3 Day Post-Holiday Cleanse!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

NU Health 3 Day Cleanse Ebook

I am so super excited to introduce you all to my new, 3 Day Post-Holiday Cleanse! I’ve gone through all my favorite detoxifying, seasonal smoothie, soup, and lunch recipes to compile a beautiful, and above all, effective, 3 day, whole foods detox to help you reboot, reset, and recharge your system after the (ahem) indiscretions of the holiday season.

Stress, travel, more alcohol than usual, sugar cookies and other favorite holiday foods all have an impact on your body and mind that can show up on your skin, your waistline, and your mood.  Well I’m here to help you wipe the slate clean!

This cleanse is jam packed with delicious recipes, cleansing tips, and even the magic formula for you to create your own cleanse if you want to keep the detoxifying, glow-making action going!

>> Click here to sign up and download your free cleanse! <<

Are you already on our list?  Just enter your email above to update your profile and make sure you’re signed up to receive updates about Greens. Grains. Gorgeous. — our new, life-altering, game-changing online program launching this winter!  You’ll get the link to download your ebook in the confirmation email ; )

Get Your Green On: Juices and Smoothies

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Eat Your GreensYou know by now that you’ve gotta eat those greens.  Dark leafies are the single healthiest group of foods out there.  Loaded with nutrients, they are major health powerhouses, and the best part is, you can eat them as much as you want!  If you’re not doing so already, make greens a big priority in your eating — shooting for a full serving at least twice a day.  Salads, cooked greens, greens in your eggs, greens tossed into soup, and as a side for pretty much anything you’re eating — they are super easy to make into a daily habit.

Continue Reading…

Quick Vegan Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

This creamy tomato soup is going to become a fast favorite for the whole family.  The quinoa and coconut milk lend the soup and delicious rich creaminess that’s so good, you won’t even miss the dairy!  Plus, the cooked tomatoes are loaded with tons of lycopene, which is an amazing antioxidant.

Quick Vegan Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Serves 4
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 (28 oz.) can organic diced tomatoes with juice

2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped, plus a bit more for garnish

1 tsp raw organic apple cider vinegar (or more, if you’d like a little more acidity)

1 cup low sodium vegetable broth, or 1 cup water with 1-2 tbsp Seitenbacher vegetable broth powder

1/2 cup organic coconut milk (you can also use almond milk)

1 tbsp cooked quinoa or millet (optional)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minute.  Add tomatoes and juice and apple cider vinegar, and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, add broth, quinoa, and basil.  Bring to a boil again.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Add coconut milk, stir, and remove from heat.  Blend with immersion blender or in standing blender, in batches if necessary.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with a bit of basil, and serve with a slice of whole grain bread.

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Ninja Kitchen System — An Affordable and Versatile Alternative to Vitamix!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

After a solid year of using and loving our Nutribullet (click here for our review of this sweet little kitchen tool), I was ready to upgrade to something a little more powerful and versatile.  The problem was, I had grown really attached to the convenient single serving smoothie size of the Nutribullet, and hated the idea of having to dirty up a big huge blender just to get my morning nutrient fix. In researching my options, like the famous Vitamix, I stumbled upon the Ninja Mega Kitchen System, and was pretty floored!  This super powerful tool, comparable to it’s super expensive big boy cousins, has a major leg up in the market by combining a full-size 72 ounce mega-blender with a 64 ounce food processor, AND the coveted single serving blender cups, all on the same versatile, multi-setting base.  Best yet, it costs less than $160, which is a fraction of the price of it’s competitors (Vitamix blenders start at $399 and can cost upwards of $600 for a complete kitchen system). Win!

We’ve been using out Ninja for about six months now, and absolutely love it.  It completely liquifies everything, and the unique tiered “ninja” blade system eliminates the need for constantly mixing and pushing down the blender contents.  It’s not quite as sturdily made as the Vitamix, which is designed to last pretty much forever, but the value of the Ninja is still substantial.  The single serving smoothie cups are perfect for morning smoothies, and come with little to-go sippy tops.  I also use the single serving cup to chop nuts, make dressing, pesto, and other smaller-batch concoctions.  The food processor works great, and though I haven’t ventured to use it to make dough quite yet, I’m told the dough mixer is super fast and effective!

I know we’ll eventually splurge for a Vitamix, but for now, the Ninja Mega Kitchen System is my number one most used kitchen tool, and I can’t imagine living without it!

For some great recipes to use with your Ninja, check out our single serving smoothie recipes and blended soup recipes!

Get your Ninja Mega Kitchen System for just $159!

Tonight’s Supper: Split Pea, Fennel and Spinach Soup!

This delicious soup is perfect for the season.  Combining yummy, vibrant, and nutritious late winter ingredients, this warming super green concoction will satisfy even the pickiest palates!

Split Pea, Fennel and Spinach Soup

Serves 8

This vibrant soup makes great use of leftover fennel stalks.  Enjoy with a slice of dark rye toast to make it a meal!
  • 2 cups chopped fennel (1 bulb or 
5 fennel stalks, fronds removed)
  • 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
  • 1 cup dry white wine, divided
  • 15 oz. dried green split peas
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds, divided
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 oz. baby spinach leaves

1. Heat saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add fennel and onion, and sauté 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup wine, and simmer 2 minutes. Add split peas, 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, thyme, bay leaf, and 7 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add remaining 1/2 cup wine, and cook, uncovered, 10 minutes, or until split peas are tender. Stir in spinach, and cook 2 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.

3. Remove bay leaf, and purée soup with immersion blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Toast remaining 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds in small skillet 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Serve soup garnished with toasted fennel seeds.

{Recipe and photo from Vegetarian Times}

Amazing Superfood Smoothie

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Following up on our post about the 8 Amazing Superfoods Your Body Needs, I thought it would be awesome to post a delicious, ridiculously-insane-for-your-health Superfood Smoothie that uses almost all of these phenomenal foods.  Obviously, you don’t have to use each and every one, but if you want to supercharge your health, beauty, and energy, this is one majorly effective way to do it.

The Organic Beauty Amazing Superfood Smoothie

1 cup coconut water
1 cup organic baby spinach
1 organic banana (frozen is best!)
1/4 cup organic blueberries
A handful of walnuts
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp goji berry powder
1 tsp spirulina
1 tbsp chia or hemp seeds
1 tsp bee pollen
A pinch of stevia (optional)

Combine ingredients in blender.

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Nutribullet — A Healthy Kitchen Must-Have!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

I was home with a terrible virus for over a week not too long ago, which led to a lot of regrettable television choices.  As I was making the rounds of afternoon infomercials, one in particular caught my eye, and honestly, revolutionized my kitchen!  David Wolfe, raw food guru (and one of my instructors at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition) was speaking on behalf of Nutribullet — which, at first glance, seemed like a souped up MagicBullet (a tool I knew I didn’t need).  I really respect David Wolfe’s take on food, and count him among my favorite nutrition experts, so I thought I would see what he had to say.

Mechanically, the Nutribullet isn’t that different from the MagicBullet.  It’s a compact single or double serving blender that can smooth, chop, blend, or liquify pretty much anything.  But that’s the key!  It has a super powerful 600 watt motor that literally liquified fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds into an incredibly potent, concoction that is neither juice nor smoothie, but some magical hybrid.  It’s basically a mini-Vitamix — which is pretty much my dream come true.  (Though the Vitamix is a phenomenal kitchen tool, its bulk and generally unfashionable design–not to mention its hefty price tag–have been keeping me from investing in one)

Though I am an enormous fan of juicing (and base a lot of my cleanses on it), the amount of wasted food and fiber has always been a big issue for me.  Plus, a juicer doesn’t allow me to add nuts and seeds, which are key to created a superfood, detoxifying health cocktail.

Smoothies have been my standby for a long time.  I love making delicious morning creations out of fruit, greens, nuts, and almond milk, but am always annoyed when my smoothie comes out mealy, overly thick, or not completely blended.  Especially when blending fibrous greens like kale or swiss chard, having those stringy pieces still in the smoothie really makes it less palatable even for me (who LIVES for greens!).  And I never hear the end of it from some of my pickier clients, for whom eating greens is already a huge challenge.  I end up adding cups and cups of liquid to my smoothies to get them even close to smooth enough, and still, I find whole, unmilled flax seeds and food particles at the bottom of my glass.  Not ideal.

So you can imagine how pumped I was when I opened my Nutribullet, and made a delicious, super-potent, completely liquified drink, chock full of tons of greens, fruit, nuts and seeds… in under a minute.  I knew mornings would never be the same!  The benefit of a super powerful motor combined with a specialized extractor blade is that it completely breaks down the food for you, pulverizing stems, seeds, and skins of foods to maximize the amount of nutrients you can derive from it and make the whole process that much easier on your digestive system.  We definitely don’t want to liquify all our meals — making our system break down fibers is a good thing! — but being able to efficiently deliver so much nutritious goodness into our bodies for one or two meals a day is amazing.

Everyday for the past two weeks, I have started each morning with a powerful, mega-nutrient drink that leaves me feeling full (but not weighed down after I do after a thick smoothie), energized, and just plain awesome.  Since the blades are so powerful, I can throw whole fruit and veggies into my Nutribullet without having to chop anything up, which saves me tons of time, and with the super fast motor, the perfect consistency takes just a few seconds to achieve.  My favorite part is coming up with new, delicious fruit and veggie combos to try… My new favorites are watermelon/cucumber/apple/lemon/flaxseed and pineapple/kiwi/spinach/sunflower seed.  The recommended proportion is 50% fruit and 50% greens, with a good solid handful of nuts or seeds to top it all off.  Though I’ve always rocked smoothies blended with almond milk, I use spring water with my Nutribullet, which gives the concoctions a consistency more like juice, and less like a heavy smoothie.  Check out my favorite Nutribullet smoothie recipes!

This little gadget will also make doing my seasonal detox/cleanse that much easier!  I’m going to recommend it to all my cleansing clients.  Bottom line… I’m in love!

Benefits of drinking just one full size concoction made up of organic fruit and veggies a day include:

  • Decreased risk of cancer and other diseases (provided you use organic fruit and veggies!)
  • Weight loss (replace breakfast and/or dinner with an amazing Nutriblast, and you’ll reach your target weight in no time!)
  • Increased energy
  • Better skin and hair
  • Increased longevity
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Relief from joint and muscle pain
  • Balanced blood sugar
  • Increased immunity
  • Relief from chronic inflammation
  • Improved mood and concentration

You can get your Nutribullet from nutribullet.com for about $120, or you can purchase it from BrandsMart for $99.98, complete with all the bells and whistles!

Check out our delicious and healthy Nutribullet Superfood Smoothie recipes, and please share your favorite recipes and amazing results below!

Eating Healthy On a Budget

By: Cindy Moustafa

If you’re like most people, the idea of starting to eat healthier comes with the fear that your wallet is going to get as thin as your waist. While it’s true that certain health foods are pricey, due to items like chips and soda being subsidized by the government but not fruits and vegetables, there are ways to not break the bank.

To help I’ve put together 3 easy-to-follow steps. Just remember the 3 P’s : Plan, Purchase, Prepare. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to living a healthier lifestyle on any budget.

Step 1: PLAN!

Like everything in life, planning ahead is the key to success.  The first step is to compile a shopping list before going to the supermarket. Assess the fridge and food pantry (hopefully by now you’ve thrown out anything that contains ingredients you can’t pronounce). The list should include foods that you know you need to make healthy meals throughout the week. For example, eggs, peppers, onions, ground turkey, apples, etc. 

You can take this a step further and actually make your own menu. This is helpful to anyone from a college student to a mom of 3. So for example your list may look something like this:

Monday: Baked Salmon, baked sweet potato “fries”,sauteed spinach.
Tuesday: Spaghetti Squash with homemade pesto and large arugula salad.

So you would know for Monday and Tuesday you need to buy (wild atlantic) salmon, sweet potatoes, spinach, spaghetti squash, basil, pine nuts and arugula. You just need to adjust for how many people you’re cooking for. When you’re set up for the week you’re less likely to spend needless money in the supermarket or reach for something unhealthy. We like to call this a win-win situation!

Don’t forget to include good foods for snacks on your list. After you complete this, go online and try to find coupons for some of the foods on your list. The days of having to wear a disguise to avoid the embarrassment of using coupons are over. It’s actually becoming trendy-thank you recession! So take advantage and go to the supermarket’s web site or some of the more popular coupon sites and save, baby, save!

Step 2: PURCHASE!

Now that you’ve got the planning down, it’s time to actually go to the store and purchase the foods you need. Make sure not to go to the store when you’re hungry. You’re more likely to throw caution to the wind and a bag of Oreo cookies in your cart. Also, make sure that you stick to your list. Don’t stray!

Once you’re in the store and sticking to the “plan”, there’s ways to save even more. Don’t look at the price of food items, but rather the unit price. The unit price is the price of food per pound, so you will actually save in the long run if one food is cheaper in unit price. For example, if you’re buying brown rice and the larger bag has a $.33 unit price, and the smaller one has a $.55 unit price, go for the larger bag! It’s cheaper and will last longer.

With shelf items such as rice, go with the cheaper brand. However, there are some items you must get used to paying a little extra for. These include items like organic eggs and grass-fed meats. You are only as good as what you put in your body so make sure you’re only putting good stuff in there! Think of this in the same way you shop for clothes. There’s just some pieces that you splurge on because they’re worth it-such as a good quality handbag or the perfect little black dress. Well, people, something like cage-free eggs are your little black dress.  Another place to spend a little more is organic berries, since they have the highest amount of pesticides.

Even though certain items are more costly, the money should even out if you’re doing a lot less waste spending with the 3 P’s plan.

Step 3: PREPARE!

It’s time to put theory into practice and actually take the time to prepare the food. Items like quinoa and rice can be prepared for the whole week on Sunday, which is a time saver. Also, another place to save it by taking these foods for lunch. A good way to extend shelf life is to marinate or cook fish/meats/chicken/turkey. This will help the food stay fresher longer. You can also chop all your vegetables so that you don’t waste time prepping before cooking during the week.  Items like fresh herbs can be put in a Ziploc and can stay in the freezer for months.

Use the preparation phase to help make bringing lunch with you to school/work easier. This is another great way to save money. The average person can spend up to$20 a day on food. That’s $100 for a 5 day week! Put that money in a savings account and buy yourself something pretty instead of a fattening sandwich at your local deli.

Cooking instead of eating out is
the easiest way to save and keep healthy!