You might as well know up front that I am not a big believer in detoxes or cleanses. I will certainly get into the why of it in another post. I do believe in eating a clean, whole foods based diet that does not require you to cleanse or to detox. The body naturally detoxes if you leave 12 hours between dinner and breakfast and get 7-8 hours of sleep.
You can imagine then that upon having my annual bloodwork done I was rather surprised to learn that my LDL was a tad on the high side (happily my HDL was on the way high side – winning!). This is another good moment to tell you that having dabbled with vegetarianism, I am an omnivore through and through. I do buy sustainable, hormone-free,
pasture-raised, belly-rubbed animal protein.
Yes, I am getting to the point. So my MD who is also a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (which is why I go to her) said we can fix my high cholesterol with some dietary changes. And I thought yes! Then she recommended a green smoothie breakfast and I thought NO. I love warm foods in the morning. Eggs and I are morning best friends, but, of course, they are likely the culprit in this LDL issue. Consuming lots of fruits of vegetables without anything else tends to leave me untethered and increase my anxiety levels, which I keep in check with diet. And it felt like a cleanse. I was skeptical.
I tried it anyway because I wanted to know how my body would respond, and I gave myself an out. If my anxiety levels rose, if I had fatigue, if I dreamed about eating a bucket of fried chicken by 10:00 a.m., then I would revisit this delightful experiment, create something better, and move on.
Here’s what happened: I had more energy, my skin looked the best it had in over 30 years (see: before adolescence), and I slept through the night. After being prescribed to do this for 10 days, I’ve decided I will continue doing it until my body tells me something else would be optimal in the morning.
Here is the recipe that worked for me. I have a Vitamix blender, which to be honest helps, as I am sure this would have burned out the motor on my old blender.
Molly's Green Breakfast Smoothie
Makes 40+ ounces, serves 1
This breakfast smoothie is meant to keep you satiated for hours and give you lots of energy. Don't let the amount of smoothie scare you; rather, consider it likely has the same amount of calories normally consumed at breakfast in a much more nutritious form. If possible, use local/organic vegetables.
Wash all fruits and veggies. Load the blender with the following ingredients in the order that they appear.
12 ounces coconut water
1 huge handful of spinach (about 2 cups)
1 inch piece of peeled ginger
1/2 apple, coarsely chopped (or low glycemic fruit like 1 cup of berries)
1/2 mango or 1 medium banana (or other high glycemic fruit)
2 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped
1 medium cucumber, coarsely chopped
Blend until smooth. May take a few minutes depending on the strength of your blender. Drink and enjoy!
And yes, if you just looked at your blender and thought that’s a lot of smoothie, yes, yes it is. Remember, you want something nutritionally awesome that is going to keep you satisfied for hours, fuel you through a workout, and not leaving you craving something you don’t even like in the first place.