Raw Pesto Pasta

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Traditional pesto pasta is incredible. A perfect comfort food with such an intense punch of flavor. But a giant bowl of pasta and cheese leaves me wanting to do nothing but take a long nap. So let’s take the unhealthy stuff out of the equation and substitute them with more vibrant and nourishing ingredients. This raw pesto pasta dish is delicious, light, and leaves you feeling fueled and invigorated.

The basil works as a fantastic anti-inflammatory, the zucchini is hydrating, the garlic boosts your immune system and the nuts are a great source of protein. Plus, this recipe is an absolute breeze to make and is ready to eat in minutes. enjoy it as a side dish or as an entree.

You will need:

3 large zucchini
1 cup of basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup slivered almonds
2 lemons
a pinch of sea salt
a pinch of black pepper
two large cloves of garlic
1 cup of yellow cherry tomatoes
1 cup sun dried tomatoes

To make the noodles, run your zucchini through a spiralizer or cut into long pasta like strips with a sharp paring knife. Squeeze juice of one lemon on noodles along with a sprinkle of sea salt. Mix and set aside in the refrigerator.

For the sauce, put basil, oil, almonds, garlic, and juice of one lemon in the food processor along with salt and black pepper to taste. Pulse until smooth.

Remove noodles from refrigerator and mix with sauce. Roughly chop both sun dried and fresh tomatoes and add to mixture. Toss and enjoy!

(Makes about two hearty servings)

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.

Embrace the Winter Vibes

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“Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moment, embark on a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.” – John Boswell

 

Winter is a beautiful season: a time to retreat a little, focus on yourself and explore your depths. However, sometimes the bitterness of the cold and wind can leave you with less than warm feelings towards winter. That’s why you need to cultivate routines that are meaningful, nurturing and help you get the most out of these months of hibernation. Here are some of our favorite winter rituals that warm your body and soul:

 

Ginger Lemon Tea

Begin your morning with a warm cup of lemon and ginger tea, an ancient Ayurvedic tradition. It stimulates digestion, alkalizes your body, gives you a boost of energy and will help ward off cold and flus.Add some of our organic cold-pressed Good Good lemon and Ginger Ninja ginger boosters to your next order. Drop a half ounce of each into warm water and you have a delicious and immunity-boosting tea that will warm you up from the inside out.
 

Bentonite Clay and Facial Steams

Treat yourself to an at-home spa experience with one of our newest obsessions, Bentonite Clay. Bentonite Clay is a detoxifying clay that is very unique due to its ability to produce an “electrical charge” when mixed with liquid. The absorbent clay possesses a strong negative charge which bonds to the positive charge in many toxins, heavy metals and impurities allowing it to absorb and extract them. You can literally feel your skin pulsate from the charges removing the toxins.
 

Kick off the pampering session by doing a relaxing facial steam. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils, like eucalyptus, lemongrass or tea tree, to hot (but not boiling) water to unwind and warm up after a long winter day. This will open up your pores, clear your sinuses and relieve any congestion you may have. Relax and breathe in the aromatic steam for about 15 minutes. Then apply your detoxifying mask made up of equal parts Bentonite Clay and water or apple cider vinegar. After 15-20 minutes, wash it off and then it is time for facial steam round two. You will be amazed by how smooth, soft and radiate your skin looks and feels afterwards.
 

If you really want to soak up the winter vibes, draw a bath and make an evening of it. Light a candle and put on some of your favorite mellow music. Dry brush for 5-10 minutes prior to open up your pores and exfoliate away any rough or dry skin. You can add 1/4 cup of the Bentonite Clay plus a few drops of essential oil to a warm tub to detox and soften your entire body. Dip into this relaxing and rejuvenating bath… and let the worries and the cares of the chilly day melt away.
 

Give Yourself a Little GLOW (Cleanse)

Dry skin, crackling lips, dull hair- why does winter do this to us? Bring life back into your body, shine back into your hair and warmth back into your skin with our GLOW cleanse. It’s the perfect cold-pressed combination for this time of the year. It not only protects your hair, skin and nails from the elements but it also helps you stay in fighting form through even the harshest of winter weather. Fight off colds and flus with a daily dose of Vitamin C from the immunity-boosting Bonfire Cider. Feel nourished with the Green Mama and revived with the Sweet Harvest. Let the antioxidant rich Liquid Sunshine hydrate your skin, nails and hair. This cleanse will have you looking as good on the outside as you feel on the inside.

Detox Smoothie

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Holiday festivities and New Year cheers-ing got the best of you? Every bit of indulgence was worth it, but now it’s time to get yourself back on track. 2015 is your year! Time to take your health into your own hands. No idea where to begin? No stress- simply show your body love and respect and everything else will fall into place. Incorporating a smoothie into your daily routine is an effective and realistic goal for 2015. To help you with this, we have a super easy detoxifying green smoothie recipe that will flush out the toxins, cleanse your system and nourish your body.

We like to make our smoothies as simple, nutritious and delicious as possible by using an MJF juice as the base. Our cold-pressed raw juices are tasty, satisfying and packed with the most amazing variety of micro-nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and minerals that nature has to offer. This smoothie is made with The Ditch, our detox drink that hydrates, alkalizes and cleanses your body.When you combine The Ditch with the purifying power of fiber-rich leafy greens, you are left with a smoothie that will leave you feeling replenished, rebalanced and ready to tackle all of your resolutions!

Detox Smoothie

  • 1 16oz. The Ditch (celery, green apple, pineapple, coconut water, lemon, burdock root, dandelion root)
  • 2 cups (1 large bunch) organic leafy greens (spinach, parsley, kale or Swiss chard)
  • 1 frozen organic banana or avocado
  • 1 small handful of ice
  • Chia seeds (optional), to garnish

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Enjoy right away to get the maximum benefits from the nutrients.

*** If your primary focus with green smoothies is cleansing, then it goes without saying that organic fruits and greens should be used for ingredients. You are being counterproductive if you are using fruits and vegetables that have been sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides!

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.

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.

Beach Break

At MJF we don’t have work breaks, we have beach breaks- and we aren’t just referring to our delicious and refreshing watermelon, mint, and hibiscus juice (although that is a fan favorite). When we need some time to unwind, we take to the beach. Not only is a walk along the beach awesome for clearing the mind and relaxing but it also has added health benefits!

 

Walking in the sand requires about 2.5 times more energy than walking on hard surfaces. This causes you to burn 20- 50% more calories, without being too hard on your joints and feet due to the natural cushion the sand provides for you.

 

Not only does the sand feel amazing as it massages your soles but it also activates venous and lymphatic circulation. Sand also serves as mother nature’s exfoliant, peeling away dead skin cells, leaving your skin smoother and rejuvenated.

 

If you let the waves come up and splash your legs while you’re strolling along the coast, you will be getting the added benefit of soaking up all the minerals that are in salt water that cleanse and  heal the skin.

 

Walking barefoot is thought to ground us and reconnect us with nature, allowing us to de-stress and fill us with good vibes.

 

By Colleen Kelly

 

 

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 Photo Cred: @laurenrmarks

 

 

 

 

Honey Cinnamon Face Mask

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Honey Cinnamon Face Mask

 

The honey cinnamon face mask is a quick, easy, all natural mask to help exfoliat your beautiful skin! This mask softens and tightens skin, as well as reduces redness.

 

  1. In a bowl add 1 tablespoon honey

  2. Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  3. Add 1 teaspoon nutmeg

  4. Mix all together

  5. Apply to skin and let it sit for 20 minutes

 

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Sleepyhead Breakfast

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Sleepyhead Breakfast

 

Breakfast is good. It’s 90% of the reason I get out of bed in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, my daily grind rules, I just like sleep more than most living things probably should and the promise of putting something in my belly that makes me feel awesome and is totally delicious is what stops me from hitting the snooze button that 18th time. While breakfast should be delicious, I believe it should also be easy. It’s the first meal of the day… we’re too groggy to show off any serious culinary skills. Family’s in town and coming over for an AM gathering at your place?  Someone spent the night whom you want to impress with your domestic side?  Fine, but in my book that’s brunch. Brunch is special and is done after a weekend’s night sleep which is significantly longer than a weekday one. When I have to wake up early with a full day ahead of me I need something nourishing and satisfying and I need it on the go. But just because it happens quickly doesn’t mean it can’t be fantastic. Here are a couple of my favorites:

 

Vanilla Spice Chia Pudding

 

Oh man.  This one’s serious. Honestly, it’s like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.. without the crunch.  Great for breakfast.  Also great for dessert.

In a blender combine
one cup coconut milk
half a vanilla bean*
a few dashes of pumpkin pie or apple pie spice blend
(which is mostly made up of cinnamon and nutmeg)
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup maple syrup

blend for a few seconds and pour the mixture into a bowl with 1/4 cup chia seeds.  mix, cover, and refrigerate overnight.  It will be perfect and ready for consumption by morning.

*I know real vanilla bean is expensive but it’s really worth it. You can use extract if you’re on a seriously tight budget… but slicing that bean open and scraping out the good stuff… oh man, there’s nothing quite like it.

 

Savory Oatmeal

 

Yeah I said it.  Everyone loves oatmeal.  It’s good for you and it fills you up real fast. perfect breakfast food.  Cool.  But I’ve always preferred savory over sweet, so here’s my alternative to the traditional oatmeal bowl.
After you’ve made your oats (stove top, slow cooker, instant, overnight, whatever) mix in some nutritional yeast, put it in a bowl, and make a little nest out of it.  Then, fill that nest with whatever your crazy little heart desires.  Think omelete ingredients:  peppers, onions, tomatoes, squash, broccoli, spinach, garlic, tofu.  Here’s a good one to start out with:

 

1 cup of:
Shiitake mushrooms, baby portabello mushrooms, crimini mushrooms
2 sprigs of thyme
2 chopped shallots
olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste

 

Sautee and serve inside adorable little oatmeal nest.

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Another thought: I think juice is vital for the morning.  Especially a green one.  It’s not that I never drink coffee… It’s just that, I don’t know… maybe I’m a wuss, but a caffeine buzz sometimes gets me too anxious for my liking.  Juice on the other hand gives you a real energy burst instead of an artificial one, and it fills you with the essentials you need to wake up and stay focused.  I recommend experimenting with kale, bok choy, spinach, apple, pear, ginger, and absolutely any citrus fruit for a perfect morning juice.  I also recommend making it the night before so it’s ready to go when you wake up.  And first and foremost, before you ingest anything in the morning, start with a giant glass of water.  I’ve found that hydration wakes me up more than anything.  I hope these ideas help to better your morning ritual.

 

Sincerely,

 

The girl who would prefer to stay in bed till noon

 

 

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: Camp Hero

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Looking for a cool spot to explore in Montauk? Camp Hero is legit. “Undetermined” bluffs, cliffs that make you feel like you’re on another planet, a killer view of the lighthouse- it is a beautiful spot to slow down, enjoy the moment and connect with the earth. Just BYO pineapple.

Oh, just contemplating life.

Oh, just contemplating life.

Just please watch where you’re going. No ‘gramming near the edge, please.

Camp Hero lighthouse

Camp Hero White Caps

Whitecaps for days.

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Just bluffin with you.   Mah whole crew is loungin.

A reclining Oat spotted in his natural habitat.