Sunday, June 28, 2020

Best Green Smoothie Recipe

If you are like me, you want to include all the super healthy greens into your morning smoothie, but your taste buds resist!

While doing a 5-Day Reset with my FASTer Way VIP community, I could not drink the green smoothie recipe the way it was written. Cilantro? Cucumber? Anyone else struggle with the taste of these ingredients?

So after much trial and error, I finally tweaked the recipe and found the perfect combination that I know you will love, even if you are not in a constant battle with your taste buds!

Ingredients to blend:

1 cup coconut water
1 cup loosely pack parsley
1 cup loosely packed baby spinach
1/2 cup cucumber
1 cup pineapple (frozen)
1/4 cup mango (frozen)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1/2 avocado

One of the things I love about this green smoothie is that the ingredients have so many benefits!
  • Lemon juice - boosts immune system, aids in digestion, balances ph, flushes liver and kidneys
  • Coconut water - vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, regulates ph balance
  • Ginger - helps with digestion, reduces inflammation, improves cholesterol levels, lowers blood sugars
  • Parsley - improves digestion, supports gland health, aids bone health

Full disclosure, this smoothie was not my favorite from the Reset, but it did taste better and go down a lot easier at the end - when my taste buds got their act together!

Do you like green smoothies?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

5 Day Reset

Let's face it, there are times when we all fall off the wagon when it comes to our nutrition and fitness.

While my everyday lifestyle didn't change as much as most because of COVID-19, I did let bad eating habits start creeping back in. Convenience foods, extra treats, more indulgences...they were all adding up. 

Even with the best intentions, it can be hard to know where to start to get back on track! Just because I am a certified coach for a health and wellness program, doesn't mean I don't have struggles. Sometimes I NEED my community just as much as my new clients do.

Enter the 5-Day Reset.

In the FASTer Way community, we are given tools and challenges to help us navigate through plateaus and dial back in when we have let things get too loosey-goosey. This month we are doing a 21-Day Community Cut where we are cutting out habits and thoughts that don't help us reach our goals. The community challenge is always optional, but I couldn't wait to dive in as it came on the heels of my 10-day elimination detox with my FMP ---> perfect timing for me!

We kicked off our Community Cut with a 5-Day Reset to make nutrition our main priority and reset our minds and tastebuds. For 5 days we re-committed to whole food nutrition and focused on eating clean. No processed foods, no sauces and marinades. No sugar. Why? To clean out our body. To eliminate the foods that cause cravings.

How it Worked.

Day 1: all smoothies, all day. Instead of 3 square meals, we flooded our bodies with macro and micronutrients. We had a break-FAST smoothie, a lunch smoothie and a dinner smoothie. There was so much packed into those smoothies, I wasn't hungry at all! 

Days 2-5: two smoothies and two clean meals. Every day we broke fast with the break-FAST smoothie and every day we had the lunch smoothie as a snack. Lunch was 5 ounces of protein, 6 ounces of sweet potato (on my sensitivities list, so I had brown rice) and 1 cup steamed broccoli. Dinner was 5 ounces protein and greens.

The Ingredients.

There was a method to the madness! Every ingredient was picked because of the amazing benefits and the volume it would provide. Lemon juice aids digestion, flaxseed good source of healthy fat and helps hormone balance, coconut water contains electrolytes, ginger reduces inflammation. 

We were urged to drink green tea instead of coffee because it is anti-inflammatory and boosts metabolism. This was easy for me because I had already given up coffee during my 10-day detox, but drinking green tea was something new. I discovered that I like it!

The Results.

This reset was just what I needed to get back on track and recommit to whole food nutrition. I loved breaking my fast every day with a smoothie. I used to do this ALL THE TIME when I was still teaching. By day 5, I was enjoying the green smoothies as much as the fruitier break-fast smoothie. Proof that my taste buds had changed. I also had more energy, less gas and bloat, and slept amazing all week. My cravings for all the convenience foods I was reaching for more and more, have diminished almost completely and I find myself thinking about fruit a lot more. All big wins!

Combined with my 10-day elimination detox, I feel so much better than I did 15 days ago. I have lost water "weight" which I can see and feel in my belly and face. My clothes are fitting more comfortably and I am excited to continue to fix my body with healthy foods and not pills.

Have you ever done a reset? How did it go?

Let me know if you have any questions!!

Saturday, June 13, 2020

My 10 Day Elimination Detox

I recently completed a 10-Day Elimination Detox.

The detox was recommended by my functional medicine practitioner to help me reset my gut since that is where a lot of our health issues actually begin. My issues started over the last year with some weight gain (I could tell by the way my clothes were fitting, bloating after eating and changes in my libido. I just felt OFF. I had a hormone test done and the results showed some cortisol spikes, low vitamin D and elevated thyroid antibodies. My PCP and GYN were not concerned, but I wanted to get to the root of what was causing these things going on in my body and I didn't know how to do it on my own.

I turned to a FMP for help and after chatting with my her and hitting it off, I enlisted her guidance. She set me up to do some additional tests that will provide her with a bigger picture of what is going on. At the same time I started the detox.

The main protocol of the detox comes from Dr. Mark Hyman's 10-day detox. The premise is to eliminate all known inflammatory foods and get back to the basics. It basically makes you focus on 1) food, 2) habits and 3) support. Overall, I eat very well. I live the FASTer Way lifestyle, so I have been gluten and dairy free for a few years (90% of the time), avoid overly processed foods and artificial sugars, but I admit that I still reach for convenience items one in a while and splurge at times, too.

What the Detox looked like for me:
- eliminate gluten, dairy, caffeine, all sugar (including natural) and alcohol
- eliminate my known list of sensitivity foods (I was tested for this)
- eliminate all grains, beans, legumes and starchy veggies
- follow the daily menu (which was basically low carb)
- keep a daily journal of my sleep, food and drink, feelings, measurements, poops and gratitude
- practice self-care like deep breathing, detox baths, less social media time 

I've "done" detoxes in the past, but I was never truly ALL IN like I was with this one and I could tell the difference right away. It wasn't easy figuring out what to eat even with the menu full of recipes because I also had my own food sensitivities to contend with. Many of the recipes were chicken based and that was on my avoid list. So I tried what I could and then focused on what protein and veggies I could eat. 

So, while there were a lot of food restrictions on this detox, I still ate plenty. Everyday I broke my fast with a detox smoothie and had a snack, lunch and dinner. I tried every single smoothie recipe and landed on one that I liked and stuck with that. I have always been a creature of habit. There was plenty of food every day to fuel my workouts. Once I got past the yucky feeling the first two days, I followed my regular workout schedule.

My thoughts:
The thing I missed most on the detox turned out to be my carbs. I thought it would be coffee but I barely noticed. At the end of the 10 days I had lost most of the belly bloat, a few pounds (water weight most likely) and an inch or so from my measurements. I did not really take a break from social media, since it is the main source of how I do my job as a FASTer Way Coach and I did not take the detox baths because I don't have a tub. I did take time for gratitude each day and become more mindful of how I eat my food. 

One thing I really like about this detox is that it is doable and can be re-visited when needed in the future. For now, I am reintroducing foods from my sensitivities list one at a time to see how they make me feel.

Let me know if you have any questions!