Morning After Greens

by Emilie Maynor

Kiss me, I'm Irish! Ok, not really...BUT! Whether you are true Irish or just like to celebrate as if you are, I've got some post St. Patty's Day Recovery tips for you! 

Between the green beer and heavy food (HELLO Potatoes and corned beef!) we all tend to over indulge from time to time. Celebration and indulgence are part of our life-balance. We deserve to feel joy, socialization and fun, but sometimes those elements get us off track. Moments of indulgence don't have to be followed by weeks of regret. The key is knowing how to quickly recover from those moments. For me, staying on track is about making sure that I have a plan to nourish my body. So...let's talk about greens in a different way! 

Dark leafy greens and herbs are AMAZING for the body. They are super healing and help with recovery....if ya know what I mean. Most greens are loaded with potassium, which is an important electrolyte usually depleted during the...um...indulgence process. Greens are also water dense, which also helps the body rehydrate. Of course, I like to start the day off right so, I've put together my favorite Morning After smoothie recipe. This smoothie helps me rehydrate and replenish nutrients after a late night or indulgent holiday.
Warning: This recipe is super green! 

Post St. Patty's Day Smoothie

  • 1/2 squeezed lemon 
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 thumb fresh ginger
  • 1-2 cups greens (chard, spinach, romaine) 
  • 2 inch cumber
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1.5 cups coconut water - secrete replenishing ingredient! 
  • ˆBlend Your Heat Out! 

Of course, you can certainly cook your greens too! Check out this great graphic from The Institute of Integrative Nutrition on Glorious Greens for further motivation! 

Veggie Smoothie for Toddlers by Melissa Cates

Back in the good ole days, I could spoon anything into my little one’s mouth, and he would predictably mush it around and swallow. Aaaahhh... the sweet satisfaction of knowing little round belly was full of nutritious fruits, veggies, proteins, and the occasional tasty herb or spice.  (You know, for palate expansion....) Jump ahead to present day, Austin is two, and his lips might as well have a deadbolt on them. A deadbolt to which only he holds the key, and who knows what motivates him to unlock it. One day pasta is permissible, the next nothing but fruit shall pass.

Oh, two year olds. I won’t say they are “terrible,” because they are really too much fun for that label. I will say they will teach you a whole heap of things. About yourself, about them, about love, about forgiveness, about patience, about how to get crayon marks off of hardwood floors...

Really, I wish I had taken out stock in Purell and Brawny. And, maybe invested in part of a vineyard?

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Anyway, ever since those little lips starting locking out my attempts at rounded nutrition, I started sneaking past the gatekeeper by throwing everything and anything into the blender and serving it up with a straw and a smile. (A little theatrical enthusiasm goes a long way with toddlers.) You may have to gradually add in the stronger tasting greens and veggies, but a good starting place is sweet baby carrots. Get that past your little culinary tyrant, and you can move on cauliflower, spinach (raw is milder than the cooked, frozen stuff), kale, even green peas! I really just use what I have in the fridge, but this one is what Austin drinks most days.

As A says when he gets up from his nap:  “It’s ‘moovie time!”

Austin’s Sneaky Veggie Smoothie

Serves 2 (momma could use a nutrional boost, too!)

  • 1 ripe banana (preferably frozen)
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored
  • 1 handful baby carrots
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 handful kale
  • 2 brussels sprouts (if you dare…)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, optional (Austin needs the extra fat and calories)
  • 1-2 tbsp honey, agave, sugar, or molasses
  • ½ cup greek yogurt, I use weetedplain for lower sugar content
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Blend your heart out!

Tip: When loading your blender with all this goodness, put the heaviest foods on the bottom nearest the blade.



 

Smoothie Making 101

Green Smoothie 
Highway 30a

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably noticed I really like green smoothies. 99% of my days start out with a green smoothie. Not to sound like a total cliche, but I believe they changed my life. It started about three and a half years ago. After feeling really sluggish at work for a few months, I decided something had to change and embarked on a personal nutrition challenge: seven days of green smoothies.  Before the challenge, most mornings started with a "healthy" cereal. I thought cereal was a pretty good choice - boy was I wrong! Once I dropped the box of Kashi, I realized it was the reason I was having digestive problems, feeling overly full, bloated, and constant sugar cravings. Ew. Who wants to feel like that all the time? ....not me.  

That seven day challenge turned into a nearly 4 year love affair with greens. Smoothies are super refreshing and provide a blast of nutrients first thing in the morning. The changes I felt were so profound, it became a lifestyle. Some of the changes I noticed after the first month were, increased energy, mental clarity, healthier food cravings and weight management. The best part? You can really pack a ton of nutrients into 1 drink! AND - they are super low maintenance. You just need a blender and 3-5 minutes. Of course, you can find tons of recipes online, so I'm not going to give you one today. Instead, I'll share my Smoothie 101 tips, so you can figure out your own delicious concoctions! 

Smoothie Building Blocks
1. Choose a creamy base: banana, mango, peach
2. Choose a complimentary flavored fruit: apple, pear, berries, citrus
3. Add 1-2 handfuls of greens *if you are worried about it tasting green, start with a small handful and work your way up!
4. Choose an unsweet liquid: water, coconut water, almond milk, coconut milk
5. Blend your HEART out!

Pro Tips:

  • Less is more. The best smoothies are the simple ones. You don't need 10 different fruits and veggies to have a nutrient dense and flavorful smoothies. My favorite recipes usually include 3-5 ingredients. 
  • Consider your nutrients. Greens + Protein + Healthy Fats
    • Greens: spinach & chard have a mild flavor = beginner friendly! Start there. 
    • Protein: hemp seeds, chia seeds, whole food nut butters, full fat greek yogurt
    • Healthy Fats: avocado or coconut oil are great to start with. 
  • Don't make a sugar BOMB
    •  30%-40% greens + 60%-70% low glycemic fruits is a good starting place.
    • Added sweeteners should be natural (raw honey, maple syrup) and used sparingly. 

You can follow me @emiliemaynorliving for weekly inspirations or sign up for the next Blend Your Heart Out Smoothie Challenge!  Feel free to comment with any smoothie questions or share your favorite recipe!