5 Recipes for Vibrant Health.

recipesIt’s no secret that I’m a bit of a foodie. And while I love to indulge in a decadent slice of cake or a cheesy bowl of pasta when I’m out, but mostly I love to make food that’s totally healthy and also wildly delicious. So when Indigo Herbs got in touch with me about sampling some of their products, I was excited to play around with some new ingredients.

My focus was to create health-promoting recipes that show just how yummy these super foods can be (yep, even the green ones!) The best way to achieve vibrant health is from the inside out. Clean eating promotes glowing skin, boundless energy, and generally improves your quality of life. So I hope you’ll be inspired to give these recipes a try and make some magic in the kitchen!

IMG_7282Incredible Hulk Protein Pancakes
A protein-rich breakfast will help you stay full for longer and after drinking green smoothies for so long, I treat it as an imperative to get a serving of greens in the morning. Spirulina is a blue green algae that’s high in protein, as well as being a good source of vitamins and minerals. The alkalising chlorophyll also helps the body detoxify and get rid of harmful toxins and bacteria that can lead to illness. But it has quite a particular taste that many people find off-putting. I’ve masked the flavour with cocoa in this recipe and since these pancakes are made of whole, clean ingredients, they taste indulgent but are actually loaded with goodness.

1 egg
1 banana
2 tablespoons hemp protein powder
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon spirulina
½ teaspoon cinnamon
coconut oil for frying

1. Blend ingredients in a blender until smooth.
2. Heat a small amount of coconut oil in a pan and then ladle in batter. This recipe will make about 3 pancakes.
3. Wait until the top of the pancakes begin to bubble and then flip over. Cook until both sides are golden brown.
4. Serve with honey (or sweetener of choice) and fresh berries!

IMG_7303Beetroot Dal
Dal is one of my favourite staple recipes because I always have the ingredients on hand, so it’s the perfect thing to whip together when my fridge is looking a little bare. And if you start keeping beetroot powder on hand, you can add some veggie goodness even if your crisper is empty. Beetroot powder contains the vitamin-rich profile of fresh beets, in a concentrated powder form. It’s great in your morning smoothie, but also adds a nice flavour to soups, stews and curries.

2 cups vegetable broth
½ cup red lentils
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 teaspoons beetroot powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
salt & pepper to taste

1. Bring broth to a boil and add lentils.
2. Add spices and reduce to a simmer.
3. Cook until water is fully absorbed (10-15 minutes).
4. Serve with steamed greens or grain of choice.

IMG_7030Immune Boosting Smoothie
It seems that cold and flu season is upon us again, so why not use your food as medicine and help boost your immune system, so that you can avoid getting sick in the first place? This smoothie is loaded with health-promoting goodness, as well as ingredients to aid in digestion, so you can soak up all those nutrients. The super special ingredient is cordyceps powder – a fermented mushroom that is said to help boost athletic performance, but is also like a super hero for your immune system!

2 cups spinach
1 cup almond milk
1 cup orange juice
1 banana
½ cup frozen pineapple
2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon baobab powder
2 teaspoons cordyceps cs-4 powder

Blend until smooth and then drink up!

IMG_7291Wheatgrass Face Mask
I like keeping a small container of greens powder for days when I’m struggling to get my five-a-day. Simply add some to juice, shake, and go. This is how I’m used to using wheatgrass powder and its detoxifying properties mean that it will help your skin glow from the inside out. But little did I know that it has topical benefits as well! It’s exfoliating, antiseptic, and is set to help reduce visible signs of aging, and it’s easy to get all of these benefits with this simple face mask.

1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of wheatgrass powder

Combine ingredients thoroughly and then apply a thin layer to your face. Leave for 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

IMG_7044Cookie Batter Bites
I’m currently on a mission to snack healthier! If I don’t come prepared, I end up grabbing a bagel or muffin, which never makes me feeling great. I’ve missed making lots of snacks, like date and nut bars, as I don’t have a food processor right now. But by using ground almonds and chopping the dates really fine, I’ve found the perfect hack to get around this. Inspired by my one of friend Fab’s recipe, I’ve been making these cookie batter bites and they’ve quickly become my favourite snack to take to work. The protein and healthy fats make them quite filling and you get the lovely fruity nutrients from the raw banana powder. Plus, they taste like eating cookie batter so what’s not to love?

1 cup ground almonds
1 cup hemp protein powder
10 dates, finely chopped
1/2 cup coconut milk, light (canned)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp raw banana powder
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Stir everything in a large both and then get in there with your hands until thoroughly combined.
2. Spoon out 2-3 tablespoons and roll into a ball.
3. Once you’ve rolled all of them batter, place them in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
4. Store in the fridge in an airtight contain for up to 1 week.

Have I inspired you to give any of these superpowered ingredients a try? What are your favourite healthy recipes? I’d love to hear!

Love, raw chocolate lattes, and vintage bicycles,

Tattoo Talk: An Interview with Theresa Christine

theresaTheresa Christine, 26, Travel blogger, freelance writer and editor, and virtual assistant in Los Angeles, CA

I wrote a post about 50 Ways to Have an Adventure Without Leaving Town and Theresa writes a blog about living an adventurous life, so I think we might just be kindred spirits. Tremendous Times is a gold mine for anyone who wants to explore, travel, and make the most out of life even on a ramen noodle budget. Plus, this badass blogger babe has a budding collection of tattoos that I couldn’t help asking her about. Here’s what she had to say…

How old were you when you got your first tattoo? What was it?
I was 24. I’d always liked the idea of getting a tattoo but had never really sat down to think about it too much. At the time, I was living in San Francisco for about a year when one of my best friends moved to the Bay Area. She moved to SF like I did — not much money, not really sure what she was doing or why she wanted to be here. We were hanging out at my place one day and she was like, “I want to get a tattoo!” I told her that was a great idea but she should probably wait until she was actually making money to pay for it. So we talked about it and made a deal that once she found a job we’d both go out and get tattoos together. I think it was about a few days later and she texted me saying she was employed.

I got a very small tattoo on my wrist, “be,” in my own handwriting. It represents one of my favorite quotes, “If you want to be happy, be.” It’s actually in the perfect spot, and sometimes when I’m having a rough time I just look down and see it, and it makes me feel a little better.

theresa2How many tattoos do you have now?
In addition to my tiny wrist tat, I’ve gone into a shop for 4 more tattoos and had a few stick-n-pokes done on my knuckles.

I had my best friend do a few knuckle tats with a needle and some India ink. Painful but totally worth it and they are all great memories! I have a blue moon on one hand which was my first stick-n-poke. I have an earth and airplane on the other, which is actually what landed me a scholarship to The Blogcademy! It was kind of crazy, but I’m obviously glad I did it.

I have an anchor and some birds on my torso and shoulder and bows on the back of my legs. I’ve started some back art of a world map made of butterflies, and an intricate sleeve — both of which are still in progress.

What are your thoughts on tattoo regret? Have you ever had any?
I usually go into a panic mode right after getting a tattoo and think What have I done?! It happens pretty much every time without fail. But then the shock of being poked by thousands of needles wears off, I realize that hey, I actually have a pretty cool piece of art on me. That’s why the number one thing for me is to trust the person tattooing me. I don’t regret any of my tattoos — even the silly stick-n-poke ones I did with my friend.

Generally, I think that if you really like and trust your artist and the tattoo is important to you, then you’re way less likely to regret whatever you get. People put a lot of weight into tattoos — too much sometimes, I think. They’re like, “It’s forever. It has to be perfect, it has to be the perfect place and just the right design.” I honestly never have specific art in mind when I get tattoos, simply an idea of what I’d like. I decide on an artist, go into a shop, tell the artist generally what I’m looking for and I let them design it. It’s a little scary, but I’ve never been disappointed.

The truth is, it’s never going to be perfect. It’s a form of body modification and it’s man-made. The best thing anyone can do is find an artist that they trust 110%. I’ve scoured so many websites and looked through so many artist portfolios in order to find just the right people to do the ones I have. And when I’ve found them, I feel like I would probably let them tattoo whatever they want on me, they’re so talented.

The way I see it is that, no matter what they put on my body, it’s going to look good. And yes, tattoos are forever, but a well-done tattoo that is important for you at the moment will still be special years later. Perhaps in a different way, but it will still be a part of you.

theresa3Do you think tattoos need to have a special meaning or can they be purely aesthetic?
It’s sort of like, what came first: the chicken or the egg? I think tattoos can be purely aesthetic or they can have an incredibly special meaning. I also think the way you view that is fluid, and a once meaningful tattoo can become purely aesthetic over time, or vice versa.

For example, the anchor and birds on my sternum, ribcage and shoulder had a deep meaning for me when I got them. To me it represented this time in my life that I felt grounded in my personality, in who I was and in what I wanted, but that I still felt flighty and strangely unsure of things. Honestly, I don’t think that holds true for me anymore and I’m totally okay with that — it’s one of the most beautiful tattoos I have. It’s so fun to have that little bird on my shoulder (many a “Put a bird on it!” jokes have been made), and I especially love getting to show off the larger bird on my ribcage at the beach or something. In my life right now, they’re purely aesthetic.

I also think tattoos can gain meaning over time. I got the butterfly map on my back because of a similar beautiful image I’d seen online. But the more I travel and see of the world, the more of a connection I feel to that art.

Do you have a favourite tattoo? What’s the story behind it?
That’s tough! I love them all for different reasons, really. I am pretty excited about the sleeve I’ve got started that is still in progress. I had about 5 billion ideas going into the initial consultation, and the artist, Amanda Passero has really designed something amazing.

I wanted a tattoo centered around travel, particularly the quote “I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.” But I really didn’t want to just get a bunch of text tattooed on my body. So I had this idea of getting a few different images that could be viewed as two different things and tying it all into one tattoo. While it’s still in progress, there’s a compass that’s also a star, clouds that are also peonies, a sun that is also a moon, as well as a v-formation of birds and a big, beautiful stained glass window looking out at all this. When I told Amanda, the artist, some of these thoughts, she totally ran with it. She had these great ideas to add on and she drew some sketches that got me even more excited about it.

I love that all the art is inspired by that quote, and while parts of the tattoo can stand alone they also work together in a beautifully chaotic way. And while it’s certainly inspired by travel there are small elements that also mean more than that to me. I remember my mom saying years ago that she loved the way peonies smelled. I find it interesting how people are constantly looking for some kind of direction in their lives and that we all have our own personal moral compass. I also remember exactly where I was when I was looking out this huge window at my friend’s house, watching the world outside and feeling so incredibly small. The tattoo has a lot of stuff rolled up into it for me, and it’s incredibly satisfying seeing it happen.

theresa1Are there any artists you’re yearning to get work from?
I love the work by Dr. Woo in LA. It’s incredibly delicate and the lines are so fine, and I would probably freak out if I ever actually got to have an appointment with him. I have other tattoos in mind that I’d like to get in the future, but I’m trying to focus on finishing the art I have in progress right now.

Can’t get enough of Theresa in your life? Check out her blog and give her a follow on Facebook and Twitter!

Are you a tattooist or tattoo collector who’d like to be featured? Drop me an e-mail; I’d love to chat!

Love, tartan mini-skirts, and croissants for breakfast,

Live an Inspired Life.

inspiration-warriroTo me, living an inspired life is not about waiting for the creative muses to strike but rather filling your life with so many things that thrill, challenge, and nourish you, that you can’t help but feel inspired. It’s all about the choices you make – from how you choose to structure your day-to-day routines to the grand adventures you decide to undertake. When we become the conscious creators of our own lives, we can bring our visions of the world to life and we end up inspiring others to do the same.

I was honoured when Jessica asked to feature me in her Inspiration Warriors series. If you hop over to her blog today I’m chatting about starting your self-love journey, staying sane when you have a million things on the go, and what I learned from moving to a new country. Jessica is fantastic at asking interesting, probing questions so I highly recommend digging into her archives and reading about the other fabulous ladies she’s featured.

And I’m also excited to announce the Treat Yo’Self Giveaway winner. Jemma is such a gorgeous women with a really fun, creative blog. I’m so excited to be sending this little box of goodies to her in hopes that they bring a smile to her face.

Thank you so much to everyone who entered! I’ll be sure to put together another prize pack again soon.

Love, rainbow sprinkles, & heart-shaped crystals,

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