Off to the Races Again (Tropical Smoothie Recipe)

running fuel

Last weekend I ran my first road race in about 3 and a half years. Not only was this my first race in quite some time, but it was also the first race I’ve competed in since moving here to the Great White North. During my previous life as a desk jockey in sunny Sacramento, I spent a lot of my free time training and racing. But with the wacky schedule we’ve been living since the day we arrived here, I had quickly given up any hope of being able to wake up early enough to make an 8am race start, let alone find enough time to properly train for an event. It actually took a morning spent watching Chris compete as a last-minute member of a triathlon relay team to realize that, while I certainly won’t be able to compete the way I used to, I can certainly squeeze in an event or two during the racing season. Not being one to waste any time, I signed myself up for a 14K the morning after Chris’s race. Six weeks later I crossed the finish line faster than expected and with a huge smile on my face. It feels so good to be back! (more…)

Here Comes the Sun (Ginger Sunshine Tonic Recipe)

sunshine tonic

A few weeks ago, along with the rest of the northern hemisphere apparently, I set out on my annual spring cleanse. This year, more than ever before, it was so very needed. Our winter, like many of yours I’m sure, was cold, harsh and seemingly unending. Spring has been a terrible tease for the entire month it’s been around, giving us a few days of warmth and sunshine followed by a week or more of wind, freezing rain, and occasionally snow. And just to add insult to injury, I managed to catch the nasty late-winter virus that had been going around, the effects of which hung around for several weeks. All of this had left me feeling stagnant and drained, in body, mind, and spirit, and in desperate need of a system-wide reboot. As challenging as a week of restricted eating can be, I came away from the experience as I usual do: feeling lighter, energized, and with some fresh insights into my eating habits.

As you might expect, a week of eating not-a-whole-lot doesn’t usually leave me with much in the way of inspiring meals to write about. But all is not lost, as I do have a lovely, warming tisane to share with you today that I found to be just the thing to get me through the first few foggy-headed, stomach-growling days of my cleanse. This is a tonic that I often turn to when I’m feeling under the weather, but I find it’s also a beverage that is just perfect for the transitional time between the cold, harsh winds of winter and the balmy, sunshiny days of summer. It will help to stoke those digestive fires that may be smoldering a little low after a few months of heavy winter foods. And even better is that it’s one of those magical drinks that seems to cure whatever ails you whether it be stomach upset, headache, congestion, or fatigue. I’m a big proponent of food as medicine for countless reasons, and with “medicine” as tasty as this I think it’s easy to see why. If you need further convincing, check out the many benefits of the four simple ingredients I used here: (more…)

Have a Drink on Me (Candied Kumquat Old-Fashioned Recipe)

candied kumquat old-fashioned

In my last post I was so excited about the spring-like weather that I promised I wouldn’t be posting any more winter meals this season. Well, as it turns out, the joke is on me because it’s snowing here once again. I’m sticking to my promise, however, so instead of yet another winter dish I’m giving you a winter cocktail! But first, a story. Let me tell you about the worst cocktail I’ve ever had: (more…)

Teenage Dream (Honeydew Melon Gin Spritzer)

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Remember back in the late 80’s/early 90’s? I know, I don’t really like to think about that time period either but bear with me. Do your memories of that era smell like cucumber melon? Well, mine do. As I recall, it was the trendy scent of the moment for much too long and in my circle of girlfriends if you didn’t positively reek of cucumber melon at all times you just weren’t cool. We’d all drag our mothers to Bath and Body Works to purchase the holy trinity of bath products – shower gel, body lotion, and body spray. Because even after washing yourself with cucumber melon body wash and moisturizing with the lotion, by third period your classmates sitting a few rows behind you probably couldn’t smell you anymore so it was imperative that we refresh with the body spray. Fortunately, I think teenage girls have stopped drenching themselves in body sprays every hour on the hour, but sadly the trend seems to have been taken up by teenage boys and twenty-something men instead, albeit with slightly more masculine scents. By high school, cucumber melon had thankfully fallen out of favor and the scent kind of repulsed me for awhile. Luckily after a dozen or so years away from a cucumber melon saturated world I have recovered and realized that the combination was popular for so long for good reason. It’s really a lovely produce marriage where each part brings out the best in the other.  The heady sweetness of the melon can be a touch overwhelming on its own, while the fresh, clean cucumber can be, to be honest, a little boring at times.  But together? A perfect pairing.  While I’m certainly not about to go out and buy myself another bottle of body spray, I do enjoy the flavor combo in a cocktail every now and again. >

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