Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Beet Juice for a Better Workout?

Grant Us the Luxury blogger Monica Spoelstra Metz makes her own beet juice for pre-workout boosts. (Photo:

Move over chocolate milk. The latest unlikely sports performance-boosting beverage is blood-red beet juice. The drink, aka beetroot juice, has recently become a staple among elite athletes looking for an edge—like members of Team USA at the Sochi Olympics—and more casual fitness types are following suit.
While many fans are picking up their beet blends at juice bars, brands like Red Ace Organics sell beet shots, and the company’s sponsored athletes include top-20 U.S. mountain bikers Chris Baddick and Diedre York, and distance runner Tyler McCandless, all of whom rave on the website about how beet shots fueled them to victory. Another supplement company, Pines International, says sales of its beet juice powder increased by 50 percent from 2012 to 2013.
Red Ace Organics sponsors elite athletes who credit beet juice with faster race times. (Photo: Facebook/Red Ace Organics)
Red Ace Organics sponsors elite athletes who credit beet juice with faster race times.
Enthusiasts point to evidence that the nitrates in beet juice are converted in the body to nitric oxide that can enhance energy extraction from oxygen. Translation: more oxygen gets to the muscles, which means they can work at a higher level of intensity, which leads to enhanced athletic performance. Sounds pretty good, right?
While beet juice has a lot of health benefits, its performance-boosting properties have not been 100% proven, especially for us less elite exercisers. And, beet juice is higher in sugar than green juice, so it may not be the best choice for people with blood sugar fluctuations. It's preferable to eat those beets raw or briefly steamed, for their many health benefits, like boosting liver detoxification, fighting cancer with antioxidants, and lowering cholesterol.
 ~Thanks to Ann Abel

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

8 Signs You Have Adrenal Fatigue

Everyone from acupuncturists to holistic facialists are talking about adrenal fatigue—a constellation of symptoms that crop up when your adrenal glands can't cope with your non-stop schedule and stress level, leaving you feeling worn out, burnt out, and, frankly, looking pretty haggard.

While the medical establishment doesn't fully buy it (adrenal fatigue isn't an accepted diagnosis, although "adrenal insufficiency" is), holistic healers think we're overtaxing our adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys and release hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. When there's severe, chronic stress, the adrenal glands can stay in the 'on' position, making extra amounts of these stress hormones. If this goes on for long enough, the adrenals can become depleted, and that throws a whole lotta things out of whack.

So how do you know if you've got adrenal fatigue? And what can you do about it if you do have this over-achiever's affliction? 
exhausted_sleeping1. You can't sleep
In a perfect world, we would get a great night's sleep every night, wake up feeling refreshed, and move throughout the day with tons of energy. Instead, we rush from one thing to the next, day after day, month after month, which throws off our hormonal balance, making it tough to fall or stay asleep.

The fix:
Coax your body into a new rhythm. Try going to sleep before 10:00 p.m. Even if you can't fall asleep, lying in bed in a dark room will start your melatonin production, which can help you get into a healthy sleep rhythm.

Screen shot 2013-09-18 at 9.27.01 PM

2. You've got dark under-eye circles
Sure, you might not be getting enough sleep. But dark circles crop up when stressors like fatigue, emotional stress, or dehydration (which is tough on the body) disrupt healthy circulation—and that shows through your thin under-eye skin. If your dark circles are accompanied by a sunken, hollowed-out look, that often indicates a more serious issue with the kidneys, and you should see a doctor.

The fix:
Slow. Down. No amount of eye cream or concealer or will help if you're overworked, exhausted, and overwhelmed by emotional stress.  Try this: do less, and be still more.

3. Your cycle's off
If you have adrenal fatigue, you're probably also having issues with your thyroid and your menstrual cycleOne reason? The endocrine system (of which the adrenal glands are a part) are facing unprecedented exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals. A recent study showed women put 515 chemicals on their body every day.

The fix:
You can't spot-treat your hormones. We're so accustomed to that in Western medicine—penicillin for an infection, ibuprofen for a headache. Instead, you have to look at your whole lifestyle (diet, stress relief, sleep, etc.)—and avoid personal exposure to disruptive chemicals by watching what you put in and on your body.

4. You feel overwhelmed by life
Almost always, those with adrenal fatigue are completely stressed by their day-to-day lives and put self-care last on their list of least, until their bodies finally shut down.

The fix:
Learn to say no. Get rid of the things in your life that cost you energy, but don't give you much back, like unsupportive people and relationships. Putting your own needs first, and giving yourself permission to have more fun, will help with stress which, in turn, will take a load off your adrenals.

Screen shot 2013-09-18 at 9.39.41 PM5. You feel puffy, stiff, and sore
Your body reacts to stressful events, like giving a talk in front of 200 people, by getting adrenaline and cortisol flowing so you're energized and focused. But when you're constantly stressed, your adrenals become "pooped" and your cortisol levels plummet, leading to non-specific symptoms like feeling puffy, or stiff and achy in your joints and muscles.

The fix:
Get your adrenal glands evaluated (practitioners can look for "DHEAs" in a routine blood work-up and do a saliva test for cortisol). But know that that conventional docs don't necessarily know how to recognize the symptoms or treat the condition. (In her practice, they consider a combo of vitamins and supplements and mind-body interventions.)

Screen shot 2013-09-18 at 9.41.00 PM6. You're exhausted after working out
If, instead of getting a boost of energy, you have major fatigue after working out, it's not necessarily a sign that your boot camp classes are too tough. It could be because your adrenal glands are sluggish.

The fix:
Try meditation, gentle yoga, walking, or whatever helps you feel less stressed. (Try leaving your desk for 15 minutes of Vitamin D during the day!) It'll help combat stress and give you a way to stay active, while you give your already-depleted adrenal glands a chance to rest and refuel.

7. You're groggy into the afternoon 
The adrenal glands should emit pulses of cortisol all day, but stress and exposure to chemicals can change the cortisol pattern. We might not get energy until the afternoon or even 10:00 p.m.

The fix:
In case you're not convinced yet, slow down! And ditch the lattes! Every time you wake up and have a cup of coffee, you're ruining your chance of having a good day, since caffeine can put tons of stress on the adrenals. Instead, reach for foods that contain essential fatty acids, coconut oil, fish oil, avocado, and whole grains, like buckwheat.

Screen shot 2013-09-18 at 9.44.51 PM

8. Your gut's off
If your body isn't getting what it needs, or if you're eating in a way that creates drastic blood sugar fluctuations, it's punishing to the adrenals. Plus, bloating and poor digestion, are possible symptoms of adrenal fatigue—so your food choices and stomach issues and can be a cause and a sign of the condition.

The Fix:
"Cut out processed foods, refined sugar, refined wheat, and gluten products - and watch your "low fat" intake (tons of sugar). Instead, eat lots of good fats, fresh fruits and veggies, fermented foods and organic meats.

—Thanks Ann Abel

Monday, April 7, 2014

Roasted Kale with Purple Potatoes

Roasted kale with purple potatoes by Dig Inn

Think all potatoes are created equal? Unlike their white and yellow cousins, blue potatoes are full of carotenoids and anthocyanin, pigments that give them a vibrant, ruby color—and a bump of extra antioxidants (we’re talking four times more than the meager Russet), plus other healthy benefits. The steamed kale creates a delicious savory balance with the starchy potato, while the sweet carrots bring a measured sweetness—and tons of vitamin A.
Make this recipe when you’ve got some spare time on the weekends (like today), and enjoy the leftovers well into the middle of the week. To make sure that happens, we advise putting some immediately into Tupperware before you tuck in. 
Roasted Kale with Purple Potatoes
2 bunches kale or 1 1/2 lb. prepped
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
5 turns of black pepper from a mill
Purple Potatoes and Carrots
1.5 pounds potatoes, purple colored
1/2 pound carrots
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp Hungarian-style paprika powder
5 turns black pepper from a mill
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Cut off kale steams and throw out. Cut kale into 1-inch long pieces and place them in a bowl of water. Dry the kale in a salad spinner or using paper towels.
2. Peel and slice garlic 1/8 inch thick.
3. Heat oil in a gallon-sized pot using a high heat setting, add sliced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add kale and cook for 10 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes to prevent scorching.
4. Season with salt and pepper.
Purple Potatoes and Carrots
1. Pre-heat oven to 450 F.
2. Clean potatoes and carrots with warm water. Slice potatoes with a Mandolin or a knife 1/8 inch thick.
3. Toss veggies in a bowl with sea salt, paprika powder, black pepper and thyme. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet.
4. Bake veggie mixture for 15 minutes. Potatoes should be soft at this point—if not, roast for an additional 5 minutes.
Assembly: Chop 1/4 cup fresh parsley and toss with warm kale, and potato/carrot mix. Season with sea salt, pepper and a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
~Thanks Dig Inn

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Recycle the lemon peels from your detoxifying morning lemon water into a whole-house cleaner.
  • One glass jar
  • Lemon peels (from about 6 lemons)
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
Directions:Place the lemon peels into your glass jar and cover with white vinegar, close top and allow the mixture to sit for one week. Pour the vinegar into a spray bottle about halfway and fill the remaining half with water. Discard lemon peels.

  • ¼ cup of 70% rubbing alcohol
  • ¼ cup of corn starch
  • ¼ cup of white vinegar
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • Spray bottle
Combine all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake well. Cleans windows, mirrors, glass tabletops, stainless steel and other surfaces where a streak-free appearance is desired.
  • Glass jar
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 50 drops of lavender essential oil
  • White vinegar
Place the baking soda into a glass bowl and add essential oil and stir to combine. Store cleaner in a container.  When ready to use, sprinkle two tablespoons of the mixture into the toilet bowl and then add two tablespoons of white vinegar directly on top of the baking soda.  A chemical reaction will occur and it will start to fizz and loosen debris - use a toilet brush to scrub. 

~ Thanks Dr. D'Adamo!


  1. Lemons contain vitamin C that the body needs to make glutathione and the liver uses in its detox process.
  2. Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients.
  3. Kale contains a substance that jump-starts the liver's production of cleansing enzymes.
  4. Beets contain phytochemicals that supports detoxification in the liver and blood.
  5. Almonds remove impurities from the bowels.
  6. Flax Oil and flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that the body uses to improve insulin function, which clears sugars from the bloodstream.
  7. Fresh garlic cleanses harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites and other invaders from the bloodstream.
  8. Studies show that kelp, seaweed, binds to heavy metals and removes them from the body.
  9. Arugula is a natural diuretic that helps to remove excess toxins and water from the blood and supports liver function.
  10. Green tea is a magical elixir loaded with antioxidants. Drink at least two cups of green tea daily.
  11. Ginger speeds food through the intestines thanks to compounds called gingerols and shogaols.
  12. Phytonutrients produced by broccoli can enhance the function of phase 2 liver enzymes that help to remove toxins

Detox Soup

When you feel like your body is filled with toxic sludge, make a soup out of these premiere detox foods! The recipe takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish and the taste is beyond delish. 

Serves two
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, roughly diced
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped small (about ⅔ pound)
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh arugula
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • ½ lemon
  1. In a medium stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots and sauté for about two minutes, then, add garlic and sauté another minute.
  2. Add broccoli, arugula, and ginger and sauté about 4 minutes.
  3. Add water and salt. Bring to a boil. Once soup boils, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 8 minutes (until broccoli is tender).
  4. Remove soup from heat and ladle the mixture into a blender (work slowly and in batches - don't fill the blender more than ¾ full and realize it is HOT!), puree and return to pot.
  5. Ladle into bowls and squeeze a wedge of fresh lemon over the top. Enjoy!
~Thanks Dr. D'Adamo

Easiest Nut Milk Ever

Cashews are nutrient-dense, fiber-loaded, rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, and are amazing sources of magnesium and copper—important for bone health, skin and hair health, and general energy and beauty. And this milk is super delicious, great for digestion (thanks, chia!).

Easy Amazing Cashew Milk
1 cup raw soaked, rinsed cashews
4 organic medjool dates
4 cups water
2 tbsp black chia seeds
½ tsp coconut oil
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of Himalayan salt
Try to soak cashews for a few hours to enhance digestibility and absorption—if you can’t, no problem, just rinse them.
Put all ingredients except the chia seeds into a high-speed blender—blend until smooth.
Pour into mason jars or any container. Add chia seeds and shake or stir vigorously. Leave in fridge to chill. Can be refrigerated for about four days. The second nut milk turns, it’ll be sour -- you’ll know!
Lisa Elaine Held

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