Categories
Health

CAN CAN Juice Cleanse [OUR LOOK]

Juice cleanses. How do you feel about them? Enthused, intimidated, confused, intrigued?

Nutrition is such a hot topic in our culture, especially when it comes to opinions regarding what we should and should not eat. As a Health Coach I can attest to the amount of confusion surrounding these debates and loads of nutritional information being thrown our way.

Cleansing is one of these hot topics. Should I or shouldn’t I?  In my opinion cleansing can be a great way to to give your body the little vacation it can sometimes need. We can be tough on our delicate digestive systems (i.e. that burrito the size of my head that I consumed last weekend) and cleansing can give your body a chance at some much need R&R.*

Potential benefits to cleansing:

  • Mental Clarity
  • Increased Energy & Stamina
  • Weight Loss
  • Better Sleeping
  • Clearer, Healthier Looking Skin & Eyes
  • Elimination of Toxicities from the Gastrointestinal Track
  • Reduced Sugar Cravings
  • A Kick-Start to Breaking Bad Habits (Smoking, Drinking, Caffeine, Overeating)
  • Self-Confidence Boost (Source)

A couple weeks back I tried out a San Francisco-based 3-day cleanse called CAN CAN.   Each day I consumed the same seasonal menu of 8 beverages that added up to about 1000 calories a day:

  • 2 Fruit Juices
  • 2 Green Vegetable Juices
  • 2 Herbal Teas
  • 1 Nut Milk
  • 1 Savory Soup

My cleanse experience with CAN CAN went well overall. CAN CAN recommended prepping my body prior to the cleanse by eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting down on caffeine and processed foods so that the nutritionally-rich juices were not a shock to my digestive system. This was a great tip because I didn’t experience any caffeine headaches and felt pretty good.

I experienced a foggy feeling towards the end of the first day which I remedied by drinking more water. The soup, nut milk, fruit juice and tea were all really tasty! I did struggle a bit however with the amount of ginger used in the green juice, so I toned it down by adding some water; problem solved!

Some important things to remember while cleansing:

  • Drink LOTS of water
  • Prep your body beforehand by cutting down on processed foods and caffeine
  • Keep exercise light
Thanks so much to CAN CAN for letting me try out their fresh cleaning system. If you have any nutrition or cleansing questions please feel free to contact me via Twitter. Happy cleansing!

*Please note I am not a doctor and recommend consulting your personal physician before deciding to try a cleanse yourself.

Categories
Adventures

A Vegan Cinco De Mayo Experience in San Francisco [ADVENTURE]

Gather ‘roud kiddies as I tell the story of two friends on a vegan-food-adventure to The City by the Bay.

When two friends walk up to a vegan food stand, one of which swears by her veggies and “weird” hippie food, the other not quite a fan but open to new experiences, what is the outcome? Did the non-hippie friend enjoy her first vegan experience?

Last weekend Chef Ayinde Howell of NYC hosted a pop-up vegan event called Wildflower in San Francisco’s mission district to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

The festive menu for Cinco De Drinko, I mean…May 5th was as follows:

Mexican Hot Cocoa Waffle
A vanilla cocoa waffle topped with cinnamon and toasted cayenne

Beer Battered Tempeh Tacos

Chipotle Mac & Yease
Chef Ayinde’s version of mac & cheese, a creamy, savory old family recipe.

The food was so good that the non-hippie friend decided to go vegan! Not really…but she really enjoyed all of the food! If you are new to non-meat protein sources Chef Ayinde recommends trying out tempeh, which is what he used in the tacos.

So kiddies, the moral of the story here is that vegan food is not scary at all, and I highly recommend giving it a try some time! Also, trust your hippie friends occasionally, they know where it’s at!

Thank you to Chef Ayinde letting us enjoy your tasty creations!

About Chef Ayinde:

Born in Tacoma, WA, to vegan parents, Chef Ayinde Howell has been a lifelong vegan, giving him a fresh lens to see his culinary art through.  At a time when most vegan restaurants have emphasized meat-analogs and processed soy dishes as an appeal to carnivores, Chef Ayinde’s vision alternatively celebrates his food’s unprocessed source by highlighting their natural flavors, brilliant colors, and captivating aromas.

 

Categories
Adventures

Eating Like Royalty at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Event [ADVENTURE]

Pebble Beach Food & Wine is the premier epicurean lifestyle event on the West Coast. The event positions 5,000 people both nationally and internationally under one roof (or lackthereof) of the most picturesque strips of coastline in the world. Here’s a quick look at my visit, a mingling of 250 acclaimed wineries with 75 celebrity chefs strewn about. Enjoy the scenery, and the fresh berries, yeah?

Driscoll’s Berry Farm:

Saturday morning started bright and early with a bus ride from Monterey to Driscoll’s Berry Farm in Watsonville, California. We were greeted by a gorgeous breakfast spread: Organic Breakfast Potatoes, All-natural Pork Sausage, Blueberry French Toast Casserole, Asparagus Quiche, Bacon Quiche, Berry Parfait, and Assorted Organic Scones. Needless to say we went hungry…

After breakfast we learned a bit about the art of growing these delicious fruits. Equipped with our fancy new gardening/mud boots, we headed out to the organic fields.

These berries are not produced in a factory; they are grown outside in a dynamic biological environment. The farmers’ challenge is to work with nature, using years of experience and know-how to get the very best out of each berry plant. Driscoll’s farmers have to understand how weather, soil, nourishment, pests and diseases affect each variety and each plant. The goal of every Driscoll’s farmer is to shape, rather than control, the biological diversity of their fields, with a minimum amount of agricultural inputs.

Planting is a delicate process and the correct timing is critical. Each row must be laid out so that it has exactly the right slope, to ensure that irrigation water will flow smoothly throughout the field.

It is a wonder that these berries make it shelves! The intricate balance it takes to maintain the crops and produce an ideal product is astounding. We left Driscoll’s with an immense respect and appreciation for the farmers and growers in our community. Thank you Driscoll’s for the hospitality!

The Grand Tasting:

After a death-defying bus ride to from Watsonville to Pebble Beach, seriously you’re lucky I am here to write this post, we made it the main event: The Grand Tasting!

The event is promoted as the weekend’s most spectacular opportunity for maximum culinary indulgence. With over 300 wines from top-notch producers from around the world to a “who’s who” list of 25 top celebrity chefs, it is your chance to mingle, mix and sip with the very best in the field. (Source)

We entered the giant white tent and were greeted by out of this world smells. Let’s just say the tastes were awesome and let the pictures speak for themselves:

About the Event:

Pebble Beach Food & Wine is the premier epicurean lifestyle event on the West Coast, bringing 5000 national and international attendees to Del Monte Forest, one of the most picturesque strips of coastline in the world. Hosted primarily at Spanish Bay, the scope of the event encompasses every property in Pebble Beach and uses local and regional staff to create a hedonistic four-day event that matches 250 acclaimed wineries with 75 celebrity chefs, and includes wine and beverage tasting, cooking demonstrations, and some of the most exclusive, unusual dining opportunities available in the world.

Thank you to Laura of the Baddish Group, Driscoll’s and Pebble Beach Food & Wine for an amazing culinary adventure!

Photos courtesy of Nina Tabone.

Categories
Packaged Food

Better Whey of Life Yogurt [OUR LOOK]

What is up with all these Greek yogurt brands popping up in local health food and grocery stores? Oh I know…it is because they rock! Great health benefits, a thick, creamy texture, and they taste great!

Better Whey of Life is a growing brand who will is giving the big boys a run for their money. I was lucky enough to get a taste of their Plain, Raspberry White Grape and Blackberry Pomegranate flavors. Yum.

A few reasons Better Whey of Life is company to keep an eye on:

  • The products feature whey protein from grass-fed cows, a nutritional superstar naturally found in milk
  • The company uses all-natural ingredients – ingredients like prebiotic fiber, probiotics,  and strained milk
  • The flavors are original and just plain tasty!
  • The owner of the company is actually Greek!

To learn more about the health benefits of Greek yogurt and see how Better Whey of Life stacks up to previously-featured Sophie yogurt

Categories
Packaged Food

Larabar Cappuccino Bars [OUR LOOK]

Do you jump for the taste of java? Then LÄRABAR’s house blend of Fair Trade Certified™ coffee, dates, almonds, cashews, and vanilla extract is for you! LÄRABAR products are a delicious blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices. Made from whole food, each flavor contains no more than nine ingredients.

The new Cappuccino flavor rocks! Cappuccino LÄRABAR makes a great, nutritious snack packed with 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein per bar that will keep you satisfied until your next meal. Some of my other favorite flavors include: Key Lime Pie, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Apple Turnover.

Thanks to LÄRABAR for letting me sample their awesome products…you can send more if you like, just putting it out there :)…Check them out online at www.larabar.com.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Celestial Seasonings New Tea [OUR LOOK]

Celestial Seasonings Peach Blossom Green Tea, Antioxidant Max Green Tea Blood Orange Star Fruit Tea, LaxaTea Wellness Tea

Tis’ the season for a warm cup of tea! I was lucky enough to sample a few of Celestial Seasonings new tea offerings. The sampling included Peach Blossom Green Tea, Antioxidant Max Green Tea Blood Orange Star Fruit Tea, and LaxaTea Wellness Tea.

The benefits of tea are numerous, especially during chilly weather when the body craves warming foods. You know that phrase, “You are what you eat!”? Well, it’s true! Our body naturally knows and can indicate what nourishment it is craving. During cooler temperatures warm food is what the body requires in order to regulate body temperature.

Other potential health benefits of tea can include: a reduced chance of heart disease, decreased mortality rate in stroke victims, lower cholesterol, and decreased chance of certain cancers. (Note: I am not a licensed medical professional so please check with your doctor or nutritionist if you are interested in learning more)

Peach Blossom Green Tea

“This invigorating blend adds the orchard-fresh flavor of ripe yellow peaches to our smooth blend of authentic green tea and delicate Bai Mu Dan white tea — one of the rarest and youngest of teas. You’ll notice a delightfully floral peach aroma the minute you pour hot water over the tea bag!” (Source: Celestial Seasonings Blend Master)

I couldn’t have said it better myself! This stuff tastes great and smells like a bag of gummy peach rings! Yum!

LaxaTea Wellness Tea

Ok, I will be honest…this one scared me a little! I was hesitant to try it because well, the title kind of speaks for itself. This tea is meant to, “Find relief from the discomforts of occasional constipation with senna and other natural digestive aids.” (Source: Celestial Seasonings)

I didn’t care for the taste of this tea much; it is spicy with cinnamon undertones but had a bit of a funny aftertaste. But I bet you are more curious about the other effects this tea can evoke and let’s just say, yes, it works. So if you need a little assistance “moving things along,” this product could be a great one to try; but eating a healthy dose of vegetables and drinking lots of water is another technique that works just as nicely.        

Antioxidant Max Green Tea Blood Orange Star Fruit Tea

Personally I have never reached for a tea product as a wellness supplement; I usually turn to eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, and getting some extra sleep. So the idea of a tea that is used to boost the immune system was intriguing.

This stuff smelled amazing when I brewed it! It is a caffeinated green tea with a sweet and tangy taste. It provides a boost of Vitamin C and flavonoid antioxidants that can help boost your immune system by countering the harmful effects of free radicals in your body. If you feel a cold coming on this stuff is definitely a tasty addition to the other preventative steps you take to ward off a cold. Plus, it is nice to sip a warm cup of tea if you aren’t feeling well!

Thanks to Celestial Seasonings for warming my body with their delicious teas. Check them out online at www.celestialseasonings.com.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Celestial Seasonings Kombucha Energy Shots

kombucha energy shots citrus berry pomegranate extreme

Celestial Seasonings just launched Kombucha single-serving Energy Shots which are made from the brand’s live, raw Kombucha (fermented black tea). The Shots also contain an added blend of energizing ingredients like caffeine from guarana, B vitamins and ginseng. The combination claims to deliver an all-natural energy boost consumers can feel good about.

Kombucha is a fermented black tea that contains naturally occurring enzymes, probiotic cultures and beneficial acids. Kombucha manufacturers claim the drink is a natural detoxifier that can aid in digestion and create a more alert mind. In other words it wakes you up and gets things moving, if you know what I mean…

The Shots are available in three flavor varieties – Citrus, Berry and, for users who desire an added boost, Pomegranate Xtreme which is fortified with additional caffeine from guarana and B vitamins. Kombucha Energy Shots are on shelves now in Whole Foods Market locations nationwide, with expansion to other natural foods stores starting in December.

Categories
Packaged Food

Sophie Yogurt: Not So Greek To Me [OUR LOOK]

Sophie Greek Style Yogurt

What is Greek Yogurt?

Well I’m glad you asked…Greek-style yogurt is thicker and more solid than traditional yogurt because it is strained, giving it a richer and creamier texture – the stuff is thick! Nutritionally, Greek-style yogurt is higher in protein and lower in lactose than regular low-fat plain yogurt. Great as a snack, healthy substitute for sour cream or a flavorful dip such as Tzatziki.

Health Benefits?

Time for a little nutrition lesson my friends! Yogurt promotes intestinal health, improves lactose intolerance, builds stronger bones, enhances immunity, lowers blood pressure, and may even have anticancer and weight-loss effects. In a recent study in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers found that obese adults who ate three servings of fat-free yogurt a day as part of a reduced-calorie diet lost 22% more weight and 61% more body fat than those who just cut calories.

A plus for Greek yogurt, in particular, is that it doesn’t give you the sugar overload of what you usually find in traditional grocery store varieties. (Health.com)

Are you still with me? Here is a little Greek joke to keep you interested, although I may lose some of you at this point based on what is coming next: What Greek god is so hot you could fry an egg on him? Pan!  =)

Chocolate Sophie Greek Style Yogurt

How Does Sophie Compare?

My general rule of thumb is if I don’t know recognize an ingredient on a food label as natural or close to it, I won’t buy it. Sophie passes my test with flying colors!

Personally I tend to reach for plain Greek yogurts and add my own toppings, such as honey and walnuts, because flavored selections tend to be loaded with excess sugar. My favorite plain varieties are Fage, Chobani and Trader Joe’s. Sophie’s held their own in the plain category. The thickness of Sophie is somewhere between Fage and Chobani, not too thick but not too thin, jussst right.

As far as flavored Greek yogurt goes I tend to prefer Chobani, but a cup of that contains about 20 grams of sugar per cup. That is right up there with some desserts. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Sophie yogurts only contain 5 grams per cup in their flavored varieties. And the Chocolate flavor is SO GOOD! The other flavors are Banana Cream Pie and Vanilla Bean, which are also amazing. And a little tip, Banana Cream Pie and Chocolate mixed together is quite delicious, just sayin’.

Should You Go Buy Sophie Greek-Style Yogurt?

For sure! At this point the only downside to the product is the lack of distribution; Sophie is currently only available on the East Coast, but keep an eye out for them in local health food markets because they are expanding quickly.

Thanks to Sophie Greek-Style Yogurt for letting me sample their delicious products. Check them out online at www.sophieyogurt.com.