Power Smoothie Recipe
This January, I think most of us are happy to leave behind the excesses of Christmas, and are returning to some better, more balanced habits. For me – I’m back to doing my annual metabolic reset. It’s a short sharp shock to my metabolism that involves cutting out wheat, sugar, coffee, dairy and booze. There’s no limit to how much food you can eat, so it’s not a diet. It’s also not low-carb, there are plenty of healthy slow release carbs on my plate, so it’s not as hard as you might think.
I did this last year and felt a million dollars afterwards, so I’m doing it again! Right now I’m halfway through. Every morning I have this one particular smoothie – it seems to tick all the boxes for me, and I’ll explain why:
Half a green apple
Coconut milk 4fl oz
Coconut water 4 fl oz
2 tsps Mrs Superlife powder
Here’s why this particular set of ingredients works for me.
Spinach and cucumber should make up at least 50% of the solids in your smoothie. Fruit smoothies may taste nice, but you’re just loading up on fruit sugars. These are the least offensive veggies you can add to a smoothie, and they have plenty of benefits.
Fresh pineapple is really good for you, it’s crammed with potassium, copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, beta carotene,thiamin, B6, and folate, as well as soluble and insoluble fiber. It’s supposed to be good for bruising and it’s also full of vitamin C! I like to buy a whole pineapple, then trim it and chop it into chunks for the freezer. Tinned pineapple is usually preserved in syrup, and really this fruit is already very sweet!
Full fat coconut milk: Everyone’s heard of the benefits of coconut water, and it’s readily available in every Spar and Supervalu, but I also add Coconut milk to my smoothies. The tinned stuff you throw into a curry that can be about 1000 calories a tin. You probably think I’m bonkers adding what is pretty much liquid fat to my smoothie. However, fat intake in the morning has been proven to help with weight loss, especially around your middle. There have been some interesting studies that show the type of calories we eat contribute to weight gain in different parts of our bodies. Sugar in particular can contribute to visceral fat gain (fat around the organs that leads to a thickening waist) So, healthy fat in the morning, along with protein and fibre can help you feel full and provide you with plenty of good calories for the day ahead!
Fresh Ginger: I add a good inch of fresh peeled ginger root, which is really warming and has a whole heap of proven medicinal benefits. A close relative of turmeric, ginger is great for the digestion. Ginger is also of great for DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). In this 2013 study from the American Pain Society, they report finding evidence for the “hypoalgesic effects of ginger in osteoarthritis patients and further demonstrates ginger’s effectiveness as a pain reliever” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20418184
Cinnamon is another ingredient you mightn’t expect, but apart from tasting like Christmas, the interesting componant is Cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamon, even in doses as small as 120 milligrams per day, has properties that are anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. In tests, cinnamon has had a positive impact on good cholesterol and blood pressure. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24019277 Cinnamon can also help with insulin resistance, a major factor in blood sugar levels. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2901047/
So now, I put cinnamon in everything, the kids pancakes, smoothies and granola, even on ice cream!
I’ve also become quite fond of organic SuperLife Powder. You can get this in certain healthfood stores, and I’ve seen it in Centra, as well as online here. It contains hemp, cacao, maca, kelp, spirulina, chlorella, barleygrass and lucuma. All of which are reported to be good for hormonal balance, reduction of sugar cravings and boosting the immune system. Now, this powder is why you might like to up the amount of lime juice. It’s not the tastiest in the world, but the lime juice will just about hide it. I generally add a teaspoon of this dark green powder to my smoothie (though the bag says to use a tablespoon!) I figure the rest of the ingredients are already doing a lot of good.
The trick to making your smoothie a habit that sticks, is to always have the ingredients in the house (cucumber is the one I seem to run out of the most often, the rest, including spinach can be frozen easily). My habits tend to slip when I’m super busy or on the road, so I’m looking forward to trying the ‘Good Green Stuff’ sachets. They have 77 different ingredients, and are in handy portion sachets, so a few of these in my handbag will certainly help. Aisling in the Green Health Store in Galway sent some of these sachets into PBM HQ to get our opinion and I can confirm they taste a LOT nicer than the Superlife mix, and are very handy for travel. Check them out here.
Over and out