Fresh Bowls of Fruits

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Starting the day off with a fresh bowl of fruit sets the tone for my day. It energizes me and makes me feel full. Having a fruit bowl also reminds me of a hot summer day especially, during these winter snowy days we’ve been having here in New York City. These bowls really brightens up my mornings. I couldn’t tell you when was the last time I had a bacon egg and cheese on a toasted bagel for breakfast. For the past three years my morning breakfasts have been much healthier and much more nutritious.

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A healthy breakfast should contain fruits or vegetables, nuts for added protein and sometimes a whole grain bread or oats. This type of combination of fiber, protein, and a small amount of fat will help provide the nutrients you need to carry you through the day. But for me, a fruit bowl does that same thing.

I can get really creative with my fruit bowls. Depending on what’s in season, I add in one or two citrus fruits, some berries, melons, bananas, apples and even some nuts. Fruit provides vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and potassium.

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If you notice in all of these picture, I mostly included orange and red colored fruits. Well, according to the International Carotenoid Society, these colors are known to be essential for plant growth and photosynthesis, and are a main dietary source of vitamin A in humans. They are thought to be associated with reduced risk of several chronic health disorders including some forms of cancer, heart disease and eye degeneration. Lycopene is a carotenoid, a natural color pigment that contributes to the red color of tomatoe and various other fruits and vegetables. The yellow/red fruits and vegetables contain mostly hydrocarbon carotenoids (carotenes). The common yellow ones are apricot, cantaloupe, carrot, pumpkin, and sweet potato that are the primary sources of beta-carotene and beta-carotene and several other hydrocarbon carotenoids.

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In part, the beneficial effects of carotenoids are thought to be due to their role as antioxidants. Antioxidants supports cellular activities by fighting off other chemicals known as free radicals.

Consider adding the following orange/red hue fruits and vegetables to your diet for more antioxidants.
Apricots, carrots, oranges, papaya, peaches, pumpkins, cantaloupe, sweet potato, winter squash, tangerines, nectarines, mangoes and butternut squash.
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My Fresh Juices

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Drinking freshly made juices and smoothies tops the chart for one of the best sources of obtaining vitamins and minerals naturally. People who adapt a whole food plant base diet (WFPB) find that most of their health problems were caused or significantly worsened by their old diets. These old diets consisted of eating processed foods, high proteins (meat, poultry), sugary beverages (artificial juices, sodas), dairy, and white starchy foods. Eating a WFPB diet resolved their health problems naturally and quickly once the body started getting the proper fuel.

Lets look at my favorite success story and documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead by Joe Cross. His personal struggles through navigating the prescription laden healthcare system and finding his own path for a healthy body all by juicing fruits and vegetables, is truly a remarkable and astonishing story.

    “My movie is not about weight loss; my movie is about getting healthy.”

Watch this documentary! Joe’s medical struggles which are very common among millions’ of Americans’ is played out in front of you. It shows his body transformation over the course of 60 days and his strong will for avoiding fast foods. He accomplished his goal just from juicing fruits and vegetables.

Joe’s personal journey led him to lose over 100 lbs, and getting off all his prescription medications, and curing his autoimmune disease disorder. His entire physical body changes by the end of the movie. It’s truly remarkable. Conventional medicine couldn’t deliver that.

Drinking fresh juices and smoothies allows our body to naturally heal itself by replenishing the vitamins, nutrients and minerals our body craves. Stay away from processed, artificial ingredients, sugary drinks, white starchy foods, meats, fish and dairy. In the picture my tall glass bottled green juice has kale, spinach, lemon, ginger, and apples. In the smaller cup I have spinach, watermelon and pineapples. I drank them for breakfast and for lunch I’ll make myself a salad, which I will post a picture of later.

Joe’s story is very inspirational. He’s my hero. I learnt so much from his documentary and you can also. His website has so much valuable information about rebooting your health. You can read other people’s Reboot testimonies as well. Joe’s website.

Disclaimer: Please be advised this is a sharing of information that is not meant to be used to replace medical treatment and your own intuitive sense of your body and what it needs. Please see your medical provider (Doctor., Naturopath, Acupuncturist, etc.) to follow up on suggestions.

Lemon Water Before Bedtime

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My tall glass of fresh lemon water before I hit the sack will assist my body in detoxification. Lemon water is also a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants. It also contains vitamins (such as vitamin B, riboflavin), minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus), proteins and carbohydrates. Lemons are highly acidic but they contain the good acids that your body needs. Your body has a fine PH balance that must be maintained and lemon water helps it. A pH less than 7 is said to be acidic. The ideal pH is slightly alkaline between 7.30 to 7.45. You can test your pH levels regularly by using a piece of litmus paper in your saliva or urine first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything.

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If your body is not alkaline, as it should be, then you could have a series of health problems from heartburn and acid reflux that many suffer with on a daily basis; digestive issues, and irregularity. An acidic body can wreak havoc on your allergies, especially if you are an asthmatic, or suffer from frequent headaches. It also prevents constipation.

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Lemon water helps indigestion by
taking a fresh lemon and squeezing it into a warm glass of water in the morning before breakfast and then once again before dinner. This assists in and improves digestion. Lemon water makes your liver secrete more bile and thereby helps in digestion for detoxing the liver. Eating an alkaline diet also is beneficial for an alkaline body. Foods that’s are alkaline of course. Here are some key steps to living an alkaline lifestyle:

  • Eating a plant-based diet
  • No alcohol consumption
  • Exercising, yoga and meditation
  • Cut out processed foods and sugar
  • Drink alkaline water

Sounds easy right!

Source:
Water Benefits Health

Legumes are very important in human nutrition because they are higher in protein than any other plant food and the quality of the protein they contain is high as well. Soybeans contain more protein than beef and soy products, such as soy meal and soy flour, and are often used to improve the protein content of commercially prepared foods such as pasta and bread. Because of their protein and iron content and relatively low cost, legumes are excellent meat substitutes for vegetarians and others who choose to cut back on or avoid animal foods for health or economic reasons.

all things hot pink!

Why should beans be an important part of your diet?

Here are the top 10 reasons why beans should be incorporated into our diet:

10) Beans are an inexpensive source of vegetable protein.  They’re cheap.  Good source of protein.  And they’re not meat-based.

9) They are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber.  Dietary fiber is so good for our insides.  In a previous article, entitled “Why we need dietary fiber”, the many benefits of fiber are outlined.

8) They are a good source of vitamins and minerals.  Beans are an excellent source of thiamin and folate.  A good intake of folate is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in some individuals.  Beans are also rich in magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese, and are a good source of potassium, riboflavin, vitamin b6, and contain some calcium and selenium.

7) They are naturally low in sodium.

6) Beans are naturally low in…

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Day 3: Breakfast and Lunch

It’s day three of my vegan diet, and its going amazingly great. I’m not craving for any animal proteins or sugars at that. I substitute sugar and add cranberries and honey if I need something sweet.

As you can see here my breakfast and lunch consisted of whole grains, mixed raw and cooked vegetables. I sprinkled wheat germ on my peanut butter for some extra fiber.

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Anti-Inflammatory Fruits and Vegetables

Exposure to potentially toxic substances in our food and water, or in the air we breathe both indoors and outdoors, exposure to allergy-triggering substances, poor general health, dietary deficiencies, use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, and other lifestyle practices can result in a level of danger to our bodies that prompts our inflammatory system to work in overdrive on a 24/7 basis. An anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle are critical for full recovery from diseases.

Anti-inflammatory foods help to modulate the immune system and give it a more accurate pair of eyes so as to not over-inflame when stimulated. To effectively de-inflame it is key to completely avoid man-made foods, sugars, and food allergens as listed above. The long chain omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA powerfully de-inflame the body by restoring natural balance to the lipid wall of the cell membrane.

Beware of high-protein diets, sugary foods, white rice, white potatoes, white bread, over-processed cereals, cooking foods on high heat (especially meats), and foods containing omega-6 fats such as corn and soybean oils. They all provoke inflammation, according to Carper. She also says that the high-glycemic foods listed such as sugar, white bread, white potatoes and white rice “spike blood sugar” which in turn “spur inflammation.”

Anti-inflammatory foods are often found among produce, where more color means a higher vitamin content.

Vegetables:
These vegetables below contain great amounts of anti-inflammatory nutrients, antioxidant nutrients, detox-support nutrients, and anti-cancer nutrients. Which is needed to repair and decompose inflammation in our bodies.

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Purple peppers, purple cabbages, eggplant and radicchio are packed with anti-inflammatory properties.

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Broccoli, brussels sprout, radishes, red peppers, and rhubarb are extremely high in anti-inflmmatory properties.

Fruits:
Anthocyanin’s which is the colorful antioxidant pigments that give many foods their wonderful shades of blue, purple, and red – are usually the first phytonutrients to be mentioned in descriptions of these fruits below. They are rich in antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C, E, A and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; and the minerals, potassium and magnesium; and fiber. Together, these nutrients promote the health of the cardiovascular system and also provide protection against diseases.

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Purple grapes, pineapple, cranberries, blood oranges, and red pears have more color which, means the vitamins are higher.

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Blueberries, cherries, purple plums, strawberries and papaya are packed with anti-inflammatory agents.

Resources:
http://www.womentowomen.com/inflammation/naturalantiinflammatories.aspx

My Organic vs. Conventional Shopping

Every week I have to go food shopping. My household consists of five people and that includes me. My ten-year old eats for two so I should say it’s six of us. One of the greatest thing about my children is that they love to eat fruits and vegetables. This past weekend, we’re at the farmers market. My daughter Lily (2) was out of her stroller shopping and picking up fruits and vegetables with me. Everything she picked up she took a bite out of it. It was so funny and I was in disbelief. This little girl picked up a broccoli and started to eat it. She took two bites out of it before I stopped her. Now the only reason I stopped her was because they were not washed properly. Lily loves broccoli so I didn’t think anything of it. But, then she went for the string beans, yellow cherry tomatoes and the peaches. It made me feel real good as a mother to see her at this age eating raw foods. My two boys are the same but they wouldn’t eat the vegetables raw.

Choosing to buy organic over conventional foods is very important to me. I know that my family is eating healthy and I’m also eliminating certain toxins from their diet by choosing organic. Now I don’t buy everything organic. I definitely follow the, Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen. The Dirty Dozen generally have the most pesticide residues when grown conventionally because they’re more prone to pesky bugs. Peeling fruits and vegetables or removing outer layers of leafy greens is also a great way to cut back on pesticide intake. That said, certain fruits and veggies might be more important to buy organic than others.

Buying organic can be very costly depending on where you choose to buy. I love to shop at the Farmers Market and Trader Joe’s. I’m very familiar with the conventional prices of goods because I use to be that shopper. Whenever I go grocery shopping most of my products in my cart are organic, and my bill comes out to be the same or even less at times. You would be very surprise by the prices. It’s really not that expensive for my family. Here’s two of my items. Look at the difference between the leading conventional brand and Trader Joe’s brand. The conventional brand applesauce cost $2.99 and the Trader’s organic brand is $1.99. Now take a look at the cereals. The Trader’s brand is made from natural ingredients like fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. The prices are very different as well. The leading brand goes for $4.99 or more and the Trader’s brand is $2.99 which is a big difference to me price wise and health wise. I think if you choose organic and natural products it should be able to fit into any budget. Do the research and take the time to compare.

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