This week we welcome guest writer, Christine de la Cruz, a Freshness Farms’ participant and health coach. Christine shares her simple tips for navigating the holiday season with our health in mind—plus a refreshing (and nutritious) fresh beet juice recipe. Thanks Christine, for your delicious wisdom!
Amazingly, the holiday season is upon us again! It can be such a festive time, but can also be dangerous to our waistlines (look what it did to Santa). Don’t cut back on the fun, but you might find it easier to remain jolly after the holidays by adding a few healthy habits into your day. Try incorporating one or more of these ideas:
- Before reaching for that holiday fruitcake, try starting your day drinking a glass or two of warm water or water with lemon. Not only will it get your digestion going it will give you a boost of Vitamin C. Another side benefit to starting your day with water is you may be less likely to have that extra cup of coffee.
- Chew your food. Actually make it a game to see how many times you can chew something before swallowing. Digestion starts in our mouths and it makes much less work for our stomachs (which we all know is a good thing). When you get used to chewing more, you will enjoy the food more, and find that you are satisfied sooner.
- With all the hustle bustle of the holidays it can be hard to remember to slow down. Be generous with hugs – they release oxytocin (the bonding hormone) which makes us feel connected, and they are also a stress reliever. Hugging can take you from stressed to relaxed in a matter of 30 seconds.
- Write down three things you are grateful for – it will train your brain to look for what is good. This is a great exercise to do with children and everyone else you’re close with as well. Being grateful is a wonderful way to get away from the negative thinking that can creep in with the stresses of the holidays.
- Keep your tennis shoes by the door and take your dog (or just yourself) for a brisk walk. Even if you don’t feel like it. It’s a great time to listen to something inspiring on your iPod or simply appreciate the beautiful place where we live.
Here is a juice drink to try in the spirit of the holidays – very festive with a bold, beautiful red color and excellent for your health! Beets are high in vitamins, antioxidants and also are a good liver cleanser, which can also be a bonus during the holiday season! Use farm fresh, organic ingredients to get the best flavor and health benefits.
My kids even like this drink (11 and 13 years old). If you like a little kick (like me) add some fresh ginger and more lemon. Wishing you a happy, safe and healthy holiday season!
Christine de la Cruz, Health Coach, On the Highway to Health
Can’t Beat Beet Juice
- 1 medium beet
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 small apple
- Squeeze of lemon
- Rinse and scrub vegetables well to remove any dirt. Slice the ends off the beet and carrot and cut the vegetables into large pieces. Remove seeds and stem from apple and cut into quarters.
- Juice beet, carrot and apple together, in an electric juicer. Add fresh lemon juice to taste.
Ann’s testing notes: No peeling or coring is required with my Braun juicer, so after scrubbing, I simply cut the ingredients into hunks small enough to fit through the feed tube, and fed ’em in. Out poured the most gorgeous fuchsia-hued liquid—worthy of a crayola box. When I commented to Christine on the deeply saturated color, she replied, as a health coach would, that vibrant color is an indicator of how good the juice is for our bodies. Color equals nutrition. And provides a feast for the eyes and taste buds as well.
If you don’t have a juicer, use a Vita-mix or heavy-duty blender to create a beet smoothie. You’ll need to peel the beets and chop the ingredients a bit smaller, then add enough liquid (orange juice or unfiltered apple juice would be nice) to get things moving.
Christine de la Cruz is a native Minnesotan who moved to balmy California after freezing for far too many years. After taking time off from a career in commercial real estate to raise her daughter and son, she decided to pursue her lifelong interest in health, by training as a health coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Christine offers a free health history to Freshness Farms’ participants. She’ll talk with you about your lifestyle, and health goals, and demonstrate how a health coach can provide support and guidance. You can contact Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 408-866-2235.
Preceding article and recipe copyright, Christine de la Cruz. All photos copyright, Four Cooking Together.