Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lanikai Juice is da bomb!

I just returned from a dream trip to Hawaii with my family where I fell in love with two things: Lanikai Juice and the Acai Berry! There were two things that made me want to try this place. One, it was {clean eating} and two, Dr. Jack Shephard(Matthew Fox) off the hit show LOST raved about their smoothies on Oprah. (And, yes, I am STILL a big fan of the show LOST!) 

I didn't {eat clean} the entire trip and my body physically started to look different in such a short time. Reiterating the fact that eating clean changes your body's physical shape for the better. With just a week off I started to look heavier and feel sluggish. (though shocked to see the number on the scale go down when I returned home-I'm guessing due to portion control)

Anyway,on to the two exciting things I would like to share....if you are ever on the island of Oahu try Lanikai Juice. Why? Because they live and breath {clean eating}!!! Serving up healthy smoothies and smoothie bowls for over 14 years. They use 100% fresh juices, 73% of their fruit is local, and they use fresh fruit and yogurt! 

You can read more about all their awesomeness at their site: www.lanikaijuice.com

Now, on to the Acai(Ah-Sigh-EE) berry. This was a first. I am always up for new things. Especially ones that claim to have health benefits. I am so glad I did! This little berry is from the Amazon Rainforest and is harvested 24 hours after picking!  They are not cheap and I am still working on finding the real deal (no things added) Acai in my area. 

On the menu at Lanikai Juice was the Amazon Smoothies.  I chose the Acai Traditional and it has a double dose of Acai, bananas, and apple juice. The taste: pure cold heaven in a foam cup! I sampled quite a few of these tasty smoothies during my stay in Oahu and there wasn't one I didn't enjoy. My Acai ones were my favorite though. My kids loved them too.  Which didn't come as a huge shock since they love my healthy smoothies at home. You can read more of the health benefit claims at www.acaiberry.org

My husband's favorite was the new Choco Loco bowl. Nutella, Soy Milk, Banana, Granola, Chocolate Whey Protein.

Choco Loco

I look forward to recreating the Choco Loco(and many others) and sharing them with you.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

{Miracle Tea} - GREEN TEA

Ok, where to begin. Maybe just with a simple-DRINK GREEN TEA! 
Don't care for it? Well, I suggest you find a way to get it into your system. Add honey, stevia, or fresh fruit. Try it hot, try it cold.  Do whatever it takes!
The benefits of green tea have been said for many years and the list is long. I am certainly not up to speed on all the claims listed below, but none of these claims are damaging to your health (and many have studies to back them).  Are you overweight, suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, or dealing with high blood pressure? Give green tea a try. Try it for a week and let me know if you notice any changes in your body. Drink 3 cups of it a day. I, personally, have noticed it aids in my weight loss! YAY me! Just be sure to brew your own green tea or read labels carefully. Some prepackaged teas are loaded with chemicals and sugars.  And one last thing, I have read many articles stating that decaf green tea will give you the same benefits as regular green tea .
Drop that soda can and drink something that will benefit your health today, tomorrow, and years to come!

  1. Lowers your risk of cancer. Although the studies of how green tea affects cancerous cells are still in their infancy, there have been human trials which indicate that it does inhibit cells from developing cancer. EGCG in green tea regulates and inhibits cancer growth by killing cells that are growing inappropriately. In Japan, a study of 500 women with Stage I and Stage II breast cancer found that increasing their green tea consumption before and after surgery significantly lowered the risk of recurrence. Another analysis of 22 studies of the correlation between green tea and lung cancer concluded that by increasing your intake of green tea by two cups a day may reduce the risk of developing lung cancer by 18%.
  2. Eases the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Study results reported in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that polyphenol antioxidants in green tea benefits suffers of arthritis by reducing the incidence and severity of the disease. EGCG protects cartilage destruction and reduces joint swelling and pain. This leads many scientists and health professionals to recommend green tea as a legitimate remedy for treating arthritis.
  3. Stabilizes your cholesterol levels. Researchers believe that green tea lowers your cholesterol levels by reducing its absorption in your digestive tract and increasing the rate of which it is excreted. However, your body does need cholesterol to build cell membranes, insulate nerve fibres and create hormones. For this, green tea benefits you by preventing the conversion of LDL cholesterol into it’s more dangerous, oxidized form. Oxidized LDL is one of the main factors in the development of atherosclerosis (the build of plaque that blocks your arteries as LDL gets sticky and clings to your artery walls) and increases your risk of heart attack or stroke. The amazing antioxidant effects of green tea protect this, helping to keep your arteries clean.
  4. Prevents cardiovascular disease. A Japanese study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed significant reductions in deaths from cardiovascular disease among green tea drinkers. The study found that over an 11 year test period, individuals who drank more than 5 cups per day had a 16% less chance of mortality and mortality related to cardiovascular disease when compared to individuals who drank less than one cup per day. They also found that green tea was especially beneficially in preventing strokes, due in large part to the antioxidants and how they prevent clogged arteries.
  5. Boosts your immune system. Catechins, the antioxidant polyphenol compounds, have been shown to have a major impact in your immune system. Research conducted by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 2003 revealed that theanine, found in green tea, boosted the activity of the gamma delta T cells that form part of our adaptive and innate immunity. The study followed a group of coffee drinkers and a group of tea drinkers who each drank 600ml of their drink daily. Blood samples taken four weeks later quite clearly showed that production of these anti-bacterial proteins were five times higher in those drinking tea.
  6. Promotes weight loss. Both green tea and green tea extract have been shown to fight obesity and lower LDL cholesterol – both of which ultimately lead to a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes. The polyphenols in green tea are extremely useful for dissolving triglycerides, a substance in the liver and small intestine made up of mostly sugar and fat, and this is thought to be the reason green tea benefits fat loss. EGCG is also known to stimulate your metabolism and accelerate weight loss. When combined with the caffeine in green tea, this causes your central nervous system to release fat into the bloodstream to be used as fuel which burns your body fat off.
  7. Reduces tooth decay. Antibacterial properties found in green tea are also used by your body to kill the bacteria that causes plaque on your teeth. Research by the Journal of Periodontology has also shown that for every cup of green tea you drink, there is a decrease in indicators for gum disease. Fluoride is also found in green tea which helps to protect against cavities.
  8. Effective in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. In 2007, Dr. Orhan Aktasfrom the Institute of Neuroimmunology conducted a study of how green tea benefits sufferers of multiple sclerosis. While current patients do not have many options to prevent tissue damage and disability, he found that the flavonoid EGCG found in green tea could have a huge impact on multiple sclerosis. He concluded that EGCG is capable of directly protecting against neuronal injury in living brain tissue and that EGCG constituents may open up a new therapeutic avenue for treating MS by combining anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective capacities.
  9. Slows the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. A recent report published in the journal Phytomedicine has found substantial evidence that the enzymes found in green tea protect your brain cells from damage. Another study conducted by the University of South Florida looked at the effects of antioxidant EGCG. It was shown to be a protein blocker which prevented the chemical reactions that can lead to nerve damage that can lead to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  10. Fights the cause of allergies in your body. Methylated epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has been shown to block a cells receptor involved in producing an allergic response. By blocking the production of histamine and immunoglobulin E (IgE), two compounds in the body that are chiefly involved in triggering and sustaining allergic reactions, EGCG could very well be the compound which prevents you from having watery eyes, sneezing and coughing.
  11. Helps to fend off infections. Again, as one of the main benefits of green tea, EGCG has been highlighted by a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology as being able to prevent infections, including the HIV virus. EGCG binds with CD4 immune system T-cell receptors and stops HIV from doing the same to reduce the risk of infection. While it is still way too early to peg green tea as a cure for HIV, an Egyptian study has shown that combining antibiotics with green tea significantly boosts the effectiveness of the antibiotic. In fact, when tested against 28 disease-causing microorganisms, green tea enhanced the bacteria killing power in every single case.
  12. Reduces and prevents acne. Green tea benefits acne in a number of different ways. It’s antibacterial properties attack and kill the acne bacteria while the anti-inflammatory benefits of green tea reduce the swelling and redness. Antioxidants fight against free radicals which damage the skin and make it more susceptible to acne also help to balance hormone levels to help prevent future breakouts from happening.
  13. Slows the aging process to prevent wrinkles. One of the latest benefits of green tea is the effect it has on your skin and the aging process. It is again down to the antioxidants that prevent cell oxidation and damage that can make you look older than you really are. Studies are mixed on this particular green tea benefit as new research has come to light which suggests the full benefits can only be had by applying green tea topically to your skin. However, many people have found that potent green tea extracts do have a positive effect on their skin, leaving it softer, more supply and younger looking.