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Detox naturally with cilantro

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Detox naturally with cilantro

Want to have better digestion, energy, and lose weight but don’t want to go on a full on juice cleanse? 

Embrace the power of cilantro…

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Ok so there are more ways to detox other then just cilantro, but it helps a lot more then you may think. Did you know that cilantro has tiny ions that bind to heavy metals in a process called chelation that help flush them out of your system? 

Check out some other facts about this versatile powerhouse:

  • Cilantro is a remarkable heavy-metal detoxifier and is able to remove mercury and aluminum from where it is stored in the adipose (fat) tissues with greater results over long term use. 
  • Cilantro herb is very low in calories and contains no cholesterol. However, its deep-green leaves possess good amounts of antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, and dietary fiber, which help reduce LDL or “bad cholesterol” while rising HDL or “good cholesterol” levels.
  • A study published in the June 2004 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, demonstrated that cilantro was capable of preventing salmonella from causing ill effects. 
  • Cilantro is also very helpful with autoimmune disorders such as Fibromyalgia, Addison’s Disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, IBS, Multiple Sclerosis, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  • When juiced and consumed as part of a regular routine, cilantro is known to help reduce the amount of damaged fats found in cell membranes.
  • Cilantro is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K; providing about 258% of DRI. Vitamin-K has a potential role in bone mass building by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones.

 Here are some quick tips on how to naturally detox without going on a specific “cleanse” or “fast”:

  1. Drink warm lemon water every morning before you eat, drink, or do anything else
  2. Add in apple cider vinegar to water and drink before meals to aid in digestion, weight loss,  and for a natural source of probiotics
  3. Cut out “white” products: white flours, white sugars, and yes white starches (this means paleo flours too like arrowroot and potato starch)
  4. Eliminate or greatly reduce intake of high mercury fish like tuna, mackerel, shark, swordfish, and mackerel. If you do eat these make sure to double up on your cilantro intake at that meal. When choosing fish make sure to pick wild caught, smaller fish that are not on the endangered list like salmon, sardines, and trout. 
  5. Sweating is a great way for your toxins to find an exit out of your body so get moving! Pick your poison: working out, sauna, dance contest in the backyard it doesn’t matter just as long as you work up a sweat.
  6. Add in high fiber foods to aid in elimination like chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, high fiber fruit and vegetables. Also make sure to take a high quality probiotic or increase your intake of naturally fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, pickles, and sauerkraut. 
  7. Crowd your plate with organic fresh, raw, and lightly steamed low starch vegetables. If you eat meat consider taking a short break and try some new plant based forms of protein like soaked quinoa, spirulina, chlorella, hemp, or soaked nuts and seeds to give your body a break from the acidic load of meat.  When you re-introduce meat make sure to limit your portions and only consume high quality grass fed meats and pastured animals. 
  8. Add in detoxifying foods to help continual kidney and liver cleansing: parsley, cilantro, dandelion root, licorice root, cayenne, turmeric, red pepper, garlic, lemon, lime, grapefruit, sea vegetables (seaweed salad, nori, dulse), artichokes, beets, cruciferous vegetables, wheatgrass, spirulina, chlorella and milk thistle.

Check out my sweet and savory detox smoothie using cilantro as the main star!

Green smoothie with parsley on wooden table

Sweet and Savory Detox Cilantro Smoothie

Serves 2

vegan - raw - sugar free - gluten free - grain free - paleo - alkaline

Ingredients

  • 1 handful of cilantro
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 Tbl hemp seeds (or flax seeds would work)
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 1/2-2 cups non dairy milk (almond, hemp, coconut, etc)
  • 1/2 juice of a lemon
  • 1/4 (about 3'') piece of cucumber
  • pinch of turmeric
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the non dairy milk, the cilantro, and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth adding more milk to thin if needed.

Notes

  1. Note
  2. If you hate cilantro adding mint can help subdue the flavor or just add more pineapple or banana to reduce the cilantro taste.

 

Learn more: 

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9529/16-ways-to-detox-every-day.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/044301_cilantro_health_benefits_heavy_metal_detoxification.html#ixzz3BVpW9LQY

http://www.resully.com/healthy-eating/amazing-health-benefits-of-cilantro/

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cilantro.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/042100_cilantro_body_detoxification_herbal_medicine.html#ixzz3BVp5efol

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Pasta with ZERO guilt

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Pasta with ZERO guilt

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There is a laundry list of reasons why pasta is not on my dinner plate these days (low nutrient value, contains gluten, inflammatory, high glycemic load, etc). I follow an anti inflammatory diet plan so for me pasta just doesn’t work well for my body. If I eat gluten I immediately feel my joints swell and ache so its just not worth it. I had written off pasta a long time ago until this happened…

I made a vegan creamy sauce from avocados, basil, garlic, olive oil, and lemon and tossed it with zucchini noodles aka zuccasta! Crazy right??? This sauce is so creamy and satisfying you wont even notice that its made from veggies and totally vegan! I pair this with a nice side salad with some of the extra sauce mixed with coconut aminos as a dressing, top it with pumpkin seeds and sliced strawberry and BLAMO, low inflammatory, vegan, deliciousness in under 30 minutes.

How do you make zuccasta you ask? Well, you will need some special equipment to make this but trust me this will be the best $35 you have ever spent (well at least for a kitchen utensil). I use the paderno slicer because its way better than any of the other brands out there, trust me on this one.

Lemon Basil Avocado Zuccasta

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado, pit removed cut into small pieces
  • 15 basil leaves chopped into ribbons
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic clove finely minced
  • 2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 5-10 turns of black pepper or to taste
  • 2-4 Zucchinis (see notes)

Optional

  1. 1/2 cup grape tomatoes halved for garnic
  2. lemon zest for garnish

Equipment

  1. Veggie Spiralizer

Instructions

  1. In a blender add the avocado, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, basil, and blend until smooth adding more olive oil to thin if needed.
  2. The sauce should be very thick like a pudding and not move if you hold the blender upside down.
  3. Spiralize the zucchini into pasta noodles (I like the paderno brand slicer) set aside.
  4. In a medium saute pan add a tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium heat until it just starts to shimmer.
  5. Add the zucchini in one layer into the pan and allow it to brown. Do don't move the "zuccasta"
  6. Once the zucchini has gained color turn it over and allow to cook for a few more minutes.
  7. Add a few heaping spoonfuls of the avocado sauce over the pasta and toss to coat. You can add more sauce to the amount of your liking.
  8. Allow the sauce and pasta to cook together until the sauce starts to lose a little bit of its green color and has heated throughout.
  9. Transfer to plates and garnish with tomatoes and lemon zest.

Notes

  1. You may have leftover sauce. I like to keep mine covered in the refrigerator for the next time I make this dish. I like to make it fresh every time rather than have it as leftovers but thats a personal preference.
  2. Use 1-2 zucchini per person for a full dinner portion.

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Holistic anti aging/skin care interview  part 1

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Holistic anti aging/skin care interview part 1

I had the privilege of interviewing a fellow health coach who specializes in holistic skin care. Lizzie is an ACE certified trainer and coaches women to eat for boundless energy and glowing skin in her practice Lizzie May Wellness…check her out here!

Check out Lizzie!!!
Check out Lizzie!!!

This is part one of a two part interview going over the top mistakes, questions, and solutions for the best skin of your life! 

What is the number one mistake women make with their skin?

In my opinion, the number one mistake women make with their skin is focusing on topical solutions rather than addressing the internal causes of skin conditions. I meet so many women who spend a fortune on products to fix persistent acne, yet they eat junk food, live on diet soda, are stressed beyond belief, and their hormones are completely out of whack. You can’t fix your outward appearance without fixing your health. I truly believe that radiant, blemish free skin is best achieved by internal means. Topical treatments can definitely enhance the skin’s appearance but they’re not nearly as important or sustainable as clean eating, stress reduction, hormonal balance, and proper sleep.

Will regular facials really make that much of a difference for my skin?

I do find value in facials and I think they are especially beneficial because you are taking time out for yourself to relax and be pampered. Stress wreaks havoc on the skin, so anything that you can do in the area of self-care is a positive in my book. One of my favorite elements of facials is facial massage. Facial massage improves the health of the skin, increases lymph and blood flow, removes toxins, softens wrinkles, and results in glowing skin. If you are going to get a facial, make sure to find an aesthetician who gives facial massage as part of the treatment. I also am a huge fan of at-home facials and DIY facial massage, which is an easy, more affordable option than weekly facials. I personally do the Tanaka facial massage on myself and I simply follow along with this youtube video. As for at home facials, I like this how-to guide.

What’s your favorite moisturizer for dry skin?

Weleda Skinfood, hands down. It’s super thick but my skin has been clearer than ever since I started using it and it hydrates better than any moisturizer I have found. It’s especially great for long flights! Due to the thick texture, it takes a little bit of time to sink into the skin, but it leaves you with the softest skin of your life. Refinery29 just wrote an article about it if you want to learn more.

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What’s your favorite cleanser for dry skin? Combo skin? Oily Skin?

I’m a huge fan of the oil cleansing method for all skin types. When following the oil cleansing method, I recommend that you use less castor oil if you have dry skin and follow the recommended ratios (on the linked guide) for your respective skin type. Out of everyone I have recommended this method to, only one woman experienced a week-long “purging period,” and then her skin cleared up without future problems. I like to add lavender and frankincense essential oils to my oil cleansing mixture for extra benefit as they are calming, anti-bacterial, and they have a very uplifting scent.

What are your make up suggestions for tinted moisturizers and/or cover ups?

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I love Jane Iredale products: they’re cruelty free, non-comodegenic, and they always exclude parabens and phenoxyethanol.

Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream  is one of my favorites.

Another brand I really like is Vapour, especially their Atmosphere soft focus foundation. 

W3LL People’s Narcissist foundation concealer stick is another favorite.

Mineral Fusion makes a great concealer. It covers dark circles, blemishes and discoloration as well as anything I’ve found at Sephora. It’s free of gluten, parabens, artificial colors, fragrances, and talc. It’s also hypo-allergenic and hasn’t caused breakouts on myself or anyone I have recommended it to. 

As for primers, my favorite brand is 100% Pure.

Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon!!!!! 

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Shopping list, protocols, and support for my 10 day cleanse

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Shopping list, protocols, and support for my 10 day cleanse

Hello fellow health warriors! Spring is here and with the entrance of warmer weather we begin to notice the clutter that has built up around us through the winter months. While it is important to clean your home, organize your car, file paperwork etc. it is also just as important to do the same for your mind, body, and spirit. I am embarking on another 10day cleanse led by a fellow classmate of mine at the Integrative Institute of Nutrition. She is a toxicologist, doctor, and a beautiful soul. Follow the facebook page she has started with the cleanse protocols, recipes, and adaptations here

The word cleanse has been confused for many, mainly that it is associated with some sort of fast track weight loss plan; that is not what this cleanse is about.

I believe a Spring cleanse is a time to:

  • Limit the stress on your digestion by eating  blended, nourishing foods
  • Rebuild your immune system after the taxing cold weather of the previous months
  • Refresh our minds and intentions for the months ahead.

Here is my shopping list for what I will be using to build meal replacing smoothies and raw blended recipes:

Liquids

  • Chaga tea (detoxifying)
  • Green, white teas, puerh (cleansing for blood)
  • Coconut and other nut milks (homemade if possible) almond milk, pumpkin milk, flax milk etc.

Healing spices 

  • Turmeric (anti inflammatory)
  • Cinnamon (blood sugar regulator)
  • Cayenne (metabolism, intestinal cleanser)
  • Ginger (digestive aid) 

Vitamins, minerals, adaptogens

  • Maca (adaptogen/hormonal health)
  • Carob (bowel conditioner/protein source)
  • Raw cacao (caffeine/antioxidant) 
  • High quality green powder. I like Healthforce naturals but pick your favorite

Fiber 

Protein 

  • Hemp
  • Spirulina
  • Chlorella,
  • Nuts/seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, almonds, cashews, flax etc)
  • Nut seed butters (almond, cashew, sunflower, etc)

Healthy fats

  • Flax oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado
  • Nuts/seeds (pumpkin, cashew, sunflower, almonds)
  • Nut/seed butters

Low glycemic sweeteners 

  • Lucuma
  • Pure stevia
  • Dates (fruits can be used as well)

Vegetables

  • Beets
  • Celery
  • Herbs (parsley, cilantro, mint)
  • Cucumber
  • Red cabbage
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Avocados

Fruits

  • Bananas
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Mangos
  • Pineapple

Dr Rhea suggests in order to make a meal replacing smoothie:

Start by using one from each category (you’ll notice overlap too) and switch it up so you’re not consuming too much of one thing. Remember, moderation is key. Add the supplements to a beautifully balanced concoction of vegetables and fruits – see my recipe album for specific recipes and ideas: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.511991548846468.1073741826.397072023671755&type=3 Organic, if possible. Here’s a list of the clean 15 (those veggies/fruits you DON’T have to buy organic) and the dirty dozen (those you definitely want to purchase clean & local if possible): http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/ Top up your blender with filtered water, coconut water (look for ones with no additives) or a dairy-free milk of choice – hemp, almond, rice or for those dairy-lovers, raw, organic). 

Here are some of my own recipes that can be incorporated over the 10 days. Just make sure to keep all the ingredients vegan and raw unless noted below:

 

 My daily protocol looks something like this:

Note: You can switch these meals around to different times of the day and modify to your nutritional needs and personal preferences. Again please go to the RAWjuvenation page for cleansing protocols. 

Wake up:

First “meal”

Lunch

  • Low sugar green juice
  • Drink slowly
  • 1Tbl flaxoil or coconut oil for added calories if needed

Snack

  • Raw recipe of of pudding rich in fat or nut/seed pesto

Dinner

or

  • large glass of homemade nut milk with cinnamon

or

Eat/drink when hungry.

Meditate.

Take long walks outside.

Take part in a creative project.

Connect with loved ones. 

Remember to join the group for more support but you do not need to deprive yourself of food. Add in raw blended recipes when craving something more filling, drink homemade nut milks for snacks, juice as much as possible, meditate, do yoga, start a creative project…reflect, rebuild, restore. Find clarity, peace, and your inner voice again. Cleansing is a beautiful way to honor your self and allow new blood, ideas, and energy into your life. 

Follow me on my Facebook page for my daily meals, recipes, and videos during my 10 day cleanse journey!

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Vegan Broccoli Herb Soup

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Vegan Broccoli Herb Soup

broccoli soup

Cooking? Who has the time to get the kids to school, go to work, go to the gym, pick everyone up, make dinner, do the dishes, prep the lunches, oh and look glamorous, fit, well rested, and oh so happy?!?

Listen, I am not claiming that this soup is going to feed your crying kids and convince them to eat broccoli, but what this will do is give YOU something quick and healthy you can eat for lunch that isn’t going to take forever to make.You do need to make your own food; snacking on your kids goldfish is not a sufficient “lunch”.

Steam your broccoli, blend it up, pair it with a protein for a full meal, and voila! You have your cleansing herbs to mange water weight, the fiber in the broccoli to keep you full, and the healthy fat from the olive oil to keep that skin young and gorgeous. This is actually really good mixed in with salad greens, roasted veggies, chicken, or fish and some almonds for crunch. Boom!

 

Vegan broccoli herb soup 

Serves 2

vegan - gluten free - grain free - sugar free - low carb - paleo

Ingredients

  • 1 Head of Broccoli, freshly steamed
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Broth (divided)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbl Lemon Juice
  • 1 Handful of Parsley (about 1/4 cup chopped)
  • 1/4 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a blender, add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, the olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice and half of the steamed broccoli.
  2. Puree until smooth.
  3. Add the remaining broccoli and puree, adding more vegetable broth to smooth to desired consistency.
  4. Taste for seasoning.

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Love Potion - Chocolate Raspberry Beet Smoothie

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Love Potion - Chocolate Raspberry Beet Smoothie

Spring is finally here, which is the perfect time to cleanse our bodies from the calorie dense foods of winter. Let’s show our livers some love with my love potion smoothie. What’s the big deal with our livers you say? 

The main function of the liver is to convert glucose to glycogen and back again if necessary. Glycogen is a carbohydrate that is used to store glucose, which is used by the body as energy.

Basically, this means that the liver regulates the amount of glucose in the human bloodstream and therefore dictates your ability to gain or lose fat depending on how efficient this process is combined with your consumption of carbohydrates (simple and complex).  The liver is also a filtering organ, so if your liver is not functioning properly, toxins can build up and hinder weight loss and overall health. 

Since beets are known for cleansing the liver this is the perfect intro to a Spring detox to begin to flush the meats and heavy starches away and start to new season off right. 

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Love Potion - Chocolate, Beet Raspberry Smoothie

Serves 1

Vegan - Raw - Sugar Free - Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free

Ingredients

  • 1 Small Beet peeled, chopped in small pieces
  • 1 Cup Frozen Raspberries
  • 2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (or non dairy milk of choice)
  • 2 Tbl Flaxseed Meal
  • 1 Cup Loosely Packed, Beet Greens (about a handful - see notes for substitutions)
  • 2 Tbl Raw Cacao
  • 1 Tbl Unrefined Coconut Oil
  • Stevia, maple syrup, soaked pitted dates to taste

Optional

  1. Top with cacao nibs for crunch

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender a slowly bring the speed up until mixture is smooth adding more liquid as needed.

Notes

  1. Beet greens can be substituted for spinach, collards, or any other green of choice or omitted entirely if you want a sweeter smoothie.

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Vegan Mango Avocado Salad Dressing

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Vegan Mango Avocado Salad Dressing

I have been on a raw food/juicing cleanse for 10 days and I am responding really well to all this clean, live food. I wanted to keep this feeling going so I am integrating some salads back in after all the blended and juiced foods. I made this salad dressing and honestly you could use this as a dip for veggies, as a sauce over some zucchini noodles, or on top of any meat like chicken or pork. The possibilities are endless. 

Avocado Mango Salad Dressing

Serves 8

Vegan - Raw - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Paleo - Sugar Free 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Avocado (make sure it is very ripe)
  • 1 Cup Chopped Mango (I used thawed frozen or you can use fresh just make sure it is ripe)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 Cup Light Coconut Milk (or use 1/4 cup full fat and 2 Tbl of water) or unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbl Chopped Cilantro (or mint if you don't like cilantro)
  • Pinch of Cayenne
  • 1/2 Tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper (freshly ground)

Optional

  1. 1 Tbl Maple Syrup (or sweetener of choice see notes)

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Add more coconut milk by the tablespoon if it is too thick.
  3. Taste for seasoning and sweetness. (see notes)

Notes

  1. Depending on the sweetness level of your mangos you may want to add some additional mangos to balance the flavors or the maple syrup to taste. If you are following a completely raw diet you can use raw coconut sugar or add more fruit to taste.

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Spring cleaning.... of your diet - Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto

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Spring cleaning.... of your diet - Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto

I need to catch you up to speed here. So it is day 4 of a 10 day raw whole food juicing/smoothie cleanse that is being run by the beautiful and talented Dr Rhea of RAWjuvenation. I have chosen to go completely raw,  blending all of my food to give my digestion and body a break from the heavy foods of winter. So far, so good. I start my morning with a probiotic, oil pulling, a huge glass of lemon water, then I fill my day with superfood smoothies, nutrient rich, low sugar, green juices, more lemon water, and the occasional blended raw food like this:

This was inspired by one of Dr Rhea’s recipes up on her Facebook page. The best part is that this recipe is a dump and puree method and this pesto is incredibly versatile. You can use it as a dip for a crudite platter, a spread for sandwiches, or even thinned out with some additional olive oil as a sauce or salad dressing. Basically, it is good on everything! 

How are you cleaning up your diet for the Spring? 

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Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto 

Yields 2

Vegan - Raw - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Sugar Free - Paleo 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1 large handful of parsley (about 1 cup packed)
  • 1 large handful of cilantro (about 1 cup packed)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbl lemon juice
  • 1 capful of apple cider vinegar (brand Bragg's)
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a work bowl of a food processor and blend until a well combined and blended to the consistency of your liking.
  2. Taste for seasoning and keep covered in the fridge until ready to eat.

Notes

  1. The seeds can be substituted for any other nut like walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts etc
  2. The herbs can be substituted for other herbs like basil, dill, chives etc
  3. For a richer pesto use 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup olive oil
  4. Thin with extra olive oil for a salad dressing or sauce

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Pain Relief Tea - For aches, pain, and inflammation

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Pain Relief Tea - For aches, pain, and inflammation

turmeric tea words

Are your bones and joints feeling the effects of this winters cruel weather like mine are?

If you answered no then that’s great! For the rest of us injured, arthritic, or just plain ol tired folks out there who said yes I have something that may help.

I make this tea when I am fighting inflammation and especially when my back is bothering me. I don’t take pain killers, over the counter NSAIDS or Tylenol because of the effects they have on the liver and stomach. In addition to the harms I am allergic to most other drugs so I have had to become pretty resourceful in how I fight pain after 3 back surgeries. Now you may say “oh but I only take Tylenol sometimes and its sold over the counter so it can’t be that bad”. I thought the same thing and ended up with esophageal burns, ulcers, stomach and intestinal bleeding that I am still trying to heal. 

An excerpt from Natural News regarding Tylenols dangerous effects:

“Even when taken at recommended doses, acetaminophen, the primary active ingredient in Tylenol, can cause major damage to the liver, potentially leading to liver failure and even death…The drug is so toxic that as many as 80,000 people are rushed to the emergency room annually due to acetaminophen poisoning, and another 500-or-so end up dead from liver failure.”

Read more from this article about the deadly effects of Tylenol

Ok so enough of the scary talk , lets talk natural solutions to pain that you can make with food right from your kitchen.  

Here are the active ingredients in my pain relief tea:

Turmeric-  Is a natural anti-inflammatory due to its content of curcumin (this gives turmeric its famous orange color). In numerous studies, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects (ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding), curcumin produces no toxicity.  Turmeric may also benefit your digestive system by stimulating your gall bladder to make bile, speeding breakdown of dietary fats.

Ginger- Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects. Ginger has also been shown to aid in gastrointestinal issues and very effective in aiding the symptoms of nausea, motion sickness, and sea sickness. *

Cayenne – Gets its heat from large concentrations of a substance called capsaicin. Capsaicin has been widely studied for its pain-reducing effects, its cardiovascular benefits, and its ability to help prevent ulcers. Capsaicin also effectively opens and drains congested nasal passages.

Lemon- An excellent source of vitamin C which not only helps strength the immune system but it also neutralizes free radicals in the body. Free radicals can interact with the healthy cells of the body, damaging them and their membranes, and cause a lot of inflammation, or painful swelling, in the body.*

Black pepper- Due to its analgesic (pain relieving), anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic properties black pepper has been shown to aid with poor muscle tone, arthritis, muscle and/or nerve pain. The oils in the black pepper has these properties which is why I strongly suggest you use freshly ground or buy black pepper essential oil. 

Both ginger and turmeric are generally considered safe and without significant side effects, and both are available as capsules from health-food stores. However, each may interact with certain prescription medications, and neither should be taken if you are pregnant. Always check with your physician if you ever have any concerns about adding a new food or supplement. 

Pain Relief Tea

Serves 4

Vegan - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Paleo 

Ingredients

  • 40 oz filtered clean water (about 5 cups)
  • 4 - 1'' coins of ginger (or use 1 Tbl powdered ginger)
  • 1 Tbl + 1 tsp Powdered Turmeric (organic high quality if you can)
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1-2 Tbl Maple Syrup or Raw Honey to taste (see note)

Instructions

  1. Pour the water into a large sauce pan.
  2. Squeeze the lemon into the water and place the squeezed lemons into the pan too.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and warm over medium heat until it comes to a boil.
  4. Whisk to combine the spices.
  5. Remove from the heat. (This can be left overnight to infuse further with the ginger too)
  6. Strain into mugs and stir in raw honey or maple syrup to taste.
  7. Keep stirring while drinking this because the spices will settle to the bottom.
  8. You can also stir the spices together and pour hot water over while whisking for a quicker version without the ginger. (see notes below)

Notes

  1. I drink mine unsweetened because I like to keep my sugar levels low and I consume this drink regularly. Adding raw local honey will make this a great immunity boosting drink. Feel free to add your sweetener of choice according to your taste.

If you need a quick single serving

  1. Mix 1 heaping tsp of turmeric, pinch of cayene, tiny pinch of black pepper, 1/2 tsp powdered ginger (optional but recommended) and pour hot water over while whisking to combine. Squeeze half of a lemon and drink immediately

*References

 

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Gluten Free Paleo Thanksgiving App - Carrot Sunflower Seed Dip

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Gluten Free Paleo Thanksgiving App - Carrot Sunflower Seed Dip

Are you prepared with a recipe arsenal for last-minute family and unannounced guests showing up this Holiday season ready to eat? Oh and don’t forget Auntie Pattie who is Paleo now, and Jimmy who has a peanut allergy, oh right and your gluten allergy. 

Are you sweating already? 

Its ok, I am here to help. 

Let me introduce you to a healthy, quick, and easy dip that is usable for an appetizer dip with crackers or veggies, or to pull together a meal by using it as a spread for roasted meats, or even thinned out with some olive oil for a salad dressing. 

Oh and did I mention its Gluten, Dairy, Grain, and Peanut Free?

Boom! 

A bonus aspect to this recipe is that you can exchange the sunflower seeds for any nut or seed you have on hand. I usually make my own crackers but let’s be honest, during the holidays sometimes we need to take short cuts, so here are some links to gluten-free crackers that I have pictured with the dip.

Obviously fresh veggies would be optimal but we need to please a crowd so lets not be too pushy on family and friends during Thanksgiving about gluten-free this and vegan that. Just put the food down and make no health announcements (unless you need to) and see what the reaction is. Plus a dip made of carrots that is completely vegan is way better than the usual cream cheese stuffed fried food that is usually around, but they don’t need to know that right? 

Carrot Sunflower Orange Date Spread

Yields 2

Vegan - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Paleo - Sugar Free - Make Ahead

Ingredients

  1. 1 Lb Carrots Peeled and Cut into 1/2'' Pieces
  2. 1 Cup Roasted Sunflower Seeds or Nut/Seed of Choice
  3. 1/2 Cup Pitted Dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes)
  4. 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  5. Zest and Juice of 1 Orange
  6. 1/2 Tsp Fine Sea Salt
  7. Pinch of Cayenne Pepper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Steam the carrots for 5-7 minutes or until the carrots are easily pierced with a knife.
  2. Drain the dates and add all of the ingredients to a blender.
  3. Blend the mixture until smooth.
  4. Taste for seasoning and transfer to a bowl and serve with crackers, crudite, or use as a dip for meat or veggies.

Notes

           The sunflower seeds can be replaced with cashews, almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts.

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Sneaky Vegetable Juice Granita

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Sneaky Vegetable Juice Granita

Carrot granita words

Summer has officially ended and that makes me sad :(

But I wont accept that yet so I will hold on to the season for one more day by making frozen desserts.

You can’t tell me what to do! I can eat what I want!

So what am I eating today in my rebellion of the seasonal change? 

Its a tropical granita with a vegetable hidden inside. 

So whats the sneaky ingredient….

wait for it….

Carrots!

Total shocker with that electric orange color right?

This ones pretty simple, I just mixed freshly juiced organic carrots, pineapple, ginger, lime and sweetened it with maple syrup for this light, refreshing, and super nutritious Granita/ shaved ice dessert.

Oh and here’s a sweet bonus  the pineapple and ginger aid in digestion so this is perfect after a heavy meal or if you are having a little tummy trouble.

Don’t worry if you do not have a juicer, simply buy some high quality unsweetened carrot and pineapple juice and use a blender to puree some ginger into the juices and strain after. Voila! (I have more detailed notes in the recipe below.)

So hang on to summer for one more day with me and float away with this blissful frozen sneaky vegetable granita. 

Carrot Pineapple Ginger Granita

Serves 4

 vegan - gluten free - grain free - refined sugar free 

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Peeled Organic Carrots (or 2 cups unsweetend Carrot juice)
  • 3 Cups Pineapple Chunks (or 2 cups unsweetened Pineapple Juice)
  • 1 - 3''x 1'' piece of ginger ( see notes if you don't have a juicer)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Pure Organic Maple Syrup or Yacon Syrup or sweetener of choice

Instructions

  1. Using a juicer, juice the carrots, pineapple and ginger (if using bottled juices simply combine them all in a bowl with a lid).
  2. Squeeze the lime into the juices and stir in the maple syrup and sea salt.
  3. Taste for sweetness and add more maple syrup or sweetener of your choice to taste. (You are looking for it to be very sweet with bright flavors because the flavors dull once frozen)
  4. Pour the juice into a 9 x 13 baking dish and freeze it for a good two or three hours.
  5. Remove and gently scrape the slushy juice with a fork (it will be more frozen on the sides so mix those into the center)
  6. Return it back into the freezer for another hour or two, scrape again and repeat until the entire mix is frozen and scraped into ice pieces (usually takes about three rounds).
  7. If you have an ice cream maker place the juice mixture in the fridge for one hour to chill then churn according to your manufactures instructions.
  8. Spoon into bowls and eat!

Notes

  1. If you don't have a juicer finely chop up the ginger and add to a blender with 1/2 of the juice and puree until blended completely. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to avoid and ginger chunks add to the remaining ingredients and proceed with the recipe as written.
  2. I like to top my granita with fresh lime juice and layer with coconut cream if I'm in need of something a bit more decadent.

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All Natural Pre Workout Juice for Champions

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All Natural Pre Workout Juice for Champions

Beet juice words

There is a lot of hype out there in the bodybuilding/workout community advertising pre workout supplements. I would be lying if said I have never tried one…ok truth talk I have tried about all of them. I use to be somewhat of a gym rat and if a supplement helped my lifts and gave me energy I didn’t really pay attention to any of the additives, dyes, or crummy ingredients written in tiny print next to a warning label….whoops :/

Now a days I haven’t been in the gym in a few years due to a couple of back surgeries ( a story for another time) so I have had the luxury of looking at these supplements with an unbiased perspective and the view is not pretty.

Top selling pre-workout supplements such as USP Labs Jack3D, MusclePharm Assault, & MuscleTech NeuroCore contain the following chemically derived ingredients:

Sucralose: An artificial chlorinated artificial sweetener in line with aspartame and saccharin, with detrimental health effects to match(aka Splenda). Sucralose has been show to decrease gut health by 50% and despite its “diet” artificial sweeteners have been shown to: 

  • Stimulate your appetite
  • Increase carbohydrate cravings
  • Stimulate fat storage and weight gain

FD& C Red #40: 

  • A petrochemical. A highly processed, petroleum based chemical used to color foods to make them more visually appetizing.
  • It goes by several names including: Allura Red, Food Red 17, C.I. 16035, FD&C Red 40.
  • It is banned and/or being phased out in much of Europe due to concerns over health effects.

Acesulfame-K: is a potassium salt containing methylene chloride, a known carcinogen.

Reported side effects: Long term exposure to methylene chloride can cause nausea, headaches, mood problems, impairment of the liver and kidneys, problems with eyesight and possibly cancer. Acesulfame-K may contribute to hypoglycemia. 

Concerns: Of all artificial sweeteners, acesulfame-K has undergone the least scientific scrutiny. Early studies showed a potential link between the sweetener and development of multiple cancers in laboratory animals. 

When you take a step back and think about the long-term damage you are doing to your body for short-term gains in the gym it seems pretty insane. 

So whats the solution to still getting huge pumps, increased lifts, and long-lasting energy to tear the gym a new one?

BEETS!!!!

Natures Candy
Natures Candy

So why are beets the key to succesful workouts?

  • Beets are a great source of inorganic nitrates which friendly bacteria in the mouth convert to nitrate, and then through the body is converted to nitric oxide. Ever heard of it? If you are a gym rat you probably are very familiar with nitric oxide as a pre workout supplement that helps increase your lifts because of its positive effect on blood flow, muscle contraction, and neurotransmission. Basically bigger lifts and more energy. 
  • Beet juice has been shown to drop systolic blood pressure by 5-10mmHG depending on the dose. The more the better (1 cup is a good serving suggestion) but you will want to start small (about 1/4 cup) or else you could feel a bit light-headed if you are an athlete and your blood pressure tends to run on the low side. 
  • It is best to drink this a few hours (2.5 hours to be exact) before your workout for the peak levels to be reach while exercising but one hour before will still yield positive results.  

 Great article on the scientific benefits of beet juice and energy output

Other health benefits from Beet Juice:

• It is an amazing antioxidant and helps prevent the formation of cancerous tumors. 

• Beetroot juice detoxifies the liver and aids in healing diseases of the digestive system. 

• Good source of folic acid and helps in providing protection against birth defects.

• Beet juice lowers bad cholesterol level.

You can buy a beet root powder but I like to juice mine fresh along with turmeric ( a natural anti-inflammatory which will help decrease muscle soreness), ginger (for added heat to increase blood flow and beat muscles soreness), and carrots for some sweetness and to prevent muscle cramping. This juice is also an amazing pain killer for post workout as well so basically anytime anywhere you can drink this juice and feel amazing!

Bonus Add ons:

  • Maca Powder: A powerful adaptogen that increases oxygen, energy, and balances hormones
  • Scoop of favorite protein powder to balance the natural sugars and give your body more to work with for extended workouts.
  • 1 tbl of chia seeds to aid in fluid retention, halting absorptions of sugars, and for a boost of protein. 

Pre Workout Beet Juice Drink

Yields 3

Vegan- Alkaline - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Paleo

Ingredients

  1. 3 Organic Peeled Beets
  2. 4 Organic Peeled Carrots
  3. 2 Small (about 1'') Pieces Peeled Turmeric
  4. 1 Small Coin of Ginger
  5. Optional: Maple Syrup, or Honey to Taste but raw and pure is best

Instructions

  1. Juice all of the ingredients in a juicer and store in an airtight glass container.
  2. One serving is 4-8oz (1/2 -1 cup) but start small.

Notes

  1. Don't have a juicer? Chop all of the ingredients into very small pieces and add them to some warm water in a high power blender and puree then strain through cheesecloth.
  2. Feel Free to add in protein powder for extended workouts and maca powder to increase energy and oxygen levels.
  3. Excessive consumption of beet juice may cause your urine to turn pink. This is normal and nothing to be worried about.

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Beat the Heat: Chilled Cantaloupe Gazpacho

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Beat the Heat: Chilled Cantaloupe Gazpacho

canteloupe gazpacho ariel

Excuse my absence this week, I’ve been a bit busy and hot. Sooooo hot. There has been a heat wave all over the country so I know I’m not alone melting away here. 

When its this hot out I crave light refreshing food that does not require the use of the stove. 

This was my lunch yesterday…

Chilled Cantaloupe Gazpacho….ahhhhhhh 

I used a Tuscan cantaloupe because they have a sweeter flavor and more delicate flesh but whatever melon you have is just fine. Honeydew could actually be a very interesting substitute especially if you add half of an avocado.

This soup is raw, vegan, gluten-free and very cleansing. This makes one very large bowl but with a sprinkle of chopped nuts I think it’s the perfect light summer lunch or snack. If you are really hungry perhaps some brown rice or quinoa to soak up the soup would be a perfect addition. 

 

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