Monday, September 30, 2013

What’s an alkalizing activity? Getting Back to Basic


If you've been a LoveLife client you know we talk about alkalizing, A LOT. During Phase 1 we amp up nutrient dense foods, remove inflammatory foods, drink Green Juices and check in with our pH each day. But we also encourage what we call Alkalizing Activities which work in tandem with the dietary changes to get back to Basic. 

What's an "Alkalizing Activity" and how can they help our bodies increase our pH?

Here's the skinny:
  • Even if you are eating your absolute optimal diet,  when stress levels are high your pH will be more acidic.
  • Alkalizing Activities = More traditional spiritual practices such as meditation, yoga or prayer are wonderfully alkalizing but any activity that brings you into a state of expansiveness including laughing with your kids, spending time with a pet, or singing in the car also qualify.
  • Bring awareness to these activities - notice how you feel in this state. How are you holding your body? What does your breath feel like?
  • Aim to bring this awareness to more stressful moments.  Feeling annoyed in traffic? Perfect opportunity! Can you rustle up any of that same feeling you had when you were laughing with your kiddos last night?
  • Don't judge! Sometimes we can manifest the feeling from the alkalizing activity, sometimes we can't. This is a practice makes perfect kinda practice.
  • Deep breathing: For a quick fix, taking 5-10 deep breaths is an effective way to alkalize. Deep breathing is calming to the mind and spirit and allows more oxygen in. Without enough oxygen, our bodies are unable to clear everyday toxins, which you guessed it, are acidic.
  • Don't get too caught up in your  daily pH readings. Remember, stress is acidic! pH levels take a while to shift (we're talking months to a year) so try checking in a couple times a week instead.  Aim for a gradual increase.  When you dip, amp up your greens, drink a green juice and practice  your alkalizing activities.


Warm Curried Apples over Kale



It's that time of year and the very first signs of fall starting to appear. While in Austin, that may only mean 90 degree days instead of 100, we'll take it. The cooler weather has us spinning the spice rack looking for aromatic combinations that conjure up an autumnal attitude.

This 'recipe' is a simple one and yields big flavors in mere minutes. Not crazy about the idea of greens in the morning? This combo may change your mind.

  • 1/2 apple, diced
  • 1/2 TB coconut oil
  • 1-2 tsp curry powder*
  • 2 cups kale, cut into thin ribbons
  • 2 TB water
  • Himalayan Salt to taste
Heat 1/2 TB coconut oil over medium heat. Add diced apples, a touch of salt and curry powder. Stir until apples are heated through and curry is fragrant. Remove from pan and reserve. Add water to same pan, swirl around to collect the little bits of flavor leftover from the apples. When hot, add the kale, cover and steam for 2-3 minutes. If any water is leftover, drain and serve topped with the warm apples. 

Yummy with a sprinkling of hemp seeds, or if you eat dairy a dollop of high quality greek yogurt...a great place to experiment with proteins, especially if kicking off your day with this tasty little snack.

*Sensitive to nightshades? Check to be sure curry spice blends don't include chili powder and or sub out with a pinch of garam masala. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Starting School on the Green Foot



So you hear it from us all the time, eating green paves the road to Alkalize Town. But as we load ourselves up with green goodness, how can we get our children on board, too? The start of a new school year is an ideal time to flex some new veggie skills. (The following tips work for grownups, too!) 

  • Snacks: We promise, we’re not trying to tell you kids are going to love kale chips (even though they might, even our grandpa does!) BUT we do think they may be excited about these green after school snacks waiting for them in the freezer. Recipe here.

  • Green Smoothies: Kids love ‘em, especially with a fun-to-say name. The Hulk, Monster Morning Mash, Green Machine are a few of our favorites. Bananas, berries, nut/seed butters and spinach make smoothies kid friendly while packing a nutritional punch. Still not jiving? Try a drop or two of vanilla for an easy zazz. 

  • Dips: Veggies go from Yawn to Yow! when paired with a fun dip. And who doesn't like ranch dressing? We think this homemade hemp seed version may just get your kid’s vote, too. Crazy tasty with fresh snap peas.
  • Veggie Noodles! No fancy gadgets needed. Simply take a wide vegetable peeler and run it down the length of a zucchini to create thin noodle-like strips. Saute with a bit of oil, top with your favorite marinara and a little cheese to please young palettes.

  • Let Veggies Shine: There’s loads of tips for hiding veggies in other foods but we’re all about showing them off. Pita pizzas are an easy weeknight meal and little hands can be part of the fun. Let them choose from chopped broccoli, diced squash and cherry tomatoes to make a colorful pizza face. Watch those veggies get gobbled up in a hurry.
Have any kid tested and approved food tips? We'd love to hear about them below in comments! 

TLC Greensicles


From the looks of our favorite foodie blogs and the plethora of pumpkin spice starting to show up in recipes, autumn has come knocking at some of your doorsteps. However, here in Austin, the dog days of summer often linger into September. What better way to cool down then nibbling on something sweet, ice cold AND green? (Not down with green? You may like our super easy Magic Melon

Stay cool LoveLifers. 

TLC GREENSICLES
Makes 10 popsicles

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of your Favorite Green Juice*
  • 3 bananas
  • 2/3 C nondairy, non-nut milk for P1 compliance (hemp milk is our favorite, but coconut would work well, too) 
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 apples, juiced (or 1 cup good quality apple juice, no sugar added)
Add juice and ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds, insert sticks, and freeze overnight. To remove from popsicle mold, let it sit on your countertop for 5-7 mins and gently wiggle the popsicles loose. To store, keep in airtight container, and separate rows with parchment paper. 

* For our favorite TLC Green Juice, juice 1 cucumber, 2 kale leaves, 1/3 bunch parsley, 1 handful spinach & 1 celery stalk

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hemp Seed 'Ranch' Dressing

INGREDIENTS
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dill
  • 1/8 tsp tarragon
Blend all ingredients until completely smooth - works best in a blender or food processor vs shaking in a mason jar to really pulverize the hemp seeds. This is what creates the creaminess factor. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow it to thicken. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Top 5 Summer Travel Tips

It's August 1st and for a lot of us, this month includes some precious time off. How can we keep our healthy habits rolling while we're away from home? Read on for our top tips we try our best to stick to when vacations come a-callin'. 

#1 GIVE YOURSELF A HEAD START
The day you ink in your vacay on the calendar, count three days out and plan on rocking a mini Reset. Kick the processed foods, load up on fresh veggies and aim for a Green Juice each day. You’ll be way ahead of the curve come take-off time.

#2 PACK SNACKS
Snacks, snacks, snacks - we love snacks! Basically a daily mantra around here but one we really get our pompoms behind when we’re set to travel. Unfortunately, gas stations and vending machines haven't quite caught up so we hit the bulk section of the grocery store before we hit the road. Seek out easy proteins that don’t require refrigeration: low sodium or unsalted nuts and seeds being top choices. Add a baggie of baby carrots and snap peas to the mix and we’re willing to bet you’ll have a few folks joining you for snack time. Two of our favorite prepackaged snacks that travel exceedingly well: 


 #3 KNOW BEFORE YOU GO 
Once we have our basic itinerary planned, we looooove heading over to Google Maps and letting the “Search Nearby” feature find local restaurants, caf├ęs, grocery stores and even juice bars close to our hotels and areas of interest. Helpful keywords include: co-ops, vegetarian, vegan, farm-to- table, organic, local grocery. These terms return results we may have not thought of and we’re able to plan for at least a meal or two. Hint: Breakfast is often the time of the day it’s easier to squeeze in a meal on the healthier side of the spectrum. At a roadside diner? Opt for some fresh fruit and load your omelet up with veggies. If everything else that follows leans towards indulgence, you can feel good about kicking off the day the right way. 

#4 INDULGE...GUILT-FREE 
Hey, this is your vacation! If you want to indulge, go for it and check the guilt at the door. If you deny yourself to the point of feeling punished, it can be near impossible to enjoy your time away. So go ahead! Savor every bite of that creamy fettuccine and relish every drop of your favorite glass of Pinot. Know that when you get home you can get right back on track (plan on it) and indulge with a smile - you’re in control. 

#5 PUSH THAT RESET BUTTON 
Ahhh, you’re home and back in the driver’s seat. After a vacation, we’re often toting a few extra pounds (hello fettuccine + Pinot), maybe dealing with some bloating and not feeling 100% in the energy department. Use these body signals as motivation to get back into your groove. But with all that laundry to do and emails to answer who has time to make a healthy meal? Here’s the trick: make a quick veggie soup or batch of beans BEFORE your trip and freeze so you have a wholesome meal waiting for you upon your return. Bonus points for ordering a CSA basket to arrive the day after you do so you have a rainbow of veggies to Reset with. 

Sugar cravings are also often at their peak after a few days of carb loading and cocktails (read: sugar begets the want for more of the same). Take a deep breath and be sure you're hitting protein timings throughout the day - this will help you tell sugar who's back in town.

HAPPY TRAVELS!

Laura Goes Way Beyond a Cleanse


LAURA CAPES TERRY
Marketing Director, Push Pedal Pull
Hobbies: Running around Austin with my 2 year old son

NEW FAVORITE FOODS
This breakfast is an energy powerhouse for me: quinoa with avocado and scrambled eggs. No better way to start the day.

FOOD  DISCOVERIES

  • Dairy: Causes congestion and sneezing
  • Gluten:  Causes bloating and breakouts
  • A glass of Green Alkalizer first thing in the morning is better than any cup of coffee or energy drink for me!

THINGS I CAN DO NOW I COULDN’T BEFORE:
I have more consistent energy throughout the day... no more need for that extra shot of caffeine in the middle of the afternoon.

I also lost 5 pounds and no longer have a bloated tummy so my clothes fit much better.

Finally, I have more skills in the kitchen! I've learned how to cook healthy, whole, clean foods for myself and my family. I'm excited that my son will grow up learning how to do it for himself too.

MORE FROM LAURA:
When I signed up for this program, it was because I just came off a week of "partying" with family to celebrate my son's 2-year birthday. Normally I'm a very clean eater so a week of eating junkie foods left me feeling yucky and depleted of valuable energy.

Since it’s a significant financial and time commitment, I took the program very seriously and followed each step of the program to a T. All I can tell you is that I got way more out of it than I expected. I joined the program to clean up my diet and gain more energy but along the way I also lost those "last 5 pounds" and my skin has never looked better! I've spent tons of money on dermatologists and fancy skin creams over the years....the biggest thing I took away from the program is that if I give my body the nutrient-rich clean/whole foods that it craves, my body does the rest.

If anyone is on the edge about whether or not to do this program, I'd tell you it's a commitment... but it's worth it. If you put yourself into it 100%, it will give back to you 10x and your life will never be the same again. - Laura

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Juicing VS Blending: One of our Top FAQ



One of our most commonly asked questions: Is it better to juice or to blend?  As with most good questions in life the answer to this depends upon numerous factors and there is no black or white. As the saying goes – it’s like comparing apples to oranges.

JUICING
  • Juicing renders densely concentrated nutrients that are easily digested. You are able to literally mainline all of the phyto anthocyanins, minerals and micronutrients that plants have to offer.
  • Because of this infusion capacity juicing is the absolute best way to receive a mega dose of food-based vitamins, minerals and enzymes IF they are non-sweet. When sweet veggies and fruits are stripped of fibers, healthy toddy’s become agents of blood sugar irregularity leading to energy crashes and increased cravings.
  • Veggies, herbs and roots we recommend juicing: Celery, Cucumbers, Cilantro, Parsley, Ginger, Turmeric, Jalapenos (if you’re not Nightshade sensitive) and Leafy Greens such as Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard (if you’re not suffering from hypothyroidism).
  • Tip: If you wish to sweeten up your green juice, add just one carrot rather than an entire base of carrot, OR eat some protein along with your carrot juice. Hemp or Chia Seeds are a perfect antidote. Happy Hemp is our personal fave.
  • Juicing is also preferable if you’re someone whose digestive system has a harder time with fibrous roughage.
  • Since juice is less filling than a blended drink, it’s easier to drink copious amounts and to therefore crank up the wattage on your nutrients.

BLENDING
  • Since blending retains fiber, opt to blend when using sweeter veggies such as carrots and beets or when mixing fruits. Though this will still spike blood sugar, its effects are less intense  As mentioned above, you can help to counteract the blood sugar spiking effects by adding a protein boost 
  • Looking for a healthy meal replacement? Blending might be a good option, especially in the summer months or in warmer climates when the digestive system is more capable of processing cooler, richer drinks.
  • Some constitutions are sensitive to food combining principles or have more sensitive digestive systems. If this is you, experiment and attune to the following signals to find out if your body appreciates blending: How are your cravings during the day? Energy levels? Are you experiencing afternoon crashes or holding strong? How about your digestion?
  • If you have a strong digestive system, follow our Green Smoothie Equation below or check out our downloadable Green Smoothie Guide + Recipes here.





Student Scores an A+ on her TLC


Candy Cantrell
Full Time Student
Hobbies:
Traveling, Food & Wine, spending time with her dogs

Snapshot Takeaway: "I have so much more energy! I have far less digestive issues that plague me during the day, which leaves me feeling so much happier and more energetic."

New Favorite Foods
The quinoa & avocado breakfast, and Lydia's bread with apple slices and sunflower butter.

Food Discoveries
  • Nightshades: Bloating, weight gain
  • Soy: Bloating, Stomach Pain
  • Citrus: Impacts Energy Levels

More From Candy

"I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and have been plagued with digestive issues all of my life. Before beginning this program, I had to take daily digestive medicines to combat any number of tummy troubles- sometimes several times a day for a mix of different problems. After day 3 of the cleanse, I no longer had any stomach pain or bloating! I seriously could not believe it! It has been 2 months since I started the cleanse, and I still have not taken a single medication for digestion. I am amazed by that!

Having Hashimoto's makes it difficult to lose weight and during my cleanse, I lost TEN pounds, and since reintegrating have only gained 3 of those back. My weight has been consistent every day for the first time in years. Plus, I have realized that a lot of the negative feelings I was having about my body- that I thought were tied to weight- I think were actually tied to my digestive health! Since my tummy feels better, I feel better about myself! 

I am a vegetarian, and before the cleanse, I thought I was eating healthy and exercising and was so frustrated by my weight and my health! I thought I was doing everything right & it wasn't working! I have since realized that there was a lot I still could learn! I am a full time student and really value education- I feel the real value of doing the Love Life Method is that I feel like I took a college course in myself, in my body, and how to keep it happy! To me, that has been priceless!

I have since reintegrated many foods back into my daily routine. Now I know what foods to avoid, if possible, and what foods I can use to reset my system and put me back on track- say after a bowl full of chips and salsa, washed down with a margarita- I know the next day, I need to repair my system & now I know how to do it!

So, not only do I feel lighter, but my purse feels lighter because its not full of antacids, anti-nausea & anti-bloating medicines!" - Candy

Monday, June 24, 2013

Grilled Veggies + Hemp Sauce


Simple, delicious and an excuse to pull out the grill. Pick a selection of your favorite veggies, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper to your taste, a handful of freshly chopped herbs (basil and tarragon are perfect for the summer), or a tablespoon of our seasonal mix included in your kit. We added fennel to zucchini and squash which took this dish to a whole 'nother level. After grilling we served bowls of veggies with hemp dipping sauce on the side but it would be great drizzled over the top as well.  

No grill? Roast the veggies on a baking sheet 400 degrees until browned on edges, about 10 minutes, check after 5 minutes, shake pan and continue checking every 3 minutes or so until desired level of doneness. 

Veggies we used:
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cut into wedges (tip: save the fronds for a killer veggie stock!) 
  • 3 zucchini, cut about 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 yellow squash, cut
  • Mushrooms (if participating in our programs, hold off until Phase 2 to include)  
Place veggies in bowl and toss with:
  • 1 TB of olive oil (maybe a little more if veggies you are using are bigger, we're not looking to soak in oil, rather just enough to thinly coat) 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 TB of freshly chopped basil
Hemp Seed Dressing: 

  • 1/2 C hulled hemp seeds
  • Small handful of fresh basil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Himalayan to taste
  • 1/3 C filtered water (more if a thinner consistency is desired)
Dressing recipe courtesy of Chef Yvette Franco of Natural Epicurean Culinary Arts.