Recipes, Quick Tips & More…

Are Microwaves Bad for Your Health?


Dr. Sanjay Gupta states that microwaves kill fewer nutrients compared to baking or boiling. “Microwave cooking exposes most foods to less heat, water, and for shorter cooking periods, so that means that fewer vitamins will be destroyed during cooking.” (1)

You can literally sterilize a wash cloth or a tooth brush in a microwave. In a study done by Latimer and Matsen (2), they found that various pathogens were killed within seconds in a microwave. If a microwave kills the bad stuff, do you think it safely avoids harming the good nutrients and molecules in our food?

What Dr. Gupta did not assess was how a microwave “cooks” food. Bear with me on the explanation of how microwaves work: Microwaves emit electromagnetic waves that are able to rotate water molecules quickly because water molecules are “polar.” Polar means that one side of the molecule is positively charged and one side is negatively charged. When the water molecule rotates quickly, it produces heat by rubbing against the other molecules in the food. Seems harmless, right? The polar molecules that are rotating are not only heating up your food, but they are forcefully slamming against other molecules in the food, which causes damage to those molecules and can break them apart. Moreover, water is not the only polar molecule in food. Protein molecules have varying polar parts, and are much larger than water molecules. I would assume that the polar parts of proteins want to rotate like the water molecules, potentially destroying the protein. Through this process, food molecules and nutrients are destroyed. One study found that microwaved broccoli lost up to 97% of its antioxidants (3). Some scientists claim that these broken down and altered molecules are carcinogenic. Furthermore, we want to get as many nutrients as possible from our food. When we don’t, we get chronic fatigue and become vulnerable to illness and disease.

Another reason I stay away from microwaves is that toxic chemicals are leached from plastic containers when heated in a microwave. Where do those chemicals go? You guessed it, in your food. The worst container to heat your food in is the container in which a frozen premade meal comes in.

Try this: Use a toaster oven or a conventional oven to heat your food. Yes, it takes longer, but it’s worth it. If you’re going to use a microwave, do not use the plastic containers frozen meals come in. Open up the packaging and use a glass or ceramic dish to microwave your food in. You can also cover the top with a paper napkin so food doesn’t splatter.

And above all else, cooking in any form destroys nutrients. Make sure to get raw, whole foods into your diet every day.




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Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (grande): 380 calories, 13 grams of fat, 49 grams of sugar.

Pumpkin Pie (1 slice): 320 calories, 17 grams of fat, 22 grams of sugar.

Pure Jillian’s Pumpkin Spice Smoothie: 160 calories, 3 grams of fat, 0 grams of added sugar.

Benefits of pumpkin: 1 cup of the stuff contains 200% daily value of vitamin A; pumpkin also promotes weight loss, protects against cancer, boosts immune system, is a great source of fiber, and can help lower cholesterol.

For some reason I thought the canned pumpkin would taste just like pumpkin pie! I got so excited when I opened the can that I took a large mouthful of the stuff, only to be not-so-pleasantly surprised at the taste!


1 cup unsweetened almond milk

¾ cup canned organic pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp pumpkin spice

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground ginger

stevia to taste

Throw all ingredients into a blender!

pure jillian pumpkin spice smoothie



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My #1 Health Tip

Start juicing.

This is not about the processed juice one can buy at the store (ahem, orange juice), but the fresh green juice that is made right in front of you. Juicing extracts the juice from fruits and veggies, along with the vitamins and minerals. By drinking one of these bad boys, your body gets the nutrients from pounds of produce without actually eating all of it. Juicing cleanses your body; prevents cardiovascular disease, inflammatory diseases and cancer; promotes weight loss; strengthens the immune system; and literally makes you sexier.

The best way to consume your juice is on an empty stomach. Do not eat two hours prior to drinking your juice; I drink one right after a workout or first thing in the morning. Furthermore, do not eat anything until 15 minutes after drinking juice. This allows for maximum absorption. If you eat right before or after drinking a juice, it doesn’t easily absorb into the body and could sit there while your body digests the food. On another note, the nutrient quality is best right after the juice is made. Once juice meets oxygen, it oxidizes, which kills the nutrients. Drink your juice right after it’s made or at least the same day it is made. Choose a juice that has more greens and veggies, rather than fruit. If fruit is the main component of a juice, it may have a ton of sugar, which does not promote health. Lastly, take fish oil or a shot of olive oil right before your juice. A lot of vitamins are fat soluble. Taking a fish oil supplement will help these vitamins absorb into your system.

What is cold pressed and is it better for you? Masticating juicers (cold pressed juicers) don’t produce as much heat as typical centrifugal juicers. Heat kills nutrients, so a cold pressed juice contains more nutrients.

What about the premade healthy juices at the store? Remember, the nutrient quality of juice diminishes once it hits the air, so the nutrient quality of those juices is largely reduced. This also goes for premade smoothie drinks.

Do you need to buy a $300 juicer? No. Juicers are expensive and it takes 25-40 minutes for prep, juicing and clean up. Depending on where you live, there may be plenty of juice bars in your neighborhood. Check it out on yelp and look for “fresh pressed.” Jamba juice does not count!!

Is juice a meal replacement? Unless you are on a juice cleanse, no a juice is not a meal replacement.

Start drinking fresh pressed juice!! Trust me, your body with thank you.


Pure Jillian’s Luminous Green Juice

Serves 2

1 handful spinach

1 head of romaine lettuce

5 stalks of celery

1 cucumber

1 apple

1 lemon


juice 1 nov 2 juice 2 nov 2

Mushroom Tostadas with Guacamole – Vegan and Gluten Free!

Vegan Mushroom Tostadas with Guacamole

veg mshrm tacos


3 haas avocados

1 lime, juiced

2 roma tomatoes, or any tomotoes, chopped and seeded

handful cilantro, chopped

half yellow onion, chopped

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne

Mash avocado insides in a bowl with a fork. Add in ingredients and mix/mash together

Tostadas: (inspired by

Mushroom Filling:

3/4 pound of mushrooms, or two packages from Trader Joe’s

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp olive oil

black pepper

~Put an oven rack in the highest position and one in the middle position. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

~Chop mushrooms into medium sized pieces, throw onto dry skillet on medium/high heat. Mushrooms will release moisture themselves. After 3-4 minutes, add salt, oregano and cumin. Stir every 10-15 seconds. When the moisture has been cooked out and they start to stick to the bottom of the pan, turn the heat off, add the oil and set mushrooms in another bowl.

Tostada Shells:

corn tortillas

olive oil

~Place 6 tortillas (I could only fit 5) onto baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Place on middle rack and bake for 8 minutes.

~Change oven to broil setting

~Put mushrooms on tortillas, bake for another couple minutes– DO NOT walk away from oven, keep checking and remove when tortillas get brown

~add creme fraiche, guac, cilantro, onion, salsa and serve immediately

Lime Cream Fraiche:

4 tbs Tofutti Cream Cheese

4 tbs Vegenaise

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

~Whip ingredients together until smooth and top on tostadas

I got this recipe from one of my favorite vegan blogs, Vegan Yum Yum. I made a few small changes in the recipe. You can view the post on Vegan Yum Yum here.

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veg mshrm tacos