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12:08 pm

How to Make a Healing Smoothie



green-682620With summer approaching, I thought it would be a good time to share some tips and tricks on making a nutritious smoothie.  Smoothies can be refreshing in hot weather, but more importantly, they nourish your body on a cellular level and can improve your health, your digestion and your immunity. Made properly, a smoothie can cleanse your body of toxins, assist with weight loss, hydrate you, and provide a simple, quick meal when you’re in a hurry.

Smoothies can serve a few different purposes as well. There’s the breakfast smoothie, the post-workout fuel-up, and the afternoon pick-me-up (or after school snack if you have children). My girls also love popsicles made from smoothies, which sure beats those questionable novelties on the ice-cream truck!

You could use a recipe that tells you exactly how to make a particular smoothie, but I like using this simple Green Smoothie Formula which allows you to get creative in the kitchen.

Easy Green Smoothie Formula:

  1. Start with 2 cups of leafy greens (like baby spinach, Swiss chard, kale, even Romaine lettuce) I like to rotate my greens for maximum nutrient intake.
  2. Add about 1 ½ cups of liquid (water, coconut milk, almond milk, or coconut water)
  3. 1 banana (freeze your overripe ones) or 1 pitted Medjool date
  4. 1 cup of Fresh or Frozen Fruit (pick your favorite, use what is in season or use frozen fruit)
  5. Superfood Boosts: Sprinkle in chia seeds, goji berries, Maca powder, flax seeds, cinnamon, raw cacao, or hemp seeds.

Serves 1-2 – depending on how hungry you are!

Blending Tips:

  1. If you don’t have a powerful blender, whiz your greens and liquids first, then, add your fruits and superfoods.
  2. If using fresh fruit (as opposed to frozen), add a few cubes of ice to chill your smoothie and make it creamy and cool. I like to freeze seasonal fruit to have on hand all year round to make smoothies. Frozen bananas make it super creamy.
  3. You can make these the night before, but store in glass jars with a tight lid. They may need a brief run through the blender right before consuming or a good shake.

The Meal-Replacement Smoothie:

To use a smoothie as a meal replacement, say for breakfast, it’s important to add protein and healthy fats. I like using a tablespoon of a nut butter like cashew or almond butter or you could even add pumpkin or sunflower seeds (if you have a high-powered blender). To add in a healthy fat, you could use a tablespoon of coconut oil or coconut manna or ½ an avocado.

The Post-Workout Smoothie:

Adding in healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado and nut butters can provide your body with the fuel it needs to continue on its fat-burning mission. Protein is essential too and nut butters and seeds are great in a smoothie after a good workout. Low-glycemic berries are best after workouts as well.

Make it Kid-Friendly:

Leafy greens and light-colored fruit like mangoes and pineapple create a bright neon green smoothie. I make these in my Wellness After School class for elementary-aged children and call it my Green Goblin Smoothie. They all love it once they try it, but some are wary of the green color at first.

Using blueberries and strawberries can turn your smoothie purple or pink, which can be more accepting of choosy children.

A Bit About Superfoods:

A “superfood” is basically just a nutrient-dense food that is really great for your health. We’ve all heard of blueberries, wild salmon and broccoli being traditional superfoods, but there’s a few more that are becoming more commonplace that you should consider adding to your diet. Superfoods are high in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and amino acids – which we all need.

Maca Root

Maca Root is very nutritious and it’s great in smoothies because the smoothie helps mask Maca’s earthy taste. Maca is full of fiber and amino acids, is great for weight loss and it helps deter sugar cravings. It’s also used to boost energy and a sluggish libido. Ancient Peruvians used Maca as a fertility enhancer.

Raw Cacao is another favorite of mine. Cacao is chocolate is its raw, unprocessed form. It contains theobromine which encourages a healthy balance of bacteria in the mouth, speeds up metabolism and boosts energy. It’s also high in antioxidants, fiber and magnesium, and boosts serotonin levels.

What do you put in your green smoothie? Share with us in the comments!


10:15 am

Can You Heal Your Thyroid or Autoimmune Disease?

Cindy Before & After


So, that's me in the photo on the left back in 2010. Not only was I overweight, but I was tired, filled with brain fog, and felt like I was moving through molasses when I walked. I had high cholesterol, migraines and tummy troubles. I was a hot mess at 40! Now, at 46, I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life, I don't take medicine, I'm free of those pesky health issues and my crazy thyroid is in check.

I was able to heal my body and stop the internal attacks on my glands and organs. You see, I was eating processed foods with chemical preservatives and fruits and veggies sprayed with pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. I was eating meat from the grocery store that was from animals raised in feed lots. I ate fast food occasionally, drank too much alcohol and wasn't exercising my body enough. My body started to attack itself because of the onslaught of foreign matter and frequent antibiotics that were destroying my gut flora. 

I was frequently ill with sinus infections, bronchitis and colds because I wasn't nourishing my body with healing foods.

So, what did I do? I got in the kitchen and started cooking real food. No more packaged meals and frozen boxes of chemical concoctions. I tried my best to eliminate all processed foods and those with GMO's.

I then started to eliminate foods that I thought could be causing my tummy troubles and sinus issues. I started with dairy. The post-nasal drip and seasonal allergies went away within a couple of weeks, as well as the frequent colds. Then, I introduced seasonal, local foods that were grown near me. I visited farms and farmer's markets and asked about their growing practices. I also sourced local grass-fed meat and pastured chicken, pork and eggs. After a year, I eliminated gluten. I found it was a huge irritant for my body. The tummy troubles subsided, along with the eczema.

This change made a huge improvement in my health. My energy levels soared all day long. I didn't have the sugar crashes and lulls throughout the day. Yes, I also stopped eating anything with refined or artificial sugar.

I made it point to find a local doctor who would test my thyroid completely and provide me with a clear plan to get off the medication.
I also worked on healing my gut. Those years of antibiotic abuse had destroyed the healthy gut bacteria that we all need for a thriving immune system. I drank bone broth, took herbs and practiced stress-reducing activities that allowed my gut to heal. I also added fermented foods like fresh kraut, kombucha, kefir and fermented veggies to my diet.

Refreshing exercise also played a huge role in balancing my hormones and dropping the excess weight. First, I just walked 2 miles every day and on inclement weather days, I would ride a stationary bike. Then, I added weight training and a barre workout for balance and strength. I love working out with weights. I'm not a "lifter" or cross-fitter, I feel those are too much for my body, but I love my 10-lb kettlebell and hand weights. You have to find what works for your body. Too much exercise can be stressful and not good for autoimmune patients.

Those of us with thyroid concerns need to practice stress management EVERY DAY! Even the slightest internal stressors can cause a flare. Take frequent epsom salt baths, read a magazine, sit in the sun for 10 minutes every day, get a mani/pedi and treat yourself to a relaxing massage. These are therapeutic and can truly help lower stress levels.
I hope these tips can help you. Sometimes it's easy to feel lost and not know where to start, but if you start with small baby steps and create a plan for yourself, it's completely possible to heal.
I'm living proof!
One of my new programs is called The Leaky Gut Solution. Healing and sealing the gut can help stop the release of toxins into your bloodstream that cause the body to launch an attack on your organs or glands.

Sign up today for this amazing new program and let the healing begin!