To Tea or Not to Tea

One of the amazing changes that has occurred during my 11 month healing journey is that I am so much more attuned to my body. For the first time ever, perhaps, my spirit and body are aligned. I am present and aware with myself. 

This change was made evident to me again recently during the week long juice cleanse that I did. I found that by the third day of only consuming juices and herbal teas that I no longer wanted to drink regular, or black, unsweetened tea. 

To Tea or Not to Tea
If I thought about having an unsweet tea, my mind would move away from the idea. I felt a mild repulsion. If I poured a glass of tea anyway or purchased one at McDonald’s, it remained untouched. 

This was highly unusual for me. I quit drinking diet soda, or any kind of soda, eight years ago. Unfortunately, instead of drinking water primarily, I switched to unsweetened iced tea. I was rarely without a 32 ounce container of the drink, thinking it was healthier for me than soda. 

To Tea or Not to Tea
Arguably, it might have been healthier. However, during my week of juicing, I stopped drinking the stuff, other than freshly brewed herbal teas. I wasn’t drawn to my customary drink at all. Instead, I sipped on bottled water. 

Ten days later, after I had completed my juice fast, I thought I would try a glass of unsweetened ice tea. I drank about half of it and it was okay. It wasn’t especially satisfying but the tea tasted fine. I wondered if I was receiving plenty of fluids during the time of juicing and that was why I went off of the tea. I was well hydrated. 

To Tea or Not to Tea
I questioned whether to include tea again on a daily basis. I had my answer the next morning. 

I awoke with stiff joints in my fingers, something I had not experienced in a while. The only thing I had done differently the day before was to drink tea. 

I researched black tea. 

To Tea or Not to Tea
Although there are benefits from drinking black tea, such as antioxidants, stress relief and prevention of certain cancers, the caffeine present can have negative effects on people with caffeine sensitivities. Further, black tea has been found to cause stiffening of the arteries and can increase the occurrence of rheumatoid arthritis, especially in women. It is also acidic, which contributes to heartburn and digestive disorders and an imbalance in the body. 

Data is somewhat inconclusive concerning black tea, and on whether its benefits outweigh the negatives. 

My body, on the other hand, is not undecided. It is telling me, very specifically, to leave the black tea alone, for now at least. Herbal teas are fine, and have many health boosting benefits. Green tea is better than black. I haven’t tested it yet, to see if my body agrees. 

I am drinking water…bottle after bottle of water. I don’t crave anything else. I am hydrated, my skin is clear, I feel wonderful. 

I love having this built in guidance system. If I listen, I can learn so much about myself and what my body needs for optimal health. What my body requires may be different from what another needs. 

I have spent years and years ignoring what my body has been telling me. And that has been detrimental to my health and wellbeing. I am honoring my body and its need and not only listening, but shifting according to the information I reveive. 

To tea…or not to tea…that was the question. I know the answer. It is…not right now. 

To Tea or Not to Tea

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Every once in a while, it is good to have a small treat, and to celebrate. Today I rejoiced that the sun appeared bright again in the sky, after days of heavy rain. In honor of this happy occurrence, I tried a new recipe for a special treat, adapted from onegreenplanet.org

Raw Began Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting
This luscious dessert was easy to make, coming together in minutes using a blender and a food processor. 

Raw Began Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Raw Began Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Raw Began Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

I left the iced cake in the freezer for about an hour, then moved it to the refrigerator.  After having a small green salad for dinner, I was ready to sample my treat. 

This cake was so yummy! Forget about it being raw. It doesn’t taste like raw carrots. The cake has a nice texture and holds together well. The frosting is creamy and sweet without a bit of sugar. 

This recipe makes an excellent treat for those special occasions or simply because the sun is shining! I enjoyed my celebratory slice with a cup of hot thyme tea. 

Raw Began Carrot Cake with Cashew Lemon Frosting

Madras Curried Lentils

I’m sharing my favorite plant based recipe tonight. This flavorful but not too spicy curry is the perfect make ahead meal that simmers in the crockpot all day. The tantalizing aroma makes me smile in anticipation!

Madras Curried Lentils
Lentils, with 25 grams of protein per cup, are great for plant based diets. Inexpensive and easy to prepare, lentils have become one of my staples. This easy to prepare dish mixes in the crockpot in minutes. 

Madras Curried Lentils From Easy Vegetarian Slow Cooker Cookbook. 

Pair with brown rice or a green salad. Or do as I do…fill a bowl with this tasty curry and grab a spoon…nothing else needed. Enjoy!

Madras Curried Lentils
Pick up a copy of the vegetarian cookbook by clicking link below:

I am an Amazon Affiliate and may earn a commission on purchases, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for considering making a purchase of this product, or any other items, through my Amazon link! 

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Cabbage

After a week of juicing, I was ready to return today to my usual plant based way of eating. I had my customary morning fare that included celery juice and a breakfast smoothie. As lunch time approached, I prepared to break my liquid fast.

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Cabbage
I was going to eat a fruit salad. However my on hand supply of fruit was low. Taking stock of what I had available, I chose to try a simple recipe from Anthony William’s book, Life Changing Foods, that featured sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Cabbage
Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with CabbageSweet Potatoes Stuffed with Cabbage

I was eating lunch alone so I adapted the recipe by cutting the ingredients down. I used one sweet potato, 1/4 onion and 1/4 of a red cabbage. I made the sauce as directed.

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Cabbage

With the smaller amounts, I simply stir fried the cabbage along with the onion and garlic, rather than braising. The red cabbage made a gorgeous stir fry!

When the sweet potato was done, I prepared the sauce while keeping the stir fry warm on the stove. I was out of lemons so I substituted a lime. The sauce was wonderful…sweet without using honey, and a bit tangy from the citrus and ginger. I garnished my meal with fresh parsley.

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Cabbage
The sweet potato is a powerful food. It promotes productive bacteria in the stomach and gut while starving out unproductive bacteria and fungus. Sweet potatoes enhance the body’s production of B12. Rich in vitamins and minerals, this superfood helps alleviate narrowing of the intestinal tract due to chronic inflammation. In addition, sweet potatoes help protect against a multitude of cancers.

This colorful meal felt celebratory, and indeed it was, making it an excellent first meal after a week of drinking my nutrition. It was so delicious. I ate slowly, savoring each bite, and enjoying the combination of flavors.

I will be making this recipe again.  Welcome back to eating, Me!

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Cabbage
Find out the other benefts sweet potatoes provide, in Life Changing Foods by Anthony William. There are 49 other health boosting foods included in the book.

I am an Amazon Affiliate and may earn a commission on purchases, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for considering making a purchase of this product, or any other items, through my Amazon link! 

Final Day of Juicing

I did it! Today was my final day in a week of juicing. After seven days of drinking freshly made fruit and vegetable juices, I spent time reflecting today on the experience and the benefits.

Final Day of Juicing

Juicing proved to be a very good experience for me. I fell into an easy routine that ensured a smooth flow to the day. Each morning began with warm lemon water, fresh celery juice and a fruit smoothie. The rest of the day I sipped on delicious juices for my meals.

I quickly developed the habit of four juices a day, including the morning celery juice. I kept the juicer set up on the kitchen counter and rinsed it well between juices so it was always ready to go. I used a medium sized glass bowl to hold my prepared fruits and veggies so that what I needed was within easy reach.

Final Day of Juicing
Final Day of Juicing
The benefits that I experienced include feeling lighter, leaner, stronger and healthier (I will weigh in the morning and update with any weight loss *update-I lost 6.4 pounds), increased energy, improved clarity, clear skin, incredible sleep each night and waking rested, hydration, and a flatter, firmer stomach. Because I wasn’t spending time cooking, I practiced yoga daily and had time for more fun activities. I wasn’t hungry between juices and gave up drinking unsweetened black tea by day 3, choosing to drink water instead.

I also enjoyed the creative aspect of trying out new juice blends and creating a couple of my own recipes.  There is a sense of accomplishment too, in setting out on this journey and completing it. The level of self-care I practiced increased feelings of tenderness and compassion, toward myself and also toward others.

The only negatives during the week were frequent trips to the bathroom, due to drinking so much liquid nourishment, and several additional trips to the market to purchase more fresh fruits and veggies.

I had a repeat juice for lunch today, the Grapefruit Margarita, pictured above with the recipe. This crisp light blend was probably my all time favorite this week.

Tonight I fixed two different juices for dinner.

Final Day of Juicing
Final Day of Juicing
This juice was Greg’s favorite this week. He much preferred fruit juice blends over veggie ones. The lemon gives this one a nice citrus punch. I left out the ginger for him, as he doesn’t care for the taste.

Final Day of Juicing
Final Day of Juicing
The juice I prepared for myself was my own creation, born of necessity. In the refrigerator I had half a cucumber, a small amount of kale, and a bit of ginger that I needed to use. I also had one pear remaining. I decided to create a juice using the leftovers I had, hence the playful name. I included carrots and a sweet potato as well.

The orange colored juice was full of flavor and not too sweet, with a pleasant kick of ginger.

I intend to incorporate juicing into my plant based lifestyle. I desire to juice one day a week, and occasionally replace a meal or snack with a juice during the week.

I am very grateful for this weeklong experience. Juicing not only provided nutrients at a cellular level, it connected me more deeply with my body and its needs. I learned to listen better and respond.

My body is currently letting me know that a week of juice is enough. Since yesterday I have been thinking about some of my favotite plant based recipes. I look forward to easing back into eating fruits, nuts, brown rice and cooked and fresh vegetables over the next couple of days. There is a pot of lentil curry calling my name!

Final Day of Juicing
You can purchase a juicer by clicking on the link below, and begin your own juicing adventure!

I am an Amazon Affiliate and may earn a commission on purchases, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for considering making a purchase of this product, or any other items, through my Amazon link! 

Earth Day Brown Juice

I am entering the home stretch as I complete day 6 of my week long cleanse. Tomorrow will be my final day of juicing, for this experience anyway. Before the day was barely even underway, I marveled at how great I felt and how deeply and soundly I slept. 

Earth Day Brown Juice
This was Earth Day, and although we had unseasonably cool temps today and intermittent rain, it was a great morning to get out and visit the local farmer’s market with my mom and sister. We had fun visiting all the vendors and purchased a variety of winter and early spring veggies. 

I’m very proud of my mom, who has been plant based for almost as long as I have, and my sister Linda, who is completing her 28 day cleanse Monday. (You can read about the 28 day cleanse HERE) Both are eating healthier by eliminating sugar, dairy, gmo produce, gluten, meat and eggs and consuming lots of fruits, veggies, nuts and rice. It is totally up to them whether they embrace this lifestyle long term. However, both can attest to feeling better. 

Earth Day Brown Juice
On the way back to Mom’s, we stopped by Aldi’s Market to complete our shopping. Look at that cart, full of fresh vegetables and fruit! Who could think that a plant based lifestyle is boring?

Earth Day Brown Juice
Earth Day Brown Juice
At home, it was time for my second juice of the day. In honor of Earth Day I chose to try a juice full of colorful produce. Unexpectedly, the resulting juice was brown, but how perfect for this day!

The juice was delicious with a somewhat earthy taste that was very satisfying. It was really called Flat Belly Juice, but honestly, all the juices this week have contributed to creating a flat belly for me. I prefer calling the blend Brown Juice. 

Earth Day Brown Juice

My dinner juice was an interesting mix of cucumbers, grapes, apples and kale with a kick of fresh ginger. I thought it might come out brown as well but the juice was a lovely light green color. I enjoyed this slightly sweet and refreshing blend. It was my favorite today. 

Earth Day is about raising our awareness about the health of this planet we call home. It encourages us to take actions to care for the earth, the environment, the flora and fauna, and the animal kingdom, as well as humankind. 

These actions are all crucial to ensure that we continue to have a place to live. It is crucial that we care for ourselves too, nurturing our bodies, feeding them well for optimal health, eliminating the foods and products that are making us so sick. Because our bodies are where our shining selves reside. A healthy body equals somewhere to live. It’s home. 

Happy Earth Day. 

Earth Day Brown Juice

Juice…It Does a Body Good

Storms have continually moved through my area today, bringing lightning, thunder and periods of heavy rain. It has been a good day to stay indoors, sipping juice, reading, journaling and watching a movie. There was also time for yoga and a bit of coloring and contemplation. 

Juice...It Does a Body Good

As I wrote in my journal I thought about how empowering this week has been. Switching to a plant based lifestyle last July was crucial to me taking back responsibility for my health and well being.  The desire to be healthier and free from pain and disorders enabled me to make choices for myself, no matter what anyone else thought or did. 

Juicing has been another choice I made, born partly out of curiosity and partly out of the desire to take nutition and healing to a whole new level. I like how juicing has made me feel this week…fit, healthy, lean, creative and oh so strong. I feel empowered by my raised awareness. I feel in tune with my body and its needs. 

I treasure these feelings! 

Today I tried a juice recipe from Jonny Juicer, my inspiration on Instagram, which was perfect for this chilly, gray day. 

Juice...It Does a Body Good
Juice...It Does a Body Good
This recipe made 32 ounces of yummy juice. I shared it with Greg, who is doing a modified week of juicing (plenty of juice plus some cooked veggies and cashews), and he declared it his favorite thus far. 

I loved it too. Using oranges instead of apples made for a slightly less sweet juice, which I appreciated. And I’ve come to enjoy the fresh ginger in my juices. This one had a bit of extra zip with the turmeric. I didn’t have fresh so I used a dash of ground. 

Juice...It Does a Body Good
Juice...It Does a Body Good
I wanted a green juice for dinner and decided to create my own. I’ve been following recipes all week and felt like I had a handle on what makes a great juice! It was fun to combine the goodness of celery, cucumber, green pepper and kale. I opted for a pear over an apple. And the lemon gave the juice a nice zing. My creation was very tasty and I feel encouraged to try more juice combos on my own. 

As much as I enjoyed my own juice blend, I’m still going to name the Sunshine Juice as the day’s favorite. 

Juice…it truly does do a body good. It is so much more beneficial than that other drink that uses the slogan I borrowed from. At least, I can verify that it is doing my body good! 
Juice...It Does a Body Good

Deeper Mind, Body, Spirit Connections

Day 4 of my week long juicing experience brought a couple of ahas…deeper realizations and a greater awareness about my body, and another what is this feeling? moment. 

Deeper Mind Body Spirit Connections
The awareness of experiencing a new feeling occurred in the shower, where I do some of my best contemplating. I woke up feeling energetic and lighter in my body. There is actually a scientific reason for both. The body uses up to 50% of its energy each day, digesting food. Since I am only drinking liquids, which move rapidly through the digestive system,  I am freeing up energy. 

And I am not carrying partially disgested food in my intestinal tract, hence the feeling of being lighter, and leaner. It is possible I’ve lost a bit of weight too this week. I’ll verify that this Monday. 

As I showered I noticed that the energetic feeling I was experiencing was actually extending beyond my body about 8 inches. My hands tingled with energy as I experimentally passed them through my energetic field, or aura. 

I am very familiar with energy work and the aura and I have felt similar surges in my energy after doing meditation. So far I have not located an account of anyone else feeling this heightened sense of enegy beyond her body during juicing. However, I will do further research on the phenomenon. It would seem that as my body cleanses and grows healthier my energy field is doing the same. 

Besides my morning celery juice, I only drank two other juices today. 

Deeper Mind Body Spirit Connections
Deeper Mind Body Spirit Connections

This recipe made 32 ounces of refreshing green juice! I sipped on it all afternoon, which is why I skipped a mid-afternoon juice. I didn’t need one. This light crisp juice was my favorite today. 

Deeper Mind Body Spirit Connections
Deeper Mind Body Spirit Connections
I was curious about this recipe that includes a jalapeño in the ingredients. I expected a spicy juice and although it had a great flavor it really didn’t have much of a kick. There was a bit of heat in my mouth after I drank it and that was it. Perhaps if I’d left the seeds in…

The other realization I had today began during a conversation I had with my friend Cate. We discussed health, among other topics, and chatted about how important it is to listen to what our bodies need, as identified through cravings and the sense of being drawn or repulsed by certain foods. 

I was drawn to more vegetables today, and less fruit, for example. I honored that craving, as my body let me know what nutrients it required, by drinking juices that were primary made from veggies. 

Sadly, until very recently, I have not paid attention to what my body was asking for. I chose instead to eat a poor, if very common, diet full of sugar, dairy, gluten and processed “food”. I did so, even though my body reacted negatively to those foods.

Talking to Cate, I realized that all my life I’ve shown an intolerance toward dairy, wheat and sugar that resulted in digestive issues that began in childhood. By the time I was an adult I suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, gall bladder problems, reoccurring stomach pain and acid reflux. I kept anti acids with me at all times…and continued eating what I had always eaten. 

I am so grateful that I finally started listening and changed my diet. Going plant based isn’t for everyone. But it is absolutely right for me. How do I know? Because my body is responding so positively to this new way of eating. 

Juicing this week is nourishing my body at a deep level. And surprisingly, it is nourishing my mind and spirit as well, allowing new thoughts to arise, freeing up time to include yoga in my daily routine, and raising my awareness about how incredible my body is as it responds with health and wellness. 

I am fearfully and wonderfully made indeed. I’m glad I have remembered that, and now choose to honor who I am. 

Being Adaptable 

Day 3 of my 7 day juice cleanse presented a unique and unforeseeable challenge. The water was shut off at my house most of the day, due to new water lines being installed and connected in my neighborhood by the City.

I saved water in a variety of containers and made my morning lemon water, celery juice and breakfast smoothie before the 9:00 am shut-off. And I knew I could rinse off fruits and veggies in a big bowl of water I had for that purpose. However, cleaning the juicer between uses became more difficult without running water. And most crucial of all perhaps, I didn’t have a working bathroom!

Being Adaptable
I decided to leave the house for the day. I then had two choices: 1) scrap Day 3 of juicing and add on an extra day at the end of the week or 2) go with the flow and adapt.

I chose the latter.

I had had my morning nutrition, after all. For lunch, I stopped by Tropical Smoothie Cafe, on my way to a movie matinee. I learned from experience last year that I can purchase a smoothie from this awesome cafe, and request fruit only with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. I got a cold and delicious Blueberry Bliss Smoothie, containing blueberries, strawberries and a banana. It was perfect.

Being Adaptable

I returned home late afternoon, having missed a mid-afternoon juice. Although I didn’t feel hungry, I didn’t want to go too long without nourishing my body. As I was cutting up fruit and trimming carrots for a simple juice, the water came back on. Just in time!

Being Adaptable

Being Adaptable
This juice was so quick and easy to make and very tasty. I could have drank two of them, as this recipe barely makes 16 ounces of juice. However, instead I made my dinner juice a short time later.

Being Adaptable

Being Adaptable
I was excited to try this juice combo because of the inclusion of a sweet potato. Who knew you could juice a potato? This was a gorgeous juice, with its red-orange color, and sumptuous to sip on. I loved it, and perhaps coincidentally, or perhaps not, the juice with beets in it was my favorite blend today.

This juice was aptly named as well. I carried my mason jar full of juice into the backyard garden. The sun was indeed setting, and the fresh wind ruffled my hair and caressed my face. I felt such deep peace, sitting there surrounded by beauty and putting beautiful nutrients into my body.

Being Adaptable
I looked up the origins of the word adapt. It comes from the Latin words ad – to and aptus – fit, literally meaning to fit. That is exactly how my day was. I made do. I rolled with what was happening. I adapted. I made my plans for juicing fit into the day I was given.

I am so glad that I did. Day 3 is completed.

Being Adaptable

Here is another great mid-priced juicer to try out:

And turn your own mason jars into drinking glasses with lids and straws:

I am an Amazon Affiliate and may make commissions on purchases, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for considering making a purchase of these products, or any other items, through my Amazon links!

Hooked on Juicing

Day 2 of my 7 day juice cleanse is complete, and what a great day it was. I’ve got the juicing process down to a smooth routine. And I woke up feeling energized and full of anticipation for the day. 

Hooked on Juicing
I tried three new juice combinations today, at lunch, mid-afternoon and dinner. My morning routine of warm lemon water, celery juice and a fruit smoothie is unchanged. 

Here are today’s juice recipes:

Hooked on Juicing
Hooked on Juicing

If you don’t like beets, this is not the recipe for you! I like beets, and this was my absolute favorite juice today! The carrots and apples balanced the earthy flavor of the beets and the ginger and lemon provide a delightful zing. Plus, the ruby red color just made me feel happy. 

Hooked on Juicing
Hooked on Juicing
This light and refreshing juice was a perfect to-go drink as I headed out this afternoon. The pineapple was wonderful, combined with the cucumber. I have already come to appreciate adding fresh ginger to my juices. Ginger is very anti-inflammatory and great for the digestive system. 

Hooked on Juicing
Hooked on Juicing
I chose this juice for dinner because it was full of vegetables. The flavor was excellent, although the carrots and apple sweetened the juice a bit too much for me. I like my vegetable juices to be less sweet. 

I took my lunch outside, and sat on the front deck. Sipping on my Red Roar Juice, the wind stirring my hair and my heart, I felt that sense of euphoria rise within me. I’ve come to recognize what that feeling is. It is good health. This is what being healthy feels like. My energy and vibrational frequency are both so high. 

I am loving this week of drinking my fruits and vegetables. I am hooked on juicing!

Hooked on Juicing