Our smoothie ritual was born after I watched Dr. Wahl's TED conference presentation on how she uses nutrition to overcome her MS. If you haven't already seen the video, it's definitely worth a watch (click here). While I am not completely onboard with all of her nutritional theory and advice- going gluten and dairy free to reduce food allergy risk- (yet, I am dying to see more published research), her idea to eat more fruits and vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables, is one I completely support.
Have you ever tried counting the number of fruit and vegetable servings you eat in one day? The USDA recommends that we eat between 5 and 9 servings, with a serving defined as a 1/2 cup. That's 2 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups per day. Dr. Wahl doubles the high end of the USDA recommendation to suggest that we eat 9 cups! of vegetables and fruit every day in order to optimize brain function and reduce risk of excessive inflammation. She even defines it further by recommending we eat 3 cups of green vegetables, 3 cups of sulfur-containing vegetables,and 3 cups of fruits and vegetables of color to ensure we get enough B vitamins, minerals (sulfur, iodine, magnesium), and antioxidants through our food. Nine cups, my lovelies, is a lot...and, it's difficult to do. So, I decided that a way to attempt to come close to the ultimate goal of 9 cups is to start our day with a green smoothie.
It's part of our morning breakfast routine and Jack and I, in particular, look forward to it every day. For Jack, it's typically paired with a breakfast bar or a piece of nut butter toast. For me, I have it with a piece of toast spread with either nut butter or mashed avocado sprinkled with cayenne pepper and kosher salt or with a bowl of plain non-fat yogurt and homemade granola. It's a lovely and tasty way to start your day and it provides 2 cups of colorful fruits and 2 cups of greens, leaving only 5 more for the day!
I have to apologize for not being able to provide the exact quantities for most ingredients...instead of measuring, I just eye the amounts, but my guess in parentheses is pretty close. Go with your instinct and you likely can’t go wrong!
GREEN BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (1/2 cup) frozen organic raspberries (1/2 cup) frozen mango chunks (1/2 cup) frozen pineapple bits 1 banana (4 cups) kale Squeeze of honey
Liquefy in blender. Drink...to your health.