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Spring Cleaning for a Healthier You

Spring is coming (can you feel it yet?) and with it comes the need for a major cleaning around the house and garden. If you’re still feeling winter’s sluggishness and not quite ready to tackle cleaning out your closets, then why not begin with yourself first? After all, refreshing your health and rejuvenating your spirit should be the most important part of your spring cleaning!

healthy foodGive your plate a make-over.  Spring is the best time to check your eating habits and start planning healthier meals for yourself and your family.  It doesn’t have to be a major change — just make sure that you are practicing conscious eating.  Take advantage of any local produce in your area — get those seasonal fruits and veggies your body needs to get ready for all the wonderful outdoor activities you’ll be able to enjoy in the upcoming weeks.  If you feel like you need to get rid of any toxins or impurities that might be accumulating in your body, try adding these cleansing foods to your diet for a natural spring detox.

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Catching a Wave in Rincon

One of my favorite things to do whenever I’m in Rincon is work on my stand up paddle surfing skills.  I starting SUP surfing five years ago and I still find it thrilling every time a catch a wave (even a small one).

Learning how to SUP surf was a slow process for me, but with practice I steadily got better and started taking on larger waves. To me, SUP surfing is beautiful — almost an art form — and an exciting way to be out of the water. Here’s a short video of one of my last paddle surf trip and the beautiful scenery that I see as I catch a wave.

If you want to try paddle surfing on your next trip to the beach, these SUP surfing tips can help you get started.

Scupper: a Sato’s Rags to Riches Life

Puerto Rico is a wonderful and downright passionate island with a lively mix of natives and American transplants adding to its spicy cultural life. In Rincon, our winter home, there is a sense of purpose within the community that helps keep our environment beautiful and healthy for all of us to enjoy.  One thing both locals and visitors to Rincon have in common is an awareness of the need to keep down the dog, cat, and horse population to ensure the island can thrive and have healthy animals enjoying it too!

There are cultural differences between the way Puerto Ricans and Americans approach pet care, especially when it comes to spaying and neutering male dogs. This means the number of stray animals that are born and thrive on the streets and beaches never really decreases – hence the island has no lack of animals that need rescuing!

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The Best Way to Celebrate is to Love!

Instead of buying into the traditional commercialized take on romance, with expensive cards and flowers and chocolates, why not experience the day differently this year?  Valentine’s Day could be a day when we simply acknowledge and nurture the love we have for ourselves, a sport or even an animal!

The list of things I love is long — from family to friends, to my passion for my work, to Coconut. But my #1 Valentine is still and always my sweet husband Scott, who has demonstrated time and again what hard work and lots of love can do for a family.

Scott, James and CoconutScott is such a natural leader – in our household, in our community and in my life. As an all-round waterman with elite-advanced SUP instruction and competition experience, he’s the perfect partner in support of my business, Paddle Diva, offering ASI training and certification for those who want to be accredited stand up paddle instructors. At home, he and I still enjoy a good laugh and simple pleasures — like a shared cup of coffee in the morning, or observing one of our kids being exceptionally cute.  We like planning activities together and working out complex plans, for example, planning a family surf session in Puerto Rico. But we don’t need an excuse or a vacation to want to be together; we find ourselves coming together naturally during the day for little things, like walking with Coconut to the mail box to pick up our mail.

Years ago when we were dating I told Scott I was like a swan, I mated for life. And to this day, I still feel the same way. There is not a soul on the planet I’d rather be with than Scott — for the rest of my life. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Take a Bite out of Winter’s Bitterness

The worst thing about winter (for me) is the lack of beautiful summer fruits and vegetables. I live on salads, raw produce and smoothies and winter leaves me craving the variety of gorgeous local produce available “in season.” But thanks to my friends at Amber Waves Farm, I am lucky enough to have access to their greenhouse all winter that is managing to survive this brutal winter and all the cold snaps!

Gina_Green_HouseYou all know I’ve been a kale fan for years and years, before it was oh-so-fashionable. I get three different kinds from Amber Waves, plus an assortment of other leafy green vegetables, that are rich in vitamins A, C and K – all especially important for women’s health.

My friends (and kids, truth be told) tend to avoid these winter green veggies as many of them have a strong bite – some are even downright bitter, which can be an acquired taste. I LOVE the peppery flavor of kale, collards and mustard greens, but if you’re NOT like me, try pairing them with intensely flavorful ingredients that will offset the bitterness — like feta cheese and a little walnut oil. Here’s a delicious Tuscan kale salad that incorporates dried currants and parmigiano. Read the rest of this entry »