Does this look like a mom's best friend to you?
If not, - keep reading! :)
This spring despite some great diet changes the demands of life in the last few months have left me feeling drained and exhausted. A new baby, months from turning 30, (sigh) a death in the family, much less sleep than I know I should have - I know all these have played their part.
For me, - sugar has always been my energy boost, - and also the source of health and weight problems. This spring after resisting coffee for years, I even began toying with Frappes. Not good. I didn't like feeling that I HAD to have an jolt of caffeine for artificial energy every day or a nap, and I hate the 'let down' feeling after. Not only that, but I felt that they affected my blood sugar in a negative way compounding the problem. I looked into a friend's supplement shakes, but the prices, and the presence of dairy made me feel it wasn't the best fit. But I did wonder if I could do something on my own, especially since fruit smoothies are a family favorite here in warm weather.
My solution? It is the combination of some things new to me, and some I had on hand
A friend of mine had seen the Bulk Herb Stores powdered 'herba smoothie mix'
(something I had wanted to try- a terrific mixture of herbs designed for mental stimulation, energy, bone hair and nail health, etc.) and made a huge batch, -and I was able to buy a bag full from her.
My sister Lydia had been talking about the great health benefits of Coconut Water, and since I am nursing a baby with dairy allergies, recommended it as a replacement for yogurt or milk in smoothies. Since I have been doing a lot of coupon shopping at Dillons which has a fantastic natural foods section, I was able to pick some up recently. Coconut water is incredible on its own -"Loaded with the five essential electrolytes that your body craves -- including potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous -- Vita Coco has what it takes to keep you hydrated and refreshed throughout your busy day.
In fact, each serving of Vita Coco has more electrolytes and 15 times more potassium than the leading sports drink, and more potassium than two bananas (about 700 mg of potassium is in each 11.2-ounce serving size). These electrolytes work to keep the body cool, help boost poor circulation, replenish your body's fluids after exercising, and aid in the detoxification process while boosting your immune system.
This cholesterol- free, fat- free and pucker-free drink can also help soothe an upset stomach, and when paired with a healthy diet, it can even promote weight loss. All this from a single, natural ingredient, and without any artificial sweeteners or added sugars."
Lydia told me that when combined with a dark green like kale, - its health benefits have been likened to a blood transfusion. THAT is what I am talking about!! How about every day at 2pm?!! :)
Thankfully, - this spring I happened to plant tons of greens, including a large patch of kale.
I always keep frozen fruit on hand, - since it is something my husband loves, - but recent sales have me stocked up. A few days ago I decided to see if I could get any help at all from a fresh smoothie everyday. These ingredients have changed my life. :)
Frozen banana is always in any smoothie I make because I love the flavor and the creamy texture! Frozen strawberries, (these were actually fresh on sale and I cut and froze them) kale leaves, herba smoothie mixture, coconut water and ice.
I know, - it doesn't really look that whoopi.... (I made sure to put the heavy fruit so that it would sink onto the kale leaves so they blend thoroughly)
At this point Justice was screeching at me that it looked awful, and PLEASE MOMMA NO! DONT put that stuff in MINE! But I kid you not, - you can NOT taste the kale OR the herbs. I made him taste mine, - and he just gave a huge smile. - All you could taste was strawberry banana goodness, with a slight freshness from the greens. Today I let Felicity eat some of mine, and she thought it was ice cream! She LOVED it, and it was great to know it was packed full of goodness.
I feel like it is plenty sweet from just the fruit, - but I also have made it with a packet of EmerganC, which gives a great shot of flavor, even more vitamins and extra sweetness.
So it tasted great, - BUT the proof is in the puddin!
I have had a smoothie with lunch, or for an afternoon snack for the last three days and have been amazed at the difference I feel. Here is what I did today AFTER dishes, and basic morning house clean/ pickup.(big change right there)
Hand shoveled and then tilled 30 feet of garden, planted 10 tomatoes, 24 peppers, weeded, mulched and staked misc.It was a good day. :) I feel like 'I'm back' or at least headed that direction.
Something I love about this smoothie is that not only do I feel refreshed and energized, - but I also definitely notice a mental clarity and sense of being 'on top of things', something I felt I was really loosing lately to brain fog.
I do want to say, - that I share this because I feel like I have found something that is making a difference in my health, and long term health goals for my family - not just a 'natural' kind of caffeine or magic way to be super mom!
I do think we live in a very artificially 'energized' and incredibly driven, demanding, and high paced culture where we as mom's have tremendously high expectations for ourselves, - and easily feel like failures if /when we can't get it ALL done, and still be fabulous!!
I am very grateful for a simple drink that I can make that isn't just giving me a temporary fix, - but that is helping build a stronger me, and I am determine to get to bed earlier every night to give my body what it needs. It isn't just about what I can get done in a day, - if it costs me my long term health. I want to be a healthy mom and wife, now AND in the future.
Tonight as I sat down to write this, - I pulled up the Bulk Herb Store site so I could share a link for the herbasmoothie mix, and saw that they have some video clips about smoothies that probably do a much better job than I have on covering this subject. I will look at them when I get the chance!! :)
For now, - good night! :) My good day tomorrow starts now! :)