TEQUILA!!

Standard

FullSizeRender (42)

Is the song going through your head right now? It is in mine! On my recent trip to Mexico I realized how much I like tequila. After all, when we got to our hotel room there was a big bottle of tequila waiting with the instructions for us to finish it all before we left.  We didn’t do that, but we did drink a few glasses while we were there. I found that I really enjoy tequila, I mean I’ve always loved margaritas, but the taste of tequila itself is really mellow and smooth.Besides it’s delicious taste, I’ve learned that it’s also very good for you. That came as somewhat of a surprise. We brought back a few bottles of tequila with us, and I set out to make a healthy margarita with it.

I have a love/hate relationship with margaritas. I love the taste of a margarita but I hate the unhealthy qualities of most of them. Many are made with mixes that contain sugar, as well as weird chemicals I can’t even name. My goal was to make a margarita with healthy ingredients that tasted good too. I succeeded because my SO and Jacs both LOVED them. I’d like to share my findings about the healthiness of tequila with you, as well as the recipe for my healthy margarita.

Tequila comes from the agave plant and contains agavins, which is a type of natural sugar that may help control weight. Tests showed that consuming agavins lead to eating less overall and produced a hormone that kept the stomach fuller for a longer time. Consuming agavins also helps produce insulin and lowered blood sugar levels, which could really help people who suffer from diabetes. Also, agavins in tequila lower triglycerides in the blood.

In addition, people suffering from IBS and Crohn’s disease could benefit from tequila. The problem is that drug delivery to the colon can be challenging since stomach acids often destroy drugs before they reach the intestine. Scientists in Mexico have found that certain tequila compounds can be used as drug carriers, resisting destruction by stomach acids. Fructans in the agave plant may boost the body’s absorption of calcium, protecting against osteoporosis. Additionally, fructans are associated with a 50% boost in levels of a protein associated with the buildup of new bone tissue. Pretty cool, huh?!!

So now that you know how good tequila is for you, I’m sure you’re more than ready for my healthy margarita recipe, right? Here we go!

Valerie’s Healthy Margarita

  • 2 ounces GOOD tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce organic agave nectar
  • 8-10 ice cubes

FullSizeRender (38)

First, juice your limes. I utilized my assistant, Jacqueline, for this endeavor. She used my electric juicer.

FullSizeRender (40)

Next measure out your tequila and agave nectar. I put them in a measuring cup and stirred them together with a spoon to combine.

Take a cocktail shaker (I used two cups that fit on the end of each other), put the ice cubes, tequila/agave mixture, and lime juice into one of the cups and shake well. Then, pour the mixture into a chilled (I put the glasses into the fridge for five minutes), salt rimmed glass and garnish with a fresh lime wedge. This cocktail weighs in at 160 calories, versus 300 for a traditional margarita, and it’s full of healthy ingredients, nothing processed or fake about this drink.

FullSizeRender (41)

I’d love it if you’d try my healthy margarita, I think you’ll really like it because it’s delicious- cold, smooth, and sweet but not too sweet- the perfect margarita! Or just drink your tequila straight because it’s super healthy for you. However, remember to have one shot of tequila not 6 because nothing is healthy in excess. Moderation is the key to healthy eating, and drinking! Drinking tequila in moderation will help you live a life of vitality- with Valerie! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

THIS IS 50!

Standard

 

FullSizeRender (28)

Hello, my friends! Well, it happened. I turned 50 on Monday. It was strange. As I prepared to turn 50 I started feeling, as my daughter Danielle would say, “Some type of way.” You know, when you feel not quite sad, not quite stressed, but maybe a bit of both? I wasn’t feeling weird about it at all in the days leading up to the big day.

At 11:50 pm on January 31st, 10 minutes before my birthday, I started literally freaking out! I kid you not, my heart started pounding! We had a fabulous day and I wasn’t thinking about it at all, until 11:50 pm. Since my S.O. was already asleep, Jacqueline and Danielle came to my rescue and we texted together as midnight came nearer, and then passed.

And you know what I realized? It was an HONOR to still be alive and raring to go at 50. Sure, I have days where I have some health issues, I still sometimes struggle with my continuing chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms, but most days are good and that’s more than many people have. So, I’m counting my blessings today, and I want to share some of my reflections with you.

 

FullSizeRender (27)

Church we attended in Mexico!

 

Stay close to your spirit– This is number one for me. I do not feel centered unless I am spending time every day, even if it’s only 15 minutes, connecting to my higher power. I also need to go to church once a week. I just absolutely have to, and if I don’t I feel terrible about myself. When I do these things, I am peaceful and joyous. Nothing else makes me feel this way.

 

 

Family and Friends– Since I have limited energy because of my ongoing illness, I have to focus my time where it counts the most. For me, that time is joyfully spent with my daughters, my partner, and my dogs. I see the rest of my family when I can, but since I live hours away, that time is unfortunately limited. I see my college roommate when I can for dinner, and other friends too, but my priority is the people who live in my house- especially the ones who no longer live there full time.

 

 

Eat healthily and Exercise– This is key for me to live a life of joy. I so enjoy cooking, using fresh, local, organic foods whenever possible, and going out to eat those kinds of foods as well. I am a definite “foodie” to the core. I try to eat the right kinds of food, as those of you who read my blog well know, and I love to exercise. For me exercise consists of a 30 minute walk with my dogs at least 5 times a week, and a half hour of weights at least 3 times per week. It helps me to feel good inside and out, what’s better than that?!

Do what you love-These days I really enjoy writing my blog, cooking, renovating my forever home, reading, and watching my daughters cheer for my beloved university. This is what I do for fun, and it is so important to have FUN in life. I think fun is what puts a sparkle in my eyes and makes me love my life. What do you love to do? Whatever it is, make sure you’re spending time on a regular basis doing that, no matter what!

 

Get away, whenever you can, wherever you can– My S.O. took me on a Mexican vacation for my 50th birthday and it was so fabulous to escape and enjoy the warmth of the sun. I am a sun and sand girl, and I always have such a sense of peace when I can lay on a beach somewhere. Maybe that’s not your thing, if you like to ski, go and do it. If you like to go to big cities, do that. If money is tight go somewhere local. Even just an overnight at a local hotel can seem like a great getaway and can recharge the batteries.

And there it is, my friends, my way of prioritizing what’s important to me and what brings me joy. We all have our struggles, no matter who we are or how old, but the important thing is to make sure to do the things that bring joy, because it is the QUALITY of life that counts not the quantity. I wanted to share with you what my list is so you can think about your list, and do what brings you joy every day. Joy comes from within us, but is shown on the outside. I like to think my joy shines through. So do what brings you joy no matter what your age because that will help you live a life of vitality- with 50 year old Valerie! 🙂