The Avocado Experience

thWhen picking an avocado, it is best to buy avocados when they are hard unless you want ripe ones. To know if an avocado is ripe, push only on the skin at the top of the avocado as handling the avocado can bruise it especially when so many others have touched them.  If you wait to use avocados when they are soft all over, then they are past its prime.

At the bottom of this post is a recipe for guacamole.  This is a very basic recipe for guacamole; it is the only way I make it, and the way many others in my family make it. Personally, I do not think adding onions and tomatoes or anything else, other than what is listed in the recipe below, adds to the delicious flavor of an avocado.  Once you combine onions and tomatoes in guacamole and leftovers of it go in the refrigerator, it changes the flavor & the consistency of the guacamole. I don’t know about you, but I want to taste the avocado and the ingredients that enhance that flavor. When you add onion and tomato, you taste those flavors more and they become a watery consistency that does not enhance the avocado. If you like tomatoes and onions in it, make sure that all of your ingredients are fresh and ripe and make sure there are no leftovers of the guacamole. If you do have leftovers of it, drain the liquid off. You will want to do that before and after taking it out of the refrigerator as the cooling agent from being in the refrigerator does make it become watery. Cooking or making anything with food should be to enhance the flavors of what you are making.

When entertaining and serving guacamole, you will want to use the below recipe.  Many people do not like onions, tomatoes, garlic, or cilantro in guacamole, but some people don’t like avocados. Some people are allergic to some of these ingredients and allergic to other food, so make sure of others’ food sensitivities & likes.  We all do not like the same foods, and it is important to be aware of others who have food sensitivities or allergies.

If you have leftovers of the below recipe:  In order for it not to turn brown, put it in a shallow bowl or a small jar and put saran wrap over it and press it down over the guacamole, making sure no air will get to it.  Get a big enough piece of saran wrap so it covers up and over the lip of the bowl. Press down gently to get the bubbles of the saran wrap out, yet cover the guacamole.  Another good tip to do is to add just a dab of hot sauce by the guacamole (when I say hot sauce I mean the cooked kind you buy in a store or the kind served to you when you go to a Mexican restaurant. I do not mean Pico de Gallo or Tabasco sauce.), on top of the guacamole or make a hole in the center of the guacamole and add the hot sauce there; this too helps the guacamole from turning brown.  Do not mix the hot sauce and the guacamole together before putting in the refrigerator; this will rapidly change the flavor & the consistency of the guacamole.  I suggest mixing it together before using the guacamole again or remove the hot sauce.  When there is not much guacamole left, I leave the hot sauce in it, add a dab of sour cream or plain yogurt, and mix it together in order to eat it.

Ways to keep avocados longer:  You can refrigerate an avocado when it is ready to eat and prolong its life by 5 to 7 days.  Also, cut an avocado in half and remove the seed. Wrap in saran wrap (a vacuum sealer is the best option if you have one) then place into a freezer safe container or bag.  You can freeze several at one time.  The avocados will keep for at least 3 months.  I have tried this, but have yet to find out how to stop the avocado from turning brown once you remove it from the freezer.  If I find a way to do that, I will be sure to update this post. If you are using half an avocado, then use the side of the avocado where the pit isn’t there.  Keep the pit in the other side, and put the empty skin on top of it (as if it is a whole avocado) and then wrap in Saran Wrap.

Two more tips: In order to get more juice out of a lime (or lemon), roll it around in your hands or on the counter putting a little pressure on the lime but not too hard, or zap it in the microwave for 10 seconds on high.  This action releases the juice.  You can use lemon instead of lime, but the sweetness of the lime enhances the avocado.

 

Guacamole

1 lime, squeezed, remove any seeds if it has any.

1 avocado cut in half and then in quarters; make sure to remove any brown, dark spots & the pit.  All you want is the green portion of the avocado.

1 garlic clove (1 medium size or 2 small cloves) minced or through a garlic press – this ingredient can be optional

Salt to taste

Smash garlic and add a little salt (about ¼ tsp) with a fork in a small bowl.  Add avocado and lime juice and smash together with other ingredients.   Do a taste test and see if it is to your liking.  If not, may need to add more salt or lime juice.

 

What is beauty?

This website is all about beauty, health, & wellness in a holistic and natural way from the inside out; it will be stated in different ways.

Let’s define beauty, shall we? What is Beauty? What is beauty to you?

The definition of beauty is a combination of qualities such as shape, color, or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially sight.   It is a combination of qualities that pleases the intellect. Because of that, many different things have beauty.

Beauty is in all of us, but it is harder to find in some people. Beauty is innately in us just as being happy is; although, happiness is a choice. True beauty comes from within and it is everything good & positive that we do, say, & think. Our values, ethics, & morals are what ground us and help make us who we are; those traits can make you beautiful or ugly.

True beauty is not about what we look like from the color of our skin to what we weigh to the shape of our body. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder; whether that is true or not, we have to realize how different and unique we are from one another. We are made to feel awkward and some times embarrassed by that as we are growing up. Some times, even as adults we are faced by that. But we should be accepting and celebrating our differences and uniqueness of ourselves and of others.

Have you ever thought about how boring it would be if we are all alike in every conceivable way? Think about that for a moment. What if we all talked alike, looked like each other, or even liked all the same foods or activities or had the same job. I know a bit far fetched thinking, isn’t it. But do you see the point I’m making. Our differences make us unique. We should accept ourselves and others as is. It isn’t our job to judge much less make another feel bad because of how different they are from yourself much less another person. Stop comparing and judging. Just love and be accepting of the differences and the uniqueness of others from you. Life will be much easier if you just let go of any pain and hurt. Love and peace will & can heal.

 

Would you be beautiful?

I wrote the following September of last year and it is something that will make you think. Hopefully, it will make you mindful of what beauty is and what is beautiful. Beauty is everywhere, in everything, & in everyone, you just have be open to see it. You are beautiful, no matter what. None of us are perfect and that is something to keep in mind. We all make mistakes, but beauty is shown through love and it covers a multitude of wrongs.

 

Would you be beautiful if the thoughts you think were written on your body?

Would you be beautiful if the words you speak were branded on your skin?

Would you be beautiful if the things you do were etched in the path wherever you go?

Beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder, it is everything that embodies us.

Making nuts easy to digest

Nuts eaten in small quantities are a good source of protein and are a great healthy snack.

Nuts are considered one of the best natural sources of vitamins E, F, and G (docopherol, an antioxidant), and are rich in protein, folate, fiber, and essential minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and selenium. They generally have a very low glycemic index which is why dietitians frequently recommend nuts be included in diets prescribed for patients with insulin resistance problems such as diabetes mellitus type 2.

Recent clinical trials have found that consumption of various nuts such as almonds and walnuts can lower serum LDL cholesterol concentrations. — source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nut_(fruit)

When my mother came across the below recipe, she shared it with me. I want to share it with you now. This recipe helps makes them easier to digest. You will notice the difference in how your stomach feels after eat nuts this way.

Recipe to make nuts more digestible

Fill a glass bowl (metal is okay, but it will discolor) about ½ full of water. Stir in 1 tablespoon of salt. Add 4 cups whole, raw, unprocessed nuts. Allow to sit overnight.

Drain nuts well, then heat oven to lowest setting (probably 150 degrees). Place nuts on large baking sheet, so you have a single layer and place baking sheet in oven. Stir every couple of hours. This process dries them out and cooks nuts. Let cook for 4-6 hours until crunchy, but not burned. Four hours is about right for walnuts and pecans; takes longer for almonds. I have not tried this with any other kind of nuts, and you can do this with seeds too.

Taking care of nails

Others ask me what I do to keep my nails looking so nice & neat.  I use two ingredients, and most people have them in their home already.  Castor oil and baking soda are what I use and men & women can use do this.

When I shower, I use baking soda at least twice a week as a face scrub with some water. While I’m doing that, I rub some baking soda on, around and underneath my nails; that keeps them white looking. I imagine the way I eat helps that too as I predominantly eat very healthy and organically. When using baking soda on your skin always use a little water with it & make a paste with it. After using, make sure to wash it off.  You will notice softer skin.  It’s great to use on feet or elbows which is where the skin is tougher & thicker.

While I’m prepping to go to bed, I use castor oil.  Just a tad of castor oil on each nail and rub it on each nail and cuticle. When I shower, I rub it on my toe nails & push back the cuticles.

Castor oil and baking soda have multiple uses. Don’t count them out for beautifying means. I even use a drop of castor oil (as a replacement for conditioner) in my hair after I shampoo, but that will be a different post.

Don’t use baking soda on skin every day as it can lead to aggravated & even damaged skin.  Always do a patch test to skin to see if sensitive to it.  Baking Soda is an alkaline substance. It has antibacterial, anti fungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Castor Oil helps with keeping your skin youthful and unlined (meaning helps with wrinkles), and it is claimed to be better than any store bought anti-aging creme. It is rich in ricinoletic acid, which possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties, so it’s good to use on ringworm, skin tags & moles (in conjunction with baking soda to make a paste), diminish stretch marks, callouses, & that’s just to name a few skin conditions it helps. It is thick in consistency, so a little bit goes a long way.

Note: Be sure to use only cold-pressed (or cold-drawn) Castor Oil that is hexane-free and organic. Any other kind could clog your pores. Another good reason to use Cold-Pressed Castor Oil instead of Refined Castor Oil is that cold-pressed oils retain much more of their valuable nutrients.  A study by a Turkish university showed that more than 95% of the free fatty acids and carotenoids, and up to 61% of the tocopherols were removed when an edible oil goes through the conventional refining process.

 

 

 

Being your authentic self — one of my poems

One of the most rewarding feelings we can ever have is being confident in who we are. To doubt yourself or to even criticize self is not the right thing to do, but it is something most of us do at some time in our life. It’s OK, you are human, and you are going to make mistakes, but do not forget who you are. Don’t forget to be your authentic self is something worthy, something others will admire, and you need to be proud of the special, unique person that only you can be. To be anything else is robbing yourself of the life you deserve to have, so be you and always search for ways to improve self.

By: Lara

Written: December 2015

*added January 2016

Be your authentic self

In a world full of wannabes

Be yourself!

There is nothing more rewarding

More fulfilling,

And nothing more liberating

Than to be nobody but you!

*You are an original work of art created by God

*And He created you to be your authentic self

*He doesn’t want you to hide

* He wants the absolute best for you

*And that means to be the best person you can be.

When you love self

When you accept

And respect self

Then you will be honest, kind, & loving

And you will find more joy.

You will find more peace.

You will receive blessings from God

And He will bless you far more than what you can imagine.

Because when you make yourself a priority, you give more of yourself to others

and to God.

So whatever you do

Be the best first-class, best cut-rate version of yourself.

There’s nothing like giving your all,

Making changes & improvements consistently in order to better self

And being completely comfortable with yourself

Now that’s something no one can take from you

Because when you can do all that

It is a freedom & a gift that allows you to be you regardless of what others say or do.

 

 

NOTE: I do not put my last name or the full dates on my poems in order to protect myself. I don’t add my last name as some poems I wrote while I was married and others I have written with my maiden name. I know the exact dates of when I write something. I will only post the month and year. Please know that when you pass something off that you didn’t write, it is considered plagiarism.

 

Not a blog, but a website

HBL Holistic Beaute Loop

Welcome to Holistic Beauté Loop or HBL (for short).

First and foremost, please check out & read About Author and About HBL pages in the upper right corner of the website under About!  This will give you pertinent information about me and about this website, maybe a bit more than you want to know. Ha ha!

Let me clarify and elaborate a bit of my plans with Holistic Beauté Loop; although, that has been stated some in the above pages. This is not a blog, and I don’t want it to be all about me; although, I can see others saying it’s a blog.  I will be sharing many different things about myself and what I do to help myself.  This is a website, and a tool to help others find healing, peace, & love in whatever ails them from inner to outer turmoil. I enjoy helping others, been told I have a way with words, and been told many times (over the years) I should have become a therapist. I’m more of a listener than a talker, always have been. I find I’m more of a writer than anything as you will see as time moves forward.

If you want to recommend subject writing material, need advice or recommendations, or if seeking professional help in some way, or wanting to collaborate with me professionally, I ask you to please feel free to contact me through the Contact page (in the upper right hand corner of the website). Please don’t feel like you need to leave a comment on a post to do that, and I rather you go through the Contact page for those particular inquiries.

Please always feel free to comment on a post.  If you must critique, I ask you do it in a nice & loving way; otherwise, don’t do it at all.  We never know how our words affect others and some of us are more sensitive than others. If you critique in a not so nice way, it will be deleted. This is my website, and I do decide what stays and what goes.  I will not tolerate any kind of bad language or any sexual references/propositions. I’m not here to be a matchmaker or for someone to match-make me.

Life is about being the best you and a better you each and every day. It is not beating yourself up from past experiences, but to learn from them. It is being a better you than you were yesterday & today, so you can be a better you tomorrow and be an inspiration to others.

Please know this website is a work in progress & is still under construction just like life itself.

Peace, Joy, & Love — may it nourish your minds today and always!