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Balanced Energy Smoothie

Most smoothies out there are loaded with fructose, which is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream when fruit is broken down such as it is in a blender. Fructose is processed by either the liver where it is stored as fat or by the kidneys impacting your body's filtration system. Fructose is also known to affect digestion, larger doses can cause severe distention and discomfort in some people. So while the typical fruit-loaded smoothies may provide plenty of nutrients and fibre, with all that sugar, they are not great for weight-loss or and can be hard on the kidneys and liver. Many people love to extract the nutrients from vegetables through juicing, but the problem with this processing is that the pulp is discarded and this is so beneficial to your gut! The soluble fibre of plants helps the gut by feeding healthy bacteria and absorbing excess water, while the insoluble fibre acts as a broom throughout the digestive tract and creates the bulk of your stool. While there may be times where juicing is a good idea, in the long run, it's better to eat that fibre because for most people, this is key to maintaining good health. This smoothie is mainly vegetables and to be honest while I don't dread it, I don't look forward to it either- but I still have it each morning! I know I'm not selling this well, but what I love about it is I feel great after having it; I'm full, my blood sugars don't spike and I digest it well. The other thing I love about this smoothie is that I don't have to think about what I'm going to have for breakfast, each weekday morning I have my smoothie, and that's it. I also don't need to snack before lunch anymore. As one of my clients said to me recently, "it's crazy, I'm basically having a huge salad for breakfast every day!". The smoothie is based on Dr. Gundry's Green Smoothie from the Plant Paradox diet however I have changed it somewhat over the course of time.

Balanced Energy Smoothie

Main ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of leafy greens (choice of Swiss chard, romaine lettuce, kale, cabbage, spinach, mustard greens, Boston lettuce or any other green)

1/2 avocado (healthy oils)

1/4 blueberries (polyphenols that support the immune system)

1/2 lemon, juiced (vitamin C and flavour!)

3 tbsp of hemp seeds (rich in magnesium and iron, protein, source of omega-3s)

3/4 cup of water

Great additions:

1 tbsp of coconut oil or MCT oil (fat that body rapidly converts to energy)

1/2 inch of ginger (anti-inflammatory)

pinky-sized piece of fresh turmeric with black pepper to increase bioavailability (anti-inflammatory)

cinnamon (blood sugar balancing)

handful of cilantro (lowers blood sugar levels, chelates heavy metals in the body)

sprig of mint (helps with digestion of fats)

Salt (especially good if using this smoothie during a cleanse and actually improves the taste)

stevia (if you really need some sweetness)

Directions: Add your main ingredients, opt for none, some or all of the great additions and blend well until you get a smooth consistency.

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