“Essential” Summer Smoothie Recipes

With the warmth of summer in full swing, we can take advantage of super refreshing smoothies that taste amazing , while giving us great health benefits. Today we’re adding essential oils to amp up that ability, as well as give the drinks a unique twist.  Authentic essential oils are “plant concentrates” if you will, with nothing ever added or taken away. The essential oils of the plant protect the plant, gives it its fragrance, and are where the healthful properties are held. We can access their benefits for our own well being.

It’s important to say that I only use Young Living Essential Oils, because these are the ones that are genuinely pure enough to ingest. Other brands should not be taken internally, and are more for recreational use. With Young Living, we are specifically utilizing  them for health benefits, for all the plant truly has to offer us.  And that’s a lot, when it’s real!  Yep, there really is a huge difference ;)  I’ve been using them for 15 years, and I could share a ton of info with you on all the ways they have my back.

While they’re great used in this way, we can also receive even more healthful benefits from quality essential oils .

Young Living Peppermint –   Overeaten at a barbeque? ~ peppermint oil taken internally, or sipped in water can ease that digestive upset and burden, and is cooling to my body. A drop on the tongue gives you sweet breath, naturally.  I can go on…

Young Living Lemon - it’s refreshing and uplifting, and it’s also high in limonene. A great general daily de-toxer too! Add to your water anytime- use glass or stainless steel bottles.

Young Living Citrus Fresh Blend - Have difficulty drinking enough water, staying hydrated this summer and beyond?  Skip those colored sweeteners with chemicals, and enjoy this in water daily.  Put it in a diffuser to put the oils into the air in your environment, and now you’ve got a game changer in helping everybody lift their spirits and freshen your home.

Young Living Lavender -I just had to sneak this one in too, because you’ll find nothing better for relief of minor summer burns. (Again, quality is paramount. Lavender that is synthetic, altered etc. can actually makes burns worse).  Minor cuts and scrapes will love lavender!

Enjoy this treat, and let the oils keep you happy and well this summer!


Lemon Aide Slushie 
(For all ages to enjoy ~ even freeze it in popsicle molds for even more fun)
3 cups ice
2 small lemons (cut off the peel/skin. You can allow the pith to remain- great nutrients there)
1 1/2 cups coconut water (fresh is best, right from a young coconut. But you can use packaged quality ones too)
4 – 5 TBSP raw local honey (depending on your sweet preferences. Stevia, to taste, can be substituted for those who have blood sugar issues)
2 drops Young Living Lemon Essential Oil (do not ingest other brands)
2 drops Young Living Lavender Essential Oil ( do not ingest other brands)
Blend all together in high powered blender and enjoy immediately.

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Happy Spring!

Remember, we are a part of Nature, not separate.

Artist – Vladimir Kush

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Valentine’s Healthy Chocolate
Dipped Strawberries

Whether or not you get into Valentine’s Day, we can all be reminded to bring ourselves in to the space of love ~ for ourselves, friends, family, partners, spirit. Every day is always better when we allow ourselves to focus on the power of love, in all its expressions.

We can drop our shoulders, let down our guard, open our hearts and accept ourselves and others just the way we are.

So let me offer you something sweet and simple to do ~ for yourself or others.

“Chocolate” Dipped Strawberries
Fast & Easy! Raw, Vegan and Delicious!

In a way, we are “cheating” here on chocolate making, because raw chocolate making typically utilizes cacao butter. But I’d like to put out a version for folks that has readily accessible ingredients. Most can find a good quality, food grade,  pressed coconut oil in a local health food store, or even now in some supermarkets. Plus, truth be told, they’re no less delicious than if you made them some fancier way, and they are super easy to whip up!

10 Minutes to make 12 large Strawberries (raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free)

~ 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
~ 6 tbsp raw cacao powder
~ 1/4 cup high quality agave, raw honey,or combo of the two ( I prefer raw honey myself, but agave is smoother, thinner and less sticky and therefore probably easier to handle)
~ 1/2 tsp vanilla
~ 1/8 tsp sea salt
~12 large strawberries

Note: When melting your coconut oil, do so over a very low flame, melt it gently. Otherwise your chocolate sauce may not be very smooth. If you live in a warm climate, just stick it out in the sun!

1) Whisk together oil, agave or honey, and vanilla . Add the cacao and salt, and whisk together until super smooth. Mix this very well so the coconut oil incorporates with all else.

2) Dip your strawberries in this mixture until well coated, and lay on a foil  or parchment lined sheet.

3) Stick them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving so they have a chance to “set”.


With Love, Jenn

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Holiday Smoothies
Vitamix on Sale this Week!
and How to Make Almond Milk Video


My next post will feature Holiday Smoothies, a fun and  tasty bit with recipes, which makes it even more pleasing to share these next two things with you today.


 If you’ve been considering or wanting a Vitamix high-powered blender, for yourself or to gift, or add to your wish list, it’s a really great time to snag one.

Recently, I got a notice from my Vitamix rep guy, and a once a year sale is on! Now through December 2nd.

Details and link to savings below


I know some of you folks and clients I work with, really want a Vitamix. Some are saving up for them, because let’s face it, they ain’t cheap!  But they ARE a sound investment, worth every cent and then some.

You know how much I adore the Vitamix for ALL the amazing things it can do, and the way it pleasurably supports my health. I truly believe that everyone can benefit by having one. I go so far as to say if I could only recommend one appliance for healthful living in today’s modern world, the Vitamix is it.

Plus you know when the New Year hits, many of you will be making resolutions to get healthier, lose weight, simply eat more fresh fruits and vegetables…we’re human after all.  Is it the long sought after silver bullet to make all those ideals magically appear? No, we do have to do the work. But it’s a tremendous tool in making it fun and easier, as well as sustainable. Diets don’t work. Healthy lifestyle habits do. What’s your plan? Vitamix can be your friend.

I hope to be hearing from those of you that have been pining for a Vitamix – “I got it!”
I will share your joy, this season, and beyond.


Right now through December 2nd,
their once a year sale on certified reconditioned models is on!


$30 savings on top of already reduced price!
~ That means that you can get one for $299. That’s $150 off regular prices.
PLUS, use this link,  and you’ll save $25 more in free shipping along with direct access to sale.
You won’t find a better price anywhere, you can still utilize their 3 payment plan on this sale if you want to, 30 day money back guarantee and Vitamix will cover shipping both ways. Yay! all around.

Just to clarify – The certified reconditioned models are those that have gone out and been returned. They are not used items, but they can’t sell them as technically new. But you can buy them with confidence. They have a 5 year warranty too. With an enduring commitment to quality and durability, the Vitamix Certified Reconditioned Series offers first-class blending performance. They carefully examine each machine against their high quality standards, streamline their packaging components, and they’ll perform for years to come. These babies are TOUGH and really well built.

If you really want a “new” one, specifically including the Live Foods Recipe Book and nut milk bag ( still with free shipping) well, then go on and get one here


Now, here’s how to make healthy almond milk.
Your holiday smoothies will be the freshest and tastiest!

You can grab a nut milk bag here if you already have a Vitamix.  Or a more economical version here.
If you are one of my local clients or readers, you can get them now at Honest Weight Coop in Albany. They’ve just conveniently put them next to the bulk almonds ( wink, wink).




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Omnivore, Vegetarian, Vegan ~
which is best? answer~ it depends

Let me say this – there is no single diet that is perfect for everyone, so lets take the pressure off… we can all get along! Personally I’m not fond of those labels anyway, because they can tend to separate people.  People may need different things based on their own bodies, constitutions, genetics, health issues, climate etc.   Not only that, different circumstances and times come into play. We may need something at one period in our life, and a different thing at another time. It can be subject to many things.

There are cultures that have thrived on whale and seal blubber, and others on fresh fruits. So, you can’t really say that one way of eating is the only way. Having personally experienced tremendous transformation and continuing health through sustaining a high-raw, plant-based diet,  I can surely understand the temptation to think (and preach) that eating animal products is unhealthy or wrong. But that only alienates and isn’t really completely accurate- at least not in absolutes. For some, and in appropriate amounts, it can still be a healthful part of one’s diet, depending on the level of health you are seeking.  I will qualify this and say that I do have opinions on what kind of meats and how much of them will serve or detract from a person’s life, as well as impact all life here on earth. Remember this – real food is that which is closest to the earth and in its natural form.  You may or may not know that most animal products (including beef, fish, chicken and dairy…) available in the general marketplace do not make for healthy eating.  (For details on this in regard to all healthy foods, see my guide Food Actually). But good sources can be found, and the more that people demand them, the more they will be made available- hopefully crowding out those which are surely unhealthy for all life on Earth.

I completely support the vegan lifestyle and recognize and can attest to the well-documented studies that prove it’s a healthy diet when done well. However, as with an omnivorous diet, we need to be careful to look at the broader picture, and even some things we may not have thought of just yet. Some overzealous identified vegans spout about the ravages of meat on the environment- and yes, it’s true that massive amounts of industrialized meat production is highly damaging to the environment.  This is a very well documented fact.   The industrial meat system is also a place that regards animals as mere economic units, and heinous acts are perpetrated on animals every single day as a matter of business practice.   But there is a growing movement and a rebirth of animal husbandry that allows meat animals a good life. I believe that if an animal will be sacrificed for food, then it should be afforded a humane life, at the very least.  Whether you think animals deserve this or not, you would do well to remember that when  you ingest an animal, you ingest all that it has been subject to, good or bad.

Perhaps a more accurate way of describing our diets, at least from a health point of view, would be to describe what we actually do eat, rather than what we do not.

Think about this, without judgment ~some vegetarians and vegans don’t eat meat, but do consistently eat processed foods, sodas, GMOs, refined flours and sugars, with very little vegetables or fruits at all. So that means he or she doesn’t eat animals, but will that diet foster and support their health? Might it be more accurate to call themselves a processivore? Or junkitarian?
And, what about the health of the planet? Not everybody knows that most soy and corn is GMO- genetically modified, and that vast acres of forest and habitat are lost to their production…  Yikes!

Some omnivores eat similarly, plus meat, all the time~ is that a healthful way to care for the body?

Then there are omnivores that eat moderate amounts of clean animal products, and make vegetables and fruits the larger part of their diet…  Which do you think might offer the most energy and vitality to a person?

Do you see what I’m getting at? It’s big picture balance- in nature, in diet, and humanity. Unity, rather than division.  Real food rather than industrial/processed.  I’d rather help those who eat animal products steer toward consuming really high quality clean, humane products, (and in smaller amounts) while also educating and inspiring them about the tremendous powers of fresh fruits and vegetables, than to bash them for being  ”murderers” and waging eco-assault. To the omnivores~ don’t think a vegan is weak, unhealthy, and radical just because you don’t understand (yet).

We can all give each other space,  look at our own diet, stretch into a little more broad-mindedness… while staying true to our ideals, and still allowing new perspectives to come in if they should serve us. We all have the wonderful privilege of growing, learning, changing, at any time. Maybe what we are actually putting in our bodies, minds and hearts… is even more important than what we are not.

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juice fasting ~ solo or guided?

Okay, so based on some experiences I’ve seen and heard about,  especially lately, I’m going to risk a “public service” message here, and hope that you will still be curious or enthused about the powerful potential and joy of juice fasting.

First, I’ll declare that I am indeed in favor of juice fasting. I have walked the path with great commitment and awareness, as well as received deep and rich results, gratefully. Truly, the endeavor has the capacity to create profoundly positive effects and life-changing transformation. ~If it’s right for you, and undertaken responsibly.

For more of my personal story with juice fasting, see here.

I suggest considering simply getting started on juicing, integrating it into your current lifestyle for a while, getting to know it in a beneficial way before you jump to juice fasting. Then, if you still feel called to it, look further at the wonderful world of juice fasting. But certainly, the solid consistent practice of adding a daily juice to your diet (particularly green juice) is a really sound support to improving your health.

While I am thrilled to see that juice fasting is beginning to gain public favor, I am also concerned to see a fad aspect of it emerging, which has people undertaking it with carelessness and limited knowledge, as well as jumping on it as a quick fix only to return to unhealthy habits afterward, putting the body in a more vulnerable place than before. It’s important to do it safely and with knowledge, to provide a pleasant experience and a healthful process and outcome. There’s a lot more to know than just “drink juice”.

There are many considerations, including health conditions, medications, how to deal with and modulate detox symptoms, healing crises, preparation and breaking the fast, which foods and combinations specifically benefit, as well as adjunct therapies that can be self administered during the fast….and how to be successful afterward too…

You know what happens when you have a complex piece of machinery to put together or a complicated piece of furniture, and ya skip the directions? Some of you may get lucky with your tinkerer’s thumb, but well, the human body is vastly more complex than those man-made parts and pieces. A mixed up, falling apart pile of parts is a lot easier to walk away from, than a body in similar condition. So you might imagine the attention and skill that healthful and succcessful fasting might require, or at the very least be benefitted by. There is NOTHING fun about being in a healing crisis  or severe detox symptom and not know what to do. Too, there is nothing MORE fun than hitting a high or breaking through some wall in your health and well being that you’ve been burdened with, like, forever.

Hopefully you aren’t scared and backing away now, deer in the headlights or whatever. While it’s true that juice fasting  isn’t fitting for everyone, this is all just to provide perspective and a wake up call to do this mindfully. Put in the time and energy to study, research, (even talk to your doctor) ~extensively.  Or, invest in getting someone who has  done all that and continues to do so on the level of deep health, and experientially knows the ropes to guide you along. You’ll benefit with the most smooth, informed journey. Accountability can be a helpful piece too. Taking the guesswork out can eliminate stress and free you to really  learn and connect to the process, and maybe even enjoy it :) And who doesn’t want the best results? If you’re gonna do it, you might as well do it in a way that really serves youand, your health.

If I can be of help to you, please reach out.


I also invite you to check out My Services

For ongoing education, tips, support ~ Subscribe in the right hand column.
There’s more great content coming, Including RECIPES  and so much more.

For a free guide to eating well and finding REAL food in today’s world, you might enjoy my Food Actually Guide.


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juice fasting – my personal story

“How’d  you do that?!”
“What did you do?”
“How is it now? ”
“What changed for you?”
These are just some of the questions I’ve received from people and clients time and again.

I am one of the people who has had great results by undertaking this practice in a very thorough and deep way.  It changed my life, literally.

I was a pretty healthy person, especially compared to most Americans and their typical diets. I actually had acquired a great degree of health knowledge, skill and practice from years of studying after an immune system breakdown and subsequent holistic healing, about 17 years ago. This, after modern medicine had failed. However, even so, I still suffered from food addictions, some excess post-injury weight and chronic pain, sub-optimal energy levels, and a general feeling that I wasn’t having the relationship with my body that I’d like to. I sometimes felt controlled by my whims and cravings, and then guilty or disappointed in myself, because after all, “I knew better”. I  saw no real end in sight, not truly.  I had tried so many times to leave that Ben and Jerry’s in that frosty freezer case, to then follow up the days afterward with lots of veggies and promises, only to fall again in some way, at some point.

(Okay, so I won’t tell you that you’ll die if you eat “Ben and Jerry’s” or your own “trigger food of choice”. But I may perhaps kindly ask you “What is your relationship to that, and how often are you eating it, or, maybe even, do you really understand what’s in that and the impact on your human body?”  I’m not preaching here, because we all got our stuff, and our own time and capacities, no better or worse. It’s just that these things are worth contemplating. You are worth contemplating. )

Back to the story ~ after implementing juicing into my diet for numerous years, but still teeter tottering with some less than healthy food choices, along with facing a health crisis of endometriosis,  long standing musculoskeletal issues, and feeling the promptings of a deeper soul need,  I  got the idea to more deeply investigate serious juice fasting. I had done short ones before over the years, and knew about their virtues for quite a long while. Then, it took hold in me in a new way. I became passionate about the research and possibilities, pouring over loads of research and experiences from a myriad of reputable sources, and consulting with specialists.  People, my partner will tell you~ many, many hours and outreach, and much enthusiasm, kind of a full time job. There was something inside me that said I had to do this, and do it really well.  Finally I came to the point of preparing to do it, full-on. I  went for it, totally committed, strategically, and intuitively,  all-in…and, with gentleness and compassion. Can I tell you how important that compassion piece is? Maybe that ought to be an entire post in itself. Hmmm….

I could tell you more about the practical steps in preparing, the process, supportive and adjunct practices, and all that was involved. But in this post, let me just share this for now -

Just some of what I experienced and gained- Plenty of energy, clarity of mind, more peace, some rough patches but knew what to do and moved through with grace,  lost 35 pounds in 40 days ( and have kept it off easily over time), being in my skin comfortably, an authentic deep seated passion for feeding my body really well consistently, immense gratitude for the wondrous feeling of true success, healing and relief,  a new relationship with food and myself, a new ability to actually hear and connect with the subtle messages that my body gives me. That last part is magical and empowering! Our bodies are talking to us all the time. It’s just that there can be so many obstructions in the way that we miss this beautiful dialogue…. and so much more. 

Everything shifted for me – it changed me, at the core. Core. Meaning it’s really mine. I’m seated there. I’m not perfect, but I’m there, and delightfully committed. Ahhhhhhh…    Evolving continues, always,  and, I get to share it with you….now THAT is what I call “yummy”.

So, I celebrate myself, with a soft, sweet gratitude, and I celebrate you in your own journey and potential…always unfolding. Anything can happen. Perhaps we’ll meet somewhere on that path.


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Check out  juice RECIPES





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wild foods ~ series ~ nettle

Come with me for some wild food foraging. Free nutrient rich foods await you. There is something so intrinsically enjoyable about wandering in nature and receiving the bounty.

*Note: When wild food foraging, be sure you have positive identification so that you know the plant is edible. Bring a guide book, google it, or trust an experienced forager until you become one yourself.

Nutrition of Nettle :

Nettle leaf  contains high levels of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and beta-carotene and high amounts of the vitamins A, C, D, and B complex. Plus more…

Just some of the properties and benefits of Nettle:

Nettle has been used for centuries to treat allergy symptoms, particularly hayfever. This is interesting to me, as this plant comes up in early spring, making itself available to us, at just the right time for those who are affected by allergies. It contains biologically active compounds that reduce inflammation. Dr. Andrew Weil M.D. author of Natural Health/ Natural Medicine says he knows of nothing more effective than nettle for allergy relief. His statement is backed up by studies at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

People have been using nettle for centuries to reduce pain and inflammation associated with injury or disease. The herb interferes with the body’s production of inflammation-causing chemicals and the way the nerves send pain signals to the brain.

Eat them whole for the plant properties and mineral richness.

Add to smoothies for a boost of super nutrition.

Put the fresh leaves  in a mason jar or mug and pour hot water over them to make an infusion tea.

While you can buy teas and tinctures, I also encourage you to find it growing wild if you can. There’s something about the connection in gathering them yourself and imbibing the qualities of the living fresh plant that you just can’t beat.


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juice or blend ~ what’s the difference?

I get this question, often, and today again. So, lets clear this up.

The simple answer is ~

Juicing yields a drink that has no fiber.  Juice is the water and nutrients that have been extracted  and separated from fruit and vegetable matter, offering the highest content of nutrients.

Blending  yields a drink with fiber. Blending breaks down the entirety of the food and combines it. Smoothies, soups and blended salads are created by blending, and may include other ingredients beyond fruits and vegetables.

Both are excellent options to get great nutrition. Let’s look at the difference and benefits more deeply~                                                            

Juicing quickly delivers a load of nutrients swiftly and easily into the cells of our bodies, with the least amount of effort  and energy expended in digestion. It makes more nutrients readily available , in much larger quantities than if you were to eat the veggies and fruits whole, or even blend them. So this becomes very valuable to those who have challenges with digestion, or have specific illness that inhibits your body from processing fiber, or are simply trying to get the benefits of a nutrient infusion, as I am apt to call it.

Next to know is the effort level in making  juice, cleaning the juicer, and the dollars you’ll be spending on produce. While juicing is the powerhouse in terms of delivering readily available nutrients, it will cost more at the checkout, because you will be needing more fruits and vegetables because you will only be consuming the juice and not the fiber. Juicing also requires more time to make and clean the equipment.

Juicing can be a very powerful and effective aid in detoxing. It gives the body a rest from processing fiber, and less than healthy foods, while delivering boat loads of absorbable nutrients. Plus, you’ll get the benefits of phytochemicals, antioxidants, hydration and more. This can facilitate cleaning up the body and fortifying it, even regenerating it at the same time. Incorporating even one fresh made juice a day into your diet can do wonders. A more focused practice, or a juice fast, can be therapeutic, a nutrifying and cleansing express! Done properly, these practices can be remarkable at helping to relieve chronic symptoms and illness, as well as foster weight loss and begin to develop new healthy eating habits with relative ease.

*Wise Word ~ When you remove the fiber from fruits and veggies, the natural sugars are absorbed by your body and bloodstream more quickly, so you’d be smart to watch intake of high amounts of only fruit, as this can spike blood sugar levels. Don’t worry about enjoying your glass of fresh o.j. folks. Just be aware, particularly those of you who have “diabetes”, etc.

Blending uses whole fruits and vegetables, and therefore gives the benefits of fiber.  This is one of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your diet, and incorporate for weight loss plans and target health issues. Blending has the power to provide you with the most delicious and powerfully nutritive “fast food” ever!   A healthy meal with fresh, life giving ingredients can be in your hands in literally just a few minutes. Clean up is lightening quick too, having you spending less time and energy than you would in preparing just about any meal.  It can be a daily habit that’s easy to stick to, especially if you have the most effective equipment.

If budget is a concern, you should know that blending will require less produce, so you’ll see savings at the cash register.

You’ll also be able to enjoy a wide variety of food combinations including green smoothies, savory soups, salad dressings, non-dairy milks and more. A wide spectrum of health benefits and “yummyness” awaits you. You should know that green smoothies are kid-friendly too!

This is the number one recommendation I make to people just starting out, who want to amp up their health and heal, or simply provide their family with good nutrition. Fast, super simple and results oriented.

Personally, I’m a juice freak, and aim at daily consumption, because I like the ease of digestion and quickly absorbed nutrients that feed my cells and energize me. However, I enjoy blended creations near daily as well, when I’m short on time, or just want a wider variety or specific concoctions.

Doing both, provides so much pleasure  and purposeful care for the body, mind and spirit. I encourage you to consider adding either one, or both, to your life! I  am confident in the power they hold to help you transform your health and well being.


COMING SOON! ~ Alive & Well Green Smoothies ebook – this will include how-tos of green smoothie making, videos, and recipes for wellbeing and targeted healing of common health issues.

Subscribe on home page to be notified when it is released.


*For more information on Juicing, check out Juicing in Categories section.



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