OMIGOD! I'm a Foodie!

I have an uncanny way of attracting Foodies as friends, most of them are chefs, or at the very least aficionados, so either way always in the kitchen or eating.  I somehow never thought of myself in the same category, more like a fortunate taster that just happened to be in their vicinity.  It only JUST occurred to me that, "OMIGOD, I'm a Foodie too!"

I know this sounds kinda far-fetched in light of my many food posts, foodporn photos on Instagram & endless check-ins on Foursquare, but it's true.  Maybe I thought I had to reach a certain caliber before being allowed to say it out loud?  Whatever the reason, I am ready to cop to it.  I mean, I AM in the kitchen every single day and I make everything from scratch.  Everything.  Just like how I was raised.  I feel like a first timer in group, "Hello, my name is Teresa and I am Foodie."

I have been in California celebrating my birthday in March.  I like to celebrate all month long with as many friends and restaurants as possible, especially those Foodies I mentioned earlier.  Yes, feasting has been what I have been doing since I wrote to you last.  I am aware that Gluttony is a Cardinal Sin.  Just so you know.  (After this, it's back on the jogging trail.  Seriously.  I mean it.)

Here is a round-up of my latest tastings in the SF Bay Area and Amsterdam.  Enjoy!

*Interested in a review?  Send me an email.

Izakaya Kou

Cooked Shrimp Sushi
This is a casual place with very nice food.  I had just come from the spa, so I did not want to eat too much, but I needed to eat right away.  After all that detoxing, I felt in need of some healthy food.  I was at Kabuki Springs on Geary and the kind staff pointed me across the street to this little corner place.

Izakaya means Japanese Bar and I always like to sit where I can observe the chefs at work, especially sushi chefs.  They are so meticulous and clean and they make the food so beautifully.  Reminds me of my trip to Japan.

The Frozen Persimmon sauce
I was with my Mom who is not big on raw food, so it was fun ordering many things that she could try that were not too outrageous.  Sushi is an acquired taste, one that has taken me the better part of 10-15 years to truly develop and I am still learning.  So, if you are unsure, just keep tasting.  There is a lot to eat that is not raw.  However, once you can, definitely indulge in fresh sushi and you will feel so good inside.  The food is low fat, high protein and rich in nutrients, beauty and flavor.  It's the kind of food that your body just says YES to . . . 

Definitely try:
Frozen Persimmon


I always order Roasted Chicken.
April Bloomfield, celebrated Chef of The Spotted Pig, The Breslin & The John Dory Oyster Bar in NYC, all of which I have been lucky enough to graze at, has now added her touch to the famous Tosca in North Beach.  I remember hanging out here when I was in art school because there were rumors that filmmakers and rockstars hung out in the back room, think Coppola & Bono.

The New Kitchen
Now, without having changed its original decor, they have thrown in a kitchen and are serving food in the dim Night Cafe-ish dining room.  No reservations possible, so you must get your name on the list Asap and order starters and elixirs at the bar.  If you like, you can just keep that seat and chomp away.  Make sure you are not in a rush, though, or you will get irritated with the wait.

It was really fun drinking cocktails, eating great food and reminiscing about ol' times.  Tosca is right across the street from the famous City Lights bookstore where I used to wile away the hours reading heady novels and dreaming about a life abroad.  Tosca, it was just like how I remembered it, but now with FOOD!  Perfect.

Definitely try:
The Roasted Chicken for two.

Blue Plate

Roasted Beet Salad
My girlfriend has her studio in the Mission and after an intoxicating afternoon watching her paint surfaces, we were starving and didn't want to drive across town to change.  So, we opted for an easy down home solution.  A visit to her friend, Sean Thomas, who is the Chef at the Blue Plate which serves comfort food with an elegant twist.

An intimate lively cafe, and of course, when you know the Chef it is always fun to get little surprises sent out to the
table.  Yes, chefs understand the meaning of tasting. 

The Crispy Egg

I really enjoyed just sitting there watching all of the people and the tables are so close you tend to accidentally eavesdrop, which in California is fodder for the casual group conversation.  (Very un-Dutch.)  It is also fun to peak over at the plates next to you to see what everyone is eating.

Definitely try:
Wagyu Beef Carpaccio w/Crispy Egg
Roasted Beet Salad

Casual atmosphere, chic food at the Blue Plate

State Bird Provisions

My Birhday Desserts
Brought to you by Chef Stuart Brioza, State Bird was the venue for my REAL birthday dinner, meaning on the actual night, I invited my two best friends, who are also chefs, the lovely Tera Ancona, Pastry Chef/Owner of Cibo in Sausalito and the multi-talented Christine Wolheim of WolheimStyle.  This is real tasting.  Seriously.  The food is carted out already prepared, dim sum style.  The waiter arrives and points to various delectable dishes, describing their ingredients and careful preparation, then all you have to do is nod your head vigorously and Voila! it's yours.

Christine, Tera & Stuart
Please be aware that this is very dangerous.  Yes, you can really overdo it if not careful.  It is difficult though, as everything looks amazing, sounds amazing and tastes amazing.  You can also order from the menu if you prefer.  I think that we mostly just tasted from the endless carts swinging by our table.  I think we even ordered stuff from carts going to other people's tables.  Greedy gluttonous Foodies that we are . . . 

By the way, it is really fun to go out with chefs because they are so totally into the food, the menu, the plates, the chef coats, etc. all you really have to do is sit back and r e l a x.  They are Excellent at ordering and tasting wine as well.  It is an honor, when they know you so well, that they order for you AND send away offensive items.  "She doesn't like it."  Yes, I love that most of all.  That is my favorite.

Caviar and Oysters from the Cart

Again, no reservations possible, so be prepared to wait if necessary.

Definitely try:
The Cart

Barrel House Tavern

Grazing is popular in California
This amazing space has been empty for several years.  Originally the very first ferry terminal in Sausalito (serving SF) before the Golden Gate Bridge was built.  It has stunning views of San Francisco and the Bay.  The food is robust with lots of seafood and served on giant ceramic plates, which are all the rage in Marin. 

There is a welcoming bar and fire pit and lots of seating, so no problem if you want to have a large party.  This is where I celebrated my birthday with family.  We enjoyed several shared starters and some great plates.  California always has top wines and the service was good, but it usually is in Marin.

I like the fact that this place is within walking distance from my house in Sausalito and I suspect just meeting for drinks is probably fun too.  I will try that the next time I am in town.  I think it is what the new owner is craving as he wants to get that party vibe back in town.  A refreshing walk along the waterfront after dinner is essential.

Definitely try:
The Seafood

The view of San Francisco at the foot of the Barrel House.

The Butcher (Secret Speakeasy)

I have been eating burgers (and Fish & Chips) at The Butcher since they opened, see I Love the Butcher!, but was always curious about the secret speakeasy that was rumoured to be located somewhere in the back.  I wasn't sure how to get in, I had heard there was a special password.   Sometimes I would be sitting there gobbling up my fries when overdressed people (for a burger joint) would sashay by and disappear.  Mr. Man and I would surreptitiously look over our burgers trying to suss it out. Where'd they go?  What's going on?  What's the password?  How do we get in?  Well, hold the presses because there is really no mystery after all.  You just simply must make a reservation and then you get all the info, including illustrious password, which changes (just so you know).  I think you can also be a club member, but no clue how that works.
How we looked before going in.

It was so exciting to arrive on the night of yet another birthday celebration, this time in combination with Mr. Man's birthday as well.   We had best friends and new friends in tow, including Chef Rikard Andersson and Nicolas Castagno, Barista Extraordinaire, both of Scandinavian Embassy.  At last, WE got to sashay through and over to the magical freezer door.  We pressed an unmarked button and gave the password.  Silence.  Then the door slid open and we were greeted by a model type hostess.  The door closed.  For an uncomfortable few minutes we were trapped in an elevator type metal cubicle with a glowing computer on a tiny stand.  (It was very James Bond.)  She took our coats and stashed them in a secret closet.  She double checked our reservation and whispered into an intercom.  The dress code was Elegant Chic.  She looked us over.  Pressed a button.  A door silently glided open.  We were inside at last!

We were led past the bar to the living room style section, including the good chair.  We enjoyed imbibing (majorly) and indulging.  They make large and delicious cocktails.  The food was not as super fantastico as I had anticipated, it is more good food that goes with drinks.  However, Rikard said he thought the food was better than he had expected, which surprised me.  There was really nothing to complain or rave about.  We had a great night and everyone else in the place seemed to be doing the same, it felt a bit gangsterish.  We had our desserts at the bar, and just in the nick of time, because the music started jumpin' and suddenly the whole place was swarming with beautiful party people.   FUN!

Everyone ordered:
The Lobster and Giant G&T's

Rikard & Nicholas


Like ribs?  I do.  Love ribs.  Didn't eat ribs for years.  Didn't know I could even get ribs in Amsterdam.  Then one night my girlfriend took me to Castell.  She was wearing a Cheshire Grin.  I had just finished auditioning for a Zumba teacher gig and was completely spent and STARVING.  She just kept grinning and ordered for me.  (You know how much I love that.)

Sit by the fire or at the bar.
Dear God, we ate and ate and ate.  I honestly don't know about anything else on the menu because ever since, I just order the same damn thing she ordered me that night.  As a matter of fact, I pull the same trick on all the people I take there, same grin, same order.  It's a winner every time.
Come to find out Castell is an institution in Amsterdam.  Why had no one ever told me about this place?  I could have been gnawing on ribs all these years!  Am so happy I know now and so, I thought you would also like to know.  Check it.  It's like a 1970's man cave. 

What I always order at Castell:
Ribs w/baked potato, served w/delectable BBQ sauce.
Salad (required for digestion)

Little Collins

I have been dying to go to Little Collins for ages.  They are famous for their brunch.  It's been new in the neighborhood for quite awhile now, but as it is on the other side of the park, I forget about it and like a zombie only go to the cafes on my street.  So, to me it's still New.  I was enjoying a bit of a must-have sunny walk through the park on Saturday and was not quite enthusiastic enough to run, so instead I abandoned ship and headed straight out of the park and directly over to Little Collins
Eggs on Sourdough.
The place was packed and you could hear the Expats babbling away in English, a good sign that it wasn't going to be the usual Dutch fare.  Yay!  They were totally packed.  The place was buzzing and all the tables in the sunshine were taken.  Hmm.  I opted for the incognito table in the back where I could observe everything.

First of all, they have a full bar and drink menu.  These people are not kidding.  I wish I would have wanted a Bloody Mary because they looked awesome.  The vibe has a masculine, but elegant flair and I just can't wait to go back for a full on brunch with friends or meet for cocktails. 

The only thing I tried (so far):
Eggs Hollandaise


I remember when you couldn't get a scrambled egg to save your life in Amsterdam, let alone an omelet.  Now new breaky places are opening left and right, literally.  Praise the Lord, is all I have to say.  I don't eat bread or cheese, so Dutch food does not appeal.  Eggs on the other hand I can eat at any time.  

After sleeping way too many hours, I awoke starving.  I decided I needed an omelet and I was hoping to get something similar to what I get in California, basically a sexy spinach, mushroom 3 egg omelet, some fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and a coffee the size of my head.

Seemed popular with young laughing couples. The menu is carved on wood, so not that easy to read, but no matter, there is a great selection and you can also construct your own omelets.  The only thing I didn't like was being told I couldn't have a booth, even though the place was not full and that my omelet arrived on a piece of bread.  Everything in Holland is served ON plain bread.  I tend to forget that.  The omelet was good, however, and I would have it again.  Overall, a friendly place with decent service, decor was iffy.

The only thing I tried:
The Popeye *Sorry no photo because I was so hungry I forgot to photograph it!  It was perfectly made, with leafy spinach and great cheese that was all melty and yummy.


Finding Yourself at ESALEN

Just back from the Esalen Institute in stunning Big Sur on the California coast where I had the pleasure of studying, working and playing with Ann Randolph and Johnsmith.  Esalen is an institution for higher consciousness and fosters "change in self and society" to make for a better YOU.

Here you will find like-minded spirits, delicious organic food, wonderful hot springs, a pool and breathtaking surroundings to help nurture your soul.  There is a little something for everyone and if the prices seem daunting, sign up for a work study program and immerse yourself in the Esalen culture.  This is what I hope to do in the future.

It is the perfect place to experience the true essence of California.

Highly recommended.

Above image: Looking south from the cafe in the morning.

Big Sur

The "backyard" of my accommodations.

With the Johnsmith Tribe jamming and singing after dinner.
The path to the Hot Springs under a canopy of stars.  Clothing optional.

WEEKEND GUIDE: More New Kids in De Pijp


I first wrote about NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK over a year ago when my whole neighborhood seemed to be getting a makeover.  It has been fantastic to see De Pijp getting cleaned up and revamped.  Seems like everyone wants to be here now with places like Bilder de Clercq and Boca's opening second shops.  I am loving the happy hip vibe and these fantastic new places.  Check it:

Above image: Luba already sporting Spring fashions.

Anna & Nina
Gerard Doustraat 94
A sweet chic shop that calls itself a "department store" bringing together creatives.  I love shopping here for gifts.  Always a pleasure to peak in and browse, even at night.  Friendly and inviting atmosphere.  Have a look.

Bakers & Roasters
Eerste Jacob van Campenstraat 54
Best breakfast place in Amsterdam and ALL DAY BRUNCH. Has that lovely warm friendly vibe that is so homey and welcoming.  The food was perfect, the service even better and the coffee AMAZING.  The whole place is lovely. Popular with the Expat crowd.   Love it.  So HAPPY.

Bar Mash
Gerard Douplein 9
From the people that brought you IjsCuypje and De Wasserette . . . now a Gin Bar in the hood.  They make the best G&T's in Amsterdam, seriously, I mean it.  Cozy atmosphere, fun crowd, stumbling distance from home.  It's perfect.

Bilder & de Clercq 
Ceintuurbaan 334
Delicious bread at Bilder de Clercq, spelt as well!
A concept supermarket that was shortlisted for last year's Dutch Design Awards and is now in De Pijp.  I wandered over on a Sunday because I didn't have any milk or bread.  I found both, as well as an unusual concept.  They provide recipes, then group the ingredients together for the recipe in individual stands.  I decided to try one and it was fun being able to select everything I needed in one go.  They also have a counter where you can order coffee and sandwiches.  A welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Sarphatipark 4 
When I first tried this place and their little bites in the Jordaan years ago, I never dreamed they would find their way to De Pijp.  I am glad they did though, as we needed a little something to perk up this side of the street.  Formerly a non-busy cafe, they opened up the window space, added cozy living room style seating and voila!  Suddenly, everyone is hanging out and spilling out into the street.  Popular with the young crowd.  Vibrant, fun and tasty small plates at reasonable prices.

The Barber's chair at Hutspot

Van Woustraat 4
A concept store that encourages and brings together young creatives and their wares in one place.  Upstairs is a cafe with lots of studio space to geek out in, as well as admire new items in the gallery.  Everything is for sale.  Downstairs, fashion, lifestyle stuff and a BARBER.  A great place to get inspired, grab a shave, have a meeting or just work.  Great HIP vibe. 
Albert Cuypstraat 2-6
Wow.  The first time I went here I was thrilled, but had theater tickets so could not linger.  The second time, however, afforded the opportunity to not only share the experience with friends, but to indulge, really indulge by allowing the Chef to send us a special tasting menu.  HEAVEN.  Inventive, delicious and beautifully presented with model type wait staff.  From the people that brought you The Butcher and MOMODear Amsterdam, you are getting to be more and more like home every day.

Pink Flamingo Pizza
Gerard Douplein 8
A happy fun pizza place hailing from Paris.  Kitschy, with unusual pizza combos with catchy names, such as the Obama (Canadian bacon w/pineapple chutney.)  Worth a try.

Scandinavian Embassy

Scandinavian Embassy
Eerste van der Helststraat 34
There is a new cafe right next door to my studio and they are serving up gourmet specialties.  They have a unique twist on coffee and other delectable delights.  Award winning.  Hipster heaven.  Straight from Sweden. 

Eerste van der Helststraat 74
A little shop right next door to Cottoncake that has handmade jewelry and fashion/lifestyle items.  I like the boutiques that are cropping up in between the cafes and restaurants.  Adds a chic atmosphere and a tempting distraction.

Ceintuurbaan 149
Everyone is running over to this place to have a salad for lunch.  At last a salad bar in Amsterdam!  Personally, I found the concept better than the actual food.  The pricing is fussy.  Popular with women and the business lunch crowd.  Beautiful website.  Pin only.

Yogurt Barn
Eerste van der Helstraat, 80
For the love of yogurt.  A yogurt bar, sort of like a salad bar, but with yogurt.  Read more here.  

Must Haves


When I had my Acupressure practice, I used to mix custom aromatherapy concoctions for my clients, as well as sell my own studio blends.  I was recently rummaging through my apothecary cabinet and I thought it might be fun to share some of the items that I think every household should have to treat common ailments.  These remedies are easy to prepare and extremely effective.

Above image: The CG Studio, 2013

TOP 3 - Home Essentials
Here are some tried and true home essentials that are easy to use and what I always keep stocked:

LAVENDER (Lavendula) Essential oil:  Lavender is good for almost anything and I keep a large bottle of it in both my medicine cabinet in the bathroom, as well as one in the apothecary cabinet in my studio.   The properties of lavender are vast, and therefore, why it is number one on my list. Lavender benefits inflammation, pain, spasms, stress, anxiety, nervousness.  It promotes peace, calmness and clarity.  Aids in sleep, rest, insomnia, palpitations, high blood pressure.  Supports and soothes the heart.  It relieves headache, migraine, irritability and constipation.  It is a an analgesic, anti-spasmodic, anti-infectious, anti-depressant, antiseptic, cephalic, cicatizant, expectorant, nervine, vulnerary.  Great for skin cell growth, boils, abscesses, fungal growth, swelling, scarring and stretchmarks.  Helps to balance, calm, relax.  Soothes the spirit, relieves anger, exhaustion, mood swings & PMS.

Lavender & Aloe Vera in the garden, right of chair.
Use 2-3 drops in the bath for relaxation.  Use 7-9 drops in a burner to create a peaceful atmosphere.  Use 10-13 drops mixed in Almond oil, or other carrier oil, for a soothing massage blend.  Use a concentrated amount of drops, 10-12, in a carrier oil for dry itchy scalp or skull cap.  Use 10-13 drops in a spray bottle and use for minor skin irritations & bites, to quickly disinfect your hands, to spray between the toes for athlete' foot, to spray on your sheets before ironing, to help style your bed head, as well as promote a healthy scalp.  Lavender plants in the garden repel insects and protect roses, sachets of lavender are great under pillows to promote sleep or scatter in the closets, drawers and bathrooms to freshen & disenfect musty smells.  You can also drink lavender tea, and if you are feeling adventurous, I recently had a lavender G & T in NYC!

ALOE VERA PLANT and/or 100% Pure Aloe Vera Gel:  I cannot live without Aloe Vera.  I always have a giant plant of it in the garden, a smaller one in the kitchen, as well as tubes of the pure gel all over the house and definitely one in my travel bag.  Nothing is better for mosquito bites, sunburns or any other surface irritations on the skin.  You may drink it to clean out your intestines (sold at health food stores).  It doesn't really have a taste.  If you use the plant, simply cut off an arm and slice the plant lengthwise to butterfly it.  The inside will be rich with gooey gel.  Apply directly to your burn or bite or scratch, e.g. from a cat.  Wrap up in plastic and leave in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.  May also be used directly on a wound if it has been disinfected (with lavender.)  The gel will protect the wound like an invisible band aid.  It never stings.  Repeat as needed.   My son says, "Your medicine never hurts Mama, not like when you go to the doctor."

Excellent digestive and relaxant.  Prepare tea from either tea bags or loose flowers, add almost boiling water or boiled water that has been cooled a minute or two, cover and let steep 4-6 minutes.  Drink after dinner to promote rest.  Great for indigestion and upset stomach.  Great for nausea, e.g. from morning sickness, stomach flu or stomach problems due to medications.  May be used for colic in tiny doses, 1/2 tsp or less and right into baby's mouth or dip the pacifier in a cup of lukewarm tea.  May be added to baby's last milk bottle (1/3 tea- 2/3 milk) to aid in sleeping through the night.  Add honey if the baby is over a year old.  You may also use it for swollen or irritated eyes, rashes, esp. baby bottom rashes.  Simply make the tea as usual and let cool.  Fill a jar with cotton pads and then cover with the tea.  Use the pads on the eyes or on the rash.  Keep in the fridge after the first day.  Lasts about 2-3 days. 

The Acupressure Massage Therapy Studio, 2005

FILM REVIEW: The Wolf of Wallstreet


I ventured out to the movies Saturday night. There was a line around the block to see The Wolf of Wallstreet.  What was all the fervor about?  I must have had my head in the sand because I had no idea there was so much interest in this film.  (How naive to think I am the only Scorsese fan in Holland.)  After much fighting, clawing and yelling (they had lost our reservation,) we were able to secure some great seats at one of my favorite Film Art Houses: The Kriterion, a student-run affair just over the Amstel River in East.

Image above: Film Still from The Wolf of Wallstreet

For the next 3 hours, I was thoroughly entertained.  The Wolf was funny, shocking, unreal, touching, morbid, engrossing, disgusting and FUN.  Leonardo's performance as Jordan Belfort was diverse, complex, and no matter how naughty he is, we love him anyway.  DeCaprio's work has been getting better and better over the years, but he has truly ascended to a whole new level.  I was sure after I saw his performance that he would win an award.  Seriously good film, if not a study in pure debauchery.  We sympathize, we analyze, we hate, we forgive.  It has a little something for everyone.  Martin Scorsese has made a triumph of a film.  He has always been a favorite director and I have seen all of his movies at least once, if not more.  (Read his open letter to his daughter about the Future of Film published just yesterday.) 

Shockingly, before The Wolf started, I saw a preview of Dallas Buyer's Club, starring a positively withered looking Matthew McConaughey.  Omigod!  He was unrecognizably skinny!  I had just seen him in Mud recently, which I thought was brilliant, and he looked normal, albeit a bit creepy.  In Dallas, he plays Ron Woodroof, an HIV positive cowboy who begins smuggling anti-viral drugs that are not approved in the USA.  He is another actor whom I admire more and more with every new movie he makes.  Not just a pretty face.  So, imagine my delight, when he walks on screen in The Wolf for a memorable cameo appearance, a bit odd looking, but delightful as DiCaprio's mentor.

Both actors won Best Actor awards last night at the Golden Globes.  DiCaprio for Best Actor in a Comedy and McConaughey for Best Actor in a Drama.  (I was also happy to see that Robin Wright won Best Actress for her excellent role in the House of Cards, a fab Netflix series (now available in Holland) starring one of my favorite actors, Kevin Spacey.)

In an age when we can download movies for free and watch everything on our mobile devices and tablets, it is still meaningful to go the movies.  It has been one of my favorite things to do since I grew up in L.A. and had to stand in line for hours just to hope to get a seat at the premieres, which were shown every Friday and Saturday night.  Whether it be a date night, a Rom-Com with your girlfriends, a Dick Flick with the guys, an afternoon with the kids or a tender feature with your mom, get out there and see a Real Movie in a Real Theater, popcorn and all, and have some Real Fun.

(mmmhmmm mmmhmmm . . . )


If you want to continue your detox, why not include a luxurious hot salty bath to the mix to help you definitively get rid of any excess toxins and poisons?  

Try this simple remedy and block off enough time to truly relax.  Maybe add a glass of wine or tea or lemony water, or my favorite, sparkling water with lots of lime?  Make sure to create the right atmosphere for yourself, candles or low lighting, music or silence, whichever will nurture you more, maybe crack the window . . . add some aromatherapy in a burner and/or in the bath to really get that spa feeling.  Make sure you have a big fluffy towel at the ready.  If you like masks, put one on while in the bath or do a salt or loofah scrub.  You want to make sure your pores are open for maximum benefit.  Finish by slathering yourself in your favorite body lotion.  Give your feet some extra attention by massaging them well before stuffing into some big warm socks.   

Now, go get naked.  Enjoy!



3 tablespoons mixed Sea Salt/Epsom Salts
1 teaspoon carrier oil, such as almond oil or whatever you have, even olive oil will do.
3-5 drops Eucalyptus essential oil

Mix essential oil into carrier oil and mix well into the salts, dissolve in hot bath.  Maybe add some Kneipp Mint Eucalyptus bubble bath or shower gel to get movie star quality bubbles.  Let them really foam up.  Once you get in, turn the hot water as high as you can stand it.  You want to SWEAT as much as possible.

7 drops Lavender Essential oil in water in your burner.
Use a long burning tea light.

 A stemless wine glass with tons of ice and a half a glass of your favorite white wine.

A large glass of water, preferably sparkling, with a half of a freshly squeezed lime.  Keep more water handy.

Refreshing iced tea made from your favorite Green Tea & Mint, add a little bit of honey or sugar when hot, then add a thick slice of lemon.  Let cool and serve with tons of ice.

Play your favorite album or playlist and sing at the top of your lungs.



Yes, it was a helluvah party season this year.  It just seemed to go on and on.  I tried to keep my head above water, but in the end I succumbed to the flu.  When you have the flu, it is your body's way of saying it needs rest and purification.  This is a great time to encourage detoxification by drinking a lot of water, juices, and teas to help eliminate the virus or toxins that are causing the problem.  Eat only plain food such as bread, rice, apples, bananas and tea.  (Called the BRAT diet and used in cancer wards.)  The current flu that is going around eliminates your appetite, so these foods are almost the only things you can eat if you have nausea.

There are different approaches to detoxification.  I normally try to detox on a daily basis by drinking just one cup of coffee in the morning (with a banana) and continuing the rest of the day with tea and water, lots of fruit, nuts and no carbs.  Salad is a great option for lunch, especially if you keep it light and skip any unnecessary meat or cheese.  In this way you can be sure to have throroughly cleansed your digestive tract before dinner.  I know it is not easy to make it through the whole work day without eating very much, but if you are not busy digesting breakfast and lunch during the day, you will stay more alert and you will not get so tired come the 3-5 hour when blood sugar tends to drop and you start to grope for bad snacks and more coffee.  Remember, coffee stays in your system for 12 hours, so if you want a restful sleep, do not drink coffee after Noon.

Be creative, try a Stir Fry.

I also work out every day before dinner, so I do not want my body stuffed with food or I will probably feel sluggish and less likely to hit it hard in the dance studio.  I prefer to detox all day, sweat and then joyfully bounce into the kitchen at 6-7 and enjoy eating a healthy, filling meal.
Avocado: healthy & filling.

Another approach might be to do a detox.  Detox is great at the end of any season.  However, this would entail a complete change in your program and whenever you do that, it is risky because you might find it too extreme.  However, if you can do it with everyone in your house it might be easier to achieve that goal, but if you are the chef and you have to cook different food than you are allowed to eat, it is basically a recipe for disaster.  Weekend detoxes are also nice and won't interfere with your work.  Do with a friend for encouragement.

EASY WINTER DETOX:  Simply have fruit and tea and juices during the day and rice and vegetables for dinner every night for 5 days.  Try to keep the butter/oil to a minimum and skip the meat.  This is a great way to spend your work week as it gives you a lot of energy and you are not starving.  I particularly recommend bananas as a way to avoid hunger and still stay on your program.  *Studies show that eating a banana a day can help prevent heart disease.  On the weekend you can introduce proteins such as chicken breast or white fish and eggs.  Big salads are also encouraged.  

Great detoxifiers: grapefruit, berries, miso, citrus, broccoli, papaya, beets.

Super hungry? Make some chicken soup and only drink the broth at lunchtime.  See RECIPE.

Good luck!