|January 28, 2014|
So I finally broke down and bought a juicer. I love my Vitamix but some times you just want a juice. There are definitely pros and cons on both sides of the juicing-blending spectrum. Since I bought my juicer, I really can’t say which one I like better.
Blending vs. Juicing
When you juice, most of the fiber is stripped from the fruit. However, with the lack of fiber, fresh juice requires minimal digestion giving the digestive system a break. The concentrated form of nutrients can be more quickly absorbed in the body. That being said, that also means the natural sugars from the fruit and veggies will also be absorbed quicker and can cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
Blending only breaks down the fruit you put in so all the fiber is left in there for you to drink. It’s still in a liquid form so it still delivers nutrients faster than eating the whole fruits would be, and without significantly spiking blood sugar levels due to the high fiber content. However, if you’re comparing how much fruit and veggies yielded one cup of your drink, juicing uses more fruits and veggies, packing in more nutrients. And when blending things like carrots, it is very unlikely you will get a juice consistency without watering it down.
Having now been juicing for a week (supplemental to solid foods), I do think despite the fact that juice is not rich in fiber like smoothies are, it does not mean it won’t “clean you out.” Haha! So really, it’s personal preference and up to you to do your research. There really isn’t and answer to which is better for you because our bodies all take what we eat differently. But I CAN tell you I am kinda addicted to my juicer now. It’s super fun! I already have some more juice recipes planned for you all 🙂
Orange Carrot Juice
Macros: Fat 1g, Carb 56g, Protein 4g
- 2 oranges (peeled)
- 4 large carrots
- 1 apple (cored)
- 1 cup fresh spinach (or one large handful)
Follow your juicer’s instructions and juice those babies! Feel free to try different apples and figure out which is your favorite. I personally went the cheap route and bought a bag of whatever was on sale. Recipe should give you 2 servings as a snack or one serving if you’re having it as a meal. (Macros were calculated on the whole recipe, not by servings.)
And if you’re new to juicing, my friend Catherine from Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth wrote a great post called “Juicing for Dummies.” It covers everything from shopping for your fruits and veggies to cleaning your juicier.
Note: Some say it’s ok to juice whole apples because the seeds don’t have enough cyanide to be harmful. I decided why even eat ANY cyanide at all when it only takes a few seconds to core it. But if you core it you might not get as much juice because you’re wasting some of the apple. It’s up to you.
|October 23, 2013|
There are tons of tempting appetizers that pack more calories than cheeseburger. Stay away from creamy or cheesy apps and dip into some guacamole.
Avocados pack a dose of healthy fats into your diet – rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, B6 and your Omega-3s.
Really, where the turning point is when eating guacamole are the excessive amounts of chips usually involved. Just like when I go to any mexican food restaurant, I limit my number of chips before I even start eating them, counting the chips as I eat – that way I hold myself accountable to a quantifiable number.
- 2 avocados
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/4 of a roma tomato, finely diced
- 1/8 of a white onion, finely diced
- 1/2 of a jalapeño, finely diced, seeds removed
- 1 tsp lime
- 1 orange bell pepper (optional for garnish)
- blue corn chips (or the chips of your choice)
Cut avocados in half and remove the seed. Scoop out avacado from the peel and put in a mixing bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocado until you reach your desired consistency. (Personally, I like mine a little chunky.) Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together.
To make the Jack-O-Lantern bell pepper, use a pairing knife and cut a face out. (I free-handed it.) Pull any seeds or flesh out that interfere with the face through the cut mouth opening.
Serve with blue corn chips (they look black) and/or slices of orange bell pepper.
You can play around with the jalapeño and add more or less if you like things more mild or on the hot side. This recipe yields for a mild to medium guacamole (in my opinion).
|July 8, 2013|
A coworker of mine brought in a ton of HUGE white grapefruits for everyone to take home. I didn’t know much about white grapefruits. Most grapefruits I’ve eaten are pink inside. After doing what anyone would do (hello Google!) I discovered white grapefruits are generally a little more tart and bitter than the pink ones, which tend to be a little sweeter.
So I figured I’d try it in recipe like a lime. Less sour so I could make a simple recipe with only a few ingredients, no salt needed to balance out the sour. I’d never experimented with them before but my recipe was a success!
Sneak peek into my next recipe: it also includes white grapefruit and has my best friend’s stamp of addition on it, so you better buy some extra grapefruits. I’ll post that one later this week once I get my new memory card reader in the mail. (I lost mine, fail).
White Grapefruit Cilantro Dressing
- 1/2 white onion
- 4-5 cloves of garlic (I used 4 because my cloves seemed larger than usual)
- 1 bundle of cilantro (about 1.5 cups chopped)
- juice of 1 white grapefruit (no more than 3/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (make sure it says for dressing and not for frying)
Put the onion and garlic in the food processor and chop fine. Add the juice and chopped cilantro. (My cilantro comes from the regular market in a bundle and I have seen it like that at multiple stores. But if your store doesn’t sell the cilantro in a bundle, once you chop it up it should equal around 1.5 cups.) Once it’s all chopped, almost like a pesto, add the olive oil and continue to allow the food processor to do it’s work until it’s all mixed and chopped into a pesto (or liquid) form.
Recipe makes about a full bowl full. If you make it, plan to eat it all week or freeze some for later.
Note: A really nice high speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec will be able to process the recipe into a liquid. More cost effective products like my food processor (a Cuisinart) will produce more of a pesto texture.
ALSO!!! This recipe tastes amazing cooked as well!!! Sorry, I don’t have any photos but I have been making my scrambled eggs with it, and using it as a sauce for chicken on the BBQ. It’s very versatile. If you prefer a less potent garlicky oniony taste, you can sauté the garlic and onion before adding it to the food processor. I keep mine raw until I add it into my recipes (like my grilled chicken) so I have the option to cook or not to cook. AND, pre warning you – worst garlic breath ever. Definitely not a good date food, haha.
|June 18, 2013|
I’ve never really felt comfortable or confident enough to show a side-by-side before and after photo. I think it’s because I was ashamed of how I looked in addition to not being happy with where I am right now. I am definitely not ready for a before and after photo yet. But I am finally feeling comfortable to show a side-by-side.
I refuse to call it “before and after” because it’s not. After insinuates that I am done and I am where I want to be physically, and that’s not the case. And before insinuates that there is one point or one photo that symbolizes before you began to get into shape and show progress. Well, I have had ups and downs my whole life when it comes to weight loss. Of course there were times that I was at my heaviest, but there were also times where I was almost at my goal weight. Right now, there is still a lot of body fat to lose and a lot more toning to get done. But honestly, I feel great right now and I think I look pretty good too. (Photo below is a year’s progress)
One of the biggest struggles I’ve had to overcome is to let go of the past. It’s hard to see yourself overweight and actually wanting (or willing) to share any of those photos. But the truth is, those photos exist and I can’t change that, nor would I want to. All my photos have some great memories attached to them. It’s only been recently that I can look at those photos and think to myself, “wow, look how big I was“ – versus, “wow, look how big I am.” I don’t think I will ever look at old photos and see only the good memory and not see overweight girl in addition . But the important thing is that I can recognize that it’s past. I see that I’ve changed, both physically and mentally. I’m not the person in those photos. I am much more confident, driven, and overall much happier.
Losing weight is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. Our bodies can achieve so much more than we think they can. I gave up alcohol for about 5 months just to prove to myself that I could do it (and I love my happy hour.) You have to test your limits and then try to break them and climb higher and higher every time.
I used to only have my long-term goal for what I hoped to look like after losing all my weight. Now I constantly set new short term and long term goals that really don’t have much purpose or reason other than to test my limits. Currently, my goal is to do 10 pull-ups by July 4th without any resistance bands or help up from my trainer. Why did I set this goal? I just wanted to see if I can do it – and I know I can with hard work.
I won’t ever say losing weight is easy. If it was, I wouldn’t still be trying to get there. But once you learn to embrace the mental game and are willing to challenge everything you thought you could do, it will get easier.
|October 16, 2012|
I love bananas. Let’s just put that out there. Well I happen to have a bunch of overripe baby bananas. As any baker knows, NEVER throw away those spotted nanas. What do you do with them? You bake!
Now let’s talk about baby bananas. Yes, there is such a thing. You can find them at your regular super market (or at least I find them at my regular super market). They are so adorable and have a slightly creamier texture. They look like regular bananas, only snack size. Perfect for lunches or for a quick snack. Or in my case, what kind of baby cake recipe would this be without baby bananas?
My Gluten Free Banana Bread Baby Cakes are made with almond flour to mimic bread. I am not a xanthan gum fan so I often use other flour alternatives. Because of this, these cakes don’t keep as long. If you wait more than a day to eat, they will start to have a mushy texture so plan to bake last minute for a party or event. And did I mention, if you skip the frosting and caramel, these are completely Paleo Diet friendly!
Gluten Free Banana Bread Baby Cakes
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup walnut oil
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 5 mashed baby bananas (or 2 regular bananas)
- 1 1/4 cup almond flour
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 6 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 16 oz cream cheese
- 3/4 cup agave nectar
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
**Optional caramel to drizzle on top. I used store bought caramel but you can make yours from scratch if you like.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Whisk all the ingredients together in order adding each one by one as you whisk to prevent clumping. You should be adding the banana and almond flour last. Line a baby cupcake tin with cupcake liners and spray lightly with a non stick cooking spray. I used the walnut oil in an oil mister because the non-stick I normally use has gluten. Who knew, right?
Fill each liner to the top with the batter. (Because there’s no flour or baking powder, these won’t rise much.) Bake for 13 minutes. Time may vary depending on the type of pan you use. Use a wooden toothpick to poke a baby cake or two. If the stick comes out clean then your cakes are done. If it doesn’t, then you either need more time or you didn’t mash your bananas all the way.
Now for the frosting, let the butter and cream cheese stand until room temperature. Mix all the ingredients together. I used an electric mixer for this part, no hand mixing for me. If you want a sweeter frosting, feel free to add sugar rather than agave, but I like to keep things a little more natural. Use a piping bag or cut a hole in the end of a ziplock and pipe the desired amount of frosting on the baby cake. Drizzle with caramel and enjoy!