Into the Woods

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. – Thoreau

st marks hike

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. – Thoreau
st marks peak
Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. – John Muir
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What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us. – Thoreau
cypress mountain
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. – John Muir
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Ch-ch-chia!

Remember those cute chia pets of the 70’s? Who knew that the little black seeds we used to sprout green stuff out of a hedgehog’s body are actually antioxidant rich super foods?

Did you know that chia…

  • gives a gentle energy boost
  • is full of anti-aging omega 3 oils
  • plumps our skin (yay!)
  • helps get rid of belly fat
  • helps you sleep better (it contains tryptophan)
  • makes your hair shiny and your nails strong
  • increases endurance during athletic events

Yep, that unassuming little black seed does all of that for us. It also, according to Dr. Oz, “can help with a range of health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and weight problems.”

So now, my only question is, how can I incorporate this little anti-aging gem into my daily diet?

Well, since chia is pretty much tasteless, it can be sprinkled on salads, incorporated into smoothies, soups and even be an ingredient in baked goods. Another way to get a daily serving of chia is in this easy-peasy, uber-healthy pudding:

Chia Pudding

  • 1/4 chia seeds
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • splash of maple syrup, agave or honey
  • 1/2 tsp. organic vanilla
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • raw, sliced mango

Mix first five ingredients together and place in fridge overnight. The next morning stir in mango and serve. This nutritional powerhouse is a perfect, delicious way to start the day.

chia pudding

Beyoncé and Me

I was perusing an awesome Vegan cookbook I had been given for Christmas last night and couldn’t help but think a) how pretty all of the food looked and b) how much I admire vegans. As an animal lover, how could I not adore all of the people on this planet who don’t actually eat any of the them?

I’ve tried to go vegan countless times before but, since I’m a little anemic, find it super challenging to eat a totally plant based diet for more than a few months. As I was thinking about this dilemma, I decided to check my Facebook feed for the umpteenth time (as any self respecting social media addict would do) and what did I stumble on?

This:

Beyonce and Jay Z’s 22 Day Vegan Challenge

I admit I took this as a sign from the Universe that I needed to do this vegan challenge just like Beyoncé had done. I realize that she and Jay Z did this a couple of years ago but they’re still on the vegan bandwagon with a new 22 day home delivery service that is totally plant based. And, hey, there’s nothing wrong with being a couple of years late to a challenge, right?

So, not only will I be looking at the pretty pictures in my Oh She Glows cookbook, I’ll be sampling quite a few of the recipes for the next 22 days and chronicling my faves here.

Stay tuned for the successes, failures and everything in between as I journey along the Vegan Challenge.

beyonce