Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Juice Recipe: Green Grapefruit Juice

So I'm on day 10 of my juice feast, and yesterday I had a quart of grapefruit juice in the morning. I was really enjoying the grapefruit and wanted to incorporate some greens into it, so I decided to experiment. I had a container of baby spinach in the fridge that was close to borderline, so I salvaged what I could out of it and ended up with approximately 10 - 15 spinach leaves. I threw those into the juicer along with 2 large kale leaves and a green apple. The grapefruit juice was already in the jar and when I added the green juice to it, it was so pretty I had to shoot it. Check it out!

Now doesn't that look delicious?! Eye candy to the raw foodist. It wasn't so pretty after I mixed it all up, but it sure tasted great! I was quite pleased with the refreshing taste.

Green Grapefruit Juice
1-2 grapefruits (2 cups), juiced
2-3 kale leaves*
small handful of spinach*
1 green apple

Use citrus juicer to juice grapefruit. Set juice aside.
Juice kale, spinach and apple. Add green juice to grapefruit juice.
Admire pretty color, then blend and enjoy!

*You can use a combination of kale and spinach or either one of them; however, if you choose to use a different green, be sure it's mild so as not to overpower the grapefruit.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Breathe Naturally

Clearing Congestion with Honey and Essential Oils

Wow!! This stuff really works!! My Naturopathic Doctor mixed up this concoction while I was sitting in his office struggling to breathe and told him how much my lungs hurt.  If you want to try a natural way to relieve chest or nasal congestion, have I got a recipe for you!

It's so simple it's ridiculous!  Just mix up raw local honey with essential oils of Frankincense, Lemon and Peppermint.  That's it!!  So easy, and tasty too ... like liquid candy canes. 

Once it's mixed up, you just scoop up a bit on the tip of a spoon and lick it off while breathing in the vapors. You can try a full teaspoon, but be prepared!  It's powerful!

During my bout with pharyngitis, bronchitis and asthma, I kept a mini Ramekin of this "honey" next to my bed and licked on it through the night whenever I started coughing or wheezing or just plain couldn't breathe. I am very impressed with how well it works, and I love the fact that it's all natural!  Here is the recipe.


1 tsp raw local honey
2 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil
2 drop of lemon essential oil
3 drops of peppermint essential oil

Mix well.

A friend recently sent me a recipe for natural Vick's Vapor Rub.  I may try to incorporate the honey recipe with the Vapor Rub one and see what I come up with. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Best Green Juice EVER!!

I posted this recipe back in 2011, but it merits another mention. This is, by far, the best green juice I have ever made/tasted.   It's so refreshing, I absolutely love it!  And so does my husband!  Now THAT is saying a LOT!!
I made a quart today because I just couldn't get enough of it.  Here's the recipe:

Apple Lime Green Juice
1 bunch of curly kale (depending on the size of the leaves, I would say a "bunch" of small leaves would be around 4-5. If leaves are large, than 2-3.)
4 Fuji apples
juice of 1/2 lime

Juice the kale and apples, then add the juice from the lime. Stir and enjoy!!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Spiritual and Mental Healing Through Fasting

If you spend any time on the internet – formerly known as the information super highway – you will quickly find yourself run over by information overload, especially in these tumultuous times with all the woes and scandals.

When I fast, I not only take a break from food, I also greatly limit the amount of time I spend feeding on internet news to feeding on God’s Word, praying and praising. By feeding my body with fresh juices, I nourish my body with life-giving nutrients and enzymes. By feeding my spirit with God’s word, I nourish my spirit with life-giving spiritual sustenance.

When my hunger for a more intimate and deeper relationship with God exceeds my hunger for food, it’s time to fast. Fasting unclogs the spirit from all the “static” of life enabling one a clear channel to spiritual awareness and hearing God’s voice.

Sometimes I get all caught up in the craziness of life and neglect my time with the Lord, but by redirecting my focus off food and the internet to spending time in meditation, prayer and reading the Word, my mind becomes sharp, I think more clearly, I’m calmer and more focused, I have an inner peace and enhanced spiritual connection. Fasting rejuvenates my mind, cleanses and heals my body, and recharges my spirit!

Fasting is like rebooting your immune system and enhancing the memory in your laptop and walking on water! Everyone should try it!  Even if just for one day.  Some people fast from everything except water.  Other fast from specific foods, like sugar.  This past summer I fasted by consuming just water the first day, the second day I added a slice of lemon or lime and a tsp of maple syrup to the water to give me energy, the third day, I had fresh juices.  It can be a simple 1-day fast or a moderate 3-day fast or a 21-day juice fast.  Whatever you choose will only promote health and healing.

“The best of all medicines is resting and fasting”
Benjamin Franklin 

Monday, January 7, 2013

21 Day Juice Fast - Starts TODAY!

Today kicks off my juice fast, or as some call it, Juice Feast!  That actually makes more sense since I'm not fasting from juice, but feasting on it!

For the next 21 days, I will be washing down handfuls of supplements with nothing but fresh juices.  Since I failed to post the update that I promised so long ago, here is a current photo in the event that I disappear.  Considering I'm starting this fast out at 120 pounds, three weeks of strictly juice is sure to diminish my stature.  And let me just say that I'm NOT doing this fast to lose weight because at 5'4" and wearing size 3 jeans, I'm quite content with my current weight.

I'm fasting for two reasons.  First, to detox and heal my body.

A few days after Thanksgiving, my asthma reared up and has been kicking my butt ever since.  When you do not do pharmaceuticals to control or maintain asthma, it can be very tricky, or should I say risky. At this point, I definitely need to detox in order to heal.  I have numerous food allergies and indulging in several wheat laden foods over the holidays was NOT a wise choice on my part.  Oh, but while the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak.   I learned a valuable lesson.  Sacrificing BREATHING is not worth corn meal dressing, sweet tater casserole, green bean casserole, or pumpkin pie.  At least NOT when it's prepared the SAD way ... that would be "Standard American Diet" way.  DId you know that most, if not all, diseases originate in the digestive tract?! Yessiree.  Sho enuf does!

Juice fasting has the ability to heal the body, and has been known to reverse food allergies. When we cook food over 116°F, living enzymes are destroyed by the heat, thereby making the food "dead".   When we consume dead food, our body has to expend energy and enzymes to digest the food.  When we drink freshly juiced fruits and veggies, the living enzymes are still present and they feed your cells, thereby healing the body.  Also, since the body has no need to expend energy or enzymes digesting the juice, all energy is directed towards healing the body.  It never ceases to amaze me how our bodies function.

The second reason is spiritual and mental healing which I'll discuss tomorrow. 

There are awesome "rawcipes" as I call them, that make amazingly delicious raw foods that mimic traditional meals.  The only drawback is the preparation time and steps necessary to achieve the final result.  When I have a hankering for a specific raw food, by the time I finish preparation (soaking, sprouting, dehydrating, etc.), my craving has subsided.  I take just a nibble or two, but I'm no longer in the mood for that particular food.  The bulk of the food sits there until I dispose of it.  Then I cry over the wasted $$$.  I just need to determine a way to anticipate my cravings a week in advance!  ha ha ha.

Today I started out with a new recipe called Green Magic that I found on Drew Canole's Juicing Vegetables page on FB. Well, it wasn't very "magical" for me. I took a sip and shuddered. By adding two extra Fuji apples and two very ripe pears, I succeeded in salvaging the juice. Actually, it turned out quite tasty.

Here is the recipe as it was listed on Drew's FB page:

It's worth a try.  You might like it as is.  I just needed some more sweetness to it.

So, off to get my "dinner" which is the modified version of Green Magic.  Doesn't this look delectable?!  Soooo yummy, I can hardly wait to eat have my dinner. 

Yes, I am being facetious, but because of the supplements, not the juice.  I am very excited about the fast and the subsequent benefits.  My last "juice feast" was March 2011 - I feasted the entire month - all 31 days.  I felt FANTASTIC because as a result of this feast, I was emancipated from Advair!

Cheers till tomorrow! 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A New Year ... A New Leaf

Okay, so I just realized that I blew off 2012!  I can't believe that I did not make a single post.  My bad!!  With this new year, I am committed to turning over a new leaf and getting back on track. My goal for 2013 is to post - at minimum - once a month, preferably more.

This blog started out as my journey back to rawesome health through raw foods; however, after reflecting on ALL the ways our immune systems are under attack from environmental toxins, genetically modified foods, pesticides, air pollution, chemicals in our water, etc., it occurred to me that eating a healthy diet was not enough. I needed to do more.

One of changes I've made was replacing commercial shampoos and conditioners, as well as commercial cleaning products with something natural, readily available and best of all, CHEAP!  It's a lot easier than one might think. 

The natural product I'm referring to is, of all things, BAKING SODA! It is AMAZING to me how many uses there are for baking soda besides just eliminating odors from your fridge.

For example, I replaced my commercial shampoo by combining baking soda and pure black soap.  I wish I could give you a recipe, but I make it different each time.  I would venture to guess that I probably use 1 part baking soda to two parts Pure Black Soap and about one or two Tbsp of water.  If you decide to try this, you also need to pay attention to how your hair and scalp react.  Initially I used equal parts of baking soda and black soap, but it was too alkaline and caused blemishes on my scalp, so I cut back to the current proportions that work well for me.

Double duty ... While I'm in the shower washing my hair, I sprinkle baking soda on my wet hand and rub down the glass shower enclosure. It does a great job getting the water stains off the glass!  Also, since I use a homemade sugar scrub that has coconut oil and almond oil, the floor of the shower stall gets rather slick, so I sprinkle baking soda on the floor and rub it around with my feet to cut the greasiness.

I've also replaced my store bought cleansers like Comet or Ajax with baking soda.  I keep it on the counter next to my kitchen sink in a clear shaker jar. You can get them fairly cheap at Walmart, Old Time Pottery and I've even seen them at the Dollar Store. Works great!

Another area baking soda does a fantastic job is cleaning the flat ceramic cook top!  Just be SURE your burners are cool.  I cleaned my cook top once and didn't realize two burners were still warm and the baking soda kinda cooked on and left a film.  Ended up having to use Windex to make the cook top shine again.  I suppose I could have used clear vinegar rather than Windex.

Baking soda gets tomato sauce or juice stains out of plastic containers. I also use it to scrub out my sink and on pots and pans.  If you burn the bottom of your pots, no problem! Add just enough water to cover the bottom of a dish or bowl, then add approximately a 1/4 cup of baking soda and let it settle.  Set your pot in the bowl or dish so that the bottom of your pot is soaking in the baking soda/water solution.  Let soak for about an hour or so. Then remove the pot and use a plain scouring pad with baking soda on it to scrub off any residue.

Another concern is the amount of pesticides and toxins on fresh produce. Since I consume tons of fresh produce, it's essential that it be as clean as possible. I typically soak fruits, veggies and greens, such as apples, pears, cucumbers, carrots, celery, kale,spinach, etc, in water with a squirt of grapefruit seed extract. But with apples and especially cucumbers that always have that slimy nasty feel to them, I scrub them with baking soda after their soak.

Baking soda is also a great deodorizer. Sprinkle some on your carpets and let sit a while before vacuuming. Sprinkle some down the garbage disposal. Sprinkle some in your dishwasher every so often when you run a load of dishes.

OH!! And if you have those awful front-loading washers that mold up real bad like mine does, I discovered if I add a cup of baking soda to each load of laundry, it will eliminate the mold that builds up under the rubber gasket around the opening. Yippee!!  I also leave the washer door open when I'm done washing clothes till the washer has had a chance to dry out.  Otherwise, you're trapping moisture in the washer if you close the door immediately after washing and this creates an optimal environment for mold to grow.

These are just a few of the ways to reduce the amount of toxins in your environment while saving some hard earned cash! I buy the 12# bags of baking soda and keep one in the laundry room and one in the bathroom.

Some people add lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide to baking soda for cleaning, but I haven't tried that yet as using it straight has worked well for me.

Who would have ever imagined baking soda would be so useful for so many different things. I love getting back to basics.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Benefits of Grapes

Wow.  Not sure what happened but this post was completed in March of 2011 and I just now (1.4.2013!!) realized it was never posted!  Since it's complete and contains valuable information, I'm posting it ...  a wee bit late.  As they say, Better late than never!  Happy New Year!
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Since spring is only three weeks away, I thought I'd do some spring cleaning. I started a 30-day juice fast on the first of March and I've been cruising along nicely. My Naturopathic Doctor told me that I could have all the grapes I want during my fast. I thought that was rather odd, so I searched online for the benefits of grapes and was amazed at what I learned. Learning is such a wonderful thing!

I had no idea that grapes had so many health benefits. There were two items in particular that stood out to me when I read the list… asthma and cataracts.

One of the side effects of taking inhalant steroids to control asthma - which I've been on for a number of years for that very reason - is cataracts. While I am trying to wean myself off of them and only take the steroids two times a week, it doesn't help my vision any when I have steroid-induced cataracts. The reason I went to my ND was to get his help in devising a plan to get me off the steroids for good, and to help me reverse the cataracts. So that was exciting to discover.

I found the following information at OrganiFacts.Net What a great site! Check it out.

Grapes can be beneficial for the following:

Asthma: Due to its eminent therapeutic value, grapes can be used for cure of asthma. In addition to it, the assimilatory power of grapes is also higher. It increases the moisture present in lungs.
Heart diseases: Grapes increase the nitric oxide levels in the blood, which prevents blood clots thereby reducing the chances of heart attacks. In addition the antioxidant present in grapes prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which blocks the blood vessels.
Migraine: Ripe grape juice is an important home remedy for curing migraine. It should be taken early in the morning, without mixing additional water
Constipation: Grapes are very effective in overcoming constipation. They are considered as a laxative food, as they contain organic acid, sugar and cellulose. They also relieve chronic constipation by toning up intestine and stomach.
Indigestion: Grapes play an important role in dyspepsia. They relieve heat and cure indigestion and irritation of the stomach. They are also preferred as they constitute a light food.
Fatigue: Light and white grape juice replenishes the iron content present in the body and prevents fatigue. Though, the dark grape juice might not give an iron boost and on the other hand, decrease the iron levels. Drinking grape juice also provides you with instant energy. The anti-oxidants present in grapes also provide the needed boost to your immune system.
Kidney disorders: Grapes can substantially reduce the acidity of the uric acid and helps in the elimination of the acid from the system, thereby reducing the work pressure of kidneys
• Breast cancer: Through a latest study, it has been discovered that purple colored Concord grape juice helps in preventing breast cancer. Significant reduction in mammary tumor mass of laboratory rats was seen after they were fed the grape juice on the experimental basis.
• Alzheimer’s disease: Resveratrol, a beneficial polyphenol present in grapes reduces the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Studies suggest that grapes can enhance brain health and stall the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.
• Macular degeneration: Grapes can prevent the age related loss of vision or macular degeneration. Three servings of grapes a day can reduce the risks of macular degeneration by over 36 %.
• Prevents cataract: Flavonoids present in grapes have antioxidants, which can reduce and fight the damage caused by free radicals such as cataract apart from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and age related problems.
• Blood cholesterol: Grapes contain a compound called pterostilbene, which has the capacity to bring down cholesterol level. Saponins present in grape skin can also prevent the absorption of cholesterol by binding with it.
• Antibacterial activity: Red grapes have strong antibacterial and antiviral properties and can protect you from infections. They have a strong antiviral property against poliovirus and herpes simplex virus.
• Anticancer properties: Grapes are found to have strong anti cancer properties due to the anti-inflammatory effect of resveratrol present in grapes. It is particularly effective in colorectal cancer and breast cancer. Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins present in grapes have properties of an anti-proliferate and can inhibit the growth of cancer causing agents. Grape juice not just prevents the risk of cancer but also suppresses the growth and propagation of cancer cells. The pigments contained in grapes enhance the overall immunity of the body.

Alrighty then ... I’m off to eat some grapes!  Maybe juice some up too.

UPDATE: As of March 2012, I no longer have cataracts *AND* the last time I had Advair was 2/28/2011!! WOOOHOOO!!