Monday, April 16, 2012

Drink your greens!

One of the first changes I implemented was to introduce a daily green smoothie into my diet. For breakfast, I used to have a bowl of all brans with fat free milk, or some oat meal with hot water and splenda (yikes!) and some blueberries or something like that. Now that I know I am allergic to wheat, and possibly also dairy, those breakfasts don't sound appealing at all (not to mention all the unpronounceable and probably artificial and modified ingredients in boxed cereals and splenda).

However,  I didn't know about my allergies when I went on the elimination diet for the first time. I was just trying to figure out some digestive issues.
Green smoothies changed my life. And now, what I have for breakfast almost every single day, is a wonderful, nutrient and super food packed, homemade green smoothie.

Here is what I usually put in mine:

- a few leaves of kale, collard greens, chard, spinach, or a mixture of those
- 1-2 cabbage leaves
- a piece of fresh ginger (1/2 inch), because it is an anti-inflamatory food
- 2 tbsp of chia seeds, preferably soaked for 30 min or the night before, but it's ok if they are not.
- a cup or more of frozen fruits, either raspberries, blueberries, mangoes or a mix of them.
- juice of half a lemon
- water, and or carrot juice if I have some on hand.

If I have it on hand, I also add a handful of parsley, which is a wonderful superfood. It is jam-packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and it has been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies. It can help neutralize certain carcinogens, and helps reduce the risk of heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

I started doing green smoothies by following recipes on this blog, but then I became more comfortable creating my own variations. I do not own a Vitamix or Blendtec blender, which are the rolls royce of blenders. I have a Ninja Master Prep blender that I bought online for $40-50 that works perfectly fine. For kale leaves though, it doesn't always turn out very smooth and can stay a bit chunky, which I am sure a better blender could fix. But I personally don't mind so much.

Here is a youtube clip on how to make a green smoothie. You will be surprised how many servings of fruits and veggies you can sneak into a smoothie. And as she says in the clip, if you don't make any other changes in your diet, drinking one green smoothie a day will make a huge difference for your health.

so go ahead, drink your greens :)


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