March 5, 2015

  1. Truvee from the French

    Click the topmost title and scrollTruvee

    I love a good story and I love a good wine. The McBride Sisters have both.

    Andréa and Robin McBride both grew up in wine country but on different continents. Andréa grew up in Monterey, California and Robin in Marlborough, New Zealand. The two sisters share a father but the girls never even knew of each other’s existence until after he had died. Yet, even before the invention of Internet they managed to find and meet each other. Now they have they have created Truvée. The name is derived from the French verb “to find” and it reflects their amazing story of two sisters finding each other and “finding their vision.” Truvée is their second wine venture, Wines.

    I met with the sisters in Atlanta. Truvée was the official wine of the Atlanta Film Festival. The McBrides invited me to come taste their newly-launched wines and I was delighted. In addition to being beautiful and charming – the ladies know wine. Andréa and Robin are the first African-American sisters to own and found a wine company., a zero carbon wine venture, was their first.

    Andréa described their Central Coast wines as “old world” style. I would agree. Truvee Chardonnay and Red Blend are delicious and beautifully packaged.   

    Truvée is nothing like the recent crop of citrusy and often sweet sub-standard wines marketed to women with cute names. Truvée Red Blend is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Merlot, and Zinfandel. It is full of fruit without being sweet or too jammy. The full-bodied wine was made for BBQ. I will be serving Truvée Red

    Blend this summer with my favourite grilled dishes.

    For my oenophile readers here are the tasting notes from Truvée:

    Alex and Robin McBrideAlex and Robin

    Nose: Blueberry, blackberry, and red cherry notes

    Palate: Full body, blackberry, blueberry, and red cherry, with the addition of caramel and cocoa-influenced from the use of French oak and very light, soft, tannins.

    Finish: A long, smooth, decadent finish

    Blend of Grenache, Syrah, Merlot, and Zinfandel

    I will admit California Chardonnay is tough for me. I dislike the heavy oak flavour that you find in many of them. Truvée Chardonnay is lightly-oaked so the crisp flavours of pear and citrus come through with a warm hint of vanilla. It is a delightful white wine with that pairs perfectly with tricky to pair  menus like Thai and Indian. This is a Chardonnay I enjoyed drinking.

    Tasting notes from Truvée

    Nose: Pear, pineapple, green apple, honeysuckle, and citrus

    Palate: Tropical Fruit, white peach, citrus with just a hint of vanilla from a light use of French oak.

    Finish: A long, clean and crisp finish

    I was surprised when Robin told me that the Chardonnay was only $15.99 a bottle. It tasted like a more expensive wine. That is also price for the Red Blend.



  2. Use “The Emotion Code” to lose weight

    download (10)Click the topmost title and scroll

    Dr. Bradley Nelson, a holistic physician and author of the bestselling book, The Emotion Code, says understanding your emotions can be the key to maintaining a healthy weight. Many people fail at dieting because then never treat the emotional triggers that cause them to overeat. Dr. Nelson tells readers, “It may just surprise you to find that your body actually wants to have a choice in what you are eating.” Dr. Nelson is also an international lecturer in bio-energetic medicine and energy psychology. He has helped thousands of patients. 

    Dr. Nelson’s Five Steps to Pound-Shedding Success:

    Find Your Triggers: Spend some time thinking about events in your past that make you sad or anxious. “Realize what is going on in your own mind that is triggering you to want to do the emotional eating. That is half the battle.”

    Journal Foods & Feelings: Write down not only of what you are eating but also what you are thinking and feeling at the time. What was the underlying emotion that prompted you to eat that entire bowl of chips or carton of ice cream? Understanding the relationship is key to breaking bad habits.

    Develop a Strategy: You need a plan for how you will respond the next time you are tempted to overeat. One simple method Dr. Nelson suggests: Wear a rubber band around your wrist and when you feel the urge to eat what you know you shouldn’t, snap it against your wrist to help you “snap out of” the underlying emotion that is driving you to eat.

    Exercise Daily: Too busy to work out? No excuses! “Find a way to work exercise into your daily chores. Challenge yourself to get the whole house cleaned in half the normal time, and you’ll work up a sweat with all the scrubbing and running from room to room.

    Talk More, Eat Less! Here’s a neat little trick Dr. Nelson recommends: When you go out to eat with friends, come prepared with stories to tell so you’re talking more, and as a result, eating more slowly. Eat your salad first so you fill up on live food instead of the sugary and fattening stuff. Remember your body’s needs and respect them.


  3. Trend alert: White lace

    Guesswhite lacedressClick the topmost title and scroll

    One of the hottest trends for spring and summer is white lace, so now you can dress like a bride every day if you want to. It is a pretty look for warm weather. A long romantic dress is a lovely look for a summer party and a short sexy white lace is a great date dress. Add a white lace hat or espadrilles to a casual outfit for a feminine touch. Or pair pretty white lace heel with your little black dress for an instant update. Whatever you do, don’t’ wear a white lace dress to anyone’s wedding but your own.whitelacehat

     Guess short-sleeve white scalloped lace dress $118

    From Macy’sOscardelaRentacaptoewhitelacepumps

    Oscar de la Renta Lace Captoe Pumps$695 


    Maison Michel Hat with lace overlay $730



  4. Spa at home

    WuWeiCalmingcreambathClick the topmost title and scroll

    I love the concept behind the Rituals, a line that includes body, bath, home, and even jewelry. Company founder Richard Cloosterman created the line from his own passion for, and belief in, the transformative power of daily ritual. “I passionately believe that we can transform our daily routines into more meaningful moments if we pay just a little bit more attention to the details,” he says.

    I recently sampled Ritual bath products:

    Sakura Spring Foaming shower oil. This is perfect if you have dry skin but hate “oily-feeling” products. It lathers and leaves behind the light fragrances of organic rice milk and Eastern Cherry Blossom. It is feels fabulous on dry skin. Sakura Spring Foaming shower oil costs $15.

    I also tried Wu Wei Calming Cream bath with Green Tea and White Lotus. The fragrance is very light and botanical. The bath foams and makes lots of bubbles. It feels and smells delightful. The bottle says it will make 10 baths.

    Both products are part of complete spa lines with scrubs, creams and oils. They can be purchased separately or in sets.  The presentation is very nice. The Wu Wei Calming Cream Bath has a lovely wooden cap.

    Both of these Asian-themed lines from Rituals are very packaged very nicely in soothing green elegant Asian iSakuraspringshowernspired bottles and jars.

    I like the line very much and think is excellent value for a “spa at home” experience.



  5. Why I love Exfolipowder

    ExfolipowderClick the topmost title and scroll

    Amarte is  one of my favourite skin care lines. I am rerunning hits because I have not tried a daily exfoliator that can compare to Amarte Exfolipower.  The Amarte luxury skin care line was developed in Korea and brought to America by Dr. Craig Kraffert, MD, the founder of DermStore. I am hooked on the cleansers. The Asian approach to skin care focuses on cleansing. Exfoliation is frequent but gentle, so skin is fresh, never red or irritated. The goal is flawless and glowing complexions. Products combine natural botanicals from traditional medicine with cutting-edge, anti-aging science for products that feel good and pamper skin. The Asian approach to skin care is appealing. Exfoliation is frequent but gentle, so skin is fresh, never red or irritated. The goal is flawless and glowing complexions.  Products combine natural botanicals from traditional medicine with science for products that feel good and pamper the skin.

    Amarte Exfolipower is a unique skin-smoothing powder that turns to gel when activated by water. Regular use leaves skin taut and glowing without any of the irritation you can get from harsher products. What I love most about Amarte Exfolipower is how it makes pores seem to disappear with a single use. It is $35. Amarte Daily Wonder Cleansing Foam cleanses skin deeply without drying. This foaming cleaner treats your skin with active botanicals leaving it clean and fresh. It is $40. Amarte means “to love you.” It is designed to address oily, dry, and aging skin. The air-tight pump bottles keep products fresh and hygienic.



  6. New organic sweetener boosts B12

    SugaVida  Clementine Almond Cake

    SugaVida Clementine Almond Cake

    Click on the topmost link to open

    It is not very often you hear about a sweetener being good for you. So when the information about SugaVida popped up in my email I had to investigate. This new sweetener is just arriving in shops mow so you may have to hunt it down. 

    SugaVida is sugar from the Palmyra Palm Tree. It is low in calories. It is also a great plant-based, bio-available source of Vitamin B12. This is wonderful news for vegans and vegetarians. One tablespoon a day provides 36 percent of the FDA’s requirement of Vitamin B12. It is also high in fiber. 

    According to the company, only half the amount of SugaVida is needed to replace sugar in baking, cooking, and sweetening beverages. 

    So is SugaVida for you? It has five calories for half a tsp. Sugar has 15 calories a teaspoon. The lower calorie count may not be as important as SugaVida’s Low Glycemic index for diabetics and nutritive value for vegans and vegetarians. While a difference of almost half the calories may matter to strict dieters, the message from experts is we all need to reduce consumption of sweets, salt, and fats to sensible level – not find new ways to overindulge. 

    And while SugaVida is organic and may be better for you than other sweeteners, it is expensive.  A small canister containing 8.8 ounces/250 grams, which is just a little more than a cup, is priced to sell for $13.50. 

    SugaVida is a wonderful, new option and one to aware of if you care about healthful eating. SugaVida is definitely a useful product for vegans others who may have problems getting enough B12 in their diets.  Here is a recipe for orange Clementine and Almond cupcakes or muffins using SugaVida if you want to try it. Out of season try using sweet tangy blood oranges. Be sure to use the small ones which are the same size as Clementines (tangerines).


    Clementine Almond  Cake or cupcakes


    Makes 1 8 inch round Cake or 12 small cupcakes


    1 cup + 1 tablespoon butter

    ¾ cup of SugaVida

    4 eggs

    Zest of 2 clementines and juice of one clementine

    2 cups ground almonds

    ½ cup gluten free flour (plain cake flour if you prefer)

    ½ teaspoon sea salt

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1 teaspoon mixed spice




    Heat the oven to 180 degrees/350F degrees

    In a bowl beat together the SugaVida (Palmyra Jaggery) and butter together until light. Slowly add the eggs one at a time until well mixed.  Add the zest and juice and gently fold in the rest of the ingredients to make a smooth batter.  Pour into individual wrappers and bake for 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. You can also bake this as a single 8 inch round cake. Grease and flour your cake pan or use bakers spray. The cake may take 5-7 minutes longer. A toothpick will come out clean when poked into the center of the cake.


  7. Schadenfreude and social media

    graceyhitchcockClick the topmost title to open and scroll

    Do you delight in the misfortune of others? That is exactly what schadenfreude means. Not that you would cause anyone harm, but does hearing about a friend’s problems or failure make you feel better?  If it does you are not alone. And if you drag your feet to support a friend’s new venture or congratulate them, your feelings are normal. But ask yourself why? 

    A recent article in The Atlantic reported, “Like many things, our online activity – including whose profiles we choose to view – is dictated in large part by our moods. New research suggests that there’s a flip side to Marche’s social media-induced melancholy: For those feeling down in the dumps, Facebook and similar sites can also offer a nastily satisfying pick-me-up.”  The article also added, “A study recently published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior found that when people feel bad about themselves, they’re more likely to look up the people in their networks who seem to be doing worse”. 

    I can’t say I was surprised studies about the negative effects of social media are not new. I don’t think everyone goes on line just to make negative comparisons. But if you are feeling that way it is time to look at how you are spending your time and your own life.  Schadenfreude never made anyone happier, thinner, or richer. And as my very wise yoga teacher John Merideth reminded me too much time on social media is not very good for anyone either! 

    DolceDolce is free. Please forward us to all your friends. And please follow us on Facebook

     We post new items and tips weekly, except during our posted hiatuses several times a year. Please send us your comments by emailing us at the same address, or sharing in Facebook. We will respond! We want to know what you think. Let’s start the conversation! 

    Until next time, have a sweet week and please follow us on Facebook

    We would love to hear from you. Tell us what you think.


    Gracey Hitchcock

    Editor, DolceDolce

    Follow me @graceysays

    All contents copyright © 2015




Subscribe to updates