Juice Me! Rainbow Juice Recipe

We’ve all heard from a number of sources that we should eat more vegetables. Vegetables are arguably the most beneficial and nutritious foods you can possibly eat, giving you vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and can even help prevent cancer. There are a number of ways you can get those veggies into your diet, including eating them raw, cooked, or even juiced.

Personally, I make a conscious effort to eat as many vegetables as possible. I get a minimum of 1 serving in with every meal (yes, including breakfast), and for lunch and dinner I often have 4-5 servings each. But I wanted to intake even more nutrients from these superfoods, so I turned to juicing.

Fresh juice (not pre-packaged crap you find in bottles) provides you with all the vitamins and minerals of the whole vegetable, minus the fiber. Juice allows you intake more than you would be able to if you were to eat the whole vegetable or fruit, because the juice contains far less mass than the complete fibrous veggie. I’m not recommending you replace your daily vegetables with juice, but you can certainly add juice into your diet to supplement it with extra veggies.

This juice recipe is the most delicious I’ve tried so far, and it will be sure to leave you feeling refreshed and energized. Try it out and let me know what you think! 🙂

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Just put all the ingredients through a juicer and stir it all together before you drink it. Enjoy! 🙂

But Where Do You Get Your CALCIUM??

“So you don’t eat dairy? But where do you get your calcium??”

This is one of the most common questions I’m asked about my diet. No, I don’t consume any dairy products. And no, I’m not at all worried about getting enough calcium. Why? Let me explain.

It is a complete fallacy that milk and other dairy products are the best and/or only source of calcium. The U.S, along with multiple other developed countries, have been brainwashed into believing that if you want strong bones, you must drink milk. According to the new American food pyramid for 2014, you should consume 3 cups of dairy per day. HA! (About 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant…so why is dairy so high on the food pyramid? Doesn’t make sense.)

There are many whole-food sources of calcium that most people are unaware of, kale being the best example. Just 1/2 cup of kale has 205mg of calcium, compared to only 150mg in 1/2 cup of milk. For a comparison of other food choices and their calcium levels, see the chart below.

 

Source: Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D. - thepaleomom.com

Source: Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D. – thepaleomom.com

 

Clearly, many vegetables and leafy greens are great sources of calcium. Almonds and salmon are good choices as well, and they also contain healthy fats and other great nutrients. To strengthen my argument, let’s take a look at absorbability, shall we?

In this study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, they compared the absorbability of calcium in kale and in milk. The results showed that the calcium in kale was more easily absorbed and had better bioavailability than the calcium in milk (by about 10%). So when you eat kale, you are not only ingesting more calcium, but you are also absorbing a higher percentage of it as well.

The bottom line: if you’re looking to increase your calcium consumption, eat more kale! For an easy snack, try out my recipe for Crunchy Kale Chips. They are tasty and great for you!

 

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Sources:

http://www.thepaleomom.com/2013/09/why-dont-i-need-to-worry-about-calcium-2.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/daily/graphics/diet_042005.html

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/04/03/over-75-of-earths-population-is-lactose-intolerant-for-a-reason-dairy-is-harmful/

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/51/4/656.full.pdf+html

Crunchy Kale Chips

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 5.31.00 PM

 

Crunchy. Salty. Healthy? Healthy is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of chips, but not all chips are created equal. This is especially true with kale chips. These crispy little bits of goodness offer a variety of nutrients (iron, potassium, and Vitamin A, just to name a few) and are very low in calories. Although there are some great brands out there that can be found in grocery stores, nothing beats making them yourself at home for a fraction of the cost.

While walking through a farmer’s market this week, I saw one vendor with tons of fresh organic kale for only $2 a bunch. That’s much cheaper than normal, at least where I tend to shop. So I figured I’d pick some up and finally make these kale chips…I’d been wanting to see what all the fuss was about.

Man, oh, man! These chips pleasantly surprised me…maybe just a little bit too much. I ate the entire batch in less than 24 hours…oops! At least this was a guilt-free snack packed with tons of good stuff. On to the recipe!

Crunchy Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika (or your favorite seasoning…cayenne is yummy too!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash and THOROUGHLY DRY kale. (This recipe will not work if your kale is wet)
  3. Cut kale into 1-2 inch pieces, cutting the leaf away from the stem. Discard stems, put them in your compost pile, or save them for a salad.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine kale with oil and toss with fingertips until kale is evenly coated.
  5. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, lay kale out flat making sure there is space between each piece.
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn! They cook up quickly.
  7. Once you remove chips from oven, sprinkle with salt and your seasoning of choice.
  8. Enjoy!

 

Spicy Tuscan Sauté

It’s officially spring. You know what that means? Farmer’s Markets!

I’ve been wandering around my local farmer’s markets in the Sacramento area and have come across the nicest rancher who raises all of his livestock pasture-raised, grass fed and organically. I’ve started buying various cuts of meat from him, including ground pork, lamb chops and sausage. My favorite thing so far from his ranch is the hot Italian sausage, which inspired this recipe.

When creating this recipe, I was in the mood for Italian food and wanted to make a quick and simple one-dish meal. This meal can stand on it’s own, and would be equally delicious as a main dish served with some roasted asparagus (check out my recipe here!) or a salad.

On to the recipe!

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Spicy Tuscan Sauté

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed if any (or mild if you prefer)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 small zucchinis
  • 2 cups white or cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 bell pepper, any color
  • 1-2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil if you prefer)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, optional

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and turkey to pan. Cook until browned and cooked through, moving meat around pan occasionally and breaking it up into small pieces.spicytuscansaute
  2. While meat is cooking, prepare your vegetables. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Chop zucchini into bite-size pieces, slice  the mushrooms, and dice the bell pepper.
  3. Once meat is cooked thoroughly, remove pan from heat and transfer meat into a bowl. Drain some of the liquid but leave a small amount of the fat rendered from the sausage in the pan.
  4. Add onion to pan and cook over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes, then add garlic. Once onion is translucent, about another 2-3 minutes, add zucchini, mushrooms and bell peppers to the pan. Turn heat up to medium and cook vegetables until fork-tender, leaving them with a little bit of crunch. Season vegetables with a pinch of salt and pepper.spicytuscansaute6
  5. Cut each of the tomatoes in half, and add to pan. Continue cooking for about 1-2 minutes, until the skin of the tomatoes begin to wrinkle. Add meat back into pan, stirring the entire mixture together. Turn heat down to low, and allow the meat to come back up in temperature, about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Spoon the sauté into a bowl, and sprinkle with parsley. Enjoy!

spicytuscansaute8

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts may very well be my favorite vegetable. These little nutrient-packed balls of deliciousness are surprisingly high in protein (about 3g per cup) and in vitamin K. They are also super easy to cook!
roastedbrusselsprouts

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Brussels Sprouts (organic if you can find them!)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil (melted), if you prefer)
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut off stem of each sprout. Cut Brussels sprouts in half (cut large sprouts in quarters). Remove outermost leaves if they appear old or damaged. If they appear fine, then leave them. If they fall off, add the fallen leaves to a foil-lined baking sheet along with the rest of the sprouts.
  3. Drizzle oil (and vinegar, if you choose) over sprouts. Sprinkle paprika, pepper, and salt over sprouts, then toss with fingers to evenly coat with oil and seasonings.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, until fork tender and golden brown on top. Detached leaves will be dark and crispy…and delicious!! That’s the best part!

This recipe is enough to serve 4-8 people as a side, depending on how many vegetables you like to eat! Enjoy!