Yerba Mate Benefits

Yerba mate benefits the mind and body. Yerba mate or mate as it is often called is traditionally consumed in the central and southern regions of South America, where it is often a social event to drink mate.

Yerba Mate Benefits – The Social Aspect

It’s not unusual to see people walking down the street sipping mate while carrying a thermos of hot water to refresh their drink. When you are asked to share mate with someone, it is a sign of friendship and bonding.

Yerba Mate Benefits – A Physical Impact

Yerba mate is made from the dried leaves of the evergreen holly, a plant native to South America. Due to the high quantity of polyphenols found in mate, many health promoting claims have been made about it.  Studies have concluded that Yerba mate benefits include improved allergy symptoms, reduced risk of diabetes mellitus and high blood sugar in mice.

Yerba Mate Benefits – A Weight Loss Tool

Mate also acts as an appetite suppressant and could be effective as a weight loss tool.  It increases energy expenditure, improves insulin sensitivity, and burns stored fat.  Athletes have been known to use it to enhance physical performance.  This tea has been shown to increases mental energy and focus, improves mood, and promotes deeper sleep.  Yerba mate benefits include being used as a digestive aid, its use as a general nerve tonic for pain, fatigue, and depression.

With a powerful nutrient profile Yerba mate benefits the body.  It is said to have the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate all in one beverage.  That is a big claim; lets look more deeply at the benefits and side effects of consuming Yerba mate.

Yerba Mate Benefits – A Powerful Mood Enhancer

Providing gentle, clean and calm energy replacing your morning coffee with Yerba mate will bring about alert wakefulness with out the jitters or crash often associated with coffee.  Mate stimulates the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain which is the cause for increased motivation and productivity.

Yerba Mate Benefits – Nutritional Impact

Each serving of mate contains the following vitamins and minerals:

•vitamin A

•vitamin C

•vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5

•vitamin E











This doesn’t include the beneficial phytonutrient tannins, trace minerals, chlorophyll, flavonols, polyphenols, and 15 amino acids.  The polyphenols in Yerba mate exhibit more antioxidant power than any other tea-based drink.  These potent antioxidant compounds protect the cardiovascular system as the theobromine in mate relaxes the blood vessels allowing for better flow.

Yerba Mate Benefits – Boost Your Immune System

Yerba mate is high in compounds called saponins which boost the immune system. These natural anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to be useful for treating bladder infections.  This compound is also helpful in modulating an overactive immune system.  Helpful in treating constipation, diarrhea, indigestion and parasites it’s natural antibacterial properties fight against E. coli, one of the most common causes of food poisoning.  It’s also useful for both preventing and treating bladder and kidney stones.

Yerba Mate Benefits

Yerba Mate Benefits – Enjoy A Cup Today

Traditionally, you would drink Yerba mate out of hallowed out gourds packed with the loose leaves. Leisurly you would sip the mate through a “bombilla”, a special metallic drinking straw.  The easiest way to get started is using Yerba mate tea bags and drinking it out of a regular mug.  Some find the taste earthy, like grass.  The tea can be diluted so that you can build your way up to a stronger cup. Add some honey to your mate to make the taste more palatable.

Yerba Mate Benefits – Resources

Be Brain Fit


Wikipedia – Yerba Mate

Indonesian Food – Recipes From Bali

Jade green stalks of rice shoot up from the murky waters of the terraced landscape. The sapphire sky contrasts the scene creating a sense of balance. On my scooter I putter through the rice fields soaking up the mystical beauty of Bali.

A place that beckons travelers from around the world, often you hear visitors explain they are on a spiritual retreat. I came to Bali to learn about the cuisine and take the flavors home with me to share with others. I believe eating is a spiritual act. The best way to experience a culture is through their food.

indonesian foodNavigating the bustling local markets with our instructor, we picked up fresh spices, along with produce that was fresh from the farm. I watched as a young man gutted and descaled our fish in no more than 15 seconds, his catch from earlier that morning would end up in our meal. It was amazing.

indonesian foodindonesian food


One of the best things about traveling is sharing the experience with others. These are recipes we cooked while in Bali. I hope you will try them for yourself and enjoy these authentic Balinese dishes.

indonesian food

Indonesian Food – Recipes From Bali

Pindang Serani

Yellow Fish Soup

indonesian food

What You’ll Need:

2 pounds of fish tuna, mackerel or other fish of your preference

1 handful of fresh basil

2 Kemangi Salam leaves or bayleaf

3 thumbs of galangal, peeled & sliced

1/2 onion, chopped

1 thumb of ginger, sliced

3″ piece of turmeric, peeled & sliced**

2 Kafir lime leaves, torn into pieces

2 lemongrass stalks, crushed, then tied into knots

1 red pepper, deseeded & sliced

7 cloves of garlic

8 small shallots, sliced

14 Canbera Wit – Thai chilies, destemed*

3 green onions, sliced

1 lime, juiced

3 tablespoons of coconut oil

1 tablespoon mushroom stock pearls*

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

indonesian food

What You’ll Do:

In a soup pot over medium high heat add the coconut oil. Add the galangal, onion, lemongrass, red pepper, shallots and green onion to the pan and sauté until tender. Combine the garlic, turmeric, and ginger with 2 tablespoons of water in a blender and purée. Pour this sauce into the soup pot. When the soup pot becomes fragrant add the chopped fish to the pan. Pour 2 cups of water into the pot. Toss in the whole chilies and ripped Kafir lime leaves. Add mushroom stock. Sprinkle in the salt and sugar and simmer over medium high heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the lime juice and basil.  Remove from heat. Serve.

*Do not chop the Thai chilies. Keeping the chilies whole minimizes the heat they give off. If you chop them the dish may become inedible.

*If you cannot find mushroom stalk, substitute with vegetable broth concentrate.


Jackfruit Curry

indonesian food

What You’ll Need:

1 pound young jackfruit, chopped*

1 thumb of fresh turmeric, peeled & chopped

5 red peppers, deseeded & sliced

7 cloves of garlic, sliced

3 green onions, sliced

3 thumbs of white ginger, sliced thick

2 Romano tomatoes

1/2 cup coconut milk

2 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon mushrooms stock pearls*

2 tablespoons coconut oil

Optional garnish: 1/4 cup fried shallots

What You’ll Do:

Boil ginger, turmeric and red peppers for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Blend this mixture together with the garlic and 3 tablespoons of water until smooth. Pour the contents of the blender into the pot and reduce the sauce for 10 to 15 minutes.

In a medium soup pot add the chopped jackfruit, cover with water. Boil until tender and then drain.

Add the reduced curry sauce to the jackfruit pot. Mix in the green onions and coconut oil. Stir in the curry powder. Add 1 cup of water and coconut milk. Segment the tomatoes into the curry and stir. Add mushroom stock pearls and salt to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with steamed rice.

*If you cannot find young jackfruit you can use potatoes or meat instead.

*If you cannot find mushroom stalk substitute with vegetable broth concentrate.


Pepes Tahu

indonesian food

What You’ll Need:

1 thumb sized piece of palm sugar

1 red pepper, deseeded & sliced

1 thumb size galangal, peeled & sliced

5 small shallots, sliced

4 green onions, sliced

1 Kefir lime leaf, destemed

1 Romano tomato, chopped

16 ounces Tofu

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 eggs

1 tablespoon mushrooms stock pearls*

1/2 teaspoon salt

banana leaves

indonesian food

indonesian food

What You’ll Do:

In a sauce pan over medium-high, heat the coconut oil. Add the palm sugar, red pepper, galangal and Kefir leaf. Reduce heat and simmer until the palm sugar melts. Remove from heat.

Squeeze the tofu dry.

In a medium sized stock pot add the shallots, green onions and tomato and tofu. Stir in eggs. Remove the Kefir leaf from the sauce pan and pour the contents into the tofu mixture. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place water in your food steamer and bring to a roaring boil.

Scoop one cup the tofu mixture into a banana leaf and roll it up. Skewer the ends with bamboo picks. Steam for 15 minutes. Serve.

*If you cannot find mushroom stalk substitute with vegetable broth concentrate.


Easy pickles

indonesian food

What You’ll Need:

1/2 onion, chopped

2 large cucumbers, segmented

10 Canbera Wit – Thai chilies, destemed*

1 large carrot, peeled & julienne

1/2 cup hot water

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons sugar

What You’ll Do:

Add all ingredients in an airtight container. Shake. Serve.

*Do not chop the Thai chilies. Keeping the chilies whole minimizes the heat they give off. If you chop them the dish may become inedible.

**Tip: To quickly and easily peel ginger or turmeric use the edge of a spoon to remove the skin.

Indonesian Food

indonesian foodindonesian food



Kabocha Kale Salad with Sweet Potato Cakes and Avocado Lemon Mousse

This Kabocha Kale Salad with Sweet Potato Cakes and Avocado Lemon Mousse is packed with real food nutrition to sustain you while delighting your senses.

Let’s be candid this recipe is highly involved. This is not the dish you would prepare if you are in a hurry to get something on the table for the family to eat. This is a meal that takes time. The pay off is the mingling of delightful flavors swirling over your tastebuds thanking you for the effort you put into preparing it.

The Sweet Potato Cakes freeze well. Prepare enough so that you can have them on hand for futures meals. Simply warm them in the oven or lightly fry them in a skillet and serve.

Kobcocha Kale Salad

1 small kabocha squash (2 pounds)
1-2 bunches of lacinto kale (dinosaur kale) 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup wheat berries or farro, cooked
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Preheat oven to 400°F.

With a vegetable peeler remove the outer rind of the kabocha. Cut the kabocha squash in half and scrape out the seeds. Cut the squash in 1-inch cubes, toss with a little olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, turning at half way mark. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Remove the thick stems from the kale and discard. Stack the leaves, roll them into a tight bundle, then slice thin. You should have about 4-5 cups of kale. Toss kale with a tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Set aside.

In a dry pan toast walnuts until fragrant, 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool.

Add farro, walnuts, cranberries and pumpkin seeds to the kale. Gently toss in the roasted kabocha until combine. Set aside.

Kabocha Kale Salad with Sweet Potato Cakes and Avocado Lemon Mousse

Sweet Potato Lentil Cakes

3 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes (2 medium sweet potatoes) 1 cup split red lentils, rinsed
2 cups water
1 cup rolled oats, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

black pepper, to taste
1 cup chopped lacinto kale (dinosaur kale) 1⁄2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1⁄4 cup shelled hemp seeds
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Steam the sweet potatoes in a steamer or roast in the stove for 30 minutes, until fork-tender. Set aside to cool.

In a small pan bring the rinsed lentils to a boil in 2 cups water. Reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until tender. Drain, set aside.

Add the sweet potatoes, lentils, 1⁄2 cup of the rolled oats, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, cumin, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper to a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is combine. There should still be chunks in the sticky mixture.

Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add in the reserved 1⁄2 cup rolled oats, kale, pepitas, hemp seeds, cilantro, and chives. Gently stir to incorporate.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it.

Form the mixture into patties. Place each on the baking sheet. Bake the patties for 30 minutes, flip them at the 15-minute mark.

Kabocha Kale Salad with Sweet Potato Cakes and Avocado Lemon Mousse

Avocado Lemon Mouse

1 avocado
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sour cream (optional)Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.

Plate a generous portion of the kabocha kale salad, add 2 patties to the plate. Serve with a the avocado lemon mouse. Enjoy!

Things To Do In Dominican Republic

Many of the things to do in Dominican Republic center around the sun and surf. The Dominican Republic is a Hispanola island that shares its western boarder with Haiti. Flying into Cabarete’s Puerto Plata airport (POP) travelers are greeted at the airport exit by many locals offering transportation into town. Be prepared to pay a $10 tourist tax when entering the country.

Things To Do In Dominican Republic – Visit Cabarete

Driving into the township, one notices the extreme poverty in which many live in this country. Wooden homes that seem to be barely standing house happy children that play out front as their parents sell local goods to make an income. Venturing into Cabarete, more shops spring up and a different picture of the island comes into view.

Things To Do In Dominican Republic – The Epitome Of Beach Life

Frothy white capped waves roll to shore, splashing against the beach. The sound of the water breaking is rhythmic and calming. The fine tan sand glitters in the sunlight. Walking on the edge of the beach, a mixture of sand and water washes over the soles of the feet and swirls between the toes, creating a tickling sensation which breathes life into the soul.

Things To Do In Dominican Republic – Kiteboard

Sun kissed babes in tight and bright bikinis unravel the ropes of their kites anticipating a dance across the ocean as the wind leads. The dudes watch these girls as if hypnotized. The beach is lined with colorful kites in shades of orange, pink and green. On the horizon kiters sail through the sky as if they are weightless.

Things To Do In Dominican Republic

Lush palm trees spread their leaves over the landscape, providing a canopy of shade, welcoming escape from the heat of the Caribbean sun. The bright orange flowers of the Flamboyant tree create a vibrant contrast to the clear blue sky. The large seed pods that dangle from its branches are often used in instruments like the maracas you hear bands play at night.

Small wooden shanties of varying colors line the beach where locals offer surf or kite lessons for a nominal fee. It is the perfect spot to sit on the beach and enjoy a refreshing drink while being entertained by the kiters as they fly through the sky.

Things To Do In Dominican Republic – Punta Cana

As you take the six hour drive from Cabarete to Punta Cana the simplicity of life unfolds before you, revealing a new dimension of the island. Cows roam freely, grazing in grassy fields; the only fences are constructed of trees planted tightly together in rows along the roadside. The flat plains give way to cliffs and mountainous terrain the further inland you drive.

Things To Do In Dominican Republic – Expect The Unexpected

Whilst navigating the roads, one must be aware of their surroundings. Pot holes the size of small children seemingly spring up out of nowhere, grabbing your tires when least expected. Moto concho or motorcycle taxis zip by at record speed as a family of four are seated on the back, all helmet free, wind blowing through their dark hair. On a two lane street, cars drive in either direction while vehicles pass through the middle of traffic and people zig zag in between.

Things To Do In Dominican Republic

A resort town, Punta Cana (PUJ) has a completely different vibe. Here, you will be able to relax on the beach under a palm tree or umbrella, work on your sun tan and sip on fruity tropical drinks. You will also find American hotel chains and restaurants sprinkled in with the local flavor.

Things To Do In Dominican Republic – An Adventurer’s Paradise

Plan your trip well in advance. The island is spread out and sight seeing from one city to the next can take many hours of travel. Cabarete is known for its water sports and all things involving surfing: kitesurfing, windsurfing, bodysurfing. Punta Cana is better known as a resort destination for those that want to relax on the beach. Santo Domingo (SDQ) is where Columbus first landed. Full of history, this bustling metropolis is the capital and largest city in the country. This is where Fort Ozama, the National Pantheon and the Catedral Primada de Americas, is located.

The Dominican Republic has beautiful weather year round as the average temperature is 78°F. Many say that February is the best time to visit because between February and May, the peak season rush dissipates. Snow birds love escaping to the warm weather of the tropics for vacation this time of year.

Things To Do In Dominican Republic – Tips

The D.R., while gorgeous, can be described as rough. It is ill advised to be walking outside after dark. If you choose to take a gamble do so in large groups. Many travelers are mugged yearly.

It is best to drink bottled water over tap water.

Be sure to have plenty of D.R. pesos on hand as many businesses do not take credit cards. Cash is king here.

Cran Apple Almond Coleslaw

When I think of summer time I think of picnics with friends. Spending time with loved ones, enjoying a fabulous meal, these are the moments that make life wonderful for me. One of my favorite dishes to take to a BBQ is coleslaw and nothing beats a homemade slaw.  Serve up this Cran Apple Almond Coleslaw as a side dish, top a salad with it or dress a naked burger, every option will make your mouth happy. It’s so delicious you’ll forget that its nutritious and good for you. Green and purple cabbage helps moisten the intestines, benefits the stomach, improves digestion, and beautifies the skin. With that you should be running to the store to get the ingredients to make this mouth watering dish.

Cran Apple Almond Coleslaw

Cran Apple Almond Coleslaw

What You’ll Need:


3/4 cup Greek Yogurt

1/4 cup Vegenaise

1/4 cup honey

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

salt & pepper


1 small cabbage, shredded

1 1/2 cups matchstick carrots

1 large gala apples, sliced into matchsticks

1/2 cup sliced green onions

3/4 cup chopped almonds

3/4 cup dried cranberries

Cran Apple Almond Coleslaw

What You’ll Do:

In a mixing bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl toss together coleslaw ingredients. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately.