green machine – getting on the slow food bandwagon

07May10

Ever feel sluggish? It’s that time of year for me at work where it feels like every day is full of deadlines, my stress level is at an all-time high, and I am exhausted by the end of the day – leaving little energy or inspiration for cooking meals and grocery shopping.

I realize this is a poor excuse, and frankly – a case of misguided priorities. I grew up in a family that was extremely focused on whole food, vitamins & nutrients, and rarely indulged in fast food. My current state of affairs is not what my mamma taught me… and definitely not my comfort zone. I’ve lived a healthy, active life – I was a professional athlete for most of it dammit! – and laziness is just unacceptable at this point. Time to make a change.

While cleanses and detox regimes are great to get on track, they aren’t necessarily a realistic ‘lifestyle’ when it comes to treating your body well. Many cleanses rely on laxatives, which often don’t have enough gusto to actually clean out your colon and intestine walls (decades of exposure to toxins and unhealthy waste can build up in the nooks & crannies of these organs).

There is a lot of discussion about healthy PH levels for the human body. Acidic bodies are linked with cancer cells, growths and fungus, and so, maintaining a diet that helps attain a more alkaline PH is desirable. Items containing refined flours, processed grains, saturated fat, trans fat and processed sugars are major factors in acid production in the digestive system, and should be avoided (there are not many fast food options out there that don’t contain one or more of these things!). There are many natural foods that contain nutrients that encourage alkalinity though… and most of them are green!

Years ago my mother bought me Jack Lalanne’s Power Juicer (probably because she saw it on an infomercial – but she bought it for good reason, as I haven’t had the best health record – and juicing is a proven life-changer), which sadly has sat in a cupboard in my kitchen unused for the majority of its life with me (I’m such a lazy ass)! An article in a grocery store tabloid mag has inspired me to dust it off however.

It’s that time of year when every magazine cover is talking about how close we are to bikini season and telling us we must lose 7lbs in 7 days or else! I got sucked in while waiting in a ridiculous line up at Super Valu, only to find an article on raw food diets and how the fiber in raw fruits and veggies is far more effective than any laxative or herbal cleansing package.

A few recipes caught my eye – including one that will surely bring Jack’s Juicer back to life!

The Glowing Green Smoothie

let this green guy help you glow!

1 ½ cups of water
1 head romaine
4 stalks celery
1/3 bunch cilantro
1/3 bunch parsley
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 apples
2 pears
1 banana

(I would also add some fresh ginger to this recipe :))

This one is courtesy of Kimberly Snyder’s Health & Beauty Blog – a great resource for holistic health options and beauty fixes!

She throws all of these items (in the order that they’re listed) into a high powered blender, though I don’t have one of those! Jack’s Juicer is great though, as it doesn’t leave much of the fiber waste behind — most of it gets pressed through the ultra fine filter.

A different smoothie option offered on Kim’s site is the watermelon/almond milk option. Check it out — sounds yummy!

Another recipe for Tabouleh makes my mouth water… also courtesy of Kim:

parsley - a magical veggie

- 1 huge bunch of either curly parsley or Italian flat parsley, or 2 smaller bunches
– ½ white onion, diced
– 1 organic tomato, diced
– 5 heaping Tbs. of hempseeds
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 1 clove of garlic
– ¼ cup of first cold-pressed olive oil
– ½ tsp. sea salt

Did you know Parsley is full of Vitamins A, B12, C, as well as iron, folic acid, chlorophyll and essential fatty acids?! Very glad to learn that (having just planted a pot full of it for my patio garden!)

It is recommended to start your day with a big glass of the Green Smoothie – and you’ll be glowing faster than expected.

I’m off to Kinn’s Farmers Market on Davie and Whole Foods on Cambie to pick up some fresh organics to kick-start my week of freshness.

The goal: Hold off on fast food for 7 full days, and kick off each of those days with a green smoothie (with some Tabouleh & watermelon smoothies thrown in for good measure!)

Not so excited about preparing this food yourself? Check out Vancouver’s healthy hot spot Nuba – with three locations to serve your hankering for a fresh start!

Hope you’re as excited as I am for this sunny weekend.

enjoy!

*a



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