Detoxifying Green Smoothie Bowl

This recipe is part of Dig Inn's Wellness Series. Dig Inn is a farm-to-counter restaurant serving up real, good food here in NYC with a focus on seasonal, vegetable-friendly cooking.


Spring has sprung! Well at least that’s what it says on my calendar, but it just snowed here in upstate New York! This is the perfect season to cleanse, and reboot.  After a long, lingering winter, I think we all can agree that stepping out of our hibernation mode is necessary.

I’ve begun my training for the sprint marathon I’m participating in this summer, and on days when the sun is shining I even go running in central park! This is the perfect time to begin a new workout regimen, start eating healthier, or even do a juice cleanse. 

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Spring and Fall seasons are the best times to deeply detoxify and cleanse the body of harmful impurities that have collected in our organs and tissues over the past months and years. Energies which manifest as seasonal changes in our external environment are also reflected in the body, and spring is the transitional period of time when internal energies rise and expand, providing movement and growth to carry us away from the conservation of the energies from the cold winter months prior.

This green smoothie bowl is deliciously detoxifying. Spinach has been proven to decrease sugar cravings throughout the day. Spinach also contains a powerful antioxidant, glutathione, which is one of the primary antioxidants your liver relies on to detoxify your body. Avocado is a great detox food as well. Avocados are rich in fatty acids and these healthy fats are essential during a detox diet, because it promotes the release of bile from the gallbladder, allowing for the elimination of toxins from the body and fat-soluble vitamins.

I love to eat this for breakfast when it gets warmer out because it’s cooling and refreshing. This smoothie bowl is creamy, naturally sweet, filled with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Have fun with your toppings and add as much color and superfoods as you’d like!


Serves 1 person

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 date
  •  1 small handful of spinach
  • ¼ of an avocado
  •  3-4 Tbsp. almond milk

Toppings:

  • Sliced banana
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Mulberries
  • Coconut chips

Instructions:

1.    Slice up a ripe banana and freeze it overnight.

2. Blend together in a high speed blender or food processor the frozen banana, spinach, date, avocado and almond milk. You want the consistency to be thick and creamy, so you may need to add a little bit more almond milk.

3. Serve in bowl and place all of your toppings on top! Enjoy!


5 Foods to Detox From Your Diet

Do you feel like you stuck your hand into that candy jar filled with Halloween candy a bit too much? Are you on sugar overload, and just feel like its time to get back on track? People are always asking my what foods I recommend to avoid, so here are my top 5.

Detoxing your diet from these foods will allow you to feel more energized, refreshed, and less weighed down by food. Here are my top 5 foods to detox from your diet.

1. Processed Sugar: Sugars are not created equal. You may think that sugars found in fruits are the same as chemically enhanced ones, but they are not. They are recognized and processed by your body extremely differently, and natural sugars aren’t addicting the way that sugars like high fructose corn syrup are formulated to be.

Do you ever wonder to yourself why these ingredients can never be found to buy at your local grocery store, yet they are in almost every packaged food? We train our eyes to look for corn syrup on labels, but there are other names for sugar. Other processed sugar pseudonyms  found on labels to confuse  you are corn syrup, maltodextrin, dextrose, sucrose, dextrin, dextrose, and  so many more.  Growing number of names for sugar has the effect of confusing us about sugar amounts. That’s because, by adding several different types of sugar, companies can list each sweetener lower on its list of ingredients. Ingredients are listed in descending order based on weight so that the first ingredient has the highest weight, which usually means it is the most prevalent. While sugar might rightly be the first ingredient on a package if it was all added as one formulation (say, cane sugar), by adding several different formulations of sugar, each will appear lower on the ingredient list — making the product seem less sugary than it is.

Not only does this make reading labels more trivial but it also allows for consumers to be uninformed and not recognize or realize what they are ingesting. Heres an example of what a label with multiple sugars looks like:

Ingredient-list

Sweetening additives such as corn syrup make food more addictive. Have you ever devoured a bag of chips and thought to yourself, “I wasn’t even that hungry, but I couldn’t stop eating them.” That is because they have been chemically modified and enhanced with processed sweeteners to make you want more of the food. The more food you eat, the more food those companies sell.

2. Farmed Fish: Have you ever walked up to the fish section of your grocery store and stared through the glass at the fish selection, overwhelmed and not knowing what to choose? Should I buy the Salmon, or Tilapia? Well let me make this decision a little easier for you. Whenever you see farm-raised fish next to wild caught fish, opt for wild caught. Why? Because these fish are allowed to feed and live in their natural habitat.

Farmed fish are fed an unnatural diet and live in overcrowded areas. This promotes pollution. Pollution of the water and area these fish are raised in and pollution of the surrounding fish. Large-scale fish farm operations force fish to live in conditions much more crowded than they would in the wild, sometimes leaving each fish less room than an average bathtub. The excess of fish waste and unconsumed feed pollutes the surrounding waters. Additionally, living in such close proximity gives rise to increased disease and infection, which is usually responded to with antibiotics, further polluting the surrounding environment.

Also, many of the chemicals banned in the US are still used in international fish farms for disease and parasite control. Due to a lack of regulation, these chemicals make their way to our dinner table through the large amount of fish we import from other countries.

3. Dairy (Processed and Pasteurized): Did you know that 83% of people who are lactose intolerant, can tolerate raw dairy? You are also more likely to be tolerant of sheep’s and goat’s milk. The dairy industry has exploded and exploited animals over the years by artificially inseminating cows and using their breast milk intended to nurse their babies, for profit. If you enjoy dairy and believe it should be consumed by humans, that’s fine, but to forcefully inseminate and use animals in unnatural ways for one’s benefit, is not right.

Pasteurization is the destruction of certain disease-carrying germs and the prevention of souring milk. It is undoubtedly beneficial to destroy dangerous germs, but pasteurization does more than this-it kills off harmless and useful germs alike, and by subjecting the milk to high temperatures, destroys some nutritious constituents.

Recent figures published regarding the spread of tuberculosis by milk show, among other facts, that over a period of five years, during which time 70 children belonging to a special organization received a pint of raw milk daily. One case only of the disease occurred. During a similar period when pasteurized milk had been given, 14 cases were reported.

Besides destroying part of the vitamin C contained in raw milk and encouraging growth of harmful bacteria, pasteurization turns the sugar of milk, known as lactose, into beta-lactose — which is far more soluble and therefore more rapidly absorbed in the system, with the result that the child soon becomes hungry again. This is because when the milk is pasteurized it becomes mainly sugar.

Some milk alternatives that are available in stores or can be easily made at home are nut milks, hemp-seed milk, coconut milk, and rice milk.

4. Non-Organic Produce: Buying organic guarantees that your food is Non-GMO as well as less harmful to your body. Pesticides are substances meant for attracting, seducing, destroying, or mitigating any pest. They are a class of biocide. They are meant to kill insects, and imagine how powerful they are to kill tons of insects. Now imagine the effect they have once ingested into your body. They negatively effect and kill precious cells in your body.

Pesticides have also been linked to causing cancer.  Farmers who frequently use pesticides have an increased risk in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Scientists believe that the use of lawn chemicals has been a significant factor in the 50% rise in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma over the past 20 years in the American population. Pesticides have also been linked to malignant lymphoma in dogs.  Pets are exposed to higher doses of pesticides because they are closer to the ground where concentrations are the highest. Over a million people are diagnosed with cancer in the US reach year.  10,400 people in the US die each year from cancer related to pesticides.

It’s still important to eat fruit and vegetables regardless of being organic or not. Heres a list of the dirty dozen fruits and vegetables:

12 Most Contaminated

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

12 Least Contaminated

  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn (Frozen)
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas (Frozen)
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

5. GMO Foods: GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.

How common are GMO foods? In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food. Thats a pretty scary statistic. Knowing that more than half of the processed food that consumers eat has been genetically modified into food-like substances.

Not only are GMO foods harmful to your health and digestive system, but they also are harmful to to the land used to grow these GMO crops. They have tainted the soil and water surrounding farms, and the harmful pesticides travel to other areas and are ingested by other animals.

Sources:

http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/whattoeat/a/sugars.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/13/other-names-for-sugar-maltose-dextrose_n_1874487.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/31/9-surprising-fish-farming_n_518724.html

http://www.realmilk.com/health/raw-milk-vs-pasteurized-milk/

http://www.toxicsinfo.org/Lawn/Pesticides%20&%20Cancer.htm

http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214

http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/