Drambuie would “not” be in the healthy category (I don’t think). “BUT IT’S THE HOLIDAYS!”
I’m sharing with you some key holiday survival tips. What do I mean survive?
Well, basically, some tips to help feel well during the holidays by not eating too crappy. It’s easy to succumb to the excuse “It’s the holidays” and make it a free-for-all, right? (Guilty.) But when we let our hair down too many times and go crackers (that’s another way to say “cray-cray”) then, sadly, we welcome a weaker immune system and lower energy. Sigh. Am I a buzz kill already?
No! I’m not! I promise.
We still need to have fun. After all, “It’s the holidays!”
You probably wouldn’t expect me to admit that, but here I am… admitting that. Frozen food? Ewww. But, yeah.
Here’s the short of it.
I’m a mom. I make most things from scratch three times a day. I’m effin’ tired. The end.
There, see? I need a break and I need something at least somewhat decent to feed my kid because she’s just not into green smoothies or protein shakes that much (<– those are quick things that’s why I mention them).
Enter: Amy’s Frozen Mushroom Risotto
Here’s the thing. It doesn’t have any canola oil in it. (<– you know how hard it is to find frozen food without canola?). And, although this particular frozen food has a cheese in it that is probably not grass-fed, I’m not freaking out about it.
Here’s how I make Amy’s more acceptable. I add things to it, like grass-fed butter, and I don’t microwave it.
I get a little soup / sauce pot. (I adore that little pot. I use it to heat water for tea, make sauces, and, well, as you can see, I use it to warm up frozen food from the store.)
Isn’t it adorbs?
I add a few splashes of homemade bone broth and a couple tablespoons of grass-fed unsalted butter. The bone broth adds nutrition and helps it cook in the pot, and the butter adds good fat and nutrition.
“Golden” Bulletproof Coffee made with Bulletproof cubes.
I sound like a broken record by frequently blogging recipes and variations for how I drink Bulletproof Coffee™.
For those of you who don’t know, Dave Asprey created Bulletproof Coffee, which is coffee blended with butter and MCT oil. Or, more specifically, his recipe calls for using his Upgraded (mold-free) coffee beans to brew the coffee, which is then blended with grass-fed unsalted butter and his Brain Octane (a special amped up version of MCT oil that is supposed to give more brain power).
Here’s Dave making his delicious Bulletproof Coffee in a video.
I love Bulletproof Coffee and find myself making it in different variations to increase the nutrition, as most of you have seen over the years.
Anti-inflammatory coffee recipe. It’s Golden.
My one complaint about my process is that adding the extra nutrition boosters…. takes extra time. Before I know it, I have 6 or 7 jars on my counter with spices, fats, etc. It can be messy and time consuming.
I had a lightbulb moment.
I thought, “What if I mixed the ingredients together, including all those extras I add… and froze them?”
We’d like to call ourselves a camping family, but I’m not quite there yet.
Greg has a history of camping since he was a kid. (He’s slept on pyramids in the jungle in Guatemala, so a Coleman tent is a bit Four Seasons to him.) I, on the other hand, only have a few trips under my belt so I’m still working on my camping legs. We’re really enjoying ourselves though, in spite of the uncomfortable sleeping, cold weather, dirty everything, yadda yadda yadda… cuz… it’s NATURE! Feels so good.
Check out our sleeping quarters in the picture below. Air mattresses supposedly make it more comfy. Our 8-person instant tent is not really instant… or for eight people. I’d like to see that happen. Wait, no I wouldn’t.
I make a lot of beverages in the style of Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof goodness. Guilty. When something is good and works, why wouldn’t I? The Bulletproof -style drinks I make add more energy to my day, fuel my brain and body, are quickly made, and they get me through the early part of my morning.
Today, I’m sharing an organic matcha tea that is created Bulletproof -style. Matcha tea is green tea, where the leaves are ground and consumed whole. It’s a beautiful drink, and the lush color reminds me of my recent trip to Kauai (more on that another day).
verdant Kauai, Hawaii
Tea is liquid wisdom.
Matcha is the Japanese tea ceremony beverage. I’ve been drawn to organic matcha for many months now, and I did a lot of research before selecting the brand I chose. I felt the highest quality would be from Yuuki-Cha because of their standards and my ability to pinpoint from exactly what region of Japan I wanted my organic matcha. This company addressed potential issues of Fukushima Daichi radiation and shared a helpful map to assist my selection. I trust them as a result.
When I bought my matcha I ordered small sizes and chose two (each hailing from a different place in Japan). I opted not to get the whisk or special drinking bowl because, honestly, I didn’t know if I’d like it so why invest in all of that. Matcha has a reputation where sometimes it’s grassy in flavor, which I’m not craving.
Quality organic matcha: Yame and Kirishima
I was elated with the result of the Organic Yame Matcha. My first sip I knew I’d be drinking matcha for the rest of my life, and I didn’t even make it the classic way with the bamboo whisk since I didn’t buy those (yet). Instead, I heated my spring water on my induction hot plate, used an instant read thermometer to achieve 175 degrees F, poured the hot water into my blender, added the Organic Yame Matcha, and blended it. I’m eager to try the whisk, being all proper about it, as I yearn to experience “the froth of green jade.”
I haven’t tried my Kirishima matcha yet, but have confidence it’ll be bliss. UPDATE: I just tried the Organic Kirishima Matcha and it’s fabulous. I heated my spring water to 175 degrees F and then blended the hot water with 1/2 teaspoon of the matcha powder. AWESOME.
I chose to start basic by drinking the matcha plain, as in hot water and matcha to see if I liked the flavor. As noted above, it was wonderful. That said, I knew there were plenty of options for making matcha tasty in the event of grassiness. For example, I knew I could soften the matcha by making it Bulletproof with grass-fed butter and Brain Octane MCT oil. I also have some wonderful stevia extract in my arsenal. And, I knew I could always add it to my green smoothie in the event that drinking it as a tea wasn’t awesome.
Oh, and drinking matcha green tea iced can help make it more refreshing and less grass-like. I simply blended my spring water (175 degrees F) with 1 teaspoon organic green matcha tea. Then, I poured it over ice.
Iced Matcha Green Tea
Iced organic matcha green tea. Feeeeeel good drink.
Simplicity at its best: watermelon and ginger essential oil.
In my search for a more calm life, I find myself immersed in books and teachings of the Tao.
While reading this week from the book The Tao of Daily Life (<— it’s so good), I came across the story of Empress Tz’u-hsi and the teaching of simplicity.
Essentially, the story told that if Empress Tz’u-hsi wished to experience the joy of simplicity, she had to reduce complexity in her life.
I took that to heart. So often I’m making recipes and adding a little of this and a little of that… then more of something else, and more of something like that. The result can be good, but the process elaborate and time intensive. And, sometimes, the individual simple flavors cease to shine as they become muddled and mixed with everything else.
The result was a delicious marriage where I effortlessly experienced both flavors, two of my favorites: watermelon and ginger. The drink was beautifully pink and vibrantly refreshing. It taught me that, yes, some things (probably most, in fact) are better left simpler.
I’m eager to apply this to other areas of my life outside of the kitchen. It bears repeating that The Tao of Daily Life is great. It’s one of my favorite books right now.
I whipped up some organic guacamole on Sunday for lunch. As I was making it with lightening speed I was reminded of the funny movie White Men Can’t Jump where they’re running around exclaiming, “This shit is too easy!”
Guacamole is that for me. Easy.
My guacamole always includes some garlic powder because it adds depth. <– That’s one of my guacamole secrets.
I also add organic ground coriander (I prefer it’s brightening floral-ness over cumin).
Of course there is chopped organic green onion, diced celery, sea salt, superfood vinegar, and I usually add some Brain Octane to energize my brain and lubricate it up nicely (lube up the guacamole, that is).
Delicious Wild-Caught King Salmon and Baby Bok Choy
I made this super easy and healthy dinner the other night: a bowl of baby bok choy with some wild-caught king salmon on top.
If you don’t count the time the salmon bakes in the oven (which is 20 to 30 minutes), this meal took literally 10 minutes to prepare, and it’s not food from a box. It’s healthy, wholesome, and will make you proud.
I love soup. They’re (usually) easy to make, easy to digest, and fairly portable. I can carry my lunch around the house in a mug, while I get everything done. Multi-tasker extraordinaire here. (Though we really should be more mindful when we eat – relaxing, noticing the flavors and textures with each bite and swallow. Sigh, a girl can dream.)
Speaking of portability, you could make this soup on the road while traveling, if you travel with your blender and a cooler full of food like I do. :)
So, you might be wondering why I’d post a warm soup recipe like this in the summer, when it would clearly be awesome for the fall and winter. Well, besides calling me a planner so I’m already experimenting with fall-flavored soups, I knew I’d be drinking it again in spite of the hot weather. I plan on putting it in my travel coffee cup and sneaking it taking it into the theater so I can keep cozy and warm in the blasting air conditioned theater.
Some health experts talk about the importance of balancing energies in the foods and drinks we consume to receive an optimal experience – not too jittery but not falling asleep either.
Well, I’ve taken that advice and present an energy balanced mocha, Bulletproof Style (of course).
Yeah, it’s awesome.
You see, coffee (caffeine) has a stimulating energy. It could be beneficial to balance that energy by adding an herb or component that is calming, such as the medicinal mushroom reishi. For that, I jumped to Four Sigma Foods (quality) reishi in the form of their XOCO product which also has chocolate in it (they’re called chocolate shots).
Ergo, I ended up with a mocha. Cool.
In fact, those smarty-pants guys over at Four Sigma Foods even make a mushroom coffee! It’s a genius little packet of instant medicinal mushroom (lions mane + chaga or cordyceps + chaga) plus coffee – all in one. Just add water, stir and drink. (I love those – oh hey, I’ve made it Bulletproof style here.)
I’ve written about why (and how) I use Four Sigma Foods products in a detailed post here. You should read it.
I have a whole counter dedicated to my coffee and teas. (Read this post to see how my whole kitchen is organized.)