Brazil Nut Milk Recipe

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If you want to start a healthy diet but you don't know where to start, nut milk is a great way. You can use for your smoothie, oatmeal, coffee, tea, and off course just as it is. So lets get started!

Brazil Nut Milk
A lovely recipe for home made Nut Milk. This recipe contains Brazil Nuts, but you can also use almonds or any other nut.

Cuisine: Healthy Kitchen
Recipe type: Drinks

Prep time: 
Total time: 

  • 2 cups of Brazil Nuts
  • 2 Dates
  • 4 cups of Water
  • 1 tsp of Organic Vanilla Powder
  • 1 tsp of Cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt

Milk Base
  1. Put about two cups of Brazil Nuts into your blender.
  2. As a sweetener your can add two dates. You can also use organic honey or sugar.
  3. Add about 4 cups of water depending on the thickness you prefer.
  4. And for some extra flavor I used one teaspoon of Vanilla Powder and one teaspoon of cinnamon. Please make sure you don't use liquid vanilla that contains alcohol.
  5. To bring up the flavor just add a pinch of Salt.
  1. Use a reusable nut milk bag to strain the mixture.

Most nut milk bags are reusable, they can be used for nut milks and straining juices. A bag is much easier and faster than using a strainer. The fine mesh material minimizes sediment and allows for sprouting of even the smallest of seeds and grains.


Healthy Foods

February or September? That means Fashion Weeks are happening!

If you’ve ever been in New York City around this time – you would have noticed a lot of models in the streets running around in high heels with their portfolios in their hands. I remember first time I came to New York – which was 7 years ago. I remember how stressful it was for me: no time to rest, no time to sleep and no time to a grab fresh, nutritious meal!

I’ll share with you some tips and tricks how to choose the right foods 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.

Valentina's tips

  • Start your day with big glass of warm water with freshly squeezed 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 – 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 a tasty breakfast. I add almond milk to my smoothies and many other recipes. It is a delicious vegan alternative to animal or other milks.
  • Replace white sugar, brown sugar, and all kinds of 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 their 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 canned corn, beans, tuna.. Buy a whole watermelon and cut it freshly at home rather than buying it already cut into pieces (and think of the waste you create when you get your sliced fruits in plastic wrapping).
  • Always have a (protein) bar with you in case of emergencies. The idea is to choose the right one – I like “Vega Whole Food Raw Energy Bar”.

I wish you a happy Meal–and to models: Good Luck with new season!

Love, Val.

How to store your greens in the fridge

Quick tip how to store your greens in the fridge. I have just learned it, and I wish I knew this trick long time ago, cause I love my greens, but they go bad really fast if I don’t consume it in the first couple of days.

How to store your greens in the fridge

  • Cut your greens (it can be anything; kale, parsley, spinach, cilantro etc. Today I have my collard greens)
  • Arrange them in the storage unit.
  • Add cold water and some ICE on top.
  • Cover it with a lid


It stays fresh for up to a week! And when you are ready to use it, Greens are fresh and crisp just like the day you bought it.


I use the Vitality & Energy Mask for a radiant skin


As the days are getting colder (well, here in the Netherlands) I have to be extra careful with my skin. Not every man likes to put some effort in his "beauty" skin care for men regime (most men only wash their faces with water and that's it), but I'm a fanatic skin care user for many years now. I don't mind getting older (I'm 33 right now), but with my healthy lifestyle and the help of some natural products I can reduce the process a little bit.

As you know I don't drink any alcohol for almost a year anymore (read: Choose Your Juice), and I can see the effect on my skin! It looks healthier than ever before!

Every morning I use some natural face products for men. Here are the steps in pictures:

Step 1:

Picture 1: my morning face, Picture 2: Intensive cleaning with scrub gel
Picture 1: my morning face, Picture 2: Intensive cleaning with scrub gel

You can scrub your face a few times a week. Always apply it on a moisty face (and neck). Wash it away with lots of hot water.

Step 2:

Gentle facial cleanser by Rituals
Gentle facial cleanser by Rituals

Luxury Face Treat by Rituals


I use the Vitality & Energy Mask for a radiant skin
I use the Vitality & Energy Mask for a radiant skin


You can make funny faces while waiting (10 - 15 minutes)
You can make funny faces while waiting (10 - 15 minutes)

Wash it away with lots of hot water. You can use a mask one or two times a week.

Step 4:

FACE nr 3: Ultra moistering face lotion by Rituals
FACE nr 3: Ultra moistering face lotion by Rituals
Finishing touch! I use this ultra moisturising face lotion every day!
Finishing touch! I use this ultra moisturising face lotion every day!

After this skin care you are awake and ready to start your day!

Ready to go with my fresh and healthy skin!
Ready to go with my fresh and healthy skin!

I also protect my hands with this lovely lotion:

Hand cream by FACE STOCKHOLM
Hand cream by FACE STOCKHOLM

This rich, concentrated hand cream leaves hands delicately scented, while locking in the moisture that is vital for the maintenance of healthy, hydrated hands. And it smells sooo good!

I hope all the men are inspired to take care of their skin! And if you have other tips: SHARE!

Ps: VALENTINA also shared her beauty skin secrets (for women and men) a few months ago! You can read it HERE!

Good luck!
Good luck!


Interview with Gui Valente by Valentina Zelyaeva

I had a chance to interview a black-belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu - Gui Valente. He is well known jiu jitsu teacher in Florida. At "Valente Brothers Jiu Jitsu" he teaches  law enforcements and military among other students. I personally, never tried jiu jitsu before, but after interviewing Gui, I think I might want to take a couple of classes next time I'm in Miami :)

Who is Gui Valente?

Firstly, thank you for the invitation and for the opportunity to talk about our lifestyle. I am from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and for the past 13 years Miami Beach has been my home. I moved to South Florida as soon as I graduated from high school in Rio to attend Barry University. I chose Miami mostly because of the warm weather and the beaches. Coming from Rio, I felt that it would be a lot easier to adapt, especially because of our diet. In Miami, you can always find a great variety of fruits and vegetables all year round. Also, Rio and Miami share many other similarities; the Latin influence and the ability to practice water sports all across the city are just a few. Another reason why I chose Miami was because my older brother Pedro already lived here and had started his own Jiu-Jitsu school. Growing up, Jiu-Jitsu was always part of our lives and coming to Miami made it easier not only to train with my brother, but also to help him with the school as well.

How did you get involved into jiu-jitsu

Actually, I do not even remember the first time I trained Jiu-Jitsu. In our family lifestyle, training starts when you are still an infant. I was fortunate because my dad was already a black belt and got me started before I could walk. When I was two years old I began taking classes from Grandmaster Hélio Gracie, the founder of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (also known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) and continued to be his student until he passed away in January of 2009.

 Who is your inspirational figure

My father, Dr. Pedro Valente and my teacher, Hélio Gracie. Together, they taught me valuable lessons about the mind, the body and the spirit. Through their teachings I learned how to protect myself physically and intellectually. I learned that there is no better investment than in our own health. I learned to understand and respect the laws of nature and that everything happens for a reason. I learned we should always try to better ourselves in every thing we do and that we should always continue to learn.

What does Gui Valente eat?

My diet consists primarily of fruits and vegetables and follows three basic elements:

  • Food selection,
  • Food combining,
  • Spacing between meals.

Gui's favorite beverage

I am still not a full vegetarian, but I stopped eating red meat in 2007. Growing up, I learned that a good avocado and some Brazil nuts are much healthier sources of protein than beef.  I also learned to respect food and to only eat what is healthy. In a normal day I'll have a fruit smoothie for breakfast; a nice green salad with plenty of raw vegetables, legumes, cashews and a plate of whole grain and fish, and my carrot juice, for lunch; and for dinner, another fruit smoothie – and, if I am hungry, a couple pieces of whole wheat toast with honey or dates.

My favorote beverage is coconut water, from the actual coconut and fresh watermelon juice from my juicer.

What is “Gracie” diet?

My diet is based on what is known today as the “Gracie Diet”. Growing up we called it "O Regime" (The Regimen). In simple terms, it is a method of eating based on naturalist and hygienist philosophies and developed during 65 years of research and first-hand use by Grand Master Carlos Gracie, my teacher's older brother. It is based on selecting natural foods that do not poison the body and combining them in ways that allow for an efficient digestion.

Tell us a little bit about your academy.

Even though my brothers and I were brought up in the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu tradition we never expected to have a Jiu-Jitsu school. We all graduated from American universities and the plan was to pursue our own careers as businessmen. However, as I learned, everything happens for a reason; and the school that my older brother started, just to have a place to train as he completed his studies, has in fact become our lives’ focus.

Today, I work with my two brothers, Pedro and Joaquim, doing what we love, Jiu-Jitsu.

Our system has three main objectives:

  1. First, the system teaches the most powerful self defense method in the world, as proven in the original Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC),
  2. Second, our system constitutes one of the most complete forms of exercise in existence,
  3. And third, it represents an incalculable moral and educational value.

Our headquarters is located in North Miami Beach. The school is just a few miles from the beach and right across a beautiful park, which makes us feel very much in contact with nature.

Valente Brothers Jiu Jitsu Academy in Florida

Who are your students? Do you have women- students?

The motto of our school is “Jiu-Jitsu for all”. Men and women, girls and boys, regardless of age, may safely experience the benefits of learning Jiu-Jitsu.  The techniques we teach at our schools are based on natural movements that can easily be performed by anyone. Currently, our eldest student is 74 years old and our youngest is 23 months old.

Interestingly, women usually learn better and faster than men.  This is because they are less inclined to rely on muscular power and tend to adapt to the efficient techniques of Jiu-Jitsu very quickly.

 What’s the best to eat before and after workout session?

One of the main objectives of our diet is to provide our bodies with a constant and balanced energy level throughout the day. As Carlos Gracie often said, we teach and train almost the whole day and we cannot afford to feel weak or too full. Following any workouts we always try to drink coconut water, as it provides a natural way to replace the electrolytes lost in sweat.

Are you involved in any charity organization?

We really enjoy working with children. Recently, we designed a program to offer Jiu-JItsu in public schools in Miami. Also, in partnership with one of our students, we created a scholarship program called “Jiu-Jitsu For All”.  This program provides the opportunity for a number of underprivileged kids to enroll in any of our schools.

 What is your motto?

The famous latin saying, Mens sana in corpore sana (A healthy mind in a healthy body).

Gui Valente

Links to Gui Valente:

Visit our website at
Like us on
Follow us on
Youtube Channel
Like us on

Interview published on by Valentina Zelyeava on September 26th 2012

Japanese Skin Care Products

Hello! I know its been a while since I've uploaded a post. Hope you all are doing great and enjoying this gorgeous summer weather.

Today I want to share with you some of my new beauty products that I've brought with me from my resent trip to Japan.

As you might know , I LOVE beauty products and I LOVE to discover something new. When I'm traveling, I always visit a local pharmacies and department stores, just to wonder around the aisles and to see what kind beauty products locals like to use.

While shopping for a beauty products in Tokyo, I've discoverd that Face and Body soaps are HUGE in Japan! I mean, some departments stores has the whole aisle dedicated just to face soaps!

"Japan Organic" Aloe lotion, face brush to exfoliate, cotton face masks, hand creams and face soap

I was pleased to see a lot of brands using only natural ingredients such as clay and charcoal. It gently washes pores while moisturizing and pulling out toxins.

I also discovered that the main and key ingredientes in most of the Japanese skin care products are green tea and rice! I've got a couple of hand and eye creams with such ingredients.

When it comes to convenience and saving space, Japanese are the leading experts. Check out this super cool "RelaThera" face mask (see the picture below). It is no bigger then an inch, but once you moisture it with a toner, lotion or Evian water, it becomes the size to perfectly fit your face. I like to moisture it with simple Evian water, apply it on my face, lay down and relax for 15 min. It works as a moisture face pack.

Rela Thera Face mask, Face soap, face towel

Face towls are also a "must" in skin care routine of a japanese women. So, I've got one for myself made of bamboo. I use it to remove make up at the end of the day. I usually apply creamy makeup remover on my face, including eye area and lashes. Next step is to moisture face towle with warm water, then gnetly pressing toawle over your face, remove makeup and dirt.

What are your favorite beauty products and tools? Please, share with us some of the most intersting beauty products from your country.

Japanese Juice Bar in Tokyo
Japanese juice bar in Tokyo


Farmers Market in Miami, Fl

Oh, how much I love to shop at local farmers markets! I was super excited about this one, because I knew I will found lots and lots of tropical fruits. Located in Coconut Groove, Miami FL. Open Saturdays 10am-7pm "rain or shine".

Farmers Market. Miami, Fl


As you can imaging I walked out with a 3 enormous bags filled with  all-organic produce: leafy greens, herbs, coconut water, papaya, mango, watermelon, mamey (its very sweet tropical fruit, taste like carrot-pumpkin-honey. YUMM!), raw chocolate treats, bunch of herbal teas, sea salts, aloe vera leafs, cacao butter, local raw honey, aloe vera and avocado oil hair conditioner (they sell natural skin care as well!), brazil nut butter...

I wanted to buy the whole market, but it wouldn't fit into my car ! LOL

shopping for leafy greens


It was such a great experience! Cant wait to come back


Ginger Tea

All right, I am probably obsessed with tea! I just love to have my warming cup of tea every day. At home I have huge collection of herbal, green and white teas.

I recently bought super cute reusable tea container (made with glass, not plastic!) to take it with me when I go to work or when I'm traveling.

Organice Your Life choice:
The Lotus Glass Tea Tumbler. Tea Infuser Bottle & Strainer for Loose Leaf, Herbal, Green Tea, Coffee or Fruit Water Infusions. 450ml/15oz Keeps Drinks Hot or Cold for 45 min. Bamboo Lid +Travel Sleeve

Tea To Go

So, what I do is: before I leave my home, I pour hot water into my tea container, add few (or alot!) pieces of fresh ginger and few leaves of jasmine tea. And it seats there, brewing for an hour or so.

When I open the lid, ginger aroma is so refreshing and warming that everyone around me wants to have a sip.

Either you are a ginger-fan or someone who looks for natural remedies to boost your immune system, you will love this recipe!

love, Val

First published by Valentina Zelyeava on on April 29th 2012, updated in 2019

Raw Food Cafe "Thrive" Miami Beach, FL

Hello everyone!  I want to share with you a raw food experience I had in Miami Beach, Florida. Friend of mine recommended to me this place, I was super excited about it because there are not many raw food places in Miami. Always nice to know organic, fresh, healthy restaurants  to stop by :)

Place calls "Thrive" . It is super cute and cosy. Located on the Alton Road and 12th street inside a Garden Center. To get to the restaurant, you pass by beautiful flower shop! Yes, I fell in love with this place right away!


Food was beyond amazing! Prepared freshly every day by two lovely women ( I took a pic of them).


Here what I had for lunch:

fresh juice (beets,carrots,ginger,lemon)

coconut thai soup with onion biscuits ( so delicious and refreshing in a hot Miami day)

taco salad (yummy! with nut pate and lots of veggies! )

If you live in Miami area, let me know what are your favorite healthy restaurants!



"THRIVE" closed down unfortunately but was located at 1239 Alton Rd. Miami Beach, FL 33139


Dr. Bronner

When you change your diet towards healthier choice, you stock up your fridge with organic, whole food products, natural and unprocessed products. But what about your bathroom?

Take a look at your shower shelves and what's behind your mirror. Let's talk about bathroom make over!

Did you know that everything you put on your skin goes into your bloodstream? Soaps, lotions, body creams, shampoo, gels - if it's not natural or organic - they are fully packed with chemicals and preservatives.

I was very happy to find out about Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap. Made with only 8 ingredients (commercial shower gels got at least 20 unreadable ingredients). Dr. Bronner's Soap is pure organic essential oils! Not only this, but also the company labeled as Fair-trade and No Animal Testing.

On the label  it says "18-in-1", which means you can find 18 other, or even more ways to use this natural soap: for every day body washing, laundry, house cleaning, for plants to keep the bugs way etc (for more info check the dr. Bronner website).

The company also makes shaving gels, baby skin care, lip balms and lotions. My personal favorite is Eucalyptus Liquid Body Soap:

And for Summer days I prefer the one with refreshing Peppermint fragrance:

love, Val

By Valentina Zelyaeva, first published in 2012.


Quinoa Pasta Recipe

Hello, dear OYL readers!

Today I want to share you with a pasta recipe. MMM! Who doesn't love pasta?! Good news is that this recipe is tasty AND healthy! No heavy cream, no butter, no frying, sauteing or grilling involved. It is so healthy, you can enjoy it every day if you want to:)

So, what makes it so healthy? It is the type of pasta that I choose for this recipe: quinoa pasta! I love "Ancient Harvest" brand. It is made with a blend of organic non-GMO corn flour and organic quinoa flour. It is gluten-free. It comes in different shapes and colors (colors are made with added dried red bell pepper and dried spinach! How cool is that?!)

AND.. What makes it extra healthy is my pesto sauce and added veggies! Take a look:

Pesto sauce:

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • 2 TS Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • sea salt + pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blend well. I like to add a touch of  cooking water saved from boiling a pasta, to make it a creamy consistency. Set aside.


  • 1 tomato
  • 1 bell pepper
  • olives
  • green onions

Chop all the vegetables. Set aside.


Cook quinoa pasta according directions. When its ready, reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water for pesto sauce (see "PESTO" above). Drain pasta and return to the pot immediately. Add Pesto and veggies into the pot. Cover with lid and shake well. Serve immediately. Enjoy!


Pre-workout protein shake

Hi!!! I used to wonder what's best to eat before a work out session, and thru many bad and good experiences I've finally found my super pre-workout drink! I have it 1 hour before heading to pilates or capoeira. It gives me strength and energy , I feel great without feeling full or hungry, just ''the right" protein shake.



  • 1 scoop "Sun Warrior" Raw Vegan Protein powder (I love Chocolate flavor!)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries or blueberries
  • 1 TS Maca (gives energy and balances out hormones!)
  • 1 ts coconut oil (gives energy)
  • 2 cups pur water


In a high speed blender, mix all the ingredients. Ready!