Saturday, March 30, 2013


I posted a link to this article on Facebook,

 and many people started writing in to comment. One person said she loved Walmart, and could not afford to buy milk at the local grocery store. This person's family has made their considerable living by manufacturing things in Asia for American "big-box" stores for decades.  After she posted, I wrote this:

 It is good to hear people writing... As a person living in a micro-small town for most of my life, I understand that there are some things that are simply not available except at Walmart.  And those are the kind of things I buy there, when I have to. But there is extensive documentation of Walmart's many shocking, and simply wrong, ways of doing business.

1)  Walmart has a complete lack of concern towards "slave-labor" conditions of the places in which many of Walmart's items are manufactured.  Before you think I am whining, consider this:

2) Walmart's tactic of securing a product at a certain price, then forcing the supplier of that product to continue to lower the price the following season by threatening not to sell the item any longer, (which then forces the supplier to meet the new demands, or lose business, is NOT a good business practice because it causes companies to cut corners in SO many ways with quality.)  I know someone who inspected factories for clothing manufactured in India who saw children working every day, except the days the Americans came to inspect.

3)  Walmart is quite well known for poor treatment and severe under-payment of workers.

4) Although Walmart initially appears to be "doing good" it is quite quickly revealed that communities do not prosper from having Walmart.

If you read the entire article, you will see yet more proof of that. This is not simply a matter of "a big box store comes in and secures lower prices by buying mass quantities of something and drives small businesses out of business".  It is not that simple.

Having been in both small business, and in manufacturing for 18 years, as well as having so many friends that have been involved with clothing, food, and product manufacturing and even purchasing for Walmart (and you all know who you are whether you are reading this or not - I won't tag you for obvious reasons), I can say that there is very little good brought to a town by Walmart.  When items are contracted for Walmart directly, they are often using the lowest quality materials possible of something, thinnest fabric, flimsiest metal, whatever. So why are we surprised when the item we buy wears out, or breaks so fast, causing us to need to replace it?

I know many wonderful companies who were contacted by Walmart (and Target) and asked to downgrade their product to fit a price schematic. That is fine if that is what we, as consumers,  know that we are buying.  But representing a product as the same, when it is not the same, is not right, and this still happens with certain items.

What we cannot afford is relative and deeply personal. My choice is to buy the least possible amount of items from Walmart, usually only what I cannot find anywhere else - and I make sure that I FIRST check the local stores.  That way by the time I get to Walmart, I am bound to spend less money there.  It does make a difference.

We might "need" Walmart, but not for everything, like their marketers want us to think. We DO need a real, diverse community that supports itself as much as possible, and some of the time we seem to have that in Fairfield, but every purchase we make is a vote for something. If we want to have the variety and flavors of a unique community, we have to support them.  I love going to all of the locally owned  stores and restaurants in my community, and in others I visit because I love having them here, I appreciate their individuality, and because of what I know, I don't love Walmart.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Juicing vs Vitamix Smoothies

      Carrot~Apple~Celery~Beet Juice from my Breville Juicer
                              making a smoothie in my Vitamix VitaPrep 3 horsepower                                

I received a letter I wanted to share with you today...
Dear Loni

I read some of your blog once and thought your juices looked so good.

We are just getting into juicing and I thought you would be the best person to ask a few questions about it . . . an enlightened balanced perspective . . .

Is it better to use something like a Vitamix and also eat the pulp or is it better to just have the juice.  One could also make juice and also take all or part of the pulp after juicing ?

Can a Vitamix really finely puree things like kale, broccoli, or other more dry and tough veggies?

Are there other mixers that will do this better than a Vitamix ?

If juicing, what is the best kind of juicer?  We are thinking to go the Dr. Mercola route of more leafy greens, celery, etc. and less of the sugary things like carrots, apples.

It seems a juicer that produces less heat is also preferable.

Thanks so much for your help. It is deeply appreciated.

And here is my response to her:


Thanks for writing! I am very passionate about this subject!  To answer your questions...

We have the Vita Prep 3 (which is a 3 horse power version of Vitamix- which is just 2 horsepower).  But most of my friends have the Vitamix (only 2 horsepower) and are fine.  I know that the other "blender" that compares well is the Blendtec.  I would compare prices on the Blendtec and the Vitaprep 3 and see what you find. Either one would be fantastic!  But in reality, a kitchen needs both a high-power blender AND a juicer, because they do very different things.

In terms of which way, it depends on the desired effect, and also how much you want to put into it (literally)...


In other words, for a daily, simple way to lose weight, get more fiber, using the VitaPrep 3 (or Blendtec) is great because you are eating the entire item, so there is no waste. You will find that a simple "smoothie" can fill you up for hours. At our house, we regularly put in 1 or 2 apples and oranges (peel removed), 2 or 3 bananas, 3-5 leaves of kale (if the ribs are very firm some people remove them, but I don't), any berries on hand (especially blueberries because they improve the color and taste so much). If you have organic lecithin you can add a tablespoon or so to make the entire thing creamy. You may need an inch or so of water to facilitate blending, or even ice if you prefer, to keep the heat down in the blender.  It is fun to experiment. Just put whatever fruits and veggies you have and keep blending and tasting until it tastes good!  Adding a few dates or raisins (soaked or regular) helps naturally sweeten. I have seen Vitamix demonstrations at Sam's Club and Costco where they put in zucchini or broccoli and yes, it gets blended up!  And don't ever be fooled by smoothies being sold anywhere- they are usually pre-made sugar/dairy packs, and rarely have any raw fruit.


If you are facing health issues, or just want to have a quicker cleanse and an increase of powerful vital micro-nutrients, then juicing is important. With juicing, you are receiving a mega-dose of micro-nutrients all in one glass (because you wouldn't normally sit down and eat a gigantic amount of raw vegetables!)  This repeated dose of micro-nutrients can literally heal your body from many things.  (My father is fond of telling how his brother cured himself of cancer by doing a juice fast for a month.)  As for my juicer, I have a Breville right now and like it, though the pulp is a bit wet (meaning it isn't removing all the juice.  I was using the Champion before and I still have it and like it too- the pulp is much more dry.  My friend who inspires many people to become Vegan has an Omega juicer and it has very dry pulp also. My husband and I and some of our children (whomever agrees) have been drinking fresh juice for breakfast for almost 2 years, (ever since we watched the wonderful documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead-- I know it's a bad title, but it is such a sweet and inspiring movie!)

As far as what you put in the juicer, you are correct, as with any way of eating, the more green the better!  There is a simple, green recipe in the movie I just mentioned that is all veggie except for 1 green apple.  I just think  that if you haven't juiced before, adding more fruits is actually a great way to make it palatable which will ensure you will WANT to do it.  Here is what we usually juice:  about 8 carrots, 1 beet, 2 ribs of celery, 2-3 apples, 1-2 oranges (peel removed), and about an inch or two of ginger (no need to peel).  A lemon added is nice too, but my husband does not care for the lemon, and prefers if I leave out the ginger.  Recently we have been adding the top part of fennel (supposed to be great for mood) and it makes it interestingly sweet in a different way, yet it is green.

 No matter what you put in the juicer, you will have a lot of pulp.  I save the carrot (or carrot apple) and put it into carrot cakes, carrot muffins, etc.  You can use a lot of pulp for making "crackers" in the dehydrator, but so far in my family I am the only one who likes them!  Still, juicing is a very powerful way to get concentrated nutrients.  If you are facing any kind of disease, or health crisis, juicing is absolutely the way to go.  I did a 10 day juice fast (as did my husband) and although I never thought it would be possible, it was fantastic. We both lost a pound every day, and after the first few days I had plenty of energy and felt great! The weight as stayed off, and I found that I crave HEALTHY foods now, instead of sugar/starch/salt.

The best juicing book I have seen recently is The Juicing Lady's Guide to Juicing for Health   but there are lots of colorful juicing books out there that are GREAT for inspiration. On our 10 day juice fast, a favorite for me was honeydew melon-strawberry. Personally, I wouldn't be worried about fruit. I have even heard of people in the early stages of diabetes that have done juicing and it has helped, even with fruit.

Honeydew Melon ~ Strawberry Juice from my 10 day Juice Fast

Finally, the biggest point for me, which is emphasized in another great documentary with David Wolfe, called Food Matters  ( )    is that the more raw food you consume, the better, specifically any amount over 50% raw will show benefits.  There is a lot of research on this, and many great documentaries. It is not necessary to be all raw to reap the benefits. I started my family of 6 by making half of each meal raw, literally half the plate. And then I added in more fruit smoothies as snacks, to tip the balance over 50%.

I generally eat about 80-90% raw every day and that works for my body. In other words, I have either juice at breakfast, and then a big fruit snack before lunch, or I have just a big raw smoothie which keeps me full until lunch.  Lunch is usually a big salad, incorporating whatever fresh, raw, organic veggies I have, (as well as hemp hearts for omegas),  and a bit of apple cider vinegar, so it is all raw except for maybe the chickpeas and black olives I put on it. And dinner is sometimes another salad, or sometime  the salad with a cooked side dish or entree I made.  I am very easy about it, meaning if my family is going out to eat, and they don't have salad, I just eat vegan cooked food. I have found through trial and error that if I eat two cooked meals, and only the raw breakfast, that I don't have much energy. However, if I eat mostly raw (that is two raw meals, and some raw snacks - no more than one partially cooked meal) then I feel fantastic and have tons of energy. One other important thing- if the cooked meals have dairy in them- my energy is zapped.  I don't know if everyone will have this experience, but I keep trying to have some cooked food, and some dairy, and the dairy just wrecks any progress I have made in feeling energetic and healthy.  So I eat Vegan almost all of the time.  It just feels good, and it is a kind way to eat, since the dairy (like the meat) industry is such a nightmare.

I hope what I said helps, that I answered all of your questions, and I look forward to talking to you again, and hearing your experience. In Fairfield, I have lots of friends who are experimenting with healthier ways of eating and it is so fun to contrast and compare what we have learned together!  We also use the Vitaprep 3 to make amazing, raw vegan "cheesecakes" that are incredibly beautiful and decadent- made out of soaked cashews and other nuts.  I have helped other people begin to juice or use smoothies, as well as help other people who are interested in becoming Vegetarian or Vegan.  Even the climate where you live is important because it affects what your body needs to eat. Some people need more heat in what they eat, others do not.  I still think listening to your own body in terms of constitution is very important. When I was on the last day of my 10 day juice fast, I was craving heat, and I put spinach and tomatoes in the VitaPrep 3 with a dash of cayenne pepper and it made a drink that was amazing to me, but my husband (who has a different constitution) didn't care for it. I find my knowledge of Ayurved helps with nourishing my family as long as we incorporate enough raw foods (since cooking foods removes most of their nutrients) and do not do dairy.   I am working on transitioning myself to do healthy lifestyle coaching more of the time, because I love helping people so much! Good luck with your journey!

Lonica Eisenbraun

click on the RAW "Cheesecake" to see the recipe!


Monday, March 18, 2013

National Oatmeal Cookie Day!

The weather is mocking us... here is a picture of all the kids at the beach IN IOWA last year on this exact day. It was 85 degrees. (click on the picture to see the other pictures from that day)
Today it is simply very cold....
So, it was National Oatmeal Cookie Day, so I made Vegan CHOCOLATE FUDGE Oatmeal cookies, of course...  yummy!  I used the recipe from the "Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar book, but I substituted Chia since I was out of Flax.  The kids loved them too! Even with my "adding walnuts and almonds" idea!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Chocolate I Eat in the Morning! (Skincare Routine & Breakfast too!)

 What I feed my skin:

Amazing, luxurious, natural products that give you the true naturally occuring aroma of the real chocolate they are made with, in addition to the wealth of skin benefits because they are made chemical-free. When you read the ingredients you will be amazed!
All 100% Pure cocoa products contain real cocoa, and are formulated without harsh detergents, chemical preservatives, synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances or any other unsafe ingredients. - See more at:
All 100% Pure cocoa products contain real cocoa, and are formulated without harsh detergents, chemical preservatives, synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances or any other unsafe ingredients. - See more at:
All 100% Pure cocoa products contain real cocoa, and are formulated without harsh detergents, chemical preservatives, synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances or any other unsafe ingredients. - See more at:

Pictured from left: Cocoa Kona Hydrating Bodywash, Cocoa Kona Coffee Body Cream, Chocolate Body Scrub, Cocoa Berry Lip & Cheek Ting, Cocoa Berry Lip Gloss, Cocoa Bronzer ~ All made with all natural and organic ingredients and REAL chocolate! Click the picture to see them on my website! You can also email me for more info
I also use the Dark Chocolate Pigmented Mascara!

What I feed my body:

I do a lot of smoothies and sometimes I also want something with it. And of course, I happen to LOVE chocolate. (But I do think it needs to be organic, and dairy-free!)  Currently, this is my favorite cereal. A beautifully made organic granola with generous chunks of Dark Chocolate, and sweet red Strawberries and Raspberries!  It is fantastic as a dry, sweet, crunchy snack at any time of day, as well as morning (or anytime) cereal.  And it passes the kid test (I think I am qualified to say this, since all 4 of my children (ages 12, 9, 4, an 3) love it too! An easy way to start your morning with a vegan treat!