Organic Avenue

Menu

our blog

FEED YOUR BRAIN is our phrase for everything we do to inspire and enable a healthier generation through learning and information. In our stores, we have Feed Your Brain menus, Feed Your Brain wallpaper and now we have our first online example – our Feed Your Brain blog!

Close

>Green Juice Crushes The Urge To Overeat

New Year’s brings us bowl games, a new blast of Artic air, and inevitably long resolution lists that sometimes include green juices. No other resolution lands on more lists more than the vow to lose weight. How do we accomplish the seemingly impossible of losing weight? The best way to lose weight involves closely monitoring your diet. For those who prefer direct language, losing weight means crushing the urge to overeat.

Sweet GreensWhat Is Green Juice?

Green juice comes in many forms, depending on the flavor profile preferences of the person drinking the nutritious concoction. The juices include both fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, as well as replete with vitamins and minerals.

Benefits of Green Juices

Adhering to a green juices regimen produces a number of health benefits. Green juices suppress appetite by supplying the body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to create energy. The fruits and vegetables that comprise this weight loss meal produce antioxidants and phytochemicals that bolster your immune system. Copious amounts of fiber ensure a healthy digestive system. Considerable research results conclude that adhering to a green juices regimen strengthens bones and creates a glowing complexion. Some researchers have also linked the green fruit and vegetable drink to reducing the incidence of cancer, strokes, and heart disease. You reap the health benefits of green juices in only one serving.

The Best Time for Green Juices

Following a green juices diet represents just one element of losing weight. You also need to know when to drink the high energy concoction. Start your day with one serving of the green juices to increase energy levels and receive your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. For appetite supression, make the drink one hour before meals. Health food experts recommend drinking green juices immediately after you blend the ingredients to maximize the health benefits. Once fruit and vegetable juices interact with oxygen, the nutritional values quickly decrease.

 

Looking for DIY green juice? Consider this simple recipe:

4 Shucked Celery Stalks

1 Cucumber

2 Green Apples

6 Kale Leaves

1-Inch Piece Fresh Ginger

1/2 Peeled Lemon

With a food processor and fine blade, blend the ingredients for about 20 seconds to ensure the lemon juice soaks the rest of the ingredients.

Start your green juices regimen today to crush the urge to overeat. After a few months, expect your friends to be green with envy at your weight loss.

>The Most Important New Year’s Resolution: Easy Cleanse Your Body

After the eggnog assaults and punishing body blows caused by champagne, rich foods, and generally things we only put in our digestive systems once a year, the time arrives to rejuvenate your body. How do you accomplish that: by detoxing the impurities in your digestive system, with the help of an easy cleanse.

Not So Fastlove fast cleanse

Some people believe shunning all foods for a short period expunges the poisons that infiltrated our systems during the holidays. Fasting may work for the occasional Buddhist monk, but a detox diet that replenishes diminished vitamin and mineral levels does a much better job, sans the chanting and burning incense. However, you can perform an easy juice cleanse on your body and eliminate the need to eat detox diet foods that make you cringe.

What an Easy Cleanse Does

An easy cleanse produces a more effective digestive system. It does a great job of moving undigested waste through the digestive labyrinth and hence, cleanses the digestive system for the absorption of vital nutrients. Undigested waste creates a fertile breeding ground for bacteria to grow and illnesses to spread. The new and improved digestive system ensures regularity by preventing painful constipation and gas build-ups.

The Positive Effects of an Easy Cleanse

The nutrient absorption benefit from an easy cleanse produces several positive outcomes. Instead of your body using energy to force out undigested waste, your body channels the unused energy to other parts of the body. You enjoy enhanced blood circulation that allows for a significant boost in energy. An easy cleanse also improves your concentration by releasing toxins. Many medical studies demonstrate that cleansing jump starts weight loss, as well as increases fertility. Cleansing eliminates many of the toxins that adversely impact egg development. A large number of naturopaths encourage both partners to receive an easy cleanse before they attempt conception.

The Greatest Easy Cleanse Gift of All

So, none of the aforementioned benefits of an easy cleanse stirs you enough to take action. Well, how about the difference between life and death? All of the toxins that you eat and drink end up in the gastrointestinal system, where they can cause the development of cysts, polyps, and cancerous growths. An easy cleanse performed once per year can make the difference between living a vibrant life and succumbing to debilitating colon cancer.

An easy cleanse should be on every New Year’s resolution list. Some people like to wait until spring, when the fresh air and chirping birds signal the start of renewal. Make sure you spring into your season of renewal by getting an easy cleanse.

>Picking Yourself Up After A Resolution Setback

ice cream  with sprinklesDuring the first week or two of the New Year, folks are usually enthusiastic about implementing their New Year’s resolutions and sticking to them. While some are able to follow through with new behaviors for the time being, others, when faced with challenges, may fall off the wagon and quickly fall back into to old habits and patterns.

Many resolutions are rooted in dietary changes. This is a true challenge. After all, we live in a culture that is bombarded with images of unhealthy processed food. Plus, many of our social situations put us in positions where healthy choices aren’t always an option.

However, fear not!  Your healthy-eating goals are obtainable. With such an abundance of information available on healthy eating right now, connecting to this information and being conscious about food choices is easier than ever before.

The first key to success is recognizing that it’s impossible to be ‘perfect’ all the time. It is possible to achieve our goals – despite one or more ‘setbacks.’

Give Yourself Permission

Let’s say your resolution is to stop eating processed sugar. You find yourself at a birthday party with a plate of brownies that you know are made with white flour and refined sugar. You have a choice. You can either pass on the brownies or consciously choose to enjoy one.

Both options are okay, as long as the one brownie doesn’t open the gate to overindulging.  After you enjoy the treat (slowly, tasting each bite), pause. Picture your long-term goal, and what you look and feel like, both externally and internally, once you’ve achieved it. Use this visualization to get back on track. It’s important to look past instant gratification and picture what the road looks like after the initial satisfaction. Then ask yourself, is a second brownie really worth it? A social situation like this one is also a good learning experience on how to plan ahead next time, bringing a healthier dessert that both you and the other guests will enjoy.

Make It a Team Effort

Gaining the support of those around you can also help to get you back on track regarding your resolutions. Consider recruiting a friend or family member (or a group!) to join you on this new dietary regimen. Accountability will make you more likely to stick to the plan. Plus, it’s more fun to have partners-in-crime to bounce meal plans off of, share recipes and enjoy healthy food with. In addition to cooking in (and frequenting Organic Avenue), try new restaurants that feature high-quality ingredients and plant-based options. Eating out is more fun in a group! These tactics will allow you to integrate your dietary resolution(s) into your social life, so you’re empowered to eat out without being tempted to throw in the towel.

The Power of Forgiveness

Even if you’ve practiced positive visualization or gained support of others, you will still undoubtedly find yourself in stressful and emotional situations throughout the year. During these challenging times, instead of beating yourself up about ‘messing up’ or ‘failing,’ acknowledge what took place, and move on. Don’t adopt the mentality; “I already ate one bad thing, so I’ll just eat junk food for the rest of the day.” Instead, change your focus and do something else that doesn’t involve food. Take a walk around the block, write down what’s stressing you in a journal, call the friend that you’ve been meaning to get in touch with, have a dance party in your room to your favorite song— find any positive outlet to express the underlying emotion triggering the food craving. Once you begin to deal with the root cause, you’ll feel empowered to stick to the healthier eating plan. Above all else—be kind to yourself. After all, you’re human. Forgive yourself—and when you’re ready, get back on track.

>How to Pick Lasting Resolutions

New Year resolutions on post-itsThe start of a new year is always exciting. The prospect of a clean slate, a fresh start if you will, is something most people look forward to. But before we can look forward, it is important to look back and reflect on what we did and didn’t achieve throughout the past year.

Unfortunately, for most of us, our New Year’s resolutions do not end in success. With only an estimated 8% of folks achieving their goals by year end , the numbers are stacked against us. Why? Because the majority of us do not know how to properly make a resolution.

So what’s your New Year’s resolution? Do you want to lose weight? Or maybe quit smoking? Do you want to drink less? While all of these resolutions are rooted in healthy intentions, do they actually matter to you? Or are they more should’s such as, “I should lose weight and quit smoking and drink less.” Should’s don’t make very good resolutions.

The most important step in achieving your New Year’s resolution is picking to work on something that actually matters to you. According to Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal,“ the best resolutions are ones that strengthen something you already are, but you may not have been fully investing in.”

Perhaps instead of wanting to look good in a bikini, you should aim to keep up with your kids on the next family vacation. The key is to be specific about why something matters to you and then ask yourself what steps you need to take in order to achieve your goals.

Think about the different parts of your life – relationships, career, nutrition, physical activity, spirituality, finances, creativity, etc. – and write down how satisfied you are with each of these aspects. Is there an area that sticks out that may need some work? Identify one small step you can take towards improving this aspect of your life and you have just given yourself an achievable resolution.

Resolutions, intentions, and goals are not just for January 1st. It’s never the wrong time to set a resolution. To improve your odds of success, tackle one thing at a time, reward your accomplishments in a healthy fashion and build off of your achievements.

Want to learn more about achieving and keeping your New Year’s Resolutions? Attend our Wellness Workshop on Tuesday, January 13th at our store at 254 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010 (21st Street).

RSVP:
RSVP@organicavenue.com

>Healthy Ideas for New Year’s Eve

holiday sparklerWhen you think about it logically, the dates we choose to start a new exercise regimen or healthy lifestyle change are completely arbitrary.  The day to begin is today.  Like this minute.  But if you are like most people and looking to stall a little bit, you can wait for January 1. Heck, the New Year is as good a time as any to get started.  These healthy ideas for New Year’s Eve will help you from partying too hard and aid your transition into your health-related resolutions.

 

Booze Control

Of course it would be best if we stuck to water and green juice on New Year’s Eve, but for most of us, that’s not realistic. A couple of glasses of high-quality alcohol, consumed relatively slowly over the course of the evening, will not hold you back from reaching your wellness goals.

The best choices for minimal hangover symptoms would be organic wine (red or white), sake, cognac or triple-distilled vodka. We love mixing organic sake with our Ginger Lemonade for a healthier signature cocktail—always a crowd pleaser.

You can raise a glass of champagne to ring in 2015, but you may only want to have a small sip to maintain your healthy ideas for New Year’s Eve. Carbonated drinks like champagne, beer, and tonic water mess with digestion and create gas pressure in the body. Stick to the alcoholic beverages listed above for minimal bloat and discomfort. Organic vodka on the rocks, please!

 

Grab the Greens

Getting some water-containing green veggies in your system first thing, whether it’s a plate of salad or crudité with guacamole, will help to balance out the indulgences later in the evening (bonus points for loading up on green juice in the AM).

The enzymes and water content in the veggies will help the less-than-perfect foods and substances that follow to leave the body more easily.

Among out list of healthy ideas for New Year’s Eve is to grab a handful of celery and/or carrot sticks before your first glass of wine. It can make a world of difference!

 

Hydration is EVERYTHING

As you enjoy the NYE festivities, make sure you’re getting a glass of pure water down the hatch in between each cocktail to keep your cells happy. This commitment to hydration will also help minimize unwanted hangover symptoms the morning after.

Start your New Year’s Day off right (after some sleep, hopefully) with lots of water, Coconut Water and green juice to bring the body’s pH back to balance.

Need some assistance or just an extra push? Stop into an Organic Avenue location to consult with a trusted Advisor to put together a juice regimen that works for you—a positive first step into a healthier 2015.

>The Magic Elixir: Cold-Pressed Juice

For years, you thought ditching the soda and drinking store-bought juice was doing something healthy for yourself. Then, you started reading labels and researching ingredients, and were mortified by what you were finding. So, you bought a high-speed blender, and started making your own smoothies and juices with fresh ingredients. You definitely noticed the difference! So, now you are hearing all this discussion about cold-pressed juices, and your curiosity is piqued. Are they really so much better than what you are already drinking?

 

What Is Cold-Pressed Juice?

green love and chlorophyll booster shot

“Elixir” is definitely the word you are hearing floating around juice bars and in the lobby of your yoga studio. You have probably heard cold-pressed juices associated with cleansing and detox, weight loss, immune boosting properties, and liver enzymes. Sounds great, but are they really worth their price tag?

Fruits and vegetables are oxidized in the creation of traditional juices. The grinding action literally destroys enzymes. There is a reason why you can throw a bunch of ingredients in a Vitamix, turn it on high for 5 minutes, and have hot soup. The blades heat while they cut. As soon as you slice a fruit, nutrients are lost.

True to their name, cold-pressed juices are just that: pressed! This allows all the nutrients and enzymes to stay intact, thereby fueling your body with the absolute healthiest juice possible.

 

Benefits

  • Balance – Cold-pressed juices are especially essential during the holiday season because they will help balance out those heavy meals and drinks.
  • Digestion – Minimal digestive energy is required to process juice pressed from raw fruits and vegetables. It is essentially pretty much digested already, so it’s easy on your system.
  • Nutrients – You are at a holiday party, and all your favorite indulgences are staring you in the face. So, you skip your salad and pass on the vegetable tray to make room for the special treats that only come around once a year. This is the season when people are most prone to illness. You need your nutrients. Drink them down in a single shot, like what you get in our Booster 6-Pack.
  • Liver Cleansing – The liver is probably the most overworked and unappreciated organ in the body. All the toxins you are exposed to every day end up in your liver. Doesn’t it deserve to be cleaned out occasionally with a cold-pressed juice cleanse?
  • Feel Great – “You are what you eat!” is a saying you probably laughed at when you were young. Once you fuel your body the right away, you see just how good you are capable of feeling mentally and physically. You will have increased energy and better mental clarity. Your stress will be reduced, and you will just feel better all around. Once you start drinking cold-pressed juices, you will agree that they are worth every penny, and then some. If you don’t invest in your health, who will?

>Heart-Warming Winter Foods

Winter foods conjure up visions of heavy meats and rich sauces. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many fruits and vegetables grown in your local climate that will serve your body’s needs and keep you energized – warding off the winter blues.

While there are undoubtedly more farmer’s markets held during the warmer months, your local farm is likely selling items all throughout the year.  Buying directly from the farm cuts out the middleman, helping you save money.  It also has the benefit of being picked in a riper state because it travels a shorter distance, making these foods more nutrient dense than their well-traveled counterparts.

Here’s a look at some of our favorite winter foods for lasting health throughout the coldest season of the year.

 

root vegetables on white background

Root Vegetables

Grown underground, many Eastern cultures value the grounding aspects of heartier winter vegetables such as beets, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and turnips.  These starchy veggies provide our bodies with powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Looking for a quick home-cooked meal? Chop up a variety of root vegetables, coat with coconut oil, and roast in the oven at 450 degrees. Rather let someone cook for you? Stop into Organic Avenue for a heartwarming cup of hot Carrot Ginger soup that will help you through a cold or flu thanks to anti-inflammatory ginger and immunity-boosting Vitamin C.

 

Spices

Spice up your winter foods by skipping the salt and seasoning your meals with a variety of medicinal spices.

At any Organic Avenue, you will find complimentary hot sauce and cayenne pepper to give your plant-based dish a hot kick of medicinal flavor. Capsaicin found in hot peppers helps increase your circulation, keeping your extremities warmer on frigid days.

Turmeric, found in curry dishes like our Shredded Curried Cabbage, is a strong anti-inflammatory that can help improve digestion, joint pain, and even soothe your weatherworn skin.

 

Fermented Foods

Keeping a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria is a powerful tool to overall wellness. A healthy supply of probiotics helps improve your digestion, which in turn can increase energy levels, clear skin, and keep you healthy during cold and flu season.

Drinking green juice every day provides a healthy dose of prebiotics which can help your healthy gut flora flourish.

Incorporating these winter foods into your diet this season, served hot or cold, will help you come out of the next polar vortex healthier and happier.

>Holiday Cocktails

The holiday season is officially upon us, and whether you’re a teetotaling CrossFitter or a downright party animal, you’ve probably already indulged in a cocktail or two (or ten)!

Before you officially throw in the towel on your 2014 wellness goals and start main-lining eggnog for the next month, consider these tips for healthier holiday cocktails.

holiday drinks

It’s crucial to drink water before and after parties as well as between alcoholic beverages. Hydrating will often help slow your pace of imbibing and ease your next-day hangover symptoms.

If going for wine, look for biodynamic wines from small producers. Not sure what to look for? Your local wine shop sommelier can point you in the right direction by telling you more about how the wine was produced.

Avoid mixing hard liquor with soda or packaged sugary mixers that contain added preservatives and colorings. All of those questionable ingredients, along with the extra sugar, can burden your liver — even more than a regular alcoholic beverage will anyhow.

For your next holiday soirée, pick up delicious and healthy cold-pressed juices from Organic Avenue to use as mixers for crowd-pleasing cocktails and mocktails. Your drinks will taste better and your party attendees will feel better.  Some of our staff-favorite combos include Palomas, made with our cold-pressed grapefruit juice and organic tequila or bubbly mimosas, made with our deliciously sweet organic orange juice.

If you’re feeling more ambitious try out our take on a classic holiday cocktail…

Hot Turmeric Toddy

Serves 2

 

In a saucepan, heat the Turmeric Tonic and Lemon Shot until simmering. Pour into two glass mugs and add whisky and a spoonful of honey to each glass. Sprinkle a pinch of cayenne pepper on top before serving.

Hot Toddy’s are a winter classic — traditionally given to those suffering from coughs and colds. Our version is even more medicinal with the addition of anti-inflammatory turmeric and circulation-increasing cayenne pepper.

Stop by any Organic Avenue this season to pick up party supplies.  While you’re there, ask any of our amazing advisors how to cure a hangover and they will get you started with a Coconut Water and an E3 Live Shot – just be sure to get enough for your loved ones, too!

 

>Healthy Holiday Eating: Dealing With Dietary Restrictions

Holiday Table Setting. CelebrationHealthy holiday eating is a challenge for everyone, so when you’ve adopted a specific dietary regimen such as vegetarian, vegan, paleo etc. — or have a food allergy or sensitivity such as gluten, dairy, etc. — dining at a social gathering can feel downright overwhelming.

The dilemma: you want to be respectful to the host and feel connected to the group, but at the same time you want to eat foods that promote good health, not compromise it.

No need to worry! Healthy holiday eating is possible.  Using these tips you can have fun and stick to your dietary protocol.

 

Plan Ahead

As soon as you know where your gatherings are taking place and who’s in charge of the menus—call or text ahead. Find out what they’re planning on serving and ask how you can contribute. Rather than bring food just for yourself, arrive with a couple of your favorite dishes to share with all of the guests. Not only will you be nourishing your body, but also inspiring the other guests to usher in healthier habits for the New Year. We can’t tell you how many times our simple massaged kale salad has been the first bowl empty on the Christmas Eve buffet table! Times are a-changing. People want to be healthier. You may be surprised by the influence your commitment to wellness has on those around you.

No Judgment

It should be clear that your decision to commit to healthy holiday eating, is in no way a criticism of some of the dishes your family and friends will choose to enjoy. You’ve simply made a very personal decision to respect your body.  If someone at the party (even your loving Grandma) questions your choice of eating (or not eating) a particular food, simply respond, “I feel better eating this way,” or “This is what I’ve found works for me.” If that doesn’t do it, perhaps “I’m allergic to xyz ingredient” (even if you’re not technically allergic). What you don’t want to do is get defensive or start an argument—not the ideal way to spread holiday cheer. Those who are supportive may even be open to learning a thing or two about healthier eating—just make sure to let them initiate.

Find Balance

If you don’t have a legitimate food intolerance, perhaps you can make a conscious decision to be more flexible with your dietary regime around the holidays. This will allow you to indulge, while establishing a “home base” to return to after every dinner and cocktail party. The focus can then be on enjoying the company of friends and family. Bring a dish you know you’ll be able to eat, and let your intuition take care of the rest.

 

Healthy holiday eating comes down to desire and commitment. But it’s not for everyone. Ask yourself what is important to you AND what makes you happy. With the right attitude and planning, these two things can happily coexist.

 

>Bread Doesn’t Have to Be a Diet Killer

WStacked Organic Avenue sandwicheshen you were a child, your nightmares probably consisted of the Abominable Snowman chasing you home from school or clowns hiding under your bed (blame the parental units for that one). As an adult, your nightmares are a little different. You merely look at a piece of bread and it’s like kryptonite. You can’t look away, and even though you don’t give into the temptation to devour it, you watch your waistline grow before your very eyes as the bread suddenly disappears. After all, if Maggie Burroughs was able to pull Freddy Krueger out of the dream world when she woke up, is it so unthinkable that the bread haunting you in your sleep is ending up on your hips?

So, what do you do? You avoid bread like the plague. Push it out of your mind, so you forget what it looks like. Turn the channel when there is a sandwich commercial on TV. You might even actually tell yourself you hate bread over-and-over, hoping to convince that inner voice.

Stop it! Just stop trying to hate something you are always going to have a deep love for. Bread does not have to be the enemy. You simply need to eat the right bread. Yes, there really is such a thing!

 

Bread Alone

Okay, that loaf of white bread in the grocery store should haunt you in your sleep. It’s toxic, and it’s definitely scarier than clowns (maybe tied). If you are going to treat yourself to bread, it should actually be good for you. Bread Alone makes loaves that are hand-crafted, healthy, and organic. Local produce and fresh grains are used and the bread is cooked in wood-fired ovens. These breads make you feel like you are cheating even though you’re not, which is why Organic Avenue will be offering four drool-inducing sandwiches with bread by Bread Alone.

 

Your Taste Buds Will Thank You

You are going to want to try all four of these sandwiches. We just launched an almond butter and cranberry sandwich (our AB&J), along with our version of the classic tuna salad and egg salad sandwiches on nine-mixed grain bread. We already serve the vegan tuna salad on wheat and collard wraps, and it is one of our best sellers. These are sandwiches that will take you to your happy place. Who says bread has to break a diet!