Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ok, Moving Green Juices in the Kitchen!

I figure it's time for a little update here. Things are moving pretty fast these days.

I am finally in the home stretch for finishing my nutrition consultation certification! Any time I get a free moment I am diligently working working working on finishing my school projects and papers, reading, and researching, and loving every minute of it! I really wish I could take the next couple months completely off work (and still get paid, of course, haha) and devote all of my energy to this, but alas I am dedicating as much energy as I can, as I have left, after and between working three jobs. Whew! But it's good, it's all good and totally manageable...which is lovely.

In the midst of it all, I am also working on building my website. I have already purchased the domain, but I'm not going to take it live until all the kinks are worked out. So, yes this is what I do with, you know, all that other time I have! Busy and somewhat stressful at times, but the momentum is there, and that is appreciable.

Meanwhile, I have been doing a lot of really great green juicing lately with plans to do lots more. But before we get into that, I want to talk a little bit about that amazing green stuff that we all learned about in elementary school, called chlorophyll! I just did a forum post on this beautiful stuff yesterday for school and I am still totally buzzing about the subject.

One of the most interesting things about this "liquid sunshine" is that it is very chemically similar to human blood. (put on chemistry hat now) The chemical structure for chlorophyll looks very similar to that of heme (the component of hemaglobin in blood that carries oxygen). One of the main differences is that chlorophyll has magnesium at it's center, whereas heme has iron at it's center. This is how chlorophyll gets the nickname "green blood".

Chlorophyll (and magnesium for that matter) are very alkaline forming, meaning they digest and produce what's known as "alkaline-ash" or have an alkaline effect on the body. Much of what many Americans eat these days is acid-forming. Do a quick search for acid and alkaline forming foods and you will see what I mean. What you'll find is that much of what most people eat: processed foods, sugar, alcohol, fried food,  etc. is acidifying to the body, whereas things like spinach, kale, broccoli, spirulina, and sprouts are alkaline forming. Green juices are very alkaline as well. I, myself, eat a fair amount of acid forming foods in my diet: lentils, rice, grains, oats, but I try to maintain a good balance here, if possible, which is where salad greens, rainbow chard, brussel sprouts, green leafy vegetables, and other alkaline forming foods come in. According to Victoria Boutenko in the book, "Green For Life," chlorophyll also: helps purify the liver, counteracts toxins eaten, regulates menstruation, eliminates body odors, eliminates bad breath, and helps sores heal faster, among others!

Needless to say, I love to take every opportunity I get to put  this green stuff into my body via meals, smoothies, snacks, and juice! Here is a recent smoothie I made for my breakfast and for my roomies that's full of fabulous chlorophyll!

2-3 C Spinach
1-1½ Banana (or handful of frozen bananas)
2-3 cups water  
Organic Pineapple Juice as base (1-2 C)
2-3 T Vitamineral Green
2-3 T Wheatgrass Powder

Then I topped it off with fresh organic blueberries (which are not technically in season, but someone locally is growing them cause they just recently got a lot cheaper at the most amazing local organic health food store here)  which immediately sank into the smoothie but made for nice little "nibs" in the drink. You could also top this with shredded coconut or dried pineapple chunks for a nice little texture addition.

I have also just tried another chlorophyll-rich food for the first time (by itself) and that is chlorella tablets!

With (taking this straight off the box) 2,080 IU of Vitamin A, 1 g of protein, 7 mg Magnesium, 19 mg of Mixed Carotenoids, and 60 mg Chlorophyll (among other vitamins and minerals), I wasn't sure whether to swallow them whole or chew them up, but after a couple of youtube searches (and watching Matt Monarch of The Raw Food World chew on a small handful of them) I decided I should just chew familiarize myself with the flavor. I was definitely hesitant though to familiarize myself with the flavor because of a not-so pleasant experiment I had with spirulina last year. I was way impressed with spirulina (still am) and wanted to get the "full experience" so I added about a heaping tablespoon straight to water, stirred it up and tried to drink it. I could barely get half of this mixture down. This was when I realized that no matter how much I would love to like that fishy, oceany greens taste, it's just truly not my favorite. I was a bit pleasantly surprised with the chlorella tablets, however, as they have a nice nutty flavor to them right at first, but then while subsequently turning your teeth and tongue green they shift into a mild version of the fishy flavor. Still, not quite my favorite flavor but I'll take it over spirulina in water (now I just hide the spirulina flavor from myself in smoothies to ingest) any day! However, I have heard of a lot of other people who love the flavor of chlorella tablets as much as any snack, so to each their own I suppose! I think I can handle it on a regular basis, and hopefully like it more as time goes on. It's doable.

Anyway, I hope you are all having an incredible week. I saw a bush with pink flowers blooming on it was an inspiring hint of the beautiful spring to come~ I am ready! We are looking for a bigger house right now, one with a bigger garden space and more room inside, so I am holding off on planting much as we look. More on that to come. Much love and fresh green juices to you this week~ cheers!!

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