Wow, I can’t believe the energy I have today! And it’s Friday. Usually by the end of the week I’m dragging my sorry self around, counting the hours down to the official start of the weekend. But something unusual has happened this week. I’m sleeping like a baby, I’m waking up feeling totally refreshed and I’m recovering uncharacteristically quickly from my hard workouts. What’s going on?
About a week ago I started drinking green smoothies. Yup, spinach for breakfast. And not just a little bit. For about 2 years I’d been throwing a small handful into my protein shakes but I decided it was time to go really green. My current formula: 1-1/2 cups of almond milk, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/4 cup frozen mango, 1 tablespoon of flax oil, 1 scoop of protein powder and 2-3 cups of organic baby spinach. Blend at high speed for about 45 seconds. My family thinks I’m nuts but they haven’t tasted it yet.
It’s GREEN, bright green. And it’s yummy. Trust me, I love my food and I definitely would not waste one of my 5 daily eating opportunities on something I didn’t enjoy. But this smoothie is deeeeelish! Sometimes I add a tablespoon of almond butter to give it an extra almond punch but it really doesn’t need it.
As a nutritionist, my diet is pretty good but, I have to admit, I do sometimes crave something sweet in the afternoon. I know when that happens that my body is trying to tell me something. We need a certain amount of nutrients to function not just adequately but for vibrant health and peak performance. Cravings are a signal that something is out of whack. Guess what I haven’t been experiencing this week?
These morning smoothies are incredibly nutrient dense. I’m getting a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, protein and low glycemic carbs….no wonder my energy lasts for hours. On top of that I’m also getting a big dose of fibre and phytonutrients from the spinach, banana and mango. End result: balanced blood sugar, sustained energy and no cravings.
What else happens when you get all that added fibre and raw goodness? No one wants to talk about this but, yes, healthy digestion which means regular bowel movements. And regular bowel movements (which we should all be having 2-3 times per day) result in the elimination of toxins and excess estrogen. That means better sleep, more energy, shiny hair and glowing skin. Don’t underestimate the power of a good poop!
More benefits: anti-inflammatory effects. Between the food we shouldn’t be eating, all the hours we push ourselves in the gym or on the trails, and the normal stresses of daily living, many of us have way too much inflammation in the body. Do you wake up feeling creaky, congested or just plain not rested? Dark circles or puffiness around your eyes? Acne, nagging muscle or joint pain, heavy legs? Interrupted sleep, afternoon headaches? These are all signs of inflammation. Solution? You just may need a little more green in your life.
I’m getting addicted to this energy! I’ll be experimenting with flavours and will keep you posted…..I’m thinking coconut oil, raw cacao powder, flax seeds, raspberries, maybe apples and cinnamon. Play around with the flavours you might enjoy.
Are you still skeptical? Why not join me in my green challenge? Try 2 cups of greens in your smoothie for a week and let me know what happens. I’d love to hear how it goes!