Juice Fast Commonly Asked Questions

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I am currently doing a Juice fast, I have done them before and I always get wonderful results. But if you are new to juice fasting and you are planning on joining me as I host a 3 Day Juice Fast Reboot Aug 4-6th then you may have some questions. This blog post is an attempt to answer those questions and help you prepare mentally before you undergo your reboot!

Q: Do I have to own a juicer?

A: No, if you have a high powered blender such as a Vita mix, blend Tech, Ninja, Magic Bullet or another then you will be good to go!

Q: How will I know what to buy and what to juice together for optimal nutrition?

A: I will be taking all of the guess work out of this experience for you, I will tell you exactly what to buy (via lists) and how much you will need to get you all the way through your 3 day juice “feast” I will also tell you what to juice together and what to avoid for certain health conditions (such as thyroid issues) to make sure you get the most optimal nutrition for your body.

Q: Is it hard to make the juice?

A: No, if you are capable of rinsing and chopping veggies and running them through a machine, then… you got this!

Q: How much weight will I lose?

A: It really depends on a lot of variables, such as how much weight you need to release, how toxic your system is, how closely you stick to the fast etc… But look at the weight loss as an added benefit and the improvements to your health, immune system and wellness as first priority.

Q: What if I get hungry or want to give up?

A: You might experience some hunger during your juice fast, if you get hungry, drink more juice 🙂 If you feel like you want to give up… Don’t! 3 days will pass quicker than you think! This is one reason I have created this to be a group experience complete with private Facebook group, this is where you go to get encouragement and support, even if you feel like throwing in the towel midway through, I encourage you to stick it out to get the full benefit!

Q:Will you help me know what to eat when the fast is over so I don’t “undue” all the good I’ve done on the fast?

A: Yes! As part of this 3 Day Juice fast I will be supplying you with a special sheet full of suggestions and ideas to help you ease back into the real world with real food after your 3 day fast is complete.

Q: How often should I juice fast?

A: This is really up to you, I see nothing wrong with juice fasting as often as one or two days per week, you may want to try to do a juice fast once per month or once every few months, there is no correct amount. Fasting with the aid of organic juice is a wonderful way to improve the bodies own healing mechanisms and correct imbalances. It is also a great way to release excess weight and detox and cleanse the system from the inside out. Using organic juice to cleanse the system is a great preventative medicine and can also be used as alternative medicine if sickness is already present. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates

 

I hope that I have helped answer some of your questions and concerns regarding juice fasting, it would be my privilege to walk along side you as you work on improving your health! More questions? Contact me today! Ready to get started? You can reserve your spot in the “3 DAy Juice Fast Reboot”  today!! Registration will be open until Aug 3 2014 and all of your printable lists and materials will be e-mailed directly to your inbox by Aug 1 2014! 

Do You Spring Clean Your Home? How About Your Body?

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I love to spring clean, my husband say’s I love to throw things away, and in all honesty it’s kind of true! Cleaning out closets, taking down the cob webs and giving away boxes of old toys to the good will. It feels so good to get rid of the old and make way for the new doesn’t it?

So… How about your body? Have you ever thought about giving it a good cleanse… and I mean on the inside? Just like our homes our bodies can easily become cluttered and “hold onto” more junk then they need! In today’s modern world we are bombarded with toxins, they are in the air we breath, the water we drink and bathe in, the chemicals we put on our skin in forms of make up and lotions etc.. And sadly we eat a toxic diet, loaded with sugar, hydrogenated fats, artificial chemicals and preservatives.

Doing a cleanse is a good way to “re-set” to give your over stimulated system a much needed rest, to let your digestive system “cool down” allow your liver and other main organs a chance to catch up and run more optimally, allowing them to “clean house” more efficiently.

I am a firm believer in the benefits of internally cleansing the body, I have done many cleanses of various types over the years and I have seen great results, I believe cleansing the body should be looked at as a normal part of life, not some weird woo-woo thing we tried that one time 🙂 but something we do as part of healthy maintenance, just like getting the oil changed in your car! Doing a cleanse (I recommend at the very least doing one at the change of each season) should be looked at as great preventative medicine!

This particular cleanse is all about eating real nourishing food! Food that tastes great and gives you optimal energy without weighing you down! Best of all, there is nothing special or weird to buy, most everything you will be consuming can be purchased at a regular grocery store. You will have access to great recipes that you can use again and again! And this cleanse is designed to balance and stabilize your blood sugar levels, helping to eliminate cravings for sweets, refined carbs and caffeine! More than any other concern I hear when I coach clients is “I am addicted to sugar” this cleanse will help kick that sugar addiction to the curb!

Now that Spring is here is a great time to do a cleanse, and that is why I am offering this spring cleanse at a very affordable rate, not only will you get the cleansers E-Book delivered right to your inbox which contains all the info you need (menus, recipes, grocery lists) to follow this cleanse, but also daily journaling exercises to help you set goals, stay the course and visualize your ideal self. You will also get daily affirmations OR daily bible verses (depending on which format you choose) to help encourage you on your way! During this 12 days you will also have access to health coaching from yours truly 🙂 a private facebook group for others going through this cleanse with you and all the guidance and support you need to make it from day #1 through day #12 successfully! All of this for only $49!

I love helping people get results and I am excited for you to make this commitment to yourself and see those results first hand, because if you don’t take care of you… who will?

If you are interested in joining us or have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or contact me today to register!

Spring Cleanse April 7th – 18th just $49 

 

St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Creamy Asparagus Soup

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Happy St. Patty’s Day! How about something festive AND healthy for a change 🙂 This soup is called creamy asparagus, but it actually has few different veggies in it!  And you can make it any time of year, it just so happens to feel a little more festive when served on March 17!

Here is a list of what you will need:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic 
  • 2 cups chopped up raw asparagus (with woody ends removed)
  • 1 whole head of cauliflower cut up
  • 1 cup chopped up kale
  • 6 cups low sodium and organic vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

And here is what you do with all those ingredients 🙂 :

In a large stock pot heat the olive oil and add your 3 garlic cloves, either minced or pressed, cook the garlic for 1 min, then add your chopped up asparagus and cauliflower pieces, cook for an additional few minutes. Now add your 6 cups of vegetable broth and kale and bring to a mild boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for aprox 10 min (or until cauliflower is nice and tender) add your seasonings and then transfer your veggie soup mixture to the blender (I love my vita mix!) I did mine in two separate batches, in the second batch I added the raw cilantro and parsley. Once everything is blended until nice and smooth, transfer back to your stock pot and serve nice and warm!

Not only is this soup pretty and green for St. Patty’s day, but it is highly nutritious! The asparagus provides anti oxidants and is a great anti inflammatory food and the cilantro and parsley are both great blood purifiers so this soup could easily be incorporated into a cleansing or detoxing program!

If you try this soup let me know what you think! Be sure to join Graciously Organic’s community of followers on Facebook!

Organic Creamy Dilled Butternut Squash Soup

1511738_600664583333474_1866854922_nWinter food at its finest 🙂 even though here in CA we have been experiencing a heat wave for this time of year! I know some of you have been dealing with frigid temps, and so… Well, this one is for you! Have I ever mentioned that I am a fan of easy as well as nutritious? Well, this soup is SOOO easy, with only a few ingredients and minimal prep its a great one for a cold winters night.  Here is what you will need:

  • 1 organic butternut squash
  • 1 32 oz container of free range organic chicken stock (I get mine from Trader Joes)
  • 1 8 oz package of full fat organic cream cheese (if you cant find the organic variety, go for all natural full fat)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Dill (fresh or dried will work)
  • dried spice blend to taste (mine had onion, celery, turmeric, black pepper and paprika in it)

First thing you want to do is take a vegetable peeler and peel the skin off of your squash, then cut it in half and scoop all the seeds and strings out of it, it’s sorta like a pumpkin in this way. Once you have it nice and cleaned out chop it up into squares for boiling like so…

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Victoria chopping away

Boil the squash over medium heat for about 40 min, just keep an eye on it and get it to the fork tender point. When it is nice and soft, drain ALL of the water and replace the liquid with the chicken stock (I only used about 3/4 of the box, it depends on the consistency you want, creamier use less, thinner use more) and the entire 8 oz block of cream cheese, break it up into chunks if you can. Now you are going to transfer it to your blender, unless of course you have an emersion stick blender then you could skip this part entirely  and just blend it up in your stock pot. But for the rest of us, we are going to transfer this into a high powered blender (I love my vita mix) and blend until smooth, you may have to do this step in batches depending on the size of your blender.

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Creamy goodness

Once it is nice and smooth, transfer it back to your stock pot and add your seasonings and reheat just before serving. That is it! I told you this was easy 🙂 now I do want to talk just a bit about the nutritional value of this soup. Butternut squash packs a big nutrient punch giving your body adequate doses of Vit C, Vit A, Vit B6, Folate and Potassium, All great to eat during cold and flu season, but…. in order for your body to assimilate these nutrients you need to eat them with some fat…. enter cream cheese to the rescue! These nutrients will satisfy your body and the taste will satisfy your taste buds (even the kids will ask for seconds!!) I hope you enjoy this recipe, be sure to come back and let me know what you think. Also come on over and lets continue the discussion on Facebook, I’d love to chat with you more about all things natural 🙂

Weight Loss Success Story, Justine

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Justine’s Before Picture With her Hubby

 

Yesterday I introduced my friend Charlotte to you, today I want you to meet my friend Justine. Justine and I also met during our taping of “The Doctors” TV show last November. Like Charlotte I also gave Justine a set of interview style questions to answer about her weight loss journey, below are Justine’s inspiring answers.

What was the most difficult part for you when it came to losing the weight?

The most difficult part for me was getting into a routine of exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.  I never really exercised and didn’t care what I ate so it was hard for me to adjust.  I also had to find what worked for me, what I liked and what I didn’t like.  I knew if I didn’t find something I liked, I wouldn’t stick with it.

How did you overcome that?

I have an amazing support system; my husband, my family and my close group of friends that helped keep me going.  I also knew that I needed to get healthy for our son, Ryder, and our family.  My husband needed a wife that could physically and mentally take care of things on her own with the job he is in and I needed to be healthy so I could model healthy habits for our growing toddler.  It became something I HAD to do for my health and for my future, not something I wanted to do or was trying to do.  Because of that, I completely changed my lifestyle and overcame my difficulties by finding new foods I liked and exercises I liked to do or that made me feel good about myself.

What was your inspiration to lose the weight?

My inspiration to lose weight was my family and myself.  I wanted my son to grow up knowing what healthy eating habits are as well as what exercise can do for his body.  I wanted him to have a mom that could do things with him and a mom he could be proud of.  I also wanted my husband to have a wife he could show off (even though he already loved me for who I was) and I wanted to be able to take part in family activities.  I could not believe I let myself get that out of control and, at times, didn’t even see myself in the mirror anymore.  I wanted to find out who I was, prove that I could do it and get healthy for myself.

How did you lose the weight?

Losing weight was a long, hard process; the most difficult thing I have ever done.  It took dedication and a lot of accountability.  In February of 2012, I started walking 6 miles a day every day with our son, Ryder, in his stroller.  I also cut out fast food, junk food, soda, and many other unhealthy choices in food.  I replaced them with lean protein, dairy, a lot of fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.  After about six months, I added running to my walk and could eventually run a mile without stopping!  I couldn’t even do that in high school!  We ran a 5K, my first, as a family in April of 2013 and finished in 32 minutes.  I was so proud of myself because I would never have thought to do this beforehand!  After that, I ran a lot and added a mommy and me stroller fitness class in May 2013.  It was perfect because I could take Ryder with me and he could play with the other kids while the moms worked out in the same area.  At that point, I had lost 75 lbs but still hadn’t hit my final goal weight.  From May 2013 to October 2013 I worked my butt off and by October 2013, I ran the Breast Cancer 5k in 25:52 and hit my goal weight!  I had lost a total of 115 lbs by exercising and completely changing my diet!

 

Who were your biggest supporters/who do you want to acknowledge or thank?

My biggest supporters were and still are my husband, my family and the moms in my stroller class as well as a tight-knit group of ladies struggling through the same thing.  My husband pushed me to keep going and has been proud of me for setting out to make this lifestyle change.  He suffered through a diet change with me (and by suffered I mean it was more suffering to him haha) and exercised right along with me.  My family supported me from far away by encouraging me when they could and trying new recipes with us.  They also let me talk about all the things I was learning and doing without getting annoyed or tuning me out like some people did.  The moms in my stroller class and the group of ladies that I am close with are an amazing support group because we are all struggling for the same goal; to become healthy, lose weight and love ourselves.  We pushed each other and helped each other with tips and recipes.  Unless you’ve been there, you don’t know what it’s like and these ladies all know.  I can’t thank all of these people enough and I will never stop thanking them for what they have done and continue to do for me!

I can’t forget to also thank my instructor, Jasmine.  She got me started in the stroller fitness class and has pushed me through sore muscles and an aching body.  She introduced me to cycling class as well as Kickboxing and even gave me a few personal training sessions when I wanted a little extra push!  She is a great motivator, a great friend, and an even better instructor!

What are your plans, goals, dreams etc for the future?

I have hit my final goal, a weight loss of 115 lbs but my plans for the future are to maintain my weight loss and continue my healthy lifestyle.  We will hopefully have another child in the future and I will have to adapt to what pregnancy brings, but I am looking forward to starting healthy and staying healthy.  I would love to write a book, a blog or go on other television shows to talk to people about weight loss and healthy living.  I would also like to start a mommy and me fitness class or other fitness class, but we will see what the future brings!  Right now, it’s all about me and my family.

 

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Justine’s after picture with her hubby

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Justine and her beautiful family

 

Thank you Justine for sharing more of your awesome story with us! I hope everyone is encouraged to know that with the right mind set, nutritious foods and support any weight loss goal is possible! Be sure to check back tomorrow for my personal weight loss story and follow this blog for continued recipes, encouragement and healthy living how to!

 

 

 

Weight Loss Success Story, Charlotte

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Charlotte’s Before Picture

Meet my friend Charlotte, Charlotte and I had the pleasure of meeting each other through a very special occasion, she and I were both featured on the popular television show “The Doctors” Last November. The show was about “Breaking points” and Charlotte and I (along with another beautiful gal, Justine) were asked to go on national television and share about our weight loss success’ with a focus on what led us to our breaking points , or points of true change. We were happy to share our stories, but were given only a very short amount of time to share, when we walked off the stage we all felt like there was so much more we wanted to say. I asked both Charlotte and Justine to share a little bit more of their stories with me and with their permission I would create a blog post giving a voice to those stories. I gave Charlotte a list of interview style questions and here are her responses.

  What was the most difficult part for you when it came to losing the weight?

o   To be honest, I’m not sure if I can narrow it down to one difficult aspect when it comes to losing weight. When I look back, I had good days and I had bad days just like anyone else. But if I had to choose one thing, I would say that the most difficult part was feeling deprived around my friends and feeling like I couldn’t go out and enjoy myself at restaurants and bars (which of course wasn’t true). I also used to eat a lot during the middle of the night without any recollection of it in the morning, which was really discouraging and frustrating.

·         How did you overcome that?

o   I became more comfortable with indulging occasionally once I started to see my body change. I think it’s easy to get it stuck in our heads that we can’t have treats when we’re trying to lose weight, but it’s moderation that really is the key.  I overcame eating during the middle of the night by starting a work-out routine, and not buying groceries that I could easily access and binge on. Once I started working out, I could sleep through the night without waking up for food. And as my Weight Watchers leader Adrienne says, “You can’t eat it if you don’t have it!”

·         What was your inspiration to lose the weight?

o   My inspiration to lose the weight was the quality of my future. I got to a point where I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror and I had lost total control of my life. I was very unhappy with the way I looked, but more importantly the way I felt. I have always loved a good challenge, and losing weight was the first issue I thought I should tackle.

·         How did you lose the weight?

o   I lost 50 pounds by following the Weight Watchers program, and 20 additional pounds through a combination of working out and following Weight Watchers.  I started my weight loss journey in October of 2011, and reached my goal weight in May of 2013. I started working out in February of this year, with boot camp classes and personal training. I also started to run, and completed my first 10k race in September, finishing in 3rd place for my age category.  I added fruits and vegetables into my diet, which was unheard of when I was overweight. I started drinking water, and learning to manage my portions. The support that Weight Watchers provided for me was a huge factor in my weight loss as well. Just knowing there are people out there on the same journey that you are is so comforting and motivating, you’re guaranteed to succeed.

·         Who were your biggest supporters/who do you want to acknowledge or thank?

o   My biggest supporter was my Weight Watchers leader, Adrienne. Adrienne has been my biggest fan since the second I stepped through Weight Watcher’s door. She showed me unconditional love, support, encouragement, motivation, and strength; all of which helped shape me into the woman I am today. I am so proud to call her my leader, my friend, and my second mom. I want to thank her for everything that she does for our entire Weight Watchers group in Simi Valley and for always sticking by my side no matter what.

o   I also want to thank my personal trainer, Murphy. Murphy is one of those rare people with an infectious passion for life and I am lucky enough to call him my trainer and friend. The first few months of personal training and working out were rough, but Murphy stood by my side through every tear, every complaint, and every sore muscle. He has always believed in me, even when I haven’t believed in myself. I have been training with him for almost a year now, and the lessons I have learned (both mentally and physically) have changed my life in such a positive way that I truly cannot thank him enough.

·         What are your plans, goals, dreams etc for the future?

o   My goal is to maintain my weight loss, which was a total of 70 pounds. I am going to continue going to my Weight Watchers meetings, and continue to exercise. I may eventually want to get my personal training certifications, or even become a Weight Watchers leader. I know that I can achieve anything I set my mind to now that I’ve reached my goal of losing weight, and I’m excited to see what the future holds!

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Here is Charlotte’s Inspiring After Picture

 Thank you Charlotte for sharing more of your story and for being an inspiration to others! It can be done everyone!

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Justine, Me and Charlotte back stage at “The Doctors”

Gluten Free, Grain Free, Cauliflower Crust Veggie Pizza

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A pizza crust made from what?? Yep that’s cauliflower alright! I made this for dinner last night and let me just say, next time… I’m making a double batch! The kids all wanted  more! One head of cauliflower will make one pizza, so plan accordingly if you have a larger family or want to make more than one pizza 🙂 This pizza was melt in your mouth delicious, you know the kind when you close your eyes while you chew to experience the flavor all the more (or maybe thats just me) Now since this was my first time making this recipe, I think I will make a few tweaks to it for next time, for one thing the crust was not crisp and we had to eat it with a fork (we really didn’t mind) and I used cream cheese in the crust and I think next time I will use an herbed chevre (goat cheese) other than that, we have a winner here!

So this is what you need to do, take your head of cauliflower (preferably  organic) and grate the entire head (minus the leaves) with your cheese grater into a bowl, when you are done it will give you approx 4 cups depending on the size of the head.

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I then filled the bowl with very hot water and covered it for about 15 min to let it “steep” after that I poured it in to my small holed metal colander to drain AND THEN I transferred it to a dry clean thin dish towel (a cheese cloth would work nicely as well) bundled it all up and squeezed all the remaining water out of it, seems like a lot of work, but its really not!

From there I put the soft cauliflower back into the dry mixing bowl and added 1 cage free egg, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1 tbsp organic herbs de provence, 3 tbsp cotija cheese (the Mexican version of parmesan)  and 4 oz of natural cream cheese (not lite) and blended it all together. Then I spread it out evenly  on my rectangle baking stone and baked it at 350 for 15 min.

After this I pulled it out of the oven and topped it with organic spaghetti sauce, organic cheese, and sliced up mushrooms and red bell pepper and put it back in to back for another 25 min.

We enjoyed ours with a large green salad, which in my opinion has always been the perfect accompaniment  with pizza! Please enjoy and let me know what you think after you try it!

Here is what you will need again (for easier reference):

  • 1 Large head organic cauliflower
  • 1 cage free egg
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp organic herbs de provence (oregano is a good spice to use as well)
  • 4 0z natural cream cheese or 4 oz herbed goat cheese (chèvre)
  • 3 tbsp cojita or parmesan cheese
  • organic spaghetti sauce for topping
  • organic mozzarella cheese for topping
  • assorted veggies such as: bell peppers, onions, olives, mushrooms

12 Day Pre-Holiday Cleanse!! Yes, Lets Get Ready For The Holidays!!

While eating real food!! No diet food or special products 🙂 this is all about cleansing the body mind and spirit! Want to know more?? I am looking for 10 motivated people, if you are ready to lose weight, sleep better, have more energy and boost your immune system, and do it all before the hectic holiday season gets into full swing, then NOW IS THE TIME!!! Watch the short and informative video and then register here.

 

Should You Detox Your Body?

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Take a listen to our newest podcast as my co-host and I discuss the reason why and the how to’s when it comes to detoxing your body. If you are one that has thought it too hard and too complicated to do, then you owe it to yourself to take a listen and see how simple and effective these practices can be to incorporate into your daily life 🙂