Christmas Green Smoothie Recipes

Christmas Green Smoothie Recipes copy

Each year seems to go faster and faster and this year is no exception. I have to admit that December, Christmas and New Year is my favourite time of the year. I know a lot of people who find it quite overwhelming but I love it. There are more chat ups with friends, sunny days and laughter. Our tree is up and decorated. It looks amazing full of butterflies, birds and flowers. There’s something in the air this time of year, it’s full of hope and celebration.

If your anything like us, you’ve already started celebrating. We just tried our first treat of Christmas pudding with custard last night. It was quite sweet so just a little went a long way. As always, the next day is full of delicious healthy green smoothies and lots of salads. Life should be enjoyed so a few treats over the Christmas period is great. Just balance it out with some healthy food and smoothies and you’ll come through this festive season in the best shape ever.

Here are some easy delicious recipes to help you keep on track for the holidays. They are very green so add some extra fruit if you like them a little sweeter.  If you have a favourite holdiay green smoothie recipe you like to share, please add it to the comments below!

Green BananaChristmas Green Smoothie Recipes
1 large banana
1-2 handfuls of spinach
Water

Mango Magic
1 mango
1 thick slice of pineapple
1-2 handfuls of silver beet
Water

The Kiwi Bird
2 kiwi fruit
2 apples
1 banana
1-2 handfuls of kale
Water

Why I Don’t Ask “Does My Bum Look Big?”

Why I Stopped Asking "Does My Bum Look Big?"

I was introduced to the lows of being overweight on my first day at school. During recess, another kid in the playground called me fat. I was really upset. I had no idea that I was overweight until that moment. I was five years old. That memory has stayed with me ever since.

In my later years, I used to jump on the scales and tie my self-esteem to the number that appeared. Of course, the only number that was acceptable was on verge of being underweight. Some months I would feel great and others I would want to hide from the world. The only thing that used to matter to me was the number on the scales. It was all I could focus on.

I’ve tried so many different diets. And you know what, they all worked. I always chose the diet based on weight loss, the faster the better. Every diet recommended that I eat meat every 2 to 3 hours. There were some vegetables and never any fruit. They were high protein, low carb diets. And they got me where I thought I wanted to go.

Weight Loss & Green SmoothiesEach time I lost the desired amount of weight, I would feel fantastic. I would pull out my skinny wardrobe and wear it with pride. When I thought I’d unlocked the secrets of weight loss, the inevitable happened. I lost my way. I would start to ‘treat’ myself to things that were off the menu. I couldn’t sustain it and drifted back into my old habits. Little did I know or understand how harmful eating so much meat would be. Before I knew it I’d put the weight back on, with interest!

I would put my skinny wardrobe into storage and pull out my fat wardrobe. Down my self-esteem would plummet. This entire cycle would take between a twelve to eighteen months to occur. Then you guessed it; it would start all over again. I had been in this cycle for 25 years.

It wasn’t until I had a life changing experience that I changed my focus. After having two strokes at 39 my focus shifted my focus from weight loss to health. I read some pretty sobering statistics about stroke. Three people in every five who experience stroke will pass away in the following year. One will have another stroke and the last person will be okay.

I desperately wanted to be the person who was going to be okay.

Weight Loss & Green SmoothiesJurgen, my husband had been introduced to green smoothies a couple of weeks prior to my strokes. We had just started making them at home the week before our lives changed forever. Jurgen would bring green smoothie into the hospital for me. He would put it into the fridge and reminded me to drink it.  He would pour me glass after glass when he came to visit.

The doctors could not tell me what caused the strokes. This changed my priorities very quickly. I threw out the weight loss diets and looked for ways to be healthy.

That was all that mattered if I wanted to live.

The green smoothies then started a chain reaction. We started introducing more and more healthy foods into our diet. I looked for foods to rebuild my brain connections and give me energy. I discovered raw vegetarian foods and Quinoa. The taste for sugar, fried foods and meat disappeared. I became an accidental vegetarian.  I wanted my brain and my body to heal. Most importantly, I didn’t want to fear stroke ever again.

But then the most amazing thing happened. When I focused on being healthy, my weight took care of it’s self. I found my perfect healthy weight. There’s no skinny or fat wardrobe anymore, just lovely clothes that fit perfectly. I’ve just celebrated three extra years of life after the strokes. I’ve never looked better or been healthier. It’s such a freeing experience to know how to manage my weight… and it’s delicious! On a personal note, I’ll never ask again if my bum looks big in this.  I know its perfect just the way it is. I will never again tie my self esteem to a number.  Not my age, my bank account and definitely not my weight.

Focus on making healthy choices and watch the magic happen…

Did you like what you’ve read? We’d love for you to share your story below.

Wishing you lots of health, love & happiness,

Nikki xx

Healthy Quinoa Recipes

Happy Halloween! Today’s delicious recipe will go perfectly with your ghoulish green smoothie. It can be done in two ways and takes around 5 minutes to make. Jurgen and I have this one for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can serve it as a summer salad or a hot risotto with a poached egg. I’ve created this recipe to target some health areas. There’s mushrooms for brain health, avocado for good fats and red quinoa for protein. It tastes amazing so make a big batch. It’ll be gone in no time!

Red Quinoa SaladHealthy Quinoa Recipes

½ cup of cooked red Quinoa
8 finely sliced mushrooms
3-5 finely sliced spring onions
½ cup of finely sliced red cabbage
1 handful of your favourite herbs
Drizzle of Olive or garlic oil
Himalayan salt & pepper
1 avocado
Lemon juice

Combine the first five ingredients in a serving bowl. Drizzle over the olive or garlic oil and season with Himalayan salt and pepper. Top with avocado, lemon juice and more of your favourite fresh herbs. For a larger salad, add lettuce or spinach leaves.

Red Quinoa Risotto with Poached EggHealhty Quinoa Recipes

½ cup of cooked red Quinoa
8 finely sliced mushrooms
¼ finely sliced red onion
½ cup of finely sliced red cabbage
1 handful of your favourite herbs
Drizzle of Olive or garlic oil
Himalayan salt & pepper
1 avocado
Lemon juice
Poached Egg

Heat a little oil or butter in a pan. Add the red onion, mushrooms and cabbage to the pan. Stir fry until just wilted. Add in the red quinoa and herbs and warm through. Season with Himalayan salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve on a plate. Drizzle with olive or garlic oil. Serve with avocado, topped with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Top with a poached egg and more fresh herbs.

What’s your favourite healthy summer recipe? Share it in the comments below. Love what you’ve read, share it with your family and friends. Happy Halloween!

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Growing Leafy Greens For Green Smoothies

Growing Leafy GreensSince we got into the green smoothie lifestyle, we’ve looked for easy ways to integrate health into our lives.  We have a standing appointment three times a week at the markets to get our organic fruit and veggies.   The other thing we do in the warmer months is to grow our own herbs and leafy greens.  They just love the warm spring weather.  It’s great to know they are organic and free from any nasties.  And for some reason, they seem to taste better!

We don’t have acres of land to grow own food.  We are city dwellers, so balconies and courtyards are what we have to work with.  You’d be surprised how easy it is to utilise the space.  Jurgen and I tend to plant the leafy greens we can’t get at the markets.  At the moment we have sorrel, lambs quarters and comfrey.  We also have mint, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley and chives.  Here are some photos from our little garden.  As you can see, there’s not a lot of room but the plants are really thriving.  We are however competing with the caterpillars at moment!  I’ve included some great ways to get started growing your own greens in my book.

Growing Leafy GreensIf you are really short on space, find your local community garden and get involved. Jurgen and I were exploring Melbourne over the weekend and came across the community garden at the back of Federation Square.  It’s called the Veggie Patch.  A lot of city restaurants have their own plot there.  You can buy a plot and grow whatever you like.  It’s a nice way to get out in the great outdoors and connect with nature!

Got any gardening tips for growing your own green smoothie ingredients?  We ‘d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Garden Party Green Smoothie

Garden Party Smoothie

I love, love, love a garden party!  Put up the bunting, light all the candles, and filling every space with beautiful flowers.  Invite your friends and family and fill your garden with lots of laughter and love.  Best of all, serve up a feast fit for Alice and the Mad Hatter.  Make up these beautiful green smoothies and serve them as a welcome drink. They are perfect for everyone, especially our pregnant gals and those who might be driving.  These gorgeous green smoothies are deliciously healthy and so easy to make!

The Mad Hatter Green Smoothie
Green Layer
2 handfuls of spinach
1 banana
1 thick slice of ripe fresh pineapple
Water
Blend
Berry Layer
2 punnets of ripe strawberries

Blend up each of the layers separately.  Pour the green layer into the bottom of the glass.  Slowly pour the berry layer over a teaspoon so it sits on top of the green smoothie. You’ll need to do this carefully to get nice clean lines. Dress your glasses with slices of fresh fruit. I hope you have a gorgeous weekend!  With love and gratitude,

Nikki xx

Jurgen’s Gone Crazy!

Crazy September SaleI always knew Jurgen was a little crazy when I met him skydiving, but now I’m sure.  He wants to give away some things for FREE!

Our WHIZ CHIMP Blender, Green Smoothie Book and DVD if bought individually, normally retail for $451.00.

Not for the next two weeks!

Click here for Jurgen’s crazy Blender, Book & DVD deal.

It doesn’t get much better than this. Now is the time to step into spring and invest in your health. You and your family deserve it.

I’d love you to live out your dreams with incredible health and vitality. Make a lasting change that your body will thank you for, long into the future.

Be quick, the sale will finish on 30th September 2014! While stocks last.

Iron Rich Green Smoothies

As you can imagine, this week has been all about iron!  What it is, how to get it and how to raise the iron levels in your body.  I don’t want to give up my vegetarian lifestyle, I love it!  So it’s all about finding balance between being a vegetarian and being a woman! Thank you to all those who kindly contacted me to share their experiences, it was much appreciated.Iron Boosting Green Smoothies

I’ve learnt a lot about how to tackle low iron levels.  I’ve come up with an easy system to tailor your greens smoothies to be iron rich. I’ve also worked out some great snacks and meals to increase the iron levels in my bones.  I’ve looked in some advice from Sally regarding Floravital by Floradix.  It’s a liquid iron supplement that seems to be very pure in origin. It doesn’t contain any nasties from what I can see.   I’ve just started my first dose this morning.  I’ll be doing another blood test for iron in around eight weeks.  I’m really interested to see if my iron levels have improved.

Here’s a few of the highlights I’ve learnt this week.  Iron and protein are not the same thing.  Protein helps to rebuild and repair the muscles.  Iron helps to carry oxygen around the body via the blood stream.  When iron levels are low, the amount of red blood cells is reduced, which in turn reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood stream.  An oxygenated body is a healthy body.

Low iron levels can cause a number of side effects. In more extreme case it can cause fatigue, paleness, breathlessness and dizziness.  It is possible to overdose on iron if you take an excessive amount. Make sure iron supplements are stored safely away from children.

Iron Rich Green Smoothies Formula

1. Choose a leafy green for your smoothie (greens are iron rich).
2. Add a fruit that is high in Vitamin C (this aids iron absorption).
You can also add any extra fruit or herbs you’d like to include in your smoothie.
3. Add water and blend.

Here’s some examples to get you started.  Choose any combination you like or make up your own iron rich combinations!

1. Choose a Leafy Green 2. Choose a Vit C Fruit 3. Add Water & Blend
Spinach Kiwi Fruit Coconut Water
Swiss Chard Berries Filtered Water
Bok Choy Citrus Fruit
Kale Papaya
Beet Leaves Pineapple

Iron Boosting FoodI came up with iron rich snacks to get me through the afternoons.  Slice firm tofu into small bite sized squares.  Top with hummus, sliced tomatoes and few of your favorite herbs.  The tofu and hummus will provide you with iron.  The tomato is full of Vitamin C and will help you to absorb the iron.  They taste great and certainly jazz up a piece of plain tofu!  Some other great iron rich foods you include in your meals are Quinoa, capsicum, chickpeas and dried beans.  I’m thinking felafels, Quinoa with lots of thinly sliced veggies and Mexican beans with salad. Yum!

Lastly on my quest to restore my iron, I’ve booked in for an ultra sound to make sure everything is okay.  I’m sure it is but it never hurts to be sure when it comes to your health!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  I will be busy ironing – yes literally!

If you found this helpful or know of someone who is also finding maintaining iron levels a challenge, please share it with them.  If you have any great iron rich recipes, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

The Results Are In & I Need Your Help!

Cholesterol Ferritin & Menstration5I usually have a blood test very six months to check my cholesterol and my iron levels.  I accidentally missed my check, which should have been in February.  I booked in straight after arriving back from Fiji.  I wanted to see if there were any significant changes to my blood.  The results were very interesting.

Cholesterol
My cholesterol levels were amazing.  Even my doctor was surprised.  In 2013 my overall cholesterol was 4.8.  This year my cholesterol was 3.7!  That’s without any medication, that’s purely based on lifestyle and diet.  This was my biggest confirmation yet that you can control your cholesterol by what you choose to eat.

My HDL or good cholesterol levels were at 1.8 and my LDL or bad cholesterol was at 1.5.  These are brilliant results.  Measuring your results is the best way to see how your body is going and if there are any tune-ups required.

Cholesterol Ferritin & Menstration Iron Levels
This brings me to my next point.  While my cholesterol was great, my ferritin (iron) levels were quite low.  I found this quite baffling as I eat A LOT of dark leafy greens, broccoli, lentils, beans, chickpeas, beetroot, nuts and seeds.  I also eat several eggs per week.  I thought I had this covered.

The doctor explained that iron exists in the body in two ways.  The first is the iron that is being used in your system.  The second is the iron that is stored in your bones.  I had plenty of iron in my system.  The iron stores in my bones were very low.  At this stage I was not anemic but would need to boost my iron stores.

Vegetarian Iron Sources
I did a little research and have a few theories about why my levels are low. Turns out that vegetarians need to eat a greater amount of iron to maintain their levels.  The only extra thing I’ve added in to my diet is firm tofu.   The rest of the iron rich foods I am already eating.

Cholesterol Ferritin & MenstrationI did learn that you can increase your iron absorption by eating foods high in vitamin C.  These include oranges, kiwi fruit, strawberries, tomatoes, capsicum and cabbage amongst a few others. My solution – add the fruits into my green smoothies!

Menstruation
What I really believe is influencing my low ferritin levels is my periods.  After the stroke, I stopped taking the contraceptive pill.  My periods became very heavy.  This has been going now for three years. I have also had to take a low dose aspirin to thin the blood, post stroke.  I believe this causing the problem of iron loss.

My doctor recommended doing an ultra sound to make sure there was not some other cause.  This is on the list to do for September.  The question is how do increase my ferritin levels back to a healthy range?

The doctor had three ideas.Cholesterol Ferritin & Menstration 8
1.    A hysterectomy
2.    Using an IUD (contraceptive device)
3.    Iron supplements

I’m not in love with any of these ideas at the moment.  I’m determined to find a way to increase my levels naturally.  This is where I’m hoping you can help me.

If you know of any ways to increase your ferritin levels naturally,
I’d love to hear about it.

Please share your comments below and help me solve this!  If you found this valuable, please share it with your family and friends.  I’m sure I can’t be on the only woman with this issue.  Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Part 4 – The Low Down on Cleansing

The Low Down On CleansingThe Fiji cleanse was quite a roller coaster ride.  I thought it would be easy as we were eating a really healthy, clean whole food diet.  Having said that, I had developed a few bad habits that made cleansing really challenging.  The first was cappuccinos.  I used to have 3-4 cups per week.  I had managed to get my self up to two cups a day, so it was now 14 per week.  The other daily habit I had developed was a small piece of bread with breakfast.  It’s funny how easy it is to justify if it’s only one a day, but those bad boys added up and I paid the price.

Starting the Cleanse

The night before the cleanse was due to begin, we had dinner.  We were served a buffet of sliced raw vegetables, raw hummus, lettuce, stir fry vegetables, soup and fish.  I passed on the fish but ate a very generous size of everything else.  I thought if I wasn’t going to eat for five days and only exist on juices, I’d better stock up.  Turns out, this was not a very good idea.  The next morning for breakfast, there was fruit, sliced vegetables, hummus, lettuce and dressing.  Again I loaded up.  We then headed off to the do the pole climb.  Lunch was also more of the same. Beyond lunch there was no more food…

During the lunch break, Jurgen and I headed off for our colonics.  I had a light headache during the pole climb, but didn’t think much of it.  It was pretty hot so I just put it down to a little dehydration.  After the colonic, the headache became much worse.  By the time we headed back to the main hall for the evening session, my head was pounding.  I began to feel very unwell and was ill several times.  I felt so unwell that I had to head back to our room.  I was sick again and then I got into bed.  I was quite shocked at how much food I had thrown up and how terrible I was feeling.  I realised was eating way more than my body could digest.

Day Two

The Low Down On CleansingI managed to sleep right through the night and woke up with another headache.  I was still feeling nauseous and very drained.  We headed over for breakfast, which consisted of fresh juice.  After taking exactly 2.5 seconds to drink that, breakfast was over.  Given that I was still feeling so unwell, I don’t think I could have eaten anything anyway.  As the day went on we were served one very small thing every few hours.  These included juices, wheatgrass shots, Udo’s oil, smoothies, savory smoothies, or clear broth.  It’s surprising how your body stops being concerned with eating while you are cleansing.

Coffee – The Natural Enemy Of Cleansing!

During the morning session our leaders asked how everyone was feeling.  Another lady was also in a bad way.  Coffee was a hot topic and I started realize how it was playing a role in what I was now experiencing.  My body was releasing toxins into my blood stream.  My 14 cups of coffee each week were suddenly in the forefront of my mind.  I thought at this stage if I was feeling so unwell, that my body was working hard to get rid of it all. The colonics and drinking lots of salt water and electrolyte water was helping to flush the toxins out too.  It was going to be a waiting game. I knew I would have to start feeling better soon.

Rest, Rest, Rest

I was tired but this is quite normal during a cleanse.  We were told to rest a lot and take it easy.  Walking and jumping on the mini trampolines for a short while was fine.  Any heavier exercise was discouraged.  If you exercise too much during a cleanse, your body can release toxins much faster into the blood stream.  You can literally drop to the floor. There was no need to tell me twice, take it easy and napping became my mantra!

Perfumes, Deodorant & Moisturizer

The Low Down On CleansingWe were also advised not to wear deodorant or perfumes. They can stop the body from releasing toxins from the armpits and through the skin.  People can also be quite sensitive to smell while they are cleansing. I stopped using them and found that a quick wipe under the arms with a damp paper towel removed any musty smells! When we came off the cleanse I did start to use deodorant again.

Day Three – Yeah!

By the third day, I was feeling great.  I felt sorry for the others in our group who had started feeling unwell.  The more we were learning about our health and wellbeing, the more we started to really understand the benefits of cleansing. Each time we were served a small juice, I found myself savoring it slowly.  The flavours became really intense and I felt really full.

I was happy to learn that we were on the right track with our food and smoothies.  There was going to be a few small adjustments going forward but for the most part, we were doing everything we needed to do to create real health.  I was surprised that only on two occasions did I think about food.  When I really checked in with my tummy to see if I was hungry, I wasn’t and the feeling passed.

Day Five – Coming Off The Cleanse

By the fifth day we were ready to start coming off the cleanse.  How you come off a cleanse can be more important than the actual cleanse itself. It was recommended that we eat small raw food meals. The only thing I wanted was lettuce with a little dressing.  This is all I ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire day and I was full.  The lettuce tasted amazing and I didn’t want anything else.   I didn’t really want to stop cleansing.  I was feeling so good; my skin was fantastic and had a lot of energy.  I wasn’t thinking about my next meal anymore.  My stomach had flattened and I felt I had released a bit weight.

The Low Down On CleansingFor the rest of our event in Fiji, I was eating a very small portion of stirfry veggies and greens at each meal. They were delicious.  We also had wheatgrass shots and Udo’s Oil. I realized that I had been eating most of the right types of food in the past, I’d just been eating too much of it.  I couldn’t eat anywhere near what I had been able to before the cleanse.  I’ve changed my dinner plate to a side plate.  That seems to be the perfect size for me now.

I’d Definitely Do It Again

I was happy that we did the cleanse in a controlled environment.  I think if I’d felt so unwell without the support, I would not have continued the cleanse.  The leaders were amazing.  On arrival back from Fiji I’d released 4kg.  I was starting to get a little cuddly before the cleanse so this was a nice added bonus.  I also tried coffee on two occasions since we’ve been back and found I didn’t like it any more.  This was completely unexpected!  I’ve also had no interest in bread.  When preparing our meals, I’m making sure at least 70% of the plate is water rich, raw food.  I’ve also starting making healthy raw soups again.

Checklist For Life In the Real World

Here are few changes I’ve made since coming back from Fiji:
•    Use smaller plates and be aware of portion sizes.
•    Make more raw veggie breakfasts.
•    Use Udo’s Oil for my skin and to help remove toxins.
•    Use healthy fats and oils to promote great brain function.
•    Colonics every three months for colon care.
•    Do a yearly worming and parasite cleanse.
•    Complete a cleanse at least once year.
•    Daily probiotics are important – use different ones.
•    Drink water – hydration is key to every function of the body.
•    8-9 hours of sleep a night is perfect for me.
•    Exercising daily is oxygenating my blood and cells.
•    To love my body and give it want it really needs to be well.

Some of the things we had during the cleanse were:
•    Watermelon and lemon juice
•    Almond and avocado smoothie
•    Clear vegetable broths
•    Spinach soup – yum!
•    Wheat grass shots
•    Udo’s Oil
•    Savory juices such as freshly blended celery and tomato
•    Proboitics
•    Salt water
•    Electrolyte water
•    Water

Did you like what you’ve read?  Leave a comment below about your experiences with cleansing, I love to know what you’ve experienced.  If you feel this was valuable share it with your friends and family! Have a fantastic weekend!

With love & gratitude,

Nikki xx