Save on Skin Care by Switching Up Your Smoothie

How what you eat impacts your skin, picture of smoothie

Fact #1: Your skin is your largest organ.

Fact #2: Anything you take in – whether eaten or applied topically – impacts the health of every cell, muscle, and organ of your body, including your skin, and, by default, the radiance of your complexion.

Skin care, dairy and acne, what's happening on the skin is happening within

Enter your daily smoothie, that magically convenient cup (or bowl), rich with vital nutrients, such as fruits, veggies, protein, and other powerful superfoods.

No way can this magic concoction possibly be tied to a lackluster complexion? Actually, yes, whey.

Whey, a milk protein and a very popular ingredient of protein powders among even the most health-conscious, has been correlated to acne, including adult acne.

Research has shown that dairy – cheese, milk, yogurt, and whey – stimulates hormonal changes, including the production of IGF (insulin-like growth factor), which results in acne, redness, rosacea, etc.

We spend billions of dollars a year in the US on skin care, amounting to ~$8/day. Imagine if we made simple dietary changes that would be more effective, more natural and more affordable!

What to do if you find your protein powder (or favorite yogurt) may be to blame for your skin condition?

  1. Eliminate it from your diet and notice a difference. Be patient, as it will take time for the inflammation in your body and skin to go down.
  2. Make substitutions, such as:
    • Non-whey, non-dairy protein powder in your smoothie (try vegan, sprouted protein)
    • Unsweetened, non-dairy yogurt (steer clear of articifically sweetened anything, i.e. no aspartame, sucralose, nor acesulfame)
    • Coconut-, soy- or nut-milk alternative in your coffee or on your cereal; even if it says non-dairy, like the delectable flavored and seasonal creamers, skip it.

The bottom line?

Don’t fret if milk doesn’t do a body good. There are plenty of alternatives, and your skin (and your monthly skin care budget) will thank you!

Have you kicked dairy and seen changes to your complexion? Let us know! Likewise, if you’ve tried and can’t seem to give up the milk, send us a line, and we’ll cheer you on! We love our community, and the positive vibes it provides. A rising tide lifts all ships, and the wisdom you share is invaluable!

 

Italian “Fried” Cauliflower

This recipe is one of my absolute favorites! It’s been in the family for a few generations, if you can believe it, and it’s remarkably easy, gluten free and healthy! (No, really.)

file_002-1Ingredients:

  • One head of cauliflower
  • Italian seasonings of your choice; I enjoy:
    • 1 Tbl of basil
    • 1 tsp of oregano
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 2-3 garlic cloves minced
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour or gluten free bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbl Parmesan cheese (optional)

Cooking Tools:

  • Multiple mixing bowls
  • Mid to large size frying pan
  • Tongs (a fork will also do!)
  • Whisk (or another fork)

Directions:

  1. Heat half of the oil in the pan on medium heat.
    Watch the oil; you do not want it to burn!
  2. Chop (or break) the cauliflower into medium-sized florets and steam.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the Italian seasonings. Include the Parmesan, if you’d like.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the salt and pepper with the flour.**You are now going to start dipping the cauliflower into each of these mixtures then “frying.” To make it easier with less clean-up, set up your bowls near the stove and put them in this order: cauliflower // egg mixture // flour**
    File_000 (1).jpeg
  5. Test the pan to make sure it’s hot by sprinkling a little water into the pan. If it doesn’t sizzle, turn up the heat then check again in 1-2 minutes; once you hear a sizzle when dropping in water, you’re good to go!
  6. Fork each cauliflower floret, coat in the egg mixture, then coat with the flour or breadcrumbs. Drop into the pan.
  7. Using the tongs or fork , turn the cauliflower over once it’s browned and crispy on one side. You may only need to turn it twice; other times, you’ll need to turn it 3 times to make sure you get all the sides.
  8. Repeat for each floret; put as many in the pan as you’d like leaving enough room that they aren’t on top of each other.
  9. Once all the florets have been fried, plate and serve! They are delicious as a side item, or just on their own at any time of the day. (Even breakfast!)
  10. Enjoy!

A few other tips:

  • If you’re looking to cut carbs, you can skip the flour/breadcrumb step and, instead, steam the cauliflower florets, put into a pan and pour the egg mixture over them. Let it sit for a little bit until the egg sets, then flip them (either individually or as an omelet.)
  • You can also follow steps 1-6 above, but then bake in the oven at 350 until browned if you’d prefer rather than frying.

We’d love to hear how you enjoy and any tweaks you try to make this your own recipe! Leave your comments below!

Buon appetito!

Out and About: The Park Cafe, Charleston, SC

I took a little road trip recently to the Holy City of Charleston, SC. One my absolute favorite places in the absolute world (ok, at least among the many places I’ve visited), Charleston hosts, among other things, some pretty fine eateries. From farmers markets’ fresh fruits and veggies to the soulful fare and Southern cuisine on E. Bay St. to local taquerias on King St. (not to mention Shem Creek, IOP and Mt. P, oh my!), there are endless epicurean adventures to be had, particularly on the weekends. Hello, brunch! With my dear soul sister, Ms. Disco Teepee herself, Meggie, leading the way, we took to a cafe in her new neighborhood for Sunday brunch with our close-knit framily in tow.

The Park Cafe, a gem in the Hampton Park neighborhood of Charleston, is just… well…wonderfully… honest. That is the best and only phrase I can use that even comes close to conveying the look, feel and flavors of this place. A come-as-you-are, welcoming hideaway that reminds me of what it felt like when I was growing up and ate lunch at a next-door neighbor’s house on a Sunday afternoon; her mom genuinely concerned that the food we ate was healthy, yet tasty and satisfying, having prepared our meal with care. Not overly casual, nor pushy, superficial or pretentious, just attentive, genuine and familiar, and…honest. As they say, themselves: “At The Park Cafe, we believe that great food isn’t complicated.” #True. Every dish we ordered was made of simple ingredients, locally sourced, and was just superb, as you’ll see! (ALERT: your mouth may water when you see the French Toast.)

One last thing: As we all know, the dining experience is more than just the food quality, isn’t it? Lousy service or rowdier-than-necessary (especially before the first round of coffee) can quickly tarnish the entire experience. No worries on either of those fronts at Park Cafe. From the servers, to the manager, to the clientele themselves (some even four-legged and furry!), the entire experience could not have been more lovely.

If you are in the Charleston area and looking for a refreshing, honest-to-goodness spot to savor your Sunday (or any day, really!), Park Cafe should be your g0-to. I am absolutely mandating it be on the agenda for my next weekend in CHS.

Enjoy!

 

Park Cafe Matinee
THE PARK CAFE
An incredible brunch spot in Hampton Park, Charleston, SC!

 

Ambience with fans
THE PATIO
We lucked out with an available table on the patio on a beautiful Sunday morning. I love the fans and lighting fixtures that are au naturel (and a little bit bee hive-y, don’t you think? So fun!)

 

Ambience wall of ferns
THE ICONIC WALL
Many a time photo’d, this wall is quite literally a breath of fresh air. Park Cafe is not a very large place, but the ample natural lighting, man-made illumination and greenery open up the dining room giving it a deceivingly spacious feel. The ambiance is truly refreshing and peaceful , yet lively and fun. (They have plants hanging from the walls and allow dogs outside! Of course it’s alive and fun 🙂 )

 

Cappuccino
Why, A SOY CAPPUCCINO, of course!
As Meggie promised, this was one of the best soy cappuccinos I have ever had. Something about this specific roast of coffee beans and the gentle sweetness of the soy made for a simply decadent first cup. (There was also a second, I won’t pretend.)

 

Meggie Needs Coffee
MEGGIE
Finally caffeinated.

 

Katherine got coffee
YAY COFFEE
It’s hard to say whether my excitement was derived from the Cup o’ Joe or just lingering from an incredible weekend in one of the places on this earth that just makes my heart brim over. …It was really good coffee, though…

 

Puppy 1
SWEET PUPPY #1
You can probably tell by her cautious, yet gentle demeanor in this picture that this sweet pumpkin was not really sure about her Sunday morning adventure, but for us, she was a welcomed surprise. We were not expecting any canine companions that morning, but her arrival made us all smile. Maybe she was just trying to move us along with those puppy dog eyes… after all, we did have a prime spot!

 

Cafe Potatoes
CAFE POTATOES
As a girl who relies on potatoes a good deal as her “go-to” gluten free brunch carb, I must say, I know potatoes. And these potatoes were quiet probably some of the BEST “hash browns” I have had in a very long time. The outside crispy, the inside cooked and soft, not grainy or dry at all. The onion and garlic lent wonderful flavor without being overpowering. Everyone nibbled away at them until we ordered a second serving.

 

Shirred Farm Eggs
SHIRRED FARM EGGS
with Soubise, Soldiers & Parmesan
Shirred Eggs are new to me, and I must say, I was quite intrigued with Lauren ordered them. If you aren’t already in-the-know, this tres chic dish is served with “soldiers” or thin toast slices and is actually baked eggs with cream, herbs and cheese. Unfortunately, I could not take part in this traditionally French fare, but the rest of the table could, and they raved.

 

Toast with Fresh apple Butter
TOAST
Fresh Butter & Apple Butter
Fresh butter and homemade apple butter? It was all I could do not to just sample a little on my spoon! Divine.

 

Veggie Mess
VEGGIE MESS
Farm Egg Scramble, Vegetable Curry, (sans) White Cheddar, Avocado
Although I dare say I could not recreate the curry to a “T,” I will try my hand at a homemade curry veg scramble in the near future as this one opened my eyes (and tastebuds) to the possibility. Peppers, carrots, peas, onions and cauliflower added a sprinkling of both color and texture to this dish. As you see, I opted out of cheese, but I don’t think it took away from the scramble a bit!

 

House Omelet with Arugula Salad
HOUSE OMELET & ARUGULA SALAD
Beech Mushroom, Leek, Brie, Espelette…and bacon
The salad with a light vinaigrette was the perfect substitute for Josh, who enjoyed the freshness of the vinaigrette in contrast to the earthiness of the mushrooms and creaminess of the brie. Of course, he liked the bacon, too 😉

 

French Toast
FRENCH TOAST
Portuguese Sweet Bread, Caramel, Bananas, Pecans & Whipped Cream
Where to even begin with this … Just looking at it, you can easily enjoy not just the beauty of this “French Toast,” but the sinful richness of each mouthful! Let’s just say that, thankfully, Dodd is a good sharer because I don’t think he had a choice when this one hit the table. Bananas, walnuts, a homemade buttery maple syrup, and spongy sweet bread? It’s a wonder he even got a bite at all!

 

Puppy 2
THIS GUY
Oh my goodness, this absolutely adorable creature provided at least 30 minutes of entertainment for us! He was hanging out immediately next to our table, and his zeal for this large stone (that looks like a ball in this picture; however, it most certainly was NOT) was contagious! He played with it as though it was his long-lost toy, and his joie de vivre made us stop mid-bite and just laugh. He was lost in enjoying himself, and so were we!
Oh man, did he make us happy!

 

Friends with Nosh
JOSH, aka “NOSH,” & MOI
With subtle French influence in the menu, I figured I’d sprinkle a little into the commentary (My French is a bit limited!) 🙂

 

Friends with Lauren
LAUREN & MOI

 

Friends Meggs and Nosh
AH, MAIS OUI!
Caffeinated, fed and enjoying our Sunday!

 

 

Out and About: True Food Kitchen, Atlanta, GA

True Food Kitchen Buckhead, anti-inflammatory dish, spaghetti squash, Buckhead restaurant, vegan restaurant Atlanta, Vegetarian Restaurant Atlanta, gluten free restaurant atlanta
TRUE FOOD KITCHEN
A new addition to the Buckhead scene!

Weeknight Girls Nights are always a blast, but they’re even better when they take you to a new restaurant! A last-minute change in plan brought us a new epicurean adventure: True Food Kitchen.

Many restaurants connect food with bringing people together, soothing our souls through comfort foods, or providing the backdrop for celebrations, but very few eateries put two and two together when it comes to serving foods that also empower our bodies to be strong and healthy, which is exactly True Food Kitchen’s value proposition to its patrons. All dishes are intended to support a healthy body and soul with combinations of anti-inflammatory ingredients “that can help people achieve and maintain optimum health over their lifetime.” (In truth, I am not 100% on board with dairy being included on a menu with this rationale since dairy can cause inflammatory responses, but it’s a slight digression that doesn’t detract from True Food’s unique offerings.)

In fact, True Food Kitchen identifies so deeply with healthy, balanced living that its staff is comprised solely of active lifestyle enthusiasts. It’s a job requirement! How cool is that? And being an enthusiast myself, it was encouraging to see that the restaurant’s values resonate so strongly with us Atlantans, indicated by a full patio and bar area. Whether for young couples, retirees, rowdy gals after work, happy hour partakers, or post-workout diners, the casual allure and affordable, guilt-free fare had a wide-appeal.

Overall, the ambiance, wait staff and cuisine were delightful, and we will certainly be returning to try more of these dishes, cocktails and natural refreshers! If you’re looking for fun, laid-back dining  for your next night out, definitely give True Food a try!

Inside 1
The interior dining area is reminiscent of a European bistro with its minimalist, laid-back decor, but with a warm wooden floor, ceiling and other furnishings that add warmth and coziness for a welcoming ambiance. There are also live plants that are interspersed throughout, which add an air of freshness inside and on the patio.
Inside 2
The inside bar had a local feel with a hint of French bistro despite being part of a restaurant group with locations across the country. The blackboards with chalk designs that lined the far wall were a lovely touch to reinforce the feel of a homegrown experience.
photo 2
Although True Food does offer cocktails, the Natural Refreshments are just as popular. You have to love a restaurant with coconut water as a hangover cure on the menu!
photo 4
We had to give a few of those Natural Refreshers a try. And, of course, H2O always playing a lead role in the hydration situation. 🙂
photo 2
Pomegranate Limeade
The most interesting & talked-about Refresher was the Pomegranate Limeade of lime juice, evaporated cane, pom juice & chia seed. This mocktail is one of the most popular (as seen by multiple tables sprinkled with them!), but texture of the chia seeds certainly took the girls a little getting used to. Needless to say, they are now chia seed converts.
photo 3
AUTUMN INGREDIENT SALAD
The Autumn Ingredient salad, made of Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Squash, Mulberry, White Bean, Pomegranate with a Horseradish Vinaigrette, was delish. The vinaigrette was kicky and very clean tasting with a hint of apple cider vinegar. The pom seeds added a great texture and a nutty sweetness to the winter veggie salad we enjoyed as our first course.
Chicken, tandoori, lentils, mint, almond, roasted chicken
ROASTED CHICKEN TANDOORI
Beluga Lentil, Greek Yogurt, Sprouted Almond, Date, Mint, Turmeric & Lemon
The chicken was delicious, very flavorful and refreshing. To see lentils so closely resembling beluga caviar was new to us, and I know I certainly found them to be kind of whimsical! The dish was a table-pleaser, and the portion large enough for each of the girls to try without putting too much of a dent in Shauna’s dinner.
photo 4
SPAGHETTI SQUASH CASSEROLE
(Sans) Fresh Mozzarella, Organic Tomato & Zucchini
Although this dish does come with Mozzerella, yours truly requested no Mozz, but nothing was lacking. The dish really didn’t need it. I loved the addition of the zucchini to the spaghetti squash, which added a welcomed al dente texture to the softer texture of the squash. The sauce was basil-icious with just enough garlic to be noticed, but not too much as to overwhelm the overall flavor of the dish. (Some Italian dishes can be too garlicky, particularly lighter fare, so as to compensate for other paltry flavors. Not so with this one!)
photo 5
WILD MUSHROOM PIZZA
Roasted Garlic & Taleggio (gluten free crust available!)
According to the girls, this pizza was to-die-for, and from where I was sitting, it is no surprise! It smelled and looked absolutely divine. It had just the right amount of mushrooms to be earthy, but not too shroomy. The taleggio cheese and garlic complemented the shrooms for a rich flavor, and the crust was crisp, but still chewy. I think this dish was the fave!
The Ladies
GIRLS NIGHT OUT
All of us showing off our premier memberships in the Clean Plate Club at True Food Kitchen! 🙂

 

 

Happy Hemp History Week! Grab your seed, not your weed!

hemp, hemp history week, gluten free, on-the-go snack, health coach atlanta
hemp, hemp history week, gluten free, on-the-go snack, health coach atlanta
Hemp Hearts, or shelled hemp seeds (photo cred: Triathlon Magazine)

It’s Hemp History Week, which, perhaps to the chagrin of some, is not actually a week dedicated to gettin’ your ganja on! Instead, it’s a week devoted to spreading the word on the nutritional and environmental punch powerfully packed into this wee seed.

In terms of health benefits, hemp is one of the few sources of vegetable protein that contain ALL essential amino acids, which are critical for not only physical, but mental health, as well. Certainly something of which to take note, my vegan friends! Amino acids are the compounds in proteins that are critical for regenerating cells and building and strengthening your muscles, including your brain. These protein sub-units keep your noggin in peak performance by not only helping to combat stress, but also by helping to strengthen your memory

Hemp also contains those super sexy fats that always make the headlines: Omega-3 & Omega-6.

Omega-3’s and -6’s are known to reduce inflammation and cholesterol and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases like heart disease and even Cancer. Additionally, the benefits to mental health are my favorite part of these fatty acids. From memory loss to depression to ADHD (Attention Dialed to a Higher Dimension), many mental hiccups can be treated or prevented to a certain degree with Omega-3 & Omega-6.

And get a load of this: Hemp is not only a source of nutrition for your body, but beneficial to the environment, as well. According to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, one acre of hemp can produce 4 times more paper than one acre of trees, and fewer caustic and toxic chemicals are used to make paper from hemp than are used to make paper from trees, resulting in less pollution! Additionally, one acre of hemp produces twice as much fiber as an acre cotton, yet without requiring nearly as many pesticides, and it has even been shown to purify soil and repel weeds. Sounds like a must-have on any farm, commercial and otherwise!

But, where do I find these hemp products and what do I with them, you ask? Well, here we go!

tempt, hemp milk, hemp, hemp history week, health coach, health coach atl, health coach nyc, gluten free, snacks on-the-go
Tempt’s Unsweetened Vanilla Hemp Milk found at your local grocery!
hemp hearts, shelled hemp seeds, manitoba
Manitoba is my personal favorite, but check out others, like Ziggy Marley’s and Nutiva’s, and find your own favorite!

Many hemp products, like the milk & seeds, can be found at your local grocery store or Whole Foods. For instance, my favorite, Living Harvest Tempt’s Unsweetened Vanilla Hemp milk can be found in the natural food section at the local Kroger (which I love in my smoothie or on cereal, as it tastes subtly earthy, like soy).  For more of the boutique hemp products, such as raw hemp butter, Amazon.com is your go-to. Like you would with any cooking oil, use hemp oil to sauté veggies or make salad dressing, and for a little texture fun, add the seeds to your smoothie, your granola, or on top of any salad, as the seeds don’t have a pungent taste. Two tablespoons contains 6 grams of fat (including 882 milligrams of ALA), 2 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein, so they’ll round out any meal or snack, from a nutritional standpoint, very nicely.

For more information on hemp, check out these sites and share your thoughts with us below, as always!

The Official Hemp History Week Website
Triathalon Magazine’s Mel McQuaid’s Hemp Hearts Salad
Living Harvest Tempt, the freedom loving, environmentalist, hempfood pioneers