How the smoothie revolution made eating healthy easy
With the holidays approaching there’s a fair amount if nervousness about how not to over eat, or gain weight, or not over do things. It’s great to be thinking in these ways because it means you’re conscious about your wellness.
I’ll be 48 in a month, which is a little long in the tooth to be running after a two and a half year old so my health and vitality are paramount both as an entrepreneur and as a mom.
Day to day living requires I maintain a certain level of health in order to cultivate energy both for my business, and my daughter. For me health is directly related to how I eat and what I put in my body.
Here’s what happened to me recently
Summer is amazing where I live. There’s lots of social gatherings and parties that involve clinky drinks and cold beers.
We tend to take happy hour rather seriously around here, as much to connect with our kindred, as to crack a cold one. Sugar is a slippery slope for me. I tend not to do a lot of sweets and treats but alcohol provides a sugar dependency so by 4pm in the afternoon, I start feeling pulled towards pouring a glass of wine. Daily.
By about October this year I started to really not feel well in my body.
I was bloated, not a lot of extra energy, I wasn’t sleeping well and my brain was fuzzy. I knew I wasn’t feeling or operating at even close to optimum. Food affects everything from my emotional well being to my physical well being, including the level of energy I require to stay on top of everything. After much huffing and puffing about it, I decided it was time to do my yearly (or almost yearly) fall cleanse.
My partner Cordell and I have been doing this cleanse for the past eight years beginning in early October and lasting 6 – 9 weeks. The effects are extraordinary. But a cleanse involves giving up A LOT of stuff. The first week is stimulants (like caffeine, refined sugar and alcohol… gasp!). Week two is carbohydrates, so breads and pastas. Week three is grains, week four is legumes. Week five onward is maintaining the diet while eating super nutrient dense foods. When we’re on the cleanes we feel amazing; lighter, quicker, so much more energy and elevated in brain power. Truth is, once you get through the first 10 – 14 days it’s a cake walk.
This year however, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make the break. It just felt like I had to give up too much and for the first time in years, I couldn’t commit. I thought OMG how am I going to change this because I’m totally relying on food that is making me feel like shit.
I decided to reframe the cleanse. Instead of taking things away, I would add things to my diet. I would use smoothies as the vehicle. I’ve been a juicer for a long time and love it but I have a really old, inefficient juicer and it was getting too expensive, so I turned to my blender.
My Good Life Project Immersion alumni, Jen and Jada from Simple Green Smoothies have made amazing differences in their health and built an empire sharing love, wellness and smoothies. I took a look at what they were preaching and teaching. Then I took my smoothie and started adding things to it that I wasn’t eating enough of in the evenings. I added kale and spinach, cucumbers and avocados. I beefed it up with bee pollen, wheat grass, chlorophyl and cacao.
The incredible thing was, after drinking a smoothie for breakfast and lunch (I make a big batch and make a meal out of it, sipping on it throughout the day), I started not craving the booze and chips and crappy foods I was having such a hard time eliminating from my diet. Instead, I started to naturally eliminate these things out of my diet.
Now I’m not going to tell you I eliminated everything, but what I did find was that I didn’t have to eliminate everything. By upping the nutrient value of other foods my body responded to by not having the same kind of cravings. I started to crave healthier foods. I know I sound like a lunatic, but this actually happened. It actually works.
I want to share with you the go to smoothie recipe my husband, daughter and I have every day. Sometimes there’s more things in it, sometimes less. But this is the fundamentals of what gets our day rolling. And there’s nothing more beautiful than watching a 2 year old swill back a smoothie full of foods that are only good for her. When I know she’s getting her greens first thing in the morning the pressure is off to make sure that I pack her lunch with with things I hope she’ll eat. And the pressure is off for dinner if we want to eat pasta or pizza. We still eat healthy and tend towards organic but getting these fundamental nutrients in us first thing in the morning makes us ALL feel better.
I’m not overweight but I’ve lost about 5 – 8lbs in bloat since starting the smoothie diet about 4 weeks ago. And I’ve had an unusual amount of people recently ask me what I use on my skin… which, incidentally, is nothing. I wash with hot water and periodically remember to moisturize. I think I’ve got a smoothie glow!
If you’re interested in checking out their new cookbook or participating in their 30 day smoothie challenge check out Simple Green Smoothies for all kinds of amazing recipe and food ideas. I recently bought it and LOVE it.
Heres the recipe I usually work from
- 1 – 2 cups kale or spinach (I’ll also use cucumber or chard if it’s laying around getting old)
- 1 banana
- 1 – 2 cups frozen blueberries
- I – 2 apples or pears
- I avocado
This is the extra good stuff that makes this over the top healthy:
- 1 tablespoon of ground flax
- 1 teaspoon of Vit C (buffered)
- 1 tablespoon of spirulina
- 1 tablespoon of bee pollen
- 1 tablespoon of Wheat Grass Powder
- 1 tablespoon of Chlorella
- 1 tablespoon of Maca Powder
- 1 tablespoon Cacao
- 4 – 8 tablespoons of Hemp Hearts (this is for protein, the more you add, the more you feel full and nourished throughout the day)
- 5 ice cubes
- .5 – 1 cup of Water, depending how dense you want your smoothie
- 6 – 12 oz of juice, ex. Organic Apple Juice, or whatever other healthy juice you prefer
- 2 tablespoons of goji berries
- 2 tablespoons of Chia Seeds
- raw ginger
- raw tumeric