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juicing

I am often asked, “which is healthier: juicing or smoothies?”

In fact, smoothies and juices serve different purposes. The health benefits of juices vs. smoothies depend entirely on your desired nutritional outcome.

I make smoothies when I need a nutritious snack, filled with protein and fiber, to hold me over. On the other hand, when I need a boost (especially in the morning) I turn to juicing. Fresh pressed juice is essentially a direct shot of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes into your system – a great coffee substitute for those looking to ditch caffeine.

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meal prep hacks

 

So, You’re on board with a “whole foods” lifestyle, great! Now if you could only find the time to make it happen…

My secret to success is meal prep. That means I designate a time to cook large amounts of healthy food ahead of time, with a plan to use it throughout the week. That way, when I’ve spent the afternoon running my darlings from tae-kwon-do to dance lessons, I don’t have empty plates staring me in the face when I get home, or feel the temptation to fill them with something quick and processed.

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smoothies

We all know that after school snack time is critical. Somehow, that time of day transforms your kitchen into the set of The Walking Dead, where you might find yourself hurling pizza bagels at the snapping jaws of your 4th grader – just to stay alive.

While it is easy to rely on the convenience of processed, microwavable foods, there are healthy alternatives that are just as quick to prepare, and tastier too. Why not try a smoothie to curb that afternoon hunger?

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Homemade Nutella

Nutella has advertised for many years that their gooey, chocolatey, sugar loaded spread is healthy. The makers of Nutella, Ferrero, Inc. has sold their spread as a nourishing breakfast option but neglected to mention that in a teaspoon there can be up to 21 grams of sugar. This is far beyond the recommended daily intake for sugar, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO recommends, Americans should limit their sugar intake to 25 grams per day.

Well, since we all cannot just have one teaspoon on our morning toast, we will have exceeded our sugar intake at breakfast! Read more

fruit

Banana:

Bananas pack a nutritional punch as they are rich in potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral in maintaining normal blood pressure and an important component in cardiovascular health. They have a unique mix of vitamins and minerals and provide low glycemic carbohydrates making them ideal for athletic performance. Additional health benefits may include lowering the risk of certain cancers and asthma and promoting regularity.

note: people who are taking beta-blockers should be conscious of high potassium foods as beta blockers tend to increase potassium in the blood. Consult with your doctor about regulating and monitoring your potassium levels.

1 small banana:

Vitamin B6: 25% DV
Manganese: 16% DV
Vitamin C: 14% DV
Potassium: 12% DV
Fiber: 12% Dv

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Strawberries:

Strawberries are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients including quercetin, anthocyanins and polyphenols. They are also rich in the essential nutrients folic acid, fiber and vitamin C. One cup of fresh strawberries provides 160% of your daily vitamin C needs. They have been shown to support cardiovascular health, improve regulation of blood sugar, as well as prevent certain cancers. They are a go to treat in my family in smoothies or diced and served with yogurt or a summer salad.

1 cup:

Vitamin C: 113% DV
Manganese: 28% DV
Fiber: 12% DV
Iodine: 12%
Folate: 9% DV
Potassium: 6% DV
Magnesium: 5% DV

Kiwi fruit on wooden background

Kiwi:

Kiwis are a nutrient dense food meaning they are high in nutrients but low in calories. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber and potassium. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that neutralizes those icky free radicals that cause damage to cells. The possible benefits of consuming kiwis and many other fruits includes a reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity and some cancers.

1 cup:

Vitamin C: 85% DV
Vitamin K: 31% DV
Copper: 10% DV
Fiber: 8% DV
Vitamin E: 7% DV
Potassium: 6% DV

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Blueberry:

These are rich in the flavanoid, anthocyanin and the polyphenol, quercetin that contribute to a host of their health benefits.  They are rich in iron, phosphorous, calcium, zinc and vitamin k that contribute to building and maintaining bone strength. Blueberries have been shown to improve heart health, cognitive function, regulate blood sugar levels, improve digestion, fight wrinkles and contain anti-cancer benefits. I like to incorporate these nutrient dense berries to my smoothies with some protein powder and almond milk.

1 cup:

Vitamin K: 32% DV
Manganese: 25% DV
Vitamin C: 19% DV
Fiber 14% DV

watermelon

Watermelon:

Watermelons are synonymous with summer and help to quench your thirst after a workout. They are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds and provide antioxidant support for cardiovascular health. They are rich in lycopene, zinc, choline,copper, vitamin B6, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C. The antioxidant beta carotene provides eye health and heart health. Consuming watermelon can contribute to overall improved digestion and regularity, improved hydration, reduced inflammation and muscle soreness and improved skin texture due to its high vitamin A content. I like to make watermelon and mint juices for extra hydration after a long workout.

1 cup:

Vitamin C: 16% DV
Pantothenic Acid: 7% DV
Copper: 7% DV
Vitamin A: 5% DV
Biotin: 5%DV

avocado

Avocado:

These are rich in monounsaturated fats (the healthy fat) that provide a wide range of anti-inflammatory benefits. Similar to all fresh fruits they are nutrient dense as well. They are rich in the carotenoid family that provide protection for the heart and eyes, promote blood sugar regulation, may prevent osteoporosis because of their high vitamin K content and improve digestion and regularity.

I add them to my salads or smoothies for a dose of my daily good oils or make a homemade guacamole.

https://iquitsugar.com/recipe/super-speedy-guacamole/

1 cup:

Pantothenic Acid: 42% DV
Fiber: 40% DV
Vitamin K: 35%
Copper: 31% DV
Folate: 30% DV
Vitamin B6: 23% DV
Vitamin E: 21% DV
Potassium: 21% DV
Vitamin C: 20% DV

lemon slice

Lemon:

Lemons are rich in phytonutrients and provide an antibiotic affect on our body. They are rich in vitamin C that is the main antioxidant in our body. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that neutralizes free radicals present in our body. Vitamin C supports a strong immune system so it is helpful in fighting colds, flus and ear infections.Additionally, they help to maintain a healthy complexion because of their vitamin C content which plays a vital role in collagen formation, they increase iron absorption when combined with iron rich foods (spinach or chickpeas) and may prevent asthma. Lemons increase detoxification in the body because it activates the release of bile which acts as an emulsifier for fat and removes fat soluble toxins.

I squeeze lemon juice and some of the zest into a warm glass of water every morning for digestive health and my daily dose of vitamin C.

¼ cup:

Vitamin C: 31% DV
Folate: 3% DV

 

 

pantry veggies

Spinach:

Remember Popeye? Studies show that consumption of spinach can be helpful in reducing the risk of prostate cancer. It is rich in health promoting phytonutrients that provide antioxidant benefits. Spinach is also high in oxalic acid, so it can be helpful to boil it for a minute to reduce the levels of acidity.

1 cup provides:

Vitamin K: 987% DV
Vitamin A: 106% DV
Manganese: 84% DV
Iron: 36% DV
Copper: 34% DV
Vitamin B2: 32% DV
Vitamin B6: 26% DV
Vitamin C: 14% DV
Vitamin E: 25% DV
Calcium: 24% DV
Potassium: 24% DV
Fiber: 17% DV

Bell Peppers:

Bell peppers are an excellent source of carotenoids, especially beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, and are high in vitamin C (even more than oranges). They contain anti-inflammatory properties and provide anti-cancer benefits.

1 cup provides:

Vitamin C: 157% DV
Vitamin B6: 16%
Vitamin A: 16%
Folate: 11%
Vitamin E: 10%

Romaine:

Not all lettuce is created equal! Romaine is high in vitamin K and vitamin A, and packed with other vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber. This is a heart healthy addition to any meal, as it can help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. The high folic acid content is beneficial for converting bad homocysteine (contributes to heart disease) into a benign substance.

2 cups provide:

Vitamin K: 107% DV
Vitamin A: 45% DV
Folate; 32%
Molybdenum: 13% DV
Vitamin C: 5% DV
Potassium: 7% DV
Manganese: 8% DV

Beets:

Beets contain phytonutrients called betalains. They provide anti-inflammatory and detoxifying support.

1 cup provides:

Folate: 34% DV
Manganese: 28% DV
Potassium: 15% DV
Copper: 14% DV

Tomato:

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene and antioxidants, and are known to support bone health. Studies show that tomatoes are also linked with heart health because they contribute to lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

1 medium-sized whole tomato provides:

Vitamin A: 20% DV
Biotin: 24% DV
Vitamin K: 16% DV
Vitamin C: 28% DV
Vitamin B6: 5% DV
Magnesium: 5% DV
Potassium: 292mg

Mushrooms:

Mushrooms provide immune support, as well as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. They are rich in B vitamins, which provide homocysteine regulation and thus, cardiovascular health.

I add my mushrooms to stir fry or sauces for the kiddos to enjoy.

1 cup:

Copper: 40% DV
Selenium: 35% DV
Vitamin B2: 27% DV
Pantothenic Acid: 22% DV
Vitamin B3: 17% DV
Phosphorous: 12% DV
Potassium: 9% DV
Zinc: 7%
Vitamin B1: 6%

Zucchini:

Zucchini is a rich source of antioxidants and helps regulate blood sugar levels with anti-inflammatory benefits. Studies indicate they support a healthy prostate and provide anti-cancer benefits as well.

I add grated zucchini to my sauces, or grill them with a little olive oil.

1 cup:

Copper: 21% DV
Manganese: 19% DV
Vitamin C: 13% DV
Magnesium: 11% DV
Fiber: 10% DV
Phosphorous: 10% DV
Potassium: 10% DV
Folate: 9% DV
Vitamin B1: 7$ DV
Vitamin K: 7% DV
Vitamin B6: 7% DV
Vitamin B3: 6% DV

Broccoli:

The health benefits of broccoli are far reaching. They provide cancer protection, contain anti-inflammatory properties, and protect against oxidative stress. The high fiber content provides digestive support.

I add broccoli to my stir fry, or just steam it and add a little butter.

1 cup:

Vitamin K: 245% DV
Vitamin C: 135% DV
Chromium: 53% DV
Folate: 42% DV
Fiber: 21%DV
Pantothenic Acid: 19% DV
Vitamin B6: 18% DV
Vitamin E: 15% DV
Phosphorous: 15% DV
Manganese: 15% DV
Choline: 15% DV
Vitamin B2: 15% DV
Vitamin A: 13% DV
Potassium: 13% DV

Kale:

Kale is a powerhouse vegetable that is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Kale contains glucosinolates that provide cancer preventative benefits, as well as cardiovascular support. It can be helpful in detoxifying the body too!

I like to use it in my juices or add it to sauces.

1 cup:

Vitamin K: 1180% DV
Vitamin A: 98% DV
Vitamin C: 71% DV
Manganese: 27% DV
Copper: 22% DV
Vitamin B6: 11%DV
Fiber: 10% DV
Calcium: 9%DV
Potassium: 8%DV
Iron: 7% DV
Vitamin E: 7%DV
Vitamin B2: 7%DV
Magnesium: 6%DV
Vitamin B1:6%
Protein: 5%
Phosphorous: 5% DV

Eggplant:

Eggplants are rich in the phytonutrient nasunin, a potent antioxidant that prevents cells from oxidative damage. It also provides cardiovascular support by reducing cholesterol levels. I like to make grilled eggplant or baba ganoush to serve with sliced veggies.

1 cup:

Fiber: 10% DV
Copper: 7% DV
Vitamin B1: 7% DV
Manganese: 6% DV
Vitamin B6: 5% DV
Vitamin B3: 4% DV
Potassium: 3% DV

Cucumber:

Cucumbers are rich in three phytonutrients: flavonoids, lignans, and triterpenes. These all provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits.

I like to use them in my juices for hydration and detoxification, as well as cut up to be served with hummus or baba ganoush.

1 cup:

Vitamin K: 19% DV
Molybdenum: 12% DV
Pantothenic Acid: 5% DV
Potassium: 4% DV
Phosphorous: 4% DV
Copper: 4% DV
Manganese: 4% DV
Vitamin C: 4% DV
Vitamin B1: 3% DV

 

 

 

 

nuts

Cashews:

Cashews are rich in copper, manganese, phosphorous, and vitamin K. These vitamins and minerals help to diminish frequency of migraines, lower blood pressure, protect against heart disease, and provide bone strength. They contain NO cholesterol. They contain oleic acid, which is also found in olive oil – both are good for you!

Serving Size: 1 oz.

Calories: 157
Fat: 12.4g
Carbs: 8.56g
Protein: 5.17g

66% aft, 22% carbs, 12% protein

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superfoods

Goji Berries:

Goji berries is both a fruit and an herb and an excellent source of antioxidants. They are loaded with beta-carotene that promotes healthy skin. They are also high in fiber that contributes to regular bowel movements. There are claims that it is a remedy for diabetes, hypertension, malaria and fever. You can eat them raw or soak them before eating. I eat these plain or mixed with cashews. They are also a nice addition to any smoothie.

They can be found at any natural food store or even online.

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coffee conundrum

The subject of coffee and health has been a topic discussed forever in the media. Is it a healthy addition to your daily diet?

I have a love-hate relationship with coffee. I did not start drinking it until after I had my three children. I then became quite obsessed with my daily coffee intake. Then moving forward a few years and my diagnosis with IBS. UGH!! So, there is so much trial and error involved in finding your individual triggers when you have IBS. I have come to the conclusion that coffee is taxing my system right now and decided to do a trial 30 day detox from my daily coffee. The thought seems quite daunting but at the end of the 30 days I will reintroduce coffee into my morning regime and notice any reactions that my body may or may not have.

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