Because everyone is different (Remember that idea of bioindividuality?), there are few universal truths when it comes to food and nutrition. But there are some things I talk about with all my new clients because many people don’t already do these things enough:
1. Are you eating enough dark green and brightly colored veggies?
2. Are you drinking enough water?
3. Are you getting quality probiotics somewhere in your diet?
Don’t panic if you are reading that probiotic ^ word and thinking you missed that post I promised you. I keep saying that I am going to write a post on the gut microbiome, antibiotics, probiotics, etc and I promise I will. But first we need to talk about breakfast.
For many people even thinking about choosing a probiotic supplement is overwhelming. There are so many kinds, with so many different strains of bacteria. Some come in bottles and some come in blister packs. Some have high enteric coatings, some mention prebiotic fiber or other ingredient blends… HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO JUST CHOOSE ONE???
Well the good news is that I have a simple solution.
Make a smoothie. Not only does this recipe give you a nice dose of easy to ingest probiotics, but it also includes a couple other fantastic ingredients that help nourish your body AND prevent cancer.
6 oz of strawberry kefir (or other flavor if you prefer)
1 cup (or more) of fresh organic spinach leaves
1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries
1/2 cup frozen organic strawberries
1/2 medium organic banana – you get bonus points if it’s not all the way ripe yet
2 oz organic apple juice to help provide a smoother texture
Step 1: Combine all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth. Step 2: Enjoy! Step 3: Pick up those 2 blueberries you accidentally dropped. Seriously – they will turn your counter purple.
If you’re counting up the total grams of sugar in this, let me stop you and say, yes – there is a decent amount of sugar here. It contains about 40 grams. For comparison, there are upwards of 70 and even 80 grams of sugar in some of the large size iced coffee beverages that some people grab from their favorite drive through every morning. I’m looking at you venti caramel something or other…
No, sugar is not magically good for you just because it comes from fruit. Fructose can still impact your blood sugar levels, although some studies show it has less of an impact than sucrose does because it is processed differently. The bottom line here though is that the combination of fiber, protein and fat in this smoothie can help prevent blood sugar spikes. Further, there are compounds in unripened bananas that actually help LOWER your blood sugar. So… bananas are magic? How cool is that?! All in all, this smoothie is a nutrient packed way to start the day. BONUS: it tastes really good.
With about 3 servings of fruits and veggies, this smoothie is an easy way to help you work toward your daily quota. This 16 oz smoothie can stand alone as a mini meal (I love drinking it after I work out), but I also like to pair it with some high quality protein. My husband and I usually split one for breakfast, and enjoy it alongside some organic eggs and Ezekiel toast, or root veggies. Find whatever combination works to help you feel your best, and enjoy all the health benefits that come with it!
Here’s a bit more thorough information on each ingredient in case you’re interested:
- Kefir = PROBIOTICS!!! In addition to providing 15-20 billion CFU’s for 12 different live and active cultures, kefir also contains protein, Calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A. Nutrition info here.
- Spinach gives you Vitamins A, C, and K1 as well as Calcium, Iron, and Folate. It has lots of other awesome benefits too. Read more here.
- Blueberries are a good source of Vitamin K1, Vitamin C, and Manganese. They are also the ruler of all antioxidant fruits. That means they can help prevent cancer while they are staining your counter-top! Read more here.
- Strawberries pack a nutrient punch with Vitamin C, Manganese, and Folate. Also a good source of cancer fighting antioxidants. Read more here.
- Bananas provide good amounts of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Manganese, and Potassium. Bananas also contain cancer fighting antioxidants, as well as a fiber called pectin that helps regulate blood sugar. In addition to pectin, unripened bananas also contain resistant starch which provides even more support in balancing your blood sugar levels. AND resistant starches act as food for the good bacteria your gut needs to thrive. Read more here.
- Apple Juice: Unfortunately juice doesn’t provide us all the awesome benefits of the fiber found in whole apples, but this one does contain a decent amount of Vitamin C!
If you’re wondering where I get my smoothie ingredients, look no further than my last post – Affordable Organic: An Ode to Aldi. I make my smoothie with ingredients solely purchased from Aldi for about $3.00. They stock all of these items on a regular basis making it easy and affordable to drink your vitamins and your probiotics. Bottoms up!