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Detox Green Smoothie – So Fresh & Clean Tasting!

Detox green smoothie in mason jar with orange straw

At the beginning of the year, one of my New Year’s goals was to eat dark leafy greens everyday.  I’ve done a pretty good job, but needed to find a new green smoothie recipe to mix things up a bit.  This Detox Green Smoothie is my new favorite.  It tastes so fresh, and the ingredients are so very good for the body.  I’ve see a glow in my skin and my digestion is amazing {sheepish grin} when I drink this daily.

Trader Joe's frozen kale

Another new favorite of mine is Trader Joe’s Frozen Kale.  I love that if I have used all my fresh leafy greens up in salads or by making my favorite kale chips, that there is an option for my green smoothies sitting in my freezer.  Now I am never out of leafy greens so I have no excuse to not eat them everyday!

Other uses for frozen kale?

~Toss into soups (great in Minestrone)
~Put a bit into an omelet
~Use to add great nutrition to casseroles.

Detox Green Smoothie
1-1 1/2 cups frozen kale (can use fresh, too, just take stem off if fresh)
1/2 cup cucumber
1 cup frozen mango
1 green apple, cored
juice of 1 lime
1/2 inch piece peeled ginger
1-2 cups water (can use coconut water)
A high speed blender works best to get the most creamy smoothie.  Add all ingredients to the blender.  Start with one cup of water and blend.  Add more water until desired consistency.  You know the consistency is right when you see a vortex in the middle of blender.
A Little Bit About Blenders
Professional Grade High Speed Blender
Some of the best money I have ever spent!
Vitamix Professional Blender and accessories
This is the model I have.  I drooled over it for a couple of years!
It was a splurge, but worth EVERY penny.  I use it 2-3 times a day.
It makes crushed ice in seconds.  It takes almonds to almond butter in seconds.  It makes the best raspberry fruit purees for pancakes and ice cream–obliterates all those little seeds into smooth puree heaven! We are eating 3 times the amount of fruits and veggies since purchasing this amazing blender, which I know is keeping us out of the doctors’ office and away from those expensive co-pays, so in my mind it has paid itself off.
Ninja Mega Kitchen Blender and accessories.
I’ve never used one, but have heard good things about them.  They are not professional grade like the Vitamix, but the price is much easier to swallow and they are powerful.
Oster and New Vitamix blenders in kitchen.
{my old Oster on the left, my New Vitamix on the right}
I had one of these for years and it does the job.  You can’t beat the price, and for smoothies, it works, although you have to blend much longer. You will still have chia and raspberry seeds in your smoothies, but if you don’t mind the extra texture, this one will do.  If you have had a high speed blender, you will not be happy with this one.  If you are looking for something to get by until you can get a high speed blender, and to just get those smoothies in you, this will do just fine.

Green Smoothie For Kids

Green smoothie for kids


I’ve been able to get more greens into my kids this summer than ever before, thanks to our new Vitamix blender.  I have been wanting a Vitamix for years, and finally saved enough Amazon bucks (thanks to you all clicking on my amazon links in the sidebars!) to get one for our family.  They are pricey, but MY WORD they are worth every penny.

We have been making green smoothies at least 5 times a week.  I’ve been freezing them in Popsicle holders which my kids love.  Kids are used to seeing green Popsicles, so this is a great way to get picky little ones to eat green.

Back to the Vitamix. I got the top of the line, the professional series 750 The difference in this blender compared to others is its power.  I can make crushed ice in seconds.  It chops our greens so small that they just end up coloring the smoothie, there are no tiny green pieces to get stuck between your teeth or for your kids to turn their noses up to.  The series 750 has pre-programmed settings so I can walk away and let it do its thing.  There is a smoothie setting, a puree setting (oh my the peach and strawberry puree’s I’ve made are to die for!) a soup setting (it whips so fast that it creates just enough heat to make perfect soup), and my fav, the self -cleaning setting. You just fill the container half full of water, add a drop of dish soap, and push the button.  It cleans itself!

Here is more from the Vitamix website:

With all the quality and precision of a commercial machine and a quieter, more elegant design, the Professional Series 750 offers five pre-programmed settings, including a self-cleaning option. The ultra-responsive Variable Speed Dial and Pulse feature allow you to precisely chop and mix ingredients to your exact specifications, making this blender the ultimate sous chef for your home kitchen.

Five pre-programmed settings ensure simple cleaning, walk-away convenience, and consistent results for smoothie, frozen dessert, soup, and purée recipes.

Newly designed 64-ounce container is perfect for family meals and entertaining, while fitting comfortably under most kitchen cabinets.


Vitamix blender

It is big, POWERFUL, and I love it.  If you have been thinking about getting a Vitamix, I highly recommend them!  If you use this link from Amazon I will get percentage of your purchase, which I will put towards the food dehydrator I’ve been eyeing..and will be most grateful.

Vitamix blender and box

Shipping was free through Amazon and delivery was quick. I was a happy girl the day this came in the mail!

Banana, mango, pineapple and kale for smoothie

On to our green smoothie!  This is a delicious smoothie that my girls really like.  It has twice the amount of fruit most green smoothies have compared to greens, so it is a good started smoothie.  As you get used to the flavor of greens, I encourage you to use less fruit and more greens.

Green Smoothie For Kids

2 cups (I use handfuls) or spinach or kale ( I used baby kale)

1 cup water

1 cup frozen mango

1 cup frozen pineapple

2 frozen (or not) bananas

Place greens and water in blender.  Blend until greens pieces disappear.  Add the fruit.  Blend until smooth.

If you look at the recipe, it counts for 8 servings of fruits and vegetables.  This recipe made enough for my 3 girls to have about 4 ounces each, and I had about 12 ounces, which means this counted for 4 of my 8 daily servings of fruits and veggies for the day!  Not bad for a snack, huh?  This is precisely why I am a big fan of green smoothies.

Blending ingredients together for a green smoothie

Isn’t the color amazing?  This is sweet, tropical-tasting, and delicious!

A blender containing ingredients for a green smoothie

The bananas make it so creamy.  I always make sure I have frozen bananas in my freezer, as they are the base for most of our green smoothies.

More smoothie recipes to come!

What do you think of green smoothies?

Have you tried them?

What is your favorite fruit/greens combination?

Books/ Cancer Journey/ GF, Vegan & Raw/ HEALTH/ Healthy Eating/ How-Tos/ RECIPES

Nutritarian – A High Nutrient Way Of Eating

{image inspired by Dr. Joel Furhman’s Food Pyrimad}
I have been on a journey of health since my cancer diagnosis in 2010.  I big part of pursing health has been in what I choose to eat.  I strongly believe what we choose to put into our bodies can play a big part in our overall health.  After much reading and many small changes in my diet, I have embraced Nutritarianism.
What is a Nutritarian?
nutritarian is a person who has a preference for foods that are high in micronutrients.
The term “nutritarian” was coined by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. In his book, Eat to Live, he offers this health equation while describing the nutritarian approach to health:
Health = Nutrients/Calories (or H= N/C for short).
In other words: the more nutrients you consume per calorie, the healthier you will be.
Nutrients in the numerator (top part of the equation) include vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Since these are found in small quantities in food, they are considered to be micronutrients. Caloric sources in the denominator include the macronutrients: fat, carbohydrate, and protein. We need to meet our caloric needs without consuming excessive calories.
A high N/C diet is also called “nutrient-dense” or “nutrient-rich.”
In the Standard American Diet (SAD), about 6% of the total caloric intake comes from nutrient-rich foods.
Nutritarians eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, onions, mushrooms, whole grains, beans, and berries, and particularly consume leafy greens, which are the most nutrient-dense foods. A nutritarian strives to consume at least 90% of their diet from these foods.
A nutritarian diet will lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and even such conditions as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Nutritarians do not necessarily exclude animal products. Many nutritarians do choose to be vegan (excluding all animal products). Many vegetarians, however, are not nutritarian, if they frequently consume products containing processed grains, oils, sugars, or salt.
It takes a bit of education to become a nutritarian. One must learn the relative nutrient density of various foods. For instance, many people are surprised to learn that bok choy has more calcium per calorie than whole milk, and even than “2% fat” milk. The same is true for many other leaf greens.


{Dr. Fuhrman’s Website}

I love the idea of getting “more nutrient bang for caloric buck.”  I love thinking about food in terms of nutrients, and it feels good to know I am doing something positibe for my health by simply being mindful of the nutrients my food contains.

I have been eating this way for almost 3 years now.  It was a gradual change, but especially over the last 2 years, I have been pretty close to being a vegetarian/vegan.  I never knew what to call myself until reading Dr. Fuhrman’s Book– Eat To Live.  I HIGHLY recommend this book.  Dr. Fuhrman has so much knowledge and his words are easy to read and absorb.

Most of the recipes I now feature at the blog reflect the change in our eating habits.  My whole family is now eating this way, which happened slowly and over time.  With my kids, it truly was educating them as to why I eat the way I do, and they have slowly adapted the changes themselves.  When we are home, we eat Nutritarian.  When we go to others homes or out to eat as a family we eat more “normal.”  When Todd and I go out on dates, we prefer places that allow us to eat Nutritarian.  It it crazy how tastes buds change– we have found that we prefer whole, natural, high-nutrient foods.

Other resources that have highly influenced my way of eating:

Forks Over Knives by Gene Stone
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell B. Esselstyn
The Engine2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn

So…again…what is a Nutritarian?
~They eat lots of high-nutrient, natural plan foods.  Vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts & seeds.
~They eat fewer animal products and choose healthier versions of these foods.
~They eat much less or almost no foods that are empty of nutrients: sugar, sweeteners, white flour, processed foods & greasy fast foods.


Got questions for me regarding the Nutritarian lifestyle?  Ask away!  It may spur on more posts in this series.

Healthy Eating/ How-Tos/ RECIPES/ Sides

5 Reasons Why I Love To Roast Vegetables + 19 Roasted Vegetable Recipes

5 reasons to roast vegetables

Why do I love roasting vegetables?

1. It makes the house smell awesome.

2. It brings out the best flavor of the vegetable-complicated and caramelized deliciousness!

3. It is a great way to use up produce that would otherwise go to waste.

4. My kids like the flavor of roasted vegetables and eat them up.

5. It is easy!


4 things you need for perfect roasted vegetables:

1. High heat.  I find the best roasting temperature of most vegetables is 425 degrees.

2. Surface space – do not pile the veggies on.  Spread them out evenly onto the pan giving each piece enough surface space to get all nice and brown and caramelized.

3. Vegetables cut in similar sizes.  This helps them all cook at the same rate.

3. Oil, salt & pepper.  Simple ingredients let the veggies themselves shine!


Oils I use:

1. Unrefined Coconut Oil ~ Refined has more health benefits, but unrefined is still plenty good for you and does not have the coconut flavor.

2. Olive Oil ~ This is a commonly used oil for roasted vegetables.


What you are looking & listening for:

Cooking times are going to vary with each vegetable.  You are listening for a sizzle as the natural moisture is released from the veggies.  You are looking for a nice browning effect on the bottom of the vegetables.  Most vegetables are done when fork tender.


Here are some awesome sounding roasted vegetable recipes from my Vegetables Pinterest Board.  

Keep in mind, simple salt, pepper and oil let the veggies shine, but for a little extra special something, try these recipes!


Roasted Parmeasean Green Beans


Butter & Brown Sugar Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts


Honey Balsamic Carrots


Easy Roasted Tomatoes


Roasted Fall Vegetables with Lentils


Lemon Rosemary Roasted Asparagus


Parmesan Roasted Brussels, Butternut Squash & Kale


Roasted Broccoli-Pinner says “Best Broccoli of Your Life”




Asparagus: Leave whole; peel if necessary.

Bell peppers: If not roasting over an open flame, cut these into 1-inch chunks.
Broccoli: Cut into 1- to 1½-inch diameter individual florets, the tips of which get charred beautifully crisp. Peel, then halve or quarter thick stems (which are delicious!).
Brussels sprouts: Halve them.
Cauliflower: Treat like broccoli.
Corn: Cut into kernels; will cook very quickly and you may only want to brown one side.
Carrots: Cut a 1-inch chunk off the top end at a 45-degree angle. Roll the carrot a quarter turn and repeat. This weird oblique shape gives you lots of surface area to caramelize its abundant sugars. ½-inch coins or half-moons also work well.
Eggplant: Cut into 1½-inch chunks.
Fennel: Cut into 1-inch pieces.
Green / string beans: Really! They’re great. Just make sure they’re tender; old, tough ones get tougher in the oven. Leave whole, stems removed.
Onions: Cut into 1½-inch wedges, and break apart into individual layers.
Parsnips: Treat like carrots.
Radishes: Leave whole if small, about 1 inch in diameter; otherwise cut in 1-inch pieces.
Sweet potatoes: Cut into 1-inch pieces.
Tomatoes: Cut 1-inch-wide wedges or ½-inch slices. They won’t really brown well but can have a nice concentrated flavor.
Turnips: Cut into 1-inch chunks.
Zucchini / summer squash: Cut into 1-inch chunks, or oblique-cut like carrots.
Here’s more roasted goodness from past New Nostalgia Posts:

New Nostalgia: Roasted Strawberries

New Nostalgia: How To Roast/Steam Corn On The Cob In The Oven 


What about YOU?  

Do you have any roasted vegetable tips to share?  
What is your favorite vegetable
to roast?


GF, Vegan & Raw/ Healthy Eating/ Meals/ RECIPES/ Sides

A Lunch Salad Full of Plant Protein!

This is my favorite on-the-go and go-to salad.  It is very filling, healthy, delicious, and full of wonderful plant protein! Edamame, quinoa & chickpeas make this a plant protein powerhouse! I pick it up at Trader Joes, but don’t worry if you do not live close to a Trader Joes, because this salad can easily be made at home!

Here are the ingredients:

Spinach –about 2 cups

Cherry Tomatoes –2-4

Shredded Carrots – a palmful

Quinoa –1/2 cup cooked (directions here)

Chickpeas –1/4 cup, drained & rinsed

Dried Cranberries–palm-ful

Edamame –1/4 cup, cooked

Pumpkin Seeds –palm-ful

Salad Dressing —Carrot Ginger or your choice.

These are ingredients I now have on hand at home most of the time, exempt pumpkin seeds.  I live right by a health food store that has pumpkin seeds so that is not a problem.  The Carrot Ginger Miso Salad dressing it comes with is really good, but I have made this at home and really this salad goes well with any type of dressing.  For some salad dressing inspiration, click over to my Salad Dressing Pinterest Boards.

Cancer Journey/ Drinks/ HEALTH/ Healthy Eating/ RECIPES

9 Reasons To Juice Your Greens

When I was diagnosed with cancer, one of the first things I did was order a juicer.  It was the best 99 dollars I have spent in a long time!  I had read Kris Karr’s “Crazy, Sexy Cancer Life” and knew she was keeping her tumors “quiet” for over 7 years using only nutritional methods.  The main practice that she swears by for her continued health is juicing her greens.  Juicing is also the main practice of the Gerson Therapy for cancer, and there are several blogs out there that I love that tell of survivors experience with this.

I drank green, beet and carrot juices all though my treatment and after when healing from surgeries.  I stayed healthy throughout my entire treatment (except for a weird ear infection from a small cut when chemo had my cell count low) and honestly felt like my immune system was stronger than ever during treatment.  The only time I felt sick and weak was the first week of all 4 cycles of chemo, and that was to be expected.  My doctors commented on how quickly my incisions healed, and I think what I put into my body nutritionally had a lot to do with it!

The last 3 months I have not been as regular with juicing, and I miss it.  It is an amazing way to start the day, and I definitely notice a difference in my energy level and my complexion/skin.  When I juiced regularly, I had a healthy glow about me.  People commented on it all the time.  I have been pretty regular with my green smoothies, but alternating them with fresh veggie juice is definitely the way to go.

Why Juice?

1.  By removing the fiber through the process of squeezing the pulp, we instantly lighten the load on our digestion. Nutrients pass directly into the bloodstream, and within minutes our bodies receive optimum fuel to feed our cells and help restore our immune systems. —Kris Carr

2.  Fresh juice provides vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, proteins, phytonutrients, antioxidants and so much more!

3.  You will have increased energy.  This is one of the main motivations.  I love how energized I feel when I juice!

4.  Much of the goodness of fruit is locked in the fiber which is expelled from the body. When we juice the fruits and vegetables, their goodness is released from the fiber and we are able to drink their highly concentrated nutrients which are then able to enter our bloodstream very quickly. —Living and Raw Foods

5. The large amounts of concentrated nutrients one receives from juicing could never be eaten in one sitting.  Imagine trying to make a smoothie out of the same amount of veggies used to make 16 oz of juice.  You could never drink that much.

6. Drinking fresh juice guarantees you are receiving many of the nutrients you need.  Bottled juices on the market have lost most of their nutritional value.  Make sure you drink your freshly pressed juice right away, as nutrient loss happens fairly quickly.

7. It is a great way to use up fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste.  I have felt so much better about my lack of food waste now that I have a juicer.  Fruits and veggies that are almost past their prime are perfect for juicing.

8. No matter how we try, man cannot replicate the amazing goodness that is in food that God through nature has provided for us.  A supplement is necessary at times, but nothing can compare or compete with what nature can give through real food.

9. It increases alkalinity.  It is said that diseases cannot thrive in an alkaline state.  Fresh green juice is detoxifying and contains loads of chlorophyll.  “Chlorophyll contains a powerful blood builder that’s said to increase red blood cells, improve circulation, ease inflammation, oxygenate the body, and counteract harmful free radicals. By eating (and drinking) a diet high in chlorophyll (raw fruits and veggies, especially leafy greens), we dine on liquid oxygen, the very substance we need to stay alive and thrive. —Kris Karr “Crazy Sexy Cancer Life”

My Go-To Green Juice
~big bunch of kale
~2 celery stalks
~1 regualr cucmber or 1/2 of a large
~1 green apple
~1/2 lemon
1 inch chunk of ginger (chunk in pic is too big, it is about 2 inches)
1 scoop vanilla plant fusion pea protein powder (optional)
Ice (optional)
I use organic produce as much as possible.  Peel your cucumber if not organic.  The peel of lemons, ginger and apple core is just fine in the juicer.  I have recently read that apple seeds contain a toxin, so removing those would be preferred.
After the veggies are washed, the process takes just a minute.
It really is easy, the hardest part being the clean up, which really is not that big of a deal.
Adding produce to the juicer
Liquid gold in my opinion!!
Left over pulp can be used in soups or to make homemade pulp crackers.  Or compost.
I add a scoop of vegan protein powder.  It has the sweet herb, stevia in it, which I think makes the flavor of my juice so much better.  If you like a tart juice, you can eliminate this step.  I put the juice in a mason jar, add protein powder, add ice, put the lid on and shake!  Add a straw and enjoy!!
I use the
I love it!  It is compact compared to most juicers, a great price, and easy to clean!
Really, clean up is easy with this machine.  The most work is that mesh basket, but it comes with its own brush and takes seconds.  The rest is just rinse and dry.
Have you ever juiced?  Do you have a juicer that you love?  Does this interest or intrigue you?
Did you know there are a bazillion juice recipes out there?  One of my fav–2 apples and 2 handfuls of fresh cranberries.  Homemade Cran-Apple juice is AMAZING!

Holidays/Parties/ RECIPES/ Sides

Cranberry Apple Citrus Vinaigrette & Eating Plant Strong During The Holidays

Keeping my food intake plant strong during the holidays is a little bit challenging, but not impossible.

How do I plan on doing it?

1. I’m not going to stress about it.

2. I plan on indulging a bit.

3.  I will start my day with a green smoothie, which will give me a big head start on getting my fruit and vegetable servings in, provide all my protein needed for the day, and get in my Omega’s from chia.

4. Most of our Christmas celebrations are pot-luck style, where everyone brings a dish to share, so I am planning on making one that is plant strong, to load my plate with and share with others.

I have decided not to stress about small amounts of dairy and sugar, and just enjoy what the season is about.  I am focusing on getting in my servings of plants each day, and as long as I do that, having a bit of junk along with it seems just fine.  I do notice that I don’t feel too well when I do indulge in foods I am not used to eating (sweets, meat and cheese), so that keeps my portion sizes to a minimum, which is not a bad thing.

One way I plan on keeping plant strong, especially during our FIVE Christmas celebrations coming up, is by bringing a dish that is mostly green.  I want it to be delicious and festive, one that everyone can enjoy, but I also want it to be one I can fall back on, one that I can fill the majority of my plate with, leaving less room for foods that won’t make me feel very good.  The below recipe of Cranberry Apple Citrus Vinaigrette, drizzled on a salad of greens, fruit and nuts is the perfect dish to bring in my opinion!

Another reason I choose to bring a plant strong dish is that I never want to put extra stress on my hostesses due to my different eating habits.  It is amazing what I can find at a potluck- style dinner that is plant strong, as long as I do not stress about small amounts of food that I usually do not eat.

I have been surprised at how letting go of a few of our family traditions involving junk food has been just fine this year.  We have plenty left that do involve tastes of the season, so my kids are not even missing my traditional “Chocolate Andes Mint Cookies.” Neighbors and my husbands co-workers have kept some yummy treats in our home, which we love.  This frees me to “just say no” to doing my own traditional Christmas baking. We did make our traditional sugar cookies, but I kept it very simple and minimal by buying a kit from Trader Joes, which made just enough to enjoy for one evening!  Love that, no leftovers to tempt us. 

So what green recipe am I planning on bringing to at least 2 of our Christmas celebrations?

A Salad of Greens,

Topped with Candied Pecans from Trader Joes, Apples, Pears, Clementines and Dried Cranberries,

Drizzled with Cranberry Apple Orange Vinaigrette! Delish!!

Cranberry Apple Orange Vinaigrette

Cranberry, maple, apple, and clementine make one lovely stand-out holiday dressing. This festive cranberry dressing is sweet with a light tangy aftertaste. Feel free to use more or less maple syrup to adjust to your own taste buds. You can also use any type of sweet citrus that you prefer.
Yield: just over 1 and 1/4 cups
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or adjust to taste
  • 1.5 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp fresh clementine or orange juice (or use bottled)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
1. In a medium pot, heat the cranberries, maple syrup, and vinegar over medium heat until the cranberries burst, about 7-10 mins.
2. Slightly cool cranberry mixture and place in a blender along with the rest of the ingredients (except salt and pepper). Blend until smooth. Now add salt, 1/4 tsp at a time, to taste. Blend again. Adjust other ingredients to taste if necessary. You may want more maple syrup than I used. I liked this dressing with a bit of tart aftertaste to really let the cranberries shine. Place in fridge to chill. Should keep in fridge in an air-tight container for up to 5-7 days.

Yum!  I made this as part of our Thanksgiving dinner and it was a big hit.

I do think my nephews are going to miss my famous Brown Sugar Bacon Wrapped Lil’ Smokies, but I just can’t bring myself to handle all that raw meat.  I am out of practice!

What are you thoughts on eating healthy through the holidays?