Foliage and Butternut Squash

#instasoup

I never truly appreciated New England Fall until I spent my first semester of college at High Point University in North Carolina. I expected the leaves to do their gussied up business of turning all orange and rougey, but they kind of just fell off the tree in a zero climax death. Now I see why people travel up north to stop—dangerously—on the side of the road and take snap shots of our calendar worthy foliage, which is still hauntingly beautiful every single year.

I like fall for many reasons. For one I can pull out my arsenal of cowl neck scarves that sit, unloved, in the closet during the humid months. I can eat a few more sweet treats because all the layers of clothing hide my stomach which had to be at attention for days at the beach. And I can also fill said tummy with a variety of soups. I love soups because they give you artistic leeway in the kitchen, they are generally cheap and easy to make, and slurps are inevitable. Who doesn’t love slurping? So, behold the first soup of the season! It’s a homemade butternut squash recipe from the Whole Foods website.

I’ve never really been a huge squash fan or foe—I don’t really eat it much except during Thanksgiving when it takes on an applesauce form—so I was hesitant. Much to my surprise, the soup turned out superb.

It has a wholesome simplicity to it. It’s not filled with a myriad of flavors, but it isn’t bland either. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top and you have yourself a warm, soothing bowl that can be a main dish or paired with half a sandwich or even chicken. Tip: if you have the self-control to hold off, make it during the evening and don’t eat it until the following afternoon. Just like you shouldn’t immediately cut into meat that’s hot out of the oven, soup also needs time to settle, which allows the flavors to mingle.

Whole Food’s Classic Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 carrot, diced [I used 2 carrots and omitted the celery; I detest celery]
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash, fresh or frozen [I got more than 4 cups worth for $3.00]
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth [Since this soup doesn’t need lots of expensive ingredients, look for the best broth you can find!]
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Method:

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add carrot, celery and onion. Cook until vegetables have begun to soften and onion turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in butternut squash, thyme, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender [the best gadget you could possibly buy] to purée soup. Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and carefully purée in batches in a traditional blender.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Happy Trails and New Beginnings

Gal pals, dude friends, I’m sorry I haven’t been around. I have a new love and I’ve been spending all my time with it for the past few days. We spend wild nights together and sleepy eyed mornings. I sneak in quick, sexy bites between classes. I always go to bed content. My new love is food.

Alas, not a 6 foot, six-pack packing, smooth skinned man with locks that flow just so, but food doesn’t argue back with me, or steal the blanket, and we rarely have those “I swear that’s never happened before” moments. This all might seem rather silly, because I’ve always enjoyed food and cooking and sharing that enjoyment with people, but I think it has transferred finally over to love; it was a long time coming situation.

My shopping trips to City Market have been the highlight of my week. I look forward to poking around the bulk bins for spices, different gummy bears to try, and grains to consume. I give flirty eyes to this really cute black guy who works in the produce section (can I come see your band play sometime? Can we talk about afro maintenance?) I squeeze a lot of tomatoes and get super excited when I see bundles of organic bananas and pints of blueberries in the reduced produce section. I take my sweet, lush time in the wine section, selecting the perfect blend for a light-headed night. This is not to say my life has been so dull that I’ve resorted to elevating this seemingly mundane weekly task to the pinnacle of weekday fun, no. It’s just that this trip, which I no longer rush through, is what enables me to have magical mornings, evenings, and get me through the day afternoons. Hell, I even like schlepping back home the block and a half with reusable bags full of my day’s bounty- I consider it a solid workout.

Because of that, I’m “rebranding” the blog. Oh, the dreaded, throw around R-word. I haven’t yet decided if I’ll be switching platforms, or even the new name, or what style font I’ll be using, but I’m turning this blog into one full of food and sumptuous photography. It’ll still be funny and sassy, sprinkled with innuendo, and  filled with lots of food to fill your soul and stomach. You’ll be getting the same me with a new look. Keep checking in for posts, though, so when the big changeover happens you won’t feel like I broke up with you on a sticky note.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

You can have your decadence and chia seeds too!

My first foray into the world of chia seed pudding was a touch to ambitious, like attempting a swan dive when all I had done was a splash inducing cannon ball. Despite my seemingly crunchy food habits, I had not yet acclimated my taste buds to the slightly nutty essence of chia seeds, nor their inherent sliminess; the raspberry chocolate pudding was a throw away disaster. For months the package of chia seeds sat untouched, until I got the courage to try them again by adding them to green smoothies.  Soon I was finding excuses to add a pinch here and there, when last week I decided it was time to try out the pudding again. You know, get back on the horse. It needed to be the healthy, but still naughty tasting, a pudding that felt like a decadent dessert, but could also be eaten in the morning, for it’s never too early for sweets.

First I needed a good base: something thick and substantial. I set about making chia gel which consists of 1/3 a cup of chia seeds and 2 cups of water. Chia seeds like liquid. Once submerged the seeds bulk up and slowly start excreting a gel. If you are on the fly you can make chia gel in 15 minutes, but it’s best to let it sit for at least two hours. The cool thing about chia gel is that you can keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks—no rush to use it! It also starts to lose the nutty flavor (which is great for me) and starts to smell slightly sweet.

After I had my gelatinous base, I started to think of all the great things that go into a pudding. There is the richness, but also the creaminess. A duh: bananas and peanut butter. My secretly healthy, but delicious tasting pudding baby was conceived.

PB & Banana Chia Pudding (2 hearty batches)

½ cup of Chia Gel

2 Tbs of Peanut Butter

1 Sliced Banana

1 Small Capful of Vanilla Extract

A Couple Dashes of Cinnamon

Place all the ingredients into a food processor. Checking every so often on the banana slices, blend until you’ve reached a smooth consistency. Let it sit in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour to allow the flavors to incorporate and settle.

Filled with healthy fats (peanut butter), fiber and potassium (banana), and omegas (chia seeds), this treat is also the gift that keeps on giving. Much like flax seeds, chia seeds encourage (no, practically enforce) you to drink water, which in turn keeps you even more dehydrated and less bloated. I finished up the pudding before I went to work and easily drank a 32 ounce bottle of water. Honestly, how could it get any better?

Peel Away ❤ Jocellyn

Fish Tacos

As of late, I’ve been having a love affair with avocados. Curvaceous, soft, subtle—I love this green being. There is something satisfying about scoring the inside and gently manipulating the peel to easily pop out perfect dice size pieces. And taking the bumpy peel off is quite exciting as well. Whew, stop me now!

I’ve been trying to find ingenious ways to sneak this green goddess into my meals. Its soft mouth feel, fitting for a teething baby, offsets harder foods, and the cooling affect is a welcome reprieve against hot, spicy sauces; I’m kind of a baby when it comes to anything about a “medium” level.

Naturally, tacos seemed to be the way to go. Last week I made some delectable pork tacos, but this week I was craving some fish. Please, tell me what could have been a better way to merge my love of seafood and the overabundance of corn tortillas I had lurking above the microwave.

I love tacos because you can use your creativity by going after the long, laborious recipes featuring different sauces and slaws and spices. Or you can be lazy: sprinkle some taco seasoning on your meat, and while that cooks on the stove top (or in the oven, which is even less labor involved) slice up a few vegetables and warm up your tortillas. Crack open a cold drink and enjoy the texture party thumping away in your mouth.

Easy-Peasy, Lime-Squeezey Fish Tacos

Haddock

Taco Seasoning (pre-packaged for ultimate laziness)

1 Lime

1 Avocado

1 Roma Tomato

1 Can of refried beans (will only be using a small amount)

4 Tortilla (2 per meal)

 

1 Preheat oven to 325 F. While the oven heats up, put fish (haddock, tilapia, or whatever floats your net) in a tinfoil lined oven safe dish. Coat with cooking spray or olive oil. Sprinkle fish with taco seasoning and place one slice of lime over each filet. Cook for 20-25 minutes.

2 While the fish cooks, prepare your innards. In this case, slice up ½ an avocado and ½ a Roma tomato. Put Aside. Wrap up the other half of the avocado and tomato for later on. To best preserve the avocado, save the side with the pit for later use. Rub a little bit of lemon juice on the exposed flesh. This will cut down on oxidation, which is what turns the avocado that icky brown. Use within 24 hours.

 

3 Open can of refried beans and microwave according to instructions on the label.

4 Heat up skillet to a notch over medium. Melt small amount of oil or butter (regular or Earth Balance) in the bottom and place the tortilla on top. When the tortilla starts bubbling, flip over with fork. If not crispy enough, flip back over and give it a few more moments. When both sides have been warmed, place on plate. Repeat with a second tortilla.

5 Gently scoop some of the refried beans onto the tortilla and spread, with the backside of a spoon, as evenly as possible. Take care if using corn tortillas, as these are thinner than flour tortillas.

6 When the fish is done cooking, remove from oven and let cool for 3 minutes. While cooling, start to assemble the tortillas. Place all items onto one side to make folding easier. Add on your tomatoes and avocados. When fish is cool, add to the pile.

7 Gently fold the slices and insert into mouth. Chew. Swallow. Smile

Fiscal Flash: for this meal I bought ½ a pound of haddock and spread it out over 4 tacos (2 per meal.)  Haddock is a flakier fish, but I left the skin on, which kept everything together. The ½ pound of haddock only cost me $3.37. The avocado was $1 and one Roma tomorrow is probably equal to 30 cents.  I believe one lime is 40 cents as well. The tortillas I already had, along with the refried beans (a can of the Full Circle Organic line is $1.39/ can, and I only used a minuscule amount.) Rounding the total cost up to $5.07, I ended up paying $1.275 per serving. That’s taco bell prices, but the quality is obviously better.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Morning Cookin’

I’m a morning person, meaning the daylight doesn’t send me flying back under my sheets as if I were Nosferatu (except when I’m royally hung over, in which case a total eclipse would be most appreciated.) However, I like to really blend into my mornings. I hate being rushed. It’s not that I’m the high maintenance type of girl that needs hours to apply layers of makeup—mascara, maybe, and I’m out the door—or finagle her hair into a fun do—clearly, I don’t have a lot to work with—but I like to spend my mornings mentally preparing myself for the day, which means ample time for oil pulling, a shower that isn’t hurried, time to make 3 outfit changes incase I’m feeling a little chaotic, and moments to listen to a few dubstep beats that are owning my wobbly soul at the time.

An original player in the Dubstep genre 🙂

Can I have her legs, please?

 

Sometimes inspiration poor planning means I have to get extra beauty sleep in order to wake up and concoct some meal. Plus, I totally dig the morning sunlight for photos. Here is a lunch/dinner I found that will hold me over for 4 meals! It all starts with salmon. During my pesco days I adored this pink fish. I just couldn’t get enough of it. And then I was kind of over it after trying haddock that wasn’t breaded, battered, and fried into oblivion. Salmon took a back seat. I find salmon to be a finicky fish to cook, despite protests that it’s so easy to work with. Mind you it isn’t difficult, per say, but if you walk away for a hot second to long you’ll come back to a pink slab of tough-mess. Edible, but not savory. I’ve charred more than my fair share of salmon, and I admit it’s still a fish I’m working on. Questionable-ness aside, this is hands down the most delicious salmon meal I’ve ever had.  The glaze was perfect: not too sticky and not too sweet. Unlike the partners on Dancing With the Stars, the glaze and salmon meld together, taking care to work in harmony and not outshine the other one.

Fiscal Flash:  don’t be financially intimidated by this meal. I’ll be honest and say I don’t have the money to buy wild Alaskan salmon which is well managed, full of all the good stuff, and yada, yada, yada. If you are eating salmon on a regular basis then farmed might not be the way to go, but for the occasional meal a little bit of farmed salmon is not going to kill you, just like the occasional Big Mac won’t send a healthy person into cardiac arrest. It may seem tempting and easy to buy frozen filets, which I’ve done before, but don’t be afraid  to venture on over to the fish counter. Look for salmon per pound. Those perfect portion filets might seem the good way to go, but I was able to get 1.20 Lb of salmon for $7.50, whereas each 6oz salmon filet would have cost me $4; you do the math per pound and per serving.  Finally, to skin or not to skin? I’m personally a huge fan of the skin. It tastes great and is absolutely gorgeous to look at, like marbling on a perfectly aged steak (which I haven’t actually seen in real life, but it looks amazing on T.V.)  If you are frying or grilling salmon keep the skin on to make flipping it easy. If you are oven baking it you can go skinless. As with all cook, it’s really up to you, but you’ll likely only find skinless on the pre-portioned selection.

To accompany the fish I used rice noodles, which are very rapidly becoming a key player in my shopping cart. For gluten-free ladies and gents these are a god send. Even better, you don’t have to stand over a hot pot making sure they don’t stick together.  Just place them in a bowl, pour boiling water on top, and let them sit for 5-8 minutes (or whatever the package says.) Drain and give them a quick rinse with cold water. They are a little bland on their own, but great covered in whatever sauce and glaze you are making.

Okay, enough of the nitty gritty. Savor these pictures and check out the recipe.

Gorgeous!

 

Noodles soaking up the sauce. I let them rest for about 20 minutes and drained the excess.

Lunch!

What happens after “the talent” is done getting pics taken.

A mix-and-match breakfast! I used the “runt” piece as a taste tester. Boy, I was soooo amped for lunch

 

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

 

 

Chia Take Two

Several months ago I did a video about my obsession with trying new things. I enthusiastically jumped on the Chia Seed bus and got off a stop later. Ugh. The taste was so unsavory. So nutty. Which, I admit, was what the packaging said, but I didn’t expect it to be that bad. Fast forward to now, and with moving in and buying a new bed I haven’t had the money to buy an abundance of fruits and veggies for juicing, and I didn’t have any spinach to make a nutritious green smoothie—bananas, water, and raspberries seemed a little lackluster.

Hankering for something to kick start my system, (I’m still feeling like I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me since the dairy incident) I unearthed the bag of chia from the dark confines of the cupboard. “You better be worth it, Chia seeds, because this is the last banana,” I’m pretty sure I said out loud. I blended together a banana, water, handful of berries, and a tablespoon (the recommended dosage) of chia seeds. Chia seeds expand in liquid, so I let my drink settle in the refrigerator for 15 minutes while I went about making dinner.

It didn’t smell nutty, so I took a tentative sip. Deliciousness from the Aztec running gods.  Chia, I guess you weren’t so bad after all…in small tablespoon doses. What else could I do with these delicious, tiny seeds? I decided I was going to make some chia pudding—a popular way to consume chia—but my way, not using the directions that had let me astray months back. The outcome was delicious, so I bring you the recipe. As usual, I sort of throw things together depending on how much flavor I want, so besides a few measured out ingredients, feel free to guesstimate depending on your taste buds (and how much nutrition you are going for!)

Jocellyn’s Snappy Chia Pudding

(or)

(Insert your name) Snappy Chia Pudding.

Chia Seeds

Water

Vanilla extract

Raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Cocoa Powder

Cinnamon (Whenever I use cinnamon I think of that Apple Jack’s commercial with the Rastafarian cinnamon stick that skateboards and says “here I come I am cinn-a-mon”)

In a small bowl put in 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. Add in 3 tablespoons of water and swirl together. Place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. The longer you leave it the more water will be absorbed, but for this treat 15 minutes is just fine.

While this is going on grab a handful of raspberries. If you are new to chia seeds, and not sure how you’ll like the flavor, add in a few more raspberries for good measure. If they are fresh, awesome. If you be a broke person like me then microwave some frozen ones for 1 minute.  Sprinkle some cocoa powder over the raspberries. I didn’t use a measuring device for this. In fact, I couldn’t even give you a ball park estimate of how much (or little) I used. Let your at-the-moment taste buds be your guide. Set aside.

After 15 minutes, take the chia gel out of the refrigerator and add in a small amount of vanilla extract. Mine comes in a tiny jar, so I used one capful of the equally tiny top. Don’t go to crazy with this stuff.

Combine the forces into one bowl and mix together, ensuring you don’t get a huge chunk of chia. Add a little sprinkle of cinnamon and voila! You now have a seemingly indulgent, but healthy treat.

Peel Away & Enjoy ❤

Jocellyn

Poolside Yoga

I took my own advice and had a pool side rendezvous with my yoga practice this afternoon. It was nice and hot and sunny. Pictures first and then I led myself through a gentle flow. I really wanted to make a video but my camera batteries were low and my charger is packed away in some random box back in Montpelier.

 

I really like this pose, but it wasn’t always that way. Whenever I used to see people—okay, mainly girls—do this pose I would roll my eyes and go “stop with the sezzy!” You just cannot help but look like a sexy mermaid. Oh yes, notice our pug Buffy photo bombing.  This isn’t the last time you’ll see her.

 

Today was not a good day for handstanding, alas. Buffy doesn’t seem impressed

 

Oh firefly. I remember when I was first learning how to do this posture a few years ago. I wanted it so badly. Now I love settling into it during Primary Series. Someday I want to do the other variation when you drop your butt lower and bring your toes up to the sky.

Living on the edge and upside down! I want that to be the title of my book on arm balances and inversions, and I think this picture captures that idea pretty darn well. Just playing around in full wheel.

I was inspired by Noelle Beaugureau to try this out. And now to work it into a flowing sequence!

 

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

 

Ps: A funny story, because you know I love telling them. Well, my parents opened the pool a few days ago, and the bottom is still a little icky. I was helping my mom prep the brush when she said this:

“hold the head [of the brush] underwater until the bubbles stop.”

“It sounds like we are drowning someone in the backyard!”

“SHHH! You don’t want the neighbors to know were connected to the Mafia.”

“Clearly were getting the low paying jobs since we don’t have a pool boy.”

 

Gotta love family

The Meals That Got Away

Everything in the kitchen isn’t all sunshine and daisies; sometimes you create  meals that are real stinkers. And, as luck would have it, these off meals are generally the ones you’ve poured the most time and energy into. Nothing sends me into a frenzy of emotional eating  more than taking the third nope-this-isn’t-going-to-work bite of a meal that flopped. By then I’m running to fill the void in my heart (and stomach, duh) with something terrible.  Oddly enough, I got both these recipes off the same blog. Maybe it just isn’t the place for me to get some foodie advice.

Last week I was on Bex Life (I love listening to her talks!) and she had a guest blogger who was giving out a recipe for cauliflower crust pizza. My gluten free heart sang as if it was battling for the win on American Idol.  I love cauliflower and the fact that I didn’t have to utilize any of my insanely pricey gluten-free flour blend made my wallet hum a ditty as well.

Looks are deceiving! The inside was complete mush!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza (serves 3)

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano

Toppings:

  • Sauce (I used a box of crushed tomatoes)
  • Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor pulse cauliflower until it’s well processed. Scrape down the sides as needed. Lay cauliflower out on a baking sheet, pre- sprayed with non-stick spray or using a slipat. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a large bowl. Add eggs, grated cheese, flax and spices. Mix together well. Spoon “dough” onto a pizza stone, covered pizza pan* or baking sheet. Bake for 16-17 minutes. Remove from oven. Spoon sauce onto dough and season with spices. Add fresh mozzarella. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

I mean, look how awesome and clean that recipe looks. I managed to find the particular brand of tomatoes—Pomi—she mentions in her video. I even went authentic and sprung from the fresh mozzarella, like any good Italian Mamma would do. Wait, there’s more, I even bought the really shnazzy Boars Head pepperoni. Man, I had high, high hopes, but I knew something wasn’t going right when, after taking the ground up cauliflower out of the oven for the third time, it wasn’t the golden, crispy brown as seen on the video. Mind you my food processor is a fraction of the size of hers, so it took be 12 painstaking batches. I baked the pizza for 30 minutes and had to accept the crust just wasn’t going to set. I was bumming.

The next recipe I tried was a raw vegan carrot soup with a few simple ingredients: seven carrots, two cloves of garlic, one whole avocado, lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste.

You may know I’m a huge fan of making a batch of soup at the beginning of the week during the school year. Now that summer is rolling around I can start looking towards raw, cold soups, which are perfect for the temperatures we’ll (hopefully) be getting in the near future. I had tried out this recipe a few months back, prior to my juicer, and my blender couldn’t handle the pureed carrots. It sputtered, it grumbled, it said “no smooth soup for you!”  I was left with a chunky, off tasting mess. This time I was so ready, but to no avail it still tasted funny. I wanted so desperately to like it, and I’m sure it’s not a bad recipe, but my taste buds just weren’t feeling it.

Needless to say, I was at least able to salvage a few pictures from the creation.

Yup, making food you don’t end up liking sucks. You’ve wasted time, you’ve wasted money, and if you plan out your meals like I do you probably don’t have much lying around to calm those tummy grumbles. Sometimes all you can do is grab a banana, slather it in some peanut butter, and deal with your melodramatics by watching a C-rate Netflix movie while drinking a glass of nice wine that you had been saving for the ill-fated, extravagant meal….I’m not bitter or anything!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Kale Chips: Shockingly Delish

I’ve tackled spinach for my salads, but when it comes to greens I generally have to take them either juiced, smoothied, or in some other indistinguishable form. I blame my grandmother who had a penchant for cooking spinach until it was goop—bleck! Plus, buying kale in stores can be overwhelming , because it comes in a pretty big bunch. I knew I wouldn’t get through all of it juicing, so I pulled up my healthy girl skivvies and branched out.

When it comes to most foods, the darker it is the more nutritious. Kale is one of those super greens that intimidates me, but I think after nearly a year and half of eating well, I might as well start forming a friendship with it. To make kale exciting I needed to keep the cooked version out of sight and mind and be inspired by, dare I say, junk food.

I’m not lying; kale chips are a-flippin-mazing! I’d seen them before in the co-op, but had written them off as a hippy-dippy counterpart that would never live up to the full amazingness of Ruffles or Cape Cod chips, like how the Newman’s version of peanut butter cups are inferior to Reese’s.

I was feeling bored in the morning, so I said “why not?!” I followed this easy recipe and 30 minutes later I was delighted by how crunchy, salty, though still pretty healthy these little green chips were. They are also super filling in a way potato chips are not. Note: prep time is much faster than 25 minutes!

It is a bit of a mind game at the beginning. Green is not a color you’re used to seeing as a chip, so you kind of have to go “it’s just a potato chip, it’s just a potato chip.” Since I used ½ the bunch of kale, these only cost $1.50 to make and I got to choose how much salt I wanted, and I really did go on the light side!

Needless to say, they didn’t survive the afternoon between me and Chris.

Jocellyn Seal of Approval!

Even the baked variety retains a lot of the benefits (source)

Massaging the olive oil covered kale was a lot of fun!

So crunchy! They sound just like a chip

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Beat the Bloat

Today we’re going to focus on healthy drinks.

So you have coconut water, water kefir, dairy kefir, kombucha, pure acai juice, fresh pressed vegetable juice, green smoothies, etcetera, etc. I’m not going to lie, I love the occasional kombucha, and I’m having a love affair with my juicer (sorry blender), but the real “super drink” you should be swallowing is much cheaper and easier to find. Yup, it’s good old water.

Water is absolutely amazing. It detoxes the body, makes your hair, nails and skin look fabulous, and nourishes cells. I mean, there is a reason you can go without food for weeks, but you cannot go without water for more than a few days. But, allow me to get off my soap box.  I admit drinking water can take some getting used to. Compared to all the fun flavored drinks we are surrounded by, water can seem a little ho-hum. So, I’m going to give everyone—ladies and gents—a purely vanity based reason to start chugging the clear stuff, because sometimes it’s the fear of looking bad that lights said fire under one’s cheekies.

Sick and tired of feeling bloated and paunchy? Ladies, want to see a defined waist that you are proud to swivel around at the beach in your itty-bitty, insanely overpriced bikini? Drink. Your. Water!

Okay, so bloating sucks, and before I started eating healthier I feel like I was in a constant state of bloat, carrying around a food baby that never seemed to go away. True, I think some of it had to do with the inflammation from eating all that wheat my body so greatly detested, but a lot of it had to do with eating really salty foods. Your body loves to retain salt. When you eat too much salt and not enough water you throw off a crucial balance. So, if you don’t drink enough water, when you do your body is going to grab onto it and not let it go! To counter that, despite seeming counterintuitive, drink more water! You’ll start flushing out toxins and sodium (hit the road bloat!) and your body won’t be so fearful (source).

Want proof? Okay, I have no photo evidence, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it: these past three days I’ve been drinking a lot of water and have slowly noticed my waist line moving in to create a mini-hour glass shape. This is good, because I have an insane aversion to sit-ups! Isn’t it amazing how simply drinking a little more water can cause such immediate effects?! The way you treat your insides will reflect on your outside. Lemme be blunt: eat like crap and you’re going to look like crap.

A refreshing morning pick-me-up

How does one take drinking water from being a healthy chore to a delicious, healthy chore? Easy, add some flavor! And I’m not taking about Crystal Light flavoring or that Mio junk. Think citrus. Go out and buy some lemons. Make four slices and pop it into a mason jar. The one I use is 24 ounces, so adjust accordingly. Add some filtered water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. By then you’ll have some lightly infused water that tastes great. Sip mindfully throughout the day. (I also know people who use limes or cucumbers, so try out different things!)

Check out this link for the amazing benefits of lemon water; I was truly shocked!

Things to watch out for:

Lemon water is acidic and can soften the enamel on your teeth. If this is something you think you’ll be doing on a regular basis, plunk down $2 on 100 straws and save your pearly whites. Also, don’t brush your teeth immediately afterward, because your teeth haven’t harden again. I think the benefits of drinking water this way far outweigh the cons, so just take the cheap, preventative measures.

It can be really tempting to jump on the food-rage bandwagon, and a lot of the drinks mentioned above do have great benefits. But sometimes we need to look for simplicity as we strive towards a healthier lifestyle!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn