Not So Random Thoughts and Recipes

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Drink Your Veggies . . . and Other Adventures in (Non) Eating . . .

Green Star Juicer

8:00 a.m.  My (urine) pH is 7.0, my husband is at 6.0

I'm drinking water and I made myself some custom blend herb tea which is blah compared to my usual morning brew of Guyaki Yurba Mate, a teaspoon of maple syrup, and rice milk. But the tea is hot and it helps me feel as if I'm in my usual, comfortable routine.

9:00 a.m. 

I wash the veggies and my husband starts juicing. I'm feeling pretty excited about our first glass of green juice.

Our Morning Brew
Makes about a quart

1 lb. raw spinach leaves
6 stalks celery
1/2 cup Italian parsley
6 leaves romaine lettuce
1 cup salad greens
1 lemon

I chug about 20 ounces straight down without breathing. My husband savors the juice. I think he's acting a bit like a juice snob. The spinach has a mild taste and the celery and romaine add a touch of sweetness. Ya right. Don't follow this recipe because it sucks.

I hear people talking about their green juices as if they are a fine wine. They go on about the "sweetness", the "finish on their tongue", blah, blah, blah.  I think they're liars. I think they hate this stuff as much as I do. Whatever.

10:00 a.m.  My pH is 7.2, my husband is up to 6.6

OK, I have to admit, I'm jazzed because my pH is up, I feel like a pH snob.

11:00 a.m. My pH is up to my targeted 7.4 and I'm stoked!

We're heading out to run some errands and I'm full of energy. My husband is quiet.

12:00 On the road

We stop at the roadside stand on Hwy 12 because the strawberry guy is there. I buy three baskets of red, juicy, ripe strawberries and I show tremendous strength of character as I carefully place them in the cooler in my car without tasting any.

12:30 p.m.  Laguna Farm, CSA

We arrive at Laguna Farm and Farmer Scott is wrenching on the tractor but stops to come and greet us. He comments about the strawberries in the car so I offer him a couple. I am amazed that he saw them at all as I had pulled them out of the cooler and tucked them way at the back of my Volvo wagon. Farmers nose. Scottie takes a bite of a strawberry, murmurs, and rolls his eyes. I want to slap him and rip the ripe strawberries from his hand.

1:00 p.m.  Whole Foods Market, Sebastopol

We decide to try the green juice at Whole Foods. We both choose the Whole Foods Green Drink because one of the ingredients is spinach. We pay our $11.00 for our two, 16 once juices. The juice is not green it's orangish. Turns out there is very little spinach, and lots of carrots and celery in this concoction. It tastes good because it's sweet so I sip it knowing this is going to tank my pH.

2:30 p.m.  Driving home

I'm cranky. I always get cranky when I'm deprived of food. I consider robbing an unripe avocado from our Laguna Farm produce to eat. 

4:00 p.m. My pH is 7.4, husband is 6.6

After putting away all of the farm produce, I peel a bunch of bananas and rinse the strawberries. I put the fruit on trays and place them in the chest freezer for tomorrows smoothies (YIPEE!) I feel pretty smug that I didn't even lick my fingers.

5:00 p.m.  pH, schme-H

6:00 p.m.

After doing some online research about detoxing for heavy metals and radiation, I pull out my stash of French Green Clay from Frontier Herbs, and my husband joins me in taking a teaspoon of clay in a bottle of water. It's a bit chalky but we manage to get it down then drink another 10 ounces of water. I'm hoping the clay will 'stick to my ribs'.

7:54 p.m. 

I'm so bloody hungry I'm ready to chug the Macadamia nut oil I just got from Mountain Rose Herbs. Seriously. 

8:00 p.m. My pH is 7.2

I blame the lower pH on the carrots in the Whole Foods juice. 

I'm feeding the visiting blue jay stale almonds on the front porch thinking to myself, "I could just pop a few of these babies in my mouth and no one would ever know."

Instead I go back inside the house and make myself a cup of rose hip tea. Ya, I know it's not green, slap me.

8:45 p.m.  I don't give a #$%! what my pH is!

This tea is good, I wonder if it's going to tank my pH.

9:00 p.m. On the computer searching for recipes

There are an infinite number of vegan recipes online. I've chosen a Creamy Cucumber Dip recipe I found on the Whole Foods site.

Creamy Cucumber dip ~ photo credit Whole Foods Mkt.

Creamy Cucumber Dip
Makes about 2 cups

1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked

1 English cucumber (about 1 1/4 pound), peeled and shredded 

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

1/4 cup freshly chopped dill 
 (I'm going to use parsley because I don't have fresh dill)
2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives 

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Soak cashews with enough water to cover for at least 4 hours. Drain.
Place shredded cucumber in a strainer and set aside for at least 15 minutes to drain, then squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. You should have about 1 1/2 cups packed shredded cucumber. Transfer cucumber to the bowl of a food processor. Add drained cashews, lemon juice, dill and chives and purée until dip is smooth and creamy. Garnish with pine nuts and serve.

Per serving (about 1/4 cup): 170 calories (110 from fat), 12g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 25mg sodium, 12g total carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 3g sugar), 6g protein

10:00 p.m.  My pH is 6.8

Bummed. The tea did tank my pH. I'm going to soak some cashews and go to bed and dream about the meals I'll make tomorrow . . . 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

FRIDAY, April 29th ~ Please Join Us . . .

Cara & kidos ~ photo credit: Health, Home & Happiness

Cara, blogger of Health, Home, & Happiness will join us in a juice fast day on Friday, April 29th.    

Cara and I have differing views on food and diet but we are aligned on one issue, our current 'standard American diet' is unhealthy. Although we are on different health quests, I respect Cara for her passion and thoroughness and her commitment to her family.

I'm compiling some juicing recipes from several sources and will post a few throughout the week.   With a high-quality juicer (we have a Green Star) and fresh, organic produce you can juice along with us on Friday.  

Whole Foods Market, Sebastopol, CA ~ photo credit: Whole Foods

If you don't own a juicer but want to do a juice day check your local high-end markets for fresh juices. I spoke with 'Darcy' at the juice bar in Whole Foods Market located at 6910 McKinley Street in Sebastopol. Darcy reports that they use all organic produce in the Sebastopol store. Their wheat grass is locally grown and organic as well. Not all Whole Foods Markets use organic produce and not all of their markets have juice bars so check their website and call ahead to confirm. 

Jamba Juice veg smoothies ~ photo credit: Jamba Juice

My son loves our local Jamba Juice at 617 East Washington Street, Petaluma, their phone number is: 707.871.0846. Jamba Juice is open at 7:00 am so you can grab a juice on your way to work and they're open until 8:00 most days so you can pick up a juice on the way home too. My son likes the fruit smoothies whereas I typically will get a shot of wheat grass juice. I recently tried their 'Berry Upbeat' smoothie with a mix of berries, mango, and vegetable juices. I was surprised at how delicious this smoothie tasted. Even my teenage son approved!  

Jamba Juice wheat grass is not organic and they do not use organic produce for their juices. If you want fresh juice you must make a request. In addition to fresh juiced wheat grass, the are two fresh juices available are carrot and orange (upon request).

Juice Shack in Petaluma, CA ~ photo credit: Juice Shack

Another local Sonoma County juice favorite is Juice Shack with several locations in Sonoma County, CA.  Juice Shack does use  organic wheat grass but uses conventional vegetables for their juices. Locations and phone numbers for Juice Shack are:

Santa Rosa Marketplace (by Costco): 522-6289
Montgomery Village (by Lucky's): 522-6822
Campus Center (across from SRJC): 528-6131
Stony Point Plaza (off Hwy 12): 545-6432
Pacific Plaza (by Pacific Theaters): 588-9577
Wolf Den Plaza (across from SSU): 664-1787
Redwood Gateway Center (by Kohls in Petaluma): 762-1052


Adapted from the book,  The pH Miracle by Robert O. Young, PhD, and Shelley Redford Young

Basic Green Vegetable Juice
Serves 1
Juice together:
3 celery stalks
1 cucumber
2 to 3 large kale leaves
5 large lettuce leaves
2 cups spinach
1/4 cup parsley
Juice of 1 Myer lemon (optional)

Spring Green Drink
Serves 2

Juice together:
4 cups sprouts
4 cups greens
1/2 cup dandelion greens
1/4 cup scallion
1 cup carrots

Note: Depending on the amount of toxins in your tissues you could experience minor or major detox symptoms when juicing. Symptoms could include fever, chills, nausea and vomiting. You should always consult with your physician before embarking on any dietary regimen especially if you are immune compromised or have other health challenges.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Boosting Your Immune System . . .

Raw almond milk smoothie with cacao nibs

There are a myriad of ways you could strengthen your immune system. Through research and experimentation I've found that my body responds best with alkaline foods. Alkaline foods are mostly green vegetables, low in sugar. Foods that readily convert to sugar in the body are not alkaline. Some fruits are alkaline, for example, unripe bananas, lemons, limes, avocados, tomatoes, sour grapefruits and coconuts. Rice, pasta, bread (all grains), potatoes, ripe bananas, are all examples of acid foods that put stress on the body's immune system. All animal foods including fish and especially dairy, are highly acidic in addition to harboring bacteria, hormones and pathogens.

quinoa topped with raw veggies tossed in olive oil & lemon juice

According to Dr. Robert O. Young, PhD, in his book, 'The PH Miracle', "The pH level of our internal fluids affects every cell in our bodies. The entire metabolic process depends on an alkaline environment. Chronic over-acidity corrodes body tissue, and if left unchecked will interrupt all cellular activities and functions, form the beating of your heart to the neural firing of your brain. In other words, over-acidity interferes with life itself. It is at the root of all sickness, dis-ease, and disease."

Read future posts for more information about the benefits of an alkaline diet.



Although my smoothies are health building overall, they are not alkaline. They are a good transition from eating an acidic diet to a more alkaline diet. A true alkaline diet is by it's very nature, raw, vegan and mostly green.

Chocolate Almond Milk Smoothie
1 serving

1 1/2 cups raw almond milk
6 fresh dates
1 Tbls. cacao nibs
1 Tbls. ground flaxseed
1 Tbls. salba seeds
2 frozen, unripe, (slightly green) bananas

In a Vita Mix blender add first six ingredients and blend for 2 minutes or until dates are well blended.  Add in bananas and blend until smooth.  

Drink in good health!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Dirty Dozen & 10 Gross Ingredients in Processed Food . . .

photo credit ~

EWG (Environmental Working Group) research has determined that people who eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day from their "Dirty Dozen" list are consuming an average of 10 pesticides daily. People who eat from their "Clean 15" list, least contaminated, conventionally grown produce, ingest less than 2 pesticides a day.

Buy These Organic
  1. Celery 
  2. Peaches 
  3. Strawberries 
  4. Apples 
  5. Blueberries 
  6. Nectarines 
  7. Bell Peppers 
  8. Spinach 
  9. Cherries 
  10. Kale/Collard Greens 
  11. Potatoes 
  12. Grapes (Imported)
Lowest in Pesticides
  1. Onions 
  2. Avocado 
  3. Sweet Corn 
  4. Pineapple 
  5. Mangos 
  6. Sweet Peas 
  7. Asparagus 
  8. Kiwi 
  9. Cabbage 
  10. Eggplant 
  11. Cantaloupe 
  12. Watermelon 
  13. Grapefruit 
  14. SweetPotato 
  15. Honeydew Melon

CLICK HERE for Environmental Working Group's 'Dirty Dozen' Shoppers Guide


Fertilizer in Subway Sandwich Rolls
While chemical fertilizers inevitably make it into our produce in trace amounts, you would not expect it to be a common food additive. However, ammonium sulfate can be found inside many brands of bread, including Subway’s. The chemical provides nitrogen for the yeast, creating a more consistent product.

Beaver Anal Glands in Raspberry Candy 
The anal glands of a beaver, conveniently euphemized as castoreum, are a common ingredient in perfumes and colognes but are also sometimes used to — believe it or not — enhance the flavor of raspberry candies and sweets.

Beef Fat in All Hostess Products
While this may not bother the most ardent omnivore, others are shocked to discover that their favorite childhood treats contain straight-up beef fat. The ingredient comes included a list of other oils that may or may not be used, so it is always a gamble.

Crushed Bugs as Red Food Coloring
After killing thousands at a time, the dried insects are boiled to produce a liquid solution that can be turned to a dye using a variety of treatments. Some people worry that the coloring — often called carmine or carminic acid — could be listed as a “natural color”.

Beetle Juice in Sprinkles and Candies 
You know that shiny coating on candies like Skittles? Or the sprinkles on cupcakes and ice cream sundaes? Well, they get that glaze from the secretions of the female lac beetle. The substance is also known as shellac and commonly used as a wood varnish.

Sheep Secretions in Bubble Gum

The oils inside sheep’s wool are collected to create the goopy substance called lanolin. From there, it ends up in chewing gum (sometimes under the guise of “gum base”), but also is used to create vitamin D3 supplements.

Human Hair and/or Duck Feathers in Bread
What’s in your morning bagel? If you get it from Noah’s Bagels, it contains either human hair or duck feathers, and it’s your guess as to which. The substance, called L-cysteine or cystine, is used as a dough conditioner to produce a specific consistency. While artificial cysteine is available, it is cost prohibitive and mostly used to create kosher and halal products.

Coal Tar in Red-Colored Candy

Coal tar is listed as number 199 on the United Nations list of “dangerous goods,” but that doesn’t stop people from using it in food. The coloring Allura Red AC is derived from coal tar and is commonly found in red-colored candies, sodas and other sweets.

Calf Stomach in Many Cheeses
In the UK, all cheeses are labeled as either suitable or not suitable for vegetarians because in Britain — and everywhere else — many cheeses are made using rennet, which is the fourth stomach of a young cow. In the United States and most other countries, people are left to guess about the stomach-content of their cheese.

Sand in Wendy’s Chili
Sand is hidden in Wendy’s chili as a name you might remember from high school chemistry class: silicon dioxide. Apparently they use sand as an “anti-caking agent”.

Skin, Connective Tissue, and Bones of Animals in Jello

One ingredient that WebEcoist didn’t mention is gelatin.  
Gelatin Manufacturers of America describes gelatin as "a product obtained from partial hydrolysis of collagen derived from natural sources such as skin, connective tissue, and bones of animals." Which "include cattle bone, cattle hides and fresh, frozen pigskins".

Think about this next time you want to whip up a batch of Jello for desert . . . mmmm, mmmm!

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    A Little Salmonella with Your Turkey? . . .

    If you're vegan this won't be of any great concern unless you know people that do eat meat. . .

    An excerpt from the FDA alert:

    Minnesota Firm Recalls Turkey Burger Products Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination
    Consumers alerted to cook all raw turkey products to 165° F, using extra care to prevent illness
    Recall Release CLASS I RECALL

    Congressional and Public Affairs
    (202) 720-9113
    Catherine Cochran

    WASHINGTON, April 1, 2011 -
    Jennie-O Turkey Store, a Willmar, Minn. establishment, is recalling approximately 54,960 pounds of frozen, raw turkey burger products that may be contaminated with Salmonella, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. As FSIS continues its investigation of illnesses related to this recall, additional raw turkey products may be recalled. As a result, FSIS is alerting consumers to take extra care when preparing all raw turkey products.