The Juice on Juicing

What is juicing?

Juicing involves the extraction of juice from fresh vegetables and fruits to create a drink chock full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

Why juice?

Drinking freshly pressed juice made from raw vegetables, leafy greens and low glycemic fruit is a fast and convenient way to get nutrients into our bodies and provides a boost of energy. These enzyme and vitamin rich foods are easily digested in liquid form and the nutrients quickly flow into the bloodstream to strengthen our cells and immune system. A great way to detox the body and provide alkaline minerals.

What’s so great about green juice?

Green vegetables contain chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what allows plants to absorb light from the sun and convert it into usable energy. It could be thought of as the blood of the plant. This translates into a powerful blood purifier and blood cell builder when consumed by us and increases the cell’s ability to carry oxygen. A diet high in chlorophyll will strengthen the immune system, improve circulation, ease inflammation and counteract harmful free radicals. Add some greens to your juice for liquid chlorophyll!

How will juicing benefit me?

Those who enjoy juicing often experience:

  • Increased energy
  • Better digestion
  • Glowing skin and clearer eyes
  • Stronger nails and hair
  • Improved mental clarity
  • Heightened sense of taste and smell
  • Stronger immune system
  • More control over appetite

What produce should I juice?

You can juice almost any fruit, veggie or herb. Here are my personal favorites to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to how much juice and flavor they produce.

  • celery
  • cucumber
  • beets
  • broccoli stems
  • citrus fruit
  • romaine lettuce
  • apples (go green for low glycemic option)
  • fresh ginger

What’s the best way to get my juice?

Not all juices are created equal. Choosing the right juice is important since you want it to benefit your body, not harm it. Be sure to know where your juice comes from. Store-bought pasteurized juices that sit on the supermarket shelf for weeks often contain artificial flavors, additives, and preservatives that are added to extend the shelf life. Hardly any nutritional benefits are left intact and they are often overloaded with sugar. You’re best bet is homemade freshly pressed juice from a juice bar, cafe, health food store or your own kitchen! Also, aim for juices containing more vegetables than fruit to reduce excess sugar. And please remember: you can’t live on juice alone! Add it in as a morning energy boost (it’s way more effective than caffeine!) or as an alternative to the afternoon slump vending machine visit.

Here at Kombu Kitchen we concoct delicious freshly pressed juices each and every week. They are available as part of our 3, 5, 7 or 10 Day Restore Me Cleanses or can be added on to any weekly meal delivery plan. Let us know if you would like to try them out with your next order!

Have more questions? Contact me anytime to chat: christy@kombukitchen.com.

Well wishes,

Christy

Christy LeMire, CHHC

Holistic Nutrition Coach

 

Healthy Dining In Boston

Here at Kombu Kitchen, our focus is bringing high quality, healthy and delicious plant-based meals into the homes of Boston area foodies. But what is a Bostonian to do when they find themselves out and about and hungry? Boston is jam packed full of eateries. Most notably famous for fresh New England seafood (yes, and baked beans), you can find just about any type of cuisine from the North End to Chinatown and everything in between. Among the mix is some really tasty healthy fair. We love exploring and finding spots that satisfy the palate with fresh healthy meals while providing a fun culinary experience. Headed out? Check out some of these popular healthy restaurants for Boston locals and out-of-town visitors looking to feel great about dining out…

Life Alive

With locations in Cambridge, Salem and Lowell, this organic cafe offers and urban oasis for quick bites of “vegetarian food even a meat lover can crave”. They are passionate about the quality and integrity of their ingredients to ensure their customers feel amazing! Grab a seat or a salad, wrap or smoothie for the road.

Organic Garden Cafe

Nestled in Beverly, this warm and inviting space has been welcoming patrons since 1999 offering “a truly enlightening & enlivening dining experience, where flavors & life force energy explode on the palate to both satisfy & energize the body & spirit.” Looking for creative and flavorful raw, vegan and gluten free options all day long? This is your place!

True Bistro 

Committed to a truly vegan environment, this Somerville establishment promises “to serve extraordinary vegan food created from the highest quality and freshest plant based ingredients”. Enjoy dinner or weekend brunch paired with one of their inventive cocktails. House-made Vegan Irish Cream anyone? I’m curious!

Walnut Grille 

Feeling fancy? Head to Newton for “passionately craft dishes that will exceed your Veggi-imagination”! Their vegetarian and vegan friendly brunch, lunch and dinner menus have something for everyone in the family. Their seasonal farm to table menu was created to “make you realize that vegetarian can be made Fancy.”

Beat Hôtel

In the heart of Harvard Square, you can enjoy dinner and a show daily. Alongside the stage featuring jazz, blues and other musical acts, The Beat Hôtel offers “an always fresh, seasonal, and wholesome menu, enjoyable for carnivores and vegetarians alike” They pride themselves on an eclectic fine dining experience incorporating flavors from around the world. Relax, sip a great glass of wine and feel the beat…perhaps while eating a beet.

Cheers to hitting the town and coming home “not so fat” and happy!

Well wishes,

Christy

Christy LeMire, CHHC

Holistic Nutrition Coach

 

 

 

5 Ways To Slow Down Your Meals

Last week on the blog, I discussed how eating meals in a stressed state can have a major effect on how our body digests and metabolizes the food we eat. This can lead to weight gain, particularly around the belly and excess cortisol (the stress fighting hormone) production. To prevent this from happening and to promote a strong metabolism, it is important for the nervous system to be relaxed during meal time.

The key to arriving at this important relaxed state is to slow down. Sounds simple, but with our busy, go-go-go lifestyles, it’s not always easy!

Here are 5 ways you can practice slowing down during your meals.

Breath Deeply

Even if you are having a very busy or stressful day, you can help trick your nervous system into thinking you are relaxed with just 2 minutes of deep breathing. Deep breathing can be powerful enough to promote prime digestive activity. Any time you are about to eat a meal or snack, check in with your self to see if you are about to eat under stress. If you are, take a moment to pause. Try taking 10 deep mindful breaths. This Daily Breathing Exercise is perfect since it incorporates slow breathing as well as focuses the mind to the present and to the body.

Engage the Senses

Before and while you eat, get the full experience from your food by smelling your food, enjoying the visual aesthetics of it, feeling the texture and savoring the varying flavors..

Chew Thoroughly

Digestion starts in the mouth as salivary enzymes begin to break it down. We can help this process and enhance our eating experience by chewing food more. Try chewing your first few bites at each meal at least 25 times. This will help you set the pace.

Schedule More Time

Normally eat breakfast in five minutes? Try making it 10. If you normally plan for 10 minutes, see about increasing that to 15. Whenever possible, give yourself at least 30 minutes to eat lunch and dinner. Consider how you can shift your home and work schedules as best as you can to allow for more time to nosh.

Limit Distractions

As often as possible, separate yourself from stress causing activities or major distractions like eating at your desk while checking emails, watching television or driving. These activities can not only affect stress levels but also often distract us to the point so that we don’t really recognize that we ate a full meal. This can cause overeating as well as thinking we need to eat again sooner than we are actually hungry.

How can you slow down your meals? The convenience of our Kombu Kitchen meal plans significantly reduce the amount of time you spend preparing meals which allows for more time to actually enjoy eating. If you would like to discuss with me directly how stress or a fast paced lifestyle may be blocking you from maintaining your healthy weight, contact me at christy@kombukitchen.com for a complimentary consultation. I would love to hear from you!

Well wishes,

Christy

Christy LeMire, CHHC

Holistic Nutrition Coach

How Stress Affects Your Weight

It has become incredibly common and acceptable to eat on the go.

We have developed impressive abilities to multitask, especially when it comes to eating. How often do you eat a meal or snack while working at your desk? Driving? Watching TV? Shuttling your kids around? Rushing to your next appointment?

Although you may feel like a rockstar task juggler, this on-the-go lifestyle may be effecting your digestion and your ability to lose or maintain a healthy weight.

When we are moving too fast through life, we often experience chronic low levels of stress (sometime very high levels). If the body continues to be taxed by even low amounts of frequenct stress than no matter how healthy you are eating or how much you are exercising, you will have a very difficult time losing any significant amount of weight and keeping it off.

When our lives are moving at warp speed, we inevitably eat fast, which wreaks havoc on our metabolism and upsets our digestive system. It results in meals eaten under a physiologic stress- response, which dramatically lessons our ability to burn calories.

The slower you eat the faster you metabolize.

The more relaxed you are throughout your day then the more energy you will have. You can eat the healthiest meal on the planet, but if you eat it in a stressed out, anxious state, your digestion will be significantly diminished. Salivary enzyme content in the mouth is reduced, the breakdown of protein, fat, and carbs in the stomach is impaired, and blood flow to the small intestines is decreases as much as fourfold, which translates into decreased assimilation of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Have you ever had the experience of eating a full meal and still being hungry, like you just can’t get satiated?

If we eat while our nervous system is relaxed, our bodies are in an optimal state for digestion and our metabolism revs up. We are allowing our bodies to focus on digesting our meal properly.

In a state of stress, the opposite happens. Our digestion shuts down. Our bodies redirect blood flow, energy and healing to other areas that seemingly need attention which leads to poor digestion, reduced metabolic power, increased cortisol production, and fat storage primarily around the belly.

So what are we to do in order to prevent stress from causing weight gain and preventing weight loss?

In a word…”RELAX”

This may seem like a difficult challenge to tackle! So I’m excited to offer some simple solutions. Check back soon for my tips on how you can slow down and eat your meals in a more relaxed state, even if your life still takes you on the go.

Follow us on Facebook to stay tuned! In the meantime, check out our highly effective Body Breakthrough Program, a Kombu Kitchen signature meal plan and support system specifically designed to promote healthy weight loss.

Well wishes,

Christy

Christy LeMire, CHHC

Holistic Nutrition Coach

 

Superfood Spotlight: Black Sesame Seeds

“Taking black sesame seeds can heal all chronic illness after 100 days, improve skin tone on body and face after 1 year, reverse gray hair after 2 years, and regrow teeth after 3 years.”

Or at least what The Compendium of Materia Medica (the largest collection of medical articles in the history of Traditional Chinese Medicine) claims.

WOW!!! Could eating a bunch of little black dots really do all that? Personally, I can’t say for sure. But that’s enough to spark my interest.

I love the flavor, little bit of added crunch and visual aesthetics that topping a salad, grain or veggie meal with black sesame seeds adds. You may also have seen them atop breads or sushi. I get excited whenever Chef Kristen adds them to her seaweed salads, macro breakfast scrambles, steamed kale or stir-fry recipes. They have a delicious nutty flavor that compliments the taste of these types of dishes really well.

Black sesame seeds, which grow in bunches inside pods, are mature sesame seeds with the hull (shell) intact. Once the hull is removed, a white seed is revealed.

So what’s so great about them? Lets explore some of the highlights…

Black sesame seeds are:

  • Rich in essential minerals including magnesium, calcium, copper, and zinc.
  • High in vitamins E, B1 and dietary fiber, protein and antioxidants.
  • Very high in calcium. Black sesame seeds contain about 60% more calcium than white sesame seeds since the majority of the calcium lives in the hull (shell).
  • An excellent source of magnesium, which is important for proper calcium absorption.
  • Largely made up of healthy fats and linoleic acid, promoting heart health.
  • Known to help reduce inflammation, aid in lowering bad cholesterol, the prevention of skin cancer and other conditions.

Whether eaten plain, toasted, ground or as an extracted oil, sesame seeds provide enhanced flavor and great health benefits. You might just find some in one of Chef Kristen’s creations on this week’s menu…only one way to find out!

Well wishes,

Christy

Christy LeMire, CHHC

Holistic Nutrition Coach

 

Where Vegans Get Calcium

Milk is great for you…if you are a growing infant being nourished by your mother.

A mother’s breast milk is the best food possible for most healthy babies. However something happens somewhere between age one and four. We lose up to 95% of the lactase enzyme which is necessary to digest lactose (the sugar in milk). This is why the majority of adults are lactose intolerant to some degree and why no other species instinctively drink milk once they stop breast feeding.

Digestion difficulty is just one of the many reasons why milk is not an essential part of a healthy diet…unless you are an infant. Here are a few more reasons why milk and other dairy products may be doing more harm to your body than good:

  • Milk actually pulls calcium from your body. Extensive studies show that countries with the highest dairy consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis.
  • It is very common for dairy to create excess mucus which can cause or worsen congestion, sinus infections and seasonal allergies. Dairy is also one of the most common causes of food allergies.
  • Dairy can contribute to high cholesterol.
  • The ingestion of Casein (the protein in dairy) can play a major factor in the development of cancer cells, as proven in the “China Study” conducted by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, professor emeritus of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University. He claims that “80% to 90% of all cancers, cardiovascular diseases and other degenerative illness can be prevented, at least until very old age, simply by adopting a plant-based diet.

So, where can you safely and effectively get your calcium? Here are some of the best non-dairy food calcium sources:

  • sesame and sunflower seeds
  • tahini (sesame paste)
  • raw nuts and figs
  • chickpeas and white beans
  • broccoli
  • kale and cabbage
  • collard and mustard greens
  • watercress and arugula
  • seaweed and kelp
  • soybeans and tofu
  • chia seeds
  • spirulina

If you can’t see yourself giving up milk, check out some of the great dairy-free alternatives such as almond, coconut, hemp, rice or oat milk. Chef Kristen uses a variety of these options in many of her delicious plant-based superfood recipes including soups, hot cereals, desserts and her famous “no-gurts”.

If you have further questions about how you can ensure proper calcium intake through a plant-based diet, contact me at christy@kombukitchen.com.

Well wishes,

Christy

Christy LeMire, CHHC
Holistic Nutrition Coach

How to Make Your Diet More Plant Focused

Have you been considering shifting towards a more plant-based diet? Thinking about becoming a vegetarian or vegan, but don’t know where to start? Do you have a really hard time imagining how you would survive without meat or dairy?

Whether your goal is to give up animal products all together or simply reduce your intake, the idea can be overwhelming. Here are a few initial steps you can take in order to begin to move towards plant focused eating habits:

Get clear on why you are making this choice.

What will the benefits be if you commit to eating this way? What will change? Is it to improve your health or an ethical reason? Write down your purpose and share it with those closest to you.

Add in more plant foods.

Adding in more of the good stuff will help to crowd out the rest. Eat more veggies, leafy greens, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains. Stock your kitchen with a variety of plant foods you enjoy so you have options whenever you get hungry.

Slowly transition off animal food.

Begin by reducing your portion sizes when eating meat. Limit the amount to the size of your palm or smaller. If you eat meat or dairy at every meal, start by eating it only at lunch or dinner and then eventually beginning to incorporate meat free days.

Start experimenting in the kitchen.

Try new vegetarian or vegan recipes that include a variety of ingredients and flavors. Keep it simple to start and try meatless versions of your favorite meals. Love chicken fajitas? Try loading up your tortillas with veggies and guacamole instead and see how much you really miss the meat.

Learn your alternative protein sources.

You can absolutely get enough protein eating a plant based diet if you do it mindfully. Check out our list of recommended protein options.

Choose veg when eating out.

Opt for vegetarian dishes at restaurants. This can be a great way to get meatless meal ideas. Familiarize yourself with good local options that specialize in tasty and nourishing vegan or vegetarian food and get excited about trying something new.

Prepare for questions and reactions from others.

Anytime you do anything out of the norm, people will notice. Focus on and highlight the positive. Rather than making a big deal out of your choices or preaching about why you are going meat-free, talk about how great you personally feel eating this way and the positive changes you have experienced in your body. You will likely inspire others just by your actions and great attitude!

Here at Kombu Kitchen, we take the guess work out of eating balanced, delicious and nutritious plant-focused meals. We are committed to offering the healthiest energizing superfood possible! To learn more about how we may be able to support you, contact me at christy@kombukitchen.com.

Well wishes,

Christy

Christy LeMire, CHHC
Holistic Nutrition Coach

Help Your Body Manage Stress And Fatigue

Life can be stressful. There are many things we can do to reduce stress on a daily basis and manage it in healthy ways, but to think we can eliminate stress all together is unrealistic.

Thankfully, our amazing bodies are made to handle occasional stress by calling upon the Adrenal System for support. The primary job of the adrenal glands is to regulate stress by releasing energy hormones including cortisol and adrenaline. The more physical and emotional stress that we experience, the harder the adrenal glands have to work. Chronic stress can begin to tax the adrenal glands and they can become tired and worn-out. There is a name for this. It’s called Adrenal Fatigue.

Adrenal Fatigue is caused when your adrenal glands are no longer capable of sufficiently reacting to stress. It can show up in our bodies in various ways.

Here are some of the typical symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue:

  • Feeling tired frequently
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Cravings
  • Irritability
  • Strong mood swings (especially after eating simple carb and sugar)
  • Low Libido
  • Muscle twitches
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed
  • Dry skin
  • Dark circles under eyes
  • Low blood pressure
  • Frequent infections

It is important to support the adrenals as they are also key to a strong immune system and healthy thyroid function. Healthy eating and lifestyle habits can help rebuild and maintain the adrenals.

Here are some steps you can take to naturally nurture your adrenal glands:

  • Rest and relaxation. Get plenty of sleep (preferably 8 hours each night) and try to stick to a sleep schedule.
  • Ditch the junk food. Reduce or eliminate refined sugar and simple carbohydrates (all the white stuff) so that your adrenals can properly help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Add in more clean and fresh whole foods especially leafy greens and other vegetables.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout each day.
  • Cut back on coffee, soda and other caffeinated drinks. Caffeine a common contributor to Adrenal Fatigue as it actually depletes energy in the body by creating highs and lows which require the adrenal glands to secrete additional energy hormones.

If you think you may be experiencing Adrenal Fatigue and would like to discuss how you can begin to reverse the effects by embracing healthy eating and reducing stress, please contact at me at christy@kombukitchen.com to discuss how we can support you!

Christy LeMire, CHHC
Holistic Nutrition Coach

Relaxing Daily Breathing Exercise

Never underestimate the power of a deep breath…

Breathing comes so naturally that we tend not to give it much thought and forget that it is the #1 thing that gives us life. Breath can have a powerful effect on our mood, stress levels and overall well being. Deep and conscious breathing can help calm the nervous system and quiet the mind. Bringing awareness to your breath on a daily basis can have an immediate calming and uplifting effect and overtime can help positively change the way you handle and react to stress.

There are many effective forms of Pranayama and breathing exercises. I especially love this simple exercise which I learned from one of my teachers Dr. Andrew Weil because it can be practiced anytime, anywhere and can have profound immediate and long term results. I have personally found it very helpful as a relaxation technique and have recommended it to many of my clients with positive results.

Daily Breathing Exercise:

  1. Take a deep inhale through the nose and let all breath out the mouth.

  2. Breath in slowly through the nose for 4 counts.

  3. Hold breath for 7 counts.

  4. Breath out slowly through the mouth for 8 counts.

Repeat 4 breath cycles twice per day or as needed. Work up to 8 breaths cycles in a row.

Practice this breathing exercise daily whenever you few quiet moments to yourself. Perhaps when you first rise, in the shower, before meals, or at bedtime. It can be particularly useful when feeling stressed or emotional for a mood balancing, anti-anxiety and sleep promoting tool. It can also be an effective way to help curb cravings.

To learn how we can support you to bring more relaxation into your life, contact me today at christy@kombukitchen.com for a complimentary consultation.

Well wishes,

Christy

Christy LeMire, CHHC
Holistic Nutrition Coach

 

5 Steps to Create Space to Achieve Your Goals

When you ask most people why they don’t exercise, prepare healthy meals, spend more time with friends and family, start that new career, or do that thing they used to love or have always wanted to try, the answer is most often…

“I DON’T HAVE TIME”.

I used to say these four words constantly about exercising (among many other things) when I was commuting 2 hours per day to my full time job in network television. More recently these words have crept their way back into my vocabulary often enough for me to take notice and realize I need to make some changes.

I found myself taking on many new professional opportunities in my life that left me feeling a bit stretched thin and overcommitted. Although some of these things seemed exciting at the start, they ended up consuming my time and not contributing towards my long term goals. Although I felt like I was putting a lot of effort in as a “Busy Bee”, I was loosing my ability to stay focused and began to feel derailed from my path to reaching my bigger picture goals.

Isn’t it funny how that happens? We somehow feel important or validated by a jam packed schedule. This can be counterproductive.

My current goal is to continue to improve and expand my coaching practice in order to effectively help change lives on a larger scale. Your goal may be to start a new career or to learn to live a healthy lifestyle so that you will keep the weight off once and for all. No matter what it is you desire, the key is creating space to allow for the time and energy to make it happen.

Here are the steps that are working for me to create space in my life.

Recognizing – Appreciating all the opportunities that I have been given and that I have created.

Reassessing – Evaluating each commitment that consumes my time and asking 3 questions.

  •    Why am I doing this?
  •    What is the value of this?
  •    Is this contributing towards my ultimate goal?

Prioritizing – Putting the worthwhile efforts in order of value and importance.

Letting Go – Gracefully leaving the things behind that are not contributing to my ultimate goal and whose value does not merit my time and efforts, especially if I don’t enjoy doing it.

This can be a challenge. I’ve had to walk away from some tempting professional and social offers and disappoint some people. I hate saying no! But each time I let go of something, it allows for new opportunities and creates the space I need to put my time and energy into staying focused on what I truly desire long term.

Outsourcing – If there’s something necessary that will take me a ton of time to do and is not something I enjoy, I find someone else who can do it.

Your time is valuable. If you aren’t taking care of yourself because you spend all your free time cleaning your house for instance, perhaps a small investment in a cleaning service a couple of times per month could be life changing. “But I don’t have the money!” Well that’s a topic for another day, but the same principles can apply when creating space in your budget.

Kombu Kitchen is here to help you create space in your life by taking care of preparing healthy meals for you and your family. Think of all the precious time you will save planning, shopping and cooking!

I would love to discuss your goals and how I can help support you to create space in your life to make them a reality. Contact me at  christy@kombukitchen.com to schedule your complimentary consultation call today!

Well wishes,

Christy

Christy LeMire, CHHC
Holistic Nutrition Coach

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