Showing posts with label juice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label juice. Show all posts

15 January, 2012

Karen Knowler: How to Set Up Your Own Super-Smoothie Bar At Home

I've so enjoyed writing this article for you - this issue is a real fun one, I think! As many of you know, I LOVE smoothies and I'm also pretty good at creating and making them, so this issue I thought I'd share with you my guide to creating a smoothie bar in your own home that's good to go at any time of day and is quick and easy to use.

Why smoothies? Because they're fast, quick, fun, delicious and they are great at any time of day and can often deliver a hefty dose of nutrition in a tasty and beautiful package!

My kitchen sees a lot of smoothie action, whether it be green smoothies for lunch or nut milk-based smoothies for supper... and I hope that with the help of this issue, yours will soon too!

Step 1: Tool Yourself Up. The only piece of equipment you need to make a great smoothie is, of course, a blender. Now, as may or may not know, all blenders are not equal! Certainly you can get away with a High Street blender costing around £20-£30 ($25-$50) for a fair amount of time if you treat it kindly, but if you've got the money and the passion then the best place you could invest your money for the long haul is without doubt in the very "hardcore" blender that is the Vita-Mix 5200 series or the Turboblend VS. Yes, they are pricey (especially here in Europe), but they are soo worth it. I am fortunate enough to own one myself and like many others who are also proud owners of these beautiful machines I really do think it's one of the best investments in my health I have ever made. I use it every day and it's my favourite piece of equipment in my entire kitchen. All that said, if budget does not permit you to spend nigh on £400 ($450)  on this particular piece of kit, then all is not lost, just spend the most you can on something that's got good reviews on Amazon or similar and when you've got that part sorted, you're ready to go!

Step 2: Gather Your Ingredients. Before you start let's take a look at what you could have on hand to make your smoothies with.

* Fresh fruit (in a bowl and/or fridge)
* Fresh greens (in your fridge. e.g. spinach, watercress, lettuce, kale, chard etc.)
* Frozen fruit (in your freezer)
* Ice-cubes (in your freezer)
* Sweeteners (e.g. dates, agave nectar, maple syrup [not raw], honey, stevia etc.)
* Flavourings (e.g. mesquite meal, carob powder, cacao nibs/ powder, vanilla pods/ essence etc.)
* Superfoods (e.g. maca, bee pollen, green powders, hemp protein powder, etc.)
* Nuts and seeds and/or their butters (for nut milks)
* Cartons of coconut water/ milk
* Oils (not necessary, but some people like to use hemp, flax or coconut oil in their smoothies for EFAs)

Obviously fresh fruit, greens, nuts and seeds are easy to buy in the shops these days, as are some of the other more specialised foods. But for those ingredients that are new to you or that you can't get hold of locally, the good news is that all of these ingredients are now easy to buy mail order wherever you are in the world.

If most of these are new to you, then the ones I recommend you start off with are: dates for sweetening and agave nectar (light) if you want something new to try; vanilla pods or essence and/or mesquite powder for flavourings; bee pollen (for non-vegans) as an incredible superfood and coconut oil for fat if you'd like some.

Whatever you choose, make sure that you gather all your non-refrigerated ingredients into one place so that they are all together, which leads me nicely on to...

Step 3: Pick Your Spot. Whether you choose to make your smoothies at home or at the office, picking the right spot is key. Why? Because if it's somewhere awkward to get to, or not near to the sink or a million miles from your fridge, ingredients or glasses, then you'll feel much less inclined to actually use your smoothie bar! In my current home my smoothie is simply one quick turn away from my sink, and in my previous home, my blender was located with my sink to the left, my smoothie ingredients to the right on a shelf above (you could have yours in a box or tray if you don't have shelving in your kitchen) and my glasses were located up to the right in a cupboard next to the ingredients. And the fridge was just 2 steps away. Even though this all sounds like perfect common sense, it's amazing how many of us make life difficult for ourselves and dot everything all over the place! By keeping these 5 things all close to hand, you will now officially have your "bar" in place and will be all set to get creative.

Step 4: Choose Your Recipes. Now that you have your blender, your ingredients and your actual "bar" all set up, what are you going to make? Well, this is where previous eZines come in. So far I've published probably around 20-30 different smoothies recipes in the past issues, so they should get you started! If you'd like to be super-organised then why not find some smoothie recipes you love (or would love to try) from recipe books and photocopy them (or print the eZine recipes off) and file them in those clear files you bought and you'll be all set to go.

Step 5: Get Smoothie-ing! I generally recommend that if you are very new to smoothie making that you start very simply, as I did, with pure water, a couple of small bananas (or one big one) and one handful of fresh fruit of your choice. Strawberries work well, as do any berries, or peach, nectarine, pineapple or mango. All of these are good and very straightforward to buy and use. From there, when you have your confidence up and are ready to try new things, you can start to get a bit more experimental and add in other more unusual ingredients such as the powders and potions and even a little bit of oil if you'd like to (ideally no more than 2 teaspoons per pint). Personally I keep oils out, but then getting enough calories is not my concern as my needs are pretty low in that department! One step beyond that is to experiment with using nut or seed milks for a base instead of bananas, which is where your nut milk bag will come in. This is really easy to do, but I'll keep the "How To" for another article which will follow next issue. Until then, I'll be expecting you to set your smoothie bar up to perfection ready and eager to go for next week!

Do we have a deal?!
Karen Knowler, The Raw Food Coach publishes "Successfully Raw" - a free weekly eZine for raw food lovers everywhere. If you're ready to look good, feel great and create a raw life you love get your FREE tips, tools and recipes now at

02 January, 2009

Health Tip of the Day - immune booster

Infection fighting juice

This juice will help boost your immune function

1 broccoli floret
2 sticks celery
1 carrot
½ red onion
1 clove garlic
1 green apple
3 red radishes
1 tsp. dried basil (optional)

Pass all through a juicer and dilute with half a cup of freshly brewed green tea.

Or chop into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces and put all ingredients in a high powered blender with 2 cups of water or green tea. Strain if desired.

Drink immediately.

05 December, 2008

The World's Top Five Superfoods for Silky Smooth Skin

(By Mike Adams of NaturalNews) When it comes to healthy-looking skin, nutrition beats cosmetics hands down. Creating radiant, glowing, youthful-looking skin can best be accomplished by focusing on what's inside, not by covering up the skin with artificial colors that try to paint a new face on the outside. But which superfoods, exactly, are best for supporting healthy skin in the first place?

In this article, I reveal the five best superfoods and health supplements I know of for creating youthful-looking skin with the power of nutrition. All of these supplements are available right now. Below, I'll tell you how and where to get them.

Superfood #1: Astaxanthin

What's astaxanthin, you ask? It's a deep-red microalgae that's a fat-soluble antioxidant. That means it can be delivered to the fat molecules of your body, and that includes your skin, of course, which is primarily made of fat and water (by weight).

Astaxanthin is one of my top nutrients of all time. It even protects the skin from sunburn, eliminating the need to use toxic sunscreen lotions. In addition, astaxanthin protects the brain from Alzheimer's disease, the eyes from UV light damage and the entire nervous system from oxidative damage.

You can get astaxanthin at Nutrex-Hawaii or Vitacost

Read my article on astaxanthin.

The best way to take astaxanthin is with a dietary source of healthy fats (see below). That's because astaxanthin binds to fats during digestion and is carried with those fats throughout your body where it protects organs and cells from free radical damage. There is probably no stronger fat-soluble antioxidant in the world than astaxanthin.

Superfood #2: Ocean-Derived Omega-3 Oils

As hinted above, the best way to take astaxanthin is with high-quality omega-3 oils. Ocean-derived omega-3 oils are legendary for their ability to support the body's healthy response to inflammation, meaning that many people are finding marine omega-3s to be a safer, more natural and far more affordable alternative to dangerous NSAIDS and prescription anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Vioxx, which is well known for doubling the risk of heart attacks and stroke)*.

While there are lots of sources of omega-3 oils to choose from, the ocean-derived omega-3s are far more potent than plant-derived omega-3s such as flaxseed oil or chia seeds. The two best omega-3 products I know of are Moxxor, made from green-lipped mussel oil, and LivingFuel Super Essentials, made from sardines and anchovies (wildcrafted, not farmed).

NaturalNews has no financial relationship with Living Fuel. Its Super Essentials product, which combines a small amount of astaxanthin with fish oils, is available here.

NaturalNews is a distributor of Moxxor, and over 1,000 NaturalNews readers have now joined in distributing Moxxor's green-lipped mussel oil, which is grown in eco-friendly aquaculture farms off the coast of New Zealand. The mussels feed on marine phytoplankton and are completely free of heavy metals, pesticides, PCBs and other chemicals. The product can be purchased here.

Or you can get the product at a discount by joining the NaturalNews Moxxor team, explained here.

Marine omega-3 oils not only support healthy skin, they also support and enhance the health of the nervous system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system and many other functions of the human body, including moods and balanced brain function.

Superfood #3: Raw foods and fresh juice

Raw vegetable juice does wonders for healthy skin. There's something about daily juicing that just brings out the most radiant, youthful-looking skin in people.

Live foods, of course, support living, vibrant skin. Dead foods cause skin to age rapidly, and eating fried foods or animal products may cause your skin to break out with acne, eczema or various rashes. Consuming raw vegetable juice on a daily basis is a powerful way to support healthy skin. You'll notice the different in 30 days or less!

Read my article on juicing to learn which juicer I recommend, and what recipe to start with.

Or learn about "Juice Feasting".

Superfood #4: Shellfish, Pumpkin Seeds and Zinc

Zinc is an essential nutrient for skin repair and injury repair (it's also really important for prostate health). If you're deficient in zinc (and probably 70% or more of Americans are), your skin will never look as good as it could. Zinc gives your cells the ability to properly construct and maintain their physical integrity, and it speeds the regeneration of new skin following injuries such as scrapes, scratches or cuts.

Shellfish and pumpkin seeds are good natural sources of zinc. It can also be taken as a nutritional supplement. A good low-cost source is VitaCost.

A high-end source is Wellness Resources' "Strengthener Plus," which also happens to contain MSM, a sulfur derivative that belongs near the top of anyone's list of skin-supporting nutritional supplements. I highly recommend Wellness Resources products, as the company was founded by Health Freedom champion Byron Richards. Here's the product page.

Superfood #5: Clean Water

Okay, I know water doesn't technically count as a superfood, but perhaps it should! Adequate hydration is essential for optimum skin health. Far too many consumers are chronically dehydrated, and as a result they suffer systemic dehydration of their skin, which makes it look older, more wrinkled and less smooth.

Drinking adequate water is crucial for supporting your skin health, but you've got to drink clean water to accomplish this, not tap water.

The cleanest water, of course, is natural spring water. If you're lucky enough to live near a spring, bottle up your drinking water from it (test it for contamination first, of course), and consume that.

Don't buy bottled water as it creates a mountain of waste (plastic bottles). Furthermore, the Bisphenol-A in the plastic bottles has been proven so toxic that it was recently banned from baby bottles in Canada.

So what's the next best choice for your drinking water? Bottle your own. Get yourself an Aquasana water filter, which is, in my view, the No. 1 consumer water filter on the market today. NaturalNews is an affiliate of Aquasana, so your purchase helps support our network. To pay you back, we negotiated a discount for NaturalNews readers on Aquasana products, including the countertop unit, under-the-sink unit, and the highly-recommended shower filter unit which I personally take with me everywhere I travel (it protects you from the toxic chlorine in public water supplies).

Get your Aquasana products at a discount here.

Nutrition is the key to healthy skin

In summary, nutrition and hydration are the keys to healthy skin. Consume omega-3 supplements on a regular basis, take astaxanthin, drink plenty of clean water, and drink fresh juice on a regular basis. Also be sure to take in plenty of trace minerals through sources like sea salt. Healthy salt allows your skin and body to hold on to water, lubricating joints, boosting nervous system function and smoothing out the skin. Good sources for healthy see salt are MountainRoseHerbs or TransitionNutrition.

At the same time, here are some foods to avoid if you want healthy skin:

• Avoid MILK and DAIRY products. See: Four Ways Milk Causes Acne.

• Avoid FRIED foods, including fried snack chips.

• Avoid pharmaceuticals, since many of them cause skin hypersensitivity to sunlight, and that can lead to skin damage (especially if you're not taking astaxanthin).

• Avoid DEAD foods (manufactured foods or processed foods), as they contain chemical additives, unhealthy oils and nutritionally-depleted ingredients (like white flour) that strip the skin of nutrients.

* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the products mentioned here are intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease.

01 October, 2008

Choosing the Best Apple Juice for your health

Fruits and vegetables are a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize free radicals -- molecules that can damage body cells and contribute to disease. With an emphasis on eating healthier, people are trying to find ways to consume the recommended five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Many are overwhelmed at the concept of putting that many items on their plates throughout the day (my kiddos, however, would cite me for child abuse if they were limited to five servings). Spurred by certain advertising, many people now consume fruit and/or vegetable juices to augment their antioxidant intake.

As always, read labels before you choose a juice. Many bottled juices contain little to no real juice -- only sweeteners (and increasingly they are sweetened with toxic artificial sweeteners), flavor enhancers, and preservatives. “Juice drinks” may contain ten to twenty-seven percent juice, plus high fructose corn sweeteners (and the aforementioned artificial sweeteners). Look for 100% juice, but don't stop there.

In a head-to-head comparison of apple juices, Polish researchers found that pulpy, non-clarified juice carried a greater antioxidant punch than clear juice. Clear juices are processed to remove any solids in the juice. This makes a ‘prettier’ juice and increases its shelf life, but it turns out that those solids are the storehouse for many nutrients. Juice with pulp contained four times as many polyphenols as clear juice. Polyphenols have been studied for their effects which may reduce cardiovascular disease and cancer.

“Cloudy apple juices contain much more antioxidant than clear,” concludes Dr. Jan Oszmianski, the study’s lead author and a researcher at the Agricultural University of Wroclaw. Her study was published in Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. In the end, however, your best bet for getting the most nutrition is to eat the whole apple. Look for the ‘older’ varieties. The newer varieties tend to have lower nutrient content. they are bred for eye appeal and for shelf life, not for nutrition. ‘Cider’ apples ranked highest in nutrients of all the apples tested (Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture).

While we are on the subject of apples:

In medieval times, a saying was coined: “Ate an apfel avore gwain to bed Makes the doctor beg his bread.” The saying has come down to us as: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Modern research indicates that there may be some truth in the old saying. Apples also have significant amounts of a wide array of important phytonutrients that research has found to have extremely important health benefits.

* They are an excellent source of fiber, which keeps the digestive tract working properly. Fiber absorbs a number of toxins from the body.

* Quercetin, which is available in apples, inhibits, reduces, or prevents the growth of human prostate cancer cells by blocking activity of androgen hormones (Carcinogenesis, 2001, 22: 409-414). Increased consumption of quercetin is also associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2000, 92: 154-160).

* Phytonutrients in apples inhibit the growth of colon cancer and liver cancer cells in vitro. Beneficial phytonutrients are most strongly concentrated in the apple skin, but the apple flesh also contains significant levels of phytonutrients (Nature, 2000, 405: 903-904).

* In a long term study in Finland, lung cancer was 46 percent lower among those whose diets contained the highest amount of flavonoids, particularly from apples. Of the major dietary flavonoid sources, apples showed the greatest inverse association with lung cancer incidence. (American Journal of Epidemiology, 1997, 146: 223-230).

* British analysis of dietary habits indicates a strong positive association between positive lung function and the number of apples eaten each week (Thorax, 2000, 55:102-108).

* Apples and apple juice may help to slow the oxidation process that leads to the build-up of plaque (LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol) that leads to heart disease (Journal of Medicinal Food, 2000, 3: 159-165; Life Sciences, 1999, 64: 1913-1920).

* The Finnish Study also concluded that high consumption of flavonoids from apples and onions was directly associated with the lowest death risk from coronary factors (British Medical Journal, 1996, 312: 478-481) and the lowest risk of thrombotic stroke (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2000, 54: 415-417).

If you would prefer juices, fresh whole juices deliver both abundant nutrients and a full spectrum of helpful enzymes to allow your body to digest all foods more effectively.