Nowadays amidst automation and technology around us to make us more efficient we still struggle to cope with daily demands and balance life and work. We seem to be in a hurried state all the time to catch a bite to eat, catch a bus or train, catch a flight, catch up with somebody, catch an appointment, or catch up with work. No matter what we do, we seem to be lagging all the time, needing to always “catch up”.
My life is the same. When I moved to London a few years ago for an international assignment, no matter what I did I felt like I was always trying to catch up. It was a very demanding project requiring my 24/7 attention. I barely slept, and most weekends I still worked. I even insisted to live just across our office in Canary Wharf on Bank Street to make sure I got to the office ahead of everyone and afford to go home the latest since my apartment was just a 12-minute walk. No need to catch the London Tube (underground train) at peak times and fight for a seat.
Nevertheless, I was still faced with busy mornings, given the late work nights. I tried to prepare all that I need in the evening so I could get ahead in the morning. One of the favorite things I like to prepare was my Perfect Green Smoothie. I could probably come up with a more creative name for it, but it was really a perfect green smoothie. This smoothie was my everyday go-to that gave me energy and nutrition that I needed to get me through the day.
Now that I’m back in my hometown in the USA, working from home, the importance of being healthy and strengthening the body’s immune system couldn’t be more emphasized. I made a little tweak to my recipe so incorporate increased antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
• cup fresh leafy green vegetables (could be from mixed salad bag like spinach, />romaine, arugula, kale, or just your favorite greens)
• 1/2 fresh small apple, scored and sliced
• 1/2 cup fresh or frozen kiwi, peeled and sliced
• 1/2 cup fresh of frozen pineapple, peeled and sliced
• 1/2 lemon or 1 lime, juiced
• 1 teaspoon powdered green match tea
• small piece of peeled ginger – this depends on your taste. Start with half an inch of the root and adjust as you prefer either more or less.
• small piece of peeled turmeric – this depends on your taste. Start with half an inch of the root and adjust as you prefer either more or less.
• 1/4 cucumber, peeled and sliced
• flesh of 1/2 small avocado or 1/4 big avocado
• 2 cups water
• 1 cup ice cubes or 1/2 cup if using frozen fruits
• (Optional) sprinkle of hemp seeds, chia seeds, or flax seeds for toppings
1. Blend the leafy green vegetables and water first until smooth. This step makes a big difference for a well-blended creamy smoothie, so I highly advise that you do this first.
2. Note: This smoothie is not sweet, and I prefer it that way. However, if you like it sweeter, then substitute apple and 2 water with 2 cups of cloudy apple juice. Cloudy apple juice is different from the clear apple juice since the former has more antioxidants and has apple solids present in the liquid making it cloudy. Typically, cloudy version does not have added sugar and relies on the fruit itself for natural sweetness. You also have an option to substitute the apple juice with nut-based milks if you prefer creamier taste.
3. Blend the rest of the ingredients according to your preferred consistency (thick or thin).
4. Sprinkle with toppings
Now for the benefits:
• Apples are good for blood sugar regulation, aid weight loss, protect bones, lower cholesterol, boost brain power, enable smoother digestion, great for brighter smile and stronger gums.
• Kiwi is nutritionally dense and considered a superfood that contains high levels of Vitamin C with the richest combination of fibre, antioxidant, vitamins and minerals.
• Pineapple contains disease-fighting antioxidants, may boost immunity and suppress inflammation, and strengthen bones due to its rich manganese, calcium, vitamin K, and zinc content.
• Leafy green vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber that are good for reducing risk of obesity, high blood pressure, mental decline, and in general great for overall health.
• Lemon promotes hydration, is a good source of Vitamin C, supports weight loss, improves skin quality, aids digestion and prevents kidney stone.
• Lime plays a key role in skin rejuvenation, boosts immunity, prevents kidney stones, aids in iron absorption, and reduces heart disease risk factors.
• Matcha is high in catechins called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is believed to be anti-cancer, may prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes, encourage weight loss, is high in antioxidant, may protect the liver, and boosts brain function.
• Ginger contains powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, can treat morning sickness or nausea, may reduce muscle pain and soreness, lower blood sugar, improve heart disease risk factors, treat chronic indigestion, lower cholesterol, and may help prevent cancer, improve brain functions and protect against Alzheimer’s disease, and help fight infections.
• Turmeric contains bioactive compounds with powerful medicinal properties, is a natural anti-inflammatory compound, dramatically increases the antioxidant capacity of the body, boosts brain-derived neurotrophic factor linked to improved brain function, and may help prevent cancer.
• Cucumber is high in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
• Avocado is a rich source of antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, which keep the heart healthy and reduce the risk of stroke. Its high levels of beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin are great for eye health.
I love the smooth and creamy taste and its high nutritional substance. This is not a typical high
protein smoothie. There are clinical studies made by Dr. Valteri Longo, documented in his book
“Longevity Diet”, and Dr. Michael Greger, documented in his book “How Not To Die”, that
confirmed societies with low protein diet survive the longest. It is a matter of belief, as there are
many studies and literature out there on the subject of protein, carbohydrates and fats, and
they are subjects of my future blog.