Sunday, June 30, 2013

10 JUICE PREPPING TIPS


Recently one beautiful reader pointed out that in my juicing e-Book "How to Do a 10 Day Juice Detox", there was not a lot of information on the actual preparation of the juices. I agreed, and thought I would do a post outlining a few basic guidelines I use when making my juices.


Before I get to that however, I want to show you my juicer Star, short for GS-1000 Green Star Basic HD Twin Gear Juicer (I know she's is a bit dirty, but hey juicing is a messy event). The juice that this machine produces is said to be of the highest quality possible. You can read why here. Unfortunately it's pretty expensive, however you can find a used one on the internet - I found mine for a 1/3 of the original price. These juicers are made to last, and even if you get a used one, it will still last you for a very long time.
































































































































































































Okey now I will share with you the basic guidelines I follow as I prep for my juices:

  1. Wash all fruits and veggies
  2. Peel all citrus fruits (failing to do so will result in a ridiculously bitter juice - trust me), but leave some of the white part of the rind (tons of nutrients are packed there)
  3. Fruits with non-edible skin should be peeled 
  4. Remove pits from all produce (so you don't wreck your juicer)
  5. Sweet potatoes don't need to be peeled, but can be if you want to
  6. As a general rule: If the peel is edible, leave it on
  7. Cut all produce to the size needed to fit in your juicer's chute (the smaller the pieces, the easier they'll be to juice)
  8. I like to strain my juice afterwards to get rid of pulp (this is specially important if you are doing a juice fast)
  9. Store all your juices in an airtight container - I am OBSESSED with Mason Jars
  10. I try to clean my juicer as soon as possible before the juice and pulp dry up and cleaning becomes a nightmare


So there you have it, I've shared with you a few juicy things I've had to learn along the way, I've sort of been figuring this is out as I go! The MOST IMPORTANT RULE I've learned thus far is: Have fun, get creative, and make your own juicy discoveries!


I hope this answers your questions, if this post was helpful to you, I'd love to know - If you have any questions, also let me know. Your feedback helps me to know whether any of the stuff I post makes any sense, and gives me ideas for future posts!

Lastly I wanna send a BIG SHOUT OUT to the juicy Miss. Mercedes + her co-workers who are planning on starting their juice fast tomorrow. YOU GLOW GIRLS!!!


Friday, June 28, 2013

ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT TO GET THE E-BOOK + TAKING CARE OF YOU


Hey everyone, this is a post to remind you that if you haven't yet downloaded my eBook "HOW TO DO A 10 DAY JUICE DETOX", make sure you do so, because there are only have 2 days left before it stops being available!

It's been really exciting to see people download and enjoy something I put a lot of work and passion into. I was really nervous scared that the e-book was going to be a total fail. I thought:"What if no one likes it?", "What if people tell me it's awful", or even worse, "What if no one even wants to download it?!" Waaaaaa!!! - hahaha yes, I can be a bit dramatic and a total baby...

I am happy to know that although those fears were very real to me, I pushed past them and chose to take a chance on myself, and on you guys. I am thankful for the people that I've been able to connect with, and those who have shared their health stories and challenges. Those who have tried conventional "medicine", are totally disappointed and still sick, and are now exploring natural options.

Friends, our bodies amazing - fine tuned machinery really, and magnificent hosts to our spirit and souls. When given the right fuel of sleep, water, and whole-foods, it works for us - providing us with strength, energy, tissue and organ healing, clarity of mind, vitality, radiance, and so much more!

Unfortunately today, with our busy, stressed out lifestyle and super-sized, processed, instant, high salt/fat/sugar diet, we end up feeding our bodies more poison than we ever have before. 

I was with a friend the other day and we were talking about how even just a decade or two ago food allergies, and sensitivities were not as prevalent as they are today. Sure, we knew someone with a bee-sting allergy, or ragweed allergy; but peanut, wheat, and lactose allergies/sensitivities (just to name a few) were pretty rare.

So how do we explain this? There is something wrong with our food - it's not what it used to be years ago. I read once that the wheat that we eat today is a completely different than the one our grandparents ate, and has been modified so much that our bodies don't know how to digest it anymore.

I firmly believe that the issues that we are having with food are not going to get any better. Food will only become more processed, fake, and lack any form of nutrition as time passes . If we are to get any healthier and avoid or cure disease, we have to start taking responsibility for our own health, and the health of our loved ones.

You are reading from someone who's body reacts pretty badly to dairy, eggs, meat, and gluten. I can tell you, that once I changed my diet, my health improved dramatically - the difference was night and day.  Juicing opened up my eyes to the power of a diet dense in raw nutrients, and set me on the road to health that I am now on. My body is still in the process of repairing the damage that I've done to it over the course of 26 years, and so my journey is far from over, but I do feel better on a day to day basis.

I want to encourage you to take a good, honest look at your health and body and ask yourself: "Am I honestly truly happy with where my health is at right now?', "Am I thriving, or am I barely getting by?", "Are my energy levels soaring, or am I dragging myself around by noon?", "Am I living a lifestyle that will allow me to be healthy and a strong enough to see my grandchildren graduate college?" 

I know that for me, the answers to those questions scared, and saddened me, and I refused to let another year of my life be spent is sickness, mediocrity, and sluggishness.

I know there are people who can relate to what I've shared, to you I want to say: You don't have to stay sick, tired, and miserable - You CAN choose TODAY to take care of yourself and honor the body you have been given. You only have one body, be good to it, because you don't realize how precious your health is, until it starts to go.

So if  you haven't downloaded the eBook, what are you waiting for?! Why not let today be the day that you choose to take control of your health? The benefits of juicing are real, I wouldn't tell you so unless I was experiencing them first hand. 


If you have downloaded it, I would love to hear what you think about it. Also, if you have any stories to share about your own health journey, I would love to hear them. Hearing from you inspires me! 


Love you all!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

THE BEST MANGO SALAD



You ever eat something that makes you feel like there is a party going on in your mouth, and your taste buds are the V.I.Ps?! If you have, then you know exactly how I felt today when I had this bright and gorgeous salad! Made out of spiralized and Julianned veggies, this salad is unique because of it's textures, flavors, and colors. You have to try this one!




I get asked often, how I spiralize my veggies, so I thought I'd introduce you to my spiralizer, Flor. I got her as a birthday present last year, at the time when I was first starting to explore the raw vegan world. Ever since, she has served me well, and this week she has become indispensable.


The recipe for this scrumptious salad is quite simple. Please note that if you don't have a spiralizer you can still make this salad by Julienning the veggies, or by using a shredder - work with what you've got!

MANGO SALAD

Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 sweet potato (peeled & spiralized)
  • 1 zucchini (spiralized)
  • 1/3 of a medium jicama (Julienned)
  • 1/2 beet (Julienned)
  • 1 radish (chopped)
  • 1/2 mango (thinly sliced)
Dressing Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp. hemp seeds
  • 1/4 small onion
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 dried mangoes
  • salt to taste (I'm trying to cut down on salt)
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
Blend all dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy.


Mix all your veggies together, add the dressing and top off with juicy mango slices. All you have to do now is sit down, and let the fiesta in your mouth begin!

 I hope you love this salad as much as I did.

RAW LASAGNA + RAW MARINARA & CHEESE SAUCE RECIPES


Today is day 2 of our 7 day raw challenge and I wanted to make something different and play around with this whole raw food business. I had a lot of zucchini in the fridge, and I wanted to do something else with it besides raw noodles. I used a mandolin to slice them into long thin "sheets" and decided to make a layered raw lasagna.



l then looked around the fridge to see what else I could put in my lasagna and found some mushrooms, sprouts, and cherry tomatoes. If wish to make this, you can choose to stuff your lasagna with whatever you like, feel free to get creative!  I made two sauces, a "marinara" and  a "cheesy" one. This recipe took a while to make but it was a lot of fun, and the result was well worth the time and effort. 





Before I go into the recipe, can I just tell you about the heart attack I was having this morning while taking these pictures? My Cannon DLSR keeps giving me an "error 99" message, which for now I can only fix when I take the battery out. I am hoping and praying that it doesn't decide to stop working all together, leaving me camara-less, which would suck... a lot. Right now I don't think I can afford to buy another one, so let's hope for a miracle! Okey, back to the lasagna...



This recipe can seem quite elaborate but once all the prep-work is done, it really is quite simple. Let's get to it:

Ingredients for Lasagna:
  • 2 large zucchinis cut in thin long slices (if you don't have a mandolin, this can be done with a knife)
  • 4 medium mushrooms (sliced)
  • 10 cherry tomatoes (sliced)
  • 1 cup of sprouts (I used soy sprouts, but you can use any kind you want)
  •  spinach to garnish



 For the cheesy sauce I used:                               
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro
For the marinara sauce I used:  
  • 1/2 beet
  • 10 sun dried tomatoes
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 2 celery stalks
  • a garlic clove
For both sauces, simply blend, but for the marinara sauce, strain, to get as much water out as possible (otherwise your lasagna will be too runny).

Both of these are supper versatile - you can use them on pastas, salads, you name it!




Once you have your sauces made, tomatoes and mushies sliced, and your lasagna "sheets" (the zucchini) ready, the rest is pretty easy. It's ALL layering. How you choose you layer your lasagna if totally up to you, but it important that the first layer on your dish be a solid zucchini layer. From there, the rest is up to you. You can see below how I did it.















VIOLA! your raw lasagna is ready to eat!












Monday, June 24, 2013

RAW CHIA SEED & APPLE PORRIDGE



Today is day 1 of the 7 day raw challenge. Normally, If I were doing this challenge on my own, I would have a whole lot of fruit for breakfast and leave it at that. However, since mom is doing this with me, I wanted to treat her to an awesome and hearty, raw breakfast. I decided on this yummy chia seed and apple porridge. It's super easy to make, and it's packed with energy and flavor, let's get to the recipe...

RAW CHIA SEED & APPLE PORRIDGE

  • 1 soup-spoon of raw chia seeds
  • 1 soup-spoon of raw hemp hearts
  • 1/2 cup of creamy raw cashew milk
  • 1 apple (grated)
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • few drops of lime/lemon
  • 8-10 blueberries
  • raw almond slivers (pecans could also be nice)
Steps:
  1. In a bowl, add the chia seeds + hemp hearts 
  2. Add the creamy raw cashew milk (the chia seeds tend to clump, so make sure you stir them well)
  3. While the chia seeds & hemp hearts soak, grate the apple, add the cinnamon, lime/lemon, salt, and raisins - mix well
  4. Add the apple mix to the bowl 
  5. Add the blueberries, and top off with almond slivers
You can find the recipe for the creamy raw cashew milk here.

CREAMY RAW CASHEW MILK


Having been dairy-free for over a year, I have tried a number of milk alternatives (almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and rice milk). Cashew milk however is a new one for me, and I am absolutely hooked. It is creamy, sweet, raw, vegan, and really easy to make.

You can use this milk the way you would use any other, on cereals, shakes, smoothies, or on its own. This morning I used for breakfast on my raw chia seed & apple porridge.


 CREAMY RAW CASHEW MILK
*makes a liter

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cashews (preferably pre-soaked)
  • 4 cups of filtered water
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt (optional)
Steps:
  1. Add all ingredients to blender, and blend until smooth
  2. Strain with cheese cloth - If you have a decent blender you can skip this step, I did.
  3. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate

Saturday, June 22, 2013

7 DAY RAW FOOD CHALLENGE


I am always looking at new and creative ways of challenging and improving my health - my most recent challenge, the 60 day juice fast proved to be a huge success and I experienced so many benefits from it, that I decided to make juicing a new way of life, and to tell everyone I knew about it! 

If you follow the blog you know that I follow a meat/dairy/gluten free diet, and every day I love experiencing the benefits of a whole-foods-plant-based diet. As always though, there is plenty of  room for improvement, which is why I would like to challenge myself to 7 days of raw foods only. I am excited to say that my mom will also be joining me for these 7 days, and I will most likely sneak a few raw meals to the rest of the family.

So what does a raw food diet consist of anyways? According to the global healing center, "it is a way of eating that involves a huge dietary increase in the number of unprocessed and uncooked fruits and vegetables, as well as seeds, nuts, grains (mostly sprouted) and beans. A food is considered raw if it is uncooked or “prepared” below 116°F, as above this temperature range, food begins to loose its essential nutrients and enzymes, or its “vital life force.”"

Looking forward into the next 7 days I will be consuming a diet that is made up of raw

  • Dried fruits
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Freshly made fruit and vegetable juices
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Milk from a young coconut
  • Nuts
  • Other organic or natural foods which have not been processed
  • Purified water (not tap)
  • Seaweeds
  • Seeds
  • Sun-dried fruits
I look forward to getting creative in the kitchen and creating yummy and delicious raw meals, desserts, shakes, and of course more juices! 
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