Tag Archive | juicing

Juiced

Anyone else sore from shoveling snow? I was out twice today for a total of 90 minutes. As I sit here in front of my computer, I’m starting to feel certain muscles… ouch! But I do love to shovel, strangely enough. It’s great exercise and very refreshing! To all of you in the Northeast, please be careful!

* * * * * * * *

It’s been quite a while since I have done any juicing. Once upon a time, it was part of our daily routine, particularly when my son was in high school. We regularly shared a juice after school, but somehow juicing fell by the way side. The juicer takes up a lot of room on the counter, and it takes a fair amount of work to prepare and clean up.

But when your 19-year-old son says “I think we need to start juicing again”, you find room on said counter and you make it a priority. Our usual recipe includes 6-8 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 1 english cucumber, 2 oranges, 1-2 apples, and 1″ of ginger root. Unfortunately, apples and ginger were out of stock and were missing from this week’s grocery order. So we made do by adding some frozen strawberries and some minced (jarred) ginger (not quite the same, but it worked). Nothing like a huge glass of nutrients!

I know there are plant-based doctors who don’t agree with juicing (yes, it IS always better to eat whole foods and to chew them) but we have always found it to be beneficial. As someone who is perpetually dehydrated, juicing contributes to my hydration. Plus, the nutrients just always seem to boost our immune systems. I think you need to be careful about the balance of fruits and vegetables so you don’t get too much sugar, but otherwise, it works for us.

Do you juice? What recipes do you like best?

* * * * * * * * *

Today’s recipe is for Chipotle-Mushroom Tacos with a lime slaw. Easy to make and very filling. The Lime Slaw adds a nice tang and some crunch. A bit of avocado and you’re good to go! Enjoy!

IMDb: Juiced (2006)

A School Paper

I had some other things to write about today, but Ethan had me read his English assignment — about something routine — and I thought I would share that instead. I thought it was well written (yes, I am biased) and relevant. (I don’t think I’ve ever had a guest blogger on this site!) ¬†ūüôā

*****

“”Boy, I’m glad that’s over,” I thought to myself. One hour earlier, I just got off the school bus at Grandpa’s house, as I always did. Now my mom, in her new white Rav4 covered in mud from the hood down, is pulling in the rocky driveway to pick me up. The front door creaked open as she stepped in.

“Boo,” I said to her.

“Eek,” she simply responded.

I’ve been doing that ever since I was a toddler as a greeting, though it seemed to have gotten old. While Mom was talking to Grandpa, most likely trying to explain something to him, I plopped my backpack into the back of Mom’s car and buckled into the passenger seat, waiting to leave.

“How was school?” Mom asked, as she drove down the main road I have known for years.

“Good,” I responded, as I always do to try to avoid conversation. “What’s for dinner?”

“Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff,” she answered. “I also thought we should juice. I could really use some today.”

“Yeah,” I agreed. “It’s been a while.”

To some, that may have sounded a little unusual for dinner on a school night, but not me. Ever since her last experience with cancer, my mom has been living on a healthy lifestyle, and she put the whole family on it for our sakes as well.

When we got home and made ourselves comfortable, Mom brought out the shiny, black juicing machine and readied the fruits and vegetables for our daily concoction. The result is a foamy, orange liquid that is tastier than people anticipate it to be.

The rest of the evening went as it usually did. My stepdad, David, came home after work with a loaf of Italian bread to eat with dinner. He and Mom engaged in their “nightly political debate” while I focused on my own thoughts at the dinner table. The routine is one that is almost exactly the same every day, but that is fine by us.”

*****

So my own quick comments… Yes, the Boo!/Eek! repartee started when he was young. When I went to pick Ethan up at my Mom’s every afternoon, he would hide and jump out at me, yelling “boo!” And, of course, my response was a very dramatic “eek!” ¬†Now it’s sort of a “hey. boo. eek.” But our personal greeting. ūüôā

I’m happy to say the political debates aren’t actually a nightly ritual as they once were. I lack the stamina of my husband for such discussions! Starting tonight, in a further effort to keep the conversation positive, we started a “happiness jar”. I found a lovely 2 gallon glass jar at Target and some colorful pieces of paper. At dinner, each person will have to write down something they were happy about that day. We will discuss over dinner and add to the jar each day. Any time we are having a bad day, we will be able to look through the jar and look at all we have to be grateful for. I’m looking forward to seeing how this goes! I expected some resistance, but got none. Yeah!

*****

IMDb: A School Paper (2015)

Soul Food

August presents a host of anniversaries related to my health. August 13th was the 6th anniversary of my partial nephrectomy to remove a portion of my right kidney and a small tumor. Renal cell carcinoma. My first cancer.

August 24th, as I mentioned, was the second anniversary of my blog. ¬†And today is my 2 year anniversary¬†being free of breast cancer. ¬†At this time on August 31, 2012, my double mastectomy and sentinel node biopsy were complete and I was resting comfortably. The surgery was the easy part of my treatment, and, while I know this isn’t everyone’s experience, I was pain free. I remained in the hospital only 3 days and had my drain tubes out before I left.

I got a whopping two weeks off from work, but I spent it all doing my research.  I watched Forks Over Knives and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I read Crazy, Sexy Cancer. I made hummus for the first time, tried a sugar fast, built my repertoire for juicing, measured my pH balance daily, started my vegetarian quest, and Googled everything I could think of related to healthy eating for cancer prevention. It was two short weeks but I made the most of it. And I felt fantastic! Chemo and radiation would follow, so the euphoria and high energy levels would be short-lived, but I took advantage of the time to educate myself.

So I mark this anniversary by thinking about how very much I have learned about cancer prevention and healing. To quote one of my favorite doctors, Dr. John McDougall, I truly believe “it’s the food”. And, quite frankly, this isn’t just about cancer. It holds true for any chronic disease. What we eat is the biggest factor to health. Certainly stress, inactivity, and environmental factors contribute to poor health, but it’s important that we nourish our bodies to fight what may come our way. Everything I have read and watched… every testimonial I have heard… and even my own experiences… all point to the food. Nourish your body; nourish your soul!

*****

IMDb: Soul Food (1997)

The Wash

As cases of the flu and other winter illness abound, it’s time to get into full defensive mode! ¬†My regimen includes daily doses of Vitamin C and echinacea, as well as daily juicing for everyone in the house (ok, so David doesn’t always get to participate…). ¬†Today I was in a crunch for time, so we made a simple juice: ¬†loads of carrots, 2 oranges, and some ginger. ¬†Delicious and full of vitamins!

I’ve also been trying to send any sick people on my team home when they show up in the office. We will be discussing this at our next staff meeting. ¬†Since we have the ability to work from home, if you’re sick, stay home! ¬†No point in contaminating the whole office.

I always try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.  Lack of sleep totally destroys my immune system, so I try very hard not to let myself get run down.

And, of course, wash, wash, wash! ¬†(Your hands, that is.) ¬†Don’t forget to sing Happy Birthday (twice) while you wash your hands to ensure you are washing long enough. ¬†Where I can help it, I try not to touch the stair railing or the bathroom door, etc. ¬†Unfortunately, not everyone is as diligent on the hand washing…

So far I’ve been managed to keep illness at bay, but there’s still a lot of winter to get through.

*****

And speaking of winter, this bitter cold is wrecking my hands; they are completely chapped and cracked. ¬†No amount of hand lotion is helping. ¬†I’m trying to drink more water to hydrate from the inside out, but I just can’t keep up. ¬†The Arctic vortex is winning this battle, I’m afraid.

Peeling oranges for juicing, and juicing lemons for tonight’s dinner, was a bit painful. ¬†Talk about stinging!

By the way, my absolute favorite hand lotion: ¬†Orange Lavender Hand Lotion by The Indulgent Apothecary. ¬†I love the way it feels on my hands. ¬†And when I am forced to use another brand, it’s just not the same.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/101594055/orange-lavender-body-lotion?ref=shop_home_feat_3

*****

Latest update on Mom: ¬†She’s doing amazingly well. ¬†As of today, she is disconnected from all tubes and lines. ¬†She is walking around, eating well, and handling the pain with only Tylenol. ¬†If the silly cough would just go away, she’d be great. ¬†Unfortunately, she’s still coughing up gunk from the surgery and that, no surprise, is causing some pain in her chest. ¬†Otherwise, she’s ready to head home. ¬†Maybe Thursday?

*****

The Wash (2001) –¬†http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0290332/

Food Fight

Yesteray I met one of my girlfriends for a much belated birthday (and only slightly belated Christmas) lunch.  We went to one of my favorite restaurants for lunch, State Street Grille.  I was surprised to see they had revamped the menu, since I already had in my mind what I was going to order when I got there.  But I was even more surprised at some of the things on the new menu:  including a separate drink menu for raw food juices!  I was so excited about this since I have never seen that anywhere in our area.  I ordered a carrot, apple, ginger & kale juice which was absolutely delicious (and healthy).  I was also impressed that they had Stevia in the holder for the sugar packets.

*****

My mother gave me her January 2014 Reader’s Digest to read an article on education. ¬†In the magazine, however, I found this great article on what different words mean on food labels. ¬†The article covers what it really means to be imitation, (fat-, sugar-, or sodium-) free, low, reduced, light, high, good source, more, lean, healthy and natural.¬†They may not mean what you think!
http://www.rd.com/slideshows/food-labels-decode-tricky-terms

*****

Here’s another great article. ¬†It was re-posted on a blog that I follow, and it talks about the best foods to eat for fighting cancer, as specific properties in the foods¬†target cancer stem cells.
http://eatandbeatcancer.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/anti-cancer-diet-which-foods-target-cancer-stem-cells/

*****

And lastly, regardless of what position you support in this GMO fight, I still think it’s important to have labeling. ¬†If you support GMOs, then the labeling won’t matter. ¬†And if you don’t support GMOs, then you can make a conscious decision to avoid them. ¬†I just think it’s a basic right to know what you are eating. ¬†So for those of you in the latter category, here are some new apps for you to check out to help eat GMO free. ¬†I started to look into these, but haven’t really tried any of them yet. ¬†Let me know if you try any of these.

10 Apps to help you eat GMO free http://www.foodrevolution.org/blog/non-gmo-apps

*****

Food Fight (2008) –¬†http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1193092/

Always Something Better

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles recently about juicing versus blending (smoothies). ¬†Apparently there’s a big debate about which is better for you. ¬†I read each with interest, most presenting the same arguments, but I just have to ask: ¬†Does one have to be better? ¬†Can’t they both be good for you? ¬†Why does it have to be a contest?

I personally do both.

My morning always starts with a green smoothie… even before caffeine! ¬†Granted, I cheat a bit by starting with a powder from Nature’s Sunshine called Nature’s Harvest, to which we add a bit of fruit and chia seeds. ¬†(I really cheat because my hubby makes them for me 99% of the time!) ¬†The powder has 13 grams of protein, along with 2 grams of dietary fiber, and tons of vitamins and minerals from plants, fruits and herbs.

I certainly would do the blending from whole fruits and veggies too, and I’m sure there are even more benefits to doing so, but I know I can be a bit lazy and I probably wouldn’t do it every day. The powder allows me to get the benefits of the smoothie without all the work. ¬†When my husband and I started drinking these green smoothies every day, I noticed a huge difference in my skin and hair (other people noticed, too!) It was definitely the outward sign that it was improving my health.

I also try to juice about 4 times a week (see prior comment about laziness…). ¬†It is work, but I definitely find it to be worthwhile. ¬†Juicing gives you loads of vitamins in one fell swoop — you couldn’t possibly eat all those vitamins in one sitting. ¬†I always tell people that since we started juicing, Ethan has not had a single sick day. ¬†THAT is worth every penny (and the work to prepare and clean up). ¬†I do tend to go a little more gung-ho on the juicing if I feel a cold coming on. ¬†It usually does the trick to keep it at bay.

I think if you are considering one or the other, I would say pick the one that you can stick with. ¬†Or pick the one that best suits your personal health needs. ¬†But you can’t go wrong with either one, in my opinion.

This is one of the articles I recently encountered; it’s from April 2013, but showed up recently on Facebook. ¬†There are loads more… just Google “juicing versus blending”!
http://news.yahoo.com/jane-says-juicing-may-great-blending-better-170646059.html

*****

Always Something Better (1996) –¬†http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0251896/

Beetlejuice

This past week I have had several people ask me about juicing and for recommendations on juicers.  I thought it was worth discussing again given the recent increased interested.

First, I think it’s important to discuss the difference between juicing and blending. ¬†Juicing removes the pulp and gives you only the juice. ¬†Blending retains the pulp and makes more of a smoothie. ¬†I think a lot of people use the generic term of “juicing” to cover both. ¬†The challenge in making a recommendation on a “juicer” without clarification of these two terms is that someone might really be thinking “smoothies” and end up with the wrong tool.

I like to share the following article on Kris Carr’s website (as she’s my hero):
http://kriscarr.com/blog/juicing-vs-blending-a-request/

The following article does a little bit better job discussing the pros and cons of each:
http://www.healthyhand.com/juicing-vs-blending/

Once you decide which one you want to do, you have to decide what machine you want.  I have my share of gadgets, but what we primarily use are the following:

  1. Cuisinart Juice Extractor (CJE-1000).  This is a centrifugal juicer and this was primarily what we use for juicing.  It handles just about anything, although leafy greens seem to blow through too quickly to get much juice extracted.  (Currently $120 on Amazon)  It is a bit of a pain to clean, but otherwise, I love it.
  2. Lexen Healthy Juicer (GP-27). ¬†I use this for juicing my wheatgrass and other leafy greens. ¬†This is a masticating juicer and it handles the greens really well. You can use it for just about anything, but you may have to chop the harder vegetables up a bit more. ¬†This cleans up much easier, as it’s smaller and comes apart easily.
  3. Magic Bullet.  We use this for our smoothies.
  4. Cuisinart food processor.  Also used (rarely) for smoothies.  (I do make my banana ice cream in this!)

And here’s more information than you ever cared to know about the different types of juicers:
http://www.foodmatters.tv/juicer-buying-guide

*****

Beetlejuice (1988) –¬†http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094721/

The Polar Express

The Polar Express is in full gear these days.  Chugging down the track headed straight for Christmas.

It’s been a really busy week here (you, too?). ¬†Christmas concerts, work, travel, shopping, cards, and holiday celebrations with friends. ¬†There doesn’t seem to be a minute of spare time, and I haven’t had a time in a week to write my blog. ¬†Interestingly enough, the only reason I have time to write tonight is because our second Christmas concert got postponed due to bad weather. ¬†I guess the Polar Express brought some ice and snow along with it!

*****

Yesterday we went with some friends to the town of Jim Thorpe for a day of holiday festivities. ¬†We did some browsing through the many little shops, attended a beautiful choral concert, and a wonderful dinner. ¬†The town was all decked out for the holidays and we even got to see Santa. ¬†I thought the chorale concert was wonderful… the setting of the beautiful church, along with the Christmas music, really put me in the holiday spirit. ¬†The music even brought tears to my eyes at times. ¬†Adeste Fidelis, For Unto Us a Child is Born, and Hallelujah Chorus. ¬†Ah. ¬†Despite the craziness of the week overall, yesterday was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable days we’ve had in a long time.

Here I am with my friend, Melissa. ¬†Yes, my nose is red… it was about 17 degrees!

Jim Thorpe 2013.12.08

*****

This weekend our church was accepting “gently used” toys on behalf of less fortunate families. ¬†I welcomed the opportunity to clean out Ethan’s room and came up with five bags of toys. ¬†All of the toys were in great shape… a lot of things that he outgrew but we just never got to a yard sale or flea market. ¬†What was a little sad was that some of these toys were brand new… never even opened. ¬†I am grateful for the blessings and abundance in our lives, but it certainly felt kind of decadent. ¬†So I was certainly thrilled to know that they were going to a good cause, and it felt good to unload so much stuff!

*****

So the downfall of a busy schedule is definitely the impact to my diet. ¬†Traveling means eating out — breakfast, lunch and dinner. ¬†Celebrating means eating… and drinking. ¬†This past week has added 3 pounds to the scale. ¬†Bagels. ¬†Pizza. ¬†Coffee. ¬†Jack Frost martinis and Pinot Grigio. ¬†Dessert. ¬†And not nearly enough vegetables or juicing. ¬†‘Tis the season, I guess, and I wasn’t terrible,¬†but I need to do better.

Today I was happy to have the opportunity to juice for the first time in over a week. ¬†Made a big batch for the whole family! ¬†And with no travels this week, I am looking forward to getting back on track. ¬†We made our trip to Wegman’s this morning to load up on fruits and veggies and there is a game plan for the week, despite another busy week ahead.

*****

I’m loving the holiday season, and am so excited to be feeling well and energetic this Christmas. ¬†A year ago I was in the throes of chemotherapy. ¬†What a difference a year makes. ¬†I’m happy to be riding this train, busy schedule and all!

*****

The Polar Express (2004) –¬†http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0338348/

Popeye

It was music to my ears… “Mom, can I have some more spinach?”¬† Wow, have we come a long way!!¬† Less than a year ago, my son was still in his eat-no-vegetables mode.¬† (He didn’t eat much fruit either.)¬† And now he was asking for more spinach???¬† Be still my heart.¬† There was actually no more spinach to be served, so I gave him the spinach that was still left on my plate.¬† I didn’t want to pass up this opportunity!

Ethan’s refusal to eat fruits and veggies the past several years is part of what prompted us to start juicing.¬†¬†Juicing seemed to be a good¬†solution for getting some nutrients into his body (and it seemed like it would benefit us both).¬† He loved juicing and, as I have said here before, we both credit juicing with a year (plus) of no missed school days.

When I first started my WFPB (whole foods, plant based) journey back in January, neither my son nor my husband came along willingly.¬† Very often I found myself cooking two (sometimes three) different meals each night.¬† But over time, and I think without them noticing very much, I stopped doing that.¬† I can’t even tell you the last time I cooked¬†meat (meaning beef, pork or chicken) for dinner.¬† Every night now, we eat plant based (with an occasional fish night).¬† While some of the new dishes have been better than others, there haven’t been any complaints of late.¬† In fact, there has been a general acceptance of the changes (dare I say “enjoyment” at times even).

I’m not quite sure when the tides turned, or why.¬† Maybe everyone noticed they felt better.¬† Maybe they realized that dinner can be both delicious and healthy.¬† It could have been the ongoing focus and dialogue around health issues.¬† Or maybe they just¬†resigned themselves to the fact that I was never cooking meat again!¬†¬†Whatever the reason, it makes me happy!¬† With Ethan,¬†it’s great to know that he is learning about healthy eating while he is still young, and maybe I can prevent in him¬†some of the chronic illnesses that result from poor eating.¬† And while I can’t influence his every eating decision… there is still the school cafeteria after all… he’s learning and I’m seeing him make better choices.

Confession time (Rob, this is for you…):¬† I am traveling for work and opted to go to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner.¬† I tried my best to make the best choices possible¬†(considering that we were at The Cheesecake Factory), but they were out of hummus (seriously), so I had some stuffed mushrooms and a yummy salad.¬† And yes, I must confess, I had some cheesecake.¬† We actually took it “to go” and I¬†ate it in my hotel room.¬† Since we didn’t have forks, I nibbled at it using a wooden¬†coffee stirrer!¬† As a result, I did not eat the whole thing, and it actually got a little too sweet for me.¬† I wish I could say it was worth it…

*****

Popeye (1980) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081353/