Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chugging Vegetable Juice

So Monday morning I started drinking dark green leafy vegetable juice- convenient timing considering how I am also working on starting a business that sells dark green leafy vegetable juice. Let me tell is amazing (I added alot of fresh pressed apple juice!). If I didn't get full after a giant glass, I would drink more. I was literally chugging it like I had been deprived of water in a desert.

These are the veggies that I used:

  • kale
  • collards
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • parsley
  • dandelion greens (sooooo healthy for you!)
  • cilantro
  • celery
  • carrots w/ their tops

I wrote a few weeks ago how I literally  have been craving vegetable juice now for a few weeks. I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (again) and was like I NEED VEGETABLE JUICE!!!!! Well now I have it and I am taking advantage. I'll let you know if there are any breakthroughs along the way. Psst...I don't want to speak too the past week that I have been mostly raw and drinking this green juice my skin has majorly cleared up. Crossing my fingers! The real test will be when I get my EPISODE which is due to destroy me within the next week or so.

When I was first introduced to the dark green juice many many years ago by my grandfather (who's 87, still physically healthy, and drinks this stuff everyday!) I was completely grossed out. It was dark and pungent smelling and unbearably undrinkable. That was when I was in college and I'm sure I was slightly hungover, had just finished McDonald's (or similar), &/or wasn't the slight bit interested in the benefits of dark green leafy vegetable juice.

Fast forward 6 or 7 years and I have a whole new perspective. Plus I am mixing the dark serious stuff with fresh pressed apple juice which is what makes it drinkable (at least at my stage in the game). But after reading all about the health benefits of incorporating more dark greens leafy vegetables into your diet it doesn't matter to me what you have to mix it with to get it into your stomach- so long as it gets into your stomach. I know plenty of people who are afraid of fruit because they have been brainwashed by mainstream that it is high in sugar, and are going to be afraid of mixing it with fruit juice. But seriously, even though fruit juice (I'm talking fresh pressed not the junk you buy in stores) is sugary they are 100% natural and all of the vitamins and healthy stuff is still there and hasn't been cooked off. P.S. all fruit juices you buy in a grocery store have been cooked so there is not much nutritional value if any.

This brings up a whole new idea that I had which is most people are going to need to mix fruit juice into this stuff so they can actually drink it....

Should we sell different strengths? Like one for beginners which is mixed with say 75% fruit juice, then the novice which is 50% fruit juice (I'm somewhere in between those two), then the serious level with 25% fruit juice, and finally the master level at 100% full strength dark green leafy vegetable juice.

So I ask you...if you were buying this stuff and you needed to mix it with fruit juice in order to actually drink it and get the health benefits, would you rather buy it pre-mixed OR would you rather buy the full strength stuff and mix it yourself?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My thoughts on "occupying" things

Yesterday was Occupy You Food Suppy day #OFS. I get it that people are fed up with how things are being run- I am too. The government is in bed with big dairy, big business, big agriculture, big banks & everyone else who loves free money.

While generally I think it is a good thing that people stand up for what they believe in, "occupying" anything other than a job is really not going to benefit anyone- including yourself.

I agree that the food industry is a F'ed up. I agree that we are fatter and sicker because of it. I agree that something needs to be done. But what I don't agree with is "occupying" anything- except maybe the White House lawn (b/c whether you want to face it or not, all this bullshit wouldn't be possible without a big government, handouts, and lobbying). The Occupy Movement that started with Wall Street (which was in my humble opinion a bunch of misinformed, wanna-be hippies that had no real agenda and no work ethic) was such a time and money suck that I am not going to waste any more time talking about it. Now the Occupiers are occupying what? food stores? Monsanto's corporate headquarters? Who knows. As far as I could see it didn't make the evening news.

Here are some actual things every ordinary person who cares about themselves, their health, their wallet, and their families can do without having the I'm-a-hippie-and-I-need-something-to-cry-about stigma:

  • buy more produce, it doesn't even have to be organic
  • stop buying the junk that's making you and your children fat monsters
  • buy seeds and start growing some of your own food (instead of spending hundred of $'s on pretty flowers for your garden)
It doesn't have to be this big to-do to make changes. All you have to do is vote with your fork and your dolla dolla bills yo! We don't need more farm bills or Occupy Movements. Get the government/evil food industry out of your food by changing the food that you buy. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Going RAW: Part Deux

It has been almost a week that I have been eating a mostly raw food diet. Wohooo! Even though it is not my goal to cut out cooked food cold turkey I feel like I have a pretty good handle on it. I am not going to stress about it if I absolutely want to eat something cooked every once and a while. I think that my body will take care of what it needs over time and I will want it less and less.

I hired help of course. Lisa was kind enough to fit me into her schedule and help a sista out by making her heavier "transition" raw foods. I can handle fruit salad, smoothies, and green salads (although she does make me a few of these) but I asked her to make me things that are going to be as close to cooked food as possible like her zucchini pasta with creamy basil pesto!

Everything is awesome! I am finding that even with raw food I really love savory (salty) food over sweet. I have always been one for salty things- especially potato chips.

What a change since the last time I tried to do this! If you don't remember (or weren't reading my blog yet) I tried this last November when we were just getting into winter and I was crazy busy with work. I found myself completely freezing and wanted nothing but soup. So I parked it for a few months. Now we are over the hump and spring is around the corner. I don't have the insane need for hot things anymore. I am ready!

Why am I doing this? Well, after last month's EPISODE followed by a bad cold, I was fed up and felt like the next thing to do was to completely change my diet. Enter raw food. I have been reading about people who have made the change and am amazed by their testimonials about how much their health improved. So I thought I would give it a shot. I want to try to maximize the amount of vitamins and minerals I am getting from my food.

Most people, when I tell them what I am doing, say 'oh, I could  never do that', and you know what they probably can't. Because when you say you can't do something you are right. You are putting limitations on yourself before you even try. I used to say that I could never give up meat. Oh how far I've come!

Anyone out there considering going raw? or has and has some advice?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Raw Generation Juices Coming Soon!

I swear....we are really going to be able to show something for
all this work!
We (my father and I) have made quite a bit of progress over the past 3 weeks. For a while I was overwhelmed  because there were a million things to do, but now we are at a point where things are really starting to come together.  First huge accomplishment...we decided on the name Raw Generation (which I think I told you about), second...we decided on a logo after about 18 different variations. Ta-daaaaah~

I know this wasn't even one of the original 9 that I asked your opinions on. We had settled on one of them, but then had some issues with how to apply it to our marketing materials so we went back to the drawing board (Photoshop) and it morphed into this! Hope you all like it as much as we do!

Third...on to the website. I have a love hate relationship with creating websites. A few years ago I decided I wanted to learn HTML/CSS so I could make my own websites. I bought one of those Dummies books (300+ pages) and started from scratch. The basic stuff worked when I did it, but as the code became more complicated I realized that I am not a natural nor do I have the patience/time to study PHP, Appache, JavaScript, & MySQL to figure out what the F was going on. So I Google'd "webesite creator" and found worked (except on Apple computers) and it was right up my alley because it is drag and drop much like I am used to with Photoshop. Then I got into blogging, which Wix didn't have at the time. 

Enter WordPress. I HATE WORDPRESS! I spent literally the entire summer last year trying to build a blog/website in WordPress and after 60+ days of fudging around I had a glitchy site that looked nothing like I wanted it to. So I gave up and started this blog on Blogger. It has most of the functionality that I was looking for and I could customize it enough to be happy with the way it looks. If you know me you know that I am almost OCD about the way things look- my house, my websites, my graphics, the food I take photos of...aesthetics are ridiculously important to me. 

When it came time to start the Raw Generation website I needed something more powerful that included eCommerce. I did some looking around and found which was the only website creator I found that had a shopping cart, blog, and looked super easy to customize. It's also set up like a smart phone with apps you can download and they almost seamlessly integrate with your website. You don't have to fudge around with complicated code (like with WordPress) unless you want to. 

I think I literally started on this Wednesday of this week (2 days ago) and I already have more than half it done!!! Here's a sneak peak:

I am amazed at how easy it is to work in! WordPress should take some notes; they could really learn a thing or two from Shopify.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Conflicting Information About Raw Milk

Yesterday I was contacted by two different family members about news reports of people supposedly getting sick from raw milk. This coming after the news of the Feds shutting down a raw dairy farm in Pennsylvania because they sold their products across state lines. Frankly, I think it is udderly (pun intended) ridiculous that the United States Federal Government is so concerned with dairy farmers who run clean farms and provide a healthy product that is in demand by people who are disgusted by conventional dairy. 

I realize the problem in question is food born illness, but seriously there are spinach recalls and peanut butter recalls. No one ever hears of the feds raiding spinach farms or peanut butter factories, with guns, and forcing them out of business. 

No. The company does a recall and life goes on. Why is it that the Feds have such a penchant for eradicating raw dairy farmers? 

I just did a quick Google search of "raw milk recalls" and "milk recalls" and guess what? There are recalls of regular (pasteurized) milk due to contamination too. It's not just the raw milk that supposedly contains the bad bacteria. 

Here are the two articles that I was emailed last night. One is from The Washington Times and the other is from Natural News

Feds: Fresh milk 150 times more dangerous than pasteurized dairy
The federal government said Tuesday that fresh milk is 150 times more dangerous than pasteurized milk — a finding that bolsters the government’s argument as it goes after farmers who sell unpasteurized milk across state lines.
After a 13-year review, the taxpayer-funded Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said states where so-called “raw milk” is available had twice the rate of dairy-related disease outbreaks as states where those sales are banned.
And disease outbreaks from fresh milk are more serious in nature, according to the study, which found 200 out of 239 hospitalizations during the study stemmed from cases of fresh milk.
“Restricting the sale of raw milk products is likely to reduce the number of outbreaks and can help keep people healthier,” said Dr. Robert Tauxe, director of CDC’s division of foodborne, waterborne and environmental diseases. “The states that allow sale of raw milk will probably continue to see outbreaks in the future.”
Fresh milk devotees say pasteurization — the process of heating food to kill off bacteria — removes some of the health benefits of milk, and argue that when consumers know their suppliers, diseases from raw milk are not an issue.
But the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration say pasteurized milk has all the same benefits as unpasteurized dairy.
Sales of raw milk are governed by states, but the FDA has jurisdiction over sales across state lines and has banned them.
The issue has come to a head in recent months after the FDA sued to shut down an Amish farmer in Pennsylvania who sold to eager customers in the Washington metropolitan region.
After a judge ruled against the farmer, he said he would shut down entirely, including in-state sales, rather than fight the regulators.
(Original Source

Pasteurized milk 150 times more contaminated with blood, pus and feces than fresh milk - videos the CDC won't show you 
The vaccine-pushing, disease scare-mongering agency known as the CDC has put out a stunning piece of propaganda attacking fresh milk (raw dairy), claiming it is "150 times more dangerous" than pasteurized milk. This is all part of their anti-American agenda to crush food freedom and criminalize fundamental farming practices upon which this very nation was founded. (Yes, George Washington and the founding fathers drank raw milk, grew hemp and even smoked a little weed as medicine.) 
But what the CDC won't dare reveal to the public is the far more horrifying truth: Pasteurized dairy is produced in the dirtiest milk factories imaginable, where blood, pus, e.coli and other truly dangerous pathogens are routinely bottled into milk containers and fed to consumers.
That's the whole point of pasteurization, you see: To kill everything that might be alive in their ultra-dirty milk. The real purpose of pasteurization is not to simply "make milk safe" as is claimed by the CDC, but rather to allow the dairy industry to operate DIRTY. It's so much easier to just cook the crap out of the milk (yes, there's fecal matter in it) than to clean up their operations, get it? 
Thanks to pasteurization, conventional (non-organic, non-raw) dairy operators have no need to thoroughly wash their milking machines, no need to sterilize any milk containers, no need to wash their hands, and no need to maintain a clean milking environment whatsoever. It's just total filth with festering diseased animals dying on the floor and being physically abused by the corporate dairy operators (see video links, below). 
Dairy cows are routinely abused and left to suffer in total filth. 
Want to know how conventional (pasteurized) dairy cows are really treated? Here's something the CDC won't show you. 
Watch this highly disturbing video of dairy cows being kicked, tortured, abused and injured by conventional dairy workers. 
This was filmed with an undercover spy cam (WARNING: DISTURBING IMAGERY):  Video 

When you buy pasteurized milk at the grocery store, you are supporting an industry that tortures cows and produces a dirty, filthy product! 
Of course, the dairy industry would much rather force everybody to pasteurize their milk and outlaw clean raw dairy than to clean up their own act. That's the whole point of the CDC going after raw dairy: To destroy the raw dairy industry and force everyone to drink dirty, contaminated pasteurized milk that's extracted from tortured cows. 
Here are some other short videos you may want to view (WARNING): 
Dairy Cow Abuse - "Mercy For Animals" hidden camera in New York:
The disgusting treatment of (conventional) dairy cows:
Dairy cows with injuries and infections:
ABC Nightline - Dairy farm abuse:
So get it through your heads, folks: If you buy pasteurized, homogenized milk, you are supporting an industry of filth, torture, infected animals and dirty, dirty milk. 
Blood, pus, bacteria and fecal matter - drink up, kiddies! 
The reason all that milk has to be pasteurized is because it's strongly contaminated with:
  • blood
  • pus
  • bacteria
  • fecal matter 
In addition, conventional dairy cows are:
  • Pumped full of bovine growth hormones
  • Fed masses of antibiotics
  • Fed tons of GMOs such as corn and soy
  • Heavily contaminated with chemical pesticides
That's what you get when you buy "Pasteurized" milk. Plus the feces in the milk, of course.
So the next time somebody gets mad at you in bumper-to-bumper traffic and they scream out the window: "EAT SH*T!" just hand them a glass of pasteurized milk. Let them drink it, huh?
The cleanest milk in the world? RAW, fresh milk! 
You want to see a super clean dairy operation? Go to a raw dairy farm and check out their operation. It's the cleanest, most pristine dairy operation you'll ever find. And why? Because it has to be. If you want to produce clean, fresh dairy without pasteurization, you have to run a super clean facility with healthy cows, stringent cleanliness practices and a commitment to producing wholesome food. 
Only raw milk dairies have this kind of commitment to cleanliness. 
View this powerful comparison between pasteurized milk and raw milk: 
In fact, if you took a gallon of unpasteurized milk from a conventional dairy and you compared it to a gallon of unpasteurized milk from a quality-certified raw milk dairy, I have no doubt you would find that the conventional dairy has at least 150 times the level of blood, pus, feces and dangerous bacteria (if not more).
In contrast, raw milk from a reputable dairy operation such as Organic Pastures ( is the cleanest milk on the planet, bar none. Sure, it has friendly bacteria in it, but that bacteria is good for you -- it's probiotics. The CDC, of course, is so clueless about infectious disease that they hate ALL bacteria and want to destroy them all with chemicals or heat. 
The CDC won't dare discuss any of this, however. Instead, the CDC has resorted to what can only be called a raw milk fear mongering campaign using the exact same tactic they used to promote vaccine sales by pushing false swine flu fear. 
The only thing dirtier than pasteurized milk, it seems, is the CDC itself, which has degraded from a once-respected group of actual scientists to a cabal of junk science fear mongerers and political prostitutes who drop trow and bend over for Big Business (Big Pharma, Big Dairy, etc.) at every opportunity. Instead of doing something important to stop the spread of infectious disease (like promoting vitamin D, immune-boosting nutrition and improved sanitation), the CDC is now a total sellout to the interests of the corporate giants who feed us filth and call it food. 
So it's no surprise to see the CDC promoting pasteurized milk -- the very product whose digestive enzymes have been destroyed so that it causes allergic reactions in those who consume it. 
Pasteurized, homogenized milk also promotes heart disease, obesity, autoimmune disorders, constipation, sinus congestion and many other chronic health conditions. It is the perfect food for the uninformed masses who the U.S. government seems to be trying to keep in a state of lifelong disease and medical enslavement. 
Keep reading NaturalNews to learn more about what's wrong with conventional pasteurized dairy products. We're working on several articles covering this topic. 
And remember: 
Pasteurized milk is so disgustingly dirty that if they didn't kill everything in it with heat, the liquid would probably kill YOU. 
Sources for this story include:
(Original Source

If you watched any of those videos, or have viewed any previously, you know how horrible some of these people are that are responsible for the milk that you drink. I don't know about you, but knowing what I know, I am not okay with spending my money on conventional milk products. 

I am going to continue to buy raw milk products.

If you are interested in finding out more information please visit Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chicken Soup for the Cold Jessie

Remember yesterday I mad the squash concoction? Well this would have been a perfect pair, except I cooked it after the fact. In spite of the fact that the chicken was to large for my dutch oven, I ended up with a lovely chicken soup that I completely did not intend to make.

I seasoned the chicken with garlic powder, onion powder, & pepper; put some water in the dutch oven; cut up some carrots, red onions, and threw in rosemary sprigs. Set it in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour to hour and a quarter (depending on the size of the chicken). Voila!

All you have to do is pick the meat off the chicken after it has cooled and you have soup! I had anticipated being able to get a lot more meat off this bird, but it was small so I only got enough to use in the soup. But...if you get a larger bird you could do both- soup & pick the meat off.

My favorite, favorite, favorite, thing is a chicken breast sandwich. I just use a good whole grain bread w/ A LOT of mayonnaise and some lettuce and tomato.

Next up! Chicken liver....yum!!!!

Haha, this chicken came with it's liver and I have been reading about how healthy it is to eat liver because it contains Vitamin A & D which are the vitamins that allow your body to utilize all other vitamins and minerals. Without enough Vitamin A & D the nutrients just pass right through and never get absorbed.

We'll see how this goes. The verdict isn't in as to whether I will actually like liver.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Comfort Food Redefined

It's not spring quite yet...still time for some squash recipes. Although we have had a relatively mild winter, it is still winter. Comfort food is key...but tradition comfort food is bursting with tons of cheese, white flour, processed junk out of a can, you get the point. 

This recipe calls for acorn squash, although you could use any type. Acorn is nice because you can cut them in half, roast them, add a few ingredients and you have two individual portions. Squash is great because, if stored properly (in a cool & dark place), it will last for months. Sounds gross, but that is mother nature's way of providing vegetables in the winter. Same with other fall vegetables: potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, etc. 

Sweet Roasted Acorn Squash
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/4 c. quinoa
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 tab butter
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • almonds
  • garamasala spice
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cut squash in half, lay face down on pan.
  3. Roast 40 minutes.
  4. In pan, mix quinoa and water, bring to boil, lower heat & cover for 15 minutes.
  5. When squash is done, fork out pulp and mix with quinoa, raisins, and nuts. 
  6. Sprinkle spice as desired.
  7. Stuff back in roasted squash shell.

This could be done as a savory dish too by adding sauteed mushrooms, carrots, onions, garlic, & grated Parmesan cheese. Hope you try this one out! It's super easy, inexpensive, and can be done pretty much any way you want. If I had thought of it earlier I would be roasting one of the chickens I picked up from the farm. But, it slipped my mind. You can use walnuts, dried cherries, pecans, brown rice, barley, thyme. Just look in your kitchen and experiment with what you have!

Anyone have any other suggestions for squash dishes?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Revisiting my goals

Lately I have been focusing on eliminating as much from my to-do list as I possibly can. I ask myself:

  • Will this bring me closer to my goals?
  • Do I really want to work on this?
  • Do I really need to work on this?
  • Will this improve my life?
I decided a few weeks ago that I was not going to pursue a business that I had thought up. At the time of it's inception I thought it was something that could really take off. But after getting curbed for a few months, I realized that it was not something I was in love with and it would just be a distraction for me right now. 

I put quite a bit of pressure on myself for not launching right away, but in hindsight I think that when delays like that happen, they are for the best. I would have spent countless hours building something that I ultimately would have lost passion for, and would have distracted me from the things that I love doing. This is the first time in my life where I can honestly say that waiting actually paid off. 

I figured I should make it a habit to re-evaluate my goals every once and a while because I tend to have extreme enthusiasm for projects at first, and then once I am knee deep they tend to become burdensome. So I am taking a second look (6 weeks later) at the goals I set out to conquer at the beginning of this year.

Dec. 30, 2011: 
I am on to bigger and better things. My specific goals for 2012 are:
  • finish my book (I just finalized scope)
  • figure out which publishing route I am going to take
  • grow my readership to 10,000 reads per day (I am at 1900+ this month)
  • create and sell and app for android/iPhone (details TBD)
  • work towards seeing 40 health counseling clients per month (starting in March)
  • vacation at least once (Rincon, PR is calling my name)
  • start saving $ to buy land/design & build a house (not ready yet, but want to have $$ by the time I am)
My thoughts after settling into February....

  • I am putting the writing a book thing on the back burner for a while. I realized that #1 I am still in school and I need to focus on that right now, #2 everything that I wanted to put into a book I can put in my blog, #3 I thought I finalized my scope, however, I keep changing my mind so I am going to wait until someone approaches me or I am absolutely sure of what I want the focus to be.
  • My readership is growing by leaps and bounds. It is amazing that the littlest things can catapult you so much farther than you ever expected. There's that 80/20 rule again! You will get 80% of the results from 20% of the true!
  • I still have creating and selling an app for the android/iPhone market in my radar. It isn't #1 right now, but it is something I think will pay off.
  • Right now I have a trip to visit friends in Los Angeles coming up (never been!) and I am planning a trip to Paris and the south of France with my sister over the summer. Two blonde American girls in France- look out! Ha! I am so looking forward to eating and drinking, taking photographs and writing for a few weeks in France. Ahhhh! That is my calling!
  • As far as saving money is concerned, I am incapable right now. However, I am working on finding more freelance graphic design work so I can start bringing in the big bucks! I'm also promoting my health coaching business...if your life/health is a mess and you need some help digging yourself out don't hesitate to contact me. I've been there before. I am an expert on getting yourself out of shitty situations/feelings/health concerns.
So there... I have made some progress on a few of my goals. That's good for only 6 weeks into the new year. I plan on doing this every month or so, so I'll keep you posted. Also! Still working on the juicing business! I know that wasn't in the plan for 2012. That's because I wasn't sure if we were going to pursue it until after the New Year. Still working on branding, but will be sure to keep you updated on the progress. 

What keeps you motivated? or helps you get it back?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's Cancer Prevention Month...who knew?

Why is it that the #2 killer in the United States has it's own month dedicated to eradicating it...and NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT IT?

Wanna know my opinion? Of coarse you do, you are reading my blog! I think (humbly of coarse) that all of the ribbons, and walks, and fundraisers are skirting the real issue. Cancer is big business! Those that have the power to blast information to millions and millions of people chose not to because they are either mis-informed or it would murder their long-sought-after-career with the big wigs at the FDA, the CDC, the USDA.

There is no huge profit margin in fruits and vegetables- not like in the pharmaceutical industry. There is no glamour in preventing a disaster long before it has time to escalate. Conventional medicine wants to be a hero and say that their new drug is the miracle that is going to "cure" cancer.

Why jump through radiation filled hoops when you are two steps from death's door when you could have made small changes along the way that would have prevented your disease in the first place? I know when my grandmother got to the place where she was facing the end she questioned what she could have done differently. She told me. I only wish I had 1/2 of the information I do now. It might not have made any difference.

But you have time. You can still make small changes that will very obviously impact your health now and for the long run.

“So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health.”   -A. J. Reb Materi
If you only do one thing this month for your health, do this - go through all the food in your house and throw out everything with the following ingredients:

  • high fructose corn syrup
  • hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
And then go to the grocery store and read every label of every item you pick up. Do not buy anything with those two ingredients in it. 

You don't have to go to extremes like some of us do, but you absolutely will be doing yourself and your family a huge service. 

Cancer is preventable. Many people do it. You just have to DO something about it. You can't rely on "magical" pills. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

An Afternoon at the Salon

It is amazing how you can not see people for a decade and then all of a sudden they are back in your life. Recently a high school classmate, Kim- who owns a salon in Red Bank, NJ (my stomping ground) contacted me since we are both interested in organic food, holistic healing, etc, etc. Anyway, yesterday I went for a haircut and had a wonderful conversation about food, and beauty products, and relationships, and all things that are talked about at salons.

Her salon, True Concepts Hair Design, uses organic and vegan hair products from Simply Organic...including dyes, highlights, and straightening products! This is awesome, because I just recently became a little wary about the chemicals that are used to highlight my hair. And if you have fallen in love with the Brazilian straightening system, True Concepts uses an organic, formaldehyde free brand, Zerran, that is just as good (if not better)!

It's funny because it's not like I woke up one day and decided to completely change what I eat and the products that I use. It's been a gradual process (and often expensive) where some days a light bulb goes off in my head and I'm like "S-H-I-T! That probably has X/Y/Z (that I am trying to avoid) in it!" And the process starts all over again. I have to throw out stuff I just bought or give it to someone who isn't really concerned about this stuff.

Well if you are like me and care (or are starting to) about what you put on your head I would highly suggest looking up a salon that uses organic beauty products. What does organic mean in terms of hair?

  • vegan formulations
  • 100% paraben free
  • botanically based with soothing essential oils
  • perfume free
  • sulfate free
  • cruelty free, never tested on animals
  • formaldehyde free

Salons like this one are out there, so if this is something on your list to improve just seek and yee shall find! And! If you are in the central Jersey area and want a great haircut using organic products call up True Concepts at 732-747-2200.

Loved everything today Kim and Nicole!!! Thank you!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lunch with Lisa

just kidding!

TWO WEEKS AGO I got this intense craving for vegetable juice. I mean like celery, kale, brocolli- the real serious stuff. I have never craved vegetable juice EVER in my life. So since I didn't have a juicer handy I started smoothie-ing. It had been a while since I was doing the dark green smoothies but they were easy to get back into.
  • kale, handful
  • spinach, handful
  • celery, 1/2 stalk
  • parsley, a couple sprigs 
  • 2 green apples
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 kiwi
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1" piece fresh ginger
ONE WEEK AGO I was just coming off of quite possibly the worst EPISODE (PMS) of my life and went right into a full blown cold. I felt like poop for a full week and spent at least half of that week in bed. I was emotional, fed up, and exhausted. You know when you just hit a wall and you know something has to change? Well that was me over the past two weeks. When I get like that it means that I am not being true to who I really am and everything ends up changing. I end relationships, I change the way that I eat, I do anything I can to stop the madness and re-balance myself. This all happened over the last week.

I started eating a lot more fruits and vegetables because I knew that it would instantly make me feel better. And it did. I stopped lying to myself and waiting for my relationship to get better and magically morph into what I actually want and need. And it ended.

YESTERDAY, one day after the WORST Valentines Day in the history of Valentines Days, I met Lisa for lunch at Whole Foods. What a breath of fresh air! We went to high school together, but sadly were not friends back then. ;(  We only reconnected last summer when I realized that she was a Holistic Nutritional Consultant and I wanted to talk with her about what she and I were doing.

I just finished the book Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko which talks about being raw and specifically green smoothie-ing. In it are a bunch of testimonials from people with a whole range of problems. All of them have been helped if not completely cured by increasing the amount of raw fruits and vegetables in their diet ranging from green smoothies in the morning all the way to going fully 100% raw.

One of the things that Lisa said, which I had read before, is that green vegetables are high in minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium. Well, guess what one of the symptoms of a mineral deficiency is? Really bad periods. Hmph...go figure! So weird that all of a sudden I was craving dark green vegetable juice. Not really, I feel like since I cut out most processed foods my body tells me what it needs now in way of cravings. I don't crave potato chips anymore or Pringles or Oreos. I crave kale and broccoli. Ha, I never thought this would happen.

If you remember I tried this going raw thing a few months ago right when we were going into winter, and for several reasons it was a miserable failure. But I feel like I am ready once again to try, so I asked Lisa if she would be able to make me some dinners that were heavier so it would feel like I am eating "real food". Ha, I say real food like raw food is fake. That's not what I meant. I meant cooked food. 

I feel like this time I am in a better place emotionally and physically. It is a huge motivator when you are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Plus now is a good time, according to Lisa, to transition with the heavier raw foods because shortly we will be in spring and summer and there will be a huge variety of fresh ripe fruits and vegetables.

Wish me luck! 

P.S. If any of you are interested in making any of these changes in your life please contact me!

Monday, February 13, 2012

There are very few things I regret

In general, I do not regret much. I am not one to dwell on the past...I am usually anticipating the future.

I regret that I was a product of the 80's. Seriously mom! Was this really considered that cool that you would let me out of the house like this- especially to my own birthday party? Haha, my sister and I were literally just talking about this outfit this weekend and she found this picture yesterday. I thought I was hot S-H-I-T!

I regret not studying abroad in college. SCAD has a campus in the south of France- I'm a moron! The first two years I was in a relationship and the thought never crossed my mind, one year I was starting a business and I couldn't leave or it would cease to exist, another year I wasn't going because there wasn't one person I was remotely close with going. That is one thing I regret.

I was reading some of my random thoughts (I occasionally write them down) and one of the things I came across was my biggest regret. When my grandmother, Nani, was diagnosed with cancer, I took over the role of cooking for her (most of the time) and one of the things that she asked me for was to put potatoes in her chili. And I didn't. Why? Because potatoes don't go in chili.

What the F is wrong with me?

My grandmother was dying- put the damn potatoes in the chili. Anyway, I guess that's the stubbornness that I inherited from Nani.

I regret that my relationship with my boyfriend is all F-ed up AGAIN! It's really sad and frustrating when you try so hard at something that seems like it shouldn't be that hard. Or should it? I don't know. I hear that the people who have successful long-term relationships don't have to try that hard- it just works. And then I hear the opposite... that it is a job that you have to consistently try to work at. Why can't two people who love each other just be?

That's what I am going to work on... just being. I spend so much time worrying about the future and what-if-ing that I ruin today. Sorry for the Debbie downer post. I just had a mini-woe-is-me moment. I'm done.

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it 
only saps today of its joy.  
~Leo Buscaglia

Friday, February 10, 2012

Black Market Milk

I finally got around to writing about my raw milk experience. I know there are people out there who would love to hear that I was violently ill, it was gross, it had green mold, etc. etc. Actually, it was awesome! The milk and cheeses I bought were absolutely fresh and amazing, and I will continue to buy raw milk and dairy products as long as I can find it.

I wasn't really sure what to expect. The place that I bought the dairy from, Udder Milk, was kind of secretive in the way that they deal with the customer. They were very strict about only handing it over to the person who placed the order and only accepted cash. I assume that this is because of the controversy that surrounds raw milk, and the fact that it is actually illegal to sell in NJ. Oops! I broke another law!

I bought raw whole milk (the cream actually does rise to the top!), raw mozzarella cheese, raw cheddar cheese, and raw heavy cream. Everything was great! The heavy cream is actually more like butter than what we consider heavy cream.

And! Remember how I was always complaining about super dry skin? Well, I just realized a couple of days ago that it has been at least a week since I have noticed my skin. I used to wake up in the middle of the night  scratching my legs. I would have to lather on oil, and cream, and more cream half way through the day, and a lot before bed. Annoying!!! 

I'm not exactly sure if it is all of the raw dairy I have been eating/drinking, but that is the only significant change I have made in the past month, which is what leads me to think this is the reason.

If you are interested in ordering raw milk you can find farms local to you at Real Milk. They have all the information you will need about the health benefits and where to find it depending on where you live. If you still need convincing there is plenty of information on the bogus research that the government is using to try to  make us believe that raw milk is horrible for our health.

Whatever U.S. Government! I will continue to drink/eat raw milk and cheeses because I am convinced that if raw milk were bad, there would be no mammal alive on this Earth. Think about it and then form your own opinion based on the research that you have done, not what some government crony is paid to say by Big Dairy.

Some of my other posts on the subject:

Milk Myth: It does a body good (Especially if it has hormones in it)
Organic dairy farmers want to talk with you...Big Dairy doesn't
In my quest to find the best possible food

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Needing some perspective...

I'm back! And I feel a million times better. I swear all I need to do is sleep and my body takes care of the rest. Today I worked on logo options for the green juice biz... Raw Generation. Let me first explain why we chose this name. After hours of going over about it felt like hundreds of different names, Raw Generation stuck because of a few reasons:

  1. it is generic enough that we can use it for products other than juice
  2. it has the raw factor
  3. there is plenty we can do with the marketing of this
  4. the domain name and business registration names were both available
So after brainstorming with my father on Tuesday about what we each like in a logo (we did a Google search and looked at all of the ones that popped up) I had a better idea of how to go about this so that we would both be happy with the designs. I also had to keep in mind that this had to work with/be able to morph into bottles, packaging, website & blog (yes, I will be starting another blog strictly devoted to dark green leafy vegetable juice and whatever else is to come from Raw Generation).

Here are the results: 









I would love, love, love some feedback or opinions as to which one(s) are your favorites! xoxo

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Finding Inspiration

Winter is beautiful if you can face the cold and wander for a while.

I am home & I am sick. My room is a mess and there are tissues everywhere. The 3 onions and 1 slightly bruised green apple I have in my produce basket do not make for a delicious green smoothie! When I woke up a while ago I had that 'Can't I just fall back asleep?' feeling. But I couldn't, because when I am awake I am awake. So, like every other morning, I turned to my phone to start catching up on the dozen or so blogs that I follow. Sometimes I read all of them and sometimes I just breeze through. Today there was one written by a fellow blogger that I had not read in a while- Gluten Free Girl & the Chef. In her post about collard greens I found the most amazing find EVER

La Tartine Gourmande

I have to admit that I am instantly attracted to anything French. I knew nothing about La Tartine Gourmande, other than it was a French name... so I clicked through and found my inspiration for the day (and hopefully many days to come).

Images from La Tartine Gourmand
The French have a way of portraying even the simplest things as elegant. I envy that. Besides the fact that this woman has a beautiful way of photographing her food and an eloquent written voice, the colors and details are impeccable. This is what I strive to be like in my life. Colorful, dainty, & perfectly accessorized.

As for now, I am sniffly, sneezy, and groggy. But I will get better! 

On to finish my tea and start the process of branding our new juice biz...

Monday, February 6, 2012

5 Ways: Pizza

I don't know about where you live, but here in New Jersey we are fortunate enough to have THE BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD!! Unfortunately, that means we are eating white flour and loads of cheese. So I decided to make my own "healthy" pizza. Instead of loads of cheese, I used a variety of veggies and even one with fruit!

Pizza Dough:

  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. organic bread flour
  • 1 pkt. yeast
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. water + enough to make a ball of dough
  1. Put the water, sugar, and yeast in bowl and mix.
  2. After 5 minutes, add in flour, salt, and start mixing.
  3. Add in water until a firm ball is formed. (shouldn't need more than 1 cup)
  4. Let rise for 45 min.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  6. Sprinkle pan or stone with cornmeal.
  7. Roll out out dough and brush with olive oil.
  8. Add toppings & bake for 30 minutes.
Toppings 5 Ways:
  • goat cheese, sliced green apples, onions, and rosemary (pictured above)
  • fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, eggplant & fresh basil
  • feta cheese, olives, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, bacon, & fresh thyme
  • shredded mozzarella, tomatoes, garlic, peppers, onions, artichokes & sun-dried tomatoes
  • Muenster cheese, tomatoes, diced Brussels sprouts, broccoli, & garlic
After brushing the dough with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and layer on the cheese and/or tomatoes, then the toppings, then more cheese! By adding all of the vegetable toppings on you will find that you will use less cheese. Enjoy!!!

What is your favorite way to eat pizza?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

For All You Athletes Out There

I started drinking coconut water about a year or two ago. All of a sudden it is everywhere. I find it especially thirst quenching after a big night out, or a really long workout. Here are the health benefits in a nutshell:
"Coconut water is a powerhouse of natural electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients, and is low in sugar, but pleasantly sweet. It’s great for post-exercise re-hydration, but also has anti-inflammatory properties, protects your heart and urinary tract, is a digestive tonic, improves your skin and eyes, supports good immune function, and can even help balance your blood glucose and insulin levels." 
"Coconut water is the richest dietary source of cytokinins, plant hormones that have anti-cancer, anti-aging, and anti-thrombolytic benefits in humans. Because coconut water is isotonic and sterile (upon coming out of the coconut), it is very similar to blood plasma and has been used intravenously in emergency situations for more than 60 years." (Original Source)
While I do agree with the nutritional benefits of drinking plain coconut water, the stuff with mixed fruit and fruit juice is just a bunch of sugar. I just stick with the original plain kind now, but it just tastes a little off when you drink it by itself.

What I started doing, instead of drinking the pineapple flavored kind (I am obsessed with pineapple), is using plain coconut water in my morning smoothies. Instead of using a lot of water, I use half coconut water and half water. I have found that this has really helped me as I have increased my workouts over the past few weeks.

SIDE NOTE: You can even use coconut water in drinks! This pic was taken at a beach side bar in Rincon, PR last year. The bartenders chopped the coconut up right in front of you with a machete (something that apparently is common to have and walk around with in Puerto Rico), used some of the coconut water, some other goodness that I can't really remember (probably rum) and cinnamon. Not really a "healthy" drink, but it sure was delish!

Coconuts have been very underrated here in the US, but times, they are a changin'!

Try using coconut water instead of Gatorade, Vitamin Water, and electrolyte waters. Who the hell knows what is in them (really...can you understand the ingredients?) OR if our bodies actually use the synthetic s-h-i-t they put in there anyway. My guess is all these companies pushing vitamins are bringing knives to a gun fight. Mother Nature being the one holding the gun. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

AUTISM & ADD/ADHD: There may be an explanation after all

For years we all have been hearing about the rising rates of Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. I have always heard, and believed, that the reasoning behind the rising rates was because of better screenings and statistical reporting. However, a few weeks ago I came across some info about the connection between manganese toxicity/poisoning and developmental/behavioral disorders. For those of you who are unaware,
"Autisis a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skillsAutism is a physical condition linked to abnormal biology and chemistry in the brain. The exact causes of these abnormalities remain unknown, but this is a very active area of research. There are probably a combination of factors that lead to autism."
"Genetic factors seem to be important. For example, identical twins are much more likely than fraternal twins or siblings to both have autism. Similarly, language abnormalities are more common in relatives of autistic children. Chromosomal abnormalities and other nervous system (neurological) problems are also more common in families with autism."
A number of other possible causes have been suspected, but not proven. They involve: 
  • Diet 
  • Digestive tract changes 
  • Mercury poisoning 
  • The body's inability to properly use vitamins and minerals 
  • Vaccine sensitivity 
What I am concerned about here are the diet related causes (the first 4 from above), since all of my research has lead me to believe that our diet is a much more important factor in our health than genetics, and, in the first 3 years, exposure to toxic chemicals. Additionally, I am also lead to believe that if the baby was not born with mental disabilities (with Autism they form in the first 3 years) then there had to be something to trigger the degeneration (or improper formation).

I'm sure there are many reasons why women choose not to (or simply cannot) breastfeed. There are simpler options... options that allow the mother to not be burdened with a baby on her ta-ta's 24/7 for months on end. I have heard over and over (since I am now if the phase of life where people are getting married/having kids) 'my baby is having problems with such and such formula...any suggestions?' Well there is a reason why your baby is having digestive issues. It is either because the baby cannot handle digesting the ingredients in the formula OR the baby is having issues with your breast milk because of what you are eating (too much soy perhaps?).

For those mothers who do not or cannot breastfeed they have 2 commercially available options: formula made with whey (milk) or formula made with soy. Either way these formulas are not actually milk (hence you have to add water) and are fortified with god knows what. You need to be a scientist to figure out what the hell is in baby formula. I tried once, and gave up after I read "hydrogenated soybean oil".

Enter soy. 

Since soy has come to be considered a "health" food in America, people eat tons of it. They even think it's okay to feed it to their babies. And get this, the people who don't like soy but still eat a lot of processed foods are still eating loads of it because almost everything has soy flour, soybean oil, or various forms of soy protein in it.

Let me break it down for you why it is so detrimental to your baby's health to feed them soy formula. The following are excerpts from The Whole Soy Story by Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN. She is an expert on the topic of soy and I figured she says it better than I ever could.
Chapter 21: MANGANESE TOXICITY ADD-ing it up
Manganese is a vital trace mineral, needed for growth, reproduction, wound healing, brain function, thyroid and adrenal health and proper metabolism of sugars, insulin and cholesterol. Soybeans naturally contain manganese as well as other needed macro and trace minerals. For years, investigators had concerns that the phytates in soy would block absorption of its manganese, much as it blocks zinc, iron, calcium, and copper. In fact, manganese absorption from soy formula is substantially lower than from breast milk or dairy formula. 
In this case, the phytates do the infant a service, but not well enough. Infants fed soy formula take in as much as 75 to 80 times more manganese per day than infants who are breastfed. Per liter breast milk contains 3 to 10 ug, and soy formula a whopping 200 to 300 ug.
At a conference held in September 2000 at the University of California at Irvine, leading nutritionists, pediatricians, and toxicologists warned that newborns exposed to the levels of manganese present in soy formula risk brain damage in infancy that could lead to learning disabilities, attention deficit, and other behavioral disorders, even violent tendencies. 
Although healthy toddlers, children, and adults who ingest excess manganese can usually eliminate most of it, infants cannot because their immature livers are not fully functional. At the same time, their growing brains and other organs are more susceptible to manganese damage. Even tiny doses of excess manganese are dangerous when stored long term in the body and brain where they do not belong. Hair mineral analysis tests of children with learning and attention deficits have revealed elevated levels of manganese compared to normal youngsters.
Scientists have known about manganese toxicity for years. In 1980, the US government set permissible manganese levels at 2.5 to 3.0 mg per day for adults; 1.0 to 1.5 mg per day for toddlers; and 0.5 to 1.0 mg per day for infants. The calculations for the "safe" levels set for infants seem to have been based on their smaller size alone and did not take into account the fact that infants with immature livers cannot successfully metabolize excess manganese. As it happened the soy industry put little or no effort into keeping manganese under the permissible- but still unacceptable levels.
Soy formulas on the shelves in the early 1980's contained anywhere from 0.2 to 2.2 mg of manganese per quart; during that same time period, scientists confirmed the likelihood of risk to newborns from manganese storage in the brain. In 1983, Phillip J/ Collipp, M.D., a pediatrician at Nassau County Medical Center, confirmed a correlation of high manganese levels with childhood learning disabilities and speculated that soy-based infant formula might determine a child's likelihood of developing Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) later in life. 
Despite the alarming and consistent results of these studies, few people have ever heard of the link between soy infant formula and manganese toxicity. Now teams of connections to ADD/ADHD and other behavioral and learning problems to studies using rats, monkeys, and human subjects designed fully to elucidate cause and effect. 
Manganese toxicity is a problem for people and animals of all ages, but represents a triple threat for infants. Newborns absorb more manganese because of their immature and permeable intestines, fail to eliminate excess manganese because of their immature livers, and are extremely vulnerable to manganese damage because their brains and other organs are still growing. By eight months of age, an infant on soy formula absorbs 1.1 mg of manganese per day above its metabolic needs and deposits about eight percent of that in the basal ganglia cells of the brain. Years later, this manganese may impair the brain's ability to make the neurotransmitter dopamine and trigger behavioral problems ranging from ADD to ADHD to violent and sociopathic behavior. 
Whether manganese enters the body by the mouth, lungs, or injection, the metal lodges in the basal ganglia. Neurology and toxicology textbooks have reported disorders known as "manganese madness" and "manganism" since the turn of the century. Until soy formula entered the picture, most cases involved miners exposed to manganese dust. Symptoms of manganism include instability, impulsivity, irrationality and hallucinations, or, with chronic exposure, the paralysis agitans of Parkinson's Disease. 
The soy industry is mostly in denial about the manganese problem found in soy formula. When interviewed, John Lasekan, PhD, of Abbott Laboratories shifted the focus from manganese toxicity to manganese's role as a trace metal essential for life and claimed that deficiencies are the problem- at least for premature and low birth weight babies. Because babies are not able to store manganese until they are born, premies need manganese, but at minuscule, appropriate levels found in breast milk, not high levels that put the neonatal brain and other organs at risk. 

I know I just threw a lot of info at you, but this subject is probably one of the most important I have written about thus far. Although Kaayla Daniel does not imply manganese toxicity and Autism specifically, it seems that Autism and ADD/ADHD are varying degrees of the same dysfunction. While I'm sure a small percentage of cases truely are of genetic origin, it is my personal belief that many of these cases can be prevented by breastfeeding.

This is about giving your baby the best chance at being healthy and happy. This is about knowing you did everything you could to give your baby the best food possible. This is to try to persuade you to breastfeed and not resort to soy infant formula.

It is such a devastating thing when babies are born deformed or mentally retarded or sick. It is a whole completely different level of devastation when you think your decision to feed your baby soy formula could have caused your child's Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Please, if you are preggers or just generally interested, do some more research on the health benefits of breastfeeding which is naturally the BEST food for your baby.

Breastfeeding: That's what boobies are there for
The Prevention Hit List
This Health Food's SOYld Reputation
Dr. Randy Martin

Ask your parents, your grandparents, your aunts & uncles... was Autism, ADD, and ADHD common when they were growing up? And then ask them was it more common to breastfeed or give their babies formula?

Coming next... is there anything you can do to reverse the signs and symptoms of Autism, ADD, and ADHD?
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