Fruit Fact: Grapefruits Fight Free Radicals

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Free radicals causes cells in our bodies to breakdown, and foods that are high in vitamin C can significantly reduce and prevent oxidative stress on our cells. Thus grapefruits, carrots, oranges and tomatoes to name a few, are exceptionally high in vitamin C.

Oxidative stress is now thought to make a significant contribution to all inflammatory diseases (arthritis, vasculitis, glomerulonephritis, lupus erythematous, adult respiratory diseases syndrome), ischemic diseases (heart diseases, stroke, intestinal ischema), hemochromatosis, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, emphysema, organ transplantation, gastric ulcers, hypertension and preeclampsia, neurological disorder (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy), alcoholism, smoking-related diseases, and many others.

An excess of oxidative stress can lead to the oxidation of lipids and proteins, which is associated with changes in their structure and functions.

Oxidative stress also causes premature aging and wrinkles. If you don’t want to look old before your time, choose the right foods.

The foods we choose to eat contributes to the health of our cells. What we put in our bodies everyday significantly affects us on a cellular level. If you choose to smoke, drink alcohol and take drugs, your cells will be damaged. If you choose to eat processed foods and junk foods, your cells will be damaged. It’s easy science. Know the facts and make wiser choices.

To read more about oxidative stress and to obtain the article where I found this information click here.

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Papaya: My New Obsession

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Papaya’s are my new obsession at the moment. I go through these fazes with fruits and vegetables all the time. Right now it’s papaya. It is extremely healthy for you. Just one whole papaya has 168.08 mg of vitamin C, and a whopping 2622.00 International Units of vitamin A.

According to whfoods website, papayas may prevent a number of health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, aging and cancer. To read more about these health benefits click here.

Papaya alone will not prevent those diseases. It’s the other foods along with papayas that will determine your faith. I’m all about eating foods that will nourish my body. Especially, the ones that has anti-aging benefits…lol! I want to age gracefully and healthy. Who doesn’t? Those kinds of foods are whole foods and plant-based.

I quote from the book Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by, T. Colin Campbell, PhD:

“The foods you consume can heal you faster and more profoundly than the most expensive prescription drugs, and more dramatically than the most extreme surgical interventions, with only positive side effects.”

This book is phenomenal. The only diet now that can promise you and me that, is a whole food plant-based diet. I highly recommend reading it, and Healthy Eating Healthy World by, J. Morris Hicks, and The China Study by, Dr. Campbell again.

These three books will transform your outlook on food, nutrition and your life forever. There is much to be gained from reading these books. They are clearly written and powerfully true with scientific researches to support each claim. You will be able to comprehend and implement the changes into your life, and benefit from them.

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Some photos of how I incorporate papayas in my diet. It’s all plant-based foods.

Vegan Red Cabbage Slaw

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Ingredients

1 organic small red cabbage
3 organic carrots
5 organic radishes
1 cup organic almond slices
2 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
2 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon
2 tablespoon organic olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of organic ground cardamom
1 tablespoon organic maple syrup
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions
Step 1
Quarter cabbage, and discard core. Shred cabbage and carrots. Slice radishes thinly. Transfer to a large bowl.

Step 2
In a small bowl, stir together mayo, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, and ground cardamom. Season with salt and pepper. Now, pour mixture in with cabbage, and toss to combine. Just before serving, sprinkle cabbage with the almond slices.

EAT A VEGAN MEAL

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Each year, the average American consumes 175 pounds of meat and poultry, almost double the global average. Eating less red meat may do you a favor: It can lower your risk of cancer and heart disease. “Learn to love big heaps of vegetables,” says Mark Bittman New York Times food columnist and author of VB6.

To achieve that feeling, Bittman says to try meatless proteins, such as lentils, edamame, garbanzo beans and tofu. He also recommends roasting six sweet potatoes. “The more you cook and have stuff around, the less you’ll depend on junk.”

He’s right! Once you prepare your meals ahead of time, the less likely you will make bad food choices. I think salads are super easy. Every weekend I spend over $70 dollars on organic vegetables and fruits. Apples alone I spend about $10 dollars. Between me and my three children, we go through apples quickly. Salads are great for lunch and dinner. They’re easy to make and can be very filling. Just pile on the fruits and vegetables and don’t forget your plant-based protein. You can’t go wrong!

Here’s one of my favorite recipes with garbanzo beans:

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Ingredients:
1 bunch of kale
1 Tbsp of olive oil
3 chopped garlics
1 chopped onion
1 cup chopped cranberries
2 cups garbanzo beans
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions:
Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add chopped onions, garlic and red peppers. Cook until onions are slightly translucent. Add kale, garbanzo beans and cranberries then, sauté for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and peppers. Toss in almonds.

Yield 4 servings

The idea here is to eat more plants, especially leaves. Plants are a great source of vital nutrients, enzymes, antioxidants, and minerals. And eat as many different kinds of plants as possible. They all have different antioxidants and so help the body eliminate different kinds of toxins.

Sources:
January 2014 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Kale food facts: High Vitamin K and Anti-Cancer properties
Plant-Based Research

My Sweet Butterhead Lettuce Salad

This past weekend I picked up a Butterhead lettuce from my local green market. They’re also known as Boston or Bibb lettuce. They’re pretty sweet. The Boston lettuce is similar to iceberg lettuce because they’re round. The only difference is that the Boston lettuce leaves are not as hard and stacked closely together.

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The leaves are also cupped which, is really an added bonus for serving special foods in them.

I love eating salads, so my way of enjoying Boston lettuce is by cutting up the leaves. I mix in a variety of other vegetables and fruit to create a beautiful dish. The photo below I did today for my lunch. This particular lettuce really holds up well in the refrigerator which, is why I like buying it.

If you noticed in the picture, I added a baked sweet potato in this salad. Sweet potatoes are very nutritious for us, and it’s excellent in salads too. According to whfood website, they are high in vitamin A, C, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium and fiber. For a more detail description on the nutritional value for sweet potato click here.

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My salad also has figs, blueberries, tomatoes, red onions, avocados, radishes, and yellow bell peppers. Super easy, and super clean eating. I hope my salad inspires you to eat more raw clean foods.

Raw Foodists For Three Days

I just decided today for the rest of this week, I will only eat raw foods. Eating a raw food diet is vey beneficial to your body. According to The Best of Raw Food website, when your diet consist of more than 75% raw foods, these are some of the improvements likely to happen to you.

  • More energy
  • Up to 3 hours more sleep
  • Weight loss
  • More beautiful skin
  • Clarity of mind and better memory
  • Improved immune system
  • Improved fertility
  • Prevent or even reverse diabetes

  • Raw plant foods are rich in oxidizing, alkalinizing chlorophyll. Live foods contain a specific balance of natural forces. Plant foods like vegetables, fruits, sprouted legumes, and nuts have a collection of proteins, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins found within them. But, what is raw foods? According to The Best of Raw Food, it consist of raw foods that hasn’t been cooked or heated above 42 C/118 F degrees and preferably:

    Unprocessed – as fresh (or wild) as possible
    Organic – no irradiation, preservatives, pesticides or GMO.

    So to kick off my three day raw diet, I started my morning with a fresh organic juice. It had carrots, kale, oranges, ginger and a lemon. Most of these items came from my local farmers market. Please go out a support your local farm.

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    Now raspberries are in season. I was able to get a small batch of blueberries last weekend, so I had some of that for breakfast. My lunch will be a fresh garden salad jazzed up with some raw nuts.

    In between my meals, I’ll drink white/green organic teas, fresh juices and my lemon water.

    If you are interested in a raw food diet. Check out this website. I think it has the best step-by-step raw diet plan that’s easy to follow. Click here for The best of Raw Food website. They also have fabulous raw food recipes to help you along the way.

    References:
    Raw Food – One of Your Keys to Outstanding Health by Wes Peterson, Mercola.com

    Vegan Salad: No lettuce Required

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    Who says, you need lettuce to make a salad? I know, but I won’t mention who for the sake of his reputation. A salad doesn’t need lettuce in order for it to be considered a salad. A salad can be a combination of any fruit, vegetable, or grain.

    This particular salad I’m showcasing doesn’t have any. It’s just a simple organic salad I put together at work. It has tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, peaches, apples, and a baked sweet potato. Most of these items, came from my local farmers market. It’s important that everyone go out and support their local farmers market.

    It’s really an awesome feeling meeting and buying foods from the actual growers. Plus, the freshness and flavors of the fruits and vegetables are amazing. There’s also dairy farms, turkey farms, organic bakery’s, honey farms, fresh eggs, wine, wild fish and so much more.

    Grocery store foods are highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Buying from local family owned farms the food is generally grown organically while using methods that minimizes the impact on the earth, and the food is fresher and healthier. Please go out and support your local farms.

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    Here’s a picture of everything before it was cut up. There was no reasoning behind selecting these items. They were randomly selected with only one goal in mind, “I’m not paying for another city lunch!” Buying lunch in Manhattan can be very costly, so I try to bring in my lunch as much as I can. Plus, its healthier preparing and cooking your own meals.

    Find out below where you can locate your local farmers market. Go out and support them!

    Other Reads:
    Farmers Market in NYC: Grownyc.org
    My Farmers Market
    Find Your Local Farmers Market Here

    My #1 Tip for Eating Healthy

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    My number one tip for eating healthy would be to substitute one processed meal either breakfast, lunch or dinner for a raw food meal. Take my lunch here for instance, it’s a bowl of organic, raw vegetables, and fruits. It has vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

    Eating processed foods can decrease your body’s ability to function efficiently. According to Dr. Campbell, (author of The China Study), a diet that consist of processed foods are suggested to be related to the development of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, aging, shorter lifespan, psycho-behavioral conditions, cancer and many more illnesses. Processed foods like refined sugars, white flour, processed meats, packaged foods, flavored noodle mixes, packaged mac and cheese, soda and other processed foods are notorious for containing questionable levels of phosphate-laden ingredients as well as genetically engineered ingredients, which are destructive to your health.

    According to the American Heart Association, we down about 22 teaspoons of sugar a day; that’s why diabetes and obesity are high amongst American’s.

    I recommend eating a diet that consist of mostly plant-based with whole grains, nuts and fruits. These foods are rich in fiber, omega-3’s, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and so much more vital nutrients our body needs to be healthy. After changing my diet, I can honestly say, I feel wonderful. The biggest change was my energy level especially, after eating my meals. I didn’t feel bloated, lethargic, or groggy. Instead, I felt refueled and ready to tackle the rest of my day.

    The main idea is to stay away from anything unnatural or processed. I think by adding a raw meal into your daily diet will help to propel you to make wiser choices. By doing so, you’ll have more energy, and the most important one of all, your body is getting the proper nutrients it needs.

    If you can, stick to organic foods. Since organic standards ban the use of artificial food dyes, genetically engineered foods, and additives it’s safer. Now I don’t buy everything organic. I definitely follow the, Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list. According to their website, the Dirty Dozen generally have the most pesticide residues when grown conventionally because they’re more prone to pesky bugs. I also shop at my local farmers market.

    The EWG also recommends peeling fruits and vegetables or removing outer layers of leafy greens. That 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.

    Be selective and do your research.

    My Edamame Breakfast

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    For those of you who don’t know what an edamame is (pronounced “ed-uh-MAH-may”), it’s a green vegetable more commonly known as a soybean.

    According to the edamame.com website, edamame is a green vegetable more commonly known as a soybean, harvested at the peak of ripening right before it reaches the “hardening” time.

      Just 85 grams, or 1/2 cup of beans, contains 9 grams of protein, making edamame a protein powerhouse.

    Your body needs protein as a source of energy and to maintain muscle. Our cells and organs, our muscles, our connective tissue, and even our bones could not hold together as the key body parts they are without the help of protein.

    Vegan’s and vegetarian’s are always searching for alternatives for substituting for meat-protein, and edamame would the perfect substitute.

    For breakfast, I had 2 tablespoons of edamame hummus with a handful of pita chips, and my grapefruit. It was delicious and crunchy. This was a very simple breakfast with a lot of protein. Not my typical breakfast but definitely one I will incorporate more because it was very filling and satisfying.

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    I actually love edamame. Here’s a picture of the one I recently purchased from Trader’s. It’s very tasty!

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    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!