Green Tea Blueberry Ginger Antioxidant Smoothie

Green Tea Blueberry Ginger Antioxidant Smoothie -

At this time of year I have to overtly integrate fresh fruits and smoothies into my diet.  It’s too cold outside and the inclination I have to eat fruit almost for every meal in the summer has disappeared.  It’s also the time of year for heavier comfort foods and more sweets.  For the Boulder Locavore family we roll off Christmas and start birthday season with my husband in mid-January and my kids a week apart in late February.  Valentine’s Day is in the midst of that and with desserts like the Irish Whiskey and Baileys Cheesecake I just shared for St. Patrick’s Day lingering in the fridge, there is too much temptation!

Antioxidant blueberries, tangelo and ginger -

One of my go-to smoothies when finding myself dallying off the path of healthy eating includes a super pack of antioxidants.  Anti-oxidants are nourishing to our cells and block the harmful effects of ‘oxidation’ in on a cellular level.  It really all comes down a chemical game of cat and mouse.  ‘Free radicals’ are electron-stealing molecules that are generated in the body as a side effect of normal digestion or are found in environmental conditions such as exposure to cigarette smoke or over exposure to the sun.

Over time exposure to free radicals can pre-dispose us to disease, compromised immune function or on an external level to the accelerated effects of aging.  Anti-oxidants help block, delay or lessen the effects of free radicals.  This is a gross simplification of the process I’ll admit, as the entire picture is very technical.   There are varying points of view about the roles of free radicals and antioxidants as influencers of disease progression, though no argument that eating antioxidant rich foods, especially fruits and vegetables, is a great choice to maintain a healthy lifestyle in general.

Green Tea Blueberry Ginger Antioxidant Smoothie -

My smoothie choice is chock full of antioxidants.  I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz about Coconut Oil as well.  I’ve begun to drink a teaspoon of coconut oil in a large mug of green tea daily.  That might sound odd but I can say that is dissolves and only contributes a light hint of coconut to the tea.  I started taking it after researching and speaking with a knowledgeable friend who had begun to take it for aches and pains as well as ‘oil pulling’ (a practice of swirling it around the mouth for 15 minutes) after a root canal.  A doctor recommended it to her for both for its anti-microbial properties in addressing infection as well as the benefit for joints and arthritis.

I personally developed a hip issue about a year ago relating to an impingement.  For me the space between the ball of the hip and the socket is less than ‘normal’ which has caused inflammation and joint constriction over time.  It is also considered an ‘osteo-arthritic’ event in that it has created calcification in the join.  I have noticed my hip feels better after taking the coconut oil daily for the last several weeks.  It is not a cure-all, as none of these things are, but helps.  I’ve also loved using it externally in the Sparkling Sugar Scrubs I shared awhile ago between the exfoliation and moisturizing effects; a true winter rescue for the skin!

Pot of Green Antioxidant Tea -

I tend to be a smoothie ‘sipper’.  I carry it around with me and drink it over a longer period of time.  One thing you’ll notice with coconut oil is it solidifies at room temperature.  So once it’s whirled into the smoothie you don’t notice is however over time if not consumed immediately the smoothie may thicken a bit.  Chia seeds do something similar as they form a gelatinous coating when immersed in liquid.  If, like me, you take awhile to drink the smoothie and it thickens, just stir it up to liquefy it again.

Green Tea Blueberry Ginger Antioxidant Smoothie -

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Irish Whiskey and Baileys Cheesecake

Irish Whiskey and Baileys Cheesecake -

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up the time seems right to share a great desert fitting the occasion. My inclination is usually to share traditional Irish recipes though something fun and whimsical fits the holiday as well.  Last year Leprechaun Tracks Ice Cream was a great surprise along with the annual upheaval caused by the Leprechaun who visits our house.  Chairs stacked high, glittery shamrock stickers branding anything and everything, clothes dragged and piled willy nilly and drawers emptied as if a bear scoured the house looking for food.  I finally had to write the leprechaun a pleading note to stop coloring our toilet water green after replacing the toilet seats permanently stained with mischievous green reminders after each St. Patrick’s Day.  I think my children were crestfallen … {continue reading}

Authentic Irish Coffee

Authentic Irish Coffee recipe. Steaming hot sweetened coffee, Irish Whiskey and a cream float. Great after a big meal or to drink Irish for St. Patrick's Day without the Guinness! -

I have been fortunate to travel to Ireland many times, mainly for work.  The first time I arrived in Dublin and exited the plane into the chilly, damp Irish air I was overcome by a feeling of being ‘home’.  I have had many an adventure on my travels including accidentally driving into Northern Ireland with a coworker during the Northern Ireland-Republic of Ireland conflict.  I’ve met many friends and shared many a laugh with them. I was working in California at the time for a disk drive manufacturer.  I was part of an international customer team that serviced Apple as our customer.  We had operations internationally as did they and we’d meet up quarterly for reviews of our manufacturing or repair facilities.  On this particular trip we were reviewing a service center in Dundalk … {continue reading}

Chipotle Green Chile Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

Chipotle Green Chile Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas -

I have loved Mexican food for as long as I can remember.  Enchiladas to be precise.  You know when people remember exactly where they were when a great world event occurred?  I recall exactly where I was when I had my first enchilada: the El Burrito restaurant.  Not quite a dive, I'd call it a 'Mexican food joint'.  No frills, clean but with understated decor and completely authentic cuisine.  I was in third grade I’d guess and it was the first Mexican food I’d tasted.  It was love at first bite.  An enormous 'Enchilada Platter' arrived with steaming refried beans, Spanish rice and three huge enchiladas smothered with melted orange and white cheese.  The spicy sauce brought light perspiration just underneath my eyes.  It was heaven. Fortunately becoming gluten-free did not take a … {continue reading}

Orange Chicken and Romenesco Stir Fry with Clementines

Fast and Healthy Orange and Romanesco Stir Fry with Clementines -

Do you ever find yourself in a cooking rut, making the same thing over and over and not able to really think of new things to make?  I definitely do, especially on weeknights.  Our household is usually buzzing with homework or running kids back and forth from sports, making it extremely hard to prepare a delicious healthy meal that takes much attention due to lack of time. In the last week I’ve been preparing more Chinese-inspired dishes and a long lost love has come back to me: Stir Fry.  When I was in college I got a wok as a gift and used it all the time.  It was one of the few things I cooked along with baking Beer Bread (which could not be easier) and a chicken recipe of my Grandmothers that involved Shake-n-Bake and Cream of Celery soup….but we’re not going to talk about … {continue reading}

Spicy Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice

Fast and Fabulous Spicy Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice. Healthy, fresh ingredients combine for a one skillet dish for busy nights!

With Chinese New Year underway I’m finding myself craving good, healthy Chinese food at home.  Fried Rice has to be a favorite comfort food dish and it’s so easy to prepare.   Today I’m sharing Spicy Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice and I think you’ll love it.  Using all fresh ingredients, it is a beautiful dish to the eyes as well as the palate. Fried rice is something my family always orders when we get take-out food.  Though I like it I feel it usually tastes overly oily, leaving me not feeling great after eating it.  Many fried rice recipes also use canned ingredients.  I’m all for convenience but I can taste the difference and would rather spend an extra 5 or 10 minutes chopping fresh ingredients; it improves the healthy taste and limits additives what often are present in canned … {continue reading}