Beet and Orange Juice, Raw Vegan Reflections

Half of 2014 is already gone! I can’t help but feel that I should be reflective on what has transpired during the first 6 months of this year as it pertains to my new mostly raw vegan lifestyle. In summary…IT ROCKS!!!! It’s amazing, it’s fun, it’s filling and fulfilling, it’s energizing, it’s everything I dreamed it would be and so much more. Let me make it perfectly clear that I have not been 100% raw vegan the entire time, if I had to give it a number I would say 90% on average with very very very many 100% days. I went with ‘the flow’ as they say and I did not beat myself up for indulging in unhealthy eats. What I found instead was that after eating ‘clean’ my body became hyper sensitive to processed/unhealthy food that I naturally didn’t want any of it. I often felt sick, had an upset stomach and severe acid reflux after eating such food. I still really struggle with social gatherings. There are often absolutely no options to eat a raw, fresh fruit and/or vegetable meal in restaurants and even in people’s homes which I think is really sad. I have to say that eating this way has brought me so much JOY and I have experienced enormous benefits from eating this way. I will try and outline some of them below.

groceries

  • Grocery shopping is effortless and fun. I don’t need to look at labels. I simply purchase organic, whole, fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. That’s it! A few other things I also buy are dates, ground flaxseeds, hemp seeds and dehydrated unsweetened coconut. A plant-based diet made up of whole foods (fruits and vegetables) is the way to go!
  • Meal prep is so fast and there are no stinky lingering oil/cooked food smells in the house. Every meal/dish is always so colorful. Radiant is the word actually!
  • Fruits and Vegetables are delicious in their most natural state. There is nothing like a ripe fresh mango, crunchy & salty celery, a sweet & juicy orange or smooth & creamy avocado. Nature/God is PERFECTION.
  • I have boundless energy all the time and I have released (lost) 20 pounds 🙂 which is FANTASTIC. I truly feel like my body is healing itself from the inside out with fruits and vegetables. I have indulged in the most delicious juices, smoothies and salads the past 6 months and I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months brings. The weight loss was a nice bonus. My creative side has evolved and I feel so inspired when I’m in the kitchen now so much so that I made this new recipe this morning and I’m calling it BEETASTIC! Try it y’all. I know you will love it.

BEETASTIC JUICE

1 Beet and 2 Oranges. That’s it! 🙂 As always, use organic ingredients if possible.

beet and orange juice

 

~Juice, Try Something New & Enjoy!~

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Visit to Whole Foods Flagship Store in Austin Texas

I took a trip to Whole Foods. Ok, so I take a trip to WF all the time. In fact, I shop at my local Whole Foods approximately once a week to stock up on my delicious organic fruits and vegetables. I really have a great time while grocery shopping there. What I experienced last month though, at the Whole Foods Flagship Store in Austin, Texas was pure bliss. I went to Austin with hubby to visit family and when the opportunity presented itself on a Saturday morning to spend an hour and a half there, I took it. I pranced out of the hotel room, programmed the GPS in the rental car and sped down those vast, open Texas highways. I have never felt more care free and excited about a solo trip. Besides hanging out with my awesome family it was the highlight of my trip so I thought I’d share it with y’all. I took these pics with my handy dandy iPhone too. Didn’t want to look to crazy with a big camera. I was two weeks into my new journey of trying to eat mostly (90% or so) raw vegan so I needed the extra inspiration.

A beautiful array of organic and local vegetables at Whole Foods in Austin, Texas

A beautiful array of organic and local vegetables at Whole Foods in Austin, Texas

Aren't they arranged in the prettiest pattern? I wonder if I can make mine look like that in my fridge...

Aren’t they arranged in the prettiest pattern? I wonder if I can make mine look like that in my fridge…

Sprouted & Raw nuts and seeds. I didn't have time to sample any but they looked delectable.

Sprouted & Raw nuts and seeds. I didn’t have time to sample any but they looked delectable.

You can make your own custom trail mix! nice :-)

You can make your own custom trail mix! nice 🙂

Sooooooo beautiful

Sooooooo beautiful

I got a few reusable bags for souvenirs.

I got a few reusable bags for souvenirs.

It was a few days before Valentine's day so LOVE was in the air.

It was a few days before Valentine’s day so LOVE was in the air.

Whole Foods Raw (and some organic) JUUUICE!!! They were divinely delicious. I bought 3 of them and all 3 were out of this world good. Great job Whole Foods!

Whole Foods Raw (and some organic) JUUUICE!!! They were divinely delicious. I bought 3 of them and all 3 were out of this world good. Great job Whole Foods!

I'll be back :-)

I’ll be back 🙂

My all organic Sunday morning hotel room Breakfast in Austin courtesy of WF: orange juice, strawberries, blueberries and bananas. Deeeelicious :-)) Go RAW!

My all organic Sunday morning hotel room Breakfast in Austin courtesy of WF: orange juice, strawberries, blueberries and bananas. Deeeelicious :-)) Go RAW!

Anyone else been to the flagship Whole Foods store? Has anyone had a fun fruit and veggie shopping experience out of town? Please do share… 

~Shop, Juice & Feel the LOVE~

Healthy, Simple Raw Lunch and Snacks

Here’s a healthy and simple raw lunch I have just finished preparing and packing to take with me to work tomorrow. I get such a kick out of preparing my lunch and snacks especially when they look this yummy 🙂  It reminds me of my childhood and being a student in primary school. I hated the lunch my school served so I packed my own lunch (most days) and snacks. School lunch was usually under or overcooked and lacked any flavor whatsoever but it was prepared from scratch with real whole foods. In hindsight it was definitely so much healthier than what most public schools serve children here in the US, hence the childhood obesity epidemic. If only everyone listened to Jamie Oliver. Snack time & Lunch time, at work now, are still one of my favorite parts of the day so why not take the time to prepare something tasty and healthy for the day ahead or early in the morning if you can manage that. A longer work day means you should pack even more food so as not to succumb to temptation. Don’t forget to hydrate 🙂 with water and your favorite no-fuss juice recipe.

Breakfast: I’ll make this green smoothie recipe early in the morning in the Vitamix before I head out the door! I LOOOOVE that Vitamix. It is so incredibly powerful, fast and easy to clean. I have gotten so much use out of it! Can’t imagine our kitchen without it. *Thanks babe*

Snack time #1: Peeled and quartered juicy oranges

I bought a huge box of these oranges wholesale at Costco and to be honest they are the juiciest and most delicious oranges I’ve ever had. Hubby & I finished a box in a few days so I joyfully took at trip back to Costco last Friday for box #2 . Let’s see how long they last this time…

oranges

Lunch time: Large Green Salad with your healthy dressing of choice

  • organic mixed organic greens
  • cherry tomatoes from mummy’s garden
  • mini bell peppers from my other mama’s (MIL) garden
  • sliced cucumber
  • organic baby carrots

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Snack time #2: Mangoes & Strawberries

Are you salivating like I am?

mangoes and strawberries

Bonus snack: Trail mix

*nuts are all raw and measure half a cup all together

  • cashews
  • pumpkin seeds
  • almonds
  • sunflower seeds
  • 1 heaped tbsp of dried cranberries

raw trail mix

Ready to go!

healthy raw lunch and snacks

What are your favorite easy peasy healthy and simple snack and lunch ideas?

Sweet Clemetine Salad

Clementines are not safe in our house. I bought a box of them and between my husband and I they were gone in four days. I don’t know how many the box holds but I would estimate probably about 35. They were perfect to have for breakfast, as a snack and as you will see in today’s post, they were a great addition to this salad. This salad was incredibly filling, delicious, crunchy, sweet and a little tangy thanks to the yummy dressing I used.

Here’s the simple recipe:

  • Organic mixed greens
  • Organic baby carrots
  • Organic cherry tomatoes, halved
  • One clementine

Sweet Clementine Salad

Yup! That’s it! Simple is best. I used Cindy’s Kitchen Sundried Tomato dressing which I purchased at my local Whole Foods Market but feel free to use whatever dressing you have on hand or better yet make one.

Clementines have Folate, Potassium, Fiber and are of course loaded with Vitamin C.

~Munch & Enjoy!~

My First Vitamix Green Smoothie :-)

Christmas has come early courtesy of my more-than-amazing husband! I seriously can’t even recall how many years it has been that I have wanted a Vitamix blender in my life. My desire (obsession) to have one recently grew along with my intent to prepare even healthier meals. I even went so far as to fall asleep on several nights with a Vitamix brochure I picked up my local Whole Foods last year and this was after having watched at least 3 or 4 videos on YouTube of folks using their Vitamix blenders at home. Crazy! I know. I have no idea what winning the lottery feels like but I can’t imagine it feels any better than the day my Vitamix arrived at my doorstep. It arrived on September 21st, 2012 at 2:14pm weighing in at 10lb 9 ounces and 20.5″ long. I wasted no time when it arrived and blended my first Vitamix green smoothie.

Ingredients were as follows (makes about 16 ounces)

  • 1 cup of frozen mango
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup of plain coconut yogurt
  • 2 organic kale leaves, thoroughly washed
  • 6-8 ounces of filtered water

I literally just dumped all these ingredients in the Vitamix, turned it on and in less than a minute I had prepared what was the smoothest and most delicious green smoothie ever! Yes, I said it! E-V-E-R…EVER!! I’m not sure what planet I was on while drinking this smoothie but it wasn’t earth. God Bless the makers of Vitamix. It absolutely did not disappoint and hasn’t yet. I have used it every single day since then and can’t say enough great things about this kitchen appliance. My deal-finding husband purchased a refurbished one by the way and you would never know the difference (the 64 ounce container, tamper and lid are brand new). My breakfast of choice is a smoothie but now it’s always a GREEN smoothie thanks to the Vitamix.  I made green smoothies with my Ninja even though now that I own a Vitamix it does not compare. The path to a healthier lifestyle absolutely does not require a Vitamix or a Ninja, it just requires doing the best we can with what we have and know in the moment. If you can afford one though and love to make smoothies, soups, purees, nut butters, desserts, dressings etc go with a Vitamix. It doesn’t get any better.

If that wasn’t a darn good commercial for you folks at Vitamix I don’t know what is. You’re welcome 🙂

…and thanks babe! You da best.

~Happy green smoothie making!~

Here’s my baby… Isn’t she a beauty?

Forks Over Knives Movie Review

I just loved this movie. I’m a junkie for all movies/social documentaries that advocate for healthier lifestyles, whether it’s crazy like Super Size Me, or as ‘juicy’ as Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. They are so inspiring and I’ve learned a great deal from them. Forks Over Knives was no exception. The only problem is, to be honest, I watched it really late at night while feeling very exhausted so I fell asleep towards the end and missed a few bits and pieces. So while hubby’s away I’ll be watching the parts I missed tonight. There is no better way to spend my Friday night when home alone. So why am I talking about it if I haven’t even finished watching it? Well, I couldn’t help myself. The movie features mainly two experts, Dr. Colin T. Campbell and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, who through their respective fields of research and clinical medicine, discovered how awesome a whole-foods plant-based diet is! I am a huge fan of Dr. Campbell’s work and consider his book, The China Study, one of my all time favorites. There’s nothing like presenting such information in movie format with the research to back it up, the awesome graphs, the crazy statistics and of course, the folks to who went from drab to fab by the end of the movie just by following their advice.

I can’t help but think about my own diet as I watch this and how much more I could implement fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds into my life. While I have come a really really really long way over the past several years, the type A in me just wont rest on those laurels. I’m nowhere near perfect (don’t care to be) and want to finally get rid of  my addictions (sugar, simple carbs), excuses, symptoms and excess weight.

I am really thankful for juicing in my life because it is one way that I have found to take in lots of those great vitamins and nutrients found in fruits and vegetables. I still do though make sure to have several servings of fruits and vegetables whole so I can get that fiber! I had some papaya today for a mid-day snack and it was so delicious I gobbled it up in 2 minutes. Its my new favorite fruit. I loved it so much growing up and its so great to have rediscovered it. Anyway, here’s to incorporating more whole (and preferably raw) plant-based foods in our meals! Go FREGGIES!!! I totally just coined that….and of course nuts, seeds and all that good stuff.

~Happy watching!~