Make Your Smoothie Work For You

ImageIt is summertime and you’re feeling fine! We dress brighter and freer. People smile more in the summer, we socialize more often and relax.  One of the things I love about summer is that there’s an abundance of fruits and veggies. We usually want to eat light because of the heat.  Also, it feels as if it’s easier to cleanse during this time of the year. I see lots of friends and online buds sipping on luscious smoothies.

In May I attended the 10 day program at the Living Foods Institute in Atlanta.  I learned so much about food, the body, our relationship to food, our relationship to ourselves and the significance of emotional wellness and spiritual health.  It was such an empowering experience.  Currently, I’m often at about 75% to 80% raw, living food while I’m at home and smoothies are an important part of my eating plan. Many think of a smoothie and only think—bananas, strawberries, oranges, pineapple, and mango. They also think about milk or a non-dairy milk alternative, added sweeteners including everything from sugar to honey or agave. However, I’m beginning to see these smoothies as “entertainment drinks” because smoothies have so much more potential to “work” for us thus the title of this post:  Make Your Smoothie Work For You.

A Vita-Mix is ideal but a good blender does the trick just fine.  I recently had to be away from home for a week and took my Osterizer blender I bought at Target 6 years ago.  It couldn’t produce the same volume, but I was blown away by how well it did the job. This is a quick post so it may lack detail.  Feel free to post any questions and I’ll respond.

Possible Smoothie Ingredients:

Kale, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Watercress, Parsley, Apple (cold), 1/4 cup sprouted mung beans or sprouted lentils, buckwheat sprouts, a 1/4 of cucumber, a tblsp of kelp powder, two or three 2″ chunks of frozen banana, 1/4 cup or so of frozen blue berries, maybe a little frozen strawberries, a cup of cold ice water, and if you need it sweeter (in the beginning) add a little cold apple cider.

Put all the greens:  Kale (2 leaves torn a bit), Watercress (a handful), Parsley (a small handful) in the blender jar first, then the chopped chunks of apple.  Add everything else and pour ice water in and add more ice on top. It may take a few tries to figure out how you like it best. Blend on high. Turn it off and stop to move around the contents of the jar if you need to. Also, add more cold liquid if you need to do so.  I often add my green powder supplement, Vitamin Mineral Greens, to a small portion of the smoothie in a separate glass as I don’t like the taste of it. Then I enjoy my smoothie thoroughly.

Now, some prefer a sweeter drink, some like one that is less sweet or even savory, but I find this to be a refreshing drinkable salad. My BFF says it sounds “interesting” and the thought of drinking salad sounds unappealing while my buddy from college scrunches his face at the thought of “drinking spinach and kale”.  I say don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, stay open to the possibility of significantly increasing your intake of nutrition, and be open to changing your mind, your thinking and your habits. We all want ‘change’ in our lives, but why are we so resistant to ‘changing’? The bottom-line is that it’s possible to come up with a healthier smoothie to suit your own particular tastes. Add those greens!

Keep in mind that if your diet currently consists of sodas, sweet tea, commercial cereals, a lot of starches (sugars), a lot of corn and/or cookies and cake, then your palette may need some cleaning. Your system might also need a little detoxing. Try a three to seven day cleanse while the summer is on your side. And yes, detoxing from foods can generate withdrawal symptoms just as if one were detoxing from drugs. Some say food is a drug (but that’s another blog post). lol *raise your hand if you were ever addicted to Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey or Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips or Mrs. Fields* We’ll talk sugar later.

Oh, and remember you can make enough smoothie to enjoy a few times during the day.  Simply store in 16oz – 20 oz glass bottles or jars in the fridge. This makes it easy to take them to work with you or to have morning, mid-day and evening. Your smoothie can work for you and add a significant amount of nutrition to your diet if you add in the right ingredients. Don’t forget it’s still important to drink as much water as possible!

If you’re interested in a focused healing/learning space, please check out the Living Foods Institute. Also, a number of my social media ‘friends’ offer support services for detoxing.  I’ll be posting links to a number of them in the coming months. Check out:

Nwenna Kai

http://www.nwennakai.com/

NOTE:  All of my green vegetables and apples are always organic. I do my best with the other fruits. I often buy the frozen bags of berries from Trader Joes.

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