If you follow me @thisisgrounded, you already know that juice cleansing is not part of my regular wellness routine. Until last week, I had never even done a juice cleanse.But then I met Darleen Gross, Culinary Director at Organic Pharmer, former personal chef to Gwyneth Paltrow and part of the founding team of M Cafe LA's award-winning macrobiotic restaurant, and decided to give juicing a try.
As chefs, inspiration comes directly from the landscape of the season. Autumn inspires with vivid colors, leaves and pine needles carpeting yards and rooftops, and earthy aromas punctuating the crisp morning air. We are drawn to the farmer’s market to revel in the bounty of fresh vegetables local growers pull from the healthy, organic soils just a short drive from our kitchen door.
When it comes to juicing, cold-pressed is best. At Organic Pharmer, all of our juices are cold-pressed. Why? Most juicers expose vegetables to a high-velocity roto-chamber of razor-sharp cutting blades. While cold-pressing is a gentle, two-step process: slow-grind the veggies to a pulp, and then apply pressure to extract the most vital, nutritious and supremely delicious raw juice possible.
After a cool and rainy August, the run-up to the first day of fall has been welcomingly warm and sunny. While eighty degrees and clear skies may still be beach weather, fall is definitely upon us. The days are getting shorter, the kids are back in school, and pumpkin spice is everywhere.
I spend a lot of time just thinking about how to “wow” our dedicated gluten and allergen-conscious crowd. All the good stuff we bring to the table - the sweet treats, breads and other baked goods, as well as the rest of the Organic Pharmer menu – they all start as a simple idea for something we think people will love!
One thing I’ve noticed when talking to patients is that, despite the prevalence of the word “organic,” many people don’t actually know what it means or are confused. Organic produce is grown without conventional pesticides/herbicides, harsh chemicals or bioengineering while organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy come from animals that have been allowed to graze on pastures, are fed 100% organic feed and are not given growth hormones or antibiotics. As a result, going organic helps you avoid toxins, hormones and antibiotics which can negatively impact and disrupt the body in several ways.
Celiac disease is a very specific autoimmune illness that is defined by damage to the villi of the small intestines. The trigger for this damaging immune reaction is gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, spelt, rye and kamut. The conventional dogma is that if you don’t have this intestinal damage you don’t have a gluten problem. Wrong! It turns out that gluten can trigger other immune reactions and symptoms without any damage to the small intestine, thus you can test negative for celiac, but still be gluten intolerant. And there is good evidence that gluten is associated with other autoimmune diseases as well, like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves disease.
Big news! Organic Pharmer is adding a few fish and chicken items to the menu. Although we believe strongly in plant-based diets, some of our customers have asked for dishes that contain more protein. There are also some that can't tolerate legumes because of digestive issues.
Spring has sprung – almost – so it’s time to peel off the winter layers and give your skin a little TLC. Of course that means using different topical products but it also means treating your skin from the inside, too. At 22-square feet, it’s your largest organ and an active, living part of your body. Because it is constantly exposed to the environment, your skin can get damaged from the sun, pollution, cold and hot temperatures and wind, among other things. To help it recover and stay healthy, you need to eat lots of healthy fats and antioxidants because these nutrients feed your skin cells through the blood stream. Foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oil and flaxseed oil can hydrate dry skin while antioxidants protect it from free radical damage and aging.
Last night’s Oscars broadcast may have brought out the best dressed in Hollywood, but when it comes to ‘best dressed” we think our organic house-made salad dressings should have a red carpet of their own.
When it comes to nutrients that are important for heart health, antioxidants top the list. In general, they provide all your tissues and cells with the ultimate protection from something called free radicals.