Update – Weekend Raw Food/Juice Cleanse

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My vegetables I juiced for the second half of my Saturday. Its very green. I juiced kale, apples, a broccoli stem, rainbow chard, celery, lemon, ginger, and some curly parsley. I kept more of the lemon peel on for more zing this time around.

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My juice this morning held me pretty well. I started drinking it after 9:45am and finished some time after 11:00am.

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My Blender Bottle was very helpful because I was able to tug my juice all over town today without a spill. It snaps tightly so there’s no spillage at all. I love this bottle. I also had an organic apple around two o’clock so that kept me going until just now. I was feeling hungry so I decided to juice. This will hold me over until later. I did a Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s run today, so I’m stocked for the week ahead.

Thanks for the support!

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Day 8: My 14 Day Vegan Diet

This past weekend I was exceptionally busy with my children. I am very happy to say I did really well with sticking to my vegan diet. What works for me is packing healthy snacks for everyone.

Well, I’m well into my second week on my vegan diet. I started my day with a cup of green tea. I then ate my favorite bagel with peanut butter of course.

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I also had an organic grapefruit!

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For dinner last night I cooked a vegan curry dish. It was really delicious! I also brought some in today for my lunch. I started out with a little olive oil, turmeric, a pinch of cinnamon, curry and fresh cracked black pepper. I sautéed my onions, garlic, tomatoes, and ginger.

Cooking with turmeric is indeed healthy for us. Numerous studies have looked into this potential cancer-fighting link with curcumin, and promising results. Turmeric (Curcuma longa), is a bright yellow spice.

For instance, curcumin has been found to:

  • Inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells
  • Inhibit the transformation of cells from normal to tumor
  • Help your body destroy mutated cancer cells so they cannot spread throughout your body
  • To read more click here!

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    After about 3 minutes I added potatoes, Eggplant, cauliflower, chip peas and green peas. I then added some water and simmered it down until everything was fully cooked.

    This will last me for two days. It’s simple, very tasty and nutritious. I had this with a little brown rice for dinner.

    Pretty good!

    Day 3: Dinner…Juice Time

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    For dinner tonight I decided on juicing. I juiced kale, carrots, and one beet. I wish I had some ginger. Ginger really gives it that kick. Anyway, I will have to pick up some tomorrow.

    If you noticed a little hand to the right, it’s my daughter. She was helping me juice. She also enjoys drinking the juice too. My boys not so much! So far, I’m enjoying my vegan diet. I actually don’t miss eating meat, and I’m not craving for any.

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    Thank you for your support!

    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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    My 14 Day Vegan Diet/Detox

    I’ve gone days without eating animal protein, so to challenge myself I’m doing a 14 day vegan diet. I’m holding myself accountable by including all of you.

      How?
      Well, I will document/blog all of my meals and snacks for 14 days. I’m basically giving my body a rest.

    Our bodies are products of nature and it’s designed to heal and detoxify on its own natural way. Unfortunately, we are over-exposed to a large variety of toxins (environmental, food, water, and emotional) in our daily lives. Plus, we do not take good care of ourselves, leaving our system compromised and further polluted. I have one other family member on board with me, Kareem Anglin . He’s going to be my sidekick in this. We’re up for it and anyone else who’d like to join in.

      Why now?
      Well, I have not been feeling the greatest lately, and I think I have a lot of toxic build-up. Lately, I’ve been experiencing low energy, low motivation, and I got sick twice within two months. It’s unlike me to get sick especially, back-to-back. That’s a no no in my book.

    Here’s a list of some signs of toxic build-up. If you’re experiencing quite a few of these, maybe it’s time for a detox.

    • fatigue
    • poor digestion
    • illness
    • overweight
    • disease
    • constipation or poor elimination
    • low energy
    • prolonged use of pharmaceuticals
    • low motivation
    • prolonged use of alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs
    • depression
    • susceptible to illness
    • parasites, worms
    • fungus, yeast growth
    • continuous headaches

    Poor food choices, stress, poor breathing and lack of sleep simply leave our systems overly acidic. The blood needs to remain in an alkaline range and the body’s intelligence will do everything in its power to keep this. A toxic internal environment is an acidic one. You will have cravings, addictions, tension, and moodiness, feel stiff, and find it hard to lose weight, suffer from poor digestion, heartburn and eventually even diseases like osteoporosis, cancer, and kidney stones.

    So…this is why we need to detox.

    It’s time for a washout! It’s time to clean out, refresh and revitalize. During the process I will also do a colon cleanse with my Ballerina Tea, and it’s caffeine free. It has senna in it which will make you go, seriously.

    Here are my guidelines for this 14 day vegan diet/cleanse

    • Favor foods in their whole form
    • Eliminate white sugar and white flour
    • Substitute animal protein (meat, eggs, chicken) with organic plant sources of protein (legumes, beans, nuts, seeds)
    • Watch caffeine consumption (the less the better)
    • Limit alcohol
    • Drink ginger tea.
    • Eat three meals per day with limited snacking (only if actually hungry, not bored!)
    • Drink warm/room temperature water with meals rather than iced drinks.
    • Weekly one day cleanse (ballerina tea)
    • Include living foods in your diet like raw sprouts and fresh vegetables
    • Wheatgrass as a supplement

    All I have to do is increase my intake of these foods:

    • Fresh fruits
    • Fresh vegetables
    • Fresh fruit juices
    • Fresh vegetable juices
    • Whole grains (pasta, rice and breads)
    • Legumes
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Water/teas (at least two liters per day)

    Keep in Mind…
    When you detox, the toxins have to come up and out so there will be a process to go through. You may feel nausea, low energy, cravings, and even challenged at times.

    It’s all worth it.

    Dark Greens

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    Dark green leafy vegetables
    Kale, collard greens, spinach, and broccoli are good sources of vitamin E and folate.

    Antioxidants and Good Food Sources

    Naturally occurring antioxidants help fight diseases in the body, boost immunity, and repair damaged cells. These antioxidants can be found in a variety of whole foods that nutritionists have been recommending for years, including fruits, legumes and whole grains.

    It’s important to include antioxidants in your diet because of their many health benefits, so try digging in to one of these especially antioxidant-rich foods like pomegranates, berries and veggies.

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    Vitamin C – As an antioxidant it protects proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, DNA and RNA from oxidation by free radicals. Foods like citrus fruits and their juices, berries, dark green vegetables (spinach, asparagus, green peppers, brussel sprouts, broccoli, watercress, other greens), red and yellow peppers, tomatoes and tomato juice, pineapple, cantaloupe, mangos, papaya and guava.

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    Vitamin E –
    Vitamin E is also a fat soluble vitamin. As an antioxidant it protects fats from oxidation, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Foods like vegetable oils such as olive, soybean, corn, cottonseed and safflower, nuts and nut butters, seeds, whole grains, wheat, wheat germ, brown rice, oatmeal, soybeans, sweet potatoes, legumes (beans, lentils, split peas) and dark leafy green vegetables.

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    Selenium –
    Selenium is a powerful antioxidant mineral that protects tissues from free radical damage. Foods like Brazil nuts, brewer’s yeast, oatmeal, brown rice, chicken, eggs, dairy products, garlic, molasses, onions, salmon, seafood, tuna, wheat germ, whole grains and most vegetables.

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    Beta Carotene –
    Beta-carotene is a form of vitamin A found in many foods that are dark orange, red, yellow and green vegetables and fruits such as broccoli, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, red and yellow peppers, apricots, cantaloupe and mangos.

    Source:
    http://www.whfoods.com/

    Superfood Power of Spirulina

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    Wholesomely Nutritious
    Spirulina are single celled organisms that survive by producing their energy through photosynthesis. These algae are in the class of cyanobacteria because cyano is Greek for blue. They contain chlorophyll (green color) phycocyanins & anthocyanins (blue color) which blend to give them the characteristic blue-green color.

    Spirulina contains an incredible array of nutrients that make them a functional whole food for sustaining life without the need for other foods. These algae contain pre-digested protein (in the form of amino acids) for quick absorption and high utilization rates. Spirulina contains essential omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA & DHA. Algae, in fact, are the very source that fish, krill and other animals obtain their omega 3’s.

    Spirulina is a rich source of the tough to find essential omega-6 fat GLA. It also provides nucleic acids (DNA & RNA) that provide a megadose of raw materials for DNA repair. Spirulina is a very rich source of critical B vitamin methylating agents such as B6 and folic acid. Spirulina has an extraordinary array of anti-oxidant phytonutrient anthocyanins. These anthocyanins are renowned for their powerful anti-carcinogenic properties.

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    Spirulina has strong anti-microbial effects that help create balance in the gut flora. It does this by controlling the growth of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts in the digestive system. This is critical for optimal digestion and nutritional absorption. Additionally, it is a very important part of detoxification through the bowel systems.

    Cleans The Blood
    Spirulina is a powerful blood cleanser due to its rich source of chlorophyll. It contains roughly ten times the amount of chlorophyll in green vegetables per volume. Chlorophyll helps build red blood cells in the body and provides an easily absorbable form of magnesium. This combination helps oxygenate the blood stream and removes organic toxins.

    Spirulina is very rich in carotenoid anti-oxidants. It has 10 times the amount of beta carotene (a form of vitamin A) per volume as carrots. Spirulina is also loaded with zeaxanthin and lutein. These antioxidants are extremely important for good vision and overall eye health.

    Spirulina contains polysaccharides that act to improve the functional productivity of the bone marrow, thymus and spleen cells. Phycocyanin and allophycocyanin, which help to form the blue color within spirulina (along with anthocyanins), have been shown to increase white blood cell counts.

    Spirulina is also the world’s best source of the anti-oxidant powerhouse superoxide dismutase (SOD). The superoxide molecule is one of the most tissue damaging substances within the body. SOD is a biological adaptation specifically designed to destroy the superoxide radical and to protect against any subsequent tissue damage. Inadequate superoxide dismutase formation leads to accelerated aging and tissue degeneration.

    The combination of SOD and carotenoids within spirulina make it very good for skin care. It is remarkable for improving aging spots, eczema, acne, & rashes. This combination also dramatically improves eye health. Individuals with glaucoma, cataracts, & poor vision should be sure to consume spirulina regularly.

    Resources:
    http://spirulina.org.uk/what_is_spirulina.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanobacteria
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirulina_(dietary_supplement)
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/412276
    http://www.spirulinafactory.com/spirulina-benefits.asp
    Organic Spirulina on Amazon

    Superfoods

    What is a superfood? I believe a superfood is any food that has the following characteristics: High nutritional density and low calories, high fiber, high in omega-3 fatty acids, loads of antioxidants and has to be rich in phytochemicals.

    Green superfoods help to regulate metabolism and burn fat. They are also high in minerals and vitamins. Drinking and eating raw green vegetables is the optimum way to receive these nutrients. chlorophyll is a substance that gives plants green color; green superfoods are high in chlorophyll. It increases the amount of hemoglobin and oxygen in the blood. Here are some of my favoirite green superfoods:

    My favorite…

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    Kale: Kale has been known to be the “new beef” and “queen of greens”. Just one cup of kale has 5 grams of fiber, 40% magnesium, 15% calcium, 36 calories, 180% vitamin A, 200% vitamin C, 1,020% vitamin K. Kale is also a high source of minerals such as iron, sulfur, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese. It also has anti-cancer fighting properties such as carotenoids, antioxidants, and flavonoids.

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    Broccoli: Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body’s detoxification system, and researchers have recently identified one of the key reasons for this detox benefit. Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin are 3 glucosinolate phytonutrients found in a special combination in broccoli.

    Just one cup of raw broccoli has an excellent source of immune-supportive vitamin C 135.2%, anti-inflammatory vitamin K 115.5%, and heart-healthy folate 14.3%.

    It is a very good source of free-radical-scavenging vitamin A 11.3% (through its concentration of carotenoid phytonutrients), enzyme-activating manganese 9.5% and molybdenum 6%; digestive-health-supporting fiber 9.4%; heart-healthy potassium 8.2% and vitamin B6 8%; and energy-producing vitamin B2 6.4% and phosphorus 6%. It is a good source of energy-producing vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, protein, and iron; bone-healthy magnesium and calcium; and antioxidant-supportive vitamin E and selenium.

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    Wheatgrass: Wheatgrass is one of the main vegetables used when detoxifying through juicing. Although bitter, wheatgrass is a powerful healing and detoxifying ingredient that is loaded with chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, biophotons, and amino acids. It gives you the nutrients that accelerate and facilitate detoxification, particularly in your liver. The enzymes and amino acids found in wheatgrass can protect us from carcinogens like no other food or medicine. It strengthens our cells, detoxifies the liver and bloodstream,

    The enzymes and amino acids found in wheatgrass can protect us from carcinogens like no other food or medicine. It strengthens our cells, detoxifies the liver and bloodstream, and chemically neutralizes environmental pollutants.

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    Blue-Green Algae (BGA): Spirulina, Chlorella and more
    The single-celled plants known as blue-green algae (BGA) are sold in health food stores as superior sources of protein, chlorophyll, carotenoid antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and disease-preventive phytonutrients. There are several types of BGAs, the most popular being spirulina and chlorella. These vegetables are watercress, parsley, cilantro, leek, chard, endive, mustard sprouts, spinach, algae and cabbage.

    The existing research, while lacking in many regards, suggests that BGAs exert some significant and perhaps unique preventive-health effects, most likely due to their polysaccharides, antioxidants, nucleic acids, and peptides. Preliminary evidence suggests that they have the following benefits:

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  • Spirulina inhibits the infectious power of many viruses—including HIV, flu, mumps, enterovirus, measles, and herpes—probably because a sulfated polysaccharide called calcium spirulan prevents viruses from entering human cells
  • Chlorella helps prevent cancer and the growth of tumors, probably because its glycoproteins enhance the migration of T cells to tumor sites
  • Chlorella binds to toxic heavy metals and dioxin and helps eliminate them from the body
  • Chlorella protects the intestinal lining against peptic ulcers

    Resources:

    http://ahha.org/articles.asp?Id=26
    http://www.squidoo.com/what-is-chlorella-good-for?
    http://www.healingcancernaturally.com/cancer-diet-and-nutrition.html
    http://www.oprah.com/health/Can-a-Plant-Based-Diet-Cure-Cancer