Top 100 Health Experts on Twitter: @Lunchboxbunch!

My @lunchboxbunch twitter profile (which I am proud to say has over 30,000 followers) was recently chosen as a top Wellness Expert on twitter, as part of the 100 Top Health Experts Twitter List. This list of 100 includes doctors, nurses, mental health experts, nutrition and fitness, public health, news and wellness experts. Do the healthy thing and follow the Top 17 wellness tweeters. See them here...

You can read the complete list of 100 Health Experts here, and check out @lunchboxbunch (that's me) featured in the wellness section below:


Learn about health and general wellness from these Twitterers.

@LifeScript: LifeScript works to make living healthy practical.
@HealthyStuff: Check out Health Guru for health, fitness, and more.
@carolz_place: Carol is passionate about keeping our world safe and finding natural cures.
@holistic1: @holistic1 is the founder of the Healing Path Holistic Center.
@bewellbuzz: Get the buzz on wellness from @bewellbuzz.
@NaturalHealthEd: Here you’ll find a natural health advocate.
@lunchboxbunch: Learn how to live a healthy, happy life from @lunchboxbunch.
@realwellbeing: Health Wise will help you ind out how to control your health and well being.
@ihealthtube: @ihealthtube will show you how to make natural health work for you.
oneDivineSPIRIT: Dr. Sheryl Mann is a wellness entrepreneur and retired chiropractor.
@MDinfo: Get answers to your personal health questions from experts through @MDinfo.
@JohnsHopkins: Follow this Twitter feed to learn about public health and more from Johns Hopkins University.
@DrAmorWellness: Amor Santiago is a university professor in public health and prevention.
@davesnape: Ask David Snape about health and he’ll send you an answer.
@OrganicFreak: @OrganicFreak is dedicated to creating a healthy, organic lifestyle.
@GHChealth: Learn about natural health and organic living from GHC Health.
@Health_Coach: This coach’s passion is natural healing.


Foods for your Mood Part Three: Purifying Foods!

Even our incredible bodies need a little detox assistance sometimes. And feeding your body 'junk' like processed foods and foods high in saturated fat or chemicals, will only put more pressure on your body to speed up the detox systems! Faster! Faster! The more 'junk' that goes in, the more that has to get detoxed out. So why not take a pause, eat good-for-you-foods and let your body get into a deeper state of purification!.

Purifying Foods. Wrapping up part three of my Foods for your Mood Series: Purifying Foods! Hopefully you've checked out the following posts already:

Body Toxins? Detox 101.
Raw Purifying Snacks. Sea Crackers and More.

To close out "Purifying Foods" I'd like to share with you my favorite foods that purify. Check out my Top Ten Purifying Foods...

Top Ten Purifying Foods and Ingredients List

1. Seaweed.
As Ive already mentioned, I am in love with the new "Sea Crackers" I found at made by the "Two Moms in the Raw" brand. Delicious and healthy. Seaweed is a fabulous detox food because it contains a plethora of vital minerals and nutrients from the sea. Some experts even believe that seaweed has the power to remove body harming toxins: "Sea vegetation contains compounds which bind with and remove toxins from water, the tissues of animals and humans." -source
Sea vegetables known as "Brown Algae" have been shown to have purifying properties.

2. Garlic.
Garlic is known as a blood purifier. It has also been said to have powerful detox properties. Garlic is also known as a natural cholesterol lowering supplement. Some raw foodies will actually chew raw garlic as a snack.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar.
Long used for its purifying properties, apple cider vinegar is a natural way to purify your body. Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar has become quite popular in the past decade. Bragg's says the benefits of its apple cider vinegar include: "Rich in enzymes & potassium. Support a healthy immune system. Helps control weight. Promotes digestion & ph Balance. Helps soothe dry throats. Helps remove body sludge toxins" One method is to drink a Tbsp of apc in the morning as a cleansing to your digestive system. Braggs ingredients state: "Certified Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is unfiltered, unheated, unpasteurized and 5% acidity. Contains the amazing Mother of Vinegar which occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules."

4. Spirulina.
I am a big fan of spirulina. Read my Spirulina facts post here. Spirulina Blueberry smoothies from Organic Avenue in NYC are soothing and energizing, The sprulina contains many nutrients and can boost nutrition during a detox phase.

5. Raw Fruits and Veggies-High Fiber.
Raw fruits and veggies are by far the BEST purifying foods out there. Fiber is incredibly cleansing to you digestive system. Produce that is raw and high in fiber will certainly assist your body in its natural detoxification processes. Examples of fruits and veggies that are high in fiber and nutrients include: spinach, apples, oranges, citrus, carrots, kale, papaya, bananas, pineapple, figs, romaine, watercress, parsley, arugula, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries...just to name a few.

6. Apples.
I am separating apples as a special purifying food. Apples contain high amounts of pectin and fiber. This is a perfect de-tox combo to digest. Always try to choose organic apples. And always eat the skin-that's where most the vitamins are hiding!

7. Cayenne and Ginger.
Add a sprinkle of cayenne to your juice or smoothie and you will get an instant warming sensation. The spicy kick will jump start your metabolism-even if just a little bit. Stimulating foods and ingredients like ginger, cayenne and pepper are all great for detox and purification.

8. Lemon Juice.
Lemon juice is similar to apple cider vinegar for purification. The acidity helps to purify and cleanse the colon, while the acid helps to break up any food, toxins or nutrients hanging out in your digestive system. Adding a squeeze of lemon to your tea in the morning, or even to a warm glass of water first thing in the morning is a good way to use lemon as a detox aid. And if you are really brave-try a lemon-apple-cayenne-ginger juice first thing in the morning. Super stimulating (and yummy).

9. Grapefruit.
Another favorite detox food of mine is grapefruit. It's packed with fiber-yes I eat that white stuff just beneath the rind. It's deliciously sweet and tangy. And it has a nice dose of nutrients, especially vitamin c. I adore grapefruit, arugula, fennel salads with a lemon/olive oil vinaigrette. A bit of fresh black pepper on top and I'm set!

10. Probiotics and Yogurt.
Whenever you are taking extra steps to detox your body of toxins and sweep away some of that bad bacteria in your colon, you have to remember that the more good bacteria you have the better off you are. I highly recommend finding a really yummy brand of soy yogurt that you like and can get in the habit of eating daily. And if you don't mind spending a few extra bucks, Bio-K Plus is an amazing brand with dairy-free soy yogurt shots. It is the most powerful vegan yogurt shot on the market. I buy mine at Whole Foods. You can also take supplements, but I personally hate popping pills unless its completely necessary.

BONUS #11 Raw Foods. Choose raw foods for detox. Raw fresh pressed juices and smoothies (like the blueberry-spirulina smoothie pictured above) are fabulous. Choose raw nuts and seeds over roasted. Choose live raw salads instead of cooked veggies. Going raw for a few days will boost the live enzymes in your system, give you a lot of cleansing natural fiber and give you energy. Eating raw foods 100% of the time is incredibly difficult (I certainly could never do it) but for a few days or weeks, it's certainly worth the effort.

Those are just a few of my favorite detox foods. Do you have any to add I'd love to hear them!

And stay tuned for the last part of the Foods for your Mood Series: Comforting Foods. It will be a comfort-food-fest! All healthy or course. I'm especially excited about my new recipe called "Sweet Potato Tofu Hash". Comfort food indeed!


Raw Purifying Snacks: Two Moms Crackers and More...

Raw snacks are the best! After munching 100% raw snacks I always feel full or energy and just plain great. (Like the awesome Raw Pesto Sea Crackers and Live Hummus snack I ate today.) Raw snacks rank super-high on the yummy-ness scale, but only if you know which brands to grab and which to avoid. Here's a little advice and a product review for Two Moms in the Raw Sea Crackers...

One Lucky Duck Snack SamplerOLD and OA. Two of my favorite raw snack retailers are in NYC: One Lucky Duck, part of the raw foodie restaurant Pure Food and Wine. And Organic Avenue, a raw foodie haven on the lower east side. Both retailers provide cravable and ravable fresh raw eats (food and juices) daily, but they also have several packaged raw snacks on hand as well. And guess what, most of their packaged snack products are available for shipment to your doorstep. OLD has an awesome snack sampler pack filled with assorted raw treats and goodies. (click the 'snacks' image to enter OLD online store.) A must for anyone starting to experiment with raw snacks. Click here and you'll get a Free Snack Sample with your OLD order.

And FYI, One Lucky Duck's famous raw vegan Mallomar dessert is one of the foods on the Vegan's Hundred food list. They are that good...

OLD's Cheese-y Quackers:

See my review of One Lucky Duck's Cheese-y Quackers here. They are better than any cheese crackers you will ever try!

Another FYI, the live raw hummus in the title image is from Organic Avenue. It rocks!....

Why Raw? Whenever I'm looking to 'detox' my body or toxins and get back on track with my diet, I'll reach for raw foods. Raw foods provide optimal nutrition and since most of the food enzymes are still in tact, your body will be able to break down and take in the nutrients faster.

Two Moms in the Raw Sea Crackers. I'm always discovering new raw products at both O.L.D and O.A. Like these delicious Sea Crackers from the Two Moms in the Raw brand. Here is my product review...

Product Review: Two Moms in the Raw, Pesto Sea Cracker

Shelf Appeal:
Adorable high quality resealable bag. Love the vegan certified, kosher, natural food certified and Colorado product logos on the label. Clearly states that the product is gluten-free with no added sugars or oils. Great label signage. Honestly, when I saw the product in the baggie window, I was scared. I've had a few bad flax seed chips in my day ans this one looked super grainy. But I decided to give it a shot anyways...glad I did!.

Label Check: In a 6 gram serving there are 30 calories, 2.5 grams of unsaturated fat, 1 gram of protein and 2 carbs. 1 gram of fiber and 20 mg sodium. The product is vegan, gluten free, kosher, organic, raw, dairy-free and wheat-free. 20 servings per bag. Although I must admit I finished the bag in about 4 separate 'servings' for myself. So in each hefty serving I had there were about 150 calories. Nothing but good stuff in here: organic flax seeds, pine nuts, herbs, spices, garlic, kombu and sea salt. 40% RDA of iron per 600 total-calories bag. Healthy? yes.

Taste Test:
I was scared. Lots of flaxseeds, and I've had bad flax chips before. But OMG these were off the board delicious. Light, crispy, flavorful, salty, nutty and the pesto flavor was boldly divine. I handed one cracker to my seed-fearful husband and he groaned in dis-belief of the yummy taste. He stuck his hand out for more. Even he LOVED them, and I realized I was going to have to share this bag with him. I can't wait to try the other flavors: garden herb and tomato basil.

Price Check:
I bought my bag for $11.95. I know, I know. It's a little nutso expensive, if you compare it to the $1.95 bag of potato chips you're used to buying. But I was dying to try this specialty product and thus was happy to pay the twelve bucks to do so. My later online price research showed me that you can buy these sea crackers for $7 a bag on the TMITR website. yes!

Last Word: If you think you know 'raw snacks' and haven't tried these, you have NO IDEA what you are missing. Dip them in some raw hummus and look at you, you're a regular raw foodie-loving every bite of it!!

Organic Avenue NYC: OA
Two Moms in the Raw: TMITR

...Read about One Lucky Duck's famous Raw Mallomar dessert: enter raw vegan bliss.

More Yummy Photos:
Fresh Raw Blueberry Spirulina juice from Organic Avenue:


Detox 101. How to Reduce Toxins.

Toxins. What are they? Environmental toxins can include everything from cigarette smoke to automobile fumes and even pesticides on produce. So how do you get rid of these toxins? Here are a few ways you can reduce the amount of toxins in your life...

How to Reduce Toxins

1. Buy Organic. Purchase organic produce and foods. Organic can be more expensive, so focus on produce with thin skins that you eat -- like peaches, apples, berries, leafy greens etc rather than bananas, avocado and other thick skinned fruits and veggies. Fast fact: look for produce stickers ending in "9" for organic assurance.

2. Stop Smoking. If you smoke. Stop. If you live with a smoker make it your mission to help them quit. Try to stay away from smoky environments. Second hand smoke is not good for your body and it smells pretty awful too.

"Every year in the U.S., more than 480,000 people die from tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, making it the leading cause of preventable death in this country. Tragically, each day thousands of kids still pick up a tobacco product for the first time." -

3. Juices and Smoothies. Will juice cleanses "detox" your body? Will smoothies remove toxins? The truth is, there is not conclusive evidence, and there are opinions on both sides of the argument as to whether or not you can truly "detox" on a liquid diet cleanse. But I personally strongly believe you can lighten your bodies' load of toxins if you drink fresh presses juices and smoothie on a habitual basis. And a juice or smoothie "cleanse" may also help your body focus its energy on removing toxins and healing problems in your body. But really, you have to lISTEN TO YOUR OWN BODY. That is the number one way you can evaluate whether or not juice and smoothie "diets" are helpful for you. For me, I rarely do juice cleanses, I find them challenging and they zap my energy and mess up my digestion. But I know people who RAVE about them. Every body is different. But what is true: consuming more healthy plants -- always a good thing.

My book 365 Vegan Smoothies is a great resource for delicious smoothie recipes!

4. Detox Foods? Chia seeds, activated charcoal, flax seeds and some high fiber foods have been called "detoxifying" foods. You can try them and see if you feel a difference. But you should be aware that these types of foods can interact with medications, making them less absorbed by your body.

5. Manage Stress. Mindful breathing, yoga, stretching, daily walking, meditation and more can help your body stay in balance. which means you will be less likely to have your body go into a stress response. Keeping your own body in balance is your first line of defense for keeping your body healthy down the road. Watch FREE yoga videos here.

6. Seek out Healthy Environments. Clean air and clean water can make a huge difference on your everyday health. Do some research to make sure the water and air in your daily life is high quality. Though many of us do not have the option to move if we find ourselves in a more toxic environment -- think downtown LA vs the Swiss Alps -- but at least we can be aware of our environment and move from there. Research tap water here.

7. Dishes. Make sure you buy high quality dishes. Lead-free always. I prefer to try and stay away from dishes made in China. I love the website Bambeco for healthy, "green" dishes and glasses.


Foods for Your Mood Series. Part Two: Energizing Menus..

Wrapping of part two of my Foods for Your Mood mini-series: Energizing Foods! Instead of posting a list of energizing recipes as I usually do, I've decided to give you four days of "Energizing Menus" as examples of how I like to eat for energy! Tons of energy-boosting recipe links in this post.

In case you missed it:
part one of this series was "Calming Foods" and coming up will be "Purifying Foods" and "Comforting Foods". Series Schedule.

When and How you Eat Matters. When seeking an energizing meal plan it is important to note that when and how you eat is just as important as what you eat. For instance, if you ate your entire days worth of food at 10am and 7pm only, instead of breaking it into mini-meals, your energy level might suffer.

Hopefully you've already read my "Ultimate Energy Foods Guide" and now you are ready to take a look at these Energizing Menus...

Foods for Your Mood: Energizing Menus.
*Note that this is an example diet of how I eat for energy, your dietary needs may vary so always consult with your own doctor or dietitian.


Upon Rising: Handful of raw cashews and glass of tea or fresh juice
Breakfast: Super Enzyme Banana Pineapple Smoothie with protein powder added or 1-2 vegan sausage patties for protein
Mid-Morning Snack: Pop Quiz Toast-Ups (any nut butter and fruit combo)
Lunch: Fennel Arugula Citrus Salad with 1 cup of edamame soy beans and sunflower seeds added (slice of sprouted grain bread optional)
Afternoon Snack: "My Glass is Greener" Green Juice (add some ambrosia-style trail mix if extra hungry)
Dinner: Sweet Potato Mash with Lemon Pepper Tempeh Cubes side of Crunchy Cool Jicama Slaw
Bedtime Munchie: One Nutty Peanut Butter Brown Cookie


Upon Rising: coconut water or fresh-pressed nut milk
Breakfast: Surfer Sunrise Golden Fruit Salad, Goji Berry Chai and almond butter/maple syrup spread on a whole grain bagel or toast
Mid-Morning Snack: raw almonds and dried blueberries
Lunch: Lemon Peppered Pasta Salad with lemon-pepper braised tofu cubes tossed in. Small side of avocado Beet Pea Shoot Salad.
Afternoon Snack: fresh fruit, your choice
Dinner: Quinoa Paella with a side salad of Ginger Citrus Napa Cabbage Slaw
Bedtime Munchie: Sweet Orange Cherry Poppy seed Loaf with Chamomile tea or coconut water


Upon Rising: Kumquat Mandarin Sunrise juice and 5 raw cashews or brazil nuts
Breakfast: Saffron Scented Tofu Scramble, with raw chopped tomatoes and peppers on top. Sprouted grain toast on side-optional.
Mid-Morning Snack: organic apple
Lunch: Veggie Stack Sandwich with water or green tea, a few raw nuts on side
Afternoon Snack: Kitchen Sink Granola Bar
Dinner: A few triangles of my Sweet and Sassy Sweet Potato Pockets. Side salad with raw veggies, nuts and seeds tossed in and a few tempeh cubes tossed on top.
Bedtime Munchie: Zesty Lemon Custard bar


Upon Rising: Morning Melon Bowl or Papaya Lime Bowl
Breakfast:Fuyu Cream Crusty and Spicy Goji Chai Tea
Mid-Morning Snack: 1 organic orange and a hefty handful of raw walnuts
Lunch: Double Fruit Enzyme Smoothie with Bullseye Spiral Wraps
Afternoon Snack: A big bowl of veggie sticks and a few whole grain tortilla chips with Vegan Ranch Dressing Dip
Dinner: Fiesta Jalapeno Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup with Salsa Verde Guac/blue chips and a side of black beans and Tomato Mexican Rice.
Bedtime Munchie: Chai Berry Short Cup


My Glass is Greener... Juice. Side of Ambrosia Mix.

Crisp, refreshing, tart and tangy green juice pairs perfectly with a sweet and sassy mix of gourmet dried fruit, raw almonds and exotic seeds. Delicious, and oh so healthy.

Got Energy? Craving a healthy energizing snack that you can eat at home, work, school or even on the go? Try my perfect energizing pair: "My Glass is Greener..." green juice paired with Russ and Daughters "Ambrosia" trail mix. Ambrosia is a special Russ and Daughters trail mix that Martha Stewart asked them to make for one of her holiday parties. They've been making it ever since. And it doesn't get any more refreshing than my favorite green juice recipe. Energy...included!...

The Glass isn't Green. This is my green juice in a clear glass. Yes the green pops into a refreshing juicy green color making the glass appear as a green opaque color. But the green comes from the many nutrient-rich green ingredients including spinach, wheat grass, parsley, green apple and mint. Nothing too heavy, no muddy flavors. Just fresh juicy ingredients with complimenting flavors. Green juice never tasted so pure.

Martha's Ambrosia. You're in luck if are dying to try a few of Russ and Daughters delicious fruit and nut mixes. (However, the ambrosia mix is only available in-store or in the special Martha's Faves gift package.) Or you could call their store and beg to have it shipped...they are pretty nice in there and would probably hook you up. Martha's Ambrosia mix is spot-on. (No surprise.) Check out the wide selection of goodies you can buy online--shipped to your doorstep. And if you are in NYC, Russ and Daughters is a must visit!Russ online Store. Martha's Ambrosia Mix is available in the "Martha's Faves" package. (Not vegan)

Now onto my green juice recipe...

"My Glass is Greener..." Fresh Juice
vegan, serves 1-2
*at-home juicer required

1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
2 cups spinach, washed and still damp
1/4 cup parsley, washed and still damp
1/2 lemon
1 medium green apple
1 Tbsp ginger, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp mint leaves
1/2 grapefruit, peeled and de-seeded.
'Lighter Version' mix with 1 cup ice cold coconut water.


1. Juice the lemon and set aside. I'm not a fan of juicing the seeds because they can be quite bitter. Just bite one and you'll probably agree.

2. Slice green apple into juicer-able chunks. Seeds can be juiced here.

3. Turn on juicer, juice all the greens first. Then juice the fruit. By juicing the more fibrous ingredients first, you'll be sure that they won't get stuck in the machine, and rather juiced through by the high-liquid ingredients that come after it. It's basic order-or-operations juicer-style. Dry first, liquid after. You can even alternate dry, wet, dry, wet. I go: spinach, wheat grass, some apple, parsley, some pineapple, ginger, rest of apple, rest of pineapple, lemon juice. (I'll add grapefruit if I'm in a sweet-tart mood and mint, if I'm in a minty mood)

4. Add your lemon juice to the juicer last to juice it through, or simply pour in your lemon juice. If you are going for the 'lighter version' add your 1 cup of coconut water.

5. Pour and drink right away, or pour into a seal able container for later consumption.


Energizing Foods Guide. Craving: Energy.

Who wants more energy? I think I know your answer.

Part two of my "Foods for your Mood" mini-series: Energizing Foods! Here is my ultimate guide to foods that energize.

"And what is a man without energy? Nothing - nothing at all." -Mark Twain
(more awesome energy quotes at the end of this post.)

Why Energy? Occasional fatigue is an unavoidable fact of life. Some of us get tired from over-using our bodies and some of us get tired because we aren't challenging our bodies enough! (I call that couch-potato-fatigue.) Reality Check: Taking care of yourself isn't easy. Committing to a lifestyle of wellness takes time, energy and persistence. But when you take care of yourself you have more energy, and when you have more energy it's easier to take care of yourself. Slacking off on wellness will only leave you feeling extra-fatigued. One natural way to 'get energized' is to include energizing foods in your diet. Ahead, find out just what an "energizing" food is, see my list and get a few cool energizing quotes...

Busy as a Bee??? Feed yourself well, fuel your day!

What is an "Energizing" Food? Great question. 'Energizing' foods provide a quick energy boost from high quality carbohydrates. Low quality simple carbs like white table sugar may give you an immediate energy jolt, but in a little while you'll be 'crashing' and craving more sugar. Don't make this mistake. Instead, it's important to choose high quality nutrient-dense carbs like fresh fruits and fruit juice. Then add healthy fats and lean protein to your 'energy snack' to give you long-lasting energy.

Healthy fats include foods like raw nuts and nut butters.

Lean vegan protein
also come from nuts, beans, whole grains and soy or hemp products. Just to name a few...

"Energizing foods" have a bit of edge, punch, pizazz!
To start a busy day, you don't want to be eating a giant warm creamy bowl of oatmeal-stuffed with moist warm fruit and nuts and toast with jam on the side. Healthy ingredients-yes, but anything too heavy or 'comfort-inducing' may leave you wanting a nap rather than a jog.

Live Raw Foods.
My favorite types of energizing foods are those that are live and raw. Foods like raw (not roasted) nuts, fresh organic fruit, veggies and seeds all contain live enzymes and will be easier for your body to break them down into energy-yielding calories. This is important: The faster your body breaks down your food, the faster it enters your bloodstream to provide you ENERGY! The best example...if you are going for nuts: choose raw instead of roasted. If you are going for juice: choose fresh-pressed rather than 'been sitting around on a store shelf for a week' juice.

Energizing Food Keywords. Sweet, spicy (see #9 below), crunchy, pizazz, tart, tangy, light, liquid, clear, hydrating, cooling, enzyme-containing, LIVE, raw, and nutrient-dense are all good keywords for 'energizing foods.'

What to Avoid. Avoid foods that are big-portioned, have a high ratio of carbs compared to fats and proteins (however, fruit is an exception here.) When choosing a high-carb snack make sure it has fiber, fat and/or protein included. Nix caffeine from coffee and espresso. Stick to tea if possible. Nix the alcohol. Drop the low-quality simple sugars (remember the crash and burn effect). i.e. candy and processed snack-carbs. Stay far away from bad for you fats like greasy fried foods or heavy high carb entrees. Big bowls of pasta, thick-crust pizza, big veggie burgers and other big-meal types should be avoided until the end of the day. And FYI, you can still eat a 'big breakfast' or 'hearty lunch' without triggering a nap session-just choose wisely. Overall, try not to over-exert your digestive system. Small meals throughout the day will keep your blood sugar up. Balancing your blood sugar levels throughout the day is a key to energy success! If they drop too low, so will your energy.

Notable Energizing Nutrients.

Vitamin B12
is essential to being energized! It can be tricky for vegans to get B12, so including B12 fortified soy, hemp or other non-dairy milks or taking a supplement can be a good idea. Talk to your doctor. "Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble B vitamin that helps transform fats and proteins from foods into energy and works with folic acid to produce normal red blood cells. An adequate supply of vitamin B-12 is also necessary for normal neurological function." -MSN Health

Vitamin C has been known to enhance endurance. Vitamin C is an easy vitamin to find. Many fresh fruits and veggies contain vitamin C. "This antioxidant improves the body's ability to absorb iron, which helps fight off anemia-related fatigue. Getting 250 to 500 milligrams of this vitamin two times per day may help reduce the symptoms of chronic fatigue by enhancing endurance and immunity, according to the University of Maryland's Medical Center (UMMC)." -AOLHealth

OMEGAS. Omega fatty acids have been shown to ward off depression, which can lead to fatigue. Foods like walnuts and flax seeds are great vegan options for omega nutrients. Flax seed oil is easy to add to a smoothie or juice.

Electrolytes for Hydration.
Electrolytes aid in keeping your body hydrated. Staying hydrated is a very important part of fighting fatigue. Studies have shown that a dehydrated body is less productive than a fully hydrated one. Even a dehydration level of as little as 1% can have an effect on your energy level. "At 2% dehydration physical performance levels decrease 5-10%; at over 4% dehydration, physical performance levels decrease 20-40%." -Clark Elliot, Work Practice Consultant.

So here is my list of Energizing Foods
, including a very brief reason as to why I find them 'energizing'. A few of these foods will be featured in recipes later today.

Energizing Foods List

1. Coconut Water
The best energizing-hydration-inducing beverage around. Contains electrolytes and a small amount of natural sugar to keep you hydrated and energized. A must for sports activities. It really is nature's sports drink. Learn more here.

2. Fresh-Pressed Juice
Juice contains high quality natural carbs that are easily accessible to the body. Juice also contains vitamins and minerals. However, not all juice is created equal. Choose fresh pressed LIVE raw juice that has not been pasteurized, for optimal energizing qualities. More enzymes in live juice. If you haven't invested in a juicer...what are you waiting for?! More about the 'fresh OJ rule' here. My at-home juicing 101, juicer advice here.

3. Fresh Fruit
Fruit is great because it contains everything that's in fresh juice, but as a bonus, it contains fiber. It is also more portable than fresh juice. Take an orange or apple to work and it stays LIVE and raw until you are ready to eat it. The fiber will assist in slowing down the absorption of sugars to give you a longer lasting 'energy high'.

4. Raw Nuts and Seeds
I love adding a handful of raw nuts or seeds to my morning juice snack. True, nuts (which are mostly fat and protein) won't necessarily give me a boost of 'instant energy' but they will help slow down that fruit juice and give me a longer-lasting energy buzz. Plus since my nuts are raw, all those nut and seed enzymes are still in tact. Nuts and seeds also contain a plethora of fatigue fighting nutrients like B vitamins, protein and omegas. My fave nuts and seeds for energy are: almonds, cashews, walnuts, Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds.

5. Leafy Greens and 'Green Juice'

It's pretty hard to find a food with more bang for your calorie buck than dark leafy greens. They contain an enormous amount of nutrients for very few calories. Spinach, mache, arugula, watercress, parsley, romaine, wheat grass and dandelion greens can all provide you with energy-boosting enzymes, vitamins and minerals. But since you'd have to eat quite a big salad to get any heavy duty carbs, many wellness foodies have become obsessed with 'green juice'. Green juice may contain 100% juiced greens, or a combination of fruit juices and green juices. Energy-high juice=green juice! A good example of green juice is One Lucky Duck NYC's 'Swan Juice' which contains cucumber, spinach, dandelion, pear, grapefruit, tarragon, spearmint, yuzu. It's awe-some.

6. Nut, Bean and Seed Milks-Fresh Pressed
If you have a store or cafe in your town that makes fresh pressed nut/bean/seed milks, consider yourself lucky. Why? Because the process of making at-home non-dairy milks is very tricky. As I recently discovered. But there is something incredibly energizing about fresh-pressed milks. Almond and hemp milk are amazing. Fresh soy milk is a must-try. These milks contain a tinge of fiber, solid protein, some carbs, healthy fats and a lot of delicious taste. Long-lasting liquid energy, protein included. Bonus: They usually contain a natural sweetener like maple, brown rice or agave syrup to add to the quick-energy carbs.

7. Smoothies
Smoothies are definitely a great energy food. They are easy to customize to contain that delicate energy-yielding combo of fat-carbs-protein. Simply add in a few nuts, flax seeds or healthy oils for healthy fat content. Simply add your fruit juices for carbs. Frozen fruit for fiber and carbs. And you can add in non-dairy milks or vegan supplements for as much protein as your body craves. I love to end a workout with a giant smoothie, but I'll drink coconut water before and after my activity.

Grab my iPhone Smoothies! App and you'll have vegan smoothie recipes at your fingertips where ever you go!

8. Tea
We all love a little caffeine buzz right? Well take it from this former soy-latte-addict, there is no caffeine buzz better than a tea buzz! Yes, really. Caffeine from coffee (especially if it's Starbucks high-caffeine coffee) can give your body a hand-shaking jolt of energy, but leave you crashing in a few hours. What do you do then? Get more coffee of course! It's an unhealthy never-ending cycle of caffeine want and need. If you drink more than two cups of coffee a day and are still telling yourself you aren't addicted, you need to wake up...and smell the coffee. I challenge you to switch your coffee beverage for a 'chai' for just one week and see how you feel. I did it and have been a 'chai' fan ever since. I haven't had a coffee from Starbucks in about a year. And I used to be a 2 venti lattes a day girl. (Never again.)

Starbucks Venti Chai: 120 mg caffeine
Starbucks Venti Coffee: 415 mg caffeine

9. Warming Herbs, Spices. Spicy Foods.
Ginger, cayenne, mint and cinnamon are just a few ingredients that you can add toyour diet to stimulate your body. These ingredients are warming, stimulating and 'perk your body up'. Studies have shown that 'spicy foods' can actually have many benefits-including increasing your metabolism for a short period of time. Burning more fuel, means more energy in your tank. Check out my full list of perk-you-up-foods.

10. Sleep!
So sleep isn't a food, but it's so incredibly important to your energy levels that I had to stick it on the list. Without an adequate amount of high-quality sleep, it really doesn't matter what you eat. (Not really, but you get the idea). Fact: Napping is not only OK for adults, but incredibly good-for-you! I am such a believer in naps. I think every office building, school or college should have designated napping rooms with rentable clean pillows, blankets and light/sound therapy. It would sure beat those 4pm naps in the school library or that bit of shut-eye at your desk. Take a Power Nap: "The Benefit of a Power Nap: Studies show that 20 minutes of sleep in the afternoon provides more rest than 20 minutes more sleep in the morning (though the last two hours of morning sleep have special benefits of their own). The body seems to be designed for this, as most people’s bodies naturally become more tired in the afternoon, about 8 hours after we wake up." -Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

Stay tuned for Energizing Recipes...

A few fun "Energy" Quotes:

"A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done." -Ralph Lauren

"The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have." -Norman Vincent Peale

"Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” -Oprah Winfrey

"The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary." -Thomas A. Edison

"The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results." -Anthony Robbins

"Genius is that energy which collects, combines, amplifies, and animates." -
Samuel Johnson

"Don’t hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love.” -Vincent Van Gogh

"Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them." -Henry Ford

Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort"A person of intellect without energy added to it; is a failure." -Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort

"Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second. Give your dreams all you’ve got and you’ll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you." -William James

Energy Quotes source:


Melissa d'Arabian is Vegan and Vegetarian Inspired!

"..Over the past month or so, I have made over 20 vegan or vegetarian recipes (and have even written some!). I've served many meatless meals to my family, and I will say overall....the surprise has been tremendously pleasant!...

..a wonderful connection I have made with a smart, helpful vegan blogger named Kathy. In one of her posts, she talks a little more about our conversations." -Melissa d'Arabian's note on facebook.

Veggie Inspired. You may remember a previous post where I described Next Food Network Star winner Melissa d'Arabian as "Farmers Market Inspired". Well guess what, Melissa has taken it one step further and started experimenting with vegan and vegetarian ingredients and recipes! Melissa is not vegetarian, but has a refreshing foodie-curiosity that allows her to step-outside-of-her-box when it comes to cooking. Melissa is a sunny gem who perks up the kitchen and makes you want to start cooking yourself! Her energy is contagious. I'm so impressed with her creativity and spunk in the kitchen and I hope you will all take a closer look at Melissa. Her show Ten Dollar Dinners recently got renewed for a second season. I'm an avid watcher. Check out Melissa's full facebook post about her veggie experiments and a few inspiring vegan photos...

Melissa's Post:

"I've alluded to this before, but I've been experimenting with vegetarian and vegan cooking! I should begin by telling you that I am very much a meat-eater, and I will likely never become vegetarian, let alone vegan. BUT. So many people are, and they are folks who feel strongly about the choice, so I figured, the least I could do was explore, right? So, over the past month or so, I have made over 20 vegan or vegetarian recipes (and have even written some!). I've served many meatless meals to my family, and I will say overall....the surprise has been tremendously pleasant!
I'll talk more in the future about this little experiment of mine...the successes and the failures....but I thought I would post a link to wonderful connection I have made with a smart, helpful vegan blogger named Kathy. In one of her posts, she talks a little more about our conversations. maybe you'll find our discussions interesting?
have a great Friday."
-Melissa d'Arabian, a note on her facebook account.

Melissa's "Ask Kathy". Melissa was also the inspiration for a recent Ask Kathy post: "Why vegan and not just vegetarian?" A must-read for everyone veg or not!

Become a fan of Melissa on face book.
Check out Ten Dollar Dinners show on Food Network.

A Little More Inspiration: A few of my vegan photos for all you curious chefs out there:

Lemon Poppyseed Chamomile Tea Bread:

California Lemon Pepper Salad:

Beet Avocado Pea Shoot Salad:

Peach Hemp Smoothie:


Casein: Most Relevent Cancer Promoter Ever?

It's hard to miss today's very prominent headline on the pages of The Huffington Post, it screams: "A Cure for Cancer? Eating a Plant-Based Diet". The headline links to an article written by Kathy Freston. Freston chats with Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Professor Emeritus of Cornell University and author of The China Study to explain how cancer happens and what we can do to prevent and reverse it.

Casein is a Cancer Promoter. The most striking quote in the article from Dr. Campbell is this: "Our work showed that casein is the most relevant cancer promoter ever discovered."

Casein is known to vegans as that tricky ingredient that is derived from cows milk, and thus not vegan. However it is also an ingredient in many Soy Cheese products, many of which are deceivingly marketed as a vegetarian (but not vegan) cheese alternative. The frustration comes because many pizza makers and other restaurants offering 'soy cheese' may not know the true vegan difference. FYI, the photo here is my 'Beachy Pizza' made with vegan casein-free cheese. Ahead, learn a few casein facts...

Casein Facts

*Casein, is a well-defined group of proteins found in milk, constituting about 80% of the proteins in cow's milk. The Huff Post article claims it is 87% of milk protein.

*Casein is found in many Soy Cheese products. To ensure your soy cheese is vegan, make sure it says casein-free or does not say casein in the ingredients label.

*Acid casein is used widely in cheese, adhesives, water paints, for coating paper, and in printing textiles and wallpaper.

*Most of the protein in cheese is rennet casein curd.

*Casein is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids.

*Casein proteins release slowly, and thus have been a popular supplement used by body-builders. Body building websites instruct users to ingest casein at bedtime for long-term release of proteins.

*Definition: Ca-sein (noun) - A white, tasteless, odorless protein precipitated from milk by rennin. It is the basis of cheese and is used to make plastics, adhesives, paints, and foods.

*My favorite casein-free cheese brands are Follow Your Heart and Daiya brand cheeses, available in four flavors. They melt just like real cheese. The photo below is a pizza made with Follow Your Heart cheese:

Don't forget to check out the article in the Huffington Post by Kathy Freston to learn more about casein and its link to cancer development. Link:


The Vegan's Hundred. 100 Foods you Should Try.

A while back, Andrew of the foodie blog Very Good Taste, posted an article called the Omnivore's Hundred. The "Omnivore's 100" is a list of Andrew's interpretation of the 100 foods every omnivore needs to try. The list gathered a loyal following as bloggers and foodies everywhere began following Andrew's instructions to re-post the list and join in the challenge. He instructs everyone to cross out things they'd never eat and bold the foods they have already conquered. Fun right? Well as much as I loved the idea, as I began to read the food list I knew I couldn't participate. Venison, snake, goat's milk and haggis. Definitely NOT vegan-friendly.

Vegan Hundred. I love the idea of challenging foodies to try as many new, classicly delicious and unusual foods as they can. So I give to you: the vegan's 100. One-hundred foods that every vegan (or any curious foodie) must try at least once. Check out the list and details on how you can participate in this foodie adventure...

The Challenge: Just as the omnivore list does, I challenge you to re-post this list and participate in the challenge! Cross out or italicize all the foods you would never eat, bold foods you have tried and update your list as you participate in trying all the foods on my Vegan's 100 list. Then if you'd like, post a link to your list in my comments section so others can see how you are doing. I tried to stay true to the original omnivore 100 by leaving on a few of the vegan food items on Andrew's list. However, since most of the foods were not vegan, there was a lot of space to fill! My criteria for food items were that they had to be either a unique whole food (like a lychee) or a notably stand-out-delicious way to prepare a common food (like scrambled tofu).

The Vegan's Hundred

Here’s what I want you to do:

Copy this list into your blog or social networking site profile, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out or italicize any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment on this post linking to your results.

I hope you will join this vegan foodie tasting adventure.
Post the link to your list in the comments-if you have any questions, leave them in the comments as well!

...lets show the omnivores that the question "what do vegans eat?" definitely has over 100 amazing answers...!

The HHL Vegan Hundred:

1. Molasses
2. Cactus/Nopales
3. Scrambled Tofu
4. Grilled Portobella Caps
5. Fresh Ground Horseradish
6. Sweet Potato Biscuits
7. Arepa
8. Vegan Cole Slaw
9. Ginger Carrot Soup
10. Fiddlehead Ferns
11. Roasted Elephant Garlic
12. Umeboshi
13. Almond Butter Toast
14. Aloe Vera
15. H and H Bagel NYC
16. Slow Roasted Butternut Squash
17. White truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Freshly ground wasabi
20. Coconut Milk Ice Cream (not store bought)
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Orchard-fresh pressed apple cider
23. Organic California Mango (in season Sept-Oct only)
24. Quinoa
25. Papaya Smoothie
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet (habanero) pepper (just a bite!!
27. Goji Berry Tea
28. Fennel
29. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie
30. Radishes and Vegan Buttery Spread
31. Starfruit
32. Oven fresh Sourdough bread
33. Sangria made with premium fruit and juices
34. Sauerkraut
35. Acai Smoothie
36. Blue Foot Mushrooms
37. Vegan Cupcake from Babycakes nyc
38. Sweet Potatoes and Tempeh combo
39. Falafel
40. Spelt Crust Pizza
41. Salt and Pepper Oyster Mushrooms
42. Jicama Slaw
43. Pumpkin Edamame Ginger Dumplings
44. Hemp Milk
45. Rose Champagne
46. Fuyu
47. Raw Avocado-Coconut Soup
48. Tofu Pesto Sandwich
49. Apple-Lemon-Ginger-Cayenne fresh-pressed juice...with Extra Ginger
50. Grilled Seitan
51. Prickly pear
52. Fresh Pressed Almond Milk
53. Concord Grapes off the vine
54. Ramps
55. Coconut Water fresh from a young coconut
56. Organic Arugula
57. Vidalia Onion
58. Sampler of organic produce from Diamond Organics
59. Honeycrisp Apple
60. Poi
61. Vegan Campfire-toasted Smores
62. Grape seed Oil
63. Farm fresh-picked Peach
64. Freshly-made pita bread with freshly-made hummus
65. Chestnut Snack Packs
66. Fresh Guava
67. Mint Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
68. Raw Mallomar from One Lucky Duck, NYC
69. Fried plantains
70. Mache
71. Golden Beets
72. Barrel-Fresh Pickles
73. Liquid Smoke
74. Meyer Lemon
75. Veggie Paella
76. Vegan Lasagna (raw optional)
77. Kombucha
78. Homemade Soy Milk
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Lychee Bellini
81. Tempeh Bacon
82. Sprouted Grain Bread
83. Lemon Pepper Tempeh
84. Vanilla Bean
85. Watercress
86. Carrot you pulled out of the ground yourself
87. Vegan In-Season Fruit Pie
88. Flowers
89. Corn Chowder
90. High Quality Vegan Raw Chocolate
91. Yellow fuzz-free Kiwi
92. White Flesh Grapefruit
93. harissa
94. Coconut Oil
95. Jackfruit
96. Homemade Risotto
97. Spirulina
98. Seedless 'Pixie' Tangerine
99. Gourmet Sorbet, not store bought
100. Fresh Plucked English Peas

*Want more info? Foodista links and HHL links are shown in a double list below*

The HHL Vegan Hundred:

1. Molasses
2. Cactus/Nopales Nopales on Foodista
3. Scrambled Tofu
4. Grilled Portobella Caps Portobello Mushrooms on Foodista
5. Fresh Ground Horseradish Horseradish on Foodista
6. Sweet Potato Biscuits
7. Arepa
8. Vegan Cole Slaw
9. Ginger Carrot Soup
10. Fiddlehead Ferns
11. Roasted Elephant Garlic Elephant Garlic on Foodista
12. Umeboshi Umeboshi on Foodista
13. Almond Butter Toast
14. Aloe Vera Aloe Vera on Foodista
15. H and H Bagel NYC
16. Slow Roasted Butternut Squash Butternut Squash on Foodista
17. White truffle White Truffle on Foodista
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes Fruit Wine on Foodista
19. Freshly ground wasabi Wasabi on Foodista
20. Coconut Milk Ice Cream (not store bought)
21. Heirloom tomatoes Heirloom Tomato on Foodista
22. Orchard-fresh pressed apple ciderApple Cider on Foodista
23. Organic California Mango (in season Sept-Oct only)
24. Quinoa
25. Papaya Smoothie
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet (habanero) pepper (just a bite!!
27. Goji Berry Tea
28. Fennel
29. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie
30. Radishes and Vegan Buttery Spread
31. Starfruit Starfruit on Foodista
32. Oven fresh Sourdough bread Sourdough Bread on Foodista
33. Sangria made with premium fruit and juices
34. Sauerkraut Sauerkraut on Foodista
35. Acai Smoothie
36. Blue Foot Mushrooms
37. Vegan Cupcake from Babycakes nyc
38. Sweet Potatoes and Tempeh combo
39. Falafel Falafel on Foodista
40. Spelt Crust Pizza Spelt on Foodista
41. Salt and Pepper Oyster Mushrooms Oyster Mushrooms on Foodista
42. Jicama Slaw
43. Pumpkin Edamame Ginger Dumplings (Kitchen Club NYC)
44. Hemp Milk Hemp Milk on Foodista
45. Rose Champagne Champagne on Foodista
46. Fuyu
47. Raw Avocado-Coconut Soup
48. Tofu or Chik'n Pesto Sandwich
49. Apple-Lemon-Ginger-Cayenne fresh-pressed juice...with Extra Ginger
50. Grilled Seitan
51. Prickly pear Cactus Pear on Foodista
52. Fresh Pressed Almond Milk Almond Milk on Foodista
53. Concord Grapes off the vine
54. Ramps
55. Coconut Water fresh from a young coconut
56. Organic Arugula Arugula on Foodista
57. Vidalia Onion Vidalia Onion on Foodista
58. Sampler of organic produce from Diamond Organics
59. Honeycrisp Apple
60. Poi Poi on Foodista
61. Vegan Campfire-toasted Smores
62. Grapeseed Oil Grape Seed Oil on Foodista
63. Farm fresh-picked Peach Peach on Foodista
64. Freshly-made pita bread with freshly-made hummus Grilled Pita on Foodista
65. Chestnut Snack Packs
66. Fresh Guava Guava on Foodista
67. Mint Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
68. Mallomar from One Lucky Duck, nyc
69. Fried plantains
70. Mache
71. Golden Beets Golden Beet on Foodista
72. Barrel-Fresh Pickles Pickles on Foodista
73. Liquid Smoke Liquid Smoke on Foodista
74. Meyer Lemon Meyer Lemon on Foodista
75. Veggie Paella Vegetarian Paella on Foodista
76. Vegan Lasagna (raw optional)
77. Kombucha Kombucha on Foodista
78. Homemade Soy Milk
79. Lapsang souchong Lapsang Souchong Black Tea on Foodista
80. Lychee Bellini
81. Tempeh Bacon
82. Sprouted Grain Bread
83. Lemon Pepper Tempeh
84. Vanilla Bean Vanilla Bean on Foodista
85. Watercress
86. Carrot you pulled out of the ground yourself Carrot on Foodista
87. Vegan In-Season Fruit Pie
88. Flowers
89. Corn Chowder
90. High Quality Vegan Raw Chocolate
91. Yellow fuzz-free Kiwi Golden Kiwi  on Foodista
92. White Flesh Grapefruit
93. harissa Harissa on Foodista
94. Coconut Oil Coconut Oil on Foodista
95. Jackfruit Jackfruit on Foodista
96. Homemade Risotto
97. Spirulina
98. Seedless 'Pixie' Tangerine
99. Gourmet Sorbet, not store bought
100. Fresh Plucked English Peas