A sunday kind of Green Smoothie...

IMG_0712 It's a sunday kind of smoothie...it's actually been a week of daily green smoothies. I am back to my daily green drink and feel great! With the holidays and end of year craziness I let my green smoothie routine a bit on the side and could feel I needed my daily dose of vitamins back. I usually have it for breakfast. It's quick & easy to make and it's packed with fibers and nutrients to make you feel full longer. I noticed I have less sugar cravings. And I just love the feeling of eating food that is healthy and gives you plenty of energy to start your morning and in the same time boost your immune system, which is pretty essential in snowy winter! ;) All you need:

  • 1 Banana (high in potassium, vitamin B & C)
  • A handful of spinach (Vitamin K & C, folic acid, lutein, iron, calcium)
  • 1 Orange (Vitamin C to boost your immune system, fibers, Vitamin A & B1)
  • A teaspoon of Açai powder- of course if you have access to the real berry, then it's better. (B Vitamins, minerals, fibers, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial properties)
  • A cup of water

Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix it!

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Happy Green Day!

Sources:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=37

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/acai/an01836

"The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia", Rebecca Wood, 2010

Natural tips to fight Mr. Cold & Ms. Flu

IMG_7138It's that time of year..where your find yourself stuck in bed, no energy, sneezing, coughing and so on...yes, Mr. Cold & Ms. Flu are paying you a visit and I think it's safe to say we're just right in the middle of it! Here are a few natural tips and remedies to help you fight and prevent getting a cold: Listen To Your Body:

  • Time to slow down and get some rest. A good night sleep can do wonders for your immune system and help a lot with stress, fatigue and cold symptoms.
  • Go for a sauna/ hammam. A good sweat helps to detox and get rid of toxins. Humidity is also good to reduce coughing and congestion.
  • Take time for yourself. Bring the wellness to your home with a candlelit bubble bath or shower. Water therapies can really make you feel better if you're feeling under the weather. During the colder months, it's good to slow down a bit and do things for yourself. Self care is definitely something you want to add to your day. Maybe its a good time to stay home under the covers and read that book you've been wanting to start or go for a massage.
  • Listen to your body! It's better to rest for a few days until you get back on your feet then to drag your viruses and feeling sick for days or weeks..

Eat & Drink, the healthy way:

  • Drink green juices and green smoothies daily to boost your antioxidants intake.
  • Drink plenty of fluids- water, herbal teas. Our homes are so dry due to overheating, it's important to keep hydrated. On this note, open your windows everyday to get some fresh air into your home.
  • Warm water with lemon juice (vitamin C, immune system booster), ginger (antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and specially known to fight colds), a dash of cayenne pepper (vitamin A, antioxidant and help to decrease fever) and turmeric (anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant). It's my favorite detox drink.
  • Add some immune system booster food like garlic: it's the king of natural remedies with antibacterial components, it has more effect if eaten raw, like in salad dressing or in your juice if you feel strong enough to try it! ;) , broccoli, kale and everything green leafy vegetables.
  • Elderberries are famous to speed recovery and boost the immune system. They contain vitamin A,B,C and amino acids.
  • Food rich in vitamin A, C, and Zinc.
  • Eat soups, vegetables and fruits. Avoid sugar, dairy and processed foods as they produce inflammation in the body and just make things worse.

A strong immune system is the best prevention to avoid catching a cold. So, keep a healthy diet with lots of nutrients, vitamins, exercise and a good laugh the whole year!

What are your natural remedies to fight colds & flus? Would love to hear yours!

Happy Vitamin Day!

Sources:

http://www.wellnesstoday.com/nutrition/5-natural-alternatives-flu-shots

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/15/cold-flu-prevention-natural-immune-boosters_n_2474430.html#slide=1984564

http://www.livestrong.com/article/278219-medical-benefits-of-cayenne-pepper/

Green Smoothies Benefits!

Time to add some green into your life!

So what is exactly this green madness you might ask?! Well for the ones who think this drink should belong to Shrek...you should definitely try it! It's greenylicious!;)

Green smoothies are a great way to add greens into your diet, the easy way! I'm a big fan of those healthy smoothies as I could feel the difference in my energy level and body in general when I started drinking them last november. I usually alternate with juices for my morning breakfast depending my mood or what I feel like having.

So what is it exactly?

  • It's a blended drink with fruits, leafy green vegetables and water.

Check out their health benefits:

  • Weight loss

Your food cravings and taste for sweets will surely disappear after a few weeks of  green smoothie consumption! It is filling so you won't feel hungry after and won't indulge in those cookies.

  • Nutrients & Digestion

Nutrients that are blended are absorbed better than regular food and are easier to digest since the food is already broke down. The enzymes and fibers contained in the green leaves will help you to digest the food better. It also means you can consume more greens blended than in salads for example. It could be a great way to make your kids eat more veggies. It is packed with minerals, vitamins and fibers.

  • Immune system

It will strengthen your immune system and you will become strangers with Mr. Cold & Mrs. Flu.

  • Fibers

Green leaves contains insoluble fibers that are needed to eliminate the waste and toxins accumulated in the body. 

  • Energy

It will give you a boost! Great way to start your morning full of energy!

  • Alkalizing your body

Our way of living is pretty much  a combination of being stressed out, eating processed food, not doing enough exercise which result our body to be more acidic than alkaline. Acidity in the body is an open door for infections and illnesses. Green smoothies are a great source to alkalize your body and balance your pH.

  • Chlorophyll

Leafy greens contain what is often called "liquid sunshine". Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants that brings sunshine to your body! It contains minerals and proteins and cleanses the system and oxygenates the organs.  According to Dr. Ann Wigmore, the pioneer of living foods and wheatgrass juice,  "consuming chlorophyll is like receiving a healthy blood transfusion". It helps rebuild the blood flow, purify the liver from the toxins. The brain functions at its best when highly oxygenate.

  • Glowing Skin 

Your skin will start glowing and have a better & healthier complexion. As your body is receiving all the good nutrients and is getting rid of the toxins, it will show up on your face and you will look radiant!

  • And not to forget the awesome feeling you will have after drinking them!;)

Victoria Boutenko is the woman who started drinking green smoothies to improve her health and is the author of "Green for Life". Her family changed their whole diet due to health issues. They ate raw food for 7 years which improved significantly their health. After hitting a plateau, she started to look for what was missing in their diet with an opened mind and scientific approach. Leafy green vegetables were the answer. She suggests a special food group for leafy greens as they are totally different from the starchy vegetables. Their enzymes are digested differently from the other food groups. Dr. Ann Wigmore said that green leaves are the only food group that could be combined with any other one without problem, such as fermentation. She also recommends not to mix fruits with starchy vegetables (carrots, beets, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, etc.) because the mixture doesn't combine well with those two types.

All you need:

  • A powerful blender
  • Fruits (bananas are usually used as a base with its creamy texture but you can use any kind of fruits - berries are great too!)
  • Leafy greens such as spinach, parsley, romaine lettuce, kale, swiss chard, green collards, bok choy.

If you're new to green smoothies:

I would recommend to start with spinach or romaine lettuce as you will barely taste the greens. You can also add dates or more fruits for the sweet taste. I think it's important that you like your first smoothie, so you'll keep drinking them, as on the opposite if they are super packed with greens at first, you might find them too "green" and stop after your first one. You can slowly increase the percentage of green leaves. You just have to try and test!  You don't need to add a lot of different fruits. Keep it simple with a few ingredients.

It is also good and important to vary your greens and change every other day/ week as they all contain different nutrients and mainly because greens contain a very small dose of alkaloids, which on small amount isn't a problem but could cause on the long term symptoms of poisoning (if you eat spinach or kale everyday for weeks and weeks).

I usually make my green smoothie in the morning for breakfast. It became my weekly routine, as I feel really good after drinking them and it keep me full until lunch time. It's the perfect drink before or after a jog or workout. You could make it for lunch, dinner or it's also perfect as a snack. It's super quick to prepare and easy to carry in a mug or in a bottle. You can keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days...but I always drink mine fresh, as it tastes better and you get more nutrients.

My friends & family who tried them were positively surprised by the good taste and were asking for more!;)

 

Are you a fan of those green monsters drinks? Have you seen any health benefits thanks to adding them to your diet? Are you starting? Share your thoughts!

Happy Green day!

Sources:

"Green for Life", Victoria Boutenko, 2010

"Green Smoothie Revolution", Victoria Boutenko, 2009

"Les incroyables vertus des smoothies verts", Colette Hervé-Pairain et Nadège Pairain, 2011