Friday, January 23, 2015

My New Morning Ritual

Over the last few months, I've been watching various food- and health-related documentaries. I really enjoyed Food Matters, Hungry for Change, and Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (all available on Netflix), and I'd recommend these to anyone interested in food. Boiled down, they contain a similar message: eating real food is essential for our health. And, the biggest take-home for me was not just about real food, but raw food.

It's a well-understood concept that when food is consumed raw, you're most likely to receive the most nutrients as they are yet to be 'damaged' by heat or the cooking process*. And while this in no way inspired me to start a raw diet (but props to those who try it), it definitely urged me to think about eating more raw fruits and vegetables. Meaning: more salads, smoothies and juices (in all cases, made fresh and/or right in front of my eyes, if not a pure ingredient list if I'm buying prepared).
*However, for some foods, they say that cooking/heat actually benefits overall nutritional value, e.g. processed tomato vs. fresh tomatoes.

While my last post is one salad I've been eating lately, I've also added a smoothie to my daily morning ritual. So after oil pulling with organic coconut oil, brushing my teeth with my homemade coconut oil/baking soda 'toothpaste', and drinking a big glass of warm water with a small wedge of lemon (or teaspoon of apple cider vinegar), I drink this:

Kale, Kiwifruit and Pear yoghurt smoothie with chia seeds

Kale, kiwifruit and pear yoghurt smoothie makes about 2 cups

1 banana
1 ripe pear (peeled, cored and cut into smaller pieces if you are not using a full-fruit able-blender)
1 kiwifruit, scooped out of it's skin
2 washed & torn kale leaves
1 teaspoon of honey
2-3 generous tablespoons of full organic yoghurt (or any type of milk - alternatively, apple juice could be used also)

Blend until combined with a few ice cubes (I use a powerful stainless steel hand blender which requires some patience and manoeuvring, but a regular blender would make this a breeze), and serve. For extra health, I mix in a tablespoon of chia seeds.  While this could be split over the day by keeping half in the fridge for an afternoon boost, I like to enjoy it all in the morning as I check my e-mails, news, and social networks.

Completely delicious and very satisfying, the beauty of the smoothie is being able to tick off a good amount of fresh fruit and vegetables early in the day, which is also the best time to consume fruits -giving your body the full day to access that energy. The variations are also endless, whatever is on hand can work nicely in the right combinations, though I envy anyone with a blender capable of blending whole fruits/vegetables (this is on my wish list) as I'd love to be able to include carrots and beetroots in my mixes. But alas, I still have allll the fruits up my sleeve and that's plenty for now.

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