Video: Cleaning house through fasting!

Hello everyone! It has been awhile since I made a video, so I’m very excited to bring you this one. There is a lot of information and I figured you’d rather listen to me while you have some down time than read a tome like post 😉 This is all about cleansing/fasting/detoxing! Living off liquids for a few days (or few weeks in extreme cases!) is a way to let your body heal. Digestion is one of the most labor intensive processes our body goes through on a regular basis. When it isn’t busy digesting our body can go to work “cleaning house” and taking out impurities and toxins from neglected areas. Unfortunately, cleansing is typically not spoken about as a healing process in magazines or television shows. Instead, it is seen as way to get rid of some vanity pounds, so people are very apt to put it down. Obviously, it is way more than that! I encourage you to listen to this video to learn about how to prepare for one, break a fast safely, and be ready for the up and down physical feelings you’ll go through. It may not be something you decide to undertake, but at least you’ll have some information and know that this process goes far beyond the “Master Cleanse” and celebrities trying to fit into an award ceremony dress!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

And I said: Darling, I don’t drink bottled orange juice anymore

I’ve really been putting my juicer through the paces, and I gotta say: I love the results. I decided to share my 2 favorite recipes. One is super simple and even though the other sounds intimidating, it’s absolutely brilliant.

 

The classic- Orange juice.

You haven’t had orange juice until you’ve had fresh squeezed orange juice. Tropicana ain’t got nothing on it. When it’s fresh squeezed it tastes like your drinking an orange, which, duh, seems really obvious, but if you’ve only been drinking from concentrate your taste buds have been horribly deceived for years. If you (or your family—for all you mom & dad readers out there!) go through a lot of orange juice, I’d strongly consider buying a juicer just so you can make your own. At my co-op I can get 15 Valencia oranges (which are made for juicing) for a little less than $5. That’s 3 glasses of prime juice without all the added sugar. Plus it’s an absolute morning after must if your friend takes you out for a night of (several) drinks at the nice bars downtown…

Recipe

5 oranges

Cut in half and press over the citrus attachment of your juicer.

If you’re a texture person like me, you may not like the left over pulp. I know, I know pulp is amazing, but I just cannot stomach it. Have no fear! If you have a fine strainer pour it over a bowl and then pour the bowl back into our cup. Pulp problem solved in 30 seconds or less.

Sip deliberately.

 

Getting fancy—Beet and Company (I’ve also heard it referred to as “Miracle Drink.”)

With juicing you sooner or later have to move away from the “just fruit” recipes and dabble in the world of vegetables and greens. I feel like this is a great beginner drink for people whose taste buds are still hardwired for soda and bottled juice. I admit the first sip is a tad tart (I love all things tart), but power through and you’ll feel better afterwards.

(I found this recipe on Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog called GOOP.  I know she isn’t exactly the darling of Hollywood, but this drink is good, she practices ashtanga, and she “appears” to have a youthful glow. Yeah she’s the symbol of nepotism, and yeah she’d rather let her kids do crack than eat canned cheese…but if you’re so perfect raise your hand!—convincing? No? Just try the damn juice anyway!)

Recipe

2 Beets–When cutting beets wear an apron or shirt you don’t care about getting dirty. Those tasty buggers stain!

2 Large Carrots

1 Apple–The site suggested gala. I used either that or a pink lady. We bought an assorted bunch this week

1 inch slice of ginger

½ lemon juiced– If you have a citrus attachment for your blender than use it. If not you can use a manual citrus squeezer and stir it in afterward

This stuff is rocket fuel—as my poetry teacher would say.

Again, sip deliberately. This juice has a fair amount of heft to it and should be savored over a decent amount of time.Me thinks a juice fast might be in order this summer!

 

I don’t think I”ll be posting every juice recipe on here, but if you want to see what I drink on a day to day basis then check out my FB page for this site.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

So Juicy I’m Making Couture Jealous

This baby is older than me!

After working at Goodwill for 15 months, I’ve come up with a  sound theory on donated items. If someone has donated an appliance that is very old (from the early 90’s or 80’s and back) one can assume two things.

1 The item at hand was really amazing, but the person/family decided to upgrade after 10-20 years to the newer version of the appliance.

2 The item at hand had been stowed away for years, and the person/family had decided to donate it  because it had been collecting dust for 10-20 years.

One should always be weary of more recent or seemingly brand spankin’ new appliances that have been donated. For example, several months ago I bought a Sharper Image juicer at said store. I was beyond miffed to find out how inefficient it was (I could practically drink the left over pulp that should have been dry!) Thus, I realized the excited person/family must have used it once after the 30 days they had bought it, been unable to return it, and had driven to the Goodwill in anger and donated it. My Kitchen Aid mixer from the 60’s has proven to be an absolute tank, so when my eyes settled upon the Tefal Juicer from 1989, my heart fluttered like a twitterpated song bird.

Note: The day I left early to buy the juicer was the day I was forced to block one of my neighbors in…oh the drama, but it was sooooo worth it.

I’ve been into green smoothies for more than a year. In fact, they were what catapulted me into a more sound and healthy diet. However, I’ve always been intrigued by juicers, as it’s nice to add something new to the mix. Unfortunately, you are way more likely to find affordable  blenders than you are affordable juicers. The cheapest, reputable one is Jack Lalanne’s at $100, and most others can cost around $200 and up. Sadly, $200 was something I was unable to magically pull out of thin air, so I jumped when I saw the juicer at GW for $12.99 (they rarely come in.)

Juicing is great because it allows you to liquefy vegetables for easy consumption. My blender is not super powerful, so when I make green smoothies I can really only incorporate greens like spinach, collard greens, and the occasional Swiss chard. There was a whole land of carrot, beet, celery, and apple juice that I was not privy to, sigh. Plus, when you make your own juice there aren’t any added sugars and chemicals that are found in store bought juices. Yup, you heard me, this is juice you can actually drink on a regular basis!

When you blend or juice fruits and vegetables, the enzymes break down and your body has a far easier job of digesting them. With smoothies (which I will be writing a post on), since you don’t strain anything you are able to maintain the fiber. With juicing, the fiber is removed in the form of pulp and you are left with what I like to call: the essence. I don’t think one is significantly better than the other, though, I will admit that smoothie-ing is less of a process than juicing—there are so many parts of a juicer to clean! However, I think you do miss out if you are only able to do one. So, if your finances allow you, buy both!

So far I’ve made three awesome juices with my juicer (which has yet to be named!) I made a lot of stinker green smoothies at the beginning, so perhaps this learning curve is a lot better.

Recipe #1- I decided to try out a really simple juice so I could acclimate my taste-y buds

4 Oranges

2 Carrots

Teeeeny, weeeeny piece of ginger

I bought some Valencia juicing oranges at my local co-op for 30 cents a piece! Carrots are great because they do yield a large amount of juice and oranges are a sweet punch of vitamin c. The ginger was for some pizzazz and to make me feel a little hard-core.

Recipe #2- Getting a little green!

3 Oranges

3 Carrots

2 Kale Leaves + Tiny bit of spinach

I was really excited to use kale, because it doesn’t blend so well in my little Proctor Silex Blender. I first put in the carrots, then the kale, and finally the oranges. If you decide to use greens make sure you have something to add afterward to push through any leftover pieces and juice that might be sitting in the spout! I’ve noticed that when adding greens you can definitely taste them initially, but if you have something sweet in the drink (like the oranges) that is the taste you’ll be left with.

Recipe #3- Just Beet It

2 Beets

3 Carrots

2 Oranges

Chris and I don’t get many things at the co-op (wayyyy outside our budget for a full trip), but when I saw a bunch of 4 beets for $2.99 I had to get them.  This definitely wasn’t as sweet as the other juices, but still palatable. Because of that, I wasn’t able to slurp it down as fast as the other recipes and the rest is in my fridge for tomorrow morning. Here are some ones to tips, recipes, and nutritional facts on this voluptuous purple root veggie.

When you are showering, making breakfast, or have a few spare minutes, listen to this video on juicing. You’ll pick up great tips on what fruits/vegetables will fill your cup up and what greens won’t leave you feeling like you bought a bunch for nothing.

Some things to remember with green juices:

If you aren’t used to eating fruits and vegetables tread lightly into the realm for the first week or two. Most of these recipes have topped off my 12 oz mason jars. That’s a lot of fruits and vegetables to be drinking in one sitting and can cause what is kindly called “runny tummy.”  Your body will soon adjust, trust me, but you might find yourself having to go to the bathroom if you sip it down with the same amount of ease as Tropicana Orange Juice.  Finally, freshly prepared juices start to lose nutrients quickly. It’s advisable to drink them immediately or within 24 hours. As the video above mentions, grapefruit and orange juice can last up to two days if properly stored.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Be ready for a delicious hip opening sequence tomorrow!!!

I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. Like. A lot. Id say at the very least 7 hours a week. That’s pretty impressive for a college student! It’s where I bring together breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I also log in some time scraping dishes, which is the less glamorous side of eating, though it does allow me time to  catch up on some Netflix watching. Last weekend I decided to make some raw vegan strawberry ice cream. It was delicious, which I knew it would be, but I was super surprised with how Martha Stewart I went with the presentation. Damn, it could have been featured in some home making magazine. See for yourself!

It all started with some cute little strawberries who had their eye on some bananas that were giving them the frozen-for-24-hrs-in-the-freezer shoulder.

 

But they had a plan, which involved me whipping out the food processor attachment of my Cuisinart blend stick. How awesome and transformer like is that?!  Blennnderrrrrr activate!

 

After a thorough puree job, the strawberries were starting to feel saucy ❤

...starting to feel saucy, much like Rosie Huntington Whitley in Transformers.

 

“Oh, didn’t think I’d see you here.”

 

 

Senorita Stir chaperoned the mix and mingle.

 

Uh-oh! Cinnamon wanted to get in on the action. Hey, this is a PG-13 page!

 

 

 

After some quality time in the bowl, the three ingredients settle down in some awesome wine glasses.

 

Chris approved!

 

 

This ménage-a-trois was not incident free.  A splooge of epic proportions!

 

All smart cooks wear their “whatever” clothes in the kitchen!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

 

Recipe:

4 bananas. Slice and freeze for at least 8 hours. Up to 24 is fine, though. (Slice before freezing to make your life easier)

2 handfuls of strawberries.

A dash of cinnamon.

Blend together.

Easiest thing ever. And it’s just strawberries and bananas, so you can totally eat this for breakfast.

 

Sweet Treats

Today we’re going to talk about some of my new favorite snacks. I’ve been adventurous lately and trying new things at the grocery store, which is keeping me from the dreaded food rut.  I needed something new to add to my arsenal of snacks to get me through today, and these Mediterranean staples have been helping me get by. Please welcome raisin, fig, prune, and date from the dried fruit family.

Dried fruits have been around since the BC era, and people love eating them because they are easy to transport, don’t drip/rot/bruise/, and have amazing health benefits. Despite their sweetness, studies have shown dried fruits don’t have a negative effect on people’s blood sugar levels, because the amount of fiber in each delicious bite slows down the amount the sugar being released. (Source) Plus, fiber keeps you fuller longer, which means less mindless snacking throughout the afternoon. We’ve all heard the seductive call of the vending machine, right?And for someone like me (who has embarrassing oral hygiene) the sticky properties of dried fruits aren’t actually going to give you cavities. In fact, dried fruits can actually increase the health of your mouth. Recent studies show that “Bioactive compounds found in raisins and dried plums appear to have antimicrobial properties that inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.” Looks like an extra handful for me! (Source)

 

My favorites are raisins. They aren’t as sexy as pomegranates or blueberries, but raisins are actually antioxidant rich and have a long shelf life. They are extremely economical and are a great addition to cereals, homemade GORP, oatmeal, and granola. They are known to lower bad cholesterol and your chance of getting heart disease. I’m personally a fan of the Golden Raisin because they are a bit juicier.

I’ve also been test driving (test chewing?) some dates. I’ve used them before in cooking—they are one of the few ingredients needed to make a mean raw chocolate mousse—but hadn’t eaten them much on their own. Just three gives me the sugar fix I need with healthy doses of B-Vitamins and iron. Apparently, they are great for inebriated folks, so smuggle some into your purse or backpack before your night out.

But before you go shopping crazy, there are some caveats to the dried food world. Fruits like cranberries, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, and even mangoes can be found in a delicious, dried variety. However, companies generally add sweeteners as well. Even more tasty is papaya and pineapples, but those are almost always candied. These are totally okay every now and then, but aren’t healthy in the long run. Instead just buy these fruits in their natural form, which are just as amazing.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

First video!!!

Hello!

Can I just start out by saying having a full weekend off has been amazing? I feel like I’ve been so productive and able to creep into my day. Hopefully my boss will pull some strings so this becomes the norm. I’ve been far too spoiled with free Sunday’s the past two weekends, and I don’t know if I could possibly go back to the life as it was.

I have some exciting news to bring. As of today, this blog will now feature video content! Exciting, I know. Now, I’m not going to become the next Martin Scorsese, but I’ve been playing around on the Windows Movie Maker, and I feel comfortable enough to bring you this first video where I talk about 2 exciting food purchases I made this week.  Actually, there is a prior video… Maybe I’ll whip it out after I’ve become a video editing whiz as a whole “haha, look how incompetent I was” post. +2 points if you can find my awesome splice job. Fact one: I’ve definitely learned that if I mess up (or have to stop the video because my bread timer goes off) that I need to pause beforehand and pause before I begin so I can more easily edit out mistakes or my hand reaching to turn off and on the camera; aren’t I a quick learner!

So rest those tired, over worked eyes and listen to my sweet, sultry voice exclaim to the high heavens the benefit of trying new things!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

 

Flax Attack!

In a recent post I encouraged you to add something “hippie-crunchy” to your diet. This little seed has been making his rounds in the food world. I’ve used it intermittently for quite some time, and I can say with conviction that it’s a great staple to add to your kitchen. Let me present, Mr. Flaxseed.

Flaxseeds (which are also used to make linseed oil) are deceptively healthy. They are a great source of fiber, micro-nutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also very affordable if you know where to shop for them, and who doesn’t love affordability? But I got to be frank for a minute. A great reason to take flax seed is to increase, regu, ahh, lar, erm, make it easier to, oh, what the hell, poop. It’ll clean out your insides like nobody’s business, but in a really gentle way. I promise. We don’t get much fiber in our diet, so this is a great, safe way to get things moving. And let’s be honest. Be you male or female: who doesn’t enjoy a satisfying, strain free poo? Moving along!

Because flax has gained a lot of popularity, many big companies have started pumping out bags, canisters, and packages of it for grocery and health store shelves. One caveat is that flax has to be consumed in particular way to make sure it’s effective, and unfortunately companies don’t tend to present it that way; surprise, surprise.
For starters, whole fla seed is not effective. It needs to be broken down to release the goodness inside or it’ll just pass through you. But stop! Don’t go out and buy a big ol’ bag of pre-ground flaxseed. Just like freshly squeezed juice should be consumed immediately (or at least within a few hours) flaxseeds will start to lose potency the longer they sit after being ground. In fact, if not consumed fast enough the ground flax—which is called flax meal—will turn rancid. If you buy pre-ground flaxseed who knows how long it has been sitting out for. This information is easy to find, so it grinds (hehe) my gears that companies would sell products that are essentially rotten. They’re lining their pockets and being wasteful. Not cool. So, word to the wise: don’t buy ground flaxseed. Instead buy flax that is intact. If there is a co-op or healthy living store in your area then buy it there in the bulk section. At City-Market I can get a pound for less than $2! Some companies at major stores sell whole flaxseed, but you’re going to pay a lot more for it.

“Jocellyn, why are you telling us to buy whole flaxseed when a paragraph ago you told us whole flaxseed isn’t useful?” True, it isn’t useful, but you can easily grind it yourself! Search around for a simple coffee grinder, pop a tablespoon in, and give it a few pulses. In seconds you’ll have fresh ground flaxseed that is very nutritious. Buy a teeny, weeny Tupperware container and store it in your freezer for up to 2 days. Have no fear if you don’t have a grinder. Another method you can use is soaking your flaxseed in one part flax and three parts water (I usually do one tablespoon of flax.) Do this before you go to bed and in the morning your seeds will have soaked up the water and started to secrete a gel. I admit, this isn’t my favorite way of consuming flax, but it’s just as effective. Because of the mild laxative effect, start out small with one tablespoon and gradually add more as your body becomes accustomed.

Things to do with your flax:

Sprinkle it on yogurt
Mix it into batters
Blend it into your smoothies

Use it as an egg replacer
Make little peanut butter, banana, and flax meal sandwiches

Use it as an egg substitute:

Flax goop

This is a nutritious egg substitution.
• 2 Tbsp. Finely ground flax seeds plus 3 Tbsp. water replaces one egg.
• Mix them together in a small bowl or mug, and let sit a couple of minutes until it becomes like jelly, then add as you would eggs

Flax goop has a nutty flavor that works fine in cookies, bars and brownies, and things like zucchini bread, but may not be what you want in cakes or lighter vanilla-flavored items.
It does help with browning, and it provides some omega-3 oils and fiber which we all like.” Click here for the article
Okay, you see my point. You can pretty much do anything with flax.

Peel away ❤
Jocellyn

 

Eating healthy at school- Salad & other tips

I have the college luxury of being able to cook my own meals, but for 2 years I suffered eating dining hall food, so I understand what a pain it can be to enjoy what you’re eating, never mind eating healthy. Last year at my school—when I wasn’t eating meat—I asked if the dining hall (who claimed to be really open to conversation) could start serving healthier options for the meat-less. A pasta-lifestyle does not a healthy diet make. Let’s just say I was shocked at the push back I got from a certain head chef who “claimed” they cared about the health of her students. It was appalling and still makes my blood boil.  The cooks practically went out of their way to make healthy food unappealing.  Eating healthy doesn’t need to be overly expensive, per say, but it is a lot cheaper to feed everyone pizza and chicken nuggets than fresh food. It’s a sad truism in this country. It seemed Sodexo (the notorious food provider we had) was more interested in saving a buck, getting rebates from the junk snacks they were hocking at us, and being lazy in their chef prep skills. Thankfully, there are ways to navigate the pizza, fries, burgers, and soft-serve machine. One of the first things I started doing was incorporating a salad into my lunch and dinner. I allowed myself to eat what the main course was, but filling up with good for me foods  beforehand helped me cut down on the greasy, buttery, salty, laxative (mmmhmmm) laden food.

Can I make a salad? Or can I make a salad?!!

Now, salads can seem really boring, but once you get used to eating them I guarantee you’ll crave them. For starters, you need to make a real, healthy salad. Ditch the ice berg lettuce and try using the darker, leafy greens, as these are true super foods! Add in hard boiled eggs, cucumbers, baby corn, mushrooms, onions (bring gum), olives, etc. Sliced apples, mandarin oranges, and pears are a nice added touch. Nix the croutons, bacon bits, and cheese. If you want something sprinkled on top try dried cranberries or sliced nuts. And for Pete’s sake, no more calorie heavy dressings like ranch, Italian, or Catalina! Why undo all your hard work by slathering it in gunk? Instead drizzle on some balsamic vinegar and olive oil. You’ll feel fresh and light afterward, and since your stomach registers volumes you won’t be as ravenous.

At the same time,  accept the fact that your body will crave different things during different times of the year. A lot of it is weather dependent. Most people like eating salads, fruits, and raw vegetables during the hot summer months and warm, hearty foods during the winter. During the fall season you have to practically force a salad down my throat, but oddly enough, come winter, I’m back on the greens. We’re all wired differently, but I can safely say that most of us could use more salads in our lives.

Just as delicious!

Other tips:

Only get ice cream or a dessert one day of the week.

Even if it kills you, get up in time to have a sit down breakfast of eggs, oatmeal, milk, juice, yogurt, etc, whatever you want. Don’t be the student who’s always grabbing a bagel on the run; trust me, your waist will thank you.

Wean yourself off of sugary sodas and juices by starting each meal with at least one glass of water.

Grab fruit like bananas, oranges, and apples for mid-day snacks.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

I scream, you scream, we all scream for raw vegan ice cream!!!

I don’t care that winter is nipping at my heels up here in VT, because I’m still going to be making ice cream. I find ice cream to be a food group people either love to a point of unhealthy obsession or simply dabble in. Living in VT means swearing your allegiance to Ben & Jerry’s. They’re the iconic ice cream company that created Cherry Garcia and more recently Schweddy Balls, along with several other flavors. What tasty calorie and sugar-laden treats. And then there are the “creemies” (Vermont-speak for soft serve ice cream) that stand not so erect in the summer heat; ah, delicious. But should we become so complacent with these treats? Can we not make our taste buds go “woo hoo!” and our intestines go “thank you”? I know for a fact that we can, and it doesn’t involve buying the low-fat, high sugar brands companies are hocking at us.  It’s time to push those sleeves up, break out the appliances, and prepare our taste buds for ultimate tantalization!

This past summer I discovered the joy of raw vegan ice cream. For every really hard-core never stray from the most natural raw vegan guru on Youtube, there are 10 more who lead perfectly healthy lives that have no qualms about having a little (sweet) fun in the kitchen. What I love about making your own “ice cream” (it really isn’t ice cream because we won’t use cream) is that it is fast, simple, healthy, and just as decadent as the brands we’ve become accustomed too. My first foray into these scrumptious treats was with avocado & coconut. I enjoyed it—still do – but lately I’ve been craving something naughtier, and thus the peanut butter and banana ice cream was born!

What you’ll need:

–          Food processor. Only use a blender if you’re fortunate enough to have a really powerful one like a Vitamix or Blendtec and want to make a big batch

–          3 really ripe bananas. Throw them in a drawer for a few days to speed up the ripening process. If you have an apple throw it in as well, as apples make other fruits ripen faster

–          2 Tablespoons of all natural peanut butter

–          2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder

–          Patience: it takes awhile for a banana to freeze!

Note: All these amounts, besides the bananas, can be tinkered with to your liking. Use more or less of either to get the taste you desire the most. You can also taste-test during the mixing to see what you want to add more of.

Directions:  Slice the bananas, put them on a plate, and pop them in the freezer. Make sure you slice and then freeze or else life will be very miserable. I froze my bananas for about a day. If they chill that long then let them sit out for 15 minutes before you throw them in the food processor. If you only have them in the freezer for 6-8 hours then don’t or else your ice cream might get a little soupy.  After you’ve gotten them off the plate (you might need a knife to slide them off) put them in the food processor with the other ingredients. If your appliance is really struggling you might want to add a spoonful of yogurt (if you don’t mind it being a little non-vegan) or a splash of almond or rice milk. The bananas will first hit a crumbly state (remember those awesomely overpriced Dippin’ Dots?) and then it will become creamy like ice cream. Scoop it out. Place it in a bowl. Share with a friend for guilt free pleasure. This is just as decadent as store bought ice creams without all the additives, preservatives, and sugar. Go us!

 

Now peel away those banana peels and get to scoopin’

Jocellyn

 

Ps: In all honesty I think the most fun I have with this blog is making up the “peel away” phrase at the end 😉