Posts tagged ‘juice’

April 18, 2013

Recipes: Favorite juices and smoothie

Lately I’ve been telling you all about Jim’s and my juicing experiences, but I haven’t posted any recipes for you. Partly that’s because I wanted to come up with a few favorites before I posted any. So here they are, just a few of our favorite combinations.  All recipes are for two people. Keep in mind you may have to add more or less depending on the size of your fruits and vegetables. My recipes are just a guideline to work with.

Jim’s Favorite

2 apples

2 plums

1/2 head of purple cabbage

1 cucumber

Handful of kale

Handful of spinach

Wash it all, trim and cut it into pieces that will fit in your juicer (if necessary), and juice away!

Rather than showing you a photo of the finished product in a glass, I figured I’d share with you the just-juiced photo, before we mix it all up and pour it. Pretty amazing, huh?

juicing

Stephanie’s Favorite

1 bulb of fennel

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled

6 carrots

3 oranges, peeled

1/2 head of purple cabbage

Wash, trim, cut, juice!

juice2Pretty, huh?

It’s really fun for me to watch the pitcher fill up in such weird color combinations. In a way it’s kind of satisfying because we all know that the more colorful the food we eat, the better it is for us. I love knowing that such amazing nutrition is going into my body!

Jim and Steph’s Morning Smoothie

No matter what else we’re doing for food during the week, whether we’re just juicing or incorporating meals into our days as well, we start with a smoothie.

2 frozen bananas

1 big, big handful of spinach or kale

1 heaping scoop of peanut butter

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tbsp chia seeds

1-2 tsp spirulina

Almond milk  (to desired thickness)

Wash your spinach, throw all ingredients into the blender and let ‘er whir!

smoothie1

Sometimes we’ll also add a scoop of protein powder to our smoothies, but there’s really plenty in there between the peanut butter, chia seeds and spirulina.

A lot of people ask us if our green drinks taste…well, green. The answer to that depends on what we put in them. Last night I made our juice with a cucumber, a couple of zucchini, lots of greens (collards and kale), and a couple of oranges. The result tasted pretty green. It didn’t bother us, but the if you can’t take such an earthy flavor, add another orange. Or an apple. Apples are VERY sweet. The recipes above are all delicious and the greens sort of melt into the background flavor-wise, especially in the smoothie. Banana is a pretty potent flavor and so is the cocoa powder. It tastes more like a banana, chocolate, peanut butter shake than a green smoothie, but you still get the benefit of the greens.

We’ve learned that juicing is a very personal thing. In fact, we don’t even look at recipes anymore. We just check the fridge and fill up the juicer with things that seem like they’d taste good together. Sometimes we don’t do so well, like the time we put too much ginger in. And sometimes you come up with something you want to use over and over, like the ones above. If you’re interested in juicing, there are plenty of recipes out there. Try Reboot with Joe or one of Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy recipes. They have plenty of inspirational recipes to get you started until you feel comfortable to create your own.

April 12, 2013

Life Altering Change

Jim and I have been making some major changes over the past month. I told you a little bit about our juice reboot, but it’s gone beyond that. We’ve decided we need to overhaul our entire attitude toward food and change what we put into our bodies while we still have the chance to make a difference in our own lives.

It all started on St. Patrick’s Day as we sat down to feast on processed food and plenty of beer. I was scrolling through Pinterest during a commercial on tv and the following image popped into my screen.

fat sick and nearly dead

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. “Interesting,” I thought, and checked Netflix to see if they had it. They did. And we watched (you can watch on Netflix if you have it, or through Amazon, free with prime or a $2.99 rental).

It’s about Joe Cross, an Australian who suddenly realizes he needs to make some changes in his life. He goes on a 60-day juice fast while traveling around the USA promoting healthy living. For whatever reason, this film struck a chord with us and we embarked on our own 4-day juice fast the very next day.

But somehow that wasn’t enough and through the “Reboot with Joe” website, I learned about a new documentary, Hungry for Change, that was showing for free for a limited time that week (also available for rental through Amazon).

hungry for change

This one was huge for us. Not only did it tell us a lot of stuff we already knew was bad for us, but it explained why, and that’s huge when you’re talking about stuff like diet soda, which I knew was bad for me (sadly, other people think it’s good for them), and I already stay away from, but did you know that it causes blurred vision, headaches, nausea, vertigo, memory loss and seizures and for those reasons pilots are not allowed to drink it while or prior to flying? Holy Cow! I won’t go into all of the details of the movie, but I highly recommend it. It features many prominent figures in the health/wellness world and Jim and I both found it to be insightful and eye-opening.

Along with these two videos, I read a book.

crazy sexy dietThe word “diet” turned my head the other way when I first saw this one. I didn’t want to read a diet book, but after reading the first few sections of Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Kitchen, a book devoted mostly to recipes whereas Crazy Sexy Diet is mostly information, I decided I needed to read Crazy Sexy Diet too. Carr never thought she was going to be a diet guru. She was an actress and photographer and when she learned she had cancer, her entire life changed. Doctors gave her a prognosis and she said screw that! From there, she transformed her life, started following a plant-based diet and claims she’s never felt better, cancer and all. But that’s her story, and you should get her books and let her tell it. Check out her website too. It is an amazing source for information, recipes and community support.

But back to Jim and I, because we don’t have a book and if you want our story, you’re going to find it here. Granted, our story isn’t that long yet, and you’ll have to keep coming back if you want to learn more, but here it is so far.

As I mentioned, we did a 4-day juice fast just after St. Patrick’s Day. I felt more energy after the second day of that fast than I have in so long. But then we had a crazy Napa 30th birthday party to go to, and we needed to quit the fast so we could have some fun (also, we weren’t so sure about fasting for longer than that at a time. We want to be healthy, not crazy and dangerous with our bodies). Having fun, by the way, is okay. We also went to the Food Trucks event in Roseville last night and had Po’Boy sandwiches from the Cajun truck. It’s okay.

We did another juice fast last week and we plan on doing one next week. The weeks between, we’ve been replacing one meal with juice and eating healthfully the other. We have smoothies for breakfast (usually filled with fruit, spinach or kale, protein powder, chia seeds and spirulina…it’s a seaweed) when we’re on the fast and when we’re not, and sometimes a little snack like a handful of walnuts and raspberries if we need it. We’ve also been kicking up our workouts, and by kicking up I mean doing them. We take Katie for long walks or go to the school down the street and play basketball. We both kind of hate working out, so we try to make it fun.

We’ve had very few desserts in the past month. We cut our added sugar down to almost nothing (okay, sometimes I have a few chocolate chips with my walnuts, but again, its okay!), and in the month we’ve been doing this, I think we’ve had caffeine twice. We’ve almost completely cut out dairy products and eggs and started eating more quinoa, wild rice and tons and tons of vegetables!

Mostly, I feel amazing. I have energy (except when I can’t sleep at night, like last night…argh!), I have a positive attitude toward the world. I want to get outside and do things. I want to cook. When I find myself craving something, it’s not tater tots or ice cream, it’s walnuts or carrots or oatmeal (oatmeal, people!). I was on such a tater tot kick before I started this and they don’t even sound good anymore!

As I mentioned before, though, this doesn’t mean we won’t partake in foods we’ve enjoyed in the past. Jim fully intends to continue eating meat when we’re out with family or friends or on special occasions. And I don’t see myself passing up roasted figs with goat cheese and honey come fig season. But we’re no longer okay with putting so much crap into our bodies. There’s increasing research that concludes that filling up on fats, simple white foods like pastas, breads and sugars and the plethora of lab created, chemical “food” products on grocery store shelves these days causes cancer and chronic diseases, and we just don’t want to risk it. It’s like stepping into a fire and just hoping you don’t get burned. We’ve seen too many people we care about…and so many people those people care about get diagnoses of cancer and heart problems that it seems stupid to us not to do something to stay off that increasingly long list.

So stay tuned for more tidbits and tales of our journey to health. I’m sure it’s going to be a bumpy ride, and it won’t always be easy, but we’re going to make the trek and hopefully come out on top as a result.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go enjoy my “lunch.” I’ve got carrots, oranges, fennel, red cabbage, baby kale, spinach and sweet potatoes today all wrapped up in a pretty purple juice. As Tucker would say, “Aaaaahhhh.”

If you find yourself intrigued, please ask me about our experience. I have tons of information, recipes, opinions, and advise if you’re interested in making a change like this in your life.

March 26, 2013

Playing Catch Up

It’s been over a week since I’ve posted. I know, I know. It’s not that weird. It’s sort of what I do. Erratic posting is what I’m all about. And I’m learning something: that’s just who I am. I’m messy and uncoordinated, unorganized, and I’d rather spend my time playing that cleaning.

I’m not even going to apologize about it.

katie helping

Although I must do some cleaning, because here’s an adorable photo of Katie “helping” me fold towels. The pink one is hers.

Anyway, we’ve got a lot of catching up to do, so I’m going to just get to it.

The past week has been amazingly busy, sort of intense and completely filled with fun.

I think I left you just before St. Patrick’s day. Jim and I have a tradition of Irish Car Bombs. The drink AND the cupcakes. He makes the drinks; I make the cupcakes, and we enjoy too many of both.

st pattys day6

But we have a lot of fun. And somehow I managed to get plenty of photos of the drinks and none of the cupcakes. I guess that’s why we should start with cupcakes?

st pattys day7

Sometimes I make him corned beef and cabbage. But not this year.

st pattys day3This year we had a “nosh” of shamrock shaped ravioli, tater tots with my special “tot sauce”, jalapeno poppers, spinach dip and some sliced tomatoes….for good measure. And, of course, more Guinness.

And while eating this pile of fat, carbs and calories (except for the tomatoes, of course) , we watched a documentary. Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Have you ever watched one of these food documentaries? They kind of make you feel terribly guilty about the way you eat. This one was about an Australian named Joe Cross who comes to the US to do a juice “reboot” for 60 days. Over the course of the movie, and under close monitoring by doctors, he looses close to 100 lbs from drinking just juice.

So as Jim and I sat there and ate our greasy feast, something clicked. We looked at our plates, listened to our bellies and decided maybe Joe had something. Of course, we weren’t going to go 60 days on nothing but juice, but we decided to try a week. I may end up writing a separate post about our juice experience, so I won’t tell too much about it right now, but I will say I was really happy with the way it turned out. Not just because I lost a few pounds, but because I feel so much better than I have in a long time.

Our last juice day was Friday because Saturday we celebrated Jim’s sister-in-law’s 30th birthday in Napa. And there was no way we were sipping juice while everyone else sipped Pinot!

napa

Two of my sisters-in-law. Natalia, on the left and Stefanie, the birthday girl on the right.

napa

On the bus, getting the day started right! (Like my beautiful forehead in the bottom left?)

napa

Jim found the only lemon cupcake in the box. He’s probably going to kill me for posting this photo.

napa

At one of the wineries.

napa

The whole group of us. They rented a party bus and we spent the day touring different wineries followed by dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant in downtown Napa. Overall it was a pretty amazing day. Jim and I even managed to sneak away for a little while to visit our favorite Napa winery, Gustavo Thrace. This is the one we did the grape stomping at back in October.