Cinnamon Coffee Breakfast Smoothie (Hot or Cold)

What better way than to wake up than with a sweet, creamy coffee with 30g of plantbased protein? Not only is this also great for an anytime pick-me-up but it also comes in handy as a postworkout recovery shake as well. And if you’re tired of cold smoothies in these chilly months of autumn, heat your plant milk first for a warm decadent treat.

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8 oz Califia Farms XX Espresso Cold Brew Coffee (Cold or Hot)
1 serving Vanilla Vega Sport Performance Protein
1 Banana
3-4 Dates (pitted)
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Chia Seed

Cold Version (shown):
Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Add Ice for a frostier consistency. Pour and enjoy!

Hot Version:
Add the Banana, Dates, Cinnamon and Chia Seed to a high speed blender. Heat the cold brew (hahaha) on low/medium in a small saucepan on your stovetop just until small bubbles begin to form; then carefully pour into the blender jar along with the other ingredients. Blend on low setting first, slowly working up to high. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large mug and enjoy!

Beeting the Odds: 9 Day Body & Mind rEvolution (Day 7)

Day 7: Juice, Stretch, Massage Therapy, Hydration

So here we are at day 7, the last day of the juice fasting portion of the detox. Feeling great? You know I am! Tomorrow we get to transition back into eating raw (solid) food and smoothies…so exciting! And then on Sunday, we will begin to transition back into cooked foods and ending our 9 day journey. But this doesn’t mean it’s over; moving forward you should still be eating very clean and mindfully. And hopefully this detox has altered your perspective enough that you will now crave more raw foods, smoothies and juices. Don’t be so quick to undo what you’ve worked so hard to do! Stay the course…keep it up…and your old habits will be left in the dust.

Morning Stretching

As you have already read from the previous post, you should be doing this stretch regimen once again, prior to your massage therapy appointment. This will help further loosen your muscles up and help make your massage therapy session more comfortable.

Massage Therapy

Today is all about “squeezing out” as much toxicity from our muscles and soft tissues as possible. Yesterday (and today), we stretched and loosened them up; today we’re going to have a massage therapist work on them. I recommend a 60-90 minute “deep tissue” session. Deep Tissue Massage is a form of bodywork that aims to relieve tension in the deeper layers of tissue in the body. It is a highly effective method for releasing chronic stress areas due to misalignment, repetitive motions, and past lingering injuries. Due to the nature of the deep tissue work, open communication during the session is crucial to make sure you don’t get too uncomfortable. Keep in mind that you might feel some soreness after the treatment, and that plenty of water should be ingested to aid with the flushing and removal of toxins that will have been released from the deep tissue work during the session. If you’re still unsure, check out these benefits of a deep tissue massage.

Hydration

Throughout this entire detox, I’ve more than focused on the importance of hydrating with water and coconut water. Today, it is especially important as the deep tissue work will release toxins from the muscles, which can put us in a bit of a “dizzy-like” state afterward. That being said, drink extra water and coconut water than you normally would. It will help flush out and eliminate these toxins through the urine and keep the muscles and tissues hydrated. Also, consider drinking 2 oz of Aloe Vera juice as well; it’s hydrating, great for your internal organs and is great for muscle and joint health. Another great tool for post-massage.

Here are the details of my day:

Tongue Scrape (Brush Teeth)

Fasted Stretching and Meditation (30 minutes)

Psyllium Husks (w/ 8 oz Water)

8 oz Warm Lemon Water

12 oz Red Juice (Beet, Beet Greens, Romaine, Valencia Orange, Pineapple, Celery, Carrot, Ginger and Turmeric)

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32 oz Water

12 oz Green Juice (Lacinto Kale, Curly Kale, Cucumber, Celery, Broccoli, Lemon and Ginger). Also shown is the Gold Juice I had later.

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16 oz Coconut Water

12 oz Water

Deep Tissue Massage (1 hour session)

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20 oz Water

12 oz Green Juice (Cold Pressed, 1915 Boathouse Farms; Apple, Romaine, Cucumber, Spinach, Kale)

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22 oz Water

2 oz Aloe Vera Juice

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12 oz Water

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

12 oz Water

12 oz Gold Juice (Carrot, Fennel, Grapefruit, Apple, Celery, Lemon and Turmeric)

20 oz Water

12 oz Green Juice (Lacinto Kale, Curly Kale, Cucumber, Celery, Broccoli, Lemon and Ginger)

8 oz Herbal Tea (Sage)

12 oz Water

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

10 Tips to a Successful Juice Fast

Juicing holds a special place in my heart; it changed my life 2 years ago when I fasted on it for a total of 45 days (20/10/10/5). I shed 70 pounds, went full on vegan, reversed my high cholesterol and high blood pressure, curbed many bad habits including (food addiction, alcohol and caffeine) and completely overhauled my eating habits from the ground up. This all happened over 6 months. Crazy, right? Nope. Not crazy at all. It’s science really. 

To me, it will always be known as the most powerful weapon in my arsenal; a weapon that fought (and won) against my most destructive habits. It changed both my physical and mental health forever. Some see it as a trendy, hipster fad; conventional doctors don’t recommend it; the mainstream media pokes fun at it any chance they get. But you’ve gotta let all that brain chatter go. It’s the real deal, if you do it right.

That said, I’d like to share with you some tips that were not only vital in making my juice fasts a success; but were the very things that helped keep me on the right path for good!

1) Drink warm Lemon Water when you wake up to jumpstart digestive system; this may even eventually replace your morning coffee habit.

2) Drink 5 or 6 (12-16oz) Juices every day. There is no limit, drink even more if you want.

3) Drink tons of water in between juices; it’s extremely important to stay hydrated throughout your fast.

4) Enjoy detoxifying Herbal Teas throughout the day. Not only does herbal tea continue to nourish and help with digestion; a hot cup of tea in your hands will be a welcome change to all the juice. It is calming and you will begin looking forward to it.

5) Drink 16 oz of Pure Coconut Water each day to replenish lost electrolytes. Very important.

6) Move your body! After the initial days of rest and detox symptoms begin to fade, go for a walk, a light jog or some yoga. This will keep you fit AND keep your mind off hunger as well.

7) TRUST! Stay the course…you will most likely feel crappy for the first 3-5 days; this is normal. It’s called withdrawal 😉 Once you get over that hump, it’s smooth sailing from there. Your body will tell you when it’s time to transition back to eating again.

8) Relax! Try to get into a meditative state throughout your fast. Deeply feel the good it is doing for you. I see people fail all the time because they get inside their head too much. They worry that they aren’t getting enough of “this or that”. Keep in mind that this is only temporary and you will eat again!

9) Make it fun! Mix it up and make different recipes. Use different types of glasses and straws. Chew the juice! Serve it to yourself in a different way each time. This will help avoid the monotony and lighten the mental load

10) KEEP IT UP!!

The 10 Excuses to Skip my Morning Run and How I Overcame Them

Over two years ago I would have gawked at the idea of going for even a short walk outside, let alone an exhausting run. Obese, tired and suffering from poor health; I was at the wheel but I wasn’t driving the car. My mind was my nemesis during some of the toughest points in my life and it really had it’s hold over me. But after many years of practicing grounding therapies such as meditation, aikido and yoga, I finally gained enough mental clarity to take control of my body. It only took about 6 months to overhaul my eating habits, shed 70+ pounds and realize that my addictions, depression and fatigue were a product of self-manufactured

The ego provides us with excuses as to why we should not change; even if our higher self knows it would be good thing. We have to become ninjas at fending excuses off as they approach. For instance, “I can’t find time” is one of the most common excuses. But instead of agreeing, we can ponder the excuse for just a short moment…and realize that by getting more rest at night and rising earlier, we can easily find this time. See how easy that was? Diffused. But that’s only one excuse! When you awake for your morning run, be prepared for a “song and dance” with your brain.

#1. “I’m too tired”!
No, you’re not! You’ve had plenty of rest because you planned ahead! According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults 18+ need 7-9 hours in order to function at their peak capability.

#2. It’s too cold/hot outside!
Dress appropriately. Always check the temperature before setting off on your journey and dress for the occasion. If you’re unsure, try out this nifty What to Wear Calculator.

#3. I’m too sore!
Hmmm…is it just because you slept in crazy positions all night? The body wants to stretch, move and expand; it keeps everything in tip top shape. Always make sure your post-workout recovery and rest is strong enough before getting back out there. If your excuse is always that you are too sore, you’ll eventually be worse off by living a stagnant life; I know, I’ve been there 😉

#4. The road/ground is wet!
It’s not rocket science. Wear an extra pair of socks and watch where you’re running. Avoid slippery situations; wet leaves, puddles, mud, etc.

#5. It’s too windy out!
It’s only wind, wear an extra layer if needed. Avoid exposure, especially if it is cold and windy. Use the direction of the wind to your advantage whenever possible. Breathe deeply and oxygenate your lungs. Invigorating!

#6. I don’t have time!
Here we go again; didn’t we figure this one out earlier? Plan for the time you’ll need the night before. Get enough sleep so you are able to rise earlier than usual.

#7. Oh boy…those steep hills! I don’t think I’ll make it.
Hills make us stronger and build our endurance. And nobody said you couldn’t ever take walk breaks on your run. In fact, according to ex-Olympian and running coach, Jeff Galloway, you can not only improve your time using the run-walk-run method but it will keep you more in control of your running and create less possibility for injury as well.

#8. What about food, won’t I run out of energy?
Nutrition is an integral component to any exercise plan. You should provide yourself with clean fuel to prepare, sustain and recover. This will ensure you are well hydrated, have the energy to burn and the nutrients to repair strained muscles. Loading up on complex carbohydrates will help you keep a nice reserve of glycogen to burn. In addition, Vega Sport has some great plant-based products specifically geared for the on-the-go athlete. Personally, I have used the Pre-Workout Energizer beforehand; the Electrolyte HydratorEndurance Gels and Energy Bars during; and the Performance Protein after. I gotta say, the workouts that I didn’t include these items were the hardest; both during and after.

#9: I just don’t care, I’m going back to sleep!
If you truly “don’t care”, have a wonderful time trying to navigate life by this terrible philosophy. Instead, try doing the opposite. Extend your caring to everything around you; doors will open up for you and paths will become cleared for you.

#10. Don’t go! Just go back to sleep, you can make it up tomorrow.
You are not your brain. The ego does not want you to change; it wants you to stay in that zone of comfort. The most clever of obstacles in life is the mind itself. Each day it lays more bricks upon a wall built from our stresses, anxieties and fears. It is this very wall which causes us to recoil from opportunity and closes us off from the openness of the world around us. If you can tap into your “witnessing you” and learn how to quiet your mind; you will begin to see the blank space as a window of opportunity.

Now throw off those blankets, get out there and run!