Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Favorites

Time for my March Favorites! This month, I'm inspired by all the sweet Spring colors. I'm currently loving:

1. Anthropologie Spice Jars
So much more adorable than the mix of spice jars I've collected over the years. These are so cheery and fun. Buy here.
 2. Lifefactory Glass Water Bottles
I'm obsessed with mine, and I've also stolen husband's to bring smoothies to work. I've banned plastic because of BPA and the carcinogens it releases when it heats up; and I don't love the steel taste of stainless steel bottles. So these are perfect: no chemicals, dishwasher friendly, and drop-proof. Trust me, I tend to be a bit of a clutz. Buy here.

3. Farmer's Market Baskets
As if I needed to love buying fruit from the farmer's market any more than I already do. These are also from Anthropologie, which can do no wrong in my book. If I had my way, I'd own the entire kitchen section of Anthro. Sigh. Buy here.
4. Artisan Kitchen Towels
I've been wanting new dish towels, and I love these handmade artisan ones from Branch Home. Simple, beautiful and they support families in Romania by providing jobs. Buy here.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Detox Salad

I'm so glad its Friday! I mentioned a few weeks ago that things have been crazy busy, but I'm finally starting to get back on track with making cooking, eating well, and working out a priority again. There have also been a couple conversations around the office about detoxing after this busy season, which inspired me to share this quick and easy salad. A week-long cleanse feels overwhelming right now, but a salad, I can do. If you need to detox after a long week or an indulgent weekend, try this out!

All the ingredients.

Use food processor w/ mandolin attachment to thinly slice ingredients.

Final product.

Detox Salad:
(From iGreen Nutrition)
1 apple
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 medium beet
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon wedge

Grate all the ingredients using a food processor or mandolin. 
Mix together with the lemon juice.

Health Benefits:
(Also from iGreen Nutrition)
Apple- contains malic and tartaric acids which inhibit the growth of ferments and disease-producing bacteria in the digestive tract. Contains pectin which removes cholesterol, toxic metals such as lead and mercury and residues of radiation. Cleansing for the liver and beneficial for the gallbladder.
Carrot- Improves liver functions and stimulates the elimination of wastes. It also eliminates putrefactive bacteria in the intestines that cause poor assimilation.
Celery- Calms an aggravated liver, improves digestion, purifies the blood, and clears digestive fermentation. Combining celery with lemon has been used in the past as a remedy for colds and headaches.
Beet- Purifies the blood, aids the liver, moistens the intestines, and helps stop constipation.
Lemon- Destroys putrefactive bacteria in both the intestines and mouth, encourages bile in the liver, and cleanses the blood.
Enjoy! xo.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Tips: Meal Planning

I wish I was one of those people who cooks every night, but that has never once in my life been even close to realistic. Most weeks I make a huge dish on Sunday or Monday that can last for almost the whole week  - usually some type of soup, or variation of rice and lentils, rice and beans or quinoa. All are filling without empty calories, and there's nothing better than one night of cooking equalling a couple nights of meals. If you are like me and get bored easily, you can switch up the dressings and add in different veggies for the rice/lentils/beans/quinoa so it tastes different each night.

Tonight, I'm making a huge pot of Dina's Healing Vegetable Soup. Check out the recipe here & be sure to take a look around her blog. Her recipes are delicious and healthy. Win win.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fridays are for MIHO

As if Fridays couldn't get any better already, MIHO has given me another reason to look forward to the end of the week.

MIHO gastrotruck is a farm-to-street food truck and the creators are passionate about bringing sustainable and affordable food to their community. Amen. Their menu changes each week and the food is amazing - some of the best food in San Diego. They change locations daily and Fridays that location is a couple blocks away from our office. Our entire staff is obsessed thanks to my colleague Lauranne, who introduced us to it and swears they have the best burger in San Diego. I think its a close second to Starlite's burger, but we've agreed to disagree, and so far, both #TeamMIHO and #TeamStarlite are keeping it civil.

MIHO Gastrotruck from FortyOneTwenty Inc. on Vimeo.

MIHO is generously giving us a discounted bulk lunch order today and I've never heard such an excited buzz around the whole office. I personally can't stop drooling and thinking about their lamb burger (you can see their weekly menu here).

What are your lunch time favorites? Have you discovered any food truck gems?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Dirty Dozen: When to Buy Organic

Happy Wednesday! This is one of my first photoshop masterpieces above. Impressive, right?  Okay, its not perfect but I'm still learning.

I have lots to share today about when to buy organic produce, but I'm trying to keep it concise. I talked a couple weeks ago about how variety in your produce is so important. But if you are trying to introduce more fruits and veggies, it can be expensive - especially if you want to buy them organic.

Organic is a funny term, because the term itself is new but the method is old. It's how agriculture has been done for thousands of years. But for the sake of clarity, organic means that the food is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers or growth hormones, and organic is better because our bodies aren't meant to ingest hundreds of chemicals each day.

The term gets confusing because organic farming has now become industrialized, and small farms practicing the best farming methods cannot always afford to obtain the USDA organic label. So, as a consumer, it's incredibly confusing to navigate if organic asparagus from Peru is better than non-organic asparagus from a local farm.

Personally, I try to buy local and organic whenever possible. I'll have to write a later post on why small farms are the best to support, but for now, suffice it to say that farmers markets and CSAs are my best friend (CSA stands for "community supported agriculture" - a weekly box of produce from a local farm). With a CSA or co-op, you get a lot of bang for your buck - mine is $15 a week for a TON of food. CSAs also force you to eat seasonally and introduce variety into your diet. You can find ones in your area by going to I know, I should be a CSA salesperson.

But back to the point of knowing when to buy organic. The good news is that you don't have to splurge on everything. There is a spectrum of what produce is most important to buy organic and what you can get away with buying conventional.

Let me introduce you to the dirty dozen and the clean dozen. (coined by my adorable mom)

The Dirty Dozen are the items you should ONLY buy organic, because they are the most compromised by pesticides. These are:

Apples                              Celery                             Strawberries            Spinach
Peaches                           Nectarines                        Lettuce                   Potatoes               
Sweet Bell Peppers            Grapes (Imported)            Cherries                  Grapes

For example, the wax on an apple seals in all of the pesticides, so you can't wash those off. And according to the Environmental Working Group, celery tested positive for 57 pesticides. Fifty seven.

The Clean Dozen are the LEAST important to buy organic because they are the least comprised by pesticides. These are:

Onions                              Pineapples                         Asparagus                     Cabbage
Avocados                          Mangoes                           Kiwi Fruit                        Broccoli
Sweet Corn(frozen)            Sweet Peas (frozen)            Bananas                        Eggplant

You'll notice that most of these fruits and veggies have a protective peel or outer layer that protects the produce inside. These are the items are where you can save your money and safely buy conventionally grown. (These lists are taken from the book Anti-Cancer, but you can find a slightly different, more comprehensive list at 

Lastly, I do want to make a one more case for spending a little more money on local and organic food. I believe that the types of food we eat directly impact our health, and that the investments we make in our health now can save us money in the long run. According to Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, in 1960, we spent 17.5% of our monthly budget on food and only 5.2% on healthcare. Since then the numbers have flipped, and we spend 9.9% of our monthly budget on food and 16% on healthcare. So my motto is either pay the farmer now, or the doctor later. No offense, medical community. I still love you.

So whether you want to invest a little more in your food budget or not, I hope the dirty dozen helps you shop a little smarter - to save when you can and spend more where it really counts. Just remember to avoid anything on the dirty list unless its organic. Now go enjoy those fruits and veggies, friends. xo.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Work It

There's nothing worse than being out of the exercise cycle and trying to start back up. Last week I attempted one workout, and it was literally the longest hour of my life. Never have I spent so much time cursing at the clock and praying time would move faster. So clearly, I'm in big need of some workout motivation right now. Enter Pinterest. I found these & am thinking of printing both out and putting them up in my house. I hope they inspire you to get moving this week too.

For more workout inspiration, my friend Holly posts some sweet workout mixes on her blog, San Delicious. Holly is a kick-a Bar Method instructor, so you know she knows her stuff.

Have a healthy & fit week, friends! xo.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


It's been quite the week. I work for Invisible Children and last Monday we released a video called Kony 2012. Our hope was for it to go viral, as in 500,000 views this year, but somehow it got 90+ million views in a week.

Which means my life has been nothing but living and breathing Kony 2012, consuming extraordinary amounts of caffeine, and comfort eating to the max. Its been a struggle to eat well, but this week I'm trying to make better choices and stop putting nutella and cheese on everything. Be on the lookout for a future blog post with healthy and easy snack options, learned the hard way (still debating if a nutella-covered banana will make the cut).

So friends, I'm sorry I've been absent from blogging. And while I didn't ever intend to make this blog about anything but natural living, feel free to check out what has taken over my world and (happily) thrown most of my food rules out the window:

Lastly, to my amazing friends and family who continue to offer encouragement, come in to volunteer, texted me from Whole Foods, or stopped by with veggies and hummus - thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't believe what an incredible support group I have.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday Tips: Avoid Getting Sick

It's definitely cold season, at least at my office. Since its that time of year, I thought I'd share some tips on how to boost your immune system so you can fight off that pesky cold.

To avoid getting sick, or to get better faster:

  1. Wash your hands frequently. And don't touch your face if you haven't washed your hands. 
  2. It's okay to be a bit of a germaphobe. Avoid touching surfaces that everyone is getting their germy hands on.
  3. Drink lots of fluids. As in: water and tea. Not as in: coffee, soda, juices or alcohol. Coffee suppresses your immune system and the rest are filled with sugar or break down into sugar.
  4. Get lots of rest. Sleep does wonders for your immune system.
  5. Take probiotics and vitamins. (especially vitamin C for your immune system, and a B-complex for energy) Be careful about the brand that you use, as there are lots of cheap versions that are poorly made. I personally only buy Shaklee.
  6. Avoid sugar. A UCLA study proved that just 1 tsp of refined sugar lowers your immune system for 4-6 hours. Eliminate sugar from your diet and you will be more resistant to picking up everything that’s going around.
  7. Get in 20 - 30 minutes of sun a day. Sunlight provides essential vitamin D.

Here's to hoping that everyone has a healthy & happy week! xo.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sweet Potato Curry Quinoa

Image Source

Happy Monday! I wanted to start this week out with a new recipe. Over the weekend, I made this curried sweet potato quinoa for the first time. My husband was a bit apprehensive since I never cook with curry, but this dish has been on my to-make list because I love sweet potatoes and quinoa. I've already written about my love for quinoa, and I eat sweet potatoes like candy. So I figured that when you put them together, it could be magic.

It was. Maybe magic is a strong word, but it was delicious, filling and packed with nutrients. Quinoa is a complete protein and the sweet potatoes provide complex carbs and fiber, as well as beta carotene, vitamin C & vitamin B6.  Plus, onions and garlic are superfoods, ginger is great for digestion, and - according to wikipedia - curry releases endorphins. So you are getting a ton of amazing health benefits from this dish.

I got the recipe from one of my favorite recipe blogs, Happyolks, and modified it a bit based on what I had available. I left out the currants to avoid added sugar, but you can use those, dried cranberries or golden raisins if you want a hint of sweetness. Here's my version, but check out hers because the pictures are divine. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato, Curry, and Quinoa (in a bowl) 
Serves 2-4
  • 1 cup quinoa
  •  4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1/4 cup evoo
  •  large handful of spinach
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup currants (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • fresh ginger
  • 1/8 cup curry powder of choice
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Scrub potatoes. With skins on, cut into 1″ cubes and lay out on a baking sheet. Toss with a bit of oil and salt. Bake at 475′ for 20 minutes. Combine two cups of water to one cup of quinoa (remember to soak and rinse first!) in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cook for 12-15 minutes until water is fully absorbed. Remove from heat.
Roughly chop red onion and saute in a large saucepan with the evoo until softened. Add minced garlic and grated ginger to the onions and saute for a bit longer. Remove from heat. Add sweet potatoes when they are just beginning to brown and crisp on the edges. Add a cup of stock and the curry powder, stirring to coat. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes, adding stock and some salt to develop flavor. Add some well chopped spinach and toss to barely wilt.
Serve over a bed of quinoa with a sprinkling (or more) of currants.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Who Knew?

Who knew that a Chipotle commercial could make you tear up? I've always loved how Chipotle has made it a priority to support farmers who are doing it right and make it possible for us to choose hormone free, sustainably raised meat for a meal on the run. Its one of the only faster food options that's on the approved list in the Keesey house.

Quick sidenote to this Chipotle love-fest: you still want to be careful about how much sodium, fat and calories you're getting. My advice is to skip the tortilla (its fried & has 360 calories), the chips (600 calories), the sour cream and cheese. Another option from my intern, Pamela, is to get the small taco, then load it up with veggies and pico de gallo. Affordable and healthy. Brilliant.

So go forth & enjoy Chipotle. Thank you Jedidiah Jenkins for sharing this video with me. xo.