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Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category


Eat foods that closely resemble their form and color when plucked from the dirt, tree, or vine. Think: how did my body evolve to eat food? (this is not a subtle plug for raw food diets, so don’t get excited!) The more processing your  food has undergone, the fewer nutrients are left to help keep your immunity strong. What’s more? Processing often introduces novel proteins & other foods (those that are new and unusual and therefore not known to your body), which increases your exposure to harmful substances. These chemicals are linked to modern chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, obesity, malabsorption, food intolerances, digestive disturbances and more. Bleh! That is definitely not sexy!

For all y’all vegetarians out there, take a look at your fake meats, fake cheeses, fake milks, protein supplements. The ingredients are usually NO BUENO, friends. (Full disclosure: I was a vegetarian for 13 years and developed severe food intolerances largely in thanks to those highly processed fake vegetarian foods.)

 

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I’ve felt a bit taxed the last few days, as though a cold is reaching its long, nasty tentacles for me. I made a super-immune booster drink in less than five minutes, and I’ve felt great ever since I consumed it this morning. It contains fresh carrots and orange juice, both which boast large amounts of immune-powering vitamin C and flavanones, which are specialty flavonoids that protect you from many diseases.

Ginger hosts potent antioxidants as well, and holds its own for biting back at cancer tumors. It’s known for its immune-enhancing properties in Ayurvedic medicine, and the story goes like this: ginger is hot, which opens pores and allows you to sweat out toxins. The toxins that don’t make it out through your pores can become neutralized by ginger because it is an anti-pyretic for the common cold. (Read more about Ayurveda and medicinal uses for ginger here.) Aromatically, ginger gives this drink an exciting and pungent kick, so start off with small amounts if you aren’t used to it.

Use ORGANIC. Organic supplies you with better nourishment than conventional, plus it will save your body from the burden of processing synthetic pesticides in your food.

Don’t be a weeny – drink the damn pulp! Unless you have a medical condition that forbids you consume fiber (and you probably don’t), you need your fiber. If you use a juicer for this recipe, add the pulp back into your juice.  The fiber is a *brilliant* gift of life, and your DNA evolved consuming A LOT of roughage. Most Americans are missing out on the valuable benefits fiber. The average American barely meets one-third to one-half of their recommended fiber intake. What a loss! Fiber improves your overall weight, too. It fills you for longer, which encourages you to eat less! If you weren’t filling up on fiber, chances are that you’d fill up on fat and carbs instead. It also slows the rate of sugar entering your blood, so your blood sugar is more stable. Real Americans eat fiber!

So there.  Drink and be merry for this glass of juice and all its fibery goodness. It’s a lovely smoothie. Give thanks you have tasty, life-giving foods. Be happy you aren’t drinking Sunny Delight or Hawaiian Punch.

Have another wonderful juice recipe? Please share it with us in the comments section below!

If you like this post, please share with your friends on email, twitter, facebook, or wherever you like.

Bottoms up,

Frances

Vitamix Blender

Makes 2 servings

Equipment needed: A mighty, mighty blender that is tough enough to puree carrots (I use a VitaMix). You can use a juicer, if you have one.

Assemble:

4 carrots, washed and chopped into chunks (sized appropriately for your blender) – avoid skinning them to retain nutrients.

2-4 Tbsp RAW ginger – peel ginger skin (don’t fuss over getting it all off, or you will ruin a pleasant evening). Chop coarsely. *If using powdered ginger, sprinkle it into juice lightly because it tastes about 6X stronger when powdered.

Optional: apple slices (leave skin on)

Orange or apple juice.

WAAAIT! Add a little water to this blender, shake and drink it down (or give it to your compost bucket).You can also scrape with a spatula. Don't let it go to waste -we're in a depression and resources are precious.

Combine carrots and ginger in your mighty, mighty blender. Fill with enough juice so that it just passes the top of the vegetable line. Puree. Add more juice if needed. Taste and adjust the ginger or any other flavors, if needed.

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Organic Seedless Watermelon

Watermelon is thought to first be cultivated around 5,000 years ago among Egyptians, and are found painted in hieroglyphics in buildings. They were highly prized and often buried in the tombs of kings for nourishment in the afterlife. Melons were cultivated for thousands of years in China, Greece, Rome, and the Mediterranean. At long last, they reached the United States with European colonists and African slaves. Now, over 1200 varieties of melons exist, with 200-300 varieties growing in the US and Mexico. Forty-four states now grow watermelon, with the biggest producers being California, followed by Florida, Texas, and Georgia. It’s inner flesh ranges from deep red to pink, orange, yellow, and rarely, white.

Watermelon provides about as much lycopene as two medium tomatoes. They are also a fine source of beta carotene. Studies have boosted watermelon’s status, showing that eating it with other fruit, can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Eating it with other carotenoid-containing foods can lower the risk of prostate cancer. Watermelon also provides a lot of water and minerals.

Not only this, but did you know that you can eat the rinds? Watermelon rind supplies citrulline, an amino acid that promotes nitric oxide’s production, which improves arterial blood flow and might reduce blood pressure. In many traditional African cuisines, watermelon flesh and seeds (a source of fatty acids and protein) are cooked and served as a vegetable. I’ve enjoyed pickled watermelon rind -which was sweet and heavily spiced with clove – with cream cheese and crackers. As a home remedy, the rind can be applied to skin that is suffering from the itch of poison ivy and poison oak for relief.

Did you know that the seeds are also edible? Human trials have shown that you can safely eat the seeds without risking sprouting a watermelon tree from your belly button! In some parts of India, the seeds are ground into flour. Watermelon seed tea was once used medicinally for reducing blood pressure and as a diuretic. In Russia, watermelon juice is also processed and enjoyed as an alcoholic beverage.

Even if you don’t plan to eat the rinds – just yet, anyway – people often think that the thick skin of the melon will protect it from the effects of pesticides. Not true! Depending on the variety of melon, its flesh is at least 90% water or more. This means that when your thirsty melon is slurping up every ounce of water it can find, it’s also gulping in any pesticides or other chemicals it encountered during its growing period.

 

Watermelon's Ripe Spot

Tip for selecting a ripe watermelon: Look for a melon that is heavy and has a hard rind. Be sure it is free of bruises and dents. Look for the spot where it sat on the ground. If the spot is yellow, it was allowed to ripen on the vine longer. If the spot is white, it is less ripe. Unfortunately, watermelons do not ripen off of the vine. The debate continues on as to whether thumping the melon to test ripeness actually works. An uncut melon will keep for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. Store cut melons, covered, in the refrigerator. Watermelon is best when it is grown in season.

I recently enjoyed a watermelon salad, made by my friend Nicole for our day at the beach in Lake Tahoe. She combined cut watermelon with chopped tomato, basil, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar. What a wonderful treat! It is also wonderful when paired with something salty or tangy, such as feta.  Here are some links to other watermelon recipes:

Tomato-Watermelon Soup with almonds, red-wine vinegar, and feta

Chilled Watermelon Soup with lime, mint & ginger

Thai Spiced Watermelon Soup

Watermelon-Jalapeno Salsa

Watermelon-Feta Salad

Please share your experiences with us: How do you like to eat your watermelon?

To Health and Happiness,

Frances

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