I like to sleep. Few things are as fabulous as my well-worn feather pillow. That said, I hate the incessant sound of my alarm. The only thing that keeps me from smashing it with an angry fist is the fact that I enjoy getting up and sitting with my coffee and a good book. It’s how I start my morning and how I stay sane (well, almost). After I’ve lounged for a while and fed my soul with some good lit, I am usually ready to feed the rest of me. So without further ado, here’s my secret weapon smoothie. It’s quick to prepare, ridiculously healthy, and surprisingly tasty. I drink this delicious smoothie 5 days per week and it helps me power through my day.
What You’ll Need to Make My Secret Weapon Smoothie (looks repulsive, tastes refreshing!)
A fistful of spinach (I don’t do exact measurements). In her book, The Beauty Detox Foods, Kimberly Snyder, CN, says that “Green vegetables are among the most nutrient-dense foods.” They help keep your body balanced, which is essential for optimal health. Everything you eat leaves an acidic or alkaline residue. The wrong foods raise acid levels, and create a toxic environment in your body, accelerating aging and promoting illness. So that handful of spinach might not be your cup of tea (spinach tea? I hope not!), but it sure does a body good. I actually like spinach, and I often eat it potato-chip style (straight from the bag). But not everyone’s a food nerd like me. Either way, the spinach packs a nutritional punch without disturbing the flavor of your smoothie. Be sure to buy organic, as the EWG (Environmental Working Group) puts spinach on the Dirty Dozen list, meaning this crop is among the most heavily sprayed with harmful pesticides that washing and soaking will not remove.
A whole banana. Lots of potassium here, which will stimulate your muscles, nerves, and brain cells. Bananas are high in tryptophan, which helps your body produce the feel-good brain chemical seratonin. They aid digestion, reduce blood pressure and keep your blood sugar stabilized so you’ll stay satisfied between meals. Every good Yoga Mat Monkey needs a banana!
Mixed Berries. A handful of berries adds sweetness and a hearty dose of vitamins. I tend to use a lot of blueberries. They function as powerful antioxidants that help protect cells and reduce inflammation in the body. Vitamin C in blueberries aids collagen production — a protein responsible for skin elasticity. It’s your best beauty product unbottled. Blueberries are a high-fiber low-sugar fruit. I prefer frozen berries (sugar free) simply because they make my smoothie more refreshing.
3/4 cup coconut or almond milk. Skip the dairy. It pains me to say this because ice cream is one of my favorite indulgences. Occasionally, I will dig into a full carton with a spoon that’s meant for serving, but when I’m behaving I buy ice cream made of almond milk. The issues with dairy are multifold, but for me the evidence is visible on my face. Before I cut down on dairy, I had acne flareups around my chin, indicating a hormonal imbalance. Milk products contain hormones and inflammatory substances, which could have been the source of my skin problems.
1 packet of stevia, a plant-based sweetener. This natural herb grows naturally and is so much healthier than artificial sweeteners, which contain aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose — all bad for various reasons.
A full scoop of Amazing Grass Green Superfood. Before I settled on a superfood powder, I scoured the Internet and read lots of reviews pertaining to taste and overall satisfaction. I looked at labels and searched for a potent product that was reasonably priced. This mix contains alkalizing greens, antioxidant-rich fruits, and beneficial herbs. It’s free from fillers, and is certified organic, vegan, gluten free, and non GMO. Although it is, as the label says, “Amazing,” the taste is NOT! The chocolate flavor is milder, but a far cry from tasty. Still, when you toss a small scoop into your smoothie, you’ll barely notice the grassy bitterness.
Combine the ingredients in your preferred kitchen gadget (with ice, if you’d like) and blend until smooth. I use the Ninja to prepare my smoothies, and so far I have not sliced off any fingers or had any kitchen disasters. It’s a good little product with a smaller price tag than some of those souped-up machines.
Here are some links to the products I’ve named in this post…
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