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Sarah Lawrence

Saturday Strategy... and a confession!

Hello my loves!  Do you do Saturday Strategy sessions? Not sure what that is?  Read on and I’ll share one way that I use them… plus, there’s one of my favorite juice recipes is down at the bottom, so read on! Confession:  My joints are killing me this week!  It’s Saturday and I should be doing some laundry and enjoying time outside with my family… but, I am taking a moment to take stock of where I am, where I want to be and what I need to do to get there.  It’s a Saturday Strategy Session.  I highly recommend them!  Here’s how I do it --- you can follow my lead by getting out a piece of paper or opening up a blank doc on your PC.  Write the headings, “Where I am,” “Where I want to be,” and “What I need to do to get there.”  Then, check in with yourself, honestly.  When you’re done you will have a snapshot of your experience and an idea of what your next step needs to be.  Here’s mine: Where I am: In the midst of a flare.  In pain.  Right arm, from shoulder to fingertips. Left wrist and hand. Both femurs are sore.  Little toes are on fire.  Clothes are pull on, pull over, slide on.  Sleep is choppy, though I am waking fine.  Mild fatigue. Occasional severe fatigue in the afternoons.  Mood is ok, still on the sunny side, though my patience meter is a little thin. {{Background --- Usually, I have a good grasp on the inflammation and pain nastiness from my psoriatic arthritis.  This week though, something has a hold on me.  Maybe it's that I haven't had as much time to do sauna sessions or maybe it's that I ate out with my darling husband... a little extra stress, kids being kids, missed a morning in the gym... it snowed again (in April, in NH!)... could be anything or just my body... not sure, but the pain and stiffness is beyond my comfort zone. I've been dealing with psoriatic arthritis for over 10 years.  In the beginning, I tried the drugs that the rheumatologist prescribed, but stopped short of using the biologics when I started a program under the care of Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  Talk about one conversation changing a life... well, my initial consult with him was nothing less than life-saving.  His approach is one I've followed now, almost exclusively since my diagnosis (and with great success!).  But, I have never reached 100% remission and have seen progression in my joints (though slow, it's obvious).  And, I do get flares, like I'm in now.  No fun.  No fun at all, really.  Let's me know that there's still work to be done.   So, I slowly roll out of bed in the morning and am gentle with myself and my tender joints.  My hands are nothing more than flippers for an hour or more and body feels like a tin man.  It's frustrating.  It's a bit discouraging.  And it honestly sucks when my life's work is centered around health and balanced energy.  Can you relate?}} Where I want to be: Free from inflammation and pain. Able to get dressed easily (zip zips, button buttons, clasp clasps).  Stable energy so I can be the best me. What I need to do to get there:   Start with an attitude of gratitude.  I have a lot to be thankful for and truly live a blessed life.  When flares happen, as they do with a chronic autoimmune disease, I like to give my digestive system a break for a few days so my body can focus on rest and repair rather than digestion.  The easiest way for me to do this and still function as a mom, wife, health coach and general member of society is to juice and blend to get my nutrition.  Employ anti-inflammatory strategies. My plan:
  • Juice, smoothies, blended soups daily for 2-4 days; longer if needed
  • Nettle and Chaga tea for liver and kidney support
  • Skin brush 2-3x/day to encourage lymph movement
  • Sauna daily – be intentional about this and schedule it
  • Break a sweat daily – 20-30 minutes, even if I can’t get to the gym; mood enhancer, lymph mover, great choice for overall health.
  • Pray – set my grateful heart right with praise and thanksgiving; ask for forgiveness where necessary
  • Meditate – set my mind right with moments of peace and tranquility
  • Laugh – I know which friends are good for it, but there’s always a cute kitten around to humor me or a video just a click away!
  • Love – give it; accept it.
  • Ask for help when I need it – this is a BIGGIE for me. I am the last person to ask for help and the first to say that people should do so when they need support, lol.  I need to get better with vulnerability, I think.
The GREAT NEWS is that juices, smoothies and soups taste great and are easy to make!  So, I am looking forward to feeling better and not having to stress while working on it. Here's the juice I made for this morning: sweet beet What do you do when your health isn’t where you want it to be?  And what do you put into your favorite juices and smoothies?  (I’ll be sharing some of my tried and true favorites over the next few days!  à make sure to sign up for my newsletter or click the RSS feed so you don’t miss them!) Xoxo, Sarah

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Sarah Lawrence

Simple Detox Recipes ~ because I love you <3

Special Waves and Warm Welcome to all you new Blog followers!  So glad to have you here.  I can't wait to hear from you and get to know you.  Please join me over on Facebook too --- click the link on the right side of this post.  I just can't get enough of all you lovelies!  xoxo ********** So, last week I completed a 10 Day Detox with a great group of people.  I designed the Detox to be gentle by reducing stimulants like caffeine and sugar before cutting them out, then using a clean dietary approach to support the body’s natural detox pathways.  Gotta tell ya… my Detoxers were ROCKSTARS!  Most lost 4 pounds during the 10 days and one SuperStar dropped 7 pounds and was absolutely glowing.  I confess that I feel a bit guilty to have kept the 10 Day Detox on the hush, but I’m ready to share a secret with you --- (you’re truly the first to know!)  --- On March 4th I am launching my next program:  “10 Weeks to a Healthier You!”  Because I work really closely with my clients, I am only opening 15 spots in this exclusive program.  I will be accepting applications from people who are ready to make some healthy habits a reality, so if this is you, be on the lookout for an update with all the deets tomorrow.  I have great bonuses and goodies for all you Early Birds who want to jump right in!  Just think --- you can be on your way to achieving any of your New Year’s weight loss resolutions in time for Mother’s Day!  Build on the momentum of love from Valentine’s Day and give yourself this gift.  Promise I’ll be back tomorrow with more so you can get in on the goodness.  (You’re totally worth it!) Phew!  Now that I’ve let my secret slip, I feel much better!  (Here’s the song in my head --- “I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it…”)  Back to business ~ I meant to post and share the love before Valentine’s Day, but life got busy with classroom parties and lots of valentines to prepare.  I want all of you to feel the love so this post is a host of pics and recipes from the detox.   Simple meals make me happy and keep me healthy and they can do the same for you!  Foods that support detoxification are tasty, colorful and filling, but don’t take my word for it… try it yourself and let me know what you think!   Breakfast = Breaking the Fast Liquid nutrition in the form of smoothies and juices is a fabulous way to FLOOD your cells with nutritional love! Mixed Berry Blast 1 cup frozen mixed berries 1 frozen banana 3 kale leaves, stems removed A big handful or two of baby spinach, washed (go for two cause you're a rockstar!) 1 - 1½ cups almond milk Put everything in the Vitamix or blender and whiz 050until quite smooth. My Beeting Heart Juice 1 large organic beet, scrubbed 1 large organic cucumber 3 kale leaves, stems removed 6 swiss chard leaves, stems removed 3 large carrots, peeled 1 red apple Cut all the veg in pieces that will fit in your juicer.  Juice according to your juicers directions or blend in a Vitamix and strain using a nutmilk bag or several layers of cheesecloth. [caption id="attachment_706" align="alignleft" width="256"]Juice shots for my boys and the pint glass for me! Juice shots for my boys and the pint glass for me![/caption]   043 [caption id="attachment_705" align="alignright" width="300"]Juicy Smiles from my 6 year old! Juicy Smiles from my 6 year old![/caption] Mid-day and Evening Meals Go for 80% raw and 20 % cooked whole foods for your lunch and dinner meals.  Raw foods provide live enzymes and accessible nutrients.  Cooked whole foods provide the comfort of warmth and variety in texture. Simple Salad for 4 8 cups of mixed salad greens (mesculin greens, kale, romaine, spinach, chard, frisee, red or green leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, endive, mustard greens, beet greens, dandelion greens) 4 cup diced veg of your choice (tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, red or green onion, celery, carrot, mushroom, beet) 1 diced avocado 1/4 cup of hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds or sesame seeds ¼ cup chopped cashew, almond or brazil nuts ¼ cup fresh herbs (dill, basil, cilantro, parsley, mix of thyme/oregano, mint) 2 cups mixed fresh fruit (optional, but great for variety) The possibilities with salad are never ending.  I use a variety of greens for lots of color and texture. Family Friendly tips: 
  1. Let you kids choose the veggies and fruits for the salad. 
  2. Once your greens are washed have your kiddos tear the leaves into fork friendly pieces.
  3. Fill it up!  We have a large oval platter that is great for serving salad family style.  How much salad do you need?  It is really easy to judge once you’ve served salad family style a few times because you will be able to eye-ball it based on your experience.  I know that if we fill up the platter with greens, pile on the veg and add the toppings that the whole thing will go… so all I need to say is “Fill it up” and my people can have fun while practicing a healthy habit.
  4. Let your kids serve themselves if they are old enough to manage a fork.  It’s a life skill.  I find that my kids take what they need and it’s usually more than I would have put on their plates. 
  5. Pour on the props!  Praising the kiddos (and any reluctant adults at the table) is a great way to ensure that they will feel good about making healthy choices.  Praise builds confidence, so when they try a new combo, give them credit and ask them how things taste and if they would make the same salad again.
*** Just think, it’s as easy as P-I-E ~ Praise Involve Encourage! [caption id="attachment_704" align="alignleft" width="640"]Simple Salad for 4 Simple Salad for 4[/caption] [caption id="attachment_711" align="alignleft" width="640"]Simple Salad for 4 with Beet Hearts and berries Simple Salad for 4 with Beet Hearts and berries[/caption] Raw Bowl with Beans 1 cup raw mushrooms, sliced 2 cups kale or spinach, stems removed and leaves sliced into strips ¾ cup raw sauerkraut (homemade or one like Bubbies) 1 cup cooked beans of your choice (homemade is great; no sugar if using canned beans) 040 Triple Nut Veg Burger 1 large onion, quartered 2 stalks celery, quartered 1 clove garlic 1/2 cup almonds 1/2 cup cashews 1/2 cup walnuts ½ cup hemp seeds 1 bunch parsley, stems removed 2 slices gluten free, dairy free millet bread or GFV breadcrumbs ¼ cup nutritional yeast 1/2 tsp sea salt ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/3 cup lemon juice ½ cup white beans (optional, makes patties a firmer texture) Put onion, celery, garlic, nuts, seeds and parsley into your food processor and pulse until everything is fine but not a paste.  Tear the GFV bread into pieces or add the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and pulse again.  Add lemon juice a little at a time to get the mixture to a consistency that you can shape into patties. Heat a cast iron skillet (or your favorite skillet) and place ½ cup size patties on until one side is golden, then flip.  Serve. An alternative to cooking these bad boys is to shape them and pop them into your dehydrator.  The flavor remains bright and the texture becomes much firmer than what you get in the skillet, even with the bean option.  I like the non bean burger, dehydrated and crumbled into lettuce leaves with salsa for a tasty taco like yum. ***Depending on the size of your veggies you should get at least 6 patties, likely a few more. [caption id="attachment_712" align="alignleft" width="640"]Triple Nut Veg Burger Triple Nut Veg Burger[/caption] Tomato Vegetable Soup  ~ you may want to double this one and freeze half 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 cup chopped red onion ¼ teaspoon sea salt 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup shredded carrot 1 cup chopped celery 1 24-ounce jar diced tomatoes or 2 lbs fresh tomatoes, diced 5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (gluten free) 2 cups cooked white beans, drained and rinsed ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper ½ tsp cayenne, chipotle or smoked paprika (optional) fresh parsley leaves, garnish Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add garlic and onion and sauté for a few minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with parsley just before serving. 026

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Sarah Lawrence

You can't beet this juice

[caption id="attachment_590" align="alignleft" width="300"]Ruby Red Energy Juice Ruby Red Energy Juice[/caption]
Veggie juices and smoothies are a quick solution to morning nutrition.  While a juicer can make the process a breeze, you can also employ your high speed blender, a nut milk bag and a little therapeutic hand work for the same result.  Prefer to keep your foods full of fiber?  No problem!  Add a few small apples to the blender along with a splash of water and you can create a velvety, sweet smoothie that will perk you up all morning long while providing filling liquid nutrients that are equally easy on your GI tract. 
  When choosing greens for this or any juice/smoothie, consider Romaine not only for it’s watery sweetness but also for Vitamin A, K and C; spinach for manganese, magnesium, iron, calcium and potassium as well as Vitamins K and C; kale for Vitamins K, A and C as well as a bunch of minerals.  Every leafy green is pretty much a nutrient dense powerhouse.  Greens are also a source of ALA which is an Omega 3 fatty acid.  Omega’s 3’s are making headlines all over the nutrition world these days, and you can get yourself a plant strong shot of them first thing out the gate every morning by including greens in your juices and smoothies.  Vitamin and Nutrient levels differ based on variety, so my approach is to use a combination of the greenest greens every day.  But if I had to choose just one green, hands down, it would be kale… Kale will add slight bitterness to your drink, but it is full of glucosinolates (pronounced “glue-co-sin-o-lates”) which our bodies break down into isothiocyanates or (ITCs) (pronounced “I-so-thigh-o-sigh-a-nates”).  While those are a mouthful to say they are worth the trouble!  ITC’s are major players in cellular detoxification as well as being documented cancer preventers and cancer fighters.  It may sound like I’m pitching you something in an info-mercial when I say, “but wait… that’s not all!”  Truth is, that’s not all!  Kale is rich in antioxidants (specifically lutein, beta-carotein and quercetin, but there are at least 40 more); these antioxidants protect your body from all kinds of oxidative damage.  They are like a clean up and repair crew at a cellular level.  They are the anti-inflammatories in nature’s medicine chest.  You want these guys on your varsity team and juices and smoothies like this one are a painless way to play.     If you’re an info junkie, like me, click to check out The George Mateljan Foundation website for a lot more documentation on kale.  You can also look up other foods… in case you’re curious! Red Rising 1 ruby red grapefruit, peeled (any grapefruit will do, but ruby reds are a little sweeter) ½ lemon, peeled (unless it’s organic, then throw it in peel and all) 1 big beet, raw (scrubbed and quartered) 1 lb greens liquid stevia (optional)
  1. Place ingredients in Vitamix or high speed blender in the order listed so the juiciest items hit the blades first.  Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the puree into your nut milk bag.  Twist the top closed and start massaging the juice out of the bag.
  3. If you need to adjust for sweetness, try a drop of liquid stevia.  Personally, I find the slight bitterness of this blood red juice to be just perfect, but if you’re not used to the bitter flavor or prefer something with a hint of sweetness, give it a drop and a stir and go from there.
Berry Good Variations (wink!):  Add 1 cup of raspberries, strawberries or cherries. Alternative:  Add 2 apples and about ½ cup of water to create a smoothie rather than juice.  Blend as above, but do not strain.  Just pour and enjoy.

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