Saturday, October 31, 2009

Protein Packed Green Smoothies

Most mornings I start my day off with a green smoothie, green juice, fruit, dry cereal or nuts. Not all at once! It's usually 1 to 3 of these.

When I became pregnant and morning sickness hit me, green smoothies were no longer my friend. I could not fathom drinking them any longer. Just the thought alone took me to places I didn't want to go! How odd to me that something I've had almost everyday for the past couple of years was no on the up-chuck list. I've since learned that this is the way with pregnancy, sometimes your body feels as if it's not your own.

After a couple of weeks of sickness, I was determined to get back on the smoothie train. My body needed protein and iron even more now than ever and I wasn't eating much of it, so this was a must for me.

I started off slow and eventually worked my way back into my smoothie/juice routine. After overcoming that first hurdle, this has been a staple of mine throughout the day. If you've ever been pregnant you know that though nutrition is key, your bodies changes along with wants and desires sometimes don't match up. Having a variety of different smoothies and juices each day helps me know that my baby and I are getting all the nutrients I need and it keeps me fueled throughout the day.

Some days, I just don't feel like even getting all my ingredients together to make a smoothie, so I've made the process easier for myself. Here's a couple tips that may help you through those low energy mornings.

-Make sure that all fruits and veggies are washed and ready to go
-Precut any produce that you can, so you can just grab it and toss in the blender
-I blend up my greens and liquid 3 days in advance and freeze in an ice tray. I then pop them out and put in a freezer safe container

Try a variety of combinations. I just go with how I'm feeling that day along with what was available at the farmers market that week. The list of possibilities is endless!

Basic Smoothie
1 cup ice
1 cup fruit
*2 handfuls of greens (kale, spinach, dandelion, etc)
**protein powder
1 cup liquid (nut milks, water, juice)

Add agave, honey or your fav sweetner, if your smoothie isn't as sweet as you like.
Sometimes, I also add maca powder and/or flax seed oil.
Toss it all in the blender and blend until smooth.

*If you don't have a high speed blender, you may want to use greens that aren't so tough, such as spinach.

**Use as recommended. I use 1/2 a scoop in an 8oz smoothie. I use this one;

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Red Raspberry Leaf and Nettle Leaf Tea

So refreshing and good for you too! I love sipping on this tea over ice anytime of day. It makes me feel so good.

Before becoming pregnant, I had only used Nettles Leaf in my hair teas to cleanse and add shine. After conceiving, I found NL had even more to offer.

Nettles are wonderful for everyone, but are especially great during pregnancy. Nettles help strengthen the uterus, increase fertility and ease cramps and muscle spasms. What a great way to get needed iron and other nutrients into your body.
Brew some up to pour through your hair and enjoy internally!

Nettles Leaf (Urtica dioica)

-rich in iron and chlorophyll
-contains the minerals calcium, magnesium, silicon, sulphur, copper, chromium, zinc, cobalt, potassium and phosphorus
-vitamins A, C, D, E, and K as well as riboflavin and thiamin

Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus)

RRL is used before pregnancy to regulate menstrual cycles and decreases heavy bleeding. During pregnancy, many midwives recommend it throughout 2nd and 3rd trimesters as well as post partum. It is known to tone the uterus, decrease nausea and ease labor pains.

-rich in iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium
-contains vitamin A. C, E and B complex
-aid fertility
-tone and strengthen uterus
-minimize bleeding

*If you are pregnant, be sure to do your own research and check with your health care practitioner before brewing up a batch.*

How I make mine;
I use 1 part NL and 1 part RRL.
I use 2tsp of this mix per 1 cup of tea.
I always make a large batch of about 6 cups, using 3 cups of hot water to brew and then adding 3 cups cold water. I brew my leaves for a minimum of 10 minutes.
Sweeten it to taste and enjoy over ice.

I drink about 8oz every other day. Sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less :)

"Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year" by Susun Weed

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The 8th Annual Walk For Hope
The Walk for Hope is this Saturday, Oct 17th at El Dorado park, Long Beach, Ca. Don't miss out on an opportunity to take part in this life changing event!

This will be my 3rd time attending the WFH and my second time volunteering. Three years ago while looking for some competitive race events to sign up for, I came across a posting for the walk. After perusing the website and reading about it, I thought I would attend. That was one of the best decisions of my life! Little did I know that the organization that puts on the event, Be The Cause, would become such a huge part of my life.

The purpose of the Walk for Hope is to spread Love. Such a simple idea manifested in a unique way. The walk itself is not a competitive one, but an opportunity to stroll through nature and stop at the various activity stations to perhaps reflect, give pause or even look ahead. It's an amazing journey that ends with a delicious lunch and camaraderie with family, friends and fellow walkers.

One of the most amazing things about the walk is it's made possible all through volunteers and donations. Registration is free and all participants receive a free t-shirt, free lunch and memories that last a lifetime.
Be sure to register if you haven't already.

H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama

I was blessed enough to be able to attend the teachings of H.H. The Dalai Lama last month. My husband, a friend and I attended the 2 day event. It was enlightening, warm and energizing. The Dalai Lama gives several talks and teachings throughout the year around the world. This past month, His Holiness tought over 2 days at The Long Beach Convention center.

To hear His Holiness teach in person was amazing. He is extremely personable and passionate and explains things in a way that makes it very accessible to everyone. I've always been so moved when I've seen His Holiness speak on television or read his words, but hearing him speak in person with much passion and conviction, gave those words such profound meaning.

If you ever have a chance to go see The Dalai Lama speak or teach, I encourage you to do so. No matter what religion you are, you will find it very enlightening. We all could learn to be kinder, respect and love all living things, and cherish the planet on which we live. In my humble opinion, It's the basis for our existence here on Earth.