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!

Wellness Wednesday: GREEN

 

ImageHappy Hump Day!  Honestly, Wednesdays are the Mondays of my life right now, since I work from Wednesday through Saturday.  That’s okay though, I won’t be bound to that schedule forever!  I kind of like having Tuesdays off right now.  Since most everyone is at work or school, I’m pretty much free to do as I please, traffic and line free.  Who can complain about that? I got a nice 3 mile run in today after work, too.  Can you spot the heart in the trees?

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On top of Hump Day, looks like it’s GREEN Wellness Wednesday, too! Make sure you head over to Allison in Wellnessland to get a killer kale pesto recipe this week and hear about her adventures with kale in the kitchen!  Okay so not only is this my favorite color, but it’s the color of most of my favorite foods!  What to choose?  There’s kale, broccoli, spinach, celery, cucumbers, chives, tomatillos, cilantro, parsley, avocados, artichokes…. I could be here all day people.  Each are delicious in their own right and each bring their own unique nutritional benefits to the table.   Anyone who knows me knows I am indecisive to a fault (don’t think you can fix me!) and won’t be surprised when I say I chose a veggie combo for you all to enjoy this week.  Hey, at least I’m consistent.

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1/2 jalapeno, de-seeded
1 lime
1 cucumber
1 mango
2 scallions
1 bunch cilantro

This recipe is probably my most favoritest juice of all time.  Yeah, FAVORITEST. Like, if there was a juice law that said this was the only juice allowed forever, I’d drink it all day every day and never complain about it. Ever.  It’s called mango salsa, and I’ve mentioned it on here several times, but it’s a drink that’s worth the extra attention.  It’s health benefits parallel it’s foodgasmic flavor (yep, I said it), making it a win-win.  You seriously CAN’T go wrong here people.  Unless you don’t like cilantro.  Which makes you a communist.  Meaning that YOU are the one that’s wrong, and not my precious juice.  Can you tell I really like cilantro?  How could you not, with all it’s amazing benefits? 

Did you know that cilantro is one of very few foods which actually bind to metals in the body and are able to carry them through the digestive tract to help our bodies get rid of them?  Pretty cool, huh? 

And oh, the jalapenos.  Capsaicin is what gives the pepper its spicy kick, and researchers have found that capsaicin releases endorphins. Maybe that’s why this drink makes me so happy.  Some studies are even in the works to study capsaicin’s effect on weight loss, but I’m not terribly concerned with that, and you shouldn’t be, either.  Here’s the way I see it: “I got so fat by eating vegetables” said no one ever. Does it really matter if something inside a vegetable speeds metabolism to weight loss?  Who cares! 

Cucumbers are another green item found in the mango salsa drink, contributing to most of the concoction’s bulk.  Something you might not know is that cucs contain about 20% of the daily recommended value of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting and the distribution of calcium.  Basically it’s your “injury prevention” nutrient, and cucumbers are full of it! 

Mangoes are not green by any means, but the limes in the juice definitely are!  Limes, on top of being delicious, carry almost 30% of your daily vitamin C in them.  Not too shabby! 

Add all these power foods together, and you will be ready to take on just about anything.  I guarantee it.  Please make sure you de-seed the jalapeno before throwing it through the juicer, though.  Oh, and wash your hands after touching the jalapeno.  Like right after you put it down.  Do not, I repeat, do not rub your eye with your jalapeno-y fingers while drinking your juice.  Not that that’s something I’ve ever done, but you know, it just sounds super painful.  Like, you might spill your delicious juice on your way to dive into your shower, fully clothed.  Again, not saying that actually happened to me last week, I’m just saying you should be careful…

Okay!  That about wraps up Wellness Wednesday! Stay well, stay happy!

And get your juice on!

Wellness Wednesday: YELLOW!

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I was approached by fellow health blogger Allison In Wellness Land a few weeks ago about participating in a weekly posting called “Wellness Wednesdays”.  The goal is to highlight a different colored food each week in an attempt to promote the great advice to “eat a rainbow”!  Well, obviously I was on board, but if you notice, today is definitely NOT Wednesday, and last time I checked, the rainbow starts with red.  Okay, so I’m a few weeks late to the party, which accounts for the fact that Yellow is now the highlighted color of the week!  As for my tardiness, that’s all on me.  I woke up Wednesday fully prepared to talk all about the healthy benefits of lemons and lemon water as a part of a daily morning routine, but that clearly didn’t happen.  I received some unfortunate news about an old friend yesterday, and as a result was very distracted. 

Things work out, though.  This morning, I woke up feeling slightly off, and after being at work a mere 2 hours, a headache, clogged sinuses, and a wicked sore throat were threatening to derail me.  School was all but unbearable as I struggled to remain conscious during a 3 hour lecture on disease outbreak and transmission.  By 6 pm, my day was done and I was finally able to focus on getting over this horrendous cold.  

An old boyfriend once told me that the best way to beat a nasty bug like this is to “sweat it out”, and what better way to do so than to sweat this cold out in the sweatshirt he left at my place?  Big, baggy, comfy, and definitely got me feeling like a sauna. 

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Yeah, I may be sick as a dog but I’m still rockin’ the trophy hoodie, don’t deny it! I bet you’re wondering how yellow food plays a role in this.  Well, I’ll tell you!  My go-to flu buster juice just happens to be lemons, garlic cloves, and ginger root, all three of which are very yellow foods with very healing properties!  Mix in some cayenne pepper, and my throat feels so much better.

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I’ve also taken to nibbling on some raw yellow onion, which has notorious anti-inflammatory properties as well as plenty of B6. They are also alliums, which means that yellow onions (as well as the raw garlic I was juicing) are natural antibacterials and anti-fungal foods.  

Hippocrates once said “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”  By eating a rainbow, we can do just that, and expose our bodies to a plethora of phytonutrients and vitamins essential to thriving health and a flourishing life! 

Stay happy, stay healthy, and stay juicing!