We all know the basics of good health. Eat right, plenty of exercise and lots of sleep. Most people understand the concept of exercise and pretty much everyone gets the whole sleep thing. It's the whole eating right thing that seems to have everyone all mixed up. We all know that eating a whole pizza is bad and an organic kale salad with fresh veggies and homemade organic dressing is good. But what about everything else in between. I feel like there are so many experts with so many expert opinions. What is the right answer? Is it even possible to be a gluten free paleo lacto-ovo juice fasting vegan flexitarian who lives in South Beach? I feel like every time I go buy an organic apple because Dr. Oz says they are full of phytochemicals that can help reduce cancer, improve bone density and can help regulate blood sugar (all true) by the time I get back from the store there's a new article about how apples really aren't that good for you and stay away from the fruit carbs or whatever else. Eat this, no don't eat that eat this, no no wait! Eat this instead! It's so bloody confusing! I was a vegan for 4 years. Although inconvenient at times it wasn't hard, I ate lots of delicious food and no I didn't join the Peace Corps. I did Atkins for a month once when I was 20. I think I still have the bacon grease in my heart. I tried the juicing, Hollywood and the cabbage soup. I tried Paleo for a little while. After all of my diet trial and errors here's what I found. It's all crap. Diets, especially fad ones (I'm looking at you Hollywood) will inevitably fail. Diets never work and here's why. It's because they are made to be temporary. What we need is to redefine how and what we eat by creating an eating lifestyle for ourselves. It's seriously as simple as eat good not bad. Here in America we have access to so much crap food that's full of preservatives and empty calories and like zombies we mindlessly consume it. We buy the Costco size boxes of sugar laden cereals and fat filled mini pizzas all while justifying it by telling ourselves it's such a great deal. I've heard all of the complaints about clean eating. It's boring. It costs too much. I don't have the time. Much like when you board an airplane and they give you the demo on the oxygen masks, you have to take care of yourself first. You are an example to your kids. To your husband. To your friends. Later on down the road I'll give you guys some helpful tips to eating better on a budget. For right now here's a great way to start. When you're at the grocery store shop outside then in. That means do the perimeter of the store first with the veggies, fruits, whole grains and lean meats (or non-meats respectively.) Then work your way to the interior getting as little out of the aisles as possible. Easy peasy. Another reason we fail is because we don't bother to educate ourselves about what we are eating or why. I have a lot friends who when I ask them why they are eating what they are eating they just shrug their shoulders and say "because Oprah or whomever said I should." Knowing what the health benefits are of the foods you eat will help you make better choices. But Beyonce lost 20lbs on the XYZ Diet. Beyonce has access to a personal trainer, a dietician and a personal chef. It's our jobs to be smarter about the food we're eating. The more educated you are the more control you have over the fuel you use to feed your body. Unless of course you too have a personal trainer and chef and dietician. Then by all means carry on.
One of the best gifts I bought myself this year was my Nutribullet Pro. I mean this thing is awesome.
It's super easy to use. It's quick cleanup. It's kind of a no-brainer. I make myself a tall smoothie every morning for breakfast. It has a to go lid if I'm in a hurry. I like the fact that it uses the whole fruit or vegetable unlike juicing where there's so much waste. Here's what my typical morning smoothie looks like.
Spinach-Full of vitamins A, C and K. It's also an anti-aging and antioxident vegetable that can help stabilize blood sugar.
Kale-The antioxident superstar of the green leafy vegetables. Full of over 45 flavonoids and carotenoids this powerhouse helps fight cancer and free radicals. Full of vitamins A, C and K it's also an anti-inflammatory (fighting arthritis, asthma and auto-immune issues,) great for cardiovascular support and because of it's high sulfur content great for detoxing.
Blueberries-One of the most health beneficial fruits you can eat. Here's just some of the reasons to eat our lovely super antioxident friend the blueberry. It's good for anti-aging, cancer prevention, urinary tract infections (move over cranberry), brain function and Alzheimers, eye care and macular degeneration, constipation and digestion, heart disease prevention, immunity and they are great mood elevators.
Mango-This antioxident fruit is high in iron, great for your skin, helps with digestion and heart disease and is been said to boost your hormones including those needed for adult time.
Banana-More than just potassium bananas provide support for your kidneys, heart, nerves, bones and blood. They are a good source of vitamin B6 and tryptophan. They are a good source of dietary fiber and of course potassium.
Acai-What are the benefits of Acai? Let me count the ways. From antioxident to anti-inflammatory this super berry does just about it all. Here's a great article on why they are so great. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/benefits-of-acai/
Flax Seeds-These tiny little seeds do it all. Immune function, weight management, anti-cancer, hormone management, they help prevent bone loss, cardiovascular support and they are rich in fiber. They even work as a great flavor enhancer.
Pepitas or Pumpkin Seeds-These little guys are full of Magnesium and are full of phytosterols that will lower your cholesterol, provide bladder, kidney stone and prostate protection, they are a natural anti-inflammatory, can help fight depression and the same phytosterols that help lower your cholesterol also help with cancer prevention.
I also add Vega Sport protein powder in Vanilla
And a powdered super food to make sure I get that extra boost in the morning
I get a lot of my supplements and beauty products from Vitacost. They have everything and they are super inexpensive.
So here's my morning smoothie recipe. Feel free to modify add or subtract to your liking.
Super Mom Super Smoothie
1 large handful of baby spinach
1 large handful of kale
1 handful of fresh blueberries (Buy them on sale at Sprouts and freeze them)
1 small handful frozen mangos
1 small to medium banana
1 small palm full of flax seeds
1 small palm full of pepitas
1 packet of Acai frozen smoothie (I use Sambazon. They sell it in bulk at Costco)
1 scoop of protein powder
1 scoop super food
Almond milk. You fill it to the line on the cup so I'm not sure there's a legit measurement. You could use water, soy milk, rice milk or coconut milk/coconut water.
Put everything in the cup and blend for 45 seconds.
Yup it's that easy.