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Gluten Free Tabbouleh and Skin Care! What They Have In Common

Gluten Free Tabbouleh and It's Raw Vegan Too!

Tres Spa's Gluten Free Tabouli Raw Vegan OK I'm gonna share my favorite Raw Vegan food that happens to be gluten free as well. Gluten free Tabbouleh made with hemp seed nut meat (it's what's inside the seed shell). This dish is so nutritious and perfectly balanced it's a meal on it's own. My favorite salad that is also a condiment. I used it as a dip even. Try spreading it on celery stalks! Yumm!!!!

What Does It Have To With Skincare?

You may be scratching your head and asking “What does Gluten Free Tabbouleh have to do with skincare”. I get it, you wouldn't think food would play a roll in nutrient rich skin care but it does. The best skincare treatment you can give yourself is in what you choose to eat and drink. How you nourish the inside of your body will have a direct (and even profound) effect on your healthy skin. By eating whole foods that are rich in vitamins and compounds our body needs to function and thrive, we are giving our skin support from the inside out. It also has one of my favorite ingredients I use in formulating skin care for Tres Spa, Hemp seeds. You can find the seeds in some of the soaps and the oil in many of the skin care formulations from face care to body oils to body scrubs all of the organic hand and body lotions and lets not forget the  organic shampoo too!

Here Is What You Need

Here are the ingredients for you to experiment with. I am estimating the measurements since I rarely ever use measuring cups or spoons in the kitchen. I need one creative outlet that allows me to compose with reckless abandon! So when I am in the kitchen, I cook with wild abandon. 🙂

  • Tres Spa and Hemp Seed for Skincare1 cup Hemp Seeds – the taste is heady with warm earthy notes. Super rich in nutrients and excellent source of Omega fatty acids.
  • 1 bun of Parsley chopped. You can use cilantro if there is no parsley around but the end resulting taste is very different. From what I understand they are both excellent to support the liver. For all your liver does for you, you want to support it any way you can so if you can't find herbs try some dark kale!
  • Onion – Now I like Spring onions ( I know I said yellow in the video but I was holding a bundle of green onions) and I use a bundle of them since they tend to be mild. Red Onion is also an excellent choice but you would only need a tablespoon or three.  Shallots? Okay if you want.
  • Tomatoes! I use a cup or two – I love love love tomatoes. I always have and I crave them!! I remember when I was first diagnosed with Psoriasis – they told me not to eat them. It wasn't until years later when I was reading research that said dig in and eat tomatoes (as well as others). I was so happy! I had cheated all along, but now I didn't need to hide my obsession. 🙂
  • 1 Lemon – fresh squeezed and oh so nice. Did you know Lemon juice is a metabolic booster?
  • Pepper to taste – use what pepper you want. There's a few to choose from out there so feel free to experiment.
  • Sherpa Salt – just a little. I like to add a bit of mineral rich salt
  • Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV as many of us call it. Okay I use a splash or two – depends. But I love Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar and I try to use it whenever and wherever I can. If you are not used to ACV, then go easy at first.

Here Is What You Need To Do

Simple steps! You can whip this up in minutes

  1. Get a bowl
  2. Start tossing. Toss in the Hemp Seed, toss in some chopped parsley, toss in some salt, toss in some chopped onion, toss in your sliced or diced tomatoes.
  3. Dash in some black pepper – or hey, why not try some Cayenne pepper for an extra metabolic boost.
  4. Drizzle in a fresh squeezed lemon. I always like to add some Apple Cider Vinegar as well. You can't go wrong with ACV!
  5. Mix and eat! Or chill it and eat it later.
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Say Cheese!

My Favorite Vegan Cheese

What is a Raw Vegan Cheese recipe doing in a skin care blog site? Ok, first let me say I am multi-dimensioned and I have loads of interests so you never know what you will find here. Second, good skin care starts with what you eat. Third stress causes the skin to age, and if you are like me, being cheeseless causes me stress. So here is a helpful treat to help relieve stress while you try to do the right thing and support Vegan for you and the environment. 

Cheese Is Hard To Let Go Of

True confession, one of my biggest addictions is cheese. During the time I was a Raw Vegan it was the hardest thing for me to let go of. Yes, harder than coffee. I've loved cheese all my life and it was the biggest treat for me, more than cookies or candy or cakes. While I never found a truly satisfying replacement for the melted molten cheesiness of dairy, I did find this Raw Vegan Cheese very satisfying. So give the cows a break and try this supper easy recipe.

Feel free to change it up and make it your own be creative. I find I often switch things around and change the spices or I'll add things like spring onions or jalapenos or red bell pepper.Play with your food! 

Fast and Easy

Time to make: 5 minutes (including prep and clean up and photoshoot)

Here is what you will need for my basic recipe (I never measure anything when I make food, I go by feel and taste and smell. When I make skin care, I am tediously exact):

  • 1 cup Cashews (raw)**- only enough that you can eat it in the next 3 to 4 days You do not need to soak these soft nuts, unless soaking is a compulsion with you then you can soak for 30 minutes. **For a Low Fat option use white beans or yellow potatoes or for a low starch version try using roasted bell peppers
  • Nutritional Yeast – about 3 – 4 tablespoons.(optional if using cashews but a must with the low fat options)
  • dash Salt (For a salt free version use dried celery or your favorite salt substitute)
  • splash ACV
  • dash Paprika
  • dash Turmeric
  • Garlic to taste
  • Water – enough for the texture or consistency. So if you are making a sauce to drizzle on roasted veggies or a creamy blend to toss with pasta you will want to add more. If you are making a dip or thick spread, use less water. Start out with 1/4cp you can add more as you go but you can never subtract it.
  • A really good blender or a food processor. Whatever tool you use that can grind a soft nut. I've used a variety of tools and basically they all work since the cashew is a soft nut.

Let's Create!

Toss it all in a blender and blend away!

Blend until you get a creamy texture so give it time to really pulverize the nuts. Bon appetit!

Bon appetit

OK so here are the very brief “whys” for each of the ingredients. It's good to know what is so good about what is good for you right? So I like to know if it is good for my body and for my skin. Of course because I make skin care and the best skin care starts with what you eat (hair care too).

Cashews- The Cashew is really a seed not a nut that has a mild flavor and can be used for dishes from sweet (cashew cream) to savory (toasted roasted and tossed with any number of spices), making it very versatile protein source. The nut is a favorite and nutritionally, it's actually pretty good for you with unsaturated and monounsaturated (heart healthy) fats, vitamins, fiber and rich minerals. 1/4 cp of raw cashews is about 170 calories. I always encourage folks to buy Raw Organic Fair trade cashews. **If you elected the low fat options then you are adding nutrient density while minimizing fat. So basically, a cheese sauce you don't have to feel guilty about indulging in.

Salt – I use pink Himalayan Sherpa salt or Celtic sea salt. Salts are mineral rich and  minerals act as important electrolytes in the body. They help with fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle function. The fact is, we all need salt to keep our bodies functioning properly.  So feel free to salt to taste!

Garlic – One of my personal favorites for cleansing and keeping a happy healthy balanced inside. Allicin is a form of sulfur and this is what gives garlic the medicinal benefits, fighting radicals, boosting the immune system, and lowering blood pressure. Topically? I have never heard of topical skin care but old wives tales say if you wear a garland of it you will ward off evil. There is about 5,000 years of recorded use of garlic and lots of tales to go with it.

ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) – I use Braggs. There are others but I like this one the best. Some say the “mother” strands (extra proteins, enzymes, and important bacteria),  in Braggs make it the “only” one to use for health benefits. There are so many uses and benefits to using ACV that I really don't think I could do it justice in this little piece. Perhaps another time I'll do a piece on skin care with ACV.

Paprika – Is a lovely blend of chili and bell peppers. While it can spike up your dish it also delivers antioxidants and nutrients. Vitamin A, E, B-6, Iron, and the treasured Capsaicin which can help lower blood pressure. I've never used it for skin care but there are some that tout the benefits of Paprika for a variety of treatments from skin lightening to acne treatment to hair growth.

Turmeric – This spice is well known for its anti-inflammatory aid and has been used for centuries in the East. But another notable use is in Cancer prevention. While I personally do not formulate skin care with this wonderful spice, I have seen others coming out with Turmeric. For now, I stick to using it for healthy skin care from the inside out!

Water – OK this is easy. By now we all should know the value of a glass of good ole plain water so no need to go into it here. If you need some tricks on how to drink more water, you can read my post Top 5 life hacks to get the water you need

Nutritional Yeast (optional unless using the low fat options) – The flavor is slightly nutty and a bit cheesy. I use about 3 – 4 tablespoons for this recipe. You can use more if you want or none at all if you don't have it. Beyond flavor, I'm not sure what other benefits it would have since the yeast is not active. Do you know?

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Mosquitoes and Ticks: Why do they bite & How do I get them to stop

Why Do I Keep Getting Bitten?

Are you one of those people who feels they are a target for biting bugs? Do mosquitoes and ticks have it out for you? Ever feel like nature has it out for you? Like there is a network of biting bugs that have you on the most wanted list? You step outside and it seems like they are chasing you down.

Bugs bite for a couple of reasons, usually to defend or to feed. I can't think of any bug that bites for fun or world domination. In fact, most would rather you never darken their door or cross their path. If you are standing over an ant hill and you stomp your feet, you can expect some angry soldiers to come out and attack you. They are defending their turf that you are trying to invade. Same goes for spiders, don't expect them to be happy to see you coming. You step into their web, well your just asking for trouble.

But what about the ones that seem to hunt you down like prey. You know the ones that come from the sky and dive bomb your outdoor activity. It seems like they knew you were coming and targeted you like you were painted with a bulls eye. How do they know? It's in their sense of smell.

The Scent Of You

There are somewhere around 175 different varieties of Mosquitoes in the US alone and they have been around for about 170 million years, they've had lots of time to perfect their homing instincts. So if you are feeling like they targeted you, they probably did. They smelled you coming from over 50 yards away. The female mosquitoes (the men don't bite) are mainly attracted to scent. Some of the scent signatures that attract them are the carbon dioxide we exhale and the lactic acid from your sweat glands. They haven't nail the exact scent trigger, but the scientists do know that some of us smell quite delectable, giving off a lovely bouquet, and the mosquitoes can't wait to dig in and feast.

While Ticks can't fly, or jump, or parachute from trees. They are also attracted to scent that they pick up from sensors in their legs. Ticks like to hid in ground cover or grassy areas where it's moist (dry heat will kill them). They wait for the right smelling host to brush by and they hop on, crawl around to find their favorite spots ( ears and heads are preferred), then dig in to feast.

Don't Let Them Get You

So how do you protect yourself? The top two methods to defend you from both are to cover up and to change your scent or cover your scent. There are several synthetic compounds out there that have the power to destroy, but they can harm more than just the mosquitoes so thankfully those are falling out of favor. There are some plants that have a reputation of dissuading bugs from biting or at least throw them off of your scent and natural formulators rely on them to develop a kinder gentler bug repellent that can work in harmony with nature. We developed Hikers Heaven using three of these essential oils and we created an Organic Soap, Aromatic Mist, and a full Organic Body Lotion. While you could use one or two of them, we always recommend the three used together. After all, they are natural plant oils.

We are not your Doctor

The Très Spa website may contain articles on science, or medical topics; however, no warranty is made that any of the articles are accurate.There is absolutely no assurance that any statement contained or cited in an article touching on science or medical matters is true, correct, precise, or up-to-date. The overwhelming majority of such articles are written, in part or in whole, by nonprofessionals. Even if a statement made about science or medicine is accurate, it may not apply to you or your symptoms.

The information provided at Très Spa is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on). None of the individual contributors, nor anyone else connected to Très Spa can take any responsibility for the results or consequences of any attempt to use or adopt any of the information presented on this web site.

Nothing on Très Spa's site or included as part of any project or product of Très Spa, should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a medical opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of medicine.

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Top 5 Life Hacks to Get The Water You Need!

Just Can't Seem To Make It?

Trying to get down the water and you just can't seem to get it done? You aren't alone. We all know how important it is to drink fresh clean water every day. Yet, knowing and doing are two different things. If you are like me, you may be struggling with it. It's time for you to take control and give yourself the water you deserve.

I am not partial to water. I never have been. You see, I was raised with flavored drinks as a kid and that reached into my adult years with soda. Probably one of  the worst inventions that could have ever happened to the human population is soda. There is nothing beneficial in soda and in fact, over consumption of carbonated beverages can cause significant damages .

My Top 5 Tricks

Here are my top 5 hacks to drinking enough water

  1. Start each day with a fresh glass pitcher or jug of water. My goal is to get a half gallon so I have a glass jug that I fill every morning and I use this to drink from all day. 64 ounces is eight  8 ounce servings.  This way I know what the goal is and I can see myself get closer as the water goes down.
  2. Break it up into servings. Easier to tackle a bit at a time rather than think of the whole half gallon. For example: First thing, before my fitness and before my coffee (yes I drink coffee), I down a  full 8 ounce glass of water with fresh squeezed lemon. Double bonus since it is a metabolism booster. I will also sip on a serving of water while I drink my coffee. Then I pour a full glass before a meal and add another during a meal. (This takes care of all my servings and helps curb my appetite) Of course you can always drink more water.
  3. If you find it hard to drink plane water, then try making a really weak tea. When I say week, I mean unbelievably weak.   To flavor a half gallon of water, I would use only three herbal tea bags. Use an herbal tea that you really enjoy and one that has a strong scent like peppermint or spice. This is my personal favorite Organic Herbal Tea: Good Earth Teas Organic Sweet and Spicy
  4. Make a Spa tea. Spa teas are lovely and refreshing. Some of the spas I have been to will even change the water depending on the time of day. Say you want a bright pick me up, how about sliced citrus water. Cooling and soothing, add some cucumber. Try spicing it up for extra kick. Some of my favorites are Mint, Tarragon, Basil, Rosemary, and yes Lavender.
  5. In a pinch or if I am on the go, I will squeeze a tiny shot of water enhancer.  I've used Stur Drinks –  Natural Water Enhancer and its pretty good in a pinch and it can travel with you. Hey, it's not perfect but I'm picking the better of two evils here! Better to get the water in!

Eventually you will become accustomed to just plain ‘ole water. I never thought I could handle it, but now I actually enjoy it now. Just straight up room temperature.


The More You Drink, The Easier It Gets

Drinking Water becomes naturalNo matter what method you need to use to try and get the water down, eventually you will find you have acquired the taste for plain old fresh water.  Either that or you just get to lazy to fuss with the extra flavoring work and you are hooked on plain fresh water with no tricks.

Mission accomplished!