“Cultivating the art of a well lived life…naturally"

Almond Carrot Smoothie (Inspired by Green Sage Cafe in Asheville, NC)

Almond Carrot Smoothie (Inspired by Green Sage Cafe in Asheville, NC)

I had seen pictures of the mountains in Asheville and I didn’t realize it was between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains.  And, of course, we had to check out the food scene - there were soooo many great restaurant options, coffee shops, and specialty food stores!

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Nutrient-Packed Late Afternoon Snack Mix

Nutrient-Packed Late Afternoon Snack Mix

Do you ever find yourself craving something crunchy?  I know I do - especially in the late afternoon.  Whether it’s merely a habit, something I’m lacking in my diet, or simply the need for something other than fruits and vegetables, occasionally as the late afternoon hours roll around, I find myself looking for something to munch on that gives me a little crunch (and not a carrot!).

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The Ultimate Detox Salad

The Ultimate Detox Salad

Now that we are in Florida, there is a vegetable stand that I love to go to – Fernando’s.  It’s about a 20-25 minute drive (it seems like everything is about a 20-25 minute drive down here in horse country), and I usually end up going there at least once a week.  He has amazing kale, zucchini, eggplant, onions, sprouts, tomatoes, lettuces and a number of other delicious fresh veggies.  I’m never at a loss for ingredients for salads down here, but I wanted to make a salad that was a little more creative and something that had a supercharged health kick to it.

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Homemade Cough Syrup

Homemade Cough Syrup

The ups and downs in the temperature this fall can put a strain on the immune system - one day it’s in the 60's and sunny, and the next, it's raining and in the 30's!  Or snowing, in Michigan!  Add to that any stress (or perceived stress)  you are experiencing with travel, family situations, new experiences, work-related issues, or any other uncertain environment, and your immune system is compromised even more.

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Fall Quinoa Salad (With Kale, Root Vegetables, and Maple Vinaigrette)

Fall Quinoa Salad (With Kale, Root Vegetables, and Maple Vinaigrette)

I experimented a bit with everything until I got a taste I liked and then served it to Mike and the girls for dinner.  To their surprise, they loved it!  This will definitely be something I will make again and again.

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Homemade Organic Applesauce - Perfect For Fall!

Homemade Organic Applesauce - Perfect For Fall!

I had never made applesauce before.  I had been wanting to for years, but just never got around to it.  I had heard it was pretty easy, but I had mentally put making applesauce in a similar category as making jam or canning tomatoes - time consuming!  But after making it today, I can honestly say it is pretty easy, and doesn’t take a whole lot of time at all!

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Asian Inspired: Sesame Ginger Dressing!

Asian Inspired: Sesame Ginger Dressing!

It’s one of those dreary, cool, drizzly fall days here in Michigan.  I needed a little pick me up for lunch - something with some zest and lots of nutrients - and something other than roasted fall vegetables, which my family would probably say I’ve been making a little too much of this past week.

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Matcha, Strawberry, and Cucumber Smoothie

Matcha, Strawberry, and Cucumber Smoothie

The Allison Hotel in Newberg, which is where we stayed, had an amazing Chef’s Garden, and one night Mike and I had front-row seats at the kitchen.  We got to watch them cut and prepare the evening’s meals (I now would like a new set of pans!).  So that was a great experience.

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Kale Chopped Salad with Red Pepper, Carrots, Cucumbers and Nuts

Kale Chopped Salad with Red Pepper, Carrots, Cucumbers and Nuts

I still have lots of kale in the garden and our peppers are finally starting to turn red - and they are so delicious, I can eat them plain (which I never used to be able to do).  So, I thought I would combine the two, along with some other ingredients, into a power- packed salad.  This salad was inspired by Nature’s Market in Holland.  I got the idea from a salad they prepare and sell.

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BLT with A (for Avocado!)

BLT with A (for Avocado!)

So, tonight’s recipe isn’t anything new (aside from an avocado twist), but it’s simply a reminder of a great option for using those tomatoes that are starting to pop up in your garden about now.

Is it me, or does it seem the tomatoes are ripening a little later this year in West Michigan? They just started popping up in our garden last week – it looks like next week will be the week for canning!  In the meantime, I’m enjoying snacking on them every time I come back from doing anything with the horses in the barn, as the garden is between the barn and the house.

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Ginger, Turmeric, and Grapefruit - a Shot of Health!

Ginger, Turmeric, and Grapefruit - a Shot of Health!

I love the combination of grapefruit, ginger, and turmeric, because you get anti-inflammatory, immune-enhancing, and digestive benefits - perfect for me.  I went out that next day and bought all of the ingredients necessary to make it at home (I love my juicer!).  It was delicious! 

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Clean Eating No-Bake Cookie Bars

Clean Eating No-Bake Cookie Bars

Luckily, there is Pinterest, where people who are more creative than I am have collected some delicious recipe options just waiting for people like me who can't follow directions, don't have any patience, and refuse to turn the oven on when their home is not air conditioned.

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Superfood Smoothie For Energy!

Superfood Smoothie For Energy!

Honestly, how great are smoothies?  If I put all of these ingredients in a bowl and tried to eat them and get all of the nutrients from them, it probably wouldn’t go so well - not only would it not look appetizing, it wouldn’t taste good.  But put them all in a blender, and it turns into something quite magical - I say magical, because it tastes good and gives me the energy I need to do the things I want.  Love that!

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Gluten-Free Veggie Red Pepper Boats

Gluten-Free Veggie Red Pepper Boats

Kudos to Frankie again for this week’s recipe.  She reminded me of a dish I used to make (and hadn’t made in years), and said she would help me make it.  Her suggestion worked out perfectly because I was going to make something with chicken and it wasn’t thawed out in time, so it was great to have a vegetarian back up.  She even helped me make it - thanks Frankie!

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