Monthly Archives: October 2012

Juicing – nutrition of fruits and veggies for ultimate health boost!

Hi Y’all,

Here is a list of the vegetables and fruits I juice most with and their respective nutritional and health profiles.  Happy Juicing!

Swiss chard – protects from colon cancer, maintains good bone density, protects kidneys of diabetes, anti-cataracts.  Swiss chard is a highly nutrient-dense food. A meager 19 calories (three cups) contains 122% of your daily need of vitamin A, 50% of vitamin C, and 10% of iron. Swiss chard is also very high in Vitamin E, K, B6, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and fiber when eaten. It’s a good source of zinc, folate and thiamin.

Kale –  benefits eyesight, reduces risk of stroke, protects from coronary artery disease, potent antioxidant, reduces risk of cancer.  These leaves are a concentrated powerhouse of nutrition. They’re a rich source of vitamin K, beta-carotene, vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin, and an excellent source of calcium. An important note: because of kale’s high vitamin K content, people taking anticoagulants such as warfarin should avoid this food. Only 50 calories of kale contain 200% of your daily requirement of vitamin C, 308% of vitamin A and 14% of your daily need of calcium. Kale is also a good source of iron, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese

Celery – protects the cardiovascular system, reduces blood pressure, reduces migraines, reduces risk of cancer.  Celery is a very good source of vitamin C and fiber when eaten, and a good source of folic acid, potassium, and vitamins B1 and B6. The salty taste comes from celery’s good supply of sodium, which, balanced with potassium, provides the perfect after-workout drink, replacing depleted electrolytes and offsetting muscle cramps and fatigue. Celery contains power coumarin compounds; these phytochemicals have been shown to be effective in cancer prevention. These compounds also lower blood pressure, improve the vascular system, and decrease the suffering of migraines.

Cucumber – anti-aging, diuretic, good for complexion, lowers cholesterol leveles, improves nail and hair strength.  A good source of vitamin A, C, and K. Also a good source of phosphorus, pantothenic acid, manganese, magnesium and potassium.  Cucumbers contain powerful compounds called sterols, which, as with so many plant foods, are mostly concentrated in the skin. Sterols have been shown to block the absorption of dietary cholesterol in the colon. Cucumbers are also an excellent source of silicon. The body uses this essential mineral as one of the building blocks for connective tissue, which includes muscles, bone and ligaments. But what has made this mineral known as “the beauty mineral” is its ability to improve skin, nails and hair. Less recognized is silicon’s important role in the reduction of disorders like insomnia, atherosclerosis and tuberculosis.

Mustard greens – Fresh mustard greens are an excellent source of several vital anti-oxidants and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, carotenes as well essential minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, and manganese.  The greens are supposed to be one of the highest among leafy vegetables which provide vitamin K. 100 g of fresh leaves contain about 497 mcg or about 500% of daily requirement of vitamin K 1 (phylloquinone). Vitamin K has found to have potential role in bone mass building function by promoting osteo-trophic activity in the bone. It also has established role in Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.  Regular consumption of mustard greens in the diet is known to prevent arthritis, osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases, asthma and colon and prostate cancers.  Mustard greens are rich source of anti-oxidants flavonoids, indoles, sulforaphane, carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin. Indoles, mainly di-indolyl-methane (DIM) and sulforaphane have proven benefits against prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers by virtue of their cancer cell growth inhibition, cytotoxic effects on cancer cells.  Fresh leaves are also very good source of folic acid. 100 g provide about 187 mcg (about 47% of RDA) of folic acid. This water-soluble vitamin has an important role in DNA synthesis and when given before and early pregnancy help prevent neural tube defects in the baby.  Like spinach, reheating of mustard green leftovers may cause conversion of nitrates to nitrites and nitrosamines by certain bacteria that thrive on prepared nitrate-rich foods. These poisonous compounds may be harmful to health.  Mustard greens may also contain goitrogens, which may interfere with thyroid hormone production and can cause thyroxin hormone deficiency in individuals with thyroid dysfunction.  Mustards contain oxalic acid, a naturally occurring substance found in some vegetables, which may crystallise as oxalate stones in the urinary tract in some people. It is therefore, people with known oxalate urinary tract stones are advised to avoid eating vegetables belong to brassica family.

Beets and beet greens – anti-inflammatory, feeds and strengthens the gallbladder and liver, protects from heart disease, reduces risk of cancer, therapeutic in treatment of cancer and leukemia.  Beets contain calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, choline, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Beets are also high in minerals that strengthen the liver and gall bladder, and are the building blocks for blood corpuscles and cells. Beet greens are excellent for salads and juicing. Just 22 calories of beet greens contain 14% of our daily requirement for iron, 127% of vitamin A, 50% of vitamin C, and more calcium per calorie than milk.  Over fifty years ago, Dr. Alexander Ferenczi of Hungary began treating inoperable cancer patients with a simple diet of organic beet juice and shredded raw beets. Amazingly, 21 out of 22 patients experienced a reduction of tumor size and were able to gain weight. Recently, it has been shown that beet extract acts as a powerful inhibitor of liver, lung and skin tumors in mice.   Famous for their ability to cleanse the blood, treat infections and eliminate parasites, beets also contain betaine, which is able to detoxify the damaging amino acid homocysteine, which has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease.  Beet greens are a good source of carotenoids, which help in the prevention of all types of cancers. They are also high in manganese, an important mineral for brain function.

Lettuce – body deodorizer, builds hemoglobin.  A minuscule 14 calories (85g) of Romaine will provide 148% of your daily need of vitamin A, 34% of vitamin C and 5% of iron. Romaine is also an excellent source of vitamin K, thiamin, folate, potassium, and manganese, and a good source of riboflavin, calcium, vitamin B6, copper, and magnesium.  The American Institute for Cancer Research has identified Romaine, among other greens, as containing cancer-inhibiting cartenoids. The mix of sulfur, chlorine, silicon, and B complex in Romaine contributes to hair growth, healthy skin, and defense against lung cancer. Let’s not forget the energizing and blood-rebuilding chlorophyll found in Romaine, especially the dark outer leaves.

Lemon – antioxidant, detoxifier, dissolves gallstones, reduces risk of cancer.  Lemons are very high in vitamin C. In fact, only 1 cup of lemon juice, at 61 calories, has 187% of your daily need of this powerful antioxidant, and is also a good source of folate and potassium.  During fasting, lemon juice has a tremendous ability to dissolve mucus and scour toxins from the cellular tissue. They are also an excellent diuretic. The phytochemical limonene has been shown to be effective in dissolving gallstones and protecting from all kinds of cancers. The greatest concentration of limonene is found in the white pith of the lemon.

Dandelion greens – detoxifier, diuretic, detoxifies and cleanses the digestive tract.  Only 45 calories of dandelion (two cups) provide a whopping 203% of your daily need of vitamin A, 58% of vitamin C, 17% of iron, and a surprising 20% of calcium. Dandelion is an excellent source of vitamins K, E, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, potassium, manganese, and fiber when eaten, and a good source of folate, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper.  Dandelion has more of the antioxidant, vitamin A, than carrots have. In addition, this super-weed contains a phytochemical in the guaianolides family called taraxacin, which is now believed to be largely responsible for dandelion’s digestive tonic effects, and also has antiseptic, expectorant, and germicidal properties.  The use of dandelion as a medicine is widespread throughout Europe, used as a diuretic, and to help improve the functions of the kidneys, liver, and digestive system.

Ginger – anti-flatulence, improves osteoarthritis, prevents motion sickness, reduces nausea and vomiting, relieves morning sickness.  Ginger is a good source of vitamin C, copper, manganese, and potassium, contains powerful antioxidants called gingerals that are able to inhibit the formation of inflammatory compounds in the body, and also have direct anti-inflammatory effects. People who suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis find their pain level is reduced when consuming ginger on a regular basis. Clinical studies have shown that 75% of arthritis patients and 100% of those who suffer with muscular pain experienced relief and a reduction in swelling. Most of these studies used dehydrated and powdered ginger root, but fresh ginger is even more potent because it contains active enzymes. Just a ¼-inch slice a day is enough.  alleviating the painful symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders, including flatulence. Recent studies are revealing that the volatile components in ginger is even able to prevent motion sickness—especially sea sickness—and is more effective than the popularly prescribed drug, Dramamine. Ginger absorbs gastrointestinal toxins, hormones, and stomach acids, making it an effective treatment for the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy.

Parsley – breath freshener, helps body odor, detoxification, nerve stimulant, improves energy.  A highly concentrated green that reads like a multivitamin with the added benefit of powerful phytochemicals, just one cup of parsley contains a mere 22 calories, 133% of your required daily intake of vitamin C, 101% of vitamin A,  and 21% of your daily need of iron. This garnish is also a very good source of fiber, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese. Parsley is a good source of protein, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, zinc, phosphorus, and pantothenic acid.  Parsley is one of the highest sources of life-giving chlorophyll, which acts like iron to oxidize the blood. It is a cleanser of the kidneys, liver, and urinary tract. Parsley is effective for upset stomachs by stimulating digestive enzymes, and is excellent for the colon by encouraging the peristaltic wave in the intestines. Parsley has long been used as a nerve stimulant and, although there may not be any studies to support their claim, avid juicers the world over call this green juice an “energy drink,” testifying that adding a generous supply of parsley to their veggie juice enhances workouts, and is a healthy alternative to Gatorade

Apples – anti-inflammatory, protects against prostate cancer, anti-viral properties, increase bowel activity, protects against lung cancer, detoxifies and cleanses digestive tract.  Apples are a good source of vitamin C, and high in pectin and other fibers.  Actually, apples are not the best source of minerals or vitamins compared to other fruit, so where did the old adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” come from anyway? Much of the apple’s health-promoting power is found in the skin. Studies show that the flavonoid quercetin, found within the apple’s skin, is a potent free radical that is able to kill viruses like herpes and boost the fighting capability of other antiviral compounds. Quercetin is used clinically to ease inflammatory conditions including prostatitis, pancreatitis, gout; and allergic problems such as hives, hay fever and asthma. A new study just coming out from the Mayo Clinic is showing promise that quercetin can protect from prostate cancer.  Taking a quercetin supplement is ineffective; researchers emphasize that the flavonoids found in apples function best when combined with naturally occurring compounds when eating other fruit. Apples are also high in pectin, which turns to a gel in the intestine, helping to remove toxins and stimulate bowel activity.

Spinach – anti-cataracts, good for complexion, promotes healing, anti-inflammatory, reduces risk of cancer, protects from macular degeneration.  Spinach is high in vitamin A and C, and is  one of only four vegetables that are also high in vitamin E. It’s also a good source of choline, calcium, iron, potassium and folic acid. Spinach is surprisingly high in protein per calorie. Vegan websites that argue the superiority of a total raw diet tout the virtues of raw vegetables as good sources of protein. But when looking at raw vegetables as a protein source, it should be noted that leafy greens are very light in calories, therefore it would take an enormous amount of chewing to chalk up your daily required intake of protein. For instance, the 30 percent protein in spinach seems impressive; however, a cup only has one gram of protein and a mere seven calories. You would have to eat ten cups to make up ten grams. But this is where the juice machine shines. Juicing ten cups of spinach will produce about a cup of liquid spinach, which then can be easily added to a daily ration of veggie juice. Talk about a glass of concentrated nutrition.  pinach has 14 times the iron per calorie than red meat. It is true that the iron in meat has a greater bioavailability than plant foods, but for most of us, eating lots of raw green veggies will solve any iron deficiency, especially when released from their fibers in juice form and with the help of added vitamin C-rich lemon.  Ophthalmologist Steven Pratt of the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California, tells all of his patients to eat their spinach, proclaiming, “Eat it raw. Eat it cooked. Eat it any way you can.” Spinach is one of the highest sources of eye-protecting, cancer-fighting lutein. Lutein has been shown to play a crucial role in protecting against age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness among the elderly. In 1994, Dr. Johanna Seddon of Harvard University was the first to demonstrate the ability of lutein in fighting macular degeneration. In her study, participants who ate high amounts of lutein-rich foods decreased their risks of macular degeneration by an incredible 43 percent. And the eye protection doesn’t stop there. Another recent study at Harvard has shown that women who ate spinach two or more times weekly lowered their risk of cataracts by 30 to 38 percent. Two powerful antioxidants, glutathione and alpha lipoic acid, are also found in spinach.  According to Lester Packer, professor of Molecular cell biology at the University of California, glutathione is “nature’s master antioxidant,” and is the primary antioxidant in the cells. It protects DNA from oxidation, detoxifies pollutants and carcinogens, boosts the immune system, aids healthy cell replication, and reduces chronic inflammation. The body is able to produce glutathione, but often we don’t make enough, and as we age, we produce even less. Glutathione can be found in spinach, asparagus, avocadoes and strawberries. An important note: cooking will destroy all the glutathione in food.  Lester Packer calls alpha lipoic acid a “superantioxidant.” Most other antioxidants are either water soluble or fat soluble, but alpha lipoic acid is both, which means it is able to defend every type of human cell from oxidative assaults.  Spinach is also important due to its chlorophyll content, and also supplies an abundance of nutrients such as oxalic acid, which is beneficial in the cleansing and healing of the intestinal tract.

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My background in food, nutrition and health

In February 2007, my health began to decline.  You may ask, “Well, where was your health at this point?”  Great question.  I was a young 20-something with a constant flow of energy who ate anything she wanted and never got sick.  My health allowed me to play many sports and pull all nighters without the use of caffeine or stimulants when necessary (I was a procrastinator and would leave term papers until the very end).  This is where my health was the beginning of 2007.

So my taken-for-granted health began it’s decline in February 2007.  My health continued this downward spiral almost taking my life.  No doctor could save me.  I saw over 26 doctors, including specialists in infectious disease, rheumatoid arthritis, neurology, dermatology, endocrinology , acupuncture, chiropractic medicine and integrative internal medicine.  I saw these specialists and more in a 2 year period that spanned several states, and not one of them could pinpoint what was going on.  They all agreed something was wrong and that it was only worsening with various pill treatments, and various therapies did not seem to help.  During this time I lost most of my friends, became distant from my family as I was unable to communicate what was going on, mainly due to embarrassment.  I lost my ability to keep up with any of my hobbies, sports and exercise.

I was in denial of my illness for quite sometime.  I continued working until I no longer could trust that my legs would not give out from under me without warning, or that my mind would not go “black” and within a few seconds I would no longer recognize where I was or what I was doing.  I would act like I was extremely busy to friends and family so they wouldn’t judge me perhaps thinking I was a hypochondriac.  I would then wonder to myself, “Am I crazy?  Is this all mental?  Am I imaging the layers of skin peeling from my body and my piercing blue lips in the mirror?”

I would go from being so cold trying to hide my  blue lips and piling on mounds of winter clothing in 80 degree temperatures, and then later that day being so hot that filling my bathtub with ice and lying in it seemed like the only way to cool down.  There were times when I would begin to stand up after being seated and fall right to the floor as my legs gave out.  There were periods of blackness where my eyesight would fade to a blackish-grey color not allowing me to see.  Every moment of my life was filled with pain and uncertainty.

During these trying times I gave everything I had to stay positive.  I decided I would stop pounding on doctors doors for answers only to leave their offices in tears of frustration.  I would turn to myself and my body for answers.  I would devote every morsel of energy I had to change the path my health was on.

I spent most of my time researching how to fix the multitude of problems I was experiencing that were leaving my body and mind crippled.   After 3 years of research, trial and error experimentation with alternative therapies/treatments and a complete diet adjustment, I was seeing great results.  I am a true believer that food is your lifeblood.  If we feed our bodies garbage, this will filter through all our bodily systems and wreak havoc upon our bodies and minds, eventually bringing us to our demise.

Learning the inner workings of how the human body digests and utilizes food, along with nutritional knowledge of foods, herbs and spices, has given me the ability to heal myself.  This knowledge is something so powerful, important and vital to each and every one of us; I want to share it to make everyone aware they can take their health into their own hands.

Over the last 3 years, I have coached dozens of people to understanding how food affects their health.  I have helped those looking to lose weight, diabetics, people with food allergies and people who just do not feel right.  These people have been able to take this information to achieve the best (happiest, healthiest) person they can be.  This coaching has allowed me to help many people.  But I want to help more.  I want the average American to know about the intertwining of food and health.  I want everyone to know a healthy breakfast is not Starbucks oatmeal, a bagel with cream cheese, an english muffin with peanut butter or pop tarts.  I want everyone to know that a bagel with cream cheese will impact how well he/she will function throughout the day and there is a domino-like effect of bad food choices.

In trying to help as many people as possible, I asked myself, “What is one of the worst foods the average person eats regularly?”  My answer: desserts.  Many people love their desserts.  Whether the dessert is the flour-less chocolate cake after dinner, the blueberry muffin at Starbucks with the 2pm pick-me-up or the fruit snack snagged from the vending machine, these foods are all less than ideal for you!

That is when I hit the kitchen and began experimenting with real foods to create real desserts.  I use only the purest ingredients, meaning no artificial anything, no preservatives, no fillers, no additives, no genetically modified foods (GMOs), no ingredients containing MSG and I use organic whenever possible.  During my research, testing and experience, I have noticed that many people feel much better without dairy in their diets.  Therefore, you will not find dairy in any of the desserts I bake.  I do not use any animal products or by-products in my baking, so no eggs, cheese, butter, gelatin, honey, etc.

Through research, my personal experience and clients’ experiences I have realized sugar is a food to steer clear of.  Yes, even unrefined, unprocessed, all natural sugar.  This includes agave nectar, honey, molasses, unrefined cane sugar, brown rice syrup and pure maple syrup.  Of course, you will have sugars present in your diet, but my concern is with eliminating sugars from the dessert portion of the diet.  This also includes all artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols and food additives, such as maltodextrin (Stevia in the Raw) and dextrose (PureVia) .   All of these artificial sweeteners are commonly used to sweeten sugar-free foods or no sugar-added foods.  Sugar alcohols, such as maltitol, sorbitol, erythritol (Truvia) and xylitol cause gastrointestinal distress with cramping, diarrhea and flatulence.  Food additives such as maltodextrin and dextrose are derived via partial hydrolysis from starch (corn) and are absorbed as rapidly as glucose.  Since none of these are appealing to me and I stick to the “pure” ingredient guideline, I do not use any of these in my baking.

My journey to find the most pure ingredients to use in my baking has taken me to local farms, farmers markets and to the Natural Products Expo in Baltimore.  Yes, I have developed many recipes and baked goods that I am very content with, but I continue to research the latest health/nutritional developments so I may incorporate my findings into my recipes.  My goal is to deliver a variety of delicious healthy muffins that will make you feel great and not feel a moment of guilt afterwards (well, unless you eat a dozen muffins in a sitting…).

RealFoodsLady

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Have you been able to find the perfect dessert?

The reason I ask you to think about your perfect dessert is because this may not be something you have ever thought about.   No seriously.  You may never have COMPLETELY thought about your ideal dessert in its entirety.  I’m talking about including not only the taste and other sensory aspects, but also the nutritional components.  You may never have idealized this food because it simply does not exist.  For example, there is not a gooey, chocolatey, crunchy, no sugar, decent amount of fiber and protein, artificial and preservative-free, not going to widen my waistline dessert which is made from pure unadulterated ingredients.   Look around bakeries and grocery stores – the only sugar free items are filled with artificial sweeteners, or (my favorite) the “natural” sugar alcohols that cramp your digestive tract and send you running to the bathroom.  Perhaps this is why you have never mentally created your perfect treat – because it is simply not possible.

Well after 10 years of searching out an ideal dessert for myself that I could indulge in without feeling guilty afterwards (or feeling sick), I was beyond fed up.  Don’t get me wrong, I love having fruit as a snack.  But fruit does not fulfill this craving I speak of.  At this point in my life (about  2 years ago), I had enough motivation and drive behind me to begin my journey into producing my ideal dessert.

Obviously what I want is going to be different from the next Suzie-Q.  But see, I have several food intolerances therefore, if I make a dessert that is great and I am able to eat, most likely you will be able to enjoy it as well.

My tall order was as such: real food ingredients, nothing artificial, preservative-free, dairy-free, egg-free, 2 grams of sugar or less per item, no sugar alcohols, no additives, non-GMO ingredients, no animal products or by-products.  When I was able to produce delicious muffins, cookies, cakes and cupcakes that fit these guidelines, I challenged myself to including desserts that were gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and raw.

This feat was accomplished over the last 2 years through diligent research of health and medical journals, cooking and baking books, trial and error experimentation and taste-testing groups.  I am very pleased that I am able to produce these fantastic, healthy  and nutritious desserts!  Just because it doesn’t exist does not mean it cannot exist.  You can either hope and dream that one day you will be able to enjoy what you really want, or you can accept the challenge and dive in.

After my success, I wanted to share what I thought to be truly unbelievable treats!  I began giving friends, family and colleagues desserts as gifts.  One thing led to another and soon enough I was receiving requests for various desserts.  These desserts are particularly perfect for diabetics.  The sweetener I use is the stevia plant.  Unlike Truvia, Stevia in the Raw and many other stevia-blended sweeteners, the stevia extract I use has no additives or artificial ingredients.  There is no MSG – yep I said MSG, but that is a topic for another post.  You see, during the processing of many food products MSG is added along the line.  Well, not in my food.

So I will leave you with this question – what is your ideal dessert?  Please let me know!

Real Foods Lady

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Blue Print Cleanse Experience 2012

I have decided to detox my body and mind using the Blue Print Cleanse 3 day excavation cleanse.  For those of you unfamiliar with BluePrintCleanse, they are a great juicing company based in Manhattan that provides 3 different types of cleanses, which provide 6 juices each day.  You are able to customize how many days you wish to cleanse too.  They do ship nationwide now and I highly recommend using them if you do not have a local place that can provide this service to you.

I have done several juice cleanses over the last 6 years, some of which were my own.  I do not recommend juicing on your own for the first time juice cleanse.  it is very time consuming and expensive as you will need to purchase a juicer and pounds of organic vegetables.  then add in the time it takes to make these juices…well, if you’re patient you may be able to swing it without getting completely frustrated and reaching for food.

I decided to do the BPC now because I have started to see bad eating habits slip into my routine that need to be broken.  It’s not that I’m eating unhealthy foods, rather I’m eating right before bed and waking in the middle of the night to find something quick to eat (usually frozen bananas).  These habits are wearing me down mainly because it is very disruptive to proper sleep.  This cleanse will definitely help whip my routine back in line.

BPC sent the juices to me via overnight FedEx which I received on Wednesday at 10:30am.  I hadn’t eaten anything that morning assuming I would start day 1 immediately.  I’m happy to say I did start that Wednesday and the first day went fairly well.  I did notice an increase in energy and happiness after my second juice that day.  I was able to get a great workout in during the afternoon.  I did end up drinking juices 4-6 a little too close in proximity as I started juice 4 at 6pm and finished juice 6 (mmmmm, tastes like rice pudding!) at 9pm.  BPC recommends waiting at least an hour between juices.

When the presidential debate was over I thought “ok, time for bed” even though I knew I wanted something more.  I was not hungry.  It was more that I wanted to eat something to celebrate my excitement over the debate.  But I kept it together and went into bed.

Well by 12:22pm I was awake scouring my fridge and pantry for food, which I made sure to clear out prior to the cleanse.  I did happen to have a cup of almond milk and felt somewhat fulfilled as I headed back to bed. At 2am I was up again.  This time I really wanted food.  I grabbed my Muir Glen salsa and headed to bed with it.  I ended up eating a fork full of the salsa and then slept soundly.

Day 1 down and I’d rate 7/10.  On to Day 2!

I felt OK waking up and not eating anything except the juice at 6am and the day was on!  It’s now 1pm and I feel good.  I’ve had 3 juices and will be enjoying my cayenne lemonade shortly.  The one complaint I do have about BPC is the addition of agave in the lemonade and cashew milk.   Perhaps BPC would allow that customization…

I will wrap up the last 2 days of my detox and post how the reintroduction of food goes over.

Ok, I’m done with my 3.5 day juice cleanse and I have to say it went so well that I wanted to extend another day or 2!  I was only able to continue juicing (not using BPC on day 4 but the market juice from Protein Bar in Chicago) until 7pm on day 4 because I had a birthday dinner and had to eat the delicious kale salad I had been thinking about for a few days.

The last we spoke, I was midway through day 2.  Well day 2 wrapped up super nicely and included a great workout.  No night cravings, and felt great the morning of day 3.  I had an exuberant amount of energy while at the office.  I was surprised at how fulfilled and how little I thought about food.

Overall, this cleanse was a success and definitely broke my unhealthy routine!

If you are considering doing a cleanse for the first time, please take the time and effort to PREPARE for the cleanse!  I know too many people who schedule a juice cleanse for the 1st time and are eating fried “fill in the blank” and alcohol the night before the cleanse begins. This is a waste of the effort and money put towards the cleanse, especially if it is your first time.  BPC gives detailed information pertaining to preparation.  Not only can you be assured you are purchasing the best ingredient laden cleanse I have yet to come across, but the folks at BPC are so helpful.

Feel free to ask questions!  If you are in the Chicago area and are considering a local cleanse, ask me about it because most likely I’ve tried it!

Real Foods Lady

 

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Quality of our food

If you pay attention to labels on foods, you notice many labels some you probably are not familiar with.  How are we supposed to keep up with all the labeling rules and regulations and what each means?  And of course rules our government makes constantly change, so how to then keep up with changes?  There is a lot of homework involved in understanding what you are eating that no schooling prepares you for.

Lately there has been some talk about GMOs and I have been happy to see this mainly because the majority of the American public is unfamiliar with GMOs.  Genetically Modified Organisms are currently being discussed because proposition 37 will be voted on this coming November in California.  This proposition will determine if food manufacturers will need to divulge via labeling if there food products are made using GMOs.  Wait one minute there.  So you are telling me that we are being sold genetically modified foods and are completely unaware of this currently?  Yes, indeed my friends.  So the majority of the American public go to their local grocery store and purchase fresh (natural) corn.  Or I should say the American public go to their local grocery store and BELIEVE they purchase fresh (natural) corn.  Unless this is organic corn, most likely this is GMO corn.  Then you may think, “Well, how bad could genetically modified corn be?  It’s still made from corn”. Let’s start by looking at what exactly GMO means.  The definition of GMO biotech giant Monsanto uses on its own website is “Plants or animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that are not naturally theirs. In general, genes are taken (copied) from one organism that shows a desired trait and transferred into the genetic code of another organism.”  What I take away from this screams unnatural.  This has the potential to unleash new food allergies due to crossbreeding.

Many scientists around the globe are very against GMOs and have voiced their concerns through the Open Letter from World Scientists to All Governments Concerning GMOs.  They’re concerns are as follows:

  • The scientists are extremely concerned about the hazards of GMOs to biodiversity, food safety, human and animal health, and demand a moratorium on environmental releases in accordance with the precautionary principle.
  • They are opposed to GM crops that will intensify corporate monopoly, exacerbate inequality and prevent the essential shift to sustainable agriculture that can provide food security and health around the world.
  • They call for a ban on patents of life-forms and living processes which threaten food security, sanction biopiracy of indigenous knowledge and genetic resources and violate basic human rights and dignity.
  • They want more support on research and development of non-corporate, sustainable agriculture that can benefit family farmers all over the world.

Check out http://www.i-sis.org.uk/list.php for more information.

If GM foods were something that was truly nothing, meaning of no potential health threat to a population, I ask why is GM food labeling required in 40 developed and developing countries, including Russia and China?  Also if these were not a big deal, why are the large companies producing GM foods spending billions to campaign against the labeling of GMOs via Proposition 37?  It doesn’t take a food scientist to figure this out.

So what can you do to assure safety in your food?  First, know the facts.  According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 88 percent of corn and 94 percent of soybeans grown in America are genetically modified.  In addition to corn and soy, biotech companies have successfully gained patents for genetically modified sugar beets to make sugar, and alfalfa (hay) to feed to livestock.  Nearly all of these wind up on your dinner plate in the form of processed foods or in the meat and dairy products made from animals fed genetically modified grain.  Understand that ingredients made from genetically modified crops, or GMOs, such as corn, soy, canola, and even cotton exist in approximately 70 percent of the processed foods on store shelves, including nearly all foods advertised as “natural”.

There are free apps that will give you up-to-date information about GMOs and brands that do not use GMOs.  Take caution when grocery shopping and ESPECIALLY when eating out.  Any fast food in America and I believe you are asking for trouble.  Do your research before going.  Do not be afraid to ask about GMOs, organics and MSG (yes, MSG!) in your food.  MSG is everywhere and under many different names, but that is a topic for another day.

Take care of yourself and fight for your right to know what you eat!

RealFoodLady

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