clean eating

5-Day Meal Plan

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I recently asked a few clients how they REALLY felt about meal planning and I got a lot of eye rolls and head shakes so I'm assuming it might not be up your alley, either.  Which is totally fine.  I love meal planning, but I'm also obsessed with planning in general.  In fact, I even have a master's degree in Instruction and Curriculum (which is basically mapping out, organizing and planning information for educational purposes).  

So I wanted to share a 5-day meal plan with you using some of my favorite foodie bloggers and clean eating chefs from around the web - I will also vet these recipes so that they are 1. whole foods based 2. gluten-free 3. dairy-free or mostly dairy-free 4. soy-free 5. delicious and not overly complicated.  If I have a suggestion for how to make a recipe healthier, I will also include that, too! 

1. Italian Butter Bean Bake  

Time saving tip:  Buy the pesto sauce pre-made. 

2. Baked Sweet Potato Dinner(s)

Pro tip:  Make enough to eat for breakfast or lunch the following day. 

3. Seven Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Pro tip: Cut way back on the Asiago cheese (by at least half) and substitute the regular pasta with a gluten free grain - I'll be using buckwheat (which is gluten-free) to amp up the nutritional density of this dish. 

4. Noodle Free Pad Thai

Pro tip: To add extra protein to this dish, I'll be serving this with grilled chicken.

5. Cauliflower Crust Pizza 

Time saving tip:  Make the cauliflower "flour" the night before or earlier in the day.  Also, check out your grocery because places like Trader Joe's carry a plain pre-made cauliflower/corn flour pizza crust in their freezer section.  

Leave me a comment and let me know which recipes you liked so I can post more like them! 

The Secret to Eating Fewer Calories

Are you looking to eat fewer calories in order to lose weight? 

I have a secret to share with you and it’s not what you think.  I want you to eat more…

FAT.

It’s a combination of confusion and sheer terror when I suggest to someone wanting to lose fat that they should actually EAT FAT in order to lose weight.  In fact, our culture has done a fantastic job of demonizing fat so much so that the “low-fat” craze from the 90s is still very much a part of our everyday way of thinking.  

The truth is that our bodies NEED fat to survive and thrive.  After all, our bodies are made up of between 15-30% fat.  We need to have healthy fats in our system to nourish our brain, nerves, thyroid (and other hormones) and pretty much every cell in our body.  When we include healthy fats into our diet, we tend not to overeat.  We feel satisfied and therefore tend to eat fewer calories. 

Try adding the following healthy fats to your diet every day:

  • Avocados, olives, and coconuts are great sources of healthy fat, along with wild salmon and omega-3 rich organic eggs.

•  Whole nuts and seeds, and their butters like almond butter or tahini

•  Olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil. Words to look for: organic, first-pressed, cold pressed, extra-virgin, and unrefined. Avoid expeller-pressed, refined, and solvent extracted.

Want to chat a bit about your wellness and health goals?  Hop on a free coaching call with me so we (together!) can talk about a plan of attack that will help give you some clarity and insight. 


Please be advised that all information given on this site is intended for educational purposes only and should not replace the medical guidance given by your doctor.

White Bean Dip

Here is a great way to use the white bean dip as a leftover. I made my son cous cous for part of his lunch so I took some of that and topped it with tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper, avocado, PARSLEY, a squeeze of lemon, EVOO, s&P and a big dollop of the white bean dip. It was so so good. If you are gluten free use greens or quinoa as your base. If you're trying to lose weight, keep the cous cous or quinoa portion to 1/2 cup or less.  🙌🏻

Dinner & Dessert Menu for Valentine's Day

Are you looking for a fun, healthy meal to have Valentine's Day?  This would be a great dinner to have with your special love, with your family, or with a group of special friends!  Both recipes below are gluten-free, dairy-free and good for you and they are a cinch to make so you have less time in the kitchen and more time with those you care about.  

Upgrade Your Thanksgiving Traditions

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Go ahead, be a rebel.  Instead of serving the traditional Thanksgiving meal, why not switch things up a bit this year?  While searching for my own replacement dishes, I thought it would be helpful to share with you all the recipes that have made my personal short list.  Consider swapping mashed white potatoes with one of the healthier sweet potato versions below or trade the green bean casserole (that nobody eats anyway) with some sauteéd sesame green beans.  A mission I’ve been on this year is to find a healthier option for cranberry salad and I think I’ve found it with the mandarin-cranberry relish by Nourished Kitchen.  It looks amazing and I can't wait to try it!  Don't feel the need to break tradition completely, though.  I mean you should probably still serve a gorgeous farm raised turkey (unless all your guests are vegetarians or vegans), but consider getting a smaller bird and pairing it with something plant-based like Acorn Squash Roasted with Walnuts and Cranberries (note: I would sub in coconut palm sugar and use olive oil instead of the butter).  There are many options available, but you should start your planning now if you’ve not done so.  A quick Google search revealed most of these awesome alternatives so check these out first and then take a few minutes to peruse yourself.  I know I’ll be serving my Red Kuri Squash Pie with Savory Crust for dessert and I encourage you to try it out, too.  For family gatherings, I use a traditional crust recipe using real butter, so if you are sensitive to wheat and/or dairy, be sure to visit some of the links I have listed as dessert options below.

Also, for those of you who don’t have time to sit and plan a menu, check out all the resources I've listed below!  Many of these dishes will be good throughout the holiday season.

Aside from the actual dishes themselves,  I wanted to give you a few things to keep in mind as you’re planning and then ultimately enjoying your Thanksgiving meal:

-Find a turkey that is farm raised and free of antibiotics or hormones.  

-Stay away from recipes that use heavy cheeses or heaven forbid, marshmallows, for toppings.

-Avoid recipes that use more than ½ cup sugar or Jell-O and if possible replace all white sugar with a substitute like coconut palm sugar, which is low glycemic, or a Lakanto sweetener, which is derived from the monk fruit. 

-Opt for foods with color over foods that are white (white mashed potatoes, white bread, white pasta, etc.)

-Use healthy grains like quinoa, millet or amaranth as a salad or roasted squash topping.

-Twenty minutes before the main meal, drink some water to help boost metabolism and to help prevent overeating.  It's also best to drink your water before your meal as opposed to with your meal so that you don't disrupt stomach acid pH.

-Drizzle your salad with an organic, cold-pressed olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper instead of the more mainstream store bought dressings that often contain artificial flavorings and added sugar.

-I mentioned this above, but be mindful of color!  Get a broad spectrum of phytonutrients into your body just by eating lots and lots of colorful fruits and veggies.

-Fill half your plate with plant based foods.

-You don’t need to eat the whole bird.  Keep your meat portion in check by sizing it up against the palm of your hand, which is roughly six ounces.

-Don't forget to chew your food.  Give digestion a head start by putting your fork down between bites, enjoy your delicious food and your lovely guests and chew...and then chew some more ;)

-You don’t need stuffing AND a slice of bread.  Swap your stuffing for a wholesome grain and ditch the bread...especially if you plan on eating dessert.

-EAT DESSERT.  Don’t make yourself miserable by watching everyone else eat their pumpkin pie while you sulk in the corner taking a bite here and there off everyone’s plate.  Just be mindful and remember that it’s not dessert at Thanksgiving that determines a healthy lifestyle, it’s what you do every other day that does.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Butternut Squash, Brussel Sprouts and Bread Stuffing w/Apples from FOOD52
Butternut Squash, Brussel Sprouts and Bread Stuffing w/Apples from FOOD52
Mandarin & Cranberry Relish from Nourished Kitchen

Mandarin & Cranberry Relish from Nourished Kitchen

Polenta Crostini w/ Butternut Squash, Polenta & Sage from Edible Perspective
Polenta Crostini w/ Butternut Squash, Polenta & Sage from Edible Perspective
Red Kuri Squash Pie w/ Savory Crust
Red Kuri Squash Pie w/ Savory Crust

Traveling? Eat Out Guilt Free!

I want to share with you my anytime top tips for surviving restaurant pit stops and getaways so that you can feel your best!  So many of us have dietary restrictions on some level so thinking about the following suggestions will help you feel prepared and in charge of your diet while traveling.  If you have a suggestion that's not listed, please add it for others in the comments below!  

Tip #1: Plan ahead - Research your route and the towns/cities in which you are traveling through and make note of healthy options such as restaurants, natural health food stores, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, etc.  You can easily pick up a lunch or dinner at one of the stores I mentioned instead of relying on a restaurant.  I’ve even found cafe´s and locally owned coffee shops to carry gluten-free, sugar-free, whole-foods options, but I needed to call ahead or go online to do the research first as it is not always apparent from a roadside sign. 

Tip #2: Call ahead - If you are staying at a hotel that has an inclusive restaurant, call the concierge desk to make sure they give the staff a heads up that you are staying with them and that you have dietary restrictions.  If a menu is not posted online, ask about your specific concerns.  Most restaurants are used to accommodating food allergies and sensitivities so don’t think you’re asking them something they haven’t been asked before. 

Tip #3: Ask to Read Labels - As I stated before, restaurants are becoming more and more accommodating to food allergies, so they are sensitive to those requesting certain food preferences.  Having said that, don’t be afraid to ask them to bring a label out to you so you can read the ingredients in something you are about to order.  I do this ALL the time because my son has reactions to artificial food coloring, additives and preservatives.  Also, most restaurant foods will contain hidden sugars, MSGs, processed soy and hidden wheat so it’s worth a few minutes of questioning.

Tip #4: Avoid Trans Fats - 

  • Ask that your meat and/or vegetables be cooked in butter or olive oil to avoid highly inflammatory and often trans fat based vegetable or canola oils.  If you have a dairy sensitivity, ask for olive oil preparation.
  • Sub out fried sides (french fries) with steamed vegetables or rice side dishes as a healthier alternative. 

Tip #5: Pack your own sweetener - Carry your sweetener with you or ask for honey.  I will carry a few packets of Stevia in my bag so I don’t have to even consider using the white sugar or even the raw sugars at most establishments.  And don’t even think about grabbing an artificial sweetener.  Opt for the real raw or white sugar instead if you’re not prepared with your own.  

Tip #6: Scrutinize your "healthy" salad - Ask for olive oil and vinegar and pass on the in-house made dressings, unless you ask for a list of ingredients.  This is a great place to avoid sugars and extra calories. Also, ask them to hold the croutons and extra cheese on top.  You can ask them if they can sub in some walnuts or almonds instead.

Tip #7: Hold the Bread - Many restaurants are holding their bread baskets now unless otherwise requested.  You can also let them know upon being seated that you would like your bread basket to be held.  This is crucial if you have a gluten intolerance on any level as your body will start the inflammation process and you will probably end your meal feeling bloated and uncomfortable.

Tip #8: Know your meat - Only order meat that is organic and/or grass-fed to avoid feed-lot quality meat, which has been pumped full of hormones, additives, and toxins.  If you don’t have any options there, then order fish, as long as its not farmed salmon, which are loaded with antibiotics, corn and soy products and other toxic chemicals.  

Tip #9: Water is key - Drink a glass of water BEFORE you head out to the restaurant (or about 20 minutes before eating) and then limit water consumption during your meal.  I know this sounds counter intuitive, but many people are not digesting their foods properly and an overload of water to the stomach while eating will raise the pH of its acids and not allow it to do its job as effectively had the acids not been diluted.  This will also curb your appetite and keep you from overindulging.

Tip 10: Take a digestive enzyme -  I like Digestive Enzymes Ultra by Pure Encapsulation.  You will see this enzyme listed under the supplements category on my Amazon storefront. This enzyme will help you break down and digest your food more easily,  which is very helpful while eating at any restaurant to help you avoid gas, bloating and other digestive upset from either eating too much or from eating some funky ingredients that you weren’t counting on.  Like my packets of Stevia, I carry this with me at all times to avoid feeling uncomfortable. 

Have you already tried some of these ideas?  How have they worked for you?  

 

 

Homemade Dried Italian Herb Mix

I know a lot of people who successfully grow herb gardens all summer long, but how about harnessing all of that homegrown goodness for use during the winter months?  In my most recent YouTube video I take you step by step through the process of harvesting, drying and storing your own dried Italian herb mix from your homegrown herbs. 

I also wanted to make it easy for you to gather supplies for making your own so I've linked some resources from Amazon for you below:

Would you like to see a specific health & wellness demo on video?  Let me know below in the comments!  Until next time, Be Well.

Homemade Almond Milk

Many people are moving away from dairy milk and are using more nut milks in their daily diet, but have you ever read the labels of store bought almond milk?  As carrageenan (a naturally derived seaweed linked to brain issues and tumors) is being phased out of the main ingredients, the options aren't as dim, but there are still added sugars and preservatives included that just aren't necessary.  And let's talk about the taste for a second...I have a hard time drinking store bought almond milk because the taste is too sugary and dull (meaning, I couldn't decipher any almond taste).  Homemade almond milk is very rich, with its own sweetness and you can tell that it's fresh.  This recipe takes about ten minutes to make and will yield about 2 1/2 cups of milk.  I will often double or triple this recipe.

Ingredients and Materials: 

Instructions:

  • Start by soaking the almonds in water overnight or for a few hours (this first step is optional, but your body will be better able to absorb the nutrients from the almonds if they are soaked).
  • Place the almonds and three cups of water into your high speed blender and blend on high for about two minutes.
  • Pour the mixture through the nut bag into the large measuring bowl with pour spout, working the liquid through the almond pulp until the pulp is almost completely dry.  
  • Toss the almond pulp and pour the almond milk into your glass container.  
  • Keep the almond milk in your refrigerator.  It will stay fresh for 3-4 days, probably longer. 

Let me know how your almond milk turns out!  I can guarantee that once you realize how simple it is to make your own and how much better tasting it is, you'll want to avoid the store bought stuff, too.  Have fun!

While you're at it, give this video a peek because if you love almond milk, I have a hunch you're going to love what's inside the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle as well ;) 

xoxo,

Stephanie

Game Day Crockpot Chili

The last thing I want to do Super Bowl Sunday is stand in the kitchen and cook and I’m pretty sure you feel the same way even if you aren’t watching football!  I want to share with you my go-to crockpot chili recipe that you will love so much you won’t even care who wins!  Okay, that last part may not be true (wink), but I can guarantee that you will be celebrating come food time when all you have to do is scoop out some hot, spicy goodness to your family and friends.  If you’re hosting, you may want to double the recipe.  If you’re a guest, you may want to make it in a travel crockpot.  Either way, it’s a winner! I started tinkering with this recipe about the time I first met my husband.  Before we had our son, weekends were filled with football games and I wanted an easy go-to recipe that I didn’t have to think about and that turned out great every time.  Check out the recipe below along with a few healthful notes along the way:

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Game Day Crockpot Chili

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3-4 hours

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • large white cooking onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled & diced
  • 1 lb. local grass fed beef
  • 2- 16 oz. cans chili beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1- 16 oz. can red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1- 16 oz. can Bush’s Chili Beans with Mild Sauce (optional)
  • 1 quart size jar canned tomatoes or 2- 16 oz. cans diced tomatoes, partially drained
  • 2- 10 oz. cans of tomatoes with chiles
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1.5 tbsp Homemade Taco/Chili Seasoning  (see recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in skillet on the stove.  When the oil has warmed, add the diced onion and the diced garlic.  Cook until fragrant and starting to turn translucent.
  2. Add beef and break apart with a wooden spoon, mixing together with onion and garlic.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add basil and oregano and stir frequently until meat is browned through.
  5. Transfer meat mixture to crockpot.
  6. Turn crockpot on HIGH.
  7. Add all remaining ingredients.  Make sure to drain and rinse the unseasoned chili beans and the kidney beans.  If adding the Bush’s Chili Beans with sauce, do not drain this can.
  8. Mix everything together and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or on LOW for 7-8 hours, stirring frequently throughout cooking time.
  9. Serve over brown rice and top with raw cheddar cheese.

Notes:

  • When I am making this for regular family dinner I will double the recipe and freeze half of it in ziploc bags to use on a busy night in the future.
  • Use brown rice instead of white rice.  Brown rice promotes good digestion, balances blood sugar and helps to control mood swings whereas white rice does the opposite.
  • I soak my rice overnight to increase its digestibility.  This also helps speed up cooking time.
  • If you are in a time crunch, the organic frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s is a great alternative since its already cooked and literally takes minutes to warm up.
  • If you are skipping dairy, nutritional yeast is delicious sprinkled on top.

Getting ready to add the chili beans to the meat mixture.

Adding some homemade canned tomatoes to the mixture!  No worries if you don't have canned, just replace with two 16 oz. store bought cans of tomatoes.  ;)

I love this taco and chili seasoning!  YUM!

Homemade Taco and Chili Seasoning

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix everything in a bowl and then store in an airtight container.

Notes:

  • Use 1.5 tbsp. of seasoning for every 1 pound of meat.  Taste and then add more if needed.
  • If younger children will be eating food with this seasoning make mixture using 3 tbsp. chili powder instead of 4 tbsp.
  • I have given this mixture in a cute glass jar with a twine ribbon as a hostess gift before instead of the traditional bottle of wine.
  • To save time, triple this recipe before storing.  It will stay fresh for about a year in an airtight container.

My family loves this chili with a huge platter of fresh, raw veggies that we munch on throughout the entire game.  So whether you’re watching the game for the win, the commercials or the halftime show, everyone will agree that a bowl full of chili in the belly makes it a win-win for everyone!  Enjoy!

Until next time, Be Well.

My Juicy Morning Routine, How I Got My Three Year Old to Chug Green Juice + Helpful Juicing Tips/Recipes!

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Everyone is talking about juicing these days and social media has everyone convinced that it’s the healthiest thing for your body.  Cue insanity: “You aren’t juicing??!! Why not? What’s wrong with you?  Don’t you care about your health?  Didn’t you hear it can prevent cancer?!! Well, my two year old is already drinking straight up juiced kale...yada yada yada,” and if you aren’t doing it, then you must (obviously) be crazy, right?  Not exactly.  As a health coach, I know that many people can definitely benefit from getting some healthy green juice into their diet, but if you aren’t doing it properly you may be giving your body a well-intentioned sugar fest or depriving it of other much needed nutrition.  I honestly would only recommend regular juicing to someone who already has an otherwise healthy diet who can afford to skip the whole fruit or vegetable.  If you have a diet high in processed foods, get your veggie intake from your tomato off your sandwich at lunch or are lacking fiber in your diet, start with smoothies.  I drink as many smoothies as I do fresh juice because I need the protein, fat and fiber in my diet just as much as I need the phytonutrients blazing right into my bloodstream.  Having said that, let’s take a look at my juicy morning routine…

  1. Set up juicer - complete with compost bag (more on that later)
  2. Grab produce bag out of refrigerator (more on that later, too)
  3. Rinse produce
  4. Juice into a large pyrex bowl with a spout (forget that tiny little cup it comes with...I don’t even know where mine is!)
  5. Pour into glass(es) that which I am drinking right away or into mason jars for later
  6. Sip juice to make sure it’s what I want
  7. Take apart juicer - pull out compost bag and set aside - rinse all other juice machine parts with water - I do this even before I drink my juice because no one wants to clean cement like dried juice off of anything.
  8. Enjoy masterpiece :)
  9. Hand wash or put juicer parts in dishwasher (minus the part that was lined with the compost bag!

It’s a tried and true routine and usually takes about 20 minutes start to finish.  However, if you are wanting to be a serious juicer, I have another tip...do not buy this type of juicer.

monkey juicing

No, I’m only kidding.  This juicer is perfect for beginners  who are unsure if they will stick with the practice long term.  Years ago when I mentioned to my mom and dad that I wanted to start juicing they bought me this very reasonably priced air whipper machine.  It was great and it is great and I’m thankful for it, BUT don’t buy it if you consider yourself a serious juicer (I will fill you in on the one I’m saving up for in just a sec).  And just to prove that I am thankful for it, I’m going to complement it before I bash it.  1) My son can pretty much use it on his own...awesome! 2) It’s freakishly fast, which is great for the busy full time mom, IIN Health Coach student, LLC starter person or just about anyone else I know. 3) Its parts go in the dishwasher. 4) The juice it produces really does taste amazeballs. 5) It’s really affordable.

Ok, now for the ugly...1) It’s basically a helicopter trying to take off.  I seriously have to weigh the thing down so it doesn’t go airborne.  2) Again, it’s basically a helicopter trying to take off so my son has to cover his ears if he is standing in the kitchen next to it.  3)  I have to take a shower after I use it (only kidding a little bit). 4) The helicopter effect sends so much air into the juice that it immediately begins to oxidize causing a depletion in nutrient availability.  5) It uses more produce than a slower masticating or twin gear juicer, which equals more $ per juice fest, which equals no good.  This is a standard centrifugal juicer and many people use them and like them, but at some point in the near future I need to upgrade.  To what??  I’m glad you asked.

The masticating juicers extract liquid at a lower speed and creates less friction therefore less heat is coming into contact with your veggies.  This helps to protect the vital nutrients in your juice.  It’s not as messy, it’s quieter and it’s definitely more effective at juicing produce so you get more for your hard earned $.  It is however, way more expensive.  Most models start at around $300 and can easily double or triple that.  My $50 helicopter machine isn’t looking so shabby now...BUT a really high quality juice is important to me.  I need to do a bit more research before settling on one, but these are my front runners so far:

1. The Juicepresso Cold Press Juicer 

2. The Breville Fountain Crush Masticating Juicer

3. The Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer

Like I said, more research is needed before I dive head first, but my mom has the Omega and I love juicing with it because so much of the juice is extracted, leaving very little waste.  Ok, enough dreaming about juicers.

So there was a system to my madness when I decided to introduce my son to green juices.  The first thing I did was to NOT introduce him to green juices.  Tricky, eh?  Now there might be a kid here and there who takes one good look at a dark green glass of kale and gulps it (hence the earlier comment), but I don’t know where they are.  Not in my house at least.  So if you want to give it a try with your kiddos, by all means see if this approach makes sense to you and your little monkey(s).  This was my approach…

Step #1:  Introduce baby boy to lots of veggies in many colors, with many textures, during all meals...avocados for breakfast, anyone?  Exactly.  So many of you out there are modeling great behaviors for your kiddos so give them the avocado, too, or give them peas for breakfast!  Whatever, just get them used to seeing GREEN food in the morning so the transition to a GREEN drink is no big deal.

Step #2:  Dive into the smoothie obsession head first.  My son was about two and a half before he would drink his first smoothie and then that’s all he wanted. But prior to that I didn’t push it at all.  If I had a smoothie, I offered him a sip.  If he took it - great (!), but if not, so what?  He’s a little person with a great diet and I knew sooner or later he would like them.  We started with mangos and berries, banana and orange juice.  Very sweet, very high in natural sugar, very pretty - perfect for a transition drink.  [*Note* that I would never recommend this combo to you (wink, wink).  This puts you way too high on the glycemic index!]  Slowly, I started replacing the orange juice with water or nut milk, decreased the fruit ratios and adding subtle veggies like cucumber and started incorporating herbs, like mint.  I would throw in small spoonfuls (so as not to change the color too much - like most kids, he’s very visual) of a greens powder just to give him a bit of an extra nutritional boost.

Step #3:  Juice a pineapple.  Fresh pineapple juice won him over big time.  So using that as my base, I started to incorporate other subtle flavors.  We went from plain pineapple...

to pineapple and green apple…

to pineapple, green apple and half a cucumber…

to pineapple, half a green apple, half a cucumber and one leaf of kale…

monkey juice   IMG_7442

That’s where we stand today.  My next move will be to decrease the pineapple and add more kale or spinach.  He’s three and a half and juicing is already part of his normal routine and vocabulary.  If you’re an adult starting out, try some of these tactics to ease yourself into it.  My other suggestion for newbies is a plain carrot and apple mix or straight up cucumbers.  Try it!

Some other suggestions to keep in mind for juicers of all ages:

  1. Keep the fruit limited.  A good rule of thumb is to juice 3 veggies to 1 fruit.  This will help keep sugar intake in check.
  2. When you are doing your food prep for the week (Sunday afternoon?) include a ziploc bag just for your juicing produce.  I portion my produce out and give it a good rough chop down to the size I need it to fit down the chute of my juicer.  I rinse right before juicing.
  3. Putting a cucumber in the mix will balance out a stronger “green” taste and will increase your overall volume.
  4. Peel your citrus fruits before you juice.
  5. Use lemons!!  This will take the bitterness out of the juices that taste a bit like grass and get them tasting like you could drink them all day long!  If I don’t have a lemon on hand, I will use one drop lemon essential oil or one drop lemongrass essential oil as a replacement.
  6. Save your broccoli stems and parsley stems to juice.
  7. This is personal preference, but I need to drink mine with an ice cube.
  8. Place a plastic bag (this is what I called a compost bag earlier)  in the pulp collector to make cleaning up easier and faster.  Then dump the waste with all the pulp into your compost bin so you can reap the benefits later!
  9. Once you’re comfortable with the more basic vegetables, move towards including more medicinal plants like chard, fennel, beet greens, cilantro, garlic, parsley & ginger.
  10. Bananas and avocados are for smoothies, not for juicing. ;)
  11. Provide your body with variety!  Change up spinach and kale and other greens frequently so that you can safely steer clear of excess oxalic acid.  Spinach is really high in oxalic acid compared to kale so ingesting juiced spinach daily over a long period of time can actually become damaging.  The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse will advise patients with kidney stones to decrease their consumption of foods containing high levels of oxalic acid to reduce the further likelihood of developing more kidney stones and this goes for good preventative advice, too.
  12. Drink and store juice in glass.  Mason jars are the best.
  13. If you’re using a slow masticating juicer you can store your juice for about 24 hrs.  Just make sure you’re storing the juice in a glass jar filled to the brim.  Your goal is to prevent oxygen from getting in and robbing you of the juice’s full benefits.
  14. Drink juice on an empty stomach so the vitamins and minerals go straight into your bloodstream.  Wait about two hours after a meal to juice or about twenty minutes before a meal for best absorption.
  15. A juice shouldn’t be your breakfast.  If you are doing a juice cleanse or trying to lose weight this advice can bend a bit, but I don’t recommend doing it without the guidance from a health coach, nutritionist or ND.  I like to follow my juice up (about twenty minutes later, which is about how long it takes me to clean my juicer, put up produce and get my breakfast ready) with something that contains healthy fat, protein, and/or healthy carbs.  I love mashed avocado on sprouted bread sprinkled with celtic sea salt or steel cut oats topped with local honey and berries.
  16. IMG_7433

One other note on doing a juice cleanse...it can do more harm than good if not done with proper guidance.  The American Journal of Medicine has documented cases of patients having adverse effects to a 6 week juice cleanse, which is way way too long in my opinion so don’t even go there.  Most recommended juice cleanses are for 3-5 days, just long enough to give your digestive system a clean and a rest.  So juice, but be smart...your digestive system is designed to do hard work.

Are you ready for some of my favorite recipes?!  Here you go and don’t forget to share!

lovely lycopene

Detox

beginner's special

Bright eyes juice

I hope you are now super pumped to get juicy, ready to make some adjustments to your juicing routine or feeling inspired to try some new recipes.  Most of all, have fun with it.  There’s not a juicer out there that likes sitting on the counter for months at a time so find one that works for you and get juicing!

Until next time, Be Well.