Sunday, January 5, 2014

What Caterpillars Can Teach Us About Our Health

No matter how good my intentions, it is hard to keep up with a consistently healthy diet when we travel for long periods of time. Add in the Holidays, and I feel like the Very Hungry Caterpillar after his Saturday feast of one piece of chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, one slice of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami, one lollipop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cupcake, and one slice of watermelon. If you recall, he ends up with a stomachache. I generally just feel lethargic, foggy and ready to get everybody back on track once we return from our culinary escapade.

In Eric Carle's book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar feels much better after eating through one green leaf. Here's our "Sneaky Green Smoothie" recipe in case anyone in your house (like ahem...the Mom) has an aversion to cleansing, healthy greens. It took years for us to develop the proportions of this so we could get spinach and kale down the hatches. I call it "Sneaky" because you can't taste the greens because of the fruit. It will still have a green tinge, but if my kids wrinkle their noses, I just tell them "Hey you eat chocolate and it's brown!" and they know I mean business.

Sneaky Green Smoothie-makes 3-4 servings

    • 2 cups apple juice
    • 1 banana
    • 1 cup frozen strawberries
    • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
    • 1/2 cup frozen mango
    • 2 generous handfuls fresh spinach, kale, chard or any other dark leafy green
    • (optional supplements) 2 Tbs. coconut oil, ground flax meal, chia seeds. In winter months, we also add a tablespoon of acidophilus for immune support.
    * Preparation notes---we follow the Mary Poppins Method of helping the "medicine" go down here. You can substitute milk/nut milk/ice for the base and sweeten with maple syrup or stevia if you prefer less sugar. We also have a high powered blender at home. If you are using a standard blender, alternate pulsing the motor with tamping the fruit down with a spatula (motor off) until the liquids and solids begin to incorporate.

    1.  Place all ingredients in a blender.  Puree until smooth. You think that it's only 30 seconds, but let that baby blend for about 1 minute and a half, otherwise you will have a "Chunkie" not a "Smoothie".

    2. Pour and enjoy a cleansing, healthy drink.

    3. Sit down on the kitchen floor and have a "Smoothie Picnic" and enjoy the inevitable Smoothie Mustaches and Smoothie Unibrows.


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