Archives for January 2015
I vividly remember standing in line at The Bagel Factory, just across the street from my college apartment, deciding between an egg sandwich or bagel & cream cheese, but totally knowing I’d get an Odwalla juice to make it a “healthy meal.” So yes, as you can imagine, a lot has changed since my college years. My weekends (and weekdays for that matter), wake-up time and priorities look a lot different…and so do my breakfasts! Gone are the bagels (but we’ll save that for another day) and the juice. The decision to forego carb-loaded bagels might seem obvious, but what’s wrong with vibrant, healthy, pre-packaged juice you might ask?
Well for one thing, I stopped believing every “health label” I saw and started doing a little research…. I mean some of these “superfood” juice bottles have upwards of 300 calories + 49 grams of sugar in one serving! If I’m taking in those kind of levels, I better be getting a TON of nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants and other good stuff! I used to think my bottle of store-bought juice was the liquid version of a multi-vitamin. And whoa, whoa, whoa check out the ingredient label, what is soy and wheat doing in there?!
Nutritional therapy has been shown to be extremely effective in healing serious degenerative diseases. The Gerson Institute, for example, uses an abundance of nutrients from copious amounts of fresh, organic juices providing a super-dose of enzymes, minerals and nutrients. After spending time in the Gerson kitchen, I see how important it is to take measures to ensure the correct ingredients and preparation methods are used to maintain the integrity of the vitamins and nutrients from whole organic produce!
So for everyone else who isn’t a crazed health nut, and isn’t obsessed with ingredient labels, I thought I would put together the following cheat sheet. When you’re in the market for a nutrition boost and want to choose a juice, keep the following in mind! No more taking advantage of the “confused consumer” with misleading claims and expensive price tags.
What to Look For when Buying Juice
- Choose Cold-Pressed! The standard orange juice in your grocery store has been pasteurized using heat, which denatures healthy enzymes and oxidizes nutrients… basically kills all the nutrients. So what’s left? Some experts say mostly sugar-water. If you’re looking for something just a step up from Sunny D, go for the OJ. But if you want the maximum health benefit (or want to take in the nutrients that make juices so great), opt for cold-pressed juices. This method of maximum health retention uses a 2 part system of 1st) crushing the produce before 2) pressing out the juice. I found cold-pressed options in Starbucks, Whole Foods, and the trendy juice bars. Here’s a handy website- The Pressed Juice Directory .
- Don’t judge a juice by its empty health claims! For the record, the words fresh, natural, and superfood can be used without meeting any sort of legal requirements. In 2013, Naked Juice (owned by PepsiCo) faced a class-action lawsuit for unfitting labeling such as “100 percent juice” and “all-natural.” So orange juice that has been sitting in storage for months and has chemicals added to it for preservation might still have the word fresh on its label. Labels enforced by the USDA, like organic do have special meanings and are enforced by the USDA and (in my opinion) are definitely worth paying extra for.
- When possible, buy juice in glass bottles. Glass is nutritionally best for consumers because it doesn’t leach any parabens or synthetic chemicals. If you can’t find glass, be on the lookout for plastic that is BPA-free.
- Choose veggies! Or at least a juice made of mostly veggies. Dr. Shidfar Rouhani, a physician at Bastyr University states that your fruit to veggie ratio should be 1:3 or 1:4. Most juices still contain fruit, which has natural sugar, unprocessed that comes directly from foods and is considered healthier than refined sugar because it comes with additional nutrients directly from the food. Plus juices that are too sweet might entice you to chug, when you actually want to sip them instead.
Our friends at Food Babe put together this chart that sums up your best options when it comes to store-bought juice.
My favorite places to buy high-quality juice are at local Farmers’ Markets. You can count on the juice being fresh (as in recently turned from a whole food into it’s juice form). Here is a pic of Hanna and Anna of Oh! Juice taken at the Little Italy Mercado in San Diego. Great gals with a real passion for only the highest quality juices!
Whether you’re looking for a juice cleanse, or just a delicious alternative to an afternoon energy boost, juice has become popular than ever! The nutrients absorb quickly creating more energy, better moods, and stronger immunity. Juicing (the right stuff) can provide a quick dose of antioxidants and can help bad skin, achy joints, + has anti-aging effects, and can assist in weight-loss.
It’s commonly agreed upon in the world of nutrition, that the more you can add raw, unpasteurized, plant-based food to your diet the better! You are adding essential nutrients and enzymes that help your body function and repair itself. WOW, just in time for cold & flu season 🙂 Ditching the grocery store OJ? Find a new juice shop that you LOVE? Share it with us in the comments below!
Live your WHOLE life,
Shannon + Meg
Today’s blog post comes from some experimenting I did last week. I have a little guy that is a VERY picky eater. That being said, I do my best to stay on the WHOLE food side of things.
Yes, there are some places where I just can’t get around buying processed foods (i.e. teething biscuits) and in those cases, I purchase the “best” option. The “best” option is not necessarily something that Mr. C will always eat so I have had to get creative. It’s this creativity that brought me to this week’s recipe blog…
Yogurt is a morning staple for my little man, and I had just run out! I had my list set to head the grocery store in the afternoon, but still needed to whip up something fast for breakfast and use what I already had in the kitchen. Think fast…
I have an amazing recipe for a “chocolate pudding” where the base is avocado – sounds weird but really, really tasty. The avocado gives a great consistency with undetectable flavor. That’s when the light bulb went off…
I quickly tossed an avocado into the Nutribullet, added in the strawberries and almond milk and Voila!
The creamy, delicious, smooth, and of course *healthy* “yogurt” was exactly what we needed. It’s excellent for breakfast or a snack + it passed Mr C’s test (and when that happens, you know its good!) Did I mention that its vegetarian, vegan, dairy –free + gluten free? Truly a treat for ALL!
What recipes have you “discovered” by accident? What dish can you whip up when feeling the pressure? Let us know in the comments below.
Live your WHOLE life,
Meg + Shannon
“Everything Free Yogurt” (serves 1 – 2 to Eat Right Away)
½ ripe Avocado, pit and skin removed
1 C Frozen Strawberries (or fruit of your choice)
1/2 – 1 C of Almond Milk
Toss all ingredients into blender. Blend + enjoy!
Option: Swap whole milk for the almond milk if you are looking for an even creamier texture. It won’t be dairy free but it will still be delicious!
I hate to be the bearer of bad news… so I let this Mark Twain quote do it for me! Most New Year’s Resolutions fail! (Too soon?) Forbes.com reports that only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions (for various reasons which we’ll get to in a bit). Here’s the thing, our resolutions have been failing for over a century: Mark Twain’s above quote is from January of 1863!
I don’t like setting myself up for failure, and I know you don’t either. So why do we continue to make resolutions? Psychology Today reports that people make resolutions as a way of motivating themselves. That seems valid, but PT goes on to say that people who set such resolutions aren’t ready to change their habits, especially bad habits, and that accounts for the high failure rate. These resolutions are also often unrealistic.
I’m just as guilty as the next person. I LOVE fresh starts, the idea of starting a year, blemish free and keeping it without mistakes used to excite me beyond belief. I say “used to” because I suffer from “Failure to Launch” syndrome. For most of my adult life, I would spend December eating whatever Christmas cookie crossed my path, telling myself it was fine because I would start eating better in January. Then my mind would run wild with the thought of how much weight I would lose come January and how much more attractive, popular, and better I would be by then. Spoiler alert: I was NOT part of the 8%.
In my case, as soon as I messed up once, I was done. There goes my fresh start, my blemish-free year and my motivation for continuing. I learned, through much trial and error, that shooting for the moon can be psychologically daunting. I’ll share some insights I use with my individual clients: The best route is to switch your focus and make your resolutions positive, tangible and simple.
3 Steps to your Resolution Makeover
- Let’s start with positive. When we base our goals on deprivation or the removal of something (that is proven to bring us happiness, joy, contentment) we set ourselves up for failure. I like to phrase my goals/resolutions in a positive way. Here’s an example for someone who wants to “Eat Healthy” in 2015. Instead of saying “don’t eat any junk food” switch it to “I will eat more healthy foods.” If you slip up and have a piece of junk food at 10am, you’ve already “failed” and the rest of your day is ruined. In switching your resolution to a positive, you can go the whole day without eating “healthy food” and as long as you choose some for your last meal of the day you’ve met your goal. Invite feelings of success!
- Ok, now let’s make this goal simple. Instead of thinking of all the healthy food items you can have throughout the day, narrow it down to one that you know is healthy + you enjoy eating. An obvious choice would be vegetables. This is a simple change that will keep you on track and make this goal that much more realistic!
- Great progress! Lastly, we need to make sure the goal is tangible. What do you picture when you think eating vegetables? A salad, a side dish, a smoothie? Eating vegetables is just a little vague…If we attach a reasonable, tangible quantity to this goal it would sound something like this “I will eat 1 cup of vegetables every day.” See how much different that feels? Now I’m thinking of a cup filled with pretty, fresh, tasty veggies!
So basically this example shows how you can go from “I won’t eat any junk food in 2015” to “I will eat 1 cup of vegetables every day in 2015.” This will help build a healthy habit, and switch the brain to think of opportunities where you can get your vegetable fix. Eventually, the cravings for junk food will lessen and you might even lose weight, as an awesome side effect! I guarantee you’ll feel healthier too!
Self-improvement is a shared American hobby! Share your resolution makeover in the comments section below! This will give you the bonus of accountability, making your resolution public (a huge motivator).
Live your WHOLE life!
Shannon + Meg