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Today, I bought queso blanco cheese for the first time ever. It was one of these impulsive purchases you make when you go to Whole Foods starving.

I put slightly salty, but hard queso in a salad  tonight and it turned out pretty amazing. I served this salad with a generous helping of quinoa, for a complete protein.  Dinner took 15 minutes ( great, if you have baby twins.)

My older kid picked all the cheese out first, of course.

Here’s my impromptu salad of the day:


mixed greens, 2 cups

red onion, 1/4. chopped

cherry tomatoes, halved, 1 cup

parsley, diced, 1/2 cup

cucumber, sliced, 1 large

avocado, sliced, 1 small

queso (feta cheese would work, too,) cubed, 3/4 cup

pine nuts, 1/3 cup

Olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange the mix greens on a large plate. Put cucumber slices near its outer edge. Put the sliced cherry tomatoes in the middle, forming a ring. Put the chopped onion inside the ring. Sprinkle with parsley. Put the queso between the cucumbers and the tomatoes. Put avocado slices on top. Add salt and pepper. Drizzle with organic extra virgin olive oil.

Recently I read this piece about sunscreen safety.  Apparently, typical sunscreens we cover ourselves and our kids with contain one more of these potential dangerous chemicals:

Dioxybenzone and oxybenzone are some of the most powerful free radical generators known to man. Other chemicals on this list have been connected to things like  cancer and hormonal imbalance.

I have been using Kiss My Face Sunscreeen for a few years. I love how light this cream is and how easily it absorbs into the skin, without leaving a typical white residue. I also like how it gives me and my family great sun protection without the dangerous chemicals. It is available in a spray bottle, as a cream or even as a sunblock stick.

What else can be done to protect the skin agains harmful UV-rays?

Nutrition helps, like it does with everything else.

Antioxidant-rich foods have been linked to good sun-protection of the skin. As pesticide residue can deplete the body’s antioxidant supplies,  it’s always better to choose certified organic foods.

1. Green tea’s  epigallocatechins directly block DNA damage from UV light, which has been demonstrated in studies involving human skin cells.

2. Moderate amounts of sunlight are helpful, as they provide us with vitamin D. A good buildup of this vitamin is essential, if you’d like to avoid sunburn. Dr. Mercola recommends staying in the sun until the skin turns light pink (for Caucasian skin.)

3. Phytonutrients lycopene in tomatoes and phenols in olive oil have been linked to better sun protection by a German study.

 Vitamin C, vitamin E and the mineral selenium all are good antioxidants that protect the skin against sun damage.

4. For vitamin C, try kiwis, oranges, bell peppers, broccoli, papaya,  and strawberries.

5. For vitamin E, try  sunflower seeds, almonds, olives, egg yolks and dark green leafy vegetables.

6. For selenium, try  mushrooms and fish.  Buying wild-caught fish is better,  because pesticide and antibiotic residues in farmed fish deplete the body’s antioxidant supplies.

7. Limonene and ellagic acid are other sun-protective nutrients. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons and limes,  are rich in limonene and berries, such as blueberries and rasberries are rich in ellagic acid.

This post is by my friend and a fellow Anusara-inspired (TM) yoga instructor, Megan Marie. She is also a foodie and mom of Alexander (5) and James (3) I will try her super smoothie recipe tonight and so should you!

Do your wee ones wrinkle their little noses when you place a plate of broccoli, kale or spinach in front of them? Are they the sort that boycott “All Things Green”? Have no fear…the luck of the Irish is with you as you whip up The Shamrock Smoothie just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.


3 Kiwis, sliced
1&1/2 cup frozen green grapes
2 frozen bananas
1 green apple, sliced, with skin on
1 & 1/2 cup baby spinach
1 cup chopped kale

1 cup organic apple juice

1/2 cup Organic Nectars ™ Cashewtopia (organic frozen pistacio creme w. raw pistacio pieces, sweetened with agave only).

optional: 2 tbls flat leaved parsley and a squeeze of lemon

Blend/pulse on high until smooth. The color will be vibrant green and your little ones will love eating their greens in the form of the Shamrock Smoothie just in time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

note: This smoothie is also delicious without the pistacio cashew creme, although the latter has no sugar ( just agave) and you can buy it at Whole Foods. It can also be substitued with Fage yogurt + a little honey or agave. The frozen bananas, however, are enough to make it taste like ice cream! My boys love this smoothie and the pistacio creme just made it a little more decadent. I am not sure the nutritional value of this, but it must be extraordinary.

Image by Pixomar

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