The way I eat has gone through an incredible transformation over the past five years, as I have become a serious student of holistic health. Today, Hippocrates famous words “Let your medicine be your food and your food, medicine,” float over my daily diet as the basis of everything I consume. I have become a huge fan of greens and grains and fatty Omega 3s as well as knowledge imparted by such food philosophies as Chinese macrobiotics and Ayurvedic energetics. It doesn’t mean that I don’t splurge on the weekends or indulge in the pleasure of dairy creams and sweets now and again (I will be the first to admit my love of rich cakes topped with butter cream frosting and buttery, French cream dishes), but in general I stick to healthy fare because it simply makes me feel better and that’s all the motivation I need.
I’ve wanted to incorporate juicing into my routine for a few years now but have been baffled by the choices in machines and blenders. Do I spend $400 on a trendy Vitamix knowing it can create juice, smoothies, butters and other raw food delights or do I go with an old fashioned machine that cold presses juice and leaves out all of the pulpy bits? I love the taste of fresh celery and apple pressed into a nice clear green tonic but I also love the taste that was created in my sister’s simple Magicbullet one summer consisting of whole stalks of kale, apples, chia seeds and water. After much deliberation and word of mouth from friends, I decided to plunk down $107 at Bed, Bath and Beyond for the Nutribullet and I have never been happier.
Considering I used to spend $7 to $12 a pop for superfood smoothies at my favorite Venice eatery Local 1205, in less than a month of owning this machine I have already drank enough smoothies to bypass my money’s worth. In its most basic form the Nutribullet touts an every day recipe of throwing fifty percent vegetables, fifty percent fruit, and a nut, seed or superfood (chia, flax, goji, acai) boost into the cup with water and blasting the smithereens out of the lot to create a luscious, life-affirming drink. You would think that there would be some strategy in the items you place in the mix for this simple recipe in order to get a good tasting drink but the miracle is in the fact that no matter what blend of fruits, veggies or boosts you choose, you always end up with something that tastes good. Which makes sense if you think about it. If all we did from the beginning of earthly time were to eat the natural things that grew on the earth, we would be blessed with the benefits of things that are natural including good taste and vital health.
After a few weeks of daily drinking these blasts, I feel like I have ten times the amount of energy in a single day, my skin is glowing, my work outs at the gym seem to carry more power and strength, my hair seems to be growing faster as are my fingernails, and my entire disposition has become more calm.
My favorite creation so far has been this:
East Indian-Worthy Spicy Coconut Smoothie:
6 raw cashews, soaked
¼ cup coconut milk
1 scoop green superfood powder
1 leaf and stalk of Swiss chard
1 leaf and stalk of kale
1 cup of almond milk
1 peeled dime-sized coin on ginger
1 celery stalk
1 small red delicious apple
2 sweet red peppers
Combine all in Nutribullet and blend.
Calorie count: 400
This is a great lunch, filling and revitalizing at about 200 calories less than is the normal healthy allotment for lunch for women.
The possibilities are really endless but here are some tips I have learned:
- Using almond milk and/or coconut milk makes things more shake-like and creamy and works equally with bitter greens or with dessert-like yogurt and honey blends.
- Apples and celery make bitter greens taste sweet.
- Lemons and ginger brighten up most mixes and the peel/rinds can go in too to enhance the cancer-fighting properties of the drink. Try them with fresh tomatoes for a virgin bloody Mary that is divine.
- Dates and cacao nibs make drinks taste like chocolate.
- Matcha powder is great in breakfast drinks that include milk and fruit for an extra superfood boost.
- Soaked cashews thicken any drink and don’t conflict taste-wise with most ingredients.
My next endeavor is going to be working on a string of cold pureed squash and stone fruits soups. More to report on that later.