Bee Aware

I want to see this movie so badly:

Find a screening in your area here.
-♥ J :)

**Bill Maher talks about bees in this article (written four years ago).  Really makes you think of bees as more than just picnic spoilers...


Necessity is the Mother of Salad Dressing

Yesterday I wasn't in the mood for my go to salad dressing, so I started messing around with some leftovers that I had in the kitchen.  I came up with this:

Avocado "Tahini" Salad Dressing
-1 very ripe avocado
-2-3 heaping tablespoons of hummus
-juice of 1 lemon
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/8 cup water
-1/2 packet of Nu Naturals Stevia

  mix all ingredients in a blender until creamy*
add lemon pepper to taste
I served the dressing over romaine lettuce, black beans and steamed artichoke hearts.  Then I topped the whole thing with this yummy salad booster.  It was so good that I gobbled it up before I could snap a picture to show you the fruits of my labor.  Many apologies, Veggies.  
Next time I'll (try to…) exercise some self-restraint.

- ♥ J :)

*Experiment with the texture.  I think if you added less oil and water this would make a fantastic dip.


Some days you feel like a detox….

And some days you feel like drinking Vodka Smoothies** out of champagne glasses with brightly colored straws at 3 in the afternoon with one of your best friends because you got off work early and it's Oprah's last show and you didn't have the ingredients for the Banana Chocolate Chip Smoothie in the house.  And sure you could have left the vodka out of the smoothie, but it was Oprah's last show(!) and that calls for champagne…but you didn't have any champagne so you improvised.  And on those days maybe you'll decide that all you want for dinner is tortilla chips, hummus and chocolate.  So many tortilla chips.  So much hummus.  So. Much. Chocolate.  And on those days...those days...you will go to sleep, belly full of chips and good times, and resolve to begin again tomorrow.
Welcome to tomorrow.
Here's a Post Party Menu to help you (ahem..me) get back on track:

-16 to 20oz. Green Juice
Make your own (recipe here) or buy from your local fresh juice place.
Some of my LA favorites include:
-Beverly Hills Juice
-Liquid New Theme
-Real Food Daily

-More Green Juice
That's right.  You did the crime, now give your body time.  Drinking green juice* gives your digestion a rest while still giving your body the nutrients that it craves.  Drink up to 40 oz. of Green Juice throughout the day.

Snack (around 2pm)
-1/2 cup quinoa
-1/2 cup black beans
-add chopped tomato, onion, cucumber and parsley to taste
-juice of 1/2 of a lemon

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy.

Natalia Rose's Guacamole Salad
(recipe from The Raw Food Detox Diet)
makes 2 to 4 servings
-3 Hass avocados, finely chopped
-4 ripe Holland tomatoes, diced, or 2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half
-1/2 garlic, minced
-1 bunch cilantro, chopped
-1/4 to 1/2 pound baby romaine, mesclun, or regular romaine lettuce, chopped
-Juice of 1 lime
-2 tablespoons agave nectar (or 1 stevia packet)
-Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy.

-caffiene free herbal tea
I like Yogi Ginger Tea.  It's sweet, spicy and tames an angry belly.

-♥ J :)

*If you don't have a juicer and don't have access to store that makes fresh juice, substitute two low sugar fruits for breakfast (e.g. apple, pear, 1 cup of berries or grapefruit) and a salad of mixed greens with lemon and olive oil for lunch.
**For the Vodka Smoothie I doubled the Pineapple Berry Lemonade recipe and added 2 shots of Vodka.  Goes best with a great friend, a lazy afternoon and an empty "To Do" list.  Drink slowly.


Thanks, Oprah.

"Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it." 
-Oprah Winfrey 

-♥ J :)


For the Moms

Yesterday everyone's favorite girl crush Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Jo posted some really helpful info for Moms.  Since so many of my friends are new moms or moms-to-be, I thought I'd share.

You can read the posts here and here.

So, Mom friends: How did having a baby change your eating habits?  Did finding out that you were pregnant make you eat healthier or were you more susceptible to cravings? Are there foods that you loved before you were pregnant that no longer interest you?  How does lack of sleep and time factor into your food choices?  Leave me a comment below or tweet me @hhbelly.  Would love to hear from you!

In honor of the Moms, I'll leave you with one of my favorite smoothie recipes.  It can be made it under 5 minutes (that is including clean-up…), without measuring cups and will keep you full for hours.
Yay, Moms!!!

-♥ J :)

Banana Chocolate Chip Smoothie
(serves 1)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 hefty scoop of almond butter
  • 1 handful of organic raw cacao nibs (I like this brand.)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • Half a packet of Nu Naturals Stevia (Add only if  necessary.  I think it is sweet enough without it…)
  1. Put all the ingredients into a blender.
  2. Add enough almond milk to almost cover the banana.
  3. Blend and enjoy!


Everyone raise a glass of green juice...

...for my most fantastic friend Sid!!!
Today is his birthday!!!
Happy Birthday, Sid!!!
You are the peas to my carrots and I love you!!!

In honor of Sid's birthday, here is a life giving green juice recipe.
May all of your birthdays be filled with good health, good luck and much happiness!!!
-♥ J :)

Green Juice Recipe
(Juicer required.  This is the one I use.)
-2 large Cucumbers (peeled if not organic)
-Big fist-full of Kale
-Big fist-full of Romaine
-3 stalks of Celery
-1 Pear or Green Apple
-1-2 big Broccoli stems
-1 lemon
-1/2 inch of Ginger
Experiment to taste!
Makes about 32 oz. Make more and save in Mason jars up to 24 hours.


When the idea of fruit in the morning makes you violently angry…

Check out this brown rice breakfast from Bethenny Frankel** (pre-Housewives days).  It is a-maz-ing.  

Cheap, super easy to make and full of warm breakfast-y goodness, this dish works for those days when an apple just isn't going to cut it.  For those of you playing our food combining game, this would be considered a starch meal and therefore can be substituted for any other starch meal.  It also makes a great afternoon snack.  Bethenny uses soy milk, but I'm not a fan of soy milk.  I substitute (unsweetened) almond milk instead.

- J :)

**I totally love her.  There I said it.


Sample Menu: Food Combining

In the beginning, the easiest way to get into the habit of food combining is to divide your meals into categories.  Later on, when it is second nature to you, it is not necessary to be so structured.  Right now, for the sake of simplicity, try to think of your meals like this:

Breakfast = Fruit
Lunch = Protein + Veggies
Dinner = Starch + Veggies

Depending on the day that you are having, it is totally fine to swap your lunch and dinner meals.  However, always keep fruit in the morning and by itself.  If you are a coffee drinker, have your coffee first thing (like I needed to tell you that…) and on a empty stomach.  And for my sandwich lovers, while you are transitioning to a sandwich-free existence, here are two Food Combining friendly options that can be used as your Starch Meal:

1. Almond Butter and Honey on sprouted grain bread
2. Veggie Sandwich (lettuce, tomato, avocado, grilled veggies, etc.) with hummus on sprouted grain bread  (I like this brand.)

Happy Combining!!
-♥ J :)

Pineapple Berry Lemonade:
-3/4 cup frozen organic berries 
-3/4 cup frozen pineapple
-1/1/4 cup of water
-juice of one whole lemon
-Half a packet of Nu Naturals Stevia.
Makes 1 serving.
Put all the ingredients into a blender.
Blend and drink.
Agave or (a touch of) maple syrup can be substituted for Stevia.

Salad topped with:
-1/2 cup (Trader Joe's pre-cooked) lentils
-2 (Trader Joe's pre-cooked) beets
-1/4 cup walnuts
Jen's Stupidly Easy Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing (recipe here)

sliced cucumbers and 1/4 cup hummus

sauteed broccoli with garlic
sweet potato
1/2 an avocado (If you are very hungry, go ahead and eat one whole avocado.)

1/4 bar of dark chocolate (About the size of your thumb...)
I like Trader Joe's Organic %73 Cacao Super Dark Chocolate w/ Almonds.

Orange Blueberry Banana Smoothie:
-1 1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries
-1 banana
-1 cup orange juice
-1/4 cup water
Put all the ingredients into a blender.
Blend and drink.

Salad topped with:
-1or 2 hardboiled eggs
-1/2 avocado
Jen's Stupidly Easy Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing (recipe here)

1/2 cup nuts (I like Trader Joe's individual packs of cashew, almond, cranberry trail mix because they are the perfect potion size.)

John's Favorite Stupidly Easy Black Beans and Rice with a side of broccoli (recipe here)

1/4 bar of dark chocolate


The Easiest Diet Change Ever: Frequently Shouted Questions

"So wait. What am I supposed to put my raw almond butter on? Not bananas and not bread? What is it for then? I have to eat cashews with fruit? What about dark chocolate? Where does that fall? Seriously."
-My friend Jennie on Food Combining

Oh, the cries…the pleas…the abject horror.  Nothing gets people's panties all up in a twist more than talking about Food Combining.  I'm not sure why.

Like I said in this post, food combining doesn't require you to change any of the foods that you normally eat…just the order in which you eat them.  It is an efficient blueprint for eating that structures your meals in a way to ensure the optimal digestion of all the food that you consume.  It is a best case scenario.

However…it is a best case scenario.  It is understandable that if you are traveling or particularly busy or a new mom to twins (Jennie…) it may not always work out.  Life happens.  So, yes, if you have to grab a sandwich or two the world will continue to rotate on it's axis.

But let's not coddle ourselves.  Most of us, most of the time can make room in our day, in our lives and in our minds to make one small change.  Especially one that can yield such amazing dividends.  Don't start with what is hard about it and write off the whole idea.  Start with what is easy and deal with the challenges should they come up.  

Food Combining FAQ's:

1. What about nuts and nut butters?
Hmmm...nuts are tricky (insert your own joke here).  I suppose, strictly speaking, nuts should only be eaten with vegetables or on their own.  Most days I have nuts on a salad or by themselves as my afternoon snack.  That being said, I've never had a problem digesting nut butter sandwiches or using nut butter in smoothies.  And even though technically it would be considered poor food combining to eat fruit with nuts or nut butters, I've been eating like this for over 10 years and have never found having an apple with some almond butter to be that big of an issue.  When it comes to nuts, you are going to have to experiment with your own body (again...joke here).

2. Why do so many diet plans recommend eating protein and carbs together and then having fruit for dessert?
Because they want you to feel full.  That way you will feel like the plan is working.  For a short time this will work, because if food is sitting in your stomach not digesting...guess what??  You will feel full.  But when your body does not digest it's food properly, it does not get the nutrients that it needs from the food.  It will then it signal hunger because it thinks that you need to eat more food to bring in more nutrients.  So even though you may get that initial brick-in-the-stomach "full" feeling from a poorly combined meal, you may find yourself "hungry" again in a very short time.

3. Why should I care about this?  My body seems like it is working just fine the way it is.
I once watched a television show about a woman who casually ate Ajax for twenty years and she was still alive. TWENTY. YEARS.  Your body can deal with a lot of shiznit.  It is steely, high-tech, mythical engine that will, to the best of it's ability, manage anything that you throw at it.  But it is your body.  You. Get. One.  Why not do everything you can to help it function at it's peak?  Your body asks so little of you and gives so much in return.  When you think about all the work that your body puts in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to keep you happy, healthy, dancing and laughing…eating fruit by itself seems like the least a person can do. 

Oh, and dark chocolate combines perfectly with everything.  
At least that's what I'm telling myself...
-♥ J :)

**Tomorrow: Sample Food Combining Menu.


I am obsessed with this family....

Check out this video of Bea Johnson and her family talking about their Zero Waste Home.

They make minimalism look so chic, easy and fun.  Doesn't their uncluttered home seem so peaceful???

I think it's time for another trip to Goodwill.

-♥ J :)


The Easiest Diet Change Ever.

"So, wait…what is it again?  I can't eat meats and breads together??  Or is it bread and cheese??  No, I'm not supposed to have cheese at all, right?  Stop looking at me like that…just explain it again.  You're going to write about this on the blog, aren't you?"
-Sophie asking me about food combining…again.

Your food is supposed to go in one end and out the other.  End of story.  Anyone whose ever spent time around a newborn knows that almost as soon as their little bodies ingest food it's shooting out the other end.  However, for most people, somewhere between diapers and drivers license this stops being the norm.

So, what changes?  What turns our bodies from a high speed rail to the painfully sluggish 6 train on a friday afternoon?


Sample Menu: Detox

Sophie took my Cinco de Detox post way too seriously, Matt is shopping for coconut ice cream and Erin texted to say that her juicer attacked her.

Spring Detox 2011 is off to a rip-roaring start.

I figured I should post a sample detox menu, so that we can all get on the same page.  Matt, you will notice coconut ice cream is not on that page.

Blueberry Lemonade Smoothie (recipe here)

Salad topped with:
-sunflower seeds

Jen's Stupidly Easy Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1. In a small bowl, whisk ingredients together (a plain 'ole fork works just fine…).
2. Add lemon pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Carrots and Celery with 1/4 cup Hummus
Celery with Almond Butter
1 handful of nuts
**Sophie notice the "or"…that is  not an "and."**

1 whole sweet potato with veggie of choice
Jen's Stupidly Easy Stir Fry (recipe here)
1/2 cup of beans or lentils with veggies of choice

A word about drinks….
alcohol= NO
soda= NO
energy drinks= NO
herbal and green tea=YES
coffee= should be a NO, but (for now) we've all agreed that one cup in the morning is OK.
The definition of "cup" is still up for debate...

-♥ J :)


Ladies and Gentlemen....Start your Juicers!

© istockphoto.com/ Sven Hoppe

All right, Veggies.  Here is your mission should you choose to accept it….
Starting Monday, the following will be strictly off limits for 3 weeks:


Bonus points if you give up these:


"But, Jen, what can I eat?!?!"


Cinco de Detox

Live it up, Veggies!  Get your margarita lovin', chip poundin', guacamole inhaling party on because Spring Detox 2011 starts on Monday.

In honor of Cinco de Mayo I will give you the top five reasons that I think you should join me in the detox:

  1. It will change your life.  Even the smallest deviation from the norm can set off a chain reaction of such epic proportion that you could find yourself propelled into an unbridled sea of learning, growth and wisdom from which you will never view your world with the same sheltered eyes.
  2. Summer's coming.  Nuff said.
  3. You feel stuck, tired, bored, disappointed, jilted, heavy, sad, broke and despondent.  Or you have recently spent the weekend in Las Vegas.
  4. It will be an adventure!  You have the rest of your life to eat any 'ole way you please.  Haven't you ever been curious about what it would feel like to be a lean, mean energy machine?  Don't you want to unlock the magic potential that is hidden inside your beautiful gift of a body?  When we dwell in possibility and challenge ourselves to greatness there is no limit to what can be achieved.
  5. Your name is Matt, Sophie or Erin and I'm forcing you to.

-♥ J :)


Don't Call it a Comeback

I'm stuck.  I'm glopped, gooped and buried in the muckity-muck of gummy, stagnant to-do's, to-don'ts, the should-haves, the have-to's, the why's and the why-not's.  The gears on my life's engine have come to a grinding, unyielding, metal against metal halt.  It makes me want to sit on my couch and eat chips.  That could only mean one thing…

It's time for a DETOX!!!!  Woo-hoo!!!  Time to shake off the sludge, grind out the gristle, peel back the layers and get back to havin' a booty shakin' good time.  I am devoting this, the merry month of May, to all things DETOX.  I am keeping the best and heaving the rest.  I am getting back to basics and seeing what truly gets my Mo-Jen working.  Who's with me????

Wow.  Not only do I hear crickets, but they are shouting, "Jen, shut the F-up!  We're tired of your stupid detoxes!!!"  That's fine, Crickets.  You may have your cricket lives all figured out, but I know my friends out there would welcome…nay…embrace…nay…leap with ecstatic fervor at a chance to do a detox with me.  I know my friends love self-reflection, green juice and cleaning out their closets.  I know my friends love giving up sugar.  I know my friends….hmm…maybe I don't know my friends…

Regardless, this detox train is leaving the station!  Grab your kale and hop on board because this train makes one stop and that stop is...enlightenment!  Or clean closets.  Whichever come first...

-♥ J :)


For Peace.

 "Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

photo via Fernado Gregory
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