The Real Deal Banana Bread

The Real Deal Banana Bread

 

Banana

Vegan. Gluten free. Refined sugar free.

 

Banana Bread is absolutely delicious and can be made super healthy.  I’m down for anything that you can eat both for breakfast or dessert… aren’t you?  For this bread you will need:

 

3 ripe bananas

 

2 tablespoons coconut oil

 

1 cup almond, rice, or chick pea flour

 

1 cup raw coconut flour

 

3/4 cup maple syrup

 

1 teaspoon salt

 

1 teaspoon baking soda

 

one table spoon cinnamon

 

1/2 cup raspberries

 

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients together on a large bowl.  Leave out a few raspberries and a bit of banana to garnish.  Pour mix into a wax paper lined pyrex, garnish and bake for about 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.  Cool for about 20-30 minutes and serve.

 

Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger. Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her. It was then that her love affair with whole foods began. As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet. With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style. When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it. 

 

MJF Loves Kayaking

Kayaking around the lake has quickly grown to be my new favorite part of my daily routine. It becomes a meditative experience as I drift away and allow my mind to wander. I bask in the beauty of mother nature and count my blessings. I am so grateful to be living in a such a breathtaking and magical place, filled with wonderfully delightful and unique characters, who I get to help live cleaner, healthier, and fuller lives. It is important for all of us to take the time out of our busy schedules to just stop, sit back, and take it all in from time to time. That’s what my kayak rides are about, taking it all in, and remember that life is good and that I am beyond blessed.

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xo

Call_juice

GO AHEAD, GLOW ON!

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The Liquid Sunshine (orange, pineapple, coconut water, aloe vera, lemon, ginger, and turmeric) is one of our favorite juices. It leaves you feeling refreshed and gives you an undeniable glow

 

Here are some of my other favorite ways to get my glow on!

 

*A simple DIY Glow mask that consists of only two ingredients: 2 tsp of  lemon juice + 2 tsp of honey. Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which helps clear impurities from your pores, while softening your skin. Lemon acts as a natural exfoliant and brightener.

 

*Eating avocados! . That’s right just pay the extra cost for guacamole. The high content of omega-3 helps to create a glowing complexion by reducing inflammation, promotion of cell growth, and controls the oils in your body. Toss them in a salad, throw a few slices on a sandwich, put some in your omelette, spread on your toast instead of butter, mix into a smoothie to make it a little creamier or grab a spoon and eat it as is.

 

*Running! Sweating helps expel all the dirt and oil that is trapped in your pores, giving you that post-workout glow. Just make sure to wash your face after so all that dirt and oil doesn’t get sucked back into your pores.

 

*Positive Thinking. “If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely” -Roald Dahl. Positive people always seem more radiant

 

Go get your shine on!

 

Natural Beauty Products

Fortunately, natural beauty is real trendy right now. I feel like there are more and more dye free products and fewer flat irons being sold everyday.  It’s a wonderful thing.. especially when you’re kinda lazy like me or if you think you look like a clown when you wear both eyeliner and lipsticks at the same time… also like me.  But now the all natural beauty product pool is absolutely flooded.  Going into a Sephora or even my local drugstore can be overwhelming. I can never tell what’s real and what’s pretending to be.  As a result I rarely try anything new.  Most of my beauty routine involves products that my mother used before I was even born.  She passed these things on to me as a child and I still use them to this day.  I think the test of time is what really proves a product… you know?

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Dr. Bronner Soap

They started making this stuff in 1858.  Yeah, it’s sold at American Apparel right now but this soap is super old school.  It lasts forever and has a million purposes aside from just body wash (I’m pretty sure you can’t wash your dishes or your baby with that bottle of Pantene you’ve got in your bathroom… but with this you totally can).  The peppermint scented is awesome for summer time because it makes your skin super cool and tingly.  The best part is reading the kooky religious propaganda on the label while you shower.  Seriously good read

Tiger Balm
Developed in 1909 it’s the perfect remedy for sore muscles or the day after you sleep funny and can’t move your neck.

Bag Balm
This company opened it’s doors in 1899 making a product that’s perfect for feet, elbows, and knees.  It’s quite the callus aide.  It was originally used by farmers to soften cow utters.  Weird, right?

Aveda Volumizing tonic
Aveda started in 1978.  Okay that’s not the most impressive establishment date… but I’m really into their products.  This volumizing tonic is really great for wavy hair.  Gives it that cool piecey beachy look without being sticky and gross.

Smith’s Rosebud Salve
Rosebud Perfume Co. started making this all purpose salve in 1892.  Use it as lip balm, moisturizer, or rub a bit behind your ears and on your wrists and wear it as perfume.  It’s smells exactly like a flower.

Coconut Oil
Seems to be everybody’s favorite thing ever these days and for good reason.  I don’t really use lotion.  When my skin needs some serious attention I cover myself head to toe in coconut oil before I get in the shower and wait around for a minute.  I wash it off and it leaves my skin very smooth and glowing.  I also use it after I’ve been in the sun to avoid pealing.  I don’t know anything else that leaves your skin with that particular shiny look… I’m really into it.

Vitamin E Oil
Great for healing scars and treating severely dry skin.  I use it on my lips in the winter when they’re super chapped.

Lemon Juice
I remember when I was younger I’d spray Sun-In in my hair before heading out to the beach or pool and after just a few days of that my hair would look exactly like a bowl of curly cheese doodles.  If you’re like me and want to aide the sun’s process of lightening your hair in the summer but are looking for a color a bit more natural than “Velveeta,” just use lemon juice.  Run the juice of one lemon through your hair with your fingers before a day in the sun and you’ll notice results most likely that evening.  Make sure to hit your hair with a moisturizer/conditioner afterwards because the acidity of citrus tends to dry things out.

I know this is painfully corny but in all honesty, you’re absolutely gorgeous just the way you are.  Beauty products shouldn’t create an illusion.. they should enhance what you were born with.  You were given a beautiful body… use these lovely trusted potions to help you take good care of it.

By Lee Kalpakis
Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger. Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her. It was then that her love affair with whole foods began. As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet. With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style. When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

The Power of the Mermaid Pose

It’s no secret that MJF supports strong, badass and empowering females aka MJFmermaids. What better way to get in touch with your inner mermaid goddess than practicing the powerful and invigorating mermaid yoga pose.

The mermaid pose is an advanced version of pigeon pose, so only attempt it if you are comfortable with pigeon.

 

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This enlivening pose will challenge your balance as you open your hips and quad muscles while stretching your back into a beautiful arch. Find strength in your core and pelvic floor, and feel an exhilarating freedom from the waist up as you open up your chest, shoulders, and heart.

After you have allowed yourself to soak up the vibrational energy that comes from this pose and feel the stimulation in your abdominal organs, relax in Savasana and imagine you are floating through the salt water like a mermaid.

 

Photo Cred: @yoyoganyc

 

MJF Inspiration

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“You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sign of the shore.”
– Anonymous

Don’t be afraid to take risks- no matter how scary they may be. Follow your dreams and don’t let anything or anyone prevent them from becoming a reality. Let go of all the negativity in your life and always keep going forward.

Staying Seasonal: Roasted Fennel with Heirloom Tomatoes

I have two rules about grocery shopping:
 

1) Don’t go when you’re hungry and
 

2) always make a list.
 

Going to the grocery store or market for me is like going to a carnival for a kid. It’s a real rush of excitement. But that excitement 100% of the time leads to over spending, and since I’m a kid on a budget I try to avoid that by staying as organized as possible.  I make sure I’m not hungry when I go so I don’t end up with stacks of frozen pizzas (just because the picture on the box looks good) and I make a list so I know I’m leaving with everything I need. But when it comes to produce, I play a wild card game every once in a while. I love going to the farmer’s market without any reconceived notion of what I’m going to make for dinner and I base my purchases solely on what’s gorgeously in season.

 

 

It’s late July, so when it comes to seasonal eating we’re really in the thick of something lovely. I went to my farmers’ market today to play the game.  I came home with fennel and some cute little heirloom tomatoes. It made for a really incredible roast.

 

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One fennel bulb sliced
One cup cherry tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
Drizzle of olive oil
Sprinkle of sea salt

 

That’s it. Broil for about 30 minutes in the oven. Eat as is, on a bed of greens with lemon juice, or on Ezekiel bread or pita with a bit of pesto or mustard. It’s so good. But you can choose anything.  It’s always a surprise and it works for every season.  Yes, I have my staple groceries that are always in my pantry, but sticking with seasonal produce always makes for the most beautiful meal.  Enjoy bending the rules.  

You deserve it.

 

 

Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger. Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her. It was then that her love affair with whole foods began. As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet. With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style. When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.

MJF Field Trip

Field Trip to the West Coast

#MJFonthego

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17 Mile Drive: Monterey Peninsula:

 

Pebble Beach

 

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Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit”

 

 

Fanshell Overlook: A haven for adorable little harbor seals

 

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The Lone Cypress: One of California’s most enduring landmarks, prevailing on its rocky perch for over 250 years

 

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Muir Woods: Home to the magnificent redwoods

 

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Well nourished trees

 

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View from the top (Lombard Street)

 

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#MJFmermaids

 

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Until the next adventure,

xx The MJF Wanderer