Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Nature's Surprise Superfoods

HARVEST TIME
Superfoods from Farm-to-Table

Pre-Orders for Dec. 2018 Release
32 Color Photos!
#7 Healing Powers Series
Did you know the keys to a long life and vibrant good health can be found on the shelves of your local supermarket?

If you haven’t heard by now, listen up. Your health—mind, body, and spirit—may depend on it. Chances are, you like me, already have superfoods in your kitchen fridge, cupboards, and on the countertops. I’m talking about whole foods—good, clean, edible fare—most processed junk with ingredients you can’t pronounce or define.
The verdict is in, and it has been evident since the ancient caveman and hunter-gatherer days. Eating a whole foods, natural, plant-based diet is the path to good health and well-being. The best superfoods can and do vary, but despite controversy between the food of the week in the media and scientific nutritional studies backing them, superfoods are functional foods—not a gimmick to sell products or a brand despite what some medical doctors believe. Yes, superfoods are real food with super nutrients that provide super healing powers.
Graze with Mediterranean Cheese Plates
Infuse Water to Detox and Energize
Lose Unwanted Weight
The top U.S. ranked heart-healthy Mediterranean diet includes all of my top favorite picks! In an A-Z order, common foods of the groups include: cheese and yogurt, fruits, grains, nuts, vegetables, and water—an overlooked superfood for survival. Here, take a look at Mother Nature’s favorite functional foods.

1 CHEESE:  Cheese can be upgraded into superfood status by using the right kind and right amount and pairing it with whole-grain bread, nuts, and berries. Grilled cheese sandwiches were common kid food in the twentieth century, and they were budget friendly during the Great Depression. But some nutritionists do not believe cheese—any kind—deserves to be included on the healthiest-foods list, let along tagged a superfood, because of its high fat and high sodium content.
“Cheese is a ‘good’ food!” I find myself saying. Cheese is a super source of calcium, which is good for calming your nervous system and for your teeth and bones. Past medical research shows that people who get an adequate amount of calcium by eating a moderate amount of dairy, which includes cheese, may be likely to keep their blood pressure numbers in check—lowering their risk of heart disease and stroke.
2 GREEK YOGURT: The popularity of yogurt grew in the 1950s and 1960s, but it made it mark at health food stores. In twenty-first-century supermarkets, there are an array of brands and types of yogurt, including low-fat and fat-free varieties. But it’s Greek yogurt that is gaining popularity—and for good reason.
Homemade Granola with Greek Yogurt
Nutrient-Rich
Like cheese, Greek yogurt and regular yogurt are superfoods—and taste great drizzled with raw honey or mixed with fresh fruit. In moderation, this dairy staple is touted for its heart-healthy powers, bone-boosting merits, and immune-enhancing perks thanks to its probiotics. Plain Greek yogurt is also rich in the mineral potassium. Both calcium and potassium may help you keep your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers in check.
3 MAPLE SYRUP: By the 1900s, maple syrup was used throughout the United States, mostly as a topping for pancakes and waffles. These days, maple syrup is pair with other superfoods, such as homemade granola, all-natural ice cream, whole grain oatmeal, smoothies, and sweet potatoes.
Antioxidant-rich Maple Syrup, 
egg-y whole-grain bread, berries
While honey is touted as one of nature’s top superfood sweeteners, premium antioxidant-rich maple syrup is getting more recognition for its nutritional benefits. One-fourth cup of premium maple syrup contains fewer calories than high-fructose syrup, corn syrup, or brown sugar. It boasts more calcium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin and zine than most sweeteners. And maple syrup has more disease-fighting antioxidants than raw cabbage—also a superfood.
4 PIZZA (with Toppings): Food historians will share with you that in Naples during the 1700s and 1800s, pizza was a food popular with money-challenged folks. The food was called “flat breads,” and it had toppings such as cheese and tomatoes—two superfoods on the top 20 list.
Greek Pizza--Thin Whole-Grain Crust,
Tomatoes, Spinach
Feta Cheese--Moderation! Scientists give a 

thumbs up to sauce
Yes, a slice of pizza.  But it is whole-grain crust and superfood toppings that make it a healthful food. The crust gives you lost of energy and a dose of good-for-you nutrients. Choose superfood cheeses, such as goat cheese, feta, that provide you extra protein benefits. Not to forget a tomato-based (or basil-rich pesto) sauce.
Sweet Potatoes are a Superfood!
5 POTATOES (RUSSET/SWEET):  As the story goes, the first potato reached Spain in the sixteenth century. Back 1578, Sir Francis Drake introduced potatoes in his around-the-word adventures. Later, in 1662, it is believed that the British Royal Society sponsored growing potatoes, and by the early 1700s, potatoes were embraced by people in the United States.
In the southern United States, folks love their sweet potatoes (whether it’s sweet potato fries or sweet potato pie), and it’s not just the super taste they’re getting. This potato has a whopping amount of vitamin A, which can enhance your immune system to stave off colds, flu, and even cancer. Medical researchers believe the carotene in them can guard again some types of cancers, perhaps because it can boost white blood cell activity in the body.
            So now you’re in the know about which superfoods are super for you—whether you live on the West Coast, East Coast, Midwest, or in the Deep South. Despite changes to Earth due to man’s tampering and nature’s wrath, we still can enjoy nature’s healthiest foods. But sometimes you have to go the extra mile to get the real deal.


Garden of Apples

During one harvest season time in California, I envisioned going to an out-of-town far in Placerville to pick apples (another superfood) off trees. I had images of meeting a friendly farmer who’d take us on a tractor followed by a couple of herding dogs. The autumn sunshine would warm us up while we carried baskets to fill with big, fresh apples. We’d climb on stools and pick nature’s finest fruit. Excited about the rural experience awaiting us, we drove down the winding road, off the hill, there was a glitch.
Organic Apples Are Best
I didn’t see apples on trees. Not one. A big sign read: “No apple picking.” I left and drove up the road, but the farms and small stores all had signs reading “Closed.” Locals told me, “Tourists can’t pick apples.” I ended up at a busy tourist attraction. Pumpkins and Christmas trees were visible and for sale, and pricey fruit—including apples.
Disappointed I drove back up to the hill. I ended up at our local grocery store and picked up a bag of organic apples at a good price. Later, I discovered I wasn’t the only one who had endured such a wild ride at the apple haven. I was told by the apple organization that it had been a busy harvest time and we had come late in the season. There were farms, though, that did offer apple picking, but I had missed the apple boat. So my fantasy remains in my imagination until next year. Nowadays, it’s places like Apple hill, farmers’ markets, and supermarkets that all do sell organic produce and superfoods for you to enjoy.

Adapted from The Healing Powers of Superfoods: A Complete Guide To Nature’s Favorite 
Functional Foods by Cal Orey (Kensington Books, Citadel, 2019). All rights reserved. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

NEW Superfoods Book Touts Heart-Healthy Mediterranean Diet Cuisine

By Cal Orey
Is water a food? 
The answer is: yes or no, depending on exactly what definition of “food or nutrient” you choose. -- Michael McClennen, Scientist

Size 4, 122 lbs,
BP 120/70/60
Baby Boomer
Follows the
Mediterranean Diet

Yikes! Some folks are super surprised to discover eggs, pizza, cheese, gelato, whole grains, and water are some of the top 20 superfoods in this new book! 

But note, ALL of these foods are found in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet (many versions are available) ranked in 2018 as a top diet in the nation! Keep in mind, some of these superfoods should only be eaten in moderation--and yes, daily activity and drinking water  (an essential superfood!) are part of the deal. 

Did you know the keys to a long life and vibrant good health can be found on the shelves of your local supermarket?
 
Apples, leafy greens, shellfish, yogurt—even ice cream and pasta. The latest scientific studies reveal that many of the classic foods you’ve always loved are superfoods that can supercharge your health! Not only are they delicious, they’re affordable—plus these essential farm-to-table favorites can work with any diet plan, from the balanced Mediterranean Diet to the hunter-gatherer Paleo plan.


With over 50 recipes for both cooked and raw dishes, including smoothies and soups, a detox juice fast and a jump-start pounds-off diet, this down-to-earth guide will show you how to get healthy and stay healthy with body-friendly superfoods.

*Boost your immune system with citrus and nutrient-dense berries, including fresh, frozen, and dried. 
 
*Enjoy the healthy fats in eggs and nuts, including nut butters, to fight inflammation, slow the aging process, and lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Mediterranean Pizza, thin crust,
whole grain, tomatoes,
tomato or pesto sauce, feta cheese
Moderation--1 or 2 slices

*Trade white sugar for antioxidant-rich sweeteners like maple syrup, the newest superfood!
 
*Create home remedies designed to ease anxiety, improve sleep, boost brainpower and enhance energy.  


*Keep your home spotless for kids and pets using eco-friendly superfood-rich formulas.
 
*Pamper your mind and body with the same food-based treatments that health spas use, including ingredients like seeds and seaweed. 


Now you can indulge in a Pesto Pizza or Berry Basil Smoothie, a Chicken Bone Broth or dark chocolate gelato, while chilling with an ancient-oats facial or relaxing in a warm, herb-scented bath. Infused with heartwarming stories and inspiring legends, The Healing Powers of Superfoods will take you to a world of wellness that starts at home with our favorite foods from Mother Nature—enjoyed in a new way with an exciting twist!

* From the back cover of The Healing Powers of Superfoods (Kensington Books, Citadel; Cal Orey) 2019. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Autumn is the Same This Year, Sort of


Autumn? I Need Help from Squirrels!

By Cal Orey

It's cold outside! And it's only October. The news or my prediction is Northern California is going to experience another drought. Here I sit in a toasty real bed with Zen cat and Aussie puppy all grown up (going to love his double coat this season for double warmth) and I'm clad in a hooded sweatshirt and leggings. 



  • OUTDOORS STUFF: First of all, I have firewood. No flannel sheets with deep pockets that I love, yet
  • Why aren't they in the stores? Storm windows? Half are in one closet, the other half in the garage. Fireplace needs to be cleaned and the chimney guy needs to come out and deep clean it for safety's sake. (He does it all...maybe I'll wait and let him do it?) And the piles of pine needles are gone on the rooftop, solar lights still work.  
  • THREADS FOR WARMTH: I didn't order earthy colored sweats, jeans, and sweaters from Victoria because they don't sell clothes like they did in the past. I paid the tax accountant for my birthday and worked on the new Healing Powers Series book #8. Put the Pacific Northwest trip and flight miles in the lock box due to circumstances beyond my control; 6.8 quake did hit B.C. as I predicted-maybe the gods were looking out for me.  so I can complete the essential book with a new, improved fresh feel to it. 
  • BRING FALL INSIDE: Pine cones...all the new, big fresh ones are dropping onto the ground. Note to self: This weekend collect as many as I can to put in flower beds, and decorate in wicker baskets (for that real mountain fall feel). And throws. Ah, I have wool cozy colored throws that need to be washed to throw on the cold leather sofa, love seat, chairs--to give my cabin that warm look. And more goldfish. This year my fish are happy and healthy (kindred swimming spirits)  get to enjoy the aquarium heater!  No hot and cold temps.
  • STAY WELL:  Forgetting a flu shot. I'll stay clear of people--all political parties. It's healthier. But note, the Aussie did get a canine flu shot last year and it's recommended a follow-up one in late winter.
  • GET A MOVE ON: I did finally join the Resort Pool (as I do every year) and began swimming for my fall health regime. It is heaven in the morning. 
  • CLEAN PANTRY:  As I'm lost in Essential Oils Land, my kitchen pantry is chock-full of new oils which I can enjoy during the holidays. And, it's time to toss out some items that have expired and make it orderly but not as perfect as the husband likes in the classic film "Sleeping with the Enemy". So the new book isn't due until the second week of January. That means I have time for more testing oil products, cooking, baking, using the healing oil(s) in all imaginable ways from head to toe...
  • And it's time to get more teas, coffees, honeys...I cannot forget the last three day power outage so this time around I will be prepared in case the lights go out. 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

This is for All You Lonely People Who Have Loved (and Lost) a Dog

By Cal Orey

For those who love dogs, 
it would be the worst form of a lie 
to call any place where dogs were banned "Paradise." 
Certainly no loving God 
would separate people from their canine friends for eternity.
Stanley Coren, dog psychologist


Four years ago, on October 23, I lost my beloved canine soul mate...

Dear Simon,


I've been trying to telepathically communicate with you. At times I feel we are connecting, other times not so much. With tears streaming down my cheeks I never ever thought the day would come. I thought you were immortal. Well, admit it. You were the healthiest, strongest canine companion I've ever enjoyed in my life. There are dozens of photos of you at your happiest moments, year after year, 12 years plus one half.

Quality Time Together We did have an amazing life together, though, yes? Back in the day of snow at Lake Tahoe, you loved running up and down the berms.  Remember when we'd walk to the campground during off season in autumn and spring. You'd jump over the huge pine tree logs again and again. Not to forget taking you to the Lake. I know, the water was too cold for you to go swimming...but you loved the sand, sun, and looking out at the water and Canada geese. Ah, the winter nights under the full moon, you walked with me on the fresh snow after visiting your best dog friend. It was bliss while we were in the hot tub and you and "Rat Boy" played non stop outdoors and indoors. I can still see your beautiful smile--and as I view so many photos you were happy, a happy, balanced gentleman with stable energy.

...On the Road And the book signings you escorted me to were fun, yeah? As a puppy in Carson City's Borders you were so cute (I was pleased by your perfect presence) and as an adult at Chico's Barnes and Noble--I was also so proud of you. You worked the crowd and acted like a therapy dog. Don't forget we ordered a third bed for you in the hotel...but you snuggled and slept with me (under the covers often) as you did for more than a decade. 
Not to forget you kept me company day and night, on errands, walks, writing books, photo shoots, and my true soulmate with paws. We got each other. And hey, you were famous! Yes, your photo and feats graced msnbc.com to The Writer and and Complete Woman magazine (right below Oprah! in the TOC) for being a seismically sensitive pooch partner in my forecasting earthquakes to simply being my best friend during the best and worst of times. 
Not to dismiss the time when a cameraman let you and Seth outdoors into the wild. Before the on-camera interview I was scared at least one of you would head near the highway or Lake and never to be found again. But I followed our normal walking path and there you were--taking care of your younger sidekick whom you bonded with ever since. You were the wise, balanced one out of your comfort zone all alone.

Dog Days, My Best Friend
Okay, I won't dismiss a few close calls: There was the time you sprained your foot in the snow--but you healed quickly! A few teeth cleanings; you ended up having 38 out of 42 pearly whites! Amazing. When we evacuated the chaos of the Angora Fire, not only did you stay centered for me in a Reno hotel--you got bit by something in the foreign grass. One nose surgery later. You healed. And when you were 10 1/2 I found the little lump on your forehead. Both our vet and I were concerned. Surgery ASAP. Benign. We were elated with joy, despite the scarring. But your beautiful fur grew in within weeks! My canine warrior lived on for two more years (about 14 in human years). And I am so grateful for the time we spent together from beginning to the end...

I know you loved your canine pals--Zorro, your sweet Rat Terrier BFF with Type-A energy; and Seth, my Brittany pup whom you raised. He loved you more than you know. You two bonded and despite being from different lines--you looked like one another. You sensed when his health took a turn for the worse just as my Aussie and Siamese noted you were not yourself.  I sense they miss you, especially Skye, whom you helped socialize with strangers and allowed you to maintain alpha dog; he played with you so gently even though he knew and I knew you were growing older, growing frail. He is trying to behave like you did when we lost Seth--strong for me (but I confess, he's a bit clingy). 

Saying Goodbye  You are in every room: Posters of us at bookstores, in my magazine articles, books, plaques, and dog bones. My pen names are connected with you Calliesimon and I cannot delete them because it's my lifeline to you. Your fave comforter is on the love seat. I want to smell your scent and will not wash it. I feel your spirit is in the air. How I long to hug you, kiss your nose, and tell you how much I love you as I did every day.
In the past months I knew you were slowing down but as we age it happens so I tried to go with the flow of Father Time.  When I returned from the out of country trip, it was evident. You weren't yourself. How it hurt me to put the pieces together: You staring at walls, getting disoriented behind chairs, unable to do your dog business, sleep cycle off, and forgetting all of your commands--worse, not knowing who we were or who you were. Lost and I feel lost without you, the way we were for years and years.
It was difficult for me to face the facts that you were slipping away. But I knew on Friday, October 23rd, when all of the classic canine dementia signs came together. You told us--all of the people who adored you--it was time to go. "I'm tired. I don't like the way my mind is not clear. I'm anxious. I'm scared. I'm confused. I want to go where it's safe and peaceful." I saw you had left me in your eyes and felt your spirit had left me when I hugged your body. Goodbye Dear Simon. No words needed.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Savvy Reasons to Use a Pen Name (For Authors Only)

By Cal Orey


AT THE START of a writing career, your name may seem so perfect ... but as time goes by, sometimes a pen name becomes a must-have tool of the trade. And it's not just the famous writers who use one. Here's why playing the name game can be smart.

For privacy and safety. Using a pen name provides protection. If a topic is controversial or crime-related, going "undercover" may be wise. I did just that when I wrote an expose for a popular men's magazine about escort services (which provide customers with a companion for dates). I didn't want the local escorts or managers to harass me if they didn't like what I wrote about their business. So I took a double identity, just as they did, to stay out of harm's way.


To get very personal. If you want to write about something embarrassing to you, switching names is the ticket for sharing your story. Forget blushing. I wrote an intimate, first-person piece called "I fell for the guy next door" for Complete Woman magazine. By altering my name and the subject's, I got to tell my tale of woe and get paid for it.

To explore different genres. I spin many subjects, from nonfiction health to erotic fiction. In the 1980s, adult magazines for men (and women) were hot. Because I wrote from a woman's perspective, I got assignments. But I was also creating a name for myself in mainstream women's magazines. I chose an alias for the risque work, which allowed me to explore two worlds apart without offending more conservative readers or losing my writing position.

For maximum marketability. Using a pen name can make an author more noticeable, too. Jane Doe might be too plain a name to stand out next to J.K. Rowling (another pen name). "The main reason I use Lady J is because it gets more attention," says children's writer Teresa Jose of Ontario.

For pragmatic gender bending. As a rookie, I fell into technical writing. After a swarm of rejections, I sensed that my real name, Denise, was too feminine to be taken seriously. So I made a gender switch to help market articles. I chose Cal for its masculine sound, and because California is my native state. When I received my first acceptance letter addressed to Mr. Cal Orey, I knew I had chosen the right name.

To find anonymity. Using a nom de plume gives an author the freedom to keep his identity separate from work. One author who is a gambling expert maintains a low profile. If he uses his real name, he risks being blacklisted from the gaming industry. Putting a pen name to work as he does offers the best of both worlds. It's a win-win situation.

Some famous aliases:

THERE ARE many examples of pen names among famous writers. Here is a brief sampling:

Pearl Gray dropped his first name and wrote his Western novels under his middle name and with a slightly different last name, Zane Grey.

Stephen King has written four novels under the name Richard Bachman. "I did that," he explained, "because back in the early days of my career, there was a feeling in the publishing business that one book a year was all the public would accept."

Samuel Langhorne Clemens used an old riverboat term, Mark Twain, as his pen name. Often called out on deck, the phrase meant that the water was 2 fathoms, or 12 feet, deep--deep enough for safe passage.

Mary Ann Evans wrote under the name George Eliot.

Ellery Queen was actually a single name for the collaborative team of Frederick Dannay and Manfred B. Lee.

--C.O.  Published in The Writer 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Author Unveils Sweet Inside Secrets--Honey Book

By Cal Orey

1.    Cal tell us a little bit about your background? I'm an author-Intuitive…known for the internationally popular Healing Powers Series. 

2.    When did you get interested in the healing power of foods? Since a teen back in the 70s I was a “granola girl.” I ate fruits/vegetables/yogurt. It was “in” to be lean and fit. So I was and still am a “health nut.” I was going to be a nutritionist but ended up getting my master’s degree in English (Creative Writing).
3.  I understand you have written several other healing power books? The Healing Powers Book Series began back in 1999 when I penned The Healing Powers of Vinegar. The rest is history. Several years later, the book was a success. Olive oil, chocolate, and honey followed. Then came coffee, tea, and superfoods. 
4.    Your book draws on interviews with medical doctors, beekeepers, and researchers about the positive effects of honey? Yes, I did go to the “experts” who know about how honey and honey bees…and they told me how this superfood which has been used since biblical times can heal via health improvements to home cures. Also, I met a  beekeeper and his queen Italian bees…and I spoke with beekeepers around the globe.  I interviewed the editor of Bee Culture Magazine (The Healing Powers of Honey received a positive review in the October issue) about trends of city hobbyist bee keepers to CCD—the mysterious vanishing and die-off of bees with an unknown cause. And I got to taste straight from the hive… honeycomb. A hexagon structure made from beeswax by honey bees to hold honey. 
5.    Tell us what makes honey so healthy? It’s got vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting antioxidants (molecules in superfoods like fruits/vegetables) that can stall Father Time and enhance the immune system and  keep our cells healthy.


6.    How many honey varieties are there? Hundreds…more than 300 in U.S. from different floral sources. I got up close and  intimate with more than 30…we’re talking different flavors from different sources.The darker varieties are the healthiest…a bit of a challenge for the palate: manuka to buckwheat---which are commonly used in health and honey studies. My faves are sage, wildflower, white honey from Hawaii, pumpkin, blackberry--and orange blossom. Once you taste the varietals there's no going back to one honey flavor. 
7.    Are there major differences between raw honey and the commercial varieties? Yes, raw is healthier but mass market varieties still have benefits, too.  The real, raw, unprocessed, unheated, unfiltered kind of honey that you get straight from the hive—honeycomb—is the real deal with the good for you antioxidants. Think pure ACV, quality dark cocoa. 
8.    What are some short-term health benefits of consuming honey? Home cures:I've turned to honey for sore throat, allergies, cough, cuts, anxiety, stress, fatigue, and it can even boost libido! What's more, manuka honey--found in Australia and New Zealand--is simply amazing for its healing perks. If you have a cut, like I did on my foot, it can heal it in days, thanks to honey's super amazing antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.
9.    You say honey can help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, increase longevity and even reduce boy fat and unwanted weight? Indeed… If you stay clear of the big diseases…you’ll up the odds of living longer. And honey can help stave off the major life-threatening diseases because of its different compounds. I show studies with humans (not just lab rats) in my honey book how it works to back up this fact.
10.   You say pure, raw, unprocessed honey is a healthier sweetener than table sugar and high fructose corn syrupYou get only empty nutrition with white table sugar…HFCS is controversial but I stay clear from it--found in fruit juice drinks to processed foods. Honey contains dozens of different substances (minerals, vitamins, antioxidants) which makes it more like a fruit than sugar. Sugar and HFCS are simpler compounds containing only glucose and fructose, honey is more of a “functional or superfood”—because of its compounds.
11. How many calories typically per teaspoon? 21--a dieter's dream. And just a spoonful will provide energy to get a move on and boost your metabolism as well as curb that sweet tooth so you're not tempted to overeat sweets that are laden with saturated fat, calories, and added sugar. 
12. How much Honey do you recommend people eat daily or weekly? 5 teaspoons/8 teaspoons women/men. (None for babies younger than one year old.) 
13. How can you use honey in your beauty routine? It’s used in DIY recipes/store bought beauty products/top-notch spa treatments. I use all types to help keep my hair and skin healthy. I was treated to a honey bath at a plush European-style hotel and the story is unforgettable. My skin felt so smooth.
14.   What kind of recipes are there in your book? Scrumptious recipes that'll wow you. The book was purchased by The Good Cook Book Club. Spa chefs/honey companies (big and small) provided many recipes including Honey Biscotti, Bee Breakfast Smoothie, Honey Poppy Seed Salad Dressing, Honey Glazed Hen, Honey Berries with Lime Pound Cake, and Sweet Potato Pie. Wholesome, down-to-earth ingredients are used--mostly from the Mediterranean diet--are used. I'm talking whole grains, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables, dark chocolate, and olive oil as a primary fat.
 15. What easy ways can our listeners use honey in their everyday lives? Use a teaspoon of honey in tea/coffee daily and/or drizzle on fresh fruit or whole grain bread to get a double punch of antioxidants.
The Healing Powers of Honey (Kensington Books by Cal Orey) available at  online bookstores; now available in gift size mass market format and ebooks as well as paperback. 

Friday, October 12, 2018

Fall into the Art of Smoothies for the Chill of It!

Autumn is Time for Super Smoothies!

By Cal Orey

When I first moved to Lake Tahoe I was infatuated with the town, feeling like I landed in heaven. During the first fall I recall walking amid the towering pine trees and trails was my favorite mode of exercise. 
One afternoon after walking to the Lake, down to the casinos, and along Highway 50 I stopped at McDonalds. I ordered a chocolate shake with vanilla soft serve ice cream and chocolate syrup. (The calories I burned gave me permission to indulge, I rationalized.) When I left sipping the cold, creamy beverage, I started analyzing (blame it on the sugar high) the sweet shake. My health-oriented food cop inner voice said, “Uh, exercise negated by fast food. Hello? Can you hear me?" But I tuned out the voice of reason and continued this ritual walk-for-a-sugar shake phase.

As the seasons passed, I weaned myself off the fast food faux milkshakes--home-style is best. I time traveled back to the sixties and seventies--two decades when smoothies lured health-nut hippies. I’d whip up a superfood drink or buy one at a health food store. But then, I moved on to eating not drinking fruits and vegetables--and even buying frozen cobblers and casseroles for the quick fix. Then, I, like many folks including busy millennials and boomers, have discovered wholesome and scrumptious smoothie--umpteen varieties--for nutrition and convenience.
So, this week I celebrated the changes we see, smell, and feel. I put together a group of fall fruit, warm spices, local honey, and some chill ingredients. Here, take a look at the Lake Tahoe-inspired recipe for smoothies with autumn stuff.
FALL FRUIT AND SPICE SMOOTHIE
¼ cup pear, chopped
¼ cup Honeycrisp or Fuji apple, chopped
½ banana, sliced
¼ cup orange juice, fresh squeezed or fortified juiced
½ cup vanilla bean gelato
1 tablespoon wheat germ (optional)
1 teaspoon honey
¼ cup ice cubes
Ground cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
Basil or mint sprigs for garnish
In a blender put in fruit, juice, gelato, honey, and ice. Whip or blend (a Smoothie button is ideal) until thick and creamy. Pour into a glass mug. Serve with a straw. Serves one.
Serve with local honey and fresh herbs. Using premium gelato and fresh ice will make your smoothie creamy. The pear apple combination with warming spices is a nice touch for the beginning of a new season. And sipping the comforting mix is a super welcome to all the autumn changes we’re going to experience in the upcoming days and nights. Enjoy this fall harvest smoothie day or night for its nature’s goodness is good any time. *For super smoothie recipes, pre-order a copy of The Healing Powers of Superfoods! 32 color photos!
Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, and Superfoods) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.