Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
I've written this blog several times, or at least started it, in my head and I'm struggling to get beyond 'No shit, Sherlock' to be honest. Unless you're going to blend up a load of lettuce, the chances are that you're going to have way more calories in your fruity green smoothie than in a coca cola.
A can of 'full fat' coke contains 140 calories according to Cron-o-meter. But not much in there that's going to be a benefit to your body. And possibly, if the information around using it to clean your toilet is correct, it may actively harm your body, stripping it of vital nutrients.
So what do you want out of your green smoothie? Me, I want a meal replacement for when I don't fancy chewing through a pile of fruit, for when I'm out at work, driving to appointments or the like. I don't want an additional 650 calorie drink during my day, extra to my meals. And if you want it as an additional drink then just make it smaller.
Today I ran 3.5 miles, cycled 9.5 miles then got back and had my green smoothie for my lunch. It was delicious, and I felt it wasn't inappropriately filled with chemicals. It was purely mango, 2 blood oranges, 2 large handfuls of spinach and 3 large bananas. Breakfast had been a beautifully hydrating piel de caso melon that I lustfully eyed up and got on our midnight shopping trip last night.
I guess what I'm saying is yes, more calories. Definitely. But more goodness? Infinitely.
Go forth, drink green, move your body and be happy.
With love x
And if you want tips, guidance, ideas, inspiration then feel free to come along and join the Green Smoothie/Juice A Day facebook group. It's a group of lovely women - (so far no men - please feel free to be the first!), sharing their love for green juices and smoothies.
I'm aware that really we can only ever speak for ourselves. I find the idea of eating meat now repulsive. Someone would have to pay me a lot to put something that had lived and breathed on my fork and raise it to my mouth, to chew it and swallow. It would be like being on I'm a celebrity eating some form of inedible insect. And yet, two years ago I was eating it believing that I needed it (or at least, my growing child did). So things change.
It struck me very recently that the process that an animal goes through from field to fork is simply barbaric. It's brought into the world to be sacrificed for someone who may not even appreciate that act. Who may joke about how it's really an evil mastermind, how it wants to sell drugs to your kids - really? No really?! If you're going to do it then at least respect it. But for me, I recognise that the amount of adrenaline, stress hormones and sheer energetic terror pumping through that animal as it faces it's inevitable fate - well that's something that I no longer want to be responsible for, let alone consume and allow to become part of my body.
So no surprises for my number one food that drains me! I'm staying firmly away from meat.
Fish likewise to be honest. It's experience of drowning in air, of panicking as it could no longer get what it needed to survive is again something I can live without. Aside from the radioactivity in the oceans, the mercury, the accumulation of heavy metals and the wiping out of the ocean due to farming and fishing methods. Just not all that appetising anymore!
Milk is another that once my eyes were opened - most significantly by The China Study but other texts along the way, just not all that tasty once you know the truth.
Salt is one that I'm battling my personal demons with - I love the taste of it but I know it's really not good for me and it really is all in my head. I'm fine without it - far less dehydrated, bouncier, lighter and possibly even happier!
And lastly for me - larger amounts of nuts and seeds or oils really ground me - without them I feel bouncier, lighter and more energetic.
So to the foods that boost me - I love my fruits - water rich fruits in a morning such as a melon or two. Loving my melons ;)
Greens - greens are sooooo good and I've had mornings (might have been when I realised I definitely was a crunchy mama) when I've thought 'I need the spirulina' - and felt better for it. Placebo or not. Feeling better is good for me! I love my kale especially at the moment although we also go through lots of baby leaf spinach and in summer plenty of romaine lettuce too.
Tasty raw food dishes - it doesn't have to be boring! My favourite at the moment is a coconut curry with cauliflower (and kale sometimes) 'rice' or vegetable 'noodles'. Love wraps using a romaine leaf, tomato based dishes, raw soups (mango and cucumber is my current absolute favourite).
So check out your boost and drain lists - see how you feel after certain foods and others - experiment and enjoy!
Oh and lastly, ice cream. I love love love banana ice cream made from frozen bananas and blended. Nothing more. Such a fabulous and healthy treat. Speaking of which I think I'm off for the ice cream tub. Time to go do some studying. Bath. Ice cream. Lesson notes. Perfection.
I've been thinking about sharing thoughts, videos, recipes etc on YouTube for some time. And was always put off - I need to do it properly - to have a camera, tripod, you know - the works (dressing team, make up artist, goffer boy....). But so many things make me think about how lucky I am to have the time I have right here, right now. So without putting my contact lenses in, thinking about what I'm wearing (it's OK I'm off to work so more than respectably dressed), or who was going to hold the camera - I did it.
I made my first video of my breakfast green juice. It's an easy one to make - it's so tasty and feels great to drink and without further ado it's here to share with you:
The process of making it has been great - I've learnt a lot from that in itself so please subscribe, like and share and there'll be more coming very soon!
Back again, my juicing and smoothies workshop aimed at getting people started creating tasty smoothies and great juices with confidence is coming soon.
On the 7th September 2-4 we'll meet and discover more about how, what, when and also why? It's always really important for me to know why I would choose to do something and eating this way has been no different. I want to do the research, make my mind up and then carry on doing more research. I guess that's just the way I am. I love to share what I've learnt along the journey and it's a practical, hands-on session where everyone gets to have a go at creating delicious drinks.
Juicing and smoothies can be a great complement to homeopathy, or I suppose, visa versa. Both are working at enabling your body to heal itself and can work well together. It is my belief that great healing happens from the inside, and simplifying your diet to assist your body is a brilliant start on the path to increased health and vitality.
£15pp including all fruit/veg to make and taste 4 great drinks, raw snacks and (time permitting) possibly we'll make an easy, tasty, delcious raw dessert.
If you'd like to know more just get in touch. At the moment there's just 3 places left...
The hardest bit about doing exercise (I think anyway) is getting dressed for it. Once I'm dressed, I'm off, pretty much committed and unlikely to do an about turn and change my mind.
The easiest way for me to get fit (and following injury, lots of fab trips and travel and a school summer holiday - I'm going to have to follow my own advice any moment...) is to do a little bit at a time, build up gradually and before I know it I'm comfortably running 5k and thinking nothing of it. Swimming the same - a few half mile swims and before long I'm able to easily swim a mile. A little at a time.
So I figure there's no difference with foods if you'd like it to be this way. I pretty much dived into a veggie diet from a point of nearly veggie-ness anyway, then vegan 2 months later and then raw vegan 3 months after that but to stealthily have the changes happen would be great too. To introduce an extra fruit meal a day a few days a week - for example a big bowl of fruit for breakfast (my favourite competing breakfast is 6 bananas and 10 dates (the dates blended into toffee) which keeps me smiling for hours), a fruit smoothie or a big juice. Adding in a huge salad with your evening meal can be another baby step - or simply just adding an extra portion of fruit a day can be a big step for some people.
Steady, baby steps are a great way to get to a brilliant place. If you do want to move faster you can always up the pace, grab some of the recommended books, have a chat with someone who's on the same journey or find relevant YouTube videos which can be wonderfully motivational.
Slow and steady can win the race in the end too.
Happy fruit days x
Bananas are probably my favourite base fruit for a smoothie for several reasons - they're readily available, reasonably priced, tasty, a great source of energy (and more calorie dense than more watery fruits so you don't have to eat quite as much to get your get up and go).
Generally I mix them with other fruits - a cup of berries, a mango, a pair of pears or couple of oranges and then the greens.
Banana and romaine lettuce is good! I tend to use 4-5 bananas depending on size/how hungry I am/how active I've been/about to be and a head of romaine lettuce but iceberg is great too - as is spinach. Once you're used to adding greens then kale is a great source of nutrients to add to your smoothie.
It's as simple as 1,2,3 (and 4 and 5)
1 Peel 4-5 bananas, add to blender
2 Add other fruits if desired
3 Add 1/2 pint+ of water and blend
4 Add greens (I tend to go with two generous handfuls)
5 Blend again until smooth
Green smoothies are simply awesome IMHO. However for those people who dislike bananas you do tend to find that most of them use it or at least often find so. So I thought it was time to share some banana free smoothies for people wanting to get started.
Smoothies are often mentioned as a weight loss tool and whilst I agree to some extent the can be used to this end, it isn't what I would consider their main potential by any means. I feel they can be a great weight regulator. They provide a brilliant way of getting vitamins and minerals into the body without having to sit and chomp through a lb of spinach, a pineapple, 3 bananas. I think they're as valuable for anyone whether they be under or over weight, or at their ideal place to be. And whilst we're on the weight thing - I think partly because you're satisfied with genuinely good food you're less likely to snack on 'bad' stuff. Winning all round really.
Without further ado - a couple of smoothies I've loved for all the banana less than lovers out there:
2 cups pineapple, (about half a medium pineapple) cubed
2 mangoes peeled and pitted
4 cups baby leaf spinach
1 cup water
Put everything in the blender except for the spinach and blend until mostly blended, then add the baby leaf spinach and blend until smooth.
4 cups baby leaf/spinach
3/4 to 1 cup water
Blend the peaches and mango with the water til nearly smooth then add the spinach and blend until smooth.
1 apple, cored
2 cups pineapple
2 cups kale or spinach
3/4 to a cup of water
Blend the apple, pineapple and water until nearly smooth - add the kale or the spinach (newbies I'd advise to start off with spinach and move onto kale once you're more used to green smoothies) and blend.
1 cup strawberries
2 cups spinach
1 cup water
As before, blend everything except for the spinach until nearly smooth then add in the spinach and blend until deliciously smooth and yummy!
Enjoy! My last tip - unlike juicing there's so little to wash up but I do always try to wash the blender first then I can really relax and enjoy my smoothie with nothing (haha) left to do!!
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.