Q&A with AQ!! (Juice Cleanse Safety & 10 Recipes!)

Hi Alyssa, I have never done a juice cleanse before, but I have been having some tummy issues lately and thought this may be a good idea. Considering how I’ve never done this before, can you walk me through what I need to do before, during, and after….. If you could give me some recipes I’d greatly appreciate it!” — Megan

Juice cleansing is an art, it looks different for every body type. Based on your insulin and blood sugar needs, every will be different on the basic facts of when to do it, which veggies to use, and how long to do it for. Since I am NOT a licensed nutritionist or doctor, this is all based on my own research, trial and error with my own personal cleanses, and advice from nutritionists that I know. This is all info for the average person, a generalized rule of thumb. Please take into account your own dietary needs if you’re diabetic, have autoimmune diseases, or any other insulin balance issues.

1. On average, the most effective and safe juice cleanses are no longer than 3 days. This is to help support the fat burning process of your body. Because juice is primarily sugar carbs, if you deprive your body of protein and fat for too long, your body will think it’s starving! Don’t get crazy.

2. Before starting your cleanse, devote 3 days to a very clean diet. No processed sugars and junk food. Try to keep your meals small and nutrient dense.

3. Focus on GREENS as much as possible. They have the highest cleansing properties, lowest sugar content, and provide a bit of protein. About 2 liters per day of greens.

4. Try to keep your juices low in simple sugars like apples, grapes, fruit. Only about 1/2 liter per day of these.

5. For a total of 3 liters per day in a juice cleanse, this provides your body with enough calories to function, enough nutrients to flush the toxins, and enough quantity to keep you feeling full. Be sure to also drink equal parts water in between juices! Most of the time when I cleanse, I’m never hungry due to feeling totally stuffed on juices. Cravings are a total bummer though, and they make you think you’re hungry when you’re not.

5. If exercising while cleansing, keep it to 30-45min tops, moderate level. I recommend yoga, walking, biking. If you’re incorporating weights or muscle toning, be sure to add some vegan plant based protein powder to your juices.

6. When coming off of your juice cleanse, be gentle to your body! I recommend a raw food diet for 1.5days after the cleanse is completely. Steamed veggies, nuts, etc. DO NOT BINGE EAT!! If you flood your body with a massive meal full of junk, you will have ruined your entire cleanse, and you’ll most likely feel incredibly sick.

Here’s some recipes!! If you can, challenge yourself to add spinach or romaine to every juice recipe to up your green intake!

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Citrus Fat Burning Refresher:

  • 1/2 orange (peeled)
  • 1 lemon (peeled)
  • 1 small knob Ginger
  • 1/2 apple OR 1/2 tbs raw honey
  • 1 grapefruit (peeled)
  • 1 shake cayenne pepper (optional)
  • (if this is too zingy for you, add half a cucumber to tone it down)

Green Digestion Booster:

  • 1 green apple
  • 1 packed handful spinach
  • 2 stalks kale or 2 leaves romaine
  • 1 stick celery (include leaves!)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 stick of fennel, including 1/4 of the bulb
  • (1 cube ginger for a little kick)

Water Retention Flat Belly Flush:

  • 2 beetroot (you can juice the stalks and leaves too!)
  • 2 sticks celery (rinse thoroughly, include leaves)
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 5 leaves parsley OR 5 leaves dandelion
  • (1 cube ginger)

Glowing Skin/Sharp Mind:

  • 1/2 grapefruit (peeled)
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled)
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1/2 apple (if not sweet enough)

Craving Kicker:

  • 4 wedges watermelon (about 1 cup juiced)
  • 5 strawberries
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1/2 apple
  • (3 leaves mint for a fun perk!)

Mojito Make you Feel Better:

  • 5-8 leaves kale
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1-2 limes (peeled)
  • 2 green apple’s (I prefer less)
  • 3 leaves mint

Sunshine on The Beach Energy Replenish:

  • 1 carrot
  • 1 pineapple (peeled, cored)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup coconut water (stirred in after)
  • (1/2 apple if not sweet enough)

Kickin’ Kidney Clear:

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups radishes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 apple (if you’re a sweet tooth add more apple!)

Happy Gut, Happy Life:

  • 3 cups purple cabbage (chopped)
  • 1 stick fennel, 1/2 of the bulb
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1 apple

Cancer Defense:

  • 1 cup broccoli (can include stalks)
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro
  • 4 leaves romaine
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 lime
  • 1-2 green apples

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paleo Vanilla Birthday Cake, with “Diva” Caramel Frosting

Ella loves Vanilla cake, just like me! She specifically didn’t want cupcakes though, so I had to scrounge up some ingredients to make a cake. She had 2 parties, one with family, and one with friends. The first cake I made for the family birthday was good….but the second try was WAY better. As Ella would say, “Nailed it!”

The reason I called the caramel frosting “diva” is because in Redding we had a cupcake shop called SweetSpot. They had “Diva” cupcakes….caramel vanilla amazingness. These were Ella’s favorite, so I tried to recreate it! This frosting can be slathered on anything….oh my word I’m drooling just remembering how delicious it was!! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me using my hashtag! #fitmamaq

I’m sorry I don’t have better photos! I was in a rush so I forgot to take pictures of the sliced cake!!

 

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Vanilla Cake

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or coconut milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbls vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey (I prefer maple syrup)

Combine wet ingredients first, except the coconut oil. Then add dry ingredients. Be sure to blend everything in food processor or use hand mixer so it’s not clumpy. Add melted coconut oil last, mix well. Pour into greased 9×9 baking dish. I baked mine in a flat pan so it would look like sandy beach. Bake 325 for 25-30min. Let cool completely before frosting.

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Diva Caramel Frosting

  • 1 & 1/4 cup vegan palm shortening OR quality organic butter, softened
  • 3 egg whites (you can sub 2tbs full fat coconut cream here***)
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar (this gives the caramel color and flavor)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs tapioca flour (or arrowroot powder)

Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture is warm and sugar has dissolved. Taking the metal bowl off heat, start to whisk immediately using high speed mixer. Either a hand mixer or kitchenaid. Mixture should start to peak, about 10 min. Keeping mixture on medium speed, add shortening or butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla extract at the end. Let set in refrigerator about 30min if piping. Frosting keeps at room temperature for 2 days.

**If you’d rather leave out the egg whites, using full fat coconut cream instead– Set the can of full fat coconut milk in refrigerator over night. Open can without shaking, scrape just the top cream out of the can, leaving the clear coconut water behind. Save for smoothies! Over low heat, warm the coconut sugar and salt with 1tbs water, stirring constantly until completely dissolved. Then add to the rest of the ingredients like above, whisking high speed.

 

(Here is a photo of my cupcake recipe from Aria’s birthday party, with the caramel frosting instead of strawberry!)

 

 

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4 ways to get more out of your Pilates workout!

The list of celebrity women with incredible bodies (especially after having babies) is endless. I hear numerous women complain though, and say that Pilates isn’t challenging enough for them, and they didn’t see results like the celebrities claim. There are a few reasons behind that, because I can relate to those same frustrations. These are just a few celebrity women who say Pilates and Ballet Bar is their weekly workout! I see muscle, I see strength, I see definition… but I also see curves and a little bit of “fat” in the right places.

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I also see a lot of women give up on Pilates and turn to workout such as Crossfit or heavy weight lifting. While I love both those forms of exercise, I don’t believe they are as effective at toning a body while maintaining the classic curves that come with womanhood. While I think muscle is absolutely beautiful, I believe the every day womens body should have a little softness, the lengthened toned arms, and extra roundness in the buns and thighs. These are all the gorgeous qualities of a womens body that God created!! I know I’ll get a lot of heat for this post, because I know that a ton of women love the womens body building look, and as I said, I think it’s gorgeous, but it’s extremely difficult for a woman to maintain daily without going to extremes.

4 ways to get more out of your Pilates workout!

 

1. Don’t go to a boring, slow moving Pilates class! Majority of Pilates classes these days, especially at gyms, the teachers are NOT Pilates instructors. And most of them teach only basic workouts, that are meant for every level of strength. Before joining a gym, try their Pilates classes… look for the most challenging class and go to that one! I’ve had memberships/worked for 7 gyms, and I can honestly say I’ve only liked 1 Pilates instructor out of all those classes! So, chances are, the workouts at your gyms are not challenging enough. (Stay tuned for my workout dvds, hopefully out by the end of the year!!)

2. Try variations to make the moves more challenging. Jillian Michaels, Blogilates, and numerous other fitness gurus use Pilates foundations, but change it up to make the resistance more intense! All of my classes are basic Pilates moves, just turned into harder moves to make my muscles scream more! Add in weights, do some circuit training throughout the week. Don’t stop lifting weights! Just every thing in moderation, every thing in rotation! Try Ballet Bar…these are great ways to lengthen the muscles and build strength!

3. Diet is everything. In every exercise, you burn a lot less calories than you think you do! Workouts like Pilates on average burn about 200cal per hour (my classes burn 400cal per hour), and that’s because they don’t incorporate cardio. So the main benefit of Pilates for slender muscle is the “afterburn”. You continue to burn calories after the workout is over because muscle burns more calories than fat. Be sure to incorporate protein and vegetables all day long to get the most out of your workouts.

4. Don’t forget your cardio!! Whether you do high intensity interval cardio, or low intensity steady state cardio, JUST DO IT. Cardio activities help shed fat, and push those muscles to the limit. You’ll start to see that hard earned muscle!

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Chicken Pad Thai with Peanut Sauce! (paleo, low fat, low carb)

We eat this all the time! It’s super easy, and such a crowd pleaser. Very few ingredients, and easy to build up based on what you have on hand! I’ve made this with Spaghetti Squash or Zucchini as the noodles. For Chris and Ella I usually make gluten free brown rice pad thai noodles.

 

Noodle Options- Both options serve 3-4 people.

  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash

*Preheat oven to 375. Pierce squash a few times with fork. Wrap in foil. Roast 45-60min. Let cool in fridge for about 1hr, or let sit overnight in fridge if you want to prepare the night before. Slice thru midsection, not lengthwise, pull out seeds, then shred the “noodles” out with a fork. I like to rinse mine through a strainer, otherwise they shed too much liquid and can make the sauce too soupy. Set aside until Pad Thai sauce is ready!

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(as seen on @fitmamaq)

OR

  • 5-6 medium sized zucchini squash
  • 1 tbs coconut oil

*Using a vegetable spiralizer, make your “zoodles” to desired thickness. I prefer them thin for this recipe. Warm a large skillet with coconut oil (or use spray for lower fat). Stir fry on medium low heat, just til softened, not browned. Be sure not to overcook!

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(as seen on @fitmamaq)

Chicken and Pad Thai Peanut Sauce-

  • 3-4 organic chicken breasts chopped and cubed (coated in salt, pepper, and garlic powder for frying)
  • 3-5 green onions diced
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro diced
  • 1 dime sized cube fresh ginger, diced
  • 1/2 cup Betty Lou’s Organic Just Great Stuff Powdered Peanuts (or 4tbs peanut butter)
  • 1 cup unsweetened or sweetened coconut milk (depends on preference)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • salt and red pepper flakes to taste
  • optional- add in extra stir fry veggies to cook with your chicken! Broccoli, white onion, red peppers, green peppers, bok choy! Get creative!

In a large skillet, fry chicken until browned (about 8-10min). In a small saucepan combine all sauce ingredients and wisk together on low heat, until bubbling. Be careful not to burn. Add noodles of choice to chicken skillet, pour sauce mixture into skillet. Sauteed on medium/low heat until well combined! Serve with siracha, fresh lime juice and fresh cilantro!

 

 

High Protein Dutch Baby Pancake! (paleo, grainfree)

I cook a lot with almond flour because I like the flavor and it’s the easiest nutritious grain free substitute for normal wheat flour. However, I LOVE coconut flour. When baked correctly, the flavor is even closer to normal flours, and the nutritional benefits are far greater than almond flour. It can be tricky to bake with though, since it’s a super absorbent fiber. If you’re baking with it be sure to always look up a recipe, or be aware that you’ll need about 1/3 less coconut flour than normal flours call for.

Fun Health Benefits of Coconut Flour-

High in lauric acid. Lauric acid is a healthy saturated fat which is essential for immune health. It is also known to help promote healthy skin and thyroid health.

High in manganese. Manganese is helpful in absorption of many different minerals including choline, biotin, vitamin C, and thiamine. It also helps promote a healthy immune system, thyroid health, and also helps to promote and stabilize healthy blood sugar levels.

High in fiber. Coconut flour is very rich in fiber. This means that not only is coconut flour healthy for digestion, but it will also help you feel fuller faster and stay fuller for longer. Because it is so dry and fibrous, however, it will absorb more liquid during mixing, and therefore requires more liquid to be added than regular wheat flour.

Coconut flour is unlike any other consisting of 14% coconut oil and 58% dietary fiber! The remaining 28% consists of water, protein, and carbohydrate. 

Dietary fiber acts like a broom, sweeping your intestinal contents along your digestive tract aiding in elimination, regularity and helping to promote digestive health. Since you cannot digest the dietary fiber in coconut flour, you derive no calories from it.

 

Studies have shown that an additional 14 grams of fiber daily (the amount in about ¼ cup of coconut flour) is associated with a 10% decrease in calorie intake and a resulting loss in body weight.

 

The only downfall with coconut flour is that it’s high fiber content requires excess liquid, which requires double the amount of eggs you would normally bake with. For vegans, this isn’t ideal! For those who love eggs and protein, coconut flour is for YOU.

Dutch Baby Pancakes are perfect for the whole family, because you get the luxury of a decadent breakfast, but all the nutrients needed for a high protein start to the day! This is also way less time consuming than making pancakes or waffles!

Serves 4

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour (or arrowroot)
  • 1 tbs sweetener (honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tbs cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (optional-this just gives it a bit more fluff since coconut flour is more dense than normal flour)
  • optional add-ins- 1/2 cup blueberries, chocolate chips, chopped bananas!
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter (for preheating in the pan)

Preheat oven to 425, place baking dish in oven to preheat with oil or butter. If using butter, make sure to watch it so it doesn’t burn. Traditionally this is baked in a cast iron skillet, however you can use a glass baking dish or a non-stick baking dish as well. I used a 9×9 dutch baby skillet! But a 9×13 would work.

Using a high speed mixer, beat together wet ingredients first. Let the eggs get a little stiff for they rise fluffier. Add in dry ingredients still using high speed mixer.

Take out your preheated baking dish, slowly pour mixture into dish. Quickly return it to the oven. Bake 20-25min.

Top with sauteed apples in butter, coconut whip cream, maple syrup! Treat these like pancakes or waffles 🙂 You could even drizzle with melted chocolate and serve as dessert!

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Protein Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

Most of my baking is done for my husband and kids, so whenever there is a recipe approved I hurry to write it down! Chris is a fan of chewy soft chocolate chip cookies. These are more the consistency of a soft shortbread cookie, and he absolutely loved them!! Don’t want the calories of chocolate chips? Take em out and you’ve got a delicious protein shortbread cookie! That’s what I did for myself 😉 This recipe is quick and easy, all mixed together in one bowl!

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(no chocolate chips)

Makes 12-14 cookies.

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder (I used brown rice protein, choose a powder that tastes creamy and not too healthy. Use pea protein powder for Paleo)
  • 1 egg (or vegan 1tbs ground flax/ground chia + 3tbs warm water)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil softened
  • 3 tbs maple syrup (mine didn’t need much sweetener since my protein powder already is sweet)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together wet ingredients, except coconut oil. Slowly add in dry ingredients mashing together with a spoon. Once it’s well combined, add in your softened coconut oil. Should be slightly crumbly in texture.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, roll cookies into balls and then press to flatten onto sheet. Cookies will stay the same shape and density so shape them as desired. They will not expand, and only rise lightly.

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Bake 10-15min. You can make these a crunchy shortbread cookie if you bake 15min. 10min keeps them still soft, which is what we preferred. Enjoy!

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Cinnamon Raisin Mandel Bread (paleo, kosher)

I’m a huge fan of tradition, and holidays are a big deal to me! I love preparing feasts on holidays, birthdays, any excuse really! So I did some research on traditional Easter dinners, and decided to go with a Passover feast! This bread is moist, soft, and perfectly sweet. It’s similar to biscotti, but with a coffee cake texture.

History of Mandelbrodt- This is a Yiddish word, which means Almond Bread. The bread itself is copied from the Italian biscotti, however the Eastern Jewish recipe is very moist and soft. Traditionally it is made with Matzo Cake Meal, but I wanted something with more nutrient and protein content. If you have a Gluten Free Matzo Cake Mix, use that in place of the flour if you’d like! I love this bread!! It may be my new favorite! It’s nutritious enough to be served for breakfast in the morning, or as an after dinner dessert served with decaf coffee 🙂 The recipe is so easy to make and it feeds 20 slices easily.

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Recipe traditionally makes 2 loaves, in preparation for a feast served to a large group of people! I can’t believe it’s 2 loaves, and takes about 10min of prep time! Lasts about 3 days covered room temperature.

 

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour (could use arrowroot powder, but I haven’t tested that. Tapioca is lower calorie which is why I chose it)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tbs cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup raisins

Using a high speed mixer, combine all wet ingredients except coconut oil. Keeping the mixer on high speed, slowly pour the melted coconut oil in. Once liquid is all combined, add dry ingredients. The mixture is very thin, slightly runny in consistency. Pour half of mixture into very well greased loaf pan, and pour the other half into another loaf pan. I didn’t have 2 loaf pans, so I poured the other half into a 8×8 cake dish. Slowly crumble your raisins into each mixture. They will sink to the bottom of the pan, so be sure they are evenly distributed. I didn’t grease my loaf pan well enough, and the raisins stuck to the bottom! It still was sliceable though 🙂 it didn’t stick at all to the glass pan.

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Bake 375 for 30-40 min! Let cool 40min before serving. Shalom aleichem!!

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