Thursday, July 7, 2016

Food & Drink (mostly drink) UK Adventures

A compilation of food and drink from our recent travels to the UK. We started out with a week in Scotland where we ate as much haggis as we could get our hands on.  #BTWhaggisisfantastic! Also along the same vein, cider (mostly local) where ever possible. 


This was a rather fancy meal at the hotel.  I called it haggis balls but I think the restaurant said they were truffles or Bon Bons. 

Whilst in Edinburgh we feasted on haggis, tatties & nips. Yes please! It was smashing covered in whiskey gravy!

We made our way down to Lindisfarne, Northumberland (England) for a week long archaeological dig and consumed all of the coffee (at least it did seem like a substantial amount at the time). I cannot say enough good things about Pilgrims Coffee... They roast their own beans in a yurt just outside the coffee house. Smells amazing and tastes great. Plus the owner is fairly fantastic and authored a lovely little dark poetry book. I highly recommend the book & the coffee; oh, plus they have food.  #cantgowrongwithpilgrims

Reading of the dark little poetry book, by the fire, on a cold day, whilst having lunch. #metotallygiddy

An important part of the archaeological process is the pint at the end of the day. I'm mostly certain the distance from trench to pub is considered in the planning stages. 


Lesson learned:  if you are at the pub long enough or you visit enough pubs each day, eventually you will see a monk, priest, or man of the cloth. 


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Some of My Favorite Things

The following are resources which I have found so helpful in my quest for knowledge and wellness.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do on your journey to wellness.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Warm Your Soul with Stuffed Acorn Squash and Spinach

Who doesn’t love acorn squash, particularly when it’s chock-full of tantalizing ingredients including ginger, cinnamon and yummy veggies?
This Stuffed Acorn Squash with Spinach recipe is the perfect winter meal to thaw your bones, nourish your soul and push those pesky toxins OUT of your system. It’s stuffed with the rock star ingredient, spinach, which contains loads of fiber to help you release waste filled with toxins; flavonoids, which are warriors when it comes to cancer fighting; and antioxidants including selenium, zinc, magnesium and vitamins E and C.
It also contains ginger and garlic. Ginger fights fat cells and helps you lose weight. Ginger is also fantastic for nutrient absorption, and helps your cells get the vitamins and minerals they need. Even more, the garlic in this recipe will fight the cold and flu by boosting your immunity.
Let’s also not forget about the big daddy of the recipe – the acorn squash. Acorn squash is wonderful in the winter months and like garlic, it also boosts your immune system. It’s also a great choice for healthy carbohydrates, and its vitamins and minerals will make your cells smile (figuratively, of course). Acorn squash also has loads of potassium, which gives the heart a hand so it doesn’t have to work so hard and thereby lowers blood pressure.
Ready to rock with this recipe and release toxins? Here’s how to make it.

Serves 2

1 large acorn squash
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated (OR 1 to 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt

Sautéed Spinach
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups spinach

BAKE THE SQUASH. Preheat your oven to 400°F for 10 minutes. Slice your acorn squash in half from the stem to the tip. Remove the seeds with a spoon. Add the coconut oil, ginger, cinnamon and sea salt to the flesh of the squash. Bake for 1 hour. Serve with sautéed spinach.

PREPARE SAUTEED SPINACH. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to a sauté pan. Add chopped onion and garlic. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Add washed spinach. Sauté for another 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and serve with acorn squash.

Happy Eating,

Monday, January 11, 2016

Beat Winter Body Blues with 24-Hour Veggie Soup Cleanse

We’ve all heard about juice cleanses, but not everyone has heard about another hot health trend – the soup cleanse. Soup cleanses are fantastic for long winter months when our bodies could use a warm boost of energy.

Unlike juice cleanses that contain some fruits, soup cleanses are typically lower on the glycemic scale. This soup cleanse is packed with veggies that contain fiber and nutrients to help maintain weight during pre- and post-holiday overindulgence. They’re also jam-packed with immunity-boosting antioxidants.

To complete this soup cleanse, you’ll need a high-speed blender. I also recommend purchasing glass Mason jars for storage, then making all your soups in the morning so a busy day doesn’t ruin your plans.

When shopping for ingredients, choose organic whenever possible, and be sure to stock up on lots of water and herbal tea for maximum hydration.

There are five recipes below for breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner. If breakfast, lunch and dinner fill you until the next meal, you do not have to make a morning and afternoon snack, but you can if needed. Note that the Bone Broth recipe will take 24 hours to make, so plan to make this recipe the day before your cleanse. For an evening snack, drink herbal tea.


Creamy Coconut
Serves 2

2 large avocados
1½ cups coconut water
1 lemon, juiced
¼ cup basil leaves
2 cups peas
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Blend using a high-speed blender until smooth.


Glowing Greens Soup                               
Serves 2

2 cups water or coconut water
2 small sweet potatoes, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 cup spinach
1 avocado
Pinch of turmeric
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Fresh basil (garnish)

Blend using a high-speed blender until smooth. Garnish with fresh basil.


Creamy Kale 
Serves 2

1 bunch kale
1 avocado
½ cup coconut water or coconut milk
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
5 basil leaves
1 lemon, juiced
1½ teaspoon sea salt
Hemp seeds (garnish)

Blend using a high-speed blender until smooth. Top with hemp seeds.             


Chicken Bone Broth Soup

3-5 pounds of soup bones
Water (enough to cover the bones)
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar

*Note: Ask at your local butcher shop. Soup bones are usually very cheap, if not free!

MAKE YOUR STOCK. In a stock pot, add the soup bones and enough water to cover. Add apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 24+ hours.

STORE YOUR STOCK. After about 24 hours, strain the stock into mason jars. Set them in the fridge to cool. Skim off the fat that rises to the top, and close tightly with a lid, or put in ice cube trays for quick use.

This will keep in the fridge for a few days or for four to six months in the freezer.


Spiced Butternut Squash Soup 
Serves 4

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
4 cups organic vegetable broth
1 can organic coconut milk (BPA-free can)
Pumpkin seeds (roasted or raw) (garnish)

ROAST THE VEGETABLES. Heat your oven to 350°F. Take your chopped butternut squash and carrots and massage with coconut oil, cumin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 to 25 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

ASSEMBLE THE SOUP. Add the vegetable broth and coconut milk to a large pot. Mix together thoroughly. Add the cooled, roasted vegetables to a high-speed blender in batches with just enough broth/coconut milk mixture to cover. Blend until smooth. Add it back to the soup pot and set it on medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve topped with pumpkin seeds.


Call IIN and let them know that Joannie Lumbra wants you to get her ambassador savings...

Thursday, December 10, 2015


I stumbled upon an interesting food article in the Northamptonshire Telegraph online . The article is a ‘how to’ for using left over hard sauce after the holidays and speaks of a recipe that I have never heard of called Eccles cakes.  Apparently, Eccles cakes were a decadent cake that used butter and sugar that were outlawed in the late 1600’s – early 1700’s by Oliver Cromwell who believed that the cakes were so good that they must be a sin.  Cromwell had been a soldier, politician, and devout religious figure in England, “Cromwell sought 'Godly reformation', a broad programme involving reform of the most inhumane elements of the legal, judicial and social systems and clamped down on drunkenness, immorality and other sinful activities” (Cromwell Association, 2005).  His memorial statue is in place at Parliament square, where service is held annually on September 3rd, Cromwell Day.

An aspect of culture and society, which holds a special place in my heart, is local cuisine and the stories they hold.  When traveling abroad or to regions of the US, I always try to find some local foods or brews to try (…‘if I wanted a burger, I can get one at home’ is my usual saying when on vacation).  When I came across this article in the Telegraph, it was the perfect opportunity for me to do a little research on the history of the cakes and Oliver Cromwell.  In doing so, I discovered that Cromwell was a supporter of the religious rights of Protestants in England.  My personal connection to this story is that my ancestors were Protestants that fled England in the early 1600’s in search of religious freedom.

It is my belief that in order to become a contributing and productive Global Citizen, one must not only understand differing points of view, but also the factors which were contributed; including history, religion, environment, and cuisine.  To have a better understanding of a society’s world and self-view, one needs to know what events have affected their perception.  Something as simple as having pastries and sugary treats banned is, in effect, one of the factors that led to the way holidays are celebrated with food in today’s societies.

Link to history of Eccles cakes -

Hard sauce has its origins in the 1700’s when it was used as an icing to pastries, cakes, and puddings.

Hard sauce is a sweet, rich dessert sauce made by creaming or beating butter and sugar with rum (rum butter), brandy (brandy butter), whiskey, sherry (sherry butter), vanilla, or other flavorings.  It is served cold, often with hot desserts.
It is typically served with plum pudding, bread pudding, Indian pudding, hasty pudding, and other heavy puddings as well as with fruitcakes and gingerbread.
In the U.K., it is particularly associated with the Christmas and New Year season and Christmas pudding and warm mince pies, serving as a seasonal alternative to cream, ice cream or custard. At Cambridge, it is also known as Senior Wrangler sauce.
Though it is called a sauce, it is neither a liquid nor smooth. It could be more accurately classified as a spread and has the consistency of butter. It is easy to make and keeps for months under refrigeration. It can be pressed into a decorative mold before chilling (Black, 2005).
Link to recipe for brandy butter -

  • Black, William. (2005). The Land that Thyme Forgot. Bantam
  • Cromwell Association Online. Retrieved 20 February 2013 from
  • Kimbell, Vanessa. (30 Jan. 2013). Eccles cakes.  Northamptonshire Telegraph. Retrieved from

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