C Punch Smoothie & Vibrant Life Cookbook

C Punch Smoothie

I get really excited when readers tell me that this blog inspires them to start creating a healthier lifestyle.

One of the reasons why I began this website and became a certified holistic health coach in the first place is because I wanted to help people feel better in their bodies. I believe that when we feel vibrant and have real energy, this allows us to do the things we are really meant to do in our lives.

And if we don’t have our health? Then this is the place we need to start.

I’ve dealt with my fair share of health issues throughout my life and I’ve always noticed a difference when I take care of my body. Getting sleep, eating nourishing food, and making time for relaxing activities is absolutely vital. I know that when life is busy and there are a million things on the to-do list that it can feel really overwhelming to think about making big changes to your diet.

This is precisely why I always share the message here that making a small change is better than making no change at all.

A small change can be as simple as drinking a glass of water before coffee, eating almonds instead of a candy bar, or going for a ten minute walk in the afternoon. These changes add up over time and  I’ve often found that once a healthy habit sticks, then we’re more likely to create a new one. This is how real change happens. But you have to start small. 

Over the years I’ve worked with a lot of clients and the way we usually start by creating a healthier lifestyle is by adding more leafy greens and green vegetables into their diet. Kale, chard, spinach, arugula, collard greens, broccoli, bok choy… these are some of the most nutrient-dense foods and most of us don’t get enough of them.

This is why today I wanted to share with you a really cool program and cookbook created by my friend Leanne Vogel of HealthfulPursuit.com. Leanne is a holistic nutritionist and she creates some of the most delicious and allergen-friendly recipes I’ve ever seen. She just released her new Vibrant Life Cleanse Program and Cookbook and I think you’re going to love it as much as I do.

Vibrant Life Cleanse Program & Cookbook

Leanne’s Vibrant Life Cleanse Program & Cookbook is for people that are ready to take better care of themselves. On the surface, it’s about juices, smoothies and cleansing. But really, it’s about activating your most radiant self. This book contains over 55 original paleo, vegan and gluten-free recipes and 160+ pages to show you how to:

  • Effortlessly use juices & smoothies to boost your health
  • Listen to your body and know when you’re legitimately satisfied
  • Move into, through, and out of a cleanse safely (with shining results)

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Spring Detox Smoothie

Spring Detox Smoothie

I have made a lot of green smoothies in my time. Seriously. A lot. I’m talking a green smoothie every day for the past seven years. That’s a lot of smoothies.

It all started back in 2007 when I was working at a raw foods cafe. I probably made over 10,000 green smoothies during that time. And that’s not even including green smoothies for me.

I used to rely on my Green Smoothie 2.0 recipe. This was my go-to standard smoothie for years.

Then came some fun green smoothie variations. Including my Kale and Pear Smoothie with Herbs and my Energizing Green Smoothie, which uses green tea for an energizing antioxidant boost. Yum!

Somewhere in there I became a holistic health coach and started encouraging others to make green smoothies of their own. (Are you a green smoothie newbie? I made a Green Smoothie 101 Video Tutorial just for you!) 

I also spent the past three and a half years years working at a nonprofit organization doing food education with low-income children and families. The best part? I got to share my Kale Smoothie for Kids with hundreds of kids all around the city of Seattle. I’m really gonna miss that job.

Then came my Kale Smoothie for Ladies. This one combines kale with potassium-rich bananas, hormone-balancing maca powder, and cacao powder (because… who doesn’t love chocolate?!) for a delicious, creamy treat.

Recently I even developed a low-sugar smoothie, perfect for those needing to cut back on fructose. The result? A creamy Fruit-Free Green Smoothie that uses avocado and cucumber as the base.

This week I found myself reflecting on the different smoothies I’ve made throughout my life. Just like the weather, I usually switch up my smoothie 3 – 4 times a year to coincide with the seasons and meet the needs of what I’m craving.

Since we’re now into spring I thought it was time to create a new smoothie using all the fresh greens available. This smoothie is a slightly spicy blend of arugula, kale, pea shoots, and micro greens, combined with avocado, cucumber, lemon, and a little coconut water for sweetness. It’s low in sugar, high in fiber, and the perfect way to add more greens into your diet this season. Hello spring detox smoothie!

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Spicy Dessert Juice

Spicy Dessert Juice

I think today we need to talk a little about vices … Do you have a favorite treat or vice you enjoy?

Over the past couple of months my vice has become a good cup of coffee. This is pretty surprising given that I wasn’t a coffee drinker for six years and then recently began a 2-cup-a-day habit. I wasn’t too concerned about it initially as it wasn’t interfering with sleep and I was still drinking plenty of water and non-caffeinated liquids, but then my stomach began having bad reactions to the acidity. Bummer. That was when I knew it was time to stop.

My other vice that I recently had to quit was my occasional glass of red wine. I only enjoyed wine on rare occasions, but when that too began upsetting my stomach I had to throw in the towel.

Giving up a food or beverage you love can be really tough. When I’ve made diet adjustments in the past, my best trick to find a replacement food or beverage, or find other non-food ways to treat yourself (like a good walk or hot bath).

I recently began substituting tecchino (a caffeine-free herbal “coffee” alternative) for my coffee and found that to be a pretty decent substitute…. but what to do about that occasional glass of red wine? It must be time for beet juice!

Alright, maybe this beet juice doesn’t taste anything like red wine (and it probably doesn’t look anything like it either) but it’s still delicious and seems even fancier when you drink it from a wine glass. Cheers!

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Spud.com Juice Cleanse Review

Spud.com Juice Cleanse Review

I get a lot of emails from readers asking about juicing, juice cleanses, and making green smoothies. Many of you have questions about the difference between juices and green smoothies (the quick answer is that smoothies are made in a blender and thus retain the fiber from the fruits and veggies) and ask me for helpful tips about getting more juices and/or smoothies into your diet.  If this is you, I would highly encourage you to check out my juice and smoothie recipes in the archives, particularly my Green Smoothie 101 video tutorial, Juicing 101 video tutorial, and my post on how to pick the right juicer for you.

And, if you’re interested in getting into the juicing habit, I think you’ll really enjoy this post.  Some of you might remember last January when I partnered with Spud.com (Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery) to show you their awesome Organic Juicing Boxes and tell you about their exclusive January discounts. I had such a great response from you last year that I approached them again and asked if they’d be willing to partner together so I could share their January discounts with you this year. The awesome folks at Spud.com were kind enough to let me try one of their new 5 Day DIY Organic Juice Cleanses so I’m happy to be able to share this with you as well as tell you about their January discounts.

In case you’re not familiar with Spud.com, here are a few cool things to know:

  • Spud.com is an online produce delivery service that was founded in 1997 as a sustainable way to directly connect local farmers with customers.
  • Spud.com currently serves 6 urban areas in North America: Seattle and the Eastern Puget Sound, the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles and Orange County, Vancouver, Victoria and Vancouver Island to Nanaimo, and Calgary.
  • Every product that they offer must support their values, including: remaining GMO-free, being transparent about product ingredients and sources, and providing safe, fair-working conditions for food producers.

I seriously love these guys.

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Guest Post: Kiwi Cleanser Juice

Kiwi Cleanser Juice

 Does that photo make you thirsty? (Me too!)

Today I’m excited to share this yummy recipe created for you by my friend Arie-Elle from Nourish & Inspire Me. Nourish & Inspire Me is a wellness website run by Arie-Elle (in Melbourne, Australia) and her sister Brooke (in Austin, Texas). Their website is absolutely gorgeous and I’m a big fan of their focus on health-conscious meals based around whole, organic foods. Arie-Elle also has a background in remedial massage and natural medicine so I’m going to let her take it away and talk more about healthy eating and living…   

Hi, my name is Arie-Elle, and before I share a yummy kiwi cleanser juice recipe with you today, I’d like to tell you a little about my wellness website, Nourish & Inspire Me, and holistic health.

My food philosophy is quite simple. Eat Whole-Foods. Educate yourself about what whole-foods are, what you are putting in your body, and get in the kitchen and start cooking! I’m here to tell you that it’s easy to create healthy meals, even if you don’t consider yourself a cook! Our website is not based around any particular diet, however there are recipes to suit those who are vegetarian, vegan, paleo, sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free.

I believe health is a holistic picture that no one pill can fix. Having the courage to look at your health in a holistic way through your mind, body and spirit requires self-awareness and compassion. I hope that our website can help improve your life in some way no matter how big or small.

The New Year is a great time to cleanse and detox your system, especially if you’ve indulged in alcohol, sweets or processed foods during the holidays. And, detoxification means juices and smoothies – my favorite! Today I have a yummy juice recipe to help kick start your health in 2014. The Kiwi Cleanser is full of vitamins and minerals and is a great juice to add to any detox program.

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Fruit-Free Green Smoothie

Fruit-Free Green Smoothie

This year, I desire….

  • to feel empowered in my body.
  • to speak my truth.
  • to feel vibrantly alive.
  • to trust my intuition.
  • to be madly in love.
  • to feel creative and inspired.
  • to eat green things and nourish my body.

Instead of starting the year with body hate/guilt/remorse, let’s start the year feeling strong and showing our bodies compassion and love.

Instead of starting the year on a diet and thinking about restricting, start the year feeling nourished and enjoying an abundance of real food.

Instead of starting the year thinking about what you want to change, focus on what you love about yourself.

This year if you’re desiring to take better care of yourself, have more energy, and feel comfortable in your body, start by choosing high-quality real food.

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Sweet Greens Juice

Sweet Greens Juice

Can you believe that we’re already here in November? It seriously blows my mind to think about the fact that the year is almost over and 2013 is coming to a close. Although, with the year that I’ve been having, I have to say that I’m really glad it’s gonna end soon.

This year, life gave me some lemons. Actually, I think it’s more fitting to say that life threw lemons at me like it was a game of dodgeball… A game of dodgeball that I wasn’t prepared for and had showed up at wearing a cute dress and heels. Ugh.

They say that when life gives you lemons you should make lemonade. I say, forget the lemonade. 

When life gives you lemons: juice ‘em. Make an awesome green juice, do some yoga, read The Desire Map, and go forward with your life. Don’t waste time on lemonade. All that extra sugar will only slow you down. ;)

So with that, it’s time for an awesome green juice. This one is full of leafy greens like kale and chard along with cucumber and celery. For daily juicing, I don’t typically add fruit to my juices, but since apples are in season, I couldn’t resist making this one a little sweeter. Although I did throw a lemon in there, it’s nothing like lemonade; it’s better.

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Digestive Aid Juice

  Digestive Aid Juice

Before we dive into talking about this beautiful digestive aid juice, let’s talk about digestion for a moment. Shall we?

Why is digestion so important? Without going into a complicated biology lesson (which I probably would not be prepared to teach), let’s simply think of what our digestive system does for us: it breaks food down into smaller pieces so that our body can use this nourishment to build new cells and give us energy. It’s amazing what our bodies do for us on a daily basis!

Since our digestion is essential for maintaining a healthy and happy body, anything that we can do to help aid our digestive system will increase our overall health. For example, this might include eating more fermented foods like saurkraut or kimchi, drinking kombucha, or taking probiotics to help maintain healthy bacteria in our guts.

It’s definitely important to think about the types of foods we are eating, but it’s also important to think about how we are eating those foods. Are you rushing through meals? Shoveling food down your mouth? Eating on-the-go? All of this contributes to digestive stress.

I know life is busy and I struggle with this too, but as much as possible, try to slow down at meals, chew your food properly, and allow your body a chance to fully digest your meal before running off to a new task. Your digestion and your body will thank you.

And now let’s talk juice.

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