Friday, May 10, 2013

Miracle Smoothie

I gave up regular juicing a while back because it was far too time consuming for my typical workday morning. I found a recipe for a green smoothie and decided to give smoothies a try.  They were much quicker to throw together and significantly easier to clean up.  So, I began drinking a smoothie each morning and didn't give it much thought.  They were yummy and I enjoyed them but then I had a couple of major ah ha moments.  Here's the smoothie and the recipe I normally use. The pictures are from February when I started doing this. I now make them in a nice blender.  As a result there are no longer any spinach flecks in the finished product.  That that it ever impacted the taste anyway.

Clean Green Smoothie:

  • 1/4-1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple 
  • 1 frozen banana (I slice a bunch of bananas, freeze them on a cookie sheet and then put in a freezer bag for storage)
  • 1/2 cup frozen fruit (my favorite is mango but peach is also really nice.  They both make a really bright and vibrant green color. You can also use strawberries or raspberries.  The color will be much more muddled but it will taste delicious!)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach (I don't really measure it.  Instead I take a couple good size handfuls and stuff it in the top of the blender)

I was at the doctor recently and she commented that I had lost a significant amount of weight since my physical in October.  I explained that I had not been trying to lose weight and it was super unusual for me to lose any weight without trying.  That coupled with some other not so fun symptoms actually had her quite concerned   It turns out the other symptoms were totally benign.  It hit me one day: what's the one and only change I've made?  Daily smoothies!  I can't prove that it caused me to lose some weight but my hunch is that it certainty played a factor.  

While losing weight is beyond great my other ah ha moment was much more profound and meaningful to me.  I have struggled for years with migraine syndrome that has left me at times incapacitated by severe headaches, fatigue, muscles aches, nausea  and vomiting.  For a while I couldn't even work full-time.  I remember when I started seeing a new doctor I told her how happy I was that my migraines were controlled enough that I could get up, go to work, and do all that needed to be done in my life.  However, she gave me a reality check that the number of headaches I was experiencing was unacceptable and she personally wasn't satisfied even if I was accepting. Over the next few years I made some major changes (vegan diet, drastically reducing diet coke intake) and had really reduced the number of occurrences   I keep a migraine diary and in 2010 and 2011 I was thrilled to "only" be having 35-40 bad days a year.  About three days a month my life my severely disrupted and I could handle that.  With all of my hard work and lifestyle changes 2012 only had 12 of these days.  Well, I happened to glance at my headache tracker recently and noticed that for 2013 there have only been two days.  One day in January and the other early February.  There has been nothing since.  What has changed?  Yup, smoothies!  I honestly believe it.  I did a Google search for "migraine- smoothie" and it seems  I'm not the only believer! .  There is so much to be said for taking accountability for your health.  It's true that I take a pretty powerful pain medication when I need it but by and large I've used food and  overall healthy lifestyle as my drug of choice! 

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