Category Archives: Snacks

A Tasty Technique for Better Sleep

If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, here’s a unique strategy… eat pistachios! They are a surprisingly excellent source of the hormone melatonin that helps us to sleep. Most foods have 1, 10, or even 100 ng/g of melatonin, but pistachios have a whopping 200,000 ng/g!

I purchased a huge bag of pistachios before I learned this, and have been eating a couple tablespoons of them daily for about a month. I gotta say, I’ve been sleeping like a LOG! I was actually wondering why. When I came across this study, it all made sense. The good thing about my own accidental experiment was that it ruled out the placebo effect.

And don’t worry, eating them during the day won’t make you sleepy because of all the ambient light. But when the lights go out, you’ll have more than enough melatonin to help you get and stay asleep.

If you don’t need to improve your sleep, you’re lucky! But you might want to consider adding these tasty morsels to your diet anyway. Melatonin is a potent antioxidant with far reaching benefits. Pistachios also have other notable antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and polyphenols. Antioxidants help protect you from chronic disease and slow the aging process. Pistachios are also one of the lowest calorie nuts, and eating the ones with shells helps you to slow down and eat just the right amount.

Image credit: Mae Mu

Vegan Cheese Dip

So often people realize that they can dramatically improve many health issues (like eczema, congestion, and allergy) by avoiding dairy foods. But there’s always that panic that they can’t live without cheese. Not to worry! Not only are there many delicious plant based cheese products at the store nowadays (for example Miyoko and Parmela), but it’s incredibly easy to make your own. The vegan cheese recipe below is quick to prepare and always a crowd favorite.

¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup tamari
¼ red bell pepper (organic if possible)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1½ cups raw macadamia nuts, raw cashews, or a combination

In a high speed blender such as a Vitamix or a food processor, blend ingredients until smooth. If you are not using a high speed blender, mince the garlic or put it through a garlic press first. Serve with crackers such as Mary’s Gone Crackers.

Image credit: Lisa Mair

Superfood Chocolate Bark

This is divine… Not only is it delicious and sooo satisfying, but it is totally good for you! All of the ingredients are rich in nutrients and antioxidants. It’s so rich that you only need a little bit.

  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw cacao powder
  • Splash of vanilla extract (glycerin based is better than alcohol based)
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ½ cup hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup goji berries
  • 1 tsp maca powder (optional – great for hormone balance)

Allow the maple syrup to come to room temperature. Melt the coconut oil gently. Remove from heat immediately after it liquifies. Mix together raw cacao powder and melted coconut oil. Stir in the maple syrup, starting with a half cup. Add a little more if you like it a bit sweeter. Stir in the vanilla, chia, hemp, and goji berries, and maca if using.

Once fully incorporated, spread it out onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. It should be thin enough that you’ll be able to break it apart easily. Place in the freezer for about an hour. When it’s frozen, remove from freezer and break into random pieces. Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer.

Note this is very customizable – you can start with the basic chocolate recipe (cacao, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla) and add in anything else that appeals to you like pistachios, craisins, almonds, walnuts, shredded coconut, crystallized ginger, cinnamon, etc.

Image credit: Meal Makeover Moms on

A Magic Trick: Cooking More + Having More Free Time

Cooking healthy, whole foods regularly is now a way of life for me. I love cooking and am always experimenting with new things. As you can imagine, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It’s the life of a chef!

I’m fortunate to have a flexible schedule, so I can decide in the afternoon that I want to make some particular meal for dinner, go out to the store in the afternoon and cook it up in time for dinner. But I do realize that is not the case for most people with full time jobs, young kids, and other time intensive responsibilities.

Over the years, cleansers (as well as friends, family, acquaintances… pretty much anyone that knows I’m a chef) have asked me to offer personal chef services so they can easily eat healthy, high quality, home cooked meals more regularly. Since we are always looking for ways to make the Ultimate Rejuvenation Cleanse easier for our participants, I decided to be brave and start offering prepared meals this year!

The response has been huge and I’m really enjoying making meals for our cleansers and hearing how much they loved it! Getting that kind of feedback nourishes my soul.

As I’m now cooking for many families, it’s been necessary to plan ahead and get more scheduled in my meal preparations, which admittedly doesn’t come naturally to my free spirit. However, my kitchen has turned into a bit of a store! I have all kinds of beautiful meals ready to go in mason jars. Since I always have some extra on hand, it’s like I’m taking care of myself as well. When I’m out and about, I look forward to coming home to my own house and having a selection of delicious, healthy, home cooked meals to choose from.

This past Monday I came home from the morning practice and had kitchari for breakfast, lunch was Mulligatawny Soup, and I finished the day with kale and white bean soup. Totally delicious, cleansing, and satisfying.

I’ve never experienced anything quite like this before – there is something very special about having a meal lovingly prepared for you. Seeing all the beautiful jars of healthy food in my refrigerator felt like a gift from someone else.  Although I am cooking more, it feels like I’m cooking less because of the free time my new schedule has created. I’ve been taking my dog for more walks, doing more yoga, reading, and contemplating getting a massage. Despite the fact that I’m doing more work, the advance planning makes it feel like so much less. I also feel less stressed.

This is my easiest cleanse ever, and it could be yours too!

So my recommendation to you, if you want to eat healthy and have more free time, either take a few minutes to plan/prep your meals ahead in batches, or let me do your cooking for you.

Either way, it’s a win!

To learn more about Chef Charlotte’s meal services, go to her website.

Cleanse Friendly Super Bowl Food!

One thing we pride ourselves on is that you can actually enjoy food on our cleanse! And I don’t mean, only eating something healthy that fills your belly, I mean really enjoying the taste of the food and feeling good after you eat it! You can even eat delicious, filling food at parties on the Ultimate Rejuvenation Cleanse. Case in point… this tasty layered bean dip that you can bring to your Super Bowl gathering this weekend! It has all the flavor of the unhealthy versions, without any of the junk. Go Pats!

Mexican Layer Dip

  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced, or crushed
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 recipe of refried beans (recipe below)
  • 1 recipe of guacamole (recipe below)

Mix ingredients from onion through lime juice in a medium bowl. Layer refried beans along bottom of casserole pan, followed by a layer of guacamole, and then the tomato mixture. Serve with Beanitos, sliced jicama, or flax crackers.

Refried Beans

  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2, 15-oz cans pinto beans, rinsed or cooked from scratch
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 1 poblano chili stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • ½ red pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice

Blend broth and all but one cup of beans in food processor until smooth. Heat oil in 12- inch skillet. Sauté onion and peppers until softened. Add salt, garlic, and cumin stirring frequently until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beans and stir until thoroughly combined. Reduce heat to medium and cook until beans are thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and lime juice.


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (wash hands immediately after)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or crushed
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup diced fresh tomato

Cut the avocados in half. Remove seed. Scope the insides out with a spoon. Mash the avocado with fork, potato masher, or your hands. Add the remaining ingredients and mix with a large spoon. Serve with chili, refried beans, salad dishes, freshly cut veggies, or flax crackers.

Note: When you are done mashing, you can rub the avocado from your hands onto your face for an all natural, beautifying spa treatment. Leave on for 10-15 minutes. Remember to wash it off before going to the party!



Vegan Cheddar Cheese Spread

Italian herb flatbread crackers with bacon cheddar cheese spread on a rustic wooden surface

If you’re having a cheese craving, but don’t want all the negative side effects of dairy, try this sumptuous vegan cheddar cheese!


1½ cups raw cashew pieces, soaked in water overnight, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes in oil (try to drain the oil a bit from the tomato pieces)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp dry sherry (optional)
1 heaping Tbsp mellow white miso
1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp dry ground mustard powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp turmeric
dash cayenne pepper
½ cup organic coconut oil, warmed until liquified


Place the soaked cashews, sun dried tomatoes, nutritional yeast, dry sherry, miso, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, onion powder, mustard powder, smoked paprika, turmeric, cayenne, and coconut oil in a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse until the mixture starts to form a paste, scraping down the sides as necessary.

Process until the mixture is completely smooth. If your food processor or blender is struggling to blend the mixture, add purified water, one tablespoon at a time to help it to keep turning over (to a maximum of three tablespoons of water).

Scrape the soft cheese into a container. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or until the cheese is firm. You can then spread the cheese onto healthy crackers for a satisfying snack! We like Flackers, Mary’s Gone Crackers, and brown rice crackers.