Smoothies for Everyone!

My first green smoothie of the week … yummmm!
I just finished participating in the Transformational Nutrition Summit, and after a few days of nerding out, here was my big takeaway:

Drink smoothies.

I'm not kidding! Sometimes it's just that easy.

As many of you know, I already feature smoothies in most of my menu plans, but in the craziness of our move to New York, I had gotten away from drinking them lately.

Have you ever noticed that reminders seem to come at exactly the right time?

We have been busy making friends in our new hometown. Saturday we went out for cocktails with some new friends who also happen to be 10 years our junior. Needless to say, I woke up on Sunday in the mood to detox!

The Summit lecture I watched that day (from the couch!) touched on the concept of switching to green smoothies for breakfast, and how that small change can reduce all sorts of health hazards.

It's important to note that they were talking about smoothies, not juices. While juices contain many of the same nutritional benefits, they are missing one important ingredient: fiber. Fiber is what slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which is important for preventing blood sugar spikes (and potentially, gestational diabetes and other blood-sugar-related health issues).

Depending on what you put in them, green smoothies are excellent detoxifiers. They can also be quite nutrient-dense. This makes them a great choice for reproductive health and pregnancy!

Plus, they're super-easy to make. To start, you want about 60% fruit and 40% veggies. What you decide to put in it is up to you, but spinach and romaine are excellent starter veggies because they are less flavorful and more easily blended than some hardier greens.

Here's a recipe I recommend:

Green Smoothie

1/2 c. filtered water - hydrating, nontoxic
2 big handfuls spinach - rich in bioavailable folate
1/2 organic apple - antioxidants galore! Great for protecting your reproductive cells (and your hubby's!) and reducing the risk of miscarriage
1/2 banana - makes for a creamy base, rich in potassium
1/2 c. frozen berries - strong antioxidant properties
2 T. chia seed - rich in omega-3 fatty acids
10-15 walnuts - another plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as protein
1/3 cucumber - natural source of Vitamin K (Vitamin D's partner-in-crime) and a bounty of antioxidants
2 T. cilantro or parsley - super detoxifying
1-2 "coins" ginger & turmeric root (slice off a couple of pieces)
1 T. coconut oil - healthy fat, good for your hormones
1/2 avocado - rich in Vitamins E (powerful antioxidant that reduces the risk of miscarriage) and B5 (essential for reproduction)
1 t. cinnamon - warming, aids in blood sugar control
1 t. nutritional yeast - B-vitamin bounty and protein-rich
Optional power boost: dump a tablespoon of the juice from naturally fermented sauerkraut or pickles into the smoothie for some probiotic punch!

Pour water into blender (I love my Vitamix). Add other ingredients and blend to a smoothie consistency. Serve!  Drink slowly and mindfully.

You can see how easy it is to just keep adding yummy stuff to your smoothie. Experiment and see what you come up with using the 60/40 formula above and adding in fresh herbs, spices and "boosters" to increase its nutritional value. I'd love to hear about what your favorite combination is - tell me on the Facebook page!

A note for women suffering from hypothyroid: Most raw leafy greens are goitrogens, that is, they block thyroid function. If you are hypothyroid, you can avoid this effect by steaming or sautéing your greens before adding them. They will lose some of their nutritional value in cooking (mostly Vitamins C and B, including folate), but much of it will remain, including important minerals like iron.

Hungry for more?