Spring Cleaning

Ever wake up with the idea that you need to clean your slate? That winter has dragged on for far too long and now that Spring is here y...

Ever wake up with the idea that you need to clean your slate? That winter has dragged on for far too long and now that Spring is here your body hasn't quite caught up? That is how I felt yesterday. I was sluggish, my stomach ached and I felt totally drained. I knew that I needed some plant-powered nourishment.

After celebrating Passover on Monday night I began feeling quite ill. I had been sick with the flu for the week before, but this was a different icky feeling. I attribute this malaise to what I ate that night -- lots of animal protein in the form of salmon and some hard boiled eggs. There was lots of salad too and a potato casserole, but after being vegan for the past month, salmon did not sit well with me. The only other time in my life I distinctly recall feeling this gross was the day after I caved to a meat craving after being vegetarian for years. In a word, I felt disgusting. Over the course of my vegetarianism I have allowed myself to eat the odd piece of fish or chicken when

 I cannot silence my craving for it. This has been ok for my body for the most part.

 Red meat is another story however.

In my last year of University, I accompanied my roommates and some friends to a great Italian restaurant that has since become my favorite place to eat out. I ordered fish (which I ate occasionally at that time) and lots of vegetable side dishes which were delicious and served family-style for our whole group. My friends were all meat-eaters and promptly ordered lamb and beef for their dinners. One of my friends ordered some braised beef that smelled absolutely intoxicating. The portion size was ridiculous (think Fred Flintstone) and she only managed to eat one third of her dinner. She didn't want to take it home and offered her leftovers to the rest of us. Everyone else was so intensely full that they rejected the beef but I was curious -- it had been so long since I ate meat.

I went for it...all of it.

To say that the beef didn't taste amazing would be a lie. I am not one of those vegan/vegetarians that thinks meat tastes gross. It can taste amazing and even makes me feel great at times when I let a craving take hold. I think the real problem was that it had been so many years since I ate any red meat that my body just couldn't handle the animal protein or fat in the dish.  

I felt really great at first. It was like having a B-12 shot. I was bouncing off the walls with energy.

That energy stuck around though...I couldn't sleep all night. I started sweating profusely. I 
just couldn't handle it the way I once could. This is more or less how I felt this past Tuesday after Monday's fish dinner. I had night sweats, my stomach killed and I have been feeling off ever since. Until today! Last night I knew exactly what I needed to patch my weary self together. I used to make green juices and smoothies daily. They really energized me and left me feeling clean. I used to work from home and make them for lunch but I got out of the habit when I started working in an office.

For awhile I bought smoothies out.They were way too expensive and honestly, my homemade versions tasted better with better quality organic ingredients. 

I have been avoiding eating fruit at night so my homemade-smoothie-kick has stopped dead. Fruit in the evening disrupts my sleep and gives me a stomach ache. However it is ok when I eat fruit alongside vegetables at night. Since going gluten free, my body craves what it needs.

Last night I thought that a fruity green smoothie might lift my mood and ease my pain. Man was I right!

Have you ever consumed something that made you feel right as rain? This drink did that for me. I instantly felt energized, vital...

It was like life itself was surging through me to parts of my body left for dead.  

It makes total sense. If your digestion is sluggish you may not absorb the nutrients your body needs properly from solid fruits and vegetables (which I eat in abundance). Liquifying your produce makes your food way easier to digest and makes the nutrients in your food amazingly easy to absorb in your body. I really should be doing this more often. The craziest part is that I couldn't sleep after this smoothie. I felt really happy and alert, high even. Despite the fact that I barely slept a wink last night, I woke up with more energy today than any day in the past month that I can recall. My eyes were brighter too. 

I have experienced fairly poor digestion for years from gluten intolerance and asthma medications that are notorious for disrupting your system. I have been concerned lately that I am not absorbing the much needed nutrients from my food properly. I obviously need to add a regular liquid nutrition boost to my diet and hope to incorporate more green smoothies into my nights from now on. 

This smoothie had a beautiful purple tone. It was full of fresh fruit and vegetables and had great flavor. 

I call it my Purple Elixir.  

If you need a little pick me up this Spring, or anytime really, I highly recommend trying it.

Purple Elixir
Makes 1 very large smoothie or 2 small smoothies
  • 2 small leaves organic purple kale, coarse stem removed
  • 1 small leaf organic green kale, coarse stem removed
  • 1/2 leaf of red swiss chard
  • 2 very small orgranic seedless blood oranges, peeled (mine were the size of a lime, you could replace them with oranges, lemon or lime as well)
  • 1 small and ripe Red Bartlett pear   
  • 1/4 cup filtered water OR 1/4 cup fruit or vegetable juice OR 1/4 cup non-dairy milk OR 1/2 cup chopped ice
  • 1/3 cup frozen wild blueberries or another frozen berry (to make your drink nice and cold)
  • Tiny pinch of sea salt (optional)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional for a thicker smoothie full of good EFAs)
  • 1 tsp organic ground cinnamon   

Blend all ingredients together in a high powered blender or food processor until very smooth. Taste. If you need it to be sweeter, add more frozen berries. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

Post courtesy of Baking Backwards

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