Every picture tells a story and behind this seemingly ordinary pic of yet another green smoothie is a journey that began 32 years ago.
The year was 1986 when I started uni in Dublin, embarking on a 4 year degree in Hotel and Catering Management.
Here I met a bunch of the smartest, brightest and most fun strangers who have become some of my dearest friends.
Now we all live spread out over many countries with families, stressful jobs and not enough time to pretend we are 21 again!
But we do try to get together when we can and this weekend just gone in Antibes was all about reminiscing, making new memories and laughing until it hurts. There was dancing and singing and all sorts of shenanigans and this is so good for the soul, it's got therapeutic value and a sense of community and belonging. It's so important to let your hair down and remember that as we get older we don't have to act 'old'!! We can still party like it's 1986!
But Monday morning comes around, time to get back to reality and back to routine, and the alkalising benefits of an antioxidant rich glass of green 😉🍏💚
This is a recipe that's not really a recipe! It's more a 'putting together' of a few ingredients, as my body was craving some green after an indulgent weekend coupled with disrupted sleep and pollution from air travel.
We can indulge now and again, we need to have fun and live life after all, but it's recognising that actions have consequences and about mitigating some of that 'oxidative ' damage!!
Environmental toxins, alcohol, pollution, smoking, lack of sleep, poor diet all load our bodies with 'free radicals', they sound great don't they, like a young pop band. But left unchecked they will run riot causing havoc. We can undo some of their mischievous efforts by loading up on antioxidants and these are widespread in the plant kingdom but more especially in greens.
It is no small wonder then, that the colour green is associated with life, energy, renewal and nature. Green is also an emotionally positive colour, giving us the ability to love and nurture ourselves and others unconditionally.
The Pukka herbs powder was winking at me from the shelf and it was just what I needed, I instantly felt better after this smoothie.
Into my Nutribullet I added:
A handful of fresh spinach from the garden
A tablespoon of hulled hemp seeds
The juice of a lime
A sachet of Pukka Herbs Clean Greens powder
Half an avocado
Spotlight on Pukka Herbs Clean Greens Powder
Clean Greens is an organic blend of 11 super-rich green foods including Chlorella, Green Tea, Kale Sprouts and Wheat Grass Juice, all well known for their nutritional benefits and ability to support the body's ability to cope with our polluted environment. The colour when blended is such a stunning bright green you just know it has to be doing you loads of good!
Chlorella has a really interesting nutritional profile and is one of the oldest plant forms on Earth ,a single-celled microscopic freshwater plant. It is a complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids so it has the ability to pack quite a nutritional punch.
Chlorella’s innate ability to capture superior levels of energy from the sun also gives it a unique collection of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and nucleic acids.
It can help the body by removing unwanted toxins and chemicals and may also enhance the immune system, which is something we all need now facing the long Northern Hemisphere winter.
Green Tea is well known to be probably one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. Containing chemical compounds called polyphenols that have effects like reducing inflammation and helping to fight cancer through influencing genetic expression.
Green tea polyphenols include large amounts of a catechin called Epigallocatechin Gallate ,EGCG . Catechins are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage by
reducing the formation of free radicals in the body, caused by pollution, environmental toxins and oxidative stress. Think about what happens to an apple when it is sliced and left exposed to air....yes, it browns and rusts, this is oxidation. We need oxidation in the body but if it is out of balance we end up with oxidative stress where free radical activity outweighs antioxidant activity leading to cell damage and ultimately disease.
Kale is a member of an amazing vegetable family called Brassicas or cruciferous vegetables. High in vitamins A, K and C, antioxidant flavanoids, quercetin and kaempferol, and antioxidant carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthinm( especially great for eye health), also high in the nutrients magnesium and potassium it is one of the most nutrient dense plants there is! Pukka use kale sprouts which are high in compounds called glucosinolates with demonstrated human health benefits, such as cancer prevention and enhanced immunity.
So the moral of the story is, be kind to yourself, have fun, sing and dance like a young thing but always remember your mother's advice ; to eat or drink your greens. You'll be happy you did.
In good health,
Note: I love Pukka herbs and I have not been paid to endorse this product xx
Link, A., Balaguer, F., & Goel, A. (2010). Cancer Chemoprevention by Dietary Polyphenols: Promising Role for Epigenetics. Biochemical Pharmacology, 80(12), 1771–1792. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2010.06.036
Azocar, J., & Diaz, A. (2013). Efficacy and safety of Chlorella supplementation in adults with chronic hepatitis C virus infection. World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG, 19(7), 1085–1090. http://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v19.i7.1085
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