I know I shouldn’t be eating this but…

Please enjoy today’s article from Elaina Love, author of three recipe books and founder of Pure Joy Planet and Pure Joy Academy as the guest columnist every Friday in the Journey Back to Self  Blog. ~ Chris

21 Days to Break the Habit! Part 1 of 3
A 3-week path to more mindful eating habits

We’ve all heard it before, “chew your food until its liquid”, “don’t watch television while you eat”, and “put your fork down in between bites”; don’t eat fried foods, blah, blah, blah…

These are all well and good as far as a theory goes, but when the fork meets the fudge, what is actually going on in our heads? Stress and hurriedness is a big part of our modern life, and it is most likely here to stay. So instead of trying to resist what persists why not just go around it for a moment or two? What I mean by this is that even though life is busy and we have lots to do every day, we can still carve out a few precious moments to ourselves, and mealtime might just be one of those perfect moments.

You don’t need to start by thinking that each meal has to be the perfect mindful meal, or that you can never watch TV or read a magazine while eating, because that is just unrealistic. What you can do though is take even one part of that meal (perhaps the first 5 minutes) to check in, breathe and be grateful. For the next seven days in this 21 day journey, practice the 4 Bs of mindfulness around eating:

  1. Be curious:  Am I hungry? This is a good question to ask before you go looking for something to eat. Especially if it is a snack vs. a meal. Sometimes though, even meals can be eaten mindlessly and not out of true hunger just because it’s mealtime. So before loading your plate or picking up your fork ask 3 simple words: “Am I hungry?”
  2. Breathe:  This leads to my second principle. You may decide, even though you are not hungry, and even though you think it might not be the healthiest choice, instead of saying “I know I shouldn’t be eating this but…” Take a moment to stop thinking any negative thought and take a deep breath (or 3). A long, slow breath. If possible just close your eyes for 1-2 seconds (try it now). That’s it! Now your heart may be beating just a bit slower and you may be a little more present before taking that first slooow bite. Enjoy it!
  3. Be grateful:  Take a moment to say thank you (silently or shared with your family or friends) to the abundance that you are about to enjoy. Who grew your food? Who picked your food? Who drove your food to the store? Who prepared your food? How are you able to afford to buy this food? Just take a moment to say thank you to just one person who contributed to your meal.
  4. Begin Again:  I love the words of Esther Hicks (Abraham-hicks.com) “I can begin again.” If you forgot where you are or what you are doing and you find yourself half way into a container of ice cream with no idea how you got there. STOP! Start at step 1 and begin again.

Bringing Pure Joy and Gourmet Bliss to the Planet,
Elaina Love
Elaina Love is the Owner/Director of PureJoyPlanet.com and is also a professional Chef, Instructor, and Detox Counselor at Pure Joy Culinary Academy. She is a Lifestyle Counselor, co-owner of Pure Joy Academy.

Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

Overcoming Food Sensitivities with Healthy Choices

Please enjoy today’s article from Elaina Love, author of three recipe books and founder of Pure Joy Planet and Pure Joy Academy as the guest columnist every Friday in the Journey Back to Self Blog. ~ Chris

Food is many things to many people. It is a source of entertainment, a source of comfort, a source of energy, and something to help us get through times of stress.

Food is important to our physical, mental and emotional well being. Therefore, it affects our entire way of life when food sensitivities develop.

Sensitivities cause physical reactions to food and can be as mild as hot feet and as severe as depression or anaphylactic shock. Many times attempts are made to cover symptoms with a “band aid” such as pharmaceuticals, pills, herbs, and even surgery. This may temporarily “fix” the problem, but in the end, you can never be truly healthy unless you find out why your body is doing what it is doing.

By becoming more aware of what you eat and how it affects your body, you can find many clues to why you may be experiencing less than optimal results from your dietary choices.

Before discovering my own food allergies, I was cranky, had severe eczema, painful PMS that lasted for days, lower back pain, arthritis, gas, bloating, fatigue and depression. I thought it was just something I had to live with. I had no idea that I had the power to cure myself.

According to www.DrSears.com, some food allergy symptoms include:  swelling in hands and feet, puffy eyelids, dark circles under eyes, tongue soreness and cracks, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, persistent cough, congestion, mucous, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gassiness, fatigue, migraine headaches, irritability, anxiety and sore muscles and joints.

The top seven food allergies from which 90 percent of all food allergies can be attributed to are:

To find out if you are reacting to certain foods you can either get a blood test which may be convenient but can be expensive running $500 or more, or do your own research by eliminating the foods from your diet for a week, then reintroducing one food at a time and noticing any reactions.

After I determined which foods I was allergic to, I had some decisions to make. I could either choose to keep eating those foods and live with the symptoms, or decide my health and well-being were more important to me than anything else. The offending foods for me were wheat, eggs, dairy and soy. Because I was a vegetarian who ate meat substitutes which were made with wheat, dairy or soy, my food choices appeared to be severely limited. I began making recipes from allergy free cookbooks, and I looked for prepared and packaged foods that were allergy free. While meticulously reading the labels, looking for the offending ingredients, I found that wheat, eggs and dairy are in countless numbers of packaged foods. Even soy sauce and licorice contain wheat!

During this time I discovered a book on intestinal cleansing. It contained testimonials that inspired me to try an intestinal cleanse for myself. After a month, I had an amazing increase in my energy and many of my previous symptoms were gone. The biggest surprise though, was not what I expected. I thought that after I cleansed my body and got rid of the allergies, I would go back to my “normal” life. That is not what happened. During the cleanse, I discovered raw, living foods made from a base of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. It was the answer to my prayers. Not only did these newly discovered recipes contain none of my reactive foods, they were also so satisfying that they quickly replaced the old comfort foods. I completely transformed my diet and discovered a whole new lifestyle. It is exciting to eat comforting foods that make me feel good and are highly nutritious.

After completing several cleanses and eating primarily raw, living foods, I am now able to eat foods I was previously allergic to and feel just fine. I will never go back to my previous eating habits though because grains and starches make me tired and slow me down, and dairy makes me feel bloated and stuffed-up when eaten on a regular basis. On a diet consisting of mostly raw, living foods, I have increased energy and I look and feel better than I did several years ago.

There are many wonderful resources for making changes for the better in your diet. Some of the resources are listed here.

Websites:  For more information on food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances go to www.food-allergy.org, www.livingwithout.com and www.askdrsears.com. For more information on raw, living foods, go to www.purejoylivingfoods.com and www.rawfoodchef.com.

Books:  Cleanse and Purify Thyself by Richard Anderson, The Food Allergy Cure by Ellen W. Cutler
Magazines:  Living Without

This recipe is recommended for people with dairy sensitivities:

Nut or Seed Milk or Cream


By Elaina Love

Almonds are packed with calcium, fiber, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin and Vitamin E (source: The Food Lover’s Companion)

1 cup soaked almonds, sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds (1/2+ cup before soaking)
1 to 3 cups water (less for cream, more for milk)
2 -4 medium dates or 2-4 Tbsp. sweetener of choice (optional)
1 tsp.
Blend all ingredients on high until well blended.

Pour through The Amazing Nut Milk, Juice and Sprout Bag (available at www.purejoyplanet.com) or a clean nylon sock.

Squeeze the bag until all the liquid is released.

Pour the milk or cream over fresh fruit or cereal.

You may want to make extra so you have enough to last four days.

This recipe is recommended for people with wheat sensitivities:

Black Forest Carob Brownies


By Elaina Love

4 cups soaked and dehydrated walnuts
3/4 cup or 9 oz. pitted dates
3/4 cup or 2.75 oz. carob powder
2 tsp. cherry extract or vanilla
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried walnuts
1/2 cup or 4 oz. coarsely chopped dried cherries
Soak the walnuts for 8-12 hours.
Rinse them well and dry them with a towel.

Dehydrate the walnuts in a food dehydrator at 105 degrees for 12 hours. This is an optional step which will give the brownies a more cake-like texture.

Puree the nuts in a food processor until it becomes a flour.

Add the dates and continue to puree until well mixed.

Add carob powder and extract and puree again.

Mix in the cherries and chopped nuts by hand.

Press with very firm pressure into a brownie pan.

Refrigerate and slice into squares.

Double the recipe for a large pan.

These brownies will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks or more.

This recipe is not recommended for people with tree nut allergies.

This recipe is recommended for people with dairy and nut sensitivities:

Creamy Cilantro Soup


By Elaina Love

Cilantro is a wonderfully fragrant herb that is high in chlorophyll and has been said to pull heavy metals from the body. Enjoy it in this rich and satisfying energy soup.

1 zucchini, chopped
1 large bunch cilantro, stems removed (about 2 cups)
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
½ apple, chopped
1 avocado, chopped (add later)
1 Tbs. tamari or Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 tsp. Celtic sea salt
½ tsp cumin (optional)
1 tsp. onion powder (optional)
1/8 tsp. cayenne

Blend all ingredients until smooth except avocado. Add the avocado and blend again. (The avocado is blended last to keep it from getting gelatinous).

Eat immediately or store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for 2 days maximum.

Optional Toppings:

Sprinkle with dulse flakes
Diced bell pepper
Fresh raw corn cut off the cob
Sunflower greens
Chopped Romaine (stir into the soup)

This recipe is recommended for people with dairy, nut and egg sensitivities:

Easy Caesar Salad Dressing


½ cup Bariani or extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. lemon juice
¼-½ cup water
2 large dates or 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbs. light miso
3 medium cloves garlic
¾ tsp. mustard powder or 1½ tsp. prepared Dijon mustard
2 tsp. dulse flakes
¼ tsp. Celtic sea salt

Blend all ingredients in a blender or hand mix, crushing the garlic first and using maple syrup instead of dates.

Store the dressing in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Inspired by Blessing’s Alive and Radiant foods Caesar recipe.

Elaina Love is a professional chef and instructor. You can find her books, learn about her classes and view more of her recipes by going to www.purejoyplanet.com.

Bringing pure joy and gourmet bliss to the planet,

Elaina Love

Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

Is your food zapping your energy?

Please enjoy today’s article from Elaina Love, author of three recipe books and founder of Pure Joy Planet and Pure Joy Academy as the guest columnist every Friday in the Journey Back to Self Blog. ~ Chris

What you eat and when you eat has a big influence on your energy levels throughout the day. Morning is when it can either start with a bang or a  thud, but it doesn’t  just end there. The choices you make throughout the day can have a huge influence on your physical, emotional and mental wellness in life.

If you begin your day with a heavy meal, such as pancakes or even milk and cereal, you may find yourself wanting to go straight back to bed. The other side effect you might get is a mild depression such as a feeling of doom or dread about your day. The reason this happens is that your body is working so hard to digest the food you just ate, that you have no energy left for normal functioning, and even your hormones get imbalanced by the sugar. And when it gets to be too much, your body just puts you to sleep so it can deal with the bombardment.

Another reason you may experience low energy after eating something is when our food choices create an insulin spike. When we eat foods such as white sugar, agave nectar, milk, white bread, pastries, or anything that creates an insulin overload for our pancreas (I had it happen from just eating cantaloupe recently), our hormones kick in to action to balance things in the body. Once your insulin level spikes too high from eating a sugary food, a roller coaster effect begins. As the body secretes hormones, our moods and energy levels move all over the place. This can also be the case if we go without food in the case of hypoglycemic, but usually that is still a case of imbalance.  Isn’t food supposed to give us energy and help us function in life? The answer is Yes! We just need to make smart choices, cleanse our bodies of all the excess waste, and feed it the right food to help us stay feeling good.

Here is an example of some items you can exchange to make your energy soar instead of sink. Below are 2 lists. One is foods that make us sleepy, groggy or low energy, as well as moody and even depressed.The second is an alternative that will make you feel energized and good. Some people may at first experience withdrawal or even detox symptoms from some of your unhealthy habits being replaced, but very soon, maybe within a day, you will feel supercharged!

Instead of this:

1. Bananas, protein power and cow’s milk

2. Cereal and Milk

3. Toast  with butter or jam

4. Pancakes

5. Sandwich

6. Ice Cream

Eat this:

  1. Chia-Maca Shake
  2. Unsweetened almond milk (home-made is better than boxed) with 1 TBS. chia seeds soaked in ½ cup water topped with fresh berries
  3. Almond bread with tomato slices, sprinkled with fresh chopped basil and a sprinkle of salt
  4. Green juice made with cucumber, celery, kale, lemon and possibly fresh pressed apple for taste. (I know this one is really far-fetched as usually if you feel like pancakes the last thing you are going to want is a green juice, but you will be surprised by how amazing you feel. Make your  juice the night before, then drink it first thing in the morning, then if you still want pancakes, go for it, but instead of high fructose corn syrup which is usually what they put in those fake maple syrups, just top it with some fresh berries and honey.) Also, fruit juice is not an option since it is loaded with insulin spiking “sugar”. The best choice by far is leafy green juices! The other thing you can do is to mix 1 TBS of green powder in water and drink it down first before eating anything else.
  5. Romaine leaf instead of bread with whatever filling you choose. Keep in mind that it is usually the sugar in the bread that makes you low energy. My favorite filling in a Romaine leaf is some mustard, avocado slices and chopped tomatoes sprinkled with Himalayan salt and some sprouts.
  6. Sweet Nothings fudgesicle (only 100 calories per bar) or a bowl of frozen raspberries or blueberries covered in almond milk and sweetened with stevia (it’s like a berry ice cream).

This will give you something to get started with, and as time goes on, keep trying new recipes that are organic and healthy. You never know how great you can feel until you start putting nutrients in and getting the toxins out.

Bringing pure joy and gourmet bliss to the planet,

Elaina Love

Elaina Love is a plant-based chef, instructor, author and speaker.

Find out more about her recipes and classes at purejoyplanet.com.

Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

You want me to eat that?

Please enjoy today’s article from Elaina Love, author of three recipe books and founder of Pure Joy Planet and Pure Joy Academy as the guest columnist every Friday in the Journey Back to Self Blog. ~ Chris

Many people I speak with say they find it hard to be in a relationship with a man or woman who is not eating the same as them. In this blog, I will share with you some ways I have found that you can stay happily partnered while enjoying your own autonomy around food.

Some of the obstacles you have shared with me:

  1. “It’s hard to come home at night to the smell of fresh popped popcorn (or fill in the blank) when I’m trying to stay on a low carb/raw food program.”
  2. “When I go to a restaurant, if bread is on the table, it’s too hard to resist. My partner wants to have it on the table and I’d rather not have the opiate temptation!”
  3. “I try not to have food in the house that I might eat in a moment of weakness such as ice cream, cookies or breads. My husband loves to have these around, what can I do?”
  4. “My boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t eat the way I do, and he/she seems to always be cooking up something yummy smelling in my hungriest moments.  How do I  resist the amazing smells?”
  5. “I’m pretty good at eating well when I am home, but when we go on vacation, it seems to get a little out of control. My mate likes to eat at places that have french fries and pastries. I usually come back home feeling depressed and 5 pounds heavier from all the “junk” I couldn’t resist on my vacation.”
  6. When I visit my parents, my mom gets her feelings hurt if I don’t accept her offerings of processed foods. I really don’t feel well when I eat those foods, what can I do to make everyone happy?

Does any of this sound familiar?

Here are some solutions:

  1. Start with talking about it. Sometimes our friends, family and mates don’t understand how painful it is for us to be trying so hard to do right by ourselves only to feel sabotaged when they order a pizza. If you appeal to their softer side and say something like “How do you feel about some healthy dishes tonight? I’m in the mood for…. How do you feel about that?” The other way is to tell them how much you love them and that it is nothing personal but you don’t want to be around when they are eating those types of foods so maybe they could eat it when you are not with them or let you know so you can wait to come around.
  2. If the smell of popcorn or fresh toast is intoxicating to you, consider:  Having your own delicious gluten-free almond bread already made and easy to grab when you are feeling tempted. Top it with Veganaise or smear some avocado on it and sprinkle with your favorite seasoning and  you’ve got a delicious treat!
  3. When your partner orders bread, ask the waiter to also bring out a small salad right away. This will help you have something to munch on instead of just watching the rest of the table enjoy the bread. Yes, it’s true bread has opiates in it, this means even the smell of it kicks in our  pleasure-seeking addictions. Another option, which I used to do a lot before I could be around bread without eating it, is to bring your own gluten-free flax crackers or something healthy in your bag. You can slip them out one at a time and munch on them while you are waiting for your healthier choices to arrive. If there is a healthy dip at the table such as hummus or salsa, you can ask for a plate of cut up veggies to dip with.
  4. Here is what I have done in the past when other household members have foods my hips want nothing to do with: Create a separate snack food cupboard for them that you don’t go into. If even that doesn’t stop you, consider buying your own, healthier versions such as baked corn chips instead of fried, gluten-free, fruit-juice-sweetened cookies instead of Tollhouse, Coconut Bliss instead of Dryers. At least if you are going to indulge, it’s a healthier option. One other trick that has worked for me in the past is to ask your mate to hide the ice cream in the back of the freezer underneath the frozen peas. That way you don’ t see it when you open the freezer. Out of sight, out of mind.
  5. Smelling a warm, delicious food can be very tempting, especially when you are hungry. The best course of action is to always have things around that will satisfy a craving. For me it’s salads with a hearty dressing such as my vegan ranch (available in Elaina’s Pure Joy Kitchen Book 2) topped with avocado and crunchy pumpkin seeds. Still need more satisfaction? Try Kale Chips. You can buy these at Whole Foods Market or make your own nut free version!
  6. Bring enough food to share with your mom when you visit. Maybe she will love your flax crackers and hummus. Make her a morning smoothie or green juice. If she offers you something, say I would love some fruit, do you have any? (Most mom’s always have fruit around). That way she feels you are accepting something from her and she feels good. When it’s meal time, offer to make a big salad or something healthy that you enjoy, that way you always have something nourishing to eat. My family loves my kale salad piled high with pine nuts and avocados!

When all is said and done, the last thing we want is for food to come between us and the ones we love. Share your feelings and share your food. If you are persistent, like me, and continue to make super healthy foods and treats that are always on hand, your mate or roommate will love your food and be happy to eat it and maybe even start requesting it!

Bringing pure joy and gourmet bliss to the planet,

Elaina Love

Author, Director of Pure Academy and Public Speaker




Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

Understanding Sugar Cravings and What to Do About Them

Please enjoy today’s article from Elaina Love, author of three recipe books and founder of Pure Joy Planet and Pure Joy Academy as the guest columnist every Friday in the Journey Back to Self Blog. ~ Chris

Understanding Sugar Cravings and What to Do About Them

Sugar and simple carbohydrate cravings are a real problem for many of us. Not only does sugar (in the form of processed flours, white potatoes, sugars, high fructose corn syrup, agave and even healthy sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey and dates) diminish our health, they can cause a host of emotional problems as well such as irritability and depression.

What are some reasons we crave sugars or sweet foods?

One main reason can be low adrenal function. Years of abusing our bodies through less than optimal food choices, lack of exercise, continual low-grade stress and overeating can cause our adrenals (a hormone gland that sits right above the kidneys) to continually secrete epinephrine (also known as adrenaline). This continuous reliance on our adrenals to provide us with energy and good feelings cause another form of abuse when the adrenaline is running low. We are so addicted to having and using energy during the day that we will sometimes drink caffeine and eat stimulating foods such as too much chocolate to force our adrenals to secrete even more “juice” than they would normally secrete. Sugar and caffeine both give us a temporary adrenaline hit or high followed by a sugar crash.

What can we do?

If you’ve ever tried to quit an unhealthy habit, you know that it can be a difficult road of cravings and deprivation. If this describes you, don’t feel badly, it is a normal part of our existence to want to feel good. When we get the dopamine hits (also known as the Pleasure Trap) it causes us to keep revisiting those unhealthy habits no matter how bad we know they are for us. Will Power alone is not enough; you need to support your body with the nutrients it is lacking. The first thing you can do right away is to start taking an adaptogen daily. An adaptogen is a botanically based hormone regulator. They help us to adapt to stressful environmental and physical factors. Adaptogens are a saving grace as they can help us to regulate energy by either helping us sleep better or to help us perform better in day-to-day tasks.

I take 3 Quantum Adrenal Complex capsules every morning to help balance and regulate my hormone levels. You can find many adaptogens in teas as well such as licorice, schisandra berries, Siberian ginseng, rhodiola rosea, ashwaganda, medicinal mushrooms such as Reishi, Chaga, Cordycepts, and more.

12 tips to minimize sugar and caffeine cravings:

  1. Avoid places you will be tempted (such as malls, the snack isle of grocery stores and shopping when you are tired or hungry). Most important: don’t bring those energy robbing foods back to your house.
  2. Relieve your stress by taking action on a project or make a phone call you have been avoiding.
  3. Daily yoga and meditation have a huge impact on relieving stress and increasing pleasure sensations. I have been using a new app on my iphone called Mediator. It times me and does little chimes to keep my mind from wandering.
  4. Eat foods that mimic the foods you are cravings such as a raw-vegan zucchini pasta with pesto sauce instead of the white flour and dairy-laden version.
  5. How about making a vegan, low glycemic pie and keeping it in your freezer to have ready when you are in the middle of a snack attack?
  6. Sauerkraut is full of natural probiotics and dampens the cravings for sweets. I mix it with an avocado for a hearty snack.
  7. Probiotic foods such as coconut kefir (see image right) or coconut yogurt (watch my youtube video):
    Coconut Yogurt by Elaina Love of Pure Joy Planet
  8. Make a sugar free lemonade with purified water, lemon juice and zero glycemic stevia
  9. Drink a green juice (celery, kale, cucumber, lemon) even if it doesn’t sound good in the moment.
  10. Eat coconut yogurt with low glycemic raspberries (frozen or fresh)*
  11. Make a list of your health goals and get that out before going for food. Write down everything you eat, the pleasure factor of eating forbidden foods will decrease knowing that you will later be accountable for it on paper.
  12. Fast forward in your mind to one hour later… will you be happy about what you are choosing now?

Over time, as you practice discipline, being accountable, substitution and supporting your adrenals, you may find that you will get more pleasure and feel stronger by not eating sugars and simple carbohydrates. Your pancreas and your body will reward you with more sustainable energy, youthfulness and less fine lines on your face. You deserve your birth right of Pure Joy!

To your inner and outer beauty!
Elaina Love

Bringing Pure Joy and Gourmet Bliss to the Planet,
Elaina Love

Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .

Reclaim your health and beauty!

Please enjoy today’s article from Elaina Love, author of three recipe books and founder of Pure Joy Planet and Pure Joy Academy as the guest columnist every Friday in the Journey Back to Self blog. ~ Chris

It seems that the longer I eat a high raw, low glycemic, gluten-free, health promoting diet, the more beautiful I feel inside and out. It’s not just about looking in the mirror and seeing clear skin, sparkly eyes and rosy cheeks (although it is quite nice); it’s also about how we feel on the inside. The holistic approach has never applied more than when it comes to feeling and looking good.

What is the Holistic Approach? It is being aware of our entire being. Not just the physical body, but also our spiritual body and its need for solitude, silence, reflection, gratitude, journaling, prayer, and meditation. Then there is our sweet, beautiful, innocent emotional body that craves and desires to be loved and comforted above all else. One thing I know for sure is that the better I eat, the better I feel, and the worse I eat, the worse I feel. Emotions are directly tied to our food choices. Our moods are so tied to our eating habits that it’s almost funny how simple it is. Try fasting for a day or 2 and you will know what I mean. All those things that usually annoy you or make you depressed just fall away easily. I have spent many a fast or cleanse laughing at how I take myself so seriously sometimes. It’s all a cosmic joke and the joke is how easy it is once we decide to make feeling good a priority.

The question for some of us is why don’t we make good choices even though we know what is good for us? There are a lot of obstacles that can stand in the way such as cravings, too many “bad” choices, being hungry when there are no good choices in sight, and so on. A conclusion that I have come to over the years is that it is not about what you do some of the time (10-20%) but more about what you do 80% of the time. If you spend 80% of your time berating yourself for what you did during your 20% you are missing it! Missing the good parts of life! Sure, there are going to be times when all you want to do is indulge, and there is nothing inherently wrong or bad about that!!!! We are hard-wired to eat and survive; it’s what we do! We are in human form, and part of taking form is that we desire to experience the sensual side of things such as getting a massage, making love, sleeping in and eating delicious foods.

The balance is in finding the right times to cleanse and eat well and the times to be decadent. At Pure Joy Academy we teach the 80-20 principle which is 80 percent of the time you are building and maintaining and 20% of the time you are cleansing and repairing, whether that is drinking a green juice every morning (or 2x a week), doing a 7-day juice fast at the change of season, a 6-day liver flush or just one day of 100% raw foods once a week. Pick what works best for you, create a plan and put it on your calendar so you will be accountable.

Here are some recipes to get you started:

Chia-Coconut Breakfast (a great oatmeal replacement!)

½ cup chia seeds
1 ½ cups purified water (to soak the chia seeds)
1/3 cup macadamia nuts or Brazil nuts
2 Tbs. coconut oil (make sure it’s high quality and smells fresh)
3 Tbs. xylitol, honey or yacon root syrup*
6 Tbs. orange juice (about 1 orange)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. vanilla, butterscotch or rum extract
6 drops liquid stevia

1. Soak the chia seeds for 2 or more hours, you can soak them up to 12+ hours.
2. Blend everything but the chia and water together until creamy.
3. Mix the cream with the soaked chia seeds.
4. Refrigerate or enjoy immediately.

* You may substitute another sweetener for yacon such as maple syrup or honey, but yacon will be best for people with sugar imbalances and diabetics.

Lasts 4 days refrigerated.

Inline image 1

Summer Cucumber Tomato Special

1 medium tomato, chopped
1 small cucumber peeled in stripes and chopped (seeds removed if big)
1 large avocado cut into cubes
1 half of a lemon or lime squeezed
1 half to 1 tsp. Himalayan Salt Crystals
1 Tbs. of olive oil (optional for a richer flavor)
Mix everything together and enjoy!

To your inner and outer beauty!

Elaina Love
www.PureJoyAcademy.com Raw Food Culinary Academy
www.PureJoyPlanet.com Products and Recipes

Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and .