Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
September kick starts our 30 day juicing challenge. To add in one juice a day (or more if you like) for a day for a month. It really is that easy.
And if you haven't got a juicer (ask around - lots of people have one then store it in the back of a cupboard somewhere, check out second hand pages - or maybe treat yourself) you could always try out green smoothies for a month.
I've some recipes on my site (Nutrition/Recipes/Juices) and there's loads about now online and in books but what I love people to do is gain their confidence in making their own. Start simple - 2 or 3 ingredients and maybe add in a few once you've worked out what you like. We're all different too - what I like may not be what you like. I stopped at a street juicer the other day and asked for my favourite juice (of the moment, at that time... I'm now craving green juices!) - carrot, beetroot and orange. He suggested swapping the carrot for apple as thought it'd be too sharp. Both done loads of juicing, both like different things. Obviously. So don't take my word for any of it, play, adapt and discover for yourself.
And come join us in September for a juicy month :) Join the facebook page if you want to take part here.
Love and sunshine,
Two juicers. Half a kilo of carrots. One woman. One amazing camera assistant. What would the verdict be?
So... dropping the Hollywood voice over, and getting back to Fruity HQ realities :)
Btw did anyone else used to do the Hollywood voice over with the credits of films...? We used to love it. OK, really moving on this time.
I'd decided after my juicer broke to treat myself to a new machine and as I'm helping out a client at the moment thought I'd look to avoid aluminium, get the maximum out of the juice and have a less oxidised, slower juiced version.
All credit to the Philips to be fair - it's not been a bad machine to have - it's been a real workhorse, many times making 4-6 juices a day and used plentifully over the last 4-5 years. It's reasonably priced, now a fair bit more than back when we got ours but I guess people have jumped onto the fact juicing is popular now. It does use an aluminium mesh which I'd not thought about til recently when a friend questioned me on it. And does oxidise the juice more as is a much faster process, working as a centrifugal juicer, which means ideally you should drink it sooner as it's already exposed to the air and losing nutrients faster.
After a LOT of deliberation, and very nearly purchasing a Hurom masticating juicer, I (with the Hurom in the shopping cart online) I went off to look at the Kuvings Whole Fruit Juicer. Attracted as I was mainly to the size of the chute. It's important to me! I'm currently making 5 juices a day and make them in my 7-8.30am breakfast stretch whilst I'm getting up and ready for the day, making (vegan of course) pancakes or porridge for Isla, smoothies for another client, lunch for my daughter, breakfast for me and my lunch if I'm to be away from home that day. Chopping a load of veg to get into the juicer is something I can really happily live without on a morning. So after reading reviews, asking around, I plumped for the Kuvings. And I'm so happy that I did!
The subtle differences are big for me too. It's easier to take apart. Not totally sure if it's easier to clean (should have done a timed take apart and clean. Next time...) but it's definately not harder. It's smaller, or at least feels it although may just be the different shape. It's quieter. There is a handy tap on the chute. So if you're occasionally dopey like yours truly, there's a cut off tap for you!
The juice on the left is the Philips - the centrifugal juicer and the right is the shiny new Kuvings. The jugs are different sizes so it's not about the yield here but you can see the separation of juice and the froth due to the faster process.
The yield for the Kuvings is advertised as being up to 35% more than a centrifugal juicer. I'm not sure it's that much but it was more. This was pure carrots in my juice here. I have a feeling that softer fruits you may get even more too - the pulp is much drier than the pulp I used to get from the Philips.
A friend was around for dinner and was a great taster. She felt the Philips juice (on the left) was somehow creamier - maybe as a result of the froth on the top. The Kuvings she thought tasted fresher and liked the Kuvings one more. It's pulp-ier and for me this makes quite a refreshing juice. It's somehow more filling and there's something to chew on instead of being really easy to just swallow it down. And if you want less pulp then you just need to sieve.
On the whole - I think buy what you can best afford. If you've never juiced before, are the type of person who gathers gadgets then the gadgets gather dust then I'd probably not run out for a masticating juicer just yet. If you love your juicing and are looking to upgrade then I think the Kuvings is a great machine.
I've written this blog several times, or at least started it, in my head and I'm struggling to get beyond 'No shit, Sherlock' to be honest. Unless you're going to blend up a load of lettuce, the chances are that you're going to have way more calories in your fruity green smoothie than in a coca cola.
A can of 'full fat' coke contains 140 calories according to Cron-o-meter. But not much in there that's going to be a benefit to your body. And possibly, if the information around using it to clean your toilet is correct, it may actively harm your body, stripping it of vital nutrients.
So what do you want out of your green smoothie? Me, I want a meal replacement for when I don't fancy chewing through a pile of fruit, for when I'm out at work, driving to appointments or the like. I don't want an additional 650 calorie drink during my day, extra to my meals. And if you want it as an additional drink then just make it smaller.
Today I ran 3.5 miles, cycled 9.5 miles then got back and had my green smoothie for my lunch. It was delicious, and I felt it wasn't inappropriately filled with chemicals. It was purely mango, 2 blood oranges, 2 large handfuls of spinach and 3 large bananas. Breakfast had been a beautifully hydrating piel de caso melon that I lustfully eyed up and got on our midnight shopping trip last night.
I guess what I'm saying is yes, more calories. Definitely. But more goodness? Infinitely.
Go forth, drink green, move your body and be happy.
With love x
And if you want tips, guidance, ideas, inspiration then feel free to come along and join the Green Smoothie/Juice A Day facebook group. It's a group of lovely women - (so far no men - please feel free to be the first!), sharing their love for green juices and smoothies.
Within a relatively short space of time, two posts had come to my attention highlighting the naked body. One, a beautiful collection of images of yoga poses, done completely naked, and the other, a blog offering 5 reasons to get naked everyday.
For me, the most beautiful sentence in the blog, or at least the most thought provoking was:
'When was the last time you looked at your body in all its naked glory? I mean really looked at it. No squeaming at chubby thighs or grimacing at lanky arms. Just looking at, understanding, and accepting your body in all its perfectly imperfect brilliance'
How many of us think 'I'd like my body if...' I'm definitely not immune to it, although aspire often enough to elevating myself beyond this place. Elevating may be the wrong word - total acceptance of my body in all it's perfect imperfection is, I suppose what I'd like to aim for. And I have no doubt I'll get there. It's been a lifetime's work so far, and from a place of fairly intense food restriction to gain control in an uncontrollable part of my life story nearly 20 years ago, I've come a long way.
What saddens me though is how young this judgement starts. I hear my 7 year old tell me that 'friends' have told her she's fat and ugly. She's neither, but that's not really the issue here. What are we thinking that these gorgeous beings are calling each other these names? And, more importantly, how do we strengthen their inner knowledge that they too are, imperfectly perfect. People will, at various points, or at least may, knock our confidence in ourselves, in our bodies, in our beliefs. I just wasn't aware that the training starts so young.
For me, mindfulness comes in, self confidence in ourselves, taking time to get to know our bodies, accepting and giving thanks for the beauty that is within and without. Not to be ashamed of our own bodies in front of our daughters and sons and to work on our own stuff with the hope of releasing them from a similar place. I feel lucky I grew up in a house where we could all wander around in with nothing on (not that we often did - it wasn't quite that sort of house...) but there was no judgement - and still I fell into a self loathing trap of telling myself I was fat daily so I would have the resolve to restrict my food (and probably covered up more so no one was aware of my journey at that point). Beating myself up to get results didn't lead to happiness - although I suppose it did lead to an unhealthy level of weight loss at the time. And so now I see the BBC news around obesity suggesting that they use terrorising tactics and light stigma to assist in our obesity crisis.
I don't doubt the crisis - I would call it a health crisis, an overabundance of processed food crisis, and probably a shocking lack of foresight in people who are in government handing out watered down information in the hope that people could achieve it instead of trusting our intelligence and giving real, true information crisis.
Damn I've done it again. My blog was about the beauty of the naked body and it's becoming a food rant. But hear me out, there's a point to it all. If we eat well, we feel well. If we feel good about ourselves we are inspired to eat well and look after ourselves. Making people feel bad - whether it be in the playground, in the workplace, in the consultation space or even just sat at home watching an advert doling out some 'light stigma' tactics is unlikely to lead to an enhanced sense of wellbeing and ambition to give our bodies life enhancing foods.
Let's learn to love. Ourselves, others, our bodies. Our glorious naked bodies which do so much for us and get so little thanks. Today I stood in front of a mirror and thanked mine for being what it is. Doing what it does and helping me everyday.
So let's go naked now and again. Even if that's only naked, unprocessed food to start with. Imagine funding for subsidised fruits and vegetables (or even just buying more ourselves) and a campaign on TV for juicing, upping fruits and veggies, starting every meal with a large salad, increasing the greens, learning to love greens. And ourselves. Loving us for being imperfectly perfect. Just the way we are.
I like the idea that we can be responsible for our own health. Even if only a little bit. We can make choices – organic or standard, veggie or meat, to enquire further or to accept what we’re told. One of the issues with the conventional medical model is that some of that can appear to have been taken away from us. We’re part of a procession to be prodded, poked, cut and healed in someone else’s way. I’m not saying this is wrong, or to go against convention, but to take some power back too along the way.
There are choices we can make that can enhance our health. We can support ourselves with listening therapies, taking time out for a massage to complement our wellbeing, or even make simple food choices.
I’m here today to talk a bit about food. It’s something we’re all deeply involved in – and can be used to help our bodies help themselves. We can set up a situation where we’re able to assist in providing healthy conditions for healing to happen. I don’t believe that nutrition heals, chemotherapy heals or homeopathy heals. Our bodies heal themselves – and what we can do is help to provide the basis for them to do this from.
I decided to switch my diet earlier this year to a whole food, plant based, nearly 100% raw food diet – really as a bit of an experiment, but also with the knowing that if I had been given a serious diagnosis of illness this is the way that I would eat. I’m not going to suggest that everyone goes 100% raw – although it can be a great way to eat.
However there is increasing and strong evidence around animal based foods causing detriment to our health. My personal belief is that no one should be consuming milk (known to contain an incredibly potent cancer promoter), eggs (coming in about second behind milk), meat or fish if they’d like to improve their health in one quick and easy step.
Studies around animal based proteins have shown that consuming more than 10% of your diet from animal based proteins, the risks of cancer greatly increases. Reverting back to less than this, or ideally cutting it out altogether, has often helped with reducing tumours. Eating at less than 10% for research animals, usually showed no development of cancer growths, even with exposure to known carcinogens.
The adoption of a whole food, plant based diet has been shown in many instances to improve health, reduce risks or relapse and has knock on health benefits – such as reducing risks of heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes and certain autoimmune illnesses.
Whole food, plant based? It means no processed (or minimally processed) foods, and from plants. It might sound initially as if it will be restrictive, but realisitically you’re talking about enhancing the one thing that you really need. So even if there is a small sacrifice – and I know just how addictive cheese can be! – it’s potentially a big gain. And ultimately as you discover more you find out just how much choice there really is. My parents have adopted this way of eating and eat more varied meals with more choice than they ever have. Granted, eating out is slightly harder but learning to ask for what you want really helps along the journey.
It doesn’t have to be all raw. It doesn’t have to be raw at all – although I would suggest that you did incorporate more raw foods into your diet. To make gradual changes – depending on your state of health – and cut things out at a manageable rate. Mum, for example got rid of milk one month, cheese the next, overt butter the following one and covert milk products after that. Whilst you’re removing things, remember to add them in. The UK suggests we all eat our 5 a day. I like the Japanese suggestion better – the 17 a day campaign. Japan suggests people eat 13 portions of vegetables and 4 of fruit a day. I probably average around 17-20. So add in an extra fruit snack, more steamed vegetables with your dinner, a big salad at lunch and see how easy it can be to get towards 17 instead of our measly recommended 5 portions.
There’s some brilliant resources out there – it’s great to discover more around the why – I always think anyway. So if you’re a reader then The China Study is a brilliant place to start. If you cook then The China Study Cookbook is fantastic. Forks over Knives (the film, cookbook and book) is worth a mention, as are the books by the Gerson’s around cancer and their work with nutrition. The web is a fabulous resource to have at our finger tips – and I also give recipes, thoughts, tips and more on my blog and within the website under the nutrition tab. I also have a newsletter which you can sign up to and share information on my facebook business page as well as on twitter.
Feel free to get in touch to find out more. I love my work with Homeopathy, Food Intolerance testing and supporting clients to eat a more Whole Food, Plant Based diet and do offer free 15 minute consultations to discover a little more.
Have a great day!
1-2cm fresh ginger
2 handfuls spinach
Juice. Drink. Feel amazing.
I've been thinking about sharing thoughts, videos, recipes etc on YouTube for some time. And was always put off - I need to do it properly - to have a camera, tripod, you know - the works (dressing team, make up artist, goffer boy....). But so many things make me think about how lucky I am to have the time I have right here, right now. So without putting my contact lenses in, thinking about what I'm wearing (it's OK I'm off to work so more than respectably dressed), or who was going to hold the camera - I did it.
I made my first video of my breakfast green juice. It's an easy one to make - it's so tasty and feels great to drink and without further ado it's here to share with you:
The process of making it has been great - I've learnt a lot from that in itself so please subscribe, like and share and there'll be more coming very soon!
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.