Healthy Tips: Tasty Gazpacho, Lime/Mint/Grapefruit Spritzer, Gratitude

The last year living in San Francisco with all the fabulous restaurants and a husband who cooks things like braised short ribs with creamy (and buttery) polenta, has been rough on my waistline/derriere.

 But Howard and I are on the road to being healthier.  Here are some tips...

Tasty Low Cal/No Fat Gazpacho 
(1) Two Quart Bottle V8 Low Sodium Juice 
One red and one yellow pepper
Seven Plum Tomatoes
One bunch cilantro

Juice from three lemons
Half of one red onion
One cucumber, seeded
Avocado garnish if desired

Pour the V8 into a large bowl.  In a food processor (or by hand) finely chop the next three ingredients in batches and add to the juice.  Then, roughly chop the red onion and cucumber (for crunchy texture) and add to the bowl.  Add the lemon juice, sea salt (if desired) and Tabasco (if desired).

That's it!  Stir it up, cover and refrigerate for a couple hours.
Serve as a first course or as a snack (like instead of a cookie or chips).  It makes a lot so you can eat it all week long!

You can garnish with chopped avocado.  You know to sprinkle avocado with lemon juice to prevent browning, right? 

We grew up with an avocado tree in our back yard.  It only grew miniature avocados (which drove my dad nuts trying to figure out why they weren't bigger--he was a lawyer, not a farmer).  But they were flavor packed.

Grace at Sense and Sensibility explains how she lost ten pounds on the Dr. Oz plan and she has her own helpful tips.  This plan is very similar to what we are doing (and then back to moderation).

Here's an easy non-alcoholic cocktail:
Muddle a few sprigs of mint in the bottom of a glass, add crushed ice, Pink Grapefruit Perrier and lime juice.  

Chief and I are making it a point to do stairs everyday.
Since we are at the top of Russian Hill, you basically have to take stairs to get back home.  This is one set above and another set below.
I try to be present in the moment of lifting one foot in front of the other with a brief prayer of gratitude: "Thank you God for giving me healthy, sturdy legs to make this climb."  It really seems to help!


Refreshing a Vintage Bungalow in Alameda, California

Terry from La Dolfina introduced me to her friend, Kathy from her Alameda neighborhood. Alameda is cool little town on an island in the East Bay.  The first time Terry (love that girl) and I were at Kathy's house, there was whirlwind of arranging furniture.  

Afterwards, I told Kathy that I would get back to her with a detailed plan to update her living and dining rooms using much of her existing furniture. 

Here is where we are now.

We purchased these custom Lee Industries chairs.

The seating was moved a bit.  New floor lamps were purchased (which are a good idea when you have high arms on a sofa). 

Then, last Tuesday, we decorated with things that she already owns (to save time, she had her accessories compiled for me in the study before I arrived).  Wish my photos were better as it does look prettier in person.

Kathy bought this beautiful cart at a Serena and Lily warehouse sale.  I love it.   

Eventually, I think Kathy will cave for some new designer sofa pillows. But she is enjoying the new chairs and coffee table styling for now.

And on to her dining room...
We moved the table perpendicularly and exchanged the painting for a  mirror from a consignment store.  There is a new crystal and iron chandelier from Restoration Hardware (the iron blends with other iron accents in Kathy's home and the crystal add some glam).
Better than this, right?

The new paint color is Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan.
Coming soon:   linen curtains on an iron rod to soften the windows.

One of my favorite updates about this project are the newly recovered dining chair seats...
This is a beautiful neutral linen print:  Schumacher Jakarta in Greige.

The painting was moved over here.  Kathy styled this table vignette herself.  Nice job!

Her existing vintage lamps were given new black shades from Restoration Hardware.

Kathy emailed me volunteering to write a review for me for Houzz.  Sweet.  Just got this client satisfaction award again thanks to clients like her (and some of you)!
Thanks for visiting.