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Taste of St. Croix 2017 – 17th Year Centennial Edition

Last year, my husband and I made the move to St. Croix, having it coincide with the largest culinary event of the year, Taste of St. Croix.  We arrived with just 3 pieces of luggage between the both of us having arrived to a place sight unseen, without knowing a soul or even where we were going to live but somehow, it all worked out.  This year, I had the honor of serving on the judging panel for the centennial edition of Taste, almost as a wonderful foodie-anniversary celebration to solidify our love for this island.

Via their website:

I was so thrilled to be part of an event that introduced me to the top culinary talents of the island and meet everyone from celebrity chefs like Tiffany Derry and local food goddess, Tanisha Bailey-Roka aka Crucian Contessa to Caribbean cultural icon, Foxy Callwood.

One of the dishes I judged from the soup/stew category.

Taste of St. Croix is a foodie’s utopic dream paradise.  The rum already flows so freely here in the Caribbean but this is especially true for Taste where participating vendors put their own twist on it by infusing it with local flavor and flare.  To accompany the eternal flow of libations, is the best edible display of everything from fine dining to local fare.  Trust me, you will not leave hungry.

I loved witnessing the farm to fork movement present in so many of the dishes.  Kemit-Amon Lewis was there to share his reef responsible initiative and the colors of the Caribbean gleamed so brightly from the beautifully plated dishes to the crashing aqua waves right by the venue.

The Taste of St. Croix is not to be missed if you’re on island.  It is a culmination of some of the U.S. Virgin Island’s best and brightest stars and does a beautiful job of presenting our food, culture, spirit and love.  As if I needed another reminder, it is just yet another illustration of the rich diversity that our little rock has to offer.  The idyllic tropical setting is a beautiful distraction but the outstanding culinary offerings is not to be forgotten either.

 

Natural Sleep Hacks

Insomnia.  That creeping, annoying foe that lurks around.  It’s no stranger to me.  Over the years, I’ve cultivated an efficient plan of attack and wanted to share it with you in hopes that it helps someone else too.  As you know, I’m a naturalista at heart and many of the tips I’m sharing with you today are holistic or DIY-based.

Of course at the top of my list are essential oils.  I’ve touched on them several times before and they always play a starring role in my video DIYS.  Valerian, lavender and Roman chamomile are particularly wonderful for stress relief and sleep.  My favorite way to use them are through a diffuser but you could also opt to make your own “bed spray” by combining a few drops of one or all of them and diluting it with organic witch hazel.  I highly recommend storing it in an amber glass bottle so that the light doesn’t disrupt its properties.

Taking a warm bath with epsom salts can really help soothe and calm you, not to mention it drops your core temperature, making sleep come by more comfortably.  Unfortunately, we don’t have a tub in our place so I’ve been taking this magnesium which has been helping with my anxiety as well.  I like the plain one since I can swish it into my own cup of tea without any added flavors or sweetener.  Magnesium has been a wonderful addition to my routine as it helps restore balance to my cells and I can feel an immediate difference afterwards.

Putting my phone in night mode has helped me not get distracted by the “blue light” glare that can disrupt melatonin.  Similarly, a night time light bulb can also aid in getting to sleep by cutting out blue light.

This next one is probably my favorite since I love the taste.  Tart cherry juice contains a natural source of melatonin so when I enjoy a glass or two about 45 minutes before bedtime, I find that the quality of my sleep improves.  Oh, and the fact that it’s rich in good-for-your-skin antioxidants doesn’t hurt either.

While we’re on the subject of drinks, valerian, chamomile and kava teas are all very nice to help you unwind and while I’m taking my time and slowly sipping them {which is a nice, calming ritual in itself}, I’ll put on some pink noise in the background.  I’ve always looked towards white noise to help me fall asleep but a recent study found that it’s actually pink noise {like the sound of water} that works better.  Anyways, something about being near the water has always comforted me so it’s a win-win.

Speaking of, if you ask these two, probably the ultimate way to tucker yourself out is after a long day at the beach.

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