Saturday, February 28, 2015

Juicing Tips

10 Juicing Tips to help keep you on track:

1. Have a support person
This is where the buddy system comes in. Have someone you can check in with that will help hold you accountable.
Let people around you know that you are juicing. Come prepared to social events. You could even bring something with you for everyone to try!

2. Keep foods that will tempt you out of the house
You know those sweet foods that convince you to buy them while you're waiting in line at the grocery store? Those are going to tempt you at home too. Hiding them from yourself isn't good enough. Trust me, you will find them. "Out of sight out of mind."

3. Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk will save you time and money. Check out your local farmers markets and buy in bulk from there. Always buy organic when you can.

4. Make a "meal" schedule, but take one day at a time
How many of us already make a shopping list according to your meal planning for the week? This really is a great way to stick with a routine and have something to refer to. You know what produce you have that you need to use up before it goes bad and what produce you need to buy to keep on your schedule. Taking one day at a time is the best way to keep you focused and in the moment. When we live in the moment everything is much easier. If you are new to juicing we recommend Juicing Plans from Joe Cross. He offers free plans for 3, 5, 10, & 15 day juice cleanses. This is a great place to start!

5. Food prepping; stock up on juice for times of temptation/juice on the go
Sometimes we just want to snack. There are also times when we just don't have time to juice, or let's face it, just don't want to. It's great to have a juice in the fridge you can grab for those times. Food prepping also cuts down on the time it takes to juice. Remember it's always best to cut up your produce right before using it, and drinking your juice within the first 30 minutes of juicing to get the most nutrients out of it, so we don't recommend doing this all the time.

6. Listen to your body
This should be number 1. Always, always listen to your body. As you become healthier and eat a plant based diet/juice, you will become more aware of what your body needs. You will crave the foods with the nutrients your body is craving. If your body is tired, rest. Avoid certain fruits/veggies that cause your body to react poorly. If you are not used to spicy foods, start out with small amounts of the less spicy peppers and gradually work your way up. Etc. Everyone is different.

7. Stay away from the house, get out and get some fresh air and light exercise
If you are having a food craving go on a walk or get in some light exercise. Chances are when you get back you won't feel like eating anymore. Take up yoga or meditation. Go jogging a couple nights a week. Stay active even if it means a short walk around the block. But start slow! If you don't feel like you can exercise start with just being outside. Stretch. Become aware of all the sounds going on around you.  Be present. Remember to listen to your body! Don't overdue it or you won't have any energy.

8. Remember the 15 minute rule with temptation
If you can get past the first 15 minutes the feelings of temptation subside and you can keep going... until the next time. But don't worry those 15 minutes become fewer and far between.
Even though you are getting lots of water with the produce you are juicing, it is never a bad idea to drink water in between your juices.

9. Get enough sleep!
This is so important. When you don't get enough sleep your body shuts down. You have less energy and your body doesn't perform at optimal levels. Studies have shown that when we don't get enough sleep we tend to make poorer food choices and eat more of them. Your body is going through a detox and you may need to just take it easy during the entire juice cleanse.

10. Be kind & patient with yourself!
Remember you are amazing and can do anything you set your mind to!

For FAQ on juicing we recommend Reboot with Joe Cross

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Raw Vegan Healthy Peanut Butter Cups

You. Guys.

You are not going to believe how incredibly EASY these raw peanut butter cups are!! And they're healthy to boot so you don't need to feel guilty about gobbling them all up!

But let's just stop talking and get straight to the recipe shall we?

Mini cupcake pan
Mini cupcake liners

(makes about 20-24 mini cupcake sized cups)

1 cup coconut oil - melted
1/4- 1/3  cup cocoa powder (depending on how deep of a chocolate taste you want. The more cocoa the darker it will taste)
1/4 cup raw maple syrup
Peanut butter (raw or made from scratch if you want to make sure your dessert remains 100% raw, otherwise store bought will be fine.)

Mix together the melted coconut oil, cocoa, and maple syrup. Taste test. If you want yours sweeter add more maple syrup. Pour enough chocolate to cover the bottom of the lined mini cupcake pans. It's about a spoonful per. Set in the freezer for 10 minutes to set up. Chocolate should be hard to the touch before removing from freezer. Next, spoon in a tiny dab of peanut butter in the middle of each cup. Flatten the top of the peanut butter if necessary so it doesn't stick out when you surround it with the rest of the chocolate. Fill with the remaining chocolate mixture and freeze for an additional 20-25 minutes until firm. 


Monday, February 23, 2015

Raw Peanut Butter Chocolate Cream Pie

This is one of those desserts where you can convince even your non-healthy eating friends to join us all on the healthy food side!
It's so good my brother in law had actual dreams about it after he went to bed!

Yup. It's THAT good!!

Pie Tin
Mini Muffin Pan (for the peanut butter cups)


1 Pie Crust (for the recipe click here) <<< It's simple- just 2 or 3 ingredients

Raw Peanut Butter (or healthy store bought alternative if you don't know how to make your own)

3 Bananas
2 cups of cashews (soaked for 2 hours) <<< soak them while you make your crust, peanut butter bottom, and peanut butter cups.
2 Tbsp raw maple syrup
1 heaping Tbsp cocoa powder

Peanut Butter Cups (for the recipe click here) <<< It's a simple 4 ingredient process

1. Make your crust per the crust instructions.
2. Fill the bottom of the crust with a 1/2 to 1 inch layer of raw peanut butter.
3. Strain your cashews and put them in a blender. Add the rest of the cream filling ingredients and blend on high speed until creamy.
4. Pour the chocolate cream filling into your pie tin on top of the peanut butter layer and spread around evenly. You may have leftovers which is wonderful because that means you get to treat yourself!
5. Cut up your previously made peanut butter cups and sprinkle them on top of your cream filled pie.
6. Put in the freezer for 2 hours to set. Serve cold.

Will last about a week in the fridge or 2 to 3 weeks in the freezer.


Date Free Raw Pie Crust

Look at that beautiful healthy crust!! 

Almost every single raw dessert crust out there consists of nuts mixed with dates. 

In a nutshell (pun intended- because let's face it- that's just funny) raw foodies use a nut-date mixture because it solidifies well thanks to the sticky gooey texture of the dates once they are blended. The dates also give the crust its glorious sweet taste!

But dates are pricey! And at times hard to find. I never buy mine from grocery chain stores because of the price. But I'll buy bags from wholesale distributors like Sams Club or Costco because you get more for your money- but my local wholesale distributors have been out for weeks so I had to get creative....

Fast forward to this pretty date-free crust! Nuts are filled with healthy fats and oils. So when you blend them some of those oils are released and the nuts begin sticking to each other. But not enough for a pie crust.... so I added a bit of raw maple syrup and BAM - a gooey ball of "dough" was formed!

Simply blend together your nuts of choice (almonds, pecans, walnuts, brazil nuts, and cashews are all good choices) and add a Tbsp or 2 of raw maple syrup (depending on the size of your pie and how many nuts you end up using.)
I'm so happy with the maple syrup alternative that I'll likely forgo the dates for most of my crusts from now on. Don't get me wrong- I love me a nut-date crust! But this worked just as well and was way easier to deal with than the sticky mess usually left behind in my blender after the dates have decided to glue themselves to every nook and cranny of my blender and blades. 

Pie Tin or Pan of choice for your goodies
Raw Maple Syrup.

1 cup Walnuts
1 cup Pecans
1-2 Tbsp of raw/real Maple Syrup
Sea Salt to taste'

Place nuts in a blender and blend until its nothing but crumbs. You may need to stop your blender occasionally to scrape the nuts off the sides and push them back into the center of the blades but once your "dough" becomes wet from the oils and the pieces are small enough dump it into a bowl.

Your nuts will likely be a mixture of dry powder and moist clumps. This is perfect because you don't want it too wet or once you add the maple syrup you'll just end up with mush.

At this stage add the salt (1/2 tsp or so) and the maple syrup a little at a time until you reach the consistency you like. I like mine sticky to the touch but dry enough to form into a ball.

Now comes the fun part (at least for my kids). Smash the "dough" into the pie tin bottom and form it to your pie tin. I do this by simply pushing it to the corners... and then up the corners, pulling from places where I put too much and putting more where I put too little.

Now your crust is DONE! Refrigerate until you are ready to fill it with raw yummy goodness. These also freeze really well with parchment paper and a vacuum sealer.


Friday, February 20, 2015

All Natural Home Made Baby Formula

After the birth of my 3rd baby I had a really hard time breast feeding. Now, no judging me... but I went kinda crazy. Postpartum  hit me hard and my emotions went hay wire! I've never had my emotions go that crazy and I had a lot of anger towards the world. I didn't understand why I had to be feeling this way. All my day to day activities became mountains to climb and everything set me off. Didn't matter if it was a big problem (like my step mom issues, finances, father problems) Or little issues (like my husband who was gone all the time at work and school, or the laundry I needed to do.) I couldn't handle any of it and I felt completely alone.

Rather than get on medication (because I tend to prefer the natural route) I had a hunch that if I quit nursing, my emotions and hormones would level off and I would go back to normal- but I was very conflicted. I have always been an advocate of breastfeeding. I nursed my other two until they were at least a year old without any problems so I felt like I was being a bad mom for wanting to quit so early on. But one day I was talking to my sister Stephanie on the phone,  spilling my guts out to her and crying..... I remember specifically she said "Kristel, you are not a bad mother, and formula is not a bad thing. Your mental health and well being is just as important so why don't we look into goats milk for her" I instantly felt a huge weight off my shoulders, Of course goats milk! It is the next best thing to breast milk!

I did some soul searching and a bit of research and decided to nurse until she was 4 months old and then ease into the formula. I found a homemade goat milk formula loaded with natural ingredients that I knew would be the perfect fit for both me and my baby and by the time she was about 5 months old she was completely off of breast milk and was taking the homemade goats milk formula. My postpartum didn't go away overnight- in fact it took several months before I felt completely back to normal but I could tell that I had made the right decision as my mental state increasingly got better and better once I quit nursing.

Look how cute she is! This is when I started the formula. Her attitude changed completely! She was so much happier and less fussy.

    --Now I do want to state that I am pro breast feeding as I feel that it is the best way for your baby to get the nutrients he/she needs. But I also want to say that this formula is really close to the nutrients found in breast milk and far exceeds over the counter formula (in my opinion) ---

****Please talk to you doctor before using. I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. Just my own personal story. Please get the go ahead from your doctor first.  I gave my doctor the recipe and he gave me the go ahead. He really liked all the ingredients and said it would be the perfect alternative to breastmilk for my baby.

I ended up changing the original recipe a bit as the oils gave her diarrhea. I talked to my doctor and he said to take out the oils and start feeding her healthy fats like avocados since she was about 6 months at the time, and was ready for solids. But at first I blended a small amount of avocados into the formula to replace the oils and eventually just got rid of the oils and fed her avocados for lunch. The recipe above includes the oils. Keep, reduce, or omit as desired.

I always made 1 pint before bed everyday and that lasted the whole next day. That way she was getting fresh milk everyday.

And like I said I removed the oils because they gave her intestinal problems. but that doesn't happen to every baby. She is just sensitive. I just blended up 1/4 of an avocado with the milk instead.

          Here is a comparison of breast milk to the formula
Obviously both are much more complex than this but this gives you a good idea of how some of the                                                  simple nutrients compare to each other

I hope this helps anyone else who may be looking for formula alternatives:)
                                                        --- Kristel

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How to Juice and in What Order

Did you know that there's a specific way you should be putting your fruits and veggies in your juicer in order to get the most out of your produce?

It's actually a really simple concept to put into practice and it goes as follows:

Simple enough right??

I almost always finish off my juices with celery. Celery is a juicer's best friends because it is cheap to buy and has an extremely high water content making it the perfect addition to your fruit and veggie drinks while also cleaning out your juicer right at the end! Win-win!

***If you have a masticating juicer the recommendations remain the same. You'll just get a higher yield because of its ability to extract more juice from the produce.***

Fellow Juicing fanatics- got any other recommendations?? We'd love to hear from you! Sound off in the comments below.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Medicinal Apple Cider Vinegar

Our beautiful late mother is the woman who led our family away from the dangerous main stream diet and lifestyle and forged a new path of healing via raw foods and medicinal plants. She got her Master Herbalist Certification from Dr. Christopher's School of Natural Medicine and became a voice in our small community through her health food store, Nature's Market, and the Hurricane Valley Times where she contributed dozens of articles on how to heal your body with herbs and plant based foods. Countless lives were influenced by her amazing dedication to natural health and well being and we are so very honored to be apart of her legacy. Once a month we will spotlight an article written by her in the hopes that you too will be influenced by her knowledge, strength, dedication, and humor. So without further ado, we give you the first of many articles written by our beautiful Mother, the late Gina Lindhardt, M.H. 

MEDICINAL APPLE CIDER VINEGAR- Originally published May 19, 2004

"A splash of protein, a little dash of carbohydrates and lots of vitamins and minerals, essential amino acids and enzymes - that's apple cider vinegar!
Vinegar comes in dozens of kinds of flavors, which are used for cooking, pickling, cleaning and, believe it or not, medicine. Let's take a look at this marvelous liquid and see why people use it as an antibiotic, antiseptic and as a nutritional supplement.
Our word "vinegar" comes from the French word "vinaigre" - VIN for wine and AIGRE for sour; thus vinegar literally means wine that has gone sour. When freshly squeezed organic apple juice has been collected, it is allowed to age, sealed tightly away from the air. Natural sugars are fermented to produce alcohol. This "hard cider" is then allowed to ferment once more while left open to the air. This time, the alcohol changes to acid, creating vinegar. Technically, vinegar can be made from any liquid containing sugar. such as grapes, molasses, berries, beets, and grains among others. Apple juice is one of the oldest fluids used to make vinegar, and, because apple cider vinegar contains the healthy goodness of apples and is the most readily available, it is the one most commonly used for medicinal purposes.

Old- time beliefs about apple cider vinegar have been handed down from parent to child to grandshild over many generations. These remedies have been proven through long-time usage, although not necessarily scientifically proven; but who needs scientific proof when a good-ole-fashioned time proven remedy seems to do the trick for many people and through countless generations?

What are some of the remedies you ask? Here are a few:

ACV (straight or diluted with water) can be used for infections on the skin because it is a great antiseptic (killing germs on contact) and antibiotic (it contains bacteria which is unfriendly to infectious microorganisms). It will help cuts and abrasions heal faster and speed up the process of more serious wounds.

Cool the burning of sunburn by bathing in a tub of lukewarm water to which a cup or two of apple cider vinegar has been added.

Ease the discomfort of a sore and/or dry throat and speed up healing by sipping a syrup made of 1/2 C ACV, 1/2 C water, 1 tsp cayenne pepper and 3 tbsp honey.

Relieve itchy skin by patting on ACV. Dilute, if necessary, 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar. This is great used as a rinse for preventing dandruff and for an itchy scalp.

ACV aids digestion because it is very similar to the chemicals found in the stomach.

If taken internally, it can help relieve arthritis stiffness, and will soothe tight aching muscles and stiff joints.

Traditionally, vinegar has been the remedy of choice for treating all sorts of stings and bites from bees, wasps, and other critters. Just soak the affected area in full-strength vinegar immediately after an encounter.

ACV has been used for weight loss because it seems to normalize weight when sipped throughout the day. Dilute a tsp of vinegar to about 8 oz water at least three or more times a day.

The American Academy of Otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) suggests using a mixture of vinegar and alcohol to prevent "swimmers ear." Dilute vinegar half and half with alcohol (or water) and rinse out the ears after each swim. This will help prevent both bacterial and fungus growths.

Commercially processed vinegars can be purchased but are not the same as natural organic vinegars. Good ACV is aged in wood barrels, not plastic or metal ones. Check for sediment at the bottom; if there isn't any, then the pectin and apple residues have been filtered out. Vinegar in its natural state is alive with enzymes, which are destroyed in processed and pasteurized vinegars. ACV should not be pasteurizedd, so it can still contain a host of healthy enzymes. It will be packed with amino acids, vitamins and minerals. This kinds of vinegar will be full-flavored and have a strong apple aroma.

And remember, it is your body, so stay healthy!"