Vegan Pumpkin

The crisp fall air swirls ushering in a new season, autumn is here. This cooler season has us reaching for long sleeves and wrapping scarfs around our necks to keep warm. The leaves on the trees are transforming from the familiar shades of emerald we have grown accustom to in summer into explosions of ruby, citrine and amber. Birds flutter to and fro anticipating their departure to warmers climates. Their safe sanctuaries hidden in the leaves are being exposed with each leaf that floats to the ground. A new scene is being painted on the landscape for us to enjoy.

Fall is a special time of year. For me, the season is all about pumpkins. I love going to the pumpkin patch to pick a pumpkin, carving it and toasting the seeds. I love pumpkin lattes, and pumpkin chili. If it is made from pumpkin I will be eating it and this is why I love pumpkin nice cream. This yummy dessert is guilt-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan, it’s perfect! Make up a batch and enjoy it with friends and family throughout the season. Be sure to let us know how much you love it.

Vegan Pumpkin Nice Cream

What you’ll need:
4 medium bananas
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice

What you’ll do:
In a food processor combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a sturdy baking dish and freeze. Serve generous scoops and enjoy.

Be sure to try our Pumpkin Chili Recipe to warm up the coldest of nights.

Meatless Monday

Eight years ago, after watching the documentary Earthlings, I made the decision to make Meatless Monday an every night occurrence by becoming a vegetarian. At the time I didn’t know any other vegetarians. Friends and family were confused as to why I would give up meat. They joked I would not be able to resist bacon for more than a week. I was on a new path. My energy levels increased, I was focused and not turning back.

I noticed that my food budget began going father, eating a plant based diet was less expensive then buying meat for each meal. This got me thinking about how affordable eating healthy could be. If I could save so much money changing my diet I was curious as to why the price of meat was to high. The fact is livestock requires so much more food, water, land, and energy than plants to raise and transport.

The environmental impact food production has on our planet is one reason I have continued my vegetarian lifestyle.

A Case For Meatless Monday

In America, on average we eat 270.7 pounds of meat per person a year. That is more than almost every other country except Luxumbourg. There are quite a few resources that are consumed to get that piece of meat on the table. Meat eaters consume 160% more land resources than people who eat a plant-based diet.


Meatless Monday

A case for Meatless Monday – What’s the fuss about?

Climate control regulators have been focusing on the beef industry as the leading contributor of methane gas production in the world. Cows, sheep, goats, yaks and giraffes acquire nutrients from a plant-based diet by fermenting it in a specialized stomach prior to digestion. The byproduct of this fermentation is methane. This methane gas has twenty times the heat-trapping ability as carbon. One cow can produce approximately 100 kilograms of methane gas which would be like you or I burning 235 gallons of gasoline in our car.

Livestock in the U.S. also produce 2.7 trillion pounds of manure each year. That’s about ten times more waste than was produced by all the American people. This waste can and has in many instances leeched into the water supply.


Meatless Monday

With more than 17 billion livestock in the world huge amounts of water are utilized to irrigate the grains and hay fed to the animals. It takes 6+ pounds of feed to make one pound of beef, 3.5 pounds for pork and 2 pounds for chicken. 1/3 of the crops grown worldwide go to feed animals.

The water it takes to produce one ton of beef is equilivant to filling your bath tub 140,000 times says the Pacific Institute. That breaks down to 53 gallons of water per burger. In California for example it takes 2,464 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef according to the Water Education Foundation. To put that in perspective it takes 25 gallons of water to produce one pound of wheat. With California and many other states and nations in a drought this is something to reflect on.


Meatless Monday


















The United States Geological Survey reports that 40 percent of fresh water used in the U.S. is used for livestock while 13 percent was used for domestic purposes. When a person chooses to switch to a plant based diet they will save 162,486 gallons of water annually. Switching to a plant-based diet or reducing the amount of meat in your diet is by far the most important choice you can make to save water.

There are also issues with the humane treatment of livestock. The contribution the meat industry is adding to deforestation. The hormones and antibiotics used on our meat are also a concern. According to an analysis of U.S. Food and Drug Administration data by the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for a Livable Future, 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in 2009 were for use on livestock and poultry, and only 20 percent was for human medical use. Our oceans are being over-fished, devastating our marine ecosystems. There are a multitude of concerns to deal with.

A case for Meatless Monday – So what’s the solution?

A popular trend call “Meatless Monday” has begun. “When a family of four takes meat and cheese off the menu one day a week, it’s like taking their car off the road for five weeks or reducing their daily showers by three minutes” states the Environmental Working Group.

A case for Meatless Monday – But meat is essential to a healthy diet.

Unlike essential vitamins and minerals the body needs to functional optimally there are no essential proteins. There are essential amino acids the body needs which can be converted into protein for the body and there are plant and legumes that supply these nutrients to our bodies.

There are plenty of plant-based items that provide protein to our bodies. Hemp tops the charts as it can produce up to 293 pounds of usable protein per acre which is more than seven times more protein per acre than meat.

Meatless Monday



































Skipping the meat is not only environmentally friendly it could improve your personal health. For many meat is an important aspect of their diet providing iron, zinc and vitamins B-12, B-6 and niacin to the body. Inversely scientific evidence is associating the high meat consumption levels with a wide range of health problems including obesity, cancer (for the most up to date information on the over 7,000 clinical studies of the links between diet and cancer, visit the World Cancer Research Foundation and National Cancer Institutes websites), cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.

The American Cancer Society advises people to limit consumption of red meat and all processed meats. If you are eating red meat you should limit your consumption to 2-3 small portions per week and no more then 3 ounces of meat at a sitting.

You might be thinking what will I serve for dinner if I don’t serve meat? We have the solution. Sign up for our 9 irresistible vegetarian recipes and our weekly update which includes new recipes for you to try. Click here to subscribe: Our Wellness Revolution

The bottom line is our demand for animal based products is diverting precious resources like land, water and fossil fuels to produce farmed animals instead of feeding the estimated billion plus people that are malnourished in the world. Everyone has the ability to positively impact our environment. We can change the environment one meal at a time. Consider taking on the challenge of Meatless Monday.


Meatless Monday Resources:

Environmental Working Group

Food and Drug Administration

Johns Hopkins-Center for a Livable Future 


Pacific Institute

United States Geological Survey

Washington Post



Thai Coconut Lentil Soup

Thailand is a food lovers paradise. Loving the seasoning of the country, I set out to reinvent non traditional Thai dishes to hold the warm aroma and unmistakable seasoning of the country. This Thai Coconut Lentil Soup is nutrient dense and will keep you feeling full for hours.

Thai Coconut Lentil Soup

What You’ll Need:
1 white onion
1 – 2 inch” piece ginger (2 tbsp minced)
1/2 red serrano pepper, or to taste
*1 tbsp coriander seed
*4 tsp whole cumin seeds
*1 1/2 cups red lentils
4 cups vegetable stock
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Thai Coconut Lentil Soup

What You’ll Do:
To cook the soup, heat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Toast the coriander and cumin for approximately 1-2 minutes, or until they just start to smoke and release their aroma.

Next, add the oil, followed by the onions and serrano pepper. Cook for approximately 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are soft, translucent and starting to brown.

*Note: If desired, omit the oil and dry-sauté the onions with a bit of vegetable stock or water.

Thai Coconut Lentil Soup

Next, add the ginger, lentils, stock, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat to low, cover and let cook for 40 minutes or until the lentils are totally soft and broken down. Stir occasionally to ensure the lentils are not sticking to the bottom of the pot. If needed, add more water or stock until you reach your desired consistency.

Meanwhile, zest and juice the lemons. Chop the cilantro and set aside. To finish the soup, add the lemon juice, lemon zest and cilantro. Serve into warmed bowls and top with diced avocado and more cilantro and/or chili flakes, if desired.



Lentils are beneficial to the heart, circulation and stimulates the adrenal system. Lentils are a nutrient dense food. One cup of cooked lentils can provide us with the following nutrients daily.Thai Coconut Lentil Soup

Soaking Nuts and Seeds

There are many health benefits to soaking nuts and seeds. Some of these benefits include reduced phytic acid, to neutralize enzyme inhibitors and encourage the production of beneficial enzymes while neutralizing toxin in the colon—keeping it clean. It also makes the proteins more absorbable by the body, reduces tannins, and it can break down gluten, easing digestion and vitamin absorption.

Raw nuts or seeds are an easy on-the-go snack. What most people do not know is that raw nuts and seeds have enzyme inhibitors within them, toxic substances such as tannic acid & goitrogens and phytic acid for their protection.

These may be terms we have not heard before, so let’s break them down.

Phytic acid is a compound that binds itself to minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, manganese and chromium in the gut, which prevents the digestive system’s ability to break the nut or seed or grain down properly. If you have seen undigested bits of nuts or seed in your stool, this is why.

Individuals with anemia, low zinc levels, osteoporosis and other illness related to low mineral absorption could benefit from soaking nuts before consuming. When soaking nuts, the phytic acid is broken down and nutritional value and digestion is increased.

Goitrogens suppress the proper functioning of the thyroid gland by interfering with iodine uptake. Soaking nuts help reduce goitrogens and increases the necessary minerals needed for a healthy thyroid.

Enzyme inhibitors neutralize vital enzymes the body naturally produces, leading to illnesses and an enzyme-depleted gut. Enzymes are essential for optimal functioning of the body and used in thousands of chemical reactions throughout the body.

Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, irritable bowels and gas are signs of enzyme deficiencies.

Soaking nuts and dehydrating these delicious morsels can improve their taste and texture.

Soaking Nuts, Seeds & Legumes

How do I go about soaking nuts and seeds?
Dissolve one tablespoon of salt in water, pour over nuts or seeds, using just enough water to cover. Leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours, preferably overnight. Drain in a colander. Discard the water used for soaking, never reuse it. Spread nuts/seeds on a stainless steel pan. Place in a warm 150℉, turning occasionally, until thoroughly dry and crisp. The longer they soak, the longer it takes to dry. Use an oven thermometer to keep track of the temperature. At 200℉, enzymes will be destroyed. A dehydrator is the preferred method of drying; it will take 12-24 hours until completely dry. Store in an airtight container.

*If you want an extra boost, add cayenne pepper before you begin the drying process.

Soaking nuts and seeds is easy. You now have the info needed to begin soaking nuts and seeds at home.  In the comments below, let us know how you like soaking nuts and seeds better than the raw alternative and if you notice a difference after eating them. Share this post with a friend or loved on that could benefit from this information.

Resource: FoodMatters

Tuna-less Tuna Salad

Tuna-less Tuna Salad is a quick and easy meal that will leave you satisfied. This recipe is not only for vegetarians, carnivores like my husband also love it. Make a double batch of Tuna-less Tuna Salad and have lunch for a couple of days in a row. Try this recipe and in the comments below let us know what you think of our Tuna-less Tuna Salad.

Tuna-less Tuna Salad

Tuna-less Tuna Salad

What You’ll Need:
1-28 oz can cooked chickpeas
2 to 3 tbsp red onion, diced
2 to 3 celery stalks, diced
2 to 3 pickles, diced
2 tbsp nori seaweed flakes*
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise or Cashew Sour Cream

Tuna-less Tuna Salad

What You’ll Do:
In a large bowl, smash the chickpeas with a potato masher until they are broken up. Mix in all other ingredients. Serve on crackers or bread.

Places To Visit In Spain

With so many places to visit in Spain, it would behoove travelers to allocate a month’s time to exploring the vast country side. Once you arrive in the country, you will get caught up in the lively, vibrant atmosphere and be intrigued by the multifaceted culture and people that inhibit Spain. There are many charming towns in Spain, from Zargoza to Bilbao, León to Valencia. Here, I will highlight my favorite places to visit in Spain and why they are worth exploring. If you plan your trip in late summer, you will be able to participate in some one-of-a-kind festivals.

Places To Visit In Spain: Buñol

Places To Visit In Spain

The last Wednesday in August, the biggest food fight in the world is held in Buñol, a little village outside of Valencia. La Tomatina attracts tens of thousands of people annually. 130 tons of tomatoes are trucked in for this event. There is a $10 euro registration fee to participate and tickets should be purchased in advance.

As I walked the cobble stone streets to the center of town, Plaza del Pueblo, I was passed by people wearing face paint and goggles. One gentleman ran by wearing a hallowed out watermelon on his head like a helmet. I thought to myself “what am I getting myself into?” At this point, it was too late to change my mind; I was committed to taking part in the largest food fight in the world.

A shot rang out, echoing through the square as the sound bounced off the side of the buildings. The crowd began cheering. In the distance, the brave man wearing the watermelon helmet was trying to shimmy his way up a two story tall greased pole to retrieve the prized ham perched at the top. Once he reached the ham, the tomato fight would begin. He was having a tough time scaling the slippery pole so the crowd, anxious to start, began using their bodies as scaffolding to help the greasy climber reach the goal. He grabbed the ham and flung it into the crowd.

Suddenly, fire hoses began spraying the crowd and dump trucks full of tomatoes began to inch their way down the narrow streets. Standing in the road amidst thousands of people, I thought, “There is no way this truck will fit down this street.” I was wrong. The horn of the trucks blared as people were made into human pancakes squished against the walls and boarded up windows of the buildings. As we struggled to breathe, unable to bat an eyelash in such tight quarters, people in the bed of the dump truck flung tomatoes at us. It was at this point I wished I had googles and a watermelon helmet. These tomatoes were not ripe at all! They were actually quite hard.

The rule was that all tomatoes were to be crushed before throwing them at other participants…being smacked in the face with a rock hard tomato, I soon realized that not everyone had read their welcome packet outlining the rules. This was anything goes, full on war and people were aggressive. I found myself chucking tomatoes at strangers and getting covered in a sticky paste. A few minutes passed and another truck could be seen inching its way down the street, threatening to squish us along with the tomatoes under it’s tires.

Abruptly, ice cold water came raining down from the sky. The people in the apartments above the street were throwing freezing cold buckets of water out their windows on the crowd below and laughing about it. The street became a slurred mess. Repeatedly, I took a barraid of shots to the face, chest and arms. It was time to take cover. I looked for an out.

It wouldn’t be easy, but I saw a stairwell halfway down the street and made my way towards it. The stairwell was a gantlet. The people trying to escape were easy targets and the crowd took the opportunity to pelt them with tomatoes as they ran up the stairs to safety. The beating was worth the risk so I went for it, knowing that the short term pain would be nothing compared to staying in the trenches. The bruises forming on my skin were all the battle wounds I needed. This experience tops the list of places to visit in Spain.

Places To Visit In Spain

Places To Visit In Spain: Pamplona

Of the places to visit in Spain, running with the bulls in Pamplona is a must. Running with the bulls in Pamplona takes place July 6-14 each year. Each day, visitors have the chance to risk life and limb to run with the bulls. This festival has been held annually since 1592. Running with the bulls is a time honored tradition in honor of Saint, San Fermín.

Running with the bulls in Pamplona takes place July 6-14 each year. Each day, visitors have the chance to risk life and limb to run with the bulls. This festival has been held annually since 1592. Running with the bulls is a time honored tradition in honor of Saint, San Fermín.

Running with the bulls is a bucket list experience for many. Some actually kick the bucket when they are gored by a bull charging after them in the streets. Actually, less people die running with the bulls then at the parties, so a word to the wise, run with the bulls and then skip the after parties.

Driving into Pamplona in our RV, we again had no clue what we were in for. Hundreds of people walked by dressed head to toe in white. The men wore white linen pants and t-shirts while the ladies were in long white dresses. Red scarfs were tied around their necks and waists. There are two different reasonings as to why such attire is worn. One explanation is that patrons wear white to honor the saint, San Fermín and the red scarf is worn because he was martyred. Another reasoning is that runners dress like the butchers who first began the tradition.

At 5 am, runners still hung over from the party the night before stagger to the start line as workers frantically hurry to construct the large wooden fence that divides the spectators from the participants. The fence is a map for racers, charting the course they will take. As the sun rises, streaks of red and orange wash over the sky as a beautiful water colored picture is painted of the morning. One could cut the tension in the air with a knife or a bull horn as the impeding race weighs on each persons’ mind. Officials comb the crowd, removing the weak and elderly; not everyone that wants to run is permitted to.

I was under the impression that runners raced down the street with one set of bulls charging after them. This was not the case at all. Waves of bulls are released from their holding pens throughout the race. Just when you think you are in the clear and the bulls have passed you, another wave of bulls come charging towards you. The half mile course seems miles long when a 2,000 pound bull speeds after you like rocket on your heels. The animal is pure muscle and high on adrenaline. You can feel the warm stertorous breathing on the back of your calves as the creature gasps for air and swings its head and horns at you to get out of the way.

With a rolled up newspaper in hand, the goal and the deciding factor if you are a real man or woman is if you touch the bull with your newspaper. A risky proposition I am unashamed to admit is that in this definition of being a real woman, I am not. I did not get close enough to a bull to touch it with a newspaper and instead a cowarded on the side of the fence praying not to get gord.

Then I saw the most manly man in the world. A man that seemingly did not have a healthy fear of death or he was still drunk from the night before. Either way, he was crazy. The raging thunder of the bulls hooves intensified moving closer to where I cowered. This man was running in-between two bulls with his bare hands nonchalantly sitting on their backs like old friends do. Like in the movies, the crowd parts and everyone turns their focus to the hero as he emerges, time slows down for a brief second and everyone watches, awe struck. As quickly as he appeared, he is gone, ushered down the street by the bulls to the finish line—the arena where the bullfights take place.

Spectators pack into the arena to watch the matadors “toy with the bulls,” I mean fight the bulls before they are slaughtered. Super soaker water guns are filled with sangria from the large buckets the crowd has brought with them. Spraying the sangria into the air the crowd is drenched in the sticky, sweet, red mixture. The red liquid staining the white clothes the crowd is wearing, we now look like the butchers we are dressed as. The matador enters the arena and the crowd erupts into a Spanish chant and boisterous cheering. Sadly, the bull will soon be dead. In its last few moments, I find myself cheering for the bull to win, to somehow make it out of the arena alive. I know this will not be the case. The difference between bullfights in Spain and those held in Portugal is that, in Spain, the bulls dies while in Portugal they no longer kill the bulls. Earlier in the day, there were protests against the killing of the bulls but for now, the tradition continues.

Places To Visit In Spain

Places To Visit In Spain: Barcelona

There are two big cities that make our place to visit in Spain list. To be candid, I prefer Barcelona over Madrid. The artistry is what makes this town special. Every tile on the facades of each building are unique and tell a story, which brings to life the Spanish culture. The renowned artist Antoni Gaudí has masterful and quite intriguing pieces of artwork sprinkled throughout the city. Gaudí’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Família church, has been under construction since 1882 and is not set to be completed until 2026.

The hop-on hop-off bus (32€) also operates in Barcelona and is a good option for travelers. The metro can also be easily navigated from one attraction to the next and averages 2.15€ per ride. The entrance fees are moderately priced and should be factored into your travel budget.

Places To Visit In Spain: Madrid

Madrid is the capital of Spain and a bustling metropolis as the third largest city in Europe. There is much to see in the city as the country has done a great job at preserving the infrastructure of the historic city and, in such, the feel of this ancient yet modern town. The Madrid City Tour bus, at 21€ for a 24 hour pass, is great way to get an overview of all this city has to offer. At your leisure, you can get off at stops to learn more about the monumental landmarks. The night life in Madrid makes this one of the places to visit in Spain, it is not to be missed. Dance floors come alive as men and women move their bodies to upbeat latin music. You will get hot and sweaty whether you’re dancing or observing. Hotels can be quite pricy so I suggest booking a room through Airbnb or a hostel. (For a $25 credit towards your next stay with Airbnb visit: Hostels will also be able to give you discount admission prices to many local attractions).

Places To Visit In Spain: Granada

At the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range is the city of Granada. Rich in history, Granada is most commonly known as the home of its prize jewel the Alhambra. In the hillside outside of the city, visitors can experience one of the most beautiful palace fortress complexes in the world. With the attention to detail in the architecture of the Alahambra, the layout of the grounds and the placement of this magnificent structure, it is no wonder that 8,000 people a day visit this site each year. 55 euros will get you a guided tour, which brings to life the rich history of this famous UNESCO World Heritage Site. Even with the hefty price tag of this tour, everyday it sells out, so be sure to book your tour well in advance.

Places To Visit In Spain: Málaga

Near Granada, you will find one of the oldest cities in the world, the port city of Málaga. This artsy town was the birth place of Pablo Picasso. Today, you will still find local artists featuring and selling their work on the roadside. My favorite aspect this quaint stop are the tapas. Tapas are small plates of food otherwise known as appetizers in America. In Malaga, you get a free tapas with each drink you order. Sitting at a table under an umbrella in the summer, months of watching people move to and fro while sipping on a red wine from the Rioja wine region in northern Spain and nibbling on delicious Spanish cuisine is perfection. Everyone loves free tapas which is why this destination makes our places to visit in Spain.

Places To Visit In Spain: Toledo

Next, on our list of places to visit in Spain is Toledo. This town is southwest of Madrid. The narrow, winding, cobble stone streets are enchanting. The ancient buildings surrounded by the old city walls transport you back to a much different time. The town, though modernized, still has an old time feel, allowing you to picture yourself living centuries earlier.

Places To Visit In Spain

It took on the nickname Holy Toledo as the Christians, Muslims and Jewish religions converged in the city. The phrase “Holy Toledo” is said to have sprung from the concentration of churches, which made the city holy. Many religious buildings in the area have preserved the history and architectural treasures of the Gothic, Renaissance and Spanish Mission decor.  A guided day trip is a great way to experience the city.

The memories you will take away from your time in Spain will be memories that will be cherished and recounted for the rest of your life. If you haven’t booked a trip to Spain yet, you need to do it today. Heck, let me know when you are going and I might just join you and add more stories to the fond memories I have of this amazing country. The places to visit in Spain listed here are a great start.

Health Benefits of Iodine

Having the proper balance of vitamins and minerals is essential to the optimal functioning of the body.  One element that is not getting the attention it deserves is iodine.  The health benefits of iodine are often associated with supporting a healthy thyroid.  The thyroid aids in regulating the body’s metabolism and cellular function in the body.  Health benefits of iodine also include hormone regulation.  As the health benefits of iodine stimulate cellular function and regeneration of our cells, it is helpful in promoting healthy skin, nails, hair, a healthy thymus, pancreas, stomach and breast among other bodily functions.

Iodine also helps fight off harmful organisms, protects the thyroid from radiation and encourages detoxification.  Healthy levels of iodine in the body prevent toxic chemicals such as fluorine, chlorine, and bromine from inhibiting the proper functioning of the thyroid.

Contrary to popular belief, standard table salt is not a good source of naturally occurring and bioavailable iodine for the body.  Much of our table salt is bleached and full of artificial versions of iodine and does not offer the health benefits of iodine to the body.  A better alternative to table salt is Himalayan Crystal Salt.  There is a long list of foods that contain iodine.  Protein based sources include cod, shellfish and eggs.  Sea vegetables like seaweed and kelp are great plant based sources of iodine as well as dark leafy greens.  By simply eating a few prunes each day, we can increase our intake of iodine.

Iodine is important for males and females.  The female anatomy additionally needs iodine to support breast and ovarian health, as well as support the development of the fetus during pregnancy.  The amount of iodine you need each day depends on your age. The National Institute of Health outlines the health benefits of iodine and the average daily recommended amounts of iodine in micrograms (mcg).

Health Benefits of Iodine

Life Stage Recommended Amount
Birth to 6 months 110 mcg
Infants 7–12 months 130 mcg
Children 1–8 years 90 mcg
Children 9–13 years 120 mcg
Teens 14–18 years 150 mcg
Adults 150 mcg
Pregnant teens and women 220 mcg
Breastfeeding teens and women 290 mcg

My interest in the health benefits of iodine was sparked by my lifestyle.  As a perpetual traveler and health conscious person, I wanted to know more about this misunderstood element and the importance it plays in our lives.

The Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA’s division of Dermatology, has been researching the increased incidents of radiation exposure of individuals who fly on a regular basis. This research sparked my attention. I fly somewhere new in the world at least once a week. I was concerned about the amount of exposure I was coming into contact with and what could be done to combat the effects of my consistent exposure. My research brought me to the conclusion that I must supplement my diet with iodine and share with others the health benefits of iodine in our diets.  Personally, I take an iodine supplement daily to protect and support the optimal functioning of my body.  Iodoral is my supplement of choice.  To do your own research on this product or to order, click this link. A trusted health care professional could also answer any questions you may have on supplementing your diet with iodine.


Driving The Alaska Highway

Road trip! Join me on the journey of a lifetime as we drive the Alaska Highway

The winding road of the Alaska Highway is legendary and is reserved for the most fanatic travelers.  Making it on the bucket list of travel junkies worldwide, it is for many a once in a lifetime undertaking.

We are on a race against the clock.  We have 4 days to make the 2,826 mile drive from Seattle to Anchorage and there is a lot of ground to cover.

Alaska Highway














The Alaska Highway is nestled in North America’s last frontier.  Billions of trees have rooted their earthy brown trunks in the rich soil below, supporting the branches full of lavish green leaves that reach into a turquoise sky to embrace the sun’s warm rays.  The mountain range in the distance is violet and looks like crushed velvet and capped with snow. The colors appear to be more vibrant in the north, the stark contrasts extenuate an already brightly painted canvas.

In order to see the most breathtaking view, one can image all you must do is open your eyes.

The Alaska Highway starts in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada and travels 1,390 miles (2,237 km) to Delta Junction, Alaska in the United States.

An engineering marvel, the Alaska Highway was built in just 9 months.  In February of 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie Kings agreed to the construction as a means of connecting the U.S. and Canada.  Less then one month later, construction began.  The Alaska Highway is fondly referred to as the “Alcan.”  This stretch of concrete cost the U.S. approximately $140 million dollars.

Many of the towns on the path sprung forth as a result of the building of the highway.  You will not find a large metropolis on the journey; just quaint little pit stops inhibited by only a few hundred people where you can evacuate the vehicle to stretch your legs.

As the odometer clicks by mile after mile, be sure to take time to visit these roadside attractions.

Alaska Highway

Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway is in Dawson Creek.  It is an obligation to stop and take a picture under the sign announcing “You Are Now Entering The World Famous Alaska Highway”.

The next big town on the Alcan is Fort Nelson which is known for the large reserves of oil and gas nearby. On the way to Fort Nelson, you will pass over Pink mountain, which is the highest point of the trip—and if you blink, you will miss it.

The next 300 mile stent is home to Summit Lake and Muncho Lake, which are renowned for there jade color waters.  This unique color is attributed to the copper oxide that has leeched into the the water from the bedrock below.  Stop here for a picturesque picnic lunch.

Pause for a moment at the Laird Hot Springs. It will cost you $10 to get in but you can stay as long as you like; they are open 24 hours a day.  A long wooden boardwalk ushers visitors through the marshes where bear and moose are often spotted. These natural sulfur springs are a nice way to relax after a long day of driving.  The heat will relax your muscles and the fern covered embankment evokes a peaceful abeyance.  There are no public showers, so if you do not have an RV to shower in after your dip, you will smell a little like rotten eggs— but it is well worth it.

In Lake Watson, you have the opportunity for another photo op in front of “The Sign Post Forest”.  72,000 signs are on display. Look for the “Alaska or Bust” sign and snap a photo there.  The sign forest started in 1942 by the homesick layman Carl Lindley who posted a sign for his hometown of Danville, IL. Without knowing it at the time, he created the most famous attraction in Watson Lake.

Alaska Highway

Trucking along, you will come to Whitehorse, a town that boasts 2/3 of the Yukons residents with a population of 36,000.  Here you can see the S.S. Klondike on the banks of the Yukon River, “Log skyscrapers” which are small two or three-story log cabins and the Whitehorse Waterfront Trolley.

When you reach Haines Junction, you are entering Kluane National Park and Reserve, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Keep driving and you will find yourself at the gateway to Alaska, the U.S. Border.  From here, you can continue on the Alaska Highway to its official end in Delta Junction or you can branch off and head south to Anchorage, which is what we did.

If, at any point in the drive you see a sign warning “Rough Road Ahead”, proceed with caution.  “Rough Road Ahead” actually means, beware of the potholes which are the size of small children that are quickly approaching. Unevenly grated roadways, loose gravel and dust storms from speeding semis are in your immediate future.

Expect to see a lot of wildlife on the trip.  Big game like buffalo, elk, bear, moose, reindeer and antelope all call this place home and I noticed that many of their homes were right on the side of the highway. There are plenty of fishing holes where you catch the biggest fish of your life. Take time to hike around one of the many lakes along the road and soak in the 360 degree panoramic views. Remember, you are in bear country, so do not leave food out and be alert to your surroundings.

We made it to Anchorage ahead of schedule, taking 36 hours to make the 1,580 mile drive. If I were to do it all again, these are my three tips to make your journey more enjoyable.

Tips To Navigate The Alaska Highway

1 Take at least a week to complete the drive. You can do the drive in a couple of days; however, you’ll pretty much just be driving and not soaking up all the beauty the landscape has to offer.

2 Take a friend with you that is willing to share in the driving responsibilities.  You can do the drive alone; however, it will be much more enjoyable if you can switch off drivers.

3 Pack a cooler full of food. If you’re looking for fine dining along the drive, you’re not going to find it. If you do not pack some food you will end up eating a lot of gas station snacks.

A camera can not capture the beauty I’ve seen with my eyes. The journey of a lifetime on the Alaska highway showed me things I had never seen before and will probably never experience again. If you are considering taking the drive, go for it, it will be well worth it and the stories you will harvest along the way will bring you lifelong joy.


Bulletproof Coffee

A year ago, a friend told me about Bulletproof coffee, so I tried it. I had been to many countries where a dollop of butter was added to tea or coffee, so the concept of adding fat to my morning drink was not a foreign idea.

Before drinking bulletproof coffee, I was more in love with the idea of coffee than actually drinking it. The smell was comforting, I loved going to coffee shops to work and the social aspect of going out for a coffee with friends. What I didn’t like was the crash and jitters I experienced after drinking coffee. Bulletproof coffee seemed to be the answer. I noticed I could enjoy a glass of bulletproof coffee without stomach upset, a crash or jitters. I felt full all morning, I noticed my mind was clear and I was focused on the tasks before me.

There are 3 key ingredients in Bulletproof coffee which are coffee, butter and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).

Choosing a quality coffee is important to reduce your exposure to mycotoxins, herbicides and pesticides in your morning brew. Mycotoxins are a fungus that adheres to coffee beans and can adversely impact our health. To learn more about this topic and how to choose a better coffee, check out this article.

Butter from grass-fed animals is used because the omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids are healthier then conventionally raised livestock. Never use margarine. Learn the differences between butter and margarine here.

Medium-chain triglycerides are fats that require less energy and enzymes to be digested when compared to long-chain triglycerides.

When I decide to have a cup of joe, this basic recipe is my starting point.

Bulletproof Coffee

8 ounces of brewed high quality organic coffee
1-2 Tbsp. butter from grass-fed animals (I like the Kerrygold brand)
1-2 Tbsp coconut oil

Combine the ingredients in a blender and let them meld together for about 30 seconds. Blend for a couple seconds to produce a frothy, delicious drink to enjoy.

*Some people add 1/2 tsp. of vanilla or Stevia to the mix to sweeten the coffee. I enjoy the natural frothy coconut flavor of the drink.

Dave Asprey is the founder and CEO of Bulletproof coffee. In this video, he explains the background and preparation of Bulletproof coffee.


Hawaii & Living Aloha

The sweet sounds of the ukulele dance on my ears as musical notes bounce off the sheet and whisk me away to a place of peace and calm.  Strolling down the beach, sand swishing between my toes, the sun’s rays wrap me up in a warm hug.  As the palm trees sway, the frothy sea washes up, tickling my toes, bringing me back to the present moment.

Ah, Hawaii, it’s good to be back on island time.  The islands are a magical vortex that suck you in, pouring love all over you like a spiket that cannot be turned off.

Each island holds a unique vibe and exploring each is a must to find which gem shines most brightly for you.  Unless you hate stunning beauty and frolicking on the beach, you will fall in love with this place and want to call one of the islands home.  Here are the islands you can choose from and their nicknames:

Hawai’i – The Big Island
Maui – The Valley Island
O’ahu – The Gathering Place
Kaua’i – The Garden Isle
Moloka’i – The Friendly Isle
Lana’i – The Pineapple Isle
Ni’ihau – The Forbidden Isle (inhibited by native Hawaiians)
Kaho’olawe – The Target Isle

The lush green landscape of the islands are spattered with rhythmic waterfalls.  The healing waters careen off the side of cliffs, crashing into scared pools below.  The ecosystems of Hawai’i are distinctive, creating biodiversity with tropical rain forrest, subalpine grasslands, coastal dunes to snowy alpine deserts. 8 of the 13 ecosystems on earth are found on the Big Island of Hawai’i.

As I walk through volcano national park, I reflect that if I were ever to walk on the moon, this is what it must be like.  A barren landscape of metallic lava rock glimmers as the rays from the sun expose secrets from the belly of the Earth.  The history of Hawai’i is deeply rooted by the Hawaiian volcano goddess, Pele who is responsible for the flow of the molten lava that is ever increasing the land mass of the largest of the islands, the “Big Island”.  The volcanic activity from Kilauea reminds us that the island is alive.

A word you will hear often is “Aloha.” It is a word that can be interpreted in many ways.  It could mean hello, good bye or be an expression of love.  Aloha can be broken down into two parts “Alo” which means presence and “ha” which infers breath.  Aloha is the presence of breath, our life force.

When settlers came to the islands, they were called “haloes” which is a term used to describe a foreigner, the white man who invaded the islands.  Traditionally, Hawaiians would greet one another by touching noses and sharing their breath.  Since the white man did not greet in this way, they were deemed haloes or ones without breath.

Saying “Aloha” is like sharing the breath of life with another.


These are some Hawaiian words you’ll want to know.

‘Āina – The land, especially Hawaiian ancestral lands.
Auntie/Uncle – Term of endearment for an elder.
Brah – A brother or friend.
Honu – Turtle.
Hula – A native Hawaiian dance.
Kane – Boy or man.
Keiki – Child.
Lanai – A porch, patio or balcony.
Lei – A necklace of flowers, leaves, shells, feathers, given as a symbol of affection.
Lū‘au – Literally means taro leaves, but used for a Hawaiian feast.
Mahalo – Thank you.
‘Ohana – Family.
Poi – A paste made from pounded taro root.
Pūpū – Snacks or appetizers.
Shaka – Symbolic hand gesture that conveys the Aloha spirit, a greeting or thanks.

Often, sentences are ended with “yea” as a means of agreement or “you heard what I said, right?”  For example: A local may stop you on the beach saying, “Aloha brah, come have a beer and talk story, yea.” To which you should respond, “Yea brah, mahalo.”

Hawaii is a place of healing; many shamans practice here, the ‘Āina (the land) has rights and is protected by those who inhibit it, as they know how scared it is.  The Hawai’i Non-GMO project is one way locals are working to preserve that which they have been trusted with.

Some of my favorite foods that I suggest you try while on island are:
Liliokoi, lychee, rambutan, dragon fruit, coconut water from a fresh young coconut, Mahi Mahi or Ono fish tacos, Poke and some Hawaiian shaved ice.

Stop by Kona Coffee & Tea Company, they make the best iced coffee. With mellow, earthy tones this java will roll over your tongue allowing you to taste what the Big Island is all about.


Here are my 4 Big Island adventures that should not be missed:

Volcano National Park – Take a helicopter ride over the vent of the volcano for the best view of the action. (We loved our tour with Paradise Helicopters ). Hike along one of the many trails in the park and take time to tour the visitors center.


Kēōkea Beach – The perfect place to search for sea shells and watch from a distance the honu that come to rest on the shores of this beach.

The sparkling sandy beaches of Big Island come in many colors. Be on the look out for tan, black, pink and green beaches on island.

Waipi’o Valley – Pack a picnic lunch and spend a day in this scared valley. Lush green cliffs hug the expansive curved shaped black sand beach. Chill out on the beach or hike one of the many trails that spiral through the hillside.


Water Adventures – During the day you can snorkel, scuba dive or swim with wild spinner dolphins. Night diving with the Manta Rays is enchanting. These playful creatures will leave you tickled as they do barrel rolls in the water beneath you. Fair-Wind Big Island Ocean Guides give you a fun and memorable trip, be sure to book your excursion with them.


Hawai’i is a spectacular convergence of beauty which cannot be fully described, it must be experienced. An island of spectacular beauty immersed in culture and community the Hawaiian islands are a truly magical place.