Monday, January 31, 2011

Ⓥ Vegan Kitchen: Vegan Gluten-free Cheeseless Falafel Pizza! Ⓥ

This yummy Vegan Pizza alternative is one of my favorites. I like to think of it as the most epic Pizza ever. I have made it many many times with all sorts of variations. 

This is NOT your average Pizza! Do not expect this to be like anything you've ever had before. It has been a favorite for anyone who has tried it and it could be yours too! ;)

It is Gluten-free, sugar-free, and free of any animal products! It is a lovely mixture of soft chewiness and crunchy crispiness! 
And it's great with just about any topping. See below for my favorites...

Prepare Crust...

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust:

1 cup Brown Rice Flour 
1/2 cup Tapioca Flour
2/3 cup Rice Milk (or other "milk")
Egg Replacer equal to 2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon of Garlic
1/2 teaspoon each of Black Pepper, Oregano, Basil, Thyme, Mustard.

Pre-heat oven to 350. 
In a large mixing bowl, mix ingredients together until well-mixed and can form a sticky ball (*Tip: prepare egg-replacer mixture separately Before adding to other ingredients). 
Lightly Oil Pizza tray. Spread dough evenly onto tray. Warning: it can be pretty sticky so make sure you have extra flour handy for your hands and on the top of the dough so it's easier to spread.
Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes or until the edges start to brown (but don't wait until the middle browns, don't worry it will still cook later and be delicious ~_^). 

Remove Crust from oven and dress it up however you'd like. Here is my favorite combination...

Sauce for the pizza:
1 small can of Tomato Paste 
(super easy and adds a subtle sweetness that contrasts nicely)

Make the mixture (from above recipe) but do not fry or cook it. Simply crumble and spread all or half of the mixture onto your Crust. 

Add whatever other toppings you'd like! With or without vegan cheese it's delicious! 

My favorite Toppings for Falafel Pizza:
Daiya Cheese
Black Olives

Stick Falafel Pizza back in the oven and cook at 350 for another 10-15 minutes--just until the cheese has melted and the falafel starts to crisp. You can also broil it at the end for a minute for extra crispiness. :)

And there you have it, yummy Vegan Gluten-free Pizza! Enjoy this yummy, healthy new meal!!

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

☺ Inspirational: Expectations ☺

I have briefly mentioned "Expectations" in the past and decided it was time to elaborate on this important topic. 

Too often, people believe that having expectations is a beneficial thing. That without them, you are not respecting yourself. That without them, you are going to get hurt or pushed around. That without them your life will not be what you want it to be. But the reality is that Expectations only get us into trouble. They are dangerous things to have that usually set us up for imminent disappointment and, therefore, a drop in our happy moods.  

Now, it is important to differentiate for a moment the difference between "expectations" and "standards." 
Standards are useful guides for us to use that can contribute to beneficial decisions in our lives. Through the use of standards we have a realistic and healthy idea of what we do or do not want. When people or situations do not meet our standards (that contribute to our healthy well-being) we can then choose appropriate action. Do not mistake standards for expectations. Expectations are the unrealistic products of our minds. They are usually set ideas that, when they are not fulfilled, leave us disappointed. They are usually too high for anyone's good. They are usually the "best" possible outcome you can imagine from a situation so we become attached to these ideas as a result. Therefore, they become a set-up for us to not look at the actual outcome to a situation positively, because you have already become attached to a different outcome created in advance in your mind.  

Now, I may sound a bit repetitive here, but I want to make sure you understand why expectations are not beneficial and why they are worth letting go of. 

We create an image in our heads of exactly how we want things to go. We resolve, at a subconscious level, that if the situation does not turn out in that imagined manner then we are miserable. We become attached to that particular outcome and close ourselves off from the potential that could arise in its place. Therefore, setting ourselves up for failure or disappointment. 

There are two different places in which we tend to place these expectations; on people and on experiences. Everything I have already mentioned applies to both people and experiences. However, I want to take a moment to talk about why placing Expectations on People does not help a relationship... 
When we place expectations on people then we are, by fault, placing limitations on that person--not a positive attitude to have. These expectations are also unfair and usually too high to begin with. We are no longer accepting who a person is and instead think we know them for who we want them to be. If they don't deliver on your expectations then they become failures in your eyes, and enforce a negative attitude for both people involved. The reality is that they are not the ones in the wrong for not delivering on the products of your mind. It is unfair to yourself and to them to have such expectations of them to begin with. If you love someone and care about your relationship with that individual then you will not place limitations and expectations on them. You will allow them to grow and be who they are. Quite simply, if you expect nothing more than people are who they are, and you are who you are, then you won't be left disappointed. Let people grow and not limit them or make them feel like failures or unworthy of you. We are all human and we all have things that we need to work on. Love is unconditional and any relationship needs this base to grow from. It is a point of respect in which both people can actually grow. However, if a relationship is not working then its simply not working. Move on. Learn to accept that placing expectations on the individual won't make them change, it will just add unhelpful pressure. Realize when a relationship is healthy or destructive. Live by your standards but don't place expectations. And learn patience.

So, such as with people, placing expectations on life gets us into unneeded trouble. Unfortunately, we tend to do this with most situations, whether there is another person involved or not. Expectations place the unrealistic idea in your head that you can control and/or predict everything that happens in your life. You can't control everything in life. And you certainly can't predict what has not yet happened. It is much easier to ease up and go with the flow. When you let go of attachment to outcome then you become open to what will actually come in its place and can then enforce that positive mental attitude.  

Stress can easily be connected to what I'm talking about here, because stress arises due to our minds. 
"Stress happens when the mind resists what is." 
So when we have an idea in our heads of how things are going to go we then go on to resist what IS instead of what COULD BE. 

So stop mapping out every situation in your mind. We often do this without even being aware that we are doing it, until it's too late and we are left feeling upset because things didn't go how we wanted them to (or how we Expected them to). 
Start paying close attention to the products of your thoughts, catch yourself when you are able and let go of these expectations. Pay attention to your hopes for a set outcome. This will take effort and practice but is well worth getting into the habit of doing. Your life will transform if you do. Pay close attention. 

Start relying on yourself, especially for your mood. No more blaming others or life for not delivering on your expectations. Life is spontaneous and forever changing--just like people--stop trying to predict the unpredictable. Ease up and enjoy the natural flow and outcomes of life. 

Become open to the unexpected and the unpredictable. Life is much more exciting when lived in this way.

Let go of Expectations to a set outcome. Be Happy no matter how things turn out. 

Peace & Love,

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

☯ What's in my Closet: Shampoo & Conditioner!! ☯

With so many chemical products out there and shampoos and conditioners claiming to be "organic" or "natural" but that remain loaded with chemicals still, what is a person to do?

I have searched high and low for healthy shampoos and conditioners and stumbled upon this brand in a grocery store one day that I feel is worth sharing that I use. They meet my approval for a good, safe, and healthy option that Works! I can even get them in Bulk at my local co-op grocery store! Pure win!

From Carina Organics...

Pure & Natural "Daily Moisturizing Shampoo"

I love this shampoo and I have to say that I have no complaints. It has a subtle scent and great lather. A little goes a long way! Plus, packed full of Organic ingredients and you can easily read the ingredient label without questioning or trying to pronounce things that simply shouldn't be in beauty products.

Pure & Natural "Daily Light Conditioner"

I have been using this brand for over a year now after discovering them and have found that they work great. I've also been buying it in bulk so I haven't looked at the ingredients in a while. They are completely safe and good for you. My only complaint and realization upon re-reading the ingredient list is that there IS Beeswax in it. :( So as a Vegan I'm sad to discover this. Until I run out of what I have I will continue to use it but I will be on the hunt for a new Conditioner that is Vegan to share with you all once I find and try one!
Otherwise the product does work great. And like the shampoo, has a nice subtle scent that isn't over-powering.

Of course, I am always on the hunt for new amazing safe products, so... have a brand that you use that you want to share? Please do! I will be sure to check it out! 

Peace & Love

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ⓥ Vegan Kitchen: Delicious Green Smoothie Ⓥ

I tried this smoothie while doing "Dr Gillian's Detox Day" from her book: "You Are What You Eat" . 

I was rather weary by the sounds of it but let me tell you, I love it! I make it now a couple times a week. 

Super good for you and super tasty! 

Delicious Green Smoothie:

6 Carrots
1 Apple
1 slice of Lemon
1 soft Avocado

Juice the Carrot, Apple, and Lemon through a juicer. In a blender or food processor, add the avocado and juice together and blend until smooth.

Voila! Easy, Delicious, Healthy! What more could you want? ;)

Somehow the first time I made this it looked suuuuuper green, the other times I've made it it looks more orangy because of the carrots. Either way, no matter what it looks like, it tastes awesome! ;) 

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Ⓥ Vegan Kitchen: Vegan French Toast! Ⓥ

Before I was Vegan, I used to love real french toast so I was super happy to have found this recipe as a replacement. I actually prefer this recipe way more than regular french-toast, it's simply perfect! 

This yummy recipe is based off of the lovely Vegan Cook book by Sarah Kramer "La Dolce Vegan!: Vegan Livin' Made Easy" which I highly encourage you all to pick up. Even if you're not vegan, the recipes are amazing and, who knows, it may encourage you to eat more vegan meals too ;)

This recipe is for 2-3 servings, 4-6 slices of bread.
This recipe is best with stale bread or if you lightly toast it before cooking. Make this gluten-free by using gluten-free bread. I used Food for Life's Brown Rice Bread and the recipe actually turned out way better than when I'd used other breads a couple years ago. Who knew? :)   

Vegan French Toast:

3/4 cup Soft Tofu. 
2 Tbsp Agave Nectar (or syrup sweetener of your choice)
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tbsp oil
4-6 slices of bread

In a food processor or blender, blend the tofu, agave nectar, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, apple juice, and oil until super smooth. Pour the batter into a shallow bowl and dip the bread slices into the batter so that both sides are fully coated. Don't worry if there seems to be an excess of batter, just lather up those bread slices even if it looks kinda sloppy. Fry the bread in a hot non-stick or lightly oiled frying pan and cover. Let sit on medium heat until the underside has browned. Flip and repeat. 

(topped with homemade cinnamon "soygurt")



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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

♥ Wednesday Favorites: Happy Diaries ♥

Last post I spoke about keeping a "Happy Diary" so today it only seemed fitting that the Wednesday Favorites post be some awesome choices for your journal. Remember to always keep the well-beng of Mother Earth in mind; it all goes hand-in-hand when practicing Positivity--share it with the earth! So here are some of my favorite eco-friendly notebooks that I have stumbled across.  

EcoJot: These are the ones that I use and I absolutely love them for so many reasons. The covers are super cute and have lots to choose from, including a ton of different sizes. Their prodcuts are 100% post-consumer recycled, so no new trees are cut in the making of their journals! The paper is acid free and processed chlorine free, and all inks and glues are vegetable based. Even the mill where the notebooks are made is powered by biogas harnessed from a nearby landfill! As if this isn't great enough, they have a "buy one, give one" program where they have so far given 70,000 notebooks to children in countries all over the world including, Haiti, Kenya, Tanzania, Niger, Poland, Zimbabwe among others. 

Inspirational Journals: at Tees for Change! They have a couple Inspirational covers to choose from and come in different sizes too. They are made with 100% recycled chipboard and white inside paper and come wrapped in a biodegradable bag made from plants.

So there are only a couple that I really wanted to share with you today but I HAD to share these because they are a Must for your Happy Diary needs ;) 
Exercise for the day? What are YOU Grateful for? 

Have a fabulous day Lovelies! 

Peace & Love

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

☺Inspirational: Happy Diary! ☺

I spoke the other day about writing for Positivity instead of Negativity. If you are taking part in the 30 Day Self Challenge then you also know that number 30 is to keep a Happy Diary. 

So what is a Happy Diary? 

It is a lovely place where you can write down Happy, Loving, Positive, Optimistic thoughts every single day. This encourages positive thinking and an overall positive mental attitude. 
Our thoughts are products of our habits and our daily lives and unfortunately we live in a rather negative world that tends to rub off on us. To some of us, happiness comes easily, to most it takes effort. It won't always, it's as I always say, practice makes perfect. And if you continue to practice one day you will no longer need that constant reminder to yourself. As to how to get there, practice positive thinking. A Happy Diary is a wonderful step to get there and to change old thought patterns into new ones. Instead of jotting down angry, pessimistic thoughts, focus on uplifting, happy, optimistic thoughts and write those down every single day in that Happy Diary. This repetition will change your thought "habits"; instead of your mind dwelling on the negative all the time it will instead learn to let go of that pessimism and not pay it any mind, and instead focus on the joys of life around you. 
Your life is perception. Remember, everyone faces ordeals and unfavorable circumstances in life, but it is how you Choose to Act about those things and how you Choose to Feel that will affect the general Happiness in your life. We are products of our own thoughts. Learn to think Positive. Practice this by writing down Positive things. At the end of your day, maybe first thing in the morning, or any time during the day that you need a pick-me-up, jot down happy thoughts. Write about how wonderful your day was instead of focussing on the bad. Write down why you love your life, and why you love the people in it. Write about the beauty that surrounds you. Write about the laughter of a friend or even a stranger you met on the street. Write down Who you Want to Be. Write down things you love about yourself. Write down all the little moments that make life so unique and beautiful. If an "unfavorable" situation occurs, write about the lesson that you took away from the experience instead of why the experience was bad. All these steps will help to re-enforce that Positive Attitude and mindset and general way of thinking. It will make you Happy about life and allow you to enjoy it. 
Nothing could change in your life and at the same time Everything could change, just by changing your way of thinking. 

So write, write, write in that Happy little Diary. Re-enforce Positive Thinking. See the world through an optimistic mind. Open yourself to the beauty of the world around you. Write down Happy thoughts and your mind will learn to focus on those Positive joys of every minute of your life. 

Peace & Love

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Friday, January 14, 2011

☺ Inspirational: What NOT To Do ☺

I try to focus more time and energy on the Positive Inspirational reminders and talk, and there IS a reason for this--I'll get more into that below. But sometimes a little post like this can be helpful in breaking bad habits. 
Remember, I am no specialist, these are only things that make sense to me and have worked for me. I believe them to work by experience, so maybe you'll find the same. 

We all have those days or moments that we just plain feel down. When we feel like this we tend to make some impulsive choices we may regret or that will only make us feel worse. So, here is the list of what Not to do. 

Eating Ice-Cream, Candy, & other Junk-Food: Whatever your unhealthy food vice may be, don't eat it. Try not reaching for that tub of ice cream. All that sugar will only cause a mood crash and keep you feeling low instead of better. Try drinking fresh juice or eat some fruit, these are still sweet and will give you energy. These healthy snacks may even inspire a change of mood because you're feeding your brain healthy foods instead. 

Cutting Your Hair: Unfortunately, many of us have been there. I know taking out some aggression on your head may sound appealing, but try pointing those scissors to a piece of paper instead--you won't regret that one. Makeovers can be fun, but not when you're in a bad mood. Plus, a makeover won't do you any good if you don't change your attitude. We are all too willing to change our hair, change our look, change where we live, where we work, but most of us are unwilling to change our Selves, our Attitudes. Try to do that consciously instead. 

Stare in the Mirror: I'm not sure why we pick ourselves apart when we stare in the mirror or where the need comes from, most likely an act of self-loath or self-pity. Regardless of whatever drew you to the mirror, do Not stare at yourself and rip yourself apart. Too many of us do this and it's so incredibly negative. Whether we like it or not, everyone has some sort of insecurity, whether its big or small. But everyone is perfect in their imperfections. Everyone is Unique and wonderful. Love Yourself! Try looking in the mirror and saying something nice about yourself instead. Attitude is everything! If you're pessimistic and miserable all the time it will show, and that is the only part of you that will repel others. 

Burying Emotions/Problems: Many of us do it and it's such a big no-no. I was the worst; I would bury every problem that came up and as it lingered I withdrew more and more. Sweeping all those problems under a rug does not get rid of them. They will come back around to bite you, whether you realize it quickly or not. Deal with things as soon as they happen. Find resolve.  

Sobbing & being Anti-Social: You're upset, so you want nothing more than to be by yourself and sob. This anti-social attitude will only make you feel worse. Sobbing will make it worse too if you're wallowing in it and feeling self-pity. I'm not saying don't feel anything. I'm a firm believer in letting emotion flow and then letting them go. But take charge of your attitude, cry it out if you need, and then get back on your feet and socialize. Surrounding yourself with happy people will make you feel wayyy better! 

Miserable Diary: While keeping a diary can be fun, many of us tend to use them as a method to rant and be negative with out really being conscious of it. My old diaries scare me! They were filled with pessimism, frustration, and negativity. I was only re-enforcing that negative mental attitude. Finally, I saw this and turned it around. Now if I don't have anything nice to say, I won't say it at all. If you absolutely need to vent, then go for it; I go into more details about this method in this last post "Turn Your Mood Around with Writing." And if you reaaally need to vent, then write out those frustrations first on a scrap piece of paper and then throw it away when you're done so you can get on to writing something positive. Holding onto that piece of paper is similar to holding onto those negative thoughts in your head. You don't need them, let them go. 
There's no point in writing out little vent if you only feel worse or the same afterwards. Do not keep a diary if all it's going to be is a negative outlet. If you don't find a positive conclusion then all you are doing is re-enforcing a negative mental attitude. Reach a Positive conclusion and a change of attitude. 
Instead, keep a "Happy Diary" and focus your attention on all the Positivity in your life, it'll help change your attitude towards everything! 

Don't Dwell on Negativities: Most of us fall victim to this attitude because it's easy and almost taught. The Blog focuses so much attention on Positivity for this exact reason! Dwelling on Negativities serves no purpose--at all! If you want a negative life then by all means focus all your attention on what's "wrong" around you; talk about it, write about it, share with everyone how negative everything is. Time to realize that this is only going to make your situation worse. Focus your attention ON the things you Do want, and OFF the things you Don't what. Repel Negativity by being Positive. It IS that simple. Practice this all the time. The next time you want to share something negative on facebook, twitter, tumblr, or whatever social network, or in real life, stop yourself! Focus instead on something positive and write or talk about that. This truly truly works! And practice makes perfect!  

~Peace & Love

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

☺ Inspiration: Turn Your Mood around with Writing! ☺

It's a simple step that most of us don't place the effort in; turning our mood around. Let's face it, we all have moments where life can become overwhelming, when things can get us down or just plain in a bad mood. Turning our mood around is one of those things that requires our immediate attention if we hope to carry on with the rest of our day on a postive note instead of dwelling on negativities and remaining moody. Yet we very rarely actually give ourselves the time to do so. 
Put in the effort to make yourself happy and upbeat! 

I already spoke a bit about dancing and doing something active to boost your mood and return that smile (you can check out my video blog regarding this and be entertained by my sillyness too ~_^). It's a great step, but it can be useless if you can't stop a dillemma or problem from nagging your mind. 

Sort through those problems as soon as they arrive. Focus on a positive outcome. Don't waste your time on negativity, this only re-enforces that bad attitude and makes it harder to recover. And whatever you do, do not play the "poor me" card. These things get you no where but in a negative circle.

Learn to get into the habit of using pen and paper to write down your problems and ordeals, but most importantly, your thoughts into a positive conclusion. Now, this is key so I'm going to say it again; don't dwell on negativities

Too often our process of writing and thinking means whining and venting and complaining about what's wrong in our lives. This only continues the negative attitude, worse yet, it further imbeds it into your brain. Such a continual process becomes a habit, one that is not easy to break. And this is the dilemma most of us must face; changing our thought patterns back into something positive after years of negative thinking.

So use that pen and paper as a constructive tool instead of dwelling on pessimism. If you need to let out a little vent, by all means, do so--it is often a necassary part of the process--but keep writing until you reach something positive. Learn to ask questions, to look deeper, to really let your thoughts transfer onto the page. Don't spend time thinking about what you're writing, just let the words flow from your subconscious to your conscious mind right onto paper. The thoughts should be written out just as fast as they strike the mind. All one fluid process. You'll be amazed by the revelations, epiphanies, and realizations you'll have. That is, if you allow yourself to and really get into positive habits. If you begin the process with no intention of a positive or constructive outcome then you won't get one because you'll still be dwelling on the negative. 
Learn to open your mind and let your thoughts flow through your heart. It is another key point in this exercise to ask "what would love do?" Love opens the door to enlightenment and openness, and if you are open then you will be receptive to the wonderful revelations that may come to you by hammering out words onto paper. Let go of grudges, and the blame game, and being right, let it all go and become open to your subconscious mind. 

So, to sum this up in steps and key notes:

Don't waste your time on the Negative.
Keep your mind on the things you do want, and off the things you don't.
Keep writing until you change your attitude into a positive one.
Be open and loving--so that you are Receptive to the revelations that may come.
Let your thoughts transfer instantly as they come from your subconscious to the page.
Set Positive, conclusive Intentions. 
Don't stop writing until you have a positive conclusion and can be at peace with the problem.
Write as soon as trouble surfaces in your mind--don't push it aside and allow it to linger until it reaches a breaking point.

These steps will help you maintain a Positive and Happy Attitude. But always remember to appreciate your life and look at the good in it instead of the bad. There's no point in letting yourself be miserable all the time-- you can turn your own mood around! It is in your hands, give yourself that credit. Make sure you place the effort though. If you do nothing then your bad mood will linger, don't allow it to. You are all powerful and have absolute control of your mood. Practice consistently changing it around and you will be well on your way. It will eventually come naturally and the effort won't be as great. Until you reach that point, practice, practice, practice. Never get discouraged and always be resilient. 

You are an amazing human being!

So dance, write, and do whatever else you may know that works to turn your mood around. Don't waste a second more of your time being negative! Smile, laugh, and enjoy your beautiful life!!!

Peace & Love
~Bianca xo

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

☆ What's Going On: Juicing ☆

Juicing is awesome! And Juice Fasts will boost your body and get you pumped and detoxing! 

Benefits of Juicing: 

It is recommended that we eat five servings of vegetables and three of fruits each day, but sadly most of us don't even come close to this. The average American eats only 1 1/2 servings of vegetables and, on average, no fruit on any given day.

Juicing is an easy way to get in those extra servings and to reap the benefits from fruits and vegetables. They contain essential phytochemicals that have shown to heal the body of all sorts of ailments, including cancer, heart disease, as well as some of our most common, like asthma, arthritis, and allergies.

Juicing is an easy process in which its natural vitamins, nutrients, and raw enzymes are extracted and easily absorbed by our bodies. Fresh juice is packed full of nutrients, minerals and vitamins, and raw enzymes so you're feeding your body all sorts of goodness it often lacks in your regular diet too. 

Fresh juices are a tremendous source of enzymes which is why the whole "freshness" of juicing is so important. The natural enzymes found in our foods are destroyed by heat, so when you eat cooked foods, whether its grains, fruits, or vegetables, if the food is cooked at temperatures above 114 degrees, the enzymes have been destroyed by the heat. Since fruits and vegetables are juiced raw, the enzymes are still viable when you drink the juice.

Juicing also removes the indigestible fiber, meaning the nutrients are available to the body in much larger quantities than if the piece of fruit or vegetable was eaten whole. For example, because many of the nutrients are trapped in the fiber, when you eat a raw carrot, you are only able to make use of about 1% of the available beta carotene. When a carrot is juiced, removing the fiber, nearly 100% of the beta carotene can be assimilated.

Juicing literally give our bodies a boost with all of those amazing nutrients. Plus, it's much easier to juice 5 carrots than to eat them all. (I'm not saying don't eat raw carrots, in fact, eat LOTS of raw fruits and veggies as well as juicing ~_^). 

Juice Fasting:

A Juice Fast is a great way to cleanse the body because the juice is rapidly digested and only uses a small amount of energy to do so, giving your body that chance to cleanse. It makes more sense to me as well as opposed to starving your body with a water fast. 

To do a full juice fast, typically you should be juicing for Eight Days. Why? Because for the first couple of days your body uses stored food reserves from your liver. However, if you have never done a juice fast, or even if you have, it can be a challenge. Juicing for even one day reaps tons of benefits and still begins the detoxing. 

It is important that when you stop a juice fast that you EASE back into eating solids and you should watch what you are eating thereafter. This is equally important going Into the cleanse. For the days prior and after you should avoid eating coffee, dairy products, meat, sugar, wheat, flour-products of any kind, and alcohol. 

While doing a juice fast you can drink as much juice as you want! If you're hungry, juice. If you're thirsty, juice! 

Drink plenty of water with any cleanse as well. Well, drink lots of water regardless of what you are doing, it is necessary for the body to keep it healthy and to upkeep proper digestion. 

*Because your body has a build up of toxins, quite often you may feel undesirable side-effects while doing a cleanse. This is known as a "healing crisis". The more badly you need a cleanse, the worse the side-effects usually are. Let it be a wake up call to eat better and cleanse more ;). Just remember that while these symptoms can be uncomfortable, but they are a part of the cleansing process.

It is quite normal to feel one or more of the following; mild nausea, rashes, headaches, irritability, joint pains, or other indications of detox. You can also sometimes feel weepy or emotional--that can be years of pent up tensions releasing.

But the possible side-effects pass fairly quickly and are insignificant when you think of the rewards.
Afterwards you will be be blessed with feeling energized, clearheaded, rejuvenated and revitalized! Your body and your mind will thank you for it! Hugely!!! 

To find out more about Why you should cleanse, check this post.

A little Note:

*Please note, I am not a doctor or medical practitioner of any kind, this is a sum of research and personal experience. Fasting is not for growing children, and not for anyone pregnant or nursing. People who are taking certain medications and people who have other compelling medical reasons should not fast. If you are uncertain, maybe talk to your doctor (I'm against doctors but I kinda have to suggest it ;p).*

That being said, there is argument against fasting as there is argument against anything that is healthy for you and takes money away from the medical industry. You'll learn from your own experience and consider the following as well before you buy into any of the skepticism that is being put out there.

"Each year, doctor-prescribed drugs kill more Americans than street drugs. Drug Abuse Warning Network statistics indicate less than 10,000 deaths annually from illegal drugs. 130,000 Americans actually die in hospitals each year from prescription medication." (Whitaker, J. in Health and Healing, September 1993 Supplement, Phillips Publishing, page 3)

All animals naturally use fasting as a means to heal itself when it is sick. Neat huh? ;)

Cancer patients and many others with severe illnesses have CURED themselves through juice fasting! 

Now that that has been said, onto more about juicing ;) 

Buy yourself a Juicer:

To make juice you WILL need a Juicer. 
Juicers are needed to extract the fluid part of the vegetable along with the vitamins, minerals and enzymes it contains. This is why a blender isn't the same thing, or buying prepackaged "juice" in stores isn't the same either. There are juice bars out there though, which are always great on those lazy days when you don't feel like juicing yourself or when you are out and about.  

There are tons of juicers on the market, ranging from all sorts of price-ranges. It's a good idea to spend the extra money to get a good juicer though. The "Champion" brand are one of the best, but they are also expensive! One day I will invest in one of these but until then I will recommend a "Brevelle" one for that in-between price range. They are sturdy machines and do the trick. I don't recommend the cheaper ones, I've owned one before and it was not worth it. 

What to Juice:

Vegetables are best, especially carrots, cucumbers, beets, tomatoes, zucchini squash, romaine lettuce, sprouts, celery and cabbage. 
Fruits are great too and can add that extra sweetness to a juice combination. Raw apples are best but its always fun to play around with different flavors. 

Buy Organic vegetables and fruits to juice. I'd say that you can juice non-organics and peel them, but I don't want to even suggest it. The point of a cleanse is to detox your body and you're not doing yourself any favors by putting pesticide-heavy produce into your body--those are some of the toxins you are trying to Detox from!!!   

Drink your juice right away! I mean, immediately! Fresh juice contains all those amazing food enzymes and vitamins and they are easily lost the longer the juice sits there. 

Carrots are amazing to juice, they are definitely my favorite. They taste amazing and are sweet, so they go great with any combination you choose to juice. 

Other fruits and veggies commonly used in juice fasts:

Vegetables - celery, cucumber, red bell pepper
Greens - parsley, kale, beet greens, chard, spinach, dandelion leaf
Cruciferous vegetables - broccoli, cabbage
Root vegetables - carrots, beets, sweet potatoes
Fruits - dark grapes, apples, lemon, Açai berry
Herbs - yucca root, fennel, spearmint, peppermint, basil, ginger, garlic, green onion, chilli pepper, fresh turmeric root, milk thistle
Wheatgrass juice, spirulina (a blue-green sea algae)

I'll say it again; there should be a gradual return to solid foods! Start with raw foods and maybe a bit of grains (quinoa or brown rice) the day after juice fasting. After that, ease into other solids but keep away from those mentioned earlier. If you want to start eating those "no-no" foods again, introduce them ONE DAY AT A TIME! This way you will actually notice the effect they have on your body. You may be amazed! Better yet, it may make you want to continue to keep them out of your diet. It's easier than it sounds, trust me. ;) 

Whether you are fasting or not, a cup of fresh Juice a day is great! Your body will thank you for it too. So invest in a juicer and enjoy all the fun you can create with all those different veggie and fruit combinations! 

Peace & Love,

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