DOUBLE TAKE

Double Take

The landscape out and around my parent's house makes for quite the fashion post backdrop, no?  Nestled in the heart of gold country, I've always loved the brushy, grassy meadows stacked up side-by-side with massive oaks and pines.  The muted colors evoke afternoons past and old days gone.  

To throw in a pop of color for this neutral outfit, I opted for this incredibly comfy (and ooh la la sexy) favorite bralette.  I'm not one to get particularly complex with colors, but this intense fuchsia really fits the bill.  A bit surprising, totally covetable, that kind of color I can do.  And paired with this striking garnet cocktail ring, well, my gold panning predecessors would have been quite proud.  Dare I say..this is my Eureka moment?!?  

Alright readers, enough jokes about the gold rush.  Have a happy happy Monday!

Double Take 2
Vram Jewelry Couture Garnet Ring

Vram Jewelry Couture Garnet Ring

COUS COUS SALAD WITH POMEGRANATE & CELERY

This healthy, yummy, and quite festive looking salad is our version of Ottolenghi's Barley & Pomegranate Salad which he published in his first vegetarian cookbook, Plenty. We've mixed it up a bit by using Israeli cous cous in place of the barley, which considerably lightens up the dish. It's a surprisingly refreshing addition to any meal--try pairing it with red meat like lamb. Its vinegary bite cuts through fat and cleanses the palate. 

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup Israeli cous cous, dry

4 celery stalks, diced

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp sherry vinegar

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp ground allspice

3 tbsp chopped parsley

seeds from 1 extra large pomegranate

Directions:

Cook the cous cous according to the package instructions, making sure to toast in olive oil first to create a round flavor. While the cous cous is still hot, add the celery, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, allspice, and salt and pepper. Stir and wait for the cous cous to cool completely. It may seem like a lot of liquid, but cous cous absorbs dressing like a champ, so fear not! 

Once the cous cous mixture is at room temp, add the parsley and pomegranate seeds. Serve cold. 

SUPPLEMENT YOU NEED: COD LIVER OIL

So I know what you're thinking: fish liver ewwww! First things first: cod liver oil is not the same thing as fish oil. Fish oil supplements are made from lots of oily little fishies: mackerel, salmon etc. Cod liver oil is just what it sounds like: oil from cod livers. It's super high in omega-3's and a fab source of vitamins A & D as well! 

While CLO has amazing internal benefits like promoting heart health and lowering cholesterol, I started taking it for more vain reasons. For nearly my entire existence, I've had keratosis pilaris (think bumpy chicken skin) on the back of my arms. Recently, I also developed eczema. SO NOT A YAY MOMENT. I've tried every cream for my KP. My derm even wanted to put me on a toxic combo of Retin-A and an intense cortisone cream to try to clear it up. I ran for the hills and decided that slathering on chemical on my arms was so not worth it. So, I turned to the internet where I discovered a whole community of other blessed people with a combo of eczema and KP. Many of them had seen almost an entire clear-up of their skin just by adding cod liver oil to their diet. I've only been taking it for a few weeks, but already I've noticed a reduction in itchiness and redness on my eczema and generally better looking KP. Bonus? My normally desert-like skin seems to be producing more oil. Thank you little cod fishies! 

P.S. I highly recommend this capsule. They've added lemon oil so you don't get fishy burps.... 

METAMORPHOSIS

Mosaic by Christopher Marley, available at Gold Bug Pasadena

Mosaic by Christopher Marley, available at Gold Bug Pasadena

Driving to and from my parent's place in Northern California left me with quite a bit of time alone in the car.  So...I listened to a ton of Radio Lab.  These half-hour to hour long stories are educating, entertaining, and make passing the time on the 5 a worthy experience.  I arrived home with new knowledge--like how caterpillars turn into butterflies!  And it is downright bizarre.

Molly Webster reports on this metamorphosis in the podcast, Goo and You, a story within the larger episode, Black Box.  Now, I remember learning about caterpillars, how they create a chrysalis, and then somehow out comes a butterfly.  But what is really going on inside that chrysalis?  Turns out when you cut it open, it's just a bunch of goo!  And from that goo grows a butterfly.

Now, here is where the transformation gets particularly creepy.  Caterpillars actually have vestigial remnants of their future butterfly bodies (think whisper thin traces of their butterfly legs and wings) inside their bodies before metamorphosis.  Next, they create their chrysalis and decompose into goo of all types (brain goo, abdomen goo, etc.).  Researchers have demonstrated that memories persist through this stage.  That is, what a caterpillar remembers survives decomposition and is thereby inherited by the butterfly.  Finally, the goo kinda sorta sticks back together and transforms into an adult butterfly.  

This podcast is seriously too good to miss.  Much more will be revealed that I cannot explain.  All I know for sure is that out of the goo comes a beautiful new animal and that is crazy amazing.  Nature is so magical!

WARMING SPICES FOR WINTER

Ginger, Cardamom, Cinnamon, and Clove Botanical Prints

Ginger, Cardamom, Cinnamon, and Clove Botanical Prints

People of Earth: it's finally raining in L.A. While nothing makes us happier in the middle of winter than a good downpour, it also tends to chill the bones. So what do we do? Load up on warming spices! Not only do these little wonders make up the sort of "pumpkin spice" blend that gets people all in a frenzy, they're also seriously good for your bod. Read on! (Also unpopular opinion: please don't drink pumpkin spice lattes--they are gross.) 

Ginger: We've lauded this spicy root before for its incredible healing properties and benefits on your tum. This immune-booster actually makes your body feel warmer, promoting healthy sweating. Try steeping whole slices of raw ginger with honey and lemon in hot water for a healing, warm drink that works wonders on sore throats. 

Cinnamon: A teaspoon of cinnamon has the same antioxidant power as a half cup of blueberries! It fights yeast and bad bacteria, helps regulate blood sugar, and reduces triglycerides. Sprinkle it on toast or oatmeal, or try adding a few cinnamon sticks to a jug of water for the yummiest hydration ever. 

Cardamom: This warm, perfumey spice is common in Indian cooking and Scandinavian pastries. It has a cleansing effect on the kidneys and can help flush toxins from the body. It's got crazy anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it a favorite in anti-cancer diets and for those battling chronic infections. Icing on the cardamom-laced cake? It's an anti-spasmodic that can help you kick a nasty case of hiccups. Who knew? Add a bit to rice, try a teaspoon in a banana and almond smoothie, or stir it into warm nut milk for a soothing bedtime drink. 

Cloves: Powerful in flavor, this dark brown spice also boasts some righteous health perks. Cloves contain a significant amount of eugenol, which aids in ridding the body of toxins, inflammation, and infection. Cloves are even a mild anesthetic and have been used for centuries to treat toothaches and gum pain. Add to lentils and rice, or a mulled beverage. Cloves also go really well with citrus, so consider pairing them with oranges or lemons in a dessert or drink.