Unrefined Living

maintaining a healthy balance of the mind, body, and plate

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Healing Golden Milk

IMG_2980I’ve recently discovered a new love:  Golden Milk.  Last winter when I felt like I was getting sick I searched high and low for new home remedies (rephrase–new to me) to help boost my immune system and fight the nasty germ invaders.  And that’s when I stumbled across golden milk.  Although at that time I had no idea it was even called golden milk.  It was more recently, last month at a party, that a friend and I were talking and she mentioned that she drinks this regularly for it’s health benefits.  How did I not think to do that?  How did I not think to make this fabulously soothing drink on a more regular basis, not just when I was feeling sick?  And so this prompted me to begin my obsession with warm morning drinks.  And what better time then October to start drinking orange colored beverages?

So let’s get to the reason why this is a great drink for your body to have.  Sure the taste is smooth and creamy, pleasantly sweet and warm with a teeny tiny fiery kick….but there’s so much more to it.  Here is the condensed version:

Turmeric – a strong anti-inflammatory (helps relieve chronic inflammation); antioxidant; anti-aging; anti-fungal; anti-bacterial; boosts immune system (great for flu and cold season). Be careful, turmeric stains clothing..and fingers!!

Ginger – improves absorption and digestion; relieves nausea; anti-inflammatory (helps reduce pain and inflammation); strengthens immune system (also great during cold and flu season).

Ghee  – reduces inflammation; helps to improve digestive system; rich in Vitamins A, D, E, and K (promoting bone and brain health); contains minimal (if any) lactose, and is preservative free.

Raw Honey (local) – contains essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants; anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties; strenghtens immune system; helps relieve (in some instances eliminate) allergies; balances blood sugar; aids in digestion.

What you will need:

  • 1 inch of ginger root, grated (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
  • 1 inch turmeric root, grated (or 1tsp ground turmeric)
  • 2 tsp Ghee*
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond/coconut milk (or your own alternative)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp raw honey

Begin to heat milk and water over medium-high heat.  In a small bowl (I used a mortar and pestle) combine the ginger, turmeric, and ghee until it becomes a paste.  Add paste to milk while heating and when it begins to lightly bubble, turn heat off and let mixture steep for about 5 minutes. (Note:  you will either want to strain it with a fine mesh strainer, or what I did was use a mesh tea ball for the paste and let that simmer in the milk, even while I drank it).  Add honey and enjoy!

*Ghee can also be substituted with coconut oil, or omitted completely.IMG_1553

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Cashew Truffles

Do you ever have a severe snack craving?  I am sure you do.  Maybe salty, maybe sweet, but you don’t want to waste your energy eating something processed or store bought and unsatisfying?   Well thats what I love so much about making these little energizing treats.  First of all, despite the title “cashew” truffles, the truth is you can make these with any nut you have on hand.  I chose cashews because I prefer their smooth sweet taste, but I’ve made these with other raw nuts and they are just as tasty!  Not to mention, you can eat a bunch and instead of guilt, feel like you are snacking with a purpose (assuming you don’t eat them all in 5 minutes).  And, its fun to experiment. So, let’s get to it….
What you will need:

  • 1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/3 c raw cashews (also tossed in a tablespoon of mixed raw nuts because I wanted to use them up)
  • 6-7 pitted medjool dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla protein powder (I used SpiruTein)
  • 3 Tbsp cacao powder (raw unsweetened)
  • 2 Tbsp water  (more if too dry)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of pink himalayan sea salt (regular sea salt will do)
  • hemp seeds )option for sprinkling on top)


Combine coconut, cashews (and/or any other nuts you have), and dates in food processor or Vitamix and blend until it becomes a fine mix, a few nutty chunks are ok.  Add in protein and cacao powder and blend again. Add the water one tbsp at a time using your judgement to decide if it’s too moist or dry. Adjust as necessary.  Add the vanilla extract and sea salt.  Layer the bottom of a small bowl with shredded coconut. Make small quarter sized balls and roll into shredded coconut and set on a plate or tray. Refrigerate until ready to serve. If you are in a hurry like I was, freeze for about 20 minutes then stuff your face and enjoy 🙂



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Chocolate Cherry Smoothie



IMG_1005I am loving smoothies lately.  I used be a juicer, and I still am.  But recently my needs have changed and I crave thicker denser beverages.  Not to say this won’t change again soon, but for now I am addicted to chocolate smoothies.  Who wouldn’t be?  It’s chocolate for crying out loud!  And I love that I have the liberty of adding whatever the heck I want.  I always make sure to add veggies and protein so I can justify replacing a meal or snack with something chocolatey.  It’s a win win!!!


What you will need:

  • 6 frozen cherries
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • Handful spinach or kale
  • 1 C water/coconut water/milk
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cacao powder
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
  • 4-5 ice cubes (optional)

Add everything to high speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!


Acai Breakfast Smoothie Bowl

I am so excited!  My frozen acai packs arrived yesterday, which means that I can finally join in on this acai madness.  I’ve been eyeing these bowl creations for some time and finally had a chance to remind myself last week to order a bunch from Amazon.  Amazon as in the shopping website, not the rainforest…although that is essentially where the acai berry originates.


So what is acai, you ask?  And why the sudden obsession?  Well, as I said, acai berries are produced in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest and have been used for centuries to heal and boost energy.  The acai berry is most commonly known today as a “superfood,” meaning its loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and omega fatty acids. Regular consumption (and/or use) of acai has been said to help lower cholesterol, heal and improve the appearance of skin, aid in digestion, protect against harmful free-radicals, promote anti-aging, and reduce inflammation (just to name a few).   I always try to maintain a colorful diet since fruits and veggies that are brightly colored are our best protection against disease.  And since I’m a big fan of anything purple, this acai breakfast bowl most definitely has my support!  The only downside is the price.  But I am not making this everyday, at least not yet.  So hopefully my frozen packs will last me a while.  Hopefully…..

Ok, so getting back to the acai bowls.  I’ve been following instagrammers who create such gorgeous breakfast bowls that not only make my mouth water but also make me wonder how long it took to perfect such art!  Anyway, I did my best with what little art skills I have.  This breakfast was super filling and so cold, a perfect choice for 90 degree summer heat!  Eat up before it turns to soup.

photo-5What you will need (for 2 bowls):

  • 2 unsweetened acai frozen packs (I bought mine here)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 banana (not frozen)
  • 1 cup frozen organic blueberries
  • 6 frozen cherries (or strawberries)
  • 1/4 coconut milk (might need a few tbsp more)

Some optional toppings:

  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • banana slices
  • unsweetened coconut flakes
  • sprouted grain cereal (crunchy)
  • granola
  • carob/cacao nibs
  • chia seeds
  • flaxseed
  • goji berries
  • sliced kiwi
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (or honey)

Blend acai, frozen banana, cherries, milk, and banana until smooth.  You may need to stop and stir, then add a bit more milk depending on how dry the mix looks.  I added 2 more tablespoons to mine.  The consistency should be thick and smooth.  Spoon smoothie into two bowls and decorate with your favorite toppings.  Mix it all up and wolf it down.  Beware of the brainfreeze!  Enjoy 🙂


The after photo, with a few 70% dark chocolate chips 🙂

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Summer Fresh Green Juice

By now you probably have heard how great juicing can be for your body.  Well I have been juicing for over two years now and I feel amazing when I am consistent.  Not so amazing when I fall out of my routine.  Sometimes it’s hard to stick to something for an extended period of time.  Routines are easy to follow once you get into a mindset.  However, the minute you stray from your routine, it’s that much harder to find your way back.  I did indeed stray from my traditional morning juices and when I decided to get back to it, I learned that my tastes have drastically changed.  So I had to make some adjustments to my previous recipe.  At the moment I am hooked on this blend and it’s just in time for summer.


photo_2-9What you will need:

  • 2-4 leaves of organic Kale (the amount depends on the type and size you buy)
  • 4-5 mint leaves (optional)
  • 1 inch ginger root, peeled if non organic
  • 1/2 lime, rind removed
  • 1 small lemon (or 1/2 large), rind removed
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled if non organic
  • 1 organic apple, any kind
  • 1 pear, any kind


Add veggies (in order listed above) to juicer.  Pour into fancy jar and drink up.  Cheers!