Spring Tea Time Treats

We’ve jumped from winter to winter to oh my, is that spring we see?  There was that one blissful 60s weekend and the tulips have somehow managed to peek out of the ground and stretch their leafy arms.  What’s best way to enjoy the promise of such weather? With a break, of course.  A very classy wafel break. We Americans have been doing our break all wrong, you see.  We’ve been missing the stroopwafel, a cookie made of  two thin Dutch waffle-like wafers with gooey caramel in-between.  When we first received a sample box from Rip van Wafels, we screamed in delight.  The presentation of the monthly coffee/tea & stroopwafels was cuter than a bucket of bunnies cuddling puppies. Vanwafels Numi Breakfast Blend tea, the featured beverage, was packed in a handle mason jar with two legions of  individually wrapped wafels on each side.  Numi is a perfect partner for Rip Van Wafels with it’s focus on fair trade and organic products. First things first, we didn’t follow the suggested directions of placing the stroopwafel over a steamy beverage to warm the ooey-gooey caramel loveliness inside.  After about 4 days of mindless wafel munching (Kate received and commandeered the wafels at her house), Monica closely examined the packaging and realized the delicacies of this Dutch tradition, koffietijd, or a mid morning coffee and wafel break.

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Heating our wafels up with Numi Tea

Subscribers to Rip van Wafels will get a new coffee or tea in each box as well as sturdy traditional stroopwafels or their fanciful cousin, the cocoa filled wafel.  We are curious to know how the cocoa filled wafel would stand up to our Chicago micro-roasting coffee companies.  Yumm, delicious collaboration could be on the horizon!


Picture courtesy of Rip van Wafels

So what say you America, shall we start a mindful revolution of stroopwafeling and mid morning time outs? We say let’s import the Dutch tradition and while we’re at it, let’s bring back the old school kindergarten nap time to the adult work world too!


Relax with Reflexology

When you feel an ache or pain, what’s the first thing you do?  Pop a pill, see a doctor?  Modern medicine helps but is it the only option?


Alternative therapies, although rich in history, are not really the typical “American way”.  But what we don’t know could be hurting us.  Your low back pain, knee, thigh or hip issues, depression, digestion or reproductive health concerns could be relieved by reflexology.

Recently, we attended an Intro to Reflexology class hosted by Jane G. Doyle (President of YouHealYou and author of Expect Your Miracle) and taught by Sarah Preusker (board certified reflexologist).  Ms. Doyle actually started You Health You based on her own experiences with chronic pain and her journey to heal herself without the crutch of never ending pills.  When we settled into the class, we realized that we would literally be doing “hands on” foot work.


So what is reflexology? It is a thumb and finger finger pressure technique on the feet, hands and ears which purportedly has an affect on every part of the body, inside and out.

During the workshop,  people were partnered up so we braved each other’s lack of pedicures, brushed off the toe fuzz and got down to business.   We began with exploring of the bones  in the feet. It was intriguing to feel how each toe has different joints and each bone travels into the base if the foot.  After thoroughly wiggling our partner’s toes and meandering around the joints (we had a continual flow of quizzical looks on our faces while doing this), it was time for foot art!



Sarah led us through which parts of the foot connected to parts of the body.  As we followed along, we shaded washable marker diagrams on each other’s tootsies to signify different systems: digestion, reproduction, heart, and more.


We had to skedaddle a little early for work so we didn’t get to stay for more technique assistance and deeper instruction on which parts of the foot could be pressed to relieve issues.

So why attend?  The class was easy to follow, definitely enjoyable and Sarah was a nurturing practitioner.  She made rounds throughout the class and offered assistance to each group.  It was also relaxing (for those of you who don’t have foot aversions) to use/have pressure on the feet.  Sarah noted once you learned the proper pressure for reflexology, you could enlist your partner, foot friendly friend or family member to put the vice grip on you.

So the question is: does Reflexology work to reduce pain, anxiety or illness?  Kate had been having sinus problems and the matching foot area was tender and responsive.  Coincidence?  The ped-jury is still out.  Various studies show mixed results so proceed with caution and look for a reputable practitioner.

As we got lost in the toe-ment (hahahah pun!), we were beginning to think it was time to change careers to become reflexologists…but then we realized we were more just touchy squeezy foot amateurs.

So what about you?  Would you like to have an alternate means to improve your health?  Check out the next You Heal You Reflexology event at Tribe Healing Arts on Sunday, June 22nd!



Thanks to Christina Giordano for the invitation!

Gluten Free Goodies: The Real McCoy

How many times have you spent hours in the grocery store looking for a treat and trying to avoid gluten, GMOs, corn syrup, MSG, yellow number everything (the list goes on and on)?  Dang, you know it’s hard out there for a snacker!

Well we are on a quest to fulfill your inner healthy snack urges!

Recently, we were given the opportunity to entertain our taste buds with some samples from Christi Communications.    (We weren’t paid in cash but instead in gluten free goodies!).

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Our favorite bites were Real McCoy’s Rice Chips and Rice Puffs.  We both eyed the Baked Vermont White Cheddar Rice Puffs first and gave each other an intense stare down as the bag rested in the middle of the table.  When we finally compromised to share them, we loved the airy crispy puffs with a dusting of light cheddar flavor. For more spice, try the Jalapeno Cheddar or Hatch Chile Rice Puffs.

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The Salt and Pepper crisps we tried were heartier and held up well when dipped in salsa and guac.  Monica liked Real McCoy’s so much she went and snagged her own bag of Worchester & Chives Rice Crisps.

Real McCoy’s other offerings include Sweet & Spicy Rice Chips or try the Wheatberry (not gluten-free) Chips.

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Real McCoy’s is available at many natural grocery stores and continue to expand (even at Burlington Coat Factory or Home Goods) and is even sold on Amazon.  And yes, they are GMO, gluten and guilt free :).

Like their Facebook page here for more updates.  Want to more gluten free goodies? Check out the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in Schaumburg, IL next weekend!



Snacks ahoy!!