Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Our World.

Take action at

Click!  Get educated!  This stuff is real and not too far away.  Our world really is a beautiful place with some much great potential. :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hold Up.

Real quick, before you start trying to follow the principle laid out here yesterday about eating fruit on an empty stomach, I want to give you a few things that could be considered exceptions.  In other words, these are things that I said, "Wait a minute..." about at one point or another after deciding to always eat fruit on an empty stomach. There is reason behind all of them as well, so I'll explain:

Bananas can be eaten with more dense foods, such as nuts, grains, or proteins.  This is because, as you can feel when you eat it, bananas are more dense themselves.  They have a lower water content.  You also do not need to wait as long after eating them before eating other food.  

Fruit can be eaten with raw vegetables.  Veggies are high in water content and therefore digest easily, like fruit.  A green smoothie is a perfect example of this.  In it, greens and fruit blend perfectly to give huge amounts of fiber for cleansing and detoxing.

Frozen acai packets can be eaten with proteins and denser foods because it is a fatty fruit.  This means it digests slower and doesn't mind digesting at the rate of protein.  These little packets, unsweetened, can be found at Whole Foods in the freezer section!  Try only using half at a time to conserve them. :)

Here's a recipe that I LOVE to use after I work out.  It's awesome.  And it uses these concepts so I get some added fruit for sweetness and alkalinity!

gingerandlemon Simple Protein Packer

1 1/2 c. almond or coconut milk
1 scoop hemp protein (no wheys or soys in da house)
1 T. chia seeds
1 very ripe banana
4 ice cubes
Cinnamon to taste
Stevia to taste

Blend all in order in Vitamix.  Enjoy thoroughly.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fruit First.

Health and nutrition should spring forth from the learned facts about your body and its natural functions.

This concept works for me.  It seems totally simple and easy-going.  When you learn something about how your body works and the properties of food and how they blend together most harmoniously, all you have to do is start following that principle.  The result is more energy, less extra weight, much less fat and less diseases.  Eventually, too, your ideal weight.

That's how I felt when I learned this little snippet about fruit:  
Fruit should always be eaten first or on an empty stomach.

Why?  Because the facts about fruit are:  
It is filled with water.
It rots in hot temperatures.
Facts about your body:
It digests fruit very quickly because of the naturally high water content.
It is about 98.6 degrees. Hot.

So, if you eat fruit with other foods that are more dense, the fruit has to hang out and wait in a long line before it gets a turn to be digested.  Think the line at the grocery store on Thanksgiving morning or the Lululemon checkout line on its warehouse sale day.  In that amount of time (2-3 hours for proteins, starches, and longer for a mixture of both) it begins to rot and ferment, changing it from its fresh, super nutritious, raw state to a toxic pile of rotted waste.  Gross. :(  It also causes bloating.
BUT, if fruit is eaten on an empty stomach and at least a half an hour before other food, it will have time to digest very quickly and very well and provide your body with all of its wonderful benefits. Yay!

These pieces of information are SO VERY important to keep a ton of toxins out of your body, keep away from bloating, and stop premature aging.  Especially when you believe you are eating something good for you, you want to know you are actually reaping the benefits of your intentions!

Happy Monday and Happy Eating!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Math + Food = No Good.

I hate counting calories.  It's such a burden.  I love food way too much to think about the mathematical calculation of what I eat.

There are a few major troubles with counting calories as a means of losing weight:

1)  Calories are a bit controversial.  Unless you have a nutritional label, it may be very difficult to know for sure how many calories are in a certain food, leaving you out of luck with your only measure of health.

2)  The consideration of calories keeps your focus off of the most important thing that needs to be considered: what your body actually needs.  Calories themselves do not consider vitamins and nutrients.  They also neglect to consider amount of fat, sugar, and processed, fake ingredients that are poisonous to our insides.  And what happens when you neglect to consider putting poison into your body?  Zapped energy, proper organ function, anti-aging power, and overall beauty.  Calories don't care that an avocado could make your skin look moisturized and young.  If you are at your daily calorie max, they tell you to eat a sugary popsicle with 40 calories and tons of crap instead of that avocado or almond milk and chia seeds.
3)  Losing track of calories is easy.  Don't have a guide book with you all the time with the exact calculations of every food you could ever eat in the world and a pen and paper to record it every minute of every day?  You're out of luck.
4)  To keep calories in check, food manufacturers will typically turn to food fillers or sugar to make something taste good but not add extra calories (diet pop).  So, you're swapping real food for poorly altered food.  This has short-term effects such as loss of energy and long-term effects such as disease and aging.

When one commits to a plant-based diet and focuses his or her energy on fresh, natural, nourishing foods, the need to count calories (and use multiple anti-aging products and various medications) diminishes.  Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly.  Then, once he or she is used to eating these kinds of foods and ditches the need to count calories, they will no longer have a set of rules to follow.  His or her body will literally adjust to the correct balances of nutrition and acidity and knowing what to eat will be as easy and eating what feels right to the body.  How natural and easy and awesome does THAT sound?  It really is a harmonic and beautiful and easy thing.
So, what to look for in foods if not looking for calorie amount?  Here is a simple list with two main answers:
Processed vs. Unprocessed: canned, bottled, fast foods and packaged foods are all processed in some way. Be careful of these and only buy when necessary.  Especially fast food, of course.
Sugar: always something to keep at an absolute minimum. If you're like me, this is a tough one.  Use stevia, a natural sweetener literally from a plant, to sweeten foods! This has helped me a lot. :)  It comes in liquid and powder for and I think I would recommend buying liquid first, if only buying one.
Fat: good fats, such as omega-3's and omega-6's, are essential to a diet. Yet, when trying to lose weight, keep them in check.  For example, eat half an avocado a day instead of a whole one.
Variety: no need to get carried away with this, simple eating is most beneficial to your body. But if you eat the same thing every day you may be missing out on nutrients provided by other foods. Experiment with a different lettuce or fruit, have fun with it!

I hope this brings some relaxation and enjoyment into your relationship with food.  Be thankful for what food has the ability to provide, and eat what you know is good for your body.  All the rest will fall into place - or just fall of as you lose weight in a natural way! :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Digestive Enzymes.

Happy Friday!

I have gotten a couple questions recently from people inquiring  about the importance of digestive enzymes.  In short, they are very important and beneficial!  I learned about them after having some difficulty digesting any kind of food for about 5 years. (I would regurgitate my food sometimes - kind of like acid reflux - not pretty and I'll stop explaining now.)
So, I think it may be best to do a basic Q&A forum to explain these little tablets.

Q:  What is a digestive enzyme?  
A:  It is an enzyme that breaks up our food to ensure proper digestion and optimal absorption of the vitamins and minerals that are in the foods we eat.

Q:  Why do I need DE's?
A:  A digestive enzyme is necessary for your body to digest its food properly.  Without them, your body may not be able to receive the nutrients from your food because the minerals and vitamins do not get broken down far enough.  This could sequentially result in gas, acid reflux, indigestion, bloating, slowed metabolism, and toxin build-up.

Q:  But can't I receive them naturally, in my body and in my food?
A:  Yes!  DE's are found in any living organism.  They produce them on their own.  But, they can be destroyed easily with high heat.  When a live (raw) food is cooked, it says see ya to its natural enzymes.  Therefore, DE's are extremely important to ingest when eating anything cooked.  This is especially true for food that is extremely difficult for our bodies to digest anyways, such as meat.  Likewise, unless a fruit or vegetable are organic, it is possible that the poor food underwent high heat to kill bacteria and grow the food and the enzymes were killed in the process, before it even gets to a grocery store shelf.  Your stomach has digestive enzymes naturally, but they aren't enough.

Q:  Wait...Why don't we have enough in our body?
A:  Life.  Stress kills our enzymes.  Environmental pollution requires the use of our enzymes, thus using them up.  Our dietary habits are poor and require tons more enzymes than our bodies were meant to use in a normal meal.  Basically, our bodies sadly cannot keep up with our lives and the world.  Additionally, time results in the loss of enzymes.  As our bodies get older, they don't produce as many enzymes (and not just digestive, but in the entire body).  Symptoms of a lack of digestive enzymes as one gets older can be tiredness, sluggishness, lack of mental focus and ability to concentrate, muscle soreness, bloating and indigestion, or low blood sugar.  

In a nutshell, our bodies need help!

Q:  Where can I buy some? :)
A:  Well, I originally purchased some from the marvelous Whole Foods.  I was advised there as to the amount we all need (which can be a bit confusing in itself, and controversial).  But, I have a bit of a distant relative who is an incredible chiropractor in Seattle at Country Clinics.  Now I take a digestive enzyme/probiotic tablet from there.  I am not sure where else to get any that are potent enough.  I found out the amount I really needed from buying others that were, although live and good, not nearly strong enough.  Anyone can order from Country Clinics! And I would recommend it!  A month's supply is roughly $20.

Your body will graciously thank you for DE's help by giving you lots more energy, a flatter stomach, a calmer stomach, clearer skin, a clearer mind, and nutrients like crazy.  And for many, many more years.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tea Time and Tea Parties.

I really think tea has healing powers.
Just saying it makes me want to sigh deeply.
It makes me want to get all cozy and listen to soft music and read a good book. By a fireplace.

Tea was actually the inspiration for the name of this thing we've got going on here, this little meeting spot where knowledge can be shared and where we can maybe help each other make our own small spaces in the world a bit brighter and lighter. :) Gingerandlemon comes from tea that you can make with those two ingredients: ginger and lemon.

Ginger truly does have healing properties. It is a perennial that harbors almost all of its benefits in its rhizomes, or the root of the ginger. Ginger has the power in its rhizomes to:
Aid in digestion (especially of foods heavy on fat).
Treat nausea and morningsickness.
Alleviate high blood pressure.
Lower LDL cholesterol.

Ginger is relaxing and I think it has a sort of spicy taste, too, so it has a great delicate pungency. When choosing mature ginger at a grocery store, look for firm skin without any mold and very little to no bumps. Also, although it looks cool, the less twists of the ginger root the better. Ginger should be smooth and fresh to ensure its softer middle and good taste.

AND for the lemon. Lemon is FULL of enzymes that also:
Aid in digestion.
Purify the blood.
Detoxifies the body.

Woo!  Giving the tea that sweetness to counteract the slight spice of ginger, the lemon is essential for so many reasons. BUT. Lemon hates being burned! If the lemon juice gets added when the tea is not yet able to be sipped, it will kill the enzymes. So just doing a little sip test will keep the lemon benefits in tact. Ginger, on the other hand, with steep in the hot water like it's in a jacuzzi. Add it when the water is still hot, hot, hot.  Then sip, knowing you're keeping away from illness and detoxifying your blood and body.  What a brilliant liquid!

Simple Tea

1 cup (8 oz.) of filtered water
 3/4 inch organic ginger, with skin cut off and sliced into pieces (not too small)
1/2-1 organic lemon juice
Optional add ins:
1 shake cayenne pepper (more if you're brave)
1/2 teaspoon organic, local honey 
1/2 organic lime juice
Stevia for some sweetness

Heat water in teapot or on stove.  Add ginger pieces.
Let steep until water is sip-able.  Add lemon juice or other ingredients.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Pocket Books and Tupperware.

Okay, so I never have nor will I ever write about anything more important than this when it comes to health.
Behold, I have surely discovered the secret to a consistently healthy, flourishing lifestyle.

Here it is:


Plan ahead. Plan plan plan plan plan and plan again and again and over and over again every single day of your life.

I'm sorry, that was annoying and repetitive.  But I am serious and I know how serious I am from experience. You can learn everything there is to know about your body, food nutrients, digestive functions and exercise regimens but you will never put one ounce of that precious and valuable knowledge to use unless you plan your food intake each day.  And plan as ahead as possible!

I have to confess why this is on my mind.  As of right now, I am a tiny bit uninterested, jaded, tired (all synonyms for the word "bored") at work.  I did not plan my breakfast smoothie ahead of time and so was left to eat only 1 grapefruit that the boyfriend Brian (thank you again, by the way) so generously gave me, probably to stop my whining this morning about how I didn't make anything for breakfast.  So, the grapefruit at 10 a.m. was delicious!  Sweet, fresh, juicy.  But, as expected, about an hour later my body had done a great job at digesting the fruit and then it was like, "GIVE ME MORE!"  Very demanding.

If I had planned for this moment at any point before actually being on my way to work, I would have lasted well into lunchtime with a smoothie.  BUT I didn't. And so, the results of my lack of planning follow predictably:  even though I know the in's and out's of why prepackaged chips with a "Hint of Lime" and that are "Now Crispier Than Ever" will do nothing but reek havoc on my body and do nothing for the beautifying of my hair, skin, nails and energy level, I grabbed the bag someone had devilishly left on our office fridge and shamefully started munching.
This scenario proves two things:
1) A light, fiber-filled and nutritious breakfast is your only key to true energy and satisfaction in the morning.  It also gives you the added bonus of being good for your entire body as well and getting you off to a great start!
2) Knowledge CAN be power when it is possible to use.  This morning, my knowledge wasn't even possible to be used as power. I had not planned well at all and so reacted out of a weak physical state and will be paying for it.

So yes, maybe I'll add a few extra sit ups tomorrow but I more importantly I missed out on a breakfast that could have benefited me harmoniously from my head down to my toes.  Shoot!

So, are you:
Going out with some friends?  Bring your digestive enzymes with you in a bag to aid in your digestion.
Going to be gone all day?  Pack a bag of cucumber slices, celery stick, carrot sticks, grape tomatoes, or even chlorella tablets that are basically power nutrients in a little tablet.  Genius.
Work in an office?  Store snacks in a refrigerator or cabinet for when you are in a bind (not chips obviously).  
 Going for drinks?  Decide ahead of time to drink wine, especially of the red variety, over all other heavy alcohol and mixers that are literally depressing to your body and loaded with fake stuff.
Know you'll want dessert after a meal?  Make some raw cookies out of nuts and raw cocoa powder to keep on hand, carry gum, steep peppermint tea, dress up water with mint or lemon or orange or have a small piece of dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa.
Loving what you eat is the best!  Plan ahead so that you can make sure this will happen every single day. :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Coconuts come in two ways, just as boys do: young or mature. :)

Just kidding of course. But these are the two ways your local grocery store or health food store containing produce will give you to buy these amazing drupes.

In case you weren't sure, like I wasn't at first, a drupe is, by definition, a fleshy fruit with thin skin and a central stone containing the seed.
Mature. I literally banged the top of that thing with a hammer. Much more challenging than opening a young guy.
A young coconut has a thick, all white outer skin with a hard shell underneath that will contain about a cup of fresh coconut water and a soft, white, meaty flesh that is smooth and delicious. A mature coconut is the traditional variety, with a thick outer shell that can be used as a luau top and will contain the harder meat that can be scraped out in pretty little pieces and used to top desserts, go in raw cookies, etc.
Young. I have since upgraded to a Vitamix! Wonderful money spent. We'll get to that another time. :)
I've learned that almost always you will be looking to purchase young coconuts - they contain the highest amount of nutrition - and you really should because they are incredible additions to your everyday diet.  Everyday, how exciting! I've also learned that with incredible amounts of electrolytes (more than, let's just say, a Gatorade), blood purifying potential as a result of it being identical to human blood plasma, and providing enough hydration to get one over a hangover, the coconut is something that will literally improve your body long term and short term.

For anywhere between $1-$2.50 or so, I've discovered that young coconuts can be bought at Whole Foods without a doubt, almost all Asian markets without a doubt, local grocery stores sometimes, local health food stores sometimes. I am always on a bargain, so I have shopped around and fortunately and unfortunately noticed there isn't much difference price-wise. I prefer Whole Foods because they always seem to look the best! They also can be bought online and shipped right to your doorstep by the carton.  This sounds ideal but I have found it is naturally more expensive.

And lastly, just for fun:

That song could get anyone moving their hips!