The Truth about Juice Cleanses

English: Cucumber, celery & apple juice

English: Cucumber, celery & apple juice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I constantly hear about people  going on cleanses to try to lose weight or to clean their body of toxins. I am not a believer of cleanses and have not found any that I would promote so I was happy to finally find a video on CBC that talks about juice cleanse myths.

In summary the short video explains that using juice cleanses to lose weight doesn’t work because after you finish your cleanse and go back to your normal diet you are likely to regain more weight. This is because while you are on a cleanse, your body adapts to fewer calories by slowing down metabolism. So once you start to eat regularly you are taking in more calories and your body has a harder time adjusting to burn these calories. Also while you are on a cleanse you esentially are starving your body of necessary protein and calories resulting in lost muscle mass (this is bad…).

If you think about it logically you can see that juicing doesn’t really add up…I bet that if you tried to sit down to eat a plate containing 4 carrots, 1 cup butternut squash, and half a cucumber (actual juice cleanse recipe) you would find yourself feeling full about 3/4 of the way through. But now if you stuck all of that in a juicer I bet you could drink it in one go and find yourself hungry in about 30min. You might think that juicing must be better if you can fit more vegetables and fruit in once glass of juice than on your dinner plate. But you would be wrong…Juicing removes the pulp from produce. The pulp contians some nutrients and most importantly the majority of the fibre in fresh produce. Fibre is what keeps you full and it is also helps to control rises in blood sugars and don’t forget it also keeps you regular.

The best way to lose unwanted weight is to eat a healthy balanced diet that includes whole grains, vegetables and fruit and lean meats and dairy products and to be active. It’s simple if you want to lose weight and keep it off you need to find something that you can stick to and not a fad diet that can’t last more than a few days.

Getting Your 7-8 From the Freezer?

I recently moved to Prince George, BC from Vancouver. For those of you who don’t know this town it’s located in Northern BC and it snows much of the year making the vegetable and fruit growing seasons short.

Although there are a lot of things I really like about Prince George there are a few things I miss about

Vancouver; like cheap sushi on every corner, Whole Foods, Kitz, the sea wall, the Granville Island farmers market… (Ok so there may be more than a few things I miss) but mostly I miss the vast array of fresh produce and produce stands. The only places to get fresh produce in Prince George are the supermarkets.

English: Fruit on display at La Boqueria marke...

English: Fruit on display at La Boqueria market in Barcelona. Français : Fruits à l’étal dans le marché de La Boqueria à Barcelone. Español: Fruta en el mercado de La Boquería, en Barcelona. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Even when I do buy fresh veggies and fruits it’s more expensive then in Vancouver and it’s not as fresh because it has to travel so far to get to the North. Instead of sitting around whining about the prices and lack of freshness of produce in Prince George I started using frozen produce.

It’s really easy to incorporate frozen produce into your diet. Not only do frozen vegetables and fruit require minimal prep (no cleaning, washing or pealing) but if they are picked at peak quality they have similar nutritional content to fresh produce.

Here are my helpful tips to incorporating frozen produce into your day:

– add frozen berries into oatmeal or plain Greek yogurt- heat a pan with sesame oil and fry up some tofu with frozen oriental vegetable for a quick and tasty stirfry (add your own sauces and noodles as desired)
– steam frozen mixed vegetables (I like peas, carrots, and corn) and stir into cooked quinoa or rice for a quick pilaf style grain side dish
– stir in frozen mixed vegetables into soups and curries
– Use frozen berries to make pies, cobblers and crisps (see my earlier post for a great recipe
– Use frozen chopped spinach mixed with ricotta, feta and an egg to make a quich or roll into phyllo pastry to make spanakopita (recipe to come)

These are only a few ideas to help you get your 7-8 servings of vegetables and fruit a day!

How to turn a failed pie into a delicious cobbler

How to turn a failed pie into a delicious cobbler

I really hate making pies. My crust never seems to turn out and I am alwasy frustrated. But when my boyfriend’s mom gave me a great push pie crust recipe I had to try it. I’ve used it a few times now to make topless pies but I’ve never tried it for a fruit pie. I thought I would be smart and make extra crust and just put dobs on the top to make a pseudo top crust…well my attempt at making pie totally failed.

Stupid move #1: I used forzen berries and read somewhere that I should thaw them before use…wrong!

Stupid move # 2: I made the bottom crust and thought maybe blind baking the crust with an egg wash would prevent the crust from getting soggy. I remembered to line the crust with foil and put weights (I used rice) to prevent the crust from shrinking…wrong again. The end result: a mushy bottom crust that half stuck to the aluminum foil…and ended up in the garbage.

At least I still had enough crust to use for the top layer and I decided to make a pie with only the top half (aka kind of like a cobbler). Note leaving out the bottom crust also cuts out half the fat 🙂

So here is the recipe of my pie turned to cobbler.

Crust (this is enough to make a full bottom crust but you could just use it for the top):

1.5 cups flour

1/4 tsp baking bowder

1/2 cup butter softened

1 egg

1/3 cup granulated sugar

Filling

5 cups frozen mixed berries (thawed)

4 Tbsp corn starch

3 Tbsp whole wheat flour

A few squirts of lime juice (1tsp maybe)

1 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 425F

2. Put all of the ingredients for the crust into a food processor and process on high until it can hold it’s shape.

3. Mix all of the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl

4. Place all of the filling into a 9×9 inch square pan

5. Break off little pieces of the dough ball and lay them on top of the filling

6. Bake on bottom rack for 20min then turn heat down to 350F and bake for another 10min, crust should be golden brown and firm to the touch

7. Serve warm with your favourite icecream and Enjoy!

pie

 

Spilling the Beans

I recently received Spilling the Beans by Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan from some friends for my birthday, and let me just say I LOVE it! I have used it to make everything from thai chicken with black beans, focaccia bread with white beans and banana bread with beans. All of the things I made have turned out great and I love that I can impress friends and family with baked goods made with beans that don’t taste like they are.

Although none of the  baked recipes  really have that much protein in them (most only use about 1/2 a can of beans) they have more protein than baked goods made without beans.

Also the book is filled with great pictures. Which is always a bonus!

Overall I rate this book a 4 out of 5. I wish the recipes were a bit easier to follow, the steps are written in paragraph form which makes it a bit harder to follow. But overall the recipes I’ve tried so far are great and my family and friends have loved them!