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Hot Water with Lemon

For years, my grandmother has been drinking hot water with lemon instead of tea or coffee. When she first started drinking it and ordering it at restaurants, she would add on “all the young folks are drinking it these days”. Back then, it was a bit of a stretch, but now, it seems to ring true.

My best friend sent me a message the other day to tell me she had read an article in Whole Living magazine that spoke of the benefits of drinking warm water with lemon first thing in the morning. In her words, “it changed my perspective on the whole day”. And truthfully, it really does. A few months ago, I did a three week diet detox, and each morning I kicked started my digestion with lemon water. Lemon water helped to decrease sluggishness in my body (yup, I’m talking digestion) and fogginess in my mind. I literally felt more awake after each glass.

So here are my top three reasons to give it a try:

1)      Digestive aid: Lemons help to trigger digestion by stimulating the gastrointestinal tract and flushing toxins from the body. Warm water helps to further aid this process. Warmer liquids are easier for the body to digest and process than cold water, because they trigger rather than shut down the digestive system enzymes.

2)      Healing Properties: Lemons are high in Vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system, is a powerful antioxidant, and is believed to reduce heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma.  It also balances the pH level in the body by reducing acidity. Even though lemons are a citric acid, they become alkaline in the body, thus reducing the overall acidity.

3)      Hydration: By adding the lemons to water, you are getting an extra bit of hydration early in the morning. Hydration is directly related to our ability to focus and concentrate – the brain needs to be hydrated in order to fire properly. When we start the day with high amounts of caffeine, (aka coffee) we are actually further dehydrating the system, which hasn’t been hydrated since bedtime.  When I get dehydrated and have too much caffeine first thing, I get cranky and my head seems very foggy.  So try the lemon water first to rehydrate, and then go to the caffeine boost if it’s still needed.

Challenge yourself – tomorrow start your day off with a little extra boost. Boil some water, add half a lemon, and change your perspective on the day ahead. Give it a try – all the young folks are drinking it 🙂

Peace, love, and hot lemon water,     

Jessi

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Mean Green Juicing Machines

My favorite way to start the day is waking up and grabbing a nice cup of hot green tea, sit on the old meditation mat for awhile,

and top it off with some fresh, green juice. Unfortunately, this happens less often then I would like. There is one part of it, though, that I make sure to do at least 5 times a week, if not daily – make green juice.

As green juice advocate Kris Carr says, “Make juice, not war”.  Our body is in a constant battle to balance out our pH levels. Most of the time, we are way too acidic. This acidity comes mostly from our lifestyle and dietary choices. Stress, sugar, too much dairy and meat, coffee, caffeine, alcohol, etc can all contribute to acidity in the body. When our blood becomes acidic, our body tries to combat it by leaching calcium from our bones…yikes! It can also deplete our energy levels and cause us to become quite cranky. One of the best ways to bring our body alkalinity back to a normal level is through green leafy vegetables and other low sugar vegetables.  Since it would take way too much time to eat an entire bowl of veggies, and probably not enough room in the belly, juicing gives you a straight shot of enzymes. When you juice, the fibrous portions (aka the pulp) are separated from the enzymes. This way the enzymes don’t have to work as hard to get into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the juice balances out the acidity.  By starting the day with a fresh green juice, we detox the organs and kick start our energy levels.

Here is an easy green juice recipe to get you started. All you need is a juicer and some nice fresh veggies.

Don’t be frightened by the color! It is quite tasty 🙂

Basic Green Juice:

4 kale leaves

2 romaine leaves

1 handful spinach

1 handful mixed greens

1 large cucumber

1 lemon

1 apple (deseeded)

*feel free to add any fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, mint, or basil to brighten up the flavors a little more

Start with the herbs and dark leafy greens (such as kale and spinach)and add them to the juicer. These have less water and create less juice. Then add the fruit and cucumber. These juicier items (aka cucumbers, apples, and lemons) help to push out the lingering juice from the juicer. Make sure to rinse of your veggies first, keep the juicer running while adding items, and pour into a glass when finished.

The greens add the nutrients to balance, cucumbers add the bulk of the juice, the apple adds a touch of sweetness, and the lemon adds some brightness to the juice.

Once you have your basic juice down, add in some extra veggies from here. Use this as your base or your go to juice recipe.  Questions and comments are welcome. Now go out and juice, you juicing machines!

Cheers!

Jessi


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Taste the Rainbow Salad with Creamy Cashew “Ranch” Dressing

Warning: No skittles were harmed in the making of this post

Confession, I usually eat a salad at least once a day. Growing up, I would always order a salad when I went out to eat. The truth is, I love salad and always have. In college, I would get teased for eating “bird food” and would often get told to “eat a cheeseburger”. To be honest though, my salad eating habits back in the day were not always healthy. Sure, I loved tons of veggies, but I also loved tons of creamy dressing, bacon, and cheese.

Slowly through the years, I have cleaned up my eating habits for many different reasons (which I will hopefully post about at a later date). But I still love a hearty salad with a thick creamy dressing. Now, I enjoy a much healthier version and actually prefer it to the original. For all of you skeptics, I present to you the Taste the Rainbow Salad with creamy cashew ‘ranch” dressing.

It’s tasty, filling, and full of nutrients that will leave you feeling satisfied. The variety of colors from fresh vegetables offer a variety of nutrients to leave you energized. You can vary the specific ingredients, but shoot for a few different greens, then add in red, orange, purple, yellow, and even white (if you find a blue veggie, let me know). The more colors, the higher the nutrition.

Creamy Cashew “Ranch” Dressing:

(Adapted from Crazy, Sexy, Diet by Kris Carr and www.choosingraw.com)

¾ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hour

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup water

2 tbsp lemon juice (adjust to taste)

3 tbsp oil

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp onion powder (adjust to taste)

½ tsp garlic powder (optional, adjust to taste)

3 tbsp parsley, dried of fresh

3 tbsp dill, dried or fresh

½ tsp oregano, dried

½ tsp thyme, dried

Pinch of salt

Place all ingredients in to a blender and blend. Voila! A creamy dressing, similar to ranch dressing in texture and taste. The cashews and nutritional yeast help to give it that slight cheesy flavor. You can add more water if desired to change the thickness.

Taste the Rainbow Salad:

(You can change the veggies around for your liking, just remember the color wheel)

1 bunch romaine lettuce chopped

¼ red onion diced

1 carrot peeled and chopped

¼ head of broccoli, chopped

¼ bell pepper (green, red, yellow, or orange), diced

½ cucumber, chopped and deseeded if you prefer (keep the skins on though)

1 small tomato cut into 4 wedges

½ avocado, sliced

½ can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 piece sprouted grain bread, toasted in broiler and cut into pieces, for croutons

*sprouted grain bread contains higher amounts of protein and easier to digest carbohydrates so you stay full longer without blood sugar spikes

Prepare all ingredients and pile high onto a plate or bowl. Top off with avocado, croutons, and dressing. It’s as simple as that – everything you need for a complete meal on one plate. Enjoy!

After you make this salad, remember to stop by the House of Healthy Facebook page and “like it, please! Thanks for all of your support. Hope you enjoyed the read (and my corny sense of humor).  Feel free to spread the word 🙂

Peace, love, and veggies,

Jessi


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Welcome!

And it’s here, finally! Its been a long time coming, well for me at least. So, what exactly is the House of Healthy all about? It’s part my journey, part recipes, part fitness, and part green living. Whew! That’s a lot. Its also about YOU, the (cross my fingers) readers. House of Healthy is a place for you to learn how to embrace your inner health nut and learn how to live a full, whole life from the inside out.

You can learn a little more about me on the “My Story” tab. In short, I am a yoga teacher, group fitness instructor and Green Living coach. I am pursuing a certification in Holistic Health Coaching, focusing on individual nutrition. I take a mind-body approach to fitness. I love how when we fuel our body with the right foods and exercise, we feel more energized. Simple, but true!

So, what can you expect from me? I’ll do my best to stay true to my focus – happy, healthy living. I’ll share my own musings on the matter, recipes, fitness, yoga, and other interesting articles I find. I hope you enjoy and thanks for stopping by!