Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden

People come down to Miami to enjoy a sunny weather and a beautiful beach. But if you can’t imagine what else to do here, I highly recommend visiting Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden. It is about 1 hour drive from South Beach toward Fort Lauderdale.

I went there couple of days ago and I was so amazed! It is beautifully arranged landscape filled with lots of different gardens. Each one of those gardens has it own theme but all of them has a significant touch of a Japanese culture. Take a look at the pictures I took from there:

Me and my sister giving food to turtles

"rock garden" :

structure made of rocks:

bonsai tree:

me,  eating fake soba, made of used elastics (now thats recycled or what?!!)) at the Japanese museum that located on the territory:

PS. ofcours i didn't swallow it, otherwise i wouldn't be writing this post

This is japanese farmer who, after his death, donated his land to Florida State. The land eventually became what it is today:

LOVE, VAL

visit  www.morikami.org for more info


Sea Salt

Sea Salt

Sea SaltToday, everyone is well informed about danger of excessive amount of Table Salt in your diet: high blood pressure, dehydration, table salt lacks of minerals that body needs etc.

Salt is essential to human and animal life. Salt is a dietary mineral, composted mainly of sodium chloride. It regulates fluid balance and is absolutely essential for movement, nerve impulse, digestion and healing of wounds.

It is important to choose the best and healthiest salt. Stay way from regular Table Salt. Instead, look for a healthier alternatives. Like Himalayan Pink Salt or

Celtic Sea Salt

(comes in grey color, because it is natural unprocessed salt).

Also, quick healthy recipe tip: add sea salt to your meal after you are done cooking, so all minerals and vitamin s doesn’t get destroyed while cooking.


Healthy Foods

Valentina Talks Healthy Foods

Healthy FoodsI'll share with you some tips and tricks how to choose right food that will leave you satisfied, without bloating or putting on extra pounds. Just a few ideas that you can do at home or when you have time to eat out in the restaurants with your friends.

My tips:

  • Start your day with big glass of warm water with fresh squeeze lemon juice.
  • Always have green salad before your main course.  Ok, honestly, who wants salad after a bowl of pasta?!
  • Have fruits for breakfast and try to snack on fruits until the lunchtime.
  • Drink your water!  The moment you think you are hungry, drink a glass of water and then ask your self, "Am I still hungry?"  It happens to me all the time when my body is just asking for water.
  • Replace cow milk with almond milk.  I make my own almond milk at home, and I add it to my raw granola for tasty breakfast, I add almond milk to my smoothies and many other recipes.  It is delicious vegan alternative to animal or other milks.
  • Replace white sugar, brown sugar, all kind artificial sweeteners with stevia, Agave, yakon syrup or coconut palm sugar!
  • Snack on RAW nuts and seeds: when you snack on roasted nuts (or baked or in any other way cooked) they can cause acne.  Nuts are very dense and highly fatty food. When you eat them in raw state, those fats are extremely healthy for us, but once nuts been heated above 105F they become rancid - not a beauty food you want to put in your body!
  • Choose sweet yam potatoes over regular white potatoes.
  • Choose vegetables and fruits that are still attached to there roots and vines, because they have more nutrients: for example tomatoes on the vines, fresh herbs in pots, carrots and beetroots with their tops attached etc..
  • Eat whole foods rather than pre packed, pre cut, preserved, pre made... Avoid frozen ready-to-eat microwave dinners, avoid those canned corn, beans, tuna..  Buy whole watermelon and cut it fresh at home rather then get it already cut in pieces (and think of the waste you create when you get your sliced fruits in plastic wraps).
  • Always have a (protein) bar with you in case of emergency. Idea is to choose the right one; I like Vega Whole Food Raw Energy Bar.

I wish you a happy meal!

Love, Val


Coconut water, Capoeira and Juice - Greeeeeeeen Coco

Last night I met my friend at the job, and we both decided to go to capoeira class, because it's been too long since we saw each other plus we both needed a good work out!

After an hour of an intense class, I was craving for coconut water. It is one of the best post-work out drinks because it supercharges your metabolism and promotes weight loss.

Also:

  • Contains more Potassium then bananas and other sport drinks
  • Contains perfect amount of sodium. Enough to replenish electrolytes.
  • Contains high level of Calcium, Chloride and Magnesium
  • It re-hydrants better then water
  • Contains ZERO cholesterol

Unless you are in Brazil, it is kind hard to find a great tasting coconut water in the City. I have tried a few different brands, but the one that I particular like is from company “Exotic Superfoods”.

Another way I use coconut water is I mix it with a green juice. For example, this morning I made a juice from collard greens and pineapple. To make it taste good I mix it with coconut water and it was absolutely delicious!

LOVE, VAL


Immunity Booster - Juice with cucumber, oranges, celery, pepper

Made this juice the other day, and it tasted so good! I called it “immunity booster” cause this juice is full of vitamin C, which helps us to fight colds and flu. Drink this when u feel a little “off”. No medicine ever tasted as good as this recipe :)

  • *1 large cucumber
  • *3 oranges
  • *3 stalks of celery
  • *1 red bell pepper

yamm!

LOVE, VAL


The Green Smoothie

I want to share another great recipe.  It's super easy to make and very beneficial for your health; I have to tell.  The ingredients you'll need for this recipe Im sure you have in your fridge right now, but you'd never think to combine them all together.  So, let' see:

  • 1 or 2 bananas
  • 1 Gala apple
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 2 cups of fresh water

Put everything in blender and run for 30 sec, or until everything blends very well.  That's it!  The Green Smoothie is ready.

It's so yummy, you wouldn't believe it!  Don't worry about the spinach; you will not taste it at all.  All you taste are bananas and apple!  The spinach adds so many vitamins and minerals to this drink!

You can have it for breakfast or dinner or as a snack in between the meals.

If you like this recipe, later you can experiment with different greens: kale, arugula, mint, romaine, etc.  As with fruits, you can use blueberries, pears, melons, or mangos.

This smoothie contains so many nutrients your body craves that by drinking it, you will loose your cravings for unhealthy food.

Love, Val


Asian Pear Fennel Juice

My favorite kitchen equipment is, by far, my Juicer! I use it every single day, sometimes twice a day. Since I first got it couple years ago, I have been experimenting with different veggie/fruit combination. Now I much prefer veggie juices to sweet sugary juices, but they all superior to your health.

I think everyone should make his or her habit to make freshly juice every morning. You will benefit greatly from doing this!

I’m going to start sharing juice recipes that I make for myself. They are all different from what you expect, but trust me, it is so delisious!

 

Asian Pear Fennel Juice

  • ½ fennel
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1 tangerine
  • 1 Asian pear

Run thru juicer. Enjoy!

love, VAL


Juice recipe - Wild Cucumber

Hey, bloggers!  This morning I made another great juice. So I thought I share it with you.

The ingredients are:

  •  1 large cucumber
  • ½ fennel
  • 2 oranges

It tastes so refreshing! And I feel like its even more hydrating then water.

This is a great juice to drink when you feel like your skin is getting dry or when you are dehydrated after traveling on a plane.

When you juice your fruits and veggies it is important to have them all organic! If you are on tight budget, I suggest you buy half organic and half non-organic. If you are going to cook your vegetables, use non-organic. And if you are going to eat it raw or make a juice, then use your organic stuff.

LOVE, VAL


How to make a smoothie

Guidelines how to make a smoothie.

It is very easy and you will love it for everyday breakfast. Forget about eggs-bacon-toast-coffee kind of meal, which makes you feel like going back to bed right after you finish eating. Mind extra pounds on your waist. Not cute!

Have a smoothie for breakfast and you will have so much energy to enjoy your day. Sometimes I wish there are more hours in a day, cause I want to do so much and 12 hours isn't enough. But no more about me, let's get back to the smoothie.

  1. Banana. Yes, this is the base and you should always include banana in your smoothie, because bananas will make it very creamy, sweet (no additional sweeteners needed) and smoooooooth.
  2. Fruits. You can add any kind of fruit you like. Pick one: apple, mango, pear, strawberries, blueberries etc.
  3. Leafy greens. I bet you never though of putting spinach to your smoothie, but that's what will make your smoothie so healthy! It is very important to have greens in your diet, and the combination of fruits and greens is very yumm and easy to consume. You don't have to worry about eating salad (usually with salt, oil and other dressings to make it taste good) for the rest of the day.  So, pick one of the following: 2 cups of spinach or kale; 2 stalks of celery.
  4. Liquid. To blend everything very well, we need some kind of liquid. Choose one: 1 cup of pure water; coconut water;  fresh juice; 1 cup of  ice cubs.
  5. Superfoods. This is an extra twist. You don't have to add it but will be very beneficial if you do. Superfoods are good sours of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, extra fiber and extra good for you;) pick one: 1 table spoon of flax seeds or  chia seeds; goji berries;  acai; 1 table spoon of  maca.

LOVE, VAL


Hemp Oil

No, I am not trying to promote drugs! In fact, oil made with hemp seeds is the most healthy and nutritious oil you can possibly add to your diet!

Everybody knows that green salad in your diet is very important. More greens you add to your daily intake the healthier and more energetic you will feel. Chlorophyll that all greens contain in abundance alkalizes your blood which is the key to beautiful  skin, nails, hair and overall health!

Before I discovered Hemp Oil, I used to add olive oil in all my salads. I love olive oil and I still use it everyday in my recipes. But I wanted something different, something extra special to add to my meals.

I went to Whole Foods and bought bottle of Hemp Oil, out of curiosity. I've read that It's a much better alternative to Fish Oil, which is obviously not vegan and when fish oil supplements finally get to supermarket they turn rancid and will do more harm to your body then good.

Hempseed oil contains healthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids. These fatty acids considered essential because they cannot be manufactured by the body. We must receive them from special foods such as hemp oil.

I star using Hemp Oil not just as supplement (1 Tspoon a day) but also to add to my recipes. To me Hemp Oil has delicious nutty flavor. If you find taste to be too strong, mix it with olive oil half and half. Sometimes I put Hemp Oil in my smoothies and juices.

Store it in the fridge and watch out for expiration date - hemp oil is very sensitive and doesn't last long. Enjoy!

love, Val

nutiva.com


Tomato Juice Recipe

Hi!!  Im super excited to share this juice recipe! It is something very diffrent from anything you have tried before. It is a juice but taste more like a gaspacho vegetable soup. YUMM!!! Perfect for a hot Summer days or just as a snack in the afternoon.

Tomato Juice Recipe
Tomato Juice Recipe - great for Summer!

Recipe type: Juice

Ingredients
  • 3 large tomato
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small peeled cucumber (usually I do not peel my cucumbers, but for this recipe I prefer to peel it in order to keep pretty red color of the final product:)
  • ½ peeled lemon
  • 2 red or yellow bell peppers
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1 clove of garlic (this is optional, but I love garlic taste of the tomato juice aka soup)

Instructions
  1. Run thru a juicer all the ingredients. Ready!

 


How to make a juice

Since I’m very much into juicing, many people are approaching me and asking me to share my favorite juice recipes. I’m always happy to give one or two great recipes!

People usually write it down, or check my blog for a recipes. But when it comes to make the juice at home using different ingredients, people get lost and the juice doesn’t come out very appealing to the taste buds, or becomes a total disaster!

So they get discouraged and stop juicing all at once.

But, wait a minute! Before you put away your brand new juicer and forget about it for good, I want to share with you my secret: how to make a juice!

There are few rules. Follow them and you will fall in love with your juicer and your juice! Haha! Figuratively speaking (hope you didn’t brake your tongue reading this sentence!)

  1. Base of the juice. Pick one of the following fruits or veggies: large cucumber; couple of oranges; pineapple; green apples; watermelon; grapefruit. As you can see those fruits contain lots of fluid, which will give you a base or a volume to a juice.
  2. Leafy greens or Fresh Herbs. Pick one of the following: kale; spinach; cilantro; dill; mint; parsley; dandelion; celery. Those will provide you with the minerals that your body is craving for. And they will give a gorgeous green color to a juice (Just like an "Organice Your Life" green apple logo;) )
  3. Extra flavor. This is the last but very important tip! This ‘extra’ something  will give a twist to your creation. Pick one of your favorite: ginger; lemon; lime; fennel; tangerine; carrot; beetroot.

Those are the basic rules to make a great tasting and healthy juice.

Good luck!

LOVE, VAL