormonal balance is a critical component to health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance are very common, which can make detecting and remedying problems difficult. While we can all take steps at home to create a healthy lifestyle and reduce the potential causes, we're all unique, which means it's crucial to go through this process with a practitioner competent in individualized medicine. 

    Photo Credit:

    DIY Ghee

    • Unsalted butter- 500gms
    In a heavy bottom vessel  and add butter.
    Melt it in medium flame.The whole process should be done in medium flame or low flame.

    When the butter starts boiling, the froth will be formed on the surface and the crackling sound will be heard.

    When the cracking sound stops, some brown spots may begin to form on the surface .

    Turn off the flame and allow the residue to settle in the bottom of the pan and let it cool.
    Filer it using a strainer and transfer it to a jar.

    It will solidify when cooled.
    It could be stored in room temperature and used as required for up to 3 months or refrigerate and use.
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    Allergy Season Smoothie

    DIY Makeup Remover by Michelle Phan

    “Taking off the day” isn’t always the easiest thing to do! When it’s time to hit the hay, it’s sometimes the last thing we want to do. Whether it’s a Yes to Cucumbers facial wipe or a cotton ball soaked in cleansing water, taking off our makeup is necessary, no matter how sleepy we get. Makeup left on overnight not only clogs and congests the pores, but also leads to lash breakage if mascara is involved! We’re here to make this process easy and fun! Make your own natural makeup remover at home with easy to find and inexpensive ingredients! Check it out…
    diy makeup remover


    Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Aloe Vera Water (most drugstores, heath or grocery stores will carry aloe vera water. If you can’t find it, though, filtered water will work just fine!)

    A re-sealable bottle (you’ll need to shake up your mixture in this)

    A few gentle cotton pads (for application)


    Aloe Vera water comes from the Aloe Vera plant, which is used in herbal medicine for its soothing abilities. It is a cooling agent that helps calm the skin and it contains a plethora of amino acids and vitamins. Since it’s made up of 95% water, you can be sure that it is extraordinarily hydrating and refreshing for your face.

    Do not be afraid of the olive oil! If the idea of putting olive oil on your face has you uneasy, relax; extra virgin olive oil actually closely resembles your skin’s natural oil production, which means that it won’t clog your pores or dry your skin out, but rather will keep it extra soft and clear it of any impurities.


    STEP 1: Pour less than ½ cup of EVOO into a bottle of aloe vera water (make sure the container has a sealable cap for Step 2 to work). A little goes a long way with EVOO because it’s highly potent, so you’ll only need a small amount.

    STEP 2: You’ll notice that the oil will float above the water. This is because oil is hydrophobic, which literally means “water-fearing.” So before applying, you’ll need to really shake the mixture up and use it right away before the oil and water separate again.

    STEP 3: After thoroughly shaking the mixture, soak one of your cotton pads with it and gently press it over one of your eyes. Keep it here for a few seconds while it works to break down all the makeup, and then gently sweep it away from your eye towards your ear.  You should notice your makeup is dissolving and coming off with ease.

    STEP 4: Repeat Step 3 until your eyes are completely clean, and then continue the same process all over your face.

    DIY Source:  Michelle Phan

    Crockpot Cochinita Pibil:Yucatecan Pork

    Crockpot Cochinita (Puerco) Pibil: Yucatecan-style Pork with a Telenovela Twist

    Any special prep?

    Wash your banana leaves.  I put mine on a cookie sheet, pour in some warm water, and used my hands to rub off any residue before rinsing them under running water.  Pat them dry for good measure.

    Achiote Paste – you can buy it, but it is better to make your own:
    • Store-bought achiote paste (which is called for in the recipe) typically includes “stuff you may not want to eat” – like preservatives, MSG and food dyes.
    • Home-made achiote paste can be made easily by grinding whole annatto, cumin, allspice, pepper, nutmeg, and then adding in water until it forms a paste.  If these are not spices you’ll use regularly, consider buying them in bulk – Whole Foods, health food stores, and sometimes the healthy food aisles of your grocery store have a bulk spice display.
    Achiote Paste
    Pickled Onions – these are considered essential to the overall flavor of the dish.  The tanginess complements the pork’s flavor nicely.  A recipe, also provided by Audrey, is listed below.
    Citrus – The acidity in this dish typically comes from Seville, or bitter, oranges.  If you have access to them, great.  Otherwise, a combination of sweet and tart citrus fruit juice  - as in the following recipe – works just fine.
    Citrus Fruit
    # of Ingredients – the list seems long, but it is actually a very quick marinade to make.  Once it is ready, simply soak the meat overnight, line the crockpot with banana leaves (optional), and pour meat and marinade in to cook for the day.  Voila!

    2 ounces fresh lime juice
    2 ounces fresh lemon juice
    4 ounces fresh orange juice
    4 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
    4 pounds pork Boston butt (pork shoulder roast)
    2 teaspoons salt, divided
    3.5 ounces achiote paste (preferably homemade)
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    7 cloves garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
    1/2 pound banana leaves, thawed if previously frozen
    1 large red onion, thinly sliced
    5 bay leaves

    In a bowl, mix the lime juice, lemon juice, orange juice and grapefruit juice and set aside. (This is to approximate the flavor of the Seville (sour) orange or naranja agria, the citrus traditionally used in this dish. If such oranges are available, use 12 ounces of their juice instead).
    Trim exterior fat off pork. Cut the pork into 10 to 12 pieces if possible – or cut deep cuts. Rub the pieces lightly with 1 teaspoon salt and set aside in a large plastic bag.

    Cut the achiote paste into pieces, and slowly stir in the fruit juices to dissolve. Add the thyme, oregano, garlic, pepper, cumin, paprika and 1 teaspoon salt. Pour the marinade on the meat. Marinate in the refrigerator sealed in the plastic bag for at least 4 to 6 hours or, preferably, overnight – turn at least once.
    Thaw the banana leaves if frozen, rinse and pat dry. Cover the bottom and sides of the crock-pot with the banana leaves, overlapping the leaves and letting them spill over the sides of the pot.
    Place the meat in the pot and cover with the sliced red onion and bay leaves. Pour over the remaining marinade and lay a banana leaf piece over the top. Fold over the banana leaves that spilled over the sides of the pot to wrap the meat. Cover the top of the crock-pot.
    Cook on low for 6 hours or more until the meat has reached 190+ degrees internal temp. 190+ is required for the pork to be “pullable”.

    While the meat is cooking, prepare the Pickled Red Onions – see recipe.
    Unwrap banana leaves and scrape the red onions and bay leaves off the top – reserve for later use (maybe cook down more to soften onions if needed). Remove meat from crock-pot and let stand covered lightly with foil for 30 minutes. Then shred the meat and remove the bone.
    While meat is standing, pour the remaining juices from the crockpot into a saucepan and simmer to reduce to about half. Taste and add salt if needed. Pour over the shredded meat.
    Serve with pickled red onions and bottled habaƱero sauce.
    Recipe for the essential condiment Pickled Red Onions follows. It’s not Cochinita Pibil without it.

    Pickled Red Onions for Cochinita Pibil

    1 large red onion
    1/2 teaspoon oregano
    5 whole allspice berries
    5 whole cloves
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon sugar
    2 tablespoons white vinegar
    juice 1/2 lime
    juice 1/2 orange

    Awesome Explosion Workout-12 minute Athlete

    Awesome Explosion Workout

      Workout equipment:

      Workout type: 12 minute

      Timer setting: 18 x :10 x :30

      1. Box jumps
      2. Dive bomber push ups
      3. Kettlebell swings
      4. Pistols (alternating)
      5. Burpees
      6. Sit ups

      Kale Power Salad w/ Meyer Lemon Dressing

      Lean Green Power Salad

      Recipe by Chung-Ah of Damn Delicious.
      With the many nutritional perks of kale, why not whip up a kale salad packed with fresh avocado,  pomegranate seeds, pecans and crumbly goat cheese along with a wonderfully tart Meyer lemon vinaigrette? It’s the perfect dish for a light lunch or even a hearty dinner. You can even add your favorite kind of protein like grilled chicken breast! (If you’re not on the kale bandwagon just yet, I’m sure this salad will give you a change of heart!)
      Yields 3-4 servingsIngredients:
      • 4 cups chopped kale
      • 1 avocado, diced
      • 2 oz chopped chicken 
      • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
      • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
      • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
      For the Meyer lemon vinaigrette:
      • 1/4 cup olive oil
      • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
      • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
      • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
      • 1 TBSP RAW honey
      To make the vinaigrette, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Meyer lemon zest and juice, and honey in a small bowl; set aside.

      To assemble the salad, place kale in a large bowl; top with avocado, pomegranate seeds, pecans and goat cheese. Pour the dressing on top of the salad and gently toss to combine.

      Serve immediately.

      Only Food Rule That Matters

      The Only Food Rule That Really Matters

      Food is a fascination of mine. The pursuit, preparation, and consumption of it brings me pleasure. Yet my love affair with it hasn't always been quite so... enlightened.

      Food is a reflection of our society and its self-esteem. Take, for example, my walking past the Vice President of Human Resources the other day in the break room at my day job. His eyes were fixed on the Maury show (another paternity testing episode), and spread out before him was his Jack in the Box, burger, fries, and diet soda lunch. Our eyes met, he shrugged knowingly, then returned to his lunch as his time was short and I'm sure he needed to devour his "meal" quickly and return to his busy day.

      I can't judge him. No matter how much I wish I could say the right thing — that perfectly constructed series of words that could convince him and others to make a change — I simply haven't found them. I can't seem to convey to others what I learned while losing 90 lbs.

      In 2005 my size 38/32 pants were getting to be a tad bit snug. My body, designed by the industrial and political masterminds behind the American nutrition guidelines, had ballooned to my peak of 270 lbs. of something opposing the image of health and fitness. With my self-esteem now under constant assault, even by friends who'd begun to affectionately call me "lunch box," I knew I wanted a change. I just doubted the possibility of it. I'd become convinced that the guy looking back at me from the mirror was the person I'd remain for the rest of my life.

      It was a perfect storm that inspired me to finally make a change. Event after degrading event took place in short order, but it wasn't the constant onslaught of jokes about my body that pushed me beyond my tipping point. No, it was my wife calling to inform me she'd been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. In the moments after hanging up I found myself developing resolve. Change had to happen. NOW!

      This was almost seven years ago. After a year in which my wife was treated for and recovered from cancer, I'd lost the 90 lbs. My methods were not all that complicated. All I needed to do was stop eating crap and start moving my body. 

      My weight loss journey made me even more fascinated by food. I'd begun reading cookbooks, watching cooking shows, reading cooking magazines, preparing more and more elaborate meals, and learning not just how to eat, but to really appreciate what passed through my body. I was becoming a bit of a food adventurer. NOW I want both myself and you to become food snobs.

      Look, I could offer up five tips for how I lost weight, share with you my 10 philosophies on eating, or 20 things you might not know about your food. Yeah, those could be interesting, but it all really boils down to one tip/hint/rule:


      It's not so hard, but we complicate it. Our culture has decided that cheap and convenient is fine when it comes to food, but unacceptable when it comes to the cars we buy or the shoes we wear. We try our best to recycle our soda cans and be conscious of our environment, but forsake our bodies.

      When it comes to what we eat, the first thing read is the price, next is the calories, and, finally, microwave heating instructions. But how often do any of us look at the ingredients, research the sources, and really make ourselves fully informed on where the food comes from and how it's raised or grown? And while we're bragging about the vegan or paleo or whatever lifestyle we've chosen, have we considered the cultural histories that allowed peoples past (you know, those who would find our debates about things like Obamacare strange signs of an unhealthy time?) to be healthier than our modern civilization is proving to be? 

      The solution is simple: decide you deserve better and eat accordingly. Invest in your food, both in time and in money. Decide for yourself what your standards are, then eat that way, choosing a variety of real, nutrient-rich food, and keeping a strong focus on really, REALLY enjoying it.

      Photo Credit:

      Thyroid Tonic

      Cherry Almond Smoothie

      1 1/2 cups almond milk
      1 tbsp.RAW honey
      1 (10 oz.) package of frozen cherries
      1/4 cup almond butter

      DIY Bullet Ring

      DIY: Jennifer Fisher Inspired Bullet Ring

      You guys might remember this bullet cuff project from a while back.  I think that was when I first developed an obsession with Jennifer Fisher’s edgy/cool baubles.  Then I saw this ring and just had to make my own little version.  I just love all of her pieces, so so much.  PS – the clutch pictured is also a DIY… one of my favorites.  You can see the tutorial right this way!
      Materials / Where to Buy:  Bullet (I bought these, and pulled one off of the strip using pliers.) // Masking Tape // E6000 Glue // Ring Form // Gold Spray Paint // (not pictured) piece of cardboard/poster board to spray paint on!
      Top photo by Lydia Hudgens, all other photos by Stripes & Sequins

      Fast & Furious Challenge Workout-12 Minute Athlete

      Fast and Furious Challenge Workout

        Workout equipment:

        Workout type: Challenge

        Workout time: ?

        Timer setting: Stopwatch

        Complete 21, 15, 9 reps:
        Burpee pull ups
        Handstand push ups
        V up
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