Browsing Tag

sugar free


Why I love juices & smoothies

July 9, 2014

Ahh, summertime. All you wanna do is be at the beach or by a pool and sipping something cool and refreshing.

healthy and easy green smoothie recipe

A simple green smoothie

My go to for hot weather is definitely juices and smoothies! Sadly I do not have a juicer and cannot make my own juices (one day I will own a juicer!) but I do have an awesome blender and love experimenting with different smoothie combos. Smoothies and juices are wonderful as you can pack them full of nutrient dense fruit and veg. As much as I love salads and chomping away on fresh fruit, it’s really nice to have a small snack which is full of goodness and also easy to take on the road with me if I have a particularly busy day.

Healthy Juices and Smoothies

green juice from suja juice is a great travel snack

Suja ‘Glow’ juice – my fave on the go companion!

delicious green juice from vive juicery in Salt Lake City

‘The Hulk’ juice from Vive Juicery, Salt Lake City – contains blue-green algae!

Although I love both juices and smoothies, there is a slight difference to the two. Juices do not contain the fiber of the fruit which can make it easier on your digestive system, but you obviously do not get the benefits of fiber (which include keeping you full, keeping your bowels moving hehe and lots of other good stuff). Smoothies on the other hand do contain the fiber of the fruit and veg, but they are a little bit heavier on the stomach, but not by much as the fruits and veggies are still easily digestible since they have been blended up. It really depends on your preference whether or not to choose a smoothie over a juice or vice versa, but both are great options. The best way to enjoy a juice or a smoothie is to of course make your own, but time does not always allow! When choosing a smoothie or a juice, the most important thing to look at is the ingredients list. Make sure that the smoothie or juice contains nothing but a dairy or non dairy base, fruits and veg. If you see something like ‘sugar, cane sugar’ or etc, run!! Many juices and smoothies are already so naturally sweet from the fruit in it that there is simply no need to add any more sugar. So avoid brands that do. My juice brands are definitely Suja Juice and Project Juice as they do not have any added sugar in them.

Greenhopping is a fabulous app that lets you locate green juice bars, so definitely make sure to download it when you can.

delicious turmeric mylk juice from Project Juice in San Francisco

Turmeric Mylk is so yummy and unique!

delicious dtox juice from Project Juice in San Francisco

Mmm, my fave Project Juice drink

delicious Swiss Beetz juice from Project Juice in San Francisco

The juice that made me loves beets again πŸ˜€

Okay soooo if you want to make your own smoothie, I can definitely help with that. Sadly, I do not have my own juicer but I have found that a lot of juice places let you choose your own blend of juice and what to put in which is really cool.

Anyway, the basics of making a smoothie are:

  • the base liquid (this could be water, coconut water, brewed green tea, milk, coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk or another of your choice)
  • fruit (I prefer to use frozen fruit in a smoothies; choose away from any fruit such as bananas, strawberries, blueberries. Dates are a yummy addition too)
  • vegetables (optional, but makes the smoothie so much better; choose from cucumber, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, romaine lettuce and etc)
  • healthy fats (optional; choose from natural peanut butter, coconut oil, avocado, flax seeds, chia seeds and etc)
  • protein powder (optional for those looking for a more filling smoothie, I use vanilla whey protein powder)
  • citrus (lemon juice, lime juice, oranges and etc)

So there you have it! Feel free to add anything else your heart desires. I have seen some pretty unique additions to smoothies such as spirulina, chlorella and maca powder. The world is your oyster when it comes to smoothies. My favorite smoothie is pictured below and is made up of frozen bananas, unsweetened almond milk, lime juice, spinach, and vanilla whey protein powder topped with fresh mango.

easy homemade st patricks day green smoothie with mango

I hope you enjoyed this post! I love making, drinking and buying these healthy juices and smoothies, and I just wanted to share with you all why I loved them as much as I do. If you already make juices or smoothies, what is your fave combination?

Honestly yours,



GreenHopping App

June 10, 2014

I had the good fortune to bump into Catherine Cuello, founder of the GreenHopping App, when I went to Project Juice a few weeks ago (recap can be found here). Funny how life works out like that, although I suppose it’s not crazy to think that two like-minded health and wellness individuals could meet in a juice shop in San Francisco πŸ™‚

We got talking and I discovered that Catherine is the creator of this innovative and nifty app, which helps you locate green juice bars and plant-based restaurants … how cool is that?! At present, the GreenHopping App can only be used in New York but it will be launching nation-wide in the United States on June 30th and there are plans for expansion to Europe and Canada!

Catherine was kind enough to let me ask her some questions about GreenHopping and their mission, I hope you find it as interesting and informative as I did!

GreenHopping App

Hi there, Catherine! Tell us a bit about what the GreenHopping App is, and how it works.

GreenHopping is an application for mobile devices that assists consumers to locate healthy, green juice bars and plant-based restaurants. GreenHopping’s database contains over 1000 juice and vegan-friendly establishments (900 in the United States and over 100 others in Europe and Canada), with almost 370 in New York City alone. The “app” has been previewed on CBS, FOX, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan Magazine, among others.

It’s connected to your phone GPS system, so it will know exactly where you’re standing and will place green pins on the map for you to find and/or can draw a route for you to get there. You can also browse menus, view the tip of the day section, and by the end of 2014 – actually purchase your green juice or plant-based meal over the app and opt to have it delivered or picked up.

Where did the inspiration for GreenHopping come from?

The inspiration for the app is rooted in my own eating habits and lifestyle, which were a direct result of a health scare I suffered in 2012 at age 23. I lost my left ovary to a malignant germ cell tumor and opted to go “natural” and recover from surgery with a raw food diet and green juices. It’s been an amazing self-discovery journey full of a-ha! moments with lots of inspirational and beautiful people along the way.

What do you think made GreenHopping take off?

I think it’s a combination of the demand for more healthy food options and peoples awareness about the powerful connection food has on the body and mind. Once you start eating healthy and realize how much better you feel, you don’t want to stop. The app is a great tool to keep it up, feel inspired, and empowered. We want to bring the greens to the people. And since everyone is on their mobiles these days, it’s the perfect way to achieve it!!

Tell us a little bit about the brains behind GreenHopping.

I couldn’t have done ANY of it without my partner’s support (he’s also the co-founder of the company and we met 2 weeks after my transition to raw and vegan in Miami) and my mother’s encouragement, love, and faith. My high-school best friend and my dad have also been pivotal as they’re my go to people when I want to cry and complain! It has been incredible and so self-gratifying – the fact that I know this can help other people means everything to me. So yes, the “brains” are combined brains because no man is an island … and we all need some love and support to make things happen! But, I’m definitely determined and won’t stop when I put my mind to something!

What is your lifestyle like? Could you describe a day in the life of Catherine Cuello?  

Raw till dinner, occasional sprouted breads when I’m in the mood for that, and juices and smoothies all day long! I love it! Dinner is usually black rice or quinoa with oven baked kale … olive oil, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and a little sea salt! When I want to β€œsplurge” it’s usually with Ezequiel raisin bread, raw almond butter, and bananas or some oven baked potatoes with cashew cream.  I stay away from all  things processed including tempeh and tofu.

Catherine Cuello founder of GreenHopping App


Catherine Cuello founder of GreenHopping App

What’s the deal with green smoothies and green juices? Why should people take notice of them?    

They are an amazing way to intake nutrients and vitamins. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes, to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. It’s powerful and great for your day-to-day energy levels and health. Plus, there are so many combinations you can make that it never gets boring.    Nature is amazing!

Favourite homemade and bought green juice/smoothie drink?  

Hmmmm … well  on a daily basis I have a smoothie made of: blueberries, strawberries, sometimes cherries, banana, spinach, coconut water and chia seeds. Juice is always kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, ginger, mint, lemon. However, I LOVE Paleta’s strawberry β€œmilk” shake and Pressed Juicery’s almond milk. They are incredibly good and do not have any agave or coco sugar! In New York, I am a big fan of LoveGrace’s probiotic smoothie (sooo good) and of LuliTonix’s green blends β€“ she uses figs to sweeten her blends and it’s great!

Favorite vegan restaurant?  

That’s easy… Gracias Madre! Greens in San Francisco is delicious too and One Lucky Duck and Hangawi in NYC are also pretty mind‐blowing. Oh,and the Butcher’s Daughter!

How can we help make health a priority for those who may not be interested?  

That’s part of GreenHopping’s mission. We believe that an 80% plant-based diet is necessary in order to be in good health and be prepared to face the complexities of today’s way of living. GreenHopping strives to motivate consumers to think twice about what they eat and encourage them to reject packaged or processed food. Our mission is to help inspire lifestyle changes by facilitating access to healthy food and by educating consumers about the beneficial effects of eating a plant-based diet. Our goal is to create change via technology, by introducing a more ‘natural’ lifestyle in a way that’s accessible and applicable to today’s consumer habits via a mobile food locator and delivery platform. Lastly, common diseases like obesity, cancer and cardiovascular diseases are directly linked with nutrition … we all need to start paying attention sooner or later.

What health trends do you think will appear in the next few years?    

A demand for organic, gluten-free and dairy-free food establishments or products! I think this trend will be evident in Europe as well. The whole world is catching on.

What can we expect from GreenHopping in the future?  

A mobile payment system! Until healthy food becomes more abundant in all neighbourhoods, GreenHopping wants to be the #1 access provider for finding healthy food.

Second, GreenHopping would like to push our grassroots initiative: encouraging grocers and supermarket chains that are frequented by food stamp recipients to provide greener, healthier choices, and to gain the support of green juice companies to 1) donate products to schools and become their “sponsor”, and 2) have them expand their product distribution to areas in need.

Third, community initiatives such as farmers markers, urban farming, urban agriculture education, and mobile food vans can help fill the gap through local partnerships and collaborations.

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Catherine, co-founder of GreenHopping! If you want to connect with GreenHopping, their website is and they can be found on various social media networks including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

GreenHopping AppGH_banner_33x79 trade show

Honestly yours,

Friday Fare

Friday Fare – Thai Laab Moo Fresh Rolls

May 23, 2014

Well this is exciting! Not only do I get to share a lovely Thai recipe with you all, I get to show you a way to put a spin on this classic recipe. Rather proud of myself for thinking of this if I must say so myself. Get ready to make Thai Laab Moo Fresh Rolls!

Thai Laab Moo Fresh Rolls

Okay so for all of you who are unfamiliar with Thai cuisine, laab moo (ΰΈ₯าบหฑู) is essentially a minced pork spicy salad containing shallots, lots of lime juice, cilantro, mint, chilli flakes and garlic. The herbs and lime juice make for a delicious and healthy recipe, and the minced pork means that it is a meal high in protein. In a traditional laab moo recipe, you will find that they add toasted sticky rice but I omitted that in this recipe to keep it lower carb and to keep the recipe easy as pie.

The addition of rice paper rolls is a great way to enjoy laab moo and a way to get some more veggies into you. I really don’t like lettuce all that much but hey, put it into a rice paper roll and I will eat it right up. Rice paper rolls have some magical properties to make things I don’t like edible I guess (no, it’s because then I can dip it in yummy peanut sauce … shh).

However, I added spinach to this recipe because I seriously have a love affair with spinach – it is high in antioxidants, fiber, protein (3g for 2 cups of raw spinach), and plenty of minerals including but not limited to vitamin A, C, K, calcium and so much more.

Thai Laab Moo Fresh Rolls
Experience the taste of Thai with these refreshing yet tangy fresh rolls!
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  1. 2 rice paper rolls
  2. 4 oz lean minced pork
  3. 1 1/2-2 cups spinach
  4. 1/4 cup vermicelli noodles (not necessary but the rolls are a bit wet without them)
  5. 1 shallot diced
  6. 2 garlic cloves mashed
  7. 1 lime
  8. 1 tbsp fish sauce
  9. 5-10 cilantro leaves
  10. 5 mint leaves
  11. 1/2 tsp-1tbsp chilli flakes (please adjust to YOUR spice levels)
  1. 1. Get your minced pork and squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime onto the meat and let it marinade for 30 mins to 1 hour. Prepare you vermicelli noodles while you wait according the directions.
  2. 2. Get a frying pan/wok and put on high heat for 1 minute. Now, get 1tbsp of water and splash onto the pan. It should start sizzling and evaporating, and if so your pan is hot enough. Add the pork to the pan (be careful!!) and cook until the meat turns a grey color and there is no more pink. Once the pork is done put it into a bowl.
  3. 3. Add the diced shallot, mashed garlic cloves, fish sauce, cilantro leaves, mint, chili flakes, and juice from the remaining 1/2 lime into the pork mixture.
  4. 4. Get your rice paper rolls ready. If they are dry, then run them under hot water for 30 seconds - 1 minute until they soften. Lay the rice paper rolls out and put 1 cup of spinach on each roll followed evenly distribute the vermicelli noodles.
  5. 5. Sieve the pork mixture (save the juice in a separate bowl) and now add the pork mixture on top of the spinach. Roll everything up.
  6. 6. Enjoy and use the juice from the pork mixture as a tangy dipping sauce!
Honestly Fitness
Thai Laab Moo Fresh Rolls

Yeah. not an expert at making rolls but I will be with practice!

Thai Laab Moo Fresh Rolls

I hope you enjoyed this meal as much as I did! I added way way WAY too much chilli flakes (being in America has weakened my ability to handle spice) but hey, apparently spicy foods boost your metabolism …

Honestly yours,