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.

 

Warm Chocolate Wheat Berry Porridge

Warm Chocolate Wheat Berry Porridge / The Kicking Kitchen

[Kendall] Last night, we enjoyed some wheat berries with our Arame Red Cabbage Salad (amazing-for-you sea veggie salad from Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen!) and an impromptu sautéed mix of lentils, carrots, onions, celery and some seasonings. I try to make food prep easier whenever I can, so this morning was leftover wheat berries for breakfast: Warm Chocolate Wheat Berry Porridge ! And my creation was not only delish, but also good for you. (Take that, cocoa puffs.)

This can really be made from any leftover grains. If you have brown rice, for example that would also work well. For wheat berries, add 1 cup of berries to 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce and let simmer for about 45 to 60 minutes, until water is absorbed. This will yield about 3 cups of cooked wheat berries.

Once you have your wheat berries, the rest is simple!

Warm Chocolate Wheat Berry Porridge

1/2 cup wheat berries, cooked (can also use raw, sprouted wheat berries, if desired!)

1 teaspoon honey

1 1/2 teaspoons raw cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon unrefined coconut oil

1 teaspoon chia seeds

1 teaspoon raw shredded coconut

If desired, warm up the wheat berries by heating in a pot on the stove over medium heat for a few minutes until warmed through. Ingredients will combine better if it’s warm. Stir honey, cacao, coconut oil, and chia seeds into the wheat berries. Top with shredded coconut and enjoy!

 

 

It’s Ok to Eat Chocolate and Cry Workshop Was Pretty Sweet!

“Crying is the healing part. The hurting has already happened.”

This was Cancer Counselor, Dawn Stratton’s comment during her presentation on the benefits of  allowing yourself to cry.

Last Saturday, The Kicking Kitchen’s, Kendall Scott, and friend and Cancer Counselor, Dawn Stratton of Awakening Counseling in Portland, Maine held a workshop at the Cancer Community Center in South Portland, Maine. The workshop, “It’s Ok to Eat Chocolate and Cry” was well-attended by people affected by cancer in the local community.

Guests watched as Kendall demonstrated how to make raw, unprocessed health-promoting chocolate and explained how it supports our health, unlike much of the chocolate available to us today. Dawn held a lively discussion (don’t worry – no one cried!) on why it’s ok, healthy and empowering to allow yourself the time to cry. The class ended with some sampling of Kendall’s decadent raw chocolate, which received rave reviews!

Some feedback on Dawn and Kendall’s class included:

“I am a crier – [this class] helped confirm that it’s ok.”

“I loved the chocolate.”

“I feel relief – going through a deep grief…and need to cry and it’s ok.”

“The talks were wonderful!”

“I liked the chocolate and learning more about cacao and how to make it at home.”

The concept for this class came from a discussion Dawn and Kendall held several years ago – that we shouldn’t feel guilty when enjoying a sweet treat sometimes, just like we shouldn’t feel badly about feeling sad or having a good cry. And if you are able to make your own raw chocolate, then eating chocolate and crying are both healing and health-supportive. The concept is also discussed in Kendall and coauthor, Annette Ramke’s book, Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen. Chapter 8 in their book is “It’s Ok to Eat Chcolate and Cry.”

Be sure to look for workshops with Kendall and Dawn at the Cancer Community Center. And if you’d like to try out some decadent raw chocolate recipes, see Kendall’s eBooklet, Skip ‘n Go Chocolate.