Monday, April 16, 2012

Old Dog (Me)...New Tricks (You)

So there are some other people out there that actually read this blog, and decided it was a GOOD idea to do a juice cleanse.  (Obviously having skipped the posts about Stage 5 - or aren't being honest about not experiencing it.....)

My friend (you know who you are **wink**) came up with a couple of awesome new recipes I wanted to share with everyone.  She got pretty adventurous with one of them with it calling for tomatoes and everything.  Now that, to a normal person, wouldn't sound at all off kilter.  To me, however, someone who can walk into the kitchen at work 2 hours after someone cut a tomato and gag fiercely, this recipe was terrifying to my taste buds.

So in the meantime of waiting for me to try the scary tomato recipe, she came up with ANOTHER one that is by FAR the best juice I've had (still didn't add any vodka...but this is the one that would get it!!).   That particular recipe is as follows:

The Breeze - due to the ease of making it, and it tastes all tropically 
  • Half a pineapple
  • 2 big oranges
  • Handful of fresh Basil

HOLY!!! This drink is good!!!!  DH was gone for a long time, and I couldn't wait to make it for him when he got home (after eating cuy on his trip - I'll wait for everyone to google that, gag fiercely, and come back).   He loved it too, and suggested that you could use mint if you didn't have basil - or wanted to try it.  We haven't done it yet, but plan to.  But I really like the basil.

So after The Breeze was so good, I figured the other one couldn't hurt me.  The list of her ingredients look perfectly normal and harmonious....but to me those letters that form the red word....ugh.   I don't think I've ever bought a tomato on purpose, but I did it.  I arranged the myriad of produce, and began juicing my little black heart out.  I would consider this juice a "meal" juice.  It is very satisfying, and filling.  It's savory, and really wonderful.  I just said that out loud (with my fingers.)   No one was more surprised than I was! My sister-in-law has been making it every morning for her DH since I tried it (she let me be her cuy)...which I don't know that I could drink this in the morning since in my mind, it is a dinner juice....but that's just me.  I'm a neurotic juicer.

Without further ado.....I present to you:

Soup in a Glass - this makes a LOT
  • 2 garlic cloves (if you really like garlic, use 3)
  • 2 kale stalks
  • big handful of spinach
  • 3 leaves of leafy lettuce
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 5 or 6 roma tomatoes
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 12 baby carrots (or 3-4 large adult ones)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1/2 jalapeno (no seeds)  (I didn't have this and I was so sad :( )
  • big handful of parsley
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chives  (I didn't have this either)
  • large pinch of oregano (be careful with this - its strong)
  • medium handful of basil

So all you new juicers, try these two new recipes - and learn like I did
 that tomatoes are almost our friends!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Not this Aloha.....

But this aloe-ha!

I have added aloe vera gel to my diet, along with the juicing, and the chia seeds.   Something I would have NEVER known about had I not watched Hungry for Change. (If you didn't get a chance to watch this documentary while they were offering it for free, I'm sorry. You totally missed out.  Hungry for Change)  I wanted to try the aloe....but what was I supposed to DO with it????   I associate aloe (as I'm sure a lot you do) with sunburn.

Sure enough, aloe has amazing healing effects on sunburn, and other serious skin conditions.  But what it can do for the outside of you, is matched to what it can do to your insides.   The extensive list is shared here:  The Aloe Vera Miracle.   Just to name a few so you don't have to leave and go over there quite yet:  Halts the growth of cancer tumors, lowers high cholesterol, eases inflammation and soothes arthritis pain, prevents kidney stones, cures ulcers, IBS and Crohn's, reduces high blood pressure naturally, halts colon cancer, ends constipation, stabilizes blood sugar in diabetics, hydrates the skin and accelerates skin repair.
That's a pretty impressive list!   It says it relieves constipation, but several places I've read warn that it REALLY relieves constipation so until you know how your body will react to it, start with small amounts.  

Juicing is a big weapon in the war our bodies fight against free radicals.  Introducing the antioxidants into our systems in such a way that they are absorbed into the bloodstream quickly helps deliver these radical fighting machines to fight the good fight.  
What are free radicals?  What are antioxidants?  I can't really tell you all in a coherent manner, so I found some people who COULD explain it :)  

Or more specifically:

Some molecules are unstable. They do not have an even number of electrons, so they are always searching for an extra electron they can "steal" to become stable. Out in the world, this is a normal process, but in the body, it can result in unnecessary and unwanted damage.
Free radicals are "free" because they float around until they stabilize, and "radical" in the sense that there are a wide variety of molecules from which they can take an electron. The damage doesn't stop there, however, as the new molecule, say a piece of a cell wall, is now also missing an electron and has become another free radical. This snowball effect can wreak havoc on healthy tissue.

And what are the antioxidants for that we are getting from our diet (and absorbing a lot of them through juicing) supposed to do?

Antioxidants block the process of oxidation by neutralizing free radicals. In doing so, the antioxidants themselves become oxidized. That is why there is a constant need to replenish our antioxidant resources.
How they work can be classified in one of two ways: 
Chain-breaking - When a free radical releases or steals an electron, a second radical is formed. This molecule then turns around and does the same thing to a third molecule, continuing to generate more unstable products. The process continues until termination occurs -- either the radical is stabilized by a chain-breaking antioxidant such as beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, or it simply decays into a harmless product.
Preventive - Antioxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase prevent oxidation by reducing the rate of chain initiation. That is, by scavenging initiating radicals, such antioxidants can thwart an oxidation chain from ever setting in motion. They can also prevent oxidation by stabilizing transition metal radicals such as copper and iron.

So with all this new information, I wanted to get some of this gel into my insides.  But again, what was I supposed to DO with it?  How do I get to the gel out of that huge leaf?    The answer of what to do with it was to put it in a smoothie so you can mask any weird taste you might experience.   How do I get the gel out of the leaf?  Well, the most helpful tutorial was this page:  How to Get the Aloe Gel from an Aloe Plant   Here is a little montage of my first gel extraction.

I found my leaf at Winco for $4.79

And when you are done with the leaf, you turn it cut side up in a container it can stand in.  
It will heal ITSELF. Of COURSE it will!!!

Dealing with the gel was like handling a live fish!!!!  Well, what I assume would be like handling a live fish - I'm not real big on doing that sort of thing.  While rinsing the gel before I put it in my smoothie, I dropped the slippery little sucker about 2,834 times.  Helpful tip not mentioned in her instructions on extracting the gel -  before you rinse, plug your sink :)

I have been juicing, then using the juice for the aloe smoothie - with chia seeds of course!  I've had it twice now, so I can't really report on what it's doing for me - but I sure hope it makes my face radiant!!!  I would love that - oh, and make my free radicals leave the building.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Great Balls of .... Energy???

Cookie dough.  We all like it right, even though we're not supposed to eat it.  I do NOT like cookies (well, except for those super fluffy ones that are frosted for the upcoming holiday and sold in little plastic containers at the FRONT DOOR of the grocery store), but I really like cookie dough.   As long as it doesn't have chocolate chips in it - GAG.   I choose cookie dough ice cream somewhere, and I just eat out the little balls of cookie dough, and leave the ice cream.  (I don't really like ice cream.)

I've already lost track of what I was going to write emotions are all over the place.  First I thought about cookie dough, then I thought about those freaking frosted cookies that I hate when people buy because I'll eat them (Did you have any cookies???), and then I end it with thinking about biting into a chocolate chip.  The Worst.   This blog is supposed to be about health right? Here I am talking about sugar sugar sugar, that I normally don't WANT.

Onward.  WAY back when I posted about what to do with your pulp from juicing (Pulp Fiction), I talked about the PB Chewies that I was going to try.  I finally made them last week.  I wish I hadn't waited so long.  They truly are DELICIOUS.   I bring up cookie dough, because I think they taste very similar to a ball of dough - which is GOOD NEWS.

First - here are the links to the YouTube video, and the FB page for the recipe.  (YouTube Video How To  &  Facebook Note with Recipe and Instructions)   I didn't want to forget that part :)  Because I certainly didn't create these bad boys, and I don't want anyone giving me credit unless it is due unto me.

The first time I went to make these, I didn't have any peanut butter.  Who doesn't have peanut butter?   So I took the opportunity to make my own for the first time.  HOLY - this pb is good, and so easy!!!!   I used 2 cups of roasted peanuts, 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, tsp of Agave, and some salt.  Whipped up the most amazing peanut butter I've ever tasted!!!!  

After I had my peanut butter, I started my PB Chewies recipe.   I had saved my carrot pulp from the morning before in tupperware in the fridge so I still had it to use.   I also needed ground flax seed, wheat germ (oops forgot), raw granola, raisins, sunflower seeds, agave or maple syrup, and flaked coconut if you wish.  I didn't wish.   I also added chia seeds to my balls because I'm trying to get those little suckers in everything I eat.  Why you ask?  See for yourself Top 10 Chia Benefits

So let's begin.

Hey look - there's my awesome peanut butter.  I'm going to use all of it.  What you have up there, is the entirety of the recipe, including the pb makings.   When just making the balls, you would remove the salt, and the coconut oil.  

So I go to town mixing everything together.  You need to make sure everything is incorporated so mix well!  After mixing all ingredients together, I used my medium scoop (shout out pampered chef), and placed the balls on my stackable cooling rack (pampered chef)(I pretty much have no utensils in my kitchen arsenal that aren't pampered chef).   The recipe yielded 27 balls.  

Aren't they pretty!!! Opps, we had a casualty (it accidentally fell in my mouth.)  Now there are 26.   I decided to squinch them up a bit more, so as I was putting them in their container to keep them in the fridge, I just rolled the balls between my palms (don't be dirty.)  I put a few in a baggie so I could take them to work the next day for my afternoon snack (and to share with my co-workers.)  

With DH still being gone, I had all 26 to myself.  I ate a ball each morning for breakfast along with my juice.  SO satisfying!!  They are really tasty.  They are sweet - so if you have a sweet tooth, this is what you can make instead of brownies.   PACKED with protein, and fiber - you just can't lose.  Unless you're like me and have no willpower where portion control is concerned.  I took that baggie to work and intended to share MOST of them.  Well, I ate 4 and gave two away.   I'm TERRIBLE and selfish, but with a happy tummy!!!

If you don't have a juicer yet, you can use shredded carrots instead of carrot pulp.  I personally like the pulp because its so nonexistent in the ball.  I don't know that I would like an actual carrot shred in there.  I always pick those off salads because their texture bugs me.  But....that's just me :)

I hope you guys will try these balls! They are full of yummy and energy, and who doesn't like a little of that in the afternoon (or morning.  AND morning)!   Also, you can put these in kids' lunches, offer these as treat for them when they are craving a sweet - and you can feel good about it!

Thanks Pura Vida Pantry for this awesome recipe!!!

More exclamation points!!!