It’s virtually impossible not to feel amazing when you start off your day with a good habit. Maybe it was the early morning run or the boot camp or the half hour of yoga you squeezed in before you hit the shower. Or just maybe it was the energy-boosting breakfast you’re about to read about.
My personal mission has been to do whatever I have to do to keep feeling vibrant and energetic every single day, and hopefully to learn something and have fun along the way. That was a big motivation behind me going back to school in my forties to study a topic I’ve always been passionate about. As I continue on my journey I keep re-discovering the power of green. In fact, I think I’ve recently realized that there really is a “magic pill” to wellness and it’s simply anything that comes in the colour green.
What does this have to do with breakfast? Obviously I’m going back to my green smoothie pitch, it’s been a while since you’ve heard it What I’d really like to talk about today is the stuff that makes our plant foods green – and that’s chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is considered the life-blood of the plant as it converts the sun’s energy to carbohydrates (remember grade 10 biology?) and when we eat these green foods, we basically are taking in this energy.
One of the most important aspects of chlorophyll is its alkalinizing effects. Bad things happen when our bodies become too acidic. We are more prone to fatigue, our immune system can become depressed and we may become more susceptible to disease. What affects our acidity levels? Well, mostly diet. Things like sugar, artificial sweeteners, excess caffeine, alcohol, red meat. Stress, sleep deprivation and even intense exercise can also lower our internal pH. Essentially, anything that depletes our mineral status will make our bodies more acidic. Minerals are super-alkalinizing so we need foods with higher concentrations of micronutrients to re-balance and re-juvenate our cells.
Greens are among the most nutrient-dense foods we can eat but not very many of us take in enough to really notice a difference. While having a salad at lunch is a fantastic idea, I’d argue it’s really just a first step. No such thing as too many greens, the problem can be how to I get them into my diet? That’s where the smoothie steps in.
This blog post was really inspired by a group of ladies I spoke to a couple of weeks ago. Our topic was smoothies and I wasn’t so sure if they’d be open to the green kind. When they suggested we try the “Super Detox” smoothie listed on the handout I sprang into action and started blending before they could change their minds. I was even more thrilled when they loved it! They found this particular combo to be refreshing and delicious. Not only does it taste great, it’s sooooo good for you!
Before I share the recipe, here are a few reasons why you want to get more green in 2013. Benefits of chlorophyll include:
- boosts red blood cell production = improved energy levels
- has a blood cleansing and detoxifying effect. Great for eliminating both dietary and environmental toxins such as mercury and lead.
- maintains bone health via its alkalinizing powers
- lowers inflammation which can help keep cortisol levels down. This can help promote uninterrupted sleep as well as help win the battle against belly fat.
- can lower blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels
- can counter free radical activity and inhibit growth of cancerous cells
So here it is, my magic pill, the Super Detox Smoothie. It’s not sweet but it is cool, refreshing and totally re-vitalizing. When you start your day off with something this good and good for you, you can’t help but make good choices all day long. Enjoy!
Super Detox Smoothie
- 2 cups water (or more to thin out the smoothie if you prefer)
- 1/2 cup cucumber (organic and unpeeled if possible)
- 1 cup each kale and romaine lettuce
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 green apple
- 1/2 lemon, cut into chunks
- juice of the other half of the lemon
- 1-2 tsp grated ginger
- 1-2 tbsp cilantro (or more!)
Cut all the veggies and fruit into large chunks. Blend at high speed for about 1 minute.
Drink up and feel great!