Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Skinny (or not) On Nutrition Labels

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Nutritional labels on food packages sometimes would be just as difficult to interpret if they were written in Swahili. Basically, big wig food companies dance and skirt around the truth, showing and telling innocent consumers one thing when in reality you’re not ingesting what you think. I won’t go too in-depth, but here are some important things to know before you buy that product in the grocery store.

1. Always look at the list of ingredients!! Do this first, before you even contemplate purchasing the product. Ingredients are listed in descending order in terms of how much is in the food, so if high-fructose corn syrup or something equally as unnatural/horrible for you is the first ingredient listed… DON’T buy it! If it’s something you can’t pronounce, the same applies. Buy things where at least the first few ingredients are things you know and are natural ie, come from the planet and not factories. These companies sneak-attack us all the time with this because no one bothers to look when it is so, so crucial.

2. Serving size is another huge area where we are constantly getting shanghai’d by the big food giants. Tiny serving sizes make unhealthy substances like fat and sugar look less terrible, when in reality you’re doing the same amount of damage.
For example, a 15-ounce can of organic soup labeled “healthy” contains “about two” servings; each serving has 480mg of sodium (eek!). The FDA says that a food cant be called “healthy” if it contains more than 480 mg per serving.
See what they did there? Sneaky bastards; because of course most people eat the whole can, which is 960 mg.
In a February 2013 study, it was found that products containing two servings that are customarily consumed at a single eating period that displayed two columns – one for the entire package and one for a serving – on the label helped consumers make healthier choices.

3. This concerns whole grains; the phrase “made with whole grains” does not necessarily mean that the product is made predominantly of whole grains like it leads you to believe. In fact, only a minute amount may be within the product. Look for the word “whole” – like whole wheat, whole grain – listed first in the ingredient list.
Similarly, the Whole Grain Stamp (which appears on products that contain at least 8 g whole grains per serving) doesn’t guarantee the best choice for you, either. There was a recent study done by Public Health Nutrition that discovered that some grain products marked with the stamp were actually higher in sugars and calories than grain products without the stamp. Now, that’s repulsive – it really disgusts me how concerned these companies are with money and how they don’t give a rats ass about the consumers that they are feeding, or more appropriately, destroying from the inside, out.
A good way to judge if the product is good in the grains arena is to look for at least 1 g fiber for every 10 g total carbohydrates.

4. This isn’t necessarily a nutrition label, but I believe it is relevant.
Sticker Savvy

I hope that this is helpful to you; it’s so very important to feed your body properly, and that can not happen if you are not paying attention to what you are ingesting. Your body is a temple, and it should be treated as such, wouldn’t you agree???

Happy Healthy Munching!

What Did I Just Eat?

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A man came into the juice bar the other day and we started talking; before he left, he recommended that I watch a video of his on YouTube dubbed “What Did I Just Eat?” – I just gave it a watch and it’s perfect. Please take the four and a half minutes to watch this video, it has some useful information that many people are probably not keyed into. Enjoy!

I must say, part of what I really enjoy about working ze bar is the customers that come in. They’re all (for the most part) extremely friendly, pleasant and are looking to better their lives via juices and smoothies, which is amazing and the same mindset as myself. There are also some individuals who have so much useful knowledge and information to share that I tend to learn something new every shift – whether or not it actually involves being healthy.

Henna that my sister did on my hand. So pretty!

Henna that my sister did on my hand. So awesome!

Have a grand day!

SAVE THE LIONS

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Hey, y’all!

Kevin Richardson. So awesome.

Kevin Richardson. So awesome.

Here is a video and article that I highly recommend you take a few minutes out of your day to watch and read. This man and his bond with animals is incredible, and I can’t thank him enough for using his special connection to get the word out to help save giant wild cats like lions.

Someday, I hope to have enough pull with society to help keep these incredibly beautiful animals alive and flourishing in the wild, but with every passing day I become more and more nervous that they may be gone before I have the chance. So please, please, watch this, spread the word and let’s try and keep our planet diverse and gorgeous for ourselves as well as for future generations.

Energize With A Breakfast Blend

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Howdy!

I hope everyone is making the best of what I pray will be the last chunk of winter weather – it’s chilly again where I am and it’s such a tease considering the two decently toasty days we’ve just had. However, I made a tasty smoothie to start the day off right! It’s best in the morning since it is catered towards giving you the energy your body needs in the am, but of course slug this sucker back whenever you have the time. It’s a great alternative to coffee for all you caffeine addicts out there 😉

EnergizeSo, what’s inside? For one large serving:
– 4-5 strawberries (if fresh: add ice if you want it extra cold, if frozen: let thaw a little)
– 1 banana
– 1/2 cup homemade almond milk*
– 1/2 container (3 ounces) greek vanilla yogurt (lemon would also be tasty)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: Too easy! Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve & enjoy immediately.

*I always try to utilize my homemade almond milk because 1) it is delicious and nutritious and I know exactly what is inside of it and 2) fresh almond milk only lasts about 4 days, so use it or lose it! However, if you don’t have almond milk, cow or soy milk should do just fine. If you have vanilla soy milk, that would compliment the drink nicely.

Energy Ingredients

I saw a similar recipe to this one and it wanted 1/6 cup powdered sugar to be added. Personally, I believe that the natural sugars in the fruits are plenty and no extra sugar is needed; this drink is sweet enough on its own. Powdered sugar just adds unnecessary calories and as you should know, it isn’t exactly the best thing for our bodies, so embrace the natural sugars — without additives!

That’s all for now; I already hit the gym this morning so I have a little time to kill before work, maybe I’ll make some banana bread! Peace and love and all things nice.

I Told The Witch Doctor I Was In Love With You

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First of all, I have made it to 70 blog followers and 4 e-mail followers, so close to the 75 mark! Thank you everyone!! I hope you all enjoy, and if there is ever anything you would like me to talk about, please don’t hesitate to ask.

At Raw Bob’s a few weeks ago, we added an elixir to our menu, dubbed “The Witch Doctor Elixir”. It’s amazing. It’s addicting. It’s intense. I absolutely love it, and it just makes me feel awesome starting from the inside. You feel this going down.
I highly recommend trying this; whether you come into our shop for one (it’s only $3.95) or you make it at home – as long as you have a juicer and the proper ingredients.
Without further ado, here it is! I’ll include the benefits as well so definitely read it all. Let me know what you think 🙂

The Witch Doctor

The Witch Doctor

It should come out to be a beautiful rusty color like shown in the above photo.

What’s Inside?
– 2 oz coconut water
– 1 whole lemon
– squirt agave nectar
– 1 shake cayenne pepper
– 2 nubs of ginger
– 2 nubs of turmeric
– splash of water

How To Make:
1. Pour out the coconut water into a measuring cup, then add the cayenne and agave nectar.
2. Into your juicer, add the ginger, turmeric and follow with the lemon and splash of water.
3. Stir all ingredients together (should be 4 oz total) and drink immediately.

As a forewarning, the cayenne and lemon makes this drink a little bit potent. The agave nectar is meant to cut it down and add a little sweetness, but it is still a spicy sucker, so just have that in mind!

Now, the benefits:
Lemon: natural energizer (fights fatigue), flushes out unwanted materials, balances pH, helps hypertension, aids in weight loss (digestive aid), boosts immune system, helps with fever and chills, is antibacterial and abolishes acne.

Turmeric: powerful anti-oxidant, potent anti-inflammatory, aids prevention of Alzheimer’s, treats arthritis and most recently, UCLA discovered that curcumin, the main component in turmeric, appeared to block an enzyme that promotes the growth of head and neck cancer.

Ginger: helps with migraines, muscle pain caused by exercise, inflammation of the colon, menstrual cramps, morning sickness, nausea caused by chemotherapy (if taken before), liver damage caused by acetaminophen (aka Tylenol), high blood pressure, asthma, diarrhea, bronchitis, arthritis, digestion, and the most amazing discover is helping cure ovarian cancer. A study found that exposing ovarian cancer cells to a solution of ginger powder resulted in their death in every single test – the cells either committed suicide (apoptosis) or digested/attacked themselves (autophagy).

Coconut Water: aids in weight-loss due to low fat content and suppresses appetite, moisturizes skin, perfect for hangovers by settling stomach and replacing essential electrolytes, re-hydrates, facilitates digestion, reduces blood pressure, is cholesterol free, high in potassium and it is isotonic to human plasma, which means in extreme emergencies it can quickly rehydrate the human body is administered intravenously.

Agave Nectar: Low-glycemic sweetener*, weight loss aid because increases satiety and decreases appetite, lowers cholesterol, reduces risk of some cancers, increases absorption of nutrients (like calcium and magnesium), anti-inflammatory, boosts immune system and antimicrobial capabilities.

Cayenne Pepper: Digestive aid, anti-irritant like upset stomach, ulcers, coughs, diarrhea and sore throats, anti-cold and flu agent, anti-fungal properties, migraine/headache prevention, helps with allergies, useful for blood clots, circulatory stimulant, joint-pain reliever, aids in weight loss, helps prevent lung cancer in smokers, promotes heart health, great for tooth and gum diseases.

* I would highly recommend using agave nectar/syrup instead of sugar in some recipes. Use about 1/3 cup of agave nectar for every one cup of sugar called for in recipes, reduce the liquid ingredients in recipes by one-third, since agave nectar is liquid (and sugar is dry) and reduce your oven temperature by 25 degrees.

… well, there you have it! I bet you didn’t know that all of those ingredients had such a wide array of health benefits, huh? And if you did.. then well, you’re already awesome – stay that way!

Pleasantly Pampered

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The other day, I did a double session, going to both Gold’s Gym to do a leg workout and The Rock Spot with Max to get in a nice rock climbing night session. Then, again this afternoon, I went back to The Rock Spot since I had the day off – woohoo!

From all the [awesome] physical exertion I’ve been addicted to doing, my body is plum tuckered out… so I thought I would treat myself to a nice relaxing bath; I went all out, utilizing my own homemade bath salts along with some senorita margarita bubble bath that my sister got me for Christmas. The set-up was divine and just what the doctor ordered.

Bubble Bath

Candle, Bath Salts, Bubbles… need I say more?

The “flavor” bath salts that I went with today were Honey and Oat. 

Want to to know why/the benefits??

Honey was Cleopatra’s preferred method for beauty, and science has since proven that she had the right idea. Honey, especially when it is raw/unpasteurized (I used raw honey in my recipe), is a fantastic all-natural ingredient for the skin. It is loaded with antioxidants, which are good for wrinkles and aging skin; it is antibacterial, helping to treat and even prevent acne, it clarifies skin by opening up and unclogging pores, and it is a great moisturizer that soothes your skin/irritations/blemishes, and honey leaves you glowing.
Oats are also an amazing natural beauty enhancer… and they also are considered to be one of nature’s most potent aphrodisiacs (good to know with Valentine’s Day around the corner!!!). So, how do oats help? They soothe and heal the skin while also reducing inflammation – a huge cause of premature aging. Since oats have a rougher texture, they make a perfect natural exfoliate, softening the skin and making it smooth as silk. Oats also have been known to help those who suffer from dry skin, mosquito bites and eczema (they’re also hypoallergenic), and I used organic, natural oats in mine, adding to the awesomeness.

SOOO, I vote that you should go grab some bath salts or bubble bath (or both), a scented candle, a good book or some relaxing music and maybe even a glass of wine, then go have a little “me” time just relishing in the warm water, letting your mind, body and soul unwind. It’s a necessary thing to do every so often, especially during the winter months.
Take my word for it! 😉