Thursday, April 27, 2017

Oh Snap!

Here's another one.  This smoothie tastes exactly like a ginger snap!  Where my Carrot Cake-, and Snickerdoodle Smoothies have tastes reminiscent of those popular sweets, this one is an exact match, while still providing a nutritional punch.  Seriously -- no hyperbole.  When I talk about a ginger snap, I mean the kind with the spicy, natural ginger and the deep malty base from molasses.  The kind of cookie that leaves a little warmth on your tongue after you've swallowed it.  That's what this smoothie delivers.

I normally eschew sugar in all its forms, but a little organic molasses is key to achieving the right flavor here.  It's important to remember that molasses has a much lower glycemic load than other sugars, and studies have shown that its sugars are delivered more slowly through digestion.  Also keep in mind that the whole raw vegetables, and addition of MCT oil and other healthy fats in this recipe further slow the delivery of sugars.  Obviously individual health concerns such as diabetes or cancer warrant consultation with a doctor before adding sugar of any kind, if you avoid it for health reasons.  I also won't vouch for the ketogenic effect of this smoothie, since I'm not a doctor, so measure your ketones if you track that sort of thing, but the benefits of a tablespoon of molasses may outweigh some of the detriments.  In addition to the better glycemic delivery of molasses, it provides many crucial nutrients such as potassium, copper, B vitamins (particularly B6), selenium, magnesium, calcium and iron.  Many spoonies suffer from anemia in addition to their other chronic illnesses.  Some of us don't adequately absorb B vitamins and iron, which are crucial for building red blood cells.  Molasses may help with that.  As you Wahls Warriors already know, nutrients from whole, organic foods are assimilated much more efficiently than from supplements.  This is now, officially, my favorite smoothie of all time!  Here's the recipe:

Ginger Snap Smoothie

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
1 granny smith apple
2 large carrots
1 Tbsp organic molasses
1 tsp MCT oil
1-2 Tbsp almond butter
black pepper 1 grind
cinnamon 1 shake
nutmeg 1 shake
dry ginger 1 shake
2 cups water
Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix.
Makes about 3 cups, and counts as 2 Wahls' veggie portions.

As with all smoothies, the amounts of these ingredients are customizable.  You could use less of the fresh and dry gingers if you're not a rabid fan of the spice the way I am, but I do think that including both types of ginger, at least a little of each, is important for the depth of flavor.  With the sweetness of the carrots, I intuitively knew that this would be sweeter than my usual smoothies once I added the molasses.  It was exactly to my taste.  If you want a sweeter smoothie, the addition of one pitted date would be lovely.  I hope you enjoy this smoothie as much as I did!

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Snickerdoodle Smoothie!

At first glance, it may not look like much until you see its inner cookie.  Y'all -- it tastes like a SNICKERDOODLE!  This surprise was completely serendipitous, as I continue to experiment with my favorites.

Here's the Recipe:

Snickerdoodle Smoothie

1 granny smith apple
1 large yellow carrot
1 large rib celery
1 Tbsp coconut milk
1 Tbsp. almond butter
raisins to taste -- I used about 7 or 8
nutmeg to taste
cinnamon to taste
dry ginger to taste
fresh black pepper to taste
a few cubes of ice
2 cups of water

Blend in a Vitamix until smooth.  Makes 3 cups

The apple lends a little sweetness, but most of the sweet comes from the raisins.  It would be easy to overdo this sweetness, so start with just a few raisins.  It's so surprising how these veggies, with the right fats and spices, taste like my favorite cookie!

Smoothies started out being a way to digest more vegetables and fruits, but they are getting so good now that I'm always looking forward to the next one.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Carrot Cake Smoothie

I realize the offerings here of late are smoothie-heavy, and I'll feature more actual food soon.  Recently I've made a shift with my veggie/fruit consumption, and I have smoothies to thank. Adding one or two smoothies a day makes it so much easier to reach my goal of 9 cups of veggies a day.  Real food delivers nutrients so much more effectively and palpably than supplements.  Since I'm learning so much about what works for me, I'm putting more energy and time into the blender, so solid food seems less inspiring right now.

Guys, this one's the best yet!  Seriously dessert-worthy, it's a great way to start the day.

Carrot Cake Smoothie

2 large carrots
1 granny smith apple
2 Tbsp almond butter
1/4 c coconut milk
2 Tbsp raisins
Nutmeg to taste
Black pepper - a tiny bit
1-2 cups water/ice

I only used a cup of water here, and the smoothie turned out to be the consistency of pudding.  You may want to add more water for a liquidy result.  With no added sugar, this was sweet from the raisins and carrots already.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Almond Butter and "Jelly" Smoothie!

After a week of striving for the Wahls' 9 cups of veggies and fruits per day -- I'm sold!  On the days I was able to get close to 9, I felt amazing and many of my persistent symptoms (skin pain and numbness, fatigue, brain fog) began to disappear again.  Other autoimmune skin issues disappeared instantly, my facial skin improved freakishly fast (it seems tighter and pores are smaller, tone is more even).  Since I doubt healing is only skin deep, I'm hoping the benefits to the CNS are even more dramatic.  A couple of days I ran out of time and was only able to squeeze in 6 veg servings and the old symptoms began coming right back again.  Immediate palpable evidence is so rare as we spoonies strive to find what's best to include in our healing arsenals.  What a treat to have anecdotal evidence to match Dr. Wahls' clinical results.

Since I adore freshly made juice, and Dr. Wahls didn't recommend it in The Wahls' Protocol because of the glycemic index spike it could cause, that was one of the reasons I stopped pursuing the Protocol last year.  I never thought I'd like smoothies as an alternative to juice, because of the texture.  Now, looking back, I wonder why I was so hard-headed about this.  It seems crazy that I didn't even try veggie smoothies as a way to up my veg doses for the Protocol.  It's so much easier to eat more vegetables when some of the servings are pre-digested in smoothie form.  I've had the Vitamix all along, and am now really putting it to good use -- every day!

I've really enjoyed the recipes in Dr. Wahls' new book, but this one is my original recipe.  It was amazing, and provided at least 3 cups of my required servings, along with wonderful healthy fats and protein.

Almond Butter and Jelly Smoothie
1 c red organic seedless grapes
1/2 cucumber, peeled unless organic
2 organic purple carrots, unpeeled
2 Tbsp. organic almond butter
1 Tbsp. MCT oil
1 c filtered water/ice
a shake of nutmeg
a shake of powdered ginger
freshly ground black pepper - 1 grind

This recipe made about 3 servings, and this is how I portioned them.  I initially put the mason pint jar in the fridge and I sipped it later on in the morning.  So I had all three servings -- sort of a brunch situation.  The smoothie was substantial enough that I needed no additional breakfast, and had no problems with nausea from supplements and medications.  If I don't have enough on my stomach I do sometimes get a little ill when I take my pills.  Not in this case!

I feel so happy to have found one piece of my wellness puzzle!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Another Look at Wahls

My spoonie memory had deleted the fact that  I'd pre-ordered Dr. Wahls' new book, The Wahls Protocol, Food for Life.  Imagine my surprise when it showed up on my doorstep as I was already knee-deep in The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook by Mickey Trescott and Angie Alt.  Being a girl who takes note when the universe seems to speak, I used the synchronicity as an excuse to reassess my approach to wellness, and my reasons for giving up what hadn't seemed to work.

Last year, I decided the Wahls Protocol wasn't going to work for me because I seemed to always fall short of its requirements.  I was always sold on the theory, just had trouble implementing it.  So, I never really gave it a chance.  I've consumed Dr. Wahls' new book almost in its entirety in only a few days.  I'm happy to say that this new book makes the Wahls' Protocol more accessible for me.  Dr. Wahls also now employs a "template" approach similar to Mickey's and Angie's.  I'm not organized by nature, but if actually try planning, I might get somewhere.  I'm thrilled with both recent books, and I find the content of each complements the other.

I've been feeling so tired and unfocused lately, and recent symptoms tend to hang around all the time when they used to go away for a while in a 24 hour span.  Yesterday I got 7 Wahls' servings of vegetables and fruits -- way more than I normally am able to consume.  This morning I feel great!  There's no way of knowing after one day if it's because of what I ate yesterday or because of something else, so it's worth expanding the experiment.  Today I'm going for 9!

This Apple Pie Smoothie, from Dr. Wahls' new book, was amazing, and I am still full two hours later.  I've got 2 of my veggies in already.  Time to stock up on more!