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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Gallbladder Flush

Ok, so this isn't the most pleasant of posts, but I think it's important to talk a bit about. This past week I did my first gallbladder flush. This was a natural way to effectively and painlessly remove from the gallbladder and liver, most stones, gravel, crystals, debris and residues that hinder our body's detoxification and healing. My doctor recommended the flush for me, and I'm really glad I did it.

I did this procedure at home, over 24 hours, using ingredients from a local food store - for no more than $10.00. It is non-toxic, fast acting and had NO side effects. I feel absolutely great and plan to do this flush each Spring from now on. I easily flushed out a few hundred gallstones. The picture to the right (these are not mine, but are exactly what they looked like and were the size), is what was flushing from my gallbladder. To think hundreds of these stones (because I could do the flush a few more times and still keep going, that's how many there are!) are building up in our systems...I'm sorry, to me, that is just gross! I want them out!

Benefits of a flush
The gallbladder is very important to the digestive process. The gallbladder collects and concentrates the bile that your liver produces, and then releases it into your stomach when it is needed. Sometimes, however, problems occur within the gallbladder. Gallstones are one of the most common, and most painful, ailments. Although physicians regularly suggest gallbladder surgery, and hence the removal of the gallbladder, as treatment, sometimes a gallbladder cleanse can be just as effective. A gallbladder cleansing protocol can help flush out and eliminate the gallstones that are causing pain, as well as help eliminate the problems that can come with them. In addition, your general health can be improved, since the removal of gallstones can help your overall digestion.

Have you done a gallbladder flush? If so, please share your experience below. My flush was from the Ayurvedic Dr. John Douillard at LifeSpa and I totally recommend it! Let me know if you have any questions.

Keep it fresh!
- Lauren

Growing Your Own Sprouts!

I recently shared how to grow your own Sprouts in my Sprouting Wellness newsletter. The little article got such great reviews, I thought I would share it here! If my newsletter or this blog post prompted you to try growing your own sprouts, sent us an email so we can share it on the blog!

Growing Your Own Sprouts....

Bean Sprouts. I love them. While they're mostly used in Asian cuisine, given their nutritional value I would like to advocate for their consumption in all cuisines including homemade soups and salads. Mung Bean Sprouts are power packed with pure forms of vitamins A, B, C, and E, in addition to an assortment of minerals including Calcium, Iron, and Potassium. One cup of mung bean sprouts contains only approximately 30 calories, 3 grams of protein, only 6 carbohydrates, and only .2 grams of fat. Sprouts also contain a high source of fiber, are easily digestible and contain a high concentration of enzymes facilitating the digestive process. Mung bean sprouts have a delightful crunch and mild flavor, which makes for an enjoyable snack experience, and are a welcome addition to many meals as an accompaniment or ingredient. While mung bean sprouts are available year round in the grocery store, it's less expensive to grow them yourself!!

Growing sprouts in a jar
The easiest method is to grow sprouts in a glass canning jar. I have a collection of antique blue ball mason jars that I like to use. Any size jar will do. Sprouts need fresh air, cover the top of the jar with muslin, cheese cloth or nylon mesh screen and secure with a rubber band.

Step One: Soaking
For a quart-sized jar, put 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of small seeds (up to 1 cup if using larger seeds like green peas or garbanzo) in the sprouting jar. Cover top of jar with cloth or sprouting lid and rinse the seeds in warm (not hot) water. Drain and refill so that water is about an inch above the seeds. Let the seeds soak 8-12 hours (overnight). Protect from light by covering with a dish towel or placing in a cupboard.

Step Two: Rinsing
Rinse 2 to 3 times per day for 2 to 3 days. After thoroughly draining the rinse water, lay the jar on its side to spread out the seeds. Do not expose to light. After 2 to 3 days the sprouts should be filling up the jar.

Step Three: Removing Hulls
After 2 to 3 days the sprouts will have thrown off their hulls. To remove the hulls, place the sprouts in a bowl and run cool water over them. Most of the hulls will either float to the top or sink to the bottom making them easy to remove. (Note: not all seeds have hulls.)

Step Four: Harvesting
Rinse sprouts in cool water and remove any remaining hulls. Drain in a colander but do not allow the sprouts to dry out. Place in an air-tight bag leaving room for air circulation. If your sprouts need to develop chlorophyll or carotene there is one final step. (The seed package directions should tell you whether greening is necessary.)

Step Five: Greening
Once the hulls are removed, place the sprouts back into the sprouting jar or into a clear plastic airtight bag. Put the sprouts in indirect sunlight. It takes about a day for the chlorophyll and carotenes to develop. Once the sprouts are ready rinse, drain, and eat, or refrigerate.

Sprouts will keep for about a week in the refrigerator if you rinse them once every day or two. Be sure to keep the sprouts from freezing as they are frost sensitive.
Seeds are easy to store. Put them an a glass jar with an air-tight lid and keep them in a cool, dark storage area. They will keep for a year or more.

Happy Sprouting!!
Keep it Fresh!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Are You Thinking About It?

We're just finishing up the details for our 21 Day Vegan Challenge coming up on April 27th. If you want to try a new way of eating, if your curious about what being vegan is all about, or if your like me and just want to see if you can.

When you sign up for the challenge you will receive a weekly shopping list, menu and recipe options and we will have weekly conference calls for support and questions!

Let's see if I can once again give up my incredible, edible egg (and bread and cheese and ice cream)....

Comment below to join!
Sign up for our newsletter here.

Keep it Fresh!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Greening Your Smoothies

Greens are everywhere - power greens, supergreens, fresh greens, wheatgrass shots ...but what are you supposed to do with them? Greens can be a little bit overwhelming when you're first trying to incorporate them into your diet. People always ask me how to add them and what to do to make them taste good. The first thing I look to when answering this question is my Blendtech!

Adding greens to your favorite fruit smoothie is a fabulous way to get the power packed nutrients that greens offer. If you didn't read Lauren's post, 10 Reasons to Eat Your Greens, go dot it now! Now I know, the color that greens turn smoothies can be a bit off putting. Most of us aren't used to drinking something that looks like toxic sludge or worse, something bright green *gasp!* - it looks like slime, not food!! Well, it is food...and it's food that's great for you. My simple advice, get over it! And if you just can't get over it, do what my boyfriend Stephen does, drink it with your eyes closed.

Ok, so now you're going to take the green smoothie plunge, but you're not sure how. Well, it's super easy! You can start by adding fresh greens to your smoothie or a super greens supplement. If you're adding fresh greens, the ratio for a green smoothie should be 60% fruit and 40% greens (collard, spinach, mustard, kale, or swiss, green or red chard). You really can't make a mistake, more fruit, less greens and add your favorite liquid and blend. I often use coconut water or just plain water. Sometimes I use fruit juice, but this does up the calorie content of the smoothie. I also like to add my own nutritional boosts to the smoothie like maca powder, acai (pronounced ah-sa-eeee, which is available in the freezer section at Whole Foods or your local health foods store. I usually choose the sugar free acai), flax oil, hemp seeds or almonds. You can add a little honey or agave for sweetness.

You can find a number of fabulous supergreens in Whole Foods or your favorite health foods store. They range from froze wheatgrass shots to powdered supplements. When buying supergreens supplements it's important to choose organic. Supergreens are super concentrated which means, if they're not organic, you're also going to get super concentrated pesticides- yuck!! I use Green Magma Barley Grass Juice Powder or Pure Synergy.

There really isn't a specific green smoothie recipe to follow, it's kind of like a stew, a little of this and a little of that to suit your tastes. Just experiment and see what works for you!.

Terra's Favorite Green Smoothie

1/2 c. Diced Mango

1/2 c. Diced pineapple

Coconut water

1 Frozen Wheatgrass Shot

1 tbsp of Green Magma Barley Grass Juice Powder

Put it all in the blender and blend! This smoothie will come out electric green with a sweet tang because of the mango and pineapple. It's my favorite!!

Keep it Fresh!

~ Terra