Mango & Spicy Ginger Kale Detox Smoothie

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Veggies, I love them, but it can be easy to not eat any if you aren’t in the mood for a salad, or if they’ve not been previously prepared. As a solution to this problem I would make myself some large kale and spinach smoothies, but when I took the high-carb fruit out of them to fit into my diet they weren’t that tasty. Pretty bad, actually. Seriously. Bad.

Thankfully those days are past! I was rather motivated to come up with a tasty alternative, and it was actually pretty easy and made my green smoothies healthier than before! The main ingredients? Kale, spinach, chia, ginger, coconut oil, and cottage cheese.

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Some of the health benefits you might ask? Kale and spinach are filled with fiber, iron, vitamins K, A, and C, calcium, powerful antioxidants, manganese, and folate. Aside from that quite impressive list there’s more! They help with detox, work as an anti-inflammatory, and are great for preventing cancer. I started out using kale and spinach because I heard of a few of their health benefits, but the more I read about them the more I want to drink these smoothies several times a day, instead of once a day.

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Ginger, how I love thee. You’re quite delicious when fermented into a fizzy drink, you sooth the stomach, you have a unique spiciness that adds a nice punch to Asian dishes, and all that’s aside from your many health benefits.

Okay, enough of my love note to ginger. This is getting weird. Anyways, ginger has many health benefits. Some things it can improve are blood circulation, detox, absorption of important nutrients, immune system, nausea, inflammation, and more! This makes me happy, because it gives me an excuse to put it in anything and everything that the flavors will work with.

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The last of the ingredients are cottage cheese, mango, coconut oil, chia, stevia, and water. I use cottage cheese for the protein and creaminess, however if you read the linked to article you will see it has some important vitamins and nutrients as well. I use a small amount of mango for the delicious flavor, however it also has plenty of vitamins C, A, B, and potassium. I use coconut oil due to healthy fats having many benefits for the body, including actually helping you burn more fat, reducing your risk of heart disease, and reducing seizures for those with epilepsy. Chia seeds are amazing. They are full of fiber, have large amounts of protein, calcium, omega-3, manganese, and more!

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I also add stevia, but that’s just for a little sweetness. Seriously, I just use this for flavor. However, if you really want it to have some sort of health benefit you can read this article. I could link to an article on health benefits of water, but I think that’s just getting ridiculous. ;)

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Spicy Ginger and Mango Kale Detox Smoothie
Yields 13
A creamy and delicious mango and spicy ginger smoothie. Filled with kale, spinach, chia, and coconut oil.
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Master Mix
  1. 16oz washed kale
  2. 16oz washed spinach
  3. 4 1/3 cups diced mango
  4. Ginger
Individual smoothies
  1. 1 cup kale
  2. 1 cup spinach
  3. 1/3 cup mango
  4. Large chunk of ginger
  5. 1 TBSP ground chia
  6. 1 TBSP coconut oil
  7. 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  8. 1/4 tsp stevia powder
  9. 1 cup water
  10. Ice cubes (optional)
For the master mix
  1. In quart sized plastic bags add one cup of kale, one cup of spinach, one third of a cup diced mango, and a large ginger chunk. The ginger varies on taste, I like mine spicy so I add quite a bit. You should come out with approximately 13 bags of prepared smoothie master mix. Freeze for later use.
For individual smoothies
  1. In a blender add the cottage cheese, coconut oil, ground chia, stevia, water, and one bag of smoothie master mix (the kale, spinach, mango, and ginger). If your master mix isn't frozen add in a few ice cubes to make it cold. Blend until completely smooth. Enjoy while cold.
Notes
  1. For the ginger you need to either peel or wash it. If you choose to wash it make sure to scrub it well with a vegetable brush.
  2. My blender of choice is the Oster. I've tried other brands, such as Ninja, but they just can't match up. I'm not affiliated with Oster, I just love their blenders.
Lavender and Honey http://www.lavenderandhoney.net/

What’s your health food of choice? Do you have a both yummy and healthy recipe?

Posted in Food & Recipe, Health | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Creative Inspiration To-Do List

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“I never consciously think about what specific line or lyric will resonate with what audience. I merely try to push all that aside and write sincerely from the heart, as if myself and God will be the only ones ever to hear it.” -Adam Young (Owl City)

It’s said to stay creative you should read books, listen to music, and try new things. I’ve been reading many such articles as of late, because it feels as if my life is in an in-between state and that makes getting thoughts out of my brain and into words more difficult. Thankfully Michelle from Vitamin Sunshine linked to this article on overcoming writers block for bloggers, and I was also inspired by this post on Ashley Holstein’s blog to write a list post.  I think I shall start a blog post series, where I recommend different articles, albums, books, and such for you to try out. Hopefully these recommendations will help both you and me with creative inspiration. 

  • Create a Pinterest board of your favorite things, such as my lovelies board.
  • Watch Signs. Great movie and it shows that you should stick with what’s in your heart to write, instead of writing for ratings, as M. Night Shyamalan has done with his later movies.

What have you done recently that’s helped you be more creative?

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Road Tripping Necessities

Traveling Through Louisiana

With the holidays upon us most everyone is making plans for road tripping to see family and friends. You know, such as in the song “I’ll be Home for Christmas”. However, there are some road tripping necessities, you can’t just pack up your clothes and leave, not when your destination is a far ways off. That’s why I start planning ahead of time. Thanksgiving is now less than eight short weeks away, if you join me in planning and making lists now you’re less likely to forget something important. Such as your toothbrush. I’ve always forgotten my toothbrush. Thankfully the last trip I did remember to grab it right before dashing out the door, so hopefully I’m having a lucky streak. ;)

What are some necessities that you might want to consider?

1. Food (and Drinks)
What more is there to say? Whether if it’s my favorite road food, honey buns, or some healthy treats you make ahead, you will need food. A couple of my sisters are on rather restrictive diets, and can generally only eat something we make for them. This always causes a couple large ice chests to be in the back of the van filled with meals for the duration of the trip. If you decide to take an ice chest you can get more creative with your trip food, such as making pizza. Who doesn’t like cold pizza? And what better time could there be to eat it than on a long drive when there’s nowhere to stop and find food?

2. Music
Music helps pass the hours and keep everyone sane. If you have music playing you’re not as likely to get annoyed by your loved one’s breathing. Sure, you might get annoyed by their singing, but if you join them it can turn into a fun time!  My whole family (yes, even my dad) love Taylor Swift, so that’s always a good option for us. Sometimes I’ll play some music in the back of the van on an MP3 player just for me and my sisters to sing-along to, such as songs from My Little Pony (remember this post?), if it’s something my parents don’t want to listen to.

3. Books

Who doesn’t need books? Some might think you don’t, but I’m sorry, they’re wrong. Books are magnificent. If you’re prone to car sickness, as I am, and can’t read in a moving vehicle just take audio books as well! If someone has to stop by the store on the way I can relax and read for a bit, or listen to my audio book. If things get slow or I’m ill while visiting family I can rest up and read. Even if you end up not having time to read, it’s better to have an excess of books than to forlornly wish for them. If you wish for a good audio book I rather love Entwined by Heather Dixon, lovely story and the narrator is easy to listen to.

4. Bedding
Sure, often when you go on a trip there’s bedding waiting for you, either at a hotel or at your family’s home. However, if you’re like me, you’re rather particular about what bedding you use. I have to use the same pillows every night, or I don’t sleep well. Blankets are more flexible, but I still take one with me so I can sleep on the drive, and just in case the texture of the blankets available aggravates my sensory processing disorder.

5. Extra Outfits
I always take extra outfits when going on a trip. It started out because I didn’t want to bind myself to certain outfits on certain days, so I would just pack different items that I knew I could do a variety of outfits with and go with whatever strikes my fancy on a particular day. This became helpful, because sometimes something will happen to one of your outfits. For instance once when using my AeroPress hot water and ground coffee beans splattered all over my shirt. Thankfully I had extras packed. When we traveled for Independence day I was rather sick, and appreciated having extra comfortable clothes packed, as my brain was going haywire causing different fabrics and fits to send me over the edge.

Usually these, along with given items, make a trip much more pleasurable. The packing room isn’t much for a three-five day trip, either. I usually take one medium duffle to carry outfits, shoes, etc cetera. I’ll also carry one other medium bag, usually a tote, to carry books, music, and anything else I may take with me.

When my sisters and I were little we would take a small tv with us along with a PlayStation and a DVD player, it’s a great way to entertain kids on a long drive, if you have any. I have fond memories of watching Barbie and the Nutcracker or playing Crash Bandicoot with my sisters on the six-hour drive from south Louisiana up to the north side of the state.

What are some of your road tripping necessities? 

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Autumnal Lovelies

I love the holiday season, which for me starts in early September. Even if it’s ninety-nine degrees outside, which is normal with the Texas heat, I can still feel the holidays wafting through the air. The last couple days I’ve felt that something special in the air more strongly, which meant large amounts of Christmas music and dreaming of the cool weather to come. The first day of Autumn welcomed me with a hug of cool breezes and grass, singing birds, the first red leaf on our Chinese tallow tree, and much holiday spirit.

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The other week I bought some of these pink gold dusted glitter berries from Dollar Tree to go in my pink vases. I find it adds the perfect delicate touch of autumn decor to my room, and they remind me of beautiful trees with their changing leaves.

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Sarah’s been loving pumpkin recently. Nearly every day she picks up a can of pumpkin off the shelf and requests it for lunch. To satisfy her craving I found this easy recipe for paleo pumpkin pie cupcakes, and she loves them! Between dancing along with scenes from her favorite movie, Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses, she would have a wide grin on her face as she took bits of these. She ate several.

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Homemade Caesar salad. I could nearly live off of this heavenly dish. I can never find a bottled Caesar salad dressing that tastes as amazing as it should, but thankfully that is no longer a problem! Jamie Oliver, one of my favorite chefs, has two wonderful recipes for this dressing, and it only takes a few minutes to whip up! I’ve watched him make this recipe several times, which always gets my mouth watering, and have followed this recipe of his a couple of times as well.

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I’ve avoided painting my fingernails for a while and have only painted my toenails, due to the excessive chipping. Thankfully I have resolved that problem by using top coats of glitter polish. This helps make the polish more durable, but most importantly is that if it does chip I can patch it back up but the glitter prevents you from noticing that it’s not one smooth coat. I’m currently going with a beautiful crimson by Pure Ice with a top coat of silver glitter polish by Art Deco. Every time I see my nails the festivity brightens my spirits and reminds me of the holidays soon approaching.

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It was absolutely beautiful outside the other day, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the autumn weather, which I was not expecting quite so soon. I got this shot by laying out in the grass enjoying the weather. I put the camera out of focus because I didn’t want the picture to focus on the details, but to remind me of the magical feeling. The feeling of the cold grass beneath me, the cool wind brushing against my skin, and the birds singing above.

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Whilst walking away to go back indoors I spotted this. The first red leaf of the season.

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A beautiful infinity scarf which I purchased at Wal-Mart. It’s grey with tiny silver sequins woven throughout to add a touch of sparkle when the light hits them.

What are some of your favorite autumnal lovelies?

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Delicious Almond Poppy Seed Muffins

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Whilst having three or four different diets in the house due to allergies and other such issues can be difficult come meal time, I must say, it’s good for a foodie and a food blogger. While it means more work, it also means many more types of recipes to come up with and experiment on. I truly enjoy it. Lately I’ve been having to come up with baked goods for breakfast for my dad, since his day starts off at four in the morning. One morning I made up some low-carb cream cheese danishes, which fit both of my parents diets, but that’s not something I want to make every night. I wanted to come up with an easy muffin recipe that my dad would enjoy, which means real sugar, no Truvia.

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I wanted to do something with poppy seeds. How I adore poppy seeds. It’s not just for their beautiful appearance sprinkled throughout a delicious cake or on top of a warm bagel. They also add a unique nutty flavor wrapped up in a shell that creates a delightful crunch and interest of texture.

However, I did not want to do another lemon poppy seed muffin. Those are wonderful, but it’s not what I was in the mood for. I decided on an almond poppy seed muffin. The flavor of almond extract, which I use in these muffins, holds a special place in my heart. I have fond memories of my mom taking me to a mall in South Louisiana at Christmas time and eating almond baked goods at La Madeleine’s whilst looking on at the Christmas decorations. These muffins are a wonderful reminder of that time.

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The flavor profile of these muffins is simple, but I absolutely love it. Sweet almond and nutty poppy seeds encased in a fluffy golden muffin. The perfect muffin for an early-morning breakfast or a sweet treat.

Almond Poppy Seed Muffins
Yields 22
A delicious and easy fluffy muffin filled with almond goodness and nutty poppy seeds.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 4 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 3 TBSP poppy seeds
  5. 1 cup sugar
  6. 1/2 TBSP blackstrap molasses
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 2/3 cup sour cream
  9. 3/4 cup melted butter
  10. 1 cup buttermilk
  11. 1 TBSP almond extract
  12. 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and poppy seeds in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  2. In another medium sized bowl combine sugar, molasses, eggs, sour cream, melted butter, and extracts thoroughly. Add one third of the dry ingredients, combine; one third of the buttermilk, combine; and so on, ending with the buttermilk.
  3. Scoop into lined muffin tins 3/4 of the way. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick is inserted comes out clean and the tops are golden. Allow to cool.
Lavender and Honey http://www.lavenderandhoney.net/

What’s your go-to breakfast?

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