Joys of Juicing

Cleanse, Food, Juicing, Uncategorized, Whole Eating

Veggies

Recently, I was encouraged to purchase a juicer which would allow me to get condensed amounts of nutrients and antioxidants from fruits and vegetables in a single glass of home made, freshly pressed, colorful and (usually) tasty juice. (Look on your local craigslist for a lightly used juicer if you don’t want to pay full price.) In order to take it a step further, I was challenged to do a juice fast during the same time as two of my close friends who were both committing to start January 4th for 30 days. A bit leary of the whole thing because of how juice can play so much with your blood sugars, I did some investigating. Two of my favorite health bloggers, Dr. Josh Axe and Dr. Ben Kim, are proponents of cleansing and detoxifying your body by juicing. This was enough encouragement to get me started, at least for doing 10 days of juicing.

In order to keep your blood sugars level fruits, carrots, and red beets should not make up more than one-third of the contents in your glass. Harder said than done, but definitely doable.

If your following a paleo lifestyle, a juice cleanse will probably be much easier to begin and maintain. Coming right off the Holidays and having eased up on my healthy eating routine, I decided to ease myself into the cleanse a day before. I began by cutting all caffeine, dairy products (at that time only cream from grass fed cows used in my coffee) and sugar. Thankful I did as I experienced a slight headache that afternoon into the evening due to cutting the caffeine out, which I knew would happen.

Day One

Having juiced the night before for breakfast and lunch, it was a breeze getting ready for work in the morning. Throwing a couple jars of juice and a bag of herbal tea into your lunch bag is as easy as 1-2-3.

*Breakfast – half a quart of a citrus based juice

* Lunch – quart of greens and beets (I made a bad combination that ended up tasting like dirt)

* Dinner – half a quart of green apple, orange, spinach, celery and ginger

Detox – other than craving actual food, my detox symptoms were mild. I was pretty cold throughout the entire day, partially due to the frigid temperatures outside, but also because when you cleanse your body isn’t working to digest foods which encourages heat production.

Day Two 

Again, I juiced my breakfast and lunch the night before, storing the juice in glass mason jars with the lids tightly screwed on and the jars filled to as close to the top as possible so that it would have less opportunity to oxidize.

*Breakfast – half a quart of  various greens, orange, romaine lettuce, ginger

* Lunch – half a quart of acorn squash, kale, apple, broccoli

* Dinner – half a quart of tomato, onion, cilantro, carrot, celery, kale, garlic + a half glass of apple, orange, celery, spinach

Detox – My body seemed to be warmer this day, which was a nice relief. I experienced a slight headache that evening and throughout the day I felt more hungry. Drinking water helped the hunger cravings go away.

(Because I don’t want to stop living life when I get together with other people, I drank half a bottle of kombucha while hanging out with a friend. You’ve gotta make it fit your lifestyle in order to be successful. Choose healthy *cheat* options)

Throughout the past couple of days I’ve reminded myself of these key thoughts: I’m doing this in order to have a healthier body that will allow me to live life more fully +Hunger isn’t bad, I won’t starve + All I have is from the Lord, I’m being a steward of my body and need to view this as an opportunity to give glory to the Lord by allowing me the resources to do this.

 

 

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Eating Out Paleo :: Pacific Northwest

Eating Out, Food, Food Reviews, Grain Free, Paleo, Paleo Treats, Portland, Primal, Seattle, Spokane, Travel, Tri-Cities, Whole Eating

Eating Out PNWAll those who follow the paleo lifestyle will admit to the fact that finding restaurant options that serve paleo inspired dishes is quite hard, if not impossible. Lots of “no ____” or “Can you substitute _____ for _____’s” is the name of the game when choosing options off of a regular menu.

I’m hoping to find eateries in the Pacific Northwest that have options on their menu specifically inspired for those who eat paleo. Below are a list of restaurants I will be researching and sharing about on future blog posts (other than dicks kitchen, which I have already eaten at twice and previously blogged about).

Caveman Convenience in Spokane, WA

Dicks Kitchen in Portland, OR

Eat Outside the Box – Seattle, WA

Lola in Seattle, WA

Great Harvest Bread Company in Kennewick, WA

 

I am so excited to explore these restaurant options, and hopefully in the near future have the privilege to eat at their storefronts. Not only would I like to try these places, but I know there are online start-ups of paleo making foodies that I want to find. Please pass along any names of businesses you think I should explore and I’ll do my best to report back my findings!

 

Healthy Choices Today::Happier Tomorrow

Health, Paleo, Primal, Uncategorized, Whole Eating

choices quote

The choices we make with our health today will assuredly effect your life tomorrow. Now maybe not literally the hours following the day your living now, but future tomorrows. I’m here to encourage you to start your journey OR continue your path towards finding health. It’s not always easy, but nothing worth its weight in gold comes easily! Here’s some ideas to get you back in the game of being a more healthy you!


– When you feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water instead of grabbing a snack

– Craving something sugary/sweet? Choose berries, apples, pomegranates, or other delicious fruit instead of a processed treat

Kale chips are a GREAT substitute for potato chips

– Try eating an avocado for breakfast or lunch. Adding more healthy fats and eating less sugar will help curb your cravings and make you feel full longer

– Cook with coconut oil rather than olive oil which breaks down into an unhealthy fat when heated at high temps

– Add coconut oil into your breakfast smoothie before you blend it

– Try a new vegetable this summer

Fighting PCOS Proactively by Eating Paleo

Health, My Story, Paleo, PCOS, Personal, Primal, Uncategorized, Whole Eating

PCOS

What is PCOS?

At it’s core, PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) is an imbalance of hormones in a women’s body. The male sex hormone, though produced at small levels in women, starts over producing thus causing a harmful cycle in a women’s body that eventually causes her to experience symptoms associated with PCOS. In most cases not all of the symptoms will appear which might make the person getting diagnosed question whether it was an accurate assessment. Usually a blood test ordered by a physician will give conclusive evidence as to whether or not a women’s hormones are out of balance. In some cases, cysts form on the ovaries which can be triggers to hormone imbalance. One of the big caveats to PCOS is insulin resistance, which is where the paleo diet comes into play. Long term, insulin resistance can lead to diabetes which brings a whole slew of other health related issues.

Symptoms of PCOS

  • Acne
  • Irregular/Loss of menstrual cycle
  • Weight gain/trouble losing weight
  • Abnormal hair growth (face, chest, stomach)
  • Depression
  • Infertility

Causes

From what I know, there is no conclusive evidence on what triggers PCOS in a women’s body. Some say genetics. Personally, while I think genetics might be at play, I also strongly feel that diet plays a much bigger role in the prevalence of PCOS, particularly in America where packaged, processed and genetically modified foods are staple foods.  Weight also plays a crucial role (for most women, not all) in those diagnosed with PCOS. Usually, obese/overweight women are at a higher risk though in some cases, ladies of smaller stature and weight may find they too are victims of hormonal imbalance. For some, losing just 10% of their body weight can reduce or diminish their symptoms.

Help from Essential Oils

I am definitely no expert, but from personal experience I know the feeling of hopelessness and confusion when first diagnosed with PCOS. Frustration at the thought of infertility. Feeling overwhelmed with losing weight when just looking at a french fry seems to add 5 pounds to your waist line. Embarrassed by being a 20 something year old who still has facial acne. It’s a real struggle, so I know where your at!
One the natural ways I encouraged my bodies hormones to level out was with the use of an essential oil from Young Living called Progessence Plus which was designed to lower estrogen levels which would cause an increase in progesterone. I would rub it right above my fore arm (in the elbow pit area…is that even a location?!) and neck twice daily. Within two days I noticed a HUGE difference. My menstrual cycle started and my emotions began to balance out. A helpful web page with good information has been put out by Experience Essential Oils, I highly recommend checking it out!

Natural Supplements

After doing some research, my mom and I stumbled across Insulite Laboratories who’s main focus is helping women deal with PCOS by using nutraceuticals. Sticking to their routine of taking their natural supplements, eating healthy and exercising I noticed a change in my health once again. My period became regular and normalized to being once a month, weight loss became easier, and my emotions had less ups and downs. Working with them was easy and their informative supportive staff were able to give a support system I had yet to find. 

Paleo and PCOS

One of the biggest lifestyle changes that will benefit a women with PCOS is diet and exerciser. The paleo diet, high in protein, vegetables and low sugar fruits, helps reduce inflammation and naturally encourages weight loss by throwing out processed sugars (which encourage weight gain) and starchy carbohydrate rich foods such as pasta and bread. A focus on eating healthy fats such as avocados, animal fats, coconut oil, flax meal (just to name a few) encourage your body to get full and stay full longer thus curbing hunger causing you to eat less. Studies have shown that processed sugars can be triggers to many health related issues other than just PCOS and as American’s sugar is in almost every food we eat. Go read some labels in your fridge to see! In her post on fats we should eat, the Paleo Mom gives helpful tips for cooking with fat as well as foods to include in your diet.

Another helpful aspect of the paleo diet when talking about PCOS is that by limiting sugars, your own blood sugar levels will begin to balance out. Decreasing blood sugar spikes decreases the risk of acquiring diabetes which is one of the major concerns when dealing with PCOS. Two of the sweeteners allowed on a limited bases in the paleo diet are honey and maple sugar. Compared to their processed counterparts, these sweeteners have trace minerals that are valuable to your health. In an interesting article about sugar, The Paleo Mom notes that sugar is sugar at its core that that in general, we should limit our intake of all sugars, not just the processed ones.

Conclusion

I am by no means a doctor, dietician or naturopath, as with everything don’t just take my word for these supplements, oils and diet suggestions but be a lover of learning your body…you will never regret it!

 

 

Faces of Paleo : Brenda

Faces of Paleo, Health, Interviews, Paleo, Paleo Treats, Primal, Uncategorized, Whole Eating

As a blogger trying to find content that educates, encourages and gives you enjoyment I have decided to find people who have their own paleo journey and interview them for the benefit of my readers. Getting to know people at a personal level and find out about their health journey is such a fun experience for me as it shows that there isn’t one right way to “be healthy”. Yes, there are healthy choices, but the way we work those healthy choices into our daily lives will look differently for everyone. Because of that, I will occasionally have posts labeled “Faces of Paleo” that will be interactive in nature and something both you and I can learn and be encouraged by.

 

Today I want to introduce you to a sweet friend of mine who I met through church a few years back who’s name is Brenda. Her sweet personality, love for the Lord and more recently her embrace of eating paleo have encouraged a friendship between us that has been fun to see grow. I first learned of her decision to start eating paleo last winter when I noticed she was slimming down and looking quite healthy. When I asked Brenda what she was doing, her reply “I’m eating paleo, cutting out sugars and grains!” I was beyond excited and know you’ll enjoy what I learned from her in our time together.


1-Brenda

How long have you been eating paleo?
Since January 2nd 2014

What are your go to recipe sources?
Against All Grain for finding amazing recipes
   Practical Paleo for amazing resources, information and background for eating paleo

Why did you decide to start eating paleo?
My main reason for starting the paleo lifestyle was my health. I was diagnosed with PCOS (Poly Cycstic Ovarian Syndrome) through lab work as I had no major symptoms. Through research on how to treat PCOS naturally, I found the blog Against All Grain.

What have been the hardest foods to give up?
Cheese and specifically, cheese quesadillas. I was literally dreading giving up those.

What were the hardest parts of learning to cook paleo?
Figuring out meal plans for two people with different diet differences, one being paleo and the other eating a normal American diet. Also, having variety in the foods you eat.

What was your solution to cooking for two different palets?
If I made a dish that called for cheese, I would omit the cheese on half for me and put chesse on the other half for my husband.

What kind of sweetener did you find most useful and what treats were your favorite?
Maple syrup for my sweetner
Cobbler, scones and avocado pudding were my go to treats

What kind of things would you eat for snacks?
Almonds, fruit, carrots and cellery. My favorite was roasted almonds that I would flavor with cinnamon and nutmeg or Tuscan seasonings.

What has been the hardest thing about eating paleo?
Eating out as most restaurants don’t have paleo options. My solution – order food and have them take off the non-paleo food items.

Have you noticed a difference with your body?
Yes, my stomach went way…had little belly fat. It was replaced with more of a lean muscle tone (she supplemented her eating lifestyle with going to the gym 3 times a week which was less than she had been going before going paleo). In four months I lost 15 pounds.

Did you ever eat non paleo items?
I ate 95% paleo and the other 5% splurges would be beans a few times a month. I decided to just do it cold turkey!

Words of advice?
Forget what somethings is supposed to taste like and focus on finding “new” recipes that you like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Freedom in Living Healthy

Food, Health, My Story, Paleo, Personal, Primal, Travel, Whole Eating

I was recently asked why I had moved towards eating paleo. I realized many people probably think that the “Paleo Diet” is just another fad diet like the Atkins diet, South Beach Diet or Keto Diet. For me, what sets my eating habits apart from other diets is that I’ve taken on the view that this is a life style change, not just a lose weight get quick results eating plan. Because I’ve noticed just a vast difference in my health and body, I can tell you this way of life definitely works. Now, is it for everyone? Is there room to make it fit you and your family? By all means!

If your like me, coming to the realization that you can’t eat like the rest of society can be a difficult thing to accept. Over the last four years of my life – after I started realizing my health was suffering, I felt sick and tired many days, my skin was red and irritated and that doctors had no real solution to any of my problems, I come to the conclusion that a diet change was the answer.

   Knowing since I was young that dairy effected my stomach, that was obviously the first thing to go.Within the next two years, I decided to go on a six week missions trip to Albania where much of the food I ate had some component of carbohydrates/wheat products. I came home sick as a dog, exhausted, and ready for things to change.
    I quickly started eating a super strict diet, slept hours on end, and drank lots of water over the course of the rest of the summer – because of this, I lost 20 pounds and at some level felt more like a “normal”  – whoever can definite that for me, props to you! – person. Right after that summer, I left for 3.5 months to live and study abroad in Israel where again, though I ate healthier than when Albania, I still didn’t know exactly what bothered me and would eat hummus and pita almost every day. Coming home from Israel, through the encouragement of my mom, I started researching different eating lifestyles (yes, eating is a lifestyle, not just dieting off and on). With the encouragement of a close friend who was herself having some health issues, we both cut completely out of our diet such things as peanut butter, all wheat products, all sugars (even fruit), dairy products, and legumes (beans). Withing a week I was feeling immensely better. had more energy and no longer felt in a fog.
For the next year I bounced back and forth from eating carbs and products with wheat in them only to realize that every time I did, I felt sick and my skin would look like garbage. (You really are what you eat 😛 ). Finally, two summers ago, I decided I was fed up with this yo-yoing in  how I ate and started researching what was called the paleo lifestyle . Broken down, basically what I have selection from is ANY vegetables, meat, seeds and nuts, fruits, and occasionally (like once a day) I’ll sneak in a dairy product (super strict paleo eaters don’t even allow this). I know I had mentioned that dairy bothered me, but I’ve found that in all actuality I’m bothered by other foods more and that if I eat dairy in a very limited moderation, I can handle it just fine. If your wondering if I can still eat baked goods and yummy food, YES, I can! Many nuts and seeds can be made into flour and used as substitutes.
Through my continued exploration of eating paleo, I have felt better than ever before and I hope to share with you through this blog the freedom of getting in touch with your body and enjoying life more fully!

Paleo Lemon Bars – Recipe Review

Food, Grain Free, Health, Paleo, Paleo Treats, Recipe Reviews, Whole Eating
    I’ve decided to take a different route today and share with you a new favorite recipe I made this last week-end…paleo lemon bars! Before I started to change the way I eat, this was one of my most favorite desserts, so therefore, when I found a good substitute recipe, I was excited! I found the recipe on Pinterest and it linked me to this site Frugal By Choice, Cheap by Necessity. Unlike what I was used to in a lemon bar, this one has a really delicious custard like top. The lime juice kicks it up a notch and adds perfection to something already yummy! Next time I make this, I’m going to try and cut out some of the honey, make it a bit tarter, and see if it’s still good. No use eating extra sugar if it’s not needed!

 


 

I took this post from my blog I used over a year ago. When looking at this recipe it makes me smile. Lemon bars are a go to dessert for me, and let me tell you, I’ve tried more than one paleo recipe trying to mimic ‘the real thing’. This recipe is by far the most successful and I am not ashamed to say I could eat all of this in one sitting. If you like lemon pudding, my suggestion would be to just make the custard part of this dessert, top with whipped coconut cream and enjoy!

 

P.F. Changs //Paleo// Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Food, Paleo, Primal, Whole Eating

Crispy lettuce, savory chicken (or turkey), and healthy to boot! These lettuce wraps are by far one of my most favorite meals….and I think their flavor alone rivals the original from P.F. Changs. Once eaten, you’ll crave more!

Recipe*

16 Butter lettuce leaves
1 lb. Ground turkey
5 oz. mushrooms
1/3 cup scallions, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1T fresh ginger, minced
1T sesame oil
1/4 cup slivered almonds
3T Tamari
1T white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard (More to taste if needed. I think I’ve used up to 1 1/2 TBS. before. It adds a wonderful flavor)
1T Sriracha (or any hot sauce works)
1T raw honey
1/4 tsp sea salt

In a skillet, heat sesame oil on medium heat.  Add ground chicken.  Cook until almost done.
Add mushrooms, scallions, ginger and Tamari.  Cook until onions and mushrooms are limp.  Stir in garlic, almonds, white wine vinegar, mustard, Sriracha, honey and salt.
Serve the chicken mixture in a bowl with the lettuce cups on the plate.  Let your guests spoon the mixture in the center of the leaves and then hold like a soft taco to eat.
Enjoy!

 

*Original Recipe

**To make it 21DSD friendly, omit the honey!