Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thank the Monkey...and Karen Dawn!

One of the first books I read once I became vegan was Karen Dawn's "Thanking the Monkey."  I love this book!  It perfectly balances the heaviness and sad nature of the material with upbeat, funny quotations and comics.  And guess who we got to speak at Mad City Vegan Fest?!?!  KAREN DAWN!!  Hell yeah!  So that's right folks, we have Terry Hope Romero, co-author of Veganomicon, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and author of Viva Vegan; Jasmin Singer, founder of Our Hen House; Kenny Torello from Mercy For Animals and now Karen Dawn!  This is shaping up to be a wonderful first year!  In addition to great speakers, we'll have food demos, tons of samples, vendors, kids activities, yoga, and some amazing raffle items!  Oh yeah, and did I mention I'm throwing a kick ass after party at the High Noon Saloon?  ;-)  Mark June 19th on your calendars kiddies!  Oh, and contact me or go to veganfest.org to sign up as a volunteer, be a sponsor/vendor, or contribute a raffle item.  Thanks everyone!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Raving Bunnies!

Yay Herbivores!  Way to go Mad City Vegan Fest volunteers!  We had an amazingly productive meeting last night and the festival is moving along.  This is going to be a great first year for us!  Our confirmed speakers are Jasmin Singer of Our Hen House, Kenny Torello of Mercy For Animals, and cookbook author Terry Hope Romero.  Not too shabby!  I just so happen to be the leader of the After Party Committee, and I will be throwing a kick ass show following the festival June 19, 2011.  So far we have booked the Chicago band The Exponential.  So far so good! 

Special thanks to our sponsors Alliance for Animals, and http://coconutbliss.com/.  If you'd be interested in being a sponsor/exhibitor please visit our site: veganfest.org, or you may contact me.  We are also looking for raffle items, so if you have something to contribute contact me as well.  I'm also on the raffle committee.  :-)  

Okay, now going with my theme of food, I have a product rave!  It is well known in the vegan community that Daiya cheese is the coolest thing since sliced bread.  It's the best vegan cheese out there and they just came out with a new flavor: Pepper Jack!!  Um, yes please!  I just tried it today, and it's amazing!!  I love spice, and this stuff gives me the kick I need.  Daiya, thank your for filling that cheesey void in my life!  We love you! http://www.daiyafoods.com/

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Back on the Wagon

First off, I would like to give a shout out to Laura Hooper Beck, editor at large for VegNews, founding editor of Vegansaurus, community manager of VegWeb, and just all around spectacularly admirable vegan badass!  She is witty, charming and really lays in to the issues that need to be addressed.  Recently some ex-vegan with a new thesaurus decided to post her Conscious Case Against Veganism.  This just further solidifies my belief that you can never trust an ex-vegan.  Laura wrote an outstanding rebuttal to this nonsensical "argument,"  aka. her justification for eating animal products.  Whatever helps you sleep at night honey. 

Well, now that I'm trying to hop back on the wagon it's time to give you some healthy recipes!  (I cheated and had some dried pineapple rings sweetened with sugar...I know, I know.)  For the past month I've been living off of salads for lunch.  As you know, salads can threaten to bore you to death if you don't get creative with your assembly.  I was eating just a simple kale and spinach salad with microgreens, sprouts and my favorite processed dressing (Organicville Miso Ginger and Annie's Goddess dressings).  Bah!  Snooze fest!  I've started seeking out great salad and dressing recipes, and I've been thrilled by my creations!  I love making my own dressing.  It's quick, easy, healthy, and delicious!  Again Ani Phyo steps up to the plate with some great recipes from Ani's Raw.  Since I had never used fennel before I decided to try the Shaved Fennel with Blood Oranges, Poppy Seeds, and Micro Greens.  I was a little intimidated by the fennel, but it ended up being a delicious salad!  With the strong taste of fennel and the oranges, you only need to toss with a bit of oil.  I used flaxseed oil instead of olive oil to get a dose of my Omega 3. 

Shaved Fennel with Blood Oranges, Poppy Seeds, and Micro Greens
Makes 4 servings

1 large fennel bulb, trimmed
2 medium oranges, peeled
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or flax)
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
2 cups micro greens

Shave the fennel bulb into thin slice with a knife or mandoline.  Cut oranges into slice, cutting across the segments, and remove seeds.

Place oranges and fennel in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.  Let salad marinate for five to ten minutes to allow the flavors to blend. 

Top with poppy seeds and micro greens and serve at room temperature.

Tossed salad will keep for one day in the fridge.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Post Cleanse Freak Out

Alright, so the cleanse made me freak out a bit...okay, a lot a bit.  I followed the cleanse for 3 weeks, not always sticking to the 60/40 ratio, but trying all the same.  Well, after it was over, I kind of went on a free for all.  I think I ate a total of 3 vegan chocolate chip scones from Whole Foods (it's the only thing I bought from there besides strawberries, I swear!).  I also ate a vegan Sheba Bar from the Willy St Co-op, a bagel from Gothem with scallion tofu cream cheese, a pint of Coconut Bliss, and 2 chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter buttercream frosting.  Yes, I went nuts!  (This was not in one day, mind you.)  It makes me glad that I started running again and do yoga everyday on top of it, so I can keep up with my eating habits.  :-P  Well, after going on my uber sugar binge last week, I've decided ENOUGH!  I'm not going to let me crazy binge eating and sweet tooth control me anymore.  I'm back on the cleanse, allowing myself up to 5 cheats a week.  This can include something very simple like a sprouted whole wheat bagel, or something naughty like a cookie.  Overall,  I'm trying to keep the number of cheats way down.  After starting back up on wheat I've noticed that I have an intolerance.  I don't think it's too severe, but my system works much better with wheat out of the equation. Symptoms of an intolerance can be gastrointestinal problems, chronic pain, depression, low blood iron levels, and more.  It is estimated that 1 in 7 people are Gluten Intolerant.  If you think you may have an intolerance to gluten, just cut it out of your diet for 3 weeks and see how you feel.  I felt great when I was on my cleanse, and now I feel crappy.  I noticed my system immediately freak out from the introduction to wheat back into my diet.  The most obvious being abdominal bloating. 

To find out more you can go to this website: http://www.wheatintolerance.org/

So I have another mylk to introduce to you.  One great thing about a raw diet is that it doesn't include wheat.  As I had blogged before, I'm completely addicted to Ani Phyo's raw mylks.  Well, I tried another: Cashew Banana Mylk.  Delicious!  I think I like it better than the Banana Buttermylk.  It's smooth and creamy with just enough sweetness.  Now, you can make this in any old blender, but you should really consider investing in a Vitamix.  You'll thank me later.  If you don't have a high speed bleder like this, you'll want to cut open the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds.  If you are cool enough to own a Vitamix, though, just throw the whole bean in there. 

Cashew Banana Mylk
Makes 4 servings

2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 vanilla bean (I used a whole one, bc I love vanilla!)
Pinch sea salt
5 cups water

Put everything in the blender and blend until smooth!  Will keep for two days in the fridge. 

So easy, delicious and nutritious!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Danger Zone!

You know those treats that you discover that are so danerously good that they should be kept out of reach?  Well, I have yet another to share with you.  I know, I'm evil.  If you have been living under a rock, you may not have heard of the wonderfully delightful brand Coconut Bliss.  The founders Luna and Larry and amazing individuals.  They have somehow developed a dangerously delicious vegan ice cream made from coconut and agave syrup.  That's right, it's sugar free!  Wha?  This is actually something that I just discovered last night while reading the side of the carton as I ate from the pint Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge in my kitchen.  The first thing that came into my head was "You've got to be kidding me...I could have been eating this the whole time I was on my cleanse?!  Damnit!" 

I know in an earlier posting I kind of condemned Coconut oil, with it's 85% saturated fat content.  It ends up there is a lot of controversy in the nutrition world when it comes to coconut.  Raw foodists swear by it, and so do a lot of nutrtitionists.  The fat found in coconut does not need to be broken down in our body and are immediately read to be used as energy.  Coconut fat stimulates your metabolism!  It has oodles of health benefits including aiding in digestion and absorption of nutrients, boosting energy and endurance (coconut water anyone?), reduces inflammation, supports tissue healing and repair, improves cholesterol ratio, supports thyroid function, is used by the body to produce energy rather than being stored as fat...this is only a small fraction of the health benefits.  In other words, there are so many health benefits from eating coconut that it should be a part of your balanced diet.  So why not include a serving of Coconut Bliss?! 

You can learn more about Coconut Bliss here.  You can also learn more about coconut at http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lay Off the Drugs!

You ever think that you can't possibly give up milk, cheese or some other dairy product?  Have you ever wondered why you are so addicted to this food?  Maybe you think it's just too delicious, and that's the reason.  Well, guess what?!  There is a physiological reason for your addiction to dairy products.  I'm sure there are oodles of physcological reasons as well, seeing as food is so intertwined in our social habits and family traditions, but our addictions go even deeper than that. 

Have you heard of the protein casein?  Well, this is a protein found in dairy products.  In Dr. T Colin Campbell's book "The China Study, he links animal proteins, like casein, to cancer development.  In fact, he found that casein promoted cancer in all stages of its development.  This connection is so profound, that they found they could turn cancer off and on in laboratory animals just by altering the amount of casein in their diets.  He also found that plant proteins have no such effect on cancer growth. 

When casein is broken down in digestion it forms a protein fragment called casomorphin.  Just as its name suggests (-morphin) it has an opioid effect!  That's right, you're getting high on dairy!  Just like other opioids it is incredibly addicting.  Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, says

"If you examined a casein molecule under a powerful microscope, it would look like a long chain of beads (the "beads" are amino acids-simple building blocks that combine to make up all the proteins in your body). When you drink a glass of milk or eat a slice of cheese, stomach acid and intestinal bacteria snip the casein molecular chains into casomorphins of various lengths. One of them, a short string made up of just five amino acids, has about one-tenth the pain-killing potency of morphine."

There you have it.  Now kick the habit!  There is absolutely no reason you need to be drinking or eating the secretions from another animal.  That milk is for calves, not humans.  We are the only species that drinks and eats the secretions from the mammary glands of another animal.  We are the only species that drinks these secretions after infancy.  Don't you think there is something wrong with this picture?  In an age where obesity and chronic diseases are killing us and draining our health care system, we need to be mindful of what we're putting in our bodies.  Do you want to enhance our life and health or do we want to slowly kill ourselves with unhealthy habits?  Consuming animal products is just a habit once you break it down.  So just cut the habit.  Plain and simple.  Sure it will be hard, but it is so worth it.

Treat yourself with mylks that are good for you.  Ones that are plant based and raw!  My favorite mylk recipes from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen.  These are simple, quick, and delicious.  I love seeing only 5 ingredients and knowing that this drink is healthful and free of artificial sweeteners and other additives that popular processed mylk drinks have.  Making your own raw mylks provides the maximum amount of nutrients and flavor!  I just put mine in mason jars.  (These are a great investment and save on packaging, so I suggest you buy some of your own.)  So far I have made Vanilla Mylk, Chocolate Mylk, and Cinnamon Banana Buttermylk.  The last is most certainly my favorite!  Give me cinnamon banana anything and I'm there, but especially this creamy, satisfying beverage.  It has the consitency similar to a shake.  I especially love this drink after a hard work out, because it's packed with potassium, calcium, protein and vitamin E.  Ani says this mylk "helps increase circulation and blood flow to stressed muscles, while building lean muscle tissue."  Did I mention it's incredibly easy to make?  Win win and win!

Vanilla Mylk
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pitted dates
1 vanilla bean
Pinch sea salt
5 cups water

Put the almonds, dates, vanilla bean, salt and water in the blender and blend until smooth. *Note: I sliced my vanilla bean open and scraped out the inside into the blender, as opposed to throwing the whole bean in there.

Will keep for four days in the fridge.

Chocolate Mylk
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pitted dates
3 tablespoons cocoa powder or cacao nibs
Pinch sea salt
5 cups water

Put the almonds, dates, cocoa powder, salt, and water in the blender and blend until smooth.

Will keep for four days in the fridge.

Per serving: calories: 141, protein: 5g, carbohydrates: 15g, fat: 8g, potassium: 7%, calcium: 6%, iron: 7%, vitamin E: 21%, riboflavin: 9%, phosphorus: 10%, magnesium: 17%, zinc: 5%, copper: 16%, manganese: 23%, dietary fiber: 16%

Cinnamon Banana Buttermylk
Makes 4 servings

3 ripe bananas
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup cashew butter or almond butter
Pinch sea salt
4 cups water

Put the bananas, cinnamon, cashew butter/almond butter, salt and water in the blender and blend until smooth.

Will keep for two days in the fridge.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


It's over!  My cleanse is finally over!!  Don't get me wrong, I loved the cleanse.  I definitely felt better, when I wasn't overeating, that is.  Everyone in my family seems to have a problem with this.  I'll just have those days where I'll say f* it and then I'll have a free for all on as much food as I can consume.  Definitely an issue to iron out, but just all you overeaters out there, know that you're not alone.  We all have those days.  I think that I was having trouble esepcially here at the end, because I wanted bread and sweets so badly.  I went into the cleanse strong, but by the time week 2 rolled around, I had about had it.  I still did about 60/40 towards the end, but I was gorging myself on wayyyy too many nuts and nut butters.  This is why I think I may have actually gained weight, rather than lost it.  Oh well!  Time to put on the sneakers and hit the pavement in addition to the daily yoga practice. 

I'm definitely planning on continuing my daily juicing, but I'll probably cut back to one jar of juice a day instead of two.  I'm also continuing to eat a huge salad everyday.  Pretty much sticking to mostly raw foods, but I'm not going to be so strict to where I cut out sugar and wheat completely again.  I just realize from these past three weeks that limiting myself in such a way makes me act out in a destructive manner (overeating).  I've learned some good habits from this cleanse, like taking my daily probiotics and supplements, eating mostly raw, organic vegetables, dry brushing and meditation.  While I still have a long way to go, I think I have made some great strides.  I'm pretty much hooked on this raw lifestyle.  I'm going to cook occasionally still, but I'm enjoying my raw meals immensely.  I think I enjoy it so much, because it involves a great amount of creativity.  I look forward to the day when I can get an Excalibur Dehydrator! 

I do recommend trying a cleanse.  It's challenging and incredibly rewarding.  You'll pick up some good habits, and while you probably won't stick with it 100%, you'll be better for completing it.  Again, this was the cleanse from Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet.

Anyway, the way I'm going to enjoy my first day of being off my cleanse is by having a delicious sprouted wheat bagel from Alvarado Street Bakery here with my homemade peanut butter!  (All organic, of course.)  Yum!  This was the only thing I bought on my trip to the co-op today that breaks my cleanse rules.  I pretty much bought all produce, with some groats and sunflower seeds thrown in there.  Allowing myself to have my bagel keeps me sane! 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Big Fat Liars!

As I said in my last entry, I'm on a cleanse.  It just so happens that raw foods are acceptable and encouraged on this diet.  It's no wonder.  Eating raw foods allows you to get the most nutrients and your body digests these foods with ease.  (With some exceptions.  There are certain foods that you must cook in order to release certain enzymes.)  Well, the point is to stay away from processed foods.  The shorter the list of ingredients, the better!  If you can't pronounce something on a label, throw it down and run for your life!  Just kidding.  Just set it down and steer yourself to the produce and bulk aisles!  I pretty much live in these aisles.  Did you know you can even make desserts from these aisles?  Oh yes!  Who needs refined sugar, flour and vegetable oils to make things taste great?!  Yes, we all love our vegan cupcakes, but raw desserts are delicious and good for you!  Finally, you can have your cake and eat it too AND not feel guilty!  Hooray!!

Now, don't let raw diets scare you.  There are quite a few things that have lots of fat in them from seeds and nuts.  But,  let's talk fats for a minute here.  If you are like everyone else (especially women!  Yes, I'm talking to you!), you have probably been brought up fearing fats.  "What?  17 grams of fat?  AHHHHHH!  Get it away!!"  Yes, I have been there.  I used to eat a whole tray of low fat cookies thinking, "well, they're low fat, they must be fine for me to eat,"  and then I wondered why I was chubby.  Know this.  Not all fats are created equal.  Think about that.  Let it sink in.  So the fats that you're getting from say, a cake with vegan margarine and oils, sugar, flour and other sins is not the same as the fat you're getting from seeds, nuts and avocados.  Believe me, I do not want to live in a world where eating avocados and almond butter is a bad thing!  So what's the difference?

The following information has been pulled from "Becoming Vegan" by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina.  This book is great if you want to know why a vegan diet is the healthiest diet out there.  It is a great resource and was one of the first books I read when I became vegan.  It answers all those annoying questions like "Where do you get your protein, calcium, iron, etc."  Vegetables!  Vegetables and more Vegetables!  Jeez.

Saturated fats!  These are molecules that are "saturated" with hydrogen.  So what's the big deal?  Well, these fats have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer.  Lucky for vegans, the highest concentration of these fats are in animal products.  The higher saturated fat foods for vegans run about 5-20%, while fish have 20-30%, chickens have 33%, other meat has 50% and dairy has 66%!!  And you thought being a lacto-ovo vegetarian was a good thing!  Not for your cells!  Or for those animals!  It's important to note here that tropical oils are the exception: coconut fat is over 85% saturated, palm kernel oil is 80% and palm oil is about 50%!  Yikes!  While coconut is great for frying at high temperatures, please use this stuff sparingly.

Trans Fatty Acids:  these are the undesirable monounsaturated fatty acids that have had the hydrogen atoms rearranged during food processing.  Liquid oils are hydrogenated to form hard, stable fats, creating trans fats.  This improves shelf life for foods while doing a number on your health!  "Gram for gram, trans fatty acids apear to be 2 to 4 times damaging as saturated fatty acids."  Yikes!  These trans fats are mostly found in margarine, shotening, crackers, cookies, granola bars, chips, snack foods, and deep-fried foods.  Since most of these foods contain dairy or eggs, they are not part of a vegan diet.  However, there are some sneaky vegan processed foods that weasle them in there, so don't be fooled!  Just eat mostly whole foods and cook with non-hydrogenated oils and you'll be okay. 

Monounsaturated Fats!  These are fatty acids with one spot in the carbon chain where hydrogen is missing (mono-).  That is, one point of unsaturation.  These fats are beneficial to your health and help protect you against chronic diseases, especially heart disease!  There's even evidence that it helps slightly raise your HDL cholesterol levels.  (That's the good kind, in case you were wondering.)  These fats have also shown improvements in blood sugar control in people with diabetes without increases in triglyceride levels!  Monounsaturated fats reduce blood pressure, enhance blood flow, and may even decrease cancer risk.  Boom!  You can find all these beautiful fats in olives, olive oil, canola oil, avocados (yay!), most nuts (except for walnuts and butternuts), high-oleic sunflower oil, and high-oleic safflower oil.  Eat up!
 Polyunsaturated Fats!  These are fat molecules that have more than one spot in the carbon chain where hydrogen is missing (poly-).  That is, multiple points of unsaturation.  There is a lot of inconsistent research findings when it comes to the polyunsaturated fats.  Some show that they lower cholesterol when they replace saturated and trans fatty acids, and others show that they actually increase cancer risk.  This confusion stems from the fact that there are two families of polyunsaturated fats.  You can get these fats from vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, grains, legumes, and other plant foods.
        Essential Fatty Acids (EFA): these are the two polyunsaturated fatty acids required in the diet.  Linoleic acid, the parent in omega-6 fatty acids, and alpha-linolenic acid, the parent in omega-3 fatty acids.  These are considered the "good fats" that are necessary to our health.  The problem is that you need to have these acids in the correct omega-6 to omega-3 ratio: somewhere between 5:1 & 10:1.  It is estimated that the Standard America Diet (SAD) has ratios between 14:1 & 20:1.  This is unhealthy!!  There are serious health implications for this high of a ratio including chronic diseases and heart disease.  Why does the SAD have such a high amount of omega-6?  Well, omega-3 is very vulnerable to oxidation and rancidity, so it is removed in processing.  Also, omega-6 fatty acids have increased with the replacement of saturated fats and trans fats with vegetable oils that are rich in omega-6.
       Long-chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids:  these are acids that aren't considered essential because they can be created from the parent fatty acids, but they are still very important for our health.  These originate from two places.  We can create long-chain fatty acids from the parent fatty acids in our body, or we can consume these long-chain fatty acids directly from food.  For the omega-6 family we can either convert linoleic acid to arachidonic acid (AA) or AA can be consumed from animals products like meat and dairy (with all the other lovely saturated fats that go along with it).  For the omega-3 family, we can convert alpha-linolenic acid to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or we can consume these directly from fish or microalgae, the single-celled organisms that provide EPA and DHA to fish.

I hope that clears up a few questions you may have had about fats.  This doesn't get you a free pass to OD on nuts, seeds and avocados, but it does mean you can eat all these good fats in moderation and not feel bad about it.  And with that I bring you Kris Carr's Green Guru Smoothie from Crazy Sexy Diet.  I have fallen in love with juicing and blending and this smoothie is delicious.  While it's definitely not my favorite (I'm in love the Make Juice, Not War Green Juice), it is extremely satisfying and filling!  Get creative and add some stuff you think you might like.  In this recipe she suggests to use 2 ounces of E3Live probiotic powder, but just find any vegan probiotic powder you like.  I got some from my co-op in the health and beauty section.  Community Pharmacy also carries similar products.  Probiotics help healthy bacteria grow in your tummy, which aids in digestion.

Green Guru Smoothie
Serves 2

1 avocado
5-8 romaine leaves (I used spinach or kale)
1 cucumber
2 ounces E3Live (or 1 teaspoon probiotic powder, per package directions)
1 cup cocunut water (or purified water)
1 banana or 1-2 pears
Stevia to taste or 1 teaspoon agave

Place all the ingrediencts into a blender and blend until smooth.

Me enjoying my smoothie after giving away muffins to protesters at the Capitol.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Spring Cleaning!

It's that time of year again!  Spring is on it's way!  Thank goodness!  It may not seem like it, because of all the snow, but we're almost there.  Daylight savings is coming up and soon the snow will melt and everything will be green and full of life again.  Why not prepare for this beautiful time of year by doing a little cleansing yourself!  Recently I have read Kris Carr's "Crazy Sexy Diet."  For those of you who don't know Kris Carr, I'll give you a little bio.  Kris is a former actress and photographer who was diagnosed with a rare type of sarcoma called epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EHE) at the age of 31!  That's cancer of the connective tissues that effects her liver and lungs.  This type of cancer is completely inoperable and there is no cure.  It's one of those "wait and see" type of cancers.  So Kris decided to ditch the "wait and see" method and take control to live life to the fullest.  She did a ton of research and even went back to school to study nutrition, and she began to heal herself with food!  That's right people.  Hippocrates said it best: "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."  Since Kris has taken on a vegan diet and switched to mostly alkaline foods, she has managed to keep her cancer in check.  It's been 7 years since she was diagnosed, and her cancer is dormant.  Kris Carr follows the rule of 80/20 or 60/40 ratio of vegan foods with 80-60 being alkaline and 20-40 being acidic.  The big no no's are: caffeine, alcohol, refined sugar, gluten, and drugs.  Cancer thrives in acidic environments and these things also cause inflamation.  When you eat a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and a moderate amount of grains, you are promoting an oxygen-rich environment.  Not only that, but you are cleaning out your system.  It's truly amazing how this diet detoxifies your body and how amazing you end up feeling.

Her cleanse is 21 days, and she has helpful day-by-day advice, affirmations, prayers, areas of focus, suggested meal plans, and recipes!  Since I've begun this cleanse I have been on a rollercoaster!  Leading up to my cleanse I sort of went on a free-for-all binge.  I thought "well, I'm cleansing soon, so I can eat all the crap I want!  Well, eat crap and you feel like crap, and I certainly did!  It took a few days into the cleanse for me to actually start feeling good, because my detox symptoms were intense at first.  I would get headaches, my body ached, I felt dizzy/nauseous, and I was running to the bathroom about every half hour.  Now that I'm on week two, I feel light, energetic, powerful, and happy!  I even did the green juice fast that she suggested all yesterday, breaking it with an avocado for dinner (alkaline).  I was definitely craving protein today, so I made sure to eat raw foods/nut butters and I had a yummy pad thai made with an almond butter base.  (Roasted peanuts are actually acidic, but almonds are alkaline.)  I begin every day with a green juice and I have another green juice around 3/4pm.  I rid myself of coffee 2 months ago, but I'm happy I replaced it with this juice!  I don't need caffeine when I have pure, raw, healthy energy packed into my green juice.  Your body is a machine, and you should be feeding it clean, efficient fuel.  I have to admit I was skeptical when it came to this cleanse, but I love the way I feel so much that I can safely say I will be following this diet the majority of the time from now on!  I will never give up my juice, that's for sure!  The following recipe, is Kris' own.  I make the full recipe in the morning and split the juice between two mason jars to cart with me. 

Make Juice, Not War Green Juice
 Serves 2

2 large cucumbers (peeled if not organic)
4-5 stalks kale
4-5 romaine leaves
4 stalks celery
1-2 big broccoli stems
1-2 pears
1" piece gingerroot

Juice all ingredients, alternating among them.

My breakfast and afternoon pick-me-up!

 My beautiful juicer!