Thursday, April 30, 2009

Superlicious Iced Grape Lemonade

All that's needed is: just a few simple ingredients, a high-speed blender, a warm Spring day, and a desire for your body to chill out.

* 3 handfuls grapes (red or green, or mixed!)
* 2 thin slices (about 1/8 inch each) lemon WITH the peel and seeds - if using a Vita-Mix
* swirl of agave (or local, raw honey)
* scoop of ice cubes

Add in the order listed and blend it up on high until it's the consistency you like. In just of couple minutes from start to finish, you'll have yourself an undeniably ultra-refreshing iced lemonade just in time for Lemonade Stand season ;)

We make this recipe during the Vita-Mix show demos and it always goes over really well. Most people can't believe it tastes THIS good not coming out of a can and with no added refined sugar. The grapes are naturally sweet, and you can use agave or honey depending on your preference.

Happy Spring! Get out in that SUNSHINE!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Do You Really Want Thinner Thighs?

Then it's all about making what you put into your mouth a priority. Enough said, but I will go on. If you really want thinner thighs, a slender figure, and an irresistible body, what foods should you be eating to get you this alluring figure at the speed of lightening?

Well, let me tell you what is working for me, and possibly if you commit to the same general routine, you will achieve the same results by this summer. For starters, the more fresh, alive, juicy, high-water content foods you eat, the quicker the fat will melt right off. Coincidentally, you'll also feel more alive and vibrant (and look the part in your face too). You'll retain less water, be less bloated, and you'll notice your stomach is starting to look flatter. Anytime I used to eat cooked food (any cooked food), my stomach would always expand (and drive me crazy!). Although it was annoying, I figured that's just what happens when you eat... until I started eating foods that were ALIVE, and then noticed that I could eat raw foods without that dreaded side effect. Raw food is slimming, and even though thighs are difficult areas to slim down, you can absolutely do it (visualize your ideal thighs!). If you continue with fresh foods you'll see that your legs appear longer (thin always looks longer/taller), more toned, and certainly more sleek.

Juicing is something that greatly encourages weight loss in trouble areas because you are intensely hydrating your system (and therefore feel more satiated) and infusing it with massive amounts of needed nutrients (reducing cravings). Think of what the results would be if you just replaced 1 meal (or snack) with 1 juice. Instead of filling up with a heavy meal from the get-go, why not try eat according to the circadian rhythm and drink the 1st meal of the day? In the mornings, I make a fresh vegetable (or sometimes fruit) juice for myself, and drink it while making a green, fruit, or chocolate smoothie for lunch and tending to my morning duties. Creating a ritual like this is helpful for feeling grounded right from the start and is just a real good habit to have!

For the Top 20 Best Ever Superfoods List, check out: You can order many of them at: (cacao, noni, goji berries, marine phytoplankton, medicinal mushrooms, blue green algae, powdered grasses, and maca). Instead of eating ridiculous amounts of depleted food to get a small amount of nutrition, you can eat Superfoods, which are incredibly nutrient-dense, (without having to eat those massive amounts of food). Many Superfoods are complete proteins, providing your daily requirement for vitamins and minerals, and simultaneously kick up your metabolism (think goji berries, cacao, and beauty enhancing green powders). You'll probably want to check out maca as well if you're planning on incorporating exercise into your new slim-down routine since it's been used for thousands of years to build stamina and endurance.

Raw foods, juicing, and Superfoods are without question the best plan of attack for cellulite that won't go away, super-toned legs, and the quickest way to feel confident walking around in shorts. Thunder thighs are a thing of the past!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Juicing Greens = Raw Beauty

What nutrients are found in green plant foods and how will you benefit by juicing them? The #1 nutrient in all green plant foods, especially the glorious dark leafy greens, is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is an amazing blood purifier, and when you detoxify your blood, you remove toxins that have built up in your system and manifest as unsightly skin troubles. Dark leafy greens are excellent for the liver, and a cleansed liver will directly result in clearer, more vibrant skin.

What are some of the best greens (and green veggies) to juice for that irresistible raw glow? Kale, spinach, parsley, cilantro, and celery top the list.

KALE is rich in calcium, iron, beta-carotene, and chlorophyll
SPINACH is high in calcium and iron, and builds the blood
PARSLEY is rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, chlorophyll, and iron (highest iron content of any green leafy vegetable) - great blood cleanser & diuretic
CILANTRO is a heavy metal chelator, removing heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic) from the body (1 of only 2 foods that removes heavy metals from the blood, brain, and the bones - the other is CHLORELLA)
CELERY builds and sooths the nervous system and is rich in potassium (not a leafy green, but excellent base for a juice)

Throw some chard, romaine lettuce & watercress in there while you're at it.

I recently listened to Cherie Calbom's interview on Raw Vegan Radio and she claimed we should 'Eat Your Fruit, Juice Your Vegetables'! Why is this? Well, according to David Wolfe in his best book ever, the Sunfood Diet Success System, chlorophyll and the alkaline compounds in green-leafy vegetables combine with heavy metals and foreign chemicals in the body to form salts, allowing the body to eliminate them from the system. This deep detoxification brings the body to a higher level of functioning, purifying the entire system, and youthfulness to the skin. Who doesn't want some of that?

Beauty Spa Express (excerpted from Juicing for Life):

small handful parsley
handful spinach
4-5 carrots, (you can juice some of the carrot greens, knowing ahead of time that they have quite a flavor presence)
1/2 apple, seeded

Juice this colorful combo and drink it slowly, knowing the abundant goodness that you're infusing your body with. I don't follow recipes when it comes to juicing and just juice intuitively, but this one can be a good foundation from which you can make adjustments as desired. Play with it, have fun, and the most important thing is to get something green in there! Balance it with something sweet (carrot or apple), and a lighter green flavor like celery or cucumber, and you're off and running.

Freshly Juiced, Green Vegetable Juice is really where it's at. Make friends with all that's green and you'll come to realize we have our dear friend Chlorophyll to thank for Life, Nature, and Beauty!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What to do With Left-Over Juice Pulp

There's always an excuse to avoid eating healthy, sliding back into the comfort zone and procrastinating on what will move you forward. What I find though, is that if you gently FORCE yourself to make the right choice (for you), and follow through with it, the rewards are much greater than ever expected. Juicing is like this for me and I assume some of you, too. You have to drag that bulky juicer out from hibernation, or even just pull it away from the wall TO you, thoroughly wash and prep all the produce, and anticipate the messy clean-up the entire time. That's one sour way to look at it for sure.

Another perspective is that you GET to have a quiet meditation with yourself, a time of silence in the morning (before you turn on the juicer of course) in full appreciation of the fresh fruits and veggies and all they will give to you in the moments to come, and far beyond. Health is a commitment that pays off in both the short-term and long-term, and without it, everything else means less. We can make excuses to not juice because of inconvenience, time, or clean-up, OR we can do it anyway because we know just how incredibly powerful it is - it's an infusion of liquid vitamins into your bloodstream!

Once your juice is waiting for you with a slight froth on top, what's the best way to proceed with all that left-over pulp? Here are some simple ideas so you can let go of feeling like you're wasting, and that juicing isn't worth the hassle. It is.

These are a combination of my ideas, as well as ones I took from the Encyclopedia of Healing Juices book, by John Heinerman.

1) Give it to your hungry dog. I store my pulp in glass containers in the fridge and feed him a couple scoops per day.

2) Use it for compost! There's tons of info online about the how's and why's, and if you have an organic vegetable garden or small yard, this should be something you research. Then, use that healthy soil to grow your own organic food!

3) Some sulfur-based pulps (cabbage, kale, onion) can be used as an injury remedy, an external poultice for burns to disinfect and promote rapid tissue regeneration (if the burn isn't too extensive or deep). Cabbage has long been used to reduce swelling, especially of joints (if you twist or sprain your ankle) in other parts of the world. Wrap cabbage leaves around the area with a towel or wrap after softening them in hot water.

4) Sooth inflammation with carrot, cucumber, pumpkin and squash. Use the pulp, cover and heal the eczema, psoriasis, shingles, and sunburn. When applied to the skin, these beta-carotene-rich veggies are very cooling. They can be used to help lower fevers and can be placed on the face, neck, chest, and abdomen.

5) Erase wrinkles! Tighten loose skin with fruit and veggie pulp face masques that are bursting with anti-oxidants! Create your own at-home healing spa. Citrus is excellent for older women who would like to get rid of distressful crow's feet around they eyes, sagging in the face/cheeks, and loose skin on the throat area. For younger women, the same application will ensure you age gracefully. Be sure to replenish with a soothing, nutritious moisturizer.

6) Enhance and create new versions of salads! Add onion pulp to bean salad (this one isn't too common, but it's an idea anyhow), grape and pineapple pulp to carrot salad, carrot, date, apple, and celery pulps make an easy coleslaw, and add your leafy green pulp to a potato salad. You get the idea.

7) Save it for upcoming raw food recipes! Check out the multitude of raw food recipe books for yummy ways to incorporate the pulp into your scrumptious dishes.

8) Any excess can be put into your food waste bin and discarded if necessary.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Juicing: Benefits Outweigh the Clean-up

It seems everywhere I turn lately, I'm coming across more and more reasons to embark on another juice fast. I haven't done one in several months and seeing as though Spring is peaking its way through the Seattle clouds, it may just be the perfect time. I've been trapped in the thinking that it just hasn't been the right time due to life circumstances, but really, isn't that precisely the best time ever to push the limits and treat yourself to this kind of feasting?

Let's clarify the difference between juice extracting and whole food juicing (as with the Vita-Mix). With a juice extractor, you are removing the pulp and fiber from the fruit and/or veggie and just drinking the juice. Ideally, you will find a way to use the pulp to eliminate excess waste. When I make a fresh juice in my Breville juicer, my sweet dog, Java, benefits too - he gets the pulp mixed right into his free range raw meat and vegetables, and absolutely loves it. If you don't have a ravenous dog like I do, then keep the pulp anyway (store in fridge for a few days) and add to other raw food recipes. I'd love to hear the ways you've found to use the pulp - please post your recipes in the comments section and share with the rest of us! If you have an abundance of pulp (and no furry friend or raw recipe ideas), you can add it to your food waste container and use it as compost (or dispose of it) - yet another awesome way to reuse and recycle, and reduce waste.

Whole food juicing is what you do in your high speed blender / Vita-Mix. When you juice in this way, technically it's not really a juice, more like a thin smoothie, but nevertheless, it's a super healthy way to begin your day and feel and look your best. You can add the entire fruit or vegetable into the VM and not have to worry about messy clean-up or wasting at all. Because the VM totally liquefies the food making it entirely bio-available, you absorb all those life-giving nutrients (vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients, and anti-oxidants) since it's in a form your body recognizes. Blended food is the easiest food for your body to digest without question. With a blended juice, you get to keep the fiber, something we all know is necessary for digestive health. The processing and clean-up time is minimal in the Vita-Mix according to both me, and the Encyclopedia of Healing Juices :o) - so no matter what way you choose to juice (I suggest both), you're in for a level of health that is just far beyond your wildest expectations.

Check out Jason Vale, aka The Juice Master ( and Jay Kordich, the father of juicing ( if you want to learn from the best. Jay is responsible for bringing Juice to the world as we know it - his story is incredible (view it here). Maybe I'll dedicate the remainder of April to blogging about juicing - my experiences and the upcoming juice cleanse, specific juice blends for beauty, recipes (juices & smoothies - with freshly made juice as the base), and resources to get some Spring in your step!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Special Wholesale Pricing Offer For Everyone!

If you've been wanting to place an order with me and check out my raw, organic skincare line, there's never been a better time, or better deal! I am offering WHOLESALE pricing, a 30% discount, for two of my most popular products: the Creamy Cocoa Maca Body Scrub and the Mocha Java Body Scrub. Plus, any order over $50 will receive a FREE Java Body Scrub sample ($5 value) and any order over $100 will receive a FREE Balance Body Silk sample ($10 value).

To receive this special discount, place your order online at and enter in the code: greenfest when checking out. This offer is good through April 30, 2009! I ship nationwide and typically within 3-5 days. Please allow extra time for large orders as I handcraft each product as the orders roll in. Thank you for your loving support and I welcome your feedback!

3 Surefire Ways to Avoid PMS

This one is for the ladies. Got headaches, cramps, body aches, discomfort, swelling, inflammation, bloat, puffiness, heaviness, fatigue, insatiable hunger, cravings, hormonal acne, anxiety, depression, or erratic moods? Let's put an end to it for good.

#1: Avoid ALL dairy in the few days prior to when you expect you'll get your period and throughout the duration of it. Dairy is directly related to PMS symptoms and is also congesting, something that will give you extra unwanted bloat and discomfort. Dairy includes eggs, milk, cheese, ice cream, butter, cream cheese, sour cream, and cream. Read the labels on the food you purchase! Better yet, just focus on fresh fruits and vegetables that are cleansing and natural diuretics, releasing any undesired puffiness.

#2: Drink your blackstrap molasses! Pick up a bottle of organic, fair trade, unsulphured molasses at your health food store and have 2 T per day (1 in the AM and 1 in the PM). Molasses replenishes the supply of minerals that quickly diminish during this monthly phase - potassium, calcium, and iron (and vitamin B6). Mix 1 T of molasses with 1 cup of hot water and drink while hot (sip slowly). It really tastes much better while at a higher temperature and is pretty nasty once it cools down. The heat will soothe you internally and relax your muscles too. Think of it like an internal heating pad that's loaded with minerals.

#3: Make loose leaf nettle tea! Nettles are highly alkaline, packed full of minerals and trace minerals, including the same ones found in molasses (calcium, iron), as well as beta-carotene and vitamin C. In the rockin Rawsome! book by Brigitte Mars, she says that nettles 'are more effective than spinach in building the blood. Nettles are so rich in nutrients that they help curb overeating'. This has to be one of my favorite books on raw foods. Typically I also add alfalfa to the nettles and turn it in to my Stunning Skin Medicinal Tea. If you're searching for ways to Maximize Health, Energy, and Culinary Delight with the Raw Foods Diet, this book is for you.

Bonus Tip: Green Smoothies! Pack in as much leafy green vegetables as you possibly can during this week that typically wreaks havoc on women. Bump up the amount of kale, spinach, chard, romaine, lettuce, collards, plus any weeds, herbs, and sprouts you can get your hands on. Greens are high in magnesium and calcium, minerals that calm and relax those tight core muscles. Refer to Greens For Life for green smoothie wisdom and recipes. Here's one to get you started:

Supreme Green Dream
2 -3 bananas (depending on size)
2 handfuls spinach (toss in a couple kale, romaine, chard leaves or other leafy greens)
Thick slice of fresh pineapple or 1/2 fresh ripe mango
2 dates
1-2 cups water or medicinal tea

Blend WELL (gatta love the Vita-Mix). I like mine to have a thinner consistency and it goes down much quicker than I would have ever expected! This is a very simple recipe that is not original and was inspired by Victoria Boutenko's Greens for Life book. Green smoothies such as these did not used to be a part of my routine, but now that I've found a very basic one to base the rest from, I've been experimenting and am crazy over them!

In all my years of making these suggestions, I have yet to hear that the dreaded symptoms made a presence - IF the women committed to all 3 (plus the bonus for those that really suffer needlessly) beginning approximately 2-3 days in advance of when your PMS would normally begin. Avoid it all together - you have the choice and the power is yours!