My Spring Cleanse



Spring is certainly a time to come alive! I spent about 8 hours the other weekend cleaning out my apartment and getting rid of things that I don’t use. It felt so great. So, I wanted to take that same feeling to my body. I am a very healthy person in general, but there is something about a cleanse that makes me feel great. Something about getting out of your comfort zone and achieving something for yourself. It took me a while to decide what I was going to do for my cleanse. There are so many options! Also, I have a pretty busy schedule and didn’t want to go too crazy (like I have in the past) with a cleanse that was going to knock me off my feet. For example, the Master Cleanse, is great. But, it is a big shock to your system and can make you very tired for the first 2-3 days.

So, I created my own. I designed this cleanse for myself because it was achievable for me but still out of my comfort zone. A cleanse can be as extreme as you need and can be as simple as cutting out certain foods for a week. Here’s what I have been doing this week.


1 Liter of water

1 cup of green tea w/ liquid stevia

1 very large green smoothie*



1 very large raw salad



1 fresh juice or bowl of homemade broth


*I have been switching these up, but I often go for an almond milk base with a handful of greens, banana, apple and some vitamineral green powder. I just put a recipe on the Emmy’s Blog!

So far, I have been following this plan since Monday (it is now Friday). It wasn’t until today that I started to feel really good. Any kind of cleanse or detox can make you tired and maybe a little cranky. You must remember this is part of the process and to keep going. I noticed a real shift this morning when I woke up so I am going to keep it going through the weekend!


Some Tips For Newbies:

Create a clear and achievable plan and say it out loud!! Make your commitment real and stick to it!

Don’t let yourself go hungry: Have extra juice or snacks available so you don’t fall off!

Rest: Get extra sleep and allow yourself to feel tired, this is part of the detoxing process

Drink water: Lots of it!


Questions? Comments? Feel free to ask here! Happy Spring!!

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Bring Your Own Bag… Use It for Good!

GreenBAg knock out the Bag Monsters

GreenBag knock out the Bag Monsters

Did you know April is Earth Day month? You probably do. Many stores and businesses take this month to “be green.” GreenStar tries to be as green as can be all year long.

Starting on April 11, we’ll add a new incentive for our customers and community to be even greener. We call it Bring Your Own Bag… Use It for Good. The idea is simple — when you bring in your own bag for your purchase, you’ll get a token worth a 5-cent donation from GreenStar. Choose one of three local not-for-profit organizations to receive that donation by putting your token in a donation box at the stores (located on your way out of either store).
Our first round of organizations to donate to are:

Cayuga Dog Rescue

Ithaca Children’s Garden

The Robin Fund, administered through GIAC

GreenStar is hoping to encourage bag reuse and less paper bag usage.  If you forget to bring your own bag, our reusable green bags are always available.


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Superfood Chia Seed Pudding


Chia seeds are an incredible superfood. Found mostly in central and southern Mexico and Guatemala, they have been cultivated all the way back to the Aztecs where they were considered “runner’s food.” Chia seeds are high in fiber, Vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids. They are an amazing source of protein, calcium and minerals. Chia seeds can absorb up to 200% of their weight in liquid, so you really get a bang for your buck too. You can find find them in the bulk section! Try the simple recipe below for as an energizing breakfast bowl or even as a healthy dessert.

Makes Approximately 2.5 Cups
1 1/4 Cups Unsweetened Almond Milk (Store Bought or Fresh)
1/4 Chia Seeds
2 T Honey (or sweetener of choice)
Toppings of Choice
shown: pecans, blueberries, strawberries, bee pollen

Soak the chia seeds in the almond milk for 4+ hours. I soak mine before bed and let them soak in the
refrigerator overnight. When they are done they should be jelly-like and soft. Give the mixture a good stir
and then add in the honey.
Top with your favorite fruits, nuts and superfood ingredients. Enjoy!

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Make a Mini Greenhouse


One of my jobs is to come up with ideas for our monthly newsletter, the GreenLeaf. For April, I had some fun creating a mini greenhouse out of recyclable materials. Did anyone else see this cute idea on Pinterest? It seems really easy to do with kids. My family will be making these over April break.

Collect some plastic salad boxes ( you can recycle these in Tompkins County) and egg cartons (compostable). Cut the cartons to fit the boxes. Fill almost to the top of the egg carton with light potting soil, which is best for starting seedlings, and add  you seeds. Press the seeds in about 1/4 inch. I usually put 2 seeds into each “little pot”. Sometimes you will get 2 plants, and will almost always will get one. Cover the seeds with bit more soil and water lightly. Place the lid on the container and find a nice warm, sunny spot (you may have to move the cat). Water once a week and wait .




We did not have to wait long. About  2 weeks later our calendula seeds grew into little sprouts. After the sprouts grow an inch or so, remove the lid and keep in the sunny spot until you can plant outside or transfer to a more permanent container. Calendula is pretty cold tolerant and looks nice in any garden.


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Expo West Re-Cap



Just last month, Emmy’s Organics exhibited at Expo West. The Natural Products Expo West is the largest Natural Products show in the country and rated one of the top 200 trade shows in the US. Ian and I have waited years to be able to exhibited. This show attracts around 70,000 people and over 3,000 exhibitors from around the world. Hence, a very high price tag for the booth alone and then you need to give out a ton of samples, promo materials, get yourself and a huge display there, etc. Not cheap. BUT, literally everyone is there. All industry connections: other manufacturers, store buyers (from anything from Greenstar to Whole Foods to Wegmans to Bed Bath & Beyond), sales reps, ingredient suppliers, bloggers, health coaches and distributors. And the umbrella term is “Natural Products.” This is a big term. Almost every brand that you see in Greenstar had a booth there. It is predominately food, but there are also health & beauty companies, supplements, home supplies and clothing. The show takes up the entire Anaheim Convention center (which is right across the street from Disney Land…no, I didn’t go). Now, I have walked this show before. I was there last year to meet with some of our sales reps and connect with other manufacturers. But this year was our very first exhibiting year. We somewhat knew what to expect: a ton of people, needing an exquisite booth and being able to hand out a ton of samples. Most of our booth display was built in Ithaca and we sent that along with all of our product plus signs and banners and tables and more on two pallets.

On our way to Anaheim, we found out that our pallets were running behind and that they hadn’t been delivered yet. Ian and I pretty much had a heart attack because if your pallets aren’t there on time, there is a chance that you cant even exhibit the first day! Of course, this happens for our first Expo West. After countless phone calls and freak outs, Ian arranged to have our pallets delivered the morning of the first day of the show. At 7AM. He and his brother got up super early to start the set up (I was fighting a cold). When I arrived, it was perfect and gorgeous and we were ready for our first day.

What is always so humbling about Expo West is that it is such a reminder of what an industry we are a part of. Even if some of the products are healthy and some of the people behind these companies are working for the greater good, money still talks. You would be amazed by some of the booth around. Some of largest usually come from companies like Stoneyfield, Fage, Daiya, etc. Easily, these booths could cost around $200,000 alone. BUT, they get a great deal of attention and recognition. As a first time exhibitor, I learned a lot of things. First, certain people want to hear certain things. When a buyer, for example, comes up to your booth, they will want to know if you are new, if your products are gluten free, what other types of stores you sell in OR what distributor you use. Plus, it is your job to figure out what they want to hear and how to get it in quick. Second, a beautiful booth matters. Our booth was downstairs in the new products area. This was totally the cool spot with a ton of people walking through. Without a beautiful booth, a 10X10 area can get lost. So, we worked very hard the months leading up to design something that was going to stand out (pic above). Last, give stuff away. Because we planned on the amount of samples we were going to need, we were prepared. Having the freedom to give away product and sales sheets and anything with your brand name on it, makes a difference! In the past, giving too much away would tug at our heart strings because we were so concerned with the cost of it. Here, we saw giving product away as an opportunity but this came with growth. If we had done this show too early, we would have been only focused on the cost and if we were to get a huge order from the show, we likely wouldn’t have been able to fulfill it.

In the end, the three full days of Expo West, were a huge success for us. We met with some new sales reps, got one very large order and connected with all of our industry friends who we look up to and admire. The amount of energy needed for this show was HUGE! But, it was all worth it after leaving Anaheim inspired and ready to make some big things happen. We already have a deposit down for next year. Check out the link below from the trade show website with some great footage from the show! Maybe we’ll make it in next year…

Expo West Footage


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Something New to Eat Right Now

Bartlett pears. The ripe one is in the foreground.

Bartlett pears. The ripe one is in the foreground, can you see the blushing?

Finally, some new fruit has arrived. Nothing against the dear NY apple, but my family was getting pretty tired of them. Citrus has been receiving an unenthusiastic glare too. Thank goodness the ataulfo mango and bartlett pears have arrived. These fruits are such a welcome change to our plates.

The pears are served alongside breakfast and as an afternoon snack with cheese and crackers. One of my favorite dinner salads is mixed greens (from the box) with a few toasted walnuts (or the Emmy’s sprouted ones), pear slices, and a bit of shaved parmigiano reggiano. Pears are usually shipped unripe. If you leave them on your counter for a few day, they should turn from green to a “blushed” yellow. To ripen faster, try putting the fruit in a brown paper bag, close it tight, and leave at room temperature. Check the bag of pears daily, they can sometimes ripen quicker then you expect.

The mangoes are saved for dessert. My daughter enjoys mango with banana slices and a sprinkle of coconut flakes. Sticky rice with mango is another family favorite. Look for mangoes that are soft, not too wrinkly, and have a nice yellow color.

Coconut Mango Sticky Rice recipe
1cup sushi rice, rinsed
1 cup water
1 small can (5.46 oz.) coconut milk
¼ cup white sugar
1 ripe mango, pit removed, sliced
¼ tsp. salt
1 Tbl. coconut flakes
In a pot with a tight fitting lid, combine rice and water. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to simmer. Make sure lid is on tight. Cook rice for 10 to 12 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat when done. In a saucepan, combine coconut milk. sugar, and salt. Heat on low until sugar is dssolved and milk is just heated through. In a large bowl combine rice and coconut milk. Stir until all the milk is absorbed by the rice. Allow to cool for one hour. To serve, place half the rice in a bowl, top with half the mango slices, and sprinkle with ½ Tbl. coconut flakes. Repeat with the rest of the rice.
Serves 2

Mango sticky rice dessert

Mango sticky rice dessert



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Traveling for Spring Break? Bulk snacks might be your best friend.

Bulk_Snacks_2I find that when I travel, it is the easiest time for me to break down and grab that bag of doritos from the gas station or airport terminal. When I can I try to spend a minute in the bulk section of GreenStar, not for oats or rice but to load up on some healthy snack options before I get on the bus or plane. Our bulk snacks can making healthy eating much more affordable. Although some of them are sold in small bags, you are still usually getting a better deal because we are able to get a large quantity of the item and the producer doesn’t have to spend the time or money on fancy packaging. I also find that having a bag of dried mangoes or trail mix in my bag keep my energy up so that I can reduce the stress of traveling or jet lag. I have been in a stressful travel situation where I felt like my hand full of goji berries saved my life (not literally). When I load up on snack for a long trip, I also like to give myself a special treat of some chocolate covered dried cherries. And if you are taking the ShortLine Bus or the Greyhound from Ithaca, our WestEnd store in across the street from the State Terminal so make sure to give yourself a little extra time to grab a cup of tea or coffee and a bag of sesame sticks from our bulk department (The cajun ones are my favorite!)


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Quote of the Day


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Cauliflower Pizza Crust


Good old pizza night. It can be easy to find a ready made crust, but I like to make mine. When I was experimenting with a gluten free diet, it took me awhile to come up with a crust I liked.  This cauliflower crust is super good. There is so much cheese in the cauliflower mixture, you barely need any as a topping. IMG_1310

1 large head cauliflower

1 cup mozzarella cheese

1 egg, beaten

½ tsp. salt 

½ tsp. dried oregano

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Break up cauliflower intoflorets. Place florets and 1/2 to 3/4 cup water in a medium sized pot. Cover with a tight lid, steam florets on high for 5-8 minutes or until cauliflower is is very tender. Chop cooked florets into very small pieces, or pulse in a food processor. The cauliflower should be fine but not mushy. In a large bowl, mix together egg, caulilfower, salt and oregano. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or pizza pan. Pat mixture into a round “crust.”

Bake at 450 degress for about 15 minutes or until golden. Let the crust cool slightly. Top with your favorite pizza ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 

Makes one 10” pizza

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Another Buy Local Be Local Purchase

Finger Lakes Running & Triathlon Co. on the Commons

Finger Lakes Running & Triathlon Co. on the Commons

Do you remember the warm weekend we had a few weekends ago? That warm weather got me me quite excited for spending time outside (thank you for the joke, mother nature). One of my favorite outdoor activities is running or walking the Cass Park loop. It is a nice flat loop about 2.5 miles long. A few of us from GreenStar started exercises together last spring to get in shape for the Tough Turtle (more on that later).
Running was never my thing, but it started to feel pretty good. The shoes I bought last year are pretty worn out. Luckily the Guide to Being Local book features a few different coupons from the Finger Lakes Running & Triathlon Co. Getting 20% off a single in-stock item seemed like a good opportunity to check out their selection of road and trail running sneakers.

Lisa the store manager

Lisa the store manager

This is the type of store that gives real customer service. Lisa, the store manager,  was very helpful. She asked me about my exercise and running habits. She had me walk to see what my gait was like and gave me a few shoe options to try out. The personalized service was very informative. I would have bought a very different sneaker online that would not have been the right shoe for me. In my dreams I am my 20 year old self living in Colorado running up mountains. My shoe would be a super slick trail shoe. Reality is now, at 40 something, with barely time to workout, and difficulty going uphill. My new sneakers are white and pink with very good support. Finger Lakes Running carries a nice selection of workout apparel too. They sponsor special events and are a resource for running information in our area.
My fist run of the season ended up being a tiptoe through the ice at Cass park. It was a bit early in the day (8am) for the ice to melt. Fresh air felt so good! I can’t wait for the weather to break. Maybe you will join me some morning for a walk or run.

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