A while ago I mentioned that I was considering a juice cleanse because I wasn't really feeling that great and I didn't know why. I think it was because I was being really lenient with consuming gluten and it took a toll on my body because let's face it; as much as I want to be friends with gluten it's just not going to work. But you know what, I'm willing to deal with that every once in a while for the sake of a fresh baked cinnamon roll or a fancy holiday roast for Thanksgiving. So anyways, I was torn between doing the juice cleanse and not doing it because I don't really believe in partaking in fasts of any kind but I saw so many other reap tons of benefits from juice fasting. After researching it a ton I decided against it. I truly believe that if you're eating a diet of whole plant based foods then you really have no reason to "cleanse" your body. I just kept doing what I was doing and eventually everything got better! Thankfully. You're probably wondering why I'm talking about this. Well, the holiday's are coming and a lot of people will associate food with guilt and classify sweet holiday treats as "bad." After all of that occurs they will set a resolution to diet which will mean cutting calories, remove "bad" foods from their diets, joining the gym, and feeling bad about their food choices. All of this makes me cringe because none of that comes from a healthy place in a persons mind. Associating food as "bad" or feeling guilty about eating a few cookies is so common but also not good. It's so normal to visit with your family during the holiday's and have your aunt talk about how she's hoping to lose some weight and is now drinking Diet Pepsi because it has zero calories.
I have a few issues with that happening. One reason that I don't like that or diet culture in general is because drinking Diet Pepsi and consuming 1,300 calories a day like MyFitnessPal recommends for an adult is not healthy or okay. On average we need 2,100 calories per day and those who are on diets or simply uneducated on the matter will associate calories as bad and try to drastically cut them. They get so hungry from lack of calories that they eat the "bad" foods and feel as if they've failed and as a result they feel guilty for eating. Nothing about that is okay.
Another reason why I have issues with "bad" foods, food associated guilt, and diet talk is because a lot of the time that occurs when their are children or teenagers in the room. Children look up to adults and naturally learn our habits, good or bad. When you're sitting at Thanksgiving talking about how you are unhappy with your body and are going to start a diet because you ate "so badly" the past month you are teaching the young ones who are in the room that it is normal and okay to bring yourself down and associate foods with guilt. Of course, I promote a plant based vegan diet and believe that it is the best possible way to live and nourish your body, but I also believe that it's the responsibility of the adult to teach the child self love and proper nutrition from the start. And that is something that so often doesn't happen. If I ate a cupcake I would never associate it as a "bad" food even though it's not the healthiest thing I could eat. A cupcake is usually involved during a special time of happiness and/or celebration and that's exactly what cupcakes should be associated with. I believe that life is about balance and teaching the younger generation that a plant based vegan diet is the best way to live but at the same time they can eat cookies, cakes, and treats on occasion without feelings of guilt or pressures is so very important. That's why I share my recipes, stories, and experiences here. I want people to see that eating plants is fun, exciting, delicious, and satisfying!
I went off on a bit of a rant there, whoops.
Today's green smoothie recipe is all about nourishing your body with the best possible foods around the holidays. Maybe you're gluten free like I am and dug into a gluten filled holiday roast yesterday. You woke up today not feeling so hot but you look back at yesterday and think about all of the laughs and memories you made with the ones who matter most to you. Now you can blend this smoothie up and get in those greens that you replaced with the vegan cookies your grandma made for you yesterday.
Balance, it's all about balance my friends! I hope that you all had a wonderful day yesterday!
p.s. if you're into juice cleansing that is totally fine! I'm just speaking on behalf of myself and what I personally believe is best for me.
Cleansing Green Smoothie
2 large handfuls of spinach
1 apple of choice
1 cup ice
1/2 cup coconut water
2 teaspoon maca powder
Add all ingredients to blender. Blend. Serve, enjoy!