We have been talking about loving the skin you’re in… Draping your body with beautifully tailored clothes that fit and flatter every body type… It’s so important to wear clothes that make you feel good inside and out. Self esteem, confidence and empowerment are all part of that equation. But it’s also vital to our overall wellbeing, and to providing love and nourishment to the skin you’re in, to eat foods that are not only healthy and nutrient-dense, but that taste delicious! Health food can feel like a treat, too. I promise.
Who doesn’t love a smoothie?! Let’s face it, it’s as close to drinking ice cream as a milkshake, but a whole lot healthier. You get to choose your milk from a variety of plant-based options—if using milk at all—and there are so many yummy ways to add plant proteins, healthy fats and other nutrients. Use your imagination—the possibilities are endless!
Back in the day as a holistic health coach, folks often asked me about juicing vs. smoothie-ing. It’s a two-part answer.
1) As much as I love a delicious, thirst-quenching juice (hello beet-carrot-apple-ginger!), juicing at home is not only expensive, but seems like a lot of waste for such a small result in volume. Oh, and cleaning all the juicer attachments is not something I care to do on the daily.
2) The true benefit of blended smoothies over extracted juices is that they contain the whole fruits and veggies, providing fiber (roughage) which helps maintain a healthy digestive system. You ask, “But don’t they have too much sugar?” Depends on what you put in them, like any recipe. Natural fructose metabolizes slowly in your body so you can use it as energy throughout the day. Added refined sugar is another story (just say no).
These two recipes are easy to digest and assimilate quickly in the gut. They both have celery, and while it may seem mundane, the leaves are high in vitamin A and the stalks are an excellent source of K, B1, B2, B6 and C + rich in potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and essential amino acids (whew!). Celery has an alkalizing effect and helps strengthen your immune system, reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol. Lemon is good source of vitamin C, an anti-inflammatory, and fights to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol (while brightening the flavors).
Place all ingredients in a blender and give it a whirl until smooth. If desired, add extra water or ice cubes to adjust chill and consistency to your liking. Each recipe makes 2 regular or 1 super-duper smoothie.
SMILING BUDDHA GREEN SMOOTHIE
• 2 Granny Smith apples, cored, skin on
• 2 handfuls baby spinach (or other green)
• 2 celery stalks with leaves, rough chop
• 1 medium cuke, peeled, rough chop
• 1″ chunk ginger root, peeled
• ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
• juice of 1 lemon
Health benefits: Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamin C + the skin has quercetin, a natural antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. Spinach is known for its iron, but also has carotenoids for eye health and folate to support healthy pregnancy. Cucumbers are super hydrating, high in fiber and big on vitamins A and C. Ginger’s volatile oils stimulate production of digestive juices, neutralizing stomach acid. And parsley’s volatile oils have profound healing properties as a “chemo-protective” food which neutralizes carcinogens. It also has 3X the vitamin C of oranges!
ZENSATIONAL BLUEBERRY-BANANA SMOOTHIE
• 1 cup frozen blueberries or any berry mix
• 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
• 2 stalks celery with leaves, rough chop
• 1 fresh mint sprig (optional)
• juice 1 lemon
• 10 oz coconut water (or plant milk)
Health benefits: Blueberries boast anthocyanin pigments that help protect against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, heart disease and more + they help keep memory sharp. Bananas boast vitamins B6 and C, potassium, fiber, and manganese. And the coconut water is naturally rich in electrolytes—so you can enjoy an all-natural sports drink without the yucky artificial ingredients and nasty colorings. YUM!
Pretty simple, right? And all you have to do is rinse the blender pitcher (yay). I hope you try one of these recipes or make up your own. I love smoothies for breakfast, but they are a great snack anytime. Make it a meal by adding nut butter for protein and/or drink the super-duper size. Enjoy!