on detox baths.

I’m not sure this was such a good idea.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bath. In fact, I’d probably take one every night if I could; I am so cold-natured I never feel warm in the winter, and I also love relaxing. I never get tired of hunkering down in a hot lavender- or juniper-scented bath, a candle lit somewhere nearby, with a glass of girly pink wine and a magazine I don’t mind splashing water on.

A detox bath, however, is not nearly so enjoyable.

I like being warm, mind you, but I thought my insides were cooking when I detox-bathed. The ginger, and maybe even the salt, made the water feel infinitely hotter than it actually was, and it turned my skin bright pink. I sweated so much. I hate sweating; I’ve only sat in a sauna maybe three minutes of my life, and it was horrible. 

But I saw in that murky mess for a solid hour, occasionally turning the faucet back on to fill up the tub (ours is a bit leaky, but it also helped me keep the water near boiling). I’m not sure how many toxins left my body, because the bathwater was swirling with undissolved ginger, but I like to imagine it was a lot. 

If you are brave enough to try a detox bath, here is what I did:

I combined two cups of Epsom salts, one cup of baking soda, and about three tablespoons of ground ginger in steaming bathwater, as hot as I could stand it. I had fresh ginger I could have grated myself, so I might try that next time.

Happy detox-bathing on this blustery Black Friday!




on breakfast smoothies.

Ever since we decided that Timothy was probably lactose intolerant and possibly sensitive to gluten, we drastically changed our breakfast routine and we haven’t looked back.

I used to be religious about my breakfast: some kind of health cereal + strawberry yogurt + half a sliced banana, alongside a cup or two of black coffee. And Timothy was more of a fan of apple-flavored oatmeal.

Now, though, we’ve tried to go relatively Paleo in our diet, and that seems to be the easiest at breakfast time.

We eat the same smoothie (more or less) every morning. To my surprise, not only did we stay fuller longer after drinking a smoothie than we did eating grainy breakfasts, but we seemed to have more energy, too. I’m sure there are a lot of smoothie recipes that pack more of a nutrient punch than ours, but if you want to give it a shot and see what you think, we generally follow this pattern to make about three servings:

~Pour a little more than 2 cups of orange juice in your blender. I know this probably isn’t the best liquid to use, and sometimes we opt for pineapple juice instead, but more often than not its OJ from a carton (not from concentrate).

~Add a handful (1/4 cup or so) of pumpkin seeds. Apparently, Brazilians eat pumpkin seeds to ward off or destroy parasites. I’m not sure what other health benefits they have, but I like to imagine that our intestines get cleaned out a little.

~Add a handful (probably around a 1/4 cup too) of chia seeds.

~Add a spoonful of maca powder. Sometimes, we use a handful of goji berries, or golden berries, or small amount of cacao crunchies. But we’ve got a big bag of maca powder, and it is really nasty, so we’re working our way through it spoonful by spoonful.

~Add a big hunk of kale. We get the biggest bags of kale that Whole Foods sells. The leaves are already torn up for you, but they’re pretty stemmy, so you won’t want to use this kale for anything other than smoothies/juices/etc. It’s not good salad food. And since we don’t always get through the whole bag before it expires, I’ve found sticking it in the freezer works just fine. As far as the amount goes, I normally grab at least two big handfuls of kale.

~Add three ripe bananas. If you use frozen ones, as we do pretty often, you might need to add more liquid (water at this point works fine) to thin out your smoothie.

~Add a couple chopped carrots. When apples were in season, we used two apples instead of two carrots. Or you could do one apple and one chopped carrot.

~Add a handful of frozen fruit. We like pineapple and strawberries best, because it seems to cut the bitterness in the kale and that bizarre maca powder flavor. Blackberries and raspberries are good too if you don’t mind seeds in your swallows.

~Add a slice of beet. This is optional, but it will make your smoothie much prettier to look at, especially if you haven’t used any blackberries or raspberries.

Blend and serve!

We still accompany this yummy treat with a couple of cups of coffee. For a good time, we’d recommend anything Counter Culture produces. We’re also going to try adding coconut oil to our smoothies, but I won’t recommend that until I’ve tasted it. 🙂

Happy breakfast!