The season of weddings is here. And some of us want to look just a bit better when we show up in our finery. But even if you are not going to any fancy do this spring, you probably want to do a little cleansing and tightening before you put on your summer clothes. And even if you don’t care about how you look, you probably care about your health (part of how you got to this blog) so here are a couple of my ideas about quick breakfast or snack smoothies that will assist in promoting health.
These are smoothies that I actually drink most every day. I have found that I really do feel better all day if I start with protein, but I don’t always want to take the time to cook an egg, or peel one. I always keep hard boiled farm eggs in the fridge. I also am not that good at getting in my fruits every day. Veges are not a problem, as we pile them high at dinner, but fruits require peeling and the process of eating and chewing. All of these take time. So when I choose to write in my blog over coffee, or spend a little time knitting in the morning before the hectic day begins, or even if I have to rush off in the car to buy raw milk early in the morning, these are my choice. Then when I find myself in a hotel where, you know what the breakfasts are like, or with in laws out to breakfast at IHOP, I discover that I love these things and really miss them when I don’t have them. At times I will travel with the powder mix in a baggie and attempt to mix it in water on the road. Not too easy. But I suppose I could get one of those little battery powered wiggly things to mix my smoothie. Or, come to think of it, I have a shaker cup high up in the cupboard. It came with the whey powder I bought at the grocery store last winter. OK, I have no excuse. But the blender is really the best, because it can chop up frozen or fresh fruit, as well as mix your other stuff. So here you are.
Combine the following into your blender and buzz a minute or two till fruit is finely chopped:
- Protein Powder, 1 scoop (30 grams or so)
- Frozen Fruit such as strawberries, peaches, blueberries or mixed berries, 1 cup
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups water
- 1 T Flax Oil (kept in fridge)
Use different types of protein powder, I like whey because it promotes lean muscle mass, is very easy to assimilate, and safe for people, even who are lactose intolerant. You can also use soy or other types if you like. Some people should avoid soy and others can be sensitive to it. Milk is not so good, but will do in a pinch.
Add a scoop or two of a detox product like Designs for Health PaleoCleanse, or Ultraclear, to enhance the detoxification properties. These products have a number of ingredients that support the liver in its detoxification biology, and other ingredients that help cleanse the bowel and support kidney function.
Add 1 T of green food powder. There are lots of brands. Green Magma is one of the old standbys, it is from Japan and is very good quality. These products often have dried and powdered greens of every kind such as algae, beets, kale, spinach, etc. Some also have ground dried fruits and veges. Some have flavoring such as stevia for sweetness and mint or berry. You might start with a small amount in the smoothie till you get used to the taste. You can increase the amount slowly. You can use products of this sort from almost any vendor. We sell a good one at our clinic.
Add 1-2 T flax seed meal or freshly ground flax seed. The lignans in the flax meal are really important for gut health, and to help the body remove estrogenic compounds. This is really important since we are flooded with estrogenic compounds from our environment and food these days and they can be related to the development of cancer. Research this on the web.
Fresh fruit in season. I like pineapple, mango, papaya, peaches, nectarines, and even plums. You have to work a little for these. I like to buy a bunch of peaches when they are really at their best, bring them home and freeze them myself. I don’t bother peeling but wash with a very dilute bleach solution in the sink, and rinse, then slice a bunch. I then prepare cookie sheets by placing a silpat on them (a silicone non-stick mat). I arrange the slices on the cookie sheets so they are not touching but pretty crowded. Freeze in the freezer for a half day or so, then package in small zip top baggies, or what I do is package them with my suction freezer machine and bags. You can date them if you like. And store in the freezer. They keep really well, and if they get a little frost on them, its ok because they are just going into the smoothie. You could do the same with strawberries, other berries, nectarines, or plums if you like.
Add healthful herbs. I like to put in a tablespoon of Turmeric. I get it by the pound from Frontier (ask me about this and I can get you some). Turmeric is a really good antiinflammatory herb. Everybody should take it. You could also put in cinnamon for blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol, or whatever other herbs and spices you like. If you are brave you can put in the granular chinese herbs you get at my clinic.
About Yogurt in smoothies. I don’t like it because I think whey protein is more healthful and gives more protein per volume.If you choose to use it, use the unflavored kind. Avoid the sugar or artificial sweeteners in many. I make my own yogurt weekly but we use it in other ways. See an earlier blog post on how to make yogurt.
About Bananas in smoothies. I don’t like these because they have high glycemic index. That means they rush sugar into your blood stream which raises insulin levels in the blood, and can contribute to the development of insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes. I also think bananas are too caloric for daily use. Perhaps a half banana once a week as a treat.
You can really be creative with smoothies. I recently purchased many bags of frozen blueberries when they were on sale and have been using them. Now frozen strawberries are on sale so I am stocking up. Of course, it requires an extra freezer to keep all this stuff, but I think it is worth having one to save some money and time.
About flax oil and flax seed. You must keep these refrigerated. They will go rancid quickly. You must also keep them in light-obscuring packages. Flax oil is a really good anti-inflammatory and I think we all should take it daily. One Tablespoon of the oil, or 2 T of ground seed produces the same amount of oil. Do not purchase flax seed from the bulk bins as it has been exposed to oxygen and light, and therefore, by being oxidized, will CONTRIBUTE to health problems rather then prevent them. MOST importantly, grind your flax seed at the time of use. Use an electric coffee grinder that is dedicated to this task. I have one that is just for flax seed and herbs and spices. Another one is for coffee.
Smoothies are great to take with you in the car. You can blend it up and place in a jar with a tight fitting lid for later. Can be used as a snack, or even lunch. You will need to keep it fairly cool and it will be OK for the day. If it gets hot the lid may get tight and you could have some fermentation. As I said earlier, when I travel I sometimes carry the powder part of the smoothie to mix up on the road. I can eat the fruit out of hand later.
The smoothie is a great thing for one of your meals in your 5-6 small meals per day regimen.
You may see powdered smoothie mixes at weight watchers and other places. Really, these are a waste of money and filled with artificial ingredients. Make your own. Get used to the taste of real food.
I think that is about everything I have to say about smoothies.