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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Juvo- My Green Powder of Choice

Most people don't get their recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables all in one day.  I am one of those people. SO... how does one solve this horrendous problem?  Well, we purchase "greens."  Greens come in a form of a green powder that includes a bazillion fruits and vegetables. ONE SCOOP boosts up our veggie servings up to SEVEN servings!  Seem to good to be true?  Well, consider this. The leafy veggies and fruits are FREEZE DRIED. Yes, this is different than dehydrated.  It's better. This means that NO heat was used in the processing and therefore all of the cool vitamins and minerals stay in tact. After the freeze drying process, the fruits and veggies are ground into a fine powder. That means something that was big is now very small.  Thus we see, we get a lot of punch in one small package.   WHAAA!?!?!

Most people mix their greens with water, juice, or throw it into their green smoothie- which is what I do. The problem is that a lot of greens have a HORRIBLE taste!!  Oh yes.. I'm talking NAS-TAY!  Well, my lovelies, I have finally found a brand that has everything that I am looking for, AND the taste is....non-existent.

What to look for in a greens drink.

Not my Kid
In looking at different greens, it's important to know WHAT you are looking for them to accomplish.  If you work out a lot, you might want something that is heavy protein.  I was looking for a little of everything.  I wanted something to serve as a protein, a meal replacement (should I be in a hurry,) a weight loss aid, and
an immune booster. Yup, I wanted ALL (or a lot) of the "superfoods" as I could find. Leafy green vegetables are often called superfoods as they are packed full of vitamins and minerals.They are rich in folic acid and B vitamins, which are necessary for healthy cell growth. Leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli, and parsley are loaded with vitamin C , vitamin A and powerful antioxidants, which support a healthy immune system.They are high In nutrients and enzymes such as iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium, which keep muscles, ligaments and skeleton healthy. Plus, Phytonutrients protect your cells from damage and maintain good vision. (Insert Charlie Brown "wah wah" voice)  I know, not too interesting, but still important to know.

Many greens are also rich in Omega3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential to healthy brain development. So your greens powder breakfast smoothie helps to keep you and your kids focused during the day.According to science writer Susan Allport, Omega3 fatty acids have also been lnked to reducing the risk of heart disease, arthritis and cancer.

Many of today’s food are overly acidic and greens help balance your body’s pH, which in turns leads to a good night’s sleep. And chlorophyll detoxifies your blood, which leaves you feeling more energized during the day. So, Superfoods are HUGE in the greens powder catagory.

In addition to superfoods, I wanted something with mushrooms. Known as the Herb of Good Fortune, the Reishi mushroom has a long tradition of supporting the immune system, cardiovascular system, and for stress support. Mushrooms are also known for their role in mental clarity and immune boosting.

Seaweed was very important to me as well. Seaweed's best-known benefit is that it is an extraordinary source of a nutrient missing in almost every other food: iodine. Consuming healthy levels of iodine is critically important to maintaining a healthy thyroid. For those that don't know, the thyroid is a gland in your neck which helps produce and regulate hormones. A malfunctioning thyroid can result in a wide range of symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness and high cholesterol (to name a few). So, you can see why I wanted some seaweed in the greens.

FINALLY, I, of course, wanted to make sure that I wasn't ingesting pesticides and other GMO's. SO.. I looked for something RAW (meaning freeze dried,) and ORGANIC.  I also threw in kosher, gluten free, dairy free and vegan. OH, and pretty fair on the price as well.  I don't want to pay $75+ for a 30 day supply. Not too much to ask for, right?

What I found?

I found Juvo Superfoods. Juvo has a unique an interesting formulation that, I think, you need to try for yourself and see if it works for you. The mixture is fairly heavy in grains (millet, rice solids, various beans), which some say is more of a filler, but they also provide some cleansing action and protein. It has quite a lot of veggies (kale, beet, parsley, carrot, tomato, pumpkin, radish, and cabbage) and a huge amount of alfalfa as the primary green superfood (other greens include spirulina and chlorella, radish leaves and seaweeds). The mixture also offers a lot of fruits (lingonberry, black currant, aronia, concord grape, pomegranate, sour cherry, acerola, blueberry, cranberry, elderberry, and others).

Finally, the formula includes a larger than normal amount of mushrooms. Mushrooms include Shitake, Reishi, and Agaricus. This impressed me since it is hard to find a greens drink that includes mushrooms. They can be expensive to add and usually bring the cost up quite a bit.

What Do They Have to Say For Themselves?

According the the website ( JUVO retains nature’s purity without any modification or additions. The whole grains, vegetables, sea vegetables, mushrooms, and fruits of JUVO are grown organically in fertile land to bring you the purity and full vitality that mother nature offers. JUVO is made with organic, kosher, and NON-GMO ingredients from whole grains, vegetables, sea vegetables, mushrooms, and fruits that are grown organically in fertile land to bring you purity and full vitality of nature. JUVO ingredients are freeze-dried to keep nutritive properties and enzyme. It’s absolutely free of preservatives, whey, yeast, dairy, artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners.

The price is actually really good at $35-$45 per bottle and that will usually last 1-2 months (depending on how often you use them.) The taste is non-existent and the powder really packs a punch.  (I might warn those that try it for the first time that there MIGHT be a SLIGHT detox that happens... stay close to a bathroom.....not that I know from experience, but.... just sayin.)

In my opinion, Juvo has a little bit of everything.  They have a protein and weight loss formula as well, but really, if you are going to just live a healthy lifestyle, go with the superfoods.  This will enhance your already awesome, whole foods, diet.

I like to purchase it from Lucky Vitamin.  They do a "the more you buy, the more you save" sort of thing.

I'm in a GIVING mood!!

This is what I use, and will continue to use until I find something better! In fact, I like it so much, I feel a giveaway coming on!!! Want a bottle of Juvo Superfood to try for yourself?

1. Leave a comment on the blog and make sure that you "like" the Facebook page and/or Follow me on Twitter.  I will choose a winner from the comments and announce it on my social media pages! Winner will be chosen on February 5th! 

2. Want an EXTRA entry?  Share this with your friends and tell them to mention YOUR NAME in THEIR comment on the blog!  

Do you have a greens drink that you love? Share it with us! Any comments with a link to personal websites for products will be deleted.  But, feel free to mention the brand!  Thanks a bunch!

For my Green Smoothin Recipe that includes Juvo CLICK HERE. For more info on supplements that I add to my diet CLICK HERE.

TL;DR- I choose to use Juvo Superfood as a green powder supplement for my green smoothies.  It is a great blend of powerhouse ingredients and packs a punch! Plus, how to enter the new Giveaway.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Finding Peace

Have you ever eaten something that "you shouldn't have eaten," and then felt GUILTY afterward?  I have. Then, I started wonder WHY I was feeling guilty.  WHO said that that food was "bad" in the first place? Was it me?  Was it based off of some article that I read? Did my doctor tell me that it was bad?  Most of the time, the answer was ME.  I was the one setting limits.  I was the one defining the good from the bad.

The crazy thing about all of this was that I really didn't have GOOD reasons as to what made particular food good or bad.  It was all based off of what "they" say.  Have you met "they?"  "THEY" say that it's going to rain today. "THEY" say that too much fat is bad. "THEY" say that not enough fat is bad. "THEY" say that a protein based diet is the best. "THEY" say that a protein based diet is horrible.  "THEY" say that we should all be vegetarian.  "THEY" say that becoming a vegetarian doesn't give us enough protein.  Get the picture? WHO are THEY, and WHY do I let them tell me what is best for ME?

I'm not saying that all of the information that we learn about our bodies and health should be tossed aside, but I AM saying that ultimately, we need to base our health based upon what WE feel and know to be true about US.  For example, I don't eat creamy soups.  I used to think that it was because I didn't like them (which I don't.)  But the REASON that I don't like them is because they make me feel sick every time that I eat them. It has taken me a long time to make this connection.  So, I avoid creamy soup... and other things with a lot of cream in them for that matter.  I also have friends that don't eat gluten.  Why?  Because it hurts their stomach when they DO eat it.  Their bodies don't react well with it (which has also served as a clue to deeper issues with their bodies as well.) However, in general, we don't need a doctor to tell us that we have a disease or some other life threatening problem to change the way that we eat. We just need to listen to our bodies. I think that it should be US making changes.


How do we do that?  We find peace with food.  Accept the fact that there unless the food contains harmful or addictive substances, or makes you feel like poop after eating it, it's probably OK to eat! Yes, this includes chocolate, meat, dairy, grain, and every other FOOD out there.

For years, health professionals have agreed that there shouldn't be any "forbidden" foods. Yet, they continue to tell us about certain foods that are "better" than others. To make peace with your food, you need to accept that ALL FOOD IS CREATED EQUAL!  Or, at least, all food should become EMOTIONALLY EQUAL.  This means that chocolate should receive the same emotional response within YOU as a peach does. Once you ALLOW these foods to come into your diet, you will find that the urgency to eat them in large quantities will dissipate.


Research shows that people will tire of eating the same kind of food- it's called HABITUATION. Habituation studies have shown that the MORE a person is exposed to particular food, the less appealing it becomes.  Habituation explains why we quickly adapt to a repeated experience- and subsequently experience less pleasure each time.  It applies to many situations. The Christmas Morning gift is the perfect example.  A lot of children anxiously await Christmas morning to get the ONE gift that they have wanted for months (or weeks....days  if its' MY kids.) In any event, they unwrap that wonderful, awe-inspiring gift and squeal with joy at the sight of it!  They play with it all day long. This excitement starts to dwindle until one day, that toy is just thrown into the toy box with the other toys from Christmas mornings past. See what I mean? Habituation is the reason that LEFTOVERS are less appealing...especially on days two or three.  My mom SWEARS that movie popcorn gets STALE the SECOND she leaves the movie theater.  We actually have a bucket of popcorn sitting on the counter that has been there since the New Year.... don't judge me.  I just can't bring myself to throw it away...and yet, no one is eating it. It has lost it's appeal. Part of the purpose of having unconditional permission to eat ANYTHING is not so that you will get sick FROM it, or get sick OF it.  It's simply to experience habituation, in which the novelty of eating a particular food just...wanes.

I'll admit. When I first tried this concept, I fell victim to the "I finally have this in my grasp, I MUST eat this NOW" state of mind.  I ate EVERYTHING that I wanted in the first hour!!!  After that, I still had the food in my kitchen.  I just left it there.  I would have a little more later on in the day. Then, the next day, I would remember that the wonderful "treats" were there and I would get all excited to eat it! Can you believe it?!?  I was EXCITED to eat the food!  Why?  Because I considered it "special." It was a TREAT.  Something that was FORBIDDEN!  As time passed, and I grew to accept ALL food as being OK to eat, I find that I can buy the same foods, and they actually get OLD!  There is ice cream in my freezer that has been there since before Christmas, and it's only HALF gone!  There are UNOPENED cookies (Keebler stripes, my favorite) in the pantry.  They have been there for days and I STILL haven't opened them.  See, I just don't FEEL like eating them.  Now that I CAN have them, I really don't WANT them ..... as much as I did anyway.


To really find peace with your food, I suggest doing the following steps.  These steps were taken from the "Intuitive Eating" book and will help you avoid the "I can eat whatever I want, as much as I want, whenever I want" trap that I fell into.  Trust me... you will feel better about doing it this way. You can learn more about Intuitive Eating HERE. 

1. KNOW YOUR WEAKNESSES THAT THEY MAY BECOME YOUR STRENGTHS! Pay attention to the foods that are appealing and make a list of them.
2. Put a check mark next to the foods that you consider "forbidden."
3. Choose ONE food from the list and give yourself "permission" to eat it.  Go buy it from the store.
4. Test the food. Does it taste as good as you imagined it does?  (The Keebler cookies didn't.) If you really like it, keep it in your house!
5. Make sure that you ALWAYS have some of this food on hand.  It's there whenever you want it.  I know that this seems scary, but I think that you will find that KNOWING that the food is there and available makes it less desirable.

*It's completely natural to eat a lot of the food at first.  It's ok.  But my suggestion would be to avoid eating the food all by itself.  Eat it with other foods to help curb the appetite. 

Once the food isn't a "big deal" anymore, move on to another item on your list.

But CINDY!!  I'm addicted to certain foods! If I start, I won't be able to STOP! Well.... I'm not so sure that there IS such a thing.  I'll explain more in my NEXT POST.

Until then.  Eat, Drink, and be Merry for tomorrow..... wait..... no. Just stop being so hard on yourself ok?  EAT what you want. Eat WHEN you want.  Just don't eat AS MUCH as you want.  ;)  And don't forget to ONLY eat when you are hungry.  THAT IS THE KEY!!!

TLDR: Find peace with forbidden foods so that you can create habituation and therefore decrease your cravings for these foods. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wii Fit U Experience

Last year, our whole Christmas was "Wii" based.  It became the first gaming system that our little family owned.  The boys got the Wii U, games, remotes, the works!  THIS YEAR around Christmas time, Nintendo finally came out with the Wii Fit U. Basically, it's the Wii Fit but...with a U. Ok, so there is a little more than that!
Like the normal Wii Fit, this takes your body calculations (weight, height, etc...) and then it comes back and tells you how out of shape you are.  (I am assuming that it does this with EVERYONE since even my 6 year old shows as out of shape.) You get to have a little cartoon character (Wii Mii) that you create to look like the over-weight you as well.  So, now, I get to look fat in cartoon form as well!  (And the peasants rejoice!)

Once you finish all of this, you have the choice to choose a personal trainer, play some balance games, learn some awesome dance moves, do some yoga or find just about any other exercise that is out there.  Staying true to the name, the Wii Fit U really DOES Fit YOU!  The information is saved for each user, and it gives suggestions for exercises based upon the info that it receives from the assessment and from your performance in the games. 

Since we didn't have the regular Wii, I don't know how all of this compares to the "old" Wii Fit.  But, all in all, this is pretty cool.  The BEST feature that I KNOW didn't come with the "old" Wii is the nice little pedometer! It is called the "FIT METER."  This little buddy counts your steps and measures your movement throughout the day.  THEN, when you log into the Wii Fit U, it syncs up with your little fat cartoon and tells you how you "measure up" towards your goals.  Check out Nintendo's WEBSITE to see all of the cool features.

I tell you this because although I have had the Wii Fit U game and meter for about a month, today, yes, TODAY, was the FIRST time that I have REALLY used it. Even then, it was my second choice because I was not able to use Maj. P.I.M.A today. (Maj. P.I.M.A is my awesome treadmill.  Aptly named because it is a Major Pain In My A**......literally.) See, I went to USE Maj. P.I.M.A and realized that hubby brought the key HOME with him and now, it is in a "safe place."  ANYWHO..... what did I think of the Wii Fit U?  Well, it was actually pretty fun.  Minion #2 and I played for quite some time!  I broke a sweat.  I pushed him off of the balance board proclaiming "It's MY TURN!" And, according to the fit meter, I burned just under 100 calories!

You all know that I don't really CARE how many calories I take in or out, but it's nice to know that it was doing SOMETHING.  The key point is that I FELT like I was getting some great activity in!  We only used it for 30 minutes (it took 30 minutes to figure it out... don't judge) So, after my hour of exercise time was over, I was happy with the results.
This is one of the dancing games.... I rocked it! "Center Stage Dancer!"
Yup, That's me! 
I'm not sure that I would do this EVERY day, but maybe for about 10-15 minutes as a cool down from Maj. PIMA would be pretty good. The dancing is fun, the snowball fight is a blast, and the mulit-player games are super! And, as a HUGE fan of the PLANK, I actually liked doing it on the balance board with the game better than just normally!  See, there is this little dot that shows you where your center of gravity is and how shaky you are.  It really helped me to see how much control I really had!  That was fun!

So, today's activity time was a success!  If you have a Wii U, or even just a Wii, give this game a shot! If you already have a balance board and have just purchased the Wii U system, you can buy the game plus the meter for $49.99 from the website.  $89.99 to purchase the balance board with it!  I don't think that you will be disappointed.

TLDR: Wii Fit U Review


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