Crostini with Artichoke, Garlicky Mushrooms & Horseradish

Artichoke Puree 551366_10151546428634043_1281067258_n

What you’ll need:
2 cups artichoke hearts
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 Tbsp. lemon zest
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 Tbsp. chives, minced
1/4 Tsp. sea salt
cracked black pepper
1 whole grain baguette, sliced into small crostini size slices and toasted
3-4″ fresh horseradish, peeled

What you’ll do:
If using  jarred baby artichoke hearts, strain and rinse well. Using a food processor, pulse all ingredients, except the chives until a course puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To assemble, lay out crostini and on each piece place about  1-2 Tbsp. of artichoke puree, top with garlicky mushrooms and finish with fresh horseradish root shaved fine using a micro plane zester.


Garlicky Mushrooms

What you’ll need:
1 1/2 cups loosely packed wild mushrooms, preferable chanterelle
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh chives, minced
Freshly ground black pepper

What you’ll do:
Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic for 1 minute, then mushrooms and vegetable stock, being careful not to let it burn. Sauté until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the pan is almost dry, about 4 minutes. Gently stir in the chives, season with salt and pepper to taste, and remove from heat. Add chives, and remove from heat.





This recipe came from Chad Sarno at the Salad Cooking School with Whole Foods

The Health Benefits of Oil Pulling

Early detection of disease is important.  Our mouth may hold the key to identifying what ails us before we have noticeable bodily symptoms.  Working in the dental field for almost seven years, I saw a lot of dirty mouths; if that was the only issue, I’d be relieved, however, dental professionals can see much more than a bacteria infested mouth. We see larger issues at work in the body.  In simple terms bacteria, grows on the teeth and when that bacteria spreads to the gums they can become infected and inflamed as the body works to fight off the invaders.  If the body is unable to fight off the infection, patients develop periodontists.  Periodontists is a disease that can eat away the gum and bone tissue in the mouth.  There is a correlation between periodontists and other diseases of the body such as diabetes, osteoporosis, acid reflux, cancer, heart issues and more.  Poor oral health can indicate disease through the mouth-body connection.  To learn more about the specifics of how each of these diseases seen in the mouth effect the correlating body system, check out this website.

Now that we understand what is lurking in our mouths, it is important to take care of our oral health and protect our bodies from these awful diseases.  Besides brushing, flossing and eating well, there is one single practice which we feel is important. Its benefits are immeasurable; it is the ancient practice of oil pulling. My grandmother, a naturopath told me about oil pulling over a decade ago however, it was not until this year that I started practicing what she has been preaching to me. The health benefits of oil pulling are immense.

Oil pulling can be done with organic, unrefined, cold pressed sesame seed oil or coconut oil.  I have used both and I will tell you coconut oil is my preferred method even though sesame seed oil is touted as the best oil for this practice.  The sesame seed oil has a very distinct flavor that is let’s say interesting. We are specific in the type of oil used because it makes a big difference in the results we get.  Refined oil is heated to high temperatures and will lack nutritional value due to this process.  We want to use organic oil so as to avoid the pesticides that are used on conventional crops and cold-pressing preserves the life force of the oil.  Use the best quality oil you can get your hands on.

The health benefits of oil pulling are best seen when done routinely. It is suggested that it is done first thing in the morning before we have had anything to eat or drink.  Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Put one tablespoon of oil in your mouth, I like liquid coconut oil, so if your coconut oil has set in the container, give it a minute to melt in your mouth before you begin swishing.
  2. We want to swish the oil in our mouth for a full 20 minutes. 20 minutes is a magical number as it is long enough to break down the bacteria and plaque in the mouth and not long enough for the body to reabsorb these toxins.
  3. After 20 minutes spit the oil out in the trash can; it should be a milky white color.
  4. Rinse your mouth with water and then brush your teeth well.

The Health Benefits Of Oil Pulling

The health benefits of oil pulling go beyond drawing bacteria out of the mouth and throat while brightening your smile. We know that coconut oil has many health benefits. Here are the health benefits of oil pulling according to the Global Healing Center .

• Overall strengthening of the teeth and gums and jaws
• Prevention of diseases of the gums, mouth, such as cavities and gingivitis
• Prevention of for bad breath
• Potential holistic remedy for bleeding gums
• Prevention of dryness of the lips, mouth and throat
• Possible holistic treatment for TMJ and general soreness in the jaw area
• Migraine headache relief
• Supporting hormone imbalances
• Reducing redness and swelling in bones and joints
• May help with gastroenteritis
• Aids in the reduction of eczema
• Helps support normal kidney function
• May help reduce congestion
• Some people report improved vision
• Helps promote normal sleep patterns
• Reduced hangover after alcohol consumption
• Aids in reducing discomfort
• Helps detoxify the body

With so many benefits and no side effects, it is logical to try oil pulling for yourself and reap the health benefits of oil pulling.  If you found this blog helpful, share it with your friends so we can all lead happy, healthier lives.

Slow Roasted Beets with Cashew Herb Cheese, Citrus and Arugula

Roasted Beets


What you’ll need:
4 large beets
1/4 cup low sodium vegetable stock
1 lemon, halved and juiced
2 sprigs of thyme
2 Tsp. tarragon, minced
small piece of fresh horseradish root, peeled
3 Tbsp. sherry winegar
cracked black pepper

What you’ll do:
Scrub beets well. Preheat the oven to 275°. In a medium mixing bowl, toss whole beets with the vegetable stock, lemon and rosemary. Forming a tin foil ‘boat’ wrap the beets so they have some room to steam within the tin foil. Tighten all edges. Place the package on sheet pan and continue to cook for 45-65 minutes (depending on the size of the beets). Beets are done when fork tender. Once cooked, allow to cool and peel the skin off. (If you allow the beets to cool in the tin foil, the skin will be very easy to peel off). Slice the beets in wedges, toss with a touch of cherry vinegar, salt, pepper and minced tarragon. Plate with citrus and cashew cheese.

Cashew Herb Cream Cheese

What you’ll need:
2 cups raw cashews soaked in water for a few hours to overnight, to soften
1 lemon, juiced
2 1/2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast, small flake
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1/4 Tsp. fresh powdered nutmeg
1/2 Tsp. sea salt, fine
1/4 Tsp. white pepper
2 Tbsp. chives, minced
1/4 cup parsley, minced

What you’ll do:
In a high speed blender, blend the soaked cashews with lemon and water until smooth. Removing the lid, and folding the mixture at medium speed in order to achieve the optimum smooth consistency. hand mix in the nutritional yeast, onion powder, nutmeg, sea salt, white pepper, parsley and chive.

Plate and serve as a main course or side dish.






This recipe came from Chad Sarno at the Salad Cooking School with Whole Foods

Create The Life Of Your Dreams with Dream Boards

Coming into the new year, we will set intentions for what the coming year will hold for us. Unfortunately, many will fall short of their New Year’s goals and blame it on circumstances. Let’s be real, it’s not our circumstances as much as it is our inability to give ourselves a command and follow through to its completion. We humans function on the principle of the avoidance of pain or the acquisition of pleasure. Our actions are a result of our seeking to avoid pain or feel pleasure. We fall short of our goals by choice.

When we feel like giving up on that New Year’s resolution, remember we can literally do anything we put our minds to. There is a reason you made that New Year’s resolution to get organized, lose weight, quit smoking or whatever you happen to commit to make happen in 2014. In the case of weight loss, looking in the mirror and feeling fat or trying to ignore health issues is an avoidance of pain mechanism. Pleasure will come from looking and feeling better while fitting in the skinny jeans you’ve been holding on to. Our thoughts about our body and the food we consume plays a role in the manner in which we carry ourselves. Eating should be a thoroughly positive experience in which we provide fuel to our bodies in the form of nutrition. Whatever you eat, expect it to nourish your body and contribute to its wellbeing. Many people believe that praying over a meal can change the make up of the food on our plates and how our bodies interact with the nutrition that is being taken in.

When we begin to think about something, good or bad, we begin to attract it into our lives. There is an invisible energy force of infinite possibility that works on our behalf. The measure in which we impact that field of energy surrounding us has a direct correlation to our beliefs and expectations that we will attain what we focus on. Everyday we are bombarded with negativity, toxins and problems; these things are detrimental to our health. Don’t add to this with negative self talk, do not give these details the time of day. Instead, focus on the way things will be, the way you desire them to be and your environment will begin to change. I would like to suggest we be a group that looks for solutions, visualizes what our desires are, keeps a positive mental attitude and focuses on the world we will live in. When we place an intention in our life, the universe conspires to make that thought a reality because thoughts are things. We have something like 60,000 thoughts a day and most of these thoughts are the same thoughts that danced through our minds yesterday. With so many thoughts looping through our consciousness daily we can choose to flood the mind with positivity.

We have a choice to see life as a combat against problems or we can choose to see life as a means of finding solutions and attaining our goals. Our minds plant seeds to our future; we choose if these are seeds of deception creating turmoil in our life or if we choose to plant seeds of prosperity that lead to the fulfillment of our desires. We want to speak in terms that what we desire is already ours. If we say to ourselves we “want” something, we will always be in a state of want, never attaining that which is already ours. To change our environment, we must change our thinking. Think in terms of what is possible. There are so many opportunities in each moment.

We have to be willing to let go of the negative. Complaining is an easy way to bond with people because we all have things we “want” to change, however it is not productive. When we change our outlook, our attitude instantly changes and our lives change for the better. Start a gratitude journal which is one way to instantly change our mood and our outlook on life. When we journal, the goal is to be thankful for each experience and opportunity in life. No matter how horrible you believe your day may be, you always have something to be thankful for, even if it is to be grateful that tomorrow is a new day and new start.

Everyone who is serious about attracting the life of their dreams must make a dream board. A dream board is a compilation of pictures of what our life will look like; it will help us to focus, to visualize ourselves on that beach or getting that new car, whatever is important to you. We need to focus not on what we actually see, but what we intend to see. I am on my third dream board because everything on my first two has come to fruition. For instance when I made my first dream board 5 years ago, I focused on traveling around the world, the countries I would visit, things I would see. Now, 5 years later I have visited 80 countries and counting. I didn’t know how I was going to do it; I was barely able to pay my bills each month and I just applied for my passport. I looked at my dream board every morning and evening and visualized how each country would look, what I would feel like while visiting and the universe made my intention a reality.  What do you want your living space to look like? Who do you want to be surrounded by, etc. We must be specific when building the life of our dreams, be detailed when asking for what we desire, what is already ours.

So begin mapping out what your life will look like in the next year, the next five years. Collect images that represent your dreams for the future and compile these on your dream board. Meditate on your dream board multiple times each day and believe that what you desire is already yours; the universe is working to make these things happen in your life. Give it some time and faith to present itself. Do not let negativity infect your mind. When issues arise, choose to see that situation differently and your environment will change as your outlook changes. You can actually say “I choose to see things differently”. It’s time to make those dreams a reality and now is the best time to start. In the comments, let us know what is working in your life, what you expect to come from this exercise and if you have any other tips that have helped you in attaining the life you lead.

By choosing your thoughts, and by selecting which emotional currents you will release and which you will reinforce, you determine the..effects that you will have upon others, and the nature of the experiences of your life. ~Gary Zukav, Author of The Seat Of The Soul