Monday, November 29, 2010

Tired? Recover Your “Zest” for Life with Holiday Treats Made with a Refreshing Citrus Twist

The term “OMG” works here, as in Oh my god (OMG), the year 2010 is almost over! Last weekend, we shopped ‘till we dropped (hopefully none of us “dropped” because we were trampled on this Black Friday), and ate like we had a wooden leg. Now, on a tryptophan high (or mellowed out-low, as this magical property in turkey puts us all to sleep), we’re taking it easy until the next big holiday. Admittedly, some of us are a little tired of winter season’s non-stop hustle and bustle, but we know—especially us Nanas—that after maybe 1 or two weeks of rest at the top of December, it’ll be time to recover our A-game in time for a “wrap party” X-mas eve.

Let Your Diet Refuel & Motivate You…and Look Good While You’re Doing It!
I’m mentioning it again, so my peers can look 21! As some of you may already know, I collaborated on a book, GORGEOUS! a couple years back with a nutritionist, and we studied tryptophan, its positive effects, and how lovely it is to naturally increase serotonin levels by preparing certain foods—it’s all about getting your beauty sleep, girls—and you’ll want a healthy diet to achieve this.

The leftover turkey in your fridge is the star when it comes to tryptophan, but this brain- chemistry-altering-chemical is also present in eggs, bananas, milk and cheese—things you’ll turn toward for sustenance in the days between now and the hard core feasting of X-mas. Hopefully, you’ll crack your share of eggs to whip up batches of holiday cookies; washing them down with milk is a tremendous idea, especially, in light of that precious Vitamin D, chemically proven to lift your mood!

My Zest filled Recipes
My refreshing, rejuvenating citrus inspired treats call for Nana’s New Favorite Thing, a zester for shaving off the essence of those gorgeous oranges and lemons you’ll need to pick up next time you’re at the grocery store. I’m offering a hot cocoa recipe, called Chocoholics Crutch, with a Vitamin C, sweet orange kick to it, a low calorie Orange Cappuccino Parfait with the added sedation of tryptophan offered in its cottage cheese and Lemony Squares as the first and best cookie you’ll make all year. A P.S. on the Chocoholics’ Crutch—it’s excellent for sipping while you make out your Naughty or Nice list!

“Orange” You Glad you’re a Nana?
I don’t know if it’s because I’m a Florida girl, or I’ve seen too much X-mas folklore, but I love the idea of oranges as Christmas gifts. The original St. Nick stuffed the toes of children’s stockings and shoes with fruits—oranges being the most exotic on hand, for the wintry season. They smell so divine you could hardly blame him—citrus smells are so invigorating when we’re looking for an aromatic boost, and when you use lemons and oranges in recipes, you can set aside the peels for a homemade facial.

Citrus peels contain rejuvenating essential oils—so save ‘em and puree ‘em in this recipe for homemade citrus scrub
1 tablespoon citrus peel, chopped up for food processor (you can also use a zester)
½ cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup vitamin E oil (available at most drug stores)
2 tablespoons cornmeal (use what’s left over from Thanksgiving cornbread!)

Mix these ingredients until well blended and apply to your damp face. Rinse well with warm water, finishing with a splash of cold.


Catch you later, Mrs. Clauses!

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