Juggling or Balancing

Juggling is a balancing act or wait may be it’s the other way around. Balancing is a Juggling act? Hmmmm. let’s see if I can make this make sense, to me silly, I’m sure you have EVERYTHING TOGETHER PERFECTLY, MWHAHAHAHAHA. And…….we all woke up!!

So, there you have it, we all think the other one has all there sh**t together and they don’t drop the balls or plates they’re spinning or tossing. Yeah, I’d like to toss some balls right about now. Let’s just get some real dose of raw truth mkay………………………………………..

On paper, I look like one of those women who has and does it all. I have a sweet marriage, 5 pretty awesome kids, a Business I love that enables me to work from anywhere (even my pocket), hobbies that interest me, good health, a house that keeps us warm and dry, great friends, and a supportive community. Oh, and we home-school. When I write it all out, I have a fairly impressive-sounding life.

People sometimes ask me how I balance it all, and my response is always the same. First, I try not to spit while I laugh in their face, and then I say, “I don’t.”

That’s not false modesty. I really don’t balance it all — not even close, in fact.

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I’m not sure that the idea of balance has any place in a life with children at all. The notion that  the various parts of my life could ever equally and evenly mesh on any kind of a regular basis is laughable. I mean, there are certainly some things I do (or should do) to keep it all running as smoothly as possible. But as any parent knows, “as smoothly as possible” can still be a very bumpy ride. Let’s throw in some chickens, quail and dogs into the mix while we are talking.

Whether you work or stay home, have kids in school or not, life as a parent is full and busy. But I think in terms of juggling rather than balancing. It’s constant movement, constant bouncing from one thing to another, constant attention shifting while trying to stay focused. Up, down, around and around, the balls are always flying somewhat haphazardly, being caught just in time to for me to let go and look for the next one falling.

Looking at the list I described, I basically have nine main balls in my life: marriage, parenting, home-schooling, work, hobbies, health, the house, friendships, and community involvement. I love every one of those things—they are all important to me in various ways. Even my hobbies, which may seem superfluous, are really about self-care, which is absolutely vital. That ball affects all of the others when it gets dropped.

And it does get dropped. They all get dropped. There are balls dropping everywhere, all the time, it seems. Some of it is my own doing, of course. I mean, I did choose most of these things. But none of those parts of my life is expendable.

If I put down the health ball, that’s going to have a detrimental effect on my ability to juggle the rest. If I quit home-schooling, I’d just pick up a different kids’ school ball, so that wouldn’t help a whole lot. Obviously, my marriage and kids need to be kept aloft; that’s non-negotiable. Work is a necessity as well as personally fulfilling, so that’s also non-negotiable. The house gets dropped a lot, and that’s OK (but also not, because a clean house makes juggling so much easier). The community ball can get dropped — and does sometimes — but I want to keep that one, especially as an example to my kids. My friendship ball gets dropped, too, but I refuse to set it down on purpose. It gives me the energy to keep juggling.

So, nine it is. And one or more hit the ground practically every day. But you know what? That’s OK because I looked up the world record for juggling nine balls. Want to guess what it is?

55 seconds. That’s right. A professional juggler can’t successfully juggle nine balls for even a single minute. Ha!

So if you feel like you are constantly dropping balls in your life, like it’s impossible to keep everything balanced or running smoothly for longer than a minute, don’t fret. That’s the nature of life as a parent. In fact, it’s even more complex than I’ve made it sound. Each child you add to your life changes the weight, size, and shape of the other balls in your life. Each relationship, each work project, each community activity, each school commitment is another ball being thrown in and out of the loop. You constantly have to adjust. That’s just part of what it takes to juggle.

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The key is to learn to enjoy juggling for the skill and feat that it is. Don’t strive for perfection; even professional jugglers don’t juggle perfectly forever. Do your best to keep all the balls in the air, but know that some will get dropped. Just pick them up, and see if you can go a little longer next time before one falls.

And remember, if you’ve juggled it all for longer than 55 seconds, you’re doing better than the pros. Keep on keepin’ on, Mamas.

Live a Juicy Life, Jackie

Stress + Pressure = Stressure

There are two types of stress: positive and negative.

Stress is a normal reaction to exciting events like falling in love, getting a new job, or buying a home. Stress is also a hardwired survival technique built into your body as a means of protection. When triggers arise, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) signals the “ ght or ight response,” which mobilizes you to take action and avoid danger.

The issue is that your body doesn’t know the difference between a bear chasing you and work-related anxiety.

Your body’s stress response is perfectly healthy when there’s a real emergency (like a bear chase), but if your body is constantly getting stress signals for everyday issues (such as work-related anxiety), you’ll burn out over time.

Read on for the three stages of the stress response.

1. THE ALARM STAGE

When your body goes into panic mode, your SNS is activated to protect you from stress and your brain triggers the adrenal glands to secrete glucocorticoid hormones, like cortisol and epinephrine (adrenaline). The rest of your body is then alerted to these symptoms, equipping you with emergency fuel and energy in reaction to your panic.

As stress levels rise, many physiological changes occur in the body.

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2. THE ADAPTIVE/RESISTANCE STAGE

After the initial stress response, your body attempts to return to homeostasis (its stable state). But when your stress reactions are too strong or triggered too often, your body will remain on high alert. As a result of this constant stress, your body builds up a resistance and tolerance to coexist with continuous stressors. This extended release of stress hormones has adverse effects on your body, lowering your immunity defenses and making you more susceptible to illness.

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3. THE EXHAUSTION STAGE (sounds all too familiar)

When the body continues to function in this wired state (never fully returning to the rest state), your emergency resources are depleted and your body starts to shut down. This nal burnout stage represents your body’s inability to cope with continuously high demands. After all, it’s not natural to constantly feel like you’re being chased by a bear.

Below is an illustration of all three stages.

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BREAKING THE DESTRUCTIVE CYCLE OF STRESS

Just as the sympathetic nervous system turns on the “ ght or ight response,” the parasympathetic nervous system turns it off. The parasympathetic nervous system helps the body conserve energy and rest. The ability to go from “ ght or ight” to “rest and digest” is critical for your well-being.

Unfortunately, a return to relaxation doesn’t occur promptly for most people in today’s fast-paced society. While we’re all running around in panic mode from our everyday worries, chronic stress is disrupting the natural balance required for optimal health, speeding up the aging process, and increasing the body’s susceptibility to illness.2 Finding ways to activate the relaxation response is vital.

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 7.18.51 PM.pngTECHNIQUES TO REDUCE STRESS

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Wow!!!!! That’s a lot of information. If you do nothing just remember this, breathe 7 breaths in, hold for 4 seconds and exhale with force. This alone will minimize the stress responders and alleviate your overall stress feelings thus promoting a more relaxed feeling of calmness.

Live a JUICY Life, Jackie

Happy National Cherry Month!

Cherries are one of my very favorite fruits. In fact, I anxiously await the harvest of the sweet fruits every May. Not only are cherries exceptionally delicious, but both sweet and sour cherries are good for you too.

One cup of fresh, pitted sour cherries provides:

  • 40% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin A (as beta carotene), necessary for healthy vision, immune strength, and the integrity of skin and mucous membranes
  • 26% of the DV for vitamin C
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 77 calories

One cup of fresh, pitted sweet cherries provides:

  • 18% of the DV for vitamin C, which aids immune function and is needed for connective tissue health
  • 10% of the DV for potassium, an electrolyte that maintains fluid balance in cells and is critical to a healthy heart
  • 3 grams of fiber, which is necessary for normal elimination and helps reduce the risk of heart disease
  • 97 calories

Another rarer variety of cherry is the acerola cherry, grown in Texas and Florida. Juice Plus+ uses acerola cherries in Juice Plus+ Orchard Blend because of its phenomenal vitamin C content. A single cherry provides 134% of the DV!

Ready to get mixing with cherries? Here’s a tasty smoothie recipe, using frozen cherries and my favorite Vegan Protein shake mix!

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Chocolate-Covered Cherry Smoothie

Creates 1 serving

Ingredients

Instructions

Blend and enjoy!

 

Do you have a favorite cherry shake recipe? Share in the comments below!

Live a Juicy Life, Jackie

Figgin’ Awesome

Eat it NOW!!! Figs, the dried ones are great in winter, by supple fresh fruit’s a luxury from summer to early fall. Just sink your teeth into their velvety skin for the delicate crunch of tiny seeds in sweet, tender flesh. Sure, you can cook figs – but they’re best simply adorned. To celebrate their season here are some tasty bits of benefits and bites.

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And the bites…………..

Raw Fig Newtons

These fig newtons are low in sugar, packed with fiber, and bursting with flavor. It’s snacks like these that remind us that eating a wholesome diet is more than just wonderful tasting food, it’s fun and exciting too!

Ingredients

Dough
  • 2 cups almond meal (if using almond flour, add ¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup almond milk, or other nondairy milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. salt
Filling
  • 1½ cups dried figs
  • 1½ tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp. alcohol free vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Place the dried figs in very hot water and set aside while you make the dough.
  2. For the dough, place everything in your food processor and mix until everything is combined and a slightly sticky dough forms.
  3. Place ball of dough on a large piece of wax paper. Place a second piece of wax paper on top and, with a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about ⅛-1/4 inch thick.
  4. For the filling, drain the hot water from the figs. Put figs, vanilla extract, and lemon juice in your food processor and mix until mixture resembles a jam and no chunks of fig remain.
  5. Starting from the center line of the dough, spread the filling over one half, leaving a slight border along the edge of the dough.
  6. Using the wax paper, fold the other half of the dough over the filling and press the edges together.
  7. Cut off the extra dough along the edges (this can be a snack for later!), but be careful not to cut too close to the filling.
  8. Place in the fridge for an hour.
  9. Slice into 8 even logs, then slice those in half to create 16 fig newtons. Store in the fridge. Share with friends. Move your body and eat mindfully:)

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Live a Juicy Life, Jackie

Food Labels Claims

Words like free-range, grass-fed, natural, and organic seem to be everywhere these days. You see them in bold font with exclamation points on egg cartons in a grocery store or listed on menus at a restaurant.

Many food labels can be confusing, so knowing what a food claim truly means is a great way to educate yourself about where your food comes from and how it has been produced.

New food label claims appear regularly, so if you come across a new phrase, be sure to do your own research and learn what it really means.

Read on for brief descriptions of some of the most common food claims.

COMMON FOOD LABEL CLAIMS

Antibiotic-free

Antibiotic-free means that an animal was not given antibiotics during its lifetime. Other phrases to indicate the same approach include
“no antibiotics administered” and “raised without antibiotics.”

Cage-free

Cage-free means that the birds are raised without cages. What this doesn’t explain is whether the birds were raised outdoors on pasture or if they were raised indoors in overcrowded conditions. If you are looking to buy eggs, poultry, or meat that was raised outdoors, look for a label that says “pastured” or “pasture-raised.”

Fair trade

A fair trade label means that farmers and workers, often in developing countries, have received a fair wage and worked in acceptable conditions while growing and packaging the product.

Free-range

The use of the terms free-range or free-roaming are only de ned by the USDA for egg and poultry production. The label can be used as long
as the producers allow the birds access to the outdoors so that they
can engage in natural behaviors. It does not necessarily mean that the products are cruelty-free or antibiotic-free or that the animals spent the majority of their time outdoors. Claims are de ned by the USDA but are not veri ed by third-party inspectors.

GMO-free, non-GMO, or no GMOs

Genetically modi ed organisms (GMOs) are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses, or other plants and animals. Products can be labeled GMO-free if they are produced without being genetically engineered through the use of GMOs.

Grain-fed

Animals raised on a grain diet are labeled grain-fed. Check the label for a claim of a “100% vegetarian diet” to ensure that the animals were given feed containing no animal by-products.

Grass-fed

This means the animals were fed grass, their natural diet, rather than grains. In addition to being more humane, grass-fed meat is leaner and lower in fat and calories than grain-fed meat. Grass-fed animals are
not fed grain, animal by-products, synthetic hormones, or antibiotics to promote growth or prevent disease; they may, however, have been given antibiotics to treat disease. A grass-fed label doesn’t mean the animal necessarily ate grass its entire life. Some grass-fed cattle are grain- nished, which means they ate grain from a feedlot prior to slaughter. Look for grass-fed and grass- nished.

Healthy

Foods labeled healthy must be low in saturated fat and contain limited amounts of cholesterol and sodium. Certain foods must also contain at least 10% of the following nutrients: vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, protein, and ber.

Heritage

A heritage label describes a rare and endangered breed of livestock or crops. Heritage breeds are traditional livestock that were raised by farmers in the past, before industrial agriculture drastically reduced breed variety. These animals are prized for their rich taste and usually contain a higher fat content than commercial breeds. Production standards are not required by law, but true heritage farmers use sustainable production methods. This method of production saves animals from extinction and preserves genetic diversity.

Hormone-free

The USDA has prohibited the use of the term hormone-free, but animals raised without added growth hormones can be labeled no hormones administered or no added hormones. By law, hogs and poultry cannot be given any hormones. If the meats you are buying are not clearly labeled, ask your farmer or butcher if they are free from hormones.

Natural

No standards currently exist for this label except when used on meat
and poultry products. USDA guidelines state that meat and poultry products labeled natural can only undergo minimal processing and cannot contain arti cial colors, arti cial avors, preservatives, or other arti cial ingredients. However, natural foods are not necessarily sustainable, organic, humanely raised, or free of hormones and antibiotics.

Nonirradiated

This label means that the food has not been exposed to radiation. Meat and vegetables are sometimes irradiated (exposed to radiation energy) to kill disease-causing bacteria and reduce the incidence of foodborne illness. No thorough testing has been done to know if irradiated food is safe for human consumption.

Pasture-raised

Pasture-raised indicates that the animal was raised on a pasture where
it was able to eat nutritious grasses and other plants rather than being fattened on grain in a feedlot or barn. Pasturing livestock and poultry is a traditional farming technique that allows animals to be raised in a humane manner. Animals can move around freely and carry out their natural behaviors. This term is very similar to grass-fed, but the term pasture-raised more clearly indicates that the animal was raised outdoors on pasture.

rBGH-free or rBST-free

Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) or recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) are genetically engineered growth hormones injected into dairy cows to arti cially increase their milk production. The hormone has not been properly tested for safety and is not permitted

in the European Union, Canada, and some other countries. Milk labeled rBGH-free is produced by dairy cows that have never received injections of this hormone. Organic milk is rBGH free.

Organic

All organic agricultural farms and products must meet the following guidelines (veri ed by a USDA-approved independent agency):

  • Abstain from the application of prohibited materials (including synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and sewage sludge) for three years prior to certi cation and then continually throughout their organic license.
  • Prohibit the use of GMOs and irradiation.
  • Employ positive soil building, conservation, manure management,and crop rotation practices.
  • Provide outdoor access and pasture for livestock.
  • Refrain from antibiotic and hormone use in animals.
  • Sustain animals on 100% organic feed.
  • Avoid contamination during processing of organic products.
  • Keep records of all operations.If a product contains the USDA organic seal, it means that 95%–100% of its ingredients are organic. Products with 70%–95% organic ingredients can still advertise “organic ingredients” on the front of the package and products with less than 70% organic ingredients can identify them on the side panel. Organic foods prohibit the use of hydrogenation and trans fats.

Live a Juicy “ORGANIC” Life, Jackie

Any Day Juice Love

To an avid juicer like myself the benefits of juicing fresh fruits and vegetables seem endless – it is convenient, nutritious, great for the immune system, helps to detox, and on it goes… All of the above are true. For me, however, first and foremost the intense smells, flavors, and colors of the vegetables and fruits I juice connect me with all Nature’s goodness has to offer, and allow me to feel connected mind, body and spirit.  I love the taste and smell of fresh cut ginger and its vibrant yellow color. I love the unique aroma of freshly cut flat parsley. And the intense flavor of freshly pressed, picked from the Tower Garden kale. I love the bright orange of the freshly pressed turmeric. Or the sound of a stem of celery snapping, announces its freshness and vigor. And the sweet-sour note and promise of health a fresh cut ruby red grapefruit carries.

Yet it is specifically the unique and intense colors of many fruits and vegetables that announce their healing and nutritional properties. Watermelon and Red Grapefruit get their red pinkish color from a uniquely high concentration of the phytochemical lycopene, known for its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics. Red Beets’ betalain antioxidant pigments give them their red color and are a powerful and relatively unique antioxidant that helps to improve cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure. Red Apples have a high concentration of anthocyanin, key to lowering blood sugar.

Kale, Spinach, Parsley, dandelion are some of the healthiest vegetables and herbs around. Their high levels of chlorophyll are responsible for their bright, full green color. They are powerhouses of concentrated vitamins, minerals, and a whole spectrum of phytonutrients – all essential to a healthy body.  Unbeknownst to many, one cup of raw kale contains more and often multiples of 100% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin K.

As these fruits and vegetables are allowed to ripen to maturity, their nutritional content increases and their flavors intensify. Government health bodies now recommend to eat at least 9-13 servings or more of fruits and vegetables every day to increase health, improve longevity and prevent disease. By eating fruits and vegetables from a variety of color groups, we benefit from the unique array of phytochemicals, essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that each color group has to offer. Think of eating the rainbow!!

While it may be difficult to eat 9 to 13 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables everyday, juicing can help significantly. I do know that not all can or will juice and that’s okay too. There are simpler ways to getting the good stuff and a bit more affordable too. It’s important to recognize that we all need to bridge the gap between what we do eat and what we should be eating.

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When juicing, I recommend the following:

  • Use organic vegetables and fruit when possible (meta studies have shown that their antioxidant and nutritional content is 2 to 3 times higher than in their conventional counterparts).
  • Either use a slow juicer to press most nutrients from the fruits and vegetables as well as some amount of fiber. Alternatively use a blender if you wish all the fiber to be in your juice smoothie.
  • Add some lemon to delay oxidation (fiber will help as well).
  • Be adventurous, creative, have fun, and go with colors that speak to you. Somehow, I have found that my body knows what (color) it needs. Remember that in the end, you have to like your juice to drink it.
  • Be mindful when you drink your juice – take a moment to taste its bounty!
  • When buying juices, try to buy local and organic if you can, as it will always be fresher and healthier. Juices made from concentrate and that are heat pasteurized will have most of their naturally occurring nutrients destroyed in the process.

Live a Juicy Life, Jackie

PLANTASTIC PLANT-BASED MEAL PLAN

There are no two ways about it — when you eat mostly whole foods, you spend more time preparing meals than you would spend reheating frozen dinners. The good news is that the extra time in the kitchen is a great investment in your health, and you can save time by prepping and cooking ahead. Many of these recipes make several servings, so you can portion out leftovers for to-go lunches or easy dinners on busy days.

Plan for Friday to be a big shopping day and Sunday a prepping/cooking day. I’ve organized a few recipes to help you get your week off to a great start, and if you make these on the weekend, you’ll spend less time cooking throughout the week.

Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or a confirmed omnivore, this week’s worth of plant-centric meals and snacks will delight and satisfy. From Spicy Tofu Chili to Stuffed shiitake Mushroom Burgers, these recipes celebrate versatile vegetables beyond the salad bowl! Each day offers meals, snacks and a few desserts plus I give detailed prep tips and re-use leftovers when possible to make it that much easier to eat healthfully all week!

Ready to get prepping/cooking and eating? Check out the overview below.

  • Prep Ahead Tip: Vegetables can be chopped ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days until ready to use.
  • Up to 3 days of Juicing ingredients can be chopped, bagged and stored ready to use.
  • Pre-pack 7 smoothie bags to store in freezer to quickly dump, blend and pour for quick grab and go ease. (my kiddos do this)
  • Cook all of your grains, proteins and hardboiled eggs while you chop the veggies.
  • Vegan/Gluten-free Substitutions: Use gluten-free flour tortillas or Non-Gmo corn tortillas to make a recipe gluten-free. Use vegan store-bought grated cheese to make the recipe vegan.
  • Soak any nuts needed for the next 3 days to use in recipes calling for nut pates’ like cauliflower walnut meat tacos or neat balls oh and this delicious nutmeat loaf.
  • Clean out the fridge of leftover fruits and blend into a smoothie to make homemade fruit leather or popsicles. (add chia seeds to help thicken)

Hungry Yet? Look no further than these recipes built on my Core Four of Healthy Eating and supporting your unique Bio-Individuality. So simple. So good.

Live a Juicy Life, Jackie

 

Organization Challenge

Urge to Purge! Join the FB group challenge hosted by Bowl Full of Lemons!! Organized space, added 2 chairs, updated curtains and softened the look with lighter colors with blankets and pillows.

Q: keep or toss throw rug?

It’s a Raw Reality, J

Crocktober means FALL!!

Hey!!! The air is crisp, the leaves are changing, the days are shorter, and the nights are cool. It’s the perfect time for a hardy, but healthy, meal. What’s not to love about our crockpots?

Eating clean doesn’t have to be boring or challenging!

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • 1 large white onion sliced.
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans (dont’t drain)
  • 1 can butter beans (don’t drain)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups kale, torn into 1” pieces. Leave stems on, packed full of nutrients in those trunks.
  • Pink Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence Seasonings
  • 2 tablespoons Italian Seasonings

Directions

Just dump it all in and add the seasonings to the top, stir to mix the flavors. Cook on high for 2-3 hours then serve and enjoy.

For more where these came from, subscribe and you’ll be added to the FB event page where you will find a plethora of Fall goodness.

InRAWJoy, Jackie