Category Archives: Detox

ASK GRETTIE – High Speed Blender vs. Juicer

I thought I would share with you one of my Chic Vegan “Ask Grettie” columns…

So, after catching my second sore throat/cold/whatever in a month I am starting to think that I need to add something to my diet and am ready to take the plunge and start juicing.  I did a bit of research and found two options, a juicer or a Vitamix.  A friend of mine really is pushing the Vitamix for two reasons:  you keep the fiber and you can add things that you can’t really juice like kale, etc. and get more out of it.  Thoughts?

Thanks,
Alison

Hi Alison,

I am so sorry to hear that you have been sick so much, but I applaud you for wanting to take steps to strengthen your immune system through nutrition.

I see tremendous value in both juicers and high speed blenders.  Both products serve different needs, though both are great tools for you to use to boost your immune system.

It is true that with a Vitamix you retain the fiber and that is very beneficial for the digestive tract.  I use my Vitamix every single day of the week to make green smoothies.  A high speed blender makes it so easy to add veggies to a smoothie while pulverizing them into a smooth drink.  My Vitamix is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets.  It does need to be said that a high speed blender can be used to make juice, albeit with a bit more work.  To make juice with a high speed blender, you would essentially make a smoothie and then strain it through a nut milk bag.  A Vitamix is very diverse and can be used to make everything from soups to dressings and raw desserts (ice cream, cheesecake, etc.).

Juicing is a wonderful way to support the immune system since juicers strip the fiber from the plant resulting in a tall glass of nutrients.  Since there is no fiber in the juice, the nutrients are immediately available and do not require much digestion.

With regards to kale and juicing, I add kale to my juicer all the time!  Juicers usually have at least two speeds and one of them is optimum for juicing kale and other leafy greens (Read the insert that comes with your juicer for specific instructions).  When I make a kale salad I strip the kale from the stem and keep the kale stems in the fridge to use in my juice the next day.  I also keep the broccoli hearts to do the same (if I am too lazy to peel them and use them in my cooking).

It is a tough decision whether to go with a high speed blender or a juicer, but I do see real value in both.  Since your immediate goal is to strengthen your immune system, I would suggest that the juicer is the way to go initially because of the maximum nutrient load you will get from veggie juice.  Juicers are also available within a wide price range.  Costco usually carries a decent juicer at a very reasonable price.  High speed blenders tend to be on the expensive side, but also available at Costco on occasion.  Either way you won’t go wrong.

Here’s to health!

Gretchen

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Filed under Alkaline, Chic Vegan Column, Detox, Education, Immune System, Vegan, Vegetarian

CLEANSE FOOD LOG – Days 6 and 7

There really isn’t much to report food-wise this weekend other than the gorging I did at lunch yesterday which led to feeling crazy full for the next 5 1/2 hours.  I know that the rest of my food log today will pretty much be a repeat of what the rest of the week has looked like, so I am going to take the rest of the day off of blogging and spend it with my kiddos.

I plan on stopping the full-force cleanse after tonight.  I am really glad that I did the cleanse this past week.  I feel clear and clean and have no regrets.  Eating so much produce really does have its benefits.  After the cleanse I will continue eating mostly fruits and veggies for breakfast and lunch and for dinner I will add in some beans and grains.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

SATURDAY

  • 8:15 am – Big bowl of veggie soup.
  • 10:45 am – Chocolate smoothie (sweet potato, zucchini, 2 frozen bananas, cocoa powder, some stevia).  I drank about half and put the rest in the fridge for later.
  • 1:00 pm – Finished the other half of the smoothy.
  • 1:15-2:15 pm – Did an hour of hard cardio on the recumbent bike.
  • 2:30 pm – Had some Shirataki Noodle stir fry embellished with roasted cauliflower, green beans, and baby carrots.  This ended-up being a really big meal.  I am stuffed (ate too much…yuck!).
  • 8:00 pm – Bowl of veggie soup, some toasted nori, and apple slices.  I was so full after lunch that I couldn’t even think about eating until now.
Click HERE to read Jeff’s day 6 food log.

SUNDAY

  • 11:30 am – Bowl of kiwi, banana, pomegranate, apple, and pear.
  • Lunch will probably be a big salad
  • Dinner will be Chinese hot pot at my in-laws.  I will be eating chrysanthemum leaves, a variety of mushrooms, pea shoots, bamboo hearts, and taro root.
  • After dinner I am sure I will nosh on some fruit.

Click HERE to read Jeff’s day 7 food log.

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CLEANSE FOOD LOG – Day 5

My biggest challenge today was not going out to dinner.  Usually by Friday I am toast and despite the fact that I love to cook, I don’t feel like cooking.  I wanted to go to one of my favorite Peruvian restaurants (They make an awesome veggie plate) and my husband felt like it would be too tempting for him.  I am more than happy to support him in this since I am so proud of how well he is doing.  He had a business restaurant at a steakhouse today and ended-up eating tomato soup and an artichoke (Yay!  He made such great choices.).

FRIDAY

  • 7:15 am – Small bowl of watermelon and pineapple
  • 8:30 am – Had the usual bowl of cut-up Fuji apple, pear, banana, pomegranate, and cinnamon, BUT also added a very ripe persimmon into the mix and it was fantastic.
  • 9:30 -10:30 am – Pilates reformer class.  The instructor kicked our butts!  I can’t tell if that class was super duper extra hard or if I was a little lower on energy.

  • 11:00 am – Checked-out the new farmer’s market in town and sampled some strawberries.  I was really excited to see so many people there.  The parking lot was a battleground (Reminded me of the mall during the holidays!).
  • 12:00 pm – Finished the chocolate banana pudding I made last night.  I was surprised to see how well it held-up in the fridge overnight.
  • 12:30 pm – Salad made with slivered cucumber, slivered red bell pepper, organic pea shoots, seaweed salad, and lite rice wine vinegar.  I also had a few pickles on the side (Odd combo…but tasted good at the time).
  • 2:00 pm –  Handful of grapes from the farmer’s market.
  • 3:15 pm – Another handful of grapes.
  • 3:45 pm – Some roasted nori and Brothers-All-Natural freeze dried Asian Pears
  • 5:30 pm – Just came home and I am STARVING.  Eating grapes while baking some potatoes.
  • 6:20 pm – 1 1/2 baked potatoes (on the smaller side), bruschetta, roasted cauliflower, and a bowl of veggie soup.
  • 9:00 pm – I plan on having a bowl of pomegranate seeds

Have a great weekend!  TGIF.

To read Jeff’s food log for day 5 click HERE.

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Filed under Cleansing, Cleansing, Detox, Education, General Vegan, Vegan, Vegetarian, Weight Issues

CLEANSE FOOD LOG – Day 4

We are going through an incredible amount of produce right now (makes me happy!), so I need to head-off to the store at some point today to buy more bananas.  On Monday or Tuesday (can’t remember) I bought 3 huge bunches of bananas and we only have 2 individual bananas left!

It is hard to believe that we are already on day 4 of the cleanse.  I am noticing that my skin looks smoother and more moisturized.  I am also taking on more of the natural “tan” look that comes with eating this way (Thank you carrots and peppers!).  I always know that I am getting in enough beta carotene when someone asks me if I just got back from vacation.

If you are following along on the cleanse how have you been feeling???  I’d love to hear from you.

THURSDAY

  • 6:30 am – Tall glass of water
  • 7:30 am – Fruit salad just like I had yesterday morning (banana, pear, apple, pomegranate seeds, cinnamon)
  • 8:00 am – Per my husband’s request I just cooked up an even bigger batch of Shirataki Noodle Stir-Fry…that stuff is seriously good!  Didn’t eat any yet since I wasn’t hungry.
  • 9:00 am – Another banana
  • 10:45 am – Elliptical for 50 minutes
  • 12:00 pm – HUGE salad (pictured above) with romaine, iceberg, seaweed salad, roasted cauliflower, roasted broccoli, grape tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, and lite rice wine vinegar.  The salad was huge as I mentioned, so I was full after eating a little over half of it.
  • 1:45 pm – Finished the rest of the salad and snacked on a little watermelon.
  • 3:00 pm – Made a smoothie of frozen strawberries, fresh pineapple, fresh bananas, apple, and some water for my husband, son, daughter and her friend…took a few sips equaling probably about 1/2 cup.
  • 3:20 pm – Snacked on some more watermelon.
  • 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm – Sipped on 24 ounces cold water with a scoop of NanoGreens
  • 6:00 pm – Dinner was a small baked potato (hubby was begging for one) topped with fresh bruschetta, roasted cauliflower on the side, and a small bowl of Shirataki Noodle Stir-Fry
  • 7:00 pm – Chocolate banana pudding made in the Vitamix.  Made with a sweet potato, fresh banana, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and 3 frozen bananas.  I AM SO FULL RIGHT NOW!!!  I am quite sure this will be it for me for the night…can’t imagine eating any more!

Today I struggled a bit with cravings from 3pm until dinner.  When you do a cleanse like this you don’t experience the same kind of FULL that you experience when you eat a plant-based diet that is supplemented with grains, beans, and nuts.  But knowing that makes getting through it easier.

Enjoy the rest of your evening!

To read Jeff’s food log for Day 4 click HERE.

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Filed under Cleansing, Cleansing, Detox, Education, Food Journal, General Vegan, Vegan, Vegetarian, Weight Issues

CLEANSE FOOD LOG – Day 3

Last night after posting my food log I hit my first wall.  It was a mini wall, but a wall nonetheless.  About an hour after eating my bowl of berries I started craving THESE crunchy lightly salted crackers…I love those things.  But, after repeating the mantra, “This too shall pass” a few times in my head, it did pass and I didn’t give into the craving.

So, let’s get to my food log for day 3.

WEDNESDAY

  • 7:oo am – Large glass of water
  • 8:30 am – Bowl of sliced Fuji apple, sliced pear, a sliced banana, and pomegranate seeds.  I then dusted the bowl of fruit with Saigon cinnamon (pictured above).
  • 9:30 am – 10:30am – Pilates reformer class
  • 10:30 am – a quart bag filled to the brim with baby carrots, sliced red and orange bell peppers, and celery
  • 12:45 pm – Big Disneyland-sized spear of pineapple
  • 1:00 pm – A serving of the stir-fry I made yesterday (click HERE for details)
  • 2:15 pm – Already hungry again, so making a chocolate mint smoothie (water, 1/2 sweet potato, 1/2 of a zucchini, handful of spinach, handful of fresh mint, cocoa powder, vanilla creme stevia, small frozen banana, ice…about half the size of the smoothie I made yesterday).
  • 4:45 pm – Snacked on some nori and had 24 ounces of cold water with one scoop of NanoGreens.
  • 6:15 pm – A bowl of veggie soup (click HERE for details) and two small ears of roasted corn sprinkled with Chile con Limon.
  • 8:30 pm – Planning on having a bowl of raspberries, blueberries, and sliced banana.  If I get hungry afterward I plan on having some herbal tea.

I am off to get my kiddos ready for bed.  I am feeling really good and have not been experiencing any big cravings today.

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Filed under Cleansing, Cleansing, Detox, Education, Food Journal, Vegan, Vegetarian, Weight Issues

HANGOVER HELP

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! In a few days Veggie Grettie will be celebrating it’s one year anniversary.  I really love what I do and want to thank all of you for your support and comments.  Here’s to an amazing 2012…I can’t wait to see how Veggie Grettie unfolds in the next year.

For those of you who will be imbibing tonight I thought I would pass on some great information from two of my favorite sites. Click on the images below to be forwarded to their tips.

Have a really fun night!

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Filed under Alcohol, Detox, Education, Quick Tips, Vegan, Vegetarian

BOOK REVIEW – The Art Of Raw Food

I read cookbooks like novels and absolutely devoured The Art of Raw Food.  The information provided within the book is so eloquent and the photography is so simple and striking.  I have always loved the Danish design aesthetic of clean uncluttered lines and it really comes through in the styling of this book.

I fear that I neglected my husband for a few night as I read this book cover to cover.  Usually after we put the kids to bed it is “our” time to watch a little TV (House Hunters International is high on the list) and hang-out together, but I totally blew him off (sorry honey!) as I escaped into the world of raw food created by Jens Casupei and Vibeke Kaupert.

I appreciate the fact that this book is not just a cookbook (though we all know I love cookbooks in any form).  The first 39 pages of The Art of Raw Food are dedicated to educating the reader about raw food by explaining what raw is and why it is important to consume raw food.  In the Preface Jens mentions, “When writing this book, I reverted to a very basic question, a question that has lingered in the back of my mind at various stages of my life: Does it enrich me?”  It is clear that the recipes in the book are meant to enrich, satisfy, and energize our bodies naturally.  I think we often forget that while food is a HUGE source of enjoyment for us, it is primarily meant to sustain us by providing our bodies with the nutrients it requires to function.  Jens and Vibeke have written a book and recipes which show us that enjoyment and nutrition can go hand-in-hand.

There were so many recipes I wanted to try while reading through the book.  The breakfast porridge and muesli recipes called to me strongly and did not disappoint.  I am now a big fan of making oatmeal the raw food way.  It is a simple as soaking oatmeal in water for 1-3 days and mixing it with dates, cinnamon, raisins, and a pinch of salt. I learned in the cookbook that “soaking the oatmeal makes it easier for your body to digest the porridge and thus absorb the nutrients.”  For those of you interested in the recipe specifics:

YUMMY OAT PORRIDGE

2 cups (5 dls) oatmeal, soaked for 1-3 days (change water and rinse at least once a day) 

1/2 cup (1 dl) dates, pitted

1/2 Tbs cinnamon

1 pinch salt

3/4 cup (2 dls) raisins

Drain oatmealand pour into a food processor, add dates and cinnamon, and blend to the desired consistency.  Season with salt and mix in the raisins.

Serve as is or add extra fruit such as slices kiwis or strawberries.

If the dates are too dry, it is a good idea to soak them for a few hours before use. (you can keep the soak water to use as a sweetener in a smoothie.)

You can vary the taste by adding almonds (soaked overnight) or coconut flour.

The lunch/dinner recipes, soups, smoothies, and dessert recipes tickled my taste buds too.  I am always looking for new ways to incorporate the plethora of veggies from my garden into new recipes.  Along those lines…

My tomato plants are taking over the world and I have been making all sorts of plans for consuming the gazillion tomatoes I will be harvesting.  When I came across the recipe within the book for Stuffed Tomato Hors D’oeuvres I was thrilled because I had never really thought of stuffing my tomatoes with pates and left-overs and it is something that works for so many different sizes of tomatoes.  I now have visions of beautiful cherry tomatoes stuffed with olive tapenade, pesto, egg-less salad, quinoa salad (click here for my recipe), etc.  The possibilities are endless!

This un-cookbook has definitely earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf.

Recipes are from The Art of Raw Food: Delicious, Simple Dishes for Healthy Living by Jens Casupei and Vibeke Kaupert, published by North Atlantic Books, copyright © 2011 by Jens Casupei and Vibeke Kaupert. Reprinted by permission of publisher.

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Filed under Books, Breakfast, Detox, Gluten Free, Grains, Kid Friendly, Raw, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

HEALTHY POTATO CHIP ALTERNATIVE

Korean Kim (Nori)

Korean Kim (Nori)

My family devours Sea’s Gift roasted seaweed snacks by Jayone Foods.  They are vegan and gluten free and most importantly they do not have any MSG (an excitotoxin) or sugar.

Seaweed is an amazing food source of iodine, minerals, and vitamins and also has detoxifying properties.  One small snack pack weighs in at only 30 calories and packs a whopping 20 % of your RDI for Vitamin C!  As for the iodine, many people are deficient of this trace mineral which is necessary for proper growth and development.  Iodine is also vital to the functioning of our thyroid gland (which stores the majority of our body’s iodine), the gland that regulates our metabolism.

Our bodies do not produce iodine, so it is essential that we consume it through mineral supplementation or through food sources, which is my preferred method. 

According to progressivehealth.com, If you are deficient in iodine, these are some of the symptoms you might experience:

  • Hypofunction of the thyroid gland (resulting in a slower metabolic rate)
  • Anemia
  • An enlarged tongue
  • Slow speech
  • Puffiness of the hands and face
  • Problems with skin and hair
  • Drowsiness
  • Mental apathy

I have heard many people state that they are not fans of seaweed because it can taste “fishy.”  I have tried many roasted seaweed snacks and I am of the opinion that Sea’s Gift nori snacks are the best.  I personally don’t think they taste fishy in the slightest.  They are toasted and flavored with sesame oil and salt.  My kids absolutely gobble them up as do my nieces and nephew.  My sister said that on their last trip to Maui Costco was carrying huge boxes of them (Hawaii knows a good thing when they see it!).

I buy them a case at a time when I am at Mother’s Market because they give a 10% case discount.  I have also heard that some of the Trader Joe’s carry them as does Amazon.

I will leave you with this quote by Steven Schecter, N.D“There is no family of foods more protective against radiation and environmental pollutants than sea vegetables … sea vegetables can prevent assimilation of different radionuclitides, heavy metals such as cadmium, and other environmental toxins.”

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Filed under Detox, Gluten Free, Product Reviews, Vegan, Vegetarian

FOOD LOG – JANUARY 3, 2011

Today's Green Smoothie

Me & My Liquid Health

So here’s the low-down on what I ate today.  Since I am in recovery mode from the holidays, there is a bunch of green juice to get my nutrient levels back to where they should be…I guess you could say I am doing a cleanse of sorts.

6am – 32 ounces of water with an entire lemon squeezed in

8:15am – 20 ounces of green juice (made in my Breville juicer)

RECIPE (this made enough for the day)

  • kale stems that I saved from making kale chips
  • mixed greens
  • 5 carrots
  • 1 huge cucumber
  • 1/2 head of napa cabbage

10am – handful of raw nuts… almonds, walnuts, pecans

1pm – 16 ounces of green juice (made in the morning and put in a 16 ounce mason jar filled to the lid in order to prevent oxidation…a trick I got from Kris Carr)

2:30pm – green smoothie

RECIPE

Blend all of the ingredients in the blender.  I use my Vitamix since it completely emulsifies everything.  If you don’t have a Vitamix, any blender will work…you may have to add some more liquid to get it all to blend.

4pm – the rest of the green smoothie

6pm – brown rice, baked beans (recipe from weelicious.com), roasted brussel sprouts

7pm – 3 Cuties tangerines

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2011 – GETTING BACK ON TRACK

My Nemesis

With a new year always comes a renewed drive for betterment.  The holidays tend to derail many of our best intentions, but with the kids going back to school tomorrow the excuses no longer hold valid.  It’s time to get back on the health train.

Over the holidays I managed to catch my first cold since November of 2009.  I could tell I was fighting off a cold (especially since my children already had colds) and was doing a good job of keeping the cold away until we decided to have a baking day with the kids.  I had been doing a good job of staying away from sugar (Got to maintain that alkaline PH) until I saw that the kids and my mom were making one of my childhood favorites…marshmallow cornflake wreathes with red hots.  I should have known better; I can’t manage to take just one bite.  Before I knew it I had a green mouth and no where to hide from the cold.  I managed to create the perfect environment for the cold germs to take over (nice acidic PH).  When I woke-up in the morning the phlegm and sore throat took-over.  Man, it really drove-home why I work so hard to stay well…being sick sucks!

I did manage to run to the doctor (Center For New Medicine) for a high dose of Immunity Vitamins, which I am convinced is the reason I did not end-up bedridden (Along with my daily green smoothies and vegan diet).  When I tell people that I went to the doctor for an IV of vitamins there are a few funny looks.  Why is it that taking a proactive step to avoid medication is looked at so funny…maybe it is because of the method (IV)?  All I know is that I felt better within the first hour.

So, I am ready to get back on track and here are the steps I am going to take:

  1. Make a weekly exercise schedule and STICK TO IT!
  2. Juice daily (green juice)
  3. Continue the daily green smoothies

I’ll post later about one of my favorite meals…the green smoothie.

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Filed under Detox