The Green Smoothie — with a purpose
written by Caitlin Smit — Nutritionsprout
This creamy, slightly bitter green smoothie is here for a reason, not just to be ‘instagram-able’ but rather because it’s a hard little worker. It isn’t your typical go-to smoothie but enjoyable nonetheless.
Since beginning my journey of healing my hormonal imbalance and acne, I was inspired to take a real interest in what I was putting into my body; my interest grew for food and herbs as well as their inherent properties. Learning how different foods can stimulate or support various actions in our body fascinates me. There's still a lot to learn, and I’m by no means claiming to be an expert.
One thing I began to notice in my skin and understand is that, in many ways food is and can be ‘medicine'. I must just say that healing hormonal imbalance and acne is multifaceted and extremely personal, so please do not see this as a one-stop shop. However, the three areas that I began to pay greater attention to were my blood sugar, gut health ( particularly digestion + elimination, yes you heard me — healthy elimination) as well as the role and action of the liver. It is this keen desire to learn more that got me interested in the benefits of bitter foods and their effects, particularly on digestion.
Many of us can say that we love the comfort of something sweet or enjoy the satisfaction of something salty; however, it’s not often you’ll find someone saying ‘ I just love bitter flavours ’. Coffee is the one bitter flavour that still seems to be present in a lot of our diets, whereas many other bitter foods have gradually been excluded or neglected merely over time. Many people love coffee not only for its flavour but also because of its ability to stimulate digestion. However, coffee isn’t always suited to everyone.
This brings me to bitter foods and their ability to help stimulate the action of digestion, as well as being the very reason for creating this smoothie.
The bitter principles in certain foods can stimulate peristalsis, which is the wave-like motion that naturally occurs within our digestive system, this moves food along our digestive system. They can also encourage saliva production which is where our digestion, in fact, first begins, in our mouth. Along with a considered lifestyle, I have noticed an improved function in my digestion since consciously incorporating these types of foods into my daily routine. I like to incorporate these foods into my meals simply because they have excellent benefits and I feel, are in no way habit forming.
Some great examples of bitter foods are
( Sometimes I even place a ½ or a whole small lemon with it’s rind into my green smoothie or green juices and blend )
You’ll see that I included a few of these foods into the green smoothie recipe below.
As my partner, Marize said upon trying this smoothie recipe ‘ at first its more bitter nature strikes you, but then you find yourself coming back for another sip ’.
I hope you enjoy.
INGREDIENTS AND Method
Juice of 1 lemon with pulp
Juice of 2 limes with pulp ( for some subtle sweetness )
Handful of baby Spinach or Rocket
1 Tablespoon superfoods 'green shake' smoothie mix or 1 Tablespoon Wazoogles Green
1 Tablespoon coconut butter ( I'm a big fan of this — I’ll ask for your forgiveness right now as this stuff is addictive )
1/2 cup filtered water
½ cup of coconut milk
3-4 ice cubes
Blend well and serve
Caitlin is a qualified INHC health coach with the New York school of Integrative Nutrition and co-founder of Glow alongside Marize Albertyn. Her passion lies in women's wellness and helping women make positive and sustainable changes to their lives in order to 'come home to themselves and their cycle'.
Social Media — @nutritionsprout
1 — Groves,N,M. ( 2016 ) Body Into Balance, A Herbal Guide To Holistic Self-Care , United State, Versa Press p71,79