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Posts tagged ‘green juice’

Being the Light of Winter

Winter Solstice Blessings

Winter Solstice Blessings

Winter has kissed us crisply on our cheeks. December 21st  marked the winter solstice. As the sun sunk into the sky that brisk day, daylight reached its minimum. For three days, the sun lingered along the horizon, coddling us with the longest nights of the year. Now, the sun begins its ascent into the northern sky. The days grow incrementally longer, slowly tempting us with the promise of sweet spring as each day passes. This time of year invites emotional comfort, new beginnings and cleansing traditions.

Consider transitioning from holiday feasts to that of a gentle cleanse. I am a proponent of cleansing by way of nutrient dense juicing. Vegetable juice offers a high concentration of nutrients that your body can readily assimilate. Incorporating daily juices will help fend off illness during the cold months ahead. Juicing is also an affective platform to launch better eating habits. Often, a short three-day juice feast will encourage your body to crave healthier foods. Many times a cleanse of this nature is exactly what your body needs to purify from the rich holiday menus, gently guiding your diet towards fresher, lighter meals and wholesome raw foods. You may drink four to six quarts of juices during a proper juice feast. Hunger should not be an issue, for your body is flooded with pure nutrition. If you choose to undergo a juice feast, please click HERE to learn more. Whether you are inspired by a full juice cleanse or simply want to add a juice or two to your current daily diet, the following green juice recipe will be a wonderful staple in your regimen.

Green Juice

2 apples

1 bunch celery

½ inch fresh ginger

1 lemon

1 cucumber

1 bunch greens of choice (try kale, spinach, chard, parsley, etc.)

Wash then cut all the ingredients into a size and shape that will fit through your juicer. Push the vegetables through the juicer. Collect all the juice in a bowl, cup or jar and drink immediately. Refrigerate any remaining juice in an airtight container, and be sure to drink it within the day.

Yields approximately one quart of juice.

The Green Star GS1000 is the juicer I personally and professionally use. It is a twin gear juicer designed to press the juice out of vegetables. In doing so, the nutritional integrity of juice stays intact. Juice pressed from this machine oxidizes at a slow rate. Because of this, you can make your juices in the morning, store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator, and they will stay fresh and nutritious throughout the day. The Green Star is ideal for juicing green leafy vegetables like kale, herbs and spinach. It produces the highest yield of juice from fruits and vegetables, giving you the most out of your produce in both quantity and quality. I love my Green Star! It is, by far, the best juicer I have used. It is the juicer of choice for many raw food restaurants, schools and chefs.

Winter Shana

Winter Shana

You are all wrapped up, cloaked from head to toe, snuggled warmly from Winter’s chill. Realize your body lives, it breathes, under all those threads and layers. Don’t neglect what you can’t see. There are many things you can do to keep your body vibrant during these cold months. Juicing is clearly one of the best habits to embrace, keeping you healthy and beautiful from the inside out. However, you should also nurture yourself topically, because caring for your skin will keep you looking and feeling young. Staying hydrated with supple skin in the winter can be easy.

For a silky, soft body, lavish yourself in moisture. Your skin is the body’s largest organ. It has the ability to absorb nutrients, filtering it directly into your bloodstream. Be aware of how you choose to moisturize yourself. Are you buttering yourself up with seductively scented toxins (from name-brand lotions) or nature’s purest ingredients? Where your skin is concerned, it makes a difference. Though you are not slathering your favorite lotions on your morning toast, if you apply it to your skin or lips, you are indeed consuming it. Try using edible oils on your body. Coconut oil is a simple and deliciously refreshing alternative to manufactured moisturizers. Coconut oil is one of the most moisturizing oils while not leaving a greasy feeling. It is pure and smells like sweet dreamy summers. Avocado oil is another luxurious oil. It’s said to be excellent for problem skin such as extreme dryness and eczema. It softens, increases elasticity and leaves no greasy residue while moisturizing the skin. Experiment with various oils of your liking, gifting your body a healthy, NATURAL luster.

Be Light & Play

Be Light & Play

As you settle into this darkened season, it is important to kindle the LIGHT within yourself. Learn to see the magic and beauty in everything around you. As merry as the holiday season was, don’t rely on it solely for positivism and joy. Reach within for true solace and enchantment. By doing so, you will begin to see your world through sparkling fresh eyes. Embrace the gifts of the winter. Allow yourself to love what you may have resisted in the past. Shed preconceived thought patterns. Begin anew. Renew and awaken right this very moment.

Never underestimate the power of positive thinking, and learn to live in the world like a lighthearted child. The next time it rains, get wet. Few things are more memorable then hiking in the rain, smelling the pine filtered air, sensing the dense quite of the landscape, knowing you are alone but amidst everything at once. Play. Jump in a puddle to see how big of a splash you can make. Laugh. Forget your umbrella. Or, on a thick foggy morning, walk along the ocean, listening to the unseen waves, feeling the sting of mist on your cheeks. Or, simply stay home, safe and cozy. Build a fire and light candles. Be grateful for weather that promotes snuggles, rest and quiet moments. If you are bright within, you will create a brilliant world around you. Practice seeing, feeling and expressing joyous light in every moment.

Raw Vegan Mango Torte

Raw Vegan Mango Torte

Season’s greetings, or rather, season’s eatings. As those around you invest in their favorite weight gain strategies, take a moment to consider the bigger picture. Is it health and vitality that will greet you on the other side of 2010 or will you face the promise of a renewed gym membership and dietary angst? If weight management and health often grace the top of your resolution list, take heed of your deepest wishes. Do this now and every day. Live in the moment. Desire better for yourself, and provide yourself the same attention, nurturing and support you would give a dear friend or loved one. You are important. Treat yourself like it, and honor yourself with compassionate LOVE and deep RESPECT.

Blessings in radiant health, renewal and peace!

Raw Chef Panel Q1: What do you eat?

Q. Describe a typical day. What time do you eat? What do you eat?

A. I like to meditate first thing in the morning, but I don’t want anything in my stomach to weigh me down, interfering with my energy flow as I tap into a higher state of consciousness. With this being said, my first meal is usually light. I would also like to add that every day is different and my palate changes with the seasons. In the warmer months, I will have a green juice or a green smoothie. I make the green juice with kale, cucumber, celery, ginger, lemon and, sometimes, garlic. All these vegetables, I run through my Green Star juicer. I love this juicer, for it provides a high yield of juice that is slow to oxidize. When I choose to make smoothies, I keep it simple. In the summer, when peaches are sweet and ripe, I adore peach smoothies blended with kale or spinach. Another all time favorite smoothie is mango and parsley. (For recipes, click HERE.) I am absolutely in love with mangos; and, after adding this particular smoothie to my diet, I actually salivate when I see parsley now. It’s a funny thing, but my body just craves these greens. I have noticed that the more greens I eat, the more I desire. I feel optimal physically, emotionally and spiritually the greener my diet.

When I get hungry next depends largely on how I ate the day before. If I had heavy foods or ate a lot of calories the day prior, I may not get hungry until 1pm or so. If this is the case, I will have a late lunch. However, there are other days I feel hungry much sooner. I have no qualms about eating my lunch as early as 10am. I don’t get hung up on timing. I think too many people ignore the body’s need for energy, being slaves to a specific snack or lunch hour. The body knows when it needs fuel. Just listen to it. Lunch, for me, is a huge salad. I like to vary my green leafy vegetable intake for culinary variety and for health. It is important to me that I get a wide spectrum of nutrients from foods. In addition, my salads always include one whole avocado. I find by combining an avocado with a large amount of fibrous foods, I am completely satiated. One of my staple summer salads is made with avocado and strawberries. I will make this with an entire head of lettuce, adding one cubed avocado and a large basket of strawberries, sliced. I toss these ingredients in a light oil, lemon, basil dressing. This is easy, fresh and very fulfilling.

If I need to snack between meals, I usually do so with fruit. One of my favorite fruits are figs, and when they are in season, and full of sweet goodness, I can easily eat a pound or so. My eyes actually roll to the back of my head when I bite into a plump, succulent fig. Yummy! Please make note that I use the disclaimer, “when the fruit is in season.” I try to only eat seasonally. In doing so, I am supporting and consuming eco-friendly, locally grown and highly nutritious produce.

Another fun snack I have recently added to my diet is chocolate in the form of raw cacao. I have a low tolerance for stimulants, and cacao is certainly one. I can only take it in small doses, but I have discovered that a little will not only satisfy me for hours, but it actually elevates my mood. I like to make a chocolate ganache with a heaping teaspoon of cacao powder, softened coconut oil, and a splash of agave nectar or a mashed banana for sweetness. This is the basic recipe. To this, I will sometimes add coconut flakes and superfoods like maca, spirulina, blue green algae and/or Vitamineral Green. This creates a chocolate superfood jolt of pure bliss and happiness. However, due to my sensitivity to the stimulating effect of cacao, I will only have this early in the day. And, I will never have this treat before any spiritual work like meditation or Reiki healing. This is not a grounding or a spiritually stabilizing food for me, so I use it mindfully.

If my physical activity was low or I drank over a quart of green juice earlier in the day, this could be enough food for me. However, there are many days this is not the case. My second meal varies considerably. I do have an active social life, and there are many times I will visit the local raw food restaurants for a meal. I prefer lighter fare, entrees that use few nuts. I also enjoy raw desserts, so I will often order one when out. They are so divine and hard to resist. Though, I do occasionally order nut based desserts, I usually pay the price for that decision. Nuts make me feel acidic and dehydrated. I often wake the next day, feeling puffy with watery eyes and a runny nose. But, as uncomfortable as that is, sometimes it is hard to pass up well made sweets. I know the consequences when I order or make dessert; I accept the results, and I choose, consciously, to savor it. If I ate nut-dense meals or desserts daily, a raw diet would not be healthy or sustainable for me. Being a conscious eater is key. I am aware of my choices. I know my body, and I thrive when in balance. With this being said, more often than not, I make my own foods. Dinner at home could be anything from a shredded cabbage, cilantro, lime salad to a carrot, beet, garlic salad or a simple romaine lettuce, avocado salad tossed in capers. The more green vegetables I eat, the better I feel on every level. I treat myself to complex meals from time to time, but for the most part, I am a simple raw foodie.

Every day is different. My diet ebbs and flows with my energy output, my spiritual work, my mood, the weather, the seasonal produce available and my social life. As I write, today is a dark day. Autumn has firmly set in, bringing with it billowing charcoal-grey clouds. I am craving warmth. I also had a heavy seed day yesterday, for I ate a fair bit of raw granola from Two Moms in the Raw. Because of this, today I am simply not that hungry.

Today I ate:

Breakfast: the water from one young Thai coconut mixed with a tablespoon Crystal Manna blue green algae

Lunch: a quart of green smoothie- 1 apple, ½ bunch of dandelion greens and 4 cups warm brewed herbal chai tea

Snack: 1 large basket of strawberries

I am listening to my body. Though this doesn’t sound like very much food, it may well be all I need for the day. I find when I eat calorie dense foods one day, my body naturally balances itself the next. If I do, indeed, feel the need to eat later, I will most likely have a light green salad with very little fat, meaning no avocado, nuts or seeds.

My best advice is to be highly conscious of what you are eating and why. Listen to your body. Pay little homage to delegated meal times and peer pressure. Eat what feels right for your activity level and mental/spiritual clarity. Eat well, allowing your body to stay in balance. Listen within. Eat for health and enjoy the pleasure of it. Cherish your food and honor yourself.

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