An Interview with Lupus Chick

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A few months back, we were lucky to meet Marisa Zeppieri, self-proclaimed “Lupus Chick.” As a new fan of Daily Greens juices, she had shared the story of her personal journey on Social Media — and what a story it was! We knew we wanted to know more, so here it is. Meet Lupus Chick! We think you’ll find her story as interesting and inspiring as we do.

1. You’ve faced a number of challenges in your life. Would you mind briefly describing some of the obstacles you’ve had to overcome?

Certainly. With all the challenges I have faced, I feel like a cat with nine lives. In my 20s, I was hit by a truck as a pedestrian. It took about a year for me to recover and doctors recognized the event as a trigger for Lupus symptoms to express themselves. Ever since my Lupus diagnosis in 2001, I’ve battled mini strokes, blood issues, a blood clot, heart issues, a brain aneurysm, vasculitis and Lupus’ daily aggravation of fevers, rashes and fatigue. I’m probably forgetting some but I try to focus on all of the great things that have happened in my life instead.

2. Can you tell us specifically about your journey with Lupus? How and when you were diagnosed and how has your life changed since your diagnosis?

As I briefly mentioned, I was diagnosed in 2001 later in the year. A few months into my recovery from the vehicular event, I started getting strange fevers, rashes, pain and ultimately a ministroke. There were enough things going on for a Rheumatologist to take notice and test me for a myriad of illnesses. Three weeks after testing, Lupus was confirmed. Lupus has changed all aspects of my life, I believe for the better. It forced me to reevaluate my career, things in my personal life, my faith and stirred a desire within me to make the most of each day, and to leave a positive imprint on the world.

3. Tell us about Lupus Chick. What inspired you to start it? What mission or goals do you hope to accomplish with Lupus Chick?

I started LupusChick in 2008 after meeting a lot of lupus patients who felt alone and were struggling with feelings of isolation and depression. Today we are a large autoimmune community and reach about 200,000 people per week via our website, LupusChick.com, and social media. In 2015, I added a nonprofit segment to LupusChick to help patients with educational, medical and physician costs. That year we raised several thousand dollars and gave away five life enhancement educational gifts to lupus patients who were in college or a certification program. Education is extremely important to me and my prayer is we are able to continue to program in the future on a larger scale.

4. We understand nutrition has played a huge part in your journey. Can you tell us how nutrition and diet have helped you meet your goals and/or overcome your challenges?

I’ve always been fascinated by the human body, and was actually in Nursing school when Lupus reared its head. Through the years, I became more interested in how food, diet and supplementation could help some of my symptoms. Then in 2010, I had my worst season ever. A major flare left me with severe muscle wasting, heart issues, jaundice, and in the hospital where I was so thin and literally wasting away, I could not feed or take care of myself. I became wheelchair bound for about a year.
Being newly married, this was extremely difficult for me. My husband and I happened to watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and it literally changed my life. We started to implement juicing daily and I began to see nutritionists and functional medicine doctors. Within three months, I was out of the wheelchair. I’ve never had to use it since. Juicing gave my body the nutrients it so desperately needed without my body having to expend energy. Six years later, I still juice about twice daily. In fact, I actually teach classes on juicing now in my community and online. It changed my entire life, and helped me get my health back on track.

Today, juicing, along with a clean diet that is mostly raw, gluten free, diary free and heavily-vegetable based, helps me keep many symptoms in check. It hasn’t cured my Lupus, I try to make that very clear to people, but…I am on the lowest medication I’ve ever been on in 15 years!

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5. At Daily Greens, we believe that a healthy lifestyle – including drinking green juice – can have a transformational effect in people’s lives. Can you describe your transformation, and how you believe drinking green juice has empowered it?

I know how severe my state of health was back in 2010, and it had gotten to the point where even the doctors seemed to be giving up. When I find old journals, I see daily goals for the day that included standing on my own for one minute with no assistance, or walking from my bed to my bathroom without a walker. Today, it is hard for me to even picture being in that situation and it highlights the radical changes I’ve had in my health. Juicing provides me with the energy I need to get through each day, as fatigue is a major symptom of Lupus. I believe it has also helped me with my skin, hair and nails, and supports my immune system, as I seem to catch a lot less germs. Over time, it completely changed my taste preferences too and pushed me in a direction of only eating clean, unprocessed food.

6. You offer a juicing class – what’s your favorite juice to make? And when you’re not making your own, what’s your favorite Daily Greens green juice?

I’m big on greens, so I love to combine kale or collards with some basil, cucumber, celery and ginger. I will even add a little pineapple in at times to mix it up. On rare occasions, I will treat myself to a more fruit heavy juice such as pear, cucumber and mint. I am a sucker for anything with pear in it!

As far as Daily Greens, I can honestly say I loved each one I have tried so far. I originally bought a multi variety case from Costco and was pleasantly surprised how unique and tasty the juices were, and I loved the fact they were low in sugar and not loaded with fruit. If I had to choose, I would say Harmony is my absolute favorite. It has three items I adore – pear, ginger and fennel!

7. What lessons have you learned that truly surprised you?

Living with a chronic illness that has no cure has brought about so many great changes and lessons in my life. It has made me even more compassionate, grateful for easy days and simple pleasures, and made me very aware of the small amount of time we are truly given on this earth. In some ways, I feel like I am rushing against time, as Lupus is so unpredictable. So it is my mission to make the greatest positive impact possible on the lives of others in whatever time I have left here.

8. Any great advice you’ve received along the way that you wouldn’t mind passing on?

As far as my personal life, my husband always reminds me to “be flexible.” And, with a chronic illness, I don’t think there is any other way to be. Surprises happen, flares happen out of nowhere, and we can only control so much of our life. Being flexible and in some ways spontaneous, has greatly reduced stress in my life.

In my “business” life, I’m grateful for the advice I have received over the years to dig deep and determine what makes you or your brand unique, and to run with it. When you focus on what makes you distinctive and stop comparing you or your brand to others, incredible things begin to happen!

BONUS QUESTIONS!

Hike or Bike?
Bike!

Pool or Ocean?
Ocean, no…pool. Tough! I am obsessed with the water.

Fiction or Non-fiction?
Non-fiction all the way.

Favorite fast healthy meal?
Collard wraps filled with brown rice, black beans, cilantro, red cabbage, sunflower seeds, cumin and a dab of salsa! I make a bunch at one time and they are great to eat on the go!

Write a Haiku about your journey.
Life ever changing,
Grateful for love, laughter, hope.
Lupus will not win.

Photo Credit: Cassandra Ewert Photography
Photo Credit: Cassandra Ewert Photography

Thank you so much for interviewing me about LupusChick and my juicing journey! I am so thankful for DailyGreens.

Find LupusChick online at: http://lupuschick.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lupuschick

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Daily Greens Releases Our New Line of Green Ades! A Healthy and Nutritious Way to Start the New Year

You don’t have to be “Green” to be GREEN!
Daily Greens is excited to announce the launch of our New Green ADE Line!

5 New Colorful Delicious Flavors packed with Powerful Nutrients and Green Superfoods!

Watermelon-Hibiscus
Orange-Turmeric
Jicama-Blue Majik
Green LemonAde
Lime-Basil

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Here at Daily Greens, our Core Value is Nutrition.
We pride ourselves in creating a nutritional drink with Green Superfoods and Ingredients that have Amazing Health Benefits! Five refreshing new flavors of great tasting juices filled with green superfood, low calorie and no added sugar! Made with Healthy Vegetables and the most Nutritious Fruits, each flavor has two or more detox cleansing properties ingredients:

Watermelon- Hibiscus: contains Chlorella and Hibiscus.
Orange- Turmeric: contains Chlorella and Turmeric.
Jicama- Blue Majik: contains Spirulina, Ginger and Jicama.
Green LemonAde: contains Blue Green Algae and Cayenne.
Cucumber- Basil: contains Chlorella and Basil.

Begin your New Year’s Resolution with Daily Greens Green Ades!
Hitting your local SW Costco shelves January 1st
Going Green Has Never Been Tastier!

Benefits of Each Green SuperFood

Benefits of Hibiscus
• Reduces High Blood Pressure
• Helps Lower Cholesterol
• Offers Liver Protection
• Helps Relieve Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
• Benefits Weight Loss, Improves Digestion
• Helps Boost the Immune System
• Helps Improve Skin Conditions

Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric, the main spice in curry, is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease. It has so many healing properties that currently there have been 6,235 peer-reviewed articles published proving the benefits of turmeric and one of its renowned healing compounds curcumin. This puts turmeric on top of the list as one of the most frequently mentioned medicinal herbs in all of science and the most interesting finding is that when turmeric is compared to conventional medicine its benefits equal that of many pharmaceutical medications. One of the most powerful advantages curcumin has over the traditional medical approach is the lack of side effects.

Benefits of Chlorella
Chlorella’s rich green color comes from a high concentration of chlorophyll.
• Supports healthy hormonal function
• Promotes cardiovascular health
• Helps to negate the effects of chemotherapy and radiation
• Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
• Aiding in the detoxification of our bodies
• Detoxifies Heavy Metals
• Detoxifies Radiation and Chemotherapy
• Supports Your Immune System
• Promotes Weight Loss
• Makes You Look Younger
• Fights Cancer
• Lowers Your Blood Sugar and Cholesterol

Benefits of Jicama (pronounced hee-ka-mah)
• Great source of Vitamin C and does not contain any fat!
• Promotes Good Digestion
• Prevents Constipation
• Lowers Cholesterol Levels
• Prevents Cardiovascular Disease
• Brightens Skin
• Helps Maintain Normal Blood Sugar
• Strengthens the Immune System
• Prevents Cancer
• Maintain Healthy Metabolism
• Helps in Weight Loss

Benefits of Blue-Green Algae
• Contains 70% vegetable protein and has higher levels of beta-carotene than broccoli.
• Contains a high concentration of nutrients- over 65 vitamins, minerals and enzymes and the complete spectrum of eight essential amino acids and ten nonessential amino acids… that are all easily absorbed by the body acting as an amazing anti-oxidant.

Benefits of Cayenne Pepper! Known as the “Healer”
• Relieves Migraine Pain
• Prevents Blood Clots
• Provides Detox Support
• Relieves Joint and Nerve Pain
• Supports Weight Loss
• Works as Anti-Irritant
• Treats Psoriasis
• Boosts Metabolism
• Source of Vitamin A
• Prevents Allergies
• Possible Anti-Cancer Agent

Benefits of Basil
• Basil is well-known for its immunity-enhancing properties
• Basil extract is proven to help prevent a wide range of health conditions, which makes it one of the most important medical herbs known today
• Acts as an Anti-inflammatory
• Antioxidant
• Cancer-fighter
• Pain-reducer
• Fever-reducer
• Diabetes-preventer
• Liver-protector
• Blood vessel-protector
• Anti-stress solution and Immune-booster

Benefits of Spirulina
This blue-green algae is a freshwater plant that is now one of the most researched and talked about SuperFoods today. It’s blue-green, absurdly healthy and often overlooked or misunderstood. Spirulina is renowned for its intense flavor and even more powerful nutrition profile! Taken on a daily basis the health benefits of Spirulina can restore and revitalize your health!
• Detoxes Heavy Metals (especially Arsenic)
• Eliminates Candida
• Improves HIV/AIDS
• Helps Prevent Cancer
• Lowers Blood Pressure
• Reduces Cholesterol
• Lowers Chance of Stroke
• Boosts Energy
• Speeds Up Weight Loss
• Alleviates Sinus Issues

Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is surprisingly the most widely used dietary condiment in the world today. The therapeutic benefits come from gingerols, the oily resin from the root that acts as a highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
• Helps Prevent Stroke and Heart Disease
• Natural Remedy for Indigestion and Nausea
• Maintains Malabsorption (regular digestion)
• Boosts Immunity and Respiratory Function
• Kills Bacterial Infection
• Kills Fungal Infections
• Cures Stomach Ulcers and GERD
• Relives Pain
• Helps Prevent Cancer
• Naturally Improves Diabetes

You can find Green Ades here.

Superfood Highlight

Some people absolutely love cilantro. Others report that it tastes like soap. If you are in the “soap” category, just skip it in lieu of another dark leafy herb. However, if you are one of the lucky folks who find the smell “intoxicating,” use it often in green juices or smoothies or tossed into your favorite salad. Cilantro offers loads of antioxidants, phytonutrients, and minerals such as calcium and potassium. You’ll also get vitamins A, C, and K and even some B vitamins from this potent herb. It’s truly a cleansing and healing dynamo that’s fantastic during a juice cleanse. To store cilantro, loosely wrap the stems in a paper towel to keep it free of moisture. Put it in a plastic bag and store in the fridge to preserve it for a longer period of time. Stored properly, it can last up to three days. When juicing, cut off the long stems, as they can be bitter.

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Thirsty Thursday

Honeydew is one of my favorite summertime fruits. Related to watermelon and cantaloupe (but better!), it simply melts in your mouth. It really sweetens up a green juice so nicely.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber
  • Big handful of spinach (2/3 bunch)
  • 1/2 cup (75g) seedless green grapes
  • 1/2 cup (90g) cubed honeydew melon

Directions

  • Wash the cucumber, spinach, and grapes.
  • Run all ingredients through your juicer, scrape off foam (if desired), and enjoy.

Meatless Monday

The dog days of summer are upon us. Cool off with a refreshing watermelon cucumber salad! The secret to the success is the sea salt, which brings out the sweetness in the watermelon and cucumbers. Enjoy!

watermelon

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cubed
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 cups (300 g) chopped watermelon
  • Handful of mint (6 to 7 leaves)
  • Handful of basil (6 to 7 leaves)

Directions

  • Place the cucumber into a salad bowl and sprinkle a light layer of salt over the top.
  • Add the watermelon and sprinkle another light layer of salt on top.
  • Tear up pieces of mint and basil and sprinkle over the salad. Toss gently, and enjoy.

Dinner for Two

One of my favorite summer treats is freshly made raw gazpacho. I love grabbing all the ingredients from a summer farmers market and blending up a big batch to enjoy over the course of several days. It hardly takes any time to prepare, and it’s even better the next day-stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight. Enjoy!

Gazpacho

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow bell pepper (yellow capsicum)
  • Handful of basil (6 to 7 leaves)
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 white (sweet) onion, cut into quarters
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup (235 ml) water
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 4 to 5 ripe tomatoes, cut in halves or quarters
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients except tomatoes in a high-speed blender or Vitamix and blend on chopped setting.
  • Add tomatoes and pulse until desired consistency.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

First Day of Summer!

Summer might seem like an odd time to cleanse since we’re naturally more active in this season, but barbecues and trips to the beach can mean a big increase in consumption of animal proteins- and a big drop in your energy levels! So if you’ve got an upcoming vacation or wedding that you’d like to look and feel your best for, the 4-day cleanse is the best way to jump-start your progress.  Try out our Summer Morning Green Juice to kick your summer off right!

summer morning greens

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 to 2 collard green (or kale) leaves
  • Handful of mint (3 to 4 leaves)
  • 1 1/2 cups (230g) watermelon chunks

Directions

  • Wash the cucumber, collard green leaves, and mint.
  • Run all ingredients through your juicer, scrape off foam (if desired), and enjoy!

Green Goodness

Vanilla adds a note of sweetness to this green juice without adding calories. Enjoy!

pure vanillagreen

Ingredients

  • 1 pear
  • 1 cucumber
  • Big handful of spinach (2/3 bunch)
  • Handful of cilantro (coriander) leaves (from 3 to 4 stems) (optional, but recommended)
  • 1/4 lime, peeled
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  • Wash the pear, cucumber, spinach and cilantro.
  • Cut and core the pear and cut into pieces that will fit in your juicer.
  • Run all ingredients except vanilla through your juicer and scrape off foam (if desired).
  • Add the vanilla extract, stir, and enjoy!

Midweek Motivation

Today is the day to let go of the fruit and start making your green juice as green as can be. This juice contains an amazing superfood- collard greens. Super green juice will leave you feeling energized.  Hang on, you can do it, only a few more days until Fri-Yay!

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Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 celery stalks, bottoms removed
  • 3 romaine (cos) leaves
  • 2 collard green (or Swiss chard) leaves
  • Handful of parsley leaves (from 3 to 4 stems)
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled (optional)

Directions

  • Wash the cucumber, celery, romaine, collard green leaves, and parsley.
  • If you need to cut the greenness, use 1/2 lemon. If not, skip it.
  • Run all ingredients through your juicer, scrape off foam (if desired), and enjoy!

Meatless Monday

Collard greens are a wonderful alternative to romaine leaves for the purpose of making wraps, but they are thicker and stiffer so you need a tiny bit of steam to make them pliable. To prepare, just wash and use the entire leaf.

collardgreens

Ingredients

  • 4 collard green (or cos) leaves
  • 2 tbsp raw miso paste
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (red capsicum), thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1/4 cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 large basil leaf, torn into bits (or several small ones)

Directions

  • Wash the collard green leaves, then steam them ever so slightly by dipping them very briefly in boiling water, approximately thirty seconds. (If you’re using romaine [cos], don’t steam.) This cook time should be just long enough to make them pliable for forming wraps, but not long enough to lose nutrients to the heat.
  • Coat each leaf with 1/2 tablespoon miso paste.
  • Distribute carrot, red pepper, celery, and cucumber evenly onto each leaf.
  • Top each leaf with avocado slices, and sprinkle with torn basil.
  • To eat, wrap the sides of each leaf inward to cover the filling, and enjoy!