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>The first time I had coconut water I was amazed that it was so different than coconut milk; it is literally as different as water is to milk. All the fat and creaminess associated with coconut milk is like cream being associated with skim milk. Among the benefits of drinking coconut water are all the nutrients like potassium and electrolytes, without any fat.

I tried Zico, a pure coconut water from Brazil, today and I love it for its’ taste, its’ purity (no added sugar or fat) and the container, which is a compact paper carton with a foil pull top. You can literally take it anywhere. It is being marketed as a sport drink alternative since it is loaded with five essential electrolytes, more potassium than a banana, low acidity, no fat, no sugar added, and no cholesterol. Because it is 100% pure coconut water, it is very light and has only the flavor of coconut, but no sweet taste, so Zico has several fruit juice blends for those who want more zest. It’s sold online and in various retail & yoga studios, but I found the best price ($1.49) was at Smart & Final.

It’s not quite the same as drinking it out of an actual coconut, freshly taken off a tree (truly the best way to drink coconut water), but if you close your eyes and drink, you will get a taste of Brazil to tide you over until you can get to the source.

The first time I had coconut water I was amazed that it was so different than coconut milk; it is literally as different as water is to milk. All the fat and creaminess associated with coconut milk is like cream being associated with skim milk. Among the benefits of drinking coconut water are all the nutrients like potassium and electrolytes, without any fat.

I tried Zico, a pure coconut water from Brazil, today and I love it for its’ taste, its’ purity (no added sugar or fat) and the container, which is a compact paper carton with a foil pull top. You can literally take it anywhere. It is being marketed as a sport drink alternative since it is loaded with five essential electrolytes, more potassium than a banana, low acidity, no fat, no sugar added, and no cholesterol. Because it is 100% pure coconut water, it is very light and has only the flavor of coconut, but no sweet taste, so Zico has several fruit juice blends for those who want more zest. It’s sold online and in various retail & yoga studios, but I found the best price ($1.49) was at Smart & Final.

It’s not quite the same as drinking it out of an actual coconut, freshly taken off a tree (truly the best way to drink coconut water), but if you close your eyes and drink, you will get a taste of Brazil to tide you over until you can get to the source.

>Sometimes when good things in life are combined, great things are created; a creperie which serves wines and champagnes by the beach is one of those great things. There is of course the Cafe Crepe in Santa Monica, right on Third Street Promenade (see earlier post), but if you are in Manhattan Beach, there is La Creperie Cafe.

Service was a bit slow, but when we heard that several people did not show up for work the day after Thanksgiving, we felt extremely well served by the one waitress handling the entire restaurant by herself! The manager said that those who did not show up would be replaced, so hopefully the new hires will show up for the upcoming holidays.

The food was very good; from the tasty French Onion soup to the fabulous merguez sausage sandwich with harissa, served with a side salad and wonderfully garlicky french fries, everything was well presented and prepared. The bonus here are the Lavazza coffees and the wine list, both of which provide a variety of choices in quality at very reasonable prices. Lunch for two came in under $35 with drinks and tip; that in and of itself is a rarity in Manhattan Beach in the heart of the boutique/pier area.

The decor is very ecletic and fun, with red walls and fanciful seat covers, this place is definitely comfortable and fun. This is the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch, a nice afternoon snack, or a late night date of drinks and dessert at the beach. Hmmm, I think I’ll have a glass of Champagne with a nice cinnamon sugar crepe on my next visit-a good combo for anytime of day or night!

Sometimes when good things in life are combined, great things are created; a creperie which serves wines and champagnes by the beach is one of those great things. There is of course the Cafe Crepe in Santa Monica, right on Third Street Promenade (see earlier post), but if you are in Manhattan Beach, there is La Creperie Cafe.

Service was a bit slow, but when we heard that several people did not show up for work the day after Thanksgiving, we felt extremely well served by the one waitress handling the entire restaurant by herself! The manager said that those who did not show up would be replaced, so hopefully the new hires will show up for the upcoming holidays.

The food was very good; from the tasty French Onion soup to the fabulous merguez sausage sandwich with harissa, served with a side salad and wonderfully garlicky french fries, everything was well presented and prepared. The bonus here are the Lavazza coffees and the wine list, both of which provide a variety of choices in quality at very reasonable prices. Lunch for two came in under $35 with drinks and tip; that in and of itself is a rarity in Manhattan Beach in the heart of the boutique/pier area.

The decor is very ecletic and fun, with red walls and fanciful seat covers, this place is definitely comfortable and fun. This is the perfect spot for breakfast, lunch, a nice afternoon snack, or a late night date of drinks and dessert at the beach. Hmmm, I think I’ll have a glass of Champagne with a nice cinnamon sugar crepe on my next visit-a good combo for anytime of day or night!

>This Thanksgiving I want to thank all of you who read and follow this blog; I am very grateful for all of you and for your continued interest in my posts.

Today’s post is very short so I can head over to spend Thanksgiving with my family of friends. For anyone who missed the show or lost the link, here is some free holiday music from Oprah which you can download and copy onto a CD or MP3 player (it’s only available until November 28, 2008, so download it today).

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving I want to thank all of you who read and follow this blog; I am very grateful for all of you and for your continued interest in my posts.

Today’s post is very short so I can head over to spend Thanksgiving with my family of friends. For anyone who missed the show or lost the link, here is some free holiday music from Oprah which you can download and copy onto a CD or MP3 player (it’s only available until November 28, 2008, so download it today).

Happy Thanksgiving!

>I have friends who love the adventure of going to Costa Rica (can you say eco-tourism?), but since my idea of camping is no room service, I have hesitated to go and stay in treetop or rustic mountain cabin accommodations. There is an alternative at the Guanacaste Resort, for everyone going to Costa Rica looking for an adventure with American amenities, this is the place to land. The 25,000 square foot free flowing pool with private alcoves is reason enough to visit, but add on the 23 treatment room spa and 18 hole golf course adjoining the property, and you have something for everyone. It’s also a JW Marriott resort, so if you are a member of the system, you get points for your stay that count toward future visits to other properties.

With promo code CNP, your stay is only $249 a night (a 40% discount), includes a deluxe oceanfront room for two, and a complimentary one hour Swedish massage for two. The offer is good from December 1, 2008-December 18, 2009 with a 3 night minimum stay and certain holiday blackout periods.

Maybe it is time for a visit to a rich coastal resort that doesn’t cost realms of money.

I have friends who love the adventure of going to Costa Rica (can you say eco-tourism?), but since my idea of camping is no room service, I have hesitated to go and stay in treetop or rustic mountain cabin accommodations. There is an alternative at the Guanacaste Resort, for everyone going to Costa Rica looking for an adventure with American amenities, this is the place to land. The 25,000 square foot free flowing pool with private alcoves is reason enough to visit, but add on the 23 treatment room spa and 18 hole golf course adjoining the property, and you have something for everyone. It’s also a JW Marriott resort, so if you are a member of the system, you get points for your stay that count toward future visits to other properties.

With promo code CNP, your stay is only $249 a night (a 40% discount), includes a deluxe oceanfront room for two, and a complimentary one hour Swedish massage for two. The offer is good from December 1, 2008-December 18, 2009 with a 3 night minimum stay and certain holiday blackout periods.

Maybe it is time for a visit to a rich coastal resort that doesn’t cost realms of money.

>How would you like your own free personalized internet radio station? Pandora’s Box does that with very simple questions, like what artist or song do you like? Once you type in your response, the system will automatically find similar song qualities and allow you to select what you want played on your new station!

Pandora‘s box grew out of the Music Genome Project®. The project analyzed 400 distinct musical qualities to capture the musical identity of of song and help define why listeners may like certain characteristics. This project was started by musicians and those who love music, (about 70% of the 60,000 artists currently featured on Pandora are independent musicians) and they continue to enhance and evolve as they add new music of every genre to the project.

It is like Apple‘s new Genius application for your iTunes library or your iPod; Genius figures out what you like to listen to and then suggests songs for you to purchase. The twist at Pandora’s Box is that you create your internet station for free! If you have a mobile phone on either the AT&T (the application is included on the iPhone) or Sprint network, you can even listen to your internet station on your phone!

The name Pandora means “all gifted” in Greek and that seems to be a fitting name for a service which provides the gift of free music from talented independent musicians to us all.

How would you like your own free personalized internet radio station? Pandora’s Box does that with very simple questions, like what artist or song do you like? Once you type in your response, the system will automatically find similar song qualities and allow you to select what you want played on your new station!

Pandora‘s box grew out of the Music Genome Project®. The project analyzed 400 distinct musical qualities to capture the musical identity of of song and help define why listeners may like certain characteristics. This project was started by musicians and those who love music, (about 70% of the 60,000 artists currently featured on Pandora are independent musicians) and they continue to enhance and evolve as they add new music of every genre to the project.

It is like Apple‘s new Genius application for your iTunes library or your iPod; Genius figures out what you like to listen to and then suggests songs for you to purchase. The twist at Pandora’s Box is that you create your internet station for free! If you have a mobile phone on either the AT&T (the application is included on the iPhone) or Sprint network, you can even listen to your internet station on your phone!

The name Pandora means “all gifted” in Greek and that seems to be a fitting name for a service which provides the gift of free music from talented independent musicians to us all.

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