Last month I announced that I’ve partnered with the folks from MightyNest, an online store specializing in natural, non-toxic products for the kitchen and home, on a series of giveaways: I am so excited about this partnership!

Valentine’s Day is behind us and I am betting you doled out lots of love to others this month, but have you been showing yourself kindness lately? I wrote about being kind to yourself in my book, and I am going to excerpt that chapter here in this post. You will also find a giveaway for some items that are perfect for the theme of self-care in this post :)

BeKindtoYourself copy

Many of us are unnecessarily hard on ourselves on a daily basis. We don’t treat ourselves with respect or compassion. I personally have a history of being quite unkind to myself because my “inner voice” used to engage in overwhelmingly negative banter. Do you have an inner voice that’s overly critical, too? If the answer is yes, it can be life changing when you start to train your inner monologue to be kind instead of harsh.

What does it mean to be kind to yourself, exactly? Well for starters, being kind to yourself means not judging yourself harshly for not being perfect. It also means not holding yourself to impossibly high standards. And it means putting an end to comparing yourself to others and to beating yourself up for making a mistake, or for not being good enough at something. Being kind to yourself means being your own cheerleader. When you are consistently kind to yourself, you don’t need others to validate your efforts and boost your self-confidence, because you can do those things for yourself.
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Glad in conjunction with their #SAVEITSUNDAY program. With #SAVEITSUNDAY, Glad hopes to educate the public about the consequences of food waste, and I am proud they’ve asked me to be a part of the program. I am being compensated to share my #SAVEITSUNDAY experiences; all opinions are 100% my own.

I am a really big fan of fresh juice. I don’t drink it every day or anything (nor do I engage in juice fasting), but I’m always happy when I do get the juicer out to make a nourishing drink. I enjoy all sorts of fruit and vegetable combinations (depending on what I happen to have in the refrigerator): I even included a chapter on fresh juice in my book.

Carrots and beets are both root vegetables and they are both quite sturdy (meaning: they keep extremely well). It is because of this sturdiness that I wanted to highlight them this month, since my #SAVEITSUNDAY posts are all about being mindful of “loving food more to waste it less”.

Carrots and beets can last for up to a month if you store them correctly: it’s best to keep them unpeeled (remove the tops if they are part of a bunch) in the refrigerator. The folks at Glad recommend placing the unpeeled carrots and/or beets in a large plastic bag (such as a zipper quart or gallon-size bag) and squeezing as much air as possible out of the bag when sealing. They’ll then do best in the crisper drawer. (To learn more about the best ways to prepare and store your produce, please visit Glad’s Food Storage Protection Pointers.)

carrot, beet, apple juice | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

It’s Valentine’s Day…why not make fresh vegetable juice for yourself or someone you love? Not just today, but any day? It’s an excellent way to bump up the amount of raw foods in your diet and each glass is extremely nutrient dense. Plus, this juice has such a lovely hue thanks to the inclusion of beet.

What about all the pulp, though…the fibrous by-product of juicing? We don’t want to waste that, right? Well, The Kitchn’s got you covered with 7 ideas for its use, Vegetarian Times has 20 suggestions for using pulp, and here’s a whole Pinterest board dedicated to not wasting the pulp when you juice.
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Last year, many of us went “gaga” over Ball’s limited edition blue canning jars. Well, I have great news: Ball has added spring green jars to their Heritage Collection, and they’ve offered to give a box of a them to one of my readers! This green canning jars giveaway also includes a set of their brand new BPA-free green lids :)

Green Ball Jars (giveaway at Healthy Green Kitchen)

I own SO many glass jars: I have them in every shape and size imaginable. We drink out of them, plus of course they’re great for water-bath canning and for making lacto-fermented foods.

Green Ball Jars (giveaway at Healthy Green Kitchen)

(Pictured here are the jars filled with my Spicy Lacto-fermented Pickles, the recipe for which can be found in my book One Simple Change.)

green jar giveaway 2_

I also use them for storing many of the ingredients that I keep in my cupboards (such as dried beans, grains, nuts and seeds). Like the blue ones, these green jars are so pretty, and make a truly lovely addition to your home. Also like the blue jars, these are a limited edition. So, if you don’t win the giveaway, don’t wait too long to buy yourself some of these jars. They come in both pint and quart size…you can pick the size you prefer should you win the giveaway.

To enter the giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter widget below. Please leave a comment on this post as your mandatory entry; for additional optional entries, you may sign up for my mailing list, follow Ball Canning on Pinterest and “like” Healthy Green Kitchen on Facebook. Thanks and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’ve been reading my site for some time, you likely know that I do not label the way I eat. I don’t follow any particular diet or identify with any particular eating strategy. I eat whole/real/nourishing foods the majority of the time but I also eat things that don’t fit these descriptors when I want them…I don’t exclude anything from my diet unless I don’t like it. This moderation approach works really, really well for me.

Recently my friend/writer extraordinaire Peter Barrett interviewed me about my book for a local publication called The Chronogram. He really captured what I am about- he called the piece The Moderator!- and I could not be more pleased with the article. I encourage you to read it here.

lemons | www.healthygreenkitchen.com
lemon bars | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

In other news, January was a rough month. It was cold and filled with a lot of bad news. I am hoping for warmer, happier days in February, and these Meyer Lemon Ricotta Bars symbolize that hope.

lemon ricotta bars | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

If super tart is what you seek in a lemon dessert, these may not be for you (try these lemon bars instead). Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular lemons and the ricotta cheese “mellows” these bars, so they won’t make you pucker up. They are bursting with lovely citrus flavor, though; you can find the recipe I used for inspiration over on food52. (The easy crust recipe comes from One Bowl Baking: Simple, From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts.)

There is sugar in this recipe and as Peter wrote in the Chronogram article, my stance on sugar has really softened in recent years. Though I wrote in my book that it is best avoided, I currently eat sweet foods, such as these lemon bars, without any guilt or worry. Do I eat 5 of them at a time on an empty stomach? No. I cut them very small and eat one or two at a time after a meal. This is moderation in action. You can find my current thoughts on sugar in this post, if you’d like more clarification on this topic.

I sure hope your February is as lovely as these Lemon Ricotta Bars :)

lemon ricotta bars | www.healthygreenkitchen.com
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I am so pleased to share a special announcement today! I’ve partnered with my friends over at MightyNest, an online store specializing in natural, non-toxic products for the kitchen and home, on a series of giveaways you’ll be seeing here on the blog today and in the coming months. The giveaway items all align with topics I wrote about in my book One Simple Change. This really could not be a better fit!

As you may or may not know, One Simple Change is a compilation of 50 ways you can transform your diet, adjust your lifestyle, and overhaul your attitude in order to benefit your health and the health of our planet. The book has been out for a couple of months and I really love getting feedback from readers. One of the chapters people seem to be resonating with quite a bit is the one about drinking water first thing in the morning. So I’m going to excerpt the book a bit here in order to revisit the topic of healthy water intake.

Water First Thing from One Simple Change | Healthy Green Kitchen

Drinking water first thing is really simple to do, and it can really be beneficial. Why drink water first thing in the morning? Our bodies are more than 60 percent water and, unfortunately, this makes us quite prone to dehydration. You can be dehydrated even if you don’t feel thirsty. Having a glass of water first thing and then drinking more throughout the day will help you avoid health issues that may be related to dehydration. Eating foods that contain water (like raw fruits and vegetables) and drinking additional healthy liquids will help as well.

The benefits of drinking water in the morning go beyond the physical, though: I find that having a glass of water right after I wake up makes me feel as if I’ve kicked off the day on the right foot. Since I’ve done something good for myself first thing, I am more likely to continue to make healthy choices as the day goes on.

Know that not everyone needs to have eight 8-oz/240-ml glasses of water every day, though. We all have different needs for water intake based on our size, activity level, our climate, etc. I suggest consuming lots of fruits, vegetables, and healthy drinks, and listening to your body. Drink water when you are thirsty, and pay special attention to drinking more when exercising vigorously or spending time outside in heat. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your urine. When you are properly hydrated, it should be very light yellow (though certain vitamin supplements and vegetables like beets do color your urine, rendering it an unreliable indicator).

Avoid drinking water when what you are is hungry (to fill you up so you won’t eat a lot). That’s not useful and it may even be harmful. When you are hungry, your body needs food, not water. Not drinking enough water isn’t healthy, but guzzling glass after glass of water when you are not at all thirsty is not exactly a healthy habit, either! You can, indeed, drink too
 much water, and doing so may be dangerous: when you drink far more water than your body needs over a short period of time, you can dilute the concentration of sodium in your blood.

Water First Thing from One Simple Change | Healthy Green Kitchen

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