People find it hard to believe when I say this, but I grew up in a household with TV dinners, hoagies, and pizza. But I’ve been passionate about nutrition for as long as I can remember. I fed my kids blue green algae when they were little, and I sent them to school with jicama instead of chips—they’ve never had fast food. I am a nurse and even took a program in the Foundations of Phytotherapy (the use of plants to heal and restore our bodies) at Drexel to feed my passion. However, I only started making smoothies after I bought a Vitamix about six years ago. Now, I don’t go anywhere without it.
Right off the bat, I was amazed and exhilarated by the idea that we can take all these things from the earth in their natural form, blend them up, and fuel our bodies with it. When I started drinking smoothies regularly, I found myself energized, healthier, and stronger. My hair and nails were stronger and shinier and I just felt better overall.
I have a desire to nurture and nourish people’s bodies through smoothies, so I make them for everyone in my life. I feed them to my patients and my staff. I give them to my friends and family. Some people turn their noses up at the idea of drinking fruits and veggies. There is a common misperception that healthy smoothies can’t taste good. I love to see people’s surprise when they think it’s delicious and then they find out what’s in it.
Now as Glo Derma’s nutrition and wellness counselor, my goal is to provide clients with the ability to nourish themselves with my smoothies. I offer customizable fresh smoothies for pick up every Sunday and Wednesday.
So what’s in my smoothies, and why does it have such a huge impact on our bodies? Here’s the inside scoop.
Although inflammation is part of the body’s immune response and aids in healing, too much inflammation can be damaging to the body and plays a role in obesity, heart disease, and cancer. I add turmeric and ginger to my smoothies for their anti-inflammatory benefits. By adding small amounts of black pepper, you are able to penetrate to the cell and increase the effectiveness of the anti-inflammatory properties.
Glycemic Index/Omega 3s
When the pancreas starts secreting insulin, it’s stored as fat, which has a host of negative impacts on our bodies. Flax seed is a passion of mine and something I include in all my smoothies. It lowers the glycemic index of anything else you’re eating and has anti-inflammatory benefits as well. Flax seed also has omega 3s, which are great for your heart and skin.
Fiber and Vitamins
Most of my smoothies are loaded with greens, which have endless benefits for our bodies and are full of magnesium, fiber, and B vitamins. Dark greens have high concentrations of nutrients—like calcium, iron, and disease-fighting flavonoids. The greens are filling but have virtually no calories.
I like to use pineapple in smoothies because it provides sweetness but it also contains bromine, which is good for healing. I had surgery recently, and at my surgeons request I ate half a pineapple a day and had zero bruising.
Beets not only reduce inflammation but contain generous helpings of fiber, folate, and powerful plant pigments called betalains, which are known to protect against cancer and heart disease. Beet greens have manganese, which is great for bone health and is hard to get from other foods.