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let’s talk raw – juices and smoothies

Yesterday was a big day for green smoothies in our house.   The husband drank his first one.

While he’s had sips of mine before, he didn’t really like it and has never shown any real interest in drinking them himself.  For starters he doesn’t like banana, and since that’s the main ingredient in mine every day, it’s no wonder he sort of turned his nose up at them.  But in the spirit of wanting to up the health factor in his diet, he decided to give them a go. And he’s actually really liking them!  He obviously knows the way to my heart:)

Unfortunately I didn’t get a pic, but I ended up buying a bag of mixed fruit – peaches, pineapple and strawberries – and using that for sweetness instead of banana.  I also added a big handful of spinach, soymilk, 1/2 scoop of Amazing Grass and ice.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m currently reading Kris Carr’s new book, Crazy Sexy Diet, and I’m loving it.  As a wellness warrior, she advocates eating only raw food, preferably liquids (juices or smoothies) until lunch.

According to Kris that means “green juice, green smoothies, purified water, and teas.”  But this doesn’t mean that you have to starve as you can have as many servings of them as you need.  And “if that’s not enough for you, no worries, solid foods are definitely an option.”   I’m not one to jump on unrealistic fad diets, but as I’m learning more about the benefits of raw food, juices and smoothies, I am becoming more and more of a believer that the more raw foods you can incorporate into your diet the better. I feel overwhelmed (in a good way) by all the information I’ve absorbed, and while I want to share it all right here right now there’s just too much!

For now, I will say that one of the best things about starting the day off with green juice or a green smoothie (after a big glass of purified water with lemon of course) is that it gives the body an instant shot of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, protein and oxygen, plus a major hydration boost.  And the body barely has to do anything to digest it!  Little work + lots of healthy stuff = pure energy and vibrance.

One thing to remember though is that when our bodies are used to digesting and storing more acidic foods, it will take a sort of short detox phase to adjust as the body gets rid of toxins.   During that time you may in fact feel less energetic…but just give it a few days to a week and you’ll be so glad you did.  It took about 3 days for me, and this morning I felt noticeably more energetic than previous days.

There was a time when I didn’t understand how juicing was so good for you.  Doesn’t it remove all the good fiber?  Won’t it raise my blood sugar if the fiber isn’t there to balance out the natural sugar in fruit?  While it may raise blood sugar a bit, it won’t be a big deal as long as the overall ratio of veggies to fruit is about 3:1, as fruit has more natural sugars.  And make sure they are vegetables that are low on the GI scale – like cucumber instead of carrots.  A great one to start off with is 1 whole organic (or peeled if it’s not organic) cucumber, several stalks of organic celery and a small apple.  But have fun playing around with different combinations!

Coming full-circle now, let’s talk smoothies again.  Smoothies are almost just as amazing for the body as juices…and they also keep you full longer. The body does have to work a bit to digest them, but still not nearly as much as with solid food, and the fiber provides longer lasting fullness and energy.  Plus, they’re easier to make.

As Kris explains, “the difference between a juice and a smoothie is that a smoothie leaves no pulp behind – it contains all the fantastic fiber of the ingredients.  The tough cellulose structure of the produce is broken into tiny pieces that are easy for your body to digest and assimilate.  Think of it as a pre-chewed blast of optimum nutrition.”

My green smoothie was just a smidge different than usual this morning. In an effort to keep it 100% raw, I subbed in water for my usual almond milk.  I was kind of concerned that it would loose it’s delicious creamy factor, but I could hardly tell a difference!

2 big handfuls of organic spinach + 1 banana + 1 cup water + 1 scoop of Amazing Grass (with a side of folded towels:)

As I talk more about raw/vegan food, I want to make it clear (as always) that whatever each individual can do that improves their health and quality of life is like gold.  If that means introducing green juice or green smoothies once a week or eating three raw meals a week, then that’s great!  The fact is that no one is perfect and the more we put pressure on ourselves to be perfect – in any area of our lives- the more we’re setting ourselves up to fail. I’m currently trying to eliminate sugar from my diet as much as possible, but yesterday afternoon I got a serious craving and nothing but the vegan peanut butter cookies I’d made for the husband would do.  So I ate one.  And it was delicious.  It didn’t lessen the healthiness of my morning and I can definitely tell you it improved the healthiness of my mind because it reminded me that perfection is overrated and food is to be enjoyed.  The thing I’m realizing though, is that the more I use food to take care of my body and promote energy and vitality, the more I do enjoy it.

Amen?

This morning I’m spending some time going through my yoga class for tonight.  I only have two classes left!  I’m really going to miss teaching and am hoping I can get a new position asap.  Also on the schedule for today is three tutoring appointments and of course…packing.  I probably don’t even have to say that anymore, huh?  It’s kind of a given that there will be packing going on here during any down time for the next week and a half.  Crazy times.

Hope you all have a great Wednesday – the week is almost halfway over!

*Note that I’m only talking about food intake up until noon.  Kris doesn’t necessarily advocate eating a 100% raw diet.
**I also want to add that while I am really enjoying Crazy Sexy Diet, and I feel like I’m learning a lot of valuable information, Kris writing style is very forward.  At times she uses language that could be a bit offensive to some, and while I personally don’t like it, I choose to look past it because for me the information is worth it.  Just an FYI if you’re considering reading the book.

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deck the halls

Random fact on this lovely Friday: somebody found my blog by searching the phrase “chia seed in my eye.”

I kinda like that, lol:)  Not going to find any advice here, though!

I mentioned the other day that Jon and I decorated for Christmas on Sunday.  I love decorating for Christmas!  Last year during this time I hadn’t even started ChiaSeedMe yet.  I was kind of in a transition between blogs.  I had been writing at Brand New Sidewalk about random life happenings for about a year, but with the craziness also known as my first year of teaching, I just didn’t have the time or energy to put into it!

So, I started a tumbler, thinking it would be a good way to keep blogging, but with shorter, less-time consuming entries.  I really liked tumbler, and sometimes I think I’d like to keep blogging there (in addition to CSM), but so far it hasn’t happened.  My tumbler was geared a little more toward healthy living, but I really made the jump when I started ChiaSeedMe.

So in the spirit of decorating for Christmas here are some of last year’s decorations.

And this year.

Oops!  That’s not a decoration.  That would be my breakfast.  A random juicing of carrots, apple, a lime, small piece of ginger and a few handfuls of spinach (aka – everything that I could scavenge from my oh so empty fridge).  Plus half a leftover Cliff bar.

Let’s try this again.

And of course Christmas at our house wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for my Grandpa’s peanut brittle.  He spends hours making it every year, and it’s the best peanut brittle there ever was.

The husband and I will be spending the whole weekend Christmas shopping!  I’m so excited.

What are you most excited about this weekend?

Happy Friday!

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i’m back

It was a wonderful weekend, despite how busy and crazy it was.  I made new friends, learned proper technique on tons of yoga poses as well as a plethora of other yoga topics, and after my community service I’ll officially receive my certificate as a YogaFit yoga instructor.

Honestly, I didn’t take one picture all weekend.   I know, right?  I don’t even know what to do with myself right now.  No pictures?!  My days were so full on Saturday and Sunday I honestly didn’t have time to even think about the camera.

Friday night Jon and I arrived in Dallas around 11pm and knowing that I had to wake up at 6 the next morning, I hit the sack soon after.  Saturday morning I left around 7:20, drove to the gym where my training was being held, and didn’t get back home until 6:30pm.  Jon and I celebrated my first day of training by making a quick trek through Ikea and then hitting up some Mexican food for dinner.   I was just so exhausted by that point that my camera didn’t even make it into the restaurant, so no food pics:(

By the time we got back to my sister’s apartment, I was so exhausted I literally collapsed for the night.  Sunday was essentially the same story, except instead of hitting up Ikea and Mexican food, we hit the road for the 4 hour drive home, arriving home last night around 10pm.

Today has definitely been kind of tough getting back on schedule because I’ve just been so tired!  As soon as I woke up this morning I knew I needed to energize myself with the most energy filled breakfast I could think of.

one green apple, 1 small beet, 1/2 lime, 2 stalks celery, 1 organic carrot

plus a piece of ginger about the size of my thumb:)

Don’t worry, I didn’t just eat all this raw.  I juiced it of course!

However, I somehow forgot to take a picture of my juice…doh!  I told you my brain is still not quite functioning properly after the crazy weekend.  Take it from me, though, it was beautiful and tasty!

I also had an orange on the side for a little vitamin c and fiber:)

And a little later I snacked on my favorite Larabar of all time before heading out for tutoring.

I’m off to get some yoga in, but later I’ll be doing a recap of my YogaFit training weekend and sharing what I think about the company and their training seminar.

Hope you all had a great weekend! 

What was the best thing you did/the best thing that happened to you all weekend?  Big or small! Mine was honestly getting to reunite with the husband after an entire day apart on Saturday:)

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i’m in love

While this girl slept in this morning…

…Jon and I went for a quick run.  The Garmin was acting kind of goofy this morning, so I’m not sure about the stats.  What I do know is that it was hot…and sticky.  But it felt great once we got back into the a/c!  I’m not sure how we survived without it when we lived in Thailand.  It’s funny because I don’t remember it bothering me all that much.  I guess it’s all about perspective and what you’re used to!

For breakfast I made a new juice

1 beet, 1 apple, 1 pear, 1 large carrot and a small handful of blackberries

My stash is runnin’ low!!  No more juice until I make a trip to the store:(  And as I told you yesterday, that may be awhile…unless we break down.

I wanted to show you guys what it looks like right after it comes out and before I pour it into a glass.  I get giddy watching it come out because it’s so pretty! I gaze longingly into the cup…and my heart skips a beat.

Okay, now I’m scaring myself.

Back away from the juice, Candice.

Can you see me?

nice stems.  ow ow!

I kid. I kid.

If you missed my juicer review, don’t forget to check it out.  You won’t be sorry!

This morning I’m spending some time working on PiYo.  You see, getting the certification was the easiest part.  Now it’s time to actually put together a class.  I’m not gonna lie to you guys – it’s intimidating! Don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited about it.  But before I can teach I have to memorize the poses, the cueing for modifications and what to say to guide students through the poses.

PiYo is very flexible (in more ways than one!) in that you can either use one of the pre-choreographed lessons the company already created, or you can put together your own sequences of poses.  I keep leaning toward putting together my own so I can use the poses that I love the most, but it’s all a little overwhelming, and I think just learning the pre-choreographed class would be easier to begin with.  Ahh!

Succeeding in your dreams is all about pushing through when things are scary or hard.  And I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s scary and hard when you step out to pursue something that you love.  I used to think it’d be easy, but it’s not.

I’m starting to change my perspective to look at intimidating challenges as a chance to get that rush from accomplishing something that you didn’t think you could accomplish rather than backing down when fear rears it’s ugly head.

Well, I gotta run.  I’m meeting a friend for lunch today, and I’m cuttin’ it close!  See you all later on:)

How do you tend to handle fear and intimidation?  Are you good at tackling challenges head on?

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second time around

Thank you all for the wonderful comments this morning!  You guys totally made my day!  Well…you and Foodbuzz :)   lol.

I really do appreciate your support tremendously.  ChiaSeedMe would not be the same without you.

After yesterday’s 7 hours of driving and 8 hour certification class, I just could not pull myself out of bed on time this morning!  I slept in until Jon left for world at 8am, then finally lured myself out of bed by envisioning a refreshing and energizing juice. mmm.

1 beet, 1 apple, 1 pear, 2 carrots

Totally did the trick:)

I also managed to make it to the gym and crank out a 5k on the treadmill.  It was a tough run…but I’m really trying to start pushing myself more.  Instead of focusing on the discomfort, I want to focus more on the satisfaction of sprinting that last mile….or running it 20 seconds faster. Whatever it may be.  It really worked today, and I felt so great!

Lunch was leftovers from the other night.

stir-fry veggies with bulgur, chick peas and chias

I had mentioned before that this stir-fry sauce I made was a total fail…but honestly, it tasted better today than it did the first time.  I kinda liked it!

Later on I snacked on a brown rice cake with natural pb, sliced banana a chia seeds – one of my favorite snacks:)

Dinner tonight was leftover enchiladas.  muahahaha.

Today when I met with Mohammad for our tutoring session, he had some bad news to tell me – he’s moving!  This was totally out of the blue.  Basically (we learned that word today:) he just isn’t happy with the classes he’s taking at the institute here, so he’s moving to OKC to attend a different one. Wednesday will be our last meeting together.  I’m really going to miss it because I’ve been enjoying tutoring a lot!

So, you guessed it.  That leaves me jobless once again.  And once again, I’m just trusting that God has something better for me. It’s not easy, but I’m turning away from lies and believing truth.  Something that I’m getting to work on a lot lately:)

In other news…

…this little guy left us yesterday.  While Olive certainly has a little more peace in her life, Jon and I are kinda missing him.

Well, I’m off to cuddle with the husband.  What a great day it’s been; let’s try to top it tomorrow!

And a couple questions for you guys because I love getting to know more about you!  What better way to find out more about you guys than hearing about your lovable fur babies? Or lack thereof;)

Are you a dog person or a cat person? Or neither?
What kind of pet(s) do you have and what are their names?

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