Skinny is EASY – Crazy – but easy.

Skinny in 30 EASY steps.

  1. Get rid of any food in your house that is not a fruit or vegetable.
  2. Well, actually, get rid of potatoes, tomatoes and peppers, too.
  3. Make a big bottle of salad dressing with vinegar, olive oil, raw honey and a titch of salt.
  4. Buy a juicer and blender if you don’t already have these.
  5. Make sure everyone else in the house knows the only things they get to eat are smoothies, juice and salads. If they don’t like that, they’ll have to move out or cook for themselves. (See NOTE below.)
  6. Grocery shop only in the produce section. You can eat any and as many fruits and vegetables as you like except potatoes.
  7. Well, actually, you might want a few seeds, a bit of tofu or some chickpeas, too.
  8. You can have coffee and tea. Smooth Move tea is great for skinny.
  9. In the morning make a quart of smoothie with spinach, pineapple and lots of berries to sip throughout the morning and early afternoon. This becomes a meal replacement for both breakfast and lunch. Throw in some flax if you want.
  10. OR Make a quart of juice with cukes, apple, lemon, kale and ginger. Drink this on ice for breakfast and lunch.
  11. Snack on an apple or a few almonds if you are hungry after your sip-all-day breakfast and lunch.
  12. Make a HUGE salad for dinner with greens, tofu, sliced pear and nuts.
  13. If friends want to go out for dinner, invite them over for salad and tea instead.
  14. If you get hungry at 6:30, go to bed.
  15. Don’t forget to power walk at least three miles while watching the Walking Dead – Zombies are good for the stay skinny diet!
  16. I guess that means you better buy a treadmill, have access to NetFlix and have a TV or iPad to watch.
  17. During the holidays to stay away from decadent treats. It helps to book a condo in some other country to get away. Make sure the condo has a blender and access to vegetable market.
  18. Don’t buy a farm in the Midwest where a big farm table will beg for carbohydrate laden decadent farm meals.
  19. And don’t even think about adding a wood-burning pizza oven to your backyard.
  20. Food blogging isn’t a good habit for those who want to stay skinny, and reading blogs about food just makes me hungry.
  21. Make sure you have a job that keeps you busy enough for most of the day, so you don’t have time to think about food.
  22. Choose a job that also keeps you away from food.
  23. Follow the 5/2 plan: 5 days of clean nutrifeasting (my term for eat as much as you want of these vitamin rich foods) and the weekend is yours to eat what you want.
  24. Weigh yourself every morning to monitor.
  25. Never consume more than 1000 calories a day if you want to lose weight.
  26. Always wear comfortable clothes in case you get the chance to sneak in a Warrior Two or Down Dog.
  27. Well, actually, wear skin tight clothes, so if you gain any weight, you know immediately.
  28. Stay hydrated with lemon water.
  29. Watch the film “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.”
  30. Read Michael Pollan’s book, In Defense of Food.

Absurd, isn’t it? But think about what happens if you don’t do these things. We have access to the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet 24-7, and many of us have addicted brains. Once I enjoy a french fry, salty chip or cookie, I can’t stop eating. And, typically there is no shortage of the desired foods. Portions are huge everywhere. I can’t seem to manage an “Everything in Moderation” attitude if I truly want to feel great and keep my weight down. I have found that to maintain a healthy body and weight, I simply cannot be around most “American” foods. I do not have the will-power.

But, when I eat only smoothies, juice and salads, I feel energized, satiated, happy and proud of myself. My body does not get splotchy or tingly or lumpy or frumpy. I feel right. So, although these 30 steps may seem ridiculous, they are what works for me.

NOTE: I haven’t actually made anyone move out of the house, but I tend to avoid the dining room and kitchen when others are preparing or eating their food.

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Green Smoothies

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Wow, I’ve come a long way since I began this food blog! I started it with the idea that I would review restaurants from the “vegetarian perspective,” but that was frustrating, so I decided to start posting recipes. That was really fun, but after cooking and eating lots of rich food, I realized I couldn’t live that way forever. My pants got tighter and I felt miserable. Then I watched the movie, I’m Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and knew that my problem was food. I immediately went on a juice fast and my life changed overnight. After the fast I began to eat smoothies and salads and mostly follow a raw food diet. It has been the best thing for me. I lost 20 pounds and I feel great…but I don’t cook anymore. My family eats a gigantic salad every night for dinner and I drink juice and smoothies for breakfast and lunch. I snack on almonds, walnuts and fruit if I get hungry. Every now and then I will have a sprouted grain sandwich or wrap, perhaps a bowl of soup or a sautéed vegetable mix with quinoa or brown rice. But, I basically try to limit my intake of grains to one or two servings per week. I’m not totally converted, however, as I relax a bit on the weekends. Sometimes we have pizza or go out for dinner. I figure I can stay focused during the work week, and on the weekend indulge a bit.

I do tend to make more smoothies than juice as the blender takes less time to clean. In the mornings when I’m pressed for time to get out the door by 6:45, a quick clean-up is nice. Smoothies are a quick and filling breakfast and lunch meal replacement for people with busy schedules. I thought I would share a few smoothie ideas with you.

First, if you want to lose weight, use the smoothie as a meal replacement. I make enough smoothie to fill my blender container which is probably a little more than 40 ounces. People are surprised by the quantity, but you want to drink enough so that you don’t get hungry.

Second, plan for a good smoothie container. I have a couple of 32 ounce water bottles with large openings that work okay, but I prefer to drink smoothies with a straw. I drilled a hole in a lid for a quart-sized canning jar and often bring that to work to sip on throughout the morning. It looks a little odd, but works great!

Anything can go in a smoothie. I like to have two fruits and two veggies as a general rule. Then I add in healthy fats and proteins. Play around with ingredients until you find what you like. I usually use a banana as a base with either spinach or kale as one of my veggies, then anything else you might like.

Here are a couple of recipe ideas:

This one is a filling smoothie with high fiber kale and ground flax. High in vitamins, calcium and minerals it also offers lots of Omega-3 fatty acids. The coconut water is a good source of potassium and magnesium – much better for you than Gatorade or other sports drinks.

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 fresh peach, nectarine or pear sliced
  • 1/4 cup clover sprouts
  • 1 – 2 cups kale
  • 2 Tbs. ground flax
  • filtered water to just below the level of the produce in blender
  • a few ice cubes (optional)

Here’s a lighter version of the first that uses the softer leaf spinach and no seeds. The mango, banana and avocado combination result in a smooth and creamy texture.

  • 1 banana
  • 1 large mango
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1-2 cups filtered water
  • a few ice cubes

And finally, a very high fiber Berry Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
  • 1 cups spinach
  • 1/4 whole lemon, washed with peel
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 2 Tbs. chia seed
  • 1-2 cups filtered water to blend

Frozen Organic Strawberries

Rumor has it there is a bumper crop of strawberries coming out of Florida lately, so prices are running a little lower than last year. Bad news for the farmers – great news for those of us crazy for smoothies! The warm weather has also reportedly upped the sugar content making the berries sweeter than in the past. Frozen strawberries add a luscious creamy texture to smoothies and when combined with pineapple, banana and spinach, it’s pure delight!

All winter I waited patiently for Spring’s delivery of this lovely fruit, so when organic strawberries began to arrive at Costco a few weeks ago, I knew what I had to do – buy in bulk and freeze so I could enjoy the berries all winter long! This is definitely a cost-saving measure as organic frozen berries run about $4.00 per pound compared to these at $2.80.

The process is really quick and easy:

  1. Wash the berries and cut the stems off,
  2. Place the berries on a cookie sheet,
  3. Allow them to dry to avoid freezer burn,
  4. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for a couple of hours,
  5. When they are frozen, place strawberries into freezer bags,
  6. label and store for up to one year.

Mango Banana Pear Smoothie

Nothing like a little taste of the tropics on a frosty fall morning in Minnesota! A friend of mine started juicing and making smoothies a few weeks ago and made an interesting comment. She said, “It’s like this stuff just wants to burn fat!” So true and so amazing. All the enzyme action of the fresh fruit and veg will have the pounds melting off before you know it. What are you waiting for? Let’s take on this obesity epidemic with some really simple and delicious foods.

Don’t forget “smoothie” means you make it in the blender. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 mango
  • 1 banana
  • 1 pear
  • 2 cups Vitacoco coconut water
  • 6-8 ice cubes

Sunrise Over Miami

Cheezy title, I know, but the grapefruit made me think of Florida, so there you have it! This is a beautiful silken juice that will definitely brighten your day! The grapefruit flavor comes through strong and the apple and carrot give it a nice sweetness. Look at all that vitamin A and C! Simply prep the fruits and veg and run through your juicer. This recipe makes about 32 ounces of juice. Drink as much as you like or share it with a friend! If you want to lose weight, drink the juice as a meal replacement.

Ingredients:

  • 2 grapefruit, peels cut off
  • 8-10 large carrots
  • 4 whole apples

Green Juice For Life

This was breakfast. Not breakfast for six people – breakfast for two. Can you imagine the workout trying to eat all this veg in one sitting? It’s a daunting task to think about, but not if you’re a juicer. I juiced this lovely bowl of veg this morning for breakfast and with that was able to get closer to my body’s daily requirement for vegetables. You see, I found out the hard way, exactly how many fruits and vegetables we really need to stay healthy and fit – it is a lot!

The hard way? You ask. Let me back up.

I recently discovered I suffer from inflammation which over the years has caused my body to fight against itself. My cells have been attacking the high acidic foods I eat, so my white blood cells, in constant combat position, have had no time to build my body’s immunity. Over time, my body began to show symptoms that something was wrong. I began to gain weight – especially belly fat, I often had migraine headaches, I had trouble waking up in the morning, I was grumpy much of the time and I developed red tingly toes. If you Google red tingly toes, they’re a symptom of many illnesses like obesity, diabetes, lymes disease, heart disease, nerve damage, depression and inflammation.

Since my husband has Lyme’s Disease, I decided to start with a visit to the doctor in order to rule that out as well as other concerns like allergies, a possible thyroid problem, vitamin or mineral deficiency issues or some unidentified ailment. Blood tests and other diagnostics showed that according to mainstream thought I had nothing wrong with me. My doctor was left stumped and unable to provide an answer. I knew from my obsessive love of food that diet can often be the underlying cause of diseases and ailments, so I decided to take treatment into my own hands.

At the same time I was experiencing these weird symptoms, Jeff’s Lyme’s disease was causing him to suffer excessive fatigue and pain. In researching how to help him, we both stumbled across information regarding ph neutral diets and the connection to decreased inflammation. Diet, not buckets of medication, seemed to be the answer. I also watched a couple of food documentaries that prompted me to address my symptoms with diet – they were, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Forks Over Knives and Crazy Sexy Cancer. It seems that there are a couple of factors that come into play when you eat a mostly raw diet. First you feed your immune system lots of vitamins and minerals, and secondly you are getting enough enzymes to aid digestion. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is very high acidity and low enzyme and that seems to be what causes most of our ailments – everything from type two diabetes, heart disease and many cancers.

So here I am today, twenty pounds lighter, unbelievably happy, and symptom free! And, it was easy thanks to green juice and smoothies! I love vegetables, but I’ve always reached for breads or other grains first to satisfy hunger. Juicing helped me to cut all food cravings out of my life. I find the juice so satisfying that I don’t need much else. I started with a juice fast of about ten days. I wasn’t a purist about it as I had a few salads and a couple of sprouted grain veggie sandwiches over the course of those ten days, but overall, I drank freshly made vegetable juice and I drank as much as I wanted.

During that phase of the plan I also drank HUGE amounts of water and a cup of Smooth Move tea each day. I had read that some people get constipated when they first start a juice fast, and part of the idea is to remove all the toxic build up from your body. You want to sweat it out, flush it out and brush it off your skin, so exercise, drink lots of water and exfoliate the skin. Two days into the fast I felt happier than I had felt in years and I began to lose weight right away! It was very exciting as I had never been able to successfully diet in my life.

Once the fast was over, I simply continued to juice using juice as a meal replacement for breakfast and lunch. For dinner we eat huge salads with greens, chopped veg, nuts and my homemade balsamic dressing. Fats are important to consume so oils from nuts and seeds, olive oil and avocado are all completely acceptable and necessary. Notice the diet is mostly raw foods, however we do eat roasted cauliflower, broccoli, and sweet potatoes as well as a variety of cooked beans. I have found that a small amount of sprouted wheat breads don’t bother me, so I love to eat hummus sandwiches with sprouts, avocado and tomato. I’m sure as the winter months approach we’ll be adding soups to our diet as well.

I cannot express enough how satisfying and liberating this style of eating is. Menu planning is simple, grocery shopping is simple and food preparation is a breeze, but the most amazing thing is how good we feel. This has not been a diet for me, but a lifestyle change.

Here’s the quick and dirty of what I learned and what I do:

Cut Out:

  • most grains (except a small amount of brown rice, quinoa and wild rice)
  • potatoes
  • sugar
  • coffee
  • alcohol
  • dairy products
  • animal products
  • any processed food
  • any food containing white (white flour, white rice, white pasta, white tortillas, etc)

Eat Organic:

  • fresh vegetables and fruits – as many as you want
  • nuts and seeds
  • sprouts
  • olive oil
  • green tea and herbal teas

Do:

  • Meal replacement with freshly made juice or smoothies
  • Make your own sprouts
  • Exercise 3-5 times per week

Green Juice Recipe I

Ingredients:

  • 4 apples
  • 2 peeled lemons
  • 1 bunch curly kale
  • 1 bunch bok choy
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 small chunk fresh ginger

Green Juice Recipe II

Ingredients:

  • 4 apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 fennel bulb with stems and fronds
  • 1/2 bunch celery
  • 1/2 head cabbage

Directions: Wash and prep the vegetables then run through a juicer. (We have a Breville Juice Fountain Ikon.)