Peanut Butter Protein Balls

These little nuggets of deliciousness are not only delicious, they also pack a pretty hearty nutrition punch! These protein packed bites use Choice Eco-Protein along with chia seeds, cacao nibs and flax to get you a hearty serving of superfood goodness! PLUS other amazing benefits (we tell you more below!)

 

Ingredients: 

  •  ½ cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats) or you can substitute cooked quinoa
  •  ¼ cup Choice protein
  • 1/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed powder
  • 3 Tbs cacao nibs
  • 1/8 cup Coconut nectar or agave nectar
  •  2 tablespoon chia seeds
  •  1/8 tsp vanilla bean powder or ½  teaspoon vanilla
  • Punch of Himalayan Salt

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients and mix, (PB, Vanilla if using extract, and coconut nectar or agave). In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients including superfoods and mix well. Add your dry ingredients to your mixing bowl with your wet ingredients and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty in the process! The best way to mix is with your own two hands ;) 

Once everything is combined, use a spoon or a small ice-cream scoop to portion out small little bite sized balls. Put on a plate and refrigerate for at least an hour. Once ready, you can toss them into a container or an airtight bag and they will keep in the fridge for up to a week. 

Choice Eco-Protein is a complete protein with no synthetic amino acids, just raw organic ingredients and superfoods. This superfood protein packs 17 Grams of protein per serving! Chia seeds, also high in protein are loaded with fiber and Omegas 3 fatty acids! Cacao nibs are packed full of anti oxidants, magnesium, potassium and is also known to help stimulate the brain into releasing neurotransmitters that can trigger “feel good hormones.” They also provide the perfect crunch in this recipe! Last but certainly not least, flax seeds! Flaxseed is a source of healthy fat, anitoxidants and fiber; modern research has found evidence to suggest that flaxseed can also help lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. That’s a lot of power in such a little package. 

"Nice Cream" Summer Recipe

There's nothing quite like  summer nights in San Diego - cool breeze, beautiful sunsets and endless BBQs at the beach. And of course, we like to keep those healthy BBQs actually healthy. We're ditching the chips, sugar loaded cookies and dairy based ice cream for one of our favorite sweet treats, "Nice Cream"! 

Ingredientes:

4 medium ripened banans, sliced and frozen
1 Tablespoon pure maple, coconut nectar, agave or other sweetener of your choice
1 tsp Pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Add banana to a blender or food processor. Blend until bananas turn into a crumbly mixture.
2. Add sweeter of choice and vanilla. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the blender as necessary. 
3. If you like a soft serve ice cream texture, enjoy immediately. If you prefer your ice cream firm and scoopable: Pour into an airtight container and freeze for at least 4 hours or until completely frozen. Allow to thaw 5-10 minutes before scooping. 

Serving Size:

2-3 cups, enough to share! 

You can make this even more fun by adding any of your favorite boosts! Such as: cacao, peanut butter, almond butter, cacao nibs or coconut flakes. This base recipe is really great, but I encourage you to explore additions that will satisfy all of your ice cream cravings!

Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

Thrive Concierge yoga + Culinary Studio shared this amazing Valentines Day Recipe just in time for the holiday!

Both delicious and nourishing, Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups are the perfect way to show your beloved or yourself some love on Valentine’s Day. These luscious morsels are made with raw chocolate and almond butter, providing a complex and delectable flavor, along with tons of antioxidants and minerals.

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups     Cup Ingredients:                   3/4 cup cacao paste 1/2 cup cacao butter ½ - 1 cup maple syrup (adjust according to desired sweetness) 1/8 teaspoon sea salt A few drops stevia (optional)   Filling Ingredients:                   1/2 cup raw almond butter 2 teaspoons coconut sugar 1 teaspoon lucuma powder 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt   Directions:                   Place cacao paste and cacao butter in a double-broiler to melt. Remove from heat and stir in maple syrup. Pour 2 teaspoons (for large cups) or 1 teaspoon (for small cups) of the chocolate into each cup of a lined cupcake tin. Sprinkle with sea salt. Place tin in freezer for 30 minutes. Mix filling ingredients together in a bowl. Remove tin from freezer and scoop almond butter filling, adding 2 teaspoons (for large cups) or 1 teaspoon (for small cups) to each cup. Place tin in freezer for 30 minutes. Remove tin from freezer and pour remaining chocolate into each cup, covering the almond butter filling. Sprinkle with sea salt. Place tin in freezer for at least 6 hours before serving. Allow to warm to room temperature (5 - 10 minutes) for best flavor.   Yields: 6 large or 12 small cups   If you liked this recipe...consider joining the Thryve Studio DIY Chocolate Truffle Making class happening this weekend. Perfect Valentine's activity to celebrate the occasion. See flyer for sign up details below.   

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

 

 

Cup Ingredients:                  

3/4 cup cacao paste

1/2 cup cacao butter

½ - 1 cup maple syrup (adjust according to desired sweetness)

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

A few drops stevia (optional)

 

Filling Ingredients:                  

1/2 cup raw almond butter

2 teaspoons coconut sugar

1 teaspoon lucuma powder

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

 

Directions:                  

Place cacao paste and cacao butter in a double-broiler to melt.

Remove from heat and stir in maple syrup.

Pour 2 teaspoons (for large cups) or 1 teaspoon (for small cups) of the chocolate into each cup of a lined cupcake tin. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Place tin in freezer for 30 minutes.

Mix filling ingredients together in a bowl.

Remove tin from freezer and scoop almond butter filling, adding 2 teaspoons (for large cups) or 1 teaspoon (for small cups) to each cup.

Place tin in freezer for 30 minutes.

Remove tin from freezer and pour remaining chocolate into each cup, covering the almond butter filling. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Place tin in freezer for at least 6 hours before serving. Allow to warm to room temperature (5 - 10 minutes) for best flavor.

 

Yields: 6 large or 12 small cups

 

If you liked this recipe...consider joining the Thryve Studio DIY Chocolate Truffle Making class happening this weekend. Perfect Valentine's activity to celebrate the occasion. See flyer for sign up details below. 

 

The Ultimate Whole Foods Pantry Makeover + Bonus Recipe

The Ultimate Whole Foods Pantry Makeover + Bonus Recipe

Hi Choice Juicery friends!

 

I’m EA, aka The Spicy RD, and I’m excited to be sharing my Whole Foods Pantry Makeover tips with you today, along with the most delicious Cocoa Lemon Truffles for a healthy treat!

 

 

No matter what type of diet you follow, one of these best things you can do for your health, is focus on eating delicious, nourishing, minimally processed WHOLE foods, free from artificial colors/flavors, additives, preservatives, and other chemically made ingredients.

 

With the first month of 2016 officially behind us, and perhaps some healthy eating resolutions that have fallen by the wayside, now is the perfect time to reboot your diet, and start living your most delicious life with my simple whole foods pantry makeover tips, no diet deprivation required!

 

Let’s get started!

 

Whole Foods Pantry Makeover

 

1. Assess! Start your pantry makeover by taking EVERYTHING out of your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Toss out spoiled foods, foods past their expiration date, and freezer burned foods. Then set all other foods aside for review.

 

2. Clean! Start fresh with a clean slate by wiping down refrigerator and freezer shelves and pantry cupboards with an earth friendly soap and warm water, or vinegar solution to cut through the grease and grime.

 

3. Divide and conquer! Separate foods and beverages in to whole/single ingredient foods {i.e. fruits and vegetables, etc.}, and multiple ingredient foods-basically any foods with an ingredient label.

 

4. Read! First, put back all your whole/single ingredient foods, then start reading ingredient labels, usually found on the side or back of the food container. Read ALL labels then split your foods in to 2 groups: A) Foods that contain ingredients you recognize and would cook with at home and B) Foods with ingredients you don’t recognize OR wouldn’t cook with at home. For example, a bottle of salad dressing that contains only olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, shallots, mustard, basil, oregano, and black pepper would go in group A, while a jar of salad dressing containing olive oil, balsamic vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, carrageenan, shallots, sea salt, mustard, basil, and caramel coloring should go in group B, because you probably wouldn’t cook with high fructose corn syrup, carrageenan, and caramel coloring at home.

 

5. Learn! While your healthiest bet moving forward is to buy/consume only foods made from whole foods ingredients that you would cook with at home, some food additives are more harmful than others, so check your “Group B” foods against this “Chemical Cuisine” Food Additives list at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, to learn more about which additives are safe, and which ones should be avoided. In my opinion, if an ingredient is questionable {i.e. carrageenan, a common additive in most commercially made dairy alternative milks} or hasn’t been properly tested, it’s best to leave it out of your diet (Check out Choice's homemade almond milk recipe here). When in doubt, leave it out! In addition, although it’s most desirable to donate wholesome foods {or money}, it’s hard to throw away any nonperishable foods when so many are in need, so I encourage you to learn more about getting involved with the San Diego Food Bank to help combat hunger in San Diego County.

 

6. Learn more! Just because foods in group A are made with ingredients you recognize, doesn’t mean they should be regular staples in your diet, especially if they contain large amounts of added sugar {in any form including cane sugar, corn syrup, agave, maple syrup, honey, etc} or sodium {aka salt}. Don’t panic and go cold turkey though. You can still enjoy a sweet treat, and use the salt shaker from time to time, but just be aware that many processed foods may be high in added sugar and sodium, and aim to keep your average daily intake of added sugar to 10% or less of total calories*, and sodium to 2300 mg or less per day. In fact your best bet with baked goods and other treats, is to make them at home, so you can control the amount of sugar and sodium, along with the quality of ingredients that goes in to them. Why not start with these super easy and amazingly delicious No Bake Cocoa Lemon Truffles?!

 

*Note: 10% of 2000 calories, an average daily caloric intake, is 200 calories OR 50 grams OR 12 1/2 teaspoons of sugar per day. As an FYI and a reference, the average can of soda has 10 teaspoons per can!

 

 


Chocolate and lemon are a delicious pairing in these luscious {and super healthy} No Cocoa Lemon Truffles made from nourishing whole foods ingredients! Click here for the recipeà Cocoa Lemon Truffle recipe at The Spicy RD


Thank you so much Nastasha for allowing me to share my Whole Foods Pantry Makeover Tips and Cocoa Lemon Truffles! I would love to invite all of you to check out the rest of my seasonal, gluten-free, whole foods based recipes on my blog, The Spicy RD, to learn more about my nutrition coaching services or to schedule a pantry makeover with me, and to connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, as we inspire each other to live our healthiest and most delicious lives!

5 Reasons to Cleanse

What is a “cleanse” and why should we do it?

According to the dictionary cleanse means: To make thoroughly clean.

So how does cleansing make you thoroughly clean?

1)    First and foremost a cleanse will Reboot your diet. Think of a cleanse as a “food reset button” That is literally taking you back to the basic tenets of healthful eating, changing your cells on a molecular level to increase your cravings for veggies and decrease your cravings for all that junk food and other unhealthy habits. A cleanse is the best way to re accustom the taste buds to real food flavors! Getting you away from those overly salted & overly oiled foods you may find yourself drawn to after habitual eating out.

2)    Help you to loose weight. Yes, some part of this will be due to calorie depletion. However, you should never enter starvation and depravation mode, which is why we recommend eating raw foods with your cleanse. We want long lasting results, which only come with lifestyle changes. A cleanse works as a catalyst for this change. What happens after your cleanse is up to you, but there is no better jumpstart to a healthier lifestyle than a cleanse program.

3)    Help your body to detox from toxins. How does drinking juice and eating raw food do this? We are constantly eating heavy foods and too much of them so our bodies are always working on overtime. Just like you and me, when we work long hard hours consistently over a long period of time, our quality of work begins to suffer and the result is poor quality. Well our bodies are no different. We are overworking them by consuming foods that have little to no nutritional value and are typically acidic in nature, which causes our bodies to have to work harder to digest and assimilate those foods. When are bodies are hard at work digesting these foods, our purification systems (which are designed to remove toxins from our bodies), are not able to work at full capacity. This leaves us with a surplus of toxic build up. Giving your digestive system a break from all that digestive work, allows it time to focus on it’s most important job….detoxification!

4)    Flood your body with live nutrients. How many of you take vitamins? How many of you use face creams and special beauty products to make you look and feel better/younger? You aren’t alone so do about 85 percent of women today! The reality is the best beauty pill you can take is the food that you put in your mouth. Cleansing gives us loads of raw nutrients that most of us wouldn’t normally eat in a month. (1 green juice alone contains pounds & pounds of raw vegetables). Most of the veggies we eat are literally cooked to death and or saturated in butter or oil. Most nutrients are killed off in the cooking process. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad when I see people getting their veggies in one way or another! But doing a 3 day cleanse where you are getting loads of live nutrients does wonders for your body inside and out.

5)    Warning: Cleansing can cause increased energy, better moods, better sleep, better sex and more beautiful hair & skin. No I’m not selling a pill or a cream here. I’m selling a lifestyle. It’s really that simple. When you cleanse, your body is able to work more efficiently. As you continue on after your cleanse with this new lifestyle, you will notice that eating foods full of nutrients that are easier for your body to digest, will cause an increase in energy which will also increase your moods allowing for better sleep, sex and a more youthful and beautiful looking you! Food is truly medicine. Take a chance, make a choice and see a change.

3 Cleanse musts for ultimate success:

  • Must Be organic
  • Must Exclude animal products
  • Must Include lots of real whole plant based foods mostly in the raw form

 

Cleansing is not magic & it’s not a quick fix or an excuse to binge and purge. What you do for a few days of the year is pretty inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. It’s what you do in the days following your cleanse that will ultimately lead to long lasting results.

If you commit to a New Year's cleanse and sign up any time between now and December 31st you will receive  a $20 Choice Gift Card. Pop over to our store and sign up today for a 3 day cleanse (Choose any future date you want to start) AND We will email your gift card within 24 hours.  

 

Happy Cleansing!!!

Choice Coconut "Bakon" Caesar

Who doesn't love a good Caesar salad? Especially when it's vegan, guilt-free and delicious! 

 

Now that we are selling our famous Coconut Bakon(!), we thought we would share this spin on a traditional Caesar. This baby is loaded with healthy fats, protein and greens. This Caesar is sure to leave you feeling satiated and your tastebuds happy!

Ingredients

For the salad:

4 cups massaged kale

4 cups chopped romaine

1/4 cup Choice Coconut Bakon

1 can chickpeas

For the Vegan Caesar Dressing:

1 1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 cup soaked cashews (soaked overnight or for a minimum of 20 mins in warm water)

1/4 cup water

2 Tbsp olive oil

1-2 Tbsp Lemon juice (fresh)

1/2 Tbsp Dijon

1 small clove garlic

1/2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (found at most health food stores)

1 1/2 Tbsp capers

1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

For the Chickpea Croutons:

1 can Chickpeas rinsed and dried (pat dry after rinse)

Himalayan salt (generous sprinkle)

2 Tbsp Olive oil 

1/2 tsp Garlic powder 

2 tsp Nutritional yeast

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss chickpeas in oil and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining ingredients and roll around to coat. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Toss and place back in oven for an additional 15 minutes. Be careful not to burn. They should be crispy when they are all done!
 

While "croutons" are in the oven, place all of the dressing ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for 2 minutes. 

Toss the salad with dressing and plate. Top with chickpea croutons and sprinkle on Choice coconut "bakon" for the finish!  (optional add ons: Avocado slices, hemp seeds, sun dried tomatoes).

If you are feeling frisky...you call roll this baby up in a GF wrap and have your self a merry little caesar wrap! 

Cheers! 

 

 

Get involved, Give back, Gain more!

These days it’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race. Who’s got the bigger house, nicer car, and better clothes. Even in the most sacred of places we're surrounded with the constant belief that we need more to be more. The reality is…we need to give more to be more. There is nothing more rewarding than giving back. Using your time, talents and treasures to serve the greater good. 

We believe in the 3 G’sGet, Give & Gain. It's that simple.

There is so much need in this world, in our country, our state and even at home in our very own communities. We want to encourage you to find a cause and get involved! When you give back, you will gain so much more than you can imagine.  Love, happiness and a sense of self fulfillment.        

 

Below we have listed a few of our favorite local non profits that are doing incredible things and making an impact in a big way.  Check them out, learn what they are up to, and see how you can get involved too! 

  

The 1to1 Movement

 

The 1to1 movement started with a simple idea—we can all be apart of the solution.

 

We focus on raising awareness about sustainability, the issues surrounding sustainability, and how to continue the conversation on conservation. Our approach is from the bottom up, top down. Bottom up means grassroots educational programs that we lead in classrooms (K-12), colleges, and communiteis. Top down refers to our corporate outreach to work with business owners in how the market can be environmentally savvy for the wallet and community.

 

 





Brunch Club

 

Our Mission.

Brunch Club exists to positively impact those experiencing homelessness. Through our distribution of food, water, essential hygiene and cold weather items we provide tangible tools to fight hunger and the elements.

We are creating a movement to combat homelessness on multiple fronts, powered by the belief that every life matters.

Join us.

 

H20 Patrol

 

Based in Encinitas, California, H2O Trash Patrol specializes

in cleaning up marine debris in and around the water and

rocks via Stand Up Paddleboards. We are a dedicated

 group of conscientious individuals who care about our

lagoons, harbors, marinas, waterways, and beaches. H2O

Trash Patrol is passionate about making a difference by

physically getting out there in the waterways and on the

beaches to pullout as much trash as possible and bringing

awareness of the growing plastic and debris in our world's

oceans.

 

 

 

 

The One Love Movement

 

One Mission

To inspire one love across the glove and create one community that gives back through action.

 

One purpose

We believe that yoga will change the world. Our practice on and off the mat is a way to connect to who we are and what matters most. Change yourself, change the world.

We are an organization who’s cause is under privileged woman and youth. It is our call to make a difference for as many woman and kids as possible while having this gift called life.

 

We do this by raising awareness for youth issues locally and globally and by hosting public charity yoga events. Our intention is that we inspire people to give back. The money we raise is donated to existing youth organizations who are making a difference trough support programs and initiatives.

 

 

 

 

Pink Lemonade Smoothie Recipe and Superfood Feature

Summer is right around the corner and we are certain we aren't alone in the excitement! It's the season of sunny beach days, bikinis and flip flops! With the warmer days right around the corner we thought you might enjoy this refreshing recipe and superfood feature to add to your summer repertoire. 

Superfood Feature

The pink lemonade superfood smoothie doesn't just taste amazing, it's amazing for you too!  This smoothie is hydrating, alkalizing and immune boosting as well. The superfood that we can thank for all of those wonderful benefits is Baobab, pronounced; BEY-oh-Bab, which comes from the  Baobab Tree, also known as "The Tree of Life."

Baobab is extremely high in Vitamin C (6 x the vitamin C of an orange) and antioxidants (2 x the antioxidant capability of acai berry), as well polyphenols. These properties support the immune system and skin health. Research on polyphenols has indicated that the addition of Baobab into a meal can significantly reduce the rate at which sugar is released into the blood supply and therefore balance blood sugar.

High in Electrolytes, Baobab powder is a great rehydration and alkalizing agent too! Baobab powder is also a natural multivitamin providing the body with vitamin B that contributes to endurance and energy.  

 

Note: You can find this incredible superfood on our menu under "boost" options!

Recipe

  • 1 cup organic frozen banana
  • 1 cup organic strawberry
  • 8 oz alkaline water
  • 3 Tbs fresh pressed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs Baobab
  • 2 Dates

Directions

Add alkaline water, dates and baobab to blender and blend on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and blend on high for about 60 seconds. Enjoy! 

 

 

Cocktails anyone?

Did you know cold pressed juice is not just for cleansing? Cold pressed juice is a MUCH healthier alternative to those sugary mixers and sodas that you would otherwise be guzzling down with your liquor. Now we're all for having a good time, but not at the expense of our health! So whether you like a stiff cocktail or a yummy "mocktail" as you shake your booty through the night, we have a few recipes to put a healthy twist to your cocktail glass!

 

 

Chocolate Sexy-tini 

Cocktail version (Makes 8 cocktails)

·      32 oz Choice chocolate almond milk

·      12 oz Tequila (spring for a good bottle here)

·      6 oz Damiana Liquor

·      4 Tbs Maca

·      Ice

Mix the chocolate almond milk, tequila, damiana liquor and maca and stir until well blended.  Pour over ice in a martini glass and garnish with strawberry slice. (Drinker beware: The Damiana, Cacao and maca in this are all aphrodisiacs).

“Mocktail” version (makes 8 "Mocktails")

·      48 oz Choice chocolate almond milk

·      48 drops Damiana herbal  drops

·      4 Tbs Maca

·      Ice

Mix the chocolate almond milk, damiana drops and maca and stir until well blended.  Pour over ice in a martini glass and garnish with strawberry slice. (Drinker beware: It may be a "mocktail" but this drink still has Damiana, Cacao and maca in it, which are ALL aphrodisiacs).

 

Spicy-tini 

Cocktail version (Makes 8 cocktails)

·      32oz Choice Hot Sunrise

·      14oz Tito's vodka

·      Fresh strawberry slices to garish

·      Ice

Mix Hot sunrise and vodka. Pour over ice in martini glass and garnish with strawberry slice.

"Mocktail" version (Makes 8 "mocktails")

·      32oz Choice Hot Sunrise

·      14oz Ginger Kombucha

·      Fresh strawberry slices to garish

·      Ice

Mix Hot Sunrise and Kombucha. Pour over ice in a martini glass and garnish with a fresh strawberry slice.

3 daily detox tips

The word Detox alone can send even the bravest of souls running for the hills! It really isn't as scary as it sounds. Unless of course you're considering the Master Cleanse, in which case, you'll find me running by your side!

There are many ways to detox as well as things to detox from. We are all exposed to so many toxins, from the air we breathe, to the food we eat. Then of course, there is the issue with our over booked and over stressed lifestyles too! Taking a break from your routine to reset is always a good idea. But there are a few things you can do daily to help keep things running smoothly on the regular.

 

Before you dive into that cup of coffee or stuff your face with breakfast, pour yourself a nice tall glass of warm water and add a little lemon to it! 

Starting your morning with warm lemon water can:

  1. Boost your immune system
  2. Balance PH
  3. Help with weight loss
  4. Aid in digestion
  5. Clear skin
  6. Hydrate your lymph system
photo 2.JPG

Ch ch ch chia!! That's right, chia seeds are an excellent superfood to add to your daily routine. Chia is loaded with Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, all 8 essential amino acids (making chia a complete protein), as well as soluble and insoluble fibre! There are many simple ways to get these babies in your diet. You can get creative and soak them in some almond milk over night and mix in your favorite low glycemic sweetener or fresh fruit toppings for a chia pudding, toss a tablespoon or two into your morning smoothie, or you can keep it simple and just soak them overnight in a glass of water or your favorite cold pressed juice. 

Incorporating Chia seeds on the daily can:

  1. Aid in elimination
  2. Stabilize blood sugar
  3. Remove unnecessary cholesterol 
  4. Help retain needed water and electrolytes

Green Juicing daily is a practice we should all consider! These days we simply do not eat enough veggies! Our bods are overburdened with processed foods and when we do eat our greens, they are typically saturated in oil or cooked until the nutrients are long gone. Rarely do we eat a plateful raw veggies. I mean who has time to sit down and do all that chewing?! Ok some of us, but drinking a green juice daily makes it easy to get pounds worth of raw veggies in with ease. 

Adding in a daily green juice can:

  1. Promote healthy skin 
  2. Alkalize your body
  3. Delivery large quantities of vitamins and minerals
  4. Boost Energy
  5. Aid in weight loss
  6. Boost Immunity

 

There you have it, 3 simple ways to detox daily. If you're looking for a full reset, check out our 1 & 3 day cleanse programs for a way to curb bad habits, kick off a healthy eating regime, gain energy, lose weight, clear up skin and add that skip back to your step! Click here to learn more!

Milk...Does a body good?

When you think of Cow's milk, do you still think of calcium and strong bones? Perhaps you also remember the old slogan “Milk, does a body good”, or maybe you remember images of your favorite celebs rockin a milk mustache? The dairy industry has done a fabulous job of selling the American public on the "health benefits" of their product for generations. 

Reality Check, cow’s milk is for baby cows! Naturally containing copious amounts of hormones and protein, which are indeed essential, that is, essential to turning an 65-pound calf into an 800 pound cow in one year! That amount of protein and hormones is not only unnecessary but unhealthy for human consumption. Because these hormones occur naturally, they are even found in organically produced milk. Yikes!

But wait, don't we need milk? Let us put it this way, milk from a cow is as necessary as milk from a pig or a horse or any other species in the animal kingdom. Human breast milk is the perfect food for human babies, while cow’s milk is the perfect food for, drum roll please...cow babies!

Hormones aside, Milk is acidic to the body and contrary to popular belief, is NOT good for the bones! Take a look at the statistics. Is it any coincidence that countries that consume the most dairy are also the countries with the highest amount of osteoporosis? We think not!

Cow’s milk has been correlated with heart disease, Type 1 diabetes, and several types of cancer. Don't take our word for it, do your own homework.  

Not only is dairy bad for the bod, it's also bad for the planet.

Why?

Lots of waste!! In fact, your average dairy cow produces 120 pounds of waste every day—equal to that of more than two dozen people, but without toilets, sewers, or treatment plants

In Central Valley of California alone, the cows produce as much excrement, yes referring to fecal matter here, as a city of 21 million people, and even a smaller farm of 200 cows will produce as much nitrogen as in the sewage from a community of 5,000 to 10,000 people, according to a U.S. Senate report on animal waste. That’s just Central Valley!!

If you care about the environment, there’s never been a better time to go dairy free! Your body, your planet and the cows will surely thank you!

 

Now that we've cleared the air and are hopefully on the same page, let's chat about Almond Milk, one of the many fantastic milk substitutions. 

Naturally low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals, there is no question that almond milk is an excellent "Choice" for topping off that morning latte, mixing in your daily smoothie or just pouring over your favorite bowl of GF granola. But is all almond milk created equal? Not necessarily so. While there are some good options on the market, here are a couple of things to watch out for when buying from the grocery store.

•   Carrageenan, a know carcinogen commonly found in milks, ice creams and other packaged products. Causes inflammation and digestive issues and has been linked to increased risk of certain cancers. Yuck!

•  Processed sugars, an addictive chemical derived from sugar cane. Known to interfere with normal body function, acidic to the body, known depressant and highly addictive. Check your labels! Watch out for these unnecessary added sugars. 

•  Chemical preservatives, pretty self explanatory! Chemicals placed in our foods to preserve the shelf life. Keep in mind, the longer the shelf life of a food item, the shorter yours! Food is supposed to be perishable. Preservatives are always lurking & should be avoided at all cost! 

 If you've been into Choice, you've probably heard us say that we make our own almond milk which makes our smoothies so special. After having one of our smoothies, you have probably confirmed this statement. Making your own almond milk is simple to do at home, will taste better, and have a higher nutritional bang for your buck!

We are going to let you in on a little secret. Almonds, a superfood in their own right, are tiny little treasure chests loaded with nutrients but locked up tight! The key to unlocking them is simple. Soaking and sprouting! Easy right? Soaking Almonds releases the enzyme inhibitors allowing you to have access to the treasures inside. Sprouted almonds are clearly the healthy way to go, but they also make the most creamy and tasty milk too!

 If you aren't up for making your own, You can always swing by Choice!

For those of you who are curious about making your own here is our favorite recipe. (Note: you will need a nut milk bag which can be purchased online at http://www.amazon.com/Nut-Milk-Bag)

 

Sprouted Vanilla Almond Milk


 

Ingredients:

•   1 cup of sprouted almonds (soak raw organic almonds overnight, strain and rinse)

•   4 cups alkaline water

•   1 date

•   1/2 tsp pure vanilla bean powder

•   1 dash himalayan salt

Directions: 

Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender (we recommend Vitamix). Strain through nut milk bag and refrigerate immediately. Consume all that goodness within 3 days!