Enjoy a happy, healthy long life by making nutritious and delicious choices today. I hope I can inspire you! Twitter: @veggiessima

Are carbs good or bad?

It depends!

If the carbs you're eating are mostly refined carbs like cookies, crackers, white bread & white pasta for example, and if your goals are to have a healthier diet or to lose weight, then carbs should be part of the list of foods you should avoid because those refined carbs have little nutrition and lots of calories.

But if the majority of carbs you're eating are whole foods like sweet potatoes, beans and whole grains, then you will find an incredible amount of nutrients in carbs, not to mention fiber which is so important for our health.

Have you tried farro? It's one of my favorite grains. Farro has a chewy texture and a nutty flavor, it's an excellent ingredient to add to soups, salads and bowls.

As most grains, you can find farro in different forms:

- Whole farro โ€“ contains the most fiber and retains all its nutrients.

- Semi-pearled farro โ€“ has part of the bran removed.

- Pearled farro โ€“ some pearled farro have no bran at all.

If you want the max amount of fiber and nutrition, then make sure to buy whole farro. While pearled farro does not contain as much fiber as whole farro and is less nutritious, I often make pearled farro when I don't have much time to wait because it cooks in just 20 minutes. Semi-pearled farro cooks in about 30 minutes and whole farro cooks in about 40 minutes. Soaking whole farro for a few hours reduces the cooking time.

Make sure to read the labels when you buy farro to know the type you're buying so you know how much time it needs to be cooked.

Regardless of the type, I love farro's texture and flavor, here are some meals I prepared using farro:

Farro, beans and vegetables bowls.

Farro in a chopped salad.

Farro, beans, roasted cauliflower, caramelized onions & avocado.

Farro, white beans, almond parmesan, greens & broiled figs.

Farro, almond milk, banana & berries. Farro can be used like this for snacks or for breakfast. Drizzle with maple syrup for a sweeter flavor.

In the video below I show how I cook pearled farro in 20 minutes. This is the super basic method, no seasoning, just plain farro to be used in bowls & salads, but you can add your favorite seasonings as well.


Oh Nature... you're amazing!

Simple, quick, wholesome, nutritious and delicious? What's not to love?

I talked about all types of oats in this article:

Details that make a difference (#4) Oat groats

This recipe I'm sharing today uses rolled oats, but it can be adapted to use any kind of oats adjusting the time of cooking depending on the type of oats.

๐ŸŒฟ 1 cup rolled oats

๐ŸŒฟ 1 Tbsp cacao powder

๐ŸŒฟ 1 cup unsweetened non dairy milk

๐ŸŒฟ 1 cup water

๐ŸŒฟ 1 cup chopped banana

๐ŸŒฟ 1 cup frozen cherries

๐ŸŒฟ toppings (optional): nuts (walnuts, pecans, cashews..), seeds (hemp, chia, flax..), cacao nibs..

Rolled oats cook very quickly, they can be cooked in about 10 minutes or a few more minutes for a creamier result.

I like to use cacao powder because that's the most nutritious form of chocolate, but cocoa powder also works great in this recipe. Something to note is that cacao powder is a bit bitter than cocoa powder.

The amount of banana and cherries can be adjusted, it does not have to be an exact cup of each.

The recipe is very simple, just mix everything, once it starts to boil bring the heat down and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

Once the cherries start to soften, break them a bit using your stirring spoon to release some of their juice.

Use your favorite toppings and have fun decorating your bowl :โ€“)

If you like your oatmeal a bit more on the sweet side, add a drizzle of maple syrup.



On top of the world

We all have different dreams, but most of us dream of spending lots of time at places where we enjoy the weather and can do things we love. For me.. that place is a mountain covered in snow.

This Winter my husband and I were fortunate to spend two months in upstate NY in the Adirondack Mountains. We live six hours away from that area and usually take long weekend trips and a couple full week trips there during the Winter. This year everything was super uncertain due to the pandemic, and even though we started to plan our usual trips a few months before Winter, we weren't even sure if the ski mountains were going to open! But Winter came very quickly and our plans ended up evolving into spending two months away from home, in the woods, close to our ski mountain.

We were both super, super anxious about the trip. Besides this being the first time away from home for such a long time, the pandemic added a lot of anxiety to our plans. So many thoughts... are we doing the right thing? Should we be away from home during these uncertain times? What if we get sick there? What if we have to leave quickly? Are we making the right choice? Did we take care of everything we needed before leaving town?

And then there were the details, like the mail for example. We were expecting some important documents coming in the mail during our time away, how to handle that? The place where we were staying didn't have a mailbox, so I first thought of getting a PO Box and looked for instructions online. When I called the local post office close to our destination, this super nice lady named Amy told me I could simply forward my mail to that post office under โ€œGeneral deliveryโ€ and they would hold it for me to pick up, that would be free and therefore would save me from paying for a PO Box. Great! Since we weren't 100% sure the trip was actually going to happen, I only went to our home post office two days before our trip to request the mail forwarding to the General delivery at our temporary destination. I found out you have to request the mail forwarding a few weeks before the start date, but the post office offers a paid service that can start right away. Ahhh... so many new details to worry about besides all the other things my mind was already dealing with!

But the trip day came and all ended up falling into place! We packed the car with all we needed plus more, we are really bad over packers, we always bring more than we need!

When we first arrived, there wasn't much snow in the area but we were enchanted by how peaceful every single day was. The sounds of Nature and the lack of city noises and lights made our hearts feel very full every single day. I thought about all the things we store and keep and how useless a lot of them are, I thought about how little can be plenty and how simple things like waking up and staring at the woods & enjoying the peace are incredibly powerful.

Once we got there we stocked up on lots of ingredients and I had plans to try lots of new recipes during this time away.

Ended up doing a good amount of cooking but didn't find lots of time to spend in the kitchen creating new dishes so kept making large batches of hearty soups that would last for 3 or 4 days.

Red curry lentil & vegetable soup

Lentil stew with pan seared tofu

Things are definitely different this year, signs for social distancing everywhere:

Masks and fogged glasses:

But the same incredibly breathtaking views:

We had so much fun!

And this was my office. I brought my laptop and also a monitor, I made sure I would be able to work comfortably since this was a long time away from my regular home office. Our routine was to get up super early and start the day on the mountain, some days when the snow conditions were better we took half vacation days and enjoyed the morning on the mountain. Other days we went for a couple snowboarding runs first thing in the morning and then worked the rest of the day.

I have to admit that on many days I wished I could just be full time on vacation and not worry about work, but at the same time I felt incredibly grateful that my work is flexible enough to allow me to have such a schedule. I will certainly miss looking at the beautiful snow while working!

Starting the day with breathtaking views like this was just priceless:

We enjoyed watching some local retired folks walk to the slopes every morning, so inspiring to see them vibrantly enjoying life!

We found this interesting sign close to where we stayed :โ€“)

We got lots of snow as time went by, we were truly in a Winter Wonderland!

One day the plow forgot to clean our driveway:

The more we stared at the fresh snow, the more we loved being there...

... and... playing in the snow :โ€“)

We're so glad we were able to do this. It felt overwhelming to plan everything at first, but being there during these crazy times made us realize how much we needed this time away. We weren't completely disconnected while we were there since we were working for a good portion of the time and also had to be checking on family to make sure everyone was ok, but we kept our online time to the minimum necessary and focused most of our spare time on enjoying Nature.

We captured lots of beautiful views and also experimented with different angles on a new camera we bought right before the trip.


Fun turns on a bluebird day

Yesterday I was planning to make a curried lentil & carrot soup. I started to gather the ingredients and found out I was out of curry powder so had to change plans. Ended up with this simple lentil stew replacing the curry with oregano and cumin. It turned out really delicious.

I also used some fettuccini but any pasta would work.

๐ŸŒฟ 1 chopped onion

๐ŸŒฟ 3 large chopped carrots

๐ŸŒฟ 4 minced garlic cloves

๐ŸŒฟ 1 28oz can unsalted diced tomatoes

๐ŸŒฟ 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth

๐ŸŒฟ 1 cup water

๐ŸŒฟ 2 tsp oregano

๐ŸŒฟ 2 tsp cumin

๐ŸŒฟ 1 tsp salt

๐ŸŒฟ black pepper to taste

๐ŸŒฟ fettuccini or other noodles

Sautee the onion in a little bit of oil until translucent.

Add the garlic, stir for a minute or two.

Add the carrots and the spices, mix.

Add lentils, tomatoes, broth, water and fettuccini.

Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low.

Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until the lentils are cooked.

For some added protein and to make the dish more interesting, I topped it with pan seared tofu that I made while the stew was cooking.

๐ŸŒฟ 16 oz extra firm tofu

๐ŸŒฟ ยฝ Tbsp EVOO

๐ŸŒฟ 1 Tbsp low sodium tamari or coconut aminos

๐ŸŒฟ ยฝ Tbsp maple syrup

Drain the tofu and chop it into small cubes.

Warm the olive oil in a large skillet, add the tofu and the tamari and maple syrup.

Pan sear the tofu until it turns golden brown.

Watch this video for a visual of the recipe:


Exploring different angles with the gopro 360 max

It's no surprise to anyone that follows me that my favorite hobby is snowboarding, there is something very magical about gliding through powder feeling the wind resistance while moving through space. It doesn't need to be super fast and the slope doesn't need to be too steep, I just enjoy dancing down the mountain at my pace, playing with the soft piles of snow with my feet.

As most of you know, I grew up in Brazil and didn't see snow until I was 34 years old and back then I thought every snow mountain was the same as far as snow conditions. I had no idea that there were different types of snow and that sometimes what looks like snow is actually ice and very treacherous. I had no idea that ski resorts make snow when Mother Nature is not in the mood for snow. I had no idea there was such a thing as a powder day. But as I got exposed to ski mountains, I learned how much the details can make a difference on the skiing experience.

The weather, the gear, the day of the week, the time of the day... there are so many things that can make the experience better!

I tried snowboarding out of curiosity and not truly believing it was something I could do because it was something very foreign to me and I didn't like cold weather. But how could I like it? I didn't have the appropriate gear for cold weather! It took time until I found the gear that worked well for me and in the beginning it was overwhelming to gather and put on all the accessories I needed but now it's second nature and I do it without much thinking.

This video is my entry for the Cinnamon Challenge #ChallengesByCin #YourHobbyExposed hosted by Srdan .

I tried to show some of the steps I go through before having a great snowboarding day, starting with getting up early to enjoy untouched snow that fell overnight. Sliding over untouched snow not only feels wonderful but it's soooo much easier than trying to snowboard later in the day after hundreds of people already skied and snowboarded down the trails and pushed the snow all over the place.

I hope you enjoy the video :โ€“)


Salad dressings are so easy to make and once we find a few variations we like, it's really difficult to enjoy store bought ones. Homemade salad dressings are so much better! They taste so much fresher and it's great to have control over the ingredients we use.

There are tons of salad dressings shared online, it's really easy to find lots of ideas and inspiration to start making them.

The combination of ingredients can be really simple, sometimes the ingredients can be simply mixed by hand without the use of any appliance.

I really like making salad dressings using nuts so I usually use some sort of blender, sometimes I use a high speed blender, sometimes a hand blender does the job, it really depends on the ingredients.

A good trick is to soak the nuts to make them easier to blend, a couple hours is usually plenty. The same goes for dates, they tend to be harder to blend but if soaked for an hour it becomes much easier to blend.

Last week I made this salad dressing which came out creamy, delicious and nutritious:

๐ŸŒฟ 1 cup cashews

๐ŸŒฟ 1 garlic clove

๐ŸŒฟ ยผ tsp salt

๐ŸŒฟ 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

๐ŸŒฟ 2 tsp maple syrup

๐ŸŒฟ 1 cup baby spinach

๐ŸŒฟ ยฝ cup parsley

๐ŸŒฟ 2 green onions

๐ŸŒฟ 2 Tbsp lemon juice

๐ŸŒฟ ยฝ cup water (add more later if too thick for your taste)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Keep in the fridge for about 5 days. It might thicken after refrigerated, just add a little water and stir when ready to use it.

Use it in salads, over steamed veggies, over grains, over veggie burgers...

Check this video for a visual of the dressing: