On the advice of my naturopath, I decided to try adding a green smoothie into my daily routine and since doing so, cannot imagine a day without it! I have more energy, my IBS symptoms are less frequent, my mood has improved, and I'm less hungry throughout the day helping me to maintain a healthy weight.
Kim's Green Smoothie
1/4 cup of gluten-free oats
1/4 cup of whole flax (not ground)
handful of raw cocoa nibs
1/2 ripe avocado
1/2 cup of frozen or fresh fruit (your choice!)
1 tbsp organic honey
1 tbsp organic honey
1/4 cup coconut yogurt (dairy free)
1/4 cup fresh spinach
1/4 cup fresh green kale
4-5 slices of cucumber
1 cup of vanilla almond milk (dairy free)
**Additional items that I sometimes add depending on what's in my fridge or fresh at the grocery store/market: red beets, watercress, parsley, aloe juice (unsweetened) almonds, red kale
I throw everything together into a blender and mix! Now, my blender is nothing special. It is actually quite old and I believe it belonged to my grandmother. So don't feel like you need to go out and buy some fancy juicer or blender in order to enjoy green smoothies - you really can make them at home with a very basic blender. Add more or less milk depending on how thick you want your smoothie to be.
|She sure isn't pretty... but she gets the job done!|
Once everything is well blended, I add in about 2 tbsp of chia seeds (not ground) to the bottom of my cup and then pour in the wonderful green yummy mixture!
Why chia seeds? and why add them after blending?
First of all, chia seeds are a great source of healthy omega-3 fats and fibre. They are tasteless and so easy to add to any meal of the day - especially a smoothie. I got introduced to chia seeds over a year ago by my naturopath as a way to help treat my IBS symptoms. If you know anything about IBS or celiac disease, you'll know that it comes with a lot of stomach cramping due to foods that simply will not pass through your digestive system. Chia seeds came into my life and literally transformed my everyday bowel movements (sorry for the details) and I rarely suffer from stomach cramps anymore.
Here is how they work! If you've never eaten a chia seed before, I encourage you take one and place it in your mouth. Let it sit there for a little while and soon enough you'll start to feel a gel like coating around the seed. Chia seeds when emersed in a liquid take on a gelatinous like coating. Imagine taking in hundreds of those seeds with their wonderful gooey coating on the outside. As they sit in your stomach, they begin to coat the rest of the food and allow it to more easily pass through your digestive track. The food literally glides through and out!
The reason for adding them after the blending is because you want them to be whole so that they will get gooey on the outside and give you all of those wonderful digestive benefits.
Here is my smoothy all ready to eat!
I simply cannot live without this smoothie as a part of my everyday diet. I usually have a light breakfast and lunch and fit the smoothie in somewhere around 2pm which keeps me nice and full until dinner. This smoothie could also be a great way to start off your day rather than having a bowl of cereal or let's face it.. a cup of coffee! Make the smoothie, place it in a travel mug and drink it on your way to work. I even once had a colleague years ago who would make her smoothie in the morning, put it in a mason jar, bring it to work and drink it at lunch. Back then, I thought it was gross, but now wish I had started doing it sooner!
It can take a few tries to get the right combintation of tastes that you're going to like. I don't mind tasting the greens at all while some of you might prefer to taste more of the fruit so might need to load in more of that. You could also replace the almond milk with a juice like orange or apple for added taste.