Mind Games and Juicing

On Monday we had a really good juice for breakfast.

Here’s the recipe:

One cucumber

One red bell pepper (no seeds)

1/2 lime – peeled

2 stalks celery

1 tomato    —- you can stop here for 1/2 qt, light and tasty.

1/2 bunch parsley

2 leaves of kale

2 large juicing apples

This finished recipe made a whole quart and was a little sweeter.

It was a pleasant tasting juice, easy to drink and gave us great energy.

The problem is, the juice does not eliminate stress – not the good kind of stress or the more negative – too much stress. When I get too much on my mind – or attempt to put too much on my husband’s mind – we turn to the wrong foods to keep us going. Our list of stuff to do becomes “too long to have time to juice”. We “drive-thru” for the quick sugar rush, the caffeine surge or the carb-comfort. We feel great that we have managed to “accomplish” our to-do list, but who is laughing at the fact that we have also managed to “compromise” our health and longevity just a little bit more?

What is funny is that these substances – sugar, caffeine and carbs – don’t actually help us at all. Studies prove that they in fact do kill us! Yet, we have TRAINED ourselves to feel temporarily “better” by eating them. So, along with the better, healthier juices, we have to be transformed by a renewing of our mind. We have to retrain ourselves to “want” and “reach for” the really good stuff! The great news is that eating better foods makes your mind stronger and sharper!

How many years did I have soda or coffee, chips or cookies beside me while writing papers for school, college and grad school? So, now when I start to write, like Pavlov’s dog, my mind salivates for these types of foods! I need new programming! It is possible to retrain your mind. You can be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Let’s help each other make that happen. Share any tips you have for defeating old habits!

 

 

 

 

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Thinking about Food

When you have people visit for an extended period, you think about food – a lot. Although people are impressed with our tower gardens and our front yard garden, the idea of eating all raw is a totally alien concept to most. Since it is important to us that our guests feel comfortable and honored, we do not force them to juice or eat raw food. The catch is that I also do not feel that I am honoring someone if I serve them the artificial sugars and processed foods that they may be used to. So, how do we deal with that? It’s costly, but we try to have some of both available. We look two-faced if you enter our home and see these deadly processed foods in our frig and pantry, but it is the compromise that we have found to not upset people or make them feel forced into a lifestyle they have not yet chosen! (Notice I said “yet”.)
We try to have a salad at each meal. We will juice and make smoothies as they heat their morning coffee and English muffins – and – truth being truth – sometimes we even have a cup of coffee and muffin with them. We will make rice and beans, we have luncheon meats in the frig for sandwiches (we don’t eat those), but we can join them for a veggie wrap. I think I’ll try some stir fry for them, and maybe some nut pates or garbanzo bean “tuna”. We will see which changes they are open to. But we are fighting a difficult mentality in that our visitors are on “vacation” and most people on vacation feel that is a time which includes license to eat all the “bad” or “rich” foods that they would not normally eat at home. Vacation is a particularly difficult time to introduce people to “healthy only” choices.
We also are in the throes of weddings! Of course, we all know that celebrations include celebration food! It takes a while before people adjust their taste buds to a place where a watermelon or a ripe peach (I’m drooling) are as ardently desired as a piece of “traditional” wedding cake !(But I want to give a shout out to Adam and Ashley whose wedding we just attended – and they had veggie cups and fruit skewers for appetizers! Awesome!)  Still, people on vacation to attend a celebration (or several celebrations as is happening in our family) are not generally the most open to healthy suggestions however lovingly and gently introduced! So, prayers appreciated! We ask that we would be good examples (and not succumb to old habits and bad choices ourselves) and that whoever is supposed to be encouraged would have ears to hear and eyes to see. Thanks! Our guests will be here for a month. We’ll let you know how things work out!

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Words Beginning with C – Children, Coffee, Chocolate

Status

I confess! I did not juice today. I had coffee and a donut – gasp. My tongue enjoyed it, but my body is saying, “You fool!” And the kale on the counter is plainly laughing at me!
I am still pondering the question of why stress makes me want coffee and chocolate particularly.
I think it is a pattern of indulgence I developed raising children. When the house was alive with little people shouting such witticisms as, “Leave me alone!” “Mom. he’s touching me again!” “He’s copying me!” “He’s copying me!” …and other such repetitive and unanswerable comments; I could escape into a chocolate and coffee moment. It was inexpensive and unquestionably “adult”.
I would have been better off trying the “Calgon take me away” baths, but I could never figure out who was actually watching the children while that mother soaked in a hot tub and I had troubling visions of having to jump out dripping and naked to rush a child to the hospital for stitches. So, to this day, just the thought of a warm bath leads to stressful thoughts.
My husband chided me for the perpetual half empty cup of coffee that got microwaved about 10 times throughout the day and the half-eaten chocolate on a little plate high above little eyes and reaching fingers. Yet, that warm porcelain mug and small china dessert plate became my refuge, my oasis of quiet indulgence when being the conductor of the chaos choir became overwhelming and (I dare say) unfulfilling!
Hubby and I are now reveling in a new season of life, filled with the decadent freedoms as our pre-parenting days, but out of great love for both the children and the grand children, empathetic pity for the exhausted parents and a religiously imposed sense of grand parenting obligation we do offer to babysit.                                                                Recently, I had the grand daughters (2 and 4) for two days while their parents were away at a conference and picked up the grandsons (4 and 8) after school another day this week. They are the most beautiful children, all of them, but old habits die hard and within an hour I was looking for coffee and chocolate!                                                                             They were simply playing and bantering as all children do, but shortly after their arrival the kitty that had adopted us last week decided to move to a quieter neighborhood, I was limping from the Lego that was imbedded in my arch, my garden statue of St. Francis who feeds the birds did not share the feeding dish with the two-year-old and was severely punished for this selfishness. This St. Francis will never be feeding birds again and the two-year-old could probably get a job with the religious police in a very strict and fundamental country if she wasn’t a girl. Playing baseball in the back yard my face caught the “really great hit” of the eight-year-old. Thankfully we were playing with a soft air-filled ball or I would not be writing this at all. It still stung “really great”.
I think my children are doing a fantastic job raising their children. There are always plenty of please and thank you’s, hugs and kisses, and highly intelligent questions. Thankfully, my children are young, energetic parents who eat a lot healthier than I did at their age.(When we lived in Moscow with all four young children, Pepsi was cheaper to buy than water!) I can’t even imagine an interrupted green smoothie that you only get back to an hour or two later – you can’t microwave them back to freshness! And I can’t even fathom how you would have time to clean the juicer before you heard amidst the yowls, “He won’t let go of the cat and it’s my turn!”
I suspect they must have some hidden coffee mugs and chocolate somewhere!. After a few days, when my face is better and I can walk normally, I’ll start juicing again!

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Day 4 Juice Only

This morning’s juice was pineapple (1/2), spinach and kale (about 3full leaves of kale and a fistful – husband’s fist – of spinach) through the juicer. Then, we poured that juice into the blender with some frozen banana. The juice alone was pretty tasty. the juice with the banana was like a smoothie and very tasty, too. Then husband decided to also add some Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer powder which had cacao and made the whole thing taste chocolatey! So, that was good, too.
Just to be real here, I have to add that I have woken up with a headache the last two mornings. After I drink my morning juice it seems to go away by noon, but I’m not really sure if that is part of “detox” or due to the fact that I still need to drink more water throughout the day. One of the signs of dehydration is headache, but it is really difficult for me to drink a lot of water. That is something I am trying to improve. So, this morning I gave myself permission to lay around and read a book. I ran to the store briefly and cleaned the bathroom, but that was about it. Now, I split the same kind of smoothie with my son and later I will go visit my sister.
We planned these couple of weeks for our juicing because we did not have a lot on our calendar besides regular work. We have both lost a pound or a little more each day. That kind of incentive helps keep you going, but plateaus can happen as well, so our focus is on health more than anything. We are getting so many nutrients from this wonderful fresh food and cleaning ourselves out from the processed food that sneaks it way back into our diets.
So, that’s it for today. I hope if you try our juice combos that you like the taste.

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Juice it up

This morning I juiced 3 grapefruit and some blueberries. Peeling the skins and running it through the Breville Juice Fountain makes it frothy and skims out the pulp. I like it a lot. Around 11, hubby came home and wanted to try a green juice, so we juiced 4 pieces of kale, 2 tomatos, 1 1/2 really large red peppers, two cucumbers and a handful of parsley. It was good, a little bland but drinkable. Around 2:30 I started feeling the lack of calories and whipped up some oranges and blueberries. These were about the last oranges on my tree, so I’m going to start hitting up my friends. The orange juice helped but didn’t last long. I have a bit of a headache and need to leave the kitchen so I’m not faced with the temptation every second. That’s what hammocks are for.

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Trades of Hope – your purchase helps women out of poverty and sex trafficking!

Okay, usually this is a blog about raw food and juicing; so here is a quick recipe from – believe it or not – Paula Deen! I would have shared her no sugar ice cream but it contained a sugar substitute; so I won’t touch that! This looks pretty good though and pineapples are abundant right now in our area.

1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 banana
1/4 cup ice cubes
2 teaspoons honey, optional
pineapple wedges, for garnish

Directions

In a blender, combine the pineapple chunks, coconut milk, banana, ice and, if desired, honey. Puree until smooth. Pour into 2 large glasses. Garnish each serving with a pineapple wedge.  Yes, this is a smoothie that I can recommend!

In addition to encouraging people to be as healthy as they can be; I want to let people know about a way to make their dollars count double!

Trades of Hope is a company that is helping women out of poverty, sex trafficking and other forms of abuse.  I am so glad to recommend them – and since I was in Haiti in April I can verify first hand that women are indeed benefiting from your purchases. I love the company so much I became a Compassion Entrepreneur to help represent these various groups of women around the world!

Helping Women out of Sex Trade and Poverty


“Have a career that feeds your soul, while empowering women out of poverty.”!

Check them out and leave a comment!

 

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Juicing June

Hi Everyone,

Okay, how did we do with juicing in May? Well I lost 12 pounds and Tom lost more of course, about 15! We truthfully fell off the complete juicing wagon toward the end, and added salads.  Last night for the grand finale we had Thai food! Red curry, medium spice.  We still stayed away from meat or breads, but we did have white rice and of course the scale showed it this morning.

So, for June, we are juicing in the days and will have an occasional meal with family or friends just to allow ourselves to socialize without making everyone around us feel uncomfortable. It is amazing the comments and overall interest people have when you show up somewhere with a liquid meal!

Most people are very positive and eager to learn about anything that will make them healthier and more comfortable in their bodies. We have been sharing the movies that inspired us; Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead by Joe Cross and also, Forks Over Knives and the sequel called Engine 2 – Kitchen Rescue with Rip Esselstyn. We have also watched Simply raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days. We do not have Diabetes so we can’t really speak to that issue from personal experience (thanks be to God) BUT when we had my Dad with us and were trying to feed him as much raw food we could get him to eat without a fight, he DID have to reduce his insulin intake!

So we are going to continue eating juice and raw because we truly BELIEVE it is the path to health and vitality. The concept of eating simply and plainly lines up with our other core beliefs, that “God provides everything that we need”, that if we should “live simply so others can simply live” that it is always best to “fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”. In Scripture it tells us to “think of others more highly than yourself” and that we were “created for good works”, so that is what we try to do. It is so rewarding and so much fun to help others.

I hope this blog inspires whoever looks at it, to be healthy, to be vital and to rise to their full potential of good works. I know from personal experience that doing what you were created to do brings joy. I wish that joy for every person I meet.

In addition to “foodie” information, this blog will morph out into many recycle, conserve, help others and be healthy topics.

So, this morning, Sat, I sent Tom to work with two leftover carrot, kale, apple pint jars, two Bolton Farms juices from the store (I was lazy) and two water bottles and two ice teas that we made last night from Lipton tea bags. Nate is with him and they are pressure washing today, so lots of liquid to stay hydrated in the Florida sun! I also made us all a Mocha Cappuccino Smoothie – probably not the ultimate in healthy, but they do taste good and are less calories than going to D&D, so we’re moving in the right direction.

In case you are wondering, we do extend a lot of grace to ourselves in this process of learning how to eat cleaner – and I hope that gives you license to be nice to yourself as well. Many of us have invested a great many years eating poorly – and the food that we have consumed is connected to so many emotions and memories that change can be difficult. When you revert back to an old habit, forgive yourself, dust yourself off and move on.

 

 

 

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A Pound!

Well finally, the scale moved down a pound. Of course if I inhale the aroma while passing the restaurant down the street, I could gain it back! Why is taking it off and keeping it off so much harder than gaining it back? Alas – I sound complaining, despite the blessings that I feel great, and I have managed NOT to catch the coughs, sniffles and flus of all the sick people I have run into in the past two weeks! Today’s juice was, carrots, beet greens, a summer squash, and apples. I have two 8oz jars to take in my lunch cooler and I am off to help scrub a house that people are moving out of, so I should get plenty of exercise today! Happy juicing!

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If at first you don’t succeed…..

Okay, confession, after 18 days, we caved. The desire to CHEW won over our desire to JUICE, so we took a break and went to Tijuana Flats and had a Norito bowl – bean. So, it’s technically still vegan, but it was cooked rice and beans. I could only eat half before I felt stuffed, but it was so good! Then that little slip turned into, a salad on Saturday and horror – Cajun boiled peanuts on Sunday! What is so sad is that after holding weight for six days, I actually lost a pound after the Norrito Bowl! But the Cajun boiled peanuts are a LOT of calories, so I’m back to square one. So, today is Day 21, and since May 1st I have lost 9 pounds. Tom also joined the food melee but he has lost 12 pounds! Men! Matt’s friend who is holding faithful to his 10 day promise (he wasn’t hanging out with us thankfully) has lost 15 pounds and says he feels great and went out to buy his own juicer! I also want to pass along the juice that he invented as his favorite:
pineapple, apple and celery! We are still liking the carrots, apple and kale combo. What I think is my problem though is that I drink some as I juice for others, then I don’t drink enough during the rest of the day. So, I am going to try to drink more often throughout the day and see if I can make the rest of this month work better. Hope you are doing well, and don’t feel bad if you slipped off a juicing day, just try, try again! We will finally succeed!

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