Category: All things healthy

Aromatherapy with California Native Plants

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I believe that mother earth provides us with everything we need to heal.  Our earth is full of natural medicine, we just need to be opening and willing to try it. As a child, my mother had a tea for everything! I wish I had paid a little more attention and wrote her remedies down.

Every once in a while something I’m reading or learning about in one my classes brings a memory of one of my mother’s many natural cures. Finding events such as this one brings a smile to my face and no doubt makes her happy.

Tree of Life Nursery is holding a FREE “Aromatherapy with California Native Plants” class this weekend. This a great chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the season, be surround by nature and learn something new.

For centuries, aromatherapy has been used to enhance health and well-being. Modern research recognizes the benefits of aromatherapy for stress reduction, sleep and mood management, as well as easing discomforts associated with anxiety and chronic pain. During this workshop, Certified Yoga Therapist and California Native Plants Education and Outreach Specialist, Melissa Adylia Calasanz C-IAYT, will discuss her approach to sustainable aromatherapy, and how she uses the healing property of California Native Plants cultivated locally, at Tree of Life Nursery.

  • When: Saturday, December 23, 2017 from 9:30 am – 10:30 am

  • Where: Tree of Life Nursery, 33201 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano CA 92675

  • Cost: FREE


9 Health Benefits of Yoga

Yoga, is amazing! I know, you may think I am a bit biased but I have benefited greatly from my Yoga practice, I feel calmer, stronger, healthier and more energetic. In addition to the physical benefits, the connection of mind, body and soul are indescribable.

If you’re not looking to go that deep, that’s ok. If you’re simply looking for a form of exercise, that’s easy on the body and helps you get healthier – Yoga is it!

There are so many health benefits and I simply have not found another form of exercise that can compare to the overall benefits of a regular Yoga practice.

Studies have shown that a regular Yoga practice helps to lower your blood sugar levels, lowers LDL levels (but cholesterol), boosts HDL levels (good cholesterol), helps with blood circulation, lessens pain and stress and increases energy levels.

You don’t have to stand on your head or fold up like a pretzel to do Yoga and it’s never to late to begin your Yoga practice. There is a yoga class to meet everyones fitness level and needs.  Come out and try one of my classes or if you’re not in the area, look for a studio near you.

Here’s my Schedule for the week – give it a try!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Saturday, September 23, 2017

See you on the mat!



Plant Fest

One of the ways I relax is by being in the garden at my daughter’s school – learning, teaching and growing fresh, organic vegetables. So I and am always delighted to see events such as this one. Tanaka Farms is hosting  their first ever “Plant Fest”!

Head over to Tanaka Farms September 23 and 24 as they celebrate the plants and the arm they grow on. Spend the day on the farm farm and eat lots of yummy vegan food while you’re there!

Tanaka Farms U-Pick Tours

There will be Vegan Food Trucks, Cooking Demonstrations, Music, Cruelty Free Shopping, plenty of Fresh Produce, activities for the kids and for an optional fee the always fun U-Pick Farm Tours!

The event is free and the entire family will love it. The best part is that a portion of all the sales goes to an animal rescue group!

  • When: Saturday, 23rd and Sunday September 24th, 2017 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

  • Where; Tanaka Farms, 5380 3/4 University Drive, Irvine, CA 

  • Cost: FREE! 


Swap your Java

March is National Nutrition Month and Jamba Juice wants to help us Swap our Java for Jamba.

To entice us to do so they are offering a $2 off coupon good on any Smoothie, Juice Energy Bowl or Oatmeal. 

Jamba Juice wants to make this easy for us to redeem our coupon; we don’t even have to have the coupon with us. All we have to do is snap a picture on our phones or show them a screen shot and show them the photo in the store.  The coupon is good for a one time use through March 13, 2016. This is a great way to try out a juice or energy bowl you haven’t had the chance to try yet while making a small change towards better nutrition.

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To see if your store is participating and for complete details visit the Jamba Juice website.


Time to Kaleabrate!

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Image courtesy of

Today is National Kale Day, definitely something to Kaleabrate! Kale is a nutritional powerhouse that is packed with health benefits.

KaleKale is known has gained major popularity lately. Known for its cancer risk-reducing properties, it is also helps to lower cholesterol. Kale supports the body in the detoxification process. Kale is known for it’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and aids in chronic inflammation.

It is high in Iron, filled with vitamins, nutrients, magnesium and folate. On top of all of that it is high in fiber and very low in calories. In fact, one cup of Kale has 5 grams of fiber and only 36 calories. Per calorie, kale has contains calcium than milk.

GreenJuiceThere are so many wonderful ways to enjoy Kale. We use kale in almost every juice we make. You can saute it, use it in salads, soups, make a Kale pesto or kale chips. It’s versatile, delicious and so healthy for you.

Here’s a link to 21 delicious looking recipes from, some of their recipes include:

  • Creamy Pumpkin Seed Alfredo With Kale and Sweet Peas

  •  Asparagus Potato Pizza With Kale Pesto

  • Beanball Sub Sandwich With Marinara and Greens and a Kale Salad with Chili-Lime

  • Roasted Butternut Squash and Garlic Sriracha Vinaigrette. (if your going on the Sriracha tour, be sure to save some of your free Sriracha for this recipe)



Pantry Tasting

wpid-2015-05-01_13.40.38.jpgThe Ecology Center is hosting a Fall Community Supported Pantry Tasting. Today, October 3, 2105 at 10:00 am, enjoy free samples of pantry goods featured in their fall Community Supported Pantry basket.

The Community Supported Pantry Program (CSP) is a seasonal subscription of locally made, artisanal goods created in collaboration with the Ecology Center’s community partners.

The Community Supported Pantry Program (CSP) box may include pantry items such as rustic bread, olive oil, artisanal sea salt, herbal medicine, simple syrups, custom tea blends, local honey, DIY handbooks, housemade jams, craft beer, flour & grains, seasonal recipes, and fresh garden herb bundles, all seasonally curated by The Ecology Center.

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If you’ve ever had questions about CSP boxes, this is a great chance to see what’s available. Also, you can stock up your pantry for an entire season or sign up for a year subscription and receive 15% off! Prices are $65/SEASON or $220/YEAR

The CSP boxes are available quarterly at The Ecology Center. Orders for the Fall Pantry will close today, October 3, 2015 at 6pm. you can order online.

The Ecology Center is located at 32701 Alipaz St, San Juan Capistrano, 92675

The Ecology Center’s talented community partners include:

The Ecology Center Pantry, San Juan Capistrano – Our Residence Chef, Kerri Cacciata uses The Ecology Center’s seasonal harvest from our orchard, veggie beds, and herb garden to make delicious preserves, jams, and pickles for all to enjoy.BREAD Artisan Bakery, Santa Ana – A family owned and operated bakery specializing in rustic & traditional French breads using age-old leavening methods.Angel’s Honey Farm, Brea – Angel’s farm rescues unwanted bee hives and gives them a new purpose – making the best tasting and most beneficial honey. The honey is said to help with seasonal allergies, a result of the bees pollinating local plants such as avocados, eucalyptus and local wildflowers.

King’s Road Apothecary, Los Angeles – Rebecca Altman, the extraordinary herbalist behind King’s Road, creates herbal tinctures, salves, and ointments from local, wildcrafted plants. She also teaches herbal remedy workshops at The Ecology Center.

Chocolatl, Poway – A chocolatier devoted to raw, wildcrafted ingredients and small batch process to develop chocolates that are high in minerals and nutrients.

Grist and Toll, Pasadena – As purists, Grist and Toll uses ancient stone milling techniques and local-only growers to provide the finest flour products and support our local grain economy.

Terrace Hill Olive Oil, San Miguel – A family olive orchard using sustainable practices to grow, pick, and process their olives.

Soapy Layne Vegan Soap, Rancho Santa Margarita – Cassie uses plant based materials to make vegan soap and natural skin care products

Laguna Salt Company, Laguna Beach – A specialty salt company handcrafting raw, infused, and smoked sea salt that are versatile enough to be used on any dish.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Vista – Makers of the best organic, biodegradable, all-purpose soap. We especially recommend Dr. Bronner’s for greywater systems.

Kean Coffee, Newport Beach/Tustin – A coffeehouse created by Martin Diedrich, Kean purveys fresh-roasted artisan coffee from around the world with a focus on organic and sustainable farms.

Eden’s Savory Sap – Handmade, plant-based simple syrups for concocting sodas, cocktails, dressing, cakes, cookies, pickling, soups, and more!

Kung Fu Tonic – Certified organic herbal remedies using a high-concentrated blend of roots to boost your immune system. We love Kung Fu Tonic during flu and cold season!

Caen Deming Candles, Laguna Hills – A candle maker dedicated to hand-poured, botanical-based candles. The candles are packaged in Weck canning jars, perfect for re-use in the kitchen.

Red Pig Tools, Oregon – The only blacksmith in the U.S. specializing in hand forged garden tools for home gardeners and farmers.


Pick Your Own Strawberries Day

Today from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm could be the final day for the “Pick your own Strawberry” field days of the season at South Coast Farms!!!!!wpid-2015-04-07_08.25.51.jpg

The strawberry fields are enjoying the return to May gray! The associated cool daytime and moderate night time temperatures of our local May gray and June gloom weather pattern create perfect weather for late season berries. The plants are loaded up with red ripe, super sweet, certified organic, never been sprayed strawberries!!!


South Coast Farms is an all certified, all organic farm. They are also are a “no spray” organic farm. They use no sprays on their crops, what so-ever! Not even approved sprays for organic production!  They believe food taste better naked, and I couldn’t agree more!!

wpid-2015-04-07_08.26.57.jpgThe strawberries at South Coast Farms are tasty, sweet and the deepest, reddest strawberries I’ve ever seen.

wpid-2015-04-07_08.38.50.jpgSouth Coast Farms also happens to be the last standing farm in the San Juan Capistrano. In addition to their famous red ripe strawberries, they sell lettuces, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, carrots, chard, kale, spinach, spring onions, radish, cucumbers, green beans, squash, parsley, organic eggs and more! I have never seen a head of romaine lettuce that comes comes to the size of theirs, incredible!

The cost is $2.50 per pound. Load up and freeze them these stunning strawberries are delicious! Be sure to ask about their CSA baskets.

Please wear strudy shoes you don’t mind get dirty. Your sandles, flip flops or high heels will not stand up to to the mud in the fields.

South Coast Farms is located at 32701 Alipaz Rd. San Juan Capistrano, CA – right next to the Ecology Center.


Pick Your Own Strawberries

wpid-2015-04-07_08.25.51.jpgIf your thinking of attending the We Are Earth Day Festival at the Ecology Center on Saturday, April 11, 2015, I have the perfect addition to your day. Visit South Coast Farms, located right next door to the Ecology Center for a Pick your-own Strawberries Day.


South Coast Farms is an all certified, all organic farm. They are also are a “no spray” organic farm. They use no sprays on their crops, what so-ever! Not even approved sprays for organic production!  They believe food taste better naked, and I couldn’t agree more!!

wpid-2015-04-07_08.26.57.jpgWe bought some strawberries yesterday. They strawberries are tasty, sweet and the deepest, reddest strawberries I’ve ever seen. My girls loved these strawberries and can’t wait to go back for a pick your-own day.

wpid-2015-04-07_08.38.50.jpgSouth Coast Farms also happens to be the last standing farm in the San Juan Capistrano. In addition to their famous red ripe strawberries, they sell lettuces, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, carrots, chard, kale, spinach, spring onions, radish, cucumbers, green beans, squash, parsley, organic eggs and more! I have never seen a head of romaine lettuce that comes comes to the size of theirs, incredible!


Pick your-own Strawberries will run from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm on Saturday and 9:00 am – 3:00 pm on Sunday. The cost is $2.50 per pound. Load up and freeze them these stunning strawberries are delicious! Be sure to ask about their CSA baskets.

South Coast Farms is located at 32701 Alipaz Rd. San Juan Capistrano, CA


Easy Healthy Snacks


Earlier this month I was inspired by Chobani’s #ChobaniKids project in honor of National Nutrition Month. I love to cook as healthy as possible and thinking about this project made me take a good hard look at the snacks in my pantry.

I always keep plenty of fresh fruit in the house but I also keep some pretty unhealthy ‘granola bars” handy as well. I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my youngest is a snacker and trying to keep healthy snacks on hand can become challenging. She’ll seek out the quick sugar snack first. Here’s some things I’m trying to focus on keeping handy in our home.

 Cuties – my kids love kids cuties! A sweet treat that’s easy for little hands to peel and eat.


Peanut Butter Honey Yogurt Dip – this quick & easy recipe comes from This dip is described by my youngest as “super yummy” . We use this 3 ingredient dip made of Greek yogurt, peanut butter & honey (I add a dash of cinnamon) to dip fruit, graham crackers & pretzels.


String cheese sticks – a protein rich snack that little hands can peel. I usually buy a big package from Costco, leave out what we need and freeze the rest.

wpid-2015-03-30_13.30.48.jpgNuts – I usually buy them (on sale) in the bulk section at Sprouts. You can make your own packages or buy some handy pre-made packets from Costco and Traders Joe’s.

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2 Ingredient Cookies – This recipe from is made from just 2 base ingredients: bananas and oatmeal. You can add-in things to your liking. I like to add dried cranberries or chocalate chips, a dash of cinnamon and nuts. They only take a few minutes to make and we love them. It’s also a great way to use up those overly ripe bananas.


Hummus -We eat hummus with everything in our home but offer it up with some fresh cut or small veggies like cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, broccoli and sugar snap peas and it’s a healthy snack. Buy it made from the store or great creative with 13 different ways to make hummus from

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Grapes – When I get them home from the market, I wash half of them right away and put them in a container in the fridge. That way the kids can have at them. People swear by frozen grapes, I’m not really a fan but some kids love them. 


Greek Yogurt – I usually buy a big Vanilla Greek Yogurt container. I make the girls smoothies as an after school snack using Greek yogurt, almond milk, bananas and/or strawberries (whatever I have on hand) and a little oatmeal. For school snack time, I put some in a snack container, top it with bananas or strawberries and/or some sliced almonds for some crunch.

I just found these great Chobani Kids Greek Yogurt packets that my girls loved. As soon as they finished them they were asking for more. Mom’s beware: some of the yogurt sticks and packets out there are filled with sugar and artificial colors. Chobani Kids yogurt has all natural ingredients with nothing artificial added. They are non-gmo and have no added flavors or sweeteners. These packets are great for on the go snacks! I’m keeping my eye out for Chobani Kids Yogurt Sticks next. wpid-2015-03-30_12.43.24.jpg

I know that my easy and healthy snack option might differ from yours. I am not dealing with any food allergies in my home. My point is to keep snacks quick and simple. I love pinterest for ideas and inspiration but it could be easy to get swept away in the thought of all the “time consuming” healthy snacks I’m pinning and I’m not making.

As a Mom, don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed or to feel guilty. We are all doing to best we can. If you have the time to get more creative, great, if not, there are quick and easy solutions to healthy snacks. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying never, ever have any sweet treats, I love Ice Cream and taking the kids out for free yogurt days, etc. but I always try to have those sweet treats in moderation.

Even though this post finds you a day before National Nutrition Month ends, I hope that this post serves as inspiration of small changes and easy alternatives to use throughout the year to keep our kids healthy and strong.

*I was not compensated by Chobani for this post.  All of the opinions above are my own.*


Kids Cooking Club

Come to the Kids Cooking Club at Whole Foods in Tustin where Chef Cintia will be whipping up some kid friendly recipes that are easy, fun and delicious.

If your having a hard time getting your kids to eat healthy, bring them to this hands-on class!  They’ll be talk about why it’s important to color your plate with healthy foods while making some delicious treats.

The next Kids Cooking Club is scheduled for January 30th and the theme is: Healthy Desserts


  • When: Friday, January 30, 2015 from 4:00 -5:00 pm
  • Where: Whole Foods at The District, 2847 Park Avenue, Tustin, CA 92782
  • Cost: $5.00 per child

RSVP are required  – Email: to reserve your spot.