When I was much younger, my unspoken rule was “once a favorite, always a favorite.” Forever. But no more…I’ve learned that I’m quite fickle when it comes to favorite things, and that they change over time. What are my current favorites? Here are the things I can’t imagine not having in my life…for the time being, anyway.

  • My SodaStream sparkling water maker – I love this device, and I can’t believe how easy it is to use. I fill the flask with water, do three short pumps to fizz it up, and I have instant softly sparkling water. I’ve had the device for maybe two months, and it’s almost paid for itself already because I don’t buy the imported bottled sparkling water any more. I also like that I don’t have to carry heavy cases of water back from the store. An added bonus is that it uses fewer resources so it’s kinder to the planet. But the real benefit is that I drink a lot more water every day.
  • Dillon’s small batch rhubarb bitters – Bitters have been around a long time and have experienced a surge in popularity in recent years. Bitters are known as digestive aids, and can calm an upset stomach as well as easing other digestive discomforts. Historically, bitters were used in cocktails, but they’re also great when mixed with water, or even used in some foods. It takes just a few drops to jazz up a glass of water and make it much more appealing. 

    Dillon’s small batch rhubarb bitters is a recent discovery for me. I really like the rhubarb flavor – another reason why I’m drinking a lot more water than I used to. I also like the spray version; four or five quick spritzes directly onto the tongue a few minutes before eating really gets the digestive juices flowing. Let’s see how long it stays on my favorites list!

  • Smoothies – It just goes to show how preferences can change over time…I’d never even tasted a smoothie until maybe three years ago. They were a completely foreign idea to me. I didn’t like the idea of drinking food, and I really didn’t like the notion of drinking vegetables. But a taste sample at my local grocery store persuaded me that I should get over it. The sample was, I’m sure, more fruit than vegetable – and it tasted really good! Now I love the fact that in five minutes I can whiz up leafy greens, fruit, and healthy fat, and call it lunch. I also like that I can toss in my multivitamins and probiotic powder. And no more wasted fruits or vegetables; if I think I’m not going to use up an item, I freeze it for using later in a smoothie.

    Did I mention that I add flaxseed, chia, and hemp seeds as well?! The seeds make the smoothies a bit thicker than usual, which I like a lot; as you can see from the photo, after I add a dollop of home-made soy yoghurt, it looks like a dish of pudding and whipped cream!

  • Gluten free bread mix – Hot buttered toast and jam used to be one of my favorite breakfasts, but my current dietary requirements have put paid to them! I’ve searched far and wide for good gluten free bread and my current favorite is Sukrin bread mix with sunflower and pumpkin seeds. It’s nutty and dense, contains only one gram of carbohydrates per slice, and makes great toast. And best of all, it comes as a mix for you to make at home. It’s like magic! The wonderful smell of baking bread, without the measuring, mixing, kneading, and rising. Just mix with water, pour into the perfectly-sized (provided) loaf pan, and bake for 70 minutes. You can also use the same mix to make bread rolls, or tortilla-sized wraps. The bread is also available in the UK on the Sukrin site where you can find more recipes and uses.

    I buy the mixes in packs of five online from SukrinUSA.com but they also sell the packages individually. When I make the loaf, I cut it into slices, and separate each slice with a piece of parchment or greaseproof paper. Then I seal the loaf in a plastic bag, and pop it into the freezer; when I’m ready for a treat, I can easily pull out a single slice. Completely yummy. What could be easier or better?

  • Image shows slices of Sukrin bread with tomatoes, as described in this article about favorites on CALMERme

  • My favorite quote – I used to volunteer at the Ceres Community Project, an organization that provides free, nutritionally dense meals to people going through a health crisis. For many, eating a plant-based diet – with an emphasis on making every bite count towards healing – is new and different. And maybe not always enjoyed as much as the person’s usual diet. However, one client totally “got” the Ceres mission, as you can see in this quote from her: “Eating to be strong is better than eating for happy taste buds.”

    I find this simple sentence to be incredibly powerful, and whenever I find myself tempted by something I shouldn’t eat, I recite it to myself. I have it stuck on my office wall. Since I like to share the good things in my life, please feel free to adopt it as your new mantra too. It will be on my favorites list for a long time to come.

What are your current favorites? Let’s share them so we can all benefit…

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