Cider-Cinnamon Brussels Sprouts Recipe

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I was able to share it with my loving family and boyfriend. It was a beautiful day and, as always, we had enough leftovers to feed Occupy Wall Street. 

This year, I upgraded from sous-chef to executive chef in the kitchen. I made some mean mashed sweet potatoes and I stuffed my first turkey. It was magical. But, the one dish I'm most proud of is my cider-cinnamon brussels sprouts. These aren't the mushy brussels sprouts that haunt your childhood memories. No, these little guys are the A-team of sprouts and pack a flavorful punch. 

I've never had brussels sprouts until today. Raw, they taste like broccoli. Cider-Cinnamon-y, they taste like a choir of angels singing Hallelujah in my mouth.

I just got an iPhone, so I will be illustrating my post with step-by-step pictures instead of words. I'm too stuffed to type about food and the pictures are clear as crystal and bootyful. Below is a snapshot of the recipe. Enjoy!

Happy BLACK Friday!


Eat like a Caveman this Thanksgiving

Turkey Day is a time to surround ourselves with loved ones and appreciate all the good things that fill our lives. Thanksgiving is also an opportunity to stuff our faces while wearing our favorite stretch pants. Being one of the biggest meat-eating days of the year, it is a perfect opportunity to channel our inner-nethanderals.

The "Paleo Diet" is also known as the "Caveman Diet" because it mimics the eating habits of our Paleolithic ancestors. It supposed to be extremely healthy and it won't starve you to the bone. Plus it's great for the environment. I'm not a fan of diets in general, but I'll look into anything that encourages eating more turkey and helping the Earth. This is what I found:

This diet is composed of high protein and low carbohydrates (no grains, dairy, soy, or refined sugar). Here are some pros and cons to consider:

  • Clearer skin
  • Improves sleeping habits
  • Decreased sickness
  • Greater weight loss
  • Stable energy
  • Helps to build lean muscle and, in combo with exercise, can reduce the % of body fat
  • If you don't watch portion size, the Paleo Diet can be high in calories. Portion control and exercise is important!
  • The food (organic, grass-fed, free-range) can be pricey.
  • It can be difficult to eat out and still maintain the diet (but not impossible!)

Why the Paleo Diet and the Environment are Friends
  • Though soy is a staple among vegetarians, it has been responsible for intense deforestation in countries like Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. A lot of soy products are also processed---*sad face*
  • Dairy foods may be worse for than environment than pork and chicken
  • Farm animals that thrive  on grass are a part of sustainable agriculture because grazing = happy plant growth
  • Paleo-based foods are healthier compared to non-Paleo foods like cereals because processed foods produce more greenhouse gas emissions

So far, this concept has gotten my attention and roused my tastebuds. I like that it focuses on high grass-fed proteins and low processed grains. I don't portray this is a diet per say but a great lifestyle. I think diets are only successful in the short-term but a healthy lifestyle brings long term benefits.

Try it out this out for the upcoming holidays, but incorporate healthy eating habits into your every day routine! As for tomorrow, bring on the turkey!


Seep Yourself Healthy: Hot Tea Guide & Benefits

Hello all.
Long time no talk.
I apologize 
(college has been consuming all my free time, how rude).

I love tea. 
Not only is it tasty, but it helps fix everything
... bad moods, low motivation, sicknesses, etc ... 
basically there's a tea for every occasion, 
except one that helps you win the lottery 
(I'm conducting research now). 

I was reading an article in my Self magazine,

and there was an article about 6 teas that provide certain health perks. 
I wanted to share, so I made an easy guide to selecting the perfect tea. 
Seep your way to a healthier you!

Which tea is right for you?

Want to slim down? 

Black tea may help you do that. Black tea may prevent your body from absorbing fat from food, but consume it plain because milk or cream may counteract the fat fighting effects. 

Try Bigelow's Organic Ceylon (plus it's fair trade certified!):


Chamomile calms allergies (plus it's a great pre-sleep remedy). Flavonoids in this tea act like antihistamines, but you'll need to drink it daily to get its full effect.

Try Traditional Medicinals' (this brand rocks, they have a tea for everything) Organic Chamomile:

Hate goopy sunscreen?

Green tea may help protect against harmful UV rays, but pair with a non-sticky sun screen to stay well guarded against Mr. Sun.

Got a Keurig?, try Celestial's green tea K-Cups:

Need to lower your blood pressure?

Hibiscus tea may help lower blood pressure. A study showed that people who drank three 8 oz. cups of crimson tea a day saw their BP drop by 7.2 points!

Try Celestial's Red Zinger:

Have no gym motivation?

Peppermint tea helps increase athletic performance. The smell of the mint leaves help kick your gym motivation into high gear! I also drink peppermint tea after meals to help digestion!

Try Twinings' Pure Peppermint:

Need to lower your cholesterol?

Rooibus tea may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. It's like magic.

Try Tazo's African Red Bush:

Try all 6 to turbo boost your health benefits!
Seep yourself healthy! Enjoy!


Bubble Tea...health friend or foe?

Oh no she didn't. 
Yes, I did.

I'm re-posting one of my most popular posts.


Bubble tea always seems to attract the same initial reaction from those who have never experienced it. Here's a typical dialogue between an experienced bubble tea drinker and a newbie.

Newbie: What is that? 
Expert: A bubble tea.
Newbie: Uh, what's a bubble tea? 
Expert: *Ahem* ..well it's a milk based or flavored, usually fruity, tea that contains tapioca balls.
Newbie: Hm okay, well, what are tapioca balls?
Expert: They kinda look like black, slimy fish eggs.
Newbie: Uh ew, no way are those going any where near my mouth. *Walks away*
The End.

I agree that tapioca balls are not super appealing and, sadly, have no physical relation to the pudding. They're chewy and contain no true flavor...are you drooling yet? I'm sure you're craving a big bowl of tapioca balls, mhmm. The straws are extra wide in diameter to fit more balls per sip. Need a laugh?, witness a person's first bubble tea. The initial shock of someone sucking tea followed by these chewy, slimy tapioca pearls is priceless.

I am Team Bubble Tea. My friends and I get it all the time. With that being said--I don't wanna kill your bubbly high and turn into Healthy Helga (but I will), but I was curious on how healthy bubble tea really was. I mean, tea is calorie-free and how bad can fish eggs be? I was sad about my findings.

My bubble tea of choice? Pineapple or apple green tea with tapioca balls. I don't get a milk based tea, but if ordered the milk (or non-dairy creamer) is usually not low in fat or calories. Then if you choose a fun flavoring (pineapple!) they are way high sugar content. Now the most depressing part: the "bubbles" are pure starch, they are made from cassava roots (looked that one up). Maybe their starchiness was common knowledge but for some reason I thought these balls would be made of some magical, low-calorie ingredient.  Tapioca pearls can have over 200 calories per serving (yikes!), and the tea houses I've been to are not light on the balls. They are actually pretty generous with their balls, so beware. So what was once thought of as an innocent, fun loving tea (see picture above) can rack up to over 500 calories depending on size, flavoring, and ball count.

Sigh. So another disappointing experience where something so delicious isn't so healthy. To have your tea and drink it, too?, opt out of the tapioca pearls. If you really can't part from them (and who wants ball-less tea?), then resist adding a sugar flavoring and keep it plain and simple...or just decrease your size from a medium to a small. Too attached and can't make any modifications to your bubble tea order? Well, just like everything else that isn't technically good for you, it's okay in moderation. You may not get a full serving of fruit (sorry V8), but I don't see an issue with an occasional bubble tea, I actually support it. Go balls out (or in?). 


Woman's Best Friend: Part II

Unconditional love isn't limited to humans.

Hi everyone, I've been MIA lately due to a loss in my family. Heidi, my 15 year old miniature schnauzer, passed away last week (Here's my post about her several months ago).  We've been anticipating this day because of her old age, but it's something I'd never be fully prepared for. I was away at school, so I wasn't there when she passed (which I'm partly thankful for); I know she died peacefully in my dad's arms and had a burial fit for a pharaoh. I miss her more than I can express but she couldn't of been loved more than she was. 

Love your pets. It's amazing when they're here but so hard when they leave. Heidi has given me 15 wonderful years of memories; I will hold on to those for the rest of my life.


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