Wellness Wednesday: Blue

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Conflicted.  That pretty much sums up my entire Wednesday.  This morning, I got up to go for a run (after my hot lemon water and some stretching of course!).  I got less than a mile into my run before I turned around unexpectedly, deciding I just wasn’t feeling that particular trail.  So then I run all the way back to the beginning and set out in an entirely different direction, thinking that would solve everything.  It didn’t.  Over a mile into that route, that path wasn’t right either.  Exasperated with indecision, I ended up running over to the high school and doing laps around the football field until I was good and spent.  My pace was decent according to my Nike app, but my mentality wasn’t.

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Then came time to decide which delicious blue food recipe I was going to feature today, and again I was met with conflicting emotions and indecision.  Since only one “blue” food really exists in the natural food world (with the exception of some very rare blue potatoes), blueberries were the obvious food choice.  There’s no variety in the blue category, and I hate when I’m left without a choice!  Blueberries are super delicious, though.  But what to make with them?  I usually just eat them raw, or I add them to juice and use the pulp in popsicles.  I didn’t want to juice them since I was in too much of a hurry to really be able to preserve the pulp today, so I went for a smoothie.  I don’t have a specific recipe for this one, but basically a few (like 3 or 4) heaping handfuls of spinach went into my blender, followed by my pint of blueberries from the market and some silken tofu (about half a brick).  I added about a cup and a half of unsweetened almond milk and blended that sucker till it was creamy and totally liquid.

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Man was that just what the doctor ordered after an hour of running!  Feel free to add your own sweetener to this blend (agave, honey, stevia, etc.).  A lot of people don’ t think my smoothies or juices are sweet enough, but I personally am not huge on super-sweet concoctions (I understand I’m pretty much alone in this!).  Since my first juice fast in July 2011, my cravings for sugar have gone down significantly, and I don’t always use sweeteners. Currently, I don’t even have any type of sweeteners in my home.  Like I said though, a couple tablespoons of agave may be just the key to making this smoothie your new go-to breakfast concoction!

If you head over to my good friend Allison’s Allison in Wellness Land, you’ll find some rockin’ info about blueberry nutrition on top of another awesome blueberry recipe with only two ingredients!  Allison shows how to make Blueberry-Chia Jam, and it’s crazy good! Can’t get more simple/healthy/delicious than that!

Not every day is perfect.  I’m not always a 100% up-and-at-em, vegany power superhero (as some of my friends would put it).  Some days, I wanna say screw it, just like you do, crank up Alanis Morisette, and scream at every car I see on the road, even though I know they can’t hear me.  We all have those days. While I can’t say I got a whole lot of emotional satisfaction from today, I am able to reflect on the fact that despite my moodiness, I was able to run over five miles, contribute to a very satisfying inter-professional meeting at Case, and eat some very healthy meals.  Being able to see those accomplishments in print makes my day a bit more satisfying than I thought it was!

What do you do when you’re having an off day?  Are you able to see positive actions even in the midst of conflict and indecision?  Comment below and let me know how you get over your less-than-perfect moments.

Here’s to hoping tomorrow holds less conflict and more clarity.

Stay happy, stay healthy!

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Homemade Vegetable Stock- Utilizing Juicer Pulp: Part Two

After using up all of my fruit pulp to make some delicious apple coconut pops, I still had a huge bag of vegetable pulp.  What was I going to do with a bag of beet, carrot, celery, cucumber, tomato, spinach, and kale bits?  Surely not make popsicles out of it!  I love my veggies, but that just sounds like a bad idea that should never happen.  I know some people sneak these pieces into breads and muffins, but I’m on a juicing cleanse, so I wouldn’t be able to eat any of that.  The only solution I could think of was to cook up a batch of vegetable stock—a BIG batch of vegetable stock!

This recipe was perfect!  Nothing but water and veggies; all perfectly allowed during a fast.  If I weren’t fasting, I would have probably added a teaspoon of coconut oil to the mixture, and perhaps a pinch of salt, but aside from that, this stock is delicious!  I have been heating it up and drinking it for a little change in routine.  The cold, refreshing juices definitely hit the spot but after days of nothing but cold beverages and hot water with lemon, a nice hot bowl of vegetable broth really hits the spot.  I even ate it with a spoon, so it felt like I was “eating”!  It’s the little things like that which get your mental self on board with tough commitments like a juice cleanse.  As I’ve said before, juice fasts are always easier when you have a partner to lean on, but unfortunately I no longer have that option.  Maybe I’ll write about how to get through this on your own, once I get through my first fast by myself!  Anyways, I’m rambling.  Check out the recipe and let me know what you think!

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Vegetable Stock

  • Vegetable pulp from four (4) 16 oz. juices (probably about 8 or 9 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 18-20 cups water

Materials:

  • Cheesecloth (You can even use an old but clean t-shirt! Or coffee filters, panty hose, etc.)
  • A large bowl
  • Canning jars

 

A few notes about the ingredient list:

  • Use whatever spices you like, don’t confine yourself to basil and oregano just because those are the spices I had on hand!
  • it doesn’t matter what vegetables you use in this recipe; it’ll be good no matter what!

 

  1. Add 3 or 4 cups of water and juicer pulp to a large stock pot and turn the stove burner to medium/high.
  2. Once the water begins to boil, add the spices and garlic.  Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the water to the pot.  Keep the burner on medium/high heat and let the concoction come to a boil.
  4. Turn heat down a few notches and let cook for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool.

 

Lay the cheesecloth (or shirt!) in the large bowl like a liner.  Once the mixture has cooled, ladle out small amounts at a time into the cloth and strain the liquid out into the bowl.  Transfer the vegetable stock into canning jars and seal.  If freezing (like I did), make sure you leave enough space at the top of the jar for the liquid to expand!  Nothing says epic fail like opening your freezer to what looks like a murder scene of vegetable stock splattered on the walls.

Let me know what you think of this use for juice pulp!  I thought it was pretty delicious!

Until next time, be well and happy juicing!