Recently one of my gal pals noticed that I look slimmer and healthier (love her for telling me that) and she wanted to know what I was doing differently. I told her that in addition to cutting bread, processed sugar and alcohol out of my diet, I had also started juicing. She was intrigued, so I decided to share my two favorite juicing recipes in my segment this week.
Since I cut out bread and processed sugar and started juicing, I have lost 8 pounds and my skin looks better, too. I also keep track of my daily water consumption to make sure I'm keeping up.
In addition, I started tracking my food and calories on Livestrong's My Daily Plate. This is the link if you want to try it - http://www.livestrong.com/myplate/. It is free and easy to use. This website instantly tracks my calories, nutrients, fiber intake, sugar consumption and more. Plus it makes me accountable, so if I really want a decadent snack, I think twice.
Of course, exercise is important, too. So I started a rule that no one interrupts mom for 45 minutes each day when I'm in my room working out to an exercise video.
I still get snack and sugar cravings, but not nearly as much as I did before I made these changes. If I make myself a juice drink instead, that usually does the trick since it is filling and satisfying. Here are two recipes that have helped me continue to curb my cravings. I have also noticed an improvement in my skin and in my energy level when I drink these two recipes.
The first recipe comes from the amazing Pomegranate Cafe, located at 40th Street and Chandler Blvd. in Ahwatukee. I watched them make my order one day and started copying it at home on my own juicer. Pomegranate Cafe calls it the Braveheart and when I drink one several times a week, I always notice a difference in my skin.
Before I give you the recipe, let me talk about my juicer. I put off getting one for a long time because I thought one would cost me several hundred dollars, but the one I have sells for $64.99 on amazon.com. It is called the T-fal Balanced Living Juice Extractor and I absolutely love mine. It is much easier to use than I thought it would be. The only part of it that is a small pain is the clean-up, only because you need to clean it right after you use it or you will have to do some scrubbing later. The company did make the parts dishwasher safe, so that makes life easier.
Now let's make the Braveheart drink. I will tell you that I love this drink, but some of my friends do not like it, while others like it a lot. Juicing does take some getting used to, but I really enjoy my green juice now and I feel so much better when I drink it on a regular basis. To me the Braveheart tastes like celery and cucumber. Here is my version of the recipe that I call my Go Green Skin Saver....
Go Green Skin Saver - my adopted version from Pomegranate Cafe
What You Need:
as much kale as you want to use
as much leafy greens as you want to use
3 or 4 stalks of celery
one orange, freshly squeezed
What You Do:
1. Using a juicer, process the apple first. A whole apple can be placed in a juicer because it juices the fruit and removes the core, seeds and stem. I love that about a good juicer.
2. Juice 1/2 cucumber and then the greens and kale.
3. Next juice the celery.
4. Take container of juice and top off with a freshly squeezed orange. Mix and enjoy!
The kale in this recipe gives you good fiber with low calories and no fat. One cup of kale only has 36 calories in it and I think it is filling. It is also high in iron and Vitamin K. It has powerful antioxidants and is a great anti-inflammatory food. It is also high in Vitamin A, which is good for your vision and for your skin. This is probably one reason why I notice an improvement in my skin when I drink the Braveheart. Kale is also high in calcium which helps to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility.
The celery in this recipe gives you a good dose Vitamin A as well as potassium, folic acid, calcium and magnesium plus you get essential amino acids. Something interesting that I learned about celery juice is that replaces lost electrolytes and rehydrates the body with rich minerals, so it is good after a workout, too.
Cucumber also rehydrates the body since it is 95% water, plus you get a good source of Vitamin B which gives you energy.
Remember that old expression, eat an apple a day to keep the doctor away? There is a reason that the saying has stuck. Apples give you a lot of fiber, are filling and can satisfy a sweet tooth. Apples are also a good source of Vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system. I also found articles quoting multiple studies that state that apples may lower your risk of heart disease and strokes. The benefits of the good ol' apple go on and on, so I'm glad that it is a key ingredient in this drink.
And last but not least, topping the Braveheart off with a freshly squeezed orange is good for you because the orange is full of soluble fiber which is helpful in reducing cholesterol. You also get a good dose of potassium and Vitamin C. When I read that oranges protect skin due to the beta-carotene antioxidant content, that made sense to me since I do see the improvements in my skin after consuming this drink several times a week.
Since the Braveheart worked so well for me, I decided to buy a book to learn what other drinks could be made for my health. I purchased "The Juicing Bible" by Pat Crocker and this has been a great resource full of recipes and good information.
Another important food to eat is yogurt, but the flavored yogurts sold in stores are full of sugar and added ingredients that I don't want, so I use my juicer to make my own homemade mixed berry yogurt smoothie. Plain nonfat yogurt gives you the calcium your body needs and you get protein without excess calories. Digestion is also aided with a good plain nonfat yogurt due to the friendly probiotic bacteria the yogurt gives your body. Yogurt also gives you a good bit of potassium, too. Potassium helps to flush unnecessary sodium from your body.
My problem is that I detest plain yogurt, so I started making my own mixed berry yogurt smoothie in my juicer. The berries that I use are also giving me great health benefits. Here is my Manic Managed Mom Mixed Berry Yogurt smoothie recipe....
What You Need:
1 cup of blueberries
1 cup of hulled fresh strawberries
1 cup of raspberries
1 cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt
What You Do:
1. Place the berries (one cup at a time) in the juicer. Process berries.
2. Add yogurt to finished mixed berry juice and whisk the yogurt together with the berry juice. If you need to sweeten the mixture, add organic honey. Serve into smoothie glass and enjoy.
Do you have a favorite juicing recipe? I would love to know about it, so share in the comments section and visit my blog at www.managedmoms.com for more recipes, health news, parenting articles and more. Here's to eating and living well!