Saturday, September 28, 2013

Super Easy Raw Salad Dressings

Making salad dressings from scratch can get to be annoying when I run out of new ideas. Instead of savory dressings all of the time I decided to go on a sweet kick. Fresh fruit makes a wonderful base for sweet or even savory vinaigrette. And if you do not have any fresh fruit around you can always make a semi-raw version using an organic, sugar free, fruit spread. For this particular dressing I used some Trader Joe's organic raspberry spread. For a fully raw version use 1/4 cup of fresh raspberries.
I topped a Sprouty Strawberry Salad with this yummy dressing. Here are my recipes; enjoy!

Sprouty Strawberry Salad

Serves 1
by Elizabeth @

2 C Butter Lettuce, rough chop
1 C sunflower greens
4 stalks organic celery, diced
1 T raw slivered almonds, soaked overnight (6 hours)
14 organic strawberries, sliced

Raw Raspberry Vinaigrette

by Elizabeth @

1/4 C fresh raspberries (Or 2 T organic raspberry spread-no sugar!)
2 capfuls of raw apple cider vinegar (or fresh lemon or lime juice)
1 T Barlene's Flax oil
In a personal size blender or an immersion blender, blend all of the ingredients until smooth. 

Read on to see what Dr. Fuhrman has to say about the the many amazing, profound health benefits of strawberries and pomegranates. He also includes a recipe for a pomegranate strawberry shake that supports weight loss and detoxification!! 

Dr. Fuhrman's nutrient-packed "Skinny Shake"

In preparation for my recent appearance on The Dr. Oz Show (you can watch online here), I was asked to share a recipe for a healthful drink that would support weight loss efforts and promote detoxification – something satisfying and delicious while low in calories; most important to me was that this drink would be packed with disease-fighting nutrients.
I chose a simple blended frozen drink of whole strawberries and pomegranate juice with ice plus a squeeze of lemon for a tangy flavor. Why strawberries and pomegranate juice? I did not make those choices arbitrarily – these are powerful foods with several human studies to substantiate their profound benefits.
Strawberry. Flickr: Bahadorjin
Antioxidant phytochemicals:
  • Anthocyanins (the most abundant antioxidants in berries) provide antioxidant protection on their own, plus they increase the production of cells’ own antioxidant enzymes.1 A 1.5 cup serving of strawberries increased antioxidant capacity in the blood of human subjects, building protection against oxidative damage.2
  • Pomegranate contains a unique antioxidant called punicalagin; it is the most abundant antioxidant in pomegranate, responsible for more than half of the antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice.3 Pomegranate juice has been found to reduce oxidative stress markers in healthy humans.4
  • Ellagic acid, an antioxidant derived from berries and pomegranate interacts with a protein called Nrf-2 to increase expression of the body’s natural detoxification enzymes.5
Anti-cancer effects:
  • Strawberry and pomegranate extracts slowed cell growth and induced cell death in human cancer cells from several cancer types.6-9
  • Pomegranate and strawberries are both anti-angiogenic – strawberry extracts help to prevent growing tumors from acquiring a blood supply – preventing those tumors from receiving the nutrients that would allow them to grow larger.10-13
  • Pomegranate is one of the few foods (mushrooms are another) that contain natural aromatase inhibitors – this means that they inhibit the production of estrogen, which can reduce breast cancer risk.14
  • Strawberries and pomegranate have anti-inflammatory effects that may protect against cancer and other chronic diseases.5,15,16
  • Patients with precancerous esophageal lesions ate strawberries each day for six months.  The results were amazing – 29 out of the 36 patients in the study experienced a decrease in the histological grade of their lesion – this means that the progression toward cancer began to reverse, and the risk of the lesions becoming cancerous had decreased.17 
 Pomegranate. Flickr: veganheathen
Cardioprotective effects:
  • Higher strawberry intake is associated with reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease.18
  • Human trials have found that daily consumption of strawberries decreases total and LDL cholesterol, and pomegranate phytochemicals reduce LDL oxidation (a contributor to atherosclerotic plaque development).19-22
  • Strawberry and pomegranate phytochemicals have blood pressure-reducing properties.23-25
  • In a study of patients with severe carotid artery blockages, after one ounce of pomegranate juice daily for one year, there was a 30 percent reduction in atherosclerotic plaque. In striking contrast, in the participants who did not take the pomegranate juice atherosclerotic plaque increased by 9 percent.22
Anti-diabetes effects:
  • Strawberry and pomegranate phytochemicals have actions on certain digestive enzymes that can result in reduced glucose levels following a meal.26
  • Ellagic acid, which can be derived from berries or pomegranate, reduced secretion by fat cells of an inflammatory molecule that is thought to contribute to insulin resistance.27
  • Adding strawberries to a meal was shown to reduce the insulin response in overweight adults.15
Looking at these effects all together, it is astounding what these foods can do for our health. The “Skinny Shake” has much more to offer than taste and satisfaction with minimal calories. Berries (and pomegranate) make up the second ‘B’ in G-BOMBS, my list of super foods with good reason!
Dr. Fuhrman’s Skinny Shake
4 ounces pomegranate juice
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup of ice
Squeeze of lemon
Directions: Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender.

1. Shih PH, Yeh CT, Yen GC. Anthocyanins induce the activation of phase II enzymes through the antioxidant response element pathway against oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemis ry 2007;55:9427-9435.
2. Cao G, Russell RM, Lischner N, et al. Serum antioxidant capacity is increased by consumption of strawberries, spinach, red wine or vitamin C in elderly women. J Nutr 1998;128:2383-2390.
3. Heber D: Pomegranate Ellagitannins. In Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects 2nd Edition. Edited by Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor, S.: CRC Press; 2011
4. Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Rosenblat M, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation: studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71:1062-1076.
5. Panchal SK, Ward L, Brown L. Ellagic acid attenuates high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rats. Eur J Nutr 2012.
6. Stoner GD, Wang LS, Casto BC. Laboratory and clinical studies of cancer chemoprevention by antioxidants in berries. Carcinogenesis 2008;29:1665-1674.
7. Kim ND, Mehta R, Yu W, et al. Chemopreventive and adjuvant therapeutic potential of pomegranate (Punica granatum) for human breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2002;71:203-217.
8. Kohno H, Suzuki R, Yasui Y, et al. Pomegranate seed oil rich in conjugated linolenic acid suppresses chemically induced colon carcinogenesis in rats. Cancer Sci 2004;95:481-486.
9. Kawaii S, Lansky EP. Differentiation-promoting activity of pomegranate (Punica granatum) fruit extracts in HL-60 human promyelocytic leukemia cells. J Med Food 2004;7:13-18.
10. Roy S, Khanna S, Alessio HM, et al. Anti-angiogenic property of edible berries. Free Radic Res 2002;36:1023-1031.
11. Khan N, Afaq F, Kweon MH, et al. Oral consumption of pomegranate fruit extract inhibits growth and progression of primary lung tumors in mice. Cancer Res 2007;67:3475-3482.
12. Toi M, Bando H, Ramachandran C, et al. Preliminary studies on the anti-angiogenic potential of pomegranate fractions in vitro and in vivo. Angiogenesis 2003;6:121-128.
13. Sartippour MR, Seeram NP, Rao JY, et al. Ellagitannin-rich pomegranate extract inhibits angiogenesis in prostate cancer in vitro and in vivo. Int J Oncol 2008;32:475-480.
14. Adams LS, Zhang Y, Seeram NP, et al. Pomegranate ellagitannin-derived compounds exhibit antiproliferative and antiaromatase activity in breast cancer cells in vitro. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2010;3:108-113.
15. Edirisinghe I, Banaszewski K, Cappozzo J, et al. Strawberry anthocyanin and its association with postprandial inflammation and insulin. Br J Nutr 2011;106:913-922.
16. Adams LS, Seeram NP, Aggarwal BB, et al. Pomegranate juice, total pomegranate ellagitannins, and punicalagin suppress inflammatory cell signaling in colon cancer cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemis ry 2006;54:980-985.
17. American Association for Cancer Research. Strawberries May Slow Precancerous Growth in Esophagus. 2011. Accessed
18. Mink PJ, Scrafford CG, Barraj LM, et al. Flavonoid intake and cardiovascular disease mortality: a prospective study in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:895-909.
19. Basu A, Lyons TJ. Strawberries, Blueberries, and Cranberries in the Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Perspectives. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemis ry 2011.
20. Zunino SJ, Parelman MA, Freytag TL, et al. Effects of dietary strawberry powder on blood lipids and inflammatory markers in obese human subjects. Br J Nutr 2011:1-10.
21. Basu A, Wilkinson M, Penugonda K, et al. Freeze-dried strawberry powder improves lipid profile and lipid peroxidation in women with metabolic syndrome: baseline and post intervention effects. Nutr J 2009;8:43.
22. Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr 2004;23:423-433.
23. Cassidy A, O'Reilly EJ, Kay C, et al. Habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses and incident hypertension in adults. Am J Clin Nutr 2011;93:338-347.
24. Aviram M, Dornfeld L. Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure. Atherosclerosis 2001;158:195-198.
25. Aviram M, Volkova N, Coleman R, et al. Pomegranate phenolics from the peels, arils, and flowers are antiatherogenic: studies in vivo in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein e-deficient (E 0) mice and in vitro in cultured macrophages and lipoproteins. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemis ry 2008;56:1148-1157.
26. McDougall GJ, Stewart D. The inhibitory effects of berry polyphenols on digestive enzymes. Biofactors 2005;23:189-195.
27. Makino-Wakagi Y, Yoshimura Y, Uzawa Y, et al. Ellagic acid in pomegranate suppresses resistin secretion by a novel regulatory mechanism involving the degradation of intracellular resistin protein in adipocytes. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2012;417:880-885.

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for the moments I have been able to sneak in at the end of our schooling days to work on house projects!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Protect Your Cells With Berrydelicious Salad

Just Two Cups of Blueberries Protect Cells Against DNA Damage

blueberries DNA damage antioxidant
Photo by Chuck Grimmett
Blueberries have a great reputation for being potent antioxidants and for improving metabolic syndrome, but their real benefit, according to new research, is protecting against DNA damage. And this can be seen even after eating one two-cup portion.
The researchers, from the University of Milano, gave 300 grams of ground blueberries to ten adult volunteers (human) or a control jelly in a crossover study design.
The researchers drew blood from the subjects before and after (one and two hours after and 24 hours after) their ingestion of the blueberries. They also conducted the same protocol using the control jam and compared the results.
The researchers found that in just one hour after consuming the ground blueberries, their cellular DNA damage – related to hydrogen peroxide – was reduced by 18% when compared to the control jelly.
The data – confirming other studies – showed that the protection to the cells were related to their antioxidant potential. The researchers stated in their conclusion that, “one portion of blueberries seems sufficient to improve cell antioxidant defense against DNA damage.”
This ability of blueberries to protect cells from damage from free radicals has been seen in other studies, including those showing blueberries benefit memory and may help stave off Alzheimer’s disease.
Other research has determined that blueberries can improve immunity and reduce metabolic syndrome-related issues.
Illustrating this, a study from Louisiana State University gave blueberry extract or a placebo twice daily to 32 obese patients with insulin resistance. After six weeks the researchers found that the blueberry group had significantly less insulin resistance.
In another study from Appalachian State University, 12 human subjects were given 250 grams of blueberries a day while 13 others acted as controls. After six weeks the researchers found that the blueberry group had significantly higher natural killer cell counts – a sign of increased immunity.
In a study from Oklahoma State University of 48 people with metabolic syndrome were given either 400 grams of blueberries a day or not. The blueberry group had significantly lower LDL-cholesterol levels and reduced symptoms of metabolic disease otherwise.
Blueberries contain judicious quantities of a special category of phyronutrients called anthocyanins. These include cyanidins, delphinidins, malvidins, pelargonidins and peonidins. Anthocyanins are significantly antioxidant and they help protect the cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
Blueberries also contain other phytonutrients such as gallic acid, procathuic acid, caffeic acids, ferulic acids, kaempferol, quercetin, resveratrol, pterostilbene, myricetin and gallic acid. These phytonutrients provide a host of health effects, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects as mentioned.
From a nutrient standpoint, blueberries also contain significant quantities of vitamin K (1 cup = 28 micrograms), manganese (1 cup = 500 micrograms), choline (1 cup – 9 mg)and vitamin C (1 cup = 14 mg). They also contain a healthy amount of fiber (1 cup = 3.6 grams).

So how does one incorporate more blueberries into their daily diet? How about a super delicious and simple salad recipe?

Berrydelicious Salad

by Elizabeth @

2 C organic blueberries
1 Champagne Mango
3 organic bananas, sliced
1 Minneola Tangelo orange (Honeybell), juiced
1 T raw flax seeds, freshly ground
1/2 T Flax oil
1 Romaine heart, finely shredded
1 T raw, unsweetened coconut, ground fine

In a bowl, place the romaine, blueberries, and two of the sliced up bananas. In a small blender, blend the mango, 1 banana, the juice of a Honeybell orange, and 1/2 T flax oil. Pour over top of the salad. Sprinkle on the freshly ground flax seed and coconut. Enjoy!

+JMJ+ Today I am thankful for a true best friend (for the past 34 years) who is always there when I need someone to talk to ;)
Love you Magoo!! XOXOXO

Del Bo C, Riso P, Campolo J, Møller P, Loft S, Klimis-Zacas D, Brambilla A, Rizzolo A, Porrini M. A single portion of blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L) improves protection against DNA damage but not vascular function in healthy male volunteers. Nutr Res. 2013 Mar;33(3):220-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2012.12.009.
Stull AJ, Cash KC, Johnson WD, Champagne CM, Cefalu WT. Bioactives in blueberries improve insulin sensitivity in obese, insulin-resistant men and women. J Nutr. 2010 Oct;140(10):1764-8. doi: 10.3945/jn.110.125336.
McAnulty LS, Nieman DC, Dumke CL, Shooter LA, Henson DA, Utter AC, Milne G, McAnulty SR. Effect of blueberry ingestion on natural killer cell counts, oxidative stress, and inflammation prior to and after 2.5 h of running. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2011 Dec;36(6):976-84. doi: 10.1139/h11-120.
Basu A, Du M, Leyva MJ, Sanchez K, Betts NM, Wu M, Aston CE, Lyons TJ. Blueberries decrease cardiovascular risk factors in obese men and women with metabolic syndrome. J Nutr. 2010 Sep;140(9):1582-7. doi: 10.3945/jn.110.124701.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Carrot Lemonade

I have been lovin carrot juice lately. I drink it straight up or in combination with other fruits and veggies. 
For Mother's Day this year my 9 year old went shopping with his own money (so sweet) and bought me this fantastic glass. It is my "hick wine glass" or should I call it my "hick carrot juice glass" since I really don't drink wine?!

Yes, it is a Mason jar on a stem. Ironically enough the son that bought this thoughtful gift for me is named Mason! I fill it with fresh juices and he just beams when he sees me using it...very cute!
Today I filled it with a yummy Carrot Lemonade. Here is my recipe:

Carrot Lemonade makes 32 oz

by Elizabeth @

(3) 16oz bags of organic carrots

2 small organic lemons

2 small tart, green, organic apples

Wash the carrots and cut off stem ends but do not peel. Wash the lemons and apples, cut into fourths.Run everything through a juicer and enjoy 32oz of pure bliss!!

Not convinced to give carrot juice a this article by John Joseph Immel and see just how beneficial carrot juice can be. Mighty powerful stuff! 

By John Joseph Immel

It's not hard to see why Carrot Juice has been called a 'tiny ginseng.' This sweet & exhilarating juice boosts your energy, called prana in Ayurveda. It's aromatic taste freshens your breath and wakens your palate while literally refreshing your entire body.

1. Get Relief from Seasonal Allergies 

Got hay fever? Carrot Juice offers powerful relief from numerous late summer ailments, like hay fever, as it detoxes your blood and reduces inflammation. Carrot juice clears heat and irritation from the respiratory tract, so you can breathe easy again and find relief from fall allergies.

2. Purify Your Blood 

The juice's cool and alkalizing nature relaxes the skin and eyes, a sign of carrot's blood purifying properties that have made it famous. It is the 'king of juices', a nearly ubiquitous ingredient in juicing recipes.

Beta-carotene, which gives carrot juice its bright orange color, metabolizes into vitamin A when mixed with bile salts in the small intestine. Vitamin A is strongly Pitta reducing, nourishing to the liver, and purifying to the blood. Carrot Juice's mild bitter taste enhances this blood purifying effect as it gently cleanses the liver.

3. Carrot Juice for Your Skin 

Together, these actions improve vision and complexion of the skin. Carrot helps make the skin noticeably softer, smoother, and firmer. Too much of the concentrated juice can turn your skin orange, but the effect is harmless. Some people actually like it because it gives the skin a tanned look.

During pregnancy carrot juice enhances baby's complexion while reducing the risk of jaundice. Carrot's purifying qualities also enhance the quality of the breast milk for nursing mothers.

4. Blood & Liver Tonic 

The blood purifying aspects together with carrot's sweetness make it an excellent blood and liver tonic. Carrots are ideal for liver deficiency, especially useful in the late summer dry season. To enhance this tonic effect, add blueberry juice, coconut water, and nettle tincture to your carrot juice elixir.

5. Stabilize Blood Sugar

Despite its sweetness, carrot stabilizes blood sugars levels. However it should be avoided by those with candida or other sugar sensitivities. One cup of carrot juice daily in the morning can help eliminate pinworms and roundworms in children. Carrots are high in anti-oxidants and have been promoted as anti-carcinogenic. They are rich in silicon and potassium.

Juicing Tip!

The nutrients of carrots are more concentrate in and near the skin, so use unpeeled, organic carrots.

+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for Mason Anthony.

Banana Cream Pie Smoothie Lately I've been blessed with fresh, green, Florida coconuts from my neighbor's trees. We enjoy drinking...