Sunday, February 28, 2010

Think Green!

Little darling, it’s been a long, cold lonely winter. Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here. Here comes the sun, here comes the sun and I say it’s all right.

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces. Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here. Here comes the sun, here comes the sun and I say it’s all right.

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting. Little darling, it seems like year since it’s been clear. Here come the sun, here comes the sun and I say it’s all right. It’s all right. –George Harrison (lyrics from Here Comes the Sun)

For some reason I have had this George Harrison song stuck in my head for a couple of weeks. Oh I don’t know, maybe it’s because February 2010 will go down in history as one heck of a wintry month.
Who would have thought that not one, but two blizzards would hit this area in the time span of one week. And here we all thought that the major snowstorm we had in December would be “it” for the year. Ahh, but Mother Nature had other ideas for us didn’t she. Lets hope that we are done with the white precipitation until next year, but I need not remind everyone that we have had some major storms in March…heavy sigh.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the snow! I loved how it brought everyone and everything to a stand still; how neighbors got out and helped each other; the sound of kids and adults sledding in our neighborhood park; as well as spending time with my family shoveling, walking and talking, shoveling, eating meals together, shoveling!

But as much as I loved all the snow, I’m over it! I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the color green…and yellow… pink… red…purple, all the colors of springtime.

So in honor of the color green and St. Patty’s Day I share with you my new favorite Green Detox Smoothie. One of my husband’s friends eats a raw food diet and shared this recipe with us. It is a great detoxifier and energizing drink, full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Give it a try.

1 Banana
8 oz to 16 oz of orange juice (preferably unpasteurized, if you can find it or squeeze your own)
A handful of spinach leaves
2 kale leaves or swiss chard
8 oz of filtered water (don’t use tap water)

Blend everything together and enjoy!

Here is some interesting facts on Kale and dark green leafy veggies:

They are super foods and great detoxifiers, packed with beta-carotene, vitamin K and C, rich in minerals such as iron, manganese, calcium and potassium. However they do have a few drawbacks. Because of their high vitamin K content, particularly Kale, people taking anti-coagulants need to be careful about ingesting too much vitamin K.

These veggies in their raw state have a higher concentration of goitrogen, a naturally occurring substance that can interfere with the function of the thyroid. If you have thyroid problems you may want to avoid eating them raw and enjoy them cooked instead.

A little bit more controversial are the oxalates found in certain vegetables. Oxalates are a naturally occurring chemical ingested through both plant and animal sources. Too much oxalate can crystallize in the body and possibly cause health problems. Therefore those with gall bladder or kidney issues may wish to limit their intake of high oxalate foods.

As always, check with your doctor if you have concerns.