Class is in session

photo via VIM + VIGOR

photo via VIM + VIGOR

I’ve been thinking about about going back to school for nutrition, but the timing is not quite right…..yet.  But that doesn’t mean I’m going to put my interests on hold, instead the internet, books, blogs and as I recently found out, regular old websites can provide a wealth of super helpful information (and it’s free).  I was researching the latest juice place to come to town and was really impressed by the information on their site.  Ready class, this information brought to you by Vim + Vigor:

First, a short explanation on how juicing can help clean things up:

What is a juice cleanse?

A juice cleanse is the effective removal of waste in the body that has been accumulated over the years due to improper diet, pharmaceuticals, and internal pollutants in the human body. Our goal in juice cleansing and a clean diet is to alkalize the system. Our green vegetable juices are completely alkaline, balancing acidity in the body.

Why is there a lack of fruit juice in your cleanses?

Fruit and its juices are ideal human food and some of the cleanest food on the planet. That being said, the modern human has been eating a mainstream diet laden with improper foods, chemicals, alcohol, drugs, etc. which has caused most human bodies to be systemically yeasted. Yeast in the body is fed by sugar in any form such as fruit, fruit juices, maple syrup and agave nectar (which are used in programs like the “Master Cleanse”). By eliminating the fruit sugar from the green juices you begin to “starve the yeast” which can lead to the most success in your cleanse. In fact, the addition of fruit juices in a cleanse are one reason why most cleanses fail because they actually “feed” already overwhelming colonies of yeast in the body. Yeast lives on sugar and fruit juices and maple syrup in lemon juice water will cause the proliferation of yeast and further putrefaction and fermentation of waste matter in the body.

Why do the majority of your juices for cleansing contain greens?

The alkalinity and chlorophyll in green plants give the body all it needs to make healthy blood and thus creating a healthy body. The greens act as “soap” in the body and help clean the system as a whole while providing the most optimal and assimilated form of nutrition. The green juices contribute alkaline minerals and are the MOST important ingredient in the juice. The greens are the cleaners!

Now the juicing/blending/snacking ingredient cheat sheet:

Almonds

Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease due to cholesterol lowering effects. High in magnesium, almonds improve the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

Contains:

Manganese, Vitamin E, Magnesium

Apples

Apples are a fantastic addition to nearly all juices due to their high mineral content. Benefits of daily apple consumption include healthy hair, skin, nails and digestion, as well as overall immune support.

Contains:

Vitamin C, Vitamin A, B-Complex, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Silicon, Sodium, Sulfur

Beets

Beets are an excellent diuretic, blood toner and builder, which makes them fantastic for detoxification and cleanse protocols.

Contains:

Rich in Betaine (helps reduce inflammation), Folates, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Carotenoids, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium.

Carrots

Carrot juice provides the enzymes and nutrients to assist in the production of energy, has the necessary essential minerals to help regulate digestion and promotes healthy skin, teeth, tissue and eyes.

Contains:

Beta Carotene (precursor to vitamin A), Thiamin, Niacin, B6, Folate, Manganese, Vitamin C, K and Potassium, Dietary Fiber

Celery

Celery has been used extensively as a mild laxative and diuretic, to heal wounds, to sooth irritated nerves and to break up gallstones. It’s also now being used as a treatment in the chemical imbalance of arthritis.

Contains:

Complex B Vitamins, Fiber, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium, Manganese

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are very similar to beets in many ways as it’s one of nature’s best diuretics promoting cleansing throughout the body. Being that it also has such a high sulphur and silicon content it’s extremely beneficial for increasing the health of the hair and nails.

Contains:

Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Manganese, Potassium

Ginger

Ginger is a very special root. Used in ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for thousands of years it effect on digestive function and as an anti-inflammatory are well documented. It is also known to be anti-bacterial as well as anti-pyretic.

Contains:

Antioxidants, Essential Oils, Potassium, Manganese, Copper, Magnesium

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is high in enzymes that burn fats, contains high water content and is low in sodium. These three characteristics make grapefruit the ideal food for increasing metabolism and reducing cholesterol levels.  The immune boosting fruit also contains Pectin, a dietary fiber that promotes better digestion and liver function.

Contains:

Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Lycopene

Kale

Kale is the king of juicing as it has benefits as it is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Loaded with rich sources of antioxidants as well as anti cancer/tumor compounds it’s can be used as a great daily tonic to your morning routine.

Contains:

Calcium, Chlorophyll, Vitamin A, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Beta Carotene, Vitamin K, B-Complex

Lemons

Lemons are quite possibly one of the most versatile foods available, including it’s ability to alkalize, detoxify and improve overall digestive function. Since free radicals can damage blood vessels and can change cholesterol to make it more likely to build up in artery walls, vitamin C can be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.

Contains:

Vitamin C and its Bioflavonoids, Vitamin A, Folic Acid, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Trace Elements

Limes

Limes are quite possibly one of the most versatile foods available, including it’s ability to alkalize, detoxify and improve overall digestive function. Since free radicals can damage blood vessels and can change cholesterol to make it more likely to build up in artery walls, vitamin C can be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.

Contains:

Vitamin C and its Bioflavonoids, Vitamin A, Folic Acid, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Trace Elements

Oranges

Oranges are known for their supportive action within the immune system by giving the body much needed antioxidants to counter the harmful effects of free radicals.

Contains:

Vitamin C and its Bioflavonoids, Vitamin A, Zeaxanthin, Lutein, B-Complex Vitamins, Potassium, Calcium

Pears

Pears are one of the highest sources of flavonols among all fruits and vegetables. As a very good source of dietary fiber, pears might logically be expected to help protect from development of type 2 diabetes as well heart disease due to the combination of both soluble and insoluble fiber in this fruit.

Contains:

Phytonutrients, Fiber, Vitamin C

Pineapple

Vitamin C is the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant, defending all aqueous areas of the body against free radicals that attack and damage normal cells. Excessive inflammation, excessive coagulation of the blood, and certain types of tumor growth may all be reduced by therapeutic doses of bromelain in the diet.

Contains:

Vitamin C, Bromelain

Romaine

The vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber found in romaine lettuce are especially good for the prevention or alleviation of many common health complaints.  High in water context and low in calories. Hearth-healthy green.

Contains:

Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin C, Dietary Fiber

Spinach

Spinach truly is one of nature’s super foods. Loaded with rich phyto chemicals and large amounts of the bone building vitamin K it’s a great added benefit to any cleanse or detoxification protocol.

Contains:

Iron, B-Complex Vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Beta Carotene, Vitamin K, Zinc, Manganese, Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Turmeric

Turmeric is widely known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. A daily dose or shot of this vital root can help offer protection from many common modern ailments.

Contains:

Curcumin, B-Complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Potassium, Iron, Manganese, Zinc

Watercress

Watercress is a source of phytochemicals and antioxidants, a diuretic, an expectorant, and a digestive aid.  It also believed to have antiangiogenic cancer-suppressing properties. Watercress is a superfood – high in calcium, vitamin c and potassium.  Natural antibiotic.

Contains:

Iron, Calcium, Iodine, Folic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C


Stop, Breathe, Savor

spazz photo via googling the internet

spazz photo via googling the internet

I’m kind of a spazz.  In all of my years (4) of playing tennis, my spazztastic nature seems to be the constant obstacle in my game.  I’ll be out on the court enjoying a friendly game, it’s a beautiful day and I’ll get that familiar bubbly excitement feeling – “HERE COMES THE BALL!!!!” My mind floods with all of the things I could/should do therefore taking me completely out of the moment.  I usually end up A) whacking the ball with all of my might – OUT! B) over-running the ball putting myself in a terrible position C) freaking myself out so much that I take my eye off the ball, swing and MISS – oh the shame of making NO contact at all.

Excitement is typically related to positive feelings but there are also roots of impatience, anxiety and wanting that accompany “excitement” as well.  What’s a spazz like me to do?  Stop, Breathe, Savor.  That word “savor” is best friends with pleasure in my mind.  It is good and positive and I naturally welcome any and all pleasurable experiences…..in fact, I want to savor them.  Conversely, telling myself to “slow down” seems to imply judgement – “I’m going too fast”, “I’m missing it”…….”it”, of course, being my LIFE.  Which would you rather tell yourself?  “Slow down” or “Savor”?  Me, I’m going with savor, whether I’m on the tennis court, doing errands, working, parenting, even relaxing – I’m going to be SAVORING.

 


It’s a whole new world

One of the things my husband and I were trying to shift into is more bulk buying and less packaged goods.  Most of us know packaged goods are generally not good for us nor for the planet.  But we frequently got caught up in the logistics of living with this new idea – what kind of containers do we choose, how do we do this at the grocery store, what will we be eating?

The change started innocently, I wanted to invest in a few glass jars for my juices and smoothies so I stopped by our local hardware store and picked up 12 oz. Ball’s canning jars, they come in a package of 9.  Hmmm, I didn’t need 9 jars for smoothies and we were in need of glasses so we used the extra for some drinking glasses.  Well, there are only 4 of us in the family so I still had glasses left over.  Those I filled with some nuts and rice crackers that were basically getting stale on my shelf.

Guess where all that has led?

reorg 1

Shoddy photo of pantry

reord 2

Shoddy photo of baking and spices

 

Getting caught up on the logistics was so 2012, in 2013 we are making it happen.  Bring on the mistakes, failures and learning.  2013 is the “year of fun” – pass it on!


Baby it’s cold outside

Haute Chocolate from My New Roots

Well, it’s not really so cold in Dallas, but a few mornings have been chilly.  And when it’s chilly, an icy cold nutrition filled smoothie just doesn’t fit the bill.  So I’ve complied a few warm eats and sips for your cold (or mildly chilly) holidays.

Warm Sips

Mint/Chocolate Shake (Adapted from goop)
1 1/2 cups warm peppermint tea
1 heaping tbs cacao
1 scoop vega (vanilla chai), chocolate would also work (they have
single packets at whole foods if you want to sample)
1 TBS gently melted coconut oil
2 TBS whole raw cashews
1 scoop amazing greens powder (choc. would be good here but I’d use
whatever, including spinach or kale)
1/4 tsp stevia or agave
1 pinch sea salt
spirulina tabs (optional but gets crazy green)

Pour warm tea into blender, add cacao, cashews, salt, stevia,
spirulina (if using) – bend until cashews are broken down.
Add powders and while blending drizzle in coconut oil.

*My sis added a banana for sweetness and gave it two thumbs up.

**Don’t blend HOT stuff, it could EXPLODE, so let me emphasize the “warm” part again.

Spicy shake (Adapted from goop)

While this one is still cold due to frozen fruit, the spices are a nice nod to warm.

2 cups almond milk
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 tbs carob or cacao
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 freshly grated nutmeg or ground (or allspice)
1″ peeled ginger
1/4 tsp stevia
pinch sea salt

Blend and serve.

Banana bread shake (room temp.)
1 1/2 cups Almond Milk
1 Banana
1/4 Avocado
1/3 cup Gluten-free Rolled Oats (uncooked)
1 TBS (heaping) Almond Butter
Squirt of flax seed
Squirt of honey (raw, local)

Blend and serve.

Superfood Haute Chocolate (from My New Roots)
Serves 1
Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
2 tsp. maca powder
1 Tbsp. coconut sugar
pinch sea salt
pinch cinnamon powder
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch ginger powder
small piece vanilla bean, scraped (optional)
1 ½ cups milk of your choice or water

Directions:
1. Boil water or warm milk on the stove and let cool slightly. If using raw nut milk, do not heat above 118°F/42°C.
2. Whisk in dry ingredients. Serve immediately with a cinnamon stick, if desired.

*This is quickly becoming my most favorite thing ever.

Warm Eats

 

Baked sweet potato (400 degrees, poke holes, bake for 40 minutes (pan underneath to catch the drips))

Split open, drizzle with coconut oil, shake “Spike” (a LOW sodium spice blend) or your favorite spice blend.

Open Avocado Sammy

Two slices Ezekiel or gluten free bread (I like the California Family Complete Protein also)

Veganaise, sliced avocado, sea salt, pepper, eat open faced……it makes me feel more full than just a regular sandwich – go figure.  I’ll usually have this with an apple.

Chia pudding (from goop)

1/4 cup chia seeds
2/3 cup warm water

Place the chia seeds in the water (either warm or cold, whichever you
prefer) and stir, stir, stir! Then let the concoction sit in the
fridge for 10 minutes and it will form a “pudding-like” consistency.

Top your chia pudding with some blueberries, bananas and shredded
coconut for a yummy, fast and filling breakfast.

 

 

Better than.

A small list of just a few things I believe are truly better than their less healthy versions.

1.  Cookie dough bites by weelicious for goop.  I’ve made these 4 times since GP posted this treat in October, a new family sweet treat favorite, sooooo easy and dairy free, gluten free, soy free!

2.  The breakfast taco – Sautéed spinach, mushroom and grilled onion breakfast taco.  The old egg, cheese, bacon stand-by is just boring in comparison.  Even better my Whole Foods opened a taco bar and I can get this tasty delight made to order….every Whole Foods has a suggestion box – take advantage!

3.  Chocolate milkshake from My New Roots – the dairy, sugar laden competition honestly does not do it for me any more.  My own spin – instead of her 1/4 cup hemp seeds, I use 2 TBS almond butter and 1/2 avocado instead of a whole, using a whole avocado makes it too thick IMO.

“Raw Chocolate Milkshake Miracle
Ingredients:
• ¼ cup hemp seeds (or use soaked almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds etc.)
• 2 heaping Tbsp. raw cacao powder
• 1 Avocado
• 1 very large frozen banana (or 2 small) 
• 2 Tbsp. raw honey, agave, or maple syrup
• dash sea salt 
• ¾ – 1 cup water
• 4 ice cubes

Directions:
1. Blend all the ingredients together; add water to thin if desired. It’s a thick one, folks! 
And although the urge to chug may take over, don’t forget to “chew” your milkshake for better digestion! Very important.”

4.  Cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread, someone recently offered me the Sarah Lee version……nasty.  Slather on some almond butter and it’s one delightful treat.

5.  Hummus Chips – Simply 7 Sea Salt is my preferred brand, kind of like a Funnion but not as scary and super fun to crunch.  We add them to chili, salads, anything that benefits from some crunch. Boulder Canyon makes a good version too.

Happy (healthier) snacking and Happy Friday.


Just a bite

Years ago when I was transitioning from take-out pizza, Bud Light and American Spirits I heard about Mireille Guillano, she’s done a whole bunch of stuff but for my purposes I heard about her book, “Why French Women Don’t get Fat”.  Honestly, the title turned me off so I never read this particular book of hers, BUT I did read, “French Women for All Seasons”.  It was meant as a follow-up to her first runaway success to “Why French Women…” – anyhow the book talks about seasonal foods, seasonal eating and the importance of pleasure and indulgence just not gluttony.  This is a common dispute in my head, my balancing act of la dolce vita and “the white stuff will kill you” knowledge rattling around in my noodle.

So this week wen I was craving a bit of the sweet stuff, I recalled Mireille’s words of wisdom to have a little, just a few bites, enjoy it, just don’t over do it……..in my mind “over-doing it” could be licking the plate…..at a restaurant.  Seriously.

But, since I’m kind of a grown-up I made these words my mantra – just a bit, just a bite – and created this wonderful treat for myself.

“Slice of Heaven”

Decaf Fair Trade French Roast Coffee

Sliced Baguette sprinkled with Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (and warmed in toaster)

3 TBS The Greek Gods Honey Greek Yogurt

Sat my butt down at a table, lit a fire in the fire place and enjoyed my little “Slice of Heaven” for all of 4 minutes before my kids spotted the chocolate chip bread.


A case of cold feet

And hands too.  It seems if the temp. drops below 60, even just during the morning hours, I am struck down with cold hands and feet all day.  Since this is 1. no fun and 2. a symptom if a sluggish circulatory system, I’ve been up-ing my GINGER intake.  Ginger is terrific in a host of dishes but (and I know you are shocked), I’ve been putting it in my smoothie!

Here’s my “Spice it Up”:

1 cup Vanilla Almond Milk Unsweetened

1 tsp cinnamon

1″ fresh ginger (peeled)

1 tbs cacao

1 cup rasberries

1 scoop Vega (Vanilla Chai,  but I bet the chocolate would rock in this)

Another amazing ginger experience is in the bathtub using powdered ginger, I did this last winter and I’m looking forward to a repeat performance this winter.  I’m not gonna lie though, it’s INTENSE and although I’m not really prescribing this for anyone, you probably wouldn’t want to do this if you are pregnant or breast feeding…..possibly even if you are alone in your house.  That said, it was crazy effective, totally a modern day sweat lodge experience in the convenience in your own home.  Of course, you can add a bit of powdered ginger to a typical bath and you’ll feel some nice warming effects without the hallucinations “detox sweat”.

Happy heating.


Corpse Reviver II

My cute, sexy husband had a business dinner and I was in need of an evening out, the babysitter was booked, outfit planned, the only problem is I was feeling less than stellar, fighting some kind of bug (called stress tying you in knots).  But since canceling a babysitter is one of my LEAST favorite things to do and the planned outfit makes me smile, I gave my cheeks a good pinch trying for any kind of color other than green-ish, and off we went.

My husband is good at planning these dinners, somehow he picks a place that will fit everyone’s mood perfectly and this night was no exception.  We got to the restaurant early and saddled up to the bar – I was planning on something “special” like sparkling water with lime when my husband takes matters into his own hands.  He catches the bartender and asks,  “what would you serve to my beautiful wife who feels like s%#*?”  Apparently no other information was needed because the next thing I see is a dainty cocktail glass being set aflame, then sparks flying with the twist of a zest – orange maybe?  And then there is pouring and shaking and pouring and TA-DAHHH, meet Corpse Reviver II.

I know next to nothing about cocktails except that they are having a “moment” but now I feel like I’ve been shown the magic behind the curtain of artist bartenders and their drink specialties.  Corpse Revivers were invented as a type of “hair of the dog” hangover remedy and there are loads of them but this one did the trick, I enjoyed our evening immensely.  Here’s what a little internet research (wiki) provided on the Corpse Reviver II for those of you who are cocktail inclined.

“The Corpse Reviver #2 is the more popular of the corpse revivers, and consists of equal parts gin, lemon juice, triple sec (commonly Cointreau), Lillet Blanc, and a dash ofabsinthe. The dash of absinthe can either be added to the mix before shaking, or added to the cocktail glass and moved around until the glass has been coated with a layer of absinthe. It can also be used to coat the edge of the glass to give a subtle absinthe aroma and flavor to the drink”

Thank you Jeremy for your magic making behind the bar, you and your skills put some much needed pep in this tired mom’s night out.

Cheers!


Am I the last to know?

Full disclosure, I do not like manicures.  I think they are:

1.  Over priced

2.  Over familiar

3.  Over stimulating

When I think of relaxing here are the LAST things that come to mind:

  • a room that smells of toxic chemicals
  • chatty people disregarding the “no phones” sign
  • a stranger clipping my cuticles (no matter how many times I say PLEASE don’t cut my cuticles)

That said, I find it really fun to put some color on my nails from time to time and, to borrow a term from the British, I am absolute rubbish at it.  Enter the “color change”.  I did not know about the color change option, basically they apply nail color and you are out of there, it’s cheap, it’s fast and it’s fun!  I’m sure I’m the last to know about this fantastic option, but I want to document HOW I came about my knowledge of the color change.

You ready…….. I walked up to the girl at the counter and told her what I wanted.  Yes, I asked for EXACTLY what I wanted and I got it.  I plan to use this technique many, many times in the future for a variety of situations!

Since I’m getting a bit addicted to the fun with my fingernails, I went in search for a friendlier, less toxic nail product and found Butter.

Butter Nail Lacquer or polishes have none of the below:

  • Formaldehyde – a human carcinogen
  • Toluene – a nervous system toxin
  • DBP – dibutyl phthalate (linked to fertility issues)

Sadly, most nail polishes DO contain all of the above, I’ll let you know about my experience with Butter.


eBay I’m breaking up with you

And it’s all over this box.

Vintage Tiffany & Co box

When eBay arrived on the scene I was as enthralled as the rest with stories of used sneakers going for $0.25 on this new internet marketplace.  Years later I read Born to Run and understood there is a whole movement of folks wanting used, broken down running shoes and again I thought, how perfect that eBay provides a place for these items, that are headed for the trash, to end up in someone else’s possession and use.

BUT NOW, I have been offended by eBay twice and I think I’ve had enough.  The first time was years ago during my transition from career lady to stay at home mom – I had loads of clothes that needed to go and Buffalo Exchange was not yet up and running in my city.  So I dutifully list my items and wait for the magic.  I think I hit 20 transactions when eBay sends me a notice questioning the “authenticity” of my items and I was SUSPENDED for 20 days or something.  Let me tell you folks, I am a good girl, a rule follower, getting suspended from eBay made me cry……I was pregnant at the time so perhaps hormones were involved, BUT STILL.  We, eBay and I, get it all straightened out, my honor is re-established but I stop eBay-ing.

Years pass and my husband and I are ready to fill our home with a few unique items so we venture back into the land of eBay.  It’s wonderful, I could never have found the light fixtures we have hanging in our home anywhere short of a New York City flea market that requires pre-dawn attendance.  Since the New York flea market was NOT going to happen I was thrilled with my eBay experiences.

More years pass and I decide it’s time to once again sell something with eBay.  See above picture of Vintage Navy Leather Tiffany and Co Box.  I had sold one of these before on eBay, during my first 20 transactions, but had held onto a few thinking if I have a daughter maybe she’ll like them?  I have a daughter, she couldn’t care less so I can get them into someone else’s hands now.  I list them, opening bid $1.99, I’m not greedy folks, just thought someone who’s into Tiffany’s might like this sort of thing.

24 hours pass and I’m notified my listing has been removed!  Here it is in their words:

“– To provide a safer trading experience, certain branded items are not allowed on eBay without their accompanying product.

— This policy includes empty branded boxes, dustbags, and blank warranty certificates”

I am crestfallen, the whole idea of eBay as a wonderful open marketplace where one person’s trash is another’s treasure and all that now seems like phooey.  Pffff, eBay we are SOOOOO over.