Pucker-UP! Last Days of Summer Peach Cherry Lemonade (and 3 tips to prepare for September!)

Peach Cherry LemonadeI can’t believe the end of summer is upon us. Can you? It feels as though it flew by. As if one hot day ran into another and suddenly…it’s the end of August! September is literally around the corner! Is that what happens when you have kids? The summers just disappear, days melting into one another like ice cream melting in your mouth as the sun beats down on you; you can’t remember what park you went to on what day, who you saw or if you even fed the kids or just snacked on veggies and dip??? I think I fed the kids today. Although it’s possible one meal consisted of samples from Costco…

Peach Cherry LemonadeSo today I have here a simple recipe for your final long weekend of the summer. You heard me. The FINAL long weekend of summer. Before ALL the crazy chaos of September begins and next you know it’s the end of December and I’m bringing you comfort food instead of juice. If you don’t have a juicer (and I suspect many of you won’t) don’t panic! You can make this refreshing juice by peeling the fruit and blending it in the blender. Then simply strain it through a fine strainer or a nut-milk bag to get some of the pulp out. Pour over ice – and you’re set!

Peach Cherry LemonadeTo relieve some of your panic (or my own personal panic), I thought I would share with you three tips to help you prepare and keep your family eating clean during the mad rush. Here we go:

1. Meal Plan Dinners

I know you’ve probably heard this one a million times but put together a simple meal plan for dinners. There are some fabulous resources out there to get you inspired such as Clean Eating Magazine, Healthful Pursuit (Leanne Vogel) or of course Pinterest. Don’t stress yourself out too much about it, start with one week and when you are comfortable add a second week (rotate so the family does not get bored with the food on the table). Many of these resources have shopping list to go with their plans to make it a lot easier. And remember to ask you family (the little ones included, not just your spouse) if they have an favourites they would like to see on the menu! They may be more helpful than expected!

2. Prep the food

Did you know a recent study shows that the average American spends only 33 minutes on food prep each day and 1hr and 11min watching TV? So guess what my lovely readers (where ever you may be…) we can make our lives easier with food preparation. Once you know your meal plan, have your shopping list and have purchased the food, make two nights where you do a little extra food prep for the week. For example, when I get home from grocery shopping I take the veggies I know will be used for pre-dinner munching or salads and clean, cut and pack them back up in the fridge so they are really easy to grab when I’m in a rush. The second day I prep for the week (usually falls on a Sunday) I prepare either baked goods, soups/stews, granola or sauces (pesto or BBQ sauce anyone…?) and tightly store them in containers in the fridge. Again saving time. Tell me, if you’re a woman, can’t you watch your TV shows AND meal prep at the same time? Also saving time. Just sayin’.

3. Keep It Simple Stupid

When in doubt KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID (K.I.S.S.). Sometimes we over complicate food. Well, a lot of the time. Heck, there is an entire industry out there trying to make your life easier with prepackaged meals. The problem with that food is it is over complicated with chemicals & preservatives  with often not a lot of nutritional value. You spend more time trying to decode the ingredient list when you could be spending that time with your family (or driving to the next soccer practice!). There is nothing wrong with steamed veg (use the raw ones you already cut earlier in the week), quinoa or brown rice & an avocado drizzled with olive oil & sprinkled with sea salt. Or using eggs for dinner instead of stressing about the meat you forgot to take out of the freezer the night before. Sometimes, if we keep it simple, we don’t have to worry as much about getting our families fed. And don’t feel guilty if your weekly plan does not work out. Just try to plan better for next week and adjust where you need to.

May the force be with you for the coming month!

Peach Cherry Lemonade
 
Ingredients
  • 6 whole lemons, peeled
  • 4 very ripe peaches (preferentially freestone), pitted
  • 10 cherries, pitted
  • 5 cups filtered water
  • 2 cups ice
  • natural sweetener of choice (I used no calorie Stevie)
Instructions
  1. In your juicer, place all the fruit. If no juicer, blend peeled and cut fruit in blender on high and then strain through a nut milk bag.
  2. In jug, mix juice mixture with water, natural sweetener and ice. Stir.
  3. Garnish with some fruit and serve immediately.

 

Cinnamon Toast Smoothie – Vibrant Life Cleanse Program & Cookbook

Training for my first 10K race since getting pregnant with my second child has been a reminder of how much clean eating plays such a large role in my life. I have 8 more days until race day and I am feeling better each day. Slowly I am improving with my time and stamina. I’m not competing against anyone else but myself in this race so it will be an accomplishment to finish. Did I mention that I have been training with baby A in the the jogging stroller? I’m hoping that the extra 30lbs being taken away on race day will aid me – although I may miss the little one, who often “cheers” me on while we are out running. At least, that’s what I think she is doing while she loudly vocalize while running the track. ;)

Cinnamon Taost Smoothie Vibrant Life Cookbook

I had two major concerns when starting this process; one was not to injure myself and the other was that I would decrease my milk supply while nursing baby A. So what am I doing to maintain energy for this run and assure I can still feed my baby? I am now eating more calories (I know it sounds crazy, but I need 2000 calories for breastfeeding alone), drinking a ton of water and fueling myself with smoothies and juices from the Vibrant Life Cleanse Program & Cookbook to achieve my goal.

CoverVibrantLife

Leanne Vogel from Healthful Pursuit launched her new book Vibrant Life Cleanse Program & Cookbook a few weeks ago and I could not have got my hands on it at a better time! If you don’t know Leanne, she is a holistic nutritionist for real people, the real deal. I’ve followed Leanne’s blog for the last two and a half years and fell in love with her passion of creating empowering cookbooks and resources that show just how simple it is to fall in love with life, food allergies and all.

Seeing as I am training for this run and still breastfeeding baby A, I am not doing a full cleanse program at this time. My body requires too many calories and an all liquid diet is not the way to go. However, I have been using the recipes of juices and smoothies to enhance my daily nutrition and aid me in feeling energized throughout this process. I’ve had her ‘Cinnamon Toast Smoothie’ (recipe below) in combination with a post run snack. I also find that starting my day with the ‘C Punch’ green smoothie is a great way to reduce sugar cravings that come along with training.

If you have ever thought about doing a cleanse program you will like this book because it is a comprehensive guide to a cleanse. A lot of cleanse programs out there are down right scary and can be dangerous to your health. I remember this past Christmas one of my brothers told me about a cleanse he had done on his own (which I did not agree with) and I remember screaming at him “Go to Leanne’s site and do one of her cleanses!!! At least you will be giving your body nutrients instead of starving it!!!!”. His naturopath was also not impressed. I have said it in the past, do not be afraid to reach out to your health care team when you are trying to improve your health. That’s what they are there for!

This book has it all laid out for you with beautiful pictures for every recipe (which always draws me to a cookbook), full shopping lists depending on what cleanse program you choose (7, 9 or 11 day programs), and how even to choose the right equipment just to name a few. Leanne also takes you through the process of preparing your body before a cleanse and slowly bringing your body back down from the cleanse and when to ‘Abort!’ the cleanse.

Here is a sneak peak:

Inside-The-Book

In other words this book will show you how to:

• Effortlessly use juices & smoothies to boost your health
• Listen to your body and know when you’re legitimately
satisfied
• Move into, through, and out of a cleanse safely, and
with shining results

Check out this sample cleanse from the book to get an even better idea:

Sample Cleanse

Over 55 dairy-free, vegan & gluten-free juice & smoothie recipes, 7-, 9- and 11- day cleanse programs plus all the tools you need to cleanse with success. All right here, waiting for you. Grab a glass and get ready to take better care of yourself, honor what your body actually wants, and discover what healthy really feels like.

BuyItNow_purple

Cinnamon Toast Smoothie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Option: add two cups of spinach or kale to up the nutrient content.
Author:
Serves: 1/500ml
Ingredients
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 10 raw almonds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to the jug of your high powered blender in the order they are listed.
  2. Blend on high for 1 minute, or until smooth.
  3. Transfer to a glass and serve immediately.
  4. To store:: pour into a glass container and keep in the fridge for 1-2 days. Alternatively, pour into a plastic container and freeze for up to 1 month.