mediterranean diet
Avocado pesto & yummy fruit gummies! 

I hope you're enjoying summer as it's flying by. I'm currently in my 37th week of my pregnancy (speaking of flying by) the big day is in my near future. In an effort to show you some extra love (since you may not receive a newsletter next month with Baby Grogan making it's appearance and needing most of my time), I'm including two summer recipes below that I hope you enjoy. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this email for a few blog posts that you may have missed from this past month as well where I included a few other summer-friendly recipes.

I'm off to patiently await Baby Grogan's arrival - whenever that's meant to be. This whole experience has made me fall so much deeper into my yoga practice by forcing me to slow down, honor my body, not take things so seriously and most importantly TRUST myself. All of this realization in just 8.5 months...who the heck knows what else is yet to be discovered once I have this little one!

Wishing you a wonderful rest of the week and summer.

Lauren F. Grogan
Holistic Health Coach
Registered Yoga Teacher
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Avocado Pesto Pasta (or Spread)
with SOBA noodles, or not!
This is such a refreshing recipe and it's so simple to throw together. It's my favorite for lunch.

Soba means buckwheat in Japanese. Although some versions of soba noodles contain wheat, you can find soba noodles made with just buckwheat flour - this happens to be my favorite brand (and they have different blends which are so yummy), King Soba. These noodles, used in both hot and cold dishes, look like spaghetti but have a nuttier flavor. Nutritionally soba noodles are similar to spaghetti, but they offer some additional benefits. Buckwheat is high in fiber & in quality protein (who knew?). Soba noodles are also FULL of minerals and provide iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and potassium. They're also a great source of B vitamins (hello energy!).

The cool things about soba noodles are:
1. They are gluten free (just be sure the ones you purchase are, some brands actually are NOT).
2. They take 4-5 minutes to cook!
3. They are super yummy hot or cold.
While the water is coming to a boil I throw the pesto together in my NutriBullet and slice organic grape tomatoes so that by the time the noodles are done cooking everything is ready to be mixed together. It couldn't be simpler.

Note: If you're not up for tossing this pesto with pasta, no worries!  I loved blending some together and storing in a jar in the fridge (with avocado pit and a few sliced grape tomatoes so it doesn't brown) to spread on my wraps or sandwiches. Just as tasty!

1 package soba noodles
1 bunch basil leaves
1/2 cup walnuts (I always throw in a few Brazil nuts too for selenium!)
2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Handful or more organic grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1. In a pot, bring water to a rolling boil. Add soba noodles and cook to package direction. While noodles cook, in a blender or food processor, blend basil, nuts, avocados, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper.
2. Drain noodles and rinse briefly with cold water. In a large bowl, toss pesto with noodles and garnish each plate with grape tomato slices and crushed walnuts. Enjoy!
2-Ingredient Gummies   
GELATIN: I know I've spoke about gelatin in past newsletters but it's always worth bringing up again. I am sure to consume gelatin or collagen each day for both skin and gut health. Just to clarify, gelatin powder is what gels in liquids and is best used to thicken things while collagen powder will not thicken, in fact you can sneak collagen powder into so many different foods and drinks. (I do this all the time, Lammer never knows!). I ONLY recommend Great Lakes gelatin and/or collagen which can be found on Amazon. I do not recommend purchasing just any brand...this brand specifically raise happy and healthy, grass-fed cows. This recipe calls for gelatin powder, which is the RED bottle. Gelatin/collagen are amazing for skin, hair and nail growth. It helps to tighten lose skin and even may improve cellulite. It improves digestion by healing the gut (this is a major reason why I promote and love it so much). It's also a nice source of protein and a wonderful anti-inflammatory.

FRUIT JUICE: Now, I'm NOT a fan of fruit juice - in my house I tease and call it "sugar water." Fruit is great and super yummy...fruit juice all the more because it's just a glass of concentrated sugary goodness, but usually with a few other additives that aren't needed. It is NOT something that I purchase or keep in the house, and certainly something that I don't encourage us to drink on the regular, ESPECIALLY kids! I love encouraging people to lightly sweeten their water with pieces/squeezes of fruit instead of the major sugar rush and side effects. However, for this recipe, I'm making an exception!  In the world of fruit juices, I happen to kind of like what Honest is all about. Their "summer refreshers" are totally yummy blends of fruit juice that are non-gmo, fair trade and organic. For this recipe, I used the mango lemonade flavor!

GUMMY TEXTURE: I'm a HUGE texture person when it comes to food. The funkier the texture, the more I usually like the food!  Now, while I call these "gummies"  we have to remember that we're dealing with real food here (not toxin-filled candies made in a factory), so that gooey, sticky texture of a Gummy Bear is not quite what these come out like. But, I still love them and hope you (and your kiddies) do to!

2 cups organic fruit juice
7 - 8 tablespoons unflavored gelatin  (depending on the texture you prefer for your fruit chew...the more, the tougher, the less...the more like jello)
silicone tray molds

1. Place 1 cup of juice in a bowl and add gelatin powder. Let absorb for 30 seconds and then stir thoroughly to create a paste.
2. Heat the remaining 1 cup of juice in a pot on the stove over medium heat until steaming.
3. Add one spoonful of the juice paste at a time, while whisking. Whisk thoroughly once all of the paste has been added.
4. Pour into silicone molds. If you don't have molds, pour into cookie tray and cut with knife unto squares after it's harden.
5. Refrigerate for a good 30 mins - 1 hour before removing from trays and store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week. Enjoy!
Kirtan @ Soulful Awakenings
Saturday, August 8th at 6:30pm 
Didn't make it to last month's kirtan? My friends and I in That Kirtan Band, will be hosting another kirtan at Soulful Awakenings. All are welcome, especially newbies!  Please come to share your voice with us and experience the bliss. (Kirtan is devotional chanting, a form of Bhakti yoga.) 
Lauren's Bloggings & Archive 
Here's what I've been blogging about during this past month:

Summer Gazpacho
My Pregnancy (so far)
Moment of Silence for Swami Veda
Summer Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing
Nourishing Bone Broth in 5 Simple Steps

If you're behind on some newsletters, here is a full archive