Why juicing is a good habit in my opinion?

I got inspired to write this blog post because there is a lot of misconception around this subject and I feel like expressing myself in regards to juicing, as a habit. I know that juicing seems a pretty new thing, like a fashion trend, but let me tell you that this is simply not true.

Apple beet juice

For example in 1920 Max Gerson was using raw fresh squeezed juices combined with a vegetarian diet to heal different disease. Max Gerson was a german scientist and let me tell you that he did a pretty nice job in healing his patients from different chronic diseases.  In 1936 another great man, Dr. Norman Walker invented the Norwalk juicer and he made juicing a practice worldwide. His philosophy was that a raw food diet along with fresh juices was going to assure health and vitality in every human being. I want to mention that Dr. Walker lived according to his philosophy and he thrived for 99 years on this planet. :d In 1960 Dr. Bernand Jensen opened a retreat in California. This was a oasis of health and vitality. Patients from all over the world came in to learn about proper nutrition and juicing was one of the most encouraged practices. You all know Jack Lalanne right? 😀 He was an American fitness instructor who promoted juicing like no other. He was always talking about the power of juicing; I am sure that you all heard and remember him from a few TV commercials.  As years were passing  by, juicing became more mainstream and people from all over the world were finding out about this habit. Nowadays we have people such as:  Jason Vale, Dr. Robert Morse, Joe Cross and so many others that encourage everybody to drink homemade juice. Why is that? It must be a secret right? :d

No secret here! All of these people that I mentioned above and many others support the habit of juicing because they learned from their own experience and from the experience of thousands of other people and more, that the juice obtained from fruits and veggies is a magical tool for our body, and used correctly it helps our organism to heal itself from chronic diseases. This is the experience that all of the great people mentioned above had in regards to juicing and we cannot disregard their work and the results they had.

Apple carrot spinach juice

We have many juice therapy centers all over the world now and people start to become more opened in regards to this subject that is rejected violently by many “well intended people”, by people that are not well informed and by people who believe what they are told by their medical doctors…and hey, who can blame them? In a normal world we should be able to trust our medical practitioners right? Don’t get me wrong, medical doctors have their place and their purpose and we must respect it, but most of them are not opened minded to see also other aspects of healing and rebuilding the body. Luckily they are starting to open to the idea of holism and this is a great step for all of us. 😀 I am sure that soon the medical doctors will work hand in hand with alternative doctors and the result will be spectacular.

Back to our subject!

So why we should juice… what is the philosophy behind juicing?

  • It’s the fastest way to bring valuable nutrients into your blood stream and then into your precious cells
  • Fresh juice is very well digested and it helps your digestive tract to work less and to heal and rebuild itself
  • Juice is absorbed very fast with minimum energy from your body and it allows your organism to heal and rejuvenate… big time 😀
  • Juicing is an amazing tool for cleansing and flushing out toxins, that unfortunately are found more and more in our bodies, since we live in this modern world
  • It can help you to have a better intake of veggies and fruits into your diet. For example you can juice a whole lettuce and mix it with carrot juice and maybe some beet juice and sip it right away… and I am sure that in other circumstances you would have never eaten a whole head of lettuce at once
  • This is the fastest and easiest way to introduce a whole range of vitamins, minerals and enzymes to your body. A fresh squeezed juice is like a bomb of nutrients that is well absorbed by your body
  • Fresh juice is full of anti-oxidant properties and helps our system to fight with free radicals
  • Do you know who will be thankful for this habit too? Your immune system
  • By juicing you make sure that your intake of nutrients it’s perfect and you have control over what you eat, because you make the juice by yourself only from fruits and veggies

The philosophy behind juicing, as far as I have experienced, based on the books I studied, written by the great doctors mentioned above and based on their own experience in treating thousands of people worldwide is that by juicing you give your body the fuel that it needs, but in the same time you give your body a rest from digesting complicated things. This means that your body will have more energy left from not digesting all day long and this energy will be used in detoxing and healing purposes. Fresh juice is digested and absorbed in maximum 15 to 20 minutes so imagine how easy it is for the body to process this type of food.

Before your start saying that juicing will get you diabetic and that is too much sugar in fruit juice, let me tell you that fruit juice doesn’t have the sugar that we all know, that is bad for you. Fruits contain fructose. This is a natural type of sugar that is well absorbed by the body without too much effort. Fructose is assimilated into our body by diffusion and it doesn’t overwhelm the pancreas and the liver.  You don’t have to believe me, just start juicing and see how you feel.

Beet juice

We are now in the times where we can benefit from the technology and we can juice for health very easy because of the advanced juicers that are found in this times. You don’t need a fancy juicer to juice, even though a slow juicer would be the perfect option for any type of juice… just try it out, see how you feel for yourself and read about it and about the effect that this habit had on others also. I promise you, this simple and fun habit will change your life! 😀

One more thing, juicing must be supported by a well balanced diet and by healthy choices in general. We cannot expect to eat fried meat with French fries and drink fruit juice and feel our best and in the same time we can’t expect to heal if we have a poor diet. Let’s be reasonable!  Also I want to say that whole foods are the key to our health, but a diet that contains whole foods (plant based) combined with fresh juices is a key to wellness and health.

Now get your dusty juicer down from the basement and start working with it, combine things, see what your body enjoys the most and experience a cocktail of nutrients with a smile on your face! 😀

Here are a 3 resources that you can use for support, there are plenty more:

http://thejuicingclub.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aaxa7rxEbyk  – Super Juice me (documentary)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o0pSnp0Xs8 – Fat sick and nearly dead (documentary)

A letter to all vegans, vegetarians, raw-vegans…or whatever you want to call yourself

“I have wanted to write this letter since forever. First, I wanted to say that this is not a manifest of hate and it doesn’t have the intention to offend anybody and I am sure that a lot of people will agree with me, at least at some point.

I grew up as a normal kid, in a normal family who taught me what is good and what is wrong, based on their life experience. I was never rich nor was I poor. I had a lovely childhood and a lot of friends. I was a happy child with a lot of energy who never actually dreamed about a super fancy future; except for the fact that I had in me the desire of being in the center of attention…..seems pretty normal for a child right? :d

In my early 20’s I started noticing that…well…life was not as perfect as I thought… for everybody.

cactus

Some of the people that I knew or people that I only heard about were getting sick with modern society diseases and frankly, this was scary. I never in my life saw the number of pharmacies skyrocketing the way that I see it nowadays. Besides this aspect I noticed a huge increase in packing material for our food, such as plastic and paper; now most of our food is pre-packed in materials that harm the environment the most. I started noticing the pollution in the air, the chemicals found in our food, the pathogens found in our water and the last but not least I started noticing the suffering that we cause to a lot of animals and human beings that live on this planet. The whole system in which we live today is kind of …broken and in my point of view it needs a fix right away. All the problems that I mentioned before made me search for answers to them. This is how I approached the idea of veganism, vegetarianism and raw-veganism.

I found a lot of materials about the idea of consuming plant based foods and about the impact that this thing has on our body, on our environment and on our planet…and it fascinated me, from day 1. I found a beautiful community of people who supported each other in their journey of changing their diet and it seemed a pretty good idea…and it still does, don’t get me wrong. :d At the same time I had to face all my demons, all the things that I have learned in my life about food, about what is good versus what is wrong to eat, I had to confront my friends, my family and myself in ways that I never thought that could be so difficult and I am sure that all of you did the same as me and you already know how challenging it can get. I am not complaining at all, I just want to remember to all of you that we all come from different places in our lives and for each and every one of us, the challenges can be from easy to extreme, it depends on a lot of things.

I have noticed in the last 2 years that the loving community that I have met about 5 years ago started going nuts all the way.  I never in my life saw so much hate towards other people than what I saw in the vegan community. Vegan fellows started fighting with each other about different aspects about their diet; some of them support one type of diet and others another type.  Vegans fighting with raw-vegans, vegans fighting with vegetarians, vegetarians fighting with raw-vegans, vegans, vegetarians and raw-vegans fighting with people that eat all kinds of food…you get my point. This is crazy!!!  Please stop!

DSC_3184

We are not perfect and nobody is. We are all doing the best we can from the place we are in right now. The common point and idea is to eat as healthy as possible for ourselves, with the least amount of suffering caused to other beings and with the smallest negative impact on our planet. Isn’t this all about?  This is the kind of community in which I want to be. I want to feel inspired and maybe to inspire others by example.

I am not perfect, starting almost 4 years ago I stopped eating meat for good and I started eliminating dairy products dramatically; now 90% of my diet or maybe more is plant-based. I stopped buying leather products and I am in constant search for buying all sorts of products (for hygiene, for cleaning the house, make-up products, etc) that are environmental friendly and that are not tested on animals.  For me this is a huge accomplishment and I walked this path step by step with joy and fear at the same time. I am happy to call myself a learner and I progress with confidence further on. Maybe for some of us I represent a classic failure for not being able to call myself a 100% plant based person and I used to consider myself a failure for not being able to align 100% to the community requirements…but you know what? I managed to make a huge progress with myself and this is my focus now.

Please imagine what would happen if the majority of people on this planet would slowly progress into a plant based diet, what a huge impact that would have on all of us. What if the majority of people would eat meat once a week, or eat dairy twice a week and instead would eat more fruits and veggies? What would happen if people would choose to buy leather free products, but still eat 1 egg/ week? Isn’t this called a progress? Why not appreciate and support a person for progressing into the plant based lifestyle, even if it is not perfect from the beginning?…maybe he will never be or maybe he will become the best version of himself and succeed on this lifestyle 100% of the time.

We are all together in this and we all have the same purpose, only the path is different. :d

4 people

If this community is strong and supportive we will manage to inspire millions of people all around the globe, the science is now on this side of the fence and all we need is patience, love and respect towards each other. We need to respect and celebrate each progress, because each one of us is an inspiration for others. We won’t manage to convince anybody if we have an attitude of hate and superiority towards each other, at least this is how I see it.

I love animals more than you can imagine and this is a very important subject for me, but I also love people, especially conscious people that progress. I love my husband for progressing each day on this path and I love my parents for eating less meat and dairy and I love my friends who are curious on trying plant based versions of the animal foods. They all progressed immensely and this is what matters and I can put a bet that some of them will become 100 % plant based very soon.

In the end I want to mention that I love and respect each one of you that live this lifestyle with dedication and hope. You inspire me every day!

Let’s all find a place in us that supports any kind of progress, from the smallest to the biggest one and I am sure that this planet will become a better version. Let’s see the full side of the glass! Let’s stop putting labels on us and on others and let’s work together to bring to light the truth about the food in our society, about the animal cruelty and about the environmental issues. This should be our main focus…and I am sure that people will follow people who live as an inspiration. This will happen naturally. :d

If you think that this message should be heard by many people, please share it.

We all need it!”

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     With hope,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My imperfect self

 

 

 

Pineapple… my friend with the weird haircut :D

We weren’t always friends… in fact, I hated pineapple all my childhood and it was very hard for me to accept it in my house, in my kitchen and then, on my plate… disgusting. Let me tell you a little story, just for fun, about a little girl and about a fruit with weird haircut.

Pineapples

When I was about 6, 7 years old I was (of course) in love with Santa Claus and especially with the gifts that he always brought to me on Christmas day.  I was waiting for Santa each year with hope, joy and curiosity, like every other child. He never disappointed me and he came each year with all sorts of gifts for me… breadsticks were my favorite. :d  Let’s say that Santa was perfect… well, he actually annoyed me with 1 gift that he always brought to me: canned pineapple. And boy… he was generous!!! Each year I use to receive at least 4, 5 cans of pineapple. I hated canned pineapple. I didn’t like the taste, the smell and the fact that Santa wasn’t smart enough to realize that. Between me and you… I never told Santa that I hated the canned pineapple because I was afraid to hurt his feelings, after all he was old and I didn’t want him to get a heart attack… just saying :d

When I grew up a little more, I finally took the courage to write Santa a letter saying that I don’t want to receive pineapple anymore, at least not canned. Of course that for Santa was not easy to bring me fresh pineapple, because at the North Pole… there wasn’t any pineapple farm. :d From that day on…. Santa abandoned the pineapple cans and I never saw pineapple in my house until a few years ago.

Until 3,4 years ago I was pretty convinced that pineapple wasn’t my thing; my face would go green only from thinking about eating pineapple, I was disgusted. :d

One day, a friend of mine asked me and then begged me to try to eat a piece of fresh pineapple. After 1 hour of pressure I finally accepted to take a bite for the sake of my mental health… I couldn’t hear one more time: “Please, just try a little piece!” :d :d :d . WOW! I was shocked…The pineapple tasted pretty good, actually the taste was amazing. It was sweet and refreshing… what was wrong with me? I thought I hated pineapple?! How was it possible to be such a  big difference between the fresh pineapple and the canned one?

…from that day we are inseparable and we share the same house, the same kitchen and even the same plate. :d

And because I’ve made peace with the pineapple I would like to advertise it a little bit…and believe me when I say that no one is paying me to do it, I give you my word of honor  😀

Sliced pineapple

Why you should eat fresh pineapple:

  • Well, in the first place, fresh pineapple tastes amazing. If you choose it carefully, ripe and fresh, at the same time, you will be able to enjoy the sweet flavor of it. It seems unreal that a fruit that travels thousands of kilometers still tastes the way a fresh pineapple does. Tip: You should definitely try the one that is imported from Costa Rica
  • Pineapple is full of vitamins and minerals that support our body, such as: Vitamin A, Vitamins from B complex, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, manganese (a lot), Vitamin C, and potassium. We shouldn’t become obsessed with vitamins and minerals and we should let our body to do its homework at chemistry. We just have to eat simple and clean
  • If you want to strengthen your bones, cut a pineapple in small pieces and ask him nicely to help you in this matter
  • Your joints are in pain? Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that seems to work as an anti-inflammatory agent. Now, you have to be reasonable and expect results only if you consume at least 1/2 pineapple a day for at least a few days. Don’t try to obtain anti-inflammatory properties only by eating 1 small piece of pineapple once a week :d
  • We all have digestive issues in today’s society, even when we think we don’t have. Who can help us best? Well I think pineapple could do a pretty amazing job when it comes to digestion. The fibers contained in it allows us to improve our bowel movement quite a lot
  • Because of its high content in vitamin C, pineapple helps us to maintain a well balanced collagen level in our body. For this reason our skin will look nice and firm
  • Do we have potassium in this fruit? Yes, of course we have. This means that by consuming it we will be able to keep our blood pressure in healthy boundaries.
  • Each bite of fresh pineapple improves our immune system quite a lot. Remember that the fruit must be ripe
  • Pineapple is full of antioxidants and helps our body to fight against free radicals, which are not actually our friends

Have I convinced you? 😀

I want to tell you 2 more things, namely:

1). You can recognize a ripe pineapple by its color, by its weight, by its flavor and by the easiness in which you can pull out its leafs. A ripe pineapple has a yellow or an even orange color; it weights a lot because of the juiciness and smells like heaven. If the leafs are hard to pull, this means that the pineapple is not ripe yet and you should let it to ripe a few more days

2). Pineapple will not sting us very bad if it’s ripe enough, at least this is my experience. This is so important, don’t eat unripe pineapple because your tongue will be on fire, trust me on this one :d

Pealed pineapple

This is all I can say about my weird friend. :d … I suggest you should give him at least one chance and I promise you that it’s worth it. Even if you don’t like the first pineapple that you eat, try another one, maybe this time you will be lucky enough to get a ripe, sweet and amazing one. It depends so much on the country of origin… So so much!

Every fruit deserves a chance, right? 😀

TOP reasons for why 9 to 5 jobs SUCK …big time

When I was a little girl I didn’t thought to much about what I wanted to be, or to do when I would finally grow up, at least I don’t remember this urge of finding out what type of job would suit me best. To be honest, I never thought about working in a particular job, although I thought it would be nice to have some money to buy some extra bubble-gum and to buy food for the dogs in the park 😀 …and that’s about it. I didn’t pay any attention to my parent’s jobs and I never imagined that I will do the same as I grow up and “live the nest”. Anyways…they didn’t seem to handle their jobs to bad. I mean they looked happy, maybe a little tired but nothing out of the ordinary. This is the reason for which I never thought that going to a job was too bad, in fact the whole picture looked pretty good: you go to a place you stay for a couple of hours and you come home with some money to spend. 😀

Scooter in park

I do remember my dad saying: “Enjoy your childhood, while you can, because you will have to work when you will grow up and you won’t like it at all!

I finally realize what he was saying. He was right…he was so right! Even though in the 90’s the jobs were far more non-stressful than today, it seemed that people still didn’t enjoy their work too much, and today I understand why.

Human species is not made for working for 8,9,10 or even more hours a day! This is a fact my friends, you don’t have to be a genius to realize. You just have to look around you and you will see how unhappy people are and how they count days until the weekend, as if they were in a prison from Monday ‘till Friday. This is not normality; at least this is my perspective.

Even the idea of a permanently job is not a solution long term. Because no matter how much money you make or how many titles you obtain, if you don’t like what you do, everything is in vain. You cannot obtain happiness or at least peace, by doing a job that you don’t like from 9am to 5pm. More, you can become unhappy, miserable, stressed, frustrated, desperate and sad because this is not the life you imagined when you were a child. I am not aware of any child who dreams about being in an office 9 hours a day, without feeling the warm sun comforting their faces. If you have seen one…please show him to me, but I don’t think you will find one.

Sun in your hands

So why a typical job, from 9 to 5, sucks?

Well here are my TOP reasons:

  • A 9 to 5 job that you don’t like occupies all your day with stuff that you don’t care about and lives you tired and depressed for the rest of that day…and even for the rest of the week.
  • You are not motivated to do anything good at your job, because no human being likes to be involved in activities that don’t bring him satisfaction, at least not on long term.
  • Most of the jobs that have a schedule from 9 to 5 are the typical office jobs. This is an absolutely nightmare for our body. We seat down, without moving at least 8 hours a day. In this way we make sure that our body gets stiff and unhealthy….for sure. I mean this is a guarantee.
  • If we are unhappy 8 hours a day for doing something that we hate, we will for sure make the ones around us unhappy as well. You cannot make somebody happy when you are not happy.
  • Usually in offices were people are not happy, the relations between co-workers, aren’t good ones and you usually spend time with people that you usually wouldn’t have spent time with. If you are lucky you can find 1, 2 people that you respect and they respect you back and for this reason you can create a normal bonding. But this stuff…it’s rare.
  • After a long day at work you come home and you are too exhausted to do anything at all, even your favourite “things to do”, seem so very hard to accomplish.
  • A 9 to 5 job can pretty much ruin your relationship if you aren’t careful enough. You spend more time at work than with your husband or wife.
  • Playing or doing homework with your kids after going to work all day becomes an actual nightmare.
  • If you work in a building all day long you are probably not going to breathe fresh air all day long and believe me this is a super important aspect. After all we all depend on oxygen to thrive.
  • Life seems concentrated in a circle: work-sleep-work which sometimes feels like slavery, to be honest, especially if you work in big corporations.
  • Your sense of freedom its abused big time, all the time. And you feel like you are trapped and you can’t do anything to escape, because of the mortgage, because of the bills, because of health insurance, etc.
  • And finally…it doesn’t seem normal to anybody to spend so much time working and working for other people’s dreams. I know it sounds so harsh, but it’s so true…and I know you feel it deep down inside.

Girl on beach

I could continue with reasons for not having a 9 to 5 job…like forever, but I just listed a few of them in order for us to raise the head up and to try to see the reality. This is not normal! I don’t think that God intended for us such a limitative way of living. I don’t think this life is about frustration and regrets, at least this is what I believe.

I think that we are meant to do what we love and I believe with all my heart that if we discover what we love to do, we will be free and we could spend even 12 hours a day if we like too, doing something for our own joy, just because we can! I also believe that this will bring us abundance by far faster than any other source of income that depresses us to the point that we just don’t see a solution of escape.

Of course there are people, a few of them, that love their job and are doing amazing at that activity, but believe me when I say most of them would do even better if they would be allowed to establish their own time schedule, rather than come to work from 9 to 5. I know people that do their thing and are tremendously happier than the ones that have a regular job in an office, because they are not doing a lot of things against their beliefs. They do what they love to do…and they  good money. 😀

This is possible and this is the only solution that we have and it’s an amazing one! Let’s find inside us what is the thing that we like to do… and start doing it and I am sure that in a short time we will be much happier and we will also abundance…and finally quit our jobs. 😀

I want to be sure that you know that you are not alone!

We all feel the same and you are not weird or lazy! This is just story that we are told every day to do nothing to find our true purpose. So don’t think that you will have to work a 9 to 5 job all your life, cause it’s not true…I am trusting that all of us will find our purpose and we will be able to serve us and others in jobs that we love to do and we will become our own masters of joy, bliss and abundance.

Pomegranate juice is a miracle for health

How beautiful is the pomegranate fruit, right? 😀

Pomegranates are very special fruits, as you can imagine and they were even mentioned in the Bible a few times, in the Quran as being the fruits that will be present in the gardens of paradise and in Hinduism this fruit is a symbol of fertility and prosperity. It has some magic in it, isn’t it? Split pomegranate

I just love pomegranates. I love the sweet-sour taste of them, the colour of the fruit and I love the cleverness with which they were created in the first place… God must have had an exceptionally good and inspired day when He created this fruit, really! 😀 I have only a problem with it, because well, my life wouldn’t have existed if I didn’t found anything wrong with this perfect fruit. 😀 … And because I like to speak…a lot and I love to write, I decided to tell you a little bit about the ways that I choose when it comes to eating a pomegranate. Let’s cut back to chase:

Yes! The pomegranates and grapes have this weird aspect (for me)… the SEEDS. What to do? It’s not that I am spoiled, because I am not, but I just cannot accept at all the seeds in fruits like grapes and pomegranates. Maybe I am crazy? Who knows? This could be an option also. 😀 As much as I love the taste of pomegranate it is very hard to eat one and I have sacrificed myself for a while now and I ate the pomegranate as it is… with seeds, until one magic day. 😀 This was the day when finally someone gave me a pomegranate press (like a mechanical juicer). This was amazing! 😀Pomegranate

… and this is how I discovered the fresh squeezed pomegranate juice.

In the meantime I gathered some pretty cool information regarding this juice and I thought you might want to hear it too:

  • Pomegranate juice is a tonic for the digestive system and is recognized for its ability to soothe stomach pain, in case of indigestion.
  • For pregnant women pomegranate juice is sensational as it is very rich in minerals and vitamins and is particularly rich in folic acid. If consumed regularly, pomegranate juice reduces the risk of preterm birth.
  • It looks like pomegranate juice, consumed regularly, prevents hair loss and its strengthening the hair roots.
  • Helps maintaining a normal blood pressure. Drinking pomegranate juice will help you in thinning the blood and this will allow a proper blood circulation throughout the body.
  • Pomegranates juice helps with the elimination of free radicals from the body, being a good inhibitor of malignant tumour development. For this reason, this juice promotes cell health and health in general.
  • With such anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, we can rest assured when it comes to colds. Consuming pomegranate juice helps the body maintain high immunity and face all kinds of viruses and bacteria.
  • Very rich in iron, this is important for those suffering from iron deficiency anemia.
  • Pomegranate juice is known to relieve joint pain and is known for maintaining bone health.
  • I will also say that pomegranate juice has anti-aging properties, because this is simply true. Please do your research 😀
  • Pomegranate juice increases appetite and is a real help for those who suffer from a lack of appetite.
  • Pomegranate juice protects the liver and helps it regenerate by enhancing its own ability to heal by sustaining its proper function.
  • Pomegranate juice is a widely used in the prophylaxis of asthma.
  • Helps lower LDL cholesterol and protects blood vessels in the body.
  • Being a good anti-bacterial, pomegranate juice helps in removing plaque in the mouth.Juice press

 

In other words, the pomegranate juice helps us in being healthy and vibrant and it spoils us with its own savoury aroma of summer, in the middle of autumn-winter. 😀

I want to mention the fact that pomegranate juice, freshly squeezed, is beating the bare bottoms of any pomegranate juice commercially packaged and pasteurized in different ways and does not even compare in nutritional values and taste, with any other kind of pomegranate juices found in famous stores.

Now, this press for squeezing pomegranates that I was talking about a little earlier is found in a lot of supermarkets, at a reasonable price. It is a long term investment and I say it’s worth every penny. You can use it also for juicing oranges, if you want to, but for pomegranates from my point of view, this mechanical press is the best solution. : D

… Let’s go to the market, buy some pomegranates and let’s get drunk with the taste and fragrance of homemade pomegranate juice!: D

BROCCOLI is being investigated for its green colour

Like every child born and raised in this century, I have always looked suspicious to the plate that sat in front of me at mealtimes. I cannot say I was too finicky, because I loved food so much (still do), but I wouldn’t accept weird, green stuff on my plate, especially when was hidden, on purpose, under my French fries. What?! I have bubble-gum in my hair or something like that? I am not stupid and you cannot fool me into eating your weird green things. I will show you how pissed off I am…and then the plate was flying in the air like a tennis ball. 😀 … I know, I was a tough kid! 😀

Leaving aside the French fries, which were almost descended from heaven, from my point of view, I would eat many other things, some more weird than others. One of these foods was cauliflower. Yes, cauliflower; that vegetable that resembles a big, white, almost fat flower. I would eat it in any shape or form…raw, baked, in puddings, pickled, and so on and so forth. I never protested and I preferred it in the detriment of many other vegetables… until one cursed day of autumn.

Let me explain this to you!

One day, going to the farmers market, accompanied by my dad, I see a nice lady that was selling vegetables and on her stall there was also a huge pile of cauliflower. Cool! I asked my dad if he wants to buy some cauliflower because it was in season. He agreed and we walked to the nice lady…and she asked:

– Hello! What do you want to buy?

Us:

-Hello! We would like to buy 4 pounds of cauliflower.

The nice lady:

-Right away! What about some BROCCOLI?

Us:

BRO… what?

-BROCCOLI…you don’t know about BROCCOLI? You should definitely try it, it’s a new product on our market and it’s amazing! broccoli

Because I didn’t knew what she was talking about I looked again and next to the white cauliflower I see an even huger pile of GREEN cauliflower.

I was in shock! A green cauliflower, a super green one, I mean very GREEN!!!

I was speechless, what they have done to my sweet friend, the cauliflower? They painted it, they coloured it, they brooked it; they did exactly what they did with the Easter eggs… this is the reason for which we now have blue eggs, purple eggs, green eggs, golden eggs. The age of white cauliflower was officially gone! We now eat green cauliflower… what the heck?

… So pissed. 😀

Us (under shock):

-No, thank you! We will stick to the 4 pounds of cauliflower, WHITE cauliflower.toy with broccoli

This being said we just went home and forgot completely of what happened at the farmers market.

Years have passed and in my attempt to discover and to buy fresh and healthy produce (by this time my perspective on food changed dramatically) I went directly to the farmers market to buy some fruits and some vegetables. After 10 steps I saw the greenest cauliflower that I have ever seen in my entire life. Guess who? It was, again, Mr BROCCOLI himself. I was determined to find out more about this greenish, “fake” 😀 😀 cauliflower. I took out my wallet and I paid a pretty big amount of money on 1 single BROCCOLI, with the purpose of discovering why this cauliflower is so green and what is wrong with us people that we don’t accept vegetables as they are. 😀

and I finally understood 😀

Mr BROCCOLI is not a green cauliflower, as I thought… it’s just the husband of the cauliflower, but just… you know… GREEN (tastes in man are not to be discussed 😀 ). It seems that both of them belong to the cruciferous family, which also includes other weird relatives, but we will talk about this in another blog post. Now, let’s focus on this damn BROCCOLI. 😀

It seems that Mr. BROCCOLI is a great king among vegetables and he brags that he also has astonishing properties and benefits for us, simple mortals. For the sake of this story, let’s see what Mr. Green face is talking about:

  • rich in minerals: Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, Selenium, Calcium and Iron
  • rich in vitamins: folic acid, vitamin K, A, B6, E, C, riboflavin, pantothenic acid
  • excellent source of vegetable protein and fiber
  • contributes to cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis
  • strengthens the immune system and helps preventing degenerative diseases
  • has anti-aging properties
  • it is a good bone fortifier
  • helps maintain a healthy nervous system
  • very good food for those suffering from diabetes, due to the presence of chromium
  • has antioxidant properties
  • it supports the digestive system
  • contains plenty of chlorophyll (obviously green) and helps in detoxifying the body

 

After learning so much positive things about BROCCOLI, I wanted to uncover at least one defect, one glitch; something that wasn’t just right about this “gentleman”… it couldn’t be this perfect. I mean… common, he is green; he must have at least one defect. So I decided to see how the taste of it was.

I ate it raw, in salads, with rice, with pasta, in the oven, etc… and I was surprised that it just tasted amazing!!! It wasn’t bad at all you guys. 😀 It is even worthy to be the husband of my beloved cauliflower.

I will say it out laud:

-BROCCOLI tastes amazing!!!

My friends, I know, it’s hard to believe that something so green can taste as good as this BROCCOLI does, but believe me, you have to be opened to try it at least once and you will be amazed. After all he is the king of the vegetables. This could not be for any reason, right? It’s tasty and healthy and… well, green… but GOOD! 😀

Let’s say that being green it’s his only flaw, after all he is full of chlorophyll and full of life and it seems happy all the time. 😀

 since that day at the market, we are just inseparable.

kid with broccoli

This son of a bitch… he got me! 😀

5 reasons for which AUTUMN is an awesome season for vegetarians

I know a lot of people that just hate autumn. They don’t like it less than summer, or less than spring, they actually hate it…and they are pretty serious about it. 😀 I might get in trouble for even suggesting that there could be another side of the coin. 😀

Autumn announces the entering of the cold weather and the end of sunny and bright days… and if you look it that way, it’s indeed depressing. But wait just a second before judging it. Let’s watch it from another perspective.

What if I told you that autumn can be (and it is) an awesome season?

And no, I am not crazy, and yes, I do love summer, I actually love all the seasons, but for several years now, I just appreciate autumn more than ever and in a whole new way.

Let me be more specific and let me suggest 5 “outrageous’’ reasons for which autumn could be (and it is) an awesome season for all of us, but especially for vegetarians:

  1. Autumn brings us a lot of joy by introducing us with the fruits and veggies of the year. 😀 This is the period of time when we can eat the best fruits and veggies ever, the fruits and veggies that were ripe under the sun’s love, all summer long. Without any further introduction, let me present you the kings and queens of the season: apples, butternut squash, grapes, pumpkin, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, pears, onion, kale, celery, cabbage, blackberries, arugula, beets, broccoli, cranberries, chard, eggplant, figs, garlic, different aromatic herbs, dates, plums, mushrooms, persimmons, corn, pineapple, pomegranate, sweet potatoes, kiwi, avocado… and the list goes on and on. Most of these fruits and veggies can be bought locally in autumn and indeed some of them are imported, but, this is the time when you can find them in their best possible quality and at the cheapest prices. 😀veggie salad cooked pumpkin
  2. Pantry time” period! 😀 Autumn is the season in which we have fun in the kitchen preparing our pantry for winter and spring. We can spend quality time with the loved ones preparing things to eat in the winter such as: pickles of all kinds and forms, we can freeze fruits and vegetables, we can dry out herbs and spices, we can store starches in dry dark, cold places, we can prepare tomato sauce and homemade tomato ketchup for the winter, we can store nuts and seeds, we can even make some wine in our own home. In this period of time we take advantage of what fruits and veggies were ripen in summer and in the beginning of autumn and we prepare with them nice things to eat in the cold season, each of us in our own way (cultural cuisine). zacuscaspaghetti
  3. Autumn is the perfect season for inner knowledge and inner work and the perfect season for self-love and self-appreciation. In autumn the nights come earlier and this causes most of us to enter home at a much early hour than usual. We can transform the evenings into our own advantage. For example we can spend more time with our loved ones, watching a nice movie while eating the perfectly cooked pumpkin pie, or we can choose to meditate for half an hour before going to bed, or we can write in a journal, or we can drink a hot cup of tea, or we can go to bed earlier, or we can read more, or watch educational documentaries on global warming, saving the planet, contributing to the collective evolution, etc. This season resonates with inner work in my point of view and it’s amazing for reflection upon our own thoughts… Some of us might think that autumn is even romantic. 😀New earth - book
  4. Some of us like to exercise in the evening. In the summer this is impossible because of the heat, but in autumn…boy, this is a delight! If you are like me and you don’t have time to exercise in the morning, you will for sure understand me when I tell you that autumn is the perfect season for jogging, doing gymnastics and roll around for an increased heartbeat 😀 . This season you can start to exercise outdoors and you can start to move your body in a perfect harmony with the weather. This is a huge advantage; you can put the bases to your workouts in autumn and even in winter and after that you will be trained enough to resist the heat in summer. 😀 … at least this is my opinion. Summer is good for starting to work out, but just in the morning unfortunately. feet on the ground
  5. The last but not least, I love autumn for its spirit and for the energy that it holds. What I mean about this? Well, you know, the trees look spectacular, the leaves start falling and you can play and jump around them, the rain starts and we all love the sound that rain makes on the top of our roofs, the house gets a bit chilli and you “have to” hug your loved one to get warm 😀 , you can cook the most amazing veggie soups and stews ever, we can cover ourselves in warm blankets, have a warm bath, we can chat and chat at family dinners and walk around the streets in warm clothes all day long, etc.autum in the park

 

These are just a few things that I enjoy about autumn and I am sure that you appreciate them too. We always have to find the positive side of each season and to embrace it as it is. For us, vegetarians, this season screams from the top of his lungs: “I am autumn, the season of peace and inspiration!”

May this autumn be an amazing one for all of us!!! 😀

 

“Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him.”

Hal Borland

GRAPE JUICE… a miracle for health

and this is not just another lie! 😀

I never liked grapes enough to actually eat them regularly, not even seasonally. Why? I really don’t know…actually to be honest I love the taste of grapes but I hate the seeds and the skin that covers each bean of grape, mostly the seeds. I do like raisins instead, I love raisins actually. Maybe I’m spoiled or my brain is damaged in a way that it doesn’t accept grape seeds! 😀

Of course… whole foods are always the best option for our body, but still, how to enjoy the fresh flavour of grapes in autumn, when you don’t like their seeds? For me this was a though one. Somehow I figure it out!glass of grape juice

I know! I will juice the grapes! 😀

I have to enjoy them somehow and it seems that the juicing thing might actually be a good idea for me. I would never thought that grape juice would be so beneficial for me, from the health point of view and I would never imagined the amazing taste that comes out when you drink a glass of fresh squeezed grape juice.

As you can imagine, I wanted to know more about grapes and grape juice in particular, so I studied the subject a bit.

Here is what I have found:

  • Grape juice is very detoxifying for the body
  • It is a good diuretic and laxative
  • Lowers blood cholesterol
  • It is full of minerals and vitamins
  • Good for your nervous system (loads of vitamin B)
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties
  • It works like a digestive tonic
  • It’s a pretty awesome antioxidant, especially the juice made from black grapes ( because of the presence of resveratrol)
  • Balances the blood pressure
  • Fortifies the immune system
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
  • Improves taste, smell and hearing
  • Helps prevent serious degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer
  • Improves the health in osteoarticular system
  • Rich in lecithin… perfect for your memory 😀

 

Is not that bad isn’t it? blue grapes

and the taste is amazing! Grape juice is fragrant, sweet, and delicate and it always brings a smile on my face. Always! You have to try it for sure (and I am not talking about wine ok? 😀 )

You can buy fresh squeezed grape juice from the farmers market or you can make it for yourself with the help of a juicer. Both ways it is beneficial for your health and brings autumn to a whole new level, trust me.

I recommend you to eat grapes in all shapes and forms and to enjoy them as much as you possibly can, especially as a whole plant based food (with seeds, skin and everything else); and if you are nuts, just as I am and you really hate the seeds, please juice the grapes.

You will still get amazing health benefits from doing so!

 

The fight is never about grapes or lettuce.

It is always about people.”

Cesar Chavez

Why I love PARSLEY ?

We’ve been really good friends since I was a little child, but now we are really inseparable. It wasn’t really hard for me to bond with my dear parsley… actually most of the times; it was present in my food. In my household parsley was very often used, as you can imagine. Now I realise the fact that not only I was in love with parsley, but I guess parsley was in love with me also, otherwise I could not explain why parsley would wave to me from the farmers market, every time I went there with my dad. 😀 14333193_10210854682065447_924418287290150290_n1

How can you not love it? It is green, cheerful and tasty… really tasty; on top of all these qualities, it helps us (if we let it) to be healthy and vibrant. Parsley is a really nutritious food, for those who have eyes to see and to appreciate it.

Parsley is an herbaceous plant, cultivated for its white root, stem and leaves. That we already know, but what we know less, or not at all, is that parsley is a super food , a real panacea, a nutrition bomb and a great healer for our bodies.

 

Let’s see what parsley offers in terms of health:

  • Vitamin C! Parsley is a great source of vitamin C easily absorbable, it contains 3 times more vitamin C than citrus. That means the parsley is an excellent antioxidant, has anti-viral properties, regulates blood sugar, prevents fat storage, is a good anti-allergic, regulate cholesterol, etc.
  • It contains beta- carotene, so it ensures protection of various organs such as the colon and lungs.
  • Rich in chlorophyll which acts like an antibacterial and antifungal food.
  • It contains easily absorbable iron (much more than spinach) and it helps us in cases of iron deficiency.
  • It contains a pretty awesome variety of minerals such as: calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc.
  • It’s an excellent source of vitamin K and sodium.
  • Like any green leaf is really rich in protein (this is important especially for those who do not consume animal protein). 😀
  • Due to the sheer amount of vitamins, minerals and flavonoids, parsley gives a good help to both digestive system and urinary system.

These are just some of the benefits of parsley, in terms of health, I’m sure you know that. : D14361233_10210854774067747_264700113804250731_o2

Also, parsley, gives colour and flavour to all foods and it puts its mark on each meal that you prepare with love for your loved ones; it is used in all kitchens in the world as a pretty important ingredient. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that this herb it’s a real value from all points of view and you can attribute it a lot of tasks of colour, flavour and nutrition in all your dishes.

When you buy parsley you have to be very careful when you choose it. It has to be dark green (preferably), with a hard stem and vigorous leaves and freshly picked from the garden (as fresh as possible). In this way you will be sure that it contains all the valuable minerals and vitamins that you need, plus it taste will be 10 times better if it’s fresh. I suggest that you buy parsley from the farmers market and not from supermarket. In this way it will be better for the local farmers, for the environment, for you…well for everybody 😀 ; you can find it fresh all year round without any kind of problems and if you want you can even grow it in your apartment. 😀 14352305_10210854781627936_8934137722502566741_o

I use parsley in a lot of dishes, I add it in salads, in sandwiches, is soups and stews (after I turn off the fire), in fresh juices made from fruits and veggies, in smoothies, and so on… endless possibilities.

We just need a little bit of imagination…because we have enough parsley, thank God! 😀

P.S. I believe it would look perfect instead of a flower bouquet also!!! 😀

SESAME SEEDS equals PACKED CALCIUM

Sesame seedsI will never forget those days when I used to see sesame bars, for sale, at the farmers market, when I went to the mountains with my grandparents. What a feeling! Beautiful times, beautiful years, true joy! Those bars were incredible tasty and I felt like I was in Wonderland… just like Alice. 😀 I was jumping all around because I was very happy that I could find and eat sesame bars in my vacation at the mountains.

I didn’t had any clue, that those same sesame seeds , that I used to love as a child, would become, after years and years, a topic of study for me. 😀 Well this is life…unpredictable.

Because I love sesame seeds so much and especially because I had a period of time when I didn’t consume it, I decided to make a small research about this wonderful food and to get it right back into my diet, not only for the amazing taste, but also for his nutritional properties. Let me tell you a story about sesame seeds and who knows, maybe you will get inspired to consume it also. 😀

My friends, these seeds are nature’s marvel. They contain a variety of nutrients and they can be used in all possible and impossible recipes that you can think of. You can use sesame in main dishes, but also in tasty and healthy desserts. But what struck me the hardest was the calcium content that sesame has. We all look for calcium intake, from corner to corner…and here it is. Just around our eyes… like all cool things are.

Sesame contains about 351 mg of calcium per 36 grams ( ¼ of a cup ) … I would say…pretty much , considering the fact that World Health Organization recommends about 500 mg / day intake . It would be interesting for you to see the difference between the quantities of calcium in cow’s milk versus the quantities of calcium in the humble sesame seeds; I think you will be pretty astonished. 😀

I want to mention the fact that the above data refers to whole sesame seeds, paddy, in their whole state. If we buy hulled sesame seeds, the quantity of calcium will decrease significantly.

Black and white sesame

I am not expecting anyone to eat every single day ¼ cup of sesame, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t introduce these seeds into our diet in smaller quantities. Our human organism is very smart and it will extract the calcium from many other sources too, including sesame seeds and it will know what to do with it, how to utilize it, how much it needs and so on and so forth. The human body is a spectacular creation that can calculate nutrients versus needs in a really smart way, even better than a computer. Nutrient utilization is not our concern, but it’s our body’s concern.

 

I will give you a really tasty recipe that you can use whenever you like it or whenever you crave something sweet. You need 1 tablespoon of grinded whole sesame seeds + some sweetener that you like (maple syrup, stevia or honey for those who eat it) + 1 teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice. You mix these 3 simple ingredients and you will get a gummy texture thing. You shape it into a little ball and this is your candy now. You can eat it as a dessert or in the morning on empty stomach. I like to eat it in the morning. : D

I learned this simple recipe from a dear Romanian lady that has a pretty awesome blog; I wish that someday, her blog will be translated in English also. Her name is Cristela Georgescu. She cured herself of hypocalcemia with this particular recipe and a healthy plant based diet. 😀

Another way in which I incorporate sesame in my diet is by eating Tahini. Tahini is a simple sesame paste. It can be prepared in your own home or can be bought in stores like Whole Foods. Tahini is used in particular to prepare hummus, another culinary wonder. I leave you my recipe + video here:

https://www.dearfruitsmile.com/plant-based-living/homemade-hummus/

I also use Tahini as a dressing for any kind of salad. I mix about 1tablespoon of Tahini, or even 2 tablespoons of Tahini with the fresh squeezed lemon juice from a small lemon + a tablespoon of water, if it’s needed. The texture should be creamy and flowing and the colour should be a whitish one; I bet there are hundreds of other ways to use sesame seeds in your diet, I just mentioned the ones that I love in particular. 😀

Let’s not forget the fact that for optimum calcium absorption, we need to eat grinded sesame seeds, in order for our body to absorb as much as it wants and needs too. If we eat the sesame as it is, most of the seeds will be pooped out, as I am sure you can imagine. 😀Sesame in hand

 

Now don’t make out of this a big deal. Eat sesame seeds as you wish and love, you can even make milk from the seeds.

Here is a recipe from Young and Raw: http://www.youngandraw.com/boost-your-calcium-with-homemade-sesame-seed-milk/
Besides calcium , sesame seeds contain encouraging quantities of copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc , molybdenum , selenium, vitamin B1 and fiber … not to talk , sesame is a real wonder, especially if you love the taste of it. 😀

I am waiting for your comments and maybe you can share new recipes with all of us that contain sesame seeds. In this way we can learn one from another and create a nice community. 😀

 

Now… let’s eat some! : D