A Berry Nice Way To Start The Day

Ok folks, we are now officially entering the berry season.  Unless of course  you live in NYC like me and the berry season seems to go on all year.  But I’m not talking about the ones that you can get at the grocery store all winter that have been commercially grown in a far away country.  I’m talking local, fresh, organic, delicious berries!  These little buggers are ridiculously good for you, and now that they are going to be harvested for a while, buy them and eat them like there is no tomorrow.  I’m serious, eat as much as you like.

Berries grow this time of year for a reason.  Your body always knows what time of year it is by the way.  The earth gives us these things this time of year so that we can begin to cleanse from the winter of heavy grounding foods and  stockpile the anti-oxidants and all of the other immune system builders for when the cold and flu season comes again. Sounds a little silly to some, I know. But when we start paying more close attention to what grows locally at different times of the year, it all seems to come together. It’s getting hot outside now so the earth is going to start giving us some very nutrient dense cooling foods.  It really is no coincidence that at this time berries and other fruits, greens, and so many other cooling veggies will start to show their faces.  Eat em up!

One great way to get the berries in your body is by  making a smoothie.  It really doesn’t matter if you have a regular blender or a high powered machine like a Vitamix, either will work.  However, if you go to any health food store and get a smoothie I’m quite sure you will find they are using the Vitamix.  I bought one a year ago and easily it is one of the best investments I have ever made. I have saved a fortune om smoothies.   I am a smoothie freak!  I have fruit smoothies and green smoothies almost everyday.  This morning I rocked out a killer cleansing berry smoothie.  Since I’m all about sharing, here’s the recipe.  Try it and let me know if it gives you the same jump it gives me!

 

Berry Smoothie

You will need:

1/2 cup strawberries

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup raspberries

1 tbsp. raw, unfiltered honey

1 tbsp. raw cacao nibs

1 tbsp. organic nut butter(almond, sunflower, or peanut)

1/2 cup kefir(or organic yogurt)

1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk(soy, rice, almond, hemp)

1 cup ice

Throw all food ingredients in the blender and then throw the ice on top.  That’s it! This will give you enough for possibly two people, but for me it’s virtually my whole breakfast:)  If you like it a bit thinner, just add more ice or liquid.  Simple. Serves

 

 

 

Need Energy? Get Dense!

Wait a minute.  What did he say?  Get dense?  That’s right, get dense.  Stick around and keep reading and you will see what I mean.

Most of us are busy with jobs, kids, family, activities, in-laws:) etc etc etc.  And most of us feel tired, run down, stressed out, and altogether out of energy sometimes if not most of the time.  But why?  That is the question I asked myself a million times as I got up and went about my business day in and day out feeling a little bit like a medium sized truck had missed a turn and run my ragged butt over.  I always just assumed that this is just the way it is and I may as well just accept it.  Today, I don’t think that way.  I know different.  My activity level is not much different than in the past,  but my energy level is about 20 times what it used to be.  How is that possible you ask?  A significantly different diet that includes daily doses of fresh, whole, nutrient dense foods.  There’s the dense connotation from the title by they way.

In the past I would reach for coffee, espresso, cookies, candy, or anything basically with caffeine or sugar to give myself a jump when I was really dragging. A lot of us do this, and for a while it does the trick.  But not long into my schooling at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition I began to learn some of the truths about what I was in fact doing when I reached for these quick fix vices.  There is nothing of real energy value for my body in caffeine and processed sugars.  I eat the junk, I drink the coffee, I perk up, and then I crash.  Essentially what is happening is adrenal stimulation and blood sugar spikes and drops.  Not the production of energy.

Upon learning this I decided to do an experiment with myself.  I started to add in some really nutrient dense foods to my daily diet for a few days.  I mean what’s a few days, right?  I chose green smoothies at first with kale, cucumber, ginger, whole lemon, parsley, raw honey, and whole apple.  The sweet and tart stuff in it made it tolerable and within two days I was craving it and am still hooked on green smoothies.  What I know today is that what I was really craving was the nutrients.  The kale it turns out has vitamins A, C, E, and K as well as calcium, iron, manganese and countless other valuable micro nutrients.  At about day three I messed around with a couple more veggies and some whole grains like quinoa and spelt and before I knew it, bee pollen, raw cacao, goji berries, and raw hemp seed were no longer a foreign language to me.  At about day five I was walking around NYC where I live late in the afternoon and decided to stop for some coffee.  After all, that’s what I normally do late in the afternoon because I’m usually tired.  But something suddenly dawned on me.  I wasn’t tired at all, and when I thought back on my day I realized that I hadn’t had a cup of coffee since the wake-up cup.  How is that possible I asked myself.  It was the food!

See, what our bodies really want are nutrients. Vitamins and minerals keep us alive and keep the machine that is us operating smoothly and efficiently. Today my diet is  rich in cleansing, whole, and fresh superfoods like kale, collards, raw honey, goji berries, raw cacao, bee pollen etc.  Don’t get me wrong this isn’t all I eat.  I still indulge from time to time but for the most part I stay true to the good stuff.  When you lose a little weight, your energy picks up, your skin looks better, and your mind is more clear you don’t typically go running back to the things that initially made you feel crappy all the time, right?  I thought so.

I know what your thinking.  “I want some of what he’s talkin about!”.  Give me a shout and and we can talk about what you can do to start feeling and looking like the person you know you can be!