Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A few of my favorite things....

At the risk of sounding like Oprah, I wanted to share a few items that I just really like.

My Camelbak Better Bottle tops the list! I have a thing about drinking through straws. I seem to drink more that way, and I run a far smaller risk of spilling my water down the front of me in a moving car. Yes, unfortunately, this has happened more times than I’d like to admit.....

But, the Better Bottle, which is made from BPA free plastic (a much safer option with far fewer harmful chemicals that can be leached into your beverage), does not spill or leak at all. You just bite down on the mouthpiece and drink from the straw. So much easier to tote around with me when I’m not worried about it tipping over and spilling in the car.

If you’re not a fan of the straw concept, my hubby has a Klean Kanteen made from stainless steel. When you order from their website, you can even choose different caps.

Next on the list is our Costco membership. How I went through almost a year and half of married life without one of these, I’m not sure. I practically grew up in Costco--my Mom is an avid Costco shopper and paid for our membership as our Christmas gift this past year.
If you are buying organic like we are now, Costco has an extremely wide variety of products. I mean, who wouldn’t get excited about a pound of organic baby spinach leaves for $4? Or a package of 8 greenhouse grown Roma tomatoes for $5? To me, it's well worth the $50 for a year long membership.

Cinnamon is another favorite of mine. I’ve found that this “super-spice” is super versatile! I use it in Berry Smoothies, Pumpkin Blueberry Pancakes and Persian Chicken and Rice-everything from breakfast all the way through dessert.

Plus, cinnamon is oh-so-good for oh-so-many things in your body:

  • Supports digestive function
  • Constricts and tones tissues
  • Relieves congestion
  • Relieves pain and stiffness of muscles and joints
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort
  • Blood-thinning compounds that stimulate circulation
  • Anti-inflammatory compounds that may relieve arthritis
  • Helps prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease
  • It’s a powerful anti-microbial agent that can kill E. coli and other bacteria

Cilantro makes my favorite things list as well. This was never something I cooked with in the past, but I can’t do without it in the fridge these days. I’m even trying to grow it on my balcony at the moment. The unique, fresh flavor adds a great kick to so many dishes.

Since I can’t very well post without a recipe, so here’s one that calls for cilantro as well as cinnamon!

Cashew Curry Fruited Rice

  • 1 Tbsp. raw or organic butter
  • 1/4 raw, unsalted whole cashews, broken in half
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 c. chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. finely grated fresh gingerroot
  • 1/2 c. uncooked brown rice
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4 c. sweetened dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp. snipped fresh cilantro
Melt butter in skillet over med. heat. Add cashews and toast abt. 6-7 min. until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Add curry powder, cinnamon and bay leaf. Cook 30-45 seconds, stirring constantly to coat cashews. Remove from skillet and set aside.
In same skillet, cook onion and gingerroot over med. heat 2-3 min. or until onion is tender. Add rice, stirring to coat, Add water, apricots and cranberries. Stir and cover. Reduce heat to low, simmer 18-20 min. or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from heat and let stand 5 min.
Carefully remove lid. Fluff rice with fork and discard bay leaf. Sprinkle cilantro and cashews over rice.

This certainly isn’t a comprehensive list, but I can’t end it without mentioning the awesome computer on which I am typing this post--our new Macbook Pro! We spent a while saving for this purchase, but it was worth every penny!

It’s a very green option for a laptop as well:
  • Arsenic-free glass
  • BFR-free internal components
  • Mercury-free LED-backlit display
  • PVC-free internal cables
  • Up to 37% smaller packaging
  • Highly recyclable aluminum and glass enclosures
So that’s my list and I’m stickin’ to it. I’d love to hear what’s on yours....perhaps I’ll find some new treasures to add to my list as well :)


  1. wow. this is sort of bizarre, but it seems all of my old buds are becoming all domesticated, healthy, and eco-friendly at once. very nice to see.

    as for kim and i, we've turned organic and healthy as well, but it may be the little one that drove us to it. none of the mothers up here (PA) will feed their kids anything that's not organic, birthday cake included. we're fortunate that our local grocery store is loaded with organic foods and you can even buy cloth bags to use [and reuse] for groceries. one of my favorites right now [though the healthiness may be negated a bit] is organic russet potato chips. and eating lots of garlic when i get a cold. and i'm trying to literally eat an apple a day.

    anyway, just thought i'd drop buy and say your blog is refreshing and informative. i will definitely be keeping up with your updates [and passing along the recipes to kim ;-)] hope all is well with you!

  2. Lori,
    I really liked your list! Thanks for sharing information on eating healthier/organic. My husband, Sam, and I enjoy knowing that other people are making conscious choices to live better the same way we are. Also, thanks for the recipe, I have been looking for new things to make!

  3. Josh and MJ-thanks so much for the comments! :)
    It is indeed nice to see other friends from college learning how to take care of ourselves. But you're right Josh, it's bizarre too :-P The past 8 months for Drew and I stand in stark opposition to our lifestyle and diet in college and in the first year of married life. I've come a long way from my Hamburger Helper days and eating cake for breakfast, that's for sure!

    So here's to living longer, healthier, more vibrant lives!


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