Happy Easter!

If you gorge on Easter sweets, you might just get a visit from this Bunny... HAPPY EASTER!

Fresh V8 Juice

If you have ever glanced at the nutrition label of V8 juice, I hope the sodium content jumped out! Long ago I thought V8 juice was great and even patted myself on the back for drinking so many vegetables... DUMB (I can blame it on age, 18 = naive). Well, I still like the taste of fresh vegetables plus a little spice. So, I went on a V8 recipe search and here are my two favorites so far.

Recipe One

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/4 sweet onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1-2 shots hot sauce
              Source: http://www.omegajuicers.com/juicing-recipes

Recipe Two

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 6 carrots
  • 3 stalks celery
  • handful of spinach leaves
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 small beet
  • 1/4 head cabbage
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/4 to 1/2 garlic (very strong)
      If you want it to taste more like store bought V8, replace    
      the fresh tomatoes with canned tomato sauce.
           Source: http://breville800jexlguide.com/homemade-v8-recipe-for-juicer/

What Do You Mean NO FIBER!

Yes, you read that correctly. In almost all other instances I am pro fiber but in the case of juicing I am not. The recommended daily intake for adults is between 25-35 gms per day (there are more specific guidelines broken down by age). Most Americans are lucky if they get half that each day and never give it a second thought. UNTIL, they hear someone say "You don't want fiber in your juice"... then they become fiber advocates. FIBER IS FABULOUS and we all need more of it (plus water).

Here's the deal...

Smoothie's are intended to stimulate the digestive tract and get things moving. Roughage (spinach leaves, flax seed, fiber powder, etc.) is necessary and a key to a healthy smoothie. One of the roles of fiber is to stimulate digestion and give your colon a healthy workout while attaching and binding to waste material (i.e. cholesterol, triglycerides).

Raw juice is NOT intended to stimulate your digestive tract. Juicing is to increase the absorption of vital nutrients. Key word is ABSORPTION. Fiber slows down digestion to help bind with wastes but it doesn't pick and choose what it binds with. If vitamins are present it doesn't discriminate and will bind and excrete them just as it does cholesterol. For this reason, we do not want fiber to be in our juice.

Fresh juice is in a raw form and little to no digestion occurs allowing absorption to rapidly take place; absorption takes place almost as fast as the rate of alcohol. I hate to compare it to alcohol... But alcohol is in a raw state and it is easily absorbed... same principle with raw juice (except you are not killing your liver or altering your mental state, WIN!). 

Choosing a Juicer

So you want to juice. First things first... you need a JUICER! Not a blender or chopper, etc. If you use anything but a juicer you will get baby food, a nice bowl of pureed goodness (if you are lacking all your teeth then this might be a great choice for you).

When my husband and I decided to start juicing we were not sure if it was a "fad" for us so we didn't want to invest a lot of money in a juicer. A year later and we are still juicing! We burnt up two juicers before we bit the bullet and bought the real deal. It took about two months of researching before we decided on the OMEGA VRT350HD. There are numerous product reviews, YouTube videos, and all kinds of facts about this juicer across the internet. Basically, we chose this one based on a few key points we were looking for:
  1. Easy to clean
  2. Quiet
  3. Durability and warranty
  4. Doesn't take up to much space
  5. *Most Important* what kind of Juice Product it delivered.

The good little nutrients that health guru's are always mentioning are easily killed off in food preparation and cooking. This is also a problem with blender and juicing products. In the case of juicing, if the machine gets to heated while extracting the juice it kills off phytonutrients and some vitamins. That is why choosing a juicer was so important. Let's face it, we do this in the name of health and if I'm not getting my healthiness out of the deal I'm NOT doing it!

My advice start off with a cheaper juicer and make sure you are committed and when it becomes apart of your daily routine, INVEST in the real deal.

About the Juice

No matter what juicer you choose, you need to know that only a select (really expensive few) will be pulp/fiber free. You do not want fiber in your juice (I will explain in a later post). The best dollar I've ever spent were on these beauties!

The hubby found them at Family Dollar and they come in packs of two for $1. We use these to filter the juice that comes out of the spigot. It catches all the escaping pulp and really makes the juice smooth. You can also use cheese cloth and strain it that way but it is a lot messier and you have to keep buying the cheese cloth. With these strainers you want to clean them with your scrubber (same one used for the machine cleaning); do NOT put them in the dishwasher because they will rust.

The Juicing Kit

Happy Juicing!

Natural Reese Cups

I am always looking for easy, healthy recipes. I am very picky and not many pass my "healthy" checklist. So many foods are loaded with preservatives, that I am always on the look out for ingredients that are just basic... WAY easier said than done. But alas, we have a new family favorite, referred to as "The Reese's Cups that are Good for You"... kids, they are just in shock that I made them chocolate that tastes good ;)

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup smooth, natural almond butter 
(or peanut butter)
1/4 cup raw, local honey
1/2 tsp vanilla

Melt the coconut and then pour all the ingredients into a food processor. Blend. Pour into cupcake liners. Put in fridge for 10 minutes and BAM, done.

Really, that's all. I found this at Practical Paleo, here

*I always save containers and the one above I use to store them in is a peanut butter container. It's perfect!*

You Are One Amazing Lemon!

March is National Nutrition Month and a great reminder of our   Healthy Goals for 2013

Project for the month:
  1. Commit to three healthy lifestyle changes
  2. Write them down
  3. Tell your "someone" what you are working on
  4. BEGIN! The hardest part is starting
  5. If you really work on these changes for this month, then by the end of March they will have become a HABIT and a new part of your daily routine.

Here are some examples of healthy lifestyle changes:
  • Quit smoking/drinking
  • Drink "X" amount of water each day
  • Walk for 30 minutes 3 days a week
  • Eat fast food only twice a week
  • Eliminate the soda
  • Eat one raw food a day
  • Eat one meal at home and at the table
  • Try new foods
  • No eating/drinking while on the computer or watching TV
    • Only eat at the table
Now, Prepare to be AMAZED!