Tag Archives: Healthy Living

Eat Well. Live Well.

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That’s their motto at Pure Health Lounge in New Haven. After reading today’s article in the Daily Nutmeg about the new store, which opened in January, I decided to give it a whirl. Obviously I don’t want to write a repeat of the article in the Daily Nutmeg, just wanted to give you a little glimpse into why my tummy is so happy right now.

Even though I make my own juices every day, I’m always up for trying someone else’s creation. The one I chose was the called Pure Green. Aptly named considering every ingredient in this baby is green. Kale, spinach, cucumber, and celery sure do know how to make a girl happy! I got the 16oz juice for $4.95, which is a steal in juice world. A steal I tell you.

Even though I went in to explore the place and maybe grab a juice, I ended up walking out with a sandwich too. Oops! But it was so worth it. I had the Veggie Extreme Panini with lettuce, tomato, carrots, green pepper, olives, cucumber, feta, and balsamic vinaigrette. I definitely recommend this one! While I’m not a calorie counter at all (that would really depress me) you calorie counters out there will be happy to know that this sandwich only had 117 calories. Yeah. You read right. If that doesn’t make you want to go there right now maybe this might:

While I wasn’t super crazy about the atmosphere, the girl who helped me was so, so friendly. She even gave me a sample of fresh squeezed orange juice from this lean mean orange juice squeezing machine. That thing is LEGIT. If, for some bizarre reason, you don’t go in for the juice, smoothies, or food, you have got to see that thing in action. Go!

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When life gives you something squishy…

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…juice that sucker!

Life gave me a squishy cantaloupe. GROSS. I’d like to say I wasn’t pissed about it but that’s just not true. Who do I look like, the Dalai Lama? Who likes going to the store to buy a melon of any sort only to get home, cut it open, and find it’s too ripe to eat. It’s like cutting a tomato for a sandwich only to find that its all grainy and squishy inside. The good news about either of those pieces of produce is that they can still be used for juicing. Woooo, the silver lining appears! I even read an article about a study that found that the more ripe a fruit is the more loaded with antioxidants it is. I’m really not making that up. See, read. I’d give you the link to the actual study but I’m pretty sure it’s in German.

Aside from the increased antioxidants in super ripe cantaloupe [can-ta-loo-pay (like Guadalupe) in my mind], the ready to eat fruit still has some really amazing benefits. Some even consider cantaloupes to be one of the healthiest fruits. Yes, they have a good amount of sugar in them but they also have Vitamin A, Vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, potassium, and B vitamins. The American Cancer Society even recommends eating melons for their ability to fight certain cancers. Fighting potential cancer with a cantaloupe sounds like my kind of war. That’s right on up there with having a glass of red wine to help keep your heart healthy.

Now, I imagine that if you don’t like cantaloupe, you’d hate this juice. But I love cantaloupe so I really enjoyed it. It’s really delicious and refreshing on its own but just for kicks I added an orange to the juice you see on the left there. It was delicious too. So next time you buy a too-ripe fruit, remember that you should only stay mad for 2.5 seconds and then you must go find your juicer. Cheers!

There’s a reason Olive Oyl loved Popeye

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It certainly wasn’t because of his tall stature, his flowing head of hair, or his love of clean air (note the ever present pipe). It was because of his muscles and his affinity for spinach, of course! Popeye made his debut in 1929 and even way back then, it was pretty well known that spinach was good for you. Even then, the entertainment industry subliminally, or in Popeye’s case, not so subliminally, tried to introduce kids to the idea that eating veggies was fun. I totally experienced this first hand. My brother John and I used to watch Popeye all the time, especially on Saturday mornings. I feel pretty certain that if we ate spinach at all, it was because Popeye thought it was cool (therefore it must have been, right?). I really miss those days.

“I yam what I yam!” Or in the context of this post, “You are what you eat.” If you are indeed what you eat Popeye was made of all these things, just to name a few: so much Vitamin A and Vitamin K, Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. And to boot, one cup of raw spinach (think salad) has only seven tiny baby calories and zero cholesterol or saturated fat. Spinach really packs a huge nutritional punch. See what I did there? No wonder Olive Oyl loved him. Shoot, I love him. Can we get a modern day Popeye up in here for all my single girls?

Now, I must say, unless you’re making spinach and artichoke dip or something like that, canned spinach is gross. Sorry, Popeye. Spinach can be a little finicky to grow but almost every single grocery store, in America anyway, sells fresh spinach in the produce department. This is my baby spinach plant that really hasn’t even grown into toddler spinach yet. I was not lying when I said it can be finicky.

If you’re in need of a super simple spinach recipe to try, try this one. It’s a great side dish recipe for both spinach lovers and apprehensive spinach eaters. And in my opinion simple is almost always the way to go. In parting, I’ll leave you with this serious thought for the day: AC thinks I look like Olive Oyl. See any resemblance?

Even if you do, at least my feet aren’t as big as hers. I’ve got that going for me! Now, if only he had muscles like Popeye ;)

Sexy Sticks

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Get your head out of the gutter, I’m talking about asparagus. I know, I know. This sounds like it’s going to be as entertaining as watching white paint dry with your most annoying relative. But it won’t be! I’ll tell you why asparagus is sexy.

1. It has such a cool growth pattern.

  • Although it takes about 3 years to grow before its first harvest, an asparagus plant can continue to produce stalks for 10-20 years. Did you know that?? That just amazes me. Before I learned this I kinda thought that Michelle Duggar was the only thing that produced for up to two decades. One of the gardeners in our community garden grows asparagus in her plot so I’m lucky enough to show you a true to life picture that I took just yesterday. It’s a little difficult to see because of the asparagus “fern” growing around it but it just grows straight out of the ground like this:

2. It is really good for you.

  • Asparagus has loads of calcium, fiber, folic acid, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. And that isn’t even the full list! I just stopped because I promised this would be entertaining. It even has some protein so stop asking me where I get my protein from! Just kidding, you can ask me whatever you want :)

3. It spruces up ANY plate and makes you look like a domestic super star.

  • This is a fact. Asparagus makes your dinner look like the P. Diddy (or whatever he goes by these days) of your dinner world. This is a dinner that I made the other night which consisted of a grilled portobello mushroom cap topped with tomato, basil, and sweet onion quinoa with a side of grilled asparagus. I’ll post that recipe later on if you want it but see how much better the plate looks because I added that sexy greenery? Even when asparagus isn’t the star it plays a great supporting role.

4. It’s so easy to prepare. Of all the ways you could prepare asparagus, this is my favorite way:

  • First, wash your asparagus and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • Second, snap off the very bottom of each piece of asparagus. It tends to be very tough and the spear is much better without it.
  • Third, place all of the stalks on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and use your [clean] hands to toss everything together so each spear is coated with the flavorful additions.
  • Your last step is to bake the asparagus until you hear it sizzling in the oven. That’s what I do but if you aren’t preparing other things in the kitchen and can’t keep an ear out, bake it for about 12-15 minutes or until tender, which I guess is how normal people know when to take something out of the oven.

Asparagus is an early spring veg and it’s at the very, very end of it’s season so get your ass to the produce department or farmers’ market before it’s not anymore!

Happy Thursday! :)

Calling all juice virgins, calling all juice virgins!

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Remember when I said I’d post a juice recipe specifically for you beginner juicing babies? This is for you.

This juice is so fun. I call it the carrot-apple-ging spritz and I drink it out of a champagne flute. While carrot juice will never (and let’s be honest, should never) replace champagne, it’s so fun to drink this spritzer from a fancy glass. It’s like instant happy hour. Except it’s healthy. An instant happy-healthy hour, if you will.

These are the things you’ll need:

  • 4 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 large apple or 2 small-ish apples
  • 1 inch of peeled ginger (you can use less if it’s too spicy for you, it’s YOUR juice)
  • a splash or two of sparkling mineral water (again, however much you like)
The instructions for juicing are pretty simple and it rarely changes. Basically you just wash your produce, cut them if necessary, and push everything through your juicer. For this recipe, after everything has made it through your juicer, top it off with a splash of sparkling mineral water. You’ll find that this last step really lifts a flat feeling juice up to a new level. Even juice need to be encouraged to sparkle sometimes.
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If you live here in CT and don’t have a juicer but you wanna find out if you might like it, there are a few local places that do the juicing for you. You could try Edge of the Woods where they juice pretty much anything you might want. Or green well, on Crown Street, has a daily juice (my good friend, Lauren, blogs about their most recent one here). If you make a trip to green well, give me a call, I wanna come with! If you live a little farther west of New Haven, Whole Foods in Westport has a juice bar too.
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Regardless of where you get your juice, the last step, as usual, is to enjoy what you’ve made. You can take notes from me if you wish.

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As a gift to you for following the blog, I present this picture to you to use if you’re in need of blackmail materials against me. If there were a health food super hero, she’d use carrots as claws. It’s a fact.

But it’s green…

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Yep, it’s green. Get over it. Juicing is one of the most effective ways to get all the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes from your fruits and vegetables. Your body loves absorbing all of those nutrients without having to work so hard to digest them. If you have a juicer, dust that baby off! If not, come over and I’ll make one for you (seriously, I will). If you’re a juice virgin, this one might be a baby bit too intense for you so I’ll be sure to include some beginner friendly juices later on.

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This is the recipe for my go-to juice, the one I drink every morning:

  • handful of spinach
  • 2-3 large kale leaves
  • 1-2 Tbsp. of parsley
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled
  • 1/2 romaine heart
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled
  • 1 apple, cored
  • 1-2 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 inch of ginger (although I prefer more)
First, be sure to wash everything. Then, push all ingredients through your juicer and you have 16oz of fresh squeezed energy. Enjoy :)