We love our slow cooker meals and they are a huge help on busy nights. When I sit down to do our planning each month I have a few go-to slow cooker meals my family really enjoys. They are simple, no frills, kid-friendly crockpot ideas and easy prep for us during the busy work week.
A new year brings the opportunity to make new habits, break old ones and everything in between. We go into the year with the best of intentions and it is great to have a fresh slate. Then these little things called “reality and stress” set in and somehow we lose sight of the promises, goals, and even the written down intentions. So I encourage you to make this resolution with me before going any further:
Cold pressed juice seems to be all the rage lately and I’m not sure if I wasn’t paying attention to the trend or if it really is new to the marketplace. Most recently, a cold pressed juice bar popped up next to my Barre studio so naturally I had to check it out. So what exactly is cold pressed juice and is it any good for you?
First, not all juicing is the same. If you remember juicing to be anything like I do it was a lot of work for not a lot of gain! Depending on the quality of your home juicer you could chop and push fruits and veggies for a good hour and maybe end up with a glass of juice and another hour of clean-up. Well the good news is that juicers seem to sure have come a long way over the years. For at home use you can find a variety of machines ranging from about $100-$3000.
Their are basically two juicing system types on the marketplace today. Their is the traditional Centrifugal force and Cold Pressed. This article from the Huffington Post does a nice job defining the two types of systems.
The Centrifugal Juice Extractors
“Traditionally, this is the most common type of juicer. These typically utilize a fast-spinning metal blade that spins against a mesh filter, separating juice from flesh via centrifugal force. The juice and pulp are then separated into different containers. The problem with centrifugal juicers is that the fast-spinning metal blade generates heat, which destroys some of the enzymes in the fruits and vegetables you’re juicing. The heat also oxidizes those nutrients, rendering less nutritious juice than a cold-press juicer.
Cold Press Juicers (a.k.a. Masticating Juicers)
“These newer juicers extract juice by first crushing and then pressing fruit and vegetables for the highest juice yield. Because they don’t produce as much heat, they keep more of the fresh ingredients’ nutrients intact. This is closer to what you’ll get (but NOT the same) from BluePrint type of cleanse.
A couple things to keep in mind with any juice consumption:
Fiber. To be really honest I am not a fan of drinking a lot of juice without also consuming fiber. Fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and this can help regulate blood sugar. If you are consuming fruits and vegetables high in soluble and insoluble fiber, you are still consuming their juice and nutrients but they will help you stay full longer and the fiber helps regulate that blood sugar spike. Fiber is great for regularity and a lot of research is suggesting much of our health starts and ends with our gut health. See below for suggested reading. That being said, drinking the occasional nutrient dense juice and giving your digestive system a breather is not a bad thing either. There are many suggested cleanses using juicing and these are a great way to get your body, energy and overall health back on track.
Recommendations on where to start:
In my opinion, Cold Pressed juice is going to give you many more ‘nutrients for your juicing and is good to do as long as you are making it part of a well rounded and fiber rich diet. The cost may be a little more up front for the system. Another option is buying from companies like the popular rising brand Suja. The Suja 7 Day Juice Solution offers up advise on who to jump start your juicing adventure. I have personally tried many of these blends from Suja and my absolute favorite is the Master Cleanse. It has a kick to it with the cayenne pepper but once you get over the initial shock of it, the maple syrup touch is really quite delightful. Check them out as they are popping up in most local markets!
When you are ready to start juicing on your own time, I would recommend something like the Juicepresso. It has 40 RPM but low noise, yields a lot of juice, comes with a 7 year warranty and many owners comment on the easy clean up. Plus, it has a sleek design which is always a bonus! It is certainly on my Christmas wish list this year.
Tell me about your experiences with juicing! What system do you use and what are some of your favorite combinations?
By now, you may have heard about Bulletproof Coffee! It has revitalized my morning cup of Joe to a healthy treat. I’m not going to try and hide my love for all that is coffee. And the fact of the matter is, coffee in small doses has many health benefits.
For years I have been a Starbucks aficionado and a Gold card member 3 times over. The reality is that given the temptation I have had, I still continue to have a hard time saying no to that Grande cup of yummy goodness. Learning to make something I love equally that is infinitely better for my health has been a huge win for me. I promise that once you try it, you won’t want to go back! (or maybe not nearly as often)
Recently, I decided to try my hand at a seasonal version that combines my regular bullet coffee with a Pumpkin Spice Twist. Get out that blender and lets get creative!
Ingredients for Bulletproof Coffee
- 1 cup of Hot Coffee
I use a variety of organic, fair trade brands and pour into blender. The French Press works well for this and is what I use most mornings.
- 1-1.5 Tbs Organic Almond Butter
- 1 cube of Kerrygold Butter (Yes, you read that correctly)
It is the best in my opinion and available in many markets or you can order here. What you are really looking for is real butter that came from happy, grass-fed cows milk.
- 1 Tbs of Organic Coconut Oil
- 1 Splash of Almond Milk or Organic Whole Milk
Now, for the Pumpkin Spice Twist
- 1 Tbs of Raw and Local Honey or Maple syrup if you prefer a sweeter blend
- 1 Tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice
For the best results, blend the ingredients well in a high quality blender like a Vitamix if possible.
You can also add organic pumpkin puree however I find this is just the right balance of creamy and sweet without being to thick or sweet.
Blend well and drink immediately. I like to top mine with a little bit of cinnamon or nutmeg. This combination of amazing and whole ingredients will power you through your morning and the delicious combo will keep you coming back for more. Consuming healthy fats will actually aid in weight loss and will help in appetite control. So, happy fall and here is to a healthier and yummier morning routine!
How do you make your morning cup of coffee? I would love to hear your favorite coffee recipes! Share in the comments below.
Our journey to a clean eating household has been a long, sometimes inconsistent and a never ending journey. Making a lifestyle changes takes a dedicated effort and conviction that you have had enough! You’re done with feeling poorly, lacking energy and ready for change.