Archive for May, 2011

Blueberries: An Antioxidant Goldmine!

Blueberries are one of my favorite foods not only in terms of nutritional content but also taste!

Blueberries are high in vitamin C, A, B and E, fiber as well as polyphenols, specifically the antioxidant anthocyanin which gives blueberries their rich, blue color.

I was doing an article for The Family Groove on protecting your skin from the sun through the foods you eat and was shocked to find out that blueberries have the highest amount of antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable! In a recent study at Tufts University, researchers found that out of 60 fruits and vegetables, blueberries came out on top!

So, what do antioxidants do? Basically, antioxidants combat free radicals that damage our cells and help promote the growth of healthy cells, boost immunity, prevent disease and combat aging.

Because of the high antioxidant content, dermotologists like Dr. Nicholas Perricone in his Forever Young and Dr. Jessica Wu in Feed Your Face recommend that their clients add them to their diets daily to neutralize free radicals and combat aging! Who doesn’t need that? Also, for athletes or those working out a lot, blueberries are a perfect food to add to your pre- and post-workout regime to help neutralize free radicals and bounce back from the stress (albeit positive stress) associated with working out.

Further, blueberries powerful combination of vitamin C, polyphenols and other nutrients actually enhances our bodies ability to assimilate the antioxidants.

So, here is my breakfast every morning. I always mix it up with the cereal but blueberries are my tried and true topper and always present on top. As a 40 year old working mother or two, I need all the help I can get!

Today, it was Laughing Giraffe granola but on other days I like Rawnola or Living Intentions.

I also put blueberries in/on:

Smoothies (blueberries, strawberries, frozen banana, almond milk- blend and voila!)


Muffins

Pancakes

Puddings/Yogurt

Make my own dried fruit
(I do this in my Excalibur dehydrator but you can use an oven on low heat and keep the door cracked)

Or, even in salads (sorry, no pics!)

Blueberries uses are endless so get creative!

Juice Fast Until Dinner to Get Bikini Ready for Summer!

It’s bikini season again when I start to have droves of clients come to me last minute to get ready to get into a bikini for summer! While many of you know I am a huge fan of juice fasts to cleanse as well as reset bad eating patterns, I also know that for some people who have busy jobs, kids, are on the go all day or just are intimidated not eating for several days at a time, juicing until dinner is the way to go!

Why is fasting important?
Fasting helps us cleanse, detoxify and flush toxins out of the body helping us both prevent illness as well as lose weight! For a more detailed discussion read my Benefits of Juice Fasting.

How does it work?
When we eat, all of our body’s energy goes towards digesting that food. So, when we drink liquids we are getting all of the nutrition we need while allowing our body to use all of it’s energy to heal! Additionally, if you are trying to lose weight or get your diet off to the right start, then a fast is a wonderful way to break away from unhealthy eating habits,reboot and give your body a clean slate to work from.

Why do I recommend juicing until dinner?
We all live busy lives and sometimes blocking off your schedule for 5-7 days at a time can be difficult- especially if you have a husband or boyfriend or kids! Sitting at the dinner table or saying no to dinners with friends while you are all by your lonesome drinking juice out of a bottle can seem oppresive.

I am not trying to bash juice fasts at all and certainly do them during the year but juice-fasts-until-dinner are a good alternative to those who don’t want to completely put their life on hold and want to take things a bit more slowly. One of the habits that I regularly integrate into my life is juicing until dinner one or two days a week. I always feel incredibly clear and clean afterwards and it is a relatively easy way for me to maintain my health while not sacrificing family time at night.

How can you do this?
For a more structured or supervised juice fasts, you can contact me to arrange a more detailed, personalized plan for you.

The basic plan is this:

1) Start off your day with a fresh, pressed grapefuit or orange juice (no pre-made/in a box juices,) a good probiotic and a shot of E3 Live or another nutrient-rich blue-green algae.

2) During your day drink vegetable or vegetable/fruit juices (again, this means fresh, real vegetable and fruit juices)! I recommend that 1-2 of these juices be a green juice. For those who work out a lot and feel like they need a little something more substantial, make a green smoothie. Personally, I love to have a smoothie around 4 or 5 pm when I am having my afternoon slump!

3)For dinner be a part of your famly life or go out to dinner with friends! Here is the kicker, though. NO alcohol or gluten products allowed and do not mix your carbohydrate or your protein. This means you have either a lean protein source such as grilled tofu, tempei, beans, buffalo mozzeralla or even fish or  a gluten-free carbohydrate such as brown or wild rice, quinoa, or a sweet potato with a side of vegetables or a salad.

Click here to learn more about Proper Food Combining but in a nutshell we cannot properly digest our food and tax our body when we mix carbohydrates with protein.

Do I recommend doing the Juice-Fast-Until-Dinner a few days a week for several weeks or a week at a time?
This is, again, where it is totally up to you! You know your schedule and what will work for you so sit down with your calendar and come up with a plan. If you want to lose just a few pounds perhaps just juicing-until-dinner on Mondays-Wednesdays will work for you or if you are ready and want more intense results you might want to juice-fast-until-dinner for a week to 10 days at a time and then just maintain with a one day a week juice-fast-until-dinner for several weeks.

How do I actually do the juice fast?
Well, there are two ways. The first is to make juices from your own juicer and smoothies at home. The second is to get your juices from the local juice bar or pick them up at Organic Avenue. Or, you can do a combination of the above. On busy days I might pick up my juices but I also love to make them at home. For those new to juicing, having pre-made juices ready for you to just purchase and drink might be the easiest way to go and then when you know what you like you can make them at home.

Again, if you want a personalized plan, I am happy to come up with one for you. Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

Juices

Refreshing Cleansing Juice

2 pears
4 stalks celery
1 large or 2 small cucumbers

Juice in juicer and drink throughout the day

Green Lemonade

4-8 leaves of romaine lettuce and/or kale
2 large apples
2 lemons
Optional (carrot)

Stir in agave nectar for sweetness if needed. You can also add a carrot if you want to cut the astringent flavor more. Drink this and your skin will be glowing!

Greens Juice with Carrots

4 carrots
4 romaine leaves
1 cucumber
4-6 stalks celery
3-4 stalks kale (Locinato, if possible)

Smoothies

Kat’s Green “Power me Up” Smoothie (featured in www.crazysexylife.com)

1/2 head kale (lacinato and dinosaur kale are my favorites!)
Juice from a Thai Coconut (you can cheat and use the small “One” containers if you need to)
Unsweetened almond milk
Frozen bananas and/or berries
1 tbsp Sun Warrior Protein Powder (or hemp seeds)
1 tbsp coconut butter
1 tsp maca

Put all of this in the Vitamix and blend! This is my favorite, favorite, favorite morning smoothie and I usually make it the night before and then send it in a bottle for my hubby to take to work in the morning!

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 frozen banana
1 handful of spinach (or tbsp greens powder)
1 tbsp Sun Warrior Chocolate Protein Powder or Vega Protein Powder (in lieu of these you can use unsweetened chocolate powder and add ground hemp or flax seeds for protein)
Ice cubes (optional)

Blend and enjoy. This is DELICIOUS and such a treat, especially if you need a pick me up in the afternoon!