Ladies Night with a Perfect Ending
After introductions, we started right in with sampling. Since the focus was on skin care this time, I brought foods with elements that are skin-healthy. The almond “cheese” is a raw spread that can be served thick, like a hummus, or added to pasta as a cream sauce. I’ve also used it as the ricotta in a veggie lasagna. Nuts are a great source of healthy fats that are great for skin, and serving the spread raw keeps the living enzymes that make nutrient absorption more efficient.
I also brought Mimi Kirk’s beet salad, which was another big hit. At 72, Mimi is amazingly beautiful, both inside and out.
Simply grate two medium-size beets in a food processor, then add 1 tbs of apple cider vinegar and 1 tbs of agave nectar. Beets have a unique combination of antioxidants that helps the body detoxify and reduce inflammation.
Next on the menu were nachos. Do these look deeeeelish, or what? Great Superbowl fare!
I prepped the group by suggesting they remove any preconceived notion of what the dish would taste like. I didn’t want them to have that veggie burger reaction. You know, like when you try a veggie burger for the first time and expect it to taste just like its meat version. Turns out the prep wasn’t necessary, or so the ladies said, and they loved them!
Even King of the Picky Eaters hubby gave them a thumbs up! Love when that happens.
What’s so great about nachos? Well, these are dairy-free, but rather than use one of those highly-processed cheese substitutes, I combined nutritional yeast (which is loaded with amino acids and B-vitamins) with lemon (high in vitamin C, also great for skin), raw cashews (those healthy fats again) and a couple other nutrient-dense ingredients. They were topped with black beans, lettuce, and tomato. Nachos you can feel good about eating. How great is that concept!
We ended the food sampling with an apple tart, which I found through the Whole Foods website (and tweaked just a bit).
I found that soaking the walnuts ahead of time softens them and makes for a better crust. This was a big hit, too! (I topped with plain coconut milk yogurt, which adds a flavorful touch!)
Then it was on to smoothie sampling, and talking about the benefits of greens. Did you know greens are a way better source of calcium than dairy? That’s because greens are loaded with vitamins and minerals that help with the absorption of calcium. Reducing animal protein intake also helps to maintain healthy bone structure, as excess animal protein depletes our bones of calcium
Naturally, we do lots more than eat during these events. The ladies always have wonderful questions.
I showed the women just how much sugar is in that cup of Yoplait yogurt. 4 g = 1 tsp, 3 tsp = 1 tbs. The Yoplait yogurt had over 2 tbs of sugar in just one 6 oz cup! We compared that to the 32 oz. tub of Stonyfield vanilla yogurt, that had only 2 g more.
Then the host pulled a tube of Yogurt from her fridge and found that it contained over 1 tbs of sugar in just the one 4 oz. tube. No wonder our kids are hyped up and unable to concentrate!
Too much sugar consumption creates an inflammatory reaction within our bodies, and that can lead to skin breakouts. While there are still those old-school thinkers out there who believe food doesn’t affect our skin, most physicians are aware of the connection. It’s silly to think that foods can affect every other organ in our body, but not the largest organ that covers our bodies!
Of course, we talked about the importance of cleaning up our environments as well. The more we can reduce our exposure to toxins, the better our bodies will be able to handle the ones that do make it in. Look for cosmetics, soaps, and lotions without fragrance, scent your homes with soy or beeswax candles, and use cleaning products with ingredients you can pronounce.
One was made with equal parts fresh peppermint and sea salt, with just a little extra-virgin olive oil for moisture. The other had sugar (Here’s a use for that refined sugar you’re not going to use anymore!), coconut oil, and a little freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice.
(By the way, ladies. Did you know that studies have shown men find the scent of citrus sexy?)
And what made this wonderful night even more perfect?
A shooting star on my way home!
Naturally, I made a wish.