go green – it’s good for your health

Sometimes, despite all the knowledge I’ve gleaned throughout this journey, I find myself falling into old (bad) habits. Like waiting too long after I wake up to nourish my body.

Before the road trip I was on an awesome streak of daily Green Smoothies for breakfast. But long after the road trip has come to an end, I found myself starving hours after I’d woken up.

All my life I have done well at following a pattern, keeping to a schedule. But the minute something upsets that routine, it takes me weeks to get back into the groove. That ends today.

This morning I went back to a previous (healthy) habit. As soon as I woke up, I mixed myself a quick and easy “cocktail” to rehydrate my body.

A squeezed half a lemon into a giant glass of water, and then added a smidge of organic Agave to temper the tartness.

Water, Lemon, Agave -- a perfect cocktail first thing in the morning.

Water, Lemon, Agave — a perfect cocktail first thing in the morning.

There are many reasons why drinking water with freshly squeezed lemon juice is good for you. Here are just a few:

  1. Rich in vitamin C – so it supports your immune system.
  2. Alkalizing properties – so it helps balance your ph levels.
  3. Kickstarts your metabolism — so having it first thing in the morning will aid your digestive system and help your kidneys do their job in flushing out toxins.
  4. Good for your skin — Antioxidant properties will help combat free radical damage, and thus help you ward off the signs of aging.
  5. Cleans your liver — Aids in the detoxification of the liver by purifying and stimulating the production of bile.
  6. And many other reasons, including but not limited to: reduces your appetite; cleans your urinary tract and provides general (overall) health and immunity benefits through calcium, magnesium and potassium (in addition to the vitamin C noted in #1).

Lemons are great. And cheap. Don’t take the lazy way out and buy something plastic, in the shape of a lemon, pretending to be a lemon. It’s not. Yeah, I know, it lasts longer than a real lemon. That’s because it’s ARTIFICIAL.

Buy a lemon. Cut it. Squeeze it. Easy peasy.

Once I finished my lemon water (500 ml or 16 oz), I made my way back to good habit #2: I made myself a Green Smoothie.

I seem to vary up the recipe daily (when I’m in daily-smoothie-making-mode, that is) – but I always start with the same base. For me, it’s a ton of fresh baby spinach. You can also use kale. Or whatever floats your boat.

Don't be intimidated. I'll add some sweet goodness to mask all that spinach!

Don’t be intimidated. I’ll add some sweet goodness to mask all that spinach!

I load those bad boys right up to the top. Spinach breaks down to practically nothing, so don’t be afraid to pile this stuff on. Think of all those antioxidants!

Next I add about a cup or so of almond milk. But, you can use any dairy or non-dairy product you like.

At this point I give it a whirl on a low setting, just to break up all that lovely spinach. Once it’s nice and liquid-y (and a really nasty and toxic-looking green colour), I then add the magic:

  • 2 teaspoons of chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of ground flax seeds
  • protein: either a couple of heaping tbsp. of plain Greek yogurt – or – one scoop of whey protein powder. (today I went with vanilla protein powder as I planned to workout immediately after my smoothie)

Give it another spin-a-roo in the blender to get all those seeds and powder integrated. And then add the yummy stuff:

  • frozen banana pieces
  • frozen blueberries
  • frozen strawberries
  • pick your poison… buy whatever berries make you happy – and then just freeze them! Or buy them frozen. Whatever works for you!

Today I opted for bananas and blueberries from my freezer plus a handful of walnuts from my pantry (another great superfood!) and a handful of fresh raspberries which were threatening to go bad before I have a chance to eat them all.

Before adding the goodness and then after (inset).

Before adding the goodness (all green and liquid-y) and then after all thick and yummy (see inset).

And, voila! The finished product.

Quick, easy, nutritious and delicious.

Quick, easy, nutritious and delicious.

See, it’s barely even green anymore. 😉

Honestly, it tastes fantastic, it’s good for you, and it’s really filling.

This is a smart and healthy way to start the day. With a little planning (i.e. make sure you have the ingredients on hand), The entire process takes all of 10 minutes. And now there’s no reason to skip breakfast!

Get moving!

xoxo nancy

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24 thoughts on “go green – it’s good for your health

  1. First of all… GO YOU on getting back on track!!! I love lemon water too. After I tried a cayenne lemonade cleanser (to help with an illness), I decided I loved the flavor. When I’m craving a sweet snack, I just make some with fresh lemon/lime juice, a little bit of maple syrup, and a dash of cayenne. Sometimes I’ll add some chia seeds for a chia fresca drink. LOVE it.

    The green smoothie looks so yummy! (Yea for chia seeds!!!) I have tried a few green smoothies in the past but didn’t like them enough to make another one. And this coming from a person who willingly drinks wheat grass shots (though sometimes I gag…). I’ve also done the juicing thing and might not go back until I get a Vita Mix. But your green smoothie recipe looks very doable. Not complicated and yummy too. My favorite kind of recipe. 🙂

    You rock. I can tell you are on the upswing and I’m so excited for you. I thought about you while running this morning. I had a moment (uh…well…momentS) when I wanted to walk during my run time and “Keep Moving” popped in my head. 🙂

    I consider myself one very lucky woman to have you and your writing in my life. I hope today’s workout rocks and I look forward to reading more about your rewarding journey.

    Sweat On, My Sole Sister!!!

    • I did that Master Cleanse – for all of 2 days, I think (if that) – so I just shuddered when I read that you voluntarily whip up a batch when you’re craving a sweet snack. 🙂 That said, if I knew that I could eat OTHER food whenever I felt like it in addition, then I guess doing the maple syrup + cayenne wouldn’t freak me out so much. It’s the association that’s freaking me out. 🙂

      G – give this green smoothie a try. I promise you that you will love the flavour. I think many green drinks are designed to look AND taste like a green drink. In the case of mine, I mix up a protein shake as per the traditional ingredients, but I just add (start with) a giant batch of greens. To me, it does very little to alter the flavour, and yet it adds so many wonderful nutrients. And, if all else fails throughout the day, at least I know I’ve had my BIG serving of dark, leafy greens. 🙂

      Thanks for your wonderful support throughout my rough patch. I *think* I’m coming out of the funk. The good food/drink habits are surely helping. But not as much as the love and support from my friends.

      xoxo nancy

      • I’ve done the Master cleanse twice – one seven day stint to help with a UTI (cleared it up and I haven’t had another one since!), and one ten day stint to support my man who had been facing some health problems. I really don’t mind it. Except for all the work involved in extracting the juice from the limes and lemons…

        ANYway…just wanted to report that I tried the green smoothie!!!! I used raw milk (I’m mildly lactose intolerant but raw milk doesn’t bother me at all – go figure!) and I added extra chia seed because I didn’t feel like grinding up my flax seed. LOVED it!!! It gave me lots of energy and it was actually yummy. Thank you for this recipe. 🙂

  2. yeay for getting back into good habits 🙂 good morning routines really help the day (although I am not good in the morning as you might have gathered!)

    I love the lemon water idea! I am sure I can add that to my mornings 🙂

    I have still not tried green juices / smoothies though…this one looks more feasible than some…but I have trouble getting my head around the concept of drinking green veggies…

  3. I used to make fruit smoothies, but then I got lazy and stopped. But every morning I have my bowl full of fresh berries (gotta love those anti-oxidants) and yogurt. I admire those of you who make those healthy smoothies with spinach and such. I prefer to get my leafy greens in a salad. (But that’s probably an excuse. Gets back to that laziness again…) 😉

    Cheers!

    • I love a great salad, too, Carrie -but found that more often than not, I wasn’t getting enough (and certainly not daily). That’s when I decided to add it into the smoothie. All the goodness of the dark leafy greens, and first thing in the morning. As long as I have the ingredients on hand, I find it’s super fast and easy to make. That said, the clean up on the large Oster blender is a bit of a drag. I think I’m going to just buy a Magic Bullet and be done with it. The clean up on those is super easy/fast. I have one in Vegas – and I find that I’m making the drinks a lot more over there.

  4. A woman after my own heart!! I have a daily green smoothie,and my base veggie is baby spinach! Chia, ground flax mix, fresh fruit, vanilla soy milk, ice, protein powder, peeled cucumbers and let it whirl. Never tried nuts in the mix…….today I get to try something new 🙂 maybe your lemon water & smoothie routine will kick you back into high gear again!

    • I’m already feeling better, Joan. Amazing what the little things can do for you. 🙂
      And thanks for the suggestion on the peeled cucumber — that would be an interesting ingredient to add!

  5. Yay! I love green smoothies! This month is the first time I’ve ever made them anywhere near properly and they are brilliant! Well done on getting back into a good routine. Will be watching for amazing workout updates!

  6. Pingback: Mairzy Doats and I eat oats. | My Year of Sweat!

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