Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 42 - almost halfway through

After about 2 weeks of plateau in the releasing of weight, I've now dropped another 4 pounds in 2 days. I continue to feel great, and am drinking mostly veggie juice. I notice when I drink fruit juice that I awaken with sleep in my eyes; I don't when I'm drinking veggie only juice. I've also started to filter the juice after I make it so that I get the pulp out - sometimes bits of pulp end up in the juice from the juicer.

I've started using some Stevia in my juices; the oranges I got are a bit tart so a drop of liquid Stevia does the trick to lighten it up!

I've been WANTING certain foods again - have had a huge chocolate craving for the past 2 days. Might have something to do with making a lot of chocolate covered bananas the other day for one of my Thrivin' Edibles clients. I've also been wanting MEAT - when I'm in a store that has a deli area (like Whole Foods) I can just smell the meat and I WANT IT. I get out of the store fast!

I did a talk last night at the Kaleid Gallery in downtown San Jose about "Foods That Are Super"; my notes are below.

You’ve all heard of Super Foods, right? Goji Berries, Acai berries, Maca Powder. There are lots of them on the market now. And they are good for you. The ‘down’ side to them though, is this: They have a pretty big carbon footprint since they need to be shipped in from over a long distance for our consumption.

There are many foods that are more local to us, that you could get any day of the week that are SUPER for you.

Here are some easily attainable, low carbon footprint Foods that are Super!

First up: Vegetables:

Are you eating celery? Well, if so, you are eating one of the most hydrating vegetables on the planet. Celery is 94% water. According to Hippocrates (the father of medicine), celery calms the nerves and lowers high blood pressure – perhaps because of the high calcium content. It’s also high in good sodium; adding celery to a dish can help you eliminate the need to add salt.

Celery is good for your kidneys, and will help eliminate your body’s waste through the urine. The seeds, leaves and edible root of the plant can all be used. Celery is used in aromatherapy and other traditional ways of healing like Ayurveda.
It’s also easy on your waistline; celery has almost no calories!

Broccoli: Botanically, broccoli belongs to the cabbage family, collectively known as cruciferous vegetables. It’s very high in nutrition and comes close to milk in its calcium content. If you’re avoiding dairy, eat broccoli for calcium.

It’s also a powerhouse of other nutrients-maybe more than any other vegetable. It has Vitamin A and Vitamin C, folic acid and is a great source of fiber. Its phytochemicals – those nutrients that don’t fall into any other category of vitamin, mineral, carbohydrate or protein – help protect us again many cancers, in particular, colon cancer and prostate cancer.

You can shred it in coleslaw, chop it up in your salad, steam it or bake it.

Butternut Squash: Much more nutrient-dense than its summer squash cousins (zucchini), Butternut Squash is low in fat, and delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems.

The folate content adds yet another boost to its heart-healthy reputation and helps guard against brain and spinal-cord-related birth defects such as spina bifida.

Squash's tangerine hue, however, signals an abundance of powerhouse nutrients known as carotenoids, shown to protect against heart disease, breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration, as well as a supporter of healthy lung development in fetuses and newborns.

In a 1-cup serving, you get nearly half the recommended daily dose of antioxidant-rich vitamin C.

As if this weren't enough, butternut squash may have anti-inflammatory effects because of its high antioxidant content. You can eat it raw in salads, or as a base for a living pasta dish, make a raw butternut squash soup, steam it or bake it.

Now for some SUPER FRUIT:

Lemon: Alkalizing and awakening! Lemon water is truly beneficial in any health care regimen. Lemon and water both have clarifying actions in your body. Both lemon and water help flush out toxins in your system. Although lemons are acidic, they are alkalizing in your body.

Most of the foods we eat are very acidic and too much acid can bring about a barrage of health problems. That's because your body actually prefers to be alkaline. That's why lemons are so important to consume. They help alkalize your blood and your body thanks you!

They also have an awakening affect on your body; the next time you feel tired, simply smell a lemon peel for 5-10 seconds, and then see how you feel afterwards!

Start your day with a glass of water and the juice of one lemon squeezed into it!

Blueberries: Do you know who Dr. Oz is? Well, blueberries are his favorite food for us. And here’s why: Blueberries contain more antioxidants than any other fruit. Those antioxidants go around and eat up the free radicals in your body that cause you to age fast. It’s also food for your brain – it particularly works on your memory and your exploratory behavior part of the brain. And, like cranberries, it’s really good for your bladder health.

And last, but definitely not least: Seeds:

First up: The ancient seed: Quinoa: This is a nutritionally dense alternative to brown rice or pasta. A 3/4-cup serving provides 15 grams of protein, 25 percent of your daily iron and magnesium needs, and 40 percent of your daily fiber requirement. It's also a rich source of potassium, folic acid, and vitamin E. Not only is it a nutritional powerhouse, it’s noted for its tasty, nutty flavor that gives it an edge over other grains. You can sprout it (in about 6 hours - faster than any other seed), or steam it lightly, and serve it as a side dish with stir-fried veggies instead of rice. It’s a very robust grain.

Chia Seeds: These recently domesticated seeds are light in weight and pack a big punch in nutritional weight. It’s full of essential fatty acids, is the highest plant-based source of Omega 3s and is high in protein and fiber. This tiny little seed was used for centuries as a staple food by the Indians of the south west and Mexico. Known as the running food, its use as a high energy endurance food has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs. It was said the Aztec warriors subsisted on the Chia seed during the conquests. The Indians of the south west would eat as little as a teaspoon full when going on a 24hr. forced march. Indians running from the Colorado River to the California coast to trade turquoise for seashells would only bring the Chia seed for their nourishment. You can add it to your breakfast, and I use it to make the CRUNCH in HuuRaw flaxseed chips that I make.

Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to humans, dating back to as early as 1600 BC. They are highly valued for their oil which is exceptionally resistant to rancidity. "Open sesame," the famous phrase from the Arabian Nights, reflects the distinguishing feature of the sesame seed pod, which bursts open when it reaches maturity. Sesame is a great source of copper, calcium and magnesium. Copper is great for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, calcium is great, as previously stated, for reducing high blood pressure and strengthening bones, it also helps prevent migraine headaches, PMS and protects against prostate cancer. Magnesium is one of those underrated minerals: it’s involved with every chemical process in your body! Tahini is sesame butter, and adds a wonderful nutty taste to recipes, and halvah is a Middle Eastern sweet that is made from sesame seeds.

Flaxseeds: Some call it one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet. There’s some evidence it can help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. That’s quite a tall order for a tiny seed that’s been around for centuries:.
Flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC, These days flaxseed is found in all kinds of foods, from crackers to frozen waffles to oatmeal. In the first 11 months of 2006, 75 new products were launched that listed flax or flaxseed as an ingredient. Not only has consumer demand for flaxseed gone up, agricultural use has also increased -- to feed all those chickens laying eggs that are higher in omega-3 fatty acids.
Although flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its healthy reputation primarily to its Omega 3 EFA. This is a good fat that promotes heart health, and directly feeds your brain.

AS AN ASIDE: My HuuRaw Bell Pepper/Lime Chips contain chia, sesame and flax seeds so you get a powerful SUPER FOR YOU punch of nutrition when you eat them!

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