Keeping Your Gut Healthy All Summer

Keeping Your Gut Healthy All Summer

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Summer comes with laid-back vibes, later bedtimes, and subsequently, lazy eating habits. It’s the time of year when we most want to kick back, take it easy, and usually end up ordering out. I’m doing my best at home to keep things even-keeled, but it’s an inevitable beast. Eventually, the lazy summer monster gets us all.

One of the ways I try to keep the good stuff going in with a busy schedule and two kids, is by enjoying a delicious smoothie each day with the family. We enjoy participating in smoothie challenges and coming up with new and interesting recipes to keep the kids engaged in healthy habits. Good Karma Flaxmilk is a wonderful way to add protein to your smoothies. It’s made with cold-pressed flax seed oil, a rich source of Omega- 3’s without all of the calories. Plus, it’s dairy-free for my lactose sensitive boys. I use both the Unsweetened and Vanilla flavors depending on the type of smoothie I’m making.

Smoothie Recipe

This Banana Mango Protein Smoothie is excellent! It’s the perfect frosty beverage for summertime (you can add spinach or kale to turn it into a green smoothie. Just add 16oz of frozen mango to 3 cups of Good Karma Flaxmilk, add 1 ripe banana and blend. It’s a simple favorite that is frosty and refreshing. It’s easy to take this on the go on a summer adventure.

Smoothie

Probiotics is a great source of good gut bacteria necessary for optimal gut function.  Traditional Chinese Medicine believes the gut is the epi-center of the body. That without it’s optimal health, the rest of the body cannot function effectively. Implementing healthy gut behavior with Drinkable Yogurt, yogurt packs, and probiotics is essential to our well-being.

Good Karma Drinkable Yogurt  is packed with dairy-free probiotics, making it a great summer treat by the pool. It’s easy on-the-go caps mean you can just drop it into the cooler and enjoy.

Smoothie

I rest easier knowing I’m injecting good practices even while enjoying our laid-back summer vibes. The kids enjoy the dairy-free yogurt as a fun summer treat. With up to seven live and active cultures, Omega-3 healthy fats, and five to six grams of plant-based protein, I’m happy to let them enjoy this delicious snack.

Kefir

Essentially yours,

Erika

Amara Cay Resort – Islamorada

Amara Cay Resort – Islamorada

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received complimentary accommodations and meals in order to facilitate my review. As always all opinions and obsession with travel and food are 100% my own.

Sand between your toes, salty air, or the sound of the palm leaves rustling in the breeze. Whatever it is that brings you to Islamorada, Amara Cay will make sure you ‘ll want to stay.

Our first Islamorada experience started a few years ago. A family trip with the kids, we enjoyed (what we thought at the time) all the island had to offer. Fishing, sailing, snorkeling, you name it. It wasn’t until our recent trip to the Amara Cay Resort that I realized it’s a wonderful location for a romantic getaway. We left the kids behind this time and discovered a different kind of island vibe, one we won’t soon forget.

Florida Keys

Accommodations

If you follow me on Facebook or Insta-Stories, no doubt you’ve likely seen a live video or pictures of the beautiful wooden details that adorn this seaside resort. The lobby is filled with hanging wicker chairs, gorgeous green vases housing local palms, and even a selfie wall! The pristine beach-side property is perfect for reconnecting with each other.

Florida Keys
Greeted by refreshing citrus water as you check in.

We stood in on of the ocean view suites on the top floor. This guarantees gorgeous views of the sunrise each morning and a bright blue sky competing with a spectacular ocean view.

FL Keys

FL Keys

The decor is inviting and spa-like, we spent two mornings nestled in a sea of cozy white comforters taking in the view.

Amara Cay

The ocean view suites invite you to indulge, explore, and restore. So we did..

Amara Cay Resort

Amenities

A quiet pool-side welcomed us with a view of the ocean from both the lounge area and the rum bar. It’s just what we needed to unwind and relax. These views are endless!

The beach-side cabanas house plenty of seats to soak up the sun,or take a dip in the salt water and swim out to the massive float. We spent some time here and on the private “adults only” beach area during the day, then enjoyed the sea breeze at night after dinner by the fire with a glass of wine.

Amara Cay

During the day you can hang in the courtyard with yet another incredible view. There is ping-pong and corn hole for fun, and a sitting area to catch some shade in between naps and pina colada’s.

Florida Keys
Maybe just one more nap..

There are free non-motorized water sports available at The Sea Monkey located right on the beach. There is kayaking and paddle boarding, but all we could think of this trip was rest and relaxation. Quiet strolls along the beach, taking a dip in the pool, and napping every chance we could. We also ate from time to time. Boy did we eat..

Food

The tiki bar by the pool offers plenty of delicious options to choose from. I highly recommend the burger and our favorite, the Tostachos. These were incredible and could easily serve as a lunch for two. Roast pork on top of large friend plantains called Tostones, topped with a heavenly guacamole mix. The burger was served with a pickled cole slaw that added both crunch and flavor. We paired this with a couple of frozen drinks by the pool and of course took another nap.

Oltremare, the in-house restaurant located in the lobby and dining area is currently undergoing some renovations in order to become “Reel Burger”, which sounds incredible from all of the updates they were making behind the scenes.

Amara Cay

We enjoyed dinner and breakfast at Oltremare, both were delicious.

We sat at the bar and polished off all of this food with a glass of wine, took a walk on the beach to enjoy to cool ocean breeze, and sat by the nightly bonfire. It was just what the doctor ordered! Each morning we got up, had breakfast downstairs, and hit the ocean immediately.

Amara Cay

The pace in Islamorada was perfect for us. We took each day as it came and did exactly what we wanted, WHEN we wanted. There is no greater gift as a parent. From sunrise to sunset, it was all about us. The Amara Cay Resort made us feel as though were a world away, when in actuality we were only three hours South of home.

Islamorada

On our second night we were treated to dinner and drinks. We started the evening at the Tiki Bar at Amara Cay’s sister-property, The Post Card Inn. This hotel is fantastic and right up our alley. The vintage vibe made we want to snap all day long. It’s a family friendly hotel with suites on the sand, and plenty for the kids to do on the beach all day and by the pool.

The Post Card Inn

After drinks, we walked across to The Ciao Hound. An adorable dog-friendly restaurant with a sweet setup for the pups. We scored a great window seat and sat and had real conversations that had nothing to do with parenting, it was glorious!

The food was excellent, and the staff was incredible! We spent some time enjoying a glass of wine on their front porch as the sun lit up the ski with its dewy amber glow. A big sunset was brewing and we knew we had to get seaside to see it unfold. But first, dessert..

Ciao Hound
Heavenly Tiramisu

The shuttle from Amara Cay runs on demand and dropped us at our dinner location. On the way back we asked for the spot in town to catch the sunset and boy did he deliver a sunset.

Islamorada

We sat on a pier admiring the way the sun kisses the sky with a final goodbye as the night sky emerges. There were families with children, but all was silent. Just the sound of the water dancing against the pier. You can’t help but stand in awe and take it all in. As a parent these moments are fleeting, so we sat there until it was completely dark, ready to enjoy our nightly ritual at Amara Cay Resort. A glass of wine, a walk along the beach listening to the water, and sitting my the bonfire.

Islamorada

It isn’t a trip to the keys without stopping along the colorful local businesses for a piece of some good ol’ key lime pie!

Islamorada

All in all, our trip to Amara Cay was a complete restoration for us and our marriage. We came. We saw. We Amara Cay’d.

Amara Cay

Until next time..

Essentially yours,

Erika

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Amara Cay Resort is located at 80001 Overseas Highway in Islamorada. You can make reservations online, or call (305) 664-0073. Follow Amara Cay Resort on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter!

 

The Bossi is in Boca!

The Bossi is in Boca!

It’s official!

The renowned Louie Bossi Ristorante Bar & Pizzeria found a new home in downtown Boca Raton. Doors opened to the public on May 1st, and the local food bloggers were chomping at the bit to get an invitation. The buzz in Boca started long before the doors first opened. The popular restaurant expanded from its flagship restaurant location in Fort Lauderdale, and Boca was happy to welcome them with open arms!

Louie Bossie
Heather McMechan from LocalMomScoop.com

Part Owner and Executive Chef, Louie Bossi, nestled into the Hyatt Place Hotel on the corner of Federal Highway and Palmetto Park Road. If you live in Boca and haven’t been ogling at the construction, then you’ve been living under a rock! The atmosphere brought the old world charm likened to its sister restaurant, and upped the ante with its corner lot open for everyone to see.

Louie Bossi

Louie Bossi

Louie Bossi

Almost completely booked since it’s May opening, Louie Bossi’s is reviving this corner of Boca Raton and making it a hip place to dine. Word on the street is there will be plenty of music to entertain its guests and make a Boca night on the town a reality! But really, your here for the food. I get it, me too. Let’s start with how knowledgeable the staff was. They were able to offer wine pairings, answer questions, and make EXCELLENT recommendations for a large party looking to satisfy everyone’s cravings. It’s as though a handsome long-lost cousin from Italy is going to feed you and show you what you should drink as you smile and nod. FEED ME.

We started with a bevy of cheese, meats, olives, nuts, and yes fried pastry dough with even more cheese inside. Skip the diet, it’s totally worth it at Louie Bossi!

The buffalo mozzarella was creamy and perfect, while the calamari and garlic dipping sauce were savory and fresh. The sheer amount of charcuterie on these boards was impressive. Along with the very knowledgeable staff to point us in the right direction. Although, I’m certain there is no WRONG direction at Louie Bossi.

Frutti Di Mare

My husband enjoyed the Frutti di Mare. A hearty dish with no shortage of shrimp, mussels, or clams. Tossed in a delicious Marzano sauce with the longest pasta known to man!

Louie Bossi

I enjoyed dining on their infamous steak with potatoes and sautéed Brussel sprouts. The steak was perfectly prepared and garnished with a sprig of rosemary. It paired wonderfully with the crispy fingerling potatoes and crunchy Brussel sprouts.

We enjoyed a selection of wines perfectly paired with our meals. By the time dessert rolled around, we were ready. An ice cream sundae we won’t soon forget accompanied by a divine Tiramisu, and creamy cheesecake.

Louie Bossi

The food is some of the best Italian cuisine I’ve tasted, but Louie Bossie offers much more than that. The ambiance has been described as ” 1940’sRome meets 1940’s Lower East Side NYC.” The old world meets a new Boca. The vibe invites you to come, eat, and stay a while and eat a bit more.

Louie Bossi

Louie Bossi

Louie Bossi

The restaurant is open Monday – Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.  On  Fridays and Saturdays a full dinner menu is served until midnight and pizza served until 1 a.m.The menu can be found online.

Essentially yours,

Erika

 

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