I was so thrilled when Nicola from G-Free Mom Invited me to Participate in D-tox January! Nicola is a stage 3 survivor of Breast Cancer and has become such an inspiration to me. If she can take on cancer then I most certainly can put a smile on my face as I deal with my own health ailments. And So Can You! Why else can we smile? Well.. Because real living food has serious healing powers- taking time to discover what your body likes and dislikes and nourishing it with Fruits and Vegetables everyday can make a HUGE difference. I have considered myself a healthy eater- but thanks to this D-tox January Event I was inspired to take my "healthy" eating to a whole new level.. and boy have I felt the difference. My energy levels are through the roof. For the first time in a year I have the energy and desire to get myself to a gym, to go out and see my friends, to enjoy life to its fullest.
I have not disclosed much about my personal life on this site- but today I'll share a bit of my story. .. Since I can remember I have had digestive issues. No- not extreme every day problems.. but issues that I noticed my middle school friends were not having. As many of us do- I figured it was just the way I was- and went on with it. Roughly two years ago I unexpectedly became pregnant. It was a happy surprise for my husband and myself. I'm one of those woman that was made to be a mother- kids light up my world. With this pregnancy I became extremely sick- I had your typical morning sickness and exhaustion but beyond that I developed extreme post nasal drip which added to the nausea, heartburn and stomach upset.. and my digestive track went bananas. At 11 1/2 weeks along I miscarried. And my health has never been the same. The digestive issues continued as well as the odd post nasal drip and heartburn. In February of 2010 while dealing with a stressful event I hit Rock Bottom. One day a painful stabbing feeling erupted in my right side- and it did not go away.. My colon came to a screaming halt and refused to move , my muscles ached. I woke up each morning feeling as if I had been beat up in my sleep. At the age of 25 having these severe symptoms terrified me. I began testing and testing ..and testing. And every test came back normal. Finally I tracked down an incredible Holistic M.D And she suggested the elimination diet which started my path again to improved health. That of course is when I discovered my issue with Gluten and Dairy.. and led to the development of this site that has become so much of who I am As a side note- I spent the first 5 years of my 20's flailing around trying to figure out my passions and "purpose" I had a degree in Fine Arts with no interest to pursue or touch a paintbrush again. These health ailments and dietary restrictions brought a part of me to life that I did not know existed. So while sometimes we go through hard things- keep in mind that these challenging times can vastly improve our self awareness and become the BEST thing that has happened to us. Back to the root of the story- My dietary changes did not solve all of my health issues BUT they did however improve my quality of life to a degree that I felt inspired to keep pushing forward for more answers. Last November- despite what looked to be a normal HIDA scan result my GA suggested Gallbladder removal based on my symptoms. I was hesitant- but after receiving a second opinion went forward with the surgery. Now 2 months later- I finally am starting to feel like me again. My gallbladder I learned was Hyper-active and quite inflamed. My battle now is dealing with the issues of my Colon not functioning well on its own- they tell me I have what's called Colonic Inertia- and currently I'm taking medications that stimulate my colon to do what it is meant to do. I strongly believe that medications in many cases act as a band aid rather than solving the issue- so I trudge forward to get under the remaining issues I have.. with much hope and positivity. On a deeper personal note- With the medication I am currently taking it would be unsafe to become pregnant. This of course provides me with a intense level of motivation to get "healthy" the natural way- and I believe that it will happen.
And I believe that all of you can significantly improve your own health too! When there is a will.. there is a way. Sometimes it takes patience- but it is possible. This takes me back to D-tox January. Nicola has made the personal commitment to attempt to feed herself and her family 27 different fruits and vegetables per week. While I am nowhere near this number- I have also seriously upped my intake and what a difference it has made for me. The easiest way to do this is by starting every day with a Fresh Made Juice or Smoothie. My taste for Juice is somewhat limited.. I find I turn my nose up to most juices containing vegetables. So I spent this month focusing on smoothies. For the first time I started adding in spinach and discovered that combining it with a good portion of fruit made its flavor undetectable. Smoothies have become the highlight of my every day. And though it was not my goal- throughout this month I noticed those extra few pounds I gained during the holidays seemed to just.. go away. Never a problem in my book.
The smoothie I am sharing with you today may be a bit more on the decadent side- but I assure you it is loaded with only the best kind of Fat possible. For my Colonic Inertia Issue- my doctor recently recommended upping my Healthy Fats- and this smoothie was the result of this suggestion. This smoothie has proven to be a very happy thing for my tummy.
Here are a few health benefits just from Avocado Alone: Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, they encourage better absorption of many nutrients, The contain high levels of Folate which is key to stroke prevention.
Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. They have more of carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit which protects against macular degeneration and cataracts. Avocado is high in oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer and prostate cancer. It is also a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure.
The Next fun ingredient in my Smoothie that I was very excited to include is Raw Cacao- Raw Cacao is incredible- it has the highest antioxidant value of ALL foods. Raw Cacao also has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. Its a good source of the minerals magnesium, sulphur, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, and manganese; plus some of the B Vitamins. and my favorite part.. Raw Cacao also contains the amino acid Tryptophan which makes the neurotransmitter known as serotonin, which promotes positive feelings and helps keep us from feeling depressed. As one of my Best Friends Kate Says Best "Chocolate is therapeutic, time is irrelevant." This is something I believe whole heartily. I will gladly and happily drink chocolate for breakfast!
Raspberries. I love them! Especially like the rest of the world does WITH Chocolate- they have some nice health perks of their own. Raspberries are packed with fiber and manganese. Fiber helps slow the digestive process so you feel full longer. Manganese is a trace mineral that helps keep your metabolic rate high, which in turn burns fat. How cool is that? And they are High in ellagic acid, a phenolic compound that may help prevent cancer!
And Finally the Peaches. The Last Fruit in this concoction. Peaches have been shown to help make the skin healthy and also add color to the complexion. They are rich in rich in Vitamin, Also have Anti Cancer properties, and are also high in fiber.
So seriously.. why NOT start your day with a Smoothie. Even if you don't have health problems. Why wouldn't you want to get all of these health benefits in a glass and help prevent future problems?
...and Not to mention that this smoothie- tastes like Chocolate Raspberry Mousse. What could be better?
Raw Cacao-Raspberry-Avocado Smoothie
1 1/4 Cup frozen Raspberries
3/4 Cup of Frozen Peaches
2 TBS Raw Cacao Powder
1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1-2 TBS Natural Sweetener (Such As Honey , Raw Agave Nectar or Coconut Nectar)
In a Blender Combine All Ingredients Until Smooth. Feel Free to Use Any sort of "Milk" I Love Almond Milk in Smoothies-Coconut Milk would also be awesome here. Feel free to use bananas instead of Peaches- they will provide the same effect. Adjust the sweetener to your liking and make sure to use only Raw Cacao Powder- otherwise you will be losing many of the awesome health benefits it provides. This recipe makes 16 ounces!
Try making this smoothie with Strawberries instead of Raspberries. Its equally as good
For those a little weary of drinking avocado- Do not fret. You will not taste it. The only thing that you will notice is the rich creaminess that it imparts.
Do yourself a BIG favor by checking out the D-tox January Schedule . There have been SO many great post's & There are still 8 recipes to come as well as a Giveaway of Rebecca Katz’s, One Bite at a Time book on January 31st at g-free mom.
And as a friendly Reminder Seasonal Sundays is happening here tomorrow!
Come Link- up your recipes and check out the others posted for some Seasonal Inspiration.
Cheers to good health for each and everyone of you!