There is something so inviting about a clean slate. The freshness and newness sparks creativity and begs to be filled. The new year offers such an invitation. With the passing of the old year, I release all that occurred, the good and the not so good, and feel energized and inspired to begin anew. No wonder so many begin diets or start to exercise again or make changes in their businesses on January 1. It I Is the closest thing possible to a “do over”.
I love stepping into the new year with my new word and theme. In my mind, when I was a child, December and January were 12 months apart. I saw a year ending. And then a new year beginning with no connection between the two events. It truly was as if I stepped through an open door, into the new year, and then the door closed behind me. And far, far down at the end of the road, December waited. I was almost to my teens before I made the shift that allowed me to see that December and January were side by side, so to speak, and that December flowed right into January. I still like that distinction between the old and the new, however.
I think another reason so many begin a diet or exercise with renewed vigor is because we’ve eaten so many sugar and calorie laden foods over the holidays! This was certainly true for me. My journey today led me to try a spinach smoothie, as a teaser. Tomorrow, having tried the smoothie and liked it, I’ll begin a 10 day cleanse, drinking three smoothies a day. My sister Linda provided the Woman’s World article for this inspiration.
I like the idea of a cleanse right now for several reasons. I want to reset my body’s eating habits, after weeks of not being as mindful as I’d like to be. The smoothie is nutrient dense and balancing to the body. I look forward to feeling a surge of energy that is sure to accompany the removal of sugar from my diet (again) and the inclusion of good-for-me power foods. And, although it could be seen as boring, knowing exactly what I will be having for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next 10 days frees my mind from having to think about what I will eat. I can turn more energy to other pursuits, such as writing.
Here is the recipe, as suggested by Woman’s World:
2 cups of fresh spinach blended with 2 cups of water. Puree until liquefied. (This happened almost instantly and I used a regular blender set to high speed.)
Add ½ avocado OR 1 ½ teaspoon of coconut oil OR 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
Add 1 scoop whey protein powder OR 1 small container full fat Greek yogurt OR ½ cup silken tofu OR 1 Tablespoon unsweetened almond butter
Add 1 cup fresh or frozen berries
For my smoothie today, I used fresh spinach leaves, coconut oil, Greek yogurt and frozen blueberries that had been picked locally. I blended well and drank. It was tasty, with the blueberries being the most prominent flavor. I think next time I will add crushed ice in place of some of the water, for a thicker smoothie.
Spinach is considered one of the healthiest foods in the world. This dark green leafy vegetable is extremely high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Benefits include lowering blood sugar, cancer and asthma prevention, curbing appetite, improved skin, hair and bones, lowering blood pressure and promoting a healthy digestive tract. Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant ratings, meaning it is beneficial for the nervous system and brain health, for cancer prevention and as an anti-inflammatory. What a powerful combo to consume! The coconut oil, flaxseed or avocado add necessary healthy fats, while the Greek yogurt, whey powder or almond butter adds protein and keeps hunger at bay.
I’m excited about this cleanse. It will jumpstart my healthy eating and transition me back to an overall, and ongoing, healthier lifestyle. I have places to go and things to do! A healthy, strong, vibrant body gives me someplace to live, while I’m on my journey!