Cleanse

Back to basics… smoothie-style


I think summer was designed with a glitch in its programming – the only reasonable explanation I can come up with for why time DEFINITELY goes by at a super-sonic rate during the warmer months. Not cool, mother nature; not cool.

Personally, I’ve been working my slightly sunburnt tail off these past few months on a couple of projects… one of which, I’m tremendously happy to now be able to share with you. Navitas Naturals has put together a brand new Smoothment – a “Back to Basics” week-long initiative of superfood smoothies. I have 7 totally new recipes I’ve made especially for this event, which starts tomorrow, and you can get all of them by signing up here. Plus, we’ve put together quick little daily videos on how to make each one, there’s bonus recipe tips, and just by signing up you get 30% off all superfood ingredients. Yes!

I hope you’ll join me in this week-long smoothie celebration, and invite your friends! Check out all the goodness the Smoothement has to offer here. Lots o’ love and see you there!

Cherry Berry Vitality Smoothie – YES!

As a huge smoothie fan, I was delighted when I was asked to be involved in putting together a series of “60 Second Smoothie” videos with organic superfood company Navitas Naturals. After what was seriously a marathon of smoothie development (rough job; someone’s gotta do it), we transformed some of the very best blends into seven sassy little videos. What I love about these smoothies is that they’re not just designed to taste great, but are created to provide real-deal healthy function as well. You can check out one of the 60 Second Smoothie videos from the new series below:

Boy. I sure do love this one…with its sweet cherry flavor and creamy texture. But all taste sensation aside, its purpose is very clear: longevity. Many superfoods have natural compounds which are renowned for promoting a long life, such as packing in vitamin C and E, healthy omega fats and monosaturated fats, and a wide variety of antioxidants…from chlorophyll (found in green produce) to polyphenols (found in purple berries and cacao). Some favorite longevity foods include goji berries, acai berries, flaxseed, and leafy greens like spinach. Lovers of life, this smoothie’s for you!

Cherry-Berry Vitality Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

2 cups ice
1 cup frozen cherries
1 banana
⅓ cup cashews
1 tablespoon goji berries
3 tablespoons Navitas Naturals Antioxidant Powder
2 cups fresh spinach
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1½ cups water

DIRECTIONS

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Makes 2 servings.

You’re invited: the 2012 Smoothment


What’s on your master plan for this year? A renewed change-the-world crusade? A resolution to make amends with someone you’re at odds with? A commitment to exercise an extra hour a week? Or maybe just a firm ban on any and all jelly beans from entering your house ever again? Whatever your new mantra, it’s a perfectly healthy ritual to reevaluate life choices, while perhaps seeking places to trim the fat a little … pun, yeah, intended. The quest for personal evolution is constant; “perfect” is an always-fleeting ideal. But it’s not that imperfections are stressfully inevitable, it’s that improvements are motivatingly attainable.

Resolve to evolve.

When it comes to food, it’s with this mindset that I dodge the idea of “diet” or limitation. Bleh, boring. Instead, I like to look at health and all of its edible backdrop as an exciting collection of ways to make my body feel, perform, and look its best … and like most people, I’m constantly adding to my healthy “collection.”

So to start things right off this year — and add to YOUR healthy collection — I’d like to announce and invite you to participate in a fun new project with me: the Smoothment. Head up by the superfood masterminds at Navitas Naturals, the Smoothment is a healthy movement that aims at improving personal well-being through the simple step of including one healthy smoothie a day. As I’ve mentioned on more than a few occasions, I think smoothies are a tremendously remedial answer for those who wish to make their health a priority, but also lead a busy (aka modern!) life. Now, with the Smoothment, you can join a growing army of like-minded people who are making the pledge to make 2012 a vibrant year, with a smoothie-a-day commitment. By joining the Smoothment (as mentioned, it’s totally free), for the first week you and I will meet in the kitchen via a series of quick recipe videos. In each video I’ll show you a new “60 Second Smoothie” recipe, so by the end of the week you’ll have a whole new library of frothy magic at your fingertips. You’ll also have access to all the written recipes, smoothie building tips, daily superfood prizes, and even a special coupon code for 30% off all smoothie ingredients at Navitas.

Personally, I can’t wait to make 2012 absolutely deliciously awesome. Will you join me?


 

New cookbook offers the definitive guide to cooking with superfoods

Coming super soon…

Superfood Cuisine: Cooking With Nature’s Most Amazing Foods

I’m so, so excited to share the news with you that I have a cookbook coming out. (!!!) This has been such a fun, rewarding project to work on. In case you’re wondering, the book cover above features a shot of one of my favorite recipes: a silky-smooth Carrot & Yacon Root Soup, topped with plumped goji berries and microgreens (insanely good, fantastically easy, and majorly glow-inducing).

I’m sure you’re aware of the exciting culinary revolution that’s taking place – the beneficial mantra of natural, organic, whole foods and plant-based diets is hotter than ever before! And now, superfoods are coming to the forefront as a fabulous (healthy!) way to even further fast-track our energy levels and longevity. This book explains the philosophy behind a superfood-strong lifestyle, and demystifies how to use them through delicious new dishes.

Superfood Cuisine includes:

– Over 100 plant-based, superfood recipes
– Full-color photography
– A guide to over 30 top superfoods and healthy pantry staples
– A convenient “pantry list” of what you need and where to find these special foods
– Natural cooking techniques and product sources

The book will be available late spring of this year (launch date and ordering details announced soon)! In the meantime, please join me at Superfood Cuisine on facebook for the latest updates, inside information, and bonus material. I’d love to see you there, and I cannot WAIT to share this special book with you!

Spring into Green!

I seriously can’t believe spring is already here – it seems like just yesterday I was dusting off my pumpkin knife and looking for any and all excuses to put the oven to some loving use. But the flower buds outside have a schedule to keep. And as for the rest of us, it’s time to get recharged and re-greened.

Greens are becoming more and more popular lately, not only because they’re super nutritious, but because they’re super delicious too! Excitingly, it’s easier than ever to get the vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and alkalizing antioxidants that greens provide in inventive ways that go beyond “just a salad.” Here are a few of my key ways to keep my favorite food group in constant rotation – and ensure that this spring is energizing, clean, healthy and green!

5 Great Ways to Get Green:

1. Bars: If you eat energy bars, don’t short-change yourself with ones that just have natural ingredeints … make sure they contain some kind of green powder as well (like freeze-dried vegetables, chlorella, grasses, etc.) You won’t taste a difference, and you’ll get all the benefits of green! (Of course, you can always just make your own, too.)

2. Wraps: Time to ditch the tortilla, taco shell or bread. Instead, try using a big green leaf such as swiss chard, collard greens or kale to wrap up your favorite savory fillings. These leaves make a fantastic natural wrapper, contain very few calories, and add plenty of nutrients.

3. Smoothies: It’s no secret that one of the smartest tricks amongst healthy know-how’s is the great “Green Smoothie.” By blending up handfuls of mild greens (like spinach) with sweet fruits (like pears, apples, bananas, or mangos), the vibrant color may just be the only giveaway that your fruity treat is full of the extra good stuff.

4. Sauces: Customize a pasta sauce with some hearty minced kale or spinach. My method: saute finely chopped greens for 1-2 minutes in a little safflower oil and minced garlic to soften, then stir them into the finshed sauce-of-choice for an exceptionally tasty and textural addition.

5. Plate fillers: You’ve probably heard dietitians recommend portioning out foods groups by size: such as a serving of cereal equaling the size of your hand. In the case of greens, aim to make them cover the base of your plate (placing the entree on top of the green bed). Not only will they instantly make your dish look more beautiful, the greens will also lend an extra-tasty touch (green vegetables go with almost everything). Try lightly-dressed arugula, fresh and peppery watercress, or marinated kale for a seriously boosted plate.

Cheers to juice, plus a few favorite combos


As I attempted to use my time at the car repair station wisely by conducting an obsessively thorough purse clean-out, a man sitting across the waiting area struck up a conversation (much to his teenage son’s embarrassment, I should note).

“Can you believe what they put in these things?” he asked, pointing to his bottled iced tea. “All I wanted was some iced tea and I look at the can and there’s 56 grams of sugar in here.”

Cool. Yes. Glad you’re in the know.

“It’s so awful what they put in our foods these days. All this corn syrup, this sugar, in everything,” he continued.

Sure is.

“Even when you think you’re eating well you find out all this other stuff’s been hiding inside the ingredients.”

Well, the ingredients are always listed on the back of a package, but I hear ya.

“And then there’s all these people with diabetes and obesity… something’s gotta change. That’s why I . . . ”

Nice – bring it home, brother!

“That’s why I stopped drinking juice.”

Wait. What?

Whether it’s sugar, fat, carbs, protein, etc, we have a nasty habit of isolating food elements without looking at the big picture. Some people, such as my new iced tea friend, are afraid of juice because of reports claiming the sugar content in fruit juice is equivalent to soda. Unquestionably yes, juice — especially fruit juice — contains natural sugars, in particular fructose.

Yet it’s not really sugars per se that earn the Big Bad Wolf title as much as it’s those creepy empty calories that compose the food that sugars often reside in. Context is everything. In juice’s case, that “context” is a drink naturally filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients (it’s just a fruit/vegetable without the fiber). As far as the context of iced tea and soda go . . . cue the crickets.

Understanding nutrition can be very, very simple through the idea of nutrient density (the amount of “good stuff” you get per calorie). And because juice is essentially condensed nutrition (you can fit 3-4 servings of fruit or 5-6 servings of veggies in a glass), I’d unquestionably rank juice in the “premium fuel” department. General rules apply: fresh is best, veggies are better than fruit, green veggies are even better than that, and of course, with everything (say it with me): balance.

Here are a few potent juice combos I paricuarily love (you can juice them yourself at home or custom order at a juice bar):

Lean & Green: cucumber + celery + kale + spinach + lemon

Purify & Cleanse: beet + carrot + ginger + fennel + parsley

Restore & Rejuvenate:
orange + coconut water + wheatgrass

Sweet & Warming: apple + burdock root + ginger + cinnamon (just dash)

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