1 handful kale or spinach
½ stalk celery
1 cup coconut milk (I use the hard organic creamed coconut)
Sprinkle of chia seeds
½ cup water
I’ve been blending since May this year, and already I’ve noticed a difference in my skin tone and clarity. I find too, that I’m really satisfied after drinking it, and not hungry until a few hours later. So far this summer, it’s been my breakfast, and I love it.
I’ve always been interested in food as medicine. I’d had the privilege of growing up on a farm with many fruits and vegetables growing in the backyard. I was also blessed to have a mother who was very particular about whether I was getting enough nutrients on the plate. I came to appreciate the freshness and quality of food that is grown in your own garden, and how food can influence your health and state of mind.
It wasn’t until years later, after being recommended by a friend, that I began juicing fruits and vegetables. I could see it being a great way to get a good nutrient ‘hit’ in a drink – raw, fresh, antioxidant-rich foods in a concentrated form. My mind and body felt so clear for juicing on a regular basis – this was very beneficial especially as I was practicing and teaching yoga.
After my dad passed away in 2011, I noticed a big change in my mum’s health. She became vague and forgetful, and I was concerned that she wasn’t looking after herself. I could understand that after 56 years of marriage, always preparing food for someone else, my mum suddenly had no motivation to cook; no one there to appreciate the food and to share it with.
My mum and I Skype almost every day, and it was one day I suggested to her that maybe she consider buying a juicer. She could get her fruits and veggies that way - quick and easy. She must have seen an ad on TV, but instead of buying a juicer, she bought a blender – a Magic Bullet to be exact. It’s basically, a small and compact version of a blender. I thought, ok, that’s probably an easier option –no preparation of food involved there! Basically, juicing requires a machine that extracts the liquids from the produce, leaving the fibre or the pulp behind. Blending means everything goes into the blender and everything is consumed. When I was living in Australia, and using my juicer, a tablespoon or two of the pulp I spooned back into my juice, but all the rest went straight into my garden soil or compost. When I moved to Norway not having my own home and garden, very reluctantly, all that lovely pulp went into the bin.
I’ve recently read that the fibre in our food is like a nutrient in itself, and it is essential for the vitamins and minerals to be properly absorbed. Makes sense - nature designed fruits and vegetables as a nutrient- whole entity, eaten all together: fibre, water and all. After investigating blending, I realized that you can combine many different fruits and vegetables, increasing the nutrient and fibre value all in one drink.
Mum reported that she’d begun to use her blender every day. She’d also recruited her dear neighbour and friend from next door. Together they shared whatever was growing in their garden, or in their refrigerators, and experimented with different blends, including nuts and seeds.
It was after a few months of her blending campaign that I began to notice changes in her. Firstly, I realized that she seemed more ‘up’. Her energy levels had lifted, and that sleepy vagueness had disappeared. More and more I saw her improve – her skin changed in tonality and colour - from being sallow and grey, to being more filled with colour and form. Her eyes brightened. It seemed her whole being had been enlivened. The most obvious difference though, was in her improved mood – she was laughing more often, and more alert. When she came to visit me this summer, and I met her at the airport, I was amazed at the transformation in my mum. The first remark to her was that she seemed so ‘perky’!
Thus, inspired by my sweet little 76-year old lively mum, I decided to follow her lead, and do the blending thing every day.
This was new to me, since I had always juiced things. I had my own favourite juices – ‘Sunburst’ carrot, red pepper, orange and lemon; ‘Green Mean’ – green apple, kale, celery, cucumber and ginger. I was curious as to whether I could I still use the same ingredients, but use my blender instead. What I found is that yes, the above ingredients can be blended together, but decreasing the volume needed, and adding water to your mix – unless you want to eat your blend with a spoon!
I have begun to pull out a lot of old resources I realized I’d had on hand for many years – one book by Sandra Calbot, “Raw juices can save your life” has quite a few good versions of blends. I have been speaking with friends and reading blogs of others who are blending regularly. There are a lot of lovely recipes out there which I’ve yet to discover. It will be interesting to discover what juices will work over the winter months – stay tuned!
For more information about blending and juicing here are some additional links and resources: