Friday, January 31, 2014

It's Detox Time! 3-Berry Smoothie

It's Detox Time!

For the past month I've made fresh vegetable/fruit juice just about every day. My husband and I have been trying to replace at least one meal a day with juicing. It's been a precursor to the detox diet that we started 5 days ago, and it's going great!

I liken our detox diet to the Hallelujah Diet of which I am familiar, but without the BarleyMax (I use my own powders/supplements). They promote an 85% raw, 15% cooked diet, made up of vegan choices. And glance at their testimonials and you'll see what a blessing it is to eat this way—for life!

But I'm not espousing a particular diet really, just whole "vegan and gluten-free" foods, mostly raw, and with no meat products for this time of detoxifying. And of course, fresh juicing to maximize our daily nutrient content and give the body something to enable us to heal.

What our detox includes:
Drinking a variety of fresh juiced vegetables and fruits
Healthy fruit and green smoothies
Raw fruits, vegetables and dehydrates
Big green salads
Steamed vegetables (been eating a lot of Brussel sprouts)
Homemade vegetable soups
Herbal tea
Fresh lemon/limeade
Nuts (no more than a handful)
Coconut oil

You're not ready, until you're ready!

Hubby and I both are beyond middle age. We're still young-at-heart, and so it's not fun when health issues interfere with life's enjoyment and our abilities. I feel like if I don't get serious now about true healthy living I might as well give up. I know we'll be making sacrifices—albeit good ones, as we change to better eating habits. I'm determined to—once and for all! I'm ready already.

I'd like to eventually proceed forward and make it a juice only detox, so I'm really preparing myself for when I feel the time is right. I'm inspired by documentaries like Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead and Hungry for Change. I find that a big part of making a lifestyle change or going on any diet for that matter, it takes the right timing, the right mental focus, and the right environment to make it a successful journey. I knew that now was the right time to begin. And having hubby on board makes it much more doable.

Our very first juice on day 1 was:  

Apple-Broccoli Juice
4 Granny Smith apples
1 lime
4 celery ribs
Bunch of cilantro
1 head of broccoli
I had never juiced broccoli before, but since I had plenty in the fridge I wanted to make good use of it, and I saw a recipe for Green Apple Pie Juice that stirred my interest. My Apple-Broccoli juice was so GOOD! I'm getting used to the taste of cilantro and it's useful to draw out heavy metals in the body.

This week I made another awesome smoothie recipe using blueberries (since we got such a great deal on frozen blueberries):

3-Berry Antioxidant Smoothie

This was a great tasting and so-good-for-you breakfast smoothie that utilizes three different berries: blueberries, blackberries and cranberries. One of the best sources of antioxidants, berries help to fight against aging and the chronic disease processes that many of us know about first hand. Even the American Institute for Cancer Research admits that blueberries are “. . .  substances that can slow the aging process and reduce cell damage that can lead to cancer.” Here are 7 Berries You Should Eat Everyday.

Not included in that list of 7 are cranberries, which when consumed in their raw form or juiced, have huge health benefits warding off urinary tract and yeast infections, dental plaque, and helps with blood sugar issues such as insulin resistance. See Cranberry juice benefits made simple.

3-Berry Antioxidant Smoothie
by Kathy's Kitchen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: juicing raw gluten-free raw vegan

A so-good-for-you antioxidant fruit smoothie that utilizes blueberries, blackberries and cranberries.
  • 1 cup blueberries (raw, frozen or partially thawed)
  • 1 cup blackberries (raw, frozen or partially thawed)
  • 1 cup cranberries (raw, frozen or partially thawed)
  • 1 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 Tbs. lime or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. spirulina powder (optional)
  • 2 Tbs. green powder supplement (optional)
  • 2 tsp. coconut sugar, maple syrup, or other sweetener
  • Add all ingredients into a high powered blender (like VItaMix) and using the tamper, blend until well combined. Pour and serve.

Right now I've got naked kale chips in the dehydrator and when I get some more sunflower seeds I'll make some red hot snackers crackers, but I won't indulge, and now at day five I'm feeling past the terrible late afternoon cravings (thanks to the wonderful nutrients I'm giving my body and cells). I'm not having the sugar and chocolate cravings but hubby is still dealing with it, and at 270 lbs. he requires more food than I do so he eats a tad more. (I don't scold, I'm very glad and proud of him and he's losing weight faster than I am!)

So today, I look forward to feeling good, staying active, and slimming down. How about you?

Linking up with Gluten-Free Cat and  Raw Foods Thursdays 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Blue-Green Smoothie

This Blue-Green Smoothie

I LOVE blueberries, and I love adding greens into smoothies where it doesn't change the taste! For this treat, the greens used were raw spinach and spirulina powder—an antioxidant delight!

We had an excellent buy on large packages of frozen blueberries, so I eagerly threw some into my Vita-Mix and made this delicious blue-green drink. Actually, I spooned each mouthful, relishing the taste like I would an ice cream sundae!

Blue-Green Smoothie
by Kathy's Kitchen
Keywords: gluten-free raw

A raw smoothie to enjoy like a blueberry sundae, but disguised with healthy greens.
  • 2 cups organic apple juice (fresh juice preferred)
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs coconut sugar or preferred sweetener (optional)
  • 2 Tbs hemp seed (optional)
  • 1 tsp spirulina powder
  • 1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 3 cups frozen blueberries (thawed or partly thawed)
  • 2 large handfuls of washed raw spinach leaves
  • Combine the first six ingredients into a high speed blender like a Vita-Mix and blend well.
  • Add the blueberries and use the tamper to mix together.
  • Add the spinach and use the tamper to mix while blending.
  • Pour and enjoy!
Not familiar with spirulina powder? Dr. Mercola explains what this ancient plant is—a form of blue-green algae with "miracle" benefits: 
  • detoxifying
  • protein rich
  • immune boosting
  • allergy relief
  • normalizes blood pressure and cholesterol
  • reduces cancer risk
Caution: You may need to be careful with spirulina powder and work your way upward, starting with a small amount (like in this smoothie). Spirulina is safe to consume, but some people may have a reaction to it depending on their state of health.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Pom-Blueberry-Apple Cider

Pom-Blueberry-Apple Cider

We had some lovely frugal finds over the holidays recently. $2.00 for a gallon-size bag of frozen blueberries was almost a steal, so we stuffed five in our freezer. At the same discount store they offered apple cider for $2.50 a gallon. At Aldi's, the pomegranates were getting a bit too ripe so my hubby asked for a price reduction and picked up a boxload full for 25 cents each! It was a no-brainer to mix up a delightful pom-blueberry-apple cider concoction and BOY it was DELICIOUS!

How I did it:
In the Vita-Mix blender I put two cups of the apple cider and mixed in half a bag of the blueberries that I had thawed. (Leaving them frozen makes it taste like a yummy smoothie but my hubby is sensitive to cold right now.) I broke apart and seeded six pomegranates using the wooden spoon whacking method, I juiced the arils (using a few carrots also), and added this juice to the blueberry mixture, mixing everything together utilizing a half gallon of the apple cider.

Knowing the nutrient-filled, antioxidant rich benefits of pomegranates and blueberries I think we did alright! 

What else can you do with pomegranates? You may want to check some recipes online like those at Simply Recipes

A few of my sons love to eat the pomegranate seeds by themselves, but take a peek at the Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters at Lexie's Kitchen!

What are some of your best frugal finds and deals, and what did you make?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Apple Fritter Flaxcakes—Focus on Wheat-Free

It's a brand new year and great timing to start implementing a wheat & gluten-free diet plan. This morning I fixed a delightful pancake alternative that reminds me a lot of a yummy apple fritter.

 Apple Fritter Flaxcakes

I'll get to this easy recipe in a few minutes, but it looks like I took a six month hiatus—and in fact that's exactly what I did! This summer I went to Florida on vacation where I conveniently decided to let my diet choices have a lot of flexibility. I stuck to whole foods where possible but I allowed wheat and dairy to make a prominent return. In a way I looked at it as an experiment of sorts. Were my dietary choices at the time really making such a difference? I was to find out.

Well, six months and several holiday feasts later, my clothes are fitting very tight! Though I felt stagnant with weight loss last summer, at least I wasn't gaining, and there's something to be said for that. Health wise, I've had great success with supplementation help from my ND in curbing my Atrial Fibrillation attacks. I've had ZERO attacks in six months! I couldn't be happier there, so despite my thicker waistline, I'm wearing my happy face every morning! But, it's time to get geared up and deal with the inflammation issues, again. 

My main focus: WHEAT-FREE
This recipe was one I adapted from a recipe I saw in Nourish & Heal magazine.

Apple Fritter Flaxcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Focus: wheat-free A tasty, yet healthier pancake alternative.
Ingredients (6 flaxcakes)
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 4 Tbs ground flaxseed
  • 2 medium apples
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tsp sucanat (or other dry sweetener)
  • coconut oil
  • Combine eggs, flaxseed, spices and sucanat. Cut apples into small chunks and mix into batter.
  • Coat bottom of frying pan with coconut oil and when hot, spoon batter to make three flaxcakes, and flatten and form to shape.
  • Cook several minutes over medium heat and when browned flip and cook opposite side 'til lightly browned.

Apples are cut into small chunks and mixed into batter.

 Batter, ready to make flaxcakes.

Top with fruit or maple syrup and enjoy!