White Bean + Kale Soup.

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What you’ll need:

-white beans (I prefer fresh beans but can use canned as well)
-carrot, white onion, celery
-zucchini
-olive oil
-kale
-2 garlic cloves
-fresh thyme
-fresh parsley
-2 bay leaves
-ground turmeric
-diced tomato (canned or tomato paste works also)
-salt/pepper
-lemon

Start by boiling the beans on medium heat. They take about an hour or so, but when they are finished I saved the water and used the bean broth as my base broth for the soup (instead of veggie or chicken broth). In a separate pan – sauté the diced onions, carrots and celery with olive oil on low heat. When the veggies look cooked, you can add minced garlic and diced kale to to the mix. Sauté the kale until it is soft. You can add this mixture of veggies to the bean water or chicken stalk- whichever you decide to use. Add zucchini, diced tomato or tomato paste, a couple sprigs of fresh thyme, bay leaves, turmeric (optional) fresh chopped parsley, salt/pepper (go easy because you can always add later to taste when all the flavors blend). Let the soup simmer- my beans weren’t finished cooking all the way through so I let them finish with all the added ingredients mixed in. Another option is to boil the kale separately and then adding to the bean water. Either way, it gets soft and doesn’t really taste like kale (brilliant for those that don’t prefer it)!

Season to taste, add a little lemon and enjoy!

Side note: .
I like to add crushed red pepper for a little spice. The best part about soup is that you can add anything… Dried oregano and dried parsley are also great alternatives in case don’t have fresh on hand! If you have time to boil your own beans make sure you soak the beans before use. If using canned there is no need to soak. If you have any questions shoot me an email.

Hope You Enjoy!

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Baby Steps

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Spring is right around the corner which means bikini season will be here before we know it! What does this mean for me? I’m changing some things up. I already eat pretty healthy, but I won’t lie, there is the occasional alcohol beverage and Starbucks that could probably be left out. I’m making a promise to myself to lose some body fat in the next couple of months and start seeing some definition in my body. I have been working my ass off to be where I am at now- but know that with a few more changes I can reach my personal goal. What do these changes entail? Eating enough food (sometimes challenging between work and school), no alcohol, more protein shakes post workout, adding running in between FNS workouts. Feeling better is just the beginning, this in turn results in looking better. Figure out what you love about your body, and what you don’t. Make some changes. Baby steps in time turn out to be the leaps and results we wish to acquire. You can’t see any results if you never try! Stop making excuses as to why you’re not your best. Go ahead, what are you waiting for?

Crazy For Oats.

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TGIF! As the week is winding down I finally have a chance to sit at the computer and devote some effort to my blog. Between classes, working out and work it seems there is just not enough time in the day. Does anyone else feel this way? Thought so. I have been asked a lot in the last couple of weeks about my diet routine and what exactly it is that I eat. I answer, “food?” haha. In all seriousness, I think when people think of healthy they think of getting rid of everything in their diet that they love that is not exactly good for you. Ideally, yes. Reality? No. This isn’t possible, at least the way I see it. I most definitely believe that your body knows when it’s feeling really good and not so great. If you work out, eat real food (non processed/short shelf life) and keep your mind right- chances are you are feeling pretty awesome. If you have the occasional night out, few drinks here and a few drinks there, and resort to unhealthy food as a result of drinking (we have all done this), chances are you are feeling not so awesome. I want you all to know that I eat REAL, unprocessed, organic (when possible) food. This is by choice, not chance. I enjoy it, I feel better because of it, and I have even lost weight in the last year from being healthier than the “healthy” I was before. Eating better doesn’t have to be a dreadful process. For me, it’s a constantly changing. Often, I get stuck on my favorite foods and then have to remember to incorporate the other foods in the pantry/fridge. Find the foods that you love and switch things around so that you enjoy it.

Right now I am hooked on Steel Cut Oats. I used to be a victim of the Quaker Oats oatmeal loaded with sugar and who knows what else, but after discovering these plain oats there is no turning back. They take about 15 minutes to make. You boil a pot of water, throw in the oats, add some cinnamon and stir consitently until the oats become thick. You can add a little fruit, agave, ground flax, chia seeds, and anything else that you love. They are SO good. If you aren’t convinced come to my house and I will make for you. 🙂

Benefits:

Cinnamon: Sedative for smooth muscle, circulatory stimulant, digestant, diuretic, antibiotic and reduces type 2 diabetes.

Steel Cut Oats: A diet that includes oats may decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. This is also a great source for fiber.

Back To The Grind

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Back to the grind! I started 3 science classes last week, two of which involve labs. What does that mean? Time is of the essence. I know what it’s like to be busy, but I still will not compromise my healthy habits simply because I am busy. The grocery store is my “BFF” and they pretty much see me everyday! When I don’t have time to prepare, I drop by Whole Foods and pick up a lunch snack of some sort. This is much better than starving or choosing a less healthier option provided at school/ work or not being provided at all. I cant tell you How many times I forget what I do or don’t eat when my days are filled. This is important, you NEED to eat. Your body needs energy. What’s the key to success? Plan ahead! Remember, if you don’t buy it, you are less likely to eat it!

And That’s A Juicing Wrap!

We are finishing up our second week into the new year and it feels great. I hope that these last couple of posts have enlightened you a little bit about what juicing is and the important addition that it can really be to your health and wellness. I have received a couple of messages this week from a few people saying that they were inspired and went out and bought a juicer. Nothing makes me happier! Just because I am “healthy” doesn’t mean that I am into drinking gross drinks…and just because they are green doesn’t mean I want to pound them down either. The best is knowing what your drinking, enjoying it and reaping the benefits at the same time. Only a week into this juicing regimen and I am feeling great and full of energy. Let me know if you tried any of the recipes, or if you came up with any that you want to share.

No matter the color of the juice, I am glad you are drinking fresh ingredients that will add to the glow of your skin, aid in your digestion and provide more energy in your life. Happy Friday! 🙂

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.

My Life This Week.

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It has been such a great second week of this new year. Sunday I met a girlfriend at Barefoot coffee and ended up sitting for 3 hours talking about life, goals and my upcoming half marathon that I have commited to run February 3 (she was kind enough to write up a training plan). Holy Cow is right….I can’t believe I am actually doing it. This has been something that has been on my radar for a while, but I sprained my ankle before the last one I signed up for so that was a no go. As of Tuesday my 4 week impromptu training has oficially begun. I bought some new shoes- any excuse to buy new workout clothes/shoes sounds like a good one to me. As we know this week I have been doing a juicing series that is hopefully encouraging people to make this habit a part of their weekly routine to staying healthy. Don’t even try to give me an excuse because the benefits outway the time 15 minutes it might take to juice and clean up. Let’s face it, you would probably on Facebook or some social network if you weren’t juicing (truth).

Yesterday I headed up to the city to meet an old classmate of mine for some coffee, and a hike up to Twin Peaks. Coinsidentally, along with the coffe there was a bowl full of fresh juice packed in mason jars on the counter. She said it was her friends company- SoW – they juice in the morning and then drop off at various locations throughout the city! Could this have been any more perfect?? I chose the beet juice which consisted of

  • Red beet
  • Carrot
  • Orange
  • Apple
  • Turmeric

Once again, to my surprise….it was delicious! 

Juice and cofee were followed by a great hike (it was a great active rest day…those hills are no joke) that allowed for probably the BEST view of San Francisco. If you haven’t been there, it’s a must! Back to 6 miles today and a great workout at FNS! Hope you all have a great Thursday.

That which you focus your attention on becomes your reality so choose wisely!

You Want Me To Juice Whaaaaaat??

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Do you think green juice is the only juice that is healthy? Well, it’s false. Although it is true that green veggies provide many nutrients we can also benefit from other fruits and veggies as well. If you are just getting started with juicing, or have picky eaters in your family- or children that won’t drink their vegetables, this may be a great place to start.

{Keep In Mind}

You can always add a green or two such as kale, chard, collards, or dark green lettuce and no one will even know it’s there. OR you can even add some spinach and parsley and people won’t taste a thing. Have fun with this….these are yummy!

Moraccan Beet

  • 1 small bunch of mint
  • 1 dark lettuce leaf
  • 1 beet (boiled), with leaves
  • 1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
  • 1 lemon, peeled if not organic

(serves 1)

Hawaiian Breeze

  • 1 orange
  • 1/4 fresh pineapple, peeled if not organic
  • 1/2 cup coconut water

(pour into glass and serve with ice, serves 1)

Lemon-Lime-Blueberry Refresher

  • 1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh preferred, if frozen-thaw)
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled if not organic
  • 1/2 lime, peeled if not organic

(served chilled, serves 1)

Pink Lemonade Sparkler

  • 2 apples (green preferred)
  • 1 lemon, peeled if not organic
  • 1/4 beet with leaves
  • 1 cup chilled sparkling water

(juice all ingredients and stir in sparkling water- pour into glass, served chilled. serves 1-2)

Razz and Spazz

  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup rasberries, fresh or thawed if frozen
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled if not organic
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

(start with raspberries then apple, cucumber & mint, served chilled, serves 1)

{Benefits of Fruit}

  1. Fruits are low in calories and fat and are a source of simple sugars, fiber, and vitamins, which are essential for optimizing our health.
  2. Fruits provide plenty of soluble dietary fiber, which helps to ward of cholesterol and fats from the body and to get relief from constipation as well.
  3. Fruits contain many anti-oxidants like poly-phenolic flavonoids, vitamin-C, and anthocyanins.These compounds, firstly, help human body protected from oxidant stress, diseases, and cancers, andsecondly; help the body develop capacity to fight against these ailments by boosting our immunity level. Many fruits, when compared to vegetables and cereals, have very high anti-oxidant value, which is something measured by their “Oxygen Radical Absorbent Capacity” or (ORAC).
  4. Anthocyanins are flavonoid category of poly-phenolic compounds found in some “blue-fruits” like blue-black grapes, mulberries, acai berry, chokeberry, blueberries, blackberries, and in many vegetables featuring blue or deep purple color. Eating fruits rich in blue pigments offers many health benefits. These compounds have potent anti-oxidant properties, remove free radicals from the body, and thus offer protection against cancers, aging, infections, etc. These pigments tend to concentrate just underneath the skin.
  5. Fruit’s health benefiting properties are because of their richness in vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, anti-oxidants, which helps the body prevent or at least prolong the natural changes of aging by protecting and rejuvenating cells, tissues and organs. Their overall benefits are manifold! Fruit nutrition benefits are infinite! You are protecting yourself from minor ailments like wrinkling of skin, hair-fall, and memory loss to major ailments like age-related macular degeneration (AMRD) of the retina in the eyes, Alzheimer’s disease, colon cancers, weak bones (osteoporosis)…etc., and the list of fruit nutrition benefits never ends!

Important Note: You can add superfoods to ANY smoothie such as chia seeds, flax seeds, and spirulina.

While these juice blends might be tasty- remember fruits contain too much sugar. Try and add greens to every drink to get the most benefit!  80/20 Rule.  A juicing diet should consist of the 80/20 rule. This rule means 80% Alkalizing food and 20% Acidifying food. A normal pH should be between 7.35-7.45. A pH level below 7.0 indicates an acidic forming diet and above 7.0 is Alkaline. You can find a list of Acid/Alkalizing foods here

Get Your Juice On!

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Can you imagine eating a grocery bag full of greens everyday during the right seasons?? Few of us even eat the recommended 5 servings of vegetables and fruits a day or three cups of dark green vegetables per week. Yet, these veggies deliver incredible amounts of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients. The GREAT news is that you can consume 1-3 of the Daily allowance in just a single cup.

Dark greens are among the most concentrated source of nutrition. They are a rich source of minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. PLUS vitamins K, C, E, and B vitamins. They provide phytonutrients (protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age related diseases). Dark greens even contain omega-3 fats!

{Good To Know}

It’s the root that provide the leaf with nutrients from the soil. The moment the leaf is picked and the connection with the root is broken, the nutritional value of the leaf begins to deteriorate.

5 Green Drink Recipes:

Green Supreme

  • 1 handful of parsley
  • 1 small handful of cilantro
  • 1 chard leaf
  • 2 ribs of celery w/ leaves
  • 1 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
  • 1 lemon (peeled if not organic)
  • 1 inch chunk ginger root

(serves 2)

Lean Mean Green Juice

  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 handful of parsley
  • 2 kale leaves
  • 2 ribs of celery with leaves
  • 1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
  • 1-inch chunk ginger root
  • 1/2 pear
  • 1/2 green apple

(serves 2)

Red Sails in the Sunset

  • 3 carrots, scrubbed well, tops removed, ends trimmed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper with seeds
  • 1 small beet with leaves
  • 1 leaf red swiss chard
  • 1 lemon, peeled if not organic

(serves 1)

V-8 Charger

  • 1 tomato
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 small handful of parsley
  • 1 kale leaf
  • 2 lettuce leaves
  • 3 carrots, scrubbed well, tops removed, ends trimmed
  • 2 ribs of celery with leaves
  • 1 lemon, peeled if not organic

(serves 2)

Magnesium Special

  • 4-5 beet tops
  • 2 swish card leaves
  • 2 collard leaves
  • 1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
  • 1/2 green apple (omit if diabetic)
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled if not organic

(serves 2)

{Benefits of Magnesium}

  • major effect on preventing heart attacks
  • vital role in fighting off stress
  • relaxes muscles
  • prevents osteoporosis
  • builds healthy bones
  • supports restful sleep
  • prevents restless leg syndrome
  • prevents constipation
  • boosts energy
  • calms the body and relieves tension

Magnesium-rich greens include:

  • chard
  • collards
  • beet tops
  • parsley
  • spinach
  • kale
  • dandelion greens
  • lettuce (dark green)
  • mustard greens

Remember you can always play around with recipes. The one pictures above was basic but honestly tasted great. I was really nervous to drink it for fear that it would taste like dirt (no joke) but was pleasantly surprised that not only was it good…it was refreshing and I wanted more. (Note to self: Use green apples instead of red because they are less sweet).Let me know your thoughts…and any fun green recipes you might have!

All recipes and information can be found in this great book called Big Book of Juices & Green Smoothies! Check it out.

Back To The Basics Of Juicing.

If you’re anything like me you are wondering what all this juicing buzz is about. It seems like the latest and gratest attraction when it comes to losing weight, right? Wrong. Despite what you think, juicing is not at all a new thing and should not be considered a meal replacement, but rather an additional way to consume vitamins and minerals that we are lacking in our diet. I can remember when I was growing up that my mom would juice vegetables/fruits and I would just think she was crazy for drinking a yucky green drink- and now I am actually excited to dive in and spike my drink (not with vodka) but with kale, spinach and loads of other vitamins. Who knew? 🙂 Many of us consume a lot of calories with little nutritional value- this can help change that. I made my first drink last night (pictured above) and it had spinach, cucumber, lemon, carrot, and a red apple. NO LIE, it was soo good I forgot to take a picture before I drank most of it…oops!  (The glass was full.) On a side note, I have no idea where this juicer was purchased or what year for that matter. I posted a link to newer ones below.

Here’s a little Juicing 101.

1. Why juice?

We can consume far more vegetables and fruits through juicing than the time it takes to properly chew and digest in a days time. Also, if we actually ate vegetables there would be no need to juice, but we don’t. This allows a variety of foods you wouldn’t eat to be disguised while still recieving the benefits.

2? We can juice parts of the plants we wouldn’t normally eat such as stems, leaves and seeds.

(For example)

  • beat stems/leaves
  • celery leaves
  • lemon seeds
  • asparagus stems
  • broccoli stems
  • radish leaves
  • ribs of kale

3. Juice is broken down so it spares your digestion. The estimated time juice is put to work in the system is about 20 minutes after consumption. If your digestive tract is off- you will know by your transit time. Juicing will definitely aid in speeding this process up.

4. When we have ailments, juice is therapy for this reason. When the body has to work hard to break down veggies- it can spend alot of time on the digestive process. Juicing does the work for you. When you drink fresh juice, all the nutritents can go to work right away and heal your body to then disperse energy for rejuvination.

5. How long can juice be stored?

Ideally, you want to consume juice right after it is made. If this is not possible for the sake of time, it must be kept in an air tight jar or container and consumed no longer than 24 hours after. Say the juice turns brown- Don’t drink it. It has become oxidized and most of the nutrients has been depleted.

6. Will juicing cost a lot of $$$?

No. The cost of a glassof juice is less than a latte.

  •  3-4 carrots
  • 1/2 lemon
  • chunck  of ginger root
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • 3-4 green leaves
  • 1/2 cucumber

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$2-3.50 depending on the time of year and where you purchase. 

*Warning: As a result you might experience the following:

  • more radiant skin
  • fresh breath
  • stronger hair/nails
  • less cellulite (ladies this should be an incentive)
  • improved digestion
  • vital nutrients
  • fewer cravings for unhealthy foods
  • more energy
  • less medicine

JUICING IS DIFFERENT THAN A GREEN SMOOTHIE. 

Vegetable juice is all you drink when juicing. In a smoothie, the whole vegetable/fruit is consumed. Both are ways to consume raw (uncooked foods) that are at their highest nutritional value.

What are “Raw Foods?”

Fruits, berries, root vegetables, vegetables, green leaves, nuts, seeds (both unsalted/processed), dried fruits, cold pressed oils, honey, seaweed, sprouts, and superfoods such as spirulina, chia seeds, flax etc. 

When juicing remember…

1. WASH all produce before juicing.

2. Always peel orange, tangerines, tangelos, grapefruit before juicing (contain oils that can cause stomachaches).

3. Remove pits, stones, hard seeds from fruits such as plums, apricots, cherries, mangoes, apples, grapes etc.

4. Stems and leaves of most produce can be juiced.

5. Cut fruits and veggies into sections or chunks to fit in juicer.

6. 80/20 Rule.  A juicing diet should consist of the 80/20 rule. This rule means 80% Alkalizing food and 20% Acidifying food. A normal pH should be between 7.35-7.45. A pH level below 7.0 indicates an acidic forming diet and above 7.0 is Alkaline. You can find a list of Acid/Alkalizing foods here.

6. Choose a good juicer. While this is an investment for your health, I don’t think you need to spend hundreds of dollars on a juicer- but don’t be cheap either. In between priced should be suitable. Here are some to check out on Amazon.

7. Juicing should NOT BE considered a meal replacement but rather an addition to the day. Remember, ADD, ADD, ADD to your diet.

8. You don’t need to have a specific recipe when juicing. Take a chance and experiment because what I like might not be what you like…Good luck!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and do not recommend stopping any medication w/o consultation from your doctor.

Who’s Ready To Juice?

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New Year….”new diet” seems to be all the rage these last 4 days. How about we make it all the rage 365 days a year? How does this happen? We start now! I just ordered this book, “Crazy, Sexy, Kitchen” and can’t wait to start sharing with you these amazing recipes that will transform our health together. Next week I will be doing a juicing series. This is something that is new to me as well. I am familar with smoothies (no not the chocolate milkshake from In & Out kind of smoothie), but fruits and superfood kind of smoothies (chia seeds, flax seeds, kale etc). I can’t wait to change  up my routine and start experimenting with the benefits of juicing! If you don’t like to cook leafy greens and vegetables- then this is might be an easier route for you to follow. Who’s ready to spike their drinks with loads of vitamins??

Lets Do This!

Book Can be found here.