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!

 

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.

Using Real Food for Natural Face Masks

Real food face mask 1

When you visit the spa in an attempt to make your skin look better, one of the most common treatments you’ll get is a facial that uses a face mask. While face masks at spas are often highly effective, visiting a spa on a weekly basis may not be in your schedule, and often harsh ingredients and chemicals are used.

However, you can make your own natural face masks at home – using ingredients that you might already have in your kitchen. Homemade natural face masks are also relatively easy to make, and it is easy to double or even triple the recipe to share!

Oatmeal Face Mask

You’ve probably heard that oatmeal is good for soothing flaky itchy skin related to sunburn or other irritations, but oatmeal is also an ideal ingredient for a facial mask for people with dry or dull skin because it’s moisturizing and nourishing to the skin and pores without being oily.

Prepare an oatmeal face mask by combining 1/4 cup oat flour with 1 tablespoon heavy cream. [We at The Kicking Kitchen would also suggest substituting coconut oil or nut milk for the heavy cream.] Stir the mixture to make a thick paste and gently spread it over your face while standing over the sink.

Let the mixture rest on your skin for about 20 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. If you have very dry skin, following an oatmeal mask with a night cream or moisturizer can make an ideal evening treatment.

Avocado face maskAvocado Mask

In many parts of the United States, avocados are available pretty much year round. While the antioxidants, vitamin A and healthy fat content is good for your body when you eat it, it’s also a great ingredient for use in a topical face mask for the same reasons, and you’ll notice that your skin feels tighter and your pores look smaller after using an avocado mask.

To make an avocado face mask, combine 1/2 avocado with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small bowl. Mash the avocado and olive oil together with the back of a teaspoon to fully combine them.

Use the mask by gently spreading the mixture over your face with a towel around your neck to keep the mask from getting messy. Let it stay on your face for about 15 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.

Honey Mask

Honey is antibacterial and has long been used in natural remedies for pimples and blackheads. However, honey can also be used in a face mask to help soothe inflamed skin and to restore natural moisture content to the skin.

You can make a honey face mask by simply warming a small amount of honey in the microwave or on the stovetop before gently rubbing it over your face. Just make sure it isn’t too hot before you put it on your skin! Leave the mask on for 15 to 20 minutes before thoroughly washing it off.

You can also add a small amount of another moisturizing ingredient like heavy cream for a mask that isn’t quite as sticky if you wish.

Taking a trip spa for a facial is a great way to get your skin looking its best, but for many busy people, it just isn’t in the cards on a weekly basis. For others, a spa visit is a bit too expensive to add into the monthly budget. These things should not hold you back from having the healthiest skin possible! When you just don’t have time to visit the spa or a visit seems too expensive, make your own face mask and reap the benefits of well-maintained skin – even in the comfort of your own home.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Los Angeles and has contributed to many health and beauty blogs. She loves treating herself and her daughter to a spa day and loves recreating her favorite treatments at home. Find more beauty tips and tricks on her Pinterest.

Photos: Creative Commons

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.

Juicing for Life

 

Mean Green Smoothie

Mean Green. By Michelle Reaves.Chellereaves / Wikimedia Commons

Are you considering jumping on the juicing bandwagon? There’s no denying the juicing movement that’s sweeping the nation. Food and health blogs post creative concoctions, touting the health benefits of juice and its tastiness. It’s easy to get swept along in a sea of vibrant oranges, deep green kale, and bright yellow lemons.

Due to the recent rise in popularity, grocery stores are flooded with “natural” and “fresh” juices in the grab-and-go aisles. With so many easy choices, why bother with juicing at home? These neatly packaged bottles are a much faster option, and much easier than having to buy the produce, spend the time juicing, and then cleaning up afterwards.

Homemade juices are worth the effort. First of all, you have control over what goes into your juice. If you don’t like kale, but do like blueberries, you can easily make a spinach blueberry juice instead of having to stick with predesigned flavor combinations. Also, when you are making the juice yourself, you know exactly what goes into it. You can’t say the same for store bought ones. Naked juices have long marketed its line of juices as “all natural”—and recently the claims have been found to be false advertising (to the tune of $9 million).

Here are a few more reasons why fresh juice made at home is better than pre-packaged varieties found in a store.

Pasteurization. Almost all commercially produced juices are pasteurized to prolong the shelf life. Pasteurization involves heating the juice to 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, and then cooling it down quickly. The heating process kills all the microbes that can cause spoilage or food borne illnesses, but it also destroys any heat-sensitive vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants.

Since juices are supposed to be packed full of nutrients, manufacturers often add the vitamins back in after the pasteurization process. However, the vitamins and minerals added after processing may not be as readily absorbed by the body as naturally occurring ones. Making fresh juice when you want to drink it ensures that your drink retains all its nutrients.

Added sugars. Pasteurization also mutes the flavor of fresh juice, so many companies add in sugar to improve the taste. Making your juice reduces the need to add sugar; or, if you do find the need to sweeten your recipe, you can add in sweeter fruits, or a sweetener of your choice. Manufacturers are likely to rely on corn syrups or artificial sweeteners, neither of which is healthy. Drinking fresh juice rather than bottled juice ensures that you don’t end up consuming empty calories.

Fiber. Some bottled juices are processed in ways where almost all of the insoluble fiber is stripped away, and some of the soluble fiber is removed as well. Fiber helps slow down the absorption of sugar in the body, reducing insulin spikes—which over time could lead to insulin resistance and diabetes. Fiber also has a host of other health benefits like lowering cholesterol levels to keeping you regular. Most home juicers allow you to keep at least some of the fiber from the fruits and vegetables.

When it comes to juicing, try to buy organic since you’ll be using most of them whole, especially if you use a juicer. Be sure to wash the fruit and vegetables prior to using them—a quick and inexpensive produce cleaner is to dilute a little bit of vinegar with water and spray on the produce before rinsing. If you use cherries, plums, peaches or other fruits with large seeds, pit them prior to tossing them in the juicer.

Here are a few simple and nutritious juice recipes to get you started on your juicing habit.

Mean Green. The original “Mean Green” juice featured in the movie Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead kicked off the current juicing craze. Packed with leafy green vegetables, the Mean Green is a great way to sneak in some extra heart-healthy fiber into your daily diet. It’s also highly versatile, as you can swap ingredients for others as needed.

Serves one. Juice the following ingredients together and serve immediately over ice.

6 kale leaves (try baby kale for a less fibrous final product)

1 cucumber

4 celery stalks

2 green apples

1/2 lemon

1 piece of ginger

Orange You Glad to See Me. This juice is packed with vitamin C from oranges and

Mango Kiwi Juice. Image courtesy of Alexandre Duret-Lutz / Flickr.com

Mango Kiwi Juice. Image courtesy of Alexandre Duret-Lutz / Flickr.com

lemon to boost your immune system and beta-carotene from the carrots to help keep your eyes healthy. Ginger helps with digestion, and gives the juice a spicy kick!

Serves one. You can opt to use a manual citrus squeezer for the oranges and lemon, before switching over to a electric juicer for the carrots and ginger.

8 carrots

2 oranges

1 Meyer lemon (try to find Meyer lemon instead of regular lemon as it imparts a smoother, sweeter flavor)

1 small piece ginger

Juicing is a great way to increase your vegetable and fruit intake—rather than slowly chewing through eight carrots, you can juice them with some lemons and oranges for a delicious afternoon drink. Making them at home may take a little longer than just grabbing a bottle from the store, but the health benefits are worth the effort.

 

 

Virginia Cunningham is a freelance health and wellness writer from Los Angeles. She is a big fan of juicing and always tries to have a pitcher of some fresh concoction in the fridge!

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

 

Refresh Your Diet with Leafy Greens This Spring (Recipe Included)

 

Cashew Kale recipe from TheKickingKitchen.com

Spring is finally here! Even with the rain it brings, spring is one of my favorite seasons. Spring is a time of renewal and growth. We see it in nature as flowers bloom, grass turns greener, buds begin to open and the ground drinks up refreshing rainfall.

I’ve always loved springtime because I feel like it offers the opportunity for a fresh start. I finished cancer treatment just before springtime a few years ago, and moving into this new, life-sustaining season helped me to move onto a new phase in my cancer journey.

This doesn’t mean we need to make dramatic overhauls in our lives just because spring is here – and we can often feel the pressure to do so! But simply by opening the mind to new things – new foods, new people and relationships, new habits, and new opportunities – we begin to lose some of that stagnancy we often find ourselves in over the winter. And the days just seem a little brighter, clearer and more energized.

Another reason why I love spring is the abundance of food that becomes available, especially leafy greens! Leafy green veggies (kale, spinach, collards, chard, mustard greens, dandelion greens, and lettuces) bring vitality, energy and amazing nourishment to our bodies. They are the food most missing from modern-day American diets, and the food we usually need most. Greens are high in dietary fiber, calcium and iron. They also contain high levels of vitamin K, magnesium and folate and cancer-fighting phytochemicals such as vitamin C, lutein and carotenoids.

My first recommendation to clients who want to improve their diet for any number of reasons (increase energy, lose weight, balance moods, fight or prevent disease) is to add in more leafy greens. If you do nothing else – just get those greens in on a daily basis, if possible. Make a greens salad, steam greens or sauté kale, collards or spinach with a little olive oil, sea salt and garlic. Or try the recipe below from Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen.

Cashew Kale

Yield: makes 2 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large carrot, thinly sliced into rounds (about 1/2 cup)

2 bunches kale, thick stems removed, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)

1 garlic clove, minced

2 to 3 tablespoons tamari (soy sauce)

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup raisins

Directions:

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the carrot for five minutes. Add the garlic, kale, tamari, cashews and raisins and sauté a few minutes until cashews begin to soften. Serve and enjoy!

Green Juicing

 

Join Annette in her kitchen as she shares her favorite, go-to Green Juice with you. 

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

Do You Suffer from Snack Attacks?

 

There’s no denying that everyone, at one time or another, has had a snack attack. Some of us feel that snacking is bad and that eating between meals leads to weight gain. Others believe that eating many small meals and snacks throughout the day is healthy for maintaining energy levels and optimal weight. If there were one way of snacking that was right for everyone, we would all be doing it!

To alleviate snack attack guilt, try to understand why you are snacking and what snacks work best for your body. Perhaps you snack because your daily diet is missing nutritional foods, or because you are eating too little at meals. You might be snacking to soothe jittery nerves or to entertain yourself when you are bored. Whatever your reason, acknowledge it, and start thinking about how to create a life that is nourishing and truly satisfying so that you don’t feel the need to eat to fill a void.

Although snacks are no substitute for loving your life, they can be great energy boosters. Many convenient snack foods are highly processed and full of chemicals, additives, damaging fats and refined sugars. When a snack attack hits you, try foods that are filling and satisfying, but also nutritious. Try fresh fruit, veggies dipped in hummus or rice cakes with fruit spread. Make your own signature trail mix, or try blue corn (non-GMO) chips with salsa. A banana with almond butter and coconut is delicious and nutritious!

Snacking is enjoyable and there is a wide variety of healthful goodies for whatever you’re craving, be it sweet, crunchy, salty, creamy or spicy. Dive in, be creative and enjoy your snack attack.

Get your healthy snack recipe guide (click the image below):


 

Adapted from Integrative Nutrition.

10 Festive and Nourishing Weekend Recipes

10 Festive and Nourishing Weekend Recipes, thekickingkitchen.com

Photo: Stevelegato.com

We know the weekend often includes dining out, takeout and extra sweet treats. Hey – we’ve been working all week long, and now we just want something easy for dinner! But making home-cooked meals on the weekend can be very enjoyable, fun and create family rituals that you will cherish.

Jazz up your weekend with a couple of these festive (but easy!) recipes that will still nourish your body. Get family and friends involved and create healthy weekend traditions that everyone will love!

  1. Scrambled Eggs and Greens – Integrative Nutrition
  2. Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie – Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen
  3. Banana-Pecan Pancakes with Chocolate Coconut Drizzle – Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen
  4. Loaded Nachos with Cashew Cheese – PETA
  5. Quinoa Three Ways (3 recipes here!) – Jill Shah, Jill’s List
  6. Cuban Blackbean Soup – Happy Herbivore Abroad, Lindsay Nixon (on Forks Over Knives)
  7. Fast Pizza – Forks Over Knives
  8. Baked Stuffed Bell Peppers – Integrative Nutrition
  9. No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Balls – Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen
  10. Creamy Banana Cacao Pudding – Chloe Park (Mind Body Green)