Papaya-Orange-Raspberry Smoothie

smoothie recipe Papaya Orange Raspberry
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With the impending Fall, around the corner, cold and flu season are not far away. To prevent making this a yearly tradition, I make sure that everyone in our household gets the proper vitamins they need to fight whatever comes their way. This  Papaya-Orange-Raspberry Smoothie is filled with immune-boosting vitamin C, and taste divine! So pull out your blender, and make this delicious smoothie for your family!

This recipe makes two servings

You will need: 

1 medium papaya
the juice from 8 oranges
1 1/2 cups of frozen raspberries
Peel the papaya, and disregard the seeds (which can be easily removed from the halved papaya with a spoon), and
dice it into cubes. Place the papaya, the orange juice, and the frozen raspberries into the blender, and blend
until smooth and creamy. I like my smoothies a little thicker, while I add a little extra orange juice for my kids
who like a thinner consistency better. It is completely up to you!
Pour into two tall glasses, and serve immediately!

Smoothie: Papaya-Orange-RaspberryIf you have never tried papayas, you are missing out on the bountiful health benefits this powerful fruit has to offer. It is low in calories, and therefore fits into any healthy lifestyle, without having to worry about adding any extra pounds.

Papaya is known to lower blood pressure, and eases respiratory distress, while it’s juice works wonders for menstrual problems and clarifies the skin, freeing it from acne. If you are around a lot of smokers, this wonderful and tasty fruit will aid you in clearing your airways from the negative effects of second-hand smoke.





Papaya enzymes, like these chewable tablets from American Health, are a great digestive aid, that should be taken after each meal, to optimize your digestive track.

Related post:  Health Benefits of Cucumber – Plus A Green Smoothie Recipe!

What is your favorite way to include papaya into your diet?



P.S. This post is for educational and informational purposes only, and not meant to treat or prevent any
disease. Please contact your health care professional if you are in need of medical attention, and read our disclaimer
page for additional details. Thank you

KIND Nutritional Bar Review: New Pressed By Kind Fruit Bars

KIND Nutritional Bar Review: New Pressed By Kind Fruit Bars

I was looking for a quick in-between snack for my vegan daughter, when I came across these new KIND nutritional bars, called  Pressed By Kind in our local grocery store. Because they mentioned vegan, and because one of the flavors is Pineapple and Coconut (my favorite combo) I brought a couple home, and we tried them today.

The first thing that impressed me about these bars is their ingredient list. The above-mentioned flavor has 4 ingredients: Pineapple, apple, coconut and chia seeds. That is it. Not the usual extra stuff no one really needs, or can pronounce.  I was already happy about that.  The bar is the same size than most nutritional bars and looked compact. It is semi-soft, chewy, just like I like fruit bars, whenever I make them myself. A lot of times, when those types of bars include seeds, there is a gritty consistency, but not with that one, this (at least this flavor, which is so far the only one I have tried), has a great mouthfeel, which probably will make it a lot easier to give to children, who need a little extra convincing at times to try new, healthy foods.

As a vegan and gluten-free bar, the new Pressed By Kind Fruit bars are guilt-free snack options, which I will continue to have in the house. I am looking forward to trying the other flavors that are available, which are:

Cherry Apple Chia
Apricot Pear Carrot Beet
Pineapple Banana Kale Spinach
Mango Apple Chia

All of the bars are vegan and gluten-free.


I don’t know if that is my perception, but I have always disliked the smell of packaged bars that contain coconut. This is no different with this bar, but very faint compared to others, which are artificially flavored. The scent goes away after a few moments, after opening, so that is a plus.

Related Post: 100 Healthy Snack Recipes Your Whole Family Will Love!

While I still, and always will prefer to make my own bars, due to time restraints, and  convenience it is not always possible to reach for homemade creations. Pressed By Kind is an alternative I will keep for those moments.

Pressed By Kind Fruit Bars are available on Amazon

Question: What is your favorite nutrition bar?


How To Get Unstuck And Be Unstoppable

How To Get Unstuck And Be Unstoppable


I have a clear vision of what I want from live, where I want to be, what I want to do, and what I want to accomplish. Yet, even with this clear vision, there are times I  get stuck and feel frozen in the midsts of the chaos of action steps I know I need to take.

Questions like these arise:

What to do next? What directions to take? Where to point my focus toward?

Thankfully, today, I ran across a video from one of my favorite mentors Tom Bilyeu (founder of the amazing Quest bars), which brought me back into a focused state. Here it is:

I highly recommend that you check out his youtube channel “Inside Quest” for motivational and inspirational information on how to become the best possible self.

And if you are looking for an amazing nutritional bar, that has no comparison on the market, Quest Nutritional Protein  bars are not only delicious but also nutritious.  They are available on Amazon now! Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is my favorite!


Now to my Friday Gratitude List. If you are a new reader here, I try to post an official gratitude list every Friday on this blog. This post is a part of the  Celebrate The Small Things blog hop.

This week I am grateful: 

What are you grateful for?

I am always grateful for this little weirdo named Charlie

  • that it is getting closer toward Halloween, and I can officially begin to decorate for my favorite holiday of the year.
  • that I made some really awesome connections this week with some truly cool people, some of whom I might collaborate on this as well as my other blog (I will keep you updated)
  • that I am completely finished with my book “Flashes of Light”, and will upload it to Amazon this weekend, with a launch date of October 1st.
  • that my husband’s business ventures seem to be moving forward in a positive fashion, finally and thankfully
  • that I am actually looking forward to going shopping today, to look for those above mentioned decorations
  • and finally, that I have now a solid plan of action for the next couple of weeks, even if I did not feel that confident this morning, well, I do now!


What are you grateful for this week?







And this blog post is also a part of the Friday Fill-In’s hosted by McGuffysReader

This week’s fill in’s are

Something healthy I do daily – that is exercise. May it be going to the gym, on the treadmill, or taking brisk walks
with the dogs, exercise is a must for me.

Something unhealthy I do every day – that is, I drink way too much coffee. I am a coffee addict, but because it is the only vice I really have, expect chocolate, I am allowing myself this one.

This summer – went away way too quickly, but I am happy that the heat is dying down to manageable now.

This autumn – I am looking forward to decorating for each of the holiday seasons, as I already mentioned. I am actually starting today, and I really want my home to take on some Fall colors!

This blog post is also a part of these other fine blog hops:

No Rules Weekend Blog Party
Together on Tuesdays 



Cleaning Your Dogs Ears The Natural Way


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As many of you know, I have two dogs and a cat, all three of them the most adorable rescue pets one could ever want. But, because they are special needs babies with allergies and other little problems, I emphasize on natural pet care for them, to not aggravate their sensitivities.

This is no difference for ear care. One of our dogs, Athena, who loves to snuggle with Charlie, the cat, is prone to chronic ear problems. Because of that, taking care of her ears is a necessary, and carefully scheduled routine.

The first thing you need to consider when taking care of your dog’s ears is the season. During late Fall, throughout  Winter, and early Spring, dogs (and some cats), tend to have more ear problems, then during the warmer months, so keep that in mind when scheduling your pet care. Also, increase your ear care routine, if you live in a wetter climate, may it be in tropical regions with a lot of rainfall and humidity, or if you are in a snow prone area.  If you are traveling to another climate, with your pets, keep also an extra eye on any symptoms that might occur, such as excessive head shaking, sensitivity to touch of the ear, or scratching at the ear. These can be signs of an ear infection, and should be checked out by a doctor. A combination of medicinal ear wash and antibiotics might be in order.

Related Post: Health Benefits of Coconut Oil For Dogs

Prepping the ear:
If you have a long-hair dog, you might have to trim some of the ear hairs before being able to properly clean the
dog’s ears. Keeping your do’gs ear hairs short is also a good way to prevent from dirt getting stuck so close to
such a sensitive part of your pet. Short ear hairs are not just good signs of pet grooming, but also a vital health
care component.

cleaning-your-dogs-ears-the-natural-way-1Creating Your Ear Wash

Add 1/3 of organic (preferably raw, and unfiltered) apple cider vinegar to 2/3 cup of lukewarm (never hot!)
water, mix well.

Some “recipes” call for Witch Hazel, or a different ratio of 50/50, but I have found both are too strong for a dog with sensitive ears, while being effective enough to keep ear infections and itchiness at bay.

Using The Ear Wash

Use a cosmetic wedge (not a fuzzy cotton ball!), dipping it into the warm mixture, and gently wipe out the ear,  careful not to get too close to the inner ear, and make sure you can compensate for sudden movements. Not all dogs are willing to sit still voluntarily through this treatment.  Keep on wiping until you have cleaned the ear thoroughly, using a new wedge whenever needed.

About the cotton balls: I do not like using cotton balls for this because it can leave pieces behind, which then can cause ear infections, similar to what a cotton swap can do for a human ear, when not used properly. Wedges, on the
other hand, are soft, yet solid, have usually a more narrow, and a wider edge, which gives you some flexibility
in cleaning the ear.




A Positive Thought For The Day: Cultivate Your Inner Wisdom

Cultivate Your Inner Wisdom

Do you trust your instinct? The voice within that guides you through those times, in which you should be paying attention? Your inner wisdom should be trusted and cherished, but it does take practice to learn to listen to it.  Often times, we drowned out our own guidance system by listening to others, and to by listening to our fears. Our fears, many stemming from childhood trauma, and past experiences are there to keep us safe, but if they get too loud, they out- scream the true voice we should be listening to.

Trusting your inner wisdom also requires you to be silent. Daily meditation, allows your intuition to come forth. Meditation teaches you to calm your mind, and to be in the present, a great way to release anxiety, and that above-mentioned fear.

Journaling is another way to learn to listen to your inner wisdom. Keeping track of your hunches, and how they turned out, will allow you to grow your trust in them.

Cultivate Your Inner Wisdom (1)

Include your inner wisdom in your gratitude routine. Thank it every time, you have experienced a hunch, and be grateful that you have listened to it. Acknowledge it’s presence to allow it to grow into a more prominent partner.

Because it is Friday, I want to encourage you to share along with me, your weekly gratitude list. While I think that a daily gratitude practice is important to live and optimal life, this weekly sharing is a great way to emphasise this practice and give it accountability. You can sign up for being a part of a weekly gratitude blog hop, by following this

I am grateful this week for:
the fact that is getting cooler. I love Fall, and I am looking forward to decorating my house in the most awesome Autumn colors
the fact that I am on track with my business and personal goals. I have worked hard to stay focused, and I am glad
to see some of the results already.
the fact that I am sleeping better. With the colder temperatures comes the relief from some of my allergies. I am thankful for each moment that I am at ease.

What are you grateful for this week?

Book Review: Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Mindful Living

Title: Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Mindful Living: Awareness & Meditation Practices for Living in the Present Moment (Llewellyn’s Complete Book Series)
Author: Multiple Authors
Publisher: Llewellyn
Release Date: April 8th, 2016
Ratings: 5 out of 5 stars

This post contains affiliate links, see disclaimer page for details

I have been looking for a new book on mindfulness for a while, and nothing seemed to grab my attention, I came across this book via Netgalley, and thought I would give it a try. As with most books who claim to be complete, it is by far not, but I think it would be foolish to really believe that there is such a thing as a complete book of mindfulness out there, considering that it is an ever-expanding practice, which will benefit from the input of new people and grow from it, all of the time.


Limits Exist Only In The Mind – Mindfulness Cup Available on Zazzle

That said, this book is still a gem, written in warm comfortable tone, with many spiritual giants putting in their  thoughts on the subject. From Dr. Beckwith (from The Secret) to Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup For The Soul – Series),  the authors come from different backgrounds, yet seem to harmonize in their message.

Usually, when I read collaborations like that, I always find an Author that does not sit well with me. Their tone either
does not fit the overall mood or their take on the subject is out of whack with the others. Thankfully this is not the
case with this book.

I suggest, for a person who want to take a deeper nosedive into the subject, but is rather new to it, to grab this book, as long as they do not expect a complete guide, as I mentioned before.

Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Mindful Living: Awareness & Meditation Practices for Living in the Present Moment is available on Amazon now, on Kindle and as a paperback edition

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Check out these other books on the subject:

Turmeric-Ginger Tea Recipe

Turmeric-Ginger Tea Recipe

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This beautiful tea made by combining two powerful natural healing plants – Turmeric and Ginger – does not only taste great and exotic but is filled with inflammation-reducing properties, while boosting your immune system. Beginning in September and reaching all the way until Spring, this Turmeric-Ginger Tea is a constant companion for me, as it also warms and comforts.

You will need:

2 teaspoons of fresh turmeric, or 1 teaspoon of ground organic turmeric
1 teaspoon of fresh, chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of raw sugar or coconut sugar
1/4 cup of coconut milk or your favorite non-dairy milk of your choice

Turmeric Tea Recipe

If you are using fresh turmeric, make sure it does not get on your clothes, or use gloves, because it stains a lot.  Peel and chop the fresh ginger (and turmeric, if using), and add it to the bottom of your cup. If you are using ground turmeric, simply add the teaspoon of turmeric to the cup now.  Add the ground cinnamon, and fill cup with boiling hot water. Allow to steep for 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-meshed kitchen strainer, and add the sweetener and a splash of non-dairy milk. Drink the tea while it is hot.


If you want to increase the absorption rate of the turmeric, add a pinch of freshly ground black pepper to the tea

Health Benefits of Turmeric

– reduction of inflammation
– immune boosting
– contains anti-cancer properties
– aids in reducing the symptoms of arthritis
– works as a pain reliever
– shortens the duration of colds

Why Turmeric is the “Perfect Painkiller” and Fights Inflammation (plus how to absorb it 20x better)

Turmeric has been proven to reduce or eliminate pain better than many  leading prescription medications.

A 2004 study published *  found that components of turmeric were effective alternatives to the drugs aspirin, ibuprofen, sulindac, phenylbutazone, naproxen and diclofenac, to name a few.

If you are planning to use Turmeric as a painkiller, I would highly recommend that you use it in extract form or as a
supplement. Turmeric powder has a lower bioavailability, and therefore it is more effective as an extract or capsules available on the market.

PuraTHRIVE Organic Turmeric Extract is an outstanding full-spectrum extract and is the supplement I would recommend most. Another option is Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine 1500mg available on Amazon. 

Disclaimer: This post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any ailments you may have. See your health-care professional if you are not feeling well. See the disclaimer page for more details.


Source:  Analgesic Efficacy and Safety of Curcuminoids in Clinical Practice: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials: Pain Med. 2015 Dec 14. Epub 2015 Dec 14. PMID: 26814259

A Positive Thought For The Day: True Passion

A Positive Thought For The Day- True Passion


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Does a sudden windfall change what you have been thinking about working on, and set as your personal goal? If it has, then I doubt that whatever your goal is, is your real passion.


For example, as asked at the Daily Prompt, what would you do, if you would inherit 1 million dollars today, would you change what you are doing, and what would it be? (Yes it is an adapted version of the question, but it more important then “what would you buy?”)

I would (honestly) not change what I would be doing. I would be writing on a better computer, in my own office out of my bigger home, at the location I want (LA here I come!), but I would write. It would not matter if you handed me 1 million or 1 billion, I would write. I would still write about stuff I like, and I would still make up stories.

So now I have a question for you:

Would you change your dreams and goals (I am not talking about your current job, I am talking about your passion, such as music, being a painter, teaching, whatever), if you had all of a sudden a lot of money?

If the answer is no – you are all good, keep on working on it. Good for you!

If the answer is yes – ask yourself what your real dreams are, if there would be no limitations, and everything was possible. Whatever your answer, especially if you have a reason behind why you want what you want to do, then you found your real, authentic and true passion. Start working on that. Even if it is something as small as declaring your passion to the world, or reading about it, or play a game of what if in your head.

Time to start dreaming big!

Top Three Coffee Alternative Picks For Acid Reflux Sufferers

Coffee Alternatives For Acid Reflux Sufferers

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If you have acid reflux , or are sensitive to caffeine, finding a coffee alternative that actually  tastes good can be challenging. There are plenty of products out there, that claim to be great while being good for you, but not all of them life up to that promise. I have compiled a list of three coffee alternatives, that are my personal favorites.

1. Pero Coffee

Coffee Alternative - Pero Coffee



My absolutely favorite coffee alternative is Pero coffee. It’s dark, rich flavor, mimics the smell, taste, and mouthfeel
of a good cup of coffee, closer than anything else that I have found on the market. Pero coffee contains no caffeine and  is made out of these delicious and healthy ingredients, Barley, Malted Barley, Chicory, and Rye.  What I like about Pero, is that it works well with my favorite flavored coffee creamers, just like a regular cup of joe would. Available on Amazon now. 






2. Four Sigma’s Mushroom Coffee
Now, it took me a while to be convinced to even try this coffee. Coffee and mushrooms? How in the world can this taste any good? Well, I did end up trying it, and was surprised that it actually mimics the flavor of coffee pretty well. I do not like however that it still contains actual coffee, and with that is not an exact replacement, but a reduction of caffeine, making it impossible for some people to drink it as an alternative. Still, it contains a lot less caffeine, is much gentler on the stomach, and gives you the same boost as regular coffee, due to the added ingredients of the Chaga mushrooms, as well as cordyceps mushrooms. Because it does contain actual coffee, it did not make it to the winner position but is a solid runner up. You can purchase Four Sigma’s Mushroom Coffee directly  from the company, by following this link. 


Related Article: Stop Acid Reflux Naturally – What Foods To Avoid


3. Dandelion Root Tea
dandelion root tea


The by far healthiest, but least like coffee tasting coffee alternative is the Dandelion Root Tea. It’s dark, bold flavor is very earthy, and takes some time to get used to. But, it is the purest in its ingredients, with no jittery feel, and no sudden energy boost, that can lead you to crash and burn later. Instead, it delivers a natural continuous energy, and a surprisingly similar mouthfeel to coffee, unlike some other coffee alternatives. You can purchase organic Dandelion root tea on Amazon right now. 



Question: What is your favorite coffee alternative? 



Is Breathe Right The Right Solution For Allergy Sufferers? A Review

Is Breathe Right The Right Solution For Allergy Sufferers? A Review

Over the last few days, my allergies have been keeping me awake at night, with breathing problems, so I decided, I am going to try something new. Breathe Right Nasal strips have been on the market for a while, and have been advertised everywhere, but I do not know anyone who has actually used them. Well, I decided that it was time to give them a  try, I had nothing to loose.

Breathe Right Strips

My first shock was that they are actually pretty expensive, priced as high as over-the-counter allergy medicine, such
as Claritin. There are cheaper generic brands available, but the price difference did not seem enough to me, to warrant testing them, before the original product.

I was surprised at how sticky the strip felt, which made me feel at ease, at first, because I assumed that this would mean the strip was going to stick. Following the instructions precisely was easy, the placement of the breathe right natural and fast. What I did not count on, is that after about two hours, it stopped sticking to my nose on one side. I reapplied it, went to sleep, and woke up with that one side not sticking again, and with the same breathing problems, I already had in the first place.

For me, as a severe allergy sufferer, the strips did nothing, expect not stick for the 12 hours it says that they can be worn. These strips might bring some relief, if you have a mild cold, and do not want to take medication, so the next time anyone in the family has these symptoms, I will let them try it. I did feel like the strip was trying to pull up my nostrils which only emphasises what I am already thinking: this strip is made for those with a mild cold, and not with allergies, even though it says so on the package.

The positive side is, that despite the fact that I have very sensitive skin, I had no reaction to the strip, which is wonderful, as I tend to break out to just about everything.

Conclusion and Verdict:

Try this product if you have a cold, and want to get some sleep. Place the strip on your nose, right before going to bed, and make sure that you placed it right the first time, as it will lose its sticking power even more, if you pull it off your face, and re-adjust it. The Breathe Right Strips are not meant for those with severe allergies.

Check out this alternative to the Breathe Right Strips, to ease your nasal congestion, due to allergies:

Claritin ReadyTabs offer a 24-hour relief from outdoor allergies, without having to swallow a tablet.
Simply place the tablet on your tongue and allow it to dissolve, which it does within a very short period of time. For over-the-counter relief, there is nothing better. Available on Amazon now!