Juice Cleanse

As I walked through the multiple tasting booths in William Sonoma, I approached a salted caramel station. The owner handed me samples, describing the “6 month aged balsamic vinaigrette and Himalayan sea salt” he used in the candies. Very impressive. I expressed how lucky he must be to make and eat such delicious caramels. He replied, “Yes but the worst part is that I can’t eat any of it. I’m on a juice cleanse.” A juice cleanse? Wow. Now THAT was impressive. I’ve always wanted to do one but had no idea where to start, what to juice, how to stay alive, ect. My brother recently got me a juicer for Christmas so might as well start there. The more I talked to the man at the carmel booth, the more motivated I became to try this cleanse.

Not going to lie, it was hard.

The first day I drank a glass of juice and a glass of lemon water in the morning, a light meal of quinoa and veggies in the afternoon, and a savory dinner juice in the evening. Being an academic student and active athlete, I realized the combo of not receiving enough calories and the stress of school did not mix well and I had to stop the cleanse. I tried again the following weekend, and felt much more relaxed. I definitely recommend trying it for two days. I felt so awake and light; my skin cleared up and I was a much more relaxed during the day.

20130119-154005.jpg

•{Cantaloupe Mint Pear Juice }•
– 1/2 Cantaloupe, quartered and peel removed
– 2 medium pears, quartered
– (roughly) 1/2 cup mint, stems removed

Throw into a juicer and enjoy!

Soy Joy

I recently came upon a recipe on making homemade soy milk. As I have turned to a “eating unprocessed foods” diet, this was perfect! All you need are dry soybeans and water. And it goes a lil somethin’ like this…

Measure out one cup of dried soybeans and 5 cups of water. Find yourself a nice big jar like this one and let the beans soak overnight in the water.

Let it pour, let it pour, let it pour…

It should look like this:

After you soak those beanies, strain the water out in a colander and separate the soybeans in half. Put one half in a blender/food processor along with 2 cups of HOT water. Blend those babies until smooth and pour into a large cooking pot. Repeat with the other half. Bring the purée to a boil. You should see foam atop the milky substance–

After simmering for 8 minutes, line a large colander with a moistened pressing cloth/sack and place the colander in the mouth of a clean pot. Transfer the soybean purée into the pressing cloth/sack and twist the cloth closed. Press the cloth sack with a potato masher. Show em’ who’s boss. When you have extracted as much as you can, open the cloth and stir the remaining purée briefly. Add 1 1/2 cups of hot water into the cloth and repeat the pressing.

Enjoy your milk! Warning: this will taste EXTREMELY different from the store bought kind. I recommend sweetening it with raw honey or organic agave nectar. Your end results should look like the image above. OH and the one below.

That my friend is called “okara,” the soybean pulp from soy milk. Don’t discard it! It can be used in cooking and is delicious. It spoils quickly though, so keep it in the refrigerator and use it within 1 to 2 days of making your soymilk.

Find the ‘Healthy’ in Unhealthy

When you eat out, what is your go to menu item? The salad or the cheesy garlic bread? For me, I would go with the salad…but the whole time I’m chewing those leafy greens, I would be craving that cheesy, butter-soaked garlic bread. So how do you make your favorite comfort food a healthy choice? I will tell you.

Remove the “UN-necessaries”

If I were ordering an omelet, I would say, “Well, what could I remove from this to make it a healthier, more nutritious meal?” Look at the menu description and point out the “UN-necessaries.” Cheese? Don’t need it. Toast? Empty calories. Meat? Go veg for a day. Eggs? Well obviously it’s an omelet, but you could always make those eggs, egg WHITES. Add some veggies? Pile it on! Now look at your omelet and marvel at how much healthier it is. And you can apply this technique to any meal!

Dressing on the side please!

You never know what a restaurant puts in their dressings. Or if they even make them. Order the dressing on the side so you are only ingesting as much dressing as you want instead of eating unnecessary dressing. I’m pretty sure you can eat a salad with half the dressing they give you.

Read your options carefully!

All in all, you just have to go through a menu with a fine-tooth comb. There will be options that seem delicious but think how it will make you feel after you eat them? Too-full. Heavy. Kinda gross. Take those choice out. You obviously want to indulge sometimes; it is very healthy, just indulge intelligently.

The Healthiest Cookies

Hey Everyone! Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a week; finals and studying took up all my time. But now it is summer and I am excited to share with you the recipe for the healthiest cookies you’ll ever eat. Only 66 calories each, these spongy, nutritional treats are perfect if you need a little sweet pick-me-up.

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Canola Oil Spray

3/4 cup wheat flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. ground cinanmon

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1 cup quick-cooking oats

1/3 cup raisins

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 large egg white

4-5 tbsp. sweetened applesauce

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 small bananas, one cut into 1-inch pieces, the other puréed

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

1. Set baking racks in top and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 2 baking pans or cookie sheets with oil spray.

2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and allspice in a mixing bowl. Mix in oats, raisins and nuts.

3. With a blender on medium speed, mix egg white, applesauce and sugar until smooth. Blend in pureéd and cut banana and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Pour banana mixture into bowl with dry ingredients, mixing with spatula until well combined. Batter will be fairly stiff.

4. Drop batter by walnut-size spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies at least 2 inches apart. Flatten them slightly with the back of a wet spoon, wetting spoon frequently between cookies, to make 2-inch cookies.

5. Bake 10 minutes, until cookies are golden brown and almost firm in the center when pressed with a finger. Transfer cookies to a baking rack and cool. Stored in airtight container, these cookies keep up to 1 week.

Enjoy!

Snacking

Snacking can be dangerous. If you don’t monitor yourself, you can end up eating the WHOLE bag of chips. We use snacking to distract ourselves from tedious activities, giving ourselves an excuse to not continue with our work. Yet that is no way to solve your reluctancy to do something. You are only filling yourself with unnecessary calories that are usually stored as fat in the end. If you really need a break from a long project, go outside and take a walk up a hill or jog around your block. I promise you will feel much better and more motivated to carry on with your work. And if you are in need of a little something to hold you over until the next meal, make a snack that is small but filling enough to settle your stomach. I recommend apples and peanut butter. Cut up an apple, put some peanut butter and honey in a bowl, and dip the apples into the mixture. It is easy, healthy, and a great snack to settle your craving for food. Low-sodium mixed nuts is another fabulous snack to hold your stomach. The mono and poly unsaturated fats in nuts help lower your cholesterol and contain at least one double bond in the fatty acid chain, meaning that they are less-caloric than saturated fats. So the next time you are in need of a mini-meal, DON’T reach for the bag of chips.