Thursday, September 30, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Don't skimp on bananas.
We absolutely love the smoothness and sweetness that bananas add to smoothies. Bananas blend very well with green leafies. I try to keep some ripe and green bananas on hand at all times, so I don't run out. I have gotten to the point where I always want two bananas per blenderful.
Berries are amazing.
I can blend up a whole blenderful of greens, and add just a few berries, which turn the entire smoothie into a pretty red or blue color. This is a great way to start little children or any green smoothie newbies, who may be intimidated by the green appearance. Start with a larger quantity of fruit and a smaller amount of greens at first. As your little ones become more accustomed, increase the amount of greens.
Make it fun- use a special straw or cup, just for smoothie time.
I highly recommend Strawesome glass straws. They even make smoothie straws, which have a wider diameter than most straws. These cups are great to-go cups, especially if you find that you are often tempted to buy an iced coffee on the road. When time allows, I like to whip up a smoothie and bring it to sip, while running errands. My littlest smoothie drinker begs to use a small mason jar, each time I whip up smoothies. I pack one or two large green smoothies for my husband, in mason jars/glass jars for his lunch.
Get your children involved in shopping for fruits and greens and/or grow your own garden.
Some children may be more inclined to try a green smoothie if they are involved in the process of picking out the greens at the grocery store/farmer's market. Involve them in combining different fruits and greens to make a variety of healthy concoctions.
Spinach is fantastic for newbies.
Spinach blends very well with fruit, and doesn't leave a bitter after taste. Kale, collards, and mustard greens are nutritional powerhouses, which I highly recommend working up to, but they tend to be more bitter than spinach and lettuces.
Do you have any tips for helping children or newbies to enjoy green smoothies?
Posted by Christine at 7:25 PM
Thursday, September 23, 2010
“Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates
It can be challenging to eat healthier, when you don't know where to start. Baby steps are the best way to "get your feet wet" when you want to make a positive change in your life, regarding your health. We all know that we need to avoid processed foods and eat healthier, but it can be difficult to know where to start.
Green for Life is a book of hope and encouragement, as it shares a simple and viable way to revitalize your life. Green for Life, written by Victoria Boutenko, shares the life-changing benefits of incorporating green smoothies into your diet. In her book, Victoria shares testimonials of those who have been healed from cancer, diabetes, and more, just by adding green smoothies to their diets. Green smoothies are a perfect convenience food, as they can be prepared in a mere 3-5 minutes.
In our modern age, toxins are prevalent. Babies are born with the presence of toxins in their bodies. In 2005, the cord blood of 10 newborns was studied. The cord blood contained an average of 200 environmental toxins, 180 of which can cause cancer. It seems that at least some toxin exposure is inevitable, so it is essential to rid oneself of toxins in a timely manner. Green smoothies are very high in fiber, and act like a sponge to cleanse the body from various toxins.
My favorite chapter in Green for Life was the "Healing Powers of Chlorophyll". Victoria shares that,
"Chlorophyll is liquefied sun energy.Consuming as much chlorophyll as possible is exactly like bathing our inner organs in sunshine. The molecule of chlorophyll is remarkably similar to the heme molecule in human blood."
Greens are abundantly rich in chlorophyll and can prevent and heal cancer and arteriosclerosis. The following are a few of the healing properties of chlorophyll, as listed in Green for Life:
- helps prevent cancer
-provides iron to organs
-makes the body more alkaline
-conteracts toxins eaten
-improves anemic conditions
-helps purify the liver
Green for Life contains a variety of green smoothie recipes, including a welcome smoothie for beginners:
Welcome Smoothie for Beginners
1 cup chard
1 cup spinach
8-10 strawberries, stems included
1 mango, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups water
Yields: Two Quarts
While reading this book, I decided to put it to the test. I usually enjoyed a few green smoothies a week, but hadn't had them on a daily basis. I have been drinking at least one green smoothie every day, for the past three weeks, as part of a personal challenge. (There was one day that I did not make a green smoothie during this challenge. My body was very sluggish on that day, because of not having my green smoothie. I don't ever want to go without one again.) I cannot believe the results that I have seen. Even on little sleep, I feel more rested. Though I have always had a sweet tooth, drinking green smoothies has kept me from craving sweets. I also find that I don't over-eat, even if there are a lot of delicious foods at family events. Surprisingly to me, I found myself craving greens. I started putting more greens in my smoothies, and often preferred making smoothies to having other foods. This personal challenge has inspired me to be green for life. Green smoothies are healthy and delicious; they have revitalized my life.
You can Win a Copy of Green for Life
Green for Life is an easy to implement, yet life-changing book. I am so excited that one of my blog readers can win a copy of this excellent book.
How to Win:
1. Leave me a comment telling me why you need this book. Please leave your e-mail address, so I can contact you if you are the winner.
This giveaway will end October 7, 2010 at 12 pm.
Thank you to North Atlantic Books for providing me with a review copy and a giveaway copy of Green for Life.
Posted by Christine at 4:21 PM
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The winner of the pound of Red Raspberry Leaf from More than Alive is Kari ( firstname.lastname@example.org). I will be e-mailing you, shortly, Kari. Thank you to everyone who entered this giveaway.
Posted by Christine at 11:05 AM
Monday, September 20, 2010
Charlie's Soap has Laundry Liquid , Laundry Powder , and All Purpose Cleaner .
You can win an 80 load bag of Charlie's Laundry Powder, One 17 oz. All Purpose Bottle, and one grocery tote!
How to Win:
Mandatory Entry- Visit Charlie's Soap and leave me a comment letting me know which of their products you would love to try. Leave your e-mail address, so I can contact you if you win.
1. Like Charlie's Soap on Facebook.
2. Like Lily of the Valley on Facebook.
3. Follow my blog via google.
4. Blog about this giveaway.
5. Tweet about this giveaway.
This giveaway ends September 30, 2010 at 12 noon EST for US residents.
Thank you to Charlie's Soap, who gave me samples to review, and who provided the items for the giveaway. The opinions herein are my honest thoughts, and I received no monetary compensation for this post.
Posted by Christine at 2:21 PM
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I have been a fan of Google for a very long time. It has always been my absolute favorite search engine. I have been very reluctant to switch to any other search engine, until lately, when I learned that I can earn giftcards with Swagbucks. You can redeem 450 Swagbucks for an Amazon.com gift card. I have received 50 swagbucks, on a couple occasions, just for typing something into their search engine. There are so many children's books on my wish list, I would love to get several gift cards to aid in building my home library. Some of my friends have told me that they earn $20- $30 in gift cards a month. This would be a wonderful way to fund Christmas and birthday gifts, as well. If you sign up under my link, I will receive referral bucks. I certainly appreciate it!
If you are an expert at Swagbucks, I would love to hear your tips on earning more bucks! Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 8:46 AM
If there is one herb that has made me a believer in the power of herbs, it would have to be Red Raspberry leaf . My first labor was a grueling 33 hours. When I was expecting my second child, I did as much research as I could to find out what I could naturally do to have a shorter and more efficient labor. I drank about a cup of red raspberry tea, daily, for the last month of my pregnancy. I was pleasantly surprised that baby #2 was born after a mere 5 hours of labor. The benefits of red raspberry extend far beyond merely toning the uterus, as well. (Though of course, that in and of itself is a gift from God!)
Some of the Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf:
- Decreases heavy menstrual flow
-Increases Male Fertility
-Alleviates morning sickness and nausea
-Helps to prevent premature labor
-Tones uterus and entire female reproductive system
-Aids in decreasing afterbirth pains
-Increases and enriches breastmilk
-Helps with tummy aches and diarrhea
-Rich in Vitamin and Mineral content
(This is based on The How to Herb Book)
Excerpts from Practical HerbalismThe renowned Quaker herbalist, Henry Box, is quoted as saying,
"A tea made from Red Raspberry leaves is the best gift God ever gave to women. Its utility in travail is surprising. As a drink before and after confinement, it is unequaled by any other agent. If the pains of childbirth are premature, it will make all quiet. When timely, it will occasion a safe and easy parturition. If the mother is weak, it will abundantly strengthen her, cleanse her and enrich her milk. It is perfect safe under all circumstances."
More than Alive is giving away 1 pound of red raspberry leaf to one reader of Lily of the Valley!
To Win: (There are three ways to win. The only mandatory entry is #1.)
1. Go to the More than Alive website, and tell me one product of theirs that you would be interested in. Please leave a comment and include your e-mail address.
2. Become a facebook fan of More than Alive .
3. Follow my blog.
This contest is open to US residents, and it ends September 21, 2010 at 12 pm.
Thank you to More than Alive for providing the product for this giveaway.
Posted by Christine at 8:20 AM
Thursday, September 09, 2010
The winner of the Strawesome decorative Smoothie Straw is Sharon, ephesians516 at aol.com. Sharon, please e-mail me your name and mailing address, so I can pass it along to Daedra @ Strawesome. Thank you to everyone who entered. Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 7:11 PM
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
More than Alive is offering Lily of the Valley readers a 10% discount on their total orders from September 11-13, with the coupon code HS5E3 . More than Alive carries a variety of health needs, from Berkey water filters, to bulk herbs, to bulk foods. Stay tuned, as I will be hosting a giveaway from More than Alive, in the near future. Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 11:11 AM
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
(as pictured above)
2 cups organic baby spinach (I buy the 1 lb. container for $3.97 @ Sam's club each week.)
1 orange (peeled and segmented)
1/2 mango (peeled)
1/2 cup blueberries
7 ice cubes
1 cup filtered water
I put all the ingredients in my Vita-mix and blend for about a minute to a minute and a half. To prepare in a regular blender, chop ingredients thoroughly and then blend till smooth.
2 cups organic spring mix ($3.97 @ Sam's)
1 mango (peeled)
1 peach (peeled because it isn't organic)
1 cup filtered water
Blend for about 60 seconds.
I highly recommend reading these Guidelines to Drinking Green Smoothies. These tips were gathered by Victoria Boutenko, a woman who has researched the benefits of green smoothies, in detail. She has also authored a few books on this subject.
A green smoothie consists of 60% fruit and 40% greens. As you become more acclimated to the greens, you can increase the amount in your smoothie.
Greens (a few examples)
romaine lettuce (a pack of about 3-4 heads of organic lettuce is available at Walmart)
One of the most important tips to remember is to rotate your greens. Victoria explains why:
"Always rotate the green leaves that you add to your smoothies. Almost all greens in the world contain minute amounts of alkaloids. Tiny quantities of alkaloids cannot hurt you, and even strengthen the immune system. However, if you keep consuming kale, or spinach, or any other single green for many weeks without rotation, eventually the same type of alkaloids can accumulate in your body and cause unwanted symptoms of poisoning. Please note that you don’t have to rotate the fruit in your green smoothies. Most commonly used fruit have very little or none of the alkaloids and cannot cause the same toxic reactions as greens. At the same time, rotating fruits will enhance the variety of flavor and nutrition in your smoothies."
Also, the quality of your greens is very important. I have heard it said before that greens are your fuel, so you should make sure that you get the best quality possible. Organic produce can be very expensive, but I do highly encourage you to at least make sure that your greens are organic. I buy the 1 lb. organic spring mix ($3.97) and 1 lb. organic baby spinach ($3.97) at Sam's club, each week. I was also pleasantly surprised to notice that Walmart has started carrying a lot of organic produce. They have organic Romaine, celery, salad mixes, and more.
Green smoothies are very tasty and very nourishing. To receive the maximum amount of health benefits, eat nothing else 45 minutes before or after drinking a green smoothie. It is best not to add it to a meal, but to enjoy it all by itself.
Though we are a very rich nation, most Americans are walking around very malnourished. Adding green smoothies to your day is a wonderful way to vitalize your life. Green smoothies are excellent any time of day, but my favorite times are first thing in the morning and about 3 pm, when I need a natural energy boost.
Do you enjoy green smoothies? I would love to hear some of your favorite recipes. Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 9:46 AM
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Over the past few weeks, I have made a personal commitment to drink a daily (or more) green smoothie. I cannot begin to tell you what a difference this has made in the way I feel. With our modern American diet, it can be challenging to eat enough fruits and vegetables. We need the enzymes from raw fruits and vegetables, to properly digest what we are eating. According to Cancer, Step Outside of the Box, the average, non-overweight person has 10 pounds of waste sitting in his colon. Isn't that frightening? If you have a powerful blender, such as a Vitamix or a Blendtec, the cell walls of the green leafies are opened up, so your body can more readily assimilate the nutrients. I prefer blending my green smoothies rather than juicing, since blending keeps all of the fiber within the drink. I marvel at the many health benefits of drinking green smoothies. Since 60-70% of your immune system is located in the gut, health truly begins in the intestines and it is wise to keep them clean.
I recently learned about a cottage business of a work at home mom, Daedra Surowiec, Strawesome.
Daedra sent me a gorgeous decorative Going Green Smoothie Straw to review. Daedra crafts each straw out of clear or colored borosilicate glass. I absolutely adore the decorative flair that she added to my straw.
Glass straws are a wonderful alternative to plastic straws, because they are reusable and plastic straws may leach toxins. The first thing that I noticed when using the Going Green Smoothie Straw, was that my smoothie tasted so much better through a glass straw. Have you ever noticed how different a drink tastes in a plastic cup as opposed to a glass? The same is true, if not more so, with a glass straw as opposed to a plastic straw.
Strawesome straws come in a variety of sizes and gorgeous colors such as Regular (9.5 mm) and Smoothie (12.7 mm) . A pretty glass straw might be a terrific way to interest a child in a healthy drink.
Strawesome straws are very durable! I love the large diameter of the smoothie straws!
Worried about breakage? Strawesome straws are made of the same durable glass as Pyrex is. They are very durable, not brittle. Strawesome offers a lifetime warranty on their straws. If you break it, they will replace it.
Strawesome offers fun starter sets and family sets.
Win a Decorative Smoothie Straw
You can win a Strawesome Decorative Smoothie Straw of your very own!
How to Win
1. Leave me a comment telling me what Strawesome product you would love to own. (mandatory entry)
2. Like Strawesome on Facebook. Leave me a comment letting me know.
3. Follow my blog.
This giveaway will end September 9, 2010.
This was not a paid post and honest opinions were used. Thank you to STRAWESOME, who supplied this product for the review and the giveaway.
Posted by Christine at 4:29 PM