Monday, August 16, 2010

Power of Fresh, Raw Fruit & Vegetable Juices - Part 1

Hello Everyone! I'm beginning a new educational health series today - The Power of Fresh, Raw Fruit & Vegetable Juices! During the next several blog sessions, I'll be passing along vital information about the health building power of consuming fresh, raw juice on a daily basis. I hope you find it inspiring.

Consuming real, fresh, raw juice has many benefits, aside from the pure gustatory delight of downing a colorful, fragrant glass of flavor. The primary action of all juicers, regardless of the brand, is to break apart the normally indigestible cellulose pulp in fruits and vegetables, liberating more nutrients than would be available if those foods were simply chewed and swallowed. Drinking a daily glass of freshly extracted fruit or vegetable juice is a delicious way to obtain a portion of your necessary vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and daily fluid supply. As most of the fiber is removed during juicing, this luscioius liquid, a concentrated source of natural sugars, is easily assimilated and provides nutrients on a cellular level within minutes. For the elderly or the infirm, or for one recovering from an illness, slowly sipping cool or room temperature, fresh juices can be quite soothing and building to the system and can enhance vital nutrient uptake, especially if suffering from diminished digestive capacity.

Believe me when I tell you that a daily glass of fresh juice - whatever blend or singular taste sensation you choose, will definitely energize your body and improve the look and function of your skin. And when your skin's appearance and energy levels improve, you can bet that all other functions inside your body will be getting healthier, as well! That's a fact!

Almost all juices available from the grocery store, whether in glass bottles, cans, plastic jugs, cardboard cartons, or aseptic boxes, are pasteurized (cooked) - read the label. Many contain added sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, synthetic colors, undesirable artificial sweeteners, and preservatives and may be less than 30 percent real juice. Unless it say pure, fresh-squeezed or fresh-pressed, and unpasteurized, you can assume it isn't. Homemade juice or freshly extracted juice purchased from your local juice bar is the absolute best for your health and taste buds. Really fresh is what you want, not juice that's been sitting on the shelf for an unknown length of time.

If you are hypoglycemic or diabetic, I recommend that you dilute your juice by 50 percent with purified water and ALWAYS sip it slowly - swishing each sip in your mouth so that it mixes with your saliva prior to swallowing. This will minimize the possibility of a "sugar rush" or "sugar high" that might throw your system off balance. This is the best way to serve juice to young children, as well.

In order the make the juice blend recipes that will follow in the upcoming blogs, you will obvioiusly need to purchase a good middle-of-the road juicer that will cost approximately $150.00. Top-of-line juicers can cost as much as $600.00 or more, but aren't really necessary - unless you desire a commercial quality or have a very large family and plan on using your juicer several times per day. If you wish to make wheatgrass juice or nut butters, then you will need to research juicer brands that come with special attachments which allow those additional functions.

In some of the next few juicing blogs, I will mention a few of my favorite juice powders that you can take in lieu of doing actual juicing - as most of us these days are often pressed for time - and juicing does take a bit preparation time plus clean-up.

NOTE: This article was adapted from the book, "Raw Energy", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing 2009. The information is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge. All recommendation are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tips For Luscious Lips - Part V

This is the last in the "Tips For Luscious Lips" natural lip care recipe series and it is one of my favorite, thick yummy lip balms. Children and men really love this one and if you create a big batch, makes fabulous stocking stuffers for the Holiday Season. Makes lips super soft and conditioned!

Vanilla Velvet Honey Lip Balm

This rich and soothing balm can be used year-round. It doubles as a mild antibacterial ointment when applied to cuts and scrapes and helps prevent scarring.

- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon organic soybean or almond base oil (not essential oil)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons beeswax
- 5 drops vanilla essential oil

In a very small saucepan, over low heat or in a small double boiler, warm oil, honey, and beeswax, until the wax is just melted. Remove from heat, add the essential oil, and stir to blend. Now, do these next steps very quickly or the mixture will set up oddly and the water-based honey will separate out from the balm . . . Set the pan in a shallow ice-water bath. Using a tiny whisk or spoon, stir rapidly for 30 to 60 seconds until the honey is incorporated and the formula is like thick peanut butter. It will be a pale yellow-brown color and taste very sweet.

Spoon the mixture into storage containers and cap. Let the mixture set for 2 hours before use. No refrigeration is required, but for maximum freshness and taste, please use within 1 year.

Recommended For: everyone, especially children (flavor & texture are like vanilla honey fudge)
Use: as desired
Prep Time: approx. 30 minutes, plus 2 hours for flavor & consistency to synergize & set
Blending Tools: small whisk or spoon
Store In: small plastic or glass jars or tins
Yield: approx. 5, 1/4 oz. containers or 2.5 tablespoons total balm

NOTE: This article was adapted from the book, "Organic Body Care Recipes" by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 2007. The information is true and complete to the best of Ms. Tourles' knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information and rcommends that the reader use their common sense when trying new products on their skin. This information is for educational purposes only.