Kim DeJesus shares healthy eating tips

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Kim DeJesus shares healthy eating tips

I was thrilled when Chicago Tribune Live asked me to come share my passion for juicingblending and encourage people to kick off 2013 with a green drink. We had a blast on the show. If you have already wavered from your New Year's goals, get up off your fanny! Today is a new day, tomorrow has no mistakes and it is never too late to start your wellness plan.
First off, let me say I am not an expert. I am simply a vegetarian who loves the way eating clean and juicing make me feel. I have my days where I just feel like eating a slice of pizza, a delicious bowl of pasta or a vegan cupcake! I also enjoy a good night out with friends with a glass of wine (or three, depending on who I am with). Some weeks I do great, and others I waver, so don't expect perfection out of me or my diet because you won't see it.
But I have a wellness plan in place and am very aware of the negative effects that sugar, dairy and processed foods have on me, so I really try to limit them. It is crazy how quickly I feel the negative side effects after eating a sugary snack or processed food choice. Headaches, stomach aches, break outs, etc...my body hates it. Just because the FDA has approved a chemical as edible does not mean it is good for you by any means.
And then there's sugar. Sugar is 'no bueno,' folks. And the major problem with sugar is that it's in so many things. Don't even get me started on artificial sugar or I might pass out. Oh, and white breads and pastas? They turn into sugar so fast your body doesn't really does not know the difference between that and a slice of cheesecake. Yikes. Our country is surrounded with over-processed, sugary foods, so it's certainly not easy to make perfect choices all the time. It's important to be educated on the foods we put into our bodies so when faced with difficult food choices it's easier to make the right choice.
It would make me so happy to see people drinking their greens every day and trying hard to eliminate sugary processed foods! In the DeJesus household you will see lots and lots of green drinks; even my little guy loves his spinach juice! We totally believe in the healing power of green drinks.
It's no secret that we all know eating veggies is good for us (and hold the phone, I'm not talking about broccoli covered in Cheese Whiz or fried mushroom balls, people). Even though we all know this, unfortunately most people don't get nearly the amount of fresh veggies or fruits into their diets. That's why I say juicing and blending is an incredible way to get these raw nutrients into your bodies (and your kids). It's easy and its delicious!
Here are just some of the major benefits you can get from drinking your greens:1. Veggies and fruits are loaded with the vitamins and minerals your body requires to thrive -- there is magic in that fridge of yours (or Whole Foods produce section, depending on what is in your fridge).
2. Many veggies and fruits are anti-inflammatory (inflammation is the cause of many chronic diseases). This is HUGE, guys.
3. Anti-aging, helps with acne (good for your skin)
4. Helps prevent and fight diseases
5. Aids digestion
6. Helps with weight loss
7. Energy! Green drinks will give you energy that won't make you crash or have the jitters.
8. Nice booty ... it can help with cellulite, ladies.
9. Eating clean can help with depression and insomnia.If you are looking for a good juicer or blender, I know it can be overwhelming. There are tons of good ones on the market. I love my Vitamix; I use it probably two times a day. It's an investment but I have encouraged several friends to get one and they all say it's their favorite appliance.
I also have a Breville juicer. I incorporate both blending and juicing into my diet, but on the segment we only made blends. Following recipes is great if you're just starting and don't know what to do (the two recipes we did on the segment are below). I personally just usually use whatever is in my fridge. It's always best to use fresh produce, however I always keep frozen organic berries in my freezer in case I am running low on produce and need to make a quick blend. Plus they make a tasty dessert if you are craving sweets: blend up a frozen banana, frozen strawberries, a tiny bit of almond milk and a little spinach with maybe some blueberries and you've got yourself a delicious dessert. So simple.
Other things you can add into your smoothies to give them an extra kick are hemp powder or hemp seeds (for protein), flax seeds, chia seeds, cocoa nibs or cocoa powder, spirulina (strong taste), almond milk, coconut water or milk, hemp milk, etc. Just please don't put dairy into your smoothies. Whole Foods has a ton of great things you can add into your blends.If you juice and then follow it up with a juicy cheeseburger smothered in cheese with a side of fries, I can't promise you amazing results. That's why a wellness plan is important. If all this overwhelms you, start small and work your way up. If you need to start really simple, how about making a goal to try and start each day with a green smoothie or green juice? Juicing and blending are such easy ways to get so many benefits into your body. Not only is it amazing for your body, it is truly delicious. Kris Carr has a great book out there if you're looking for more info, called Crazy Sexy Diet.I have plenty more I could say but we're in the middle of preparing for our foundation's first official event, "Strike a Pose." We are going to try our hardest to raise money for ALS. It's a brutal disease, one for which there is not cure or treatment. it's coming up here in a few days and I've got lots of work to do! Sure hope to see you there, though! You can check it out on our website at daviddejesusfamilyfoundation.org if you want to come.But basically, guys, I'm not reinventing the wheel here. This is not rocket science. So how about in 2013 we all make a commitment to be nice to our bodies. We don't have to be perfect, but let's try to be nice most of the time. If you have any questions you can ask me at @kimdejesus9 on Twitter. I don't promise to have the answer though. Ha.To sum it up:1. Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed foods and dairy as much as you can
2. Juice or blend as many greens into your daily diet as possible. Drink your greens. It's fun, easy and incredible for you.
3. Try to eat clean most of the time (don't beat yourself up if you have a bad day)Here are the recipes I used on the show:ZEUS JUICE (recommend this to start off your day)1 pear, quartered and seeded1 apple, quartered and see1 orange, peeled12 a zucchiniHandful of spinachHandful of kale1 carrot, cut in half1 celery stalk, cut in halfabout a half cup of water2 cups of icePut all into a Vitamix and blend. If you don't have a Vitamix, cut up each fruit and vegetable and blend individually. Feel free to mix up the veggies here or use substitutes; the darker shade of green a vegetable has, the better nutritional value it has.GREEN GURU SMOOTHIE from Crazy Sexy Dietavocadoabout 8 romaine leaves1 cucumber1 bananastevia for taste1 cup almond milk (or water)(then I like to add ice to this recipe and also hemp seeds for some protein)This is more of a comforting smoothie; the avocado gives it a nice texture and the stevia makes it sweet. Please don't ever use sugar in any of your smoothies! Stevia is a good way to start if you don't normally drink your greens. I wouldn't add it to every smoothie either, just when your craving something sweet. Go easy with it -- a little goes a long way.Tips: If you're blending, you can even make a big batch and it can keep in the fridge for about two days. Juices you should usually consume right away or within 24 hours if you can for the best impact.

Why Cubs are excited for pitching prospect Dylan Cease: He's 'throwing lightning bolts'

Why Cubs are excited for pitching prospect Dylan Cease: He's 'throwing lightning bolts'

Theo Epstein's front office is heading into Year 6 with the Cubs and they're finally talking about a pitcher as one of the organization's most exciting prospects.

That's how senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod framed his Dylan Cease report to fans at the Cubs Convention at the Sheraton Grand Chicago last weekend.

It was a tongue-in-cheek summation from McLeod after he spent the previous few minutes fawning over Cease, the Cubs' sixth round pick in 2014.

Of course, McLeod and the Cubs can poke fun at the lack of impact pitching the farm system has developed when the homegrown position players like Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber just helped lead the franchise to its first World Series championship in over a century.

Cease, however, has been one of the more intriguing Cubs prospects for years — a right-handed pitcher capable of touching 101 mph on the radar gun.

"This guy is throwing lightning bolts out of his arm," McLeod said. "It's really exciting. But we also understaned he's only in Low-A this year, so he's far away."

The Cubs expect Cease to pitch for Class-A South Bend in 2017 after spending last season pitching for short-season Eugene and the 2015 campaign working in the rookie league in Arizona.

Cease — who just turned 21 in late December — put up some impressive numbers at both stops in the Cubs system, posting a 2.36 ERA and 1.165 WHIP to go along with a whopping 91 strikeouts in 68.2 innings. He also only surrendered one homer and walked more batters (41) than reached via a basehit (39).

Control is obviously an issue for Cease, but the upside is evident.

"He's so far away," McLeod said. "He's gonna go into 2017 as a starter. As with a lot of young guys, it's gonna come down to command and depend on that third pitch and the ability to land them for strikes.

"It's a special arm. He can pitch 95-100 mph with a big power curveball. He's unlike anyone else we have in our system since we've been here in terms of pure stuff."

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One fan compared Cease to Carl Edwards Jr. in terms of their lanky build and high velocity, setting McLeod up for a layup joke.

"Well, Dylan is much stronger physically than CJ is...as is everybody in this room," McLeod said as the ballroom filled with laugher. "Don't tell [CJ] I said that. 

"They have different body types, obviously. Carl is long and lanky and Dylan has probably put on 20 pounds since we drafted him, so he's more like 6-foot-2, 190."

By comparison, Edwards — who goes by "The String Bean Slinger" for his slight build — is listed at 6-foot-3, 170 pounds.

Edwards was drafted in the 48th round in 2011 and spent his whole minor-league career as a starting pitcher until the Cubs converted him to a reliever in 2015.

Cease may eventually go down the same path, but the Cubs are going to give him every opportunity to make it as a starter first.

Cease was one of the top pitchers available in the 2014 draft, but his stock took a hit when he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow while at Milton High School in Georgia.

That scared off a lot of teams — as did the potential signability issues with college offers looming — but the Cubs took a chance and have now watched Cease soar to a top prospect in the system (No. 4 by Baseball America; No. 7 by FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus) despite the cautious approach and lack of innings in professional ball.

"We have to thank Kyle Schwarber, actually, as one of the main reasons we got to sign Dylan Cease," McLeod said. "Because we took Kyle fourth overall, we were able to save money on the selection with him, which gave us the resources to go get Dylan Cease.

"He was a Top 10 pick in the draft — a high school arm that got hurt, fell down to the fifth round and he had a commitment to Vanderbilt, I think it was, and we were able to use the money we saved from Kyle.

"Just another reason to love Kyle Schwarber."

Joe Maddon’s messaging to Cubs before the 2017 campaign

Joe Maddon’s messaging to Cubs before the 2017 campaign

Joe Maddon's Washington itinerary didn't include an hour-long sit-down with Chuck Todd for NBC's "Meet the Press." There would be no rehashing the manager's Game 7 decisions as he stood outside the West Wing, though the second question during the media stakeout involved "last year's team" and how the 2017 Cubs are prepared to defend a World Series title.

"You're already there, huh?" Maddon said to a CNN reporter, minutes after President Barack Obama's final official White House event ended on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

But last year's team is gone — preserved now in highlight films and the hearts and minds of generations of Cub fans — even if so many familiar faces will be in Mesa when pitchers and catchers officially report to Arizona on Valentine's Day.

It would be impossible to replicate everything that made the 2016 Cubs so special. Baseball has its own relentless pace and the dynamics are constantly shifting. (Remember when players were passive-aggressively complaining about Maddon's spring-training approach during the final week of a 103-win regular season?) The clubhouse chemistry will inevitably feel different after climbing a Mount Everest of professional sports.

"A mind once stretched has a very difficult time going back to its original form," Maddon said. "We're motivated by it. We want to do it again, of course. There's no question we're trying to do that.

"I'm really leaning on the phrase or the thought of being uncomfortable. I want us to be uncomfortable. I think the moment you get into your comfort zone after having such a significant moment in your life like that, the threat is that you're going to stop growing.

"So I really want us to be uncomfortable. I really want to continue (to see) a pattern of growth and really try to get at them very quickly again."

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Can Jason Heyward recover from one of the worst offensive seasons in the majors last year? Is Willson Contreras ready to be a frontline catcher? Will Javier Baez have to adjust back to being a role player after becoming a playoff superstar? Does Kyle Schwarber in the leadoff spot and Albert Almora Jr. and Jon Jay in a center-field timeshare represent an upgrade over Dexter Fowler?

If healthy, Wade Davis should be a trusted, lower-maintenance closer than Aroldis Chapman, with an advanced approach to pitching and more clubhouse presence. As a staff, the Cubs will have to bounce back from pitching into early November (or not, in the case of the relievers Maddon didn't trust during the playoffs).

As it stands, Jon Lester (33) and John Lackey (38) have already combined to throw almost 5,000 innings in The Show (including the postseason). Jake Arrieta will have to deal with the pressure of playing for his megadeal in his final season before becoming a free agent.

The drop-off after Mike Montgomery — and it's still mostly projected potential with the No. 5 starter — appears to be very steep in an organization that doesn't have any high-end pitching prospects in the upper levels of the farm system.

After painting the bull's-eye on the chest and turning "Embrace The Target" and "Try Not To Suck" into viral T-shirts, a guy who hates meetings is still working on his themes for this campaign.

"I'm really rotating around the thought of authenticity," Maddon said. "I talked about it a lot last year, the fact that I think authenticity has a chance to repeat itself without even trying. It's part of who you are. It's not fabricated. It's real.

"I've talked about our guys a lot the last couple years. I think one of our strongest qualities is the authentic component of our players. So I'm really focusing on that word right now. Again, that's a great word to bring an entire message from (when) you get in front of the group that first day in spring training.

"I kind of just think like authenticity happens. And let's work it from there."

The costumes should be in midseason form with Maddon planning a house party around Tampa's Gasparilla Pirate Festival before driving his RV from Florida to Arizona.

Maddon will turn 63 on Feb. 8 and have to keep evolving, just like his players, who might outgrow some of those gimmicks. But the Cubs are still a reflection of their future Hall of Fame manager.

Amid all the uncertainty in Washington, Maddon wouldn't touch a question about what advice he would give Donald Trump before Friday's inauguration.

"I'm not even going to go anywhere close to that," Maddon said. "I will say this: I have a lot of respect of the office.

"At the end of the day, just have a lot of respect for the office, regardless of your political persuasion. My point would be to encourage people to really respect the office and let's see what we get done here over the next four years."