That time I did an 1 day juice cleanse

I once did an one day juice cleanse. All the way with the cheesy "I kiss my juice" pictures as proof.  I had a bit hangover from just drinking 2 bellinis at the Operation Smile Ball the day before. So when you don't feel so great, what do you do? Exactly you take care of yourself! Eating really healthy is your own medicine. So I decided to visit Organic Avenue.

About Organic Avenue

Organic Avenue was a vegan and rawfood chain in New York City. It was founded by Denise Mari, and back in the day I did an interview with her. There were so many new Organic Avenue Locations popping up around town at one point. To me it seemed they had a lot of success, but they also seemed to grow too fast. After a few years Denise sold the company, and from what I've read, she came back on board to run the company.  OA incorporated different foods into the menu besides cleanses (the vegan chicken and waffles was great!) but eventually they went out of business :( . Sad story of a vegan health food store I enjoyed so much in NYC! I notice many of my favorite restaurants have gone out of business, it is just part of doing business in New York City.

Organic Avenue Soho location
Organic Avenue Soho location before it closed

Now back to the juice cleanse story: There used to be an Organic Avenue Location in Soho, close to where I live, and I decided to do their one day cleanses.

The 1 day juice cleanse

I received 7 bottles of juice. 1 small one to start the day with chlorophyll, and 6 juices.  You were told to drink water in between..

1 day cleanse from Organic Avenue
1 day cleanse by Organic Avenue

8.30 am

Let's start this juice cleanse! I woke up tired and had my first juice at this time. A chlorophyll shot that made my tongue green! It has a specific taste, but it is not bad. Chlorophyll comes from plants and is an "extremely important bio molecule, critical in photosynthesis, which allows plants to absorb energy from light."- Quote from Wikipedia  

chlorophyll shot
chlorophyll shot

10 am

My first real juice is a nice simple orange juice. A great way to start a morning with some sweet citrus fruit juice.

orange juice
orange juice

12 pm

Green Love juice. Cucumber, celery, chard, spinach, pear, collard greens, kale, romaine, parsley, lemon juice. This one is a bit hard to drink due to the large amount of greens in this juice. So it took me a bit longer to drink this juice!

Green Love juice
Green Love juice

2.30 pm

Turmeric Tonic,  lemon juice, ginger juice, purified alkaline water, coconut sugar, turmeric, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cardamom, himalayan salt. This one was spicy but I actually liked this juice! It tasted a bit like something from the Middle East because of the spices. I drank it quite fast.

Turmeric Tonic
Turmeric Tonic
Lonneke & Turmeric Tonic
Lonneke & Turmeric Tonic

4.30pm

Veggie Vibe: carrot, cucumber, beet, celery, chard, spinach, ginger, parsley, lemon. This one is hard again! Took me longer time to drink. But you feel really healthy drinking it.

At this point I felt really energized and fit! Getting so many minerals and vitamins in, plus water is really doing good for your body, right?

6.30 pm

Spicy Avocado Soup: avocado, purified alkaline water, spinach, lime juice, celery, cilantro, garlic, Himalayan salt, jalapeño, cumin. This is my least favorite. maybe because of the garlic and that it is thicker. It took me some effort to drink it.

Lonneke & Spicy Avocado Soup
Lonneke & Spicy Avocado Soup

8pm

Last juice of the day! Fresh, sweet coconut juice. I love ending a day like this with something super yummy!

Although some people do cleanses a few days in a row, I think it was nice to just do a one day cleanse. This way it does not "shock" your body while still replenishing your body with the essential nutrients. It is also a great that for that day you have a plan, and the 7 juices keep you on track. You don't have to think what you are gonna eat or what's for dinner at night. The cleanse is telling you that already so it relieves stress that way as well!

Why a one day juice cleanse might be good for you

Because you drink the whole day so you are very much hydrated.  And you don't have much time to feel hungry. Right when you feel hungry, you have the thicker Spicy Avocado soup that is filling. I think anyone can do a 1 day cleanse to just feel better and get rid of toxins or indigestion, if you don't get tempted by any food! So do this during a rainy day when you are likely to stay at home, or if you are stuck at the office with no food in sight, that's my recommendation.

You start to appreciate food more while on a cleanse, that is for sure!

Why juicing might not so good for you

You notice there is a lot of parsley added to the juices. This is because parsley contains lots of Vitamin K, a lot of antioxidants, which helps our bones and strengthens our nervous system.(that's good!) But I only learnt later that Parsley, other green leafy vegetables and beets contain a lot of oxalates and goitrogens. I will go into that some other time why that is actually not so good for some people like myself (oxalates can form crystals in your body and can cause kidney stones, goitrogens slow down a thyroid). Not to mention the high sugar intake which research suggests due to the lack of fiber that helps release sugar slowly into the blood system, a juice is causing a sugar spike. And juices that are not pasteurized, can bring harmful bacteria to your gut which can cause a whole other range of issues.

Maybe, just maybe, juice cleansing was a hype from 2006-2016, and now people just have one juice once a while and are onto another fad, like Keto or Paleo?

Related: Why no one does juice cleanses anymore

Organic Avenue used to offer their juices in glass bottles, but they were more expensive as there was a fee for returning the bottles. Now they serve the juices in BPA- free plastic, I thought that was a nice thing! Of course with the demise of Organic Avenue, their bottles are gone too. (I just kept one as a souvenir).

If you want to do a cleanse, there are many places in New York City and beyond to get a juice from, including Juice Press, Pressed Juicery ,Blueprint and Juice Generation

Related: 5 cleanses that get delivered to your door in the USA

p.s. for my readers in the Netherlands: you can order from Sapmeesters.

Final thought on cleanses: You should decide yourself what works for you! I will now enjoy a small juice once a while!

Love, Lonneke

First Published on May 6th 2012, Updated with new insights in 2019

 


Organic vs non-organic

When you buy your fruits and veggies at supermarket in the USA, they always have this little sticker with numbers on it. Do you know what it means?

Produce from organic farms

Produce that comes from organic farms, have a sticker with five numbers, and always starts with number 9.

Organic vs non-organicOrganic vs non-organic

Produce from non-organic farms

Produce that been treated with pesticides, have stickers with four number, and always starts with number 4.

(Sorry, I don’t have non-organic fruits at home to snap a picture of it)

More information on organic vs. non-organic

  • Organic foods are foods produced using methods which do not involve synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic products are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives. Click here to read more.
  • In the United States, the National Organic Program (NOP) is the federal regulatory framework governing organic food. You should visit their website to learn more http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop.
  • Wikipedia offers also a list of countries with regulations on organic agriculture. It contains links to documents with the status of formal government-standards, regulations, and certification of organic farming and organic food.

Next time you go to supermarket, pay attention to it and you will see.

Have a great fruit and veggie shopping!

Love, Val

 

First published on October 31st  2012, updated in 2019


Vegetarian BBQ

There are so many delicious recipes for a vegetarian BBQ you can make yourself easily. No need to have a complete meat fest!

Here are some tips for you to try:

  • Create nice kebabs from colored vegetables; add some potatoes and or tofu.
  • Grill some eggplant or zucchini.
  • Use a smaller mazed roster for the BBQ or use a fishbasket to clamp the vegetables in between.
  • Put some fresh herbs and vegetables in some wrapped up tinfoil, add some stock, white wine, oil or orange juice before you close them.
  • Regularly sprinkle some herbs in the coals for a nice aroma.
  • Freeze and defrost tofu, squeeze them out and then they will absorb marinades easier.
  • Pre-boil the harder types of vegetables (like (potatoes, carrots, broccoli or cauliflower) and marinade them.

Some examples for marinades:

  • Soy-sauce · nutmeg · lemonjuice · cayenne-pepper · fresh Basil · olive-oil
  • Apple juice · salt · black pepper · basil-vinegar · olive-oil · ginger
  • Worcestersauce · tarragon-vinegar · salt · pear juice
  • Pine-apple juice · sweet paprika · salt · basil-vinegar · sunflower-oil · ginger
  • Orange juice · maple-syrup · orange zest · tarragon-vinegar · olive-oil · salt · coriander · cayenne-pepper
  • Mustard · ginger · maple-syrup · soy-sauce · olive-oil · basil-vinegar · salt · black pepper

Create kebabs from different fruits as a dessert as you can grill fruit!

  • Grill pine-apple or apples directly on the grill
  • Or cut open a banana and fill it up with chocolate
  • Grill a banana in aluminum foil bag with a bit of honey/ brown sugar added
  • Add some organic ice-cream always delicious with grilled fruit

Enjoy!

Love, the OYL Team


How to store your greens in the fridge

Quick tip how to store your greens in the fridge. I have just learned it, and I wish I knew this trick long time ago, cause I love my greens, but they go bad really fast if I don’t consume it in the first couple of days.

How to store your greens in the fridge

  • Cut your greens (it can be anything; kale, parsley, spinach, cilantro etc. Today I have my collard greens)
  • Arrange them in the storage unit.
  • Add cold water and some ICE on top.
  • Cover it with a lid

store-your-greens

It stays fresh for up to a week! And when you are ready to use it, Greens are fresh and crisp just like the day you bought it.

LOVE, VAL


Salad making for dummies

What you need for a good salad

  • 1. Pick a kind of lettuce as a base, I prefer organic. Romaine, watercress or mix different lettuces up.
  • 2. Pick 1, 2 or more vegetables that you add raw or grilled. Like cucumber, tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, red peppers, onions.
  • 3. Add a protein. If you go vegetarian you can choose nuts. If you eat meat you can add grilled organic chicken, beef, bacon or other options. And fish: tuna, salmon, grilled shrimp or scallops as a few examples. Avocado is a nice topping as it is filling
  • 4. Add extra toppings like dried fruits to make the salad get a sweet flavor (raisins, cranberries, grapes, strawberries or other fruits)
  • Add cheese to make it more hearty (goat cheese, blue cheese, parmesan, gouda or other cheeses)
  • Add finishing toppings. Seeds, sprouts or anything else you can think of too add.
  • 5. And last: add your dressing! *Simple salt, pepper and olive oil tastes great with good ingredients in a salad.
  • If you want to go to an asian twist: add soy sauce based sauces to the dressing.
  • If you want to go light, add yoghurt in the dressing.
  • When you want to go sweet & spicy, add a bit of spicy red pepper flakes in dressing with honey

Ingredients which taste great together and in combination are great:

  •  Goat cheese, cranberries & pistachios
  •  Romaine, parmesan, croutons
  • Tomatoes, cucumbers, salt, pepper
  • Goat cheese, roasted pumpkin, sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts & blue cheese.
  • Avocado is always great to add to every salad. Tomatoes and cucumbers almost always are good ingredients too!

Just add some lettuce and olive oil!

Try your own combinations of dressing, salad & ingredients to find your favorite salad!

Love, Lonneke

 


Salmon oven

OYL recipe: Salmon from the oven

Salmon oven
Salmon from the oven

Even though I prefer vegetarian & vegan food, once a while I still eat some kind of fish.

My motto:Eat what you dare to look at being killed. I don't judge people on what they eat or not eat, but I don't like people who eat meat but freak out when the meat on their plate looks like the came from an animal (duh!) or who can't look at the animal being slaughtered. If you want to eat something, dare to look at it being prepared for consumption! And my fish consumption is less and less anyway...

The other day I made one of my favorite simple recipes; Salmon from the oven. What you need is an organic piece of salmon (or any other kind of fish) and some vegetables, olive oil and fresh herbs. Within 3o minutes you have a delicious meal!

Serve with any rice you like. I stir fried onions and grasswort (Zeekraal in Dutch) but you can serve any other vegetables. other options are string beans or green peas. Enjoy!

Love, Lonneke

 

OYL recipe: Salmon from the oven
Ovendish with fish and vegetables in a casserole for 4 persons

Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Serves: 4

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • Organic salmon filet big enough to feed 4
  • 4roma tomatoes
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1zucchini
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions
  1. Take a casserole and cover the insides with olive oil.
  2. Put the salmon filet in the middle
  3. cover the salmon with salt and pepper.
  4. Slice the zucchini and cover the salmon
  5. wash the tomatoes and put in the casserole around the salmon
  6. add the cherry tomatoes too.
  7. sprinkle some more salt and pepper and olive oil over the whole dish
  8. Put in oven on medium to high heat

Notes
check the fish regularly to see if the insides of fish are cooked through.


Easy vegetarian lasagna

Easy vegetarian lasagna

Easy vegetarian lasagna
Easy lasagna for vegetarians

Author:
Recipe type: dinner

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • organic canned diced tomatoes
  • zucchini
  • eggplant
  • mozzarella
  • pine nuts
  • cheese
  • basil
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions
  1. Slice all vegetables and mozzarella.
  2. Layer all in a casserole sprayed with olive oil, with in between layers of the diced tomatoes in sauce, pine nuts, salt, pepper and basil.
  3. Top it off with a layer of vegetarian cheese.
  4. Put in oven for 30 min or longer until the eggplant is soft.
  5. Enjoy!

 

When I don't have much time but want to eat something simple and delicious, I make this lasagna.

try it yourself and enjoy!

Love, Lonneke

 

easy vegetarian lasagna step 1

easy vegetarian lasagna step 1

Easy vegetarian lasagna step 2
Easy vegetarian lasagna step 2
Easy vegetarian lasagna step 3
Easy vegetarian lasagna step 3
Easy vegetarian lasagna
Easy vegetarian lasagna

Steak Kebabs

 

I know we focus mostly on vegetarian and/or vegan foods on OrganiceYourLife.com, but here's a nice recipe for the Summer with meat-- steak kebabs!  Of course always go for organic, humanly raised meat.

These steak kebabs you can serve with fruits or green salad on the side.  Marinate chunks of steak (organic NY strip steak, filet mignon or sirloin) with Worchester sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, salt, cilantro, and minced garlic for two hours or preferably overnight.  Soak four wooden skewers in water.  Thread the beef chunks and vegetables that you like, such as peppers, portabella mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplants, onions, etc. evenly onto the skewers.  Broil in your oven for about 10-12 minutes depending on how you like your steak done.  Turn the skewers on each side every 3-4 minutes. It's really tasty and easy! Maybe something for the 4th of July?

For those who don't eat meat: you can try it with other food items like seitan or tofu!


The Bamboo Steamer

I have purchased the bamboo steamer few months ago, but never used it till couple of days ago. And WOW! I love it!

What a great kitchen tool! You can steam any kind of veggie. Just pick your favorite. It is so incredibly easy, fast and delicious! It literally takes 3-5 minutes to be ready to eat healthy, nutritious meal.

Last night I made a steamed sweet potatoes and zucchini. Look at this! How beautiful and yummy this looks!

All you have to do is to place your steamer over the pan with a boiling water. Place your already sliced  veggies inside the bamboo steamer. Cover the lid. just like this:

Wait 5 minutes. Ready!

Transfer your veggies on the plate. Add olive oil and sea salt.

You can purchase the bamboo steamer for $14.95 at http://www.williams-sonoma.com/

Bom appetite!

LOVE, VAL


How food affects your daily work

Eating good food and drinking water is important to get through the day, and feel enough energy. -Lonneke Engel

I have said this before!

When I do a photo shoot, I am always excited if I see they have a nutritious lunch, it makes me very happy!

Just like when I worked for a Dutch lingerie company a few months ago. The crew was great and we all had lunch together.

We all agreed the lunch was very tasty, and healthy, and everyone felt energized right after.

I think it showed in the pictures, because when everyone feels their best, they can create the best!

What did we have for lunch?

Unfortunately I only thought of taking pictures of the food when we were almost finished.

But you still see what it was like.

We had fresh sandwiches with a lot of veggies, cheese and meat for the meat- eaters,

A big italian salad with juicy tomatoes, pesto and mozzarella,

Healthy italian salad with pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella

We had different kinds of fresh pastas with tomato sauce or pesto,

There was a plate with all vegetables, including filled grilled peppers with a mix of orzo and black beans (yummy!), light pink beets (the best!) and other vegetables that were maybe a little bit cooked, but still crunchy. In the picture you see a bit of the grilled peppers and some black beans all over the plate, and a part of a sandwich that was left over:

other veggies

It is obvious that simplicity is the key, and that it is not too difficult to eat healthy.

I always encourage clients I work for to order catering with healthy foods, mostly veggies and fruits, for breakfast and lunch, and for snacks, as it will be of influence at the shoot, and makes the shoot go smoother. ( I believe that strongly!)

When I eat croissants in the morning, or heavy foods for lunch, an hour after I ate, I will crash. Seriously, I have fallen asleep ON the set more than on 1 occasion! What I do then is I take a cappuccino to pick me up. But really, I know that the reason I suddenly feel so tired, is the food I just ate. And If I would eat better, I don't have this crash.. And I don't have to drink a drug like coffee to make me feel awake... It made me think...

If you eat heavy foods, that are processed or not fresh, your body needs all its energy to digest it. So that means you will have less energy to do the other things you need to do in a day.

So always make sure you eat a good nutritious lunch and drink plenty of water!

Love, Lonneke


Eating Your Water

With the temperatures heating up in New York City, it is vital to get the right amount of water in daily, as we consist of 60% H20 relative to our weight! So not only should we drink up, but we should also eat up!

I know it can be hard to get the recommended '8 glasses of water a day' for some people, especially if you are out and about, and simply lead an extremely busy lifestyle. I personally try to shoot for a good 10+ glasses, and for most approximately 2 litres a day is minimum! It might seem like a lot, but I do perspire quite a bit in the summer, and I sometimes think I am part camel, as I really do crave water! People laugh at me, but I have to admit it is my favorite beverage :)

But drinking water on its own is not the only source of hydration, as we are surrounded by nutrient dense, and hydrating fruits and vegetables which ultimately contribute to our daily intake of water (not fluids, as you can't count coffee, alcohol or caffeinated tea )

So here is a list of my favorite, water rich foods which you can incorporate into your diet, to contribute to your recommended 8 glasses a day minimum. They are perfect for the summer, and really will leave you nourished, healthy and most importantly hydrated!

- Lettuce (96% water)- all varities. My favorite is crunchy Romaine

-Cucumber (94%)- I have mine in salads, as a snack or I juice it into a green juice! So hydrating.

-Pears- I incorporate them into a juice, or cut them up in my fruit salads

-mushrooms- I can have a mushroom any which way, but prefer them steamed or lightly sauteed

-radishes- perfect in your summer salads, especially delicious with a citrus fruit (grapefruit, arugula, fennel, radish salad)

-watermelon (96%)- Of course:) My ideal summer fruit, and one that I simply cannot get enough of

-pumpkins (93%)- these gorgeous squashes have an extremely high water content, so roast them, make 'pumpkin fries' or simply steam them for a side dish

-broccoli and cauliflower (90%)- My two favorite vegetables. I do have to have them slightly steamed though, but can eat them in the bucket loads.

-spinach (92%)- I blend it into smoothies, juice it, or simply throw it into my salads. The more greens the better!

 

Not only are these foods alive and nutritious, but they taste amazing, consist of antioxidants which contribute to anti-aging, keep you full and contribute to your glow, all the while keeping you hydrating!

Remember to drink and eat your water!

 


World Vegan Day dinner at Caravan of Dreams

I spent November 1st as a Vegan, for World Vegan Day!

I love how the numbers came together this year!   11/1/11.

In the evening Kate, fellow OYL Contributor, and I finished up our day at our favorite organic vegan restaurant, Caravan of Dreams in the East Village.

After the meal, we were all in smile:)

During the dinner, we also talked about another important issue of:  Going Organic to protect our soil's health.

When conventional, commercial farming and GMO farming are practiced, the soil gets heavily damaged.  Especially, when GMO farming is practiced, as it requires a heavy doses of chemical fertilizer and pesticides for it to be productive. In a short span of time, the soil becomes “dead”. There are no longer nutrients and living beings that nurture the soil left. On the other hand, the organic way of production helps to keep nutrients in the soil and nurture the soil to produce the most optimal growing conditions.

We are part of the food chain and we need to protect the health of our soil, where our food grows because at the end of the day it comes back to us in the form of what we nourish our body with.

How do we start and keep it up?  Individually, we might have a very small voice, but we can vote with every dollar we spend, and if more people do the same, we create change. The current trend of people getting into organic food, wanting to be healthy and avoiding unwanted chemicals is a positive start. And this how I started going for organic too.  And when we also think about the soil’s health and the circle of life on the earth as whole, the taste of organic food is better and healthier for your mind and body even more.

Caravan of Dreams

http://www.caravanofdreams.net/

Love,

Munemi