A Glance in the Rearview Mirror (July 2012)

Bear with me for having to look waaay back in the mirror on this one. If you squint your eyes like so and hold your head at a 37 degree angle, you can just barely make out the first of July from here. It was a noteworthy month, if for no other reason than I was alive and breathing and walking and running and cooking and eating and dreaming. What did your month look like?

July on Laurel of Leaves

If you’re catching up on Laurel of Leaves posts over the past weeks, you’ll see me give the 411 on my favorite fitness method, BarreAmped. I actually enjoy working out now! And man, have I seen changes in my body from it. Talk about shaking muscles that are now much stronger!

I also posted an expose on blueberries (ok, so it was really more of an ingredient spotlight, but expose is a much cooler word) over at Modern Alternative Kitchen where I’m a regular contributor. The post also includes a recipe for a Summer Blueberry Spritzer. So yummy. And so refreshing.

If an ooey gooey warm dessert is calling your name, try my Banana Bread Cobbler. Perfect way to use up over ripe bananas and have dessert ready from start to finish in a ridiculously short amount of time. Win!

Magnesium DeficiencyAnd then there’s magnesium. Who knew magnesium was such a popular topic?! My blog traffic spiked big time the day I posted this jewel. But in all seriousness, it truly is an important topic. Most people are deficient in magnesium and it can lead to headaches, constipation, insomnia, body odor, and fatigue. Here’s what to do about it.

My most recent recipe post showcased a tasty Spinach Pesto Quinoa Salad with Radishes. Who’s ready for a picnic?

Clean Start Detox & Cleanse

Studhubs and I have been talking about doing a detox / cleanse / Daniel fast / juice fast for many moons. I’m proud to say we finally got down to business and did it! I ordered the Clean Start herbal detox kit from Nature’s Sunshine, and I organized my own 3 week eating plan to ease in and ease out of it. For three days in the middle we did a juice and raw vegetable and fruit fast. I plan to post more detailed information and tips for doing a detox in the future. But I have to say, it was more than worth it!

A Book a Month

Plate to Pixel food photography bookI had a goal at the beginning of the year to read at least one book each and every month. I’ve done . . . sort of that. I do always have a book (or two or three) in progress, but I’m not quite sure I’ve achieved a book a month over the past few months. Recently I picked back up Plate to Pixel by food photographer and blogger Helene Dujardin. Fan-freakin-tastic book for what I like to call ‘real life’ food photography. It’s basic enough to be understood by complete newbies, but still full of incredibly useful tips and tricks and ideas for anyone who has been exploring the world of food photography in the context of blogging for a while. Definitely check this one out if you’re at all interested in improving your food shots. It makes a world of difference. After all, you don’t pin crappy, poorly-lit pictures of food on Pinterest, do you? I should hope not. ;)

Put 'em Up Canning bookStudhubs scored major points for buying me that book for Christmas (not that I can keep count – he’s so wonderful to me), and he did it again with this purchase for my birthday at the end of June: Put ‘em Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton. Design, layout, illustrations, color scheme – all spot on. I have never canned anything in my life. Not once. Not ever. But I am ready and itching to try it now. And I actually feel confident that I won’t botch it up! I bought a simple canning utensil kit and some 8oz. jars. As soon as I find a really tall stock pot to borrow, I’ll be trying my hand at some Chinese Plum Sauce and some Cherry Walnut Relish. Do you have any canning recipes I should try? What are your favorites?

On the Road Again

Early in the month Studhubs and I hopped on the MegaBus and took a little weekend vacation to visit some friends in Atlanta. I love love love to experience new places. I don’t think the urge to travel will ever really subside in me. And that’s alright. I’ve learned that it’s still OK to put down roots and bloom where you’re planted in this season of life, knowing that I don’t ever have to fully choose one over the other.

Double Decker Bus to AtlantaAs far as experiencing new places, that generally involves eating — and lots of it! Two healthy highlights in Atlanta are R. Thomas and Yeah! Burger. R. Thomas is this incredibly eclectic, verging on just plain crazy hippie restaurant in Midtown that serves up super healthy dishes, that, even though they’re on the more pricey side, don’t leave you hanging on flavor. Go with friends and ask for the server to bring a parrot to your table. Not even kidding.

Yeah! Burger was insanely delicious. Grass-fed burgers, eco-friendly and sustainable business practices, sweet potato fries to die for. Just curl up right there on the floor and breathe your last, cuz these fries are that amazing. I piled my burger high with free toppings like lettuce and tomato and splurged on avocado, goat cheese, and grilled onions. Absolutely positively worth it. I might have to make the trip again this weekend. I need another burger.

So that’s the long and short of it. What was your favorite post on Laurel of Leaves this past month? Anything in particular you’d like to see more of in the coming months?