Juicing For Busy People

Juicing for the work weekAs part of my New Years Resolution, I have decided to add juiced fruits and veggies into my diet.  I realize that my decision to use a mix of frozen organic vegetables in place of all fresh vegetables might not be an optimum choice for everyone, but I personally prefer to use the frozen organics over fresh non-organics.  I also blanched the kale.  I cook any cruciferous or green leafy vegetables, because these contain goitrogens that are not great for the thyroid.  Cooking helps eliminate most of these compounds.  You can still juice cooked vegetables, just put them in the juicer with a few stalks of raw celery.

Juicing ahead for the work weekAlso, although the juicer is easy to use, I know that adding anything extra to my morning routine realistically just isn’t going to happen.  If I want to have juice to drink on my workweek mornings, they are going to need to be pre-made.  I decided that since I was already juicing this weekend, I had all of my fresh veggies cleaned and ready to go and the juicer was already full of pulp I may as well just keep juicing.

I put the juice into small freezable containers (add a little space for the juice to grow as it freezes) and into the freezer they went.  I will just transfer one to the refrigerator each night to thaw for the next morning.  Done!

Once again, this might not be the “ideal” juicing practice to some.  For me though, frozen vegetable juice is better than no juice at all.  I saved all of the pulp from this batch of juice as well, and plan to use that to make a great pureed vegetable soup.

Jack LaLanne Juicer

Jack LaLanne JuicerToday was the first day using the new Jack LaLanne juicer I received for Christmas (yes, my family is awesome).  It wasn’t too difficult to use or clean and it is very easy to put back together.  There are just a few minor things to note:

1.  Make sure to push down on the spout to open it before you start juicing, or your juicer will overflow.  That was a fun surprise!  Also make sure to keep the opening clear when juicing things like blueberries so it doesn’t clog and overflow.

2.  Be careful when cleaning the blade and strainer basket- they are very sharp.  The brush included with the machine does make these easy to clean though.

3.  Clean everything immediately after juicing, or the dried pulp will be much more difficult to remove.

That is about it!  Overall this machine was much easier to use, clean, and reassemble than I expected it to be.  The juice was smooth and very delicious.  Highly recommended!

Carb Free Bread Recipe – Gluten Free

Gluten Free Bread with Zero Net Carbs - RecipeIngredients:

2 cups ground flaxseed
5 eggs (free range preferred)
1 cup coconut milk (canned)
1 tbs baking powder
1 tbs baking soda
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt (slightly more for a savory bread)
4 packets Sweetleaf or Trader Joe’s stevia (slightly more for a sweeter bread)

Mix ingredients, bake at 350 until top is firm and a toothpick can be removed cleanly. Allow to cool on a rack overnight. As a side note, I baked these in two square tins which is why the pieces aren’t sandwich size. I wanted to know if the recipe was worthwhile before investing in new standard size loaf pans. I call this one a success, time to go cookware shopping!

[Credit for this idea goes to blogilates, although my mix is a bit different. I thought this would be cheaper and quicker than ordering a lot of the carb-free pre made breads out there. Just to be clear: yes there is fiber in this bread, so it is the net carbs that are zero.]

Vegetarian Paleo Diet – My New Year’s Resolution

Modified Vegetarian PaleoBy the end of this holiday season, much as with the grinches heart… all of my clothes feel to be about two sizes too small.  My very irritable insides also feel as though they have taken a beating and need some time to heal.  I have been wanting to try a paleo diet for a very long time, and I have given up dairy many times in the past, but since I do not eat meat this wasn’t a change I wanted to make lightly.

The parts of the paleo diet that appeal to me are its gluten free/grain free and non-processed nature.  My goal for 2014 is to transition to a modified Paleo type diet tailored to meet my vegetarian needs.  What follows is my plan for myself to follow in the upcoming months.  I am by no means a dietitian.  If one happens to read this, please feel free to comment and let me know what I am missing or getting too much of.

My Modified Vegetarian Paleo Plan

  • Free range organic eggs will be allowed in lieu of meat for protein.  Quinoa will also be allowed after 1 month and beans/lentils will be allowed after 2 months.  If either the quinoa or beans/lentils cause discomfort to my innards upon their re-introduction that will be something I will need to think about for the long term.  I will be adding nutritional yeast and a pea protein powder ( I use Source Naturals) to meet my protein requirements.
  • Vegetables of all kinds (with the exception of the white potato) are allowed and will be the main focus of my diet.  Mushrooms of various types are to be eaten every day.  Sweet potatoes may be eaten in moderation.  Juicing isn’t part of the traditional Paleo plan, but I intend to juice some of the vegetables as well.
  • Whole fruits may be eaten 1-2 servings daily.  My focus will be on berries, especially the blueberry.  Fruit juice will not be allowed.
  • I will allow myself to use coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil and flaxseed oil for cooking and baking.  Avocados will be used for dressings.
  • All nuts (with the exception of the peanut) are allowed.  Nut butters, and roasted nuts are also ok.
  • No grains are allowed.  I will miss my Udi’s bread (for those that already know me, I have already been gluten free for years… gluten makes me very, very ill), but am excited to try out a few flaxseed based “bread” recipes.
  • No dairy is allowed.  So Delicious has a great coconut milk creamer substitute and I enjoy their unsweetened coconut milk with a little added stevia.  The canned plain/pure coconut milk is also ideal in many situations.  I still need to look into cheese substitues for my recipes however.  Daiya is a good dairy free cheese, but I would like to be a bit more unprocessed than that.   Follow Your Heart also has a few cheese alternatives, and a great “Mayonaise” alternative, but I would like to use that only after the first few months and even sparingly then.  If you have any unprocessed cheese suggestions or recipes that work, please send them my way!
  • No sweeteners or sugars are allowed.  I will, however, be allowing myself to use pure stevia (i.e. not the stevia with sugar alcohols or gluten in it).
  • No alcohol is allowed.
  • I will also be eliminating coffee (gasp!) and sticking to tea (I LOVE the Yogi Ginger tea), and water with or without lemon.

This pretty much sums it up!  I promise to post updates on how it is going, and any alternatives or recipes I find that work for me.  Cheers to a healthy New Year!