Patient & Family Centered Care – Healthcare Social Media consultant, speaker, author
I’ve been searching for ways to take care of myself holistically. Upbuilding messages and affirmations are one way. But the physical is very necessary. For the past month and a half I’ve had bronchitis and decided I wasn’t going to take antibiotics again. Many winters I’ve ended up having bronchitis or pneumonia three or four times a year and along with it three or four courses of antibiotics and frankly, I’m sick of it.
When we were in France four years ago I got sick with bronchitis and after visiting a pharmacie, which only provides natural and homeopathic remedies, I overcame it for the first time in my life without antibiotics. I’ve used the tincture sparingly and have only had to go on antibiotics three times in the past three years although I had bronchitis more than that. In early November though I came down with quite a bad case and could see that I was going to run out of tincture. Despite searching I have not been able to find the same product or equivalent anywhere. That made me think about the root cause and a long term solution.
Enter my brilliant co-worker. When I expressed some of my frustration she reminded me that a few months ago I had asked her about the green smoothies she drinks. She told me that she started drinking them to improve her health and that she was inspired by the story of a family who had a lot of health problems and who found vibrant health through drinking smoothies.
My co-worker cautioned me to start slowly–she doesn’t follow the book or the recipes exactly. She uses dairy products and nuts regularly but she says she feels so much better than she did. She has beautiful skin and when she gets sick it doesn’t last long. So last week I made my first smoothie.
Day 1: Leftover fresh pineapple from a party, lemon Liberte yogurt (the only yogurt I thought I liked), almonds, 2 sticks of celery and 4 small carrots. I was very, very leary of putting in celery but I it was fabulous–a little too sweet in fact. That was the carrots and I’ve since learned its not a good idea to mix fruit with a vegetable like carrots. My smoothie was yellow not green but I found I craved more later in the day. I felt full until 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
Day 2: 1 cup of blueberries, Lemon Liberte yogurt, almonds, 4 sticks of celery and 5 lettuce leaves. It was very, very good. I drank it all morning and felt full until 2pm. I had run out of the lemon yogurt and decided I was going to be bold. That night I purchased vanilla Liberte yogurt.
Day 3: 1 cups of blueberries, Vanilla Liberte yogurt, pecans, 9 lettuce leaves. They say you should vary your greens so I left out the celery. I taste tested and it was great! The vanilla yogurt was great too. Then I saw a lone kiwi sitting in our fruit bowl and thought, “why not?”. Mistake. I’m not a big kiwi eater anyway, but I definitely don’t like it blended up. The smoothie was ok, but it would have been better without.
Day 5: Got up but felt lazy and didn’t make a smoothie. It was a big day. I went to work and then my daughter and I went shopping until 9pm. I felt horrible and like the bronchitis was taking hold again. I really felt my body craving a smoothie. I read the book cover to cover after I got home-a lot of it is recipes but mostly I found the stories inspiring. I went on line to find out more. My first thought was to cut the yogurt and add tons more greens but my co-workers voice resounded–take this slowly and give yourself time to adjust. Both she and the book said that you will crave healthy food and more greens as time goes on.
Day 6 (Yesterday): I got up early and the first thing I did was make myself a smoothie. Blueberries, almonds, vanilla yogurt, 5 stalks of celery and 5 lettuce leaves again. I noticed something. About an hour after I finished the drink my lips felt smooth and plump, and I realized this had actually happened last week but I didn’t pay much attention to it. The plump feeling in my lips lasted several hours.
We went about our day. I had a few crackers and cheese–more of a snack than a lunch. Dinner was a bowl of delicious minestrone soup at our daughter’s house. When we were coming home around 7:30 my hubby said he felt hungry and wanted to go through a local fast food drive-through. I realized I was feeling hungry too but I was craving another smoothie not junk, greasy fat laden fast-food. We arrived home and I immediately went on a kitchen hunt. A Mango, lemon yogurt, almonds and this time I tried 4 leaves of Kale. It was ok. The mango wasn’t really ripe enough so it was quite acidic and with the lemon it was too much. The Kale made an interesting earthy flavour but I think that is the earthly green taste that my co-worker and the book were warning me about. Still it was drinkable and enjoyable and my lips plumped up again. Totally weird.
Day 7 (today): I got up early and all I could think about was what I was going to make as a smoothie and if I’d have to get dressed and go to the store for greens and veges. I took stock of what I had. Granny smith apples (the only apple I really like), lettuce, kale, yogurt, lemons, frozen blueberries, frozen spinach, and a couple of pomegranates. I looked through the recipe book. My goal this morning was to make something without the yogurt–my first step towards a more traditional green smoothie and getting away from mucous-producing dairy. Then I recalled I had some nut-butter in the fridge and my co-worker had mentioned she loves her smoothies with nut-butter. And then the connection came–I LOVE hazelnut butter on granny smith apple slices, so my new light green smoothie recipe was born:
3 granny smith apples
1 Tablespoon of Hazelnut Butter
1/2 head of leaf lettuce
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1-1/2 cups of water
Oh my goodness I am in love. And NO dairy. I may cut down the nut butter next time I make this but again there’s that reminder to take it slow and take it easy on myself. I have just eaten 3 apples and 1/2 a head of lettuce for breakfast and I am thoroughly enjoying it. That goes a long way to meeting my fruit and vegetable requirements for the day. I cannot even think of the last time I’ve eaten three apples in one day. It feels so good to be taking care of myself. Oh, and I’m about an hour and a half into my smoothie and my lips feel plump again and moist. Who knows what that is about but I like it and I feel good!