Got Milk?

Study after study shows that downing dairy (some form of it) after a tough workout can help replenish exhausted muscles and significantly aid exercise recovery. I love working out, but can’t do regular dairy. But, no worries to my allergy buddies who can’t stomach cow’s milk either – according to research, any dairy beverage with some protein (think soy or goat’s), will have the same muscle-building rewards 🙂 

I happen to be head over heels for Bolthouse Farms Protein Beverages, specifically, the Perfectly Protein Vanilla Chai Tea flavor. No preservatives and nothing artificial, along with being gluten-free, this baby is a smooth blend of soy protein, brewed green tea, and chai spices all naturally sweetened with a subtle hint of vanilla. It’s got a nice dose of protein (10 grams!) and filled with nutrients like Vitamin C, B6 and B12, iron, zinc, magnesium, 18 amino acids. Not to mention 37 grams of isoflavonoids per serving. BAM. 

It’s crazy delicious :).  One bottle is two servings though, so keep that in mind while you are drinking it in all its chai-glory. 

Protein + Delicious = Yum.

Yay. 

P & L, 

Mem

Chips and Dip, please.

I found another amazing allergy-friendly bag of greatness. Snyder’s of Hanover brand has introduced, Eatsmart Naturals. A new line of all-natural, Kosher certified snacks that are gluten-free (excluding the MultiGrain Sunflower Chips) and all natural. All Eatsmart Naturals items are made with expeller pressed sunflower oil. I got my hands on the MultiGrain Tortilla Chips  with a touch of sea salt. They were fantastic.

I whipped out some goat cheese cream cheese, a la Trader Joes, and topped that with some Full Circle Organic Salsa and went to town.

Snacktastic.

 Have you tried these yet?

P & L,

Mem

5 Amazing Recipes for Fresh Apricots from Rodale.com

I don’t know about you, but I loooove apricots in any form…dried (sulfite-free, of course!); fresh in their small, velvety skin self; pureed; juice-style; in a smoothie addition; whatever. There’s just something about those beautifully orange colored fruity-jems that make me smile. Perhaps it’s because they are chock full of  beta-carotene and fiber? Seriously though, they are little gems in fruit form.

Tart in flavor, but smooth and sweet. Best described as a cross between a peach and a plum.

Anyway, below are two delicious recipes I am going to try ASAP, kudos to Rodale –

1) “Mango-Apricot Smoothie Add a little sunshine to your morning with this smoothie, or simply pair apricots with Greek yogurt and honey for an even quicker wake-me-up treat that can serve double-duty as a simply elegant dessert.”

2) “Curried Lentil and Apricot Salad with Arugula Top an apricot-adorned main-dish salad with your choice of vegetarian-friendly lentils or succulent slices of filet mignon.”

Are you loving apricots as much as me these days?  Any recipes?

P & L,

Mem

An Organic Toast to Graduation!

 Hi everyone! I’m so excited because I graduated yesterday! I am very happy to have had a wonderful and successful four years at Drexel University and I am ready to take on whatever comes up next! 🙂 

My amazing and supportive parents took me out for an awesome dinner celebration after the ceremony. Due to my lengthy food restrictions, I chose one of my favorite places where I can eat almost anything on the menu – White Dog Cafe! Such a great restaurant with really outstanding service. Perfect for a celebration! 

It’s really wonderful for me and other people with similiar food allergies or just those that want to eat well, because they focus on using high quality and farm fresh ingredients that are purchased from local sustainable farmers. Seasonal, local, and organically grown ingredients = awesome.

My mommy and I shared an interesting squash appetizer that was served tempura style with a fresh beet puree – so fun! And my main course was a Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna, that was served with Green Meadow Farm Baby Bok Choy, Wills Valley Organic Kim-Chee, and Sesame Soy Reduction. It was fabulous! I also saved room for some dessert 🙂 They make house made sorbet that is composed daily and I tried the strawberry flavor. It was great. They also had a flourless chocolate torte that I was so leaning towards trying, but it was hovering around 78 degrees outside so an icy treat seemed more appropriate. 

 
Alcohol has its ups and downs in the news in regards to health benefits, but it was a day to have a little something extra, so I felt compelled to celebrate with a fun beverage. I tried a new special martini they offered that was a mixture of fresh and organic meddled cherries, lime, and mint leaves combined with vodka. It was so yummy! 🙂
 

a sweet close up of me and my martini!

 My parents really enjoyed their meals too! If you’re ever in Philly you should try this place for sure! 

Any recent celebrations in your life? 🙂 

P & L, 

Mem 

 
 

  

 

 

You Say Potatoe, I Say Potato

Potatoes are the number one vegetable crop in the world . However, this is mostly due in part because they are eaten in the form of greasy French fries or potato chips. And even when in baked potato form, people will  often pile them with butter, sour cream, cheese, or bacon. Those aren’t the ideal way to eat this healthful, low-calorie, and high fiber food that offers a surprising amount of protection against cardiovascular disease and cancer.

My parent’s have a flipping sweet garden in our backyard that is pretty much a miniature farmer’s market. I love going home and digging out my own potatoes from our garden.

The potatoes just hanging out by their mama plant.

My favorite way to eat potatoes are potatoe salad style, with a pass on the mayo, thanks. I bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the taters and cook them until their tender, but still firm, usually 15 minutes. Then drain, cool, and chop (I keep the skin on).  For dressing, the simpler, the better. I combine the potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever spice I’m feeling,  but I typically keep it to just one. I’ve used basil, tarragon, and rosemary before and they all taste great.   

Did you know?:  Potatoes are an awesome source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber. They also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity.

Do you dig potatoes? Haha 🙂

P & L,

Mem

Pineapples = Summer

Fruitycuties.com for other cute fruit jokes.

 Love that picture above. Pineapples really are a cute fruit, aren’t they? Anyway, nothing says summer like pineapples. I mean really, what fruit is more delightful than a brightly colored sunny slice of juicy pineapple. Cubed, sliced, grilled – whatever, I love them. 

Some of my favorite ways to enjoy pineapple is mixed in greek yogurt, with cashews and some honey; on the grill brushed with pure maple syrup (yum!); or cut ring-style and topped on a grilled bison burger that’s been spread with a lil’ goat cheese. The. Best. 🙂

Their lovely raw too.

You love pineapple? How do you eat ’em?

Oh, and did you know:  For you history lovers, it was Christopher Columbus who first introduced the tropical cutie to Europe (who would have thought?) and for good reason…the pineapple has a plethora of vitamins, minerals, fiber and enzymes that are good for the digestive system as well as help in maintaining weight and balanced nutrition. Plus these yellow babies are loaded with good for you vitamin C and enzymes called bromelain which help block inflammation and swelling – think arthritis or a sore throat on a hot summer day, no fun!

 Lots of P & L,

Mem

Dear Luna and Larry, I heart you.

Yes, yes, yes, oh, and yes.

 I have my last undergraduate class tomorrow (yay!), but summer has been on my mind for weeks now. Hence why my trip home this past weekend revolved around this lovely treat above…okay, and because my dear little sister came home for the first time in a full year after studying abroad; but that’s another story.

Really though, warm weather and ice cream just go together, right? Being lactose intolerant really isn’t that big of an interference for me personally, but the real issue is that most ice creams these days (at least store-bought styles) contain a plethora of preservatives and more often than not, gluten. So ice cream purchases are sort of a big and exciting deal for me :). Luckily, Luna and Larry\’s Coconut Bliss Organic ice cream is made from a base of naturally rich coconut milk and simply sweetened with agave syrup making it 100% vegan, gluten, preservative, and soy free, and most importantly delicious. And the cartons are just charming, yes?

Really though, you have to try this…it’s a little on the pricey side (I found it in a natural health food store for $6.50), but it’s worth it if your like me and you don’t normally get to enjoy. I had the Vanilla Island flavor and I topped it with blackberries and some raw honey my sister brought home from Paris.  Surprisingly I got three servings out of this baby, which is saying a lot for me. The ingredients listed in Vanilla Island are:  Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut, Water, Guar Gum), Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract, Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Beans.

Luna and Larry’s story is super cute and inspiring too, so take  look.

Have you seen this ice cream before? I had not – so glad I found it. 🙂

P & L,

Mem