A Cooling Summer Soup

Broccili SoupI’ve been eating a lot of blended foods over the past few months – things like smoothies, soups and purees.

At the same time, I’ve cut waaay back on raw foods and salads, unless they are blended into said smoothies or soups.


This little foray into an alternate way of eating has been in the interest of my own health issues, and also on the advice of my nutritionist.

Yes, I do work with a nutritionist.

The way I see it, it isn’t any different from working with a coach. In both cases, their job is to help keep you on track, and offer plenty of support along the way.

Just knowing you have someone on your side can make a huge difference to your success!

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Are You Eating the Right Fats?

AvocadoDid you know that 60% of your brain is made up of fat?

For that reason alone, the fats you include in your diet can directly impact your brain.

Of course, that doesn’t give you license to go out and consume a fast food diet of French Fries and overly processed foods.

(That will fry your brain in no time).

What you do want to focus on, is the so-called Essential Fatty Acids (aka EFA’s) – which include the all important omega-3’s.

These EFA’s are so named because they are so essential to your well-being – and also because your body doesn’t make these essential fats on it’s own.

They have to come from your food.

The bottom line is that, to be truly healthy, you definitely need a certain amount of fat in your diet.

In fact, one of the major culprits associated with the recent rise in autoimmune disease (what some are calling a national epidemic), has been the “fat-free” diet – a fad that has been extremely popular in recent decades.

Turns out we were all mis-informed – if not totally mis-led.

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What Do Chocolate, Avocados and Oprah Have In Common?

Chocolate PuddingDid you happen to see the January 2014 issue of Oprah magazine?

As luck would have it, there’s a recipe for a Chocolate-Avocado Pudding, and it’s very similar to this one.

If you haven’t tried it yet, now’s your chance – whether or not you read the magazine.

‘Cuz I’m giving you the recipe again, right here.



1 medium Avocado (1/2 large)

4 -6 Tbsp Cocoa Powder, to taste

3-4 Tbsp Raw Honey, Agave or Maple Syrup (liquid sweeteners work best)*

2-4 Tbsp Coconut Milk

1 tsp Vanilla

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and process until completely smooth and creamy, with no visible clumps of cocoa powder.

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A Totally Awesome, Dairy-Free “Yogurt”

Breakfast ParfaitSome recipes are a happy accident.

And today’s awesome Yogurt is one of them!

I call it yogurt because that’s exactly what it tastes like – even though it contains no dairy, or starter and doesn’t require any fancy equipment like one of those yogurt makers.

So, how did this recipe come about?

Well, what I refer to as a happy accident was a simple case of a smoothie recipe that was a bit too thick – it wasn’t something I couldn’t even drink.

In fact, it was so rich, thick and creamy, that eating it with a spoon was the only option. Yum.

With the first bite, I knew right away that I was onto something.

The two secret ingredients are coconut milk and creamy avocado. (Trust me, this is a wicked combination!)

And the wonderful, yogurt-like tang comes from frozen mango and honey.

It’s really that simple!

My imagination went a step further as a leafed through the luscious-sounding recipes in Kris Carr’s “Crazy, Sexy Kitchen”.

(Note:  Even though she caters to a mostly vegan crowd, that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from these amazing recipes created by Chef Chad Sarno and others.

At least, I don’t let minor details like that keep me from trying new things).

After drooling over some of the photos – things like French Toast (which I love & haven’t had in years) or a Breakfast Scramble – what really caught my attention was the Breakfast Parfait.

There was just one small problem.

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What 5 Favorite Foods Would You Bring To The Moon?

I came across this question the other day, and it got me thinking.

If you were indeed to take a trip to the moon – or were stranded on a deserted isle – which 5 foods would be on your list of ‘must haves’?

Of course, there’s no cheating allowed, not even on the moon.

Meaning whichever 5 foods you choose, they must also be gluten-free as well as free of any other allergens you normally avoid.

So, here’s my list:

  • Quinoa
  • Blueberries
  • Hummus
  • Avocados
  • Salmon

Yes, I know.

That almost sounds a bit too healthy.

But that’s how I live my life. No matter where I travel, I like to be well-fed in a healthy sort of way.

However, if push came to shove, I would also include a supply of Beanitos Chips (gotta have something fun, right?)

Oh wait, that makes 6 items.

Oh well, I can’t think of a single item I would leave out.

Blueberries are full of antioxidants.

Salmon provides Omega-3’s.

Quinoa is an excellent source of protein. The cooked grain is wonderful for breakfast – topped with nuts or fruit – but also fills in as the perfect side dish along with Salmon, or even a vegetarian entrée.

A lot of people have a love-hate relationship with Quinoa.

For starters, they’re not even sure of the correct pronunciation. (Try “keen-wa”)

And avocados?

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The Amazing Benefits of Coconut Milk

Are you Dairy free?

Many of us who are Celiac or gluten intolerant are also allergic to Dairy.

Lucky for us, there are a number of dairy-free alternatives on the market for our morning cereal, including almond or rice milk, soy or even hemp milk.

But when I want something rich and creamy to replace the cream in a recipe, nothing satisfies quite like coconut milk.

I’ve been craving some of this amazing Avocado Pudding recently.

The other day, as I grabbed an avocado from the fridge, I spotted a jar of leftover Coconut Cream – and suddenly had an epiphany.

What if I added some coconut cream to the original recipe?

I imagined something even more decadent, rich and creamy, a sort of chocolate mousse with a twist.

Coconut cream, by the way, refers to the thick layer of solids you find at the top of a can of coconut milk.

For this particular recipe, the full fat variety is best – especially since it yields a generous amount of coconut cream.

In other words, when you open a can of Lite Coconut Milk, there will be some cream on top, but not nearly as much.

Of course, once you’ve scooped out the cream, the remaining liquid in the can will be thinned out and less flavorful – but still perfect for smoothies.

Coconut milk is also ideal for cream-based soups.

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