Vegetable Smoothies: It is officially smoothie season again in DC (translation: it's 90 degrees and 90% humidity). Gotta love "spring" in DC. I love fresh, summer fruit, but do not love starting my day off with a sugar bomb, so I've been experimenting with vegetable smoothies lately. They are quite delicious and if blended well, do not taste like veggies at all. My staples are organic avocado and zucchini, but will also toss in fresh spinach if I have some as well as some cauliflower florets. I make different concoctions every day, depending on what I have, but generally use unsweetened vanilla almond milk as a base, add some frozen bananas and either frozen blueberries or mixed berries, throw in some veggies, maybe some almond butter, add some protein powder, perhaps some maca, bee pollen, flax meal, matcha, spirulina, or vitamineral greens. These bad boys generally sustain me until late afternoon. Try them! Here's a link with some veggie smoothie recipes.
The Allergy Trio: Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint essential oils together are known as "the allergy trio." This time of year, I use this blend topically, aromatically and internally as needed to help with seasonal relief. Lemon has cleansing properties and helps to draw out pathogens/irritants, lavender is soothing and helps to relieve inflammation/irritation, and peppermint is stimulating and helps to open the airways and has a cooling effect when used topically. I typically suffer this time every year and often rely on over the counter allergy medications. This year, I have not taken a single OTC pill, and have been solely relying on my allergy trio. I'm amazed at how effective it is and am so grateful to have a natural solution to seasonal struggles.
I love tea. It's one of my greatest comforts and most cherished rituals. A malty, hearty, Indian black tea is my favorite and I'm constantly on the quest for quality contenders. Lately, I have been drinking Nazu's Seylan Persian Special, and am a bit obsessed with it. It has a perfectly blended flavor: malty and full-bodied yet delcate and finished with a light bergamot flavor. I brew this up first thing every morning, add some milk and honey, and am in heaven. I buy it at Shemali's, my local Lebanese Market, but it is also on Amazon.
Another drinkable obsession of mine is kombucha. My mom got me hooked on making it at home, which is not only fun, but saves me a ton of money. Homemade kombucha is actually very easy to make, you just need a scoby and some patience. If you are local to DC and want a scoby, I have about 12 of them right now that need a good home. First you brew sugar tea (basic black tea plus white sugar). Once that cools, you add a scoby or 12, and store in a glass canister with a cloth top for about 10 days. Then, you remove the scoby (and immediately brew another batch of sugar tea, so the scobies always have a home) and add your flavoring of choice. I always make ginger kombucha, using fresh ginger juice (made in my juicer). I add the ginger juice to the kombucha, pour it into glass bottles, add lids, and let sit for another 5 days or so. Then, I pop the kombucha into the fridge and it is ready to drink!