Got Juice?

My friend Amanda is my inspiration for juicing and good things food in general.  She's been juicing for almost as long as I've been eating low fat potato chips!  I can't believe how much juicing got me on a path of being healthier.  It warms my heart when my two year old asks for green juice! 

Who better to be the first guest on my blog!  Enjoy friends,and check back soon for my next post!

Nicole

Rollercoaster

Amanda Martin

Everyone is familiar with the rollercoaster of life.  Some days are good – really, really good – and some days you wonder why you even left the house - cue flashback to the sleeping in, stubbing your toe, toothpaste on your dress, nothing seeming to go right kind of days.  Depending on where you are on your own journey (or time of the month, ladies) that rollercoaster can either be climbing its way steadily to the top, or plunging you down faster than you can scream for it to stop.

In real life, I’m a huge fan of rollercoasters. This metaphorical rollercoaster however, not so much.  I’ve been on a bit of a mission as of late to slow down, get off the rollercoaster, and turn every day into one of those really, really good days – because, it really is up to me.

I’d love to share with you how I’m doin’ it:

  1. Be Grateful – I’m not referring to saying Thank You to the nice man who held the door open for you this morning – I’m talking about appreciating all that is around you, no matter how insignificant it might first seem. Express gratitude for your surroundings, for your friends, for your life. I try my best to do this (almost) daily in a journal. I reflect on a handful of things that I was grateful for that day, as well express gratitude for those things that I want to attract into my life in the future. This isn’t just an exercise of making notes – it’s a sure-fire way to make your heart sing.
  2. Make Space – Each of us only has room for so much on our plate. I have chosen to make a conscious effort to lose the stuff on my plate I don’t want (because yes, it is my choice), and in turn have created a lot more space to be filled up with people, hobbies, activities that are in line with what I DO want. Making the choice to remove things that are no longer serving us can often be difficult and awkward – and when most of us get to this point of the edge of our comfort zone, we tend to back off and retreat to where we were comfortable. Not necessarily truly happy, but comfortable. But, let me tell you, when you get in touch with your inner warrior and make space in your life for Good – it’s going to come. And you’re going to love it.
  3. Be Selfish – With your time. In other words, do a lot more of what you love and a lot less of what you don’t. For me, my Love list includes laughing with my girlfriends (see point #5 below), creating wicked healthy meals in the kitchen, designing kick-ass homes, dancing around the house, working up a sweat, floating in the pool, and listening to my daughters tell crazy bedtime stories. My house isn’t as spotless as it once used to be (trust me, this doesn’t define you as a person), some nights we have smoothies for supper, and some nights we all camp out on the living room floor in the best fort you’ve ever seen. A little less rigidity and a little more going with the flow. Speaking of flow – Yoga is right up there on my love list.
  4. Love Yourself – At the risk of sounding completely full of myself, I’m not going to lie – I’m pretty awesome. I’ve got an infectious laugh, bright blue eyes, generous spirit and a kick ass sense of humour. I can rock a headstand (without the wall), make a mean batch of melt in your mouth chocolate chip cookies (vegan, of course), and play Roxettes Fading Like a Flower on the piano with my eyes closed (no joke). But, I’m going to tell you a secret – You’re just as awesome. You just might not believe it yet. Stop comparing yourself to your friends, to your siblings, to people on Facebook that you’ve never ever met in your life but find yourself wishing you had theirs. Next time you look in the mirror, stop yourself from focusing on what you don’t like and tell yourself something good. Then, keep doing it. It’s kinda contagious.
  5. Get a Wolf Pack – For real. Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people who have the same values and love for life as you do. People that give you energy instead of sucking it all out of you. Then, spend a lot of time with those people. In person, on the phone, on the internet. Doesn’t matter to me what you’re doing with them as long as it’s making you smile. True friends are what make the world go round. When you find them, love them, appreciate them, and laugh your asses off together. Pushing up to the top of the rollercoaster is a lot easier with help – and flying down it is a lot more fun with friends who aren’t going to judge you when you tell them you peed your pants.
  6. Be a Snob – about what you put in your mouth. I’m kidding. Well, Kind of. Treat your body with respect and love, and feed it nourishing, vibrant foods. For me, the most energizing things I can do for myself in a day:  work up a good sweat, eat as many organic fruits and vegetable as possible, and to always have a fresh veggie and fruit juice. When Nicole asked me to write her first post for this new Food Blog (which of course will be fabulous like everything she puts her stamp on), we both knew right away that it should be about juicing. Nic and her little family have hopped on the juice train and love it. You probably should too.

I have been juicing consistently for almost three years. Safe to say this isn’t a ‘fad’ for me. I love knowing that 95% of the vitamins and enzymes my body needs are found in raw fruit and vegetable juice. Fresh juice is like drinking a natural vitamin filled with living enzymes, essential minerals, antioxidants, and natural antibiotics, which are vital for optimal health. Some of the benefits of getting into a juicing routine include (but definitely aren’t limited to:

  • More Energy
  • Brighter Skin
  • Improved Digestion
  • Weight Loss
  • Clear Mind and Ability to Focus
  • ENERGY!
  • Improved Immune System

You can juice virtually any fruit and/or vegetable you like but the best combination is one that you like! When you’re starting out, sticking to simple recipes is best. My personal favorite Green Juice recipe is this:

  • 4 Apples (or one whole pineapple)
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Lemon
  • Kale or Romaine
  • Thumb of Ginger
  • Bunch of Parsley/Cilantro/Mint

Want to know some more about juicing? I owe a lot of my knowledge to Whitney and the team at Grounded Nutrition – they are an amazing, inspiring group of natural health crusaders whose passion is to make their clients lives richer (you know up there where I talked about a Wolf Pack? She’s part of mine). You can check them out on their website at www.groundednutrition.com, or follow them on Facebook.

While you’re on Facebook, check out the group Let’s Get Healthy Saskatchewan.  This group was started by one of my Besties, Chanelle who is an amazing inspiration when it comes to healthy eating, being a super mom, and loving life. This group is a fantastic resource for all things healthy.

Incorporating change takes patience – sometimes a lot of it. In our world of social media, mass marketing, and television programming that breeds constant comparisons to others – it can be difficult to lose sight of our own goals, dreams, and successes along the way. So, when you find something that resonates with you, keep doing it. The cumulative effort of small, positive changes can turn into some great big results!

Lots of Love,

Amanda

P.S. Just know – you’re not on the rollercoaster alone. 

Is she a hippy? I wanna drink out of a mason jar...

I love food.  I’ve always loved food.  Sometimes I loved the food I ate more than I loved me.  By that I mean I loved potato chips and all the other things like potato chips.  I even bought into the new “healthy ones”  with a few whole grains thrown in and “reduced fat”  I never questioned what was in them, I just ate them.  Me and Dean used to need 2 family size bags on movie night because we didn’t like to share our salty addictions.

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I also used to eat out a lot.  I mean – chicken nuggets were the healthy choice right – especially now that they were all white meat…  Bentley loved them.  I’m glad I learned while he was young enough to forget chicken nuggets.  I still do eat out – I just pick different places.  We have some excellent places to eat good food in Regina, and I don’t have to feel guilty about feeding my toddler at these places.

It’s funny how we try to eat healthy – I used to get caught up in all the mainstream diets – the calorie thing, the points thing, the protein thing, the low fat thing, the no fat thing and my favorite – the baked not fried thing…  The thing was, none of those things made me skinny, gave me energy or made me feel good.

Then something changed.  A friend of mine showed me her juicer, well, first I saw her walk into a meeting with a mason jar, a straw and some weird green coloured juice.  I had two thoughts at the same time: Is she a hippy? quickly followed by I think I want to try that…  The next time I saw Amanda, she had a large (I mean large) Tupperware full of melons.  I thought geez, this chick is always eating.  Doesn’t that fruit have a lot of sugar in it?  Boy did I have lots to learn.

After a couple weeks of curious internet browsing, I phoned Dean (who had no idea about my research or shopping plans…) I told him juicer things were on sale at Home Outfitters.  Amanda says the Breville one is a good start.  Can you go buy one?  Today please?  I’m sure he rolled his eyes at least twice on his way to Home Outfitters, but he came home with a juicer.  Now instead of low-fat no-fat, we just eat (and drink) good food.

The weird thing is, I think what I eat now actually tastes better than what I used to eat before.  I started by following a simple rule – If I can’t sounds out the pronunciation of the ingredients, I don’t buy it. (Except those sulfite or sulfate thingies – I know there in red wine and I just have to live with it :)

I decided to write a blog about food because I really like food and I have really enjoyed learning how to enjoy it better.  I also like photographing food - Except sometimes I eat it halfway through the photoshoot :)  oops...

I hope you tune in every couple weeks and we can learn and have fun with food together!