I've had multiple friends and family members become interested in trying to make a healthy smoothie of their own but seem a bit nervous about it when I explain to them how I make mine.
(I just throw in whatever I feel like that day.)
Many of them follow up with asking me, "How do you even know if your smoothies will taste good if you just put in whatever comes to mind?"
Well, the answer is quite simple. They are all fresh tasting ingredients, so why wouldn't it taste anything but good?
I'm not expecting to create an ice cream sundae in there. I'm expecting to create something that tastes really fresh and has a ton of nutrition that will make me feel like I am high on life while giving me lasting energy to keep up with my child without the sugar/caffeine crash later on.
Your homemade smoothies are always going to taste a little more "earthy" compared to a mainstream smoothie chain that tend to use sugar and maybe some other ingredients that aren't good for you. Hopefully the difference between you and them is that you will be working with a ton of greens and some fresh or frozen fruits which will be so much better for you rather than just a ton of fruit, GMO-fed cow's milk, sweeteners like sugars and syrups,etc.
My wish for my friends and family who are interested in making a healthy smoothie once in a while is that they be adventurous and purchase that new ingredient like fresh turmeric, ginger, rainbow chard, chia seeds, coconut milk, whatever it is! I list them as I learn so hopefully it will peak your interest and you won't be so afraid to try it because you'll see that I gobbled up my smoothie and it turned out delicious. When fresh things get blended together so well, it is very hard to pin point one specific thing and say "ew". I would never just break off a little piece of raw ginger or turmeric and chew on it! It would be waaaay too much for me to handle. When blended or grated/powder form for cooking, it is giving you all of those amazing benefits while masking their strong taste in with the other great ingredients. It's not so scary/intense anymore !
Plain and simple: what helps me to be excited about buying a new ingredient other than your typical favorite fruits and veggies is that I look it up online and read about it's health benefits. It makes me so excited to think that I'll be fighting disease and not feeding it with that ingredient.
Because in the end, that's what we are all doing with each thing we consume: we are either preventing or creating disease. We are either filling up our insides with great conditions for disease to grow or building a really clean place that the mortgage is just way to high for disease to afford to live in. I like to think of my body as great real estate- prime property :)
No disease is allowed to move in!
I am going to pick on cancer for a second but this is not the only thing stemming from our "food".
There is so much more disease and illness that we are creating with our fake food but cancer is the big one we like to point to so here we go..
It is stated by the World Health Organization that "Only about 5% to 10% of all cancers are inherited – resulting directly from gene defects (called ) inherited from a parent. "
" Cancer is often thought to be a mainly inherited disease. This is not so. Some people, and related family members, have inborn high vulnerability to specific cancers. However, to a greater or lesser extent every person has innate or acquired susceptibility to many different diseases. In the greater majority of cases, such susceptibility only leads to actual disease, such as cancer, when driven by external factors. The Continuous Update Project and Second Expert Report identified body fatness as a major risk factor for cancer." (World Cancer Research Fund International)
Lifestyle choices are the big factor even when it comes to cancers of all kinds and at whatever age. I don't know about you, but that is REALLY empowering to me. I think a lot of people (including myself a while back) were under the impression that things like that were some sort of bad luck or game of Russian roulette.
Also, the part of the year that really makes me think of this especially is when October rolls around it comes with all of these "pink washing": campaigns, walks, runs, and pink labels on cancer causing foods/drinks to draw in more business to raise money for their own gain... it makes me cringe.
Don't get me wrong and please don't take this for me being insensitive as I have lost loved ones to difference types of cancer as well, but I think we should be doing more as a society to promote preventive measures like eating fresh foods and voting with our dollars to take cancer causing ingredients out of our food supply, deodorants, feminine hygiene products (GMO cotton), household cleaning products, etc.
I suppose it is easier to pin point raising money for a multi billion dollar business to "find a man made cure" but what about focusing on how not to get cancer at all. Much cheaper and effective for the 90% of cancer cases which are not inherited but created but lifestyle, isn't it?
"Be the change you want to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi is that inspirational quote that a lot of us like to live by.
I like to think my role here on earth, besides being the best mother, wife, and daughter I can be, is trying to learn and teach others while I learn about preventing disease through lifestyle choices since we now know we have a lot of control over it than we thought.
Back to my smoothie making!
I have yet to make a smoothie where I said, "eww can't drink this!"
I was actually talking to the owner of
Myapapaya | juicery + kitchen about that a couple of weeks ago...You can't really go wrong when you're using great ingredients.
If it tastes a little strong - add something like a banana or add some almond milk to lighten it up a bit. There is no messing it up and wasting it - you just fix it with a favorite ingredient that you do know you like a lot.
If anything, you see what you are adding in and see that you are about to get super healthy, plant based calcium, protein, antioxidants, vitmains, minerals, omega-3, etc.
It's empowering to see that you're creating your own "fuel" for your body to kick that day's butt with.
Yesterday I used bok choy and cilantro in my smoothie for the first time. I could taste the cilantro a little and it was great even though my initial reaction to seeing others juice it was, "cilantro? In my smoothie? I put that on my taco salads..."
Why not though? It is a plant containing chlorophyll and has tons of healthy properties that we need ---so let's do it.
It gave it a freshness that I liked a lot along with the benefits from it's green factor :) The bok choy didn't taste any different than my usual greens: spinach, kale, rainbow chard- it is a green base to the smoothie with different health benefits. It is kind of like when people compare things to something "tasting like chicken."
Raw greens are all pretty much a similar in taste taste but with some different benefits in each, so don't be afraid of mixing it up!
You should switch up your greens and give your body new benefits. That's why I am always trying to learn about new ones.
Onto Ava news...
Here is Ava eating during lunch time yesterday:
Ava pretty much will try anything I give her. She especially wants everything I AM EATING. Of course, no mother can say no to their child with their mouth open asking for a bite...
As long as she enjoys trying new things, I am a happy camper. And if she doesn't seem to like something, I reintroduce it later on. There is no giving up on healthy foods.
I recently started using the muffin tins to make little compartments of food for her. I notice that she feels very independent and curious to try all the colors she sees in each part. Works for me!
My goal is to always give her mostly veggies, fruits, and sprouted grains.
(She loves cinnamon raisin Ezekiel toast)
Seriously though, that toast is great. I always make some for myself too when I make it for her. Try it. You'll thank me later ( You can find oraganic Ezekiel's sprouted grain breads in the frozen section at Publix and Whole Foods in FL. It's kept frozen since it doesn't have all those fake ingredients and preservatives to make it last forever. Take a slice of two as you need it and put it straight into the toaster. And you know I'm going to say my favorite food blogger Food Babe is a big Ezekiel bread lover too.
Super healthy and the only bread I trust that I have regular access to. (They also make a sesame slicked bread and
There you have it!
And before I forget...
As I was making that smoothie yesterday morning, I saw Ava walk into her room and then it got quiet.
Parents know that quiet = suspicious when you have a toddler.
I walked and found her like this:
She climbed up there (her newest accomplishment) and brought some books with her. As freaked out as I get thinking about her falling off the chair, I was so proud of her "reading" all by herself. She is the cutest.
P.S. If you would like to learn more about the dangers of GMOs in your food, make a movie night in like we did and watch this for a little less than 1 hour.
Fun fact: The lovely, Lisa Oz, Dr. Oz's wife is the narrator.
OR Click below:
This documentary ^ really helped Mark and I to understand what this was all about about 2 years ago.
Any great food documentaries that you love? Let me know because I am always looking for more!