Just Beet It!

I am a huge fan of trying new things in the great big world of nutrition. I feel very seldom do people walk through grocery stores recognizing all of the fresh produce, instead they remain faithful to their usual suspects. I think that everyone should detour from their grocery list every now and then to experience something they have never experienced before. Who knows, it may become a favorite (at least, that is my story with Beets)!
One day, I was in Whole Foods and I wanted a fresh juice from the juice bar. This particular day, I was feeling adventurous, so I decided against my normal "Ginger Zinger" and ordered the "Just Beet It" juice. First sip of this juice and I was pleasantly surprised! What had I been missing out on? It appeared like a whole lot! :-) I carried on my day with a boost of energy and I knew that it could only be attributed to the beets. Below, I have included just some of the health benefits, as well as a beet green smoothie recipe that I made at home.

Benefits of Beets & its leaves:
  • known to fight symptoms of depression - contains Betaine
  • high in fiber, folic acid (great for pregnant women), potassium, vitamin C
  • rich in antioxidants & naturally reduces inflammation
  • reported fighter of cancer and high blood pressure
  • purifies blood, detoxifies the liver & cleans colon
  • aphrodisiac - dubbed "natures viagra"

Beet Green Smoothie Recipe: 
  • 1 beet 
  • 1 navel orange
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of pineapples (I used crushed pineapples, as seen in the picture)
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 tbs ground flaxseed
  • water & ice
What are your thoughts on beets? Feel free to share your juice or smoothie recipes. And remember, don't knock it before you try it!

Wellness Break: Dry Body Brushing

I try my best to maintain healthy skin because I know that our skin is the largest organ on our entire body. Because we all have skin, it may be one of the most under appreciated organs that we have. Some years ago, I began using exfoliating spa gloves every time I showered to assist with my shaving process. I am prone to ingrown hair bumps on sensitive parts of my body and utilizing the spa gloves really provided me with a smoother shave. In addition to my gloves, I have used a dry brush to remove toxins and dead layers of skin. It was this morning that I thought about sharing some of the benefits of dry body brushing with you:
Use a brush with natural bristles
  • aids in the removal of cellulite
  • builds stronger immune system
  • stimulates & cleanses the lymphatic system
  • stimulates all organs for detox
  • helps with digestion
  • gets rid of clogged pores
  • removes excess fluid from body

I usually buy my brushes and gloves from TJMaxx or Marshalls for under $4! If you are interested in dry body brushing, there are now several videos posted on YouTube. It is a really simple process and there are specific tips to ensure that you are brushing in the right direction. Be sure to do this at least 1x per day before you shower.

Cheers to healthy, glowing skin!

Natural Sweetener: Monk Fruit

After speaking with my mother regarding natural sweeteners, she turned me onto Monk Fruit. I thought I would share with you what I have discovered through this link, as well as this video. If interested in purchasing Monk Fruit, simply do a Google search and various online retailers, such as Amazon sells Monk Fruit in the Raw for a very low price.

OXO Mango Splitter

First of all, I am a mango fanatic! For Christmas, a friend of mine gifted me with an OXO Mango Splitter. When I first received the splitter, I attempted to use it with no instructions and could not seem to slice it properly. The blade is pretty sharp, so I tried several times slicing the mango horizontally. It wasn't until recently that I turned the lovely mango upright and ran the splitter down with ease! Mangos are one of my favorite fruits, but I hated buying them because it always made a huge mess. I was so excited that I finally learned (I am a try, try again person, but the Target website has a picture) how to use my handy dandy mango splitter, that I wanted to share with you. If you enjoy eating mangos as much as I do, you'll love this product!

Coconut Palm Sugar

One of my favorite places to shop for international products is Cost Plus World Market. It never fails, every time I leave the store, I've discovered something new of interest. Well, this past weekend was no different, as I found a natural sweetener - Coconut Palm Sugar! As you may know through posts, for "sugary" flavored anything, I use raw honey. I have cut out using regular sugar for anything that I wish to sweeten. Being that I have not tried this product yet, I like to first conduct my own research before promoting it on my blog. Luckily, Dr. Oz, someone whose thoughts I trust when it comes to nutrition, has already done some fact finding for us. Take a look at this video and be encouraged to try something new and most importantly healthy!

Wellness Break: Colonoscopy

For a while now, I have been experiencing some stomach pangs and other symptoms that I won't mention here. Because my symptoms have progressed over time, I decided it was time to go to a Gastroenterologist last month to make sure it was not anything serious. As you know, I love discussing "healthy colons" and no matter how hard we try to maintain health, our bodies response is a lot of times out of our control.
As you can see from the image, a colonoscopy is the only
way to rule out certain medical concerns, such as cancer & polyps.
The procedure was quite painless, though, it was the day prior that was dreadful. No need for me to elaborate on specifics here. My purpose of this post was to inform you, that if you are experiencing issues with your stomach or have noticed a change in your bowels, it is always good to speak with a specialist. Of course, I am not at the age where colonoscopies are mandatory, but I am very happy that I was able to experience this process. I left with photographs of my colon and I am glad to say that my colon is still healthy!

If you have specific questions about my procedure, please feel free to contact me at jennifer@food-mood.org.


No, not the kind that you smoke...the kind that you ingest through nutrition, that's free of THC! This powerful plant is packed with nutritional value and has a lot of health benefits including those for mood disorders, such as depression. I will review some of those benefits, as well information on making a legal purchase. :-)

Benefits of Hemp:
  • High in Protein - is actually a complete protein, meaning that it has all of the necessary amino acids our body needs
  • High in Fatty Acids - hemp has the perfect blend of omegas 3-6-9. With this, you have a healthy functioning brain and heart. It is packed with DHA, EPA, and ALA. DHA and EPA have been previously covered in this blog, explaining the association with depressive symptoms. 
  • High in fiber
  • Regulates bowel movements
  • Gluten free
  • High in minerals and vitamins (particularly Vitamin E)
  • Great food energy source
As you see, the list can go on and on. I have tried Hemp Seeds in the past, but was very inconsistent with my intake. If you are not too sure about the seeds, hemp also comes in the form of oil, milk and powder. I would recommend the powder for an add-on to any green smoothie. Vitacost has a variety of Hemp options, which I have included a link here

Quick Veggie Recipe: Asparagus, Yellow Bells & Mushrooms

Yesterday for lunch, I decided to make a quick vegetable plate with some of my favorite veggies. Two of my three daily meals are usually all plant based, saving the meat for dinner. Take a look at the recipe below:

- 1 bunch of Asparagus 
- 1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper
- 6 large Mushrooms, chopped in fours
- 1 tbs of Minced Garlic
- Seasonings: Mediterranean Sea Salt, Fresh Black Pepper & Basil
- 5 tbs water
- 1 tsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Combine all of the ingredients in a pan and cover for about 8 minutes. Once your asparagus is a bright green color, the yellow peppers and mushrooms are tender, you can remove and serve!