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Today it’s 70 degrees here on the East Coast! The spring green onions are starting to peek out of the grass. My grandson and I took a long walk and we were delighted to find lots of little purple crocuses, one of my favorite spring flowers. It’s only March, but spring is coming, and you can feel it in the air. The strength of the sun has increased and the songbirds are more exuberant. They too notice the return of the light and the slow thawing.
You may notice that you have a desire for lighter food as the weather warms. This is a sign that your body recognizes the seasonal change and wants to make adjustments. Spring is a great time of the year to incorporate more fresh foods into your diet.
Kimberly Snyder, author of The Beauty Detox Solution, explains that fresh, raw foods help boost health and beauty. (If you want a great detox book and lots of information about how to create beauty from the inside out, Snyder’s book is an awesome resource).
Raw foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds tend to be higher in nutrients than cooked foods, and they have more digestive enzymes. Still, Snyder doesn’t recommend a diet of 100 percent raw foods. Instead, she encourages you to increase the amount of raw food that you eat. One of the easiest and most delicious ways to do this is by enjoying fresh juices and smoothies.
I love fresh juice, especially as part of my first meal of the day. You can make juices from any combination of fruits and vegetables. Fresh herbs and spices, like mint, ginger, and parsley, are also wonderful. My favorite juice combination is apple, celery, cucumber, and kale.
The easiest and most effective way to make juice is with a juicing machine. There are many good juicers on the market. I use this one from Breville.
Smoothies are also great because they have all the nutrients of juice, plus fiber and protein. My husband, Maia’s dad, loves smoothies because they pack a lot of nutrition into your diet without requiring much time in the kitchen. A good smoothie can be a meal in a glass!
I love Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie, posted below. It’s full of fruits, green veggies, and even herbs.
(Previously, I shared the recipe for a super simple and yummy hemp seed smoothie, which is another household favorite. This is my go-to smoothie for a healthy dessert or an afternoon pick-me-up. It has cacao nibs, dates, and bananas. For my smoothie recipes that kids love, check out this post.)
The Best Blender
Having a very powerful blender is key to making great smoothies. A good blender will grind up anything—even cacao nibs—into a rich, smooth drink. We love our Blendtec, which is a true workhorse. Unfortunately, there are no plastic-free blenders available, so for now we just transfer our smoothies into glass water bottles as soon as they are blended.
Recipe: Glowing Green Smoothie
(From The Beauty Detox Solution, by Kimberly Snyder)
As you can see, that there are lots of fruits and veggies in this recipe. I don’t always use the exact ingredients listed here, as I like to play around with what I have on hand. All ingredients should be organic, if possible.
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- ½ head of large bunch or ¾ of small bunch spinach (I do a handful)
- 3-4 stalks celery
- 1 apple, cored and chopped (I use this tool to quickly core/chop apples).
- 1 pear, cored and chopped
- 1 organic banana
- juice of ½ lemon
Optional ingredients: These herbs may add strong flavors, but they’re great for cleansing
- ½ bunch cilantro (stems okay)
- ½ bunch parsley (stems okay)
- Ice in place of some of the water, if you like your smoothies colder.
- Add the water and chopped head of romaine and spinach to the blender.
- Starting the blender on a low speed, mix until smooth.
- Gradually moving to higher speeds, add the celery, apple, and pear.
- Add the cilantro and parsley if you choose.
- Add the banana and lemon juice last.