Summery Citrus Spritzer (no sugar!)

 

 

This is a simple, refreshing and energizing beverage that can replace sugary drinks like soda. It’s packed with vitamin C and can help to

Summery Citrus Spritzer

Summery Citrus Spritzer

balance the blood’s pH, because lemons are alkalizing once digested in the body (disease prefers a more acidic environment in the body). The carbonation can help to ease nausea, but if you are dealing from mouth sores, be wary of the citrus!

Makes about 5 eight-ounce servings

Ingredients:

5 cups sparkling water

1 small orange

1 small lemon

1 small lime

Mint sprigs

Optional: raw honey

Directions:

Cut the orange, lemon and lime in half. Squeeze juice from one half of each fruit into a pitcher. Add the sparkling mineral water. Slice the remaining halves of orange, lemon and lime and add to pitcher. Optional: Add 1-3 tablespoons of honey for desired sweetness. Stir. Garnish each glass with a sprig of mint.

Tasty Tip: An easy way to flavor your water and keep it cool is to store sliced citrus in the freezer and add to your water or sparkling mineral water. Then you have flavored ice cubes!

This recipe is from our book Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen. For more recipes like this one, purchase your copy today!

 

8 Causes of Cravings

 

The body is amazing. It knows when to go to sleep, wake up, go to the bathroom, maintain 98.6 degrees and tighten the eyes when the cupcakelight gets bright. It knows the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth. Your heart never misses a beat. Your lungs are always breathing. The body is a super-computer, and it never makes mistakes.

 

Look at the foods, deficits and behaviors in your life that are the underlying causes of your cravings. Many people view cravings as weakness, but really they are important messages meant to assist you in maintaining balance. When you experience a craving, deconstruct it. Ask yourself, what does my body want and why?

 

The eight primary causes of cravings are:

 

1. Lack of primary food. Being dissatisfied with a relationship or having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little or the wrong type), being bored, stressed, uninspired by a job, or lacking a spiritual practice may all cause emotional eating. Eating can be used as a substitute for entertainment or to fill the void of primary food.

 

2. Water. Lack of water can send the message that you are thirsty and on the verge of dehydration. Dehydration can manifest as a mild hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a craving is drink a full glass of water. Excess water can also cause cravings, so be sure that your water intake is well balanced.

 

3. Yin/yang imbalance. Certain foods have more yin qualities (expansive) while other foods have more yang qualities (contractive). Eating foods that are either extremely yin or extremely yang causes cravings in order to maintain balance. For example, eating a diet too rich in sugar (yin) may cause a craving for meat (yang). Eating too many raw foods (yin) may cause cravings for extremely cooked (dehydrated) foods or vise versa.

 

4. Inside coming out. Often times, cravings come from foods that we have recently eaten, foods eaten by our ancestors, or foods from our childhood. A clever way to satisfy these cravings is to eat a healthier version of one’s ancestral or childhood foods.

 

5. Seasonal. Often the body craves foods that balance the elements of the season. In the spring, people crave detoxifying foods like leafy greens or citrus foods. In the summer, people crave cooling foods like fruit, raw foods and ice cream, and in the fall people crave grounding foods like squash, onions and nuts. During winter, many crave hot and heat-producing foods like meat, oil and fat. Cravings can also be associated with the holidays, for foods like turkey, eggnog or sweets, etc.

6. Lack of nutrients. If the body has inadequate nutrients, it will produce odd cravings. For example, inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings, and overall inadequate nutrition produces cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, like caffeine.

 

7. Hormonal. When women experience menstruation, pregnancy or menopause, fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels may cause unique cravings.

 

8. De-evolution. When things are going extremely well, sometimes a self-sabotage syndrome happens. We crave foods that throw us off, thus creating more cravings to balance ourselves. This often happens from low blood sugar and may result in strong mood swings.

 

Looking for ways to reduce your cravings and get your body back on track? Try the 14 Day Cleanse here!

 

Adapted from Integrative Nutrition

Gorgeous Goji Smoothie

 

This smoothie is a simple one to make, and tastes so delish! Smoothies are generally a great option for people undergoing chemotherapy for gorgeous goji smoothie1cancer, since experiencing nausea, mouth and throat sores are common side effects. Smoothies allow you to consume some nutrient-rich calories, they go down pretty easily, and they don’t take much time to make. Whether facing cancer, or not, this is an easy recipe that will help boost energy, support the immune system and aid in weight loss. For more smoothie recipes like this one, be sure to join our FREE 7 Day Smoothie Challenge! It starts Monday, December 8th!

Goji berries are full of antioxidants, those handy little cancer-fighters. Antioxidants minimize free radical damage that injures cells and damages DNA, causing cells to grow abnormally (which can lead to what we know as cancer in the body). Gojis are also a great source of Vitamin A, which is not only important for good vision, but also healthy cell growth and a strong immune system. Some preliminary studies using goji berry juice have found benefits in mental well-being and calmness, athletic performance, happiness, quality of sleep, and feelings of good health.

If you take warfarin (a blood thinner), you may want to avoid goji berries in large amounts or in supplement form: There may be some possible drug interactions with gojis. Goji berries may also interact with diabetes and blood pressure drugs. If you have concerns, check with your doctor, but enjoying goji berries in moderate amounts (even a few times per week) is not likely to be a problem. And that’s a good thing, because you won’t want to miss out on this healthy, yummy treat!

Gorgeous Goji Smoothie

12 ounces cold water

1/4 cup dried goji berries

1 large very banana, preferably frozen

1 cup strawberries, frozen

2 tablespoons hempseeds

Add water and gojis to a blender and let sit for 5 minutes to soften berries. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. If the banana is not frozen, add a few cubes of ice and blend. Serve and enjoy.

Juicing or Blending?

 

I love to juice and blend for different reasons, but keep in mind, these are two different things. Both offer wonderful health benefits. Today I’m going to talk about some of the benefits of juicing. P1010477

What is raw juicing? Raw fruits and vegetables are placed into an electric juicer, removing the fibrous parts and leaving the juice, which is full of nutrients. Juicing can also be done with a blender and nut milk bag (pouring the blended mixture through the bag and drinking the juice).

What is blending? On the other hand, when you add fruit and veggies to a blender and leave the pulp in the mixture, this is called a smoothie or “complete juice.” This also has many benefits – mainly that you’re getting lots of plant-based nutrients with the fiber. While this doesn’t give your digestive system a complete break (read about the importance of this below), it is certainly a health-supportive, nourishing thing to do for your body on a regular basis.

Why juice? At The Kicking Kitchen, we encourage you to eat a real, whole, plant-based diet (finding your own variation within that description). Juicing removes part of the food, so it is not a whole food. However, it offers some amazing health benefits. Juicing gives you a blast of nutrients without the fiber. Fiber is important on a daily basis, but giving your body a break from the fiber can be supportive as well (see why in #3 below). Focusing on juicing mostly vegetables reduces the amount of naturally-occurring sugar that is found in fruits.

Juicing is something I began after receiving a cancer diagnosis several years ago, and I have continued with it, sometimes on a daily basis, sometimes much less often. It has made a tremendous difference in my health – my energy has increased, and I feel stronger, lighter, and more focused. My skin has improved and it has helped in fighting off cold and flu and in alleviating aches and pains. But don’t take my word for it – see how YOU feel!

Juicing is beneficial because it:

  1. Helps to move toxins out of the body. Detoxification must happen on a daily basis. Toxins exist in our bodies from environmental pollutants, foods and stress and need to be excreted regularly to prevent toxic buildup, which can lead to disease.
  2. Provides light energy and life-supporting nutrients. The body receives a large amount of nutrients that are absorbed quickly into the body – a very efficient way of ingesting many vitamins and minerals! Because the fiber is removed, these nutrients enter the blood stream more quickly. (For this reason, it’s better to juice mostly vegetables, as they are naturally lower in sugar than most fruits. It’s important to avoid a spike in blood-sugar, which could result from drinking fiber-free fruit juice. However, some fruit does help to sweeten juices, can make them more palatable, and add supportive vitamins and minerals.) All of these nutrients provide energy and support every last cell in the body.
  3. Gives your digestive system a break. Remember, the fiber is removed, which allows your energy to be used in other areas of your body besides working hard to break down food. This does a few things: 1) Gives you more energy. 2) Boosts your immune system. The majority of the immune system is located in the gut, so giving this system a break from doing its digesting job, allows it to work on its immune supportive functions. 3) Lets the digestive system rest, rebuild, and rebalance.
  4. Jump starts weight loss. 50% of your body’s ability to lose weight depends on how many toxins are in your body. Helping the body to remove those toxins can jump start weight loss. Juicing helps to cleanse your body of toxins.
  5. Restores balance in the body on many levels. Juicing supports the blood’s pH balance, which is (or should be) slightly alkaline. Eating too many processed, sugary and animal foods contributes to an acidic environment in the body, which can cause inflammation, imbalance and ultimately disease. Disease cannot thrive in an alkaline body.

The Juice Clinic provides a page with links to lots of research on the benefits of juicing HERE. Pretty amazing!

There’s still time to join our 7 Day Juicing Challenge! It started July 28th, but you can jump right in! Sign up here.

 

Secrets That Can Help You Live Longer from Dr. Mercola

Yesterday, Dr. Mercola posted a great article called, “Secrets that Can Help You Live Longer.” While the article includes some great information, secrets-longevity based on research, the one area that stood out to me is how food can help you prevent chronic disease and live longer, and it talks specifically about cancer prevention and treatment diet.

One of the areas I’ve been exploring lately is my own personal diet – I’m currently 6 months pregnant and hungry ALL THE TIME! – so exploring how many grains, fats, proteins, etc. seem to work best for me right now has been an interesting challenge. I’ve been increasing healthy fats, like avocado, coconut/coconut oil/coconut milk, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and local grass fed butter, not only for me but also for my 2 year old. Below is an excerpt from Dr. Mercola’s article about consuming more fats, eating less or ideally no refined grains and sugars, and watching your protein intake.

“Mounting research confirms that when your body becomes accustomed to burning fat instead of sugar as its primary fuel—which is what happens when you intermittently fast—you dramatically reduce your risk of chronic disease.

Becoming fat adapted may even be a KEY STRATEGY for both CANCER PREVENTION and TREATMENT, as cancer cells cannot utilize fat for fuel—they need sugar to thrive. […]

Ideally, you’ll want to replace all forms of processed and refined sugars and grains with healthy fats such as butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, grass-fed meats, and raw nuts. Many would benefit from getting as much as 50-85 percent of their daily calories from fats. […]

Most people also eat far too much protein for optimal health. Consider reducing your protein levels to one gram per kilogram of lean body weight unless you are in competitive athletics or are pregnant. […] The reason for this recommendation is because excessive protein intake (you do need some) can have a great impact on cancer growth…

This pathway is ancient but has only become the subject of scientific investigation in the last 20 years. Odds are very high your doctor was never taught this in medical school and isn’t even aware of it. Many new cancer drugs are actually designed to target this pathway. Other drugs using this pathway have been shown to radically extend the lifespan in animals. You don’t need a drug to make this pathway work for you, though. You can ‘biohack’ your body by restricting your protein intake and, again, replacing the decreased protein with healthy fats.”

Full article here: http://bit.ly/1kHdMCI

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Super Simple Overnight Oatmeal

 

Today we have a guest post from our friend Kirsten Scarcelli of Nourish Yourself Now, our Portland, Maine affiliate who offers plant-based cooking classes and much more! Read on for her simple breakfast recipe and give it a try! This one requires almost no time or effort. :)

Super Simple Overnight Oatmeal

As fall quickly approaches, and we are getting back into busier work and school schedules, do you find yourself needing to get out the door fast in  the morning? No time to make a healthy breakfast? Here is a tasty, super quick recipe that you can prepare the night before (this also works well, if you travel a lot!). I found the original recipe in Dr.McDougall’s “Starch Solution”. I adapted it slightly. Give it a try. It has lots of protein, soluble fiber, and no cholesterol and is a good source of iron and manganese. And best of all, it tastes yummy and will keep you full all morning.

SUPER SIMPLE OVERNIGHT OATMEAL

Serves 1

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plant milk or water
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Sliced banana, berries or other fruit (optional)

Stir together oats and cinnamon, and then add plant milk (or water) in a bowl or air tight container. Make sure everything is well coated.
Cover and refrigerate overnight, if using plant milk. If using water, you can leave bowl out on the counter, if room temperature is preferred.
In the morning eat cold or reheat on stovetop for a few minutes. You might need to add extra liquid.
Top with fruit and enjoy.

Tip:  I like my oatmeal very thick, so I pour boiling water over the mixture and stir. I wait until cooled, and then cover it up and leave bowl out on the counter overnight. Yummy!

Recipe adapted from: The Starch Solution, John A. McDougall, MD and Mary McDougall

***If you would like more support with food and your health, with a holistic (or whole-body) approach, try out a complimentary health consultation via phone with one of our health coaches. You will also find lots of support, information and plenty of delicious recipes in our book, Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen.

Cancer-Kicking Gorgeous Goji Smoothie

 

gorgeous goji smoothie recipe

This smoothie is a simple one to make, and tastes so delish! Smoothies are generally a great option for people undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, since experiencing nausea, mouth and throat sores are common side effects. Smoothies allow you to consume some nutrient-rich calories, they go down pretty easily, and they don’t take much time to make. You can also take your smoothie and pour it into molds to make popsicles! – another ideal food during cancer treatment, and perfect during the summer, whether you’re facing cancer or not.

Whether you are going through conventional treatment or working on healing naturally,* this smoothie is full of restorative, healing, cancer-kicking foods that will nourish your body. Goji berries are full of antioxidants, those handy little cancer-fighters. Antioxidants minimize free radical damage that injures cells and damages DNA, causing cells to grow abnormally (which can lead to what we know as cancer in the body). Gojis are also a great source of Vitamin A, which is not only important for good vision, but also healthy cell growth and a strong immune system. Some preliminary studies using goji berry juice have found benefits in mental well-being and calmness, athletic performance, happiness, quality of sleep, and feelings of good health (1).

If you take warfarin (a blood thinner), you may want to avoid goji berries in large amounts or in supplement form: There may be some possible drug interactions with gojis. Goji berries may also interact with diabetes and blood pressure drugs (1). If you have concerns, check with your doctor, but enjoying goji berries in moderate amounts (even a couple times per week) is not likely to be a problem. And that’s a good thing, because you won’t want to miss out on this healthy, yummy treat!

Gorgeous Goji Smoothie

12 ounces cold water

1/4 cup dried goji berries

1 large very banana, preferably frozen

1 cup strawberries, frozen

2 tablespoons hempseeds

Add water and gojis to a blender and let sit for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. If the banana is not frozen, add a few cubes of ice and blend. Serve and enjoy.

 

*Does healing cancer naturally (without the use of conventional medicine) sound crazy? It’s been and continues to be done successfully! Annette and Kendall chose to take an integrative approach to healing from cancer, which means they combined what they considered to be the best of both conventional and alternative (natural) therapies. Look for more info on this in a future blog post!

(1) Source: WebMD

 

10 Reasons Why We Love Coconut Oil

 

10 Reasons Why We Love Coconut Oil

One amazing oil we love to use on a daily basis is coconut oil, and you’ll find several recipes in our book, Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen, that include this incredible ingredient.

90% of coconut oil is saturated fat – but fear not! This is not the type of fat we need to be concerned about (stay away from trans fats, instead!). Half of the fat in coconut oil is Lauric Acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that is converted into monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, antiprotozoal and antifungal properties. Many experts recommend taking up to 3 tablespoons of unrefined, virgin coconut oil each day to experience its benefits.

Read on for 10 reasons why we love coconut oil (besides the flavor!):

  1. Cooking: Coconut oil doesn’t break down at high temperatures and it has amazing nutritional properties. Great for cooking eggs, stir-fries, baked goods, and as a replacement for dairy (butter). Perfect for use in raw food recipes too.
  2. Healthy, Glowing Skin: Excellent massage oil, effective moisturizer for dry skin, and anti-aging. Use it daily for happy, glowing skin.
  3. Reduces Joint and Muscle Inflammation: Can be applied topically or consume regularly to help in reduction of joint inflammation.
  4. Hair Care: Helps provides essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair. Try massage 1 teaspoon through hair, leave in for 20 minutes and shampoo and rinse.
  5. Heart Disease: The Lauric Acid in coconut oil helps prevent various heart problems and can lower cholesterol.
  6. Weight Loss: Coconut oil boosts metabolism and helps in taking off excess weight. In 1940, farmers tried to fatten livestock with coconut oil, but discovered that the opposite happened!
  7. Digestion: Improves digestive system by easing acid reflux and aiding in proper bowel function, helps in the absorption of nutrients and contains anti-microbial properties to help in dealing with fungi and parasites.
  8. Healing and Infections: Protects against infections, speeds up healing of bruises, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial.
  9. Alzheimer’s Disease: 1 tablespoon of coconut oil twice a day has shown remarkable improvement for dementia.
  10. Protects against Cancer and HIV and other Infectious Diseases

20 Foods to Make Your Salad Sexy

 

20 sexy salad foods

For so many years we thought of green salads as being your basic lettuce, carrot, cucumber, tomato combo, with some store-bought dressing to top it off. Oh, and plenty of cheese. Now that we have expanded our foodie minds and opened our refrigerators to new ingredients, out salads have become far more nutritious and delicious! When you add nutrient-rich whole foods to your salad, you’re helping to increase energy, maintain a healthy weight, fight disease, get glowing skin, and feel more balanced and renewed. We’ve gone from so-so salad to SEXY SALAD, and it’s easy to do!

To start, let’s get away from the basic ice burg or even romaine lettuce. Try other lettuce varieties and add other greens, such as baby kale, collards, beet greens, arugula, watercress, spinach and mustard greens. You’ll get an abundance of nutrients from these greens, including calcium, iron, folic acid, magnesium, vitamin A, C, E and K – just to name a few!

Making your own dressing is easy: a little olive oil, water, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, then add vinegar, garlic, pieces of avocado, ginger, etc., as desired. Be creative!

Here are 20 foods to add to your leafy greens. What do you like to add to your salad?

  1. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  2. Marinated mushrooms
  3. Red or green cabbage
  4. Peas
  5. Hemp seeds
  6. Sunflower seeds
  7. Pecans
  8. Avocado
  9. Asparagus (raw or cooked)
  10. Radishes
  11. Pumpkin seeds
  12. Lentils
  13. Sauerkraut
  14. Peppers (raw or roasted)
  15. Berries
  16. Apple
  17. Fresh mango
  18. Chia seeds
  19. Brown rice
  20. Quinoa

Why You Shouldn’t Be “Vegan” or “Vegetarian” [Ditch the Diet Labels]

 

We sometimes get asked, are we vegetarian, vegan (or what)? Well, we are neither and Why You Shouldn't go Vegetarian or Vegan: Ditch the Diet Labelsboth and definitely the “what.” Confused? Let us explain: Honestly, we don’t like using labels very much (unless we’re reading the ingredients on a food product label, of course). Our walk and talk is more about focusing on real, whole food, more plant-based food and less about forcing ourselves to fit in a box or be part of a dietary trend. We’re not down with filling our plates with an ideology instead of health-boosting food that nourishes your body, mind and spirit.

And so we would also tell you not to necessarily become “vegan,” vegetarian” or anything else, unless of course you want to: If that is where your beliefs and passion lie and what makes you feel your best, that’s fabulous! Otherwise, we think labels are best left on boxes, and our food is best for enjoying and nourishing our bodies.

If you must label our approach, you could call it flexitarian with a focus on plant-based, whole foods. Flexitarianism is, in theory, a mainly vegetarian diet (or veggie-focused) but does allow for some animal protein. For us the meaning of this approach is broader, and we use it to refer to the practice of becoming aware of your body and its needs at every stage in your life and responding with personally appropriate dietary decisions. We are all unique and have different needs at different times in our lives, especially during cancer treatment. If a little quality animal protein gives you some needed energy during your cancer fight or otherwise, we aren’t going to scold you. In fact, we’ll even commend you for figuring out what your body needs.

We believe, and most other experts agree, that a whole-food, plant-based diet is the way to eat for optimal health. However, you can vary that quite a bit when experimenting with vegan, vegetarian, grain-free, nut-free, raw and every diet in between.

Allow yourself room to explore and alter your diet depending on your unique needs and situation. This is where bio-individuality comes into play. Bio-individuality means that we all have different bodies with unique genetic makeup, blood types, metabolism, genders and ages, so one diet is not going to be perfect for everyone. If we said that everyone should eat a vegan diet all of the time, we’d be wrong! One diet can’t possibly be the answer for every body, every day. Needs change from one person to another, based on age, makeup, location, climate, disease, treatment for disease and other changes throughout your life.

Many foodies and diet experts may tell you that their beloved diet is the right way to eat, that it’s THE answer. And it probably is – for them and for others. But not for everyone. In fact, it may be completely wrong for some. So don’t stress over figuring out the EXACT, perfect diet (there isn’t one), and then put yourself in a neat little box and label yourself (unless, as we said before, you believe passionately in a certain diet and want to give yourself that title). It’s entirely up to you! But if you’re just trying to eat well, and can’t seem to find your diet niche, just try to eat whole foods, get the processed and artificial stuff out, eat more/mostly plants and be flexible. Oh, and have FUN! :)