“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
- Abraham Lincoln
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! This year, do what you LOVE, and do it OFTEN. If you don’t like something, CHANGE it. If you don’t like your job, QUIT. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be WAITING for you when you START doing things you LOVE. Stop over analyzing. All emotions are BEAUTIFUL. When you eat, APPRECIATE every last bite. OPEN your mind, arms and heart to new things and people, we are united in our differences. Ask the next person you see what their PASSION is, and share your INSPIRING DREAM with them. TRAVEL often; getting lost will help you find yourself. Some opportunities come once, seize them. Life is about the PEOPLE you meet, and the things you CREATE with them , so go out and START CREATING. LIVE with INTENTION. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice WELLNESS. Play with abandon. LAUGH. Choose with no regret. Continue to LEARN. Appreciate your FRIENDS. LIVE as if this is all there is. xo
Banana Peanut-Butter Shake. Ok, full disclosure here. I have been craving banana and peanut butter for weeks now. Seriously. Full-on craving. Which is unusual for me, as I don’t really do peanut-butter, always sub Almond butter for it. Not this time. Have been fighting every urge, as I am temporarily off sugar -which includes fruit (fructose), and if you are going for fruit, a banana is pretty high-up on the glycemic index! However, when I came home to the new VegNews in my mailbox last week, was delighted to see Kathy Patalsky’s Pumpkin Spice Cake on the cover. On her site, she posted this dessert shake, which just happens to be a mouth-watering Banana Peanut Butter Shake…
Ok, that’s it!!! I decided to go for it. Live and let live. Grabbed my bag of frozen bananas and pulled out the peanut butter, threw two bananas in the vitamix and started blending. OMG. When I tasted that heavenly-gift-from-god-shake, it was pure bliss. If there is a smoothie heaven, trust me – this is what they are serving as their welcome elixir.
As I sit here typing this…my body is so grateful. I am so happy I went for it and look forward to enjoying this simple, delicious treat many more times Kathy (and God): I’ve got nothing but love for ya. xo
Banana Peanut Butter Shake
adapted from Kathy Patalsky
2 frozen bananas
3 heaping tbsp peanut butter
Almond milk to desired consistency (I used about 3/4 cup)
Cinnamon to taste
Pinch of sea salt
Blend all in Vitamix (or high speed blender). Repeat. (Trust me, you will!) xo
Garlic. This is one herb that you should absolutely have in your daily diet. It dates back 6000 years and has been used throughout history for both its culinary and medicinal purposes. Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with an amazing array of healing properties. It has been found to have antibacterial, antifungal, anti-parasitic and antiviral properties that protect you against a wide variety of harmful, disease-causing microbes and organisms.
Garlic, known botanically as Allium sativum, is a species of the onion family called. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, and chive.
Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with an amazing list of healing properties: it destroys bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. The allicin in raw garlic has been shown to kill 23 types of bacteria, including salmonella and staphylococcus. Garlic also destroys viral infections such as chicken pox, measles, mumps, scarlet fever and others.
Garlic has been a popular remedy for the common cold, sore throats and coughs. It can rightfully be called one of nature’s wonders. It can inhibit and kill bacteria, fungi, parasites, lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood sugar.
The most potent form of garlic is fresh, raw. Much of garlic’s medicinal value is related to its odor. When the compound allinin is converted to allicin (when bulb is crushed), garlic gives off hydrogren sulfide, its gassy smell. This is why odorless supplements are not as effective, since the release of hydrogen sulfide is not present.
Here are a few of the many health benefits of garlic:
• balances blood sugar
• prevents the oxidation of cholesterol
• prevents the growth and spread of bacteria
• lowers blood cholesterol levels
• assists in fat metabolism
• reduces high blood pressure
• useful in treating digestive conditions
• exhibits powerful anti-cancer properties
• dramatically reduces yeast infections
Additionally, garlic is an excellent source of manganese, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, protein and thiamin, as well as minerals: selenium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, copper.
Garlic is very strong and eating too much of it can produce problems, for example, irritation or or even damage to digestive system. Also, some are allergic to it. It is not to be used in excess.
Alot of people ask if they will get bad breath from consuming raw garlic….
Here is how I take raw garlic: chop it up (below) place spoonful on back of my tongue, swallow and chase it down w/ swig of lemon water. I don’t chew the garlic, so there is no “bad breath” so to speak.
This is one herb to incorporate as part of a healthy lifestyle – not as an alternative to it. xo
My Favorite 10-Min Southwestern Vegetable Soup. Anyone who has seen a Vita-Mix live demo knows that the Tortilla Soup recipe (on p. 64 of book) is the one that really sells most on the machine. Inspired by that delicious soup recipe, here is my take for a quick, health-in-a-glass, delicious soup, that I sometimes even have for breakfast. xo
Nina’s 10-Minute Southwestern Vegetable Soup
Heat 2 cups water (do not boil) on stove top. While the water is heating, get these ingredients ready and add to your vitamix or high speed blender:
1/2 cube of organic vegetable bouillon (no MSG!)
2 celery sticks
1 roma tomato
2 large cloves garlic
Slice of red onion
Cilantro, about 2-3 tbsp
Squeeze of fresh lime
2 tbsp avocado (I used the last one, so i wasn’t able to add to photo!) This makes it more creamy and adds some substance/thickness to it.
Seasoning to taste: (adjust as you like it)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp southwest spice blend (purchased this at vitamix roadshow @ Costco–if you see it–get it–its GOOD!) It’s basically, cumin, bell pepper, paprika, cilantro, onion, garlic)
Blend to your desired consistency…you will need to adjust seasoning and remember, you can make it as chunky or as thin as you like!
Other add-in options: red bell pepper, black beans, corn (non-GMO), cucumber, squash, handful of spinach etc. You can also add in some tortilla chips at the end if you want a little “crunch” to your soup!
Remembrance. I woke up on that gorgeous Tuesday morning delighted with what a perfect fall day it seemed to be in NYC. Crisp, with the bluest skies I will never forget. It was an election day, mayoral primary in NYC. I went straight to work that morning, at 45th and Lexington in midtown. I met my friend Mary for breakfast in our firm cafeteria at 845am and we commented on what a beautiful day it was going to be.
Life was changed irrevocably in the space of about two hours. About 9:15am I went up to my desk on the 19th floor to many emails: “are you ok?” – “call me – is everything ok”? Not having a clue what anyone was talking about….one of our associates came over and told me a plane had run into the WTC and they were thinking it was accident.
The phone calls were pouring in, the internet went out and the gravity of what had happened became instantly apparent. How can something so extreme happen so quickly and irreversibly? We sat in a conference room in front of TV in shock and disbelief. NYC was shut down. Some left to walk home via the Brooklyn Bridge and others were starting to walk to Westchester. I left work that day seeing the smoke rising from downtown manhattan, an image forever ingrained in my mind. The silence in the weeks to come was palpable. You could literally hear a pin drop on a subway or bus. It’s the only time I have known NYers to have no words.
I have the most wonderful memories of those buildings. They were my landmark, guide and protector when I was downtown. Since downtown is “off the grid” so to speak, I could always get my bearings straight emerging from the subway by my relation to the towers’ location. Before I lived in NY, my parents would take us to the Observation deck our annual NYC visits.
Also, the August day in 1974 when Philippe Petit walked on a wire between the two towers for 45 minutes…making 8 crossings between the two towers, a 1/4 of mile above the sidewalks of Manhattan. This is beautifully documented in the brilliant 2008 Documentary: Man on Wire. Check it out on Netflix.
New York City is part of everyone’s imaginative life: through movies, books, web, visits. Whether you grew up in Beijing, Barcelona or Birmingham, everyone has as New York in their head, even if they have never been there; which is why the destruction of these buildings had such an impact and was all the harder to bear.
It struck a knife in the heart of every New Yorker, knowing that we would never be able to look at our city again in the same way.
But, ultimately its the law of nature that normalcy returns. There is a fundamental kind of New York-ness that cannot be destroyed by such a cataclysmic event as this. Our day to day business came back. What city life is like, and what we all treasure about our beloved NYC was not destroyed on 9/11/01. I ♥ NY.