Green Smoothies and a Holiday Giveaway with JUNIEblake


I love the holidays and I am loving my new Laura dress by JUNIEblake, a clothing line designed and manufactured in Arizona!

This dress is perfect for holiday parties, where I plan to sip on green smoothies or vegan no-egg nog.  I also plan on devouring lots of vegan sweets and savories, of course.  I can’t wait!

This is my favorite time of year because it’s the one time of year that my huge family of 5 older sisters, our husbands, their 16 kids, my mom, and our extended family get together.  I love my family and how we carry on our holiday traditions, so it’s something I look forward to every year.  Can you imagine how busy I am this time of year?  With recipe development, buying holiday gifts, and attending party after party, I barely have time to brush my hair!  Luckily, green smoothies are a cinch to make–you’ll see when I share my recipe, below.

When JUNIEblake sent me the Laura dress, I was so ecstatic because I haven’t had time to shop for myself.  It was such a wonderful gift–just what I needed!


I partnered up with my friends at JUNIEblake to give a special gift to one of you.  If you’d also like to own this dress or any of their other modest holiday dresses or clothes, enter our giveaway to win a $30 gift card in time for the holidays!  You can even give the $30 gift card to someone special as a holiday present!  Here are all of the details.


This is mainly an Instagram contest, but you can also enter on Facebook and Twitter.  The contest is open worldwide and ends on December 20 at 11pm PST.  The winner will be chosen randomly via the #MEKGiveaway hashtag!  Get posting and good luck!


More on the Laura dress.  What I love about it is the fabric.  The gold shimmers and shines, making it very festive.  I also like the pleats in the front and back of the dress.  If you happen to overeat at a party, like I will sometimes do, the pleats can hide any sign of belly bulge.  Speaking of bulge, when I’m away from home, I will sometimes accidentally  consume gluten, which makes me severely bloated (I can look 5 months pregnant), so the pleats can help hide a bloated belly, too!  As you can see, this dress is a win all around–it’s a comfy, warm fabric, it’s stylish, and it just screams holiday party!  If you prefer more color, search JUNIEblake‘s website for more styles!



Now, here is my green smoothie recipe.  My husband and I have 16 ounces of it every morning for breakfast, at least 30 minutes after we enjoy our warm lemon water.

There are so many health benefits that we can reap from these green smoothies.  Just to name a few– beautiful skin, less puffiness around the eyes, calcium, iron from the dark leafy greens; parsley and cilantro pulls heavy metals out of fat cells; fiber and electrolytes from the celery; and lemon is packed with vitamin C, which helps the body absorb the iron in the greens and  helps support the liver, our main fat-burning organ

My green smoothies will keep you full in the morning or afternoon and will give you all the nutrients you need.  Just a note, I also have another 16 ounces as an afternoon snack on some days.  It is like fuel, so energizing!

This recipe is my adaptation of Kimberly Snyder’s glowing green smoothie that Peyman likes best.  I hope you try it and love it as much as we do!




Green Smoothie

Servings: 4

Time: 7 minutes

Diet: V, GF, DF, SF, SRF, NF, CF, R


Ingredients (all organic). 

2 cups of filtered water

1 handful of cilantro

1 head of romaine lettuce, base cut off

2-3 big handfuls of spinach or kale

4 stalks of celery

1 gala apple

1 ripe pear

1 ripe banana (spotted)

juice from 1/2 a lemon

1 tsp of turmeric, optional

1 tsp spirulina, optional


In a blender, add 2 cups of water, cilantro, romaine and spinach.  Cover and blend from medium to high just until it is completely blended.  Add more spinach and water if it looks too thick.  Blend from medium to high speed.  Add the celery, apple (seeds removed), pear (seeds removed), banana, turmeric, spirulina and lemon juice.  Blend from medium to high speed until smooth.  Enjoy!

I hope you’ll try this recipe and get inspired to start your days with my green smoothies!





Photo Credit: Riva Takahashi


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Cilantro Lime Kale Salad

Cilantro Lime Kale Salad

Since reading Kimberly Snyder’s first book, “The Beauty Detox Solution”, Peyman and I are transitioning to a vegan, gluten-free lifestyle.  Although it’s only been a little over a month, it has done wonders for us.  Peyman seriously looks at least 5 years younger, my laugh line has miraculously gone away, Peyman’s fine lines are no longer there, his back pain has mostly dissipated, my mom told me, “The darkness under your eyes has disappeared”, we both have slimmed down and we happily possess newfound energy.

Switching over to Kimberly’s glowing green smoothie for breakfast and making other changes in the way we’re eating has been positively life-changing!  We feel lighter on our feet, more energetic, good-spirited and, not to sound vain, look and feel more radiant and glowing.

After being on Kimberly’s plan, our personal tastes and preferences have changed.  We didn’t like kale much a year ago, but now it’s a staple favorite.  She mentions in her book, “Remember, as your body changes physically, so will your tastes”.  She also mentioned something to the effect of, the best research is to try things out for yourself; it’s then that you’ll notice certain changes in eating will have certain effects on your body.  Thankfully, Peyman trusts me and has kept an open mind and heart to this way of living, and he is reaping the benefits, from inside out.

I’m happy we’re investing in our well-being and longevity by living this new lifestyle, while adding more exercise into our daily routines.  While he’s at work in his office, I’m at work in our kitchen trying my best to create recipes that will not only nourish our bodies, but that will also satisfy our palettes!  There’s a reason I went to culinary school and maybe it’s for this reason.  Time to get creative.

Before I head into my test kitchen, I want to share a recipe for a salad I made yesterday.  I actually like it better than the last kale salad I posted, described as “my favorite kale salad” because there’s less fat, yet it’s still very filling.  It can be eaten either as a starter salad, as a full meal, or even mixed up with some gluten-free quinoa pasta.

Hope you try it and enjoy it as much as I do!


Cilantro Kale Salad

Servings: 2-4

Time: 15 minutes



1 medium to large head of kale, de-stemmed

1/8 heaping tsp Himalayan or Celtic sea salt

1/4th onion, minced

1 large tomato, diced

handful cilantro, chopped (stems included)

handful of broccoli sprouts (or any other kind of sprouts)

1 Tbsp flax seeds

1 Tbsp hemp seeds

1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds

2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp dried cranberries, chopped

3-6 shakes of cayenne pepper

3 Tbsp fresh lime juice (from 1 ½ -2 juicy limes)

1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced



1. Wash greens well and dry. Remove the kale stems and save them for later. You can add them to a smoothie or juice later.

2. Add kale leaves and salt to a large bowl. With clean hands, tear the kale into bite-sized pieces while massaging salt onto the leaves.  This will sort of tenderize the leaves.

3. Add the remaining ingredients.

4. With clean hands, toss the salad, while massaging the avocado onto the kale leaves. Toss well.

5. Season to taste. If you think it needs more salt, add more salt, or try adding some seaweed or dulse for more saltiness without all the sodium. If you want it spicier, add more cayenne.

6. Toss. Serve and enjoy.


Here’s a happy song to help you get started in your kitchen.  Have a wonderful day!

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