Good Ol’ Lemon Juice

Ever since I began making my own meals at home, I use up lemons like a mad woman. Nothing brings out  the savory flavors of a dish like quite like citrus and I could just about always go for a glass of stevia sweetened lemonade.  Last weekend I went to the Santa Monica farmers market and bought a massive five pound bag of lemons for the week.  I recently rediscovered a small citrus juicer that I had forgotten about, so I decided to put it to use.  I Juiced the entire bag, and bottled up the juice to store in the fridge for convenient usage throughout the week.  It was lovely not to have to pick out lemon seeds from sauce pans, and not to worry about paper cuts stinging while squeezing juice out of lemon halves. I’m definitely going to keep pre-juicing these suckers!

Probiotic Cinnamon Cheesecake Smoothie with Kefir

Probiotic Cinnamon Kefir Smoothie

I thought I would update you on how I am doing with my newish kefir. Although I don’t have a comparison, I feel like my kefir is really starting to work out well. It’s much tastier than when I first starting culturing it. When I go to strain it now, the fermented milk is much thicker with a jello-like solidity. Although it’s hard to measure, I believe the bacteria are getting larger as well. Now my kefir is a little thicker and resembles a drinkable yogurt.

I still don’t like it plain, it tastes a little too cheesy and savory for me to drink it,  so I add 7-10 drops of SweetLeaf liquid stevia in vanilla creme. This makes it taste like vanilla yogurt, and the stevia doesn’t feed the bad bacteria in my gut. Getting rid of the bad bacteria and replacing it with good bacteria is the main reason I drink kefir, so adding sugar even from healthy sources would be counter productive. Sometimes, I add in a some cinnamon as well, which tastes like a drinkable vanilla cinnamon cheesecake. Yummm.

Probiotic Cinnamon Cheesecake Smoothie

2 cups of kefir, preferably made from kefir grains and raw, grass-fed whole milk
7 – 10 drops of SweetLeaf liquid stevia in vanilla creme
1/4 tsp of cinnamon, saigon cinnamon is my favorite

Combine kefir, stevia, and cinnamon, then stir. I use this recipe when I am craving dessert. Reducing sugar is hard, and this recipe helps me get rid of cravings.

Healthy Outing

For a healthy outing, Shameer and I went for a walk in Santa Monica. It was a little chilly, but plenty of people were still out even with less than perfect weather. Finding a place to eat that is healthy can be a little tricky, so we headed off the main path by the beach and went to One Life Natural Food Market. I got a 32 ounce green juice for only $8.95, which I think is a really great price for all that nutrition. In my juice was lemon, parsley, spinach, and cucumber. If anyone is in the area, I highly recommend checking out this small health food store. Thanks Salma for introducing me to this place.

Favorite Kitchen Tools: Under $20

1. Microplane – I love this for grating ginger into smoothies. Ginger is an amazing anti-inflammatory superfood. 2. Nylon Mesh Strainer – I just bought this for my kefir, because the bacteria react to metal and I love it. I still use my metal one for rinsing beans. 3. Mandoline – I love this for slicing up veggies fast for a quick salad, or slicing up cucumbers with a little himalayan sea salt for a healthy snack. 4. Garlic Press – This one is by far my favorite press. 5. Lemon Squeezer – great for adding a little lemon juice in your water, in a salad dressing, or over dinner.

Vegan: Cauliflower & Yellow Lentil Dal Curry

vegan cauliflower & yellow lentil dal curry


I love curry! This is one of my favorite anti-inflammatory comfort food dishes. You can choose to eat this with rice, but I prefer it as a soup or stew. I tend not to measure things, as most of my recipes are adjustable to taste. I did however measure the spices when I mixed together my curry spice powder.  I used this recipe from Whole New Mom. This one is nice and mild, which is good for sharing your food. Not everyone likes things as spicy as me! You can also use any curry blend of your choice, or adjust her recipe to taste, or just guess and test which is what I usually do if I don’t have a blend pre-made.

Vegan: Cauliflower & Yellow Lentil Dal Curry
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • ¾ lb yellow lentil dal
  • curry powder to taste
  • ¾ of a cauliflower or just add in as much as you wish
  • himalayan sea salt to taste
  1. Soak lentils overnight with a little bit of lemon juice. This will help get rid of the phytic acid in beans, and prevent the gas.
  2. Rinse, then boil beans in pot of water for about ten minutes. When it's mush, it's ready.
  3. Add in curry powder to taste.
  4. (Optional) Bulk up dish without adding calories by adding chopped cauliflower, then continue to cook until cauliflower is at preferred level of mushiness. This is a great substitute if you prefer potatoes in your curry.
  5. Add some cayenne pepper, hot sauce, or spicy chutney to the dish to give it some heat.

Mood and Gut Bacteria

Many people are now aware of the numerous ways in which our intestinal bacterial balance affects our overall health.  Candidiasis/Gut disbiosis have been linked to a myriad of health concerns including autism, cancer, autoimmune diseases and many other serious ailments.  Even many conventional allopathic medical practitioners recommend taking a good probiotic supplement  when they prescribe antibacterial drugs to a patient. Eating habits, drug consumption, activity level, and stress all impact our inner ecology.  I find that I have a natural tendency to focus more on the importance of what I am eating rather than deeply appreciating and reminding myself of the good I do for myself when I relax, laugh, and let go of guilt for not having the “perfect” diet.  The past month or so I have been making an active effort to whole heartedly appreciate what experiences come my my way with less judgement.  While I know I still have quite a way to go, I’ve been enjoying the break from worrying if I am eating/exercising/sleeping/living adequately.  Although I can’t see all the probiotic buggies in my tummy, I definitely notice relief in my symptoms.

A Health and Wellness Blog