The best part about being a PBOK Mom is meeting fantastic moms who inspire me and remind me that the journey is where the joy comes. I’m so glad to welcome back PBOK Mom Roni Loren as our guest today, along with her truly remarkable mother, Kathy, who’s an absolute peach. Thank you, ladies, for sharing your wisdom with us today!! Hugs from Kieran :>)
Note: All the eye-catching juicing photographs come from http://www.figgyandsprout.com, which belongs to Katie, a blogger, nutritionist, athlete, and vegan. Katie graciously granted us permission to use her photos. Thanks, Katie! Your site is gorgeous and informative!
Hi everyone! It’s good to be back at PB on the Keyboard. I’ve missed being part of the team. : ) But even though I’m not a regular contributor anymore, I am definitely a regular reader of the blog. These ladies always have something poignant, interesting, or fun to say. And a few weeks ago, the lovely Kieran blogged about wanting to try juicing for her son. As soon as I read the post, I knew I needed to introduce Kieran to my mom, who has recently become the juicing queen. They talked a bit and Kieran asked if my mom would be willing to blog about what she’s learned. Of course, my mom is awesome, so she agreed even though she’d never blogged a day in her life. : )
And before I turn it over to her, I’d like to say that it’s never too late to change your eating or that of your family’s. When I was a kid, my mom taught aerobics as her second job. It was the 80s, so picture her in her sparkly headband, high-cut leotard, and brightly colored leg warmers. She rocked it. It was kind of like having Wonder Woman as a mom (she was my superhero after all.) And I used to sit in front of her classes doing my homework and eating Cheetos (yes, I was a sadistic child who ate junk food while those ladies were sweating to “Push It” and “Rock Steady”.) And my mom would do all that exercise and then on the way home, we’d pick up Popeye’s Chicken for dinner. No one really knew any better back then. We didn’t understand how important food was.
So for much of my childhood, I ate mostly processed foods without many veggies or even fruits mixed in. It wasn’t until high school and beyond that I got a clue (thanks to my mom getting intro nutrition at that point.) Now I’m raising a child who would pick broccoli and avocado over chicken nuggets and ice cream. So it’s never too late to make changes.
All right, I’m done rambling, now for the nitty gritty. Over to you, Mom…
First, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Kathy, I’m 55 years old, happily married with two grown children in their 30′s who I love very much, and two beautiful grandchildren who make me smile everyday. When I was raising my children life was hectic so just making sure they ate each day was challenging. The meals were rushed, full of fast food, and lots of bad-for-you snacks. I was young, working a full-time job and really just not educated yet on the health benefits of food. I have many regrets when I look back on their diet and wish I would have done a better job in that regard. Fortunately, now they have a lot of information out there on eating healthy, and my children make better decisions on their food choices now for their family.
Several years ago I just didn’t feel good, started breaking out in rashes all over (ended up in emergency room several times), and basically had very little energy. I went to several different doctors looking for answers and never received any. They would give me a cream for the rash, treating the symptom but never finding out the cause. They told me maybe I was depressed and that was why I didn’t feel good or had low energy, again they could give me a pill. What I learned from these visits is that doctors really didn’t have the answers. They didn’t know me, and they sure did not have time to really sit down and figure this out. I then realized it was my job to figure out why I didn’t feel good. Who knew me better than myself? My new job – read and research everything I could get my hands on to become healthy, to feel great, to have energy to do all the things in life I should be doing and to pass this information on to anyone who would listen. I love trying to help people feel better and to educate them on things I’ve learned along the way. I started my journey and have never stopped.
I liked to pass on some information to the moms of Peanut Butter on the Keyboard and all the moms who follow their blog as to how I started getting fruits and veggies into my diet. I’m just like most kids, I don’t like veggies and didn’t eat enough fruit. So I had to figure out a way to get veggies and fruit into my body each day. My rule of thumb is to eat healthy 80% of the time by putting food into my body that makes it thrive, food that makes my skin healthy and free of rashes, food that gives me energy. The other 20% of the time I enjoy myself on those guilty pleasure foods that we have all grown up with. What I find is that the more I eat healthy, the less I crave the guilty pleasure foods. Anyway, back to making our kids eat their veggies!
I started with a breakfast smoothie each morning for me and my husband (he is a great partner in my quest for health). I wanted to make it a breakfast that no matter what we ate or didn’t eat for the rest of the day we were full of nutrients to start. It started small with a banana, peanut butter, skim milk, plain greek yogurt, frozen berries, flax seed and unsweetened applesauce. This way I knew we had some protein, calcium, Omega 3′s, and lots of vitamins and nutrients from the fruit. As time goes on, I’m always adding to the breakfast smoothie to get more and more nutritional value. I’ll list below what is currently in our morning smoothie, but the point is to buy a blender, and start small.
For your kids, use any type liquid, milk, almond milk, coconut milk, coconut water (full of electrolytes) or just plain water. A lot of the milk substitutes like coconut milk and almond milk are full of nutrients, some more than milk. Then add the items that make it taste yummy like berries, bananas and peanut butter. Then sneak in the stuff they wouldn’t normally eat like the flax seeds, the plain yogurt, unsweetened applesauce, and a few pieces of spinach or kale. These things get lost in the good flavors of the fruit and they never know about the other stuff. Along the way maybe let them in on what is going into the smoothies. Educate them about these foods and what they do for your body as they grow. Knowledge is power. With the knowledge of what foods do in our body comes power, power to be in control of our health. We can’t control a lot of things in our life. We can control the decisions we make as to what food enters our body. Passing this information on to our kids as early as possible will give them a choice to make good decisions as they grow and maybe to teach a few friends along the way. Life feels so good when you feel like you’re doing something good, and making sure your kids have super nutrients to start the day. It makes mom feel like that Super Hero. So mom, to keep your Super Hero power, make sure you drink your morning smoothie along with the kids.
This is extreme, so you don’t have to go full out to start, but this is my ingredient list for 2 large morning smoothies:
1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt, 3 tbsp. Hemp Protein Powder, 1/2 tbsp Flax Seeds, 1/2 tbsp Chia Seeds, 1 tbsp Peanut or Almond Butter, 1/8 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1/8 cup organic pumpkin, 1 banana, 1/2 cup mixed berries, 1/2 cup coconut water, 1/4 cup oatmeal (uncooked), 1 tbsp Turmeric spice, 1 tbsp Cinnamon spice, 1/2 tbsp Chlorophly, 1/2 tbsp Coconut Oil, 1 tsp Xylitol (natural sweetener) – I told you I was extreme. Start small, and add what you want along the way. The berries make it all taste good no matter what you add to the mixture.
I like lunch to be our biggest meal, I eat most of my calories at lunch. I eat what I want and try to keep processed foods and foods high in sugar/carbs to a minimum. This works for me, keeps me full and energized for the day.
Now for the green juice, this is where the kids can get as many veggies along with some fruit in mega portions. My newest challenge a year ago was to add veggies that wouldn’t work in the smoothie to my daily diet. I love documentaries, and Roni told me about the documentary on juicing, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I watched it, then watched it again. I found a way to accomplish my next mission – juicing. Now juicing is a commitment. You need a juicer, you need to buy the veggies and fruits, prepare them for the juicer, then have time to juice and store. I bought the juicer, a Hurom juicer. Breville was used in the documentary, which reviews say is a great juicer. You can go to Bed, Bath and Beyond and use your 20% off coupon and buy a less expensive juicer to start. Well, my juicer arrived, and I was a bit stressed, never did this before, where do I start?
Well, I have been juicing for about a year now. When I juice, I get veggies that I would never eat because I just don’t like them. But I can juice anything and it all blends together. A few things I’ve noticed since I juice:
My skin has changed, it’s healthier looking, and actually has that healthy glow people talk about! I’ve had several people ask what I’m using on my skin, and the answer is not what I’m putting on my skin, but in my body. All these nutrients in these veggies can do great things for your kids and your entire family. It has given me great energy, less cravings, and just an all out positive attitude. I guess when you do something healthy, it also works mentally since you’re doing something good for you and your family. No matter what vitamins I may not have received in my food for the day, I get them in my green juice each day.
You can make any kind of combo you like when you juice, just make sure you juice an apple, orange or pineapple (my favorite), along with the greens so that your kids won’t think its awful tasting! It only works if we can drink it.
Just make sure you wash well before juicing. What I do is take a big plastic bowl, place in my sink, fill it with water and some white vinegar and wash my veggies. Just keep rinsing the bowl out as it gets dirty and add a little more vinegar to the clean water. You don’t have to use vinegar, just wash well.
Things I always use to juice:
Kale – there are several versions and colors (all are good), just look for the best priced that day.
Spinach or any other greens (ie, collard greens, romaine lettuce)
You can also add any of the following to the base version above, I usually buy one or two of these each time to add if the price is right:
All of these veggies/fruits have a lot of micronutrients. Just always add some fruit to sweeten. I can’t say green juice is awesome tasting, but it is a taste you get use to and look forward to drinking because it makes you feel good. For the kids, add extra pineapple or oranges, whatever makes it sweet enough for them to like.
I try to juice enough for 7 – 10 days, then freeze in individual containers. They have some inexpensive containers I purchased that are 16 oz, and BPA free. I drink 8 oz’s per day, along with my husband drinking the same amount. Start with a small glass for the kids and adjust to taste. Maybe let the kids participate in making the juice, it can be fun putting the veggies and fruits in the juicer.
I was so disorganized when I started juicing and told myself this is too much, I took on more than I could handle. Then I took a deep breath and thought it all out. How can I make this easier, more time efficient, less stressful. After several plans that didn’t work for me, I finally came up with my current strategy. Buy the veggies, come home wash all veggies and put in large bowl on counter, then rest a bit, getting cutting board out and cut veggies to size (some juicers do not require much cutting), then start juicing until all veggies are gone! Then pour into my 16 oz containers and freeze. It will take you a few times to juice to figure out how much to buy for how much juice you get. But just do your best. There is no right way, just the way that you figure works best for you.
Anyway, I can go on, as Roni would tell you that I’m very passionate about health. I would love to hear from anyone who has any questions, and will do my best to answer or help in any way.
Thank you so much for having me for my first blog ever!
About Kathy: Kathy Owens lives in New Orleans with her devoted hubby and a dachshund that is way too spoiled. She is also mom to Roni Loren and pimps out her daughter’s super sexy books to anyone who will listen. She’s currently converted half of her Zumba class to reading erotic romance.
About Roni: Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. Though she’ll forever be a New Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son. She is the National Bestselling Author of The Loving on the Edge series from Berkley Heat and a RITA finalist. Website: www.roniloren.com