Baby it’s cold outside. But it is warm up in here! The frigid outdoor temperature does not stop me from having a smoothie just about every morning. Conventional thinking would have us eating warm foods in the cold winter and cool foods in the hot summer. While intuitively this makes sense and the concept is mentally soothing, people living in super hot countries such as India and Mexico eat super spicy foods to induce sweating as a cooling off mechanism. Some believe drinking cold beverages increases metabolism. Others with digestive issues may not fare well with cold foods and beverages regardless of outdoor temperature.
Recovering from illness and a lifetime of abuse requires adjustments. Dietary direction, lifestyle choices, mental attitude, cooking techniques and food quality play critical roles. Sometimes it’s useful to turn conventional wisdom on it’s head. Personally, I don’t fare well without a protein based fruit and/or veggie morning (sometimes lunch) drink. Smoothies and all pureed foods, cold and warm, are much easier on my digestive system. Humans are all biochemically different and figuring out what works best for you is the way to go. And by that I mean health supportive for those of you looking for a loophole to make bad food choices. Behave! And yes I said bad. There are those that like to say there are no bad food choices. Yes, there are… everywhere. That’s the problem. There are good choices, not so great choices and really bad choices. Choice is the key word here.
Nutrient dense soft foods as meal options might seem unrealistic and unachievable, an arduous and labor intensive approach to eating. But, in fact, it is not. Having the right kitchen equipment and stocking key staple ingredients are critical to successful and easy soft food prep. In case you are wondering, I’m not 70 and do have all my teeth. My gut balks at labor intensive food. Don’t judge. Back to the morning smoothie. It can be anything. I know what you’re thinking: I’ll get bored. No. Stop it! Not even an issue. The options and combinations are nearly limitless. Unlike the 70s BassOMatic popularized on Saturday Night Live, you can make pretty much anything in a high quality blender. This is just one of the many smoothies recipes in my arsenal.
Today’s morning nourishment includes almond milk*, frozen mixed berries, some banana, cacao nibs, protein powder, MCT oil, vitamin C powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Mixed Berries: Have some of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruits and are some of the most powerful (and delicious) disease-fighting foods you can eat.
- Raw cacao: Contains more than 300 different chemical compounds and nearly four times the antioxidant power of dark chocolate and contains protein, calcium, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, sulfur, flavonoids, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids as well as phytochemicals that lower LDL cholesterol, improve heart function, and reduce cancer risk.
- Raw Fit Protein Powder: Eating the right kinds of protein is important for energy, anti-aging, burning fat, and building muscle. Proteins, the building blocks for the body, aid in digestion, muscle tone, sleep, eyesight, skin health, wound healing and fighting off bad bacteria.
- Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs): MCTs are a unique form of dietary fat that is rapidly absorbed by the body and quickly metabolized as fuel. They provide a wide range of positive health benefits including enhanced energy and immunity, appetite and weight control, and prevention of atherosclerosis to name a few.
- Vitamin C: A very potent antioxidant, vitamin C is critical to cell health, strengthens blood vessel walls, helps wounds heal, aids tooth and bone formation, and facilitates the iron absorption in the body.
- Cinnamon: This delightful spice boast many health benefits including lowering/stabilizing blood sugar, mitigating muscle spasms, as well as anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
So drink up! You’ll be glad you did. I, for one, walk a lot easier when I stick to this protocol. I discovered a few years ago that I have severe cartilage degeneration in my hip from a subtle congenital deformity we (me, my parents) knew nothing about until it produced so much damage I could not walk. My smoothies include a medical food called Arthoben which is amazing. I’ll post about it separately for anyone who is interested in learning more. When I don’t follow this protocol, the pain returns with a vengeance. Exercise is also critical to force nutrients into the joints. Again, for another day.
Enjoy and eat a nice warming nutrient dense soup for lunch.
*You should make your own and I’ll tell you why. Use a Vitamix or blender. It’s easy. No really, it is. The hardest part is remembering to soak the almonds the night before.