Morning green drink nourishes, improves health and energy, staves off hunger pangs

These days I’m doing Functional Movement System training 5 days a week and doing 15-20 hours of massage per week. Just had my 62nd birthday, and I’m feeling pretty darn good! Illness, including even seasonal allergies, seems to be avoiding me.

To keep my energy levels high and to feel great, I’m making a green drink each morning. Here’s what I put in it*:

  • IMG_4171A small handful of berries. I used blueberries today. They contribute to brain health.
  • Another fruit or combination, like apple, banana, or pineapple. I find green drinks most palatable when just mildly sweet. Avocado is good, too.
  • Greens. I add a big handful of power greens (chard, kale, mizuna, and arugula), enough to cover a dinner plate well. They add vitamins and minerals and fiber and other healthy benefits.
  • A chunk of ginger root the size of the end of my thumb, for digestive health.
  • Same size chunk of turmeric root, an anti-inflammatory.
  • A bit of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, up to a tablespoon, for alkalinity, nutrients, and to keep candida levels down (if I haven’t already drunk it in a glass of water).
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil for energy.
  • A half scoop of whey powder for protein. (I use a half scoop because I am small.)
  • 12-14 ounces of filtered water.

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Mild green smoothie has only 5 ingredients

Usually when I make green drinks, I add a lot of ingredients. Besides a base of coconut water, I add several green veggies like celery, cucumber, kale and/or chard and/or spinach and/or parsley, garlic and/or ginger for bite and medicine, lemon or grapefruit juice, and a bunch of extras, like hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, maca, turmeric, spirulina.

Today I decided to simplify. I poured about 10 oz. of coconut water into the blender and added a thumb-size chopped chunk of peeled ginger, the juice of 1 small lemon, a small avocado, and 1 bunch of spinach. Five ingredients, blended after each addition.

It tastes mildly sweet, with just a bare hint of bite from the lemon and ginger. I think this is a green drink that everyone might like. No strong taste, and the texture is very smooth, thanks to the avocado. It’s thick enough to make the straw stand up.

No need to add fruit to make it palatable. I notice that juice bars often add bananas or apple juice to their drinks. I imagine this is in order to please the sweetness-skewed tastebuds of people accustomed to the Standard American Diet.

I don’t have anything against fruit. It’s got a lot of great nutritional benefits. But sugar is sugar, no matter the source. I’m cutting way down on it, especially the really sweet fruits, and I feel better, more stable, for it.

I have had cravings, though. I think sugar has an addictive quality.

Just part of my food evolution….

Green drink recipe

It’s a day off for me, which means no classes and nothing on my schedule until this evening. That’s rare in my life. Massage school is on break for a week. My program, 3 full days a week, is called “the intensive” for a reason.

I felt in need of an energy boost, so I just made myself a green drink. I made mine in a blender, not a juicer. I like the fiber! I’d love to get a VitaMix when it’s time. They’re so versatile (but expensive).

Into the blender went the following:

  • 2 cans of coconut water
  • 2/3rds of a peeled cucumber
  • half a bunch of Italian parsley
  • a bunch of kale
  • a stalk of celery
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 T turmeric powder
  • 1 T spirulina powder
  • 1 T maca powder
  • 3 T flax-seed oil
  • 1 T flax seeds
  • 1 T hemp seeds
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • pinches of herbs from my garden: spearmint, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, basil

All organic where possible. This makes enough for 5 or 6 servings.

It tastes pretty darn good (even for a green drink), if I do say so myself. I take that to mean that my body needs it.

I’ve learned not to put too much garlic in. And if I’d had fresh ginger root, I would have peeled and added it, but what I had was rather shriveled, more ready for the compost pile than consumption.

Not only do I feel virtuous for taking the time to lovingly create and consume this concoction, but the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, enzymes, fiber, and the anti-viral/fungal/microbial/cancer, rebalancing, detoxifying, immune-boosting, energy-boosting properties of these ingredients will rejuvenate me down to the cellular level.

It’s very nice to do something for those hard-working cells that rarely get any credit!