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Posts tagged ‘green smoothies’

Blending the Natural You

Autumn Sunset

Autumn Sunset

As the air invites a slight chill and the trees blush in brilliance, we are enchanted by autumn spices, lit fireplaces and the promise of a festive holiday season. School is back in session and summer travels have weaned as we revisit routine and tradition.  This is a time for renewal and re-forecasting.  What are your goals for the season to come? How do you want to look?  How do you want to feel?  How do you want to live your life?  The turn of the season is the optimal time to cleanse and refresh.  Increasing the amount of fresh raw organic foods in your diet is a simple and delicious way to embrace this new chapter in life.  However, raw foods alone are not the only answer to complete health and well-being.  Creating the life and body of your dreams requires a holistic approach.  Nurturing the mind, body, and spirit together will beautify and rejuvenate the total Self.

Nurture the Total Self

Nurture the Total Self

MIND

As daily routines are reformed, take time to revisit goals.  Return to yourself. Make yourself a priority.  How do you want to look, feel and live?  Create and practice motivating affirmations.  Harness a positive mindset.  Fill your heart with deep gratitude for what you already have in life. Say to yourself, “I am successful.  I am healthy.  I am attractive.” Fill in the blank with your own aspirations.  You are what you think.  You can rise up from the mundane and create a fresh start.  You can do and create anything you put your thoughts and your heart towards.  Be mindful; sincerely feel what you want and make it happen.

BODY

Take advantage of the tepid autumn weather while it is here. Get outside and move your body!  The best exercise is that in which you enjoy. Relish in the movement and honor the body as a fluid and powerful system.  Walk, swim, cycle, jog, surf, row, hike, garden- be creative, pick an activity and have fun. Breathe in the fresh outdoor air, and soak up the sun’s natural vitamin D.  Wake up and refresh the body.

SPIRIT

Take a moment during this special month to just be.  This enchanting time of year gifts us a tranquil lull before the holidays arrive.  Take advantage of it, and cherish these few peaceful weeks.  Notice the leaves turn, smell the air, sit in silence, watch the afternoon sun turn gold. Unplug from techno-culture. Be quiet.  Be alone if only for a moment.  A few minutes a day amidst your busy schedule will help center and refresh you.

Farmers Market

Farmers Market

NOURISHMENT

Feed your body well with pure foods.  There is no denying it, increasing your fruit and vegetable intake is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself.  Transitioning into a high raw diet is simple.  If you have a blender, you can start by adding green smoothies to your daily meal plan.  A high-powered blender like a Vitamix is ideal for whipping up silky smooth drinks, for it breaks down fiber to the molecular level.  Adding one or more smoothies a day offers extra vitamins and minerals, fortifying your physical constitution.  Green smoothies are an excellent meal replacement or can be used as an in-between snack.  With approximately 100-250 calories per quart, these green drinks are great for attaining or maintaining your perfect weight.  Take advantage of the late summer and autumn fruits that are still available like peaches and pears.

Making green smoothies is easy. Simply add the following to a high-powered blender:

2 whole fruits

2 handfuls of green leafy vegetables

1 cup of ice

2 cups of filtered water

Blend until smooth.

The flavor of the fruit outshines over the greens, making these smoothies delicious to drink.  Try the following recipe ideas.

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Peachy Green

2 peaches

2 handfuls of spinach

2 c. filtered water

1 c. ice

Blend until smooth.

*Nutritional Info:

Calories… 116

Cholesterol… 0

Dietary Fiber…7g

Protein…7g

Vitamin A…332%

Vitamin C…101%

Calcium…18%

Iron…28%

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Perfect Pair

2 pears

2 handfuls of dinosaur kale

2 c. filtered water

1 c. ice

Blend until smooth.

*Nutritional Info:

Calories… 260

Cholesterol… 0

Dietary Fiber…13g

Protein…6g

Vitamin A…414%

Vitamin C…291%

Calcium…21%

Iron…16%

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Mango Melody

1 ripe mango

2 handfuls of parsley

2 c. filtered water

1 c. ice

Blend until smooth.

*Nutritional Info:

Calories… 116

Cholesterol… 0

Dietary Fiber…7g

Protein…7g

Vitamin A…332%

Vitamin C…101%

Calcium…18%

Iron…28%

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Notice all the Vitamin A, C, iron, protein and, most notably, calcium in these fruited green yummies.  Are you surprised to see that a serving of green smoothie has as much calcium and protein as a glass of milk? Don’t be fooled by the milk industry’s ardent marketing efforts.  Greens have more of what your body needs! Dark green leafy vegetables are nutritional powerhouses loaded with chlorophyll, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. Calorie for calorie, they are the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food.

Greens make your eyes sparkle; they clear your skin and promote hair and nail growth. The carbohydrates in greens are packed in layers of fiber, which make them very slow to digest, balancing blood glucose levels. Greens are very alkalizing and balancing for the body and are wonderful mood enhancers.  They also protect bones from osteoporosis. The best food you can add to your diet are green leafy vegetables.  Any way you can sneak more into your menu plan, the better you will look and feel.

Organic Garden Greens

Organic Garden Greens

There are many benefits to eating a raw or a high raw diet. It is common to have an increase in energy. Sleep requirements are typically minimized, the immune system is strengthened, mood is elevated and a general sense of well-being is often experienced. Some raw fooders diligently eat 100% raw, avoiding all processed and cooked foods. This may be your lifestyle or goal, or you may simply wish to increase your organic fruit and vegetable intake. It does not matter where you are on the path towards health and vitality, just eat better. All your little efforts will add up to big results. Be food conscious. Learn to be aware of how certain foods make you feel. Eat high energy, health promoting foods, and fuel your body with pure nutrition that will help you bounce out of bed each morning and shine all day!

Nourish Your Mind, Body and Spirit!

Nourish Your Mind, Body and Spirit!

Raw Chef Panel Q1: What do you eat?

Q. Describe a typical day. What time do you eat? What do you eat?

A. I like to meditate first thing in the morning, but I don’t want anything in my stomach to weigh me down, interfering with my energy flow as I tap into a higher state of consciousness. With this being said, my first meal is usually light. I would also like to add that every day is different and my palate changes with the seasons. In the warmer months, I will have a green juice or a green smoothie. I make the green juice with kale, cucumber, celery, ginger, lemon and, sometimes, garlic. All these vegetables, I run through my Green Star juicer. I love this juicer, for it provides a high yield of juice that is slow to oxidize. When I choose to make smoothies, I keep it simple. In the summer, when peaches are sweet and ripe, I adore peach smoothies blended with kale or spinach. Another all time favorite smoothie is mango and parsley. (For recipes, click HERE.) I am absolutely in love with mangos; and, after adding this particular smoothie to my diet, I actually salivate when I see parsley now. It’s a funny thing, but my body just craves these greens. I have noticed that the more greens I eat, the more I desire. I feel optimal physically, emotionally and spiritually the greener my diet.

When I get hungry next depends largely on how I ate the day before. If I had heavy foods or ate a lot of calories the day prior, I may not get hungry until 1pm or so. If this is the case, I will have a late lunch. However, there are other days I feel hungry much sooner. I have no qualms about eating my lunch as early as 10am. I don’t get hung up on timing. I think too many people ignore the body’s need for energy, being slaves to a specific snack or lunch hour. The body knows when it needs fuel. Just listen to it. Lunch, for me, is a huge salad. I like to vary my green leafy vegetable intake for culinary variety and for health. It is important to me that I get a wide spectrum of nutrients from foods. In addition, my salads always include one whole avocado. I find by combining an avocado with a large amount of fibrous foods, I am completely satiated. One of my staple summer salads is made with avocado and strawberries. I will make this with an entire head of lettuce, adding one cubed avocado and a large basket of strawberries, sliced. I toss these ingredients in a light oil, lemon, basil dressing. This is easy, fresh and very fulfilling.

If I need to snack between meals, I usually do so with fruit. One of my favorite fruits are figs, and when they are in season, and full of sweet goodness, I can easily eat a pound or so. My eyes actually roll to the back of my head when I bite into a plump, succulent fig. Yummy! Please make note that I use the disclaimer, “when the fruit is in season.” I try to only eat seasonally. In doing so, I am supporting and consuming eco-friendly, locally grown and highly nutritious produce.

Another fun snack I have recently added to my diet is chocolate in the form of raw cacao. I have a low tolerance for stimulants, and cacao is certainly one. I can only take it in small doses, but I have discovered that a little will not only satisfy me for hours, but it actually elevates my mood. I like to make a chocolate ganache with a heaping teaspoon of cacao powder, softened coconut oil, and a splash of agave nectar or a mashed banana for sweetness. This is the basic recipe. To this, I will sometimes add coconut flakes and superfoods like maca, spirulina, blue green algae and/or Vitamineral Green. This creates a chocolate superfood jolt of pure bliss and happiness. However, due to my sensitivity to the stimulating effect of cacao, I will only have this early in the day. And, I will never have this treat before any spiritual work like meditation or Reiki healing. This is not a grounding or a spiritually stabilizing food for me, so I use it mindfully.

If my physical activity was low or I drank over a quart of green juice earlier in the day, this could be enough food for me. However, there are many days this is not the case. My second meal varies considerably. I do have an active social life, and there are many times I will visit the local raw food restaurants for a meal. I prefer lighter fare, entrees that use few nuts. I also enjoy raw desserts, so I will often order one when out. They are so divine and hard to resist. Though, I do occasionally order nut based desserts, I usually pay the price for that decision. Nuts make me feel acidic and dehydrated. I often wake the next day, feeling puffy with watery eyes and a runny nose. But, as uncomfortable as that is, sometimes it is hard to pass up well made sweets. I know the consequences when I order or make dessert; I accept the results, and I choose, consciously, to savor it. If I ate nut-dense meals or desserts daily, a raw diet would not be healthy or sustainable for me. Being a conscious eater is key. I am aware of my choices. I know my body, and I thrive when in balance. With this being said, more often than not, I make my own foods. Dinner at home could be anything from a shredded cabbage, cilantro, lime salad to a carrot, beet, garlic salad or a simple romaine lettuce, avocado salad tossed in capers. The more green vegetables I eat, the better I feel on every level. I treat myself to complex meals from time to time, but for the most part, I am a simple raw foodie.

Every day is different. My diet ebbs and flows with my energy output, my spiritual work, my mood, the weather, the seasonal produce available and my social life. As I write, today is a dark day. Autumn has firmly set in, bringing with it billowing charcoal-grey clouds. I am craving warmth. I also had a heavy seed day yesterday, for I ate a fair bit of raw granola from Two Moms in the Raw. Because of this, today I am simply not that hungry.

Today I ate:

Breakfast: the water from one young Thai coconut mixed with a tablespoon Crystal Manna blue green algae

Lunch: a quart of green smoothie- 1 apple, ½ bunch of dandelion greens and 4 cups warm brewed herbal chai tea

Snack: 1 large basket of strawberries

I am listening to my body. Though this doesn’t sound like very much food, it may well be all I need for the day. I find when I eat calorie dense foods one day, my body naturally balances itself the next. If I do, indeed, feel the need to eat later, I will most likely have a light green salad with very little fat, meaning no avocado, nuts or seeds.

My best advice is to be highly conscious of what you are eating and why. Listen to your body. Pay little homage to delegated meal times and peer pressure. Eat what feels right for your activity level and mental/spiritual clarity. Eat well, allowing your body to stay in balance. Listen within. Eat for health and enjoy the pleasure of it. Cherish your food and honor yourself.

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