the feel good sunburst salad

How can you not feel amazing after eating this salad?

Sunburst Salad! Avocados, oranges, pistachios and can you not feel amazing after eating this salad?

After becoming a new mom I quickly learned that taking care of myself was vital to the health of my family.  And by “taking care” of myself I don’t mean weekend retreats at a spa, thai yoga massages or prepared juice cleanses delivered to my door step.  Heck, I’m lucky if I brush my teeth everyday!  I’m talking about simple, yet powerful habits that keep me healthy and happy.

Here are a few of my feel good favorites:

1.  Drink water, stay hydrated.  Nothing will stop you in your tracks quicker than dehydration.  It’s no wonder because our bodies are made up of 60% water!  Adequate hydration is essential for detoxification, circulation, digestion and muscle function to name a few!  Yeah, I’d say those are all pretty important things to have for running around and chasing a toddler!

2.  Create a comfortable sleep space.  Or as I like to call it, our Sleepytime Zen Den.  Yes, a California king bed with  1000 count Egyptian cotton sheets would be wonderful, but it’s not in our budget right now!  Instead I found a few affordable things that created a calming atmosphere in our bedroom.  Let’s face it, as parents our hours of sleep are limited.  We might as well maximize what we get, right?  Two things that have changed my life (seriously!) are a Himalayan Salt Lamp and essential oils.  (more on these soon!)  Since having the lamp and diffusing lavender oil in the room I sleep like a baby!  Do these things actually work or is it all in my head?  Who knows, but it’s helping me catch my Zzzz’s so I’m going with it!

3.  Be Mindless, and not in front of the TV.  I used to be a reader.  I would get lost in a book and find myself finishing it in hours.  Now a days by the time I can sit down at night I am so spent that picking up a book seems like a chore.  Instead, I knit.  (thanks for teaching me mom!)  I can zone out, rest my mind and have something to show for it, score!  I know knitting isn’t for everyone, but find out what calms you down at the end of the day.  Painting, listening to music, meditation, doing absolutely nothing…

4.  Get upside down.  Oh the days when I was a yogi….  I can’t even tell you when I went to my last yoga class.   Now it’s a downward dog here and a back bend there…usually as a bridge for Noah to climb under, not as a yoga pose!  But, after years of studying and practicing yoga the philosophies  stuck with me.  I wish I was better at home practice, but I’m not and I won’t beat myself up over it.  Instead, once a day I lay on my back and put my legs up on the wall.  If I’m feeling ambitious I may attempt a head stand, but usually not!  Simple and effective.  Getting upside down will change your perspective (no pun intended!) in a matter of seconds.  In a bad mood?  Get upside down.  Tired and stressed?  Get upside down.  I promise it will set your mind right!

5.  EAT MORE FRUIT AND VEGGIES! I saved the most important one for last!  Nothing will get you feeling better and staying healthy like eating more fruits and vegetables.  Loaded with digestive enzymes, vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants and fiber to help you feel and look your best!  If you put crap in your body, you’re going to feel like crap.  (sorry for the language, I just get so fired up about nutrition!)  Instead, aim for at least 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.  Starting the day with smoothies will set you up for success!

Then try this salad for lunch…

Sunburst Salad! Avocados, oranges, pistachios and can you not feel amazing after eating this salad?

Bursting with vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin K, vitamin E, magnesium and vitamin B6!

the feel good sunburst salad
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 2
  • 2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons pistachios, shelled and chopped
  • ½ cup micro greens
  • For the Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Arrange sliced oranges and avocados on a plate, place microgreens in the middle and top with chopped pistachio nuts.
  2. Whisk together dressing ingredients, adjusting cayenne pepper, sea salt and pepper as desired.
  3. Drizzle dressing on top of salad and enjoy!

What are your favorite “feel good” habits for staying healthy?

Red Cabbage Slaw with Mint and Hemp Seeds ~vegan, gluten free~

Usually I make slaws with rice vinegar, ginger and toasted sesame seed oil, but for this slaw I thought I would try something new!

Red Cabbage Slaw with Mint and Hemp Seeds ~vegan, gluten free~

I added lemon juice, curry powder, a dash of cinnamon, raisins and heaps of fresh cilantro and mint giving it a Moroccan flare!  (Not that I really know what Moroccan food tastes like since I’ve never been to Morocco, but hopefully I will go someday!)

Red Cabbage Slaw with Mint and Hemp Seeds ~vegan, gluten free~

I find that slaws will usually keep in the refrigerator for a few days.  In fact, they tend to become more flavorful with time!  However ,this one does not!  I went to have left-overs the day after making it and found it to be rather dry :(  I would suggest making extra dressing if you plan on having it for a few days!

Red Cabbage Slaw with Mint and Hemp Seeds ~vegan, gluten free~

Lets talk a little about the abundance of nourishing ingredients for a second!

All the raw ingredients (cabbage, herbs, carrots, lemons, etc.)  lend tons of natural enzymes.  Enzymes are needed to digest carbohydrates, fats and proteins.  The enzyme amylase breaks down carbohydrates, lipases break down fats and proteases break down proteins.  The beautiful thing about raw food is that they come packed with their own enzymes to facilitate digestion.  Cooked food lacks enzymes causing us to dip into our “enzyme reserves.”  This is one of the reasons why a diet that consists of mostly processed, cooked foods will leave one feeling depleted and undernourished.  I don’t recommend following a completely raw food diet, because in my opinion, cooked foods such as grains and legumes provide so many vitamins, nutrients and keeps one “grounded.”    However, I do recommend incorporating raw foods into your diet every day!

This slaw strikes a balance of healthy fats (evoo, hemp seeds, walnuts), complex carbohydrates (raisins), raw foods (cabbage, carrots, scallions) and protein (walnuts, hemp seeds).

Plus, it contains healing components from the aromatic herbs mint and cilantro!

Who knew a simple slaw could be so healing?!?

Moroccan Red Cabbage Slaw with Mint and Hemp Seeds ~vegan, gluten free~
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegan
  • 1 small head of red cabbage, very thinly shredded
  • 4 carrots, thinly sliced with a mandoline
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • For the Dressing:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon curry powder
  • sea salt (around ½-1 teaspoon depending on taste)
  1. Add shredded cabbage, carrots, mint, cilantro, scallions, walnuts, raisins and hemp seeds in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Blend together dressing ingredients and pour over slaw mixture, toss to coat.
  3. Enjoy!

Red Cabbage Slaw with Mint and Hemp Seeds ~vegan, gluten free~

Try it out on your friends and family this weekend!

Mango, Beet and Banana Smoothie Bowl ~vegan, gf~

Sunshine smoothie with a spoon!  

Mango, Beet and Banana Smoothie Bowl ~vegan, gf~

Mango, beets and bananas blended into a breakfast delight!

Topped with granola, fruit and hemp seeds for a smoothie you can bite into!

Mango, Beet and Banana Smoothie Bowl ~vegan, GF~

You can take your favorite smoothie and turn it into a smoothie bowl by decreasing the amount of liquid used.  Don’t be afraid to add greens to the mix either!

Mango, Beet and Banana Smoothie Bowl ~vegan, GF~

Mango, Beet, Banana Smoothie Bowl
Smoothie in a bowl!
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: Vegan
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • ⅔ cup raw beets, cubed
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • ½ cup vanilla almond milk (consider adding ½ teaspoon pure vanilla if using plain almond milk)
  • 2 dates, pitted (optional, but adds sweetness)
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup granola
  • sliced fruit of your choice
  1. Place mango, beets, banana, almond milk, dates and hemp seeds in a high-speed blender such as a vitamix.
  2. Blend until well combined and smooth.
  3. Pour into a bowl, top with granola or toppings of your choice and enjoy!


Mango, Beet and Banana Smoothie Bowl ~vegan, GF~

Did you know?

Getting out in the morning sunlight may help you maintain a healthy weight?

A recent study shows that 20-30 minutes of sun exposure in the early part of the day (8 a.m. – 12 p.m.) may lower an individual’s BMI.  The author of the research study stated “Light is the most potent agent to synchronize your internal body clock that regulates circadian rhythms, which in turn also regulate energy balance.”   A well running circadian rhythm is essential for hormone balance, metabolism and ultimately…weight management.

So get out there and soak in some rays!