Tag: Organic

Juicing to Thrive


 Since I received my Breville juicer for Christmas two years ago,  juicing has become a staple in my diet. I no longer buy packaged juice from the grocery store or the highly overpriced juicer replica juices that claim to have many fruits and veggies in just one bottle. I’m sure they do, I just prefer my juice to be as fresh as possible to ensure the highest nutrient content. I also love that I can control what I add to my juice. I currently add fresh ginger and sneak in my daily apple cider vinegar in my juice.

Much of the juice manufactured today is pasteurized, destroying key nutrients. Some have preservatives in them and added sugars. Also, the juice you’re buying isn’t always what you are getting. I have noticed some juices will add pear or apple to them to “bulk” it up but keep the price down. 100% blueberry or acai juice can be very expensive.

If you are considering adding fresh juice to your diet or want to learn more about the benefits of juicing, I recommend watching the Documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” by Joe Cross.  It is a really great movie to watch to get pumped up about eating healthy and being active. It also shines a light on the foods we eat in the typical American household.

Here is a link to Joe Cross’s website

Just a few benefits of juicing:

. Allows you to absorb optimal nutrients in a small amount

. Weight loss

. Skin clearing. Good for eczema or roseacea

. Better energy levels

. Improved concentration

. Weight loss

. Improved immune function

A Fresh and Fit New You in the New Year!

Christmas is almost here and the new year is fast approaching. Whether you are in the gym daily and watching what you eat or want to start eating a more healthy diet, this time of year makes most dieters weary of gaining the dreaded holiday pounds. I am here to tell you, let it go. Enjoy the holidays with your family and the wonderful foods, like Christmas cookie recipes handed down through generations. Christmas is a time for traditions and a very big one is the foods we eat this special time of year.  Don’t try to deprive yourself by following  a strict diet or eating only vegetables while your family is chugging down the eggnog. That is no way to spend this time of year. Your diet will be there tomorrow, and so will the gym. Savor the food in front of you and every moment with your loved ones.

If you are looking to make another New Years resolution to lose weight, I would like to suggest resolving to eat a cleaner diet. This is what works for me personally. By choosing to buy the cleanest sources of the food I love, I have lost weight.  I recommend instead of going on a crash diet after the holidays, clean out your pantry and refrigerator. Throw out the foods with artificial ingredients and colors, preservatives, processed ingredients, boxes of packaged foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce, and foods with added sugar or multiple sugars on the label (Ex: Corn syrup, sugar, molasses, High fructose corn syrup). And add back fresh organic vegetables, fruits, meat, and dairy you can reach for when you are hungry.  Resolve to not buy what I like to call “Fake Food” anymore. I think changing your mindset to eat only clean foods with few ingredients on the label will be the easiest diet to follow. Because it really isn’t a diet at all. It is eating food the way nature intended before modern man got a hold of it.  Weight loss and better health are two benefits I believe you will achieve by cleaning up your diet.

To a fresh and fit new you in the new year!

Happy Holidays!

Cleaning up my diet

Over the last four days (since Monday) I have cleaned up my diet. Again. I already was eating very healthy but the scale was not budging. And either was the way I felt in my clothes. If anything, I had been slowly gaining weight over the last year.  As I mentioned before in my “About Me” section, I lost 25 lbs. seven years ago. The lowest my weight was is 115lbs, which for me is impossible to maintain and didn’t quite look healthy. So in the years after that I have fluctuated 10 lbs or more. But lately, for about the last year, I have found that no matter how much I restricted my diet and calories the old ways were not working. I have heard a lot of talk about  the “Paleo” diet and eating a diet rich in quality sources of clean foods including; abundant vegetables, meat, dairy from whole organic or unpasteurized raw milk, fruits, seeds and nuts, no added sugars, no grains or legumes, and absolutely no processed foods or fast food. I didn’t like the idea of eliminating a food group like grains at all. Mostly, because it isn’t what I learned in school, but after reading up on the surprising negative affects grains can have on our body, I decided this is something I should give a try.
I thought at first that it was an Atkins style diet, but it definitely is not. From what I remember of the Atkins, it encouraged cheeses and meats without telling the dieter to eat the cleanest sources of these and it also didn’t allow much vegetables or any carbohydrates. So back to the Whole foods/Paleo/Clean whatever you want to call it diet. I stocked up on organic vegetables to make my favorite African peanut stew, yes peanut stew! It’s so good. I also bought fruits to juice and cacao nibs, raw coconut, ground flax-seed, and sugar free almond milk  to make to my morning clean shake. I should add that although I have been limiting sugar, I still added a little honey to my shake and green tea, that I won’t give up and I want to enjoy eating because I love it so much. I also bought Raw Reserve’s SuperFoods Green packets which are full of probiotics and sea algae in powder form. Sounds delicious, I know. I mix it with my juice, plug my nose and drink it up.  In addition, I have been bringing food home from work. I bring wild salmon patties of which I order two of, and I get our Big Salad which has mixed greens, olives, fennel, walnuts, tomato, cucumber, and sometimes I add avocado or tuna. It comes with a sherry vinaigrette dressing.
So without giving up fats or meat and adding a few super foods, I have lost 2 lbs in four days. That is huge for me since most of the time I go weeks thinking I am eating all the right foods and watching calories but the scale does not change one bit. And giving up the grains hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be. Maybe because I am still getting plenty of fats from clean meats, nuts, and olive oil to satiate me. So it turns out even someone with a dietetics degree can have a lot to learn still. And I love to continue learning and proving old theories wrong. I have not incorporated my exercise regime while I started this way of eating because I wanted to be certain the results were coming from the food and not the workout. I can’t really say if I feel different energy-wise because it is still so early. But it is nice after not even a week on this way of eating that I may finally have found what works for my body. As much as I hate to admit it, my body is not the same as it was seven years ago, I am now approaching 30 (Yikes) so I have to make tweaks to my diet as the years pass.
I will continue to update on my progress and please send me your experiences with what works best for you. I have family coming in town this weekend so I might not eat as well as I would like. I already planned a french toast bake for breakfast and Italian beef dinner while they are here. Luckily we bought most the ingredients from  whole and organic sources. But heck, we have to indulge once in a while!

The Detox debate

The word “detox” is something that gets misused and misinterpreted very often. Especially lately. The words “cleanse” and ” purify” are also thrown around.  From detox teas to juice fasts to elixirs made of  cayenne pepper and maple syrup claiming to widdle your waist and rid your body of toxins. It is a hot button word grabbing many people’s attention and, in my opinion, used to scam people into believing they are taking something that will magically make them feel better. So I was very happy when my latest issue of Food and Nutrition Magazine came in my mailbox with an article covering this exact topic. I will share with you the key points of the article in this week’s blog.
First off, detoxification is a biochemical process that transforms non-water soluble toxins into water soluble compounds that can then be excreted in urine, sweat, bile, or stool. For many people with certain conditions the process of detoxing can be extremely helpful in healing the body. Most detoxification occurs in the liver but can also include the gastrointestinal tract, lymphatic system, urinary system, lungs and respiratory, and the skin. It is believed amongst the dietetic community that exposure to toxins from the environment accumulate in the body and as a result of the body’s own detox system being unable to keep up with ridding those compounds results in “bio accumulation.”
To help reduce exposure to toxins, I have broken down the basics in eliminating toxins from your diet and adding foods that will help your body safely eliminate toxins.
1. Choose organic produce when available. If unavailable, ALWAYS wash your produce.
2. Choose organic meat when available. Toxins accumulate in animals the same as they do in humans. Especially with the use of hormones and antibiotics added to our dairy, livestock and poultry.
The foods below are known to have detoxification properties in the body. The diet is based on whole foods, adequate fiber, and water.
Organic Fruits and vegetables–  Contribute a variety of phytochemicals which promote detoxification enzymes.
Cruciferous vegetables– Compounds in Cabbage, Broccoli, Kale, Brussels sprouts known as crucifers help to promote detoxification in the liver.
Green Tea– Contains high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols.
Water–  Drink lots of it! Water promotes detoxification in almost every body system. It plays a key role in hydration which is absolutely necessary to properly detox. Water is responsible for excreting toxins from the body.
Fibrous foods– Soluble and insoluble fiber work hand to hand to bind to toxins and remove them from the body by way of stool. Flax seeds, oatmeal, brown rice, and beans are great sources.
Probiotics–  These healthy and helpful bacteria are found in fermented foods like yogurt and protect the intestines by inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria which produce ammonia and other toxins.
Eggs, Garlic, and Onion–  Contain the compound sulfur, known to be ” the master detoxifier”
To close up this weeks blog I would like to suggest that detoxing the body and eating clean can and should be a way of life, not just a fast we do for _X_ amount of days and then go on filling our bodies with toxins. I hope this article helped make the detox debate a little clearer for you. Now you are empowered to know the difference between good nutrition and good marketing.

For more information on detox diets click here

To read the Food and Nutrition article click here