Pumpkin Peach Pie Smoothie

What makes Pumpkin Pie even better? Peaches! ūüėģūüćĎūüćĎI took my classic Pumpkin Pie smoothie recipe and made it summer-ready by adding fresh organic peaches. Yum!!! Super high in antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, minerals and beta carotene…this smoothie combo is excellent for skin, fighting oxidation brought on by free radicals and maintaining a healthy weight. So, go right ahead, don’t be afraid to gulp this one down and turn your frown upside down ūüėčūüėÉ
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1 Cup Plant Based Milk

1/2 Cup Pumpkin Purée

2 Peaches (pitted/skin on)

1 serving  Vega One Nutritional Shake (French Vanilla)

1/3 Cup Whole Grain Oats

1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 Tbsp Chia Seed

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Blend all on high speed until smooth. Pour and enjoy!

Chocolate Strawberry Quinoa Smoothie 

Whether you’re recovering from a workout or just need a super-boost of nutrition to start your day, this delicious shake is packed with the power you’ll need to sustain your busy life; protein, fiber and antioxidants to name a few. And when people ask where you get your protein from, you can tell em’ where to go! ūüėúūüėā

1 Cup Plant-Based Milk 

1 serving Vega Chocolate Vega Sport, Vega One or Protein and Greens

1 Banana

1 Cup fresh Strawberries

1/2 cooked Quinoa (cooled)

1 Tbsp Chia Seed

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Blend all in a high speed blender with some ice. Pour and enjoy post-workout or to kick off your day.

Mango Vanilla Chai Recovery Smoothie

Fitness can be tough on your body. After working up a sweat, the last thing you want to do is another tedious workout in the kitchen. That said, you’ll be delighted that this smoothie can be prepped and blended in under 10 minutes. It’s creamy, refreshing, delicious and a powerful companion to your post-workout routine. And heck, the bright golden color is kinda pretty to look at too! To get it going, all you need is some Vega Sport Performance Protein and a few things from nature’s medicine cabinet; then you’ll be well on your way to making those gains again.

Ingredients
1 scoop Vanilla Vega Sport Performance Protein
1 cup Silk Unsweetened Original Cashewmilk
1 cup frozen Mango
1 Orange (peeled)
1 thumb Ginger (peeled)
1 tsp Chai Spice blend
Optional: Ice cubes

Preparation
1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend on high speed until smooth.
2. Pour into a glass and garnish with some shredded Coconut. Enjoy 45 minutes to 1 hour after your workout.

Beeting the Odds: 9 Day Body & Mind rEvolution (Day 1)

Today I¬†embarked on my yearly detox in honor of the 45 days of juice fasting which changed my life over 2 years ago. As usual, the goal is to “reset” by purging any negative accumulations from my body/mind; while moving forward both refreshed and reaffirmed.
My plan is to jump into 1 day of transitioning, 1 day of eating raw, 5 days of juice fasting, 1 day of eating raw and ending with 1 day of transitioning. I’m also including a colon hydro therapy session, massage therapy, hot epsom bath/essential oil soaks and my usual regimen of stretching and meditation.
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Day 1: Transition

The Purpose
Transitioning¬†is the time just before and after a¬†raw food/juice fast where we¬†taper off and abstain from our usual habits in preparation for the nourishment of our cells and the release of toxins. When I say “toxins”, I’m not only talking about the way we eat or drink but everything we expose ourselves to on a daily basis. The pollution we breathe, the chemicals we consume through drugs (prescription too), alcohol, cigarettes, the chemical products we put all over our skin and hair, the mental and physical stress we put ourselves through; which all produces hormonal¬†imbalances within us. Even the mental baggage we carry around (and add to)¬†each day.¬†This¬†collective accumulation slows us down, breaks down the¬†immune system, creates¬†obesity, fatigue, unexplained pain and disease.

As we will be focusing much on food consumption, it’s easy to forget about our mind and general mood. That being the case, I urge you to begin to transition off the distractions of constant talking, over-thinking, watching television and general stresses. With a job and family, I understand this could be a tough one. My advice would be to take it as a vacation from work (if possible) and just be very mindful that this time is for YOU. Completely disconnect from the “norm” as much as you can. Relax, meditate, do some stretching or light yoga, read positive books, soak in epsom salt baths, get a massage; this time is truly a detox from everything. Allow yourself to take full advantage of this opportunity and let it all go. Discuss it with loved ones beforehand to gain their support.

The Method

Depending on how often the following items are consumed, 1 day of transitioning may not be enough for your specific situation. Gradually, come off of consuming animal products, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, refined sugars, refined salt, flour/gluten, grains, processed/packaged foods, cooked foods, supplements and vitamins. If taking prescription drugs, continue to take them unless otherwise approved by your doctor. ALWAYS consult your physician before starting any juicing/detox program!

I recommend that anyone not already eating a clean, mostly whole food plant-based diet begin transitioning/tapering off each item daily from up to 1 1/2 weeks prior. This will help lessen your detox symptoms when you begin the fast. In other words, do not wait until the night before to decide to stop doing everything all at once; I promise you will regret it. Do not “binge” or go on “benders” leading up to the detox; you will be miserable, sick and giving up before you even give it a chance to help you.

My First Day (Saturday, April 2nd)

In my case, I’ve only reserved one day of transition prior to going 100% raw because I’ve been fairly clean with my eating and lifestyle. My focus on my transition day will be to abstain from flours, grains and lower my¬†amount of cooked food; while beginning to add in more raw food. Then on day 2, I will be off cooked food and switching over to completely raw.¬†That said, here was my day from start to end along with some photographed highlights.

Psyllium Husks w/ 8 oz Water

8 oz Warm Lemon Water

12 oz Green Juice (Kale, Collard, Cucumber, Celery, Lemon, Ginger)

8 oz Water

Mexican Chickpea Scramble with Mushrooms, Roasted Red Peppers and Spinach. Served with 1 Mashed Avocado.

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8 oz Water

8 oz Herbal Tea (rooibos, elderberries, hibiscus flowers, currants, blueberries, schizandra berries)

16 oz Green Smoothie (Greens/Veggie/Fruit)

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8 oz Water

Roasted Sweet Potato Carrot Soup w/ Cashew Sour Cream & Raw Hemp Oil drizzle

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8 oz Water

8 oz Herbal Tea (Lemon Detox: Burdock Root, Stinging Nettle Leaf, Cleavers Herb, Dandelion Root, Lemon Myrtle Leaf)

Giant Salad w/ Greens, Beets, Cucumber, Tomato, Raw Nuts/Seeds, Avocado w/ Cashew Ranch Dressing (not shown)

8 oz Water

Small bowl of Raw Banana Blueberry Date “Nice-Cream” (not shown)

8 oz Water

8 oz Herbal Tea (Sleep tea: Passion Flower, Chamomile, Linden Flower, Catnip, Hop Strobile, Spearmint, Lemon Verbena, Lemon Peel, Lemon Grass.

 

 

 

 

Beeting the Odds: 9 Day Body & Mind rEvolution (Day 2)

Day 2: Raw

The Purpose

After transitioning from¬†our usual lifestyle habits, it’s time to now begin nourishing our body with whole food plants.¬†Taking the bad out, putting the good in. Also, this day of eating entirely raw will help further prepare and adapt our body to accept the days to come of consuming only extracted juices, water and herbal teas. Truly, it is another “transition day”; it simply¬†focuses on our further evolution from eating animal products, cooked foods, grains, refined sugars,etc and replacing them¬†with only fresh fruits, vegetables and raw nuts & seeds. If you are already a whole foods vegan and eat a high raw diet to begin with, none of this should be really shocking to your body at all. For those subscribing to the Standard American Diet (aka – S.A.D.), these transition days may be jarring for you while the body adjusts to the flood of plant nutrients and the lack of processed food. This is precisely why this process is called a “detox”.

The Method

Eating raw is as easy as you want it to be. Since you do not have to cook (or season) anything, you’re free to simply eat bowls of fresh fruit, giant veggie salads, blended smoothies and juices all day. The only stipulation is that the foods remain in their whole state with no added sugars, processed or non-raw plant ingredients. Organic herbal seasonings are completely acceptable; as is Himalayan Pink Salt (as it is a raw, untouched salt which is packed with trace minerals/nutrients). If you are detoxing from a high sodium diet, then I would omit salt altogether. Raw Vinegars and certain oils are acceptable as well, such as Raw Cold-Pressed Hemp Oil or Raw Coconut Oil. If you are unsure if something is plant-based and raw, do the research! In any case, you can make some pretty unique raw meals if you’re creative and willing to put in some extra time.

For me, half of my raw eating day could be filled with smoothies and juices. This is also great because it’s less taxing on the¬†digestive system and getting the¬†body used to consuming less solids. It will be less of a shock to your body when you begin only drinking liquid each day. Keeping a constant regimen of water and herbal tea intake between meals will further hydrate, nourish and¬†help satiate appetite; this is a key factor on EVERY day of the detox. Hydration is the king factor in a proper detox regimen. It helps clean your g.i. tract and prepares digestion to absorb nutrients much more efficiently. You may¬†need to urinate often but your body will thank you by easing your detox symptoms. Dehydration will only accentuate head/body aches and hunger.

My 2nd Day (Sunday, April 3rd)

I went full steam ahead with green juice and smoothies in the morning; then I got creative in the afternoon for a very satisfying raw meal; then went back to smoothies and ended the day with a giant salad. Here was how it all went:

Psyllium Husks w/ 8 oz Water

8 oz Warm Lemon Water

12 oz Green Juice (Kale, Collard, Cucumber, Celery, Lemon, Ginger)

8 oz Water

Raw Sunshine Smoothie (Coconut Water, Banana, Mango, Pumpkin Puree, Dates, Hemp Seed and Chia Seed)

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8 oz Water

Raw Tacos/Burritos (Chard wrap w/ Raw Mushroom Walnut “Meat”, Cashew Sour Cream, Pico De Gallo, Peppers and Cauliflower “Rice”IMG_3066

8 oz Water

8 oz Herbal Tea: Ginger Root

20 oz Reishi Cacao Almond Butter Smoothie

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8 oz Water

12 oz Bolthouse Farms 1915 Cold-Pressed Blended Juice (Coconut Water, Pineapple, Mango, Avocado, Lemon)

 

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8 oz Water

Chopped Romaine Salad w/ Creamy Raw Balsamic Hemp Avocado Dressing

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8 oz Water

8 oz Herbal Tea (Sleep tea: Passion Flower, Chamomile, Linden Flower, Catnip, Hop Strobile, Spearmint, Lemon Verbena, Lemon Peel, Lemon Grass).

Beeting the Odds: 9 Day Body & Mind rEvolution (Day 3)

Day 3: Juicing

The Purpose

Fasting has been used throughout history for medical, health, religious and political applications. Our purpose of it will be for both physical and mental health.¬†As understood by many,¬†a fast is when someone restricts food, water or both. But with a juice fast, we will¬†truly not be restricting either; we will¬†actually be¬†hydrating¬†the body with an amazing amount of nutrition through the extraction of water-rich whole vegetables and fruit. This, in comparison¬†to the lack of nourishment most people¬†receive on their bloated daily diets, is a cleaner, more efficient dietary decision than what juicing naysayers would ever care to admit.¬†Where we used to¬†understand nourishment by measuring how full we felt; we will, instead, now¬†measure by¬†how great we look/feel.¬†This newfound state of “emptiness” is not¬†a reminder of what we think we need but an affirmation of all¬†which¬†we do not. Less is more. By refusing what poisons us and¬†favoring that which¬†allows us to¬†thrive, we are on the cusp of mental and physical freedom.

When faced with any kind of “withdrawal”, we can become extremely emotional; it¬†can be both good and bad. On one hand, we become angry or depressed from the absence of what we¬†desire; but on the other, our higher self realizes it was harmful to begin with, hence, transforming¬†that desire into whatever it’s being replaced with. The more tenacious we¬†are, the sooner we¬†will be able to replace a Beer with a Kombucha, a Donut with a Salad; or a cup of Coffee with a Health Tonic, etc.¬†And as we emerge from the withdrawal symptoms and begin to experience vibrance and energy; we’ve already done the difficult work to remove the previous conditioning and replace it with a whole new set of ideals. This is called “change”. Since every physical action is a response to¬†what our brain¬†is communicating, a juice fast can help break the unconscious cycle and impart us¬†with better habits moving forward.

The Method

There are many ways to do a juice fast. There are plans, recipes, tips etc. I like to keep my juice fasts fairly simple. I usually mix it up with a green, red and gold recipe and drink them throughout the fast. Five 12 oz juices per day is a good start; beginning the morning with Psyllium Husks Powder (in 8 oz Water) and an 8oz Warm Lemon Water. Space your juices out between 2 1/2 to 3 hours with plenty of water and herbal teas in-between. Check out some more of my tips here and here.

Other important considerations will be to reduce as much stress from your life as possible during this time period. The more stressed you are, the more likely you will lose focus, cheat or give up altogether. Take advantage of the time to not only detox your body but to detox your mind as well. Relax with Organic Herbal Teas, get massaged, do stretching or light Yoga, meditate; remove yourself from outside noise such as gossip, media, socializing, etc. Use this time to truly be with yourself and you WILL find answers. Being present, especially during potentially uncomfortable situations, will keep you focused on transformation; not falling into the same old habits.

My 3rd Day (Monday, April 4th)

Today began my juice only portion of the detox which will last for 5 full days. I woke up this morning and began my usual routine and created 2 really great juices for the day (about 60 oz). Here are the highlights:

Psyllium Husks w/ 8 oz Water

8 oz Warm Lemon Water

12 oz Green Juice (Chard, Romaine, Lacinto Kale, Parsley, Cucumber, Celery, Apple, Lemon, Ginger)

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8 oz Water

8 oz Herbal Tea (Turmeric Ginger)

8 oz Water

12 oz Golden Juice (Golden Beet, Carrot, Mandarin Orange, Basil, Pineapple, Ginger, Turmeric)

IMG_3073

16 oz Coconut Water

8 oz Water

12 oz Green Juice (Chard, Romaine, Lacinto Kale, Parsley, Cucumber, Celery, Apple, Lemon, Ginger)

8 oz Herbal Tea: Detox Lemon

8 oz Water

12 oz Green Juice (Chard, Romaine, Lacinto Kale, Parsley, Cucumber, Celery, Apple, Lemon, Ginger)

8 oz Water

12 oz Golden Juice (Golden Beet, Carrot, Mandarin Orange, Basil, Pineapple, Ginger, Turmeric)

IMG_3077

8 oz Herbal Tea: (Sleep tea: Passion Flower, Chamomile, Linden Flower, Catnip, Hop Strobile, Spearmint, Lemon Verbena, Lemon Peel, Lemon Grass).

 

Beeting the Odds: 9 Day Body & Mind rEvolution (Day 4)

Day 4: Juice, Dry Brush, Oil Soak

If you’ve been following my posts¬†day by day, you already know what the purpose of juice fasting is. If not, check out my previous post here. But as we get further into the juice fasted aspect of this detox program, we will now add in other key factors that will assist in cleansing and purging the body of toxins. A few of the things I’d like to focus on in this post include sleep, dry brushing, oil soaking and tongue scraping. As the digestive system begins to slow down and get a much needed break; your body begins to rid itself of damaged cells and generate new ones. How amazing is that? That said, you want your body to be in a supportive state which allows these toxins to leave the body as easily as possible.

Sleep

Getting a good amount of sleep is crucial during a detoxification program. And it’s more about the quality than it is the quantity. Being free from stress,¬†as much as possible,¬†throughout the day¬†will help us quiet our mind while enabling us to become deeply relaxed in the evening. The body performs many vital functions during the 3rd, 4th and REM levels of sleep¬†such as tissue repair/regrowth, restoration of energy and hormone release for muscle growth/development.¬†Sleep during a juice fast brings even greater benefits due to the energy which was previously unavailable to us. Since the digestive system normally uses a massive amount of energy to break down¬†large meals, a fasting state will reserve and use that energy for other functions in the body; such as regenerating cells. So, as long as you’re getting a deep, restful sleep each night; you should feel pretty amazing when you wake up the next morning.

Tongue Scraping

One thing that can become overlooked during a detox (and everyday in general) is the collection of bacteria on our tongue. If one has good dental hygiene, they at least are brushing their tongue at some point. The cleanliness of the tongue has much to do with bad breath but what you probably don’t realize is that while we continue to swallow saliva and food throughout the day, this tongue bacteria is ingested again. Yuck. That said, on a detox, our goal is to get toxins out of our body…not put them in. Scraping the tongue before bed and when we wake up in the morning will keep these nasties out of our mouth and body. You can get a special tongue scraper, brush or just use the edge of a spoon. Scrape gently from the back to the front, rinsing the tool each time. Once finished, rinse out your mouth making sure not to swallow, then brush your teeth as normal. Once you start doing this on a normal basis, you’ll notice that your taste sensitivities will return.

Dry Brushing

One of things I like to do during a juice fast is dry brush my skin. Since our skin is a giant organ, it also rids itself of old cells while regenerating new ones; this process leaves a dead layer of skin which keeps our skin from “breathing”. The skin contains billions of pores and that is where many toxins can enter and exit. This is why dry brushing is important. It’s a good practice, especially while on a juice fast to dry brush your skin before showering. This helps get rid of dead skin and open up the pores. You can buy a natural brush which is made for this. Just stand naked in your shower (before turning the water on) and brush gently from head to toe, being extra careful on sensitive areas. Now rinse off with a warm shower. If you’re daring, you can even alternate your¬†rinsing with cold water as well…this helps open the pores even more.

Oil Soak

One of my favorite things to do on a detox is soak in the bath. It calms, relaxes and allows one to be present without distraction. And if done right, a good bath soak can help draw out toxins and hydrate the skin all at once. My perfect detox bath mix is Baking Soda (which helps clean the water), Epsom Salts (which helps draw out toxins), Coconut Oil (for skin hydration), Vitamin E Oil (to repair/replenish skin) and Tea Tree Oil (anti-bacterial). You can also use a variety of other essential oils which are beneficial to the skin such as Lavender, Sandalwood, Patchouli, etc. Just make sure you use 100% natural oils! My ratio is: Tub filled high with hot water, 1 Cup Baking Soda, 2 Cups Epsom Salts, 2 Tbsp Unrefined Coconut Oil, 10 drops of Tea Tree Oil and 1/4 tsp Vitamin E Oil. Stir into hot bath. Soak for 20-30 minutes. Massage the oily goodness all over yourself. Enjoy!

My 4th Day (Tuesday April 5th)

This morning I awoke feeling rejuvenated. I experienced a deep, restful sleep and I felt, light, alert and empty. Empty? Well, not in like a “hangry” type way but like there was nothing weighing me down inside. It was an emptiness that feels good. If this had been the same juice fasting day 2 years ago, it was more like “hangry”. But that was then and this is now. Since my entire lifestyle has been turned upside down over the last 2 years, I’ve become quite comfortable on a lack of solid food. As long as I’m hydrated and my body is getting nourished, there is no need for me to have that FULL feeling in my stomach. Thats all just mind game B.S.! That said, this morning…I didn’t leap out of bed in a frenzy and run to the kitchen to¬†gorge on some waffles. Nor did I feel the need to go immediately make my juice. Instead, I took the time to take care of myself by all the ways mentioned above. When your mind and body are in sync, it’s a totally different world.

Here are the highlights of the day:

Tongue Scrape (Rinse, Brush teeth)

Psyllium Husks (w/ 8 oz Water)

8 oz Warm Lemon Water

Dry Brush Body & Rinse w/ Cool water

Soak in hot Coconut Oil bath for 30 minutes

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12 oz Red Juice (Spinach, Basil, Beet, Mango, Celery, Carrot, Strawberry and Grapefruit)

IMG_3174

8 oz Water

8 oz Herbal Tea: Spring Dragon Gynostemma w/ 1 tsp Unrefined Coconut Oil

8 oz Water

12 oz Green Juice (Romaine, Curly Kale, Lacinto Kale, Parsley, Broccoli, Pear, Cucumber, Zucchini, Lemon, Ginger)

IMG_3170

8 oz Water

16 oz Coconut Water

Haircut!

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16 oz Water

24 oz Red Juice (Spinach, Basil, Beet, Mango, Celery, Carrot, Strawberry and Grapefruit)

8 oz Water

8 oz Herbal Tea: Peppermint

12 oz Green Juice (Romaine, Curly Kale, Lacinto Kale, Parsley, Broccoli, Pear, Cucumber, Zucchini, Lemon, Ginger)

IMG_3173

8 oz Herbal Tea: (Sleep tea: Passion Flower, Chamomile, Linden Flower, Catnip, Hop Strobile, Spearmint, Lemon Verbena, Lemon Peel, Lemon Grass).