How green juice can take you from 0 to 60 in seconds

One thing I hear over and over again from friends, co-workers, and students is that once they started drinking green juice, their lives changed for the better.  I hear things like, “I just don’t feel right if I don’t have my green juice every day.” Or “I can get away with not eating super healthy as long as I drink a green juice most days.” Or “It’s the best hangover cure I’ve found!” Personally, drinking 1 to 2 pints of green juice in the morning keeps me feeling nourished, hydrated and mentally sharp. Yes, it’s that amazing!

What’s the difference between drinking green juice and a smoothie? Green juice doesn’t have fiber, so the liquid is able to immediately penetrate your cells through your bloodstream without having to be digested. This means a more quick transit time and quicker absorption. What does that mean for your body? Immediate hydration, increased enzyme activity, higher alkalinity, and mineral absorption. No middle man (the digestive tract) needed. Another benefit of drinking green juice vs. smoothies (not that smoothies are bad, they are just needed at a different time of day such as after a workout) is that green juice is uber-low glycemic. When we drink juices that don’t have fruit, we are getting all the vitamins and minerals from the veggies without the insulin spike and the subsequent hit to the pancreas. It’s been well documented that increased insulin spikes lead to premature aging and death. Not sexy!

So, the next time you really want to feel amazing (perhaps after a night of drinking or a weekend BBQ) take 15 minutes (yep, that’s all the time you need) to make a quick and easy green juice (no juicer necessary). Here’s how to do it:


  • 2 large organic cucumbers (the fatter the better)
  • 2 bunches of organic celery 
  • 1 bunch of parsley, dandelion greens, kale, cilantro or spinach
  • Juice of 2 lemons or limes


  1. Chop all the vegetables into 1-inch chunks.
  2. Put into a Vitamix or Blendtec Blender
  3. Blend for only 10 seconds using a plunger to make sure all the veggies get blended but stop before they get too oxidized.
  4. Pour into The Amazing Nut Milk Bag and squeeze the liquid into a pitcher or bowl.
  5. Add the lemon juice and store in 2 pint sized jars (I like to save my leftover kombucha bottles)

Shopping Tip: for 2 days worth of juice, buy twice as much produce and wash it all at the same time. Wrap 1/2 of the veggies in a towel and place in a plastic bag in the fridge for easy juicing the next day.

Tip #2: Buy a large bag of lemons or limes and Juice them all at once. Store in your fridge for up to 2 weeks in a glass jar.

Tip #3: For an even tastier juice that picky eaters and kids will love, try my Green Juice Cappucino. It’s green juice to the max!


Why live in a bubble when you can dance?

How I stay healthy without living in a bubble


I have been in the wellness industry for almost 20 years, and the most the most dangerous thing I have seen is the “all or nothing” mindset. Sometimes, when you start an extreme diet with the intention of doing it forever, you can’t help but swing to the opposite extreme. One week you are eating 50 bananas a day and restricting your fat intake,  and the next week you wind up binging on ice cream and french fries. Sound familiar? The popularity of extreme fad diets over the last decade has strengthened that mindset, even making it acceptable. Extremes can lead to self-sabotage or worse, orthorexia, which leads to isolation. There is another way to be healthy without living in a ‘bubble’.

What is Orthorexia

Orthorexia is a term and medical condition that has been created in the last 10 years. It is now considered an eating disorder, in the same category of bulimia and anorexia. Orthorexia is defined as

  • an obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy.
  • a medical condition in which the sufferer systematically avoids specific foods in the belief that they are harmful.

The key word  here is obsession. I love eating healthy food and I will continue to eat a high raw, plant-based diet as long as it serves my body, mind, and spirit. The key is that when we are focusing only on food, instead of all the factors around us, we get lost in a dogma or food ‘religion’.

My Experience with Orthorexia 

I can identify with being Orthorexic. In the past,  I spent a lot of time obsessing about healthy food choices and even judged people who weren’t eating as “good” as me. What a joke! Funny enough, when I could finally pop my head out of the bubble long enough to see what was really going on, it was me who was unhealthy. Maybe not in my body, but definitely in my mind and spirit. I would either mentally praise or bash myself for the choices I made. On most days, I got a 100% as I was doing all the right things according to the raw, vegan ‘rules’. Then there were other days when I would have sugary, gluten-filled cookies. The problem was I wouldn’t have just one, but a  whole bag! I would wake up the next day feeling so terrible in my body and mostly  my mind. I would vow, “never again!” I have since learned that I have an awesome roadmap for a healthy balanced diet (for me), but there is no such thing as a perfect diet for everyone. The best thing that I can do every day is to make the best possible decisions with the options that are available to me.

There are days or weeks when I drink coffee, and I really, really enjoy it! Some days I have a glass of wine with my friends, though not as enjoyable, so I do it less often. It’s okay. I don’t feel guilty about it. I live a balanced lifestyle now, and it allows for that.

My Balanced Lifestyle

Today I am much more relaxed, joyful and more accepting of myself and others. 

What I do for my body: I eat organic, fresh, plant-based foods every day. I start my day with a green juice and a cup of organic, mold free coffee, sweetened with stevia. If I get hungry before lunch (especially when I’m exercising a lot) I’ll have a green smoothie which includes lots of spinach, frozen berries, some hemp seeds and Vitamineral Green powder. Lunch time is almost always a giant green salad with a variety of sprouts and greens, seasonal, raw veggies, avocado and one of my favorite homemade salad dressings or a drizzle of MCT oil and lemon juice. I love topping my salads with dehydrated almonds or pumpkin seeds, freeze-dried peas, olives, and dulse (dried seaweed). Maybe I’ll have another snack before dinner, such as a grapefruit or some strawberries. At night, I like to have something heartier like another big salad with some steamed pumpkin, broccoli or sauteed greens and onions. Occasionally I’ll have some wild caught salmon or some eggs from Farmers Market (I know the farmer and the chickens are treated well).

What I do for my mind:  I love listening to podcasts and books on tape. I find lots of variety and usually end up listening to something about health, meditation, or business. I read books when I need a break from technology and these often involve some type of self-improvement or business education.

What I do for my spirit: I meditate every day for at least 20 minutes. Go out dancing with friends. I laugh and play a lot! Take time out as needed to lay on the couch and enjoy some peace and quiet. Read angel cards regularly to get insights and inspiration. Seek out deep, heart-opening conversations whenever possible. Continue to witness my own journey and become an observer to my habits and patterns so that I can call myself out on my “stuff” to make sure I don’t get too serious.

What I do for my body, mind, and spirit: I exercise 6 days a week. I run, practice yoga or dance. It’s the perfect way to sweat, remove toxins, have fun and improve my brain function.


Tips for you to live outside the bubble

  1. Dance. Crank up the music and start moving your booty. Wear comfortable clothing and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. You are doing you. Before you know it you’ll be sweating and having a blast. The best part is that you will be detoxing your cells while you are having fun. Research shows that dancing actually improves your brain function! According to an article in Psychology today, both cognitive thought processes and muscle memory are improved if you dance at least once a week.
  2. Exercise. Through regular aerobic training that incorporates some type of dance at least once a week anyone can maximize his or her brain function. Dancing is proven to make you smarter, reduce stress and lower your risk of dementia. As you dance, blood is pumping to your brain, increasing its oxygen supply. As you think about the next step you will take, you create new neural pathways. All of this moving and flowing can be the perfect solution to clear out the junk and get your dose of mood enhancing endorphins.
  3. Eat Organic. Reducing your pesticide intake will help you feel better without restricting yourself from the rest of the world.
  4. Cleanse regularly. Don’t underestimate the power of cleansing and fasting. I take time out at least 4 times a year to do a liver cleanse, a dry fast or a juice fast in order to keep my body, mind and spirit feeling clean, clear and balanced. The key is to do it because you enjoy the results, not to punish or deprive yourself because you were “bad”. It will also allow you to enjoy the other parts of the year feeling more balanced, energized and healthy. 

It’s a Journey

The goal  over time is to build a balanced and healthy lifestyle that maintains itself. Making balanced choices every day is a better long term strategy than going on crash diets and experiencing the yo-yo effect. We want to feel exhilarated not defeated at the end of the day or week. Remember, as the fictional school teacher Miss Frizzle always says, “Get messy! Make mistakes!”


bubble girl

Feed your inspiration, not your isolation


I ran 4 miles in the evening, right as the sun was setting.

Running is melting my fat

After running a marathon six years ago when my son Dom got leukemia, I always thought I would train for another one at some point. Time passed, and after a year or two, I didn’t run anymore.  I let myself off the hook telling myself that I didn’t need to run. I felt that yoga and lifting weights at the gym were enough. And they were, for a while. But then I turned 49 and I started to gain a bit of weight. Not enough for most people to see, but my tummy got a little more fat on it and my butt didn’t fit into my jeans anymore. I tried a lot of things to slim back down like fasting and eating less, but alas, the fat didn’t budge!

Nicole and Kate

Nicole and Kate

Recently, Nicole and Kate, two of the beautiful young women who work for Pure Joy Planet, started training for a marathon. They encouraged me to join them but I sweetly declined, telling them  I didn’t want to mess up my hormones, I’m too slow, blah, blah, blah. I enviously watched them train for a couple weeks, as they would often train together and come back happy and sweaty. I started to think about running again. Then, ever the enthusiast, Nicole said, “Why don’t you just train for a 10-mile race? There is one coming up in September in Oracle.” My ears perked up and I said, “10 miles? I can do that.”

My 3-mile run

So now, it’s been 2 weeks and I’ve been running 3 times per week. I started by just running 1 1/2 miles. Now I’m up to 4 miles. The funny thing is, I am absolutely loving it! I love how strong I feel. I’ve already noticed a lot more muscle tone in my entire body, and even though the scale hasn’t changed much, I’m replacing fat with muscle.

Today, I went out shopping for clothes, and the sales girl kept saying, “No, that’s going to be too big on you!”  She was right, the smaller sizes fit! I came home with a new summer wardrobe and a new affinity for my body.

Not only am I stronger, more toned, and in a better mood daily, my body is slimming down, and my muscles (especially on my arms and abs) are visible.

If you want to get started, I recommend a couple apps. The first one is free and it’s called Run Keeper. The second costs a couple bucks and it’s called  5K-from couch potato to 5K

I think that I’m going to end up going more than that 10-mile distance. I now have the ambition to run a 1/2 marathon in Moab, Utah in November.

See you on the trails!


Cactus photo credit: Mark Short

tucson cactus

Apple cheesecake

Holiday Apple Spiced Raw Cheesecake


This Holiday Season: Count your foodgasms not your calories.

Holiday Apple Spiced Raw Cheesecake layered with fresh dehydrated apples, walnuts and a pumpkin spiced ‘caramel’ topping made from mesquite powder, lucuma, Caramel Essence, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg spice, and coconut sugar. All raw, vegan, glutenfree and low glycemic. Sweetened with apples for the crisp December season, coconut sugar and bitter free stevia.
2 cup soaked and dehydrated walnuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut, powdered or more nuts
2 TBS carob powder
¼ cup dates (sugar free, add Irish moss instead of dates)
1/8 tsp high mineral saltFilling:
1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts or 2 cups coconut meat
1 cup Irish Moss Paste*
1/2 cups purified water
½ cup coconut sugar, powdered
2 vanilla beans
1/4 tsp high mineral salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cup chopped apples

1 TBS Cinnamon
1/2 TBS. pumpkin pie spice

Stevia to taste

Caramel Drizzle:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup almond butter or coconut butter
1/4 cup yacon syrup or 1/2 cup dates
12 drops vanilla essence
2 TBS lucuma or mesquite powder
12 drops Caramel essence
Pinch of salt


1. Place all ingredients into food processor. Process until the crust starts to rise on the sides of the processor bowl. Stop the machine and mix with a spatula or spoon.
2. Assemble the cheesecake pan with the bottom upside-down (the lip facing down), this makes it much easier to serve.
3. Lightly grease entire inside of pan with some coconut oil.
4. Distribute crust evenly on the bottom of pan and lightly compact by hand.
5. Set in freezer or refrigerator until ready to be filled.
Caramel Drizzle

1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Reserve for filling and topping the cheesecake.

1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until oil is well incorporated, for at least 2 mintues.
2. Pour into 1/2 into the crust
3. Top with 1 layer of dehydrated apple rings and 1/2 of the caramel topping. Pour the remaining batter on top
3. Drizzle the top with the remaining caramel topping. Sprinkle with chopped dehydrated walnuts.

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake 2
You’re friends and family will love this sweet rendition of apple pie cheesecake!
Recipe by our Pure Joy Chef and Instructor Katelyn Louise.


How to make a Pumpkin Spice-Coffee-Coconut Elixir with ashwaghanda  

 Today, Katelyn Louise, an instructor at Pure Joy Academy, shows us an easy and healthy coffee elixir. To get more of Katelyns recipes, follow her on Instagram“>


4 cups fresh coconut milk (see recipe)

2 cups cold pressed coffee

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon ashwaganda powder

15 drops vanilla essence (Medicine Flower)

Stevia to taste

  1. Blend on high until smooth. Add 1 cup ice if desired.

Serves 4.

Coconut milk recipe:

1 cup hard coconut meat or dried shredded coconut

4 cups pure water

  1. Blend until smooth.
  2. Strain through the Amazing Nut Milk Bag.
  3. Save pulp in your freezer to use as flour in your no-carb bread or cookie creations.

Is your gut prepared for flu season?

Here are 7 ways you can prepare your gut for the changing seasons. Be sure to scroll down for bonus recipes!

As the weather gets colder, our immune systems need to work harder to deal with the changing weather, the heater running more and the falling pollen, flora and fauna.

  1. Eat an alkaline diet: Start your day with warm lemon water (1 liter/quart of water with the juice of 1 lemon), make daily green juice, eat leafy greens, vegetables and seaweeds to up your alkalinity quotient. See recipes in my other blogs for ideas.
  2. Take probiotic capsules (with enteric coating): Most people don’t realize how much they can benefit from taking a probiotic daily. Once on a regular regiment of taking 1-2 caps a day, people have reported quicker digestion, better moods, improved brain function, clearer skin and a happier outlook on life. According to Dr. Mark Perlmutter, MD, you should look for probiotics which have Lactobacillus plantarum. to re-implant your gut with good bacteria. The prices will vary according to how many billion bacteria are in the bottle. I suggest starting with 15, 30 or 50 billion bacteria and trying different kinds and strains to find one which works for you. Each person has a different microbiome, so you may need to do some experimenting to find the right probiotic for you. A great way to do this is to buy one brand or type at a time and take it until the bottle is finished, then try a different kind the next time. Some of our favorite brands are: Ultimate Flora, Probiotica, Garden of Life, Master Supplements or Dr. OHara to name a few.
  3. Eat cultured foods daily, such as coconut kefir and sauerkraut (see recipes below). Not only does this add a great flavor to your meals, it also adds a healthy dose of good bacteria to your gut to help fight off the bad guys. If you are on a budget, this is an inexpensive way to populate your microbiome with friendly flora.
  4. Avoid white sugar: Holidays seem to herald an abundance of sugar in the form of cakes, chocolates and candy. If you are feeling at all under the weather, it would be a very good idea to eschew such things. IAccording to Health Services at Columbia University, when you eat 100 grams of sugar, about as much sugar as you find in a 1 liter bottle of soda, your white blood cells are 40 percent less effective at killing germs. This can cripple your immune system for up to 5 hours after eating sugar!
  5. Avoid glutenous foods and white flour: these foods can rob you of energy and create a highly acid environment in your body, which germs thrive on. Gluten consumption has also been directly tied to depression and brain health. Beware of gluten substitutes as well, which can be just as acidic and detrimental to your health (such as gluten-free baked goods).
  6. Avoid nutritionally devoid foods: Many vegans who eliminate animal products start to go for all the meat and dairy substitutes. This can be a big mistake. Be sure to read your labels and avoid things you cannot pronounce or too many ingredients.
  7. Add these immune boosting supplements:
  • Chinese medicine and adaptogens such as Ho Shu Wu and astragalus These can be brewed into tea or taken as supplements and can greatly boost your immunity. A good brand is Dragonherbs.
  • You could highly benefit from taking a few drops of oregano oil to instantly kick out viruses and bad bacteria. This is my # 1 go to when I am feeling like I might be getting sick. Oregano oil, like other essential oils, can act as an anti-viral,anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent so use caution as it might not only attack the bad baceria. Try putting 3 drops of oregano oil in an empty veggie cap and taking it morning and night until you are feeling 100% healthy again. Then be sure to up your pro-biotic quotient for a few days.

P.S. Remember self care: Take a hot bath with Epsom salt, do an evening foot rub with essential oils, have a sauna or massage, do dry skin brushing, and be sure to get in movement every day. If you go outside for a 20 minute walk, you will get life enhancing Vitamin D thru the sun and get improved circulation and fresh air.

Live Sauerkraut

1 cabbage (red or green)11875506_1054747007893450_991697563_n
½-1 tsp. Himalayan salt crystals
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 Tbs. dried dill or 1/2 cup fresh dill chopped
2 Tbs. caraway seeds 
4-8 cloves garlic, crushed

Substitutions: Switch the dill for cilantro, the caraway for cumin seeds and the garlic for ginger or turmeric root to make different variations.

  1. Slice the cabbage using the 1mm setting on a mandolin or food processor, or cut paper thin with a knife. Discard the outer leaves.
  2. . Mix all the ingredients together and massage it with your hands. Continue to work the cabbage until the liquid starts to release.
  3. You may need to let your hands rest, so leave the cabbage sitting and come back to it every 1/2 hour until when you press on the cabbage, liquid rises to the top.
  1. Place the kraut in a 1-quart or 1-liter glass jar. Press the cabbage down until the liquid rises above it about 1/8 inch. The juice may sink back down a little and that is okay.
  1. Place a lid on the jar and let sit for 1-4 days in a warm spot (around 80F), depending on desired sourness.
  2. Once the sauerkraut is ready, place it in the refrigerator.

The sauerkraut will keep for up to 8 months in the refrigerator.

Coconut Kefir

Kefir is a healing food that11910457_897325430341866_305599015_n is made by culturing a kefir starter or a proteolytic (will digest the proteins to amino acids) probiotic with nuts, seeds or coconut. By drinking or eating kefir on a regular basis, we clean and strengthen our colons, improve digestion, cultivate friendly flora in the intestines, reduce food and sugar cravings, moisturize the skin, strengthen the immune system and help our bodies to reverse the aging process by breaking down undigested proteins. Kefir is a complete protein, and is an excellent source of amino acids and enzymes as well!

Liquid Kefir can be made by adding a probiotic to the liquid of young coconuts

4 cups coconut water
1 Tbs. kefir starter or 1 capsule 15 billion flora probiotic or 1/4 cup cultured kefir

  1. Mix the ingredients together in a blender for no more than 30 seconds
  2. Place a lid on the jar and let sit in a warm place.
  3. 90 degrees in a dehydrator for 24 hours is ideal.
  4. The cultured beverage is ready when it is slightly effervescent and/or tastes sour

Enjoy as a refreshing beverage or use to make almond cheese, etc.

Yogurt or Cheese can be made by adding the culture to blended coconut meat, almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews, pumpkin seeds etc.

2-4 cups blended coconut meat, nuts, seeds with enough water to make a yogurt-like texture
1 Tbs. kefir starter or 1 capsule 15 billion flora probiotic or 1/4 cup cultured kefir

  1. Mix the kefir starter or probiotic with the blended mixture (do not blend the probiotic for more than 30 seconds)
  2. Place the mixture in a glass jar large enough to let the kefir expand by 1/3
  3. Place a lid on the jar and let sit in a warm place.
  4. 90 degrees in a dehydrator for 24 hours is ideal.
  5. You will know the kefir is ready when it tastes sour like yogurt or looks spongy in the jar.

Enjoy kefir in a salad dressing, over fruit, in a smoothie or on its own sweetened with a little stevia and vanilla extract.

Finding peace in a float deprivation tank


It’s a Sunday night at 10:30 pm. Usually, I’d be getting ready for bed and cozying up with a good book by now. Well ,tonight is different. At 7pm I got in a deprivation tank at a place called Levity in Tucson, AZ. It’s a tank big enough to fit a very large person into,  filled with 10 inches of just below body temperature water (about 93 degrees) and many pounds of Epsom salt which makes one become buoyant in the water so there is not even a chance of sinking. There is no light or sound whatsoever, even with eyes open, it’s pitch black. At one end, there is a black door which opens easily for entering and exiting.

Since it was my first time floating, I was a bit nervous. I showered, put my earplugs in and laid down in the water with my head away from the door, closing it behind me. The session was scheduled for an hour. At first I felt the way others have described it, claustrophobic a bit, restless and just slightly uneasy. I did as instructed and put my hands above my head so I could float comfortably. After about 10 minutes, I considered getting out, but I stayed instead.  After 20 minutes I started to settle in. It’s the same as when I meditate, when I hit the 20 minutes mark is when I start to really feel peaceful and settled. My mind floated in and out of thoughts, but this time it was different because I knew I didn’t have the ending timer set for 30 minutes, and I was committed to staying the full hour. It was also different because even though my mind was drifting and grabbing thoughts, it was not able to go anywhere negative. At one point, I got scared that my mind would grab onto something horrible or negative and I’d be in some dark loop, but I stayed peaceful. Even thought I accidentally tested the waters by thinking of negative things, the mind just said, “Nope, I’m not going there.” Instead I just drifted and floated for an hour with peaceful thoughts and listened to the sound of my underwater breathing. I was counting breaths for a while, then just the out breaths, then, at one point, maybe 30-40 minutes in, I started to face my ego. Truth be told, this was my motivation for going. I wanted to separate my random fears and thoughts from who I truly am at my core. I wanted to start to know which was which. So laying there with nothing else to do but go down the rabbit hole of who am I without my ego, I started to get some ideas. I thought about how I am trying so hard to accomplish things and how if I were to just let them be, just be, it would all be so much easier. I’m not talking about work that I know needs to be done like editing manuals and getting physical work done. I do know that those things cannot just be contemplated away. What I’m specifically talking about is being willing to be vulnerable. “What if I were just okay with my life exactly as it is?”, I thought, “Maybe the only way any true and lasting change will ever happen, is if I just start loving the here and now”. These thoughts are not new, in fact I know I was being reminded of things one of my favorite speakers, Byron Katie says often. “Who would you be without the thought?” I turned around thoughts about other people onto myself, I looked at  letting go of needing to change anything about myself and I just floated and breathed. When the hour was up, I was glad. I was ready to get out and I felt really good. I showered, and left thinking it was nice but nothing profound. But as I drove the 20 minutes home and after arriving home, something seemed different. It wasn’t until about an hour after getting home that I realized how clean and clear and zen my head felt. There was no monkey mind thoughts going on inside, no negative thoughts about self, or how I should be better or work harder or any of those random thoughts that I tend to get throughout my day. I just felt peaceful. I texted a friend during this time and I said, “It feels like my mind just had a shower. I feel physically clean in my head.” There’s no other way to describe it. I have another 2 sessions already paid for, so if I can float once a week or even once a year and feel this good, then I’m in. I’ll be traveling again soon, and I usually have some major insomnia and jet lag when I get return home. This time, I’m planning to head straight to Levity to float.  I have a feeling I’ll be sleeping soundly in no time.

Last thought…right as I drifted off to sleep this came to me: “It doesn’t matter” Whatever people think about me, and even what I think of myself, doesn’t matter!