Re: Oil Pulling

This morning I got this email from my friend (and hilarious stand-up comic) Shelley:

Hey Jen!
Was wondering if you've heard of this.  I was researching things for my inflamed throat and after seeing a forum about how coconut oil works, I saw this video!  Hope you're well.  

Good question, Shelley!!  I first heard about oil pulling from this post on The Wellness Warrior.  Since then, I've  been curious about it but never tried it.  Seeing as I'm trying to switch myself back into detox mode, I think now might be a good time to give it a whirl.  I'll let you know how it goes!

-♥ J :)

P.S.  Enjoy laughing??  Check out Shelley's YouTube channel.  For show dates and other musings, follow her on Twitter.


Vegan Gluten-free Mac and Cheese. Yep...you heard me.

photos via Cara's Kitchen

This recipe comes from my uber talented sister-in-law Cara.  When food allergies forced her to avoid one of her favorite comfort foods, Cara decided to take matters into her own hands.  A little tinkering in the kitchen and…Voila!!  Vegan Gluten-free Mac and Cheese was born!!  Oh, Cara...I and the world thank you.

-♥ J :)

P.S. Cara makes soup, too.

Cara's Vegan Gluten-free Mac and Cheese

  1. Cook pasta and set aside.  In a big bowl combine cheeses, mayo, yogurt, mustard, onion and garlic powder.  (Reserve 1 tbsp. of vegan parm for later use.)
  2. Mix in pasta until well coated.  Dot the top with "butter." 
  3. Cover with crumbs and additional 1 tbsp. of vegan parm. 
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  5. Eat and enjoy!!!


Fun, Sun and Vodka Smoothies

This weekend John and I stopped by Charli and Steve's for a little summer kick off barbecue.  I was in charge of the fruity drinks.  I had planned to try out this recipe, but at the last minute decided to make one of my old standbys: The Pineapple Mint Lemonade Vodka Smoothie.

For this recipe I used:

  • vodka
  • frozen pineapple
  • Trader Joe's French Market Sparkling Lemonade
  • champagne (you can also use prosecco or sparkling wine)
  • fresh mint

Put all ingredients, except for the champagne, in a blender.  I used my new favorite gadget: the NutriBullet.  Be sure to reserve a bit of mint for garnish.

Blend.  Be careful when taking off the lid.  The carbonation from the sparking lemonade can make things a little bubbly.

Pour mixture into a fancy glass and top with champagne.

Garnish with mint.  Drink and enjoy!!!  

To change this smoothie from naughty to nice, leave out the alcohol and TJ's lemonade.  Instead, add the juice of 2 lemons, a touch of stevia, water and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds.  Same great taste and it's actually good for you!  Either version pairs nicely with a vegetable feast.  

Thanks for the fun, sun and massive amount of veggies Charli and Steve!!!

-♥ J :)

P.S.  Later in the afternoon, Charli decided to whip up a batch of amazing dark chocolate cupcakes...from scratch.  I was so busy inhaling them I forgot to snap a picture.  Maybe I can convince Charli to make them again...you know... just for blogging purposes. ;)

P.P.S.  Way, way later in the afternoon, we also made the drinks sans mint and lemonade.  Instead, we subbed in ginger beer.  So. Good. 


Summer Lovin'

Ooooh, Veggies.  I have such a case of summer fever!!  I am so happy Memorial Day weekend is finally here!!  The next couple of days are filled with fun, mellow holiday weekend activities like brunch, barbecues and meet ups with friends.  (I might even sneak a couple of these in this weekend.)  I'm also going to use the extra day off to catch up on some busy work.  I'll be filming another video for Happy Healthy Belly TV, donating some things to Goodwill and getting a jump on the last leg of the (never-ending) detox I started.  Next week I'll cover Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet.  Truth be told I am WAY over this detox, but I wanted to be sure I gave Kris's book its due since I think it's fantastic!!!  Whatever your plans, I hope your weekend is happy and healthy!!

-♥ J :)

P.S.  A little weekend reading...


Picture of Procrastination

I'm supposed to be doing this:

But instead I've been hanging out on the Whole Living Pinterest page.  Not one to procrastinate alone, I thought I'd share my new obsession with you.  The Whole Living page has SO many fun, pretty, inspirational healthy living pictures!  SO many!  Why, I do believe a girl could waste quite a chunk of time pouring over all the yumminess.  Umm...I do believe this girl did waste quite a chunk of time.  

-♥ J :)

P.S.  FYI...be sure to check out the Crazy for Quinoa and Healthy Smoothies boards.  You won't be sorry.  Well...I mean...you might be if you had planned on accomplishing something this afternoon. ;)


Cappuccino Pops??? Yes, please.

I don't know which is more upsetting:  the fact that I don't live near a Dunkin' Donuts and therefore can't participate in today's $1 Iced Coffee Day OR the fact that these scrumptious looking cappuccino pops don't live in my kitchen.  Fortunately, the pops (posted this morning by Cupcakes and Cashmere) look really easy to make.  It looks like Emily used heavy cream in her recipe, but I bet I can make the pops vegan with a bit of finagling.  I'm adding these pops to my summer wish list...along with grilled romaine and kale margaritas.

-♥ J


The Weight of the Nation

Has anyone seen The Weight of a Nation, HBO's four part documentary exploring America's obesity epidemic???  Things have been a little hectic lately, so I haven't had a chance to watch it yet.  Even if you don't have HBO you can watch all four episodes right HERE on HBO's website.  How cool is that??

-♥ J :)

P.S. Thomas Jefferson liked vegetables.


My mom sent me this picture...

Thanks, Mom!!!  Have a great weekend, Veggies!!!

-♥ J :)

P.S.  A little weekend reading…


Pyramid of Health

On Facebook yesterday, I stumbled upon this terrific food pyramid for holistic wellness:

It's such a great visual and really simplifies the ideal way to eat.  The key word being "ideal."  I mean, seriously, can I have the life that goes with that food pyramid??  It seems like that life would be full of singing and hugs and sunrise trips to catch waves.  Not a bad thing to strive for but on the off chance that your life involves things like traffic and obligation, I found this much more realistic food pyramid from Dr. Andrew Weil:

The pyramid, while still geared towards curbing inflammation, takes into account that your path might cross a little wine and chocolate every once and a while.  If you have a minute, click HERE to view the pyramid on Dr. Weil's site.  He has a cool feature where, if you scroll over different parts of the pyramid, he gives examples of healthy choices in each category and goes into detail as to why each food is important.  It's really neat.

-♥ J :)

P.S.  This is where I get my protein.


Kale or Fail???

photos via Oh She Glows

Has anyone out there ever tried to make their own kale chips??  I was out to dinner with my friend Samantha a couple of weeks ago and she swore by them.  She said kale chips were super easy to make and they always turned out great.  To me, the whole idea seems like a lot of work for not that much food.  What do you think??  Are kale chips worth it?? This delicious looking recipe for Sundried Tomato Cheezy Kale Chips from Oh She Glows makes a pretty convincing argument in favor of chip making.  In the recipe, Angela uses a food dehydrator, but I'm pretty sure you could use an oven instead.  

-♥ J :)

P.S.  Have a favorite recipe or kale tale you would like to share??  Hop on over to the Happy Healthy Belly Facebook page and post your story.  I would love to hear from you!


Happy Healthy Mother's Day!

photo via Savvy Sassy Moms

"Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever."  ~Unknown

Still scrambling to find the perfect Mother's Day gift???  What better gift than the gift of health??  Here are some out of the box gift ideas to keep Mom happy, healthy and full of joy.  LOVE YOU, MOM!!!

-♥ J :)

P.S. A good article on what Mom's really want.

For the Exercise Fiend: Jillian Michaels Body Revolution 
Jillian Michaels Body Revolution promises to transform your body in just 90 days.  I don't know if all that is true, but with 15(!) different DVDs this workout system will surely keep mom entertained as well as in tip top shape.  Since each DVD is only 30 minutes long, it would be perfect for moms on the go (which I'm pretty sure is every mom).

For the Smoothie Lover: Nutribullet
It's not a juicer.  It's not a blender.  It's "superfood nutrition extractor."  Whatever they want to call it, the Nutribullet is fan-friggin-tastic!!!  I am so in love with this thing I will have to devote a whole post to it another time.  For now, I'll just say this:  This blend/juicer/"extractor" purees smoothies like nobody's business!!  It works as well as my Vitamix…but for $350 dollars less…and with less clean up.  It's pretty awesome.  See for yourself HERE.

For the Bookworm: Rachel Dratch's Girl Walks into a Bar
This heartwarming and hilarious autobiography chronicles the adventures of Rachel Dratch as she transitions from Saturday Night Live alum to new mom at the age of 44.  As sweet as she is witty, Rachel cracks your heart wide open with her rollicking tales of second acts and uncharted waters.  I laughed and cried through this entire book (much to the chagrin of the stranger sitting next to me on my flight).

For the Skin Care Junkie: Josie Maran's Argan Face Travel Kit
This kit has everything your mom needs for glowing, ageless skin.  The fact that it comes in travel size means she can jet off at a moments notice.  Just in case the next present you want to give her is a fantastic tropical vacation.  Just saying'.

For the Foodie: A CSA subscription
Like Netflix for vegetables, Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) is a subscription to a local farm.  Save Mom from schlepping to the grocery store with a weekly (or monthly depending on your order) direct to door delivery of seasonal, locally grown fruits and vegetables.  Community Supported Agriculture "hearkens back to an earlier time-a time when people knew where their food came from, ate in harmony with the seasons, and enjoyed a delicious, healthy diet of pure, fresh foods."  And this way you finally get to tell Mom to eat her vegetables.


The Easy Way to Catch a Cold

Need to catch a cold fast???  Then you should definitely mention on your blog that you don't catch colds anymore.  The universe thinks this sort of bravado is hilarious and will immediately strike you (and your poor unsuspecting husband) with a nagging, poorly timed, all consuming cold that will leave you both trudging through your days foggy headed and drained.  

Now, if you want to get rid of a cold…that's a whole other ball of wax.  I already told you about one of my cold remedies.  The other thing I do at the first sign of sickness is head to Earth Bar for a Cold and Sinus Wellness Shot.  It's a shot as in "hey-we're-in-Vegas-let's-do-a-shot," not a "oh-I-stepped-on-a-rusty-nail-and-now-I-need-a-tetanus-shot" shot.  This is what it looks like:

This is what it tastes like:

It's pretty freakin' terrible.  It does, however, clear out your sinuses like nobody's business.  It may also clear out the sinuses of anyone in a five town radius.  The scent of this bad boy lingers so, again, consume only around your closest and most loyal friends.  If you want to make your own at home version, the ingredients are:

  • lemon
  • ginger juice
  • oregano oil
  • aged garlic extract
  • horseradish
  • echinacea

-♥ J :)

P.S. When I was telling my Dad what was in it he said, "That sounds delicious!!  I would have that even if I wasn't sick!!"  No, you wouldn't Dad.  No, you wouldn't.
P.P.S.  Did you ever see this episode of Friends when Monica won't admit that she's sick??  Cracks me up every time.


Guest Post: Erin explains it all

 Erin (on left) and I in NYC...moments before we decided to consume greasy diner food at 2a.m.

Back in 2008, my Maid of Honor, Erin, went through a gut twistingly awful break up that left her couch bound and despondent.  When she was finally able to change out of her pajamas and hold a conversation without crying, I suggested that she do a detox (Natalia Rose's Raw Food Detox Diet) to exorcise all the negative emotions that had taken up residence in her body.  Just like undigested food, undigested emotion can hunker down in your body and wreak havoc on your physical and emotional well being.  For that reason, negative emotions need to be properly processed and then expelled.  Doing a detox is a great way to get that ball rolling.  A few months after Erin's first cleanse, I bought Natalia Rose's Detox for Women.  Since she had such great success the first time around, I begged asked Erin to do it with me.  I also begged asked Erin to keep track of her progress since, at the time, I was contemplating starting a health blog and wanted her take on things for future use.  When Erin found out I was revisiting Natalia's cleanse this month, she dug out her old notes to share with you.  Thanks, Erin!!

-♥ J :)

Erin's Log Day 1: Time to starve the yeast!

I'll tell you what: if Natalia is right, and it is in fact YEAST that's been causing all of the weird little ailments I've been battling for most of my life, then hell YEAH I'm ready to starve that little bastard!  However, I will definitely be making modifications because Jen told me that I'm allowed to and what Jen says, I do.  Plus, I’ve already been doing stage III of Natalia’s regular ol’ detox for about two months and I feel like I’ve finally hit a good point of equilibrium.  My goal for the next 30 days is to slightly amp up what I’ve been doing, while maintaining a program that I can still manage with my schedule and social life.

Now, I actually started this whole detoxification process in an effort to get over a bad break-up.  I figured (and well...Jen told me) that I had so much garbage in my system from all of the vodka, beer, and buffalo wings that I regularly consumed when I was with my Ex, along with the many emotional toxins that came with the trauma of the break-up, that it only made sense that I clean out my system in order to move on.  I recommend this to anyone and everyone trying to get over a break-up!  Not only has the detox actually given me something proactive with which to occupy my time, but I’ve turned something negative into something very positive.  I’ve discovered some very valuable things about myself and about the relationship that I’ve literally been trying to flush out of my system.  As a result, I’m completely over his poisonous, dark cloud, overeating, bacon-lover ass, and I feel fantastic! 

But, it has definitely been a roller coaster.  Over the past two months , I’ve experienced a litany of detox symptoms -- both good and bad.  I’ve had days when I felt incredible and sparkly all over, as well as days that I’ve fallen off the wagon HARD.  Examples:
  • Good: feeling lighter and at peace, have had revelatory dreams that provided insight into some difficult feelings and encouraged me to release the past, felt motivated to detox my apartment (which may be even more necessary that detoxifying my body)
  • Bad: throbbing headaches, exhaustion, overwhelming sadness and fear
  • Sparkly: skin looks luminescent, beginning to see definition in my abs again, decrease of cellulite on backs of legs, overall happiness and hopefulness
  • Girl Overboard!: started my Good Friday dinner with a dirty martini, followed by wine and beer, and then proceeded to exist on a diet of primarily pizza and chocolate covered graham crackers for the next four days…Ummm, yeah.
Point is, I think I’ve survived the worst of it and now I’m ready for the next level.  I shall unleash the infamous “Erin Beat-Down” upon the yeast!  As for modifications – my day will most certainly begin with coffee and I will stick with my berry grapefruit shake in the morning for breakfast.  I will cut back other fruits and 86 the nuts (insert giggle).  I’m thinking that I can still have a gluten-free grain at one meal per day because that hasn’t seemed to bother me.  I will stick with that and see how I feel.  I go out to dinner often, so I’ve set a rule of chicken or fish with vegetables and a two-wine limit.  And that should do it! 


Natalia Rose: Detox 4 Women

Reasons why I love nutritionist Natalia Rose:

  1. While she doesn't encourage drinking coffee, she is not militant about giving it up. As long as the coffee is consumed on an empty stomach, Natalia feels it is not a major disruption to the detox process.
  2. On Natalia's plan, you can have a moderate amount of red wine and dark chocolate.  'Nuff said.
  3. She changed my life.

I'm not being dramatic when I say Natalia Rose changed my life.  Ok, I am being dramatic, but that doesn't make it any less true.  Natalia's books Raw Food Detox Diet and Detox for Women forever changed my approach to eating and nutrition.  A vegetarian since high school, I had always considered myself a healthy eater.  Little did I know, a lot of the foods that I considered "healthy" were actually causing me to feel exhausted and puffy.  When I went on Natalia's plan I experienced the following...

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