Posts tagged ‘fruits’

March 3, 2014

Sweet Nékter

interesting juice pic

Just what I needed–beautiful purple juice (The Cure)!

Hi, Friends! It’s Brooke here, and I want to share with you my latest addiction: Nékter Juice Bar! I sure do love my caffeine, but I know I drink too much of it. So, I’ve been trying to figure out how to nourish myself enough to step away (gradually) from my beloved stimulant. I love how happy, fresh, and alive I feel after drinking a fresh-pressed juice, so I started looking for juice bars near my neighborhood. Whole Foods makes amazing juices, but they are pricier than I’d like. And if I had more sense and time management skills, I would plan ahead and juice more at home. But when I’m on the move and I need some TLC, it’s Nékter to the rescue!Healthy History

nekter

Nékter Juice Bar founders, Steve and Alexis Schulze, opened their first store in 2010 with the simple idea of providing a neighborhood juice bar where everyone could enjoy delicious, healthy fruit and veggie juices at reasonable prices. Turns out people were starving for stellar nutrition on the go—Nékter now has 26 stores and counting! Thankfully, the only store outside of California just happens to be down the street from me in Dallas—yippee! One of my client friends even surprised me with a Nékter gift card out of the blue. What a beautiful gift of health—pure plant love.

Recently, as I prepared to get out of my car and grab a juice, I watched customers come and go from the store and I was struck by Nékter’s resemblance to a hummingbird feeder, with creatures zipping in, alighting briefly for nourishing sweet nectar (!), then buzzing away. Somehow, things just feel right when life imitates nature.

Smoothies, Cleanses, and Other Treats

The Cure and spicy kale chips--nutritious and delicious!

The Cure and spicy kale chips–nutritious and delicious!

In addition to the fresh juices, Nékter offers raw vegan smoothies as well as bowls of blended fruit with bananas, granola, and other tasty bits. If you need a good crunch to offset the smooth juices, they offer nuts, trail mix, and my favorite—spicy kale chips! For an easy way to detoxify your life and kick start your path to better nutrition, Nékter offers 1-, 2-, 3-, or 5-day juice cleanses with a handy cooler thrown in. Be sure and check out the Snider Plaza location (near SMU): http://www.nekterjuicebar.com/ You’ll be SO happy you did. 🙂

Homemade Delight

My favorite juice is The Cure, and I love getting it when I’m beset by allergies or changing weather, which is often. It’s a gorgeous deep purple-red color, it’s bursting with antioxidants, and it’s delicious! Here’s my take on this tasty treat:

The Cure

(Makes 16 oz. of juice)

  • 1-1½ small beets, raw and scrubbed
  • ½ small head of broccoli, with stem
  • 1 large handful curly parsley
  • 2-3 kale leaves
  • 1 red apple, small
  • 2 handfuls red grapes
  • 4 celery stalks, with leaves

Cut produce to fit the feeder tube of your juicer. Add pieces of fruit and veggies to your juicer, collecting the juice in a medium-to-large measuring cup or pitcher. Once finished juicing, stir and enjoy!

Here’s to health, love, and juicing,

Brooke

grow through life

 

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January 27, 2014

In a Hurry? Drink Up!

Come on, let's go!

Come on, let’s go!

Hey peeps! It’s Brooke, here. Is it hard for you to squeeze in your recommended 3-5 daily servings of vegetables? Are you waiting until lunch (or even worse, dinner!) before laying eyes on your first piece of produce? Oh no, this will NOT do! You deserve better than this, and so do I. But sometimes life’s a bit of a struggle, isn’t it? I barely sit still enough to eat, or at least eat as well as I want to. And I often eat my food in shifts (e.g., scrambled eggs at the counter before getting ready, then my oatmeal and my protein shake packed in a cooler to take with me to work). It’s not the greatest system, but it gets me through most mornings. Lately, however, I’ve been trying to take better care of my husband and myself. I’ve loved concocting fresh juice to start our days feeling happy and light.

If you’re a crazy person on the go like me, you’re probably pretty tight with your juicer and blender already. If not, now’s the time to make friends with these kitchen helpers, because they will save you from yourself 😉 Here are a few of my favorite recipes for you to try. They are super easy and delicious!

 

Freshly-Pressed Juice, aka Liquid Gold

Morning Garden Delight

Morning Garden Delight

Morning Garden Delight

Serves 2

  • 1 big handful baby spinach, washed
  • 1-4 romaine leaves, washed
  • Several sprigs fresh mint
  • 1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and ends trimmed
  • 2 celery stalks, washed
  • 1 apple, organic
  • 1 pear, organic

Cut produce, if needed, to fit your juicer’s feeder tube. Feed veggies and fruit into the juicer, and capture the yummy goodness that comes out of the spout. Stir fresh juice, and pour into glasses. Garnish with mint sprig if you like (and I always like ;).

 

Sweet Carrots

Sweet Carrots

Sweet Carrots (or Happiness in a Glass)

Serves 2

  • 4 carrots, scrubbed and ends trimmed
  • 2 apples (Braeburn or Red Delicious are awesome)

Cut produce, if needed, to fit your juicer’s feeder tube. Feed the apples and carrots into the juicer, and collect the juice. Be sure and stir the juice to blend the flavors, and pour into glasses. Pure heaven!!!

 

Blend, Baby, Blend

Berry Spinach Smoothie

Berry Spinach Smoothie

Berry Spinach Smoothie

Serves 2, or 1 if you hog it for yourself like I did! (makes 20 oz.)

  • 2 handfuls baby spinach, washed
  • 1 c. almond milk
  • 4 strawberries, organic
  • 4 raspberries, organic
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I chose Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Classic Blend, but any protein will do)
  • 1 Tbsp. almond butter
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of cayenne pepper, optional
  • Ice, for desired consistency

Blend spinach and almond milk together until spinach has been broken down. Then add berries, protein powder, almond butter, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Last, add ice and blend until the smoothie is desired consistency. Talk about a delicious, nutritious powerhouse of a smoothie!

 

Gorgeous and green, just the way I like!

Gorgeous and green, just the way I like!

Drink up, you beautiful thing!

Brooke

July 17, 2013

Therapeutic Bodywork and Detoxification

Dry Saunas, Low-Level Laser Therapy, Stretching, Massage, Foot Soaks, Hydrotherapy, Detoxification, Herbal Cleanses… oh my!

 

EnerChi System

EnerChi System

I’d like to chat for a bit with anyone who has recently completed a fitness challenge or pushed themselves physically with any sport, activity, fitness class, or anyone who has been under extreme stress. Did I include everyone reading this? I’m here to discuss personal wellness outside of the gym—Therapeutic Bodywork and Detoxification Strategies to help you maintain a pain-free and fit lifestyle.

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Stefania Molinari-Lee, Therapeutic Massage Therapist

I’m lucky to live close to Stefania Molinari-Lee, a therapeutic massage therapist, who has helped me maintain aggressive strength endurance training the past six months. If you know me, you know I am a runner at heart, but that I recently implemented challenging “boot-camp” style workouts and strength endurance training into my physical fitness routine. I set out to change my physique, and in doing so, was reminded that my recovery time and needs changed too

The soreness and stiffness in my muscles had some to do with the aggressive training (uneven running surfaces) but also with my internal inflammation levels and stress levels. Through therapeutic bodywork, Stefania was able to re-align muscles and tendons, and relieve pressure points with built up strain.  If you’re thinking, “a massage sounds relaxing,” think again? Therapeutic bodywork isn’t the relaxing, nap-time you may be used to with your current massage therapy. You’re awake and fully-engaged with each muscle release.  Although some parts of therapy bring temporary uncomfortable pressure (depending on what’s happening in your body and to specific parts), it’s short-lived and provides a beneficial part of recovery.  Don’t fret, deep breathing gets you through everything.

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After a session, I feel like I grow two inches, and my body is ready to go again… this time operating on all cylinders and soreness/pain-free. Of course, with all of the toxic debris released during one bodywork session, you should chug-a-lug (with water) for the next 24 hours and refuel with alkaline foods.

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I’m getting better at making time for stretching, yoga, deep-breathing exercises, and detoxification foot soaks; however, now I will make time for periodic visits to Stefania for therapeutic massage therapy.

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There are many post-workout therapies to assist you with staying on you’re a-game. Aside from fueling with anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, alkaline foods, hydration, and adequate rest, consider checking out therapeutic massage therapy and foot detoxification soaks. Also, if it’s been a while since your last herbal detox, consider cleaning out your systems so you can recover effectively and continue performing your best!  –In health, Lacey

 

For more information about Therapeutic Bodywork, contact Stefania Molinari-Lee via Facebook, or check out http://pedersonchiropractic.com if you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Separately, if you’re interested in other pain relief strategies, detoxification foot soaks or herbal cleansing solutions, contact me at info@laceypruett.com or via Facebook! We’ll find something that works best with your body and your goals.

 

July 1, 2013

Mediterranean Delight

Greece-Slide1-Santorini

Santorini, the land of legends and beautiful calendar pictures

Hi, everyone! Brooke here. When you think of the Mediterranean, do you think of warm ocean breezes and rocky cliffs overlooking seas of deep azure blue? Or do you imagine scenes of vibrant and joyful living with friends and family, ala Meryl Streep in Mama Mia? When I imagine what Greece must be like, all of these pictures crowd into my head! Once I calm down from the breathtaking vistas like the one above, I of course think of the delicious Greek food. Not only is it tasty, but it’s good for your heart. The traditional Mediterranean diet is renowned the world over for its wholesome simplicity and multitude of health benefits. For the past 50 years, health experts have been correlating the dietary habits of the people in Greece and Crete (specifically) with an increased life span and a virtual lack of chronic disease. That’s amazing! Now think about the current relationship of the average American diet to health and wellness in this country—depressing and frightening! But if we take a closer look at the classic Mediterranean diet, we can understand why it’s now considered a “gold standard” when it comes to a heart-healthy lifestyle.

healthy heart plate

The USDA’s Food Pyramid shares many similar recommendations with the traditional Greek diet—for good reason. A diet rich in plant foods, unsaturated fat, and a moderate amount of animal protein has been shown to reduce the risks of many chronic and lifestyle-related diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s the kicker—nutrition is only part of the solution. The Greek model of healthy living combines regular physical activity with dining leisurely on whole foods. This combination is the key to managing weight and minimizing the risk of disease. Let’s examine why this diet has become synonymous with good health and vitality.

greek salad and EVOO

The foundation of this diet is a virtual cornucopia of whole, plant-based foods such as leafy greens, fruits, beans, nuts, potatoes, seeds, and whole grains. As you know, these foods are abundant in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and healthy carbohydrates. Did you know that the typical Greek diet might include 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day? Wow! Another daily staple are grains—breads made from wheat, barley, cracked grains, and other seeds, as well as polenta (cornmeal), potatoes, couscous, and brown rice. Unsaturated fats such as nuts and olive oil, especially extra-virgin olive oil (instead of butter or margarine), are common. Fish and poultry are the main lean proteins and are eaten only about 2-3 times a week (red meat is occasionally enjoyed a few times a month). Dairy products like eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt are consumed only moderately. For you wine lovers out there, here you go . . . a small amount of red wine is often served with both lunch and dinner. Dates, nuts, and berries are the desserts of choice, while those decadent delights like baklava and revani (a moist, sweet lemon cake) are reserved for special treats.

revani

Revani, a sweet treat

As you can see, Mediterranean cuisine can be wonderful for your heart, waistline, and even your spirit. I love trying new and wonderful foods that I didn’t grow up enjoying. One of my favorite sayings is “Life is a feast,” which means life should be tasted and breathed and savored joyfully. If you can’t fling yourself onto a departing plane anytime soon, you can still have adventures of a culinary kind close to home. Next time you dine out, go Greek! Keep in mind, just like any place in the modern world, Greece has its share of decadent, fatty foods and dishes full of cheese and salt. Just keep in mind the whole, unprocessed foods mentioned above, and you’ll be fine. Here are some healthy and not-so-healthy choices to keep in mind when you go adventuring at your local Greek cafe.

Healthy and tasty . . . perfect anytime!

  • Hummus with whole-wheat pita or veggies
  • Dolmades
  • Horiatiki salata
  • Couscous
  • Souvflaki
  • Stifado stew
  • Tzatziki (sauce)
  • Kakavia
  • Grilled/roasted fish with steamed vegetables

 

Is this your cheat meal? Well, then, ok . . .

  • Falafel
  • Baklava (this makes me sad . . . I LOVE baklava!)
  • Gyro
  • Spanakopita
  • Avegolemono (sauce)
  • Saganaki
  • Mousaka
  • Anything made with phyllo

 

Kali orexi, or “happy eating”!

XO, Brooke

KaliOrexi

May 27, 2013

Green Energy—Yum!

green scene

Happy Memorial Day, Friends! It’s Brooke here with a few questions for you: Do ever have those days (or weeks) that you feel tired and sluggish, even after getting a good night’s sleep? Do you wish you had more pep in your step after lunch?  No, the solution’s not caffeine, although it does make my world go ‘round. Answer: Time to load up on the veggies and fruit! There are lots of ways to add green goodness to your life—you can grab some produce and munch away, create some amazing salads, throw some greens into your cooked dishes, or juice that precious goodness into a glass. But one of my favorite ways to enjoy the bounty of the earth is to make green smoothies.

The USDA’s recommended daily amount varies for each person according to caloric intake, metabolism, and physiology, but a good standard for someone consuming 2,000 calories a day would be at the very least 2-3 servings of vegetables (more if possible!) and about 1.5-2 servings of fruit per day. The average American gets only 1.5-3 servings of veggies and fruit—total!—a day.

pretty veggies

When you realize all of the amazing ways that fruits and vegetables can help you live a healthier, longer, more vibrant life, you will run—not walk—to your nearest grocery store or farmer’s market. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and energy from the sun. Studies have repeatedly shown that a healthy diet low in saturated fat, high in whole grains, lean proteins, veggies, and fruit reduces the risk of most chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and so on. Consuming the abundant vitamins and minerals found in vegetables and fruit helps improve our mood; boost energy; enhance immune function; maintain efficient digestion; impart radiant skin and hair; and reduce risk of chronic and lifestyle-related diseases. This is great news!

I love green smoothies for several reasons:

1) They appeal to my lazy side—with just a little prep work, I can throw everything into my blender and within 30 seconds, I have a pitcher full of happiness that supplies about 3 or 4 glasses throughout the day.

2) They are fun to drink—as I live my fit life, salads make up a good portion of my diet. But sometimes I get tired of dealing with all the fixings (my salads are always full of crunchy, tasty veggies, nuts, and fruit) and coming up with new ideas all the time. Smoothies are a nice change of pace.

3) They make me feel good—this can also be said of dark, green leafy salads as well as freshly juiced produce. I’m slightly embarrassed to say this, but when I first cleaned up my eating, this fresh energy from the abundance of raw vegetables was a new experience. I noticed this after eating a lunch of quinoa, black beans, avocado, and then a big salad (spinach, chard, arugula, etc. plus celery, carrots, green onions, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, and almonds). I didn’t get the charge of caffeinated energy I knew so well, but my insides felt so light and clean, not heavy and bogged down.

heart veggies distressed

Digestion is the most energy-consuming function that the body carries out. That’s why you are so sleepy after stuffing yourself on a large meal—your body uses much of its available fuel to process what you just ate. Let me put it this way: meat can take 2-3 days to completely pass through your system (yikes!), a regular full meal can take 6-8 hours to digest, and most fruits and vegetables are out of your system in 2-3 hours. By consuming green salads or (especially) smoothies and juices, you are able to bypass much of this effort because the produce is mechanically broken down into smaller, more bioavailable parts. Almost immediately, your body begins to utilize the vitamins and minerals to repair and renew your body. This is why you feel so much better and full of energy within a day or two of adding dark green salads, juices, and smoothies to your menu.

cute vegetables

Here’s one of my favorite recipes. The fun part about smoothies is that the sky’s the limit on what ingredients you decide to use. A good rule of thumb when you are starting out is 1:1—1 green vegetable to 1 fruit. Ideally, you want to use more veggies than fruit. Green vegetables are virtually dripping with nutrients that you need for a radiant glow and optimum health. Also, fruit does contain sugar, even though it’s natural—so just be mindful of those luscious gems, especially if you are tightening up your sexy body. You’ll see, however, in my recipe below that I used more fruits than vegetables, mainly because I was out of more vegetables and my peaches were very ripe and had to go!

Sweet Greens

Note: Use organic produce when possible.

 smoothie ingredients_corrected

  • 2 c. spinach, raw
  • 1.5 c. water
  • 3-4 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 peaches, small
  • 1 pear
  • mint, small handful
  • 1 banana (optional)

Add spinach and water to the blender and blend on medium speed. Add celery in handfuls as it is incorporated with the spinach and water, increasing speed to high. Add peaches, pear, mint, and banana. Add some ice to add thickness if you like. Pour in a glass and enjoy!

Makes 4-5 10-oz. glasses

Here’s to your brighter, healthier day—drink up!

Brooke

green smoothie_corrected

Lovely and tasty!

 

February 19, 2013

Snack Time!

hummus and veggies

Hi, there! It’s Brooke here. Let’s talk about something fun . . . snacks! Now, before we go too far, let’s demystify something. Food and nutrition can be loaded topics—some people have a great relationship with food, while others may think of eating as a confusing, guilt-ridden, boring, or necessary evil. Then we throw in snacks, and craziness breaks out! Snacks are often given a bad rap, mainly because many people choose munchies that are WAAAAY too full of calories, sugar, unhealthy fats, and sodium. Think of those tasty treats in vending machines and gas stations (not to mention your local grocery store, Aisle 17). We’ve all been there. I’m not proud of how much I love the taste of a kosher dill potato chip, but hey, I’m human. I avoid the siren song of this devilish dill delight because I know better—and my body deserves better, as does yours. Snacks will save your rear, in more ways than one.

apple hearts

Healthy gals and guys know one of the most important ways to reach their fitness goals is to eat 5-6 small meals a day, including snacks. Your body is an amazing machine, and it needs to burn quality fuel regularly throughout the day to keep you going strong. If you start thinking of food as fuel instead of something you have to deal with just to survive, your world will be rocked and you’ll become your body’s most powerful ally. Think of your nutrition schedule like this:

Meal 1: Breakfast

Meal 2: Mid-morning snack

Meal 3: Lunch

Meal 4: Mid-afternoon snack (or pre-workout snack)

Meal 5: Dinner (or post-workout snack)

Meal 6: Snack (or dinner)

Notice how you can incorporate pre- and post-workout snacks into your daily plan. You can also shift this structure to the morning if you like your workouts early. To keep your fire burning bright, eat every 2.5-3 hours. For your snacks, try to shoot for at least 10 grams of protein and 25-35 grams of carbohydrates by including 1 or 2 complex carbs (whole grains, veggies, most fruits, beans, brown rice, or oatmeal) and a little healthy fat (nuts, seeds, almond butter, low-fat dairy, or avocado). High-quality protein, carbs, and fats are going to keep you feeling satisfied and give you energy.

Nutritious Nibbles

  • 1 c. raspberries with ½ c. Greek yogurt
  • 1 small apple with 1 Tbsp almond or peanut butter
  • ½ c. cottage cheese with ½ c. mixed berries
  • 1 or 2 eggs (hard-boiled) with 2 whole-grain flatbreads
  • 2 Tbsp almond or peanut butter spread on 2-4 celery sticks
  • 6 carrot sticks with 1 low-fat mozzarella string cheese
  • 4 natural whole-wheat honey graham crackers with 10 red or green grapes
  • 1 c. low-fat milk (or almond milk) with 1 scoop chocolate (or other flavor) protein powder (can be whey or plant-based protein powder), along with a banana
  • Quick Basic Smoothie: 1 c. low-fat milk (or almond milk) with ¼ c. frozen or fresh berries with ½ fresh or frozen banana (Hint: Frozen fruit makes the smoothie thick and icy!)
  • 3 c. air-popped (or unsalted and unbuttered!) popcorn drizzled with 2 tsp flaxseed oil, 1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese, and dash of cayenne pepper, along with 1 apple
  • 6-10 veggie pieces: celery, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, zucchini, or yellow squash dipped in 2 Tbsp hummus or low-fat vinaigrette dressing
  • Homemade Trail Mix: 2 Tbsp dried fruit, 1 Tbsp sunflower kernels or pumpkin seeds, 1 Tbsp unsalted nuts, and a pinch of unsweetened coconut flakes

If you need a basic snack, an apple and some nuts or maybe even a protein shake and a banana are great options. However, if you are headed to the gym, be sure to grab something rich in slow-burning carbs and lean protein (like oatmeal and scrambled egg whites) to fuel your efforts. Here’s one of my favorite recipes that I love to fix before working out. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Yum!

Yum!

Banana Blueberry Power Snack

  • 1 whole-wheat English muffin
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • ½ banana
  • Small handful of blueberries
  • ½-1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • Small drizzle of honey

Toast both halves of the English muffin. Spread 1 Tbsp almond butter on each half of the muffin. Slice the banana into small slices, and then arrange the slices flat on each half. Place the blueberries around and in between banana slices (the berries tend to roll off—trust me!). Sprinkle ground flaxseed across each muffin half, and then drizzle each half with a little honey. Yum!!

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Keep fueling that beautiful body of yours, and have a super week!

~Brooke