Recipe: Coconut Curry Refrigerator Soup

COCONUT CURRY "REFRIGERATOR" SOUP This is a great end-of-the-week-use-up-what-you-have-in-your-fridge soup. Hence, the name "refrigerator soup". I find soups and salads the easiest way to use up leftovers, and this time of year, it's so nice to cozy up with a mug of warm, creamy, whole body supporting soup!

THE HEALTH HI-LIGHTS Why is it whole body supporting? Well, to begin, it's supportive to the digestive system. When our digestive system is working at full capacity, it will utilize the foods we put in our mouths, and transport those nutrients to all of our other body systems for nourishment. Healthy gut, healthy everything else!

Bone broth is supportive not only to digestion, but also bones, connective tissue, skin, hair nails and more.

This soup will support your immune system going into the cold/flu season, so keep incorporating a variety of vegetables, fruits, garlic, and lots of greens on hand!

Healthy fats, such as coconut oil, as called for in this recipe, are essential to our heath. Consider the fact that our cell membranes are actually made out of fat! The cell membrane is vitally important because it separates the cells in the body from their outside world (the rest of our body). Fats (lipids) also allow for the exchange of nutrients. Our cell membranes cannot be working in top condition without healthy fat from the diet. Our brain is also almost entirely fat, so you can see the connection between a healthy cell membrane and cognitive function! The topic of healthy fat is vast, and this is just a tidbit of info in connection with the ingredients in this soup recipe.


1 tsp coconut oil 1 onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp grated ginger 2 cups bone/vegetable broth (or any other broth) 1 can organic coconut milk any leftover veggies/meat, chopped 1 tsp curry powder or paste (or as much as you like, to taste) pinch of salt and more to taste Splash of passion

In soup pot, melt coconut oil. Add onion at med-low, add a pinch of salt, and cook gently until unions are soft-about 10 minutes. Add chopped veggies for about 5 minutes, then add garlic and ginger. Once garlic and ginger are fragrant, (about 30 seconds), add the curry powder or paste, and stir in for another 30 seconds or so. (if it's a bit dry, add a couple of teaspoons of your broth). Salt to taste. Turn up heat to medium, and add broth and coconut milk. Simmer on med to low until veggies are the desired tenderness, and the taste is to liking. If you want to take the extra step to blend your soup until it's creamy, no one is stopping you. Enjoy the love you just provided to our body and soul!


-Lise-Marie Johnson

[Recipe] : Bedtime Belly Fat Burner


Many of us are constantly looking for natural ways to boost our metabolisms or lose a little bulge in those problem areas.

Here is a SIMPLE + delicious recipe to assist in both. A bedtime remedy that works while you wonderful is that?


1 cucumber a bunch of parsley or cilantro 1 lemon 1 tbsp. grated ginger 1 tbsp. aloe vera juice 1/2 glass water

Both parsley and cilantro are extremely low in calories, full of antioxidants and offer several vital vitamins and minerals that help to ease water retention without causing the bloating and tummy discomfort.

Lemon will flush out all toxins accumulated in your body and this will contribute to much faster melting of fat as fat metabolism will be increased once the impurities are out of the system.

Ginger will fire up metabolism, prevent constipation and melt unwanted belly fat. If you have flat tummy on your mind, make sure you regularly include ginger in your meals. All compounds in ginger work in synergy to prevent overeating and blast belly fat fast.

Aloe vera juice is considered really efficient weight loss remedy as it contains natural anti-oxidants that help to delay the growth of free radicals in the body and even to reduce inflammatory processes going on in the body. It stimulates the metabolic rate which in turn helps for the consumption of more energy. This process stabilizes and reduces the body mass index (BMI)

Sip away and cheers to a slimmer, fresh day!


[AUTHOR : Bekah Glass]

#ESMEINK : "Culture" Day 21



When I talk about culture, many things come to mind. Ethnicity, food, travel, etc. But today I dive into my love for fermentation (culturing).

What I think I love the most, is the representation that fermenting has to cultures around the world.

So many cultures have used fermentation practices around the world for years and years.

Actually, the word 'culture' comes from the Latin language, and means to 'cultivate.'

The cultivation of our land-animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, etc is pretty important-maybe even essential-to culture.

Sandor Katz,-a world renowned fermenter and author- puts it all into perspective, and I believe he is right when he says that taking back our dignity and power by becoming creators and producers of food from the earth, rather than depending on commercialization is key to thriving and surviving. It's also crucial to keep culture alive.

The further away we get from creating our own food, the more we lose culture. We lose interaction with other humans. We miss the sharing experience of creating something beautiful. Not just a meal,-I mean we lose out on relationships. The sit down meal with family and/or guests.

We need to slow down. Grow food, grow our souls. Create bountiful meals full of whole foods and nutrients. We need to thrive. It's all our bodies really want to do. We need to uphold traditions so that our children, and their children can not just survive, but thrive as well.

Learning from elders around the globe, and continuing to uphold traditions and food preservation techniques are really a big deal!

The moment I learned that our healthy bacteria outnumber the cells containing our DNA by 10 times, (and most of that is found in our intestinal tract), made me realize how important gut health really was. Gut health is such a large topic these days, and I understand why.

I've become very passionate and creative with fermentation lately, and I feel the urge to share this knowledge with others because it's so freakin' exciting!

I learn more every day. Each food is so unique in the fermenting process. I could talk about all of the characteristics I like about ferments, from kombucha, to kvass, kraut, meads, and everything in between, but I think my favourite part of fermenting, its truly the culture of it. Obviously.

I can't wait to grow more knowledgable and healthy, with fermentation and culture being a driving force.

So I say, lets stand up for what we believe in as humans. Support local food, and grow our own. take back control of our lives. The need to be responsible for our well-being is more important now more than ever.

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Healthy Mind, Healthy Body" Day 7



"Caring for the mind is as important and crucial as caring for the body. In fact, one cannot be without the other." -Unknown

Being "healthy" generally has a large emphasis on food and exercise. Often, what's forgotten is state of mind. There is, a definite balance between the three. For myself, when one of those is out of balance, I generally fall apart in some way or another. Sometimes for a day, sometimes longer.

This past year, I had to let go of some anxiety relating to food, to ease my mind.

While I was in school studying holistic nutrition, I became increasingly afraid of making the wrong choices when it came to food. Is it a whole food? Are there ingredients, and what are they? Sugar is poison, is the food I buy ethical and humane? Am I supporting local? Am I deficient in nutrients, what are my symptoms? The questions were endless, and they haunted me. These thoughts and questions built and built, and the worry for my children and husband were present too.

Why, having all of this new, amazing information, did I feel more worried than ever? I would think that being empowered to make the best food choices should put me at ease. Isn't knowledge power? It didn't' feel that way.

I started to feel anxiety for the first time in my life. I had no idea where it was coming from until I self-evaluated. I first began looking at other symptoms I had, and there were none, other than that, and exhaustion. So I realized I needed to support my adrenals. I needed to focus more on exercise, and less about the food.

Finally, it clicked. I was so consumed with how my choices of food would do me right or wrong, that I'm sure I manifested unnecessary stress, affecting my nervous system and adrenals.

I Truly beleive that constant worry or fear can manifest health problems. Our biography can become our biology. In other words,- when thoughts, beliefs or fears are thought about consistently enough, they create physical pathways in the brain, and can have an effect on our health at some point. However, just as these thoughts are created, they can also be addressed and changed. It's all the power of the mind, and the willingness to change.

My state of mind, has had a physical effect on my body. It does for anyone, when the situation allows. I need to listen to my body, but more importantly, I need to let go of fear.

We live in a world where food is plentiful. We have more food than we need. We have more choices than ever.

I know how to make choices that are right for my family and I. I just need to simplify. I've been working on meditation. Releasing fears.

I focus on how blessed we are to have the freedom to make choices. I will say YES to pizza. I will enjoy the slowness of food. Growing, harvesting, creating, sharing food.

Our culture has gotten so far away from the true pleasure of a meal; the experience. Who we eat with can bring us joy. Preparing a meal is so satisfying, especially when feeding others. It's so much more than just what's on the fork, and it's that thought that brings me satisfaction and peace. Besides, don't I have better things to worry about?


By experiencing the joy, and culture of food, I release fear, and take on peace

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

#ESMEINK : "Roots & The Base Chakra" Day 3


{Chakra #1  - Base}


I know that todays journal is one that I will be referring back to often. It's one that I really feel needs a lot of attention and care. It will be ongoing work within me.

As I am preparing to address my roots and grounded-ness today, I'm reminded about the organs associated with the base chakra that i've been called to work on. Those organs/body parts are, the base of spine, legs, bones, feet, rectum and immune system. What's interesting to me is connecting with how I feel in those physical areas. It's truly amazing how our bodies are so connected to our spiritual needs. It reminds me how paying close attention to my body is so important. Listen, feel, and respond!

The base chakra is all about roots, family, feeling grounded, control, feeling a sense of belonging, honour. It's referred to as the "tribal" chakra as well, referring to group identity and belief patterns. It's our connection to belief systems that can shape our future and give us some sense of belonging. I also strongly believe that when certain beliefs don't serve you in your life, find what does. I've gotten lost in this aspect more than once, but I know that I am on the right path today.

Fears within this chakra are connected to physical survival, abandonment of a group or loss of physical order. Strenghts within this chakra relate to family identity, bonding, tribal honour code, the support and loyalty that give a person a sends of safety and a connection to the physical world, or being comfortable living in "this" body.

I think the most important thing to remember within this chakra, is "all is one". My connection to nature and her energy is how I become grounded and plant my roots. Earth interconnects all people and all humanity.

I know that to maintain health within this chakra, I must address personal tribal issues. So here is where I begin.


It has taken a long time for Calgary to feel like home to me. And although in the last year I've really settled in with new friends, I'm still not feeling grounded. Part of my soul work tonight begins with making a commitment to myself to build a clan. Family. Tribe. The first chakra speaks of "tribe". People who are committed to finding themselves, and have similar values to me. Like minded individuals, who are not afraid to live and love outside of any box. Ones who dare to let their freak flags fly. Free spirits, rebels, humans who care about the planet and one another. Folks who understand the importance of educating younger generations about our cultures around the world. I want to be surrounded people who believe in the power of energy, and are searching and evolving and growing their souls on a daily basis. I commit not just to forming friendships such as these, but releasing the ones that no longer serve me, or steal my energy. Only growth, only grounding. I have to release the people and things that hold me back.

Ending friendships is hard, and awkward. There is no easy way to do it. But I give myself permission to have the life I dream of. I give myself permission to love myself wholly, which means feeding my heart with goodness, and being surrounded with the friends and family that make my world amazing. I will allow myself to grow, and learn from my elders, peers and children. I allow myself to let go. Of stress from poor relationships, fear, doubt, and all things that do not serve me in my life.

Today I feel incredible gratitude for the family I've got. I'm camping with my husband, kids and inlaws! (yes-with wifi-which is a first for me, but I've got to keep up with the journal momentum. Day 3!!!) Not only did I enter into a marriage with an amazing husband, but I've gained an incredible extended family with a mother and father in law who would die for their family. I feel like I've been a part of the "tribe" since the day I met them. The same goes for my brother and sister in law. And while we all have our differences, they love unconditionally. It is amazing. So today I let that resinate in my soul.

FAMILY {groundedness}

I'm blessed (an absolute understatement) to have an amazing family. Mom, dad, brothers, in laws, husband, children, and large extended family. I love them all so much. And I feel how much they love me too.

I have a void that has always left me with questions. And while sometimes i'm at peace with it, other times I'm not. The older I get, the more I feel I need answers.

Being adopted, in my eyes, is an amazing blessing, and was he most loving act of kindness that I could have been given. I'd some day like to thank my birth parents for that. I am so grateful for this gift.

I long to know about my biological history. Where I came from, what traits I have in common with these blood relatives, whether or not I have siblings, nieces, nephews, grandparents that are alive…endless questions.

I have to thank my brother Luke, for pointing something out that I never had considered when I was pregnant with my first babe. He said, "Hey Lise, do you realize that when you have this baby, that it will be the first blood relative of yours that you will ever get to meet?" That blew me away. Complete new meaning to having children! Love my two crazy maniacs so much. They are like me in so many ways. And it's opened my eyes to who I am, and how different I am than my own parents. I hadn't realized how different I was until having my own kids. How sweet these realizations are! Damn, I love life.

With no success of reaching my bio parents throughout canada's adoption/re-uniting processes, I've taken a step in a totally different direction and wonder where it may lead. It's a bit random, but it may actually get me some answers.

I've spent years in my head preparing for what I would say if I met my birth parent(s). I'm prepared for the possibility that they may not be alive. I'm prepared for the possibility that they may want nothing to do with me. I'm prepared for every possible scenario. I've thought about it for enough years now.

My adopted {true} parents are amazing, and have always said they would help me if I was ever interested in finding my bio parents. That is LOVE.

There is just a part of me longing to find a piece of the puzzle that is missing about me. I've never felt completely grounded. I've always been searching for who I am, and it's been hard. I've always been easily influenced by people, i feel, until my 30's. I would be in relationships where I would morph into this person I thought I was and who I knew my partner(s) wanted me to be. It was so false, and exhausting. I gave away so much of myself for so many years, because I didn't take the time to really evaluate who I was, or who I wanted to be. Of course, In my late 30's I now have a strong understanding of who I am and where I am going. I now stand up for what I believe in. If I don't like something, I'm not afraid to say it. I know more about who I am now, more than ever. And it's so cool! I started to really evaluate what speaks to me truly, and the one thing I recall that has always been strong in my heart and soul is spirituality, and energy. I can't help but wonder how much of that is a part of my ancestral heritage.

I can't wait to see what comes of this new search. I can't explain why I feel that knowing more about my ancestors will help me to feel grounded, or know more about myself, when all I need to do is look within me, and to mother earth. But I just feel the push forward in this. I hope to find truth, and gain closure, if not anything more. Then I know I can move forward with whatever information I have and know that the answers I have will be enough.


To help myself feel grounded, I will spend more time in nature-especially bear foot. I will garden more. I will relax and spend more quality time with my family, and really connect with them on a deeper level.


Today I love and accept my family and friends as my tribe. They are a part of me. I believe If we are meant to meet, we will. At the right time in our lives. (Or in another life) I accept letting go of what and whom does not serve me in this lifetime. I accept that you may let me go too. I feel grounded today because I receive love from family, friends, and myself. Mother earth is always here, and I connect to her vastness and power which further grounds me. I accept things that I cannot change in my search for my birthparents and answers regarding them. Build tribe, let go, connect, ground, accept.

#ESMEINK Journal Entry by Lise-Marie Johnson

[Recipe] : Matcha Chia Pudding



As warm weather begins and we pull out our shorts and sun dresses - it's always a fresh (and nagging) reminder to eat healthier. We constantly put - maybe too much - pressure on ourselves to look a certain way during the sunny, warm months - but learning to incorporate healthier food choices into our lives and eating habits is always a great thing!

This recipe is a sweet treat that is packed with nutrition, superfoods, powerful antioxidants and energy boosting goodness. We hope you love this Matcha Chia Pudding as much as we do!


Coconut Matcha Chia Pudding

Yields four 1/2-cup servings 14.5 ounces (1 can or 428 mL) canned coconut milk 1 1/2 teaspoons matcha powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (to taste) 1/4 cup (50 grams) chia seeds 1 recipe Coconut Whipped Cream 1/3 cup (30 grams) shredded coconut

In a food processor or blender, blend together the canned coconut milk, matcha powder, vanilla, and maple syrup. Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in chia seeds. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Then whisk the pudding once and return it to the refrigerator to set overnight.

Before serving, stir shredded coconut into coconut whipped cream. Set aside. Divide pudding evenly between serving containers. Top with a generous amount of whipped cream and serve.

Grab a spoon & indulge - have a wonderful weekend!

[  Recipe & images via The Pastry Affair ]

[ Author : Bekah Glass ]

[Recipe] : Hummus + Fresh Fruit Salsa


It's the end of our May Long Weekend here in Canada to celebrate Victoria Day - and although the weather has been less than summery in Alberta (and typical apparently) - it's always nice to have healthy & delicious recipes to take to gatherings.

This recipe in particular will be a party hit throughout the entire summer - simple hummus remixed with fresh summer fruits & toasted nuts! What's not to love?


2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed + drained if using canned 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste) 2 tablespoons creamy almond butter 1 tablespoon white miso paste pinch of crushed red pepper flakes juice of 1/2 a lemon 1/3 cup olive oil, + more for drizzling salt and pepper, to taste 1/2 cup basil pesto toasted sesame seeds + hemp seeds, for topping edible flowers, for garnish

Summer Fruit Salsa 1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted + chopped 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, cored + chopped 1/2 cup fresh blackberries, sliced into rounds 1 nectarine or peach, diced 1 jalapeño or 2 habanero chilis, seeded + chopped 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 1/4 cup fresh basil, copped juice of 1 lemon (may also use a lime)


Hummus :

Add the chickpeas, tahini, almond butter, miso paste, crushed red pepper flakes and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor. Puree the mixture until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary. Add 1/3 up water and puree until smooth. With the machine running stream in the olive oil until smooth and creamy. I like to let my machine run a good 5 minutes (scraping down the sides once or twice) to insure a really smooth and creamy hummus. If the hummus is too thick for your liking, thin with water or extra olive oil, adding about 1 tablespoon at a time until your desired consistency is reached. Taste and season as desired with salt + pepper.To serve, top the hummus with pesto and fruit salsa (recipe below). Sprinkle with toasted seeds.

Salsa :

In a bowl, combine the cherries, strawberries, blackberries, peaches or nectarines, jalapeño, cilantro, basil and lemon juice, combine well. Can be stored, covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.


[Recipe & Images : Half Baked Harvest]

[Author : Bekah Glass]

[Q&A] : The Power Couple behind OUR DAILY BRETT


[Emily & Brett McDermott]

I had driven past this quaint 14 ST market so many times & the beautifully scrolled words "GOOD HONEST FOOD" that are featured on its outer wall always captured my attention. Whatever "good, honest food" was - became intriguing to me.

You see - I am a married mommy in her early 30's with a full-time job and blogging on the side duties. I find myself feeling overwhelmed with the daily to-do's, the juggling of housework, cooking, trying to throw in a little fun or social activity every now and then. You get my drift.

One of the biggest stressors for me has always been to provide healthy, nutritious food for my husband, toddler boy & myself (most of the time)....but there just never seems to be enough time - to shop, prep, & cook.

My situation is one of the driving inspirations behind Brett McDermott's OUR DAILY BRETT - a modern kitchen concept with catering, dine-in and grab-and-go options created from high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. McDermott says his love of local food and vast travel experiences were mixed with his desire to provide people delicious, healthy options CONVENIENTLY.

That's where the description "good, honest food" comes from.

ESME LIFE sat down with the lovely couple behind OUR DAILY BRETT, Brett & Emily McDermott - to get  to know them & gain some insight into the inspiration, background and vision behind this yummy market that is refueling locals through their rigorous schedules with nutritious and cleaner grab-and-g0 options.


[OUR DAILY BRETT's gorgeous display of fresh soups, veggies, & sides]

Besides food - tell us 3 ways you stay healthy?

 "We like to bicycle outside, run, do restorative yoga. On holidays, Brett likes to surf."

What are the favourite food staples for the McDermotts ?

"We both love fermented foods - kimchi, kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, chutneys. We make a bunch of fermented foods in-house at ODB."

How do you keep healthy balance in your lives - as new business owners?

"That’s a work in progress - we haven't totally figured it out yet! Sometimes we'll set a cut-off time in the evening after which we can't talk about business - but we often break it."

For a beginner - learning to eat healthier - what foods would you say to add in first & why? 

"I think a good starting point is incorporating veggies in to the diet. Whether that’s raw veggies paired with a healthy dip (we sell grab-and-go crudite packs at the market with different dips like beet cashew, sunflower seed pate, ranch made with house-made yogurt, etc.) or steamed greens (swiss chard, kale, broccoli) drizzled with sesame oil and tamari. I think the easier / more convenient - the better."

You both note that your travels inspired menu selections for ODB - can you give a few examples (dish & location that inspired it)?

"After undergrad (about 9 years ago), I lived in South Korea for a year and Brett visited. That's where we were first introduced to kimchi. We also spent a winter living on an organic farm in upcountry Maui, Hawaii. The farm we lived on was small but grew over 200 varieties of fruits and vegetables. The farmers we lived with were very in to fermented and raw foods and that's where we really got in to krauts, chutneys, chia puddings, etc. We also have fond memories of trips to Costa Rica. Both times we've visited we've stayed at small hotels owned by Israelis - and loved their use of fresh herbs and tahini. My latest travel adventure was doing a semester of law school in Copenhagen - we came back from Europe pretty smitten with orange and natural wines. That's our latest interest and you might see a few more natural wines popping up on our catering wine list (although they're more difficult to find here)."

Favourite seasoning/spice to use & why?

"Fresh herbs from the garden in the summer. As for spices, Brett loves: ras el hanout, smoked paprika, cumin, harissa."


ESME LIFE will be catching up more with the McDermott's in the weeks ahead & adding in some of our favourite recipe secrets straight from Brett!

Stop by ODB at  : 2509 14 Street SW . Calgary, Alberta . T2T 3T8  or find out more deets on the delectable dishes at



Superfoods for Better Sleep


Sleep is said to be one of the very most important things we should be intentional and steadfast in - for our health, mood, and even our looks! But - it's probably something that a majority of us struggle to make a priority. There's just ALWAYS something else to accomplish, someone to respond to, or a list to make to keep us just as busy the next day.

On a recent WELL+GOOD post -  Jason Wrobel, a longevity-obsessed raw vegan chef with his own TV show on The Cooking Channel and a roster of celeb fans (think Woody Harrelson and Robin Wright) - shares a list of superfoods that aid in our ability to shut down, relax, and get those VERY MUCH needed zzz's. Here are a few off his list & his reason for suggesting each food:



“Almonds are high in potassium and B vitamins, which help our nervous systems to relax,” says Wrobel. His super-sleep snack tip? Spread some almond butter on toast with banana slices (another sleep all-star)—no need to count sheep when your head hits the pillow.



Cherries allow the body to release melatonin, which Wrobel calls “the body clock hormone” because it promotes a cycle of falling asleep and waking up naturally. As in, the fruit will help you recalibrate the body when you’re dealing with a bout of jet lag.



Need some more convincing to pile your plate with kale? “Magnesium deficiency is a major cause of insomnia,” warns Wrobel, adding that many Americans don’t get enough magnesium. Good thing this dark, leafy green is packed with the mineral. Yet another reason to throw some kale in to your daily smoothie.



Your sleep cycle’s new best friend? B vitamins. “Chickpeas boast vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin,” Wrobel notes, highlighting the legume’s deep sleep-inducing qualities. Munching on chickpeas throughout the day will help your body and your nervous system relax come bedtime, too.

See the rest of the list HERE!

P.S. Go to bed EARLY tonight...just try it!

[images via WELL+GOOD]


[Recipe] : Garden Veggie Summer Rolls


We're always looking for fresh recipes packed full of veggies AND flavour! Today's recipe comes from This Rawsom Vegan Life:


Tahini chili sauce: 2 tablespoons tahini 1 garlic clove 1 teaspoon chunk fresh ginger 1 tablespoon miso paste 1 tablespoon sauerkraut 1 tablespoon coconut sugar 2 tablespoons lime juice 1-2 tablespoons dried deseeded red chili skin, or more, as desired Water, as needed

Rice papers

Filling: 1 red beet, shredded 3 carrots, shredded 3-4 tomatoes, sliced 1/2 cup basil leaves 1/4 cup mint leaves 1/4 cup cilantro leaves Whatever else your heart desires

To make the sauce: blend everything together until smooth. Adjust according to your taste preferences, and add as much water as needed to get a creamy consistency.

To make the wraps: dip a rice paper sheet in cold water for 5 seconds, then lay it flat on a damp cloth and let sit for 15 seconds while you fill it up with your goodies. Fold the skin on one side over and wrap under the fillings, then wrap up like a burrito. Hope that made enough sense.

Dip it and enjoy!


[Recipe] : Superfood Guava Margaritas


Today is Cinco de Mayo - which is a GREAT excuse to enjoy a margarita (or a few!).

While the traditional form of this delicious drink can be packed with empty calories, sugar & sodium - we found a list of healthy & delicious alternatives for your festivities HERE !

Here's one of the simple selections that we can't wait to try out -

the Superfood Guava 'Rita! 

Caitlin Covington for shared these amazing tidbits about the greatness of guava:

-guava is one of the richest fruit-based sources of Vitamin C

-the fruit is packed full of dietary fiber

- some studies show that out of any fruit - guava is filled with the very most antioxidants!

-guava's traditional medicinal uses include healing wounds, cuts, ulcers, and boils, toothaches, oral ulcers, inflamed gums, throat and chest pains, diarrhea, and epilepsy.

You can find out more about this delicious superfood in the full article HERE -

but for now - here's the yummy recipe!

What You'll Need:

4 limes 8 ounces Guava nectar (or juice/puree your own!) 4 ounces tequila

What To Do:

Juice three of the limes (ending up with about 3 tablespoons juice). Thinly slice the last lime in round slices. Set aside. (For garnish.) Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker (with a few cubes of ice) until well mixed. Strain into glasses, garnish with lime, and enjoy!

[Recipe] : Raw Vegan Cookie Dough


No explanation really needed for this healthy snack or cure to a sweet tooth. These no-bake chocolate chip cookies can be so versatile - add any nuts, seeds, or fruit that you like & they are ALWAYS delicious!


Makes 15 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls, or 10 large cookies


1 cup (100 g) gluten-free oats 10 Medjool dates, pits removed 1 cup (240 g) macadamia nut butter 1 teaspoon ground vanilla beans 2 tablespoons water ½ cup (80 g) raw chocolate chunks


Blend the oats in a food processor until they are coarsely ground. This takes about 2 minutes. Add the dates, macadamia nut butter, vanilla, and water. Pulse until a dough starts to form, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold the chocolate chunks into the dough, or use them in the next step to coat the outside of the balls. Roll the dough into bite-size balls. If you’re covering them with choco­late chips, roll the balls around on a plate of chocolate chips and then gently press the chips in. At this point I just pressed them down with the palm of my hand so they became cookies. Simple. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Stick the baking sheet into the fridge so that the balls can firm up, about 30 minutes. Store the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Note: If you want to bump up the protein in this recipe, add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, hemp seeds, or leftover nut milk pulp.

Recipe from DIY Nut Milks, Nut Butters & More: From Almonds to Walnuts

[Recipe] : Cilantro & Lime Detox Smoothie


I am constantly looking for new healthy smoothie recipes...because I - personally - am not a huge smoothie lover. However, I wish so badly that I was. They are jam-packed with healthy & nutritional ingredients & I don't know about you - but I love the idea of covering a lot of bases with one big gulp.  Whether you enjoy it after a workout, as a snack or as a detox tool - this recipe from Elena of "As Easy as Apple Pie"  is packed FULL of healthy & delicious goodness.

Here are some of her notes that sold me on this one:

Cilantro (coriander) binds to heavy metals and helps remove them from your body. Lime juice helps to cleanse and detox your liver. Ginger is a fantastic digestive aid, proper digestion is important for elimination of toxins.

Not only does this smoothie helps you detox, it’s also loaded with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Based on rough calculations, it has 70 calories and it’s very high in dietary fibers, manganese, Vitamin A, C and B6.

Since mango is very sweet, there is no need to add extra sugar.

The combination of lime, cilantro and ginger gives this smoothie a refreshing zing.



160 ml (2/3 cup) water, cold 30 grams (1 cup packed) baby spinach 10 grams (1/4 cup packed) fresh cilantro leaves 1 small mango, peeled,cored and diced 1 green apple, cored and sliced (but not peeled) the juice of 1 lime 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated 1 teaspoon chia powder


Blend the baby spinach, cilantro and water until smooth. Add the mango, apple, lime juice, ginger and blend again. Pour it into a glass and sprinkle some chia powder on top before serving.

Enjoy your detox green smoothie!

[AUTHOR : Bekah Glass]



[ Recipe ] : Mango Butter (only 3 ingredients!)


Only 3 ingredients in this delicious, healthy treat for toast ... or seed crackers, sweet potato, & probably anything else you can lather it on!



-1 ripe mango (with skin & seed removed)

-1 cup raw, cold-pressed coconut oil

- 1 tbsp raw organic honey


Blend ingredients in a blender until smooth & creamy.

Store in a glass container in the refrigerator to solidify.

This will keep for 3-4 weeks.

[ Recipe via Naturally, Danny Seo ]


5 Energy Enhancing Supplements


In this day & age - most of us are energy addicts.

How refreshing would it be to totally delete that feeling of "I'm a little tired - I need an energy drink or a huge coffee ASAP or I absolutely cannot function"?

Putting too much unnatural focus on your personal energy levels can be very toxic for your mind & body. It leads to unnecessary stress, triggers a negative mood, & makes some of us grab beautifully marketed cans of energy with caffeine levels that can cause headache, insomnia, nervousness and a rapid heartbeat. More serious side effects from consuming excessive caffeine include arrhythmia, vomiting, seizures, disrupted sleep patterns and increased blood pressure.

But - yes, we ALL get truly sluggish & need a boost of energy every now & then.

In addition to your personal nutritional intake, sleeping patterns & exercise - here are 5 natural ways to boost your energy levels without the jitters and health risks:

1. B VITAMINS - this particular group of vitamins helps us process food into energy, form red blood cells. Also - if we don't get enough of the B vitamin family - a major cause is FATIGUE.

2.OMEGA 3s - Research says that if you don't get enough omega-3s - you are likely to struggle with fatigue & mental health issues.

3.PROBIOTICS - Taking a high-quality probiotic daily protects your gut health, which keeps things moving in your body (if things are not are extra tired).

4.HERBAL ADAPTOGENS - Some herbs are known to assist the body in dealing with stress, anxiety & other imbalances. Adaptogens such as maca, ashwagandha, panax ginseng, & rhodiola can also assist with energy levels. The use of herbal adaptogens - however- can get complex & overwhelming, so it's best to seek advice from a holistic health care professional.

5. MULTIVITAMIN & MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS - Choose a high-quality vitamin with a spectrum of foundational vitamins to fill in your nutritional & mineral gaps. Be sure to watch your iron & magnesium levels - if there is a deficiency - fatigue is a sure sign.


[  AUTHOR  : Bekah Glass  ]

Mindful Eating & Digestion


Mindful eating means that when, where, how, and with whom we eat with is important. Our parasympathetic division of the nervous system has some control over how well we digest food. If we are stressed, or eating on the go, not enjoying the company, and not allowing our body to "rest and digest," our digestive system becomes impaired.

Emotions. Emotions effect digestion just as stress does. It is best not to eat in times of emotional upset. This can be difficult for many of us, but when digestion is impaired due to stress, we cannot assimilate nutrients, and symptoms can begin to occur.

Chew your food well. Chewing it and breaking down food as much as possible relieves stress on the digestive tract. We have digestive juices in our mouths to aid in the breakdown process, so really take your time with this step.

Gratitude and having a reflective state of mind at each meal goes a long way with food, as does visualizing the good things that the nutrients are doing in our body. Slowing down is key.

Optimal digestion can enrich your life in ways such as weight management, improved mood, clear train of thought, consistent bowel movements, skin health, increased energy and vitality, and much more.


[  AUTHOR : Lise Marie-Johnson  ]

Esme Holistic Nutrition The information on this site is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

[ Recipe ] : Weekend Glow Kale Salad


Kale, kale kale ... you are probably  just as tired of hearing about this trendy green as I am.

I get it - it's good for us. I've tried really hard to jump on this band-wagon but I'd just rather have spinach or arugula. I can't help it.

However, I found this recipe on Oh She Glows not long ago & I must say - it may have transformed my relationship with the superfood.

Weekend Glow Kale Salad Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients: 1/2 large head of kale (about 4-6 cups) 1 cup finely chopped red onion 1/2 red bell pepper 1/2-3/4 cup chopped carrot (2 small carrots) 1 English cucumber (2 cups chopped halves) 1 avocado, chopped 1 & 1/4 cup chopped grape tomatoes (or other variety) 1/2 cup mixed raisins and Goji berries 1/4 cup hemp seed 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Dressing: 1 batch of Lightened Up tahini-Lemon Dressing ( Recipe HERE ) Your desired fresh or dried herbs

Directions: 1. Chop vegetables and mix in a large mixing bowl. Reserve hemp seed and walnuts for sprinkling on top. 2. Make your Lightened Up tahini-Lemon Dressing in a food processor and process until smooth. 3. Tear the leaves off of the kale and rip into bite-sized pieces. Wash and dry kale leaves. 4. Mix the vegetables, kale leaves, and full batch of dressing (3/4-1 cup) in large bowl until thoroughly combined. 5. Place in fridge to ‘marinate’ for 10-15 minutes. Serves 4. Keeps in fridge in a sealed container for 1 day.



To make this salad, gather as many superfoods that you like:

Cucumber (great for skin!) Grape tomatoes Red onion Raisins & goji berries (antioxidants) Walnuts (Rich in omega 3 fatty acids) Hemp Seeds (high in protein) Carrot (great for eyes and skin) Avocado Red Pepper

For Angela's full post & recipe for this delicious dish - visit Oh She Glows HERE

[  AUTHOR : Bekah Glass   ]

[ Q&A ] : JUICE BECAUSE Owners Leigh & Elisa

DSC04583 Juice Because is Calgary's newest fresh-pressed juicery, setting itself apart with unique flavour combinations, gorgeous glass-bottled packaging, and a quirky but personal way of naming each juice - with real people names (i.e. "Norman", "Betty" or "Hank").

Juice Because was born out of the idea that you don't need a reason to do something good for yourself. They strongly believe that choosing a healthy option shouldn't be a luxury, it should be part of your everyday.


ESME LIFE caught up with the plant-powered friend duo that co-own Juice Because, Leigh Gibney & Elisa Boyd, to find out how they personally keep a healthy & balanced lifestyle while passionately sharing the gospel of juicing as new business owners.

{  Leigh Gibney (L) & Elisa Boyd (R) : Juice Because Co-Owners  }


3 words to describe the core values of the Juice Because company:   "Lifestyle, Education + Quality."

Besides juicing - name 3 ways you stay healthy?   "Working out, fresh air, & escaping to our cabins."

Fave nail colour?   "Well, it changes with the season, right now we're both obsessed with pastels."

Fave way to pamper yourself?   "Wine + dinner out with friends, a great massage .... mini getaways with our guys."

Any beauty essentials?   "Face cream and MORE face cream."

How do you stay balanced as new business owners?    "what balance??"

What is playing in your headphones?     "Anything tropical like kygo."

How did you you choose the gorgeous packaging/design for Juice Because?    "Glass bottles were always something we wanted for Juice Because. If we are going to make delicious nutrient dense juice we wanted to put it on a bottle that matched that quality. As for design we wanted our bottles to be like an accessory. The label is simple and clean and the logo a cool geometric play on a lemon."



Which juice should we choose for:

Energy?   Belle Weight loss? Joan Hangover? Judy Sweet tooth craving?    Betty Breakfast replacement?    Norman

For a more detailed glimpse into juicing info & lingo - or even a clear definition of exactly what cold-pressed juice is or why you might consider trying a cleanse yourself - visit the Juice Because website HERE



[ Author : Bekah Glass ]

[ Recipe ] : Flavourful Vegan Popcorn


Making your own fresh, healthy popcorn really doesn't take as much time as you probably think. As a movie night treat or party snack - it's a favourite among all ages!

So - we're sharing our favorite mixture for a delicious, vegan version of the dish!

(We love it so much - it's made freshly & served daily at ESME BEAUTIFUL).



1/4 cup of organic popcorn kernels

2-3 TBSP   coconut oil (to coat fully)

2 TBSP   nutritional yeast

1-2 drops   truffle oil

drizzle of honey

salt to taste

[ Author : Bekah Glass ]

Water & Vitality 101


I can not express enough the importance of drinking water! Yes, it's basic, and seemingly obvious, but how much water we do or do not consume on a daily basis, impacts our bodies in many different ways. I always suggest this as the first step to approaching a healthy lifestyle. The body needs water to survive and when the body is dehydrated that it starts to become unhealthy. Hydrate, and the body responds.


Water is the primary component of all the bodily fluids- blood, lymph, digestive juices, urine, tears, and sweat. Water is involved in almost every bodily function: circulation, digestion, absorption, and elimination of wastes, to name a few. Water carries the electrolytes, mineral salts that help convey electrical currents in the body; the major minerals that make up these salts are calcium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, and sodium.

Water requirements vary greatly from person to person. The climate in which we live, our activity level, and our diet influence our need for water.

A common recommended that you drink 8-8oz glasses of water a day. Water ideally needs to be pure, and free of chemicals like chlorine and fluoride, as they are hormone disruptors. Drinking pure water is clean, but is missing necessary minerals that are essential to health, therefore, ensuring a whole foods diet rich in vitamins and minerals is a must.

Simple water when it's pure and free of contaminants is truly nourishing and improves health. A steady dose of 8 glasses of water a day, will:

* Aid in Weight Loss * Improve Your Energy * Increase Your Mental and Physical Performance * Remove Toxins & Waste Products from your body through elimination * Keep Skin Healthy and Glowing * Reduce Headaches and Dizziness * Allow for proper Digestion * Help to keep you more Alkaline *Transport vital nutrients throughout the body

In addition to transporting vital nutrients, water regulates the body’s temperature, allows for easier digestion, lubricates the joints, helps eliminate wastes and keeps skin healthy, youthful and attractive. Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, which may result in frequent headaches, general fatigue, dizziness, constipation and impaired memory and vision. A shortage of water also will result in excess water weight, as too little H2O causes our bodies to store water outside of our cells, making us feel bloated and heavy.

Drinking plenty of water can help you loose or maintain a healthy weight, too. Water is calorie-free, suppresses the appetite naturally and helps metabolize fat. Without enough water, your kidneys cannot function properly, which forces them to send some of their workload to your liver. Since one of the liver’s main functions is to metabolize stored fat, the added work from the kidneys means that the liver burns less fat so that more fat remains on the body – usually on the waist, hips and thighs.


Tips for Drinking Water :  It can be tough to remember to drink enough water every day, but it also can be tough to bounce back from the effects of being even mildly dehydrated. So here are a few easy tips to help you reach your optimum water intake every day:

1. Your body is naturally thirsty in the morning. To jumpstart your water requirements for the day drink at least a glass of water first thing. If you have a sluggish digestive system, adding lemon is best done in the morning on an empty stomach upon rising. It will stimulate digestion which is a great way to start the day! 2. Don't wait until you're thirsty to have a drink – you are already dehydrated if you feel thirsty. 3. To establish a habit of drinking water and keep a bottle of water with you at all times. 4. Add lemon, lime, or berries to water if you need a little flavor. 5. Keep in mind that caffeinated drinks are diuretics. You will need to drink extra water to compensate for the water loss through the caffeinated drinks you consume. 6. Only drink small amounts of water with meals. Consume lots of water throughout the day, and ideally drink water an hour before or after a meal. Water during meals, will dilute the enzymes found in food and the absorption will be inhibited or slowed.

[  Author : Lise-Marie Johnson , R.H.N Holistic Nutritionist  ]



[ Esme Holistic Nutrition ] The information on this site is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.