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Autumn is upon us and this soup could not be tastier, and not to mention easy peasy to make.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Organic Soba Noodles
Soba Noodle

Mushrooms (I used Shitake, Belly Bella, Oyster).

Mushrooms

Celery

Carrots

Red Cabbage

Broccoli

Spinach

Sugar Snap Peas

Scallions

Vegetable Soba Noodle Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s What You Do:

In a large sauce pan bring the quart of stock to a boil. Add all of the vegetables in order of most dense (needs more time to cook) to least.

 

Stock and Veg
Before adding the fast cooking vegetables in another sauce pan, bring 4-6 cups of boiling water to a boil. Once it is at a steady boil add a few pinches of salt and add Soba noodles (you may need to add a little olive oil so the noodles don’t stick to one another). Follow cooking instructions.

Cooked Soba

 

Once all the veggies are cooked to your likeness, spoon into bowl and add a sprinkle of chopped green onion.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Enjoy and if you make this recipe, take a picture and post it on Twitter or Instagram and #ReneesRecipes

Oils

 

When doing research on different oils and why they are good for your skin, hair, and nails I didn’t know quite what to think. I have very combination skin with an oily t-zone, but can be prone to breakouts and sensitive skin, so thinking of putting pure oils on my face made me very skeptical. Now eating them is a different story. I’m a big fan (minus the castor oil, which you will read about below).

I decide to jump in head first. Here’s the lowdown.

Olive Oil:

Food– In addition to bolstering the immune system and helping to protect against viruses, olive oil has also been found to be effective in fighting against diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. While studies have shown that high fat diets may increase the risk of certain diseases such as cancer and diabetes, it appears that it is the type of fat that counts rather than the amount of fat. We now know that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats such as the ones found in olive oil, nuts and seeds actually protects from many of these chronic diseases.

Face– Olive oil contains linoleic acid, a compound not made by the body, but which prevents water from evaporating, making it a great skin moisturizer. You can add a bit of olive oil to a warm bath for a good healthy soak. Olive oil also contains at least four different antioxidants, which can help “neutralize damaging free radicals that can lead to skin aging and skin cancer.

Avocado Oil:

Food– Its unusually high smoking point and aromatic flavor make it suitable for both high temperature frying and grilling, as well as an emulsifying salad oil. Nutritionally, avocado oil ranks comparably to olive oil with a copious amount monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is also loaded with proteins, lecithin, beta-carotene and vitamins A, D and E.

Face– Vitamin A, D and E are all involved in skin cell growth and regeneration. Vitamin A and E have strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory functions that promote faster healing of cuts and wounds, and prevent scarring, acne breakouts and dermatitis. They also give you natural sun protection. Studies have shown that both intake and topical application of avocado oil can reduce the appearance of age spots, fine lines and wrinkles.

Coconut Oil:

FoodCoconut oil is a stable oil that doesn’t break down easily at high temperatures like other oils do. It doesn’t go rancid easily and has amazing nutritional properties. It is great for cooking eggs, stir fries, grain free baked goods, and practically any other cooking. It’s sweet and nutty taste makes coconut oil a great addition to smoothies. It creates a wonderfully creamy texture and makes smoothies rich and smooth.  It also adds a bounty of nutrients and a big dose of healthy fats.

Face– It absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave an oily feeling at all. It makes skin incredibly silky and has wonderful antibacterial/antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil is an excellent eye-make up remover that has been reported to help remove wrinkles and help restore elasticity to the skin. Try it for shaving too!

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Food– Rich in potassium, which is key for growth, building muscles, transmission of nerve impulses, heart activity etc. It also helps to prevent brittle teeth, hair loss and runny noses. Contains acetic acid which is said to slow the digestion of starch which can help to lower the rise in glucose that commonly occurs after meals. ACV contains ash which gives it its alkaline property. This helps your body maintain proper pH levels for a healthy alkaline state. This is important for you coffee or wine lovers. It can also help regulate blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol.

Face– When diluted in a little bit of water, this makes for a great antibacterial toner. Psoriasis sufferers praise apple cider vinegar for reducing inflammation. Apply a few drops to a cotton ball and rub on your T-zone or other dry spots to prevent breakouts and minimize blemishes.

Castor Oil:

Now here is one you don’t want to consume.

Face– Castor oil fights off infection by inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungi and the oil is also believed to have great anti-viral properties. It is an excellent anti-oxidant and contains many compounds which help to fight of the effect of aging. Castor oil for skin care is certainly one of the best natural skin tonics and it can be used to cleanse, moisturize and detoxify. It can be drying though.  I ust this mixed with olive oil, place a hot towel over the fave for a minute and wipe off. Works as a deep pore cleanser.

If you use these oils for cooking or for your skin regiment, let me know how. I would love you see your favorite recipes or combos for the face and skin.

 

Green SmoothyThis recipe is super simple and packed with extra good for you whole foods.

All you need is a high powered blender of some sort. In my case I like using a Nutri Bullet because of its size (great for portion control), its motor, cost (about $99 at Bed Bath and Beyond), and cleanup.

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For this recipe I used:

~ Two handfuls of baby spinach

~ One banana

~ One packet of RAW brand protein powder

~ About a 1/2 cup of frozen berries and mangos

~ Almond milk

~ Bee pollen

~ Spirulina

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This is just a basic outline to the possibilities of a green smoothy. Adding flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds would also be a great added source of nutrition.

Put all of the ingredients into a blender, blitz away and enjoy.

Let me know what you like in your smoothies.

Bee pollen is the food of the young bee and it is approximately 40% protein. It is considered one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods. It contains nearly all nutrients required by humans. About half of its protein is in the form of free amino acids that are ready to be sued directly by the body. Such highly assimilable protein can contribute significantly to one’s protein needs.

* Spirulina is a natural “algae” (cyanbacteria) powder that is incredible high in protein and nutrients.

So I am definitely a girl who likes workout classes. You will find me running in Manhattan Beach often times, but when I need great motivation and killer cardio I tend to lean on fitness group classes. I think it goes back to me being a professional dancer for six years with the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders. I feed off of others energy, as well as learn the style of something new in addition to technique. Plus it’s just more fun! Here are two new (relatively) and totally inspiring trends in the fitness world.

1. SoulCycle

SoulCycleThis full body indoor cycling workout was founded in NYC by Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler and has since expanded to Los Angels, where I heard about it from my new(ish) friend Mary Rambin. She and I met a few months back after being “internet” buds (sounds so much creeper than it is) for a couple of years, and I am a fan of her amazing lifestyle blog MoreThanMary.com. Mary recently relocated back to LA after living in NYC, ATL, and traveling here and there an everywhere in between.

Now I am no stranger to indoor cycling classes and am a regular at YAS in Venice, CA. My first SoulCycle class I was lucky enough to have Mary by my side explaining a lot of what Soul is about. Class ended, one green juice, and 2 hours of convo later, Mary told me she was headed back to NYC to become a certified teacher with Soul. Fast forward to a few weeks after completing the 3 week certification program, and we were reunited. This time with Mary on the mic and in control of her own class.

She rocks, and let me tell you so do the classes! You will sweat, burn, hurt, feel fatigued, possibly cry, smile, laugh, yell, clap, groove, and in the end feel strong and empowered. I love it. Now they just have to mosey on down to the South Bay.

Oakley Gear- Soul Cycle

Find everything I’m wearing on Oakley.com

If you want to check out one of Mary’s classes, hit her up on Twitter ~Facebook~Email: mary@morethanmary.com and maybe I will see you at a class soon! I plan to be at the Santa Monica location on 6/29 @6am, so if you are an early bird come cycle it out with Mary and I! She is also teaching Sunday 6/21 @4p and Monday 6/22 @6a.

2. Pound

Pound This workout will blow your mind. I just recently posted an InstaVid (Instagram Video) from an event they had in Santa Monica, and that will only give you a teeny tiny incline of what the heck this is!

Created and founded by Cristina Peerenboom and Kirsten Potenza, this upbeat intense full body workout will get you in shape and make you want to become a drummer in a band…all at the same time. I just love what these girls are doing. I’m lucky enough to be friends with them, but to be honest..if I didn’t know them I still would give this an endorsement because it plainly just kicks ass.

Pound Party

From the website: POUND fuses Pilates, isometric movements, plyometric and Yoga-based poses into a 45-minute, fat-burning cardio workout. Plus, it incorporates all the benefits of drumming! You actually use weighted drumsticks and it’s freaking fun. Check out their website for more info on where you can take a class, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

If you are tired of your routine and want to kick your workouts up a notch, or are just looking for new fun ways to workout in a group settingthen I highly recommend you checking out Soul Cycle and Pound.

Cheers!

Let me start off by saying, I am not a vegan, but did try a stint at it when I lived back in Denver. I proudly accomplished 40 days of eating completely animal free, and this was back in 2009 when very few (and I mean few) restaurants in the city accommodated a completely plant   

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Gotta use what works when on the road. Cans of tomatoes for weights and my running partner. @karenakatrina helped me along the way with their new #toneitup #app

Man is their marketing good. Just so happens so is this lovely amaretto liqueur. Great way to end a Monday!

The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook by Jack Bishop, which I received as a Christmas gift this recent holiday season, inspired this recipe. I’m not one for following recipes, but this book is an easy guide and once you make it a single time it will stick with you and become part of your culinary repertoire. Risotto   

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This recipe will not disappoint. Not only is it healthy and deelish, but it is great for entertaining. It does not seem like a lot of ingredients, but it sure looks like it when the salad is complete. You can feed an army (or a famished family of four!). This recipe follows my 10 prep   

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This recipe is another family traditions. It is so easy, even my boyfriend who thinks it’s okay to microwave eggs can make it! I suggest making this recipe when you need a filling lunch or dinner, only have 20-30 minutes, and $5 in your pocket. Literally! Here’s what you need: Serves 2-4 ½- pound angel   

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Okay, okay. I know what you are thinking. You are asking, why are you cleansing? Plenty of people I speak with tend to think that when you say, “cleanse”, it directly correlates with weight loss by swigging on a lemon, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper concoction. While yes, I have indeed tried that unbelievable torturous   

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Cantalope with organic cottage cheese. If you’re asking yourself what the black specs on top are…yes that would be fresh ground black pepper. Seem weird. Probably, but this is how my grandma and mom would eat it so I guess you could say it’s a family recipe. Try it!

This delightfully simple yet scrumtous light meal is so perfect for those who don’t have a lot of time (or moolah) to spend on this mid day munchie. . All you need: Whole grain bread Horizon light cream cheese Alfalfa sprouts Tomato Red leaf lettuce (or any lettuce besides iceberg) Avocado Basil Red wine vinegar   

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What you need: (but really any veggie you like can be added. Never can have too many veggies!) Serves two. Just double to feed four. 2 ribs of celery 1 glove of garlic 1 jalapeno pepper 1 large tomato ½ container of extra firm organic tofu 1 Tbsp. Olive oil Salt and pepper Hot sauce   

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This is the recipe my moms moms mom gave her, with one exception! This variation is vegetarian! Since it is Italian and passed down through the generations I am going to print exactly how my mom gave me the recipe. Quite hilarious! Start it with onion, garlic, hot pepper flakes, basil: dried. Saute that together   

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I love Giada DiLaurentis from the Food Network, and have a couple of her cook books. I normally stick to certain recipes I have in my repertoire and/or just make due with what we have left over in the fridge, but last night was different. I delved into Giada at Home and discovered this recipe   

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A homemade go to recipe when it’s cold and rainy outside. I loved it so much as a kid, and even more now because it only takes 10 minutes and 5 ingredients. Acini di pepe pasta (about 1 cup feeds 2-3 people; well.) One egg Milk (any kind as long as it’s unsweetened if you   

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two carrots one stalk of celery one bushel of kale one beet one bunch of basil three apples two oranges Try it! Deelish 🙂

So easy! What you need: 1 small container of light cream cheese. The one with a lid ( I use Horizon brand). 2 small sized jalapeños What you do: Leave cream cheese out to get to room temp. Over a gas burner (so the pepper is over the direct flame) or on the grill, char   

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So I am a pretty healthy person consuming a vegetarian diet and exercises regularly. I eat vegan when I can, specifically and especially on #MeatlessMondays. I believe that anything in moderation is a good rule of thumb. That being said, I do appreciate comfort food. Today in LA was rainy, windy and a down right   

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