Monday, May 4, 2015

Organic Herb & Vegetable Garden at The Breakers

One of my FAVORITE parts of The Breakers was that they had an Organic Herb and Vegetable Garden on the grounds that they grew and maintained themselves.  They also used what they grew in their restaurants.

I had heard about their organic garden prior to our visit and I was super excited to check it out.

Dale and I took a stroll thru the gardens one morning and I took another walk thru them at least once.  I absolutely LOVED them. 

In this first photo you can see a huge cactus/aloe-type plant they potted.  It was mammothly large!  They had a lot of potted plants and numerous raised beds.


Here's a look at some of the raised beds.  We were free to walk in and take a look at any time, stop by touch/feel/smell the herbs - it was so neat!

They offered a weekly garden tour, too, but we weren't around while that was going on...I think we missed it by a day! 

Some of the chef's would come out in the mornings to pick what they wanted to use for the day!  Talk about 'from garden to plate', eh?

The decorative bricks that surrounded the raised beds were delightful, too!

But it wasn't just this area that featured what they grew...many of the fruits were along side the one golf course walkway!
But before I get to those photos I thought I would post another shot of the herb gardens.

I counted at least 5 different kinds of basil!  Now that is impressive!

There were a few other raised beds that they were prepping for the next item to plant/grow but almost everything was well into the growing stages!

Nearly everything was clearly marked, too!  Which was super helpful for someone like me who was interested in what they were growing!

I probably nerded-out a little bit but it was so fun!



Just past the herb section of their garden was a walkway that ran along side the one golf course.  Again you could see the decorative brick under  your feet and green at every glance!

I mentioned in an earlier post that the salamanders and lizards were NOT afraid of humans and popped out to surprise passer-byes often.

The same went for the local squirrels.  As you can see this one didn't take his eyes off of me as he was ready to climb this tree.

I wish I had been able to more of the local birds - we did see some in the sky - flying by - but not as many on land as I had hoped but then again we didn't got outside of The Breakers all that much in the few days we were there either.

While walking by several different varieties of fruit plants, trees, etc...we saw these CUTE pineapples! 

They also had an Avocado tree that was doing well and a Lychee that already had a permanent sign...among others!

There was one tree on the opposite golf course that I was unfamiliar with and am still wondering what it was.  I'm tempted to call The Breakers and ask them.  I don't think it was a Sugar Apple but then again I haven't seen a Sugar Apple up close and personal before.  I will try and post it here down the road in case anyone has any ideas on what it COULD be.  I was so excited I was able to see The Breakers Organic Gardens while we were there!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Raw Eats, Organic Fresh Pressed Juices, Salads, and More from West Palm Beach

Yes...I'm still trying to catch up with vacation pics!  Today I will have a photo heavy post about the food I enjoyed!  For the most part I enjoyed a lot of raw food...pretty impressive for being on vacation, eh!?

First off we have some organic fresh pressed juices!  This red one is called ZEN.  It had Red Beet, Red Apple, Fresh Ginger, and Lemon.  It was great!  It was part of my lunch that day along side a salad.  I had a LOT of salads and they were all great!  I also got a bunch of ideas for salad dressings, too!


For this GREEN Juice...it's called Garden Tea and it was made up of Parsley, Mint, Kale, and Pineapple.  It was WONDERFUL!!! 

I really enjoyed both juices!  There were about 3 or 4 other choices, too, but they were REALLY expensive.  They averaged between 13 and 15 dollars each.  I opted for those rather than the 'adult beverage' options. 

The colors of the juices were AMAZING!  And they were oh-so-tasty!


Here's one of my many salads.  It was one of the restaurants at The Breakers CHOP Salads. 

The dressing was a citrus balsamic...yummy, yummy, yummy!

As you can see it has greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.  ALL of the lettuces were so crispy and fresh.  I am pretty sure that all of the tomatoes they used in all of the restaurants there were heirlooms, too!

Don't you just LOVE hierlooms?

Each morning I started my day with various fruit and fruit juices.  In this case I had strawberries, pineapple, watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe.

The juice you see in this photo is fresh squeezed grapefruit juice!  It was terrific!  I need more grapefruit juice in my life...I have missed it a lot!

Other mornings I have various berries, melons, some pears, lots of citrus, etc.



Around mid to late afternoon I had a lot of veggies and some fruit too.  Here is a plate from one of those mini meals.  I had corn chips with a really great salsa, some guacamole, plus some raw squash, cucumbers, celery, and jicama.  I must have eaten my weight in jicama!!!  I think I had a slew of it each day!  YUM!

Other days I had various sweet peppers, carrots, zukes, beans, tomatoes, grapes, etc...

YUM!

And speaking of YUM...Mango Gazpacho!  Most of these photos are tidbits from our offerings at the Flagler Club Level.  The one girl specifically knew that I was vegan and I think she put in a good word for me so she pointed out this cold soup and I adored it!  I want to try and makes some VERY SOON so I will be sure to share those attempts with you! 

And I just LOVED these little shot glasses they put them in, too! 

This Mango Soup had, of course Mango, citrus, red pepper flakes, and some herbs!

Here's another salad I had and was great, too!  LARGE heirloom tomatoes, walnuts, pears, onions, cranberries, leafy greens, all with another citrus balsamic dressing but it was different from the one I mentioned above.  I think it had some kind of wild flower in it, too, the dressing not the actual salad...it was very unique!  I had another salad that was similar but it had marinated hearts of palm and pink beets!  I need more salads like this in my life, too!  VERY SOON I will be continuing on with some of these things!  I really enjoyed HIGH RAW during vacation and now that spring is here and the farmers markets are opening close to me again I hope to get back to it SOON!

One of my many mini goals during this vacation to The Breakers in West Palm Beach was to have coconut water straight from the coconut and you know what?  I did it!  Here is a pic of the one I got!  It was AWESOME!  And I pulled some of the coconut off and gnawed on it a bit, too!  SO GOOD!

Yeah...so...the coconut water IN the coconut was still $12!  Oye!

But it's not like I get REAL coconuts and fresh coconut water here in the snow belt so I was stoked to get it when I could!



The last full day we were there we decided to go to their Italian Restaurant and when I made the reservations they asked us if we had any special requests and I said 'Well, I'm looking for vegan options' and when we showed up our super nice waitress was WONDERFUL and said 'I know you are vegan let me tell you what we can do for you' and suggested the roasted brussels sprouts (with a bit of onion) in oil and they were done to perfection!

I also had a salad similar to the one with the pears and leafy greens above.  There was also a bruschetta, too!  YUMMO!

And FINALLY the last food photo I wanted to post was this dish!  It was listed on the menu as Vegan Porridge but I would just call it Vegan Lentil Chili.  It was excellent!  They topped it off with root veggies and a single apple crisp!

I could have eaten this dish every day I was there but the salads, fruits, and juices were DELISH, too! 

So...what do you think of some of the foods I consumed on vacation?  I think I did really good!  I certainly behaved myself and kept things interesting!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Missing The Breakers

Yup!  I'm already missing The Breakers!  I'm missing the Florida weather.  Just when I thought spring was here we had 2 days of snow in the PA/NY state line area last week!

To warm up I thought I would post more photos from our trip earlier this month.

This first photo is one that I took the day we went to the beach.  You can see their private beach area with some of the chairs and umbrellas and the lovely clouds and ocean!  From where I was taking this picture was from the pool area.  They had 9 different pool areas there.


Here's a photo I took at The Surf Break.  The Surf Break was a little spot near the pools, cabanas, and beach where you could get small meals, finger foods, and drinks. 

One of my mini goals while I was there was to get a coconut with the coconut water in it.  I was able to do that the 2nd to the last day we were there inside The Surf Break but I will share that photo with you at another time.  Yes...there were surf boards on the ceiling of this hut and it was so fun.  The breeze was nice, too!

While we were at The Surf Break there were two young ladies there bar-tending.  They were very nice and sure worked their butts off!

This photo was taken outside the front entrance of The Breakers!  Each day it was fun to take a walk out front and see what kind of exotic and fantasy cars were there. 

It's not unusual for The Breakers to hold various car shows, too!  The weekend we were there they didn't have a car show but I have seen a lot of pics from past ones and they are pretty awesome!

This was also where a lot of the limo's came to pick up and drop off people, too!  We were fortunate enough to take a limo to our tour of the new offices of Garden of Life.  More on that in the near future.

This wasn't a photo of our limo but of one of the many others we saw in and out of The Breakers.

The Breakers was incredibly clean all day and night but one morning I was out and about earlier than most people were and I noticed several golf carts around the grounds cleaning up debris from the night before.  And when I say debris - it was NOT garbage - but downed palm tree limbs - for example that came down naturally from the winds the night before.

They really do a great job working at all hours to keep this place looking amazing!  And each and every person there greeted us and was extremely helpful and nice.  I can't say enough about their terrific staff at The Breakers!


This was one of the many photos I took from the Terrace which was part of the Flagler Club.  The Flagler Club was the 6th and 7th level of The Breakers.  We were lucky enough to stay on the 6th floor and absolutely LOVED every minute of it.  I blogged more about this on both this blog and My Travel Blog so be sure to check those posts out!

I loved the blue and green colors on the terrace...the umbrellas were HUGE...the seats were comfy, the stone and marble beautiful, and everywhere you looked there were plants!  I should have counted how many plants were JUST on the terrace but I didn't.  I wouldn't be surprised if there upward of 100 plants in that area alone!


I've already shown a lot of the photos I have taken of the Palm Trees at The Breakers and I wanted to let you know I did a whole post of the Fountain at The Breakers and that is located over at my Travel Blog...check it out...HERE is the direct post on the Fountains.  Outside in the enclosed area past the lobby you will see an area with water, a fountain or two, and statues like the one you see here.

There was marble, stone, fountains, plants, palms, and other bits of eye-candy EVERYWHERE.  There was something to look at - at every turn and it was breath-taking!

In the near future I will share some of the foods and beverages I enjoyed while there.  I was just thankful for all of the fresh fruit and salads and organic fresh pressed juices, too!  So stay tuned for that!

Friday, April 24, 2015

My LOVE Of Palm Trees!

Once again I am WAY behind on blogging!  But I thought I would jump right in with some posts and try and schedule some as well so you might be seeing a lot more from me over the next few days and weeks!  Many of these posts will be about our trip now that we are back I'm already missing Florida. 

In case you are just tuning in...I won a trip to West Palm Beach Florida at the end of last year and we were supposed to go in March and we had a family and work emergency and we were so lucky that they worked with us to reschedule our trip!  I will NEVER forget that!  The folks at Garden of Life are truly amazing!

Went we went to West Palm Beach we stayed at The Breakers.  I have never stayed at a 5 star hotel so this was a completely amazing experience but with the winter we had here up north - I was so excited just to BE in the middle of 85+ degree temperatures, too!

The theme to this post will be PALM TREES.  There are few things I LOVE more than water falls and palm trees when it comes to landscape and/or nature...there certainly were palm trees at ever glance down there!  There were also a lot of salamanders and lizards, too!

It only rained for a few hours the one evening while we were sleeping. 
In the first photo you will see the historic brick and entrance to The Breakers with the amazing gardens and golf courses surrounding it.  In the next photo another angle from the beautiful grounds.

We stayed on the 6th floor of The Breakers which was part of the Flagler Club.  It was like staying inside of an INN within the hotel.  We had incredible breakfast, snacks, beverages, and other consumables throughout the day and evening as a part of our Flagler Club stay.  More on that in future posts, tho.

One of my favorite parts of the Flagler Club Level was the outdoor terrace - again I will be blogging about that more in the near future.

Today - in this post - it's all about the Palm Trees!  YAY!

This palm is located in the back of the hotel near the beach.  You can see that they had coconuts still in the tree.  They used the coconuts in their own drinks.  One of my many personal goals was to have raw coconut water straight from the coconut which I was finally able to do the 2nd to the last day we were there.  It was fabulous!

I loved the walk way where I was standing taking this photo.  In the evenings it got breezy but the breeze was terrific.  Most days and nights I wore dresses.  I'm not a girlie-girl but I kind of liked it and the dresses I found to wear while we were there.  I will share some of those pics at some point, too!
This next photo was taken on the one side lawn.  EVERY WHERE you looked at The Breakers there was something you could look at, appreciate, and enjoy!  This area had a delightful lawn with gardens and fountain.  Behind where I'm standing taking the picture were pillars and over hangs with comfy chairs, tables, and places to meet and greet and soak up the sun it a casual setting.  If you were to walk thru the court area there was another fountain as well as stores/shops and paths to get to other places in and around the hotel.  Surrounding the hotel were two golf course - on either side - and behind the hotel was the ocean!  They had their own private beach and within the resort they had 9 separate pool areas.

This last photo is off to the side of the hotel behind where I am standing there are other lawn areas, the walkway off to the side facing the ocean, the pool areas off to the other side, and gardens everywhere.  Looking forward is one of the many entrances.  Off to the left there is a hidden playground for the kids, an activities area, the Italian Restaurant, and a Barber Shop...among other things.  Off to the right are shops, the main hotel and lobby, and other historical treasures of The Breakers.

I'm so very grateful I was able to experience this trip.  It was wonderful to get away for a while.  More on this trip over at the TRAVEL BLOG we have set up, too!

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Breakers - Front & Back


Over the next several posts I will be sharing with you the trip we took to West Palm Beach, Florida, thanks to Garden of Life.  We stayed at The Breakers and it was overly amazing!  I was able to blog my way to The Breakers last year and I was finally able to go!  After the horrible winter we had we were overly excited to see sunnier skies that is for sure!

This first photo is a shot taken from the 6th Floor on the Terrace of the Flagler Club Level.  This is the entrance of the resort.  You can see the beautiful fountain and front garden greeting you as you arrive!
This was the view looking out of our window.  It was listed as Partial Ocean View but I would say this is a head-on Ocean View!


Sure - it was 'out of this world' to walk among the wealthy - but - it's the little things that I truly loved the most like the palm trees!  The sunshine!  Seeing birds I don't usually see at home and being surprised by small lizards and salamanders!
And coming across a single red vibrant mini flower in the middle of nowhere during a mid morning walk.  I carried it around with me for a few hours and even brought it back to the room, too!

Stay tuned for more blog posts and photos from Florida in the coming weeks!  It will probably take me that long to catch up and post all of the eye-candy we came across while there!  You can also see more photos on my Instagram and our Travel Blog.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Monday's the last day!


Remember THIS POST about the 52 Teas Take-Over?  Well, they've reached their goal but are trying to go above and beyond to help even more with the future of their business!  I just donated as well!  

Of course I am partial because ANNE and her daughter are behind it - but - they are keeping and moving forward with everything being VEGAN and organic! 

EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS...so if you are reading this and a buddy of mine and you can even do the $5 pledge that would help out immensely!

I have two posts today...be sure to scroll down for the other one!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Foods From Last Week...This Week!


Yup!  I'm still behind with posting!  Here are some of the foods I have been eating the past week or two!

Up top on the left - it's a comfort food and not ultra healthy due to the store-bought vegan cheese but I considered it a CHEAT and haven't been doing that all the much lately!  I made Egg Trick Muffins!  Yum!  To the right of that you will see one of the recipes I have submitted to The Raw Food World NEWS Recipe Section!  It's a Nut and Seed based "meat" inside a raw vegan paleo wrap!  On the bottom is an awesome salad with greens, pineapple, tomatoes, peppers, almonds, coconut, and Balsamic!

Of course this isn't all I ate but some of it...and with the post from Friday with the smoothies you can get a good idea of some of the things I have been working on!  

Friday, April 3, 2015

This Weeks' Smoothies - Secret Weapon? Khorasan Wheatgrass Juice Powder!

I was MUCH better with my breakfasts this week!  Mostly because I was able to do some smoothies and I was totally LOVING it!  I am contributing many of the recipes for upcoming posts to The Raw Food World NEWS Recipe Section so if you haven't signed up for daily news be sure to check it out!

I do have a new secret weapon, tho!  In the purple smoothie on the top - it was my first time using Khorasan Wheatgrass Juice Powder!  And I have to say I LOVE it!  

You may also have heard about this powder being referred to as Kamut.  

This Khorasan wheatgrass juice powder is like a shot of wheatgrass juice on steroids...a super mineralized, nutrient dense and enzyme rich superfood.  Khorasan is an heirloom ancestor of wheat and more nutritious than wheat.  Grown in mineral-rich, nutrient-dense soil Grass has the ability to absorb all known minerals. This product is gluten free, too!

This is one of the products I bought last month while it was on sale over at The Raw Food World and it's totally worth it!  I will probably only use it by the half teaspoon or full teaspoon!  I have to say - I'm a fan!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I Think I Have A Problem...

Apparently my newest addiction is obtaining vegan and raw vegan cookbooks. Here are my latest additions!

* Raw Food Quick & Easy, by Rydman & Rodwell
* Raw Food For Everyone, by Alissa Cohen
* Easy Sexy Raw, by Carol Alt
* Ripe from Around Here, by Jae Steele
* Raw Food: A Complete Guide for Every Meal of the Day
* Ani's Raw Food Desserts: 85 Easy, Delectable Sweets and Treats
* Raw Family Signature Dishes
* Rawlicious: Delicious Raw Recipes for Radiant Health
* Living in the Raw Desserts, By Rose Lee Calabro
* How We All Went Raw, by Top Raw Men

I have to say that I've already spent a lot of time with the last one on that list - How We All Went Raw and I really enjoyed it! It's FUN, informative, creative, and is in a binder so the pages turn and lay flat - perfect for kitchen use! I hope to do reviews of all of these books at some point! It might take me a while but that is one of my mini goals I have this coming year!

I stocked up on raw snacks for my office space and my car and since I will be on the road a lot more with my new job I need to have better/best foods by my side so I'm not spending a lot of time and money at not-so-good places and food.  Yes...it's true! This is my latest shipment from The Raw Food World and a bunch of the goodies I grabbed! I couldn't resist the super low price on those Kale Krunch Chips! They were among the at-cost specials they offered! I also grabbed two of the breakfast bowls and one of each of the Gopal's Power Wraps! They are Nori Wrapped Energy Sticks! You can see that I have the Italian, Curry, Masala, Japanese, and Mexican flavors! I tried a few of the flavors in the past and find them to be great snacks for on-the-go!
I decided to break down and by SunWarrior's Vanilla Flavor of protein powder. Not necessarily because I'm worried about my protein intake (I'm not) but more so because of the flavor. Jason Wrobel uses it in a lot of his smoothies and desserts because he says it adds a 'cake batter' like flavor to it.  I also stocked up on various Raw Crackers, too! One of the many things I buy over and over is their raw cashews and this time I grabbed some raw pumpkin seeds. 
  
I will say I've used it once already and I do like the flavor. Even more - tho - I LOVE the aroma of the Vanilla! Very nice!I've been wanting to try Coconut Secret's new sauces so when I saw they had them available on The Raw Food World site I threw them in my shopping cart right away! I've enjoyed all of the other products I have tried from the company so I'm assuming these two new sauces will follow suit. One is a Garlic Sauce and the other is a Teriyaki Sauce. I did grab one of their new deodorants but it's not technically vegan - it has beeswax in it along with Shea butter. So I guess it would be Beegan instead of Vegan for those of you who were wondering.  The price of their D3 and B12 patches were CRAZY LOW so I decided to grab those, too! I have used the B12 in the past and only use them every once and a while either when I'm not eating the best or on the road or feeling sluggish. I have yet to try the D3 patches but with the winters where I live a little extra Vitamin D wouldn't be a bad thing. Again...it's not because I fear I'm not getting enough - just curious about the product, really.  Also in that photo above - you will see my newest Bamboo purchase! Yup! I added Puzzle Party Platters to my growing bamboo collection. I haven't used them yet but LOVE the way the look and hope to be taking photos of food on them SOON. They fit together like a puzzle...and I just might be buying more of them to play with down the road.

The paper bag like package in the back is a bag of Chia Crackers from ChocolaTree Organic Oasis! This is the first chia cracker product I have tried from this company. I have to say that they have one of the best textured chia crackers I have tried so far! It's not hard - but light and crispy - rather. I really like the cayenne kick, too!  Finally - I've had my eye one these Himalayan Sea Salt Lamps for a while and they have them for $16 off this month! I bought one and thinking about buying 2 more. LOVE them! It's not the best picture but perhaps I will take more down the road. Have you found any new-to-you products lately that you are excited about? 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Past Happy Mail, Local Eats with Vegan Options, Paco Update

Hello everyone!  Thanks for all of the kind words, thoughts, emails, notes on Instagram, etc...I appreciate it!  I have so much to share with everyone but so little time! 

I hope to be doing updates more this week to try and catch up!  I have lots of products to share with you - I have reviews I need to catch up on - I have lots of articles and recipes to cross promote and link to over at TRFW and much, MUCH More!  In the meantime...here's a sneak peak at some of the things that have been exciting me lately!  My shipment from last month, actually!


In this first photo you can see Sun Warrior Immune Shield, a new Skin Brush, salted Sacha Inchi Seeds, Kelp Noodles, Shea Butter, and Nutritional Yeast.  Yup!  Had to stock up on some nutritional yeast...I was getting low.  I did get the Kelp Noodles but because of the horribly cold winter weather we have had for MONTHS now they froze.  I contacted the lovely customer service people over at TRFW and they said they could send me another one or credit my account because Kelp Noodles change texture if frozen.  I thought that was pretty amazing that they offered to do that - I mean - it wasn't their fault they froze,  you know?  It's not like THEY control the weather! LOL - but I thought that was wonderful!  I decided to opt for the credit and will re-order in the more fair weathered months since it's still really cold here.

In this photo you will see I stocked up on some snacks!  I couldn't resist!  The prices were awesome when I ordered them!  Plus I LOVE Foods Alive products!  I got two of their Flax Crackers.  I also grabbed a pound of cashews, a few salad boosters, some raisins, pro-biotic almonds, Organic Cayenne Powder, and some Khorasan Wheatgrass Juice Powder (Kamut).

I have to say all of the powders that I have been getting from TRFW have been AMAZINGLY fresh!  The colors and aromas are so VERY vibrant!

I've still been building my Raw/Living Foods and Vegan cookbook area in my house and this was one of the books I grabbed with my last order. 

I have a slew more on order again and hope to get them before the end of this week.  I'm also visiting my local library again since it has been a while.  If anyone is on GoodReads let me know - I have been posting on that app for a while now, too!

Have you gotten any new books as of late?  I'd love to hear about them! 

A couple of weekends ago Hubby and I went to our new favorite place in Erie...Mad Mex...mainly because there are a lot of vegan options there for me!  Here is what I had...it's the Chickpea Chili Burrito.  You can opt for the Daiya Cheese and Tofutti Sour Cream like I did.  We also got a few of their amazing dips!  2 out of the 3 of them were vegan.  Now hubby wants me to try and make Pepita Hummus and Tomatillo Avocado Dip...and I hope to do that soon!  I'm already trying to come up with a few other things I want to try at this place the next time we go!  They have 'home made' vegan salad dressings, too, including a RANCH.


Now...this past weekend we visited a local gem of a place that has been around for decades - and generations!  My husband loves it - always have - of course - he's no where near being a vegetarian - so yes - we are a mixed diet household - anyhow - they had a special salad for March - and I had them do it without what ever meat they had on the menu.  They came up with this for me and it was FABULOUS!  I asked them to add it to their menu full time!  Not sure if they will but it was great!  It was iceberg lettuce and mixed greens, pineapple, green peppers, tomatoes, almonds, roasted coconut, and I choose the grape balsamic dressing made with local grapes!  It was WONDERFUL!



Now for a quick PACO update!

His ITP has been under control for at least 3 months while he's been on a LOT of medication.  While I hate putting all the pills in his body - it's what he needs to stay 'normal' - we tried to take him to a lower dosage with the approval of our vet - he ended up relapsing - so she told us we had to get back on the dosages he was on prior to trying to take him down.  It seems to be working, so that is good.

However, it's been about a week and he had an unrelated issue...he basically threw his kneecap out of place.  This has happened once before about 3 years ago.  But this time was pretty bad.  He's been trying to 'walk it off' and has found some work arounds.  The first two days was rough but he's been getting better since then.  The vet told us she didn't think he was in pain - and she thought he just noticed a 'difference' or it felt 'weird' and it was something that he would have to work out himself.  He hasn't been acting like it's been bothering him but he will pull up on it every once and a while...I think he's trying to pop it back in. All-in-All he's been doing fairly well with it and we do have pain pills but he's only really needed one on that first day.  I hope to have more posts very soon!  There are LOTS of things going on!  It's been CRAZY in my whole lately! How about you!?