What do you juice?

green smoothie prep

There’s nothing like a fresh green juice, bursting with the flavor of organic vegetables – and maybe a little fruit.

Here are some of my favorite things to juice – what are yours?

  • Apples help protect your bones, prevent cancer, and even promote weight loss. A little bit of their natural sugar can help regulate your blood sugar.
  • Beets are a juicy, delicious root with tasty greens. The root is rich in folates, potassium, B vitamins, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium. The greens are full of vitamin C, carotenoids, and vitamin A. They help keep our mucus membranes and skin healthy, and boosts vision.
  • Carrots are full of antioxidants which can help prevent cancer. And the beta-carotene in carrots is converted to vitamin A, protecting our eyes and skin.
  • Ginger adds a spicy twist to your fresh juice while aiding digestion. Ginger also helps fight inflammation, colds and flu, and nausea.
  • Kale is rich in antioxidants as well as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and manganese, plus Omega 3 fatty acids that help fight inflammation. And kale’s natural sulfur helps your body detox!
  • Spinach is also rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and manganese – plus vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc and selenium. Spinach supports the immune system, vision, blood pressure, skin, the nervous system, and brain function.

Share your favorite juice — or smoothie — recipes in the comments. I’d love to try them!

xoxo,
Sondra

 

Let it go—Juicing Edition

juice

I cannot get the song Let It Go from the movie Frozen out of my head. It bursts into my head as I’m driving, walking, reading—even sitting on the toilet. Very apropos.

It also rears its pretty head when I come face to face with my bad habits.

The other night I was feeling a bit bored so I opened the pantry door for a snack: “Let it go, let it goooooo…” Ok, no snack.

Another night I was tired from work and didn’t want to go for a walk, so I plopped down on the couch with my book. “Let it go, let it goooooo, can’t hold it back anymore.” So, I guess I’ll talk a walk, right?

It’s like the ghost of bad habits past, haunting me.

Something I do need to let go is a little winter weight. It happens to all of us—when the weather gets colder, our bodies naturally slow down and crave carbs. Root vegetables, popcorn, homemade bread. What’s winter without them?

But now that we’ve let go of winter, it’s time for some spring cleaning.

When I thought about changes I could make to “Let it gooooooo…,” I thought of juicing.

Green juices deliver a potent burst of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in an easily digestible form. Fresh juices support your immune system, enhance your skin, brighten your eyes, and can help you lose weight.

They’re a healthy burst of energy in a cup!

Everyone is going gaga for them. All the usual suspects love them—cancer survivor Kris Carr, raw food activist David Wolfe, inflammation expert Dr. Andrew Weil , and Joe Cross, author of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Joe went on a juice fast for 60 days and lost a ton of weight, and now he makes his living off the movie and book. If that’s not inspirational, I don’t know what is. 😉

If you’ve been over-indulging, they can help heal your digestive system while encouraging your liver, kidneys and gallbladder to release toxins. They also help restore your body’s PH balance. Foods like meat, fish, chicken, and grains have high acidic values. Vegetables are alkaline–they cancel out the acid and bring your body back into balance.

When should I juice?

You can juice any time of day, but morning and afternoon are best. Try one instead of your morning coffee or your afternoon snack for a natural energy boost.

A morning juice will wake you up naturally without caffeine. Have a big glass of juice alone to power through your morning. Or combine juicing with lean healthy protein like beans or eggs, some healthy fat in the form of avocado, chia deeds, flax seeds, or some almond butter, and a little carbs in the form of starchy vegetables. You’ll have everything you need to get you out the door and into your day. Adding a little something sweet, like a chunk of apple or pear, can help even out your blood sugar throughout the day.

An afternoon juice provides energy just about the time you’d reach for that snack. Try a juice with a little less sugar, like a carrot-beet combo or a green juice with kale, spinach, and a little pear. Add some kick with a smidge of cayenne powder or part of a jalapeño pepper.

What should I juice?

Fill your juices with fresh, organic super foods, including:

  • Apples help protect your bones, prevent cancer, and even promote weight loss. A little bit of their natural sugar can help regulate your blood sugar.
  • Beets are a juicy, delicious root with tasty greens. The root is rich in folates, potassium, B vitamins, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium. The greens are full of vitamin C, carotenoids, and vitamin A. They help keep our mucus membranes and skin healthy, and boosts vision.
  • Carrots are full of antioxidants which can help prevent cancer. And the beta-carotene in carrots is converted to vitamin A, protecting our eyes and skin.
  • Ginger adds a spicy twist to your fresh juice while aiding digestion. Ginger also helps fight inflammation, colds and flu, and nausea.
  • Kale is rich in antioxidants as well as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and manganese, plus Omega 3 fatty acids that help fight inflammation. And kale’s natural sulfur helps your body detox!
  • Spinach is also rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and manganese – plus vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc and selenium. Spinach supports the immune system, vision, blood pressure, skin, the nervous system, and brain function.

Add fresh juices into your weekly routine and you’ll be surprised how well your body responds.

It’ll help you let it all go.

Happy spring!

xoxo,
Sondra

Sunburn—a Cautionary Tale with a Silver Lining

kukui oil_lavender

A few weeks ago I spent a glorious day in the California sun in a black V-neck t-shirt and my creamy white skin. And no sunscreen. I got swept up in the warmth after weeks of Seattle chill and rain and I forgot all about it. Rookie mistake. So of course I got burnt.

Of course I didn’t have aloe or heavy moisturizers with me. But I was on my way to the Natural Products Expo the next day, so I figured someone would have something useful. It would be embarrassing to show up at a conference where I’m passing myself off as a health expert who clearly does not practice what she preaches. But I decided to play the pity card and look for a great burn cream.

In the meantime I had a secret weapon – Lavender essential oil. Since I started selling doTerra essential oils I always carry a variety of sample bottles. Peppermint for headaches and achy muscles. Lemon for infections. Lavender for anxiety and – little known fact – burns! It’s a great help for cooking burns. Rub a little on the burn immediately and the pain goes away quickly, and if I keep rubbing it on for a few days the burn mark disappears completely.

lavenderPlant

So that night I slathered Lavender oil all over my face and neck. It did help with the pain, but I was still bright as a cherry. I followed it with my usual moisturizer, but that wasn’t nearly enough. I was both dry and oily in the morning. But—and here’s the big win—very little pain! The Lavender oil had sucked out the heat, or something. So while I looked like a hot mess, I didn’t feel like one. Winning! And after my shower, some of the red came off on my white hotel towel. So the Lavender was clearly helping.

I slathered on more Lavender oil and then carefully applied the BB lotion with sunscreen that I should have worn the day before–and every day, until I die—and headed off to the show. Well, after a beach detour. I mean, how often am I in California in March?
Eventually I made it to the Natural Products Expo and hooked up with my friend Katie at Love Grown foods. She gave me the lay of the land, heading me off in search of skin care booths.

I was right about playing the sympathy card. I had strategically covered my cleavage, but my neck and face were on full display so there was no hiding my shame. Even before I spoke up, staffers were quick to point out their sunscreen offerings. But no one had anything for burns. I could see the lightbulbs going on over their heads, so next year that could be the new trend. You heard it here first!  But for now I seemed out of luck. Until one nice lady thought about it, and sent me to a competitor in another part of the show floor to ask about Kukui oil. She’d heard it was a Hawaiian oil that was good for sunburns. I figured if it was good enough for people who lived in endless sun on a tropical island, it was good enough for me.

kukui oil

Kukui oil, also known as Candlenut, was a godsend. A staffer took pity on me and gave me an entire bottle from Life-Flo. I went right into the bathroom and applied some on my neck and chest, and I could feel my skin saying “Ahhhhhhhh.” That night I slathered both the Lavender oil and the Kukui oil all over, including my hands, feet, arms and legs, and in the morning I felt like a whole new person. Still a red person, mind you. It didn’t go away over night. But my skin felt soft, the oils had entirely absorbed, and I looked more sun-kissed than sun victim. I used both oils morning and night for around three days, and by then my skin was close enough to normal to start using my usual products again.

But the funny thing is, I didn’t want to. The Kukui oil is really beautifying – I have a healthier glow than I’ve had in years, and my skin is really soft. So I’ve adjusted my skin care regime to include Kukui oil at night, and sometimes before my shower in the morning. Better nourished skin is allowing all of my products to work better.

I guess that’s the silver lining!

xoxo,

Sondra

Like a kid in a candy store

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As if I needed more evidence that natural wellness was the field for me, here I am at Natural Products Expo West — a giant love-fest filled with natural foods, home and beauty products. Every other booth has something new and amazing, next to existing favorites like Tom’s, Dr. Bonner’s, and Love Grown. My day 1 sample haul was phenomenal. You’ll be hearing about the cool stuff I’m bringing home in a new product reviews section of this blog soon.

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My favorite new thing so far is Kukui (pronounced ku-Coo-ee — fun to say!) oil. I have a wicked sunburn from my day at Legoland. Now that I’m a Seattleite I forget about sun protection. I asked about sun burn care at every skin care booth, and most staffers just looked apologetic. But one nice lady sent me to another booth to ask about this Hawaiian oil, traditionally used for sun burn care. Another nice lady gave me a full bottle after seeing the burns on my neck and face. Talk about kindness! I’ll be reviewing Life-Flo’s Kukui Oil very soon, but I can already tell you after marinating in it for one night, it’s a thumb’s up.

Here’s to another fun day exploring!

Xoxo,
Sondra

Magical Misunderstood Garlic

garlic bulbs

This week I came down with the stomach virus that’s going around Seattle. Despite living as healthily as I can manage, I still interact with people and germs, and I still get sick. I just don’t get sick for as long as I used to. And whenever I’m sick, I turn to garlic.

Yes, garlic. This is not a typo. Since the dawn of time – or at least literature – garlic has been considered a cure-all. It’s been claimed to help in resisting colds and flu, the Plague, and even vampires. Many people in other countries still rely on garlic as a health supplement.

I used to travel a lot for business. And between all the indulgent eating and the germs on planes and shaking a lot of hands, I would usually get sick. One time, when I got a cold in Torino, Italy, my local contact advised I eat a clove of garlic. Every day. He said he did it, and never got sick.

At the time I hadn’t bought into natural wellness. Or food allergies. Or the understanding that everything we put in our mouths effects our entire bodies. So I ignored his advice. Laughed about it, in fact. “What a quaint Italian custom,” I thought, arrogantly.

What I didn’t realize is that I was just following the current medicinal thinking, which has evolved over time.

A Short History of Medicine.

Doctor, I have an ear ache!
2000BC Here, eat this root.
AD 1000 That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.
AD 1850 That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.
AD 1940 That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.
AD 1985 That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic.
AD 2000 That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root.
Author unknown. Reprinted from Herbal Supplement Resource

Over the last few years my thinking has evolved to include a more holistic look at medicine. Why shut out any option, right?

And I’ve come to appreciate garlic in all of its forms—raw, roasted, stir fried, minced, pressed, or eaten whole. Especially when I’m not feeling well. It turns out that raw garlic has the most medicinal value. And raw garlic that’s been minced or crushed has even more goodness than the whole clove, because you get more of the juices interacting with your bodily fluids*.

Juicy raw garlic from a garlic press.

Juicy raw garlic from a garlic press.

Raw garlic also results in most people’s top two complaints about garlic. That smell, and the burning.

That burning sensation in your mouth? That’s the garlic killing off bacteria and eating the sugars and yeast that accumulate on your tongue. Eat some once in a blue moon and it’ll always burn. But eat a little every day, as my Italian friend suggested, and over time the burning will give way to enjoyment of the juicy, spicy taste.

Which leaves us with garlic breath. Garlic, or at least its smell, has an unwarranted bad rap. In a world totally aligned with health, not to mention yumminess, romance-seekers would be attracted to anyone who smelled like garlic. Personally I’ve come to love it. Who doesn’t love garlic fries, garlic bread, and olive oil with crushed garlic? You can’t get the taste without the smell. You could take garlic supplements, but they are neither as delicious nor as effective as the raw stuff. So let’s not discriminate! Next time you meet someone who smells of garlic, congratulate them on their good choices!

Let’s declare a garlic revolution!

xoxo,
Sondra

*A character in one of my favorite movies, a cult classic, was obsessed with bodily fluids. In fact, he started a nuclear war. Guess who? For the record, that’s not the kind of revolution I’m suggesting. 🙂

Back in the game

Fairy

Three quarters into my gap year something magical happened–a vision for my future materialized out of thin air. I guess I owe a big thank you to everyone who said that if I made room in my life for something better, it would appear.

I’ve been looking for an outlet to use my marketing and business experience in the health and wellness industry, ideally combined with food. Because everything’s better with food, right?

A chance conversation with my naturopath introduced me to the concept of health coaches, professionals who help clients make lifestyle changes to help them enjoy healthier, better, longer lives.

At first I was a little skeptical. I mean, if someone wants to make changes they could go online and figure it out themselves, right? That’s what I did. Except it took me three years and I’m still learning, and I’ve endured a painful amount of trial and error. And I doubted I could make real money any time soon. But the more I looked into it the more I felt a passion for it. Others could benefit from my years of trial and error, and I could help them avoid the same pitfalls, mistakes and enormous investment of time.

IIN logo

So after a thorough researching of health coaching programs I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s  online school. Why the Institute for Integrative Nutrition? I like their emphasis on whole foods and a holistic approach that recognizes that food is just one part of a healthy lifestyle. I’ll be trained to help clients optimize their life, not just their menus. I’m sure it will help me too! It’s a part-time, 11 month program.  In the spring I will start seeing clients on a trainee basis and in less than a year I will be a certified health coach.

Which is exciting enough, but wait, there’s more!

Once I opened the door to health coaching, a boatload of ideas came rushing in. I had no idea I was so entrepreneurial. My mind immediately went to how to turn this into a real business. I have a multi-pronged plan, never fear, dear friends. Eventually I’d like to open a wellness center with health coaches, yoga, acupuncture, etc. And launch a lifestyle product line and book(s). Basically become a force to be reckoned with and take over the world.

(Evil laugh, evil laugh, evil laugh)

But you’ll see more on that later, as my plans for worldwide wellness industry domination start to come together.

In the meantime, a girls’ gotta eat, and organic veggies don’t come cheap… so while I am earning my degree I will be lining up incremental revenue opportunities. My first product line is doTERRA essential oils. If you’re not familiar with essential oils, they’re a lot more than aromatherapy. They pack a wallop of benefits into a few drops. I am now a sales consultant—drop me a line if you’d like to learn more.

doTerra_oil_blends

In the fall I will start looking for part-time marketing gigs in the health and wellness industry. If you know anyone who has a fitness, supplement, organic foods, etc., company and needs some marketing help, please think of me!! I need to learn the industry and earn a little green, and could probably be a big help to them.

Thanks for following my journey!

xoxo,
Sondra