Thursday, July 25, 2013

RECIPE: TROPICAL DETOX SMOOTHIE


RECIPE: We're half way through the summer, can you believe it?  It seems like just yesterday we were spring cleaning and preparing to put away the fluffy winter wardrobe while shopping for some funky new flipflops!  Fun in the sun (for me at least) is centered around seeking out tons of great food, attending as many BBQs as there are grills around, and enjoying a few late night drinks from time to time.  The sun's staying out later and frankly so am I.  After spending the first half of the summer celebrating and picking up extra shifts at work, I have decided to spend the second half actually getting some R&R and really enjoying myself in the healthiest ways possible for my body and mind.  The first step is to close out July with a BRAND NEW tropical DETOX!

SHOPPING BAG
1 Pineapple, 1 Peach, 1 Triple-Ripe Nectarine, 3 Carrots, 1 Banana, 1 Kiwi
Carrot Juice, Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds


Easy Prep... Fruit by Fruit & Veggie by Veggie

PINEAPPLE
Remove the skin from your pineapple, first removing the stem and then slicing downward along the skin to preserve as much of the fruit inside as possible.  (Save the skin!  I'll explain later!)  Chop the pineapple up into rectangular spears (and put some aside so you can make cinnamon-sugar grilled pineapple spears later on!) and then cut into small chunks.  Drop them into your blender, magic bullet, or food processor.

PEACH & NECTARINE
Carefully peel your peach and nectarine using a knife very close to the skin so as to preserve as much of the fruit as possible.  Once the skin is removed, you can either slice or (with clean hands, of course) simply peel away the fruit from the pit and add the pieces to your blender to join the pineapple.

CARROT
Wash and then use a knife or potato peeler to remove the outside layer of the carrots.  Then, use your knife to cut the carrot into chunks.  Smaller chunks will make it easier on your blender or food processor to break down.  Once you have your carrots chopped, add them to the mix.

BANANA
Well, this one's easy.  Peel, slice, and add.

KIWI
Just like the peach and nectarine, carefully use a knife to cut away the skin.  Once the skin is removed, slice the kiwi into smaller pieces and add to the drink.  I used only one kiwi, but you are more than welcome to add a second one in there for good (sweet) measure.

CARROT JUICE
Add as much carrot juice as you need to make your blender operate properly... or as much as you'd like to thin out the consistency of your smoothie.

FLAX & CHIA SEEDS
Add 1-2 tablespoons of each.  One of each is recommended.  These guys pack a powerful punch of Omega 3s and a few other digestive surprises, so if you're going to throw them into your smoothie, be prepared to supplement them with foods packed with Vitamin K (Kale, Broccoli, Cabbage, Asparagus), and probably plan your day close to home for when they start to kick in.  Drinking this smoothie around dinner time should result in a spectacularly cleansing start to your day.  I'll leave it at that.

Once your ingredients are all prepared, it's BLENDING TIME!
Blend until your smoothie is at its desired consistency, transfer into a cup of your choice and enjoy!



Curious about what you're drinking?  Let's talk about the ingredients...

PINEAPPLE
Ranked one of the world's healthiest foods, pineapple is a great source of Vitamin C, Manganese, and Vitamin B1 which work to produce energy for your body and to build up antioxidant defenses.  Studies have also shown that pineapple is amazing at preventing the degeneration of sight and that three or more servings of fruit per day are a major helper in fighting disease and in vision preservation!  UCSD has reported that pineapple contains a combination of digestive enzymes that help to decrease inflammation which helps the body result in a flatter, slimmer look after adding them to your diet.  While on the topic of how pineapple will help you on the way to a sexier body, allow me to point out that pineapple is also a catabolic food which means that your body is spending more calories to digest it than you are taking in!  Who can resist this sweet, juicy treat?  Oh, and by the way, it's a great idea to buy a whole pineapple (not only because it is sweeter and cheaper overall) but because you can even take the skin of the pineapple and boil it in water with some cinnamon making a brilliantly detoxing glass of spiced pineapple juice!  (or you can save the rest and make )

PEACH
Another lovely source of beta-carotene, peaches are great helpers when it comes to improving vision because they increase blood circulation throughout the body.  They are rich in Vitamin C which helps to improve skin tone and can even be applied directly to the skin to treat dark circles.  Their high fiber and potassium content helps kidneys detox and have I mentioned that peaches have no fat?  There are natural sugars, of course, but no added fat, so they are ideal for detox dieting!  Plus they are filled with vitamins and minerals such as A, C, E, and even Vitamin K, and just like our other amazing fruits and veggies in this smoothie, peaches help to prevent heart disease and certain types of cancer.

NECTARINE
Similar to peaches, nectarines are little vitamin and mineral powerhouses containing beta-carotene, our new best friend.  They help the body produce Vitamin A and contain a healthy amount of Vitamin C which helps you to detox!  Nectarines also contain lutein which is a nutrient which helps support healthy eyes and skin as well as iron, folic acid, and energy enhancing natural sugars.

CARROTS
As I am sure we all have heard growing up, carrots improve vision.  Carrots are rich in beta-carotene which is converted by the liver into Vitamin A and then transformed into rhodopsin (a purple pigment) in the retina which is necessary for night vision.  Beta-carotene also acts as an antioxidant which slows down the aging of cells and works alongside Vitamin A to protect the skin from sun damage, keeping it from prematurely wrinkling and breaking out in blemishes.  Studies have also shown that carrots reduce the risk of breast, lung, and colon cancer.  They also add an amazing amount of texture to any smoothie, pesto, or sauce which is not only fun for the tongue but also helps to scrape clean the teeth and gums.  Plus the Vitamin A helps to cleanse the liver as their dietary fibers help clear out the digestive system... which makes them an ideal detox food!

KIWI
This great little source of Vitamin C and antioxidants is also packed with dietary fiber which can help reduce cholesterol levels while also serving to remove toxins from the digestive system.  Kiwi helps regulate blood sugar and (alongside carrots and pineapple) has been found to contribute to preserving your vision!  It is also found that kiwi supports cardiovascular health and helps to prevent blood clots!  When selecting kiwi do not choose particularly firm or overly soft kiwi, especially not with bruises or damp spots.  You should be able to apply a gentle pressure with your fingers and have the kiwi yield.  Remember, although kiwi in general are a brilliantly healthy food to eat at least a few times a week, kiwi selected at the peak of ripeness will have the most antioxidants!

BANANA
Ranked one of the word's healthiest foods, bananas are full of potassium and fiber as well as Vitamins B6, C, and manganese.  Just like our other tropical smoothie ingredients, bananas help with the preservation of eyesight while also aiding in digestion!  Bananas also help your body to absorb calcium which improves bone health and may also help to prevent kidney cancer.

FLAX SEED & CHIA SEEDS
Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, flax seeds help fight inflammation in the body and is high in phytochemicals including many antioxidants.  Flax seed has been shown as a source of lignans which convert in the intestine into a substance that can help balance female hormones and research is taking place RIGHT NOW in regards to flaxseed's role in the prevention of breast cancer!  Ground flax seeds make the nutrients available, but whole flax seeds (or flaxseed soaked in warm water to release mucilage) serve best for aiding in digestion.  Either way, they are incredibly high in fiber and will serve to clean you out and promote better intestinal functioning.  Chia seeds are also great sources of Omega-3s as well as fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.  They also provide the body with a feeling of being satisfied and help to lower cravings between meals while also speeding up metabolism.  They are gluten-free and can be mixed with liquids to create a gel that works as an egg replacer in some dishes.  They can either be digested whole or ground up to release their nutrients.

BE SAFE AND DETOX RESPONSIBLY!

WARNING: Detoxing is awesome and can help cleanse your body of impurities and ultimately lead to weight loss and more vibrant skin... HOWEVER!  Detoxing should by no means be used as a full diet plan and THIS DETOX is not recommended for more than 2-3 days once a day.  Please supplement your body with the appropriate vitamins, minerals, and proteins that it needs to support efficient and healthy living.  It's as simple as eating broccoli to replenish your Vitamin K after taking in all the lovely Omega 3s that Flax & Chia Seeds offer.  Know what you are putting into your body and detox responsibly!

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