PB and J With Bananas

img_3404If you’re anything like me in the sense that breakfast is your most favorite meal of the day, and also, your sweet-tooth awakes as you awake, then give this breakfast on the run, quick snack, or even dessert option a go.  Not only this keeps me full for hours, but also satisfies my need for sugar.  I have learned that intaking natural sugar from fruits and raw honey earlier in the day, keeps me satisfied while maintaining  a steady energy flow.

I am recommending a slice or two of #ezekielbread toasted, smear real peanut butter #krogernaturalfoods, slice one very ripe banana, and drizzle with #rawunfilteredhoney #stroopfarms. Sprinkle some #chiaseed on top as I did, last minute.  You can of course use whatever you have on hand as these are just my preferred ingredients and brands.

Get your sugar on!

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My Top Tips For Visiting Joshua Tree National Park. #joshuatreenationalpark

 

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Holidays at JTP

Let me begin  by saying that this is unlike any park you’ve visited before!  It is a place where Colorado Desert and Mojave Desert meet and marry, as I’d like to say.  You must be thinking, desert?!  Let me tell you that this extrodinary place on planet earth is so diverse in its landscape, vegetations, animals, and  of course, your not- so-ordinary Cactus trees… not to mention the mountainous surroundings, carved canyons, and the rocky hills.

For our trip, we flew from Dallas to LAX and rented a car for our excursions. After  considering several lodging options near the park, we decided to establish Palm Springs as our place to stay.  Our drivetime from Palm Springs to the park was under an hour each way. We love Palm Springs and wanted to have a comfortable stay at night and also access more dinner options in the evening. So I would recommend this itinerary  as Tip #1.

I hope my tips can be helpful to the daytrip visitors from Los Angeles/orange county, out-of-state visitors, or Palm Springs visitors who want to see a bit more of the desert.

Tip #2: One of the many ways to enter the park is from Palm Springs and I’m going to highly recommend the way that gets you to the West Station entrance .  Take 60 to 62 and it will take you through the breathtaking canyons (winding road), Yucca Valley, and drops you at the West Entrance entrance.  Pay a small entrance fee and you’re on the way. The second way is entering from the Cottonwood Visitor enterance,  southern part of the park, off of highway 10.

 

Tip #3:  Begin your day early so that you will have sufficient time to see as much as possible.  You can always turn around and exit back towards Palm Springs from the same entrance or you may continue towards the southern part of the park and exit through the Cottonwood Visitor center Which is what we did.  This exit will put you on highway 10 which is a straight shot back to Palm Springs or where you drove from.

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Tip #4:  Entering  Cottonwood Visitor Center entrance will provide you with a more flat and desert like views, followed by a visit to the Cholla botanical garden.  You can always turn around at any point and head back towards the Highway 10 or continue on towards the west entrance station. As you continue, you will notice a complete change of scenery in the Mojave desert section compared to the beginning of this route. It’s stunning!

 

Tip #5  If you like camping, it’s very doable here, so just research the details on their website. We saw several people who were camping out and seem to be having a blast.

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Tip #6  Don’t hesitate to climb the rocks. We saw both amateur and professional climbers. Just be careful!

Tip #7: Rent a car and drive if it’s feasible. The freedom to pullover and linger is priceless.

Tip #8: You can visit the park year around, but I recommend springtime for the blossoms and fall for mild weather, otherwise expect heat.

Tip #9: Dress in layers for comfort.

Tip #10: Consider your needs and wants for this visit, but really allow a day to see and take in all the beauty. Most importantly, enjoy Mother Nature.

When Will you visit??

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Yogurt Parfait Breakfast #dreamingcow #plainyogurt

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This is a great breakfast option for those mornings when you are looking to eat something  that’s quick to prepare, gives you steady energy, and is scrumptious.  The protein in the plain yogurt, natural sugar from the varietal fruits, and the satisfying crunch from the nuts /cheerios combo will provide all that.  You can use what you currently have in your fridge or include what I had on hand on this day.  I make this often and absolutely love the fact that it keeps me full for hours and satisfies my sweet-tooth. Sometimes, I even have it as a desert. Yes, I do.

The options are endless!  Get “jiggy wit it.”

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Total prep time: under 10 minutes.

  1. slice up a ripe banana in a bowl. To that, add a handful of grapes and blueberries.
  2. Top off the fruits with a half cup of plain yogurt.
  3. Sprinkle some shredded-unsweetened coconut and shaved almonds, pinch of cinnamon, and a drizzle of agave syrup.
  4. adding 2 tablespoon of your favorite cereal (Cheerios for me) is optional.
  5. Breakfast is ready. Enjoy!

 

#blueagave #cheerios

 

 Egg-tastic Breakfast Sandwich #ezekielenglishmuffin

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Total prep, cooking, and assembling time: about 10 minutes .

one egg and added splash of egg white (for extra protein) to be cooked any way you wish.  Mine was over-medium.

Add the cooked egg to a toasted Ezekiel English Muffin, smear some mayo to one side, and top it with a few slices of tomatoes.

Viola!! Enjoy!

This delicious and high-protein sandwich held me for about 4 hours until lunchtime.  Great option for breakfast, even lunch, or when you need to prepare something fast. #Ezekiel #cagefreebrowneggs #sproutsfarmersmarket #mayo

 

My speedy and healthy version of #threebeansoup

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Soup for cold days or when you need to make something in a pinch.  Preparing and cooking it took all under one hour. This recipe makes 4 servings. My way of measurement is to eye the ingredients. Let’s begin!

  1. Saute one whole onion, half,  or even omit it if you prefer. I use a lot of onion in the colder months, mainly for its natural antibiotic properties.
  2. Add half cup of lentils, fill up half way with hot water and dump one can of chicken broth.  Add  your seasonings or mine in the recipe.  Once it comes to a boil, put the lid on, turn down the heat to medium and set a timer for 30 minutes. walk away and go do whatever you like!
  3. Check lentils for done-ness. Open one can of white beans, one can of red beans and dump both in the pot. I’m a fan of canned beans because of convenience and their easiness on the stomach. I prefer Sprouts canned beans. You can also use soaked-beans  if you wish. set your timer for 5 minutes and begin preparing for the last step.
  4. Wash cilantro (or spinach, kale, whatever you have on hand) and give it a rough chop.  Add it to the pot, turn off stove, and move the pot off the heat.
  5. let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Serve in a bowl and add drizzle of olive oil for taste.
  7. Bon Appetit !     #sproutsfarmersmarket #Costco

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The Underrated RED #zinfandel

cline-3As a lover of Merlot, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Malbec, I rarely noticed Zinfandel before.  I knew that I never liked White Zinfandel, so I blocked off Zin all together. It wasn’t until our stay at a B&B in Sonoma that I was introduced to Zinfandel. I remember one evening, a lovely husband and wife introduced themselves as the owners of Cline Winery while pouring their varietal for us. I tasted Zinfandel (the picture above) for the first time. It was love at first taste #cline. Later that year, we took another “I must see all Wine Countries before I die” trip. This time, to Amador Wine Country, the mecca for ZINFANDEL. That’s another blog post of its own. If you like to explore, Cline can be your first go to. Cheers!!!#zinfandel