Every time you’re ready to cleanse or be healthy, what is the first thing you do? I bet for a lot of you it’s getting up in the morning and blending a green smoothie. That’s what I always do. But every time I’m re-inventing my health (which used to happen a lot but thankfully not so much anymore) I tend to get nauseated.
Why would healthy food make me want to throw up?
It comes down to this. Really rough greens are not always easy on your stomach. I pack my smoothies full of spinach and kale every morning, and my stomach is not used to such rough treatment. Yes, they’re full of nutrients. And yes, they’re incredibly good for you. But if you’ve been living of a diet of french fries and mashed potatoes, your stomach is used to a nice cushy digestive system that’s soft and caring.
So what do you do? You don’t want to be nauseated for weeks while your body gets used to it, and you don’t want to derail your healthy eating kick in a day. There are ways of starting slow with your green smoothies so you can get your stomach used to having a punch of nutrients in the morning.
1.) Mild Leafy Greens: Mix your spinach and kale with some regular lettuce. At first, a lot of regular lettuce. You get great nutrients from regular lettuce, and it’s much softer on your system. Pick a nice green leaf lettuce at your produce store, and stay away from iceberg. Spinach and Kale are super rough leaves. You need to work up to them.
2.) Fruit: I am not a fruit person in my smoothies. I don’t like adding apples or pineapple to my greens. It adds sugar in the morning where it’s not necessary, and I find that the sweetness is too much. But in the beginning, half an apple or a handful of pineapple will help a lot. Just make sure the ratio of veggies to fruit is at least 4:1 in favor of veggies.
3.) Skip the ice cubes: I add ice cubes because it makes the whole drink seem fresher. But the shock of cold to your stomach combined with the intense rough greens can make things worse. If you can, drink it room temperature for the first few weeks. You want to avoid giving your digestive system too much work to do all at once. Cold, rough greens and a surpluss of nutrients is a big task.
4.) Sip slowly: If you’re like me, you like to get the green experience over in the morning. I mean come on, who really likes drinking a blend of green veggies. If you do, well… you’re one in a million. I love the way I feel afterwards, no so much the experience. So I tend to glug it down without thinking about it. This bypasses one very important step. Your saliva. The digestive process stars in your mouth. If you can sip slowly, and mix that green juice with your saliva, it’ll start digesting before it hits your stomach and give your stomach a helping hand.
5.) Break it up: Don’t chug it all in one sitting, have half now, and half after you shower, or on your way to work. I like to sit down and have breakfast over a magazine, but in the beginning, you need to let your system adjust in any way it can. Sit down for breakfast as usual, but put the second half in a travel mug for later. Just make sure you’re having enough to eat first thing.
6.) Pair it up: If you’re cleansing, you might be thinking that a green smoothie is your full breakfast. But if you’re just on a healthy kick, then it’s super beneficial to have more than just a green smoothie for breakfast. I like to have a piece of toast with almond butter. I use one piece of the Silver Hills Mack’s Flax Bread (link here). It’s important to have a very high nutrient carb. Don’t fill yourself up on empty carbs. It’s not good for your system. But the carb will soak up the green and slow down the digestive process so the shock to your system isn’t so extreme.
And there you have it. It might take a few weeks, but your body will eventually adjust to the high nutrient drink, and eventually crave and love you for it. The energy boost I get from my green smoothie is phenomenal. I’ll put the recipe below for anyone who’s interest. It’s all about getting your nutrients first thing to start your day out right.
1/4 – Cucumber
1 stock – Celery
Big handful – Spinach/Kale/Lettuce (whatever leafy green I have)
medium chunk – Ginger
1 scoop – Flax powder
1 scoop – Moringa Powder
1 scoop – Matcha Powder
Water or Coconut Water
Option: Plain Yogurt
*as you can tell, my measurements are super specific! Lol.
*Photo by Jayne