Good Morning Smoothie

Looking for a yummy, refreshing way to start your day? Then try this minty, peachy, mango goodness for breakfast. The ingredients may seem like an unusual combination but, trust me, they blend beautifully together.

Good Morning Smoothie

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 peaches
  • 1 mango
  • 1 small apple
  • small handful kale or spinach
  • 1 cup organic apple cider
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves

morning smoothie

 “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”  ~Jim Rohn

Elle MacPherson & Mango Sorbet

While I was on vacation, away from my day to day reality, my life turned into one big cheat week.

I had deliciously greasy Mexican food in fab, hole-in-the-wall restaurants and super rich Greek food at Petros in Manhattan Beach (If you are ever in the neighborhood, sit at the bar and order the prawn saganaki, greek salad and the organic California Pinot Gris. Amazing!).

Enchiladas, burritos, fish tacos, calamari…On and on it went. Occasionally I would throw a cold-pressed juice, salad or big, juicy watermelon into the mix but mostly I ate whatever the heck I wanted with zero guilt.

But America is different than Canada. Admittedly, we have big portions here but the US of A takes it to another level with Godzilla size meals. I noticed this daily as I ate my way through Southern California. Especially, when on the way home from the beach one day, my friend Tammy did an ice cream run. I asked for a small chocolate and she returned with a huge, two scoop cone. When I questioned her about the size of my ice cream cone, she said that it was the smallest size. Oh God! I thought and then proceeded to eat it all.

I came back to Canada full, sluggish and wearing uncomfortably tight jeans.

And then I saw this:

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If I look at pictures of when I was young, my smile wasn’t even genuine, because I was so wracked with self-consciousness. Now I look at my pictures and I think, “Yeah, that’s where I’m at. That’s who I am. I’m not 20, I’m 50. I’m comfortable.” – Elle MacPherson

Read article here.

Okay, I realize Elle MacPherson has super-gorgeous, super-model genes. But she’s 50 now and great genes will only take you so far. Elle is a woman who looks like she’s been taking wickedly good care of herself for a long, long time. It’s not that we should all aspire to look just like her but I love seeing people in the media who prove that we don’t have to fall apart as we age. Especially when they do it without any trips to the plastic surgeon’s office. I saw an interview with Elle M. on TV shortly after reading the above article and she looks seriously un-botoxed. Her face is showing a bit of aging but it just makes her look like a lovely, natural, sexy surfer girl of a certain age…which is exactly what she is.

Anyway, this photo has inspired me to get off the enchilada train and back onto my healthy eating path with a mini, juicy cleanse. And while I’m cleansing, Elle’s bikini photo is going to be on my fridge for inspiration.

Another thing that is going to be on my cleanse is this delicious mango- banana sorbet.

Mango Banana Sorbet

  • 1 cup of frozen mango
  • 1 frozen banana
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Splash of coconut milk

banana mango sorbet

Place all of the above in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Because, even on a cleanse, a girl can’t live on liquids alone.

 

 

Glowing Green Smoothie

So, I’ve been dipping into the chip bowl again (Miss Vickie’s Original, I can’t resist you!) and now I’m feeling the need to get my system back in balance, fast. Nothing does it better or quicker than a few big, juicy, green smoothies. The perfect yin to my Miss Vickie’s yang.

green smoothie

The recipe for this emerald green tonic is an ultra-healthy blend of green veggies, fruit and a couple of superfood extras to detoxify, energize and alkalinize your fabulous body.

Green Goddess Tonic

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup organic dark greens 1 cup cucumber
  • 4 stalks celery
  • pinch of parsley
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger
  • dash of turmeric (anti-cancer & anti-aging)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Blend. Pour. Savour.

Lunch with Joe

I’ve been a little obsessed with Joe Cross ever since seeing the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

Watching his transformation from a 320 pound, extremely sedentary man with a ton of medical problems (who also looked like he may have swallowed a soccer ball whole) to a beach running, juice drinking, slim and fit hottie is beyond impressive and inspired me to try a couple of juice cleanses myself.

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When I found out that Joe was coming to Vancouver for an informal lecture at a local drug store, I went a little over the top in the excitement department. I immediately made sure I could get the allotted 2.5 hours off of work, then double and triple checked that my iphone and Nikon were fully charged for video taking and photo ops. I was fully geeking out. Last but not least, I made sure I was wearing lots of mascara and a cute outfit to meet my juicing guru in person.

There were lots of people attending his talk and it took a bit of jostling to get a decent view so video taking was a little bit challenging. Below is a short video I managed to take on my trusty iphone of Joe describing the physiological effects of a juice cleanse. And it totally explains why I never make it past day two…

Hearing Joe describe his diet of green juice and fruit during the day and a “normal” dinner at night made eating a large percentage of raw and green food seem like a really smart, balanced  and easy thing to do. I love good, nutritious food and all that it can do for you, but the idea of never having an occasional cheeseburger with fries makes me very, very sad. A balance of healthy greens during the day and a maybe slightly indulgent dinner in the evening seems like a really attainable goal.

Oh, and he was pretty easy on the eyes too!

Joe + me

 

 

Ouch! I Fell Off the Juice Wagon!

I was so good for two whole days. So good! Then my friend, Sandrine invited me to a foodie’s dream. A dining extravaganza called “Big Night” and featured a host of local, rock star chefs preparing course after course of delicous food to indulge in.

My last post talked about listening to my body and my body told me that it really, really wanted to go to this event! After two days of cleansing, I had had enough and was ready to feast.

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Curried mussel soup from Maenam

Maenam Sous Chef Sean McGuire

Maenam Sous Chef Sean McGuire

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With Sandrine at Big Night

I checked my phone when I rolled home later that evening and another friend had left a message, inviting me to a milkshake party the very next day. A milkshake party! My inner child shrieked in delight! So I cut my cleanse short, had a big, fat, fun, food-filled weekend. My three day cleanse turned into a two day cleanse with absolutely zero guilt. I think I made the right decision. Letting loose and forgetting about your eating plan/workout regime every so often is as important as cleansing. And btw, cleansing is really hard work.

So, with the juice cleanse over, it’s on to my next adventure, checking out the vendors at the Vancouver Wellness Show this weekend. I can’t wait to see what’s going to be on display and will share the good, the bad, the weird and the wonderful in next week’s post.

Until then…

 

The Jewel of Gastown

So, day one and two of my juicy cleanse are powered by the watermelon coloured nirvana of freshly made juices and smoothies, The Juice Truck.
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It’s day one and I made a lunch pilgrimage, in sub-zero weather, to Gastown’s Juice Truck, for my all-time fave smoothie, The Blueberry Matcha (Blueberry blended with matcha tea powder, banana, cacao nibs, cinnamon, medjool dates & almond milk). As I wandered through the frigid streets of Vancouver, sipping my cold, purple drink and shivering, I couldn’t help but think, “Who does a cold juice detox in January when living in Canada? A stupid person?” I walked along, imagining my lips turning blue as my core temperature dropped with every sip of my smoothie. After drinking it’s purple goodness, however, and making it back to my warm, toasty office, I felt happy, healthy and full. The flavours of the smoothie are sublime, the richness great for filling up an empty stomach and the matcha powder gives you a subtle boost to get through the afternoon. I think pure juice cleanses are good if you want to lose weight but, if you just want to detox your system, smoothies are the way to go!

Having had a green smoothie of kale, mango, bananas and almond milk for breakfast this morning and going home with a few packaged juices from the truck, I’m feeling slightly hungry but energized and very motivated.

juice truck

Today was, for lack of a better term to describe it, a piece of cake (well, except for the frosty smoothie in the freezing cold).

Tomorrow, I’m having a juice only, one day cleanse supply delivered to the office by the Juice Truck. Easy, convenient and you get seven drinks for $65.00. I’m curious to see how a pure juice, no smoothie day goes. Will I make it? Tune in tomorrow to find out.

 

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead

A couple of friends and I have been complaining bitterly to each other lately of a lack of energy, restless sleep, and love-handles that seem to be slowly but surely increasing in diameter. We are all pretty active and eat reasonably healthy but have noticed that as we get a bit older, keeping fit and healthy becomes a bit more of a high maintenance endeavor.

And, on that note, juicing seems to be all the rage these days. Everywhere I turn another friend is discussing the nutritional properties, flavours and/or extreme hunger pangs of their three to five day juice cleanse. I guess it’s a January thing… and a Vancouver thing. So we decided to join the crowd and do a three day raw juice/smoothie cleanse on a quest to feel healthier fast. We thought this would be a good way to re-boot our systems and recommit to an uber-healthy eating plan. Our juicy detox was inspired by the documentary and juicing classic, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead chronicles the journey of Joe Cross, from an obese, sedentary 41 year old, taking several types of medication (blood pressure, skin issues etc.) to a fit, lean, juicing advocate who runs daily along Australia’s Bondi Beach. During his life changing journey, Joe spreads the juicing gospel on a road trip across the US. An unbelievably inspiring film.

fat-sick-and-nearly-deadWe gathered together last Friday night to watch the documentary and to have one last magnificent, indulgent meal…

Salt Spring island goat cheese and locally caught salmon for appies, a salad of wild greens and avocado with homemade vinaigrette, seafood pasta with a homemade tomato sauce (recipe below) and a couple of bottles of light and fruity Joie Rose to wash it all down. Dessert was an organic blackberry port from Salt Spring Island. When you have Salt Spring port to finish a meal you seriously don’t need anything else. This sweet, organic, picked-from-the-side-of-the-Salt-Spring-road is the most delectable thing I have ever tasted.

Seafood Pasta Sauce Recipe

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. capers
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • chili flakes to taste
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 3 cups plum tomatoes, crushed
  • 1/4 cup spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup spot prawns or wild, organic prawns
  • 1/4 cup wild salmon, cubed
  • 1/4 cup smoked salmon, cubed
  • 2 T. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley and basil, chopped

Saute sauce ingredients together, add to pasta of your choice. Top with freshly ground pepper and freshly ground parmesan and devour.

Fully satiated with delicious, fresh, local cuisine that is to be my last solid food for three days, it looks like I’m ready to juice. I’m hoping the memory of this magnificent meal will keep me going when the going gets tough.

 

Flu Shots

The flu season from hell is upon us and, if you’re like me, and don’t believe in or want a flu shot, you’re in of need some alternative ways to fight this annoying and tenacious little bug.

I’ve been hit twice by the nasty virus this year and I am so done with the fever, chills, sore throat, fatigue, pasty face complexion and endless coughing it brings. So, with a few natural remedies (no big pharma flu shot required), I managed to kick it to the curb for good. If you have the flu or want to make sure you don’t get it this winter, check out my best weapons below…

  1. Oil of Oregano – burns like the fires of hell going down but this natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal works and works fast. It feels like it would burn right through any virus or bacteria unlucky enough to cross its path.
  2. Zinc. An ingredient in most over-the-counter medicine. Why not go right to the source and just take the supplement, right? Zinc cuts down the length of a cold and is a celebrated anti-aging mineral as well. Win/win.
  3. Oranges. Jam packed with Vitamin C, the biggest, baddest cold/flu killer.
  4. Garlic Paste on the bottom of your feet! I just tried this for the first time and it really works. It’s stinky but if you’re sick, hey, you can’t smell that well anyway, right? mash a couple of garlic cloves, mix with a tsp. of coconut oil (or your fave oil) apply to soles of your feet. Wrap in gauze and put socks on over, then go to sleep. Do this for two nights and I almost guarantee your cold/flu will be gone. This Italian Mama remedy is magic!
  5. And, I’ve saved the best for last. A Kicking Horse shot. My personal “flu” shot. Served at my neighborhood juice bar, Krokodile Pear, it’s my secret weapon. Like Oil of Oregano, it burns like HELL but will fill you up with good stuff and blast those bugs right out of your bod! A combo of cayenne, lime juice and ginger. Woah!

flu shot

So there you have it. My flu fighting arsenal.

 Bottoms up!

New Years Detox

There’s so much to love about the holidays. Big, delicious family dinners, with second and third helpings. Bottles of bubbly. Nights on the town, dressed to the nines, enjoying way too many cocktails. Fragrant, home-baked, gingerbread cookies, fresh out of the oven and irresistible. Boxes of dark chocolates beckoning to you as you innocently walk by.

But what happens when the new year rolls around and you’ve got a depleted bank account, a bulging muffin top?

It’s detox time.

Drink the recipe below every morning to kick-start your healthy eating plan and I guarantee in a week or two you’ll have your energy and your waistline back, ready to make 2014, the year of the horse, the healthiest, happiest, most vibrant year ever. xo

2014 Power Detox Smoothie
◾1/2 bunch parsley
◾6 kale leaves
◾1 cucumber, peeled
◾2 stalks celery
◾2 organic apples
◾1 cup blackberries (or blueberries)
◾1 cup pomegranate juice
◾juice from 1/2 lemon

Blend. Drink. Glow.

smoothie