Beet Juice Recipe

the Hurricane

This weekend we experienced some pretty terrible weather with the impending approach of a Category 4 hurricane (Joaquin). Luckily, Joaquin decided to take a detour and spare us from even more dangerous weather.  Nevertheless, it was still dark and stormy out with all day rain– totally ruined my half marathon training, but life goes on.  While I was “rained in” I decided to experiment with a weather-inspired beet juice recipe.  I call this baby The Hurricane since it was “born” into existance in the midst of hurricane Joaquin’s threat to strike the east coast

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I would like to point out that this juice is not very sweet.  That is because I try to create juices with the highest nutrient concentration possible, while keeping sugar content low.  I do this by using more vegetables than fruits in my recipes.  This helps keep your blood sugar stable but still allow for delivery of high dose nutrients to your body.

Here I used one of my least favorite vegetables- beets! But never fear- it’s only ONE (or half of one) and I promise it doesn’t taste as scary as it looks 😉  Ever dislike something even though you knew it was amazingly good for you? Yup! So why did I choose to use beetroot in my juice? Ah that is because I would never otherwise eat it & benefit from it unless it was in my juice.

beets

Beets are a great source of antioxidants and nitrates which provide increased energy by improving blood flow. Because of this, beet juice has been shown to help the body respond better to exercise. It’s even been shown to help with blood pressure!

Make sure to wash beets well because they are usually pretty filthy. I peeled the beetroot and trimmed off the beet greens.  Beet greens can be a bit strong in juices and it was not the flavor profile I was going for here, so I put them away to be sautéed on another day.

 

parsley

I also added a handful of flat-leaf parsley. I love adding fresh herbs to juices, it really freshens up the flavor not to mention herbs like parsley and cilantro are fantastic for several health conditions.  Parsley is high in chlorophyll, vitamin C, folate and iron but one does not normally eat enough parsley in day-to-day life to actually experience any improvements, so juicing it is the perfect way to obtain all of the health benefits of this wonder herb. But beware! This is potent stuff when juiced so limit consumption to 1 oz per day and it should not be taken by itself (always juice it with other veggies & fruits).  I personally prefer the Italian flat-leaf parsley to the curly parsley.  I found the curly parsley to have a soapy taste when I juice it. Again, remember to only use a small handful of this stuff until you’ve acquired a taste for it.

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I decided to throw in 1 large carrot to add some sweetness.  This helped balance out the strong flavors from the beet and parsley.  If you are worried about the beet (like i was in the beginning) start with just one-half of a beet in the juice.

The final ingredients to the Hurricane juice recipe include some of my staple juice ingredients: lemon, celery and kale.  I found it was cheaper and more convenient to purchase baby kale in a 5oz container from the Earthbound brand instead of the actual giant kale leaves.  Sometimes I find the giant kale leaves to be cheaper, but not this time and they looked a little sad & droppy too. So organic baby kale in a container it was!

I only used 2 celery sticks here because celery can also have a very strong flavor if you add too much. And the final ingredient was a lemon (peeled of course).  Feel free to add more or less of any ingredient according to your taste preferences 🙂  When I first started juicing I really preferred sweeter tasting juices so I would use a lot more fruit and more lemon/lime, but as time has gone on I’ve started to enjoy bolder but fresh flavors. I’m sure you’ll experience the same thing as your taste buds become re-trained.

lemon and greens

I invite you to try this juice at home and adjust it to fit YOU.  Juicing is such a great way to obtain a high concentration of micronutrients and antioxidants!  It’s a fantastic way to give your body a high dose of goodness, remove toxins, kill cravings and reboot your health.  This juice in particular will give you all of these benefits AND it’s low calorie, low in sugar content, and perfect for fall weather.  Have it as a snack or pre-workout fuel.

So give it a try & ENJOY.  As always, please feel free to contact me with questions or drop me a comment below.


Ingredients:

1 or 1/2  beetroot

1 large carrot (optional)

1 lemon (peeled)

2 celery sticks

3oz baby kale or about 8 large kale leaves

1 handful of fresh parsley

Directions: Process all ingredients through juicer and enjoy. Makes about 6 to 8oz. If storing for later consumption, be sure fill your container up to the top with filtered water to prevent oxidation. Juice will last in this manner for up to 48hrs.


Juice On,

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Eating More Vegetables and Fruits

Eat more (1)

Today I want to talk to you about a healthy habit that is not only going to help you manage your weight, but also improve your overall wellbeing.  This healthy habit is eating MORE.  Yes you read that right! …specifically, eating MORE vegetables and fruits.  Can you guess how many servings of veggies and fruits you should be consuming daily? Experts recommend 5 to 9 servings per day! When I initially heard this recommendation I was pretty surprised and realized I was getting no where near this amount.  Are you?

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Dont worry I’ve got you covered. Since changing my eating habits I’ve fallen head over heels in love with veggies and fruits discovering a variety of ways to get my recommended amount (and more) with ease every single day. But before I give you those hot tips, let’s talk about why the experts think we should eat more of this good stuff.

Vegetables and fruits are not only nutritious and delicious, but they are also naturally low in calories. Now that’s a big win! More benefits include fiber to keep you full longer and keep your digestive system happy 🙂  These foods can also reduce risk of disease and provide vitamins and minerals which keep you energized and healthy. I think these are all pretty great reasons to eat your veggies (I guess mom was right all along, as usual).

Don’t panic– vegetables and fruits are so versatile and easy to incorporate into any meal or snack.  Here are my top tips on how to eat more vegetables and fruits.

[ HOW TO EAT MORE VEGGIES & FRUITS: ]
1. Juices and Smoothies – this is my favorite way to sneak in both veggies & fruits! (Be careful to read the labels & avoid added sugars and additives).
2. Soups– Great one-pot-meal!
3. Salads– Pile on the veggies!
4. Meatless Mondays – trade out one meal a week for a vegetarian dish.
5. Be Sneaky– chop veggies small enough to hide into sauces, burgers, meatloaves, etc.
6. Take Shortcuts– frozen veggies are just fine (and much easier to prep), pre-chop and wash your produce so it’s readily available to you, and if you buy canned watch out for BPA and sodium contents.
7. Recipe Re-do– Try making your favorite foods a little healthier (for example, add veggies to your omelets, make kale chips, use avocado instead of butter when baking)
8. Fill at least half of your plate with veggies
9. Try supplementing with green powder boosts for days where your on the go and really lacking in veggies.
10. DIY salad dressings! Swap the fattening, high calorie dressing and make your own
A few suggestions I’d like to leave you with are to aim for more vegetables compared to fruits.  For example, if you consume 5 servings of veggies/fruits in a day be sure to try having at least 3 of those servings from vegetables and 2 from fruit.  And when you eat out, don’t be afraid to ask for a side of vegetables or substitute your fries for veggies.

Do a little experimenting, try some new produce, and step out of your comfort zone.  This one small change can lead to BIG results.  It just requires a little bit of effort on your part but YOU CAN DO IT.

If you’d like to learn more about adding vegetables & fruits into your diet and eating clean, in general, I would like to invite you to join my FREE & complimentary 5-day facebook group “Fall into Healthy Eating Habits.” I’ll be giving out valuable resources, recipes, tips, discussions and videos to help you learn how to implement healthier eating habits successfully. { Sign up here for more information or in the opt-in box on the right–>  }

For meal ideas incorporating vegetables and fruit check out: 
http://greatist.com/health/40-unexpected-ways-add-veggies-meal/

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/easy-ways-to-add-fruits-veggies-to-your-day

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Plant-Based Eating: What, Why, & How

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People are often curious about my diet, wondering what I eat versus don’t eat and why.  Well here it is… I follow a “mostly” plant-based eating lifestyle. I say “mostly” because who doesn’t enjoy a treat here and there!  🙂

So what is a plant based diet?  I would sum up the description with the famous quote by food writer, Michael Pollan, as stated in his book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto — “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” 1

Eat Food.

But if you want to get really specific, according to the folks over at forksoverknives.com, a whole foods, plant based diet incorporates a wealth of fruits and vegetables, beans/legumes, and grains. This way of eating focuses greatly on whole, unrefined, minimally processed plant foods. A plant based lifestyle aims to reduce (or eliminate) meat, dairy, eggs, refined foods (bleached flour, refined sugars, and oils)2. It may sound complicated but I promise it’s not.  Basically if it’s from a plant and has minimal processing and recognizable ingredients on the label, it’s plant-based diet approved.

Since I love reading to learn more about the things that interest me, I naturally gravitated toward books & research when I wanted to find a long-term solution to manage my weight and upgrade my health. {Read my story here}.   All of my readings led me to a plant-based eating approach.  Check out a few of my favorites and recommendations here.

{ Two guiding principles I have taken from everything I’ve read are: }

#1 Eat more vegetables &  #2 Eat less processed foods

 

Why should anyone eat this way?  Well because it can save your life that’s why. Do those two principles above really seem THAT hard to follow?  It may take some work on your part to be intentional and not fall back into old habits, but soon enough it becomes second nature. My body actually craves fruits and veggies!  But as with any major lifestyle change, you cannot stay motivated (or even get started) unless you have good reason for doing so.

Here are the top 3 reasons to follow a mostly plant based lifestyle:

  1. Good for animals 
  • By eating this way you are showing that you do not support animal cruelty.
    • Best practices tip: Even if you are not a vegan & enjoy animal products, try to buy products from animals that have been humanely raised.
  1. Great for the environment 
  • Large amounts of grain are grown just to feed animals, but we would save so much water and other energy resources if the grain produced was used to feed humans instead3.
  • Producing just 1 pound of beef requires 15 pounds of grain4.
  • Animal products are among the highest producers of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere5.
  1. Even better for YOU & your body
  • Helps prevent disease (& can in some cases reverse it)! Eating a plant based diet can help prevent and treat chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, lower blood pressure & cholesterol, help with weight loss, digestion, and inflammatory diseases6.
  • Improves your overall health & wellness by providing more antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and more fiber 7.

Good for animals

 

 

How do i actually incorporate this into my life?  Personally, I follow the “80/20 rule” by eating the whole foods, plant-based way 80% of the time and allowing for a few treats (fish, eggs, some dairy & even desserts) 20% of the time. I believe embracing a mostly plant-based eating approach is one of the best things you can do for your health and the environment but I also believe in balance. I know if I am too strict on myself I will not have a healthy relationship with food and be miserable. Listen to your body and adjust your dietary habits accordingly. Everyone is different. Find what works for you but always keeping in mind the two plant based principles.

{ A TOP TIP for anyone interested in taking the first step toward a plant-based approach }

Work toward adding 5 servings of fruits and vegetables into your day

(at least 3 servings should be veggies + 2 servings should be fruit)

 

Got it? Good. Now go try it out! Be sure to comment with your results and experiences.

 

P.S. —  I’m opening up 5 spots for lifetime membership into my Wellness Club & what better way to get started?! So if you are in need of some help kickstarting your journey to health and happiness contact me. I’d love to provide some guidance & support and plug you into a whole community of love & accountability <3

– x o x o –  

a little bit of


| References |

1 In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan http://www.amazon.com/In-Defense-Food-Eaters-Manifesto/dp/0143114964

2 http://www.forksoverknives.com

3 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carole-bartolotto/plant-based-diet_b_3807973.html

4 http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-greenhouse-hamburger/

5 http://report_ewg_meat_eaters_guide_to_health_and_climate_2011.pdf/

6 http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/slideshows/reasons-to-choose-a-plant-based-diet/1

7 http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/amazing-health-benefits-of-embracing-a-plant-based-diet/

 

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Quit Dieting & Get Healthy

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I was a girl that loved chocolate milk, bread and butter, and the Double Decker Supreme at Taco Bell (hold the tomatoes). My parents tell me I was a pretty big candy addict too, throwing tantrums if I didn’t get my sugar fix. I remember eating McDonalds for lunch almost every day my senior year of high school. On the rare occasion that I had fruits it was usually strawberries dunked in sprinkled with sugar, because I didn’t think they were sweet enough otherwise. I was a picky eater, not caring for anything “green”—you know, like broccoli, spinach, avocados—or any other fruits and vegetables for that matter.  I was completely ignorant about nutrition and the implications it can have on a person’s health.

When I started college I was tired of struggling with my weight and confidence; being unable to keep up with sports, and dealing with asthma. I was now independent and completely responsible for what I ate. I decided to get “healthy.” Unfortunately my definition of health was so far off. I though healthy meant skinny, as so many misinformed women think today. I went on a calorie-restricted diet and incorporated a lot of cardio. Of course I lost weight this way, but in no way was I healthy. I was tired! Mentally and physically I was dragging. I was excited to finally wear a size 2 but that excitement quickly faded when I realized this diet was not sustainable and was depriving my life of so much joy. I would panic thinking about my next meal or going to a social event. I cycled from eating whatever I wanted, then feeling guilty and trying to cut calories for a few days to “make up the difference.” My weight fluctuated as a result.  It was not until I found the book “The Food Revolution” by John Robbins that my life changed and I quit dieting. Today I stand firm in the truth that food is not fear, it is fuel.

Any diet that deprives your life of joy is not a healthy one.

I learned about plant based eating. Reading all of the evidence based benefits and research this type of lifestyle promised made it all the more alluring. I decided, after reading that book, that I wanted to feel my very best, be healthy, and heal my relationship with food. I began focusing on eating more whole, unprocessed plant foods by incorporating fruits and vegetables into each meal and snack. { More on this in an upcoming post}. It took some trial and error and a lot of listening to my body, but eventually I learned what foods I thrived on and which ones did not work so well for me. It’s been 4 years now, and I continue to follow this way of eating pretty consistently. This time I wasn’t following a diet, I was changing my lifestyle.

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These are a few of the benefits I experienced as a result:

  1. I haven’t used my asthma inhaler in 3 years
  2. My taste buds changed (flavors are so much bolder to me now)
  3. I fell in love with fruits and veggies, which I previously despised
  4. Feel stronger and more energized
  5. I don’t get sick as often (or as severely)
  6. Healthy relationship with food
  7. I have found balance by focusing on overall wellness- physical, mental, emotional
  8. Reduced cravings
  9. Renewed confidence
  10. I’m not afraid of that scale!

MybeforeAfter

Today I can confidently tell you I am on a growth path. I completed a course at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to receive my certification as a holistic health coach. I’m constantly learning about nutrition, finding ways to continually improve my own health, as well as help others find ways to positively change their health.

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I hope sharing my story will inspire you to learn more about health and wellness, and as a result make some positive changes in your own life. If you’re looking for a little guidance I’m happy to help just {click here}.

*** Please share your story and/or thoughts in the comments below or email me at PrescribingHealth@gmail.com ***

Look out for more great content coming soon!

Until next time, a little bit of


[ Always check with your physician before making any major dietary changes or increasing the physical demands on your body. ]

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