I am back from a short, but very lovely trip to California for the wedding of our very good friends, Patrick and Summer. We got back home on Tuesday morning after flying a red-eye out of LAX Monday night and I am still trying to readjust to being back home. It was a great trip, but we crammed a lot of celebrating into just a couple of days. My body was definitely hurting when I woke up yesterday morning. Between eating a little bit different than I normally would, getting way less sleep and doing less yoga than normal and OK maybe there was lots of wine, a few chocolates and even a cigar or two. I feel pretty beat up, but it was definitely worth it.
First thing I decided I would do to get back on track, was a 3 day cleanse. Lots of fruit and vegetables, juices and smoothies, tons of water, etc. And of course, lots of yoga. My everyday diet has evolved so much that this really isn’t a massive difference from my usual daily eating, but for the next couple of days I am actively avoiding any and all sugar or sweeteners of any kind (including my usual maple syrup or honey), no caffeine, no alcohol, no meat, no eggs, no grains and of course, the usual no gluten and no dairy. My body just needs a break. Summertime can be a bit rough, even when I think I am being careful and mindful, only indulging a little here and there, the little celebrations that I allow myself, happen a bit too often in the summer. Next thing you know, I am feeling worn out, sluggish and all of those other yucky things. I actually got a migraine yesterday for the first time in many, many months, and it was a bad one. I am sure my body was angry at the excessive amount of travel, lack of fruits and veggies, lack of water and all of that wine.
Our bodies definitely can only take so much. When you are always treating your body with love and care being very mindful of every little thing going into it, even just a few days of “letting go”, can affect you.
I normally have a smoothie or juice in the morning after yoga anyways, but this week I am really trying to load the smoothies up with tons of fruit and veggies. Today I put a big, tightly packed cup of organic kale into my smoothie and it was perfect. I know I have shared kale’s many benefits with you before, but here it is again in case you had forgotten: One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. Read more about kale here.
Blueberries rank as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings. Additionally blueberries are an amazing source for vitamins and minerals and they are high in fiber. Blueberries are also beneficial for your brain. On a test tube level, blueberry antioxidants activate two brain-protective enzymes, catalase and superoxide dismutase. These are the enzymes that keep neurons from being “deactivated” after they are attacked by free radicals. You can read more about the many benefits of blueberries here.
Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since the average banana contains a whopping 467 mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium, a banana a day may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis. Bananas are also great for digestive issues, replenishing your body of much needed electrolytes after a bout of diarrhea. Additionally, bananas contain pectin, a soluble fiber (called a hydrocolloid) that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract and ease constipation. You can read more about bananas many great benefits here.
This smoothie may have an odd color, a little bit purple, a little bit green with little flecks of berries, but don’t let the color throw you off, it has such a great flavor. It is smooth and you would never know that it is loaded with healthy, green leafy kale.
[print_this]Blueberry, Banana and Kale Smoothie – Vegan + Gluten-free
- 1 cup unsweetened organic vanilla almond milk (homemade works great)
- 1 tightly packed cup organic kale leaves, stems removed and roughly torn
- 1 cup organic blueberries (frozen or fresh)
- 1 organic banana
- 1-2 soft medjool dates (optional, or other sweetener of your choice, like maple syrup, honey, etc)
- 1 small handful of ice cubes
Add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.