sweet and spicy roasted nuts

Sweet and spicy snacking!

I bought a one pound bag of mixed nuts from Trader Joes, tossed them in sugar and spice to create this savory snack!

Nuts make a great snack as they provide essential vitamins, healthy fats and protein.  If watching your weight, be mindful of portion size as they are also high in calories.  A single serving portion is roughly a small handful.

Here are a few nutritional highlights of a few varieties of nuts:

Almonds:  Great source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils, packed with protein, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin E.  Contains amygdalin, a flavonoid which protects against cancer.  Lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and are an excellent source of fiber.

Cashews:  Contain minerals such as copper, magnesium, potassium and zinc.  Provide a healthy dose biotin, essential for repairing cells, boosting energy and growing strong hair and nails.

Chestnuts:  The only “low-fat” nut around, 1 gram per 1 ounce serving!  They are also the only nut that contains vitamin C!

Hazelnuts:  1 ounce serving provides 41% of the DRI of copper.  Copper has been found to support an antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dimutase, which fights free radicals floating around wrecking havoc in our body.  Who knew!

sweet and spicy roasted nuts

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Nuts

1 pound of mixed nuts

1 egg white

1 tablespoons water

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more if you like the heat!

-Preheat oven to 275 degrees, line a baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

-In a medium bowl, whisk together egg white and water.  Add nuts and toss to coat.  Pour through a strainer to drain off excess egg white and water.

-In a separate bowl, mix together sugar and spices.  Add nuts, toss to coat.

-Spread  evenly on the baking dish, place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.

-Stir and lower heat to 200 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

-Remove from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.


sweet and spicy roasted nuts

Although I haven’t tried it yet, I believe you can substitute olive oil for the egg white/water mixture for a vegan version!

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simply spirulina

With the exception of not being with my sister and her family, this was hands down the best Christmas I have had since I was a little kid.

The saying is true…

 “I used to think being a kid on Christmas was the best thing ever but it turns out having kids on Christmas is!”

~Growing a Jeweled Rose



My niece :)

In attempts to keep it festive…I bring you a red and green smoothie.

Ok, really green….

Simply Spirulina ~vegan, raw~

Simply Spirulina

1 frozen banana

1 cup coconut water

1 teaspoon spirulina

1 date, pitted (optional)

~Blend and Enjoy!~

Spirulina is a great addition to smoothies.  It doesn’t have much of a taste and it is a superfood powerhouse of the strongest kind!  I’ve talked a little about spirulina here if you want to read up.  It’s a great way to balance your body after days (or weeks!) of celebrating!  You can get fancy and add frozen berries, spinach, chia seeds, etc.  However, sometimes simplicity is best :)

the best butternut squash ever

Christmas is being celebrated all week long in my family!


My brother and sister-in-law Allison were able to fly east and spend some time with us before moving on to visit more family.  Noah couldn’t have been more excited, they are better than Santa in his eyes!


Smile face…again!

We had so much fun and ate a lot!

Wellfleet's finest!

Wellfleet’s finest!

Allison introduced me to the most amazing butternut squash recipe, flavored with coconut oil and dried cranberries.  It was so good we had her make it twice!

The best butternut squash ever ~vegan, gluten free, coconut oil~

The Best Butternut Squash Ever

1 butternut squash, cubed

1 tablespoon (plus more for taste) unrefined coconut oil

2 shallots, minced

water as needed

1/3 cup dried or fresh cranberries

drizzle honey or agave

sea salt and pepper

~First sauté two shallots in about a tablespoon of coconut oil ( non refined). Sauté a few minutes –do not brown. Add cubed butternut squash. Stir to coat in oil. Cook over medium heat about 5 mins. Do not brown– add more coconut oil as needed.  Add about a 1/4 cup of water and cover. Check frequently and cook until squash is almost fully cooked– soft enough to pierce easily with fork but not falling apart. Add a little more water as needed to keep from sticking. Add 1/3 cup cranberries (dried but could use fresh) and a drizzle of agave or honey. Also add another tablespoon of coconut oil. Stir and cook until water is largely cooked off.  Season with sea salt and pepper to taste~

The best butternut squash ever ~vegan, gluten free, coconut oil~

We opened gifts, ate, drank and were merry!

For the guy who has everything...

For the guy who has everything…

Our poor neglected pup finally got some loving!

Our poor neglected pup finally got some loving!

Thank you Marty and Allison for everything, we love you!!!

Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy holiday!!!

dry skin brushing

Self-care is so important, especially during the stressful holiday season!

 Besides from eating a super healthy clean diet, another great way to take care of yourself is to dry skin brush.   Our skin is our largest organ and is a crucial part in eliminating the body of toxins, it’s also known as the “third kidney.”  Dry skin brushing circulates lymph fluid, increases energy, boosts our immune system and improves circulation.

Although I could not find scientific research done on the benefits of dry skin brushing, many have been using this technique for years.  There is no harm in skin brushing, quite the opposite!  It’s invigorating and has even been claimed to reduce cellulite!  You can usually find a dry skin brush at your local health food store.  Just make sure the brush is made with all natural bristles.  I try to dry skin brush at least three times per week and especially on days when I haven’t been very active.


How to Dry Skin Brush:

-Before you shower, start with the feet/ankles and work your way up the body using soft, circular movements.  Always brush inward towards the heart.  Use clockwise movements on the stomach.  Don’t rush, spend a solid five minutes or so to complete your whole body.

-When finished, take a shower.  Some recommend alternating between warm and cool water.

-If needed, moisturize after showering.  I use coconut oil blended with a few drops of pure lavender essential oil.


You’re giving so much to everyone else this holiday season, slow down and give yourself some love too!

spiced orange holiday balls ~vegan, gluten free~

Holiday cookies can be healthy too!

Just because it’s cookie season doesn’t mean you need to overdo it on sugar!    This recipe uses a touch of marmalade for sweetness and holiday spices such as cinnamon, cloves and ginger.

I promise no one will pass these by!

Spiced Orange Holiday Balls ~vegan, gluten free~

Spiced Orange Holiday Balls

1 cup GF oats

1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter

1/2 cup raisins

1/3 cup marmalade

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

~1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut for coating~

Spiced Orange Holiday Balls ~vegan, gluten free~

-In a food processor, add oats and pulse until a rough flour is formed.

-In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and stir until well combined.

-Using a 1/2 tablespoon scoop, scoop out dough, roll into balls and then roll in shredded coconut until well coated.

-Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place in the freezer to “set.”


Spiced Orange Holiday Balls ~vegan, gluten free~

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