10 Healthy Ways to Invigorate Your Water

 

Adding wholesome ingredients to your water is a fun way to ensure that you stay hydrated (and if you’re dealing with nausea during cancer treatment, this can help make water more appealing). Check out more healthy tips in IIN’s Roadmap to Health & Happiness: http://bit.ly/1l0Os9b

10 Ways to Invigorate Your Water

A Note from Kendall About Annette

 

Dear Friends,

This is a note to let you know that Annette, my dear friend and coauthor of Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen, is facing a recurrence of metastatic ovarian cancer. She has wanted to maintain her and her family’s privacy during this time, but now has asked that I let you know of her situation.

Right now, I am sitting here by my dear friend’s side while she sleeps, hoping for many things for her: For healing. Peace. Happiness. Freedom from pain. Love.

I hope you’ll join me in sending Annette wishes for these things as well. We appreciate your support and understanding during this difficult time.

If you have been in contact with Annette regarding any book/business-related issues, please email support@kickingcancerinthekitchen.com, and I will do my best to follow up with you as soon as possible.

Kendall (and Annette)

 

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!

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

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!

The Dirty Dozen: 12 Fruits and Veggies with the Most Pesticide Residue

 

Do you know the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen and Clean 15? Get the list here.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has come out with their annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce  report for 2013. Their list includes “The Dirty Dozen Plus,” (fruits and vegetables likely to contain the highest amounts of pesticide residue) and the “Clean 15” (fruits and vegetables least likely to contain pesticides).

This list can be helpful in making choices around what produce to buy organic or conventionally grown. While purchasing organic as much as possible is what we would recommend (or, check with your farmer – some farms don’t have organic certification, but also do not spray), purchasing conventionally grown produce on the Clean 15 list is not a bad choice and may save you some money. It’s also helpful to know which fruits and veggies really should be purchased only as organic.
The Dirty Dozen Plus for 2013
  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Cherry tomatoes
  4. Cucumbers
  5. Grapes
  6. Hot peppers
  7. Nectarines (imported)
  8. Peaches
  9. Potatoes
  10. Spinach
  11. Strawberries
  12. Sweet bell peppers

Dirty Dozen Plus: Kale/collard greens and Summer squash

The Clean Fifteen for 2013
  1. Asparagus
  2. Avocados
  3. Cabbage
  4. Cantaloupe
  5. Sweet corn
  6. Eggplant
  7. Grapefruit
  8. Kiwi
  9. Mangoes
  10. Mushrooms
  11. Onions
  12. Papayas
  13. Pineapples
  14. Sweet peas (frozen)
  15. Sweet potatoes

7 Reasons to Drink Warm Water with Lemon

 

 7 Reasons to Drink Warm Water with Lemon, The Kicking Kitchen

Not only does adding some freshly squeezed lemon juice to your water add some tasty zing, but it also has some amazing health benefits! Starting your day by drinking 8 to 12 ounces of warm water and freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to start your day. Read on to learn more reasons why this habit is so darn good for you!

  1. Strengthens Your Immune System. Lemons are high in vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which is great for fighting colds and other illnesses. Vitamin C shows anti-inflammatory effects, and is used as complementary support for asthma and other respiratory symptoms. It also enhances iron absorption in the body, and iron is important for optimal immune function.
  2. Supports Healing. The high amount of Vitamin C in lemons promotes wound healing. It has high anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s an essential nutrient in the maintenance of healthy bones, connective tissue, and cartilage.
  3. Balances pH Levels. Lemons help to support the body’s natural pH level, which is more alkaline. Even though we consider lemons to be acidic, the body processes them as alkaline (once metabolized). Helping to maintain the body’s slightly alkaline state is important for fending off disease, since a disease state in the body is far more likely to exist when the body is too acidic.
  4. Aids Digestion. Lemon juice encourages the liver to produce bile which is an acid that is required for digestion. Lemons are also help loosen ama (toxins) in the digestive tract. The digestive qualities of lemon juice help to relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as heartburn, belching and bloating. The American Cancer Society even recommends drinking warm lemon water to cancer sufferers to help stimulate bowel movements during treatment.
  5. Cleanses and Detoxifies. Lemon juice flushes out unwanted materials and toxins from the body. This is in part because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Therefore toxins are released at a faster rate which helps keep the urinary tract healthy. The citric acid in lemons also helps maximize enzyme function, which stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification.
  6. Boosts Energy. Lemon naturally energizes the body by hydrating and bringing oxygen to blood cells. It will leave you feeling more revitalized and rejuvenated!
  7. Improves Skin’s Appearance. Lemon water purifies the blood and purges toxins to help keep skin clear and glowing. The high antioxidant content helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes and counters free radical damage from pollution and sun exposure. Lemon also helps preserve collagen and elastin to keep your skin looking youthful.

Do you start your day with water and lemon juice? Have you noticed a difference in how you feel since beginning this healthy habit?

 

 

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.

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 light 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?

8 Causes of Cravings, The Kicking Kitchen

Is this your photo? We’d like to give you credit. Please let us know!

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 or salty foods (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.

Adapted from Integrative Nutrition.