Cantaloupe Aqua Fresca with Green Tea

My sister and I watched Dad turn and fertilize the soil of his garden. Plant seedling plants for the tomatoes, string beans, black-eyed peas, squash, zucchini, and cantaloupe. We mostly watched the cantaloupe grow into long vines. Among the leaves, small buds gradually grew to burst into yellow blossoms. Then the beginning of the cantaloupe would appear. When it was at full size, my sister and I started a non-verbal game of who can get to the melon first. Picking a melon too early resulted in a bland taste, but if it stayed too long on the vine, it would rot on the ground. A melon is ready when the bottom has an overripe, sweet smell. My sister had the advantage of watching the melons, because her bedroom window over looked the garden. Often, I would come home to find her finishing a whole melon. When I found a just ripe melon, I would eat it in less than 20 minutes. One year, Dad complained he never ate a melon from the garden, because my sister and I found them first.

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Lavender Lemonade

We talk about eating balance meals, regularly working out, and decreasing stress to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, the importance of sleep is rarely mentioned. Receiving seven to eight hours of sleep improves the memory, encourages the brain to embrace new ideas, helps control weight, and builds the immune system. Personally, to get my daily-recommended hours of sleep, I’m striving to begin the evening by turning off the computer. No checking emails, for my responses are more effective in the morning. FaceBook friends and fans can wait for tomorrow, and my influence on Twitter ends a little after dinnertime. Creative projects are scheduled for the afternoons, for working in the super early morning hours is an old college habit that must die. Getting a better night’s rest and more hours of sleep requires me to have better time management and efficiently organize daily tasks. It’s difficult at first, but I’m rediscovering calmer evenings.

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Celebrate the Fourth of July weekend with a few cocktails. Craig Samuel, co-owner of Peaches Restaurant in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn has three special drinks for the July 4th weekend (they’re probably available year round, tell the bartender MyLifeRunsOnFood.com sent you): Blackberry Smash Infused with Blackberry Vodka, White Julep (a variation on a mint julep using clear corn liquor), and Stuyvesant Sidecar. Their signature cocktail, The Brownstone Punch is the popular sweet thirst-quencher with the locals. Read more

Smoothie No. 14: Blood Orange
Smoothie No. 14: Blood Orange
Smoothie No. 14: Blood Orange

Blood Orange is no. 14 of the Smoothie Numbers series. They’re quick postings listing the ingredients for making refreshing, healthy drinks in a blender.

Blood Orange Smoothie

Ingredients: The juice of 3 to 4 Blood Oranges; 2 tbsp. unsweetened Greek yogurt; 2 tsp. honey (adjust according to the sweetness of the fruit); the juice of 1/2 a lime; 1/2 cup milk (any unsweetened nut, rice, or cow’s milk); 1/4 tsp. vanilla; 1/2-inch peeled fresh ginger, roughly chopped; and 1 slice banana