Sunday, January 31, 2010

Janey Likey

Because life can't be all logistics all the time... some things that have tickled my fancy this weekend...
A new cookbook coming from Heidi Swanson!  I can't wait!
Sip-of-Nectar mug from Anthro.  So pretty.
Serena and Lily Marina Bedding.  So serene.
Toasted Marshmellow Milkshake.  Um, yes please.  Make mine a double.
Dr. Weil for Origins Night Health Bedtime Balm.  Not something I would normally splurge on, but my mom kicked me down some free samples (thanks, mom!) and this stuff is dreamy.  It is a yummy, rich cream made with Chamomile, Lavender and Mandarin essential oils that you rub into your neck and shoulders before bed.  It smells incredible, and really does help you relax.  And I can use the extra help chilling out at the moment.
And last but not least...
Little dude's first haircut a la moi.  He looks skeptical.  Perhaps I should keep my day job.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Yogurt Love: The Finale

Happy Friday!
I used good old to pick an Oikos winner.
Jill has some Greek deliciousness headed her way. 
Jill - please e-mail me your info at and Stonyfield will send that right out to you.
Not a winner yet?  Don't be disheartened!  I have another delish giveaway coming next week!
Lactose intolerant?  Don't worry!  It is not yogurt this time.
It's a packing, organizing, dealing, eating-random-things-so-we-don't-have-to-move-our-pantry kind of weekend at Casa SMJ.  Hope your's is cozy, warm and rejuvenating.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Love that Dirty Water

Lest you think I am the type of person who runs around claiming that life is "crazy" and "chaotic" simply because she has a lot of errands to run or a job to attend to, it is time for me to share our latest goings on with you, my dear readers.   What has life turned upside down for us at the moment?  We're moving!  Again!  In the middle of a New England winter! And that's twice before Baby J's first birthday for those keeping track at home.  But despite the short term chaos this is bringing to our lives, it is for a very happy reason: the husband has scored his dream job and we're headed home to Boston!
Boston is where we met and fell in love and where so many of our dear friends live.  Leaving Vermont after 6 years is bittersweet, but if we have to leave the Green Mountains, I can't think of too many other places I'd rather land.  We'll be an hour away from our beloved beach in Maine, much closer to our NYC peeps, and a direct flight from midwestern grandparents.  We'll be in the heart of a young, fun, multi-cultural city with amazing food, art, music, and above all, friends who we have missed so much.  And I can look forward to Baby J growing up to become like this guy:
Until we find a new place to call home, we'll be staying with my family, so you'll see a different backdrop to my photos soon and things will be in a state of upheaval for a bit.  I am sure this adventure should make for some unique and interesting stories, as well as a lot more seafood recipes!  I hope you'll come along for the ride with me... I promise laughter, tears, and tales from a new city I can't wait to share with all of you.

In the meantime, want some yogurt?
Leave a comment on yesterday's post.  Friday is Yogurt Love Day.
And thanks to all of you who have left such lovely comments already.  I love it!
I leave you with our new family theme song...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yogurt Love Part II

I love Greek yogurt.  It is rich and creamy, tasty and tangy, high in protein, probiotic-rich and basically everything you want a snack or a breakfast to be.  I've tried almost all of the Greek yogurts on the market, and my favorite by a landslide is Stonyfield Farm's Oikos.  Oikos is organic, while most of the other Greek yogurts on the market are not.  I like to make sure all of the dairy in my diet is rBGH free, and I can always count on Stonyfield products for that.  Also, many Greek yogurts have a tremendous amount of fat, and the Oikos 0% has none, but tastes every bit as rich and creamy as its whole milk counterparts.  I am addicted to the plain yogurt, and I love to swirl in honey, scoop it on top of fruit, use it anywhere I might dollop some sour cream, or plop some in a smoothie to up the protein ante.  Oikos also makes flavored varieties; the blueberry is delish and the honey adds just the right amount of sweetness, but my allegiance will always be to the plain.  Sprinkle on some granola, and it is just perfection.
To continue spreading the yogurt love,
Stonyfield has a fun Oikos package to offer one lucky SMJ reader!

This package includes an Oikos tote bag, 4 free 5.3 oz coupons and 1 free 16 oz coupon.  That's a whole lotta the yogurt love.  To enter, just leave a comment below.  I'll pick a winner on Friday!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tuscan Ribollita

After our week of raw food, I was craving a Sunday Soup that was delicious and satisfying, but still light and healthy.  I wanted something with plenty of veggies, but a good hit of protein as well.  Italian peasant food to the rescue once again!  Tuscan Ribollita is stick-to-your-ribs soup, but this vegetarian version leaves you satisfied, not stuffed.  This recipe came together quickly and really hit the spot... a keeper for sure.  We served this to friends on Sunday evening and it got high marks all around; even from the boys as football food.  And in the midst of the frozen monsoon of east coast weather that hit us today, the leftovers were a perfectly comforting lunch.

Tuscan Ribollita

4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with a knife
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 15-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
3 15-oz cans white beans (cannellini or great northern), drained and rinsed
4 cups veggie broth
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed from stems and chopped
1/2 lb. baby spinach
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Salt and Pepper

Parmesan Cheese
1) In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive olive oil and add the onions, garlic and carrots.  Saute for 5 minutes.
2) Add the tomatoes and their juices, the beans, the broth and rosemary. Stir well.  Cover the pot, lower the heat, and allow the soup to simmer for about an hour until the beans and tomatoes start to break apart.
3) Stir in the spinach and breadcrumbs and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes more, until the spinach wilts.
4) Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with Parmesan as a garnish.
Stay warm and dry out there!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Feeling Groovy

Today cleanse week draws to a close, and I am feeling good.   Really good.  Christy-Turlington-doing-yoga-on-a-beach good.  This is the best I've felt since I've had Baby J, and I credit it just as much to us putting the brakes on our usual routine and taking a week to fully and consciously care for our health as I do to the cleanse.  This is not to say it was smooth sailing all the way this week.  The two headaches I had almost did me in, particularly the one I got at the office on Thursday and had to just power through.  I also had some real bouts of exhaustion, as did the husband.  And I'd be lying if I told you there wasn't a latte with my name on it waiting for me at the end of this that I may just weep with joy while I drink.  But, the benefits have far outweighed the challenges, and I'd fully recommend this experience to anyone looking to hit the reset button on their health as we start a new year (January isn't over yet, peeps!).  So, leaving the negative in the past, what were the best parts of doing this 7 day cleanse?
1. Breaking our caffeine addiction so that we can scale it back down to size.  It needed to happen.  I am not going to do anything crazy like stop drinking coffee altogether.  I just don't need a double latte to be my baseline EVERY DAY.
2.  Ditto the sugar addiction.  We had gotten in the habit of having dessert way too frequently, instead of as a special treat as it was meant to be, and both of us would always crave something sugar-y about an hour after dinner.  Last night, after our first "normal" dinner, we both noted that the craving never came.  It would be sweet (haha) if it stayed that way.
3.  The husband lost 10 lbs and went in a belt notch.  I lost 3.5 lbs, and this is as flat as my tummy has felt since my first trimester.  Because we were eating a ton all week, I don't suspect we'll gain it back as people tend to do after the Master Cleanse.  Especially since we've shrunk our stomachs, and aren't feeling the need to eat as much in general.  If we can keep riding that habit, I think we're both on the road to losing the rest of the baby weight, prontissimo. 
4.  I feel inspired to take better care of myself in general.  The juicer is dusted off and will remain so.  Dry-brushing and Amazing Grass are here to stay.  When I add running back in, I suspect I'll feel unstoppable.
5.  We've managed to slow down and ground ourselves in the midst of quite a chaotic time in our lives.  I feel more connected to myself, my husband and my son.  And that is truly empowering and priceless.

PS- If you are going to try this at home, keep in mind that you don't have to follow the cleanse schedule to the letter.  Within the confines of what you know to be healthy and cleansing (veggies, fruits, herbal teas, water), tailor the diet to fit your needs and your lifestyle.  If the saltwater flush isn't your bag, skip it.  If you need a warm dinner, steam and puree some veggies and don't worry about being raw.  Really, any effort you take to focus on your health is one that is worthwhile.  E-mail me anytime for the extra recipes and grocery list.  I totally encourage you to give cleansing a whirl!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Yogurt Love

Happy Friday!
I used the True Random Number Generator at to pick a YoBaby winner.

Meghan, you have some YoBaby love coming your way!
Please send me your info at, and we'll get the package in the mail.
Thanks everyone for playing!
Stay tuned for a grown-up yogurt giveaway next week.  Yay Stonyfield!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Peaks and Valleys

Today marked day 5 of our January cleanse, and the last day of all fruits and veggies.  Tomorrow we start easing back into normal eating, slowly adding some whole grains and protein into the mix.  This has been an incredible and worthwhile experience thus far, but I think the true payoff will come when we are basking in the afterglow.  While actually living through this week, we've had our highs and lows.

1. Feeling incredibly light, serene and calm.  Could be the lack of caffeine, could be the lack of time spent digesting things.  For whatever reason, eating this way has caused me to feel kind of ashram-y and high in the most lovely way (for the most part).
2. Salad with Carrot and Ginger Dressing.  So delicious, so healthy, so easy to make.  I will be serving this at many a dinner party to come.  Make it tonight.  Thank me later.
3. Sharing this experience with the Cleanse Posse: the husband, Kelly, Haley, and her husband Erik.  Should you embark upon one of these, I highly reccommend recruiting as small group to join you; the humor and community is priceless.  Husbands are also great for quotable (but not blog-friendly) quotes when faced with 5 days of raw food.
4. That said, the husband's devotion and good humor throughout this has been spectacular.  He says this is as rested and well as he has been in a long time, which makes me so happy.  Also, this seems to have finally killed the cold/flu thing that has been hanging on and re-emerging with him on and off since October.  No cold = no snoring!  No snoring = blissful sleep for all.  Deep sleep = happy family!  Hooray!
5. Miso Soup with Watercress.  Again: delicious, healthy, easy!  I have no idea why, after years of joyfully sucking down miso at the sushi bar, it has never occured to me to make it at home.  A little diced tofu would make this even better.  This is fabulous comfort food.
6.  Slowing down.  Not being in a totally ramped up caffeinated state in the morning has caused me to slow down and enjoy life a bit more.  In particular, after lifting the baby out of his crib, I am just taking a moment to stand there and hold him.  Sounds silly, but normally when we are all trying to get out to work, it is a rapid-fire routine of changing and feeding that happens right as he gets out of bed.  Standing there in the dark for a few minutes, smelling his little head, hugging him, is something I will hold close to my heart forever, and I am making time for it from now on, period.  Today he kind of exhaled and leaned into me, as if he sensed the slow-down too.  Good stuff.

1. Romaine, Celery, Cucumber, Spinach and Parsley juice.  Not so much.
2. Two horrific caffeine withdrawl headaches which were brutal but, I suppose, a necessary evil.  We reached an all-time caffeine-consumption high this fall with our busy schedules and Baby J's erratic sleeping.  Now that he sleeps through the night (knock wood), I think we can dial it down a bit, and this was the perfect way to hit the reset button.
3. Not having enough energy to run.  It was a balmy 40 degrees and sunny out today, and the work gals went out on their 4-miler, while I looked wistfully on, clutching my Kombucha.  I've been walking, but its not the same.  Looking forward to getting back on the road next week.
4. A cruel twist of monthly hormonal fluctuation left me majorly craving some fatty protein mid-week.  Brutal.  But I prevailed!  So there, estrogen.
5. Raw Carrot Ginger Soup.  Not a bad idea, in theory, and not such a bad recipe, I just wasn't feeling it.  There are only so many raw shallots a gal wants to eat in one week.

The good has far outweighed the bad, and I think 5 days is a perfect amount of time for the more hardcore portion of this cleanse to last.  I'm very much looking forward to some grainy goodness tomorrow. 
I'll report back from The Afterglow!

PS - Want to score some delish YoBaby for your favorite little one?
Leave a comment on yesterday's post!  I'm picking a winner tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Yo Baby!

I interrupt my raw food detox coverage today to bring you an awesome giveaway from none other than Stonyfield Farm, one of our favorite companies ever.  Stonyfield makes a wide variety of fantastic organic dairy products and has an amazing, green corporate mission that we love to support.  I've always been a fan of their yogurts, so their YoBaby line was a natural pick for me when it came time to introduce yogurt to Baby J.  The YoBaby original line was an instant hit.  If you didn't get the spoon to his mouth fast enough, the baby would bark at you to move it along; he loves his yogurt.  I always felt the need to pair the yogurt with something to round out the meal or snack, but then these lovelies came along.

YoBaby 3in1 meals are a dream.  Portable, nutritious and delicious (yes, I taste my baby's food), they offer a full ounce of both fruit and vegetable purée on the bottom and provide protein and calcium, plus other essential nutrients like zinc and vitamin A.  They come in three varieties: pear & green beans, peach & squash, and apple & sweet potato.  The wonderful people at Stonyfield sent us some samples to review and so far Baby J loves each and every one.  He continues to bang on his high chair tray if you don't deliver the next bite fast enough, and this is far and away the easiest means of getting veggies into him.  To my fellow mamas and papas, may I strongly suggest adding these to your menu rotation?  They are a definitely favorite in this house.

Here, Baby J savors a bite of YoBaby and ponders the falling snow while modeling his stunning new bib.

To spread the YoBaby greatness around, Stonyfield Farm has graciously offered to do an SMJ giveaway!  They've put together a package (pictured below) which includes a YoBaby bag, organic cotton bib, Eric Carle growth chart, YoBaby bowl/lid, and coupons for three free YoBaby Meals.  Score!  Even if you don't have a little one, this would make a fun little gift for your favorite parent-friends.

For a chance to win this lovely prize, leave a comment below!
I'll randomly pick a lucky winner on Friday afternoon.
All about spreading the love, yo!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Day 2

Not gonna lie... day 2 of the cleanse was not quite as idyllic as day 1.  Whereas yesterday was spent lying by the fire, languidly sipping our wheatgrass and enjoying an afternoon nap, today we had a lot to do and had to keep it moving pretty much from waking onward.  We woke up to a snow which meant digging out.  Then we had to drive up north for a big pediatrician appointment, run errands while we were in the Big City, and come home to face some serious chores and house projects.  In the midst of that, first I and then the husband got splitting headaches.  Like I've said before, caffeine addiction runs deep in this household, and I am surprised it took until day 2 for the head-vice to show up.  We toughed it out with lots of water, some delicious Tazo Passion tea and some humor and patience.  Tonight we enjoyed a delicious miso soup dinner which did us both right.  There have definitely been some surprising culinary high points on this cleanse, and recipes that I will make again even when not cleansing.

Organic Avenue's Young Love Salad was beautiful and satisfying.

Dr. Alejandro Junger's Cucumber Avocado Soup would be delicious in the summer with some bruschetta and a glass of white.

And this Salad with Carrot and Ginger Dressing is what we're having for lunch tomorrow (photo and recipe from GOOP).  I made the dressing ahead of time this evening so that we just have to grab-and-go for the office in the morning.  I tested it and WOW.  A.MAZING.  I will definitely be making this again and again and again.  I basically want to bathe in this dressing.  This salad would be the perfect thing to serve as an appetizer at a sushi-rolling party or with a beautiful seared piece of ahi.

Tomorrow should be interesting.  I am hoping that the headache won't return, because it was not office-friendly.  I am also not sure if I should embark on the Tuesday 4-miler with the work chicks.  I am just not sure I have enough energy to put in a full day on the job + as a mom on the cleanse and add a run in there as well.  We shall see.  In the meantime, I think I am going to go soak in a lovely Epsom salt bath and hit the sack early.  If you are cleansing along at home, I'd love to hear about your day!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Quiet Sunday

What a perfect day to kick off some purification of the body, mind and spirit.  It is unseasonably and comfortably warm outside, we got a good, long night of sleep which we capped off by snuggling with Baby J for a bit in our big, warm bed this morning, and he has gifted us with a very long and deep morning nap, which has allowed us to ease into this non-caffeinated state which is so alien to us both.  My baseline daily caffeine intake is a double latte, and the husband usually takes down 2 or 3 cups of strongly-brewed black tea before noon, so I feel like our whole household is moving through molasses this morning, in a good way.  Ever since our baby was born I have been on the move: hunting for a new home and moving, helping my sister with her wedding, returning to work and executing a major event fresh off of maternity leave, commuting long miles up and down the highway, breastfeeding and pumping at work, starting this blog, and generally keeping all the balls in the air that women do.  I am feeling that this cleanse is going to be a chance to exhale, and then to deeply inhale and keep on running!

So far we are off to a great start.  We started the day with the saltwater flush.  I'll spare you the details, but for me it was very effective.   After about an hour, we both took a shot of aloe vera juice, which we found to be surprisingly delicious.  The husband even said he would just drink it on a regular basis for no reason!  Then we made a gorgeous beet, grapefruit and lime juice with our awesome Champion Juicer...tangy, tart and tasty! 

I also dry-brushed for the first time this morning, which I found to be incredibly invigorating.   It only took about 5 minutes, and I can see myself making it a normal part of my morning routine a few days a week.  It really makes your body feel clean and refreshed, and my skin feels so soft.  I took a hot shower afterwards and felt even better. Now, the dog is a asleep by the fire, the baby is snoozing away, and I have crawled back in bed with the laptop and an Amazing Grass smoothie.  Ahhh....

So far, I feel like a million bucks.  There is truly something to be said for taking time out to just take care of yourself.  It is so rare that we allow ourselves to just stop, breathe, and be.  Rejuvenation is a beautiful thing.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Let the Games Begin

Here, a sneak peek into the kitchen of a couple about to cleanse!

Fruit baskets and bowls overflowing.

Fridge stocked with tons of veggies, Kombucha, Aloe Vera Juice and Coconut Water + one lone beer that will be gone by sundown + a bottle ('cause the babe isn't cleansing). 

Cupboards more or less bare but for Amazing Grass and Bonito Flakes (which scare me a little).
Tomorrow morning, it all begins.  Stay tuned for tales from Day 1.

Friday, January 15, 2010


My life is going in a thousand different directions at the moment, and my mental landscape looks the same.  However, the earthquake in Haiti makes everything else seems trivial.  I am sure most of you know this by now, but if you text "Haiti" (that's 42484) to 90999 on your cell phone, $10 will be donated to the Red Cross via your phone bill to help disaster relief efforts. Also find more information on the Yele Haiti site (this is Wyclef Jean's organization that does a lot of humanitarian work in Haiti). 

I'm so grateful that it is Friday and that we have a long weekend ahead of us.  We have a lot going on this weekend!  For one thing, we are kicking off our January Cleanse.  I must report that if you are planning to do it along with us, we are pushing it off one day to start on Sunday.  Life is in a bit of upheaval right now (I'll explain eventually), and we had an unforeseen curve ball thrown into our Saturday.  So, if you are playing along at home, kick up your heels one last time on Saturday night, and then dive into Sunday cleansing with us!  Come on, you know you want to.  It is not too late to e-mail me for the details (including a complete grocery list!) --

Also, this is totally random, but I loved it, so had to share it.  Yesterday, I walked into my office and saw a cup of coffee on my office-mate's desk.  Gee, I thought, what a particularly lovely to-go cup she scored.  I looked again.  Wait, that cup doesn't look like paper, but yet it does.  I inquired as to why her to-go cup looked so attractive, and found out it was not a paper cup after all, but a brilliant I Am Not a Paper Cup and Cup Cooley (I've always called them koozies, but whatev) from the MoMA store.  Fun!  As someone who rolls out of the house with a hot bevvie everyday, I am always in the market for fun carriers, and this one was awesome -- roomy, pretty, tongue-in-cheek and practical. It's the little things...

Well, my favorite readers, no matter how chaotic things get around here, sitting down to write each day calms me down and keeps me sane, so I thank you once again for reading.  To keep things interesting for you, my lovelies, I've arranged for not one, not two, but three awesome giveaways in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more fun product reviews and freebies to win! 
Wishing you a weekend of wellness, wonder, wanderings and wheatgrass...

Photo from the Green Monster Movement site, which is full of great Amazing Grass smoothie ideas!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Love this

The Sartorialist does it again.
Love the shades, love the hair, love the ring, love the shoes, love the orange.
I might have chosen a different bag, but what do I know?
Brazilian women know from style.
That is all.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Butternut Squash Risotto

Risotto is one of my all-time favorite winter dishes.  Why, you ask?  Well, let's see:
1) Risotto is insanely delicious.
2) It is easy to make, but people think it is hard to make, so you are bound to score extra points for preparing it, without actually having challenged yourself very much at all.  Brilliant.
3) Risotto has a thousand permutations, each more delicious than the last: primavera (every veggie under the sun), wild mushroom (think shitakis, chanterelles, baby bellas... whatever looks great at the market), sausage and sweet pea, or butternut squash, just to name a few inspirations.
4) It is cheap, stick-to-your-ribs, peasant food at its very best, so you get recession points too.  The recipe below costs no more than $10 in total, and could provide a lovely dinner for 8, or lots of lunches and dinners throughout the week for a busy couple.
5) Risotto is comfort food that is actually healthy.  The creaminess in risotto comes from the arborio rice; there is no need to add any cream.  A bit of olive oil to start the recipe and a sprinkle of parmesan at the finish represent all of the (healthy) fat that is called for.  Impressive, no?
6) In the winter, what could be better than standing by a warm stove, sipping a glass of wine and stirring, stirring, stirring a beautiful, bubbly pot of warm, creamy goodness?  Your face gets warm from the heat of the stove and the wine, and suddenly you feel less angry about living in a place where the high temperature of the day was 12 degrees.  TWELVE.
In short, I love risotto.  With a passion.  And because I feel I haven't been giving my vegetarians enough love, here is my favorite veggie spin on the peasant food of the gods.

Butternut Squash Risotto
Olive oil
1 butternut squash
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup of arborio rice
8 cups of veggie (or chicken) stock
Salt, pepper, paprika and Herbs de Provence
Parmesan cheese for garnish
1) Preheat the oven to 425.  Halve and de-seed the squash. Place on a baking sheet.  Rub each half with about a tablespoon of olive oil.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven until fork-tender, about an hour.  Let the squash cool, then remove the skin, and cut into cubes.
(Note: I reserved about a quarter of the squash pictured below for Baby J, who loooooves butternut squash.  Last night we gave him pasta, squash and turkey, and he picked out all the squash and only ate that. What an awesome little veggie-chowing guy!)

2)  Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in heavy skillet.  Add the onions and saute until clear.
3)  Add the rice.  You are going to be stirring constantly for awhile now, so get what you need to stand by the stove for a bit - a beverage, a snack, whatever.  Stir the rice as it heats.  The grains will eventually start to become translucent and toasty.  At this point, start gradually adding broth.
4) You ideally would want to heat the broth in a pot next to the risotto pan and add warm cupfuls at broth one at a time, stirring constantly, and adding more as the rice absorbs the liquid.  However, last night I didn't feel like having an extra pot to wash, so I just added it cold from the container and that worked just as well. Continue adding the broth until enough has absorbed that the rice is soft but still toothsome.  Doneness is really a personal preference with risotto, so taste frequently.
5) When the risotto is cooked to your desired doneness, add the squash cubes and stir to combine.  Season with salt, pepper, paprika and Herbs de Provence to taste.  Garnish with parmesan cheese.
This recipe makes about 8 servings, and reheats beautifully as leftovers!
One note about the Cleanse: I've gotten a few e-mails inquiring about the cleanse recipes today that lead me to think there is a bit of confusion about where to find details.  Most of the recipes are within two cleanses on the GOOP site: one from New York City's Organic Avenue and the other from Dr. Alejandro Junger.  Any recipes that aren't there are in a separate document that I've prepared that I am happy to share via e-mail.  Just e-mail me at!

Monday, January 11, 2010

SMJ's January Cleanse

I am so excited to share my plans for a January cleanse!  I've done a bunch of reading and research about various cleanses, detoxifying juices and raw food diets, and put together the following schedule for a five day cleanse, with an additional two days of easing back into a regular diet.  That's right: seven whole days of beautiful new year's detoxification, baby!

My sidekick Mama H, the husband and I will all embark on this cleansing adventure starting this Saturday, January 16.  Care to join us?  Most of the recipes in the schedule above can be found within two cleanses on the GOOP site: one from New York City's Organic Avenue and the other from Dr. Alejandro Junger, a detox diet specialist.  When the schedule calls for fresh juice, I've chosen a variety from a great book we have called The Top 100 Juices.  I've put together a separate document with juice and smoothie recipes and other details and tips for this cleanse.  If you are interested in learning more, e-mail me at and I will send you the information.

I must add once more that I am NOT a health practitioner of any kind, and you should consult with your doctor if you have any concerns about a detox diet due to special health needs you might have.  That said, the more the merrier!  I'll reporting back on the experience my little team has with this cleanse, and would love to hear your feedback as well.  
Fill your grocery cart with fruits and veggies this Friday and join us in kicking off a healthier 2010!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Beautiful Brunch

In our continued quest to eat down the contents of our fridge, freezer and pantry, we were challenged to be resourceful in making our brunch this weekend.  As a result, the husband came up with the most inspired and delicious recipe.  He also gets "Triple Cupboards Points" for using elements from all of our various stashes.
From the fridge:
Corn Tortillas (leftover from taco night)
Cheddar Cheese and Sour Cream (leftover from family chili dinners)
From the pantry:
Black beans
Southwestern spice mix
From the freezer:
Bacon Ends
This all came together to form:

Huevos Rancheros de Casa SMJ
1 tablesoon of olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 lb. or 4 or 5 strips of bacon, diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 tablespoons of southwestern spice mix (either mix 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1 tbsp. chile powder and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, or use a store-bought southwestern spice blend or a taco seasoning pack)
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sauce
4 eggs
4 soft corn tortillas
~1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Hot sauce, salsa and sour cream to garnish

1) Prepare the beans: heat the olive oil, and saute onion and bacon together over medium-low heat until the onions are clear. Add black beans and the spice mix, and enough water to halfway cover the beans.  Add the tomato paste, vinegar and hot sauce.  Stir well, and allow to simmer and reduce to desired consistency (we like ours kinda thick and goopy).  Adjust seasonings to taste.

2) Poach or fry the eggs.  We have an egg poacher pan with 4 cups which makes it easy to poach eggs, and that is my favorite way to have them.  However, over-easy or sunny-side-up would also work well with this recipe.
3) Warm the corn tortillas for a few minutes in a low oven or toaster oven.
4) To plate: place on tortilla on the plate, sprinkle with cheese, spread generously with beans.  Place another tortilla on top and repeat.  Top with two eggs, sprinkle with cheese and add hot sauce, salsa and sour cream to taste.  This would also be fabulous with some chopped cilantro or cubed avocado, but that was not part of Operation Clean Out the Fridge/Pantry.  Maybe next time.
This recipe serves 2.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Vintage Pearl

This snowy Friday I am veering away from all things detox and towards all things sentimental and girly.  I came accross this amazing jewlery maker, The Vintage Pearl, before the holidays, but when I found the website, their deadline for holiday orders had passed, and it seemed too sad to share it and tempt you with something you couldn't have or give this season.  Now, with Valentine's Day sparkling in the not too distant future, I thought I could go ahead and share.  I love the simple hand-crafted jewelry on this site, and the idea of creating a piece that is representative of your family.  I think any mama would be thrilled to have a something sentimental to wear close to her heart which represents her children.  I love the simple design of the piece above, and the idea of the simple hand-stamp of your baby's initial plus his or her birthstone.  The best part?  You can add a charm and a stone for each babe, and have a truly personal and eclectic keepsake that is stylish as well.  This would also make an amazing Mother's Day gift, but I just couldn't wait until May to share!  I also think that this would be a touching gift from a new papa to the mother of his child, or to a devoted grandma as well.   Brides could give bridesmaids a necklace with their own initial and a stone in her wedding color.  The ideas go on and on, and this is just one of her many lovely designs. Menfolks, take note: it is rare to find an occasion where jewelry is not the right choice for a gift!  And at $25, the necklace above is affordable, while being every bit as sentimental and special as a precious stone.  Love it.
Happy Friday, and stay tuned for more on The Cleanse!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Have you ever done a cleanse before?
I'd like to jump start my metabolism and detoxify my body as I start the new year.  To this end, one of my best mama friends and I plan to embark on a cleanse this month, and I am starting to put the pieces together to make that happen.  I know that I want nothing to do with The Master Cleanse, which I did for about nine of the prescribed ten days in 2008.  I was cold, grouchy and quasi-delirious most of the time, and that just isn't an option with the demands of my current lifestyle as a working mom.  Instead, I plan to construct a 7-10 day plan that is going to revolve around an cutting out some extraneous junk, combined with consuming awesome juices and raw foods (Yes, I get a newsletter authored by Gwyneth.  Don't judge.  And no, this will not be my only source of information in planning this portion of the cleanse.).  The cleanse will also feature plenty of Amazing Grass and hopefully some personal care elements as well (I am intrigued by dry brushing, and am always a fan of the home facial).   I plan to spend the next week or so researching various cleanses and recipes and putting a plan together. 

Clearly, I am not a health professional.  I am just someone who had a lot of champagne and cold medicine over the holidays, and who is ready to give Losing the Baby Weight a kick in the pants.  I hope to be able to create a tolerable, energizing, delicious and revitalizing plan with the advice of some health practitioner friends and some good old-fashioned research on the worldwide interwebs.
So, I ask you this, dear readers:
1) Do you have a cleanse you swear by?  If so, would you care to provide details or a link to the details in the comments section of this post?  If you're not the commenting type, you could e-mail your reccos to me at  I'd be ever so grateful.
2) Care to join us?  I plan to blog about my cleansing adventures, and would love to open up the comments section during that week as a place to share experiences and provide support.

Thank you in advance to anyone who has great recommendations to offer, and stay tuned for a detailed plan when my research is complete!  Pre-baby pants, you will soon be mine!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Healthy Randomness

A full night of sleep (more or less) and a great four-miler with the work chicks yesterday had me really feeling my new year's health kick today!  In honor of all things healthful and replenishing in the first week of 2010, I thought I'd share more delightful randomness from across the interwebs, this time with a healthy theme in mind.

For starters, 101 Cookbooks' first 2010 post features some of Heidi's favorite recipes from the past year.  Our meal plan for the next two weeks revolves around cleaning out our cupboards and freezer and won't be terribly exciting, so I will have to share other people's recipes to keep things interesting around here.  To that end, I can fully endorse Heidi's Double Broccoli Quinoa recipe.  I've made it before and it is gorgeous and tasty, and even the husband was into it.  If you haven't tried quinoa, I command you to do so this week.  It is cheap, easy to prepare, a complete protein and a nutritional powerhouse; what's not to love?

My favorite new healthy product find is Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 pitas.   Food for Life products are made with freshly sprouted, certified organically grown live grains, and I've always loved their Sesame Bread, but these pitas were new to me.  They are delicious, sturdy and each one has only 100 calories and .5 grams of (unsaturated) fat, as well as 7 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.  You really can't beat that in a carb for your meal.  I had scrambled eggs with mushrooms, spinach and tomato piled onto one of these babies for dinner last night (love to eat breakfast for din when flying solo, and the hub was at a work dinner... shocking how well merlot goes with eggs, btw) and it was simply delish.  Try 'em!
I always feel the best when I am taking care of myself inside and out, and you know I am devoted to skincare.  I love Jurlique products, but they are very pricey, so I usually don't buy them.  However, I was given their Rosewater Balancing Mist as a gift, and think it is so worth the purchase if only to procure the amazing little bottle.  I've always loved shpritzing my face with rosewater after a shower (refrigerated rosewater during the summer is absolutely the best way to start the day), and this bottle delivers a fine, delicate mist like no other.  I now refill it with the more affordable Organic Rosewater from Lunaroma, but love the Jurlique bottle for it's perfect spray.  If you want a really special treat for yourself (or want to plant the seeds with your honey for a nice Valentine's gift), this is worth the investment.

The work chicks and I intend to run throughout the winter, and they both have some great gear worth sharing.   My friend swears by these Brooks Thermal Visibility Pants she has been sporting.  They have a moisture-wicking fleece lining that keeps her toasty, even when we are running in 8 degree weather, and I love the reflective features and the handy zippered back pocket (running with ID is a MUST, people... especially in this slip-and-fall type weather).  The flared design also makes them really cute.  I do not own them (yet), but given how stoked she has been, I feel confident in endorsing these (and my buns are freezing in my Nike pants, so I freely admit that I covet them).  Getting outside in the winter is so important, and great gear makes it possible!

Finally, in the realm of spiritual health, check out this little gem from Deepak Chopra's Daily Inspiration:  

The Law of Least Effort
Nature's intelligence functions with effortless ease, with carefreeness, harmony, and love. And when we harness the forces of harmony, joy, and love, we create success and good fortune with effortless ease.   I will put the Law of Least Effort into effect by making a commitment to take the following steps:
  1. I will practice acceptance. Today I will accept people, situations, circumstances, and events as they occur. I will know that this moment is as it should be, because the whole universe is as it should be. I will not struggle against the whole universe by struggling against this moment. My acceptance is total and complete. I accept things as they are this moment, not as I wish they were.
  2. Having accepted things as they are, I will take responsibility for my situation and for all those events I see as problems. I know that taking responsibility means not blaming anyone or anything for my situation (and this includes myself.) I also know that every problem is an opportunity in disguise, and this alertness to opportunities allows me to take this moment and transform it into a greater benefit.
  3. Today my awareness will remain established in Defenselessness. I will relinquish the need to defend my point of view. I will feel no need to defend my point of view. I will feel no need to convince or persuade others to accept my point of view. I will remain open to all points of view and not be rigidly attached to any one of them.  
Love that.  So worth considering and absorbing.
What is your favorite healthy find for the new year?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sleep is for the Weak

What was that I said about an easy Monday? Just in time for our return to reality, the little guy decided he'd really love to hang out between 2:30 and 6:30am today.  Awesome.  Since my 4 shots of espresso kept me up until 11 and I had a mountain of work e-mail to plow through immediately upon rising, I am now only quasi-functional.  As such, I'll spare you any of my actual thoughts at the moment, and instead, share with you some loveliness from around the interwebs.

Lunaroma is having a storewide 20% off sale from January 5th through January 9th! When placing an order online, type "NYE10" into the notes section to receive your discount.  Now is your chance to stock up on aromatherapeutic loveliness for 2010!

Post-holiday finds me with a lovely giftcard to spend at Banana Republic, which is having a doozy of a winter sale right now... yay!  I've never actually had a grown woman's proper coat before, and I am thinking that now that I am someone's mother, I probably ought to have something other than fleece to wear over a dress or suit (right?).  I found this lovely coat on supa-sale, but let me ask you this; mama and fashionista readers out there... am I insane to consider a white coat?  While I love the idea of winter-white, life is certainly more dirty these days, and perhaps I would regret the purchase.  And I do have a black, shedding dog to consider. However, I am not going to lie, I am thinking that spit-up is white, and therefore this coat would disguise it cleverly.   Am I brilliant or clearly sleep-deprived or a little of both? 

I mentioned yesterday that I baked these amazing Barefoot Contessa Banana Crunch muffins, but I fear they were lost in the sea of other things I mentioned, and they really bear their own special second mention because, damn, they are good.  I usually scoff at recipes that make you separate wet and dry ingredients and sift things, but these were worth every bit of extra effort.  Phenomenal.

Finally, the January Anthropologie catalog arrived today.  Wow.  While most of the clothes and housewares in the spreads could not be more impractical for my life (I mean, really, who has a claw foot tub in the middle of a room with a crushed velvet curtain around it?), I loved brewing up a cup of tea (Tahitian Vanilla Hazelnut, thank you) and fantasizing about riding a cruiser bike with a basket full of daisies through an old street somewhere in Europe while wearing a strapless dress.  And heels.  And a saucy haircut.  Each photo was more lovely than the last, and the whole catalog is one beautiful Parisian daydream.  Sigh.  Those who don't sleep must dream during the day....