Tomorrow marks the end of the Zengarry 30-day Juicing Challenge. Since April 1st, I have been posting juicing pictures, recipes and tips on facebook. I decided to embark on this challenge to fully embrace the benefits of juicing and to encourage others along the way.
I know that committing to something publicly is a great way to make yourself accountable and keep you on track even when you're full of excuses. But this challenge is far from over. I fully intend to continue to make green juice a regular part of my daily routine.
I have dabbled in juicing for years. After listening to Kris Carr rave about it, and watching a documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, I was curious as to what juicing would do for me. So my juicer became a permanent feature on the kitchen counter. A daily reminder of my commitment. Here are just a few of the things that I have learned on my journey.
A recent study revealed that more than 50 percent of adults get less than a serving of fruit per day (defined as one piece) and no vegetables whatsoever, unless you count French fries. The variety and amount of produce you can pack into your juice glass far outweighs what we can consume from our plate. It takes over a pound of veggies to make just one juice! Drink green juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. When your stomach is empty, the goodness of the juice is absorbed much more quickly!
Green Juice is great for your bones. Leafy greens are full of calcium and other important vitamins and minerals that are essential for strong bones. Today's lifestyle is very acidic. Coffee, sugar, meat, dairy, and stress dial up the acid in our bodies. Green juice is a super dose of alkalinity which helps the body rebalance its pH and heal. Acidity is the enemy of our bones. When our bodies are too acidic, it is forced to take the calcium from the bones to neutralize this acidity. Green vegetables and thus green juice are powerful alkalizing agents that can reduce the acidity in the body.
Chlorophyll (the 'blood' of plants) is actually quite similar in structure to hemoglobin in our blood. It is very healing and detoxifying to our blood and increases the production of red blood cells resulting in more oxygen in our bodies and thus more energy!! Chlorophyll is also known to be beneficial as a natural breath freshener and body deodorizer.
It’s important to incorporate lots of raw foods in your diet. As we age, we produce fewer enzymes. Fresh juices and smoothies flood the body with enzymes that can be used for digestion and repair.
Not only do green juices enrich your blood with special nutrients that build iron they also cleanse and improve the health of the intestines, uterus, and lungs. Here is just one of the recipes that I posted over the 30-Day Juicing Challenge. I encourage you to check my facebook page for more recipes and tips.
Black beans in your brownies?? It may sound crazy... but trust me, these are good. They are free of sugar, added oils and gluten-free if you use oats that are certified gluten-free. If you can't find gluten-free oat bran, just use extra ground oats.
You can use this recipe to make a cake as well or you can make them in muffin tins if you prefer. You can add whipped coconut cream or raw cocoa and avocado icing to make them more cake like if you prefer. Or try adding 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper to make a Mexican Chipotle Brownie.
Black Bean Brownies
1 15 oz. can of black beans
1 1/2 spotted bananas
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/4 cocoa powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup oats, ground to a flour
2 Tbsp. oat bran
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9 inch square brownie pan.
Combine all ingredients up to and including vanilla in a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add black bean mixture and combine. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Pour into greased pan and smooth with a spatula.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.
Store these in an airtight container in the fridge. Black beans will spoil quickly at room temperature.
Believe it or not, spring is on it's way and May is just around the corner. Zengarry is hosting a Mother's Day Tea on May 11th to benefit the Alzheimer's Society of Cornwall and District. This is a fun way to celebrate Mother's Day with your loved ones. Why not surprise your mom with tickets for Mother's Day?
A traditional English tea will be served in a lovely Victorian setting, complete with finger sandwiches, scones, and cookies. There will be gluten free options available for those with gluten sensitivities. Three types of Steeped tea will be served. Cassie Daprato Nutt has generously offered to provide the tea for this event. There will be sittings at 2 pm and 3:30 pm.
We are extremely pleased to announce our afternoon entertainment by the Musical School of Gabrielle Campbell and a local choir 'Simply Singing'. This is a great treat.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia causing problems with memory, thinking and behaviour in about half of people over the age of 85. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. The Alzheimer's Society of Cornwall and District provides many resources for people suffering from the disease as well as those caring for people with the disease. I encourage you to visit their website to learn more about their valuable services.
We are not powerless in preventing this debilitating disease. Scientific evidence suggests that the consumption of saturated and trans fats increases the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimers. The consumption of excess metals including iron, copper and aluminum are also implicated in an increase in risk. Consuming a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, particularly those containing dark pigments like Concord grapes and blueberries and those containing Vitamin E, like nuts and seeds, and food fortified with vitamin B12 may reduce risk.
Another important way to protect yourself is to get plenty of exercise (at least 40 minutes of vigorous exercise 3 times a week) and to make sure you get enough sleep. I found this great little video on preventing Alzheimer's disease, you may want to take a few minutes to watch it (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50141313n&tag=api).
This cause is close to our hearts, and we hope you will help support this very worthy cause by attending our Mother's Day Tea. The event will be held in Alexandria, Ontario at 53 Dominion Street North. Tickets cost 20$ each and we ask that you purchase them in advance to reserve your space at one of the two sittings. Please forward this message along to those you think may be interested.
We hope to see you there. Call for more information, or for tickets (613 525-4722). You can also get tickets at Boutique Lafleur on Main Street across from Independent Grocer in Alexandria, and at the main office for the Alzheimer's Society of Cornwall and District located at 106B Second Street West in Cornwall.
Here it is. My super fast, super easy, super delicious, make in minutes secret weapon. When I'm tired and starving and I want something satisfying RIGHT NOW..... this is what I make. And I love it every time.
Very strong words. Yes, I know. But I do not use them lightly. I can happily eat this several times a week. Even my picky teenage daughter loves these AND is willing to take the few minutes it takes to cook them herself!
It satisfies my cravings for spicy and creamy, and it is so versatile that you can make it with whatever you happen to have lying around the house.
Quick and Easy Quesadillas
2 whole wheat tortillas
1/4 cup hummus (recipe follows)
2 green onions chopped
3 Tbsp. of your favourite salsa
Spread hummus on one of the tortillas. Sprinkle with green onions and salsa. Top with the second tortilla. Warm a non-stick skillet. Add your quesadilla to the skillet without oil or anything. Toast on one side for 3 minutes or so until it's golden. Flip it over and toast the other side.
Top with my easy Four Ingredient Guacamole, cherry tomatoes, cilantro or whatever you like. Try adding olives or black beans inside. Or what about topping it with sautéd mushrooms and asparagus? Chop up some kale or spinach and tuck it inside for a few extra nutrients. Add roasted red peppers or sundried tomatoes! Go bananas!
You can thank me later.
Here is a recipe for homemade hummus. And no, not all hummus is created equally. The hummus you get at the store is full of extra fat and salt. It's WAY better to make your own. All you need is 2 minutes and a food processor.
2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 Tbsp. tahini (sesame seed butter)
3 garlic gloves
1 tsp. cumin
a pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
water or vegetable broth to thin it out until it's the consistency that you like
Add all ingredients to the food processor and process until smooth.
Optional add ins: roasted red peppers, roasted garlic, artichokes. Use your imagination and make it your own!
I found a nutrient calculator that allows me to compare the nutrition of my home-made hummus to store bought hummus. I am using the label for President's Choice Roasted Garlic Hummus for comparison.
Home made Store bought
31 g (2 Tbsp.) 30 g (2 Tbsp)
109 calories 70 calories
2.4 g total fat 5 g total fat
63 mg sodium 135 mg sodium
4.9 g dietary fibre 1 g dietary fibre
0 mg cholesterol 0 mg cholesterol
So, yes, my version has more calories, but it also has less fat, less sodium and more dietary fibre. Interesting.
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