Tag Archives: Less Is More

In Pursuit of (Daily) Happiness. What’s on Your List?

Cassis, France | IPOM

There are things that bring us all happiness in our lives.

It could be a quiet moment, or a few hours with a really good book. For some it could be a run in the woods, or a call from a good friend. For me, I can always use a good laugh, and luckily there is no lack of that in my life.

I was at the gym this week, doing my thing on the stair master & catching up on some (mindless but wonderful) magazine reading (this is one of my happy places). In this month’s issue of Canadian FASHION, there is a page dedicated to New Year’s Resolutions (after all, ’tis the season). On this page, a few celebrity clothing designers wax about their goals for the coming year.

There was one I read that particularly struck a chord with me (I love those moments).

“I want to create a ‘happy list’ and encourage my daughters to make their own. A happy list is a list of what quickly and easily puts a smile on my face, like a bubble bath. I will make sure to do at least one of those things every day.”

~ Rachel Roy

Tofino - Photo by Niko Pavlo

Photo by Niko Pavlo

An amazing and simple concept, and one that can shockingly fall by the wayside all too easily sometimes. So in my own pursuit of more (happiness, purpose, substance), it strikes me that this all too simple idea simply must factor not just into the bigger picture of life, but into each and every day of my existence (I’ve personally been working on this for a long while).

So, if you’ll oblige, here are 12 things I would add to my daily ‘happy list’ – it amazes to think that these are actually at times hard to do. I’d LOVE to hear what would be on all of yours!

Here goes my 12 daily bits of happiness…

  1. A long run in the cold air
  2. An entire day or evening with my family ~ with all of my technology turned off & tucked away out of sight & out of mind
  3. A long walk with a loved one (or two)
  4. Giving something away
  5. A good meal on a truly hungry stomach
  6. Cooking in the kitchen with a favorite record on
  7. A glass of wine on the couch with my husband (love that guy) with a good record on
  8. An afternoon in the garden with my bare hands in the soil
  9. A hot cup of tea, and a moment to just sit still in the quiet
  10. A hot aromatherapy bubble bath (thanks Rachel)
  11. A few deep breaths
  12. A ride though the city on my old creaky bike (usually with the hubby ~ he makes me wear a helmet when I ride alone)

Tofino - Image by Niko Pavlo

It seems so simple, but really the best things in life really always are. So that’s my list off the top of my head ~ what’s on the top of yours? πŸ™‚

As we move into the final push of the Christmas season, I am struggling to feel as though I really need anything (I really don’t). Everything I really need is already right in front of me, or within me, and I just need to make them happen, every day. To me that is an empowering thought.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic ~ and thanks for reading, as always!

Yours in Less,

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Filed under Happiness, Health, Hope, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Rejuvenation, Success

Paris: 5 Ways We Did More with (just a little) Less

Slowing down to enjoy the view.

The Seinne in the sun is pure magic.

Make hay while the sun shines, isn’t that what they say?

Hey bloggers!!

Well it’s true what they say, the time does go fast.

It’s hard to believe it is now September, with August behind us and all that it brought. Just a month ago we were putting the finishing touches on our packed luggage…

But with September comes so many good things: back to school, back to work, and back to working on this little blog and all it encompasses πŸ™‚ I hope you’ll all stick around to see what we’ve got up our sleeves!

While we get back to normal life, it’s my pleasure to share in my next three posts a few tidbits from our time in France – starting with a few things that made a big trip not only more affordable, but really, that much better.

Travel is a real luxury, and as you all know it can sure get costly. I hope you’ll enjoy this little round-up of 5 ways we traveled well with (just a little) less.

The mere sense of living is joy enough.

Β  ~ Emily Dickinson

Our favorite statue in the city just up the street from ‘home’.

1. Shack Up

And no, I don’t mean run away with a french man on a motorcycle!

As tempting as that might be πŸ™‚ …but really, I am referring to accommodation, as anyone knows that after flights, the place where you lay your head is likely to be your biggest expense, particularly on a longer trip.

And really, fancy hotels aside (which are sweet if you’ve got the budget) – just how much time will you be spending in said place of sleep?

I referenced the quaint french apartment we took in Paris, and it was just that: small, old, perfectly lovely, and right in the heart of where we wanted to be (for those of you interested we stayed in the Marais district).

After all, this is how the vast majority of people live in big cities like this, so it was fun, and not to mention for the four of us, (just a little) less hit on the budgetΒ  & a whole lot more authentic.

Unlocking the door to the courtyard after another big day.

Everything you can imagine is real.

~ Pablo Picasso

We did just fine cozied up in our tiny kitchen, enjoying simple foods made with basics (my next post).

This was the start of the food journey that has not only affirmed my approach to food more than ever before, but forever reminded me just how simple foods made with quality ingredients are best, and how important it is to enjoy each and every bite.

After all, that is precisely what the people do in France. And it certainly shows!

Our go-to salad for three whole weeks it seems!

2. Eat In

Really!

Part of the fun of having a real place to shack up in is the chance to live like any other person might in that part of the world (at least for me it was and I suspect this would be the case for many of you too!). Cooking in a strange (tiny) kitchen is an adventure, one I was up for, and one we had a blast with.

It was a beautiful thing – heck – I was cooking dinner in Paris! What a sheer delight it was, and one I took with gratitude and pleasure.

I mentioned the produce market that set up literally at the steps to our door twice in the time we were there. I bought melons, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, nectarines, apples & berries. They were all pretty amazing, yes.

The block we stayed on had a store that stocked every fine oil, wine, preserve & jelly you could want, and the boulangerie on our block made just the right baguettes and chocolate croissants for the girls, who enjoyed them daily.

It was good living, as we say.

Not like the one in Provence, but hey – pretty darned good!

Eating in saved us tons of money, and it also meant that the three of us vegetarian girls weren’t struggling with menus (and our French) every night. It also meant we ate like royalty & had plenty of time & money left to hit the streets for some quality sight-seeing, and maybe an ice cream and a night cap (or two).

Of course, we ate dinners out too, and we enjoyed it (just a little) more when we did.

Less really was more here, and it went this way through our entire trip.

The best part? Reserving the majority of our sitting time for chilling at our favorite cafes.

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.

~ Dr. Seuss

Cafe life in France, and in Paris especially, is just about the funnest thing you’ll ever experience, as no one is ever in a rush.

The people watching is just about the best in the world, not to mention the goodies you are likely to enjoy. A few days in I gave up my afternoon coffee and switched it to white wine or beer.

And then we simply sat. And watched. And drank. And talked.

Until it was time to be on our way.

3. Set out on Foot

A big city like Paris is (obviously) more than well set up for tourists, and they are pros at handling all those visitors.

There are tour buses, stacked double-deckers, boats, bike tours, and of course, the metro is superb. But nothing is like seeing the city on foot both for your waistline and your wallet.

We walked for hours & hours each day, which many of you know is a wonderful way to get fresh air, exercise, and views that you just don’t get from a tourist bus, or underground on the metro.

Plus, how will you see that top in the window or find that off-the-beaten-track patisserie with the best pastry you ate the whole trip? That gorgeous old cathedral you stumbled on that time you got lost?

Nothing says adventure like traipsing around a city with just your bag, a camera, good company and a good stylish pair of comfortablish shoes.

More on shoes in an upcoming post πŸ˜‰

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr

4. Pack Coffee/Carry Water

Depending on your preference for coffee, this might not apply, but I was glad to have brought along a few bags of ground coffee from home to make French Presses while I greeted the day and acclimatized.

The kids were often tired (especially at the start of the trip), and given my (fairly unreasonable) requirement for caffeine early in the day, I got amped at home before leaving the house.

I’d done quite a bit of research on some coffee places I wanted to hit – places that are doing quality coffee like we are lucky to enjoy at home. My first try yielded a closed sign (Telescope seemed to be closed for the month) and the others were just too out-of-the-way and not convenient to drag the whole brood to.

For a full list of great spots to hit, check out this post on Alice Gao’s beautiful blog here. Alas, maybe next time.

Besides, I see plenty of snazzy coffee shops here (it’s my job), and I realized that day that I didn’t need to travel to Paris to see them there too.

So the home coffee was a major lifesaver, not to mention an easy way to avoid the Oranginas and other goodies you buy every time you sit your kids at a table (cause you know they can’t sit there with nothing).

But believe me, they got plenty of Oranginas. In fact, I am pretty sure we spent more on those drinks then most anything the whole trip. But more on that in another post too πŸ™‚

And bring water wherever you go! All that walking will make you tired, and many places might leave you high and dry (read: thirsty) and succumbing to overpriced drinks you otherwise wouldn’t need.

5. Buy a Museum Pass

Okay. So really. This one made me very, very, happy.

Mu husband deserves the credit here, and this action turned out to be genius.

And not strictly for financial reasons. In fact, all in, we figured that by the end of our week in Paris, we broke even on the cost of this. The real savings, however, turned out to be of the more precious kind.

This thing saved us precious and irreplaceable time. No line ups!

Visiting Paris in August means the height of tourist season there – in fact – there were (what felt like) more tourists than locals, and given the high rate of shop closures for ‘Vacances’, I’d say this was correct.

We bought a one week pass that got us into any museum, sans line-up. A sweet deal considering we packed a good ‘sight a day’ into the itinerary. And did I mention the time savings? Brilliant.

But this is my husband we are talking about. I married him for a reason, or two πŸ˜‰

On our ‘must-see’ cultural list was: Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, The Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, Les Invalides, Versailles, The Pompidou Centre, and of course, the Eiffel Tower (which we did not go up as one of the lifts was broken) – there are quite a few more amazing sights to see, but traveling with a young one allows only so much, and these kids were stimulated to the max.

Truthfully, they were amazing. As was my husband for buying this pass. Brilliance.

Β  Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Commitment is a line you must cross….it is the difference between dreaming and doing.

~ Bernie Fuchs

Looking back, it seems crazy that all that is behind us now. Time really flies.

True to one of my fave Dr. Seuss quotes, I’ve got to tell you that I’m pretty darned glad we did that, and my smiles feel pretty darned wide.

I’ve since returned home to enjoy the blessings we enjoy here, such as good great regional food, clean tasty water, and truly great friends.

Yes, this is where I give a shout out to all of you – whether you wrote me a text to read when I landed, a thoughtful & genuine blog comment, an email, FB message, or straight up picked up the phone and called (you know who you are), you all made coming home that much sweeter, and I have big love for each and every one of you!

Thank you all for being here with me!

Looking forward to all that is to come – and next I’ll get to those top foods – I promise πŸ™‚

  • Got any tips to add to this from your travels?
  • If you could travel anywhere tomorrow where would it be?

I’d love to add any wisdom from all you fine readers out there – and let us know your thoughts and whatever might be on your travel wish list!

Looking forward to a fab fall with all of you!

Yours in Less,

56 Comments

Filed under Family, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Photography, Rejuvenation, Shopping, Success, Travel, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Recipe: Everyday Green Smoothie

Okay, who is totally loving the extra daylight?

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.

~ Buddha

And now for something completely different…and maybe (just a little) more healthy. After all, it is spring, and spring calls for:
  • lighter food
  • lighter clothing
  • lighter thinking
  • lighter evenings (yay)!
It’s time to talk smoothies (just a little).
Can we just stop here for a moment in revel in the health benefits and yummy flavors of endless possible combinations of blended fruits?

Okay. Good.

Now, lately (and I know I am not alone here), I have been enjoying many versions of the green smoothie. I like to add avocado to make it creamy and satisfying (again, sooo not alone here). The other fruit I add is totally dependent on what’s around. In keeping with the theme of ‘less is more’ – I try whenever I can to incorporate cheaper, more local fruits into my blended delights – like the frozen cranberries pictured here (a giant BC crop that is largely exported), or cast-off apples, frozen BC berries, etc. But the beauty really is – anything goes!

The Less:

Less heavy meals means easy work for your body and mind, not to mention a light energetic feeling to boot. Easy to digest fruit sugars give the body a nice buzz that doesn’t crash and leave you down in the dumps. Less pasteurized fruit juices and over the counter smoothies means more fresh enzymes and less additives, sugar, or other things you don’t want or need.

The More:

More fresh fruits means more vital energy pulsing through your veins. More blended live enzymes means the body gets a hand digesting (imagine digestion that wasn’t taxing!) More greens, fiber, and good fat from this combo will result in all round feel good vibes. Everyday.

Everyday Green Smoothie:

  • (1) avocado (feel free to use a half or a whole)
  • (1) cup chopped fresh or frozen fruit (berries, summer fruit, apple, mango)
  • (1) banana (you can sub this out too)
  • (1) cup liquid – apple juice, water, almond milk*
  • (1-2) leaves kale or a handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • (1-2) dates (optional)

Add your ingredients to the blender, blend on high for a minute or two, and enjoy!

* Start with one cup of liquid and add more if needed.

One the topic of liquid, I am a little old-school and have a thing about mixing fruit with other foods – years ago (like almost 20 years or so) I read a number of books on proper food combining and have never really dropped the idea that fruits should be eaten alone or not at all.

With that said, almond milk in smoothies is utterly delicious. My own personal experience tells me almond milk can combine with longer digesting fruits like banana, but it is up to the individual to find what works for them on this one.

For more current info on this topic by someone I really admire, check out the beautiful New York based raw food cleanse guru Natalia Rose here.

This is one of my go to post-fast meals, especially for the morning after a fast day. Or, if I feel that I can’t go without food entirely on a fast day (it happens), it’s common for me to whip up a fairly generous portion of this to take with me to consume when I need it (but never before).

Because fasting isn’t always about not eating, and consuming smoothie for a portion of a day would be a great way to ‘go without’ for many who typically eat heavier, more taxing foods as habit or preference.

The way you think, the way you behave, the way you eat, can influence your life by 30 to 50 years.

~ Deepak Chopra

  • What is your fave smoothie fruit?
  • Are you enjoying the extra daylight too?

I love receiving your feedback and know many of you will have a lot to add here – I’d love to know your favorites!

On another note, my feet really look great – though who are we kidding, I think I only go for the massage!

I looked for some of the suggested shades (thank you!), was unsuccessful, and ended up choosing something called “Clubbing all Night” by OPI. Don’t quote me exactly on the name, but it’s a delightfully sparkly orange that is making me very happy – not to mention making me imagine myself as (just a little) bad ass with that name…

Next up: a little something with quinoa!

I hope you are all having an amazingly wonderful week – and here’s to lighter living in honor of the arrival of spring!

Yours in Less,


31 Comments

Filed under Cheap, Cooking, Fasting, Gluten Free, Happiness, Raw, Recipes, Rejuvenation, Vegan

Recipe: Vegan Almond Chocolate Ice Cream

To me, there is something very satisfying about using up every last morsel of something.

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.

Charles M. Schulz

I’ve always struggled with tossing the pulp produced from juicing perfectly good whole vegetables and fruits. The same goes for bread crusts, wilted greens, and wrinkly old apples and oranges.

My last post about almond milk provided a nourishing, high quality way to satisfy a craving for richness. Straining the almonds makes a beverage that is ultra smooth and silky – but what to do with the leftover pulp?

Here is what I did.

My bet is you’ll be making almond milk from now on just so you can get to the leftovers.

A good friend once told me about her two rules to a happy marriage:

1. Never go to bed mad

2. Always have chocolate in the house

Over the years, I have learned that sometimes ignoring rule no.1 is the only way out of a silly late night bickering match.

(Trust me, go to sleep and it won’t seem like such a big deal in the light of day).

But I do stand by rule no. 2 religiously.

You might want to have a little of this tucked away after you try it too.

Here is the recipe for a 4-ingredient ice cream that will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth, and hopefully have you (and your significant other) sleeping soundly at night!

The Less:

Less real ice cream means less additives, fat, and calories from not eating dairy, not to mention dollars spent on processed packaged goodies. Less waste in the kitchen means better karma for your whole life, not to mention more satisfaction from using every penny’s worth of your precious ingredients.

The More:

More real chocolate and richness means you can enjoy less to be satisfied more. More nutritious treats means you can indulge without worry. More chocolate in life is just good. Just like more time in the kitchen celebrating goodness for yourself and your loved ones.

Almond Chocolate Ice Cream:

You will need:

  • Almond pulp from making one recipe of Mindful Almond Milk (this will yield about 3/4 cup of pulp)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup cold water for soaking chia
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 200 grams good dark chocolate (I use Callebaut from Belgium)

In a small bowl, combine the chia seeds and 1/3 cup of cold water. Mix well and set aside. Next, using a double boiler or stainless bowl atop a pot of boiling water (I outline an easy method for this here), begin to melt the chocolate. Stir the chocolate as it melts to avoid it getting stuck or burnt. Check the soaking chia seeds after a few minutes and stir with a fork to make sure it gels with the water consistently.

After 10 minutes or so, the chia will have formed a nice gelatinous mixture. Stir one last time. In a blender, combine the almond pulp, chia, and remaining 1/3 cup of water and blend on high until smooth and well mixed.

Transfer chia/almond mixture to a small mixing bowl. Once your chocolate is melted, stir the warm chocolate directly into the chia/almond mixture and stir (be sure to spatula out every last drop of melted chocolate!).

Stir your gloriously warm concoction together and look to the stars, chances are angels are singing, birds are dancing and the clouds are parting…you are stirring pure heavenly goodness!

From here you can go one of a few ways, but for ice cream, (after all that is the title of this post, right?) transfer the mixture to individual containers (I just happened to have an empty dessert container from a frozen probiotic yogurt I tried)….then freeze!

If you eat this on the same day you make it – allowing 4-5 hours to set in the freezer – the texture will be perfection. However, if you want to save it for a later day I recommend removing it from the freezer 20-30 minutes before you want to eat it, the texture will be just right….

And here you have it, the finished product. By-products from other delicious recipes never looked (or tasted) so good!

I hope you enjoy this partially raw, totally vegan, protein-and-nutrient-packed dessert as much I did πŸ™‚

I’ll admit my almond milk was gone (partially from the results of my next post) pretty much the same day I made it….this ice cream disappeared about 5 minutes after I showed up to the office today.

Want to see what else I made with this?

Stay tuned. Other major highlights this week included a photoshoot for Not So Fast with the talented photographer, soon to be world traveler, Mark Feenstra (we seriously nailed it thanks to an amazing group of sexy volunteers!).

  • How do you stay steeped in chocolate?
  • Do you have any rules to a successful marriage/partnership?

I’d love to hear how you are making out!

Update: as this has been one of the more popular posts on this blog, this has been submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays, a super cool new initiative from a group of great bloggers! Check out their event and enjoy! πŸ™‚

Yours in Less,


29 Comments

Filed under Children, Desserts, Family, Happiness, Nut Recipes, Raw, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Sweet Treats, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

Finding More in (just a little) sharing & inspiration.

Hello Bloggers!

This is a shot of a card I bought for a very significant loved one last week. I liked it so much I thought I would share with all of you..

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”

Theodore Roosevelt

Want to know what I am inspired about today? Well let me tell you.

1. Guest Blog Posting!

A fellow blogger has featured me today on her blog – my first guest post is up over at Life More Lived – it’s an article I wrote a little while back, when I was first starting to admit I had to scale back my shopping obsession….for all of you who love to dress well and live well – you can find the article here. Life More Lived is Sara’s blog all about simple living – it’s not food based but looks at all aspects of a more minimal life – check her out – and have a read, maybe drop her a line even..I’d love to know what you think of the writing if you are so inclined!

2. Lingering Inspiration from Tofino

Here are a few shots of our recent trip to Tofino..where less meets more in a most surreal and powerful way. I am so happy to have these great shots!

Tofino is the kind of place that has it all.

It is raw, majestic, stark, and a pure, wild example of a ‘less’ landscape (water, trees, and endless beaches anyone?)..while providing a highly charged ‘more‘ atmosphere – more rain, more wind, more intensity, more calm, more reminders of the intense power present in us and in nature…

Here are a few of my favorite shots from our few days there recently – these were taken by a good friend Niko Pavlo who takes fabulous photos (obviously) over at Follow The Olive Rabbit – memories like this are worth slowing down and cherishing πŸ™‚ Thanks Nik for the beautiful work!


I hope you all get a little hit of inspiration too…..thanks for stopping by…

What are you doing to make yourself proud today?

I’ll be posting about almonds and almond milk next, for all of you looking to make your own…stay tuned!

Yours in Less,

8 Comments

Filed under Aspirations, Children, discipline, Family, Inspiration, Photography, Rejuvenation, Shopping, Success, Travel, Uncategorized

Finding more in (just a little) less on the plate.

A full plate seems like a dream come true. Indeed it is for many.

What does a full plate mean to you?

To many it’s the picture of a literal plate, a plate filled with food, and (hopefully) a plate to nourish and fuel us.

A full plate is a nice thing to have, and I like to imagine most of us are keenly aware that this is not a luxury all are lucky enough to enjoy.

Then there is the other full plate: the fuel of our lives, made up of to do lists, obligations, chores, passionate pursuits and promises made to ourselves and loved ones.

This plate is rarely empty for many of us, as we hustle through the day trying to keep up with all we commit to.

Our hungers for achievement and successes drive us with voracious appetites…we pile the plates so high until we actually can’t see it all clearly anymore.

When my plate gets too full I start to lose my appetite.

When I get a plate that’s too full for too long – I have to say I stop knowing real hunger anymore. Literally, figuratively, or otherwise.

When this happens to me I know something’s got to go.

So whether you are looking to lighten your load by streamlining what you eat….or dropping a few commitments you’ve made, feel strong in knowing your strength and your wisdom can only do you good.

When times get tough, I always try to lighten the load (just a little).

Step 1: Don’t be ashamed, no one can do it all! Admitting weakness is healing and empowering. Better to know now than further down the road.

Step 2: Look objectively at your life. What brings you joy? What isn’t working?

step 3. Take action! You aren’t going to change overnight, but you can start tomorrow. March forward fearlessly!

Begin to make changes in small doses. This will show real results and can be very motivating, it also won’t overwhelm you.

If you need to devote 10% less time for a friend you just aren’t getting anymore, or even spend 10% less time volunteering because you haven’t time for yourself, you are only going to gain somewhere else. The same goes for your diet. Try cutting meat one day a week, or dairy, or sugar. Give yourself a small boost and try again. Small victories add up.

Chances are, when you streamline, you’ll start to see clearly again. And you may just end up finding that sweet spot, the modern holy grail, that sweet blissful spot known asΒ  just right’.

When you cut out what's not working, you will start to see clearly....you can even add a little more variety. Less is more.

I’m working on it constantly, and it’s why I am here today.

Because many of us could all do to live with (just a little) less.

I am so glad to have found some friends along the way….stay tuned next week – I’ll introduce you to two of my friends who are doing just that! We’ll follow their journey as they both give something up for the good of others….I am so excited to share their story.

I love this response from the Dalai Lama when asked what surprises him most:

β€œMan, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.”

  • Is your plate too full?
  • If you had to drop one thing from your life, what would it be?
  • Could you live with (just a little) less?
  • Are you already?

I’d love to know.

Stay tuned for a killer raw recipe tomorrow….a little something sweet!

Yours in Less,

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Filed under Aspirations, Discipline, Fasting, Going Without, Happiness, Hope, Inspiration, Non-Profit Organization, Not So Fast, Photography, Rejuvenation, Success, Uncategorized, Victory

Recipe: Creamy Cashew & Fresh Herb Dressing

It’s here! Has Cupid come by to kiss you yet?

I can see this morning there are a lot of folks pretty excited about Valentines Day. I hope everyone is feeling the love today!

It’s a day for the kids in our house, where they get to be reminded that their mother loves them. I like that, and so do they (they also don’t mind the Hershey’s kisses they find scattered on their bedroom floor when they awake).

We’ve never really made a big deal about this holiday, me and my husband ~ mostly I think because we are lucky to have been married for many happy years. To risk sounding (just a little) smug and corny, we actually still enjoy everyday together. Like, a lot. I know, right? It’s pretty great and we try to tell each other as much as possible (and we certainly did this morning).

So…to balance off the heart shaped cookies and sweet delicious treats out there today, here is a way to celebrate freshness. You might just want to plan this one for tomorrow after the big Valentine’s dinner!

This beautiful creamy salad dressing can be enjoyed with any meal. Because anyone taking the time to read blogs about food already knows the beauty in healthy food preparation made with love, all year round!

The Less:

Another creamy dairy-free substitute courtesy of the silky and decadent cashew. Less dairy in one’s diet can mean feeling lighter and clearer. Less saturated fat in our diets is a good thing, as is consuming less prepared salad dressings. This one could just become a favorite.

The More:

More fresh dressings means more motivation to eat more greens. More salads and fresh roughage leads to better elimination. More lightness, more good feelings. Nothing makes me happier than a fresh salad prepared just for me.

Here is how to enjoy this in one easy step:

Creamy Cashew & Fresh Herb Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup whole raw cashews
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 bunch fresh dill (or substitute fresh basil or parsley)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup water

Combine all ingredients except water in a blender. Start the blender and add water slowly, in 1/3 cup measurements to get the mixture swirling. Blend everything on high for 2 minutes until super creamy and smooth. Make sure there are no chunks of nuts left in the mixture – adding the water in increments helps to make this happen.

There is no need to soak the cashews in this case as the oil and water provide the extra silkiness.

Store dressing in a sealed glass jar in the fridge. This should keep for 3-4 days.

This dressing is delicious on crisp fresh greens (especially romaine lettuce or spinach) or cold steamed vegetables like asparagus or broccoli. Personally I celebrate any crutch to get more vegetables into my day. Especially when it’s this delicious!

I hope that whatever you do on this day that you feel loved.

Happy (and Healthy!) Valentines Day!

Yours in Less,

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Finding More in Tofino. And (just a little) oatmeal.

Finding more in just a little less busy-ness. We spent the weekend away. It was quiet, it was relaxed, it was oh so needed! (We spent the weekend in beautiful Tofino).

The Less:

This week I felt great during my fast. I thought a lot about clutter and how I can really streamline things and get rid of a lot of junk. Now I’m home and feeling inspired to organize and tackle a few big home projects I have been putting off (time to clean out that garage). Being away does wonders for the mind. I disconnected. Less clutter and less noise meant more much needed sleep and quiet time.

The More:

Delicious and satisfying oatmeal provides more energy, more stability, and more gounding than many other breakfast foods:) I always find fasting on a vacation travel day superb…no driving stress or routine demands. Just music, the sounds of my family, fresh hydrating water, and best of all, my husband doing the driving! Bliss. More relaxing, more family time, more peace of mind!

Here is how I found more this week with glorious healthy oatmeal:

Apple Oatmeal:

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1.5 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped
  • a few generous dollops of fresh Cashew Cream
  • nuts and currants for the top
  • Cinnamon and brown sugar or maple syrup (optional)

Combine oats, water, apples, and salt and bring to a light boil. Turn the heat down. Cook, 8-10 minutes on medium low with the lid on until the apples are soft.

Serve, topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon, Cashew Cream, toasted nuts, and currants. Add extra sweetener if you like.

This is fiber-rich, super-inexpensive, and wonderfully satisfying in the morning!

I sometimes call it endless oatmeal, there is no need to specify servings here as leftovers can go right in the fridge. The next day, simply add more water, more apple, more whatever and heat up again! It never ends and there are so many different ways to enjoy it. I like to use soft or slightly wrinkled apples – It’s economical and makes me feel good not to waste (I am very picky about fresh apples).

I am feeling rather invigorated after a mellow weekend catching up on sleep and fresh air with friends and family. Amen.

I’ll start planning the impending spring clean this week. I just want to enjoy this feeling a little longer…

  • Are you feeling cluttered in life?
  • What are some things you could do to get rid of?
  • What brings you peace of mind?

I’d love to know.

Yours in Less,

_


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