Every morning, while the man is getting ready for work, I set about making our Green Smoothies. Over the summer, when MS was a possibility, but not a certainty, I sat down with a nutritionist, and she gave me so much information and so many resources, it felt as though I was back in college, doing a history term paper. I mean, the wealth of information out there on self-healing through diet is impressive, and thorough. I was surprised how little I knew and as I learned more, and experimented, it was hard not to acknowledge the benefits.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t wake up and make a seamless transition to healthy living. I have much too much love for food (all food, my friends, I don’t discriminate) and wine for any dietary changes to be easy. What the man and I decided after a few abortive failures at a drastic overhaul was that we were going to start small, and grow.
Green smoothies, it turns out, are a good first step. My soon-to-be-MIL got me a NutriBullet for Christmas and it has quickly become the number one kitchen accessory we use. The NutriBullet breaks the Green Smoothie down so that you can pretty much make one in your sleep. Fill the bottom of the cup with greens (about halfway to the max line), add fruit (good tip: use avocado or banana to even out the texture) to the max line, add your boost (usually, the man and I add a dollop of raw almond butter with flax seeds, and a little scoop of the Green Vibrance pictured above) and then you fill the cup with water to the Max line, twist on the Extractor Blade, pop it on the base, press and blend.
Voila, instant Green Smoothie.
This week, we’ve had banana-strawberry flavored smoothies every day because we are waiting for our avocado to ripen. I use a 50/50 baby spinach and greens mix for my base, 1 banana & 1 apple (each smoothie gets half) a tangerine each (vitamin C), a few strawberries as mentioned, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice (contrary to natural instinct, lime and lemon juice are very alkaline, so I like to pop a little in every day), plus the boosts and water.
When I was talking to the nutritionist, there was so much information, I absolutely did not retain it all ~ but I did scribble down as much as I could. The benefit of eating greens is so all-encompassing, I don’t really know where to start. Needless to say ~ it’s been a change for the better for us, and while I used to be a little lax about it, I’ve gotten pretty hard-core in the past few weeks.
It’s not hard to find information about Green Smoothies and their benefits. I literally just googled it (just to be sure!), and pages and pages of links pop up (some to books and authors I’ve read and others to the abundant resources in existence regarding Green Smoothies). For me, it’s about more than losing weight, having clearer skin or higher energy levels. Green Smoothies offer a way to make sure that I am getting the daily benefits of leafy greens and fruits in my diet. Greens are an incredibly rich source of minerals and are often regarded as the most concentrated form of nutrition. The darker they are, the more nutritional punch they pack. Additionally, greens carry elements (phytonutrients) that help protect our body’s cells from damage, and our eyes from degeneration. At the top of the list of greens’ health benefits is Vitamin K, which, among other qualities, has been shown to help reduce inflammation throughout the body (in my case, when inflammation is part of MS, this is not just a good thing, it’s a great one). Additionally, greens help regulate our digestive system, and help to maintain a pH balance in our blood (helping our body to stay alkaline instead of acidic ~ this is a whole ‘nother topic for a whole ‘nother day!).
In the past few weeks, as the inevitable conclusion loomed larger on the horizon, I spent a lot of time thinking through what decisions I wanted to make, could commit to making, and which things I wasn’t interested in. I would lie in bed at night, wide awake as the moonlight spilled in through the window and Lucy and the man snurffled away, and visualize how my ‘new’ life was going to take shape. It may sound strange, but it was a great comfort to me even to control my life mentally, as everything around me felt out of my control.
Additionally, the man and I talked through different options, what we each believed in, and how we thought it would fit into our life. There were so many things to consider, and sometimes I had a hard time finding perspective, because I was afraid. I like to fancy myself an optimist, but in real life, I definitely have my ‘glass half empty’ moments.
Because multiple sclerosis is characterized by ‘flares,’ which, in the simplest explanation, are spots of inflammation, controlling inflammation throughout my body is now a priority. Funny the things you just don’t really think about until … well, until you do. In that vein, the man and I have committed first and foremost to two dietary steps that we feel will help to control inflammation ~ Green Smoothies, and eliminating gluten from our diet. Luckily for me, going gluten-free is pretty trendy right now (and I have an amazingly supportive man). We can chat more about that tomorrow. Until then, go get your Green Smoothie on! They taste good ~ I promise!