YUM! 7 Sexy Salads

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7 Sexy Salads

Salads don’t have to be boring, they can be super fun and really delicious! Here are 7 sexy salads from around the web that will have your waist line shrinking and your taste buds singing!!

7 Sexy Salad Recipes that will have your waistline shrinking and your taste buds singing!!

This power salad is super simple: chicken, avocado, pine nuts, feta cheese, tomatoes and spinach. I love it topped with Garlic Expressions salad dressing. The flavor is utter perfection! This salad is hearty enough for dinner and excellent for entertaining!

7 Sexy Salad Recipes that will have your waistline shrinking and your taste buds singing!!

White House Salad – Some of the contestants on “The Biggest Loser,” NBC’s weight-loss reality show, need encouragement to eat salads instead of junk food. White House chef Sam Kass was up to the task when he helped a visiting “Loser” hopeful make a salad that almost no one can get enough of. Courtesy of ”A White House Garden Cookbook“ by Clara Silverstein.

7 Sexy Salad Recipes that will have your waistline shrinking and your taste buds singing!!

This Vegetarian Taco Salad from Yummy Mummy is to LIVE for!! OM GOSH, so good and so gorgeous!! I would omit the tempeh from the recipe as I’m not a fan tempeh or any processed “meat” products. It will still be delicious and filling without it!!

7 Sexy Salad Recipes that will have your waistline shrinking and your taste buds singing!!

This Winter Kale Salad is oh so simple and delicious. It’s beautiful color makes it the perfect start any holiday meal. Again, I would leave out the tempeh and maybe add some roasted butternut squash or sweet potato instead!

7 Sexy Salad Recipes that will have your waistline shrinking and your taste buds singing!!

This Crispy Chickpea and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad from Mountain Mamma looks so good I almost can’t stand it…almost. This is just lovely and will make a great snack, lunch, or dinner meal. I think it is the perfect winter salad!

7 Sexy Salad Recipes that will have your waistline shrinking and your taste buds singing!!

You will develop a new found love of brussels sprouts after trying this recipe. This salad is simple perfection and oh so easy to make. I love recipes like this that use just a few simple ingredients: brussels, red onion, lemon, honey, whole grain mustard, black pepper, and pecorino. It’s amazing the beauty and delight that can come from simple foods!

7 Sexy Salad Recipes that will have your waistline shrinking and your taste buds singing!!

And last but not least, a spinach and quinoa salad with avocado and grapefruit. Full of surprises for your taste buds, this salad is sure to excite! I love the addition of grapefruit for winter.

How Exercise Makes You Pretty

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It’s a new year, making now the perfect opportunity to carpe diem and start getting into tip-top shape for the year to come. It’s no secret that exercise “does a body good.” But did you know that working out can do your “beauty” good as well? According to a fantastic article on Livestrong, exercise can have a very positive effect on your overall attractiveness… Here’s a breakdown of the 5 major takeaways from their findings:

  1. Healthy is beautiful. This is one trait we can all agree on: Healthy people are beautiful. According to the article, “moderate exercise contributes to a youthful (read: more attractive) appearance.” So kick up the cardio, ladies!
  2. Sweating is good for your skin (and your hair)! Since sweat is released through your pores, it cleans out the dirt and oils that were trapped inside of them. Who knew? Additionally, perspiration also contains a “natural antibiotic” that helps fight acne—however, you need to rinse your entire body right after you workout to reap these skin-clearing benefits (or else your pores will get extra clogged). As for your tresses, increased blood circulation to your scalp from working out can promote growth. Sweet!
  3. Increased circulation = improved skin tone. Improved circulation “floods our skin with oxygen and nutrient-rich blood cells.” This results in a prettier, clearer complexion. In layman’s terms, it’s like a post-workout glow.
  4. Reduced bloat and puffiness. Now this is never a bad thing: When you workout you get your lymphatic system flowing, which “can help to reduce water retention in our bodies and improve under eye puffiness and dark circles.” Bye-bye puffy eyes!
  5. Exercise wards off wrinkles. Based on a recent study, “prolonged exercise stimulates collagen and elastin production and improved skin thickness.” Enough said!

Beyond the above benefits of hitting the gym, working out boosts your mood and your confidence—both of which define beauty in my book 😉

Video

Are We Binge Drinkers?

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Here is the link to my first mini documentary. I just found out that it will be featured during ‘Alcohol Awareness Week’ in November. It will also be used for educational purposes amongst those in the alcohol and drug rehabilitation field in the UK. Hope you like it!

Youtube

Chicken galore!

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Scrumptious skinless boneless chicken breasts stuffed with spinach, asparagus, red bell pepper, red onion, mozzarella cheese and garlic.

WHAT YOU NEED:

8 small chicken breasts, 8 spinach leaves, 25 asparagus spears, 1 red bell pepper, 1/2 cup of mozarella cheese, 1/2 red onion (sliced), 3 garlic cloves (chopped), olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary (dry 1tsp), thyme (dry 1tsp), italian herbs (dry 1tsp), garlic salt (1tsp),

HOW TO PREPARE IT:

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease (with good Olive Oil) a baking dish.
  2. Place each chicken breast between two sheets of heavy plastic (ziplock bags work the best) on a solid, level surface. Slowly but surely pound the chicken with the smooth side of a meat mallet to an even thickness of about 1/4 inch. Sprinkle each side with salt, pepper, rosmeary, thyme, and italian herbs and garlic salt.
  3. Place one spinach leaf on chicken, 2 or 3 spears of asparagus down the center of a chicken breast, red onion and red bell pepper.
  4.  Add a pinch of mozzarella cheese on top and roll it carefully.
  5. Place a toothpick or wrap it with a chive string.
  6. Drizzle olive oil on chicken rolls, (to avoid dryness) and sprinkle fresh chopped garlic.  TIP: You could add some butter too on top of each piece to make it golden brown and crisp!!
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until the juices run clear when pricked with a fork, about 25 minutes.

Don’t let your dreams be dreams

Here is a post on travel quotes that inspire travel- I can’t get enough of these; I hope you guys agree and feel the same.

“To travel is to live.” -Hans Christian Anderson

“A man must travel and turmoil, or there is no existence.” -George Byron

“Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.”    -Mark Twain

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay home.”  -James Michner

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” -Pat Conroy

“It’s a funny thing about comin’ home.  Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same.  You’ll realize what’s changed is you.” -The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

“The farther you go, however, the harder it is to return. The world has many edges.”-Anderson Cooper

I hope everyone is having a great weekend, and having amazing adventures!

Let Me Tell You a Little Story…Our Magical Trip to Rodos

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You might want to sit back and relax…It’s 6am and we begin our journey with what we now call “BBB” better known as Brandy Bagel Breakfast, not your conventional brekkie, we know, but the ultimate way to ease Sharon’s flying nerves and well a now traditional pre-vacay drink, so of course I just had to get us doubles.

Four hours later we landed on the biggest island of the Dodecanese islands, Rodos, to a warm and pleasant climate and we were instantly captivated. Upon our arrival and about to pick up Sharon’s suitcase, I tell her, “I like your Ray-bans, I brought mine too,” I felt my head and they’re not there, “My sunglasses!! They’re in my suitcase, where is my suitcase?, I left it on the plane!!!” (You can begin to imagine the rest of the trip). It was no big deal, I let security know and they put it through the conveyor belt. We took a taxi to our time-share apartment (Sun Beach Apartments), and later walked to our local shop to fill up in sustencance for the week. We bought a delicious assortment of domalis, aubergine dip, cheese, fresh baked bread, greek yogurt, Sangria, and some of the best coffee we’ve ever had!

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Later that evening Sharon was craving seafood for dinner so we walked to the closest restaurant “Lancelot” to check it out. It was empty and cold, we asked the hostess for a menu and there was no seafood to be found, although she didn’t hesitate to tell us, “We have great sandwiches!” We looked at each other, frowned and said thank you, but no thank you. We want seafood and wine! So we hopped on the bus to Old Town, ended up at the Yatch Club, a sea-front restaurant which only has appetizers. Frustrated and not knowing where to go, we began to feel a bit like giving up, so instead we decided to cross the street to the taxi station to see if anyone could recommend a good seafood place. Little did we know that if it wasn’t for our misfortune we would have never met ‘Paris’ our taxi driver/greek angel.

He drove us in his navy blue volkswagen van through the labyrinthine back streets and medieval fortifications only to arrive at Romios Restaurant, our little piece of heaven. We instantly felt like we were part of a family dinner, like we were long lost relatives returning home. A couple of glasses of house wine later, greek salad, calamari and mussels…oh! and the complimentary “old lady dessert” accompanied by a glass of coffee anis, we asked the owner to call Paris to come pick us up. Paris comes by and invites us to his friend’s Italian restaurant “Felicias.” After mild hesitation we accepted. Our eyes could not believe the greek feast on the large table in the middle of the restaurant. We indulged in the traditional dishes and we drank white wine that tasted like basil and other spices, until 4 am.

The following day I said I wanted to take it easy.. yeah that lasted a couple of hours, so we decided to embark on another adventure in town. We waited for the bus for about 45 minutes… Sharon affirmed me, “It’ll come…is that it?… No, well lets walk to the next bus stop”…as soon as we started walking the bus came but we missed it! So that evening we took a cab to Old Town. We didn’t know what that night had in store for us. We partied with Greek Rod Stewart, danced the greek dance with strangers, ordered Mexican Fantasy drinks (parrot included). Later an adorable husky dog befriended Sharon on the street. We danced and took pictures with the DJ’s at Apple bar and finally ran into Paris AGAIN…at Giropolis, the local gyro restaurant. Here is the video:

We had no track of time or the date but I guess Thurday rolled around and while we were having breakfast in our balcony we booked our day trip to Turkey for the following day. Later that day we took the bus again into town, this time the bus driver was having a party of his own, singing and blasting hits from the radio, it made our morning. We had lunch at Palazzo, a tuna fish pizza and beer-in-a-boot kind of lunch. That day was one of those days in which everything we wished for came true. We just wanted music, good food and to walk around the plaza all day. We shopped for souvenirs, we tasted and bought home-made honey rum, ouzo and anise, postcards, magnets, amongst other things.  It’s worth mentioning that I was brought up in a haggle intensive culture but I guess I didn’t learn a thing. Sharon is the haggling master! We got lost after walking along the narrow streets, asking people for directions (in greek-that was hilarious!) to Romios. We wanted to go there because we knew we would be welcomed with open arms. As we made our way out of what it seemed a maze we came to realize that Rodos is full of cats, they are everywhere!

Anti-Islam Filmmakers Thrown in Jail?

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Of all the commentary that emerged after last week’s deadly assault on the U.S. consulate in Libya, one has been getting a lot of attention. Would the man who made the anti-Islamic movie that set off the attack be arrested? asked Ivy League professor Anthea Butler on Twitter. It was an understandable yet troubling reaction.

In a follow-up essay in USA Today, Butler, an associate professor of religion at the University of Pennsylvania, insisted she does not oppose freedom of speech. But the movie, she said, “is not about expressing a personal opinion about Islam.” Instead, it “denigrates the religion by depicting the faith’s founder in several ludicrous and historically inaccurate scenes to incite and inflame viewers.” The government of Egypt agrees. It has officially called on the U.S. to criminalize “acts that stir strife” on the basis of religion, race and color.

Indeed, Innocence of Muslims appears to have been made with the express intention of viciously insulting a figure much of the world reveres and of sparking an angry response. The movie’s producer operating under the false name of Sam Bacile, appears also to have defamed Jews by falsely claiming to be an “Israeli Jew” who made the movie with the backing of 100 Jewish donors. And the movie now has blood on its hands. The protests it set off in the Muslim world led to the death of Chris Stevens, the American ambassador to Libya, as well as three other Americans, and the violence then spread through the Arab world.

Given all this, why not bring charges against the shadowy producer of the movie who was questioned by authorities but not put under arrest? Because under the Constitution, our default setting is to protect speech, even hate-filled and violent speech. A lot of countries take a different approach. In France, you can go to prison and face heavy fines for publicly insulting someone based on their race, religion or national origin. Last year, the fashion designer John Galliano was convicted of “public insults” for an anti-Semitic tirade a Paris bar. In Saudi Arabia, insultin Islam is a crime. Many European countries make Holocaust denial illegal.

The First Amendment does not allow any of these. In the U.S., Nazis have the right to parade through a heavily Jewish suburb — as the  courts allowed them to do in Skokie, Ill., in the 1970s. In 1992, the Supreme Court struck down a Minnesota law against burning a cross — the Ku Klux Klan’s historic symbol of hate — as violating the First Amendment. In other words, the Supreme Court has set a very high bar for prosecuting people for stirring up violence with speech.

Google, which owns YouTube, where the movie can currently be seen, made its own calculus. It has blocked the film in Libya, Egypt, India and Indonesia, but is letting people in other countries see it. YouTube has said that the film falls within its own decency guidelines, although the Obama Administration has asked them to review their policy. Most of the digerati support YouTube’s position to leave the video up, and agree that the company should refuse to yield to the censorship of the mob. For the government, though, the First Amendment must dictate the response and there are good reasons our system gives even hateful speech wide leeway. Freedom of speech encourages the haters to make themselves visible. That both allows them to let off steam and makes it easier for people to keep an eye on them.

Even more important to remember: censorship is hard to rein in once you set it up. If we start putting people in prison for saying things various groups find offensive, how far do we go? Should Mel Gibson be locked up for his anti-Semitic and antiblack comments? Should immigration hard-liners face criminal charges for what they say about Mexicans? The reason not to make films like Innocence of Muslims illegal or to force YouTube to take them down is that we are a nation committed to freedom of speech, and that is something that we believe in deeply. Living in a world where hate speech goes unpunished is far from ideal, but living in a world where the government decides what we cannot say is worse.

Un viaggio a Venezia!

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Traveling is by far the best thing I’ve ever experienced…and this time I left my heart in Venice! This iconic city, built on water,  conjures up images of gondolas gliding along shimmering canals, colorful carnival masks and festivities, delicious food and drinks, but lets not forget about the pigeons at the Piazza San Marco… I arrived by vaporetto from Tronchetto through the Canale della Guidecca arriving at San Marco Sesteri. As soon as I stepped foot on land, I decided to get my camera out of my purse to snap a picture of the Basilica di San Marco and surely, a pigeon pooped on my shoulder… I have arrived!! Uff so gross but I brushed it off and continued to find my hotel, ‘Hotel Ateneo’ where I would be staying for the next two days.

My inquisitive nature kicked in as I was curious to find out the meaning of the gondolas, because they all seemed to look the same, same size and shape. So I approached one of the good looking gondoliers, Francesco, and after showering me with compliments, as all Italian men do, he explained the following:

“Bella…you see the ‘ferro’ of the gondola?” (asking me if I could see the metal decoration on the front, the S shaped thing)…”Si..” Well it symbolizes the Grand Canal which cuts through the island of Venice. Then I asked him about the prongs sticking out on the top and he said they represent the six districts of Venice, with the only one that faces the other way being Giudecca a southern island of Venice. He then wanted me to ‘find’ the Rialto bridge on the gondola.…I just kept staring, so he proceeded to point at the arch between the prongs. Wow! I was completely mesmerized because I never knew about these hidden symbols. It goes to show the rich history one learns when traveling…

Hotels in Venice

Anoche soñe con Madrid

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“Desde que tengo uso de razon,” I’ve dreamt about going to Madrid, well to be exact since I was 15 years old. Surely, I was lucky enough to be able to go during my favorite holiday of all time and celebrate 2012 New Year’s Eve or “Nochevieja.” After spending almost 2 weeks in Austria for my Christmas break, the second half of my journey began. I spent almost 14 hours on airplanes and airports from Austria-Cologne-Barcelona- and finally Madrid…and when I arrived I couldn’t be happier  to begin another adventure, which turned out to be a visceral experience.

Despite my long journey, my highly anticipated visit to Spain’s capital and largest city was everything and more I had in mind.  I was really looking forward to wander around the metropolitan streets and stopping by the local markets, restaurants and bars, to get a feel of the people, culture and food; subsequently I felt right at home. This metropolitan city brought back memories close to my heart, my home Mexico City.

Here are some of the places that stood out to me the most…(in no particular order)

La Catedral de La Almudena, el Parque del Retiro, rounding the majestic Puerta de Alcala, stopping by the fountain-centered Plaza de Cibeles,  Palacio Real, The Bernabeu Stadium and all the other century old buildings. I love how every corner you turn brings a new sight to behold.  El Museo del Jamon is one of the million places where traditional tapas are served and I had to have the most popular- the bocadillo de jamon Serrano (cured ham) with a cold beer, a delicious edible tradition.