Drink Your Way to a Healthier New Year

With the New Year just around the corner, and the” heaviness” of holiday eating weighing us down, many of us set resolutions to exercise more, stress less, and lose weight (often by crash dieting).  Rather than going on a fad diet, or cutting your calories back to an unrealistic, un-maintainable level, try making smaller life-style changes.

One of the best, and perhaps easiest, life-style changes a person can make is to begin incorporating healthy, live foods into their daily routine.  When thinking of a food as “living” or “dead,” there are two important aspects to consider; will it nourish my body and will it expire in a reasonable time period.  Unless food is preserved in a historical manner ( e.g. fermenting or canning), it should be unable to “survive” in your pantry for years at a time.  This extended shelf life, in most processed foods, can be attributed to chemical additives and preservatives that often promote inflammation and toxic overload in our bodies.  While these processed foods can be found in most meals throughout the day, a main offender is often breakfast and/or snacks.

My proposal, to you, is that rather than reach for a granola bar, bagel, donut, or sugary strudel, make yourself a Green Smoothie!  Packed full of fruits, and vegetables (hence the green part), this smoothie is quick and easy to make, provides tons of essential vitamins (including Vitamin-C), minerals (Magnesium and Potassium), healthy fats (Omega-9’s), and fiber (to help remove “Bad” Cholesterol and leave you feeling fuller longer).

Green Smoothie Recipe

Green Smoothie

1/2 Apple

1/2 Banana

1 Handful of Frozen Mixed Berries or Tropical Fruit

1 Handful of Spinach

1 Handful of Kale (Stems Removed)

Dash of Cinnamon

1/2 Avocado (optional – makes smoothie creamier)

1 C. Water

Loosely combine all ingredients in a blender and process until a smooth consistency is obtained.  Add additional water, as needed, if smoothie remains chunky/thick.  Substituting additional spinach for equal parts kale may also help to resolve any texture issues, as kale can be a bit more fibrous.  Drink the smoothie within 20-30 minutes of blending to receive the most health benefits from your “living” food.

TIP:  It is always best to rinse the blender out immediately after use, to avoid stubborn stuck on pulp.