Saturday, February 18, 2017

TO JUICE OR TO BLEND?

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Why do `we juice, and why do we blend, and which is better?
The simple answer: Neither is better and selecting one over the other is solely:
a) Out of preference or
b) Based on what one wishes to achieve


Juicing:
Juicing is the process by which the natural liquids within plant foods (fruits and vegetables) is extracted for consumption, without the fibrous component. There are different ways to extract these juices.

Manually
Some persons (many frugivores/fruitarians) opt to making their juice manually; this however, limits the options to juicy fruits which can be easily massaged to release the natural juices. This also means that most if not all vegetables are exempt.


Centrifugal Juicers
These are relatively medium to high speed juicers more geared for rapid output, and more often than not, requires minimal produce preparation. These are ideal for commercial use.


Masticating Low rpm Juicers
These are my favorite, as their output is cold pressed juices with relatively little waste(dry pulp).The nutrient integrity of the juice is considerably high and the juice has a longer life once stored at a low temperature(refrigerated).I recommend these types for persons on a raw vegan Lifestyle. They tend to handle leafy greens very well. There is little to no oxidation taking place as there is little to no heat added in the process of extraction.


Pros of Juicing:


  • Juicing makes it easier to assimilate the adequate vitamins and minerals. . . Nutrients are released quickly and are easily absorbed.


  • You consume more than you would eat, thus a good way to get your greens (2lbs) in for the day.


  • In a VANDERVILT Study over   10 yr period, on some   1,800 Japanese American drinking fresh juice 2-3/wk, it was found that they had a lower risk of Alzheimer’s of up to 76%., compared to their non-juicing counterparts.


  • Easier assimilation minus fiber.

Blending
Blending is the process by which fruits and or vegetables are placed in a device which blends the ingredients, sometimes with added liquid(s). What is blended is consumed (soluble and insoluble fibre) - liquid form of food...


More volume is attained than juicing the same ingredients. Filling and can easily replace a solid meal.


Sadly, the process of blending oxidizes nutrients and results in almost immediate degradation. It is advised that smoothies be consumed within 10-15 minutes s of making, and ideally made on the pulse setting.

Pros of Blending:


  • Smoothies are rich in fibre and aid in elimination, they are semi-liquid and are is easier to ' chew', we must chew our smoothies. Gulping is ineffective, especially since digestion begins in the mouth.


  • Smoothies are fast to make


  • Easy travel food


  • Great meal replacement.


  • Zero produce waste.


.
Pros of Juices and Smoothies:
Whatever the case, both are beneficial in some way and rank superior to consuming processed, cooked, meat, dairy, eggs and many animal products or by-products.  As well as anything in the SAD category.


Both are beneficial in terms of providing the body with beneficial nutrients available for absorption


Both juices and smoothies alike offer Micro and Phyto (plant) nutrients available to the body’s cells. Nutrition at a cellular level is one of the most effective ways to ensure the body is adequately nourished.


Assuming pure whole plant based ingredients (preferably organic) are used: Juices and smoothies both

  • Help to reduce inflammation. And
  • Reduce oxidized stress in the body.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How To Be Your Own Valentine




Hey guys, so today is February 14th and it is Valentines day.
I have noticed that there different point of views of the Valentines day. One being the people who are so excited about it. They have been prepping for weeks and this is a day the love and look forward to. I have a friend who has been making her boyfriend little crafts and gifts for the last two months. The second point of view is people who are neutral about Valentines day. These are people like myself, they do not really get into the whole Valentines day thing but they don't hate it. They may go to dinner or buy their significant other a little something special or they may not. The third point of view is the people who are anti-Valentines day. These people are the people who HATE Valentine's day.

No matter what side of the line you stand on there is still a certain pressure to make sure you have a Valintine and to go all out for this one day of the year. Sometimes this pressure can leave a person feeling pretty down on themselves if they do to have a person to spend the day with.

As part of our #loveyourself2017 movement we wanted to take advantage of this day to talk about ways to be your own Valentine. At the end of the day, the most important thing really is that you love yourself. Here are a few things YOU can do to love yourself not only on Valentines day but every day!



1. Take yourself out on a date.
Go out to lunch with yourself. You could take a book or people watch. My favorite places to eat alone are at restaurants in busy locations with an outside eating area. Use this time to clear your head, take a deep breath and smell the flowers.

2. Treat yourself to a shopping trip.
One of my favorite things to do is go to thrift shops. Not only is this a great way to get yourself a little something, it si also better for the environment to shop used then it is to buy new.

3. Dress up for yourself.
There is something nice about putting a little bit more effort into getting ready. When you are getting ready, put on something that makes you feel beautiful. This may very from person to person. Some people may feel best all glammed up others may feel best going all natural. Find what works for you and then work it!

Ultimately the most important thing is to spend time with yourself and show yourself love. It doesn't have to be one of these things, but spend some time today loving yourself!

~Stella~

Saturday, February 11, 2017

How To Secure Your Food Supply And Source

How do you currently put food on your table? The advent of supermarkets in the late 1940’s brought commercialization and a decline in overall health as we moved away from the natural to the unnatural. Today’s challenges are a lot more serious and detrimental to health with the introduction of GMO’s(Genetically Modified Organisms), Weed killers severely toxic to humans, more harsh herbicides and pesticides, gene altering preservatives, just to name a few.


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The food we buy is always in question, as we remain in want as to the details of its source/origin.


Do we know?


  1. Was it imported, if yes, from where and when?
  2. Is it organic?
  3. Is it non-GMO?
  4. Is it herbicide and pesticide free?


All the answers to the above  remain largely in the hands of others as long as we are solely consumers.


As many of you may know, I strongly promote eating wholly and fully plant based live/raw foods as part of a healthy lifestyle. This is by far the optimal way to heal as well as nourish the body. It is abundantly clear that reliance on medication to ' sustain ' us is not an answer to our call for health, and using food as our medicine is the tried and tested efficient  way to thrive, once we choose our foods wisely...


Now, in the 21st century, how is it possible to trust your food source? I shall tell you, the ONE and only surefire way to do this is to plant your very own. Some of the greatest 'super foods' are the easiest to grow. Amongst these are: Turmeric, Ginger, Mint, Basil. Most super foods are basic plant herbs and spices.


There are alternative sources of safe, nutritious foods such as direct sourcing from organic farmers, etc. But to truly cut costs, know your food and save on time, having your own garden of food is the most efficient way to go.


To get started, there are many guides which I recommend, starting with those who have the land space, for which not much is required to succeed in achieving same, as this is a relatively easy endeavour. Some examples are listed below:








Raised Bed Gardens: http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/lawn-garden/how-to/g92/build-raised-garden-beds/                                



Confined/Limited Space Gardening.


Definitely, going vertical if you have little space is the way to go and there are numerous indoor and outdoor options. In this era, limited space is quite common place and therefore recommendations in this regard are aplenty:


Gardening in Small Spaces,  15 Ways to squeeze a garden unto Your Deck or Patio: http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/outdoor-spaces/ways-to-squeeze-a-garden-onto-your-deck-or-patio-pictures


Rooftop Farming.




Seeds


Make it a priority to source known sources of seeds- heirloom and/or organic. A few trusted sources including your local trusted farmer(s) are:


Baker Creek Heirlom Seeds:  http://www.rareseeds.com/




Alternative For Limited Space Occupants:


If space is an issue, leasing land, preferably from organic farmers whom you trust is yet another option. Choose an arrangement which best suits your time and budget.


a). Outsource the farming responsibility and oversee operations.
b). Carry out farming responsibilities for yourself   and only pay lease fees
c). Pay lease fee + farming fee/maintenance to land owner/farmer.

The three options are self explanatory in context and give an idea of available options.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Recipe!! Jerusalem Salad

Hey guys! Today, I am going to share with you one of my favorite recipes. It is so light and delicious! Although this is an original recipe, I got the inspiration from my favorite middle eastern restaurant here in Louisville, Kentucky. It is called Jerlusum Kitchen.

Restaurants like this are a god send when on a plant based diet. This restaurant in particular as many wonderful vegan dishes and I always enjoy my meal there. They also have some dishes that have meat in them so it is an awesome place to take my family as well.

This can be eaten on it's own, added on top of something else. or eaten as a side. At Jerlusum Kitchen, I always order it with falafel and hummus. I love to break up the falafel and mix it with the hummus and salad.

When I make it at home, I eat it as a side with something else or on top of a bean burger. 
I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Happy cooking!
~Stella~





Jerusalem Salad
makes 2 servings

- 1 Cucumber diced
- 1 tomato diced
- 1 teaspoon tahini
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Juice from one lemon
- 1 teaspoon cilantro chopped

1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl
2 Serve! It can stay in the refrigerator for up to a week

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Minimalism, Why?

As I began my minimalist lifestyle Journey last year (2016), I thought I would share a nugget of what is about, in as concise a manner as possible.

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My favorite definition of minimalism comes from  Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus, on the site, ‘The Minimalists’, here is what it states:


‘Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.’

Some Benefits of Minimalism:


'The World is full of material things, but real living happens in the space between all of our stuff'- Patrick Allan.  ‘You can be owned by stuff. ’


Just to name a few, and please check out this site for more info.  http://www.becomingminimalist.com/what-is-minimalism/


  • Sense of liberation.


  • Freeing your space helps you to plan and think more clearly... Almost as true as ' freeing your mind ‘!


  • More Productive Time


  • Help out others with low priced used items whilst gaining extra income ~ garage sales and similar events.


  • Donate to Thrift Stores, or simply donate to the homeless, Salvation Army etc.  


  • Choices in attire become less confusing,


  • Laundry and electricity bills can easily be reduced.

Some Simple Steps to achieving a minimalist’s Lifestyle:


  • Dispose of unwanted, worn items in poor condition, these will be taking up physical and mental space and not serving any useful purpose.


  • Go through each room and bag ALL items not used in the past 6 months or more, included here are unappreciated items which bring you no joy. This step may well be the highest hurdle to overcome yet.


  • Once this hurdle (above) has been overcome, categorize accordingly – Donate, sell etc.


  • Repeat every 6-8 months.


There are numerous ways to approach this lifestyle. First and of utmost importance is to recognise NEEDS  vs. WANTS; separate the two,  and rid self of unnecessary wants. Keep the ' needs', and overtime reduce to a bare minimum your 'wants' . Never acquire a ' need ' or ' want ', until an existing need or want is discarded with good reason.


Having more space ensures you have only what you need.


Less is more holds true in the pursuit of minimalism.


Those whom have found themselves successful at achieving a minimalist lifestyle have done so in various ways with varying goals and varying results. For eg. A person traveling much and living out of a suitcase, will have different wants and needs from the person living in a home and having a job in their hometown per se. Additionally, this process is a) An ongoing one and b)' Actual State of Satisfaction ' may take years to accomplish.


More thinking space is made and what one may consider ' room to grow/expand '~ in many other  areas/aspects  of life : self development, introspection, connection with the Holy Spirit. And more. . .


In an era of busyness, tight deadlines, increased expectations, significant home and family  demands, and other  responsibilities, whilst seeking to carve out recreational time,  having at the least, one aspect of your life less demanding is more than a charm.


Aside from the above, many persons concerned about the environment who make dietary changes (veganism ), as well as adopt green living(recycling, thrifting etc). tend to recognize the importance of minimalism as part and parcel of ' simple ', user friendly living. . . This lends to simplicity in thinking, actions, everyday activity planning etc. By default in most cases.


From the words of Milbourn and Nicodemus: ‘Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.’


So set yourself free and start TODAY!

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Recipe!! Avocado Pasta Salad


I am not a really big sports fan, however, I always look forward to Super Bowl Sunday!
This is not because of the big game or the funny commercial. 
No, it is because right before Super Bowl Sunday avocados and tomatoes go on sale!
Avocado and tomato are the two main ingredients for this delicious pasta salad.

Growing up, I used to love my Mothers Pasta Salad.
Since I transitioned to a plant based diet I have had a hard time finding substitutes for the mayonnaise. I tried vegan mayonnaise and hated it! I do not the chemical taste of miracle whip so I was left in a bind.

One day I decided to try masking it using avocados, I had seen other examples where people used it as a mayonnaise replacement and thought it was worth a shot/
Boy was I right! It was delicious and creamy.
It was perfect and just right! 

After a few times of making this recipe, I had perfected it!
Check it out below.

Happy cooking!
~Stella~





Avocado Pasta Salad
Makes 4 servings

- 1 avocado
- 1 teaspoon of cilantro (chopped)
- Juice from one lime
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 clove of roasted garlic (mashed)
- 1 tomato chopped up into small pieces
- 4-6 cups of your favorite pasta (cooked)
-Chives *optional

1. Mash up the avocado, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
2. Mix the avocado mixture with the pasta and tomatoes.
3. Top with chives
4. Serve it hot or cold!

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Many Uses of Castile Soap


Hey guys! Today I wanted to talk to you guys about the wonders of Castile Soap.
Castile soap is my number one item for natural cleaning and personal hygiene.
Castile soap is a gentle sulfate-free foaming soap made mostly with vegetable oil that is named after a region in Spain where it was originally made. Because it is os gentle it can be used on every member of the household including babies and pets! 

The first scent of Castile soap I bought was peppermint,l but be warned, this one is not the best body wash. It can make the more sensitive parts burn. Since then I have also purchased eucalyptus Castile soap and lavender Castile soap. Lavender is the best for personal hygiene and the others are great for cleaning.

Do you use Castile soap in your household? What are your favorite uses?
~Stella~




Shampoo - Fill a bottle half way with Castile soap and the rest of the way with water. I personally use a spray bottle and spray it on my scalp and in my hair. The consistency is very watery.

Body wash - You can also use the shampoo mixture as a body wash.

Dish Soap - Use a mixture of half Castile soap and half water to replace your dish soap.

Laundry Detergent - Check out our post about natural laundry detergent

Countertop cleaner -  Mix half Castile soap and water in a spray bottle for a countertop cleaner.

Pet Shampoo - Squirt some of the Castile soap on to a warm washcloth and was your furry friends!

Hand soap - Pour some into a soap dispenser and use it as hand soap!

Face wash - Use a couple drops to clean your face

Wash fruits and veggies - Add 1/4 teaspoon of liquid Castile soap into a half sink of water and let your veggies soak for a few minutes. Make sure you scrub them once they soak!