I recently realised I've slowly lost some boundaries - a few too many nights where a couple of glasses of wine were sipped, dropping the ball with meal planning, the odd raw chocolate treat after dinner. Maybe you can relate?
So, while I don't believe in the word detox per se, each year I tend to take a month off alcohol and try get my diet and exercise back on track while focussing on nourishing my body with as many vegetables as possible.
And, there is no better way to ensure a heap of veggies gets into your body first thing in the morning than a Green Glow Smoothie!
Related article: Here's what to eat for strong, healthy hair.
With so much talk about gut health these days (rightfully so - I had a terrible year in 2019 after a massive bout of antibiotics! and really saw the toll they took on my health due to all my good bacteria being wiped out), a lot of the ingredients in this smoothie are known to help feed the good bacteria in your gut, which love whole, organic, plant-based foods.
There are lots of green smoothie recipes out there, but this is one that I've turned to for years and during this time it has evolved. The main thing to remember is that it is better to blend whatever vegetables and fruit you've got on hand than nothing at all. Recipes are guides and not to be seen as prescriptive!
Green-Glow Breakfast smoothie
- Two large handfuls of spinach leaves
- Two sticks of celery
- Half a frozen banana
- Half an apple
- A small handful of Parsley
- A small handful of Mint
- 1/2 cup chopped Pineapple (optional)
- Tablespoon (or just a good squeeze) of lemon
- Knob ginger
- 1 cup Coconut or plain water
Blend and drink!
P.S. You can add a green supplement or 1/4 teaspoon matcha tea if you like. I have a particular favourite green supplement I sometimes add, but go months where I drink it with no supplement with excellent results. Lately I've been adding Spirulina as it is a fraction of the price of my old expensive green supplement and is one of the most nutritious foods on the plant.
Throw in some kiwi fruit (more vitamin C than an organge!) or mango to replace the apple and pineapple if you like - just try to make most of the ingredients vegetables rather than fruit.
A little about the smoothie's ingredients:
Spinach is an excellent source of iron, folate, chlorophyll, Vitamin E, magnesium, Vitamin A, fibre, and Vitamin C. It is bursting with antioxidants that are great for the skin.
Drinking pineapple juice helps the body synthesize collagen, which assists the skin to stay firm and flexible. You probably know PineapplePineapple is full of vitamin C - this and the amino acids aid in cell and tissue repair.
The banana is added to give a creaminess to the smoothie but is high in vitamins B6, B12, magnesium and potassium so brings more than just taste to the recipe.
Apple sweetens the smoothie somewhat, so was initially introduced for taste, but apple's high content of vitamin C helps to build collagen, so it is also an excellent addition for skin health.
Parsley is a fantastic herb and helps fight outbreaks and acne. It is said to encourage skin regeneration.
Mint not only adds a lovely fresh taste to the smoothie, but the juice obtained from mint is an excellent skin cleanser.
Ginger was initially added in response to a naturopath's advice (she explained that in Chinese medicine, we want to add warmth to the gut if having a smoothie for breakfast). Still, it turns out Ginger contains around 40 antioxidant properties that prevent free radical damage and protect the skin from ageing.
Celery, is one of the most nutritious plant foods in the world and its juice is high in water as 95% of the weight of the plant is water.