Re-New Week Day 2: Cayenne and L-Glutamine

With processed foods, chemical & artificial additives, over use of antibiotics, and stress  no wonder our gut lining is increasingly weakened. Digestive discomfort and disorders are more prevalent today than ever before. The first and foremost preventative or corrective measure is a healthy diet –  lots of vegetables, super foods, fish and lean meat (best to avoid processed foods, sugars, excess dairy, limit OTC drugs and antibiotics).

However, aside from a clean diet it is also a good idea to introduce a daily probiotic.  A probiotic is mostly healthy bacterium that reduces harmful bacteria and helps prevent infections in the digestive tract as well as reducing inflammation. It is crucial to have a healthy digestive system, as 80% percent of your immune system is located in your gut. Symptoms of digestive disorders vary, from indigestion, bloat, constipation, candida, even depression and mood swings.

Seeing how important is to keep your digestion in top shape, there are other natural aids to help support gut health. The amino acid L- Glutamine is a wonderful supplement for a healthy stomach and digestive system.  It is one of my favorites to add to smoothies for all of its wide range of health benefits.

First, L-glutamine is known to dramatically strengthen the stomach lining. It provides cells in the digestive tract with a crucial source of energy which aids in development of new cells, as well as increases the absorption capability of existing cells.  L-Glutamine helps with water absorption in the gut, which in turn aids in hydrating the entire body. Always a plus!

Aside from assisting in healthy digestion and gut repair, L-Glutamine works as an inherent neurotransmitter, aiding in healthy brain function and memory recollection. It is greatly used by athletes, as it helps to rebuild muscle while simultaneously breaks down fat.  In addition L-glutamine is known to help regulate blood sugar levels, enhance immune performance and fight infection, speed metabolism and may even decrease sugar and alcohol cravings.

The best way to take L-Glutamine is in powder form, making it readily digested. Add recommended dosage in your morning smoothie or juice and enjoy all of the wonderful health benefits it has to offer!

In addition to the daily probiotic, I added L-Glutamine to our smoothie today. I also added a serving of Spirulina, one of my favorite superfoods.    It is a micro-alga that has a high concentrate of protein, specifically made of essential amino acids.  Spirulina is great to add during our digestive restoration week, as it helps produce healthy stomach flora and  that repromote digestion. It is also has a high content of calcium, vitamins, nutrients and trace minerals, as well as iron and beta-carotene. Spirulina stimulates and boosts the immune system and detoxifies the body of pollutants and heavy metals. It is high in Chlorophyll, which purifies the blood, removing toxins from your system. Last but not least, it contains anti-inflammatory properties, may lower cholesterol, and even fight off allergies due to its histamine blocking effects.

Today’s Cucumber Melon Cayenne Smoothie contains loads of alkalizing vegetables and fruits, as well as the therapeutic spice- cayenne.    Cayenne is well-known for its digestive aid properties, among many other health benefits. It stimulates the digestive tract, which increases the flow of enzyme production, aiding is metabolizing food. It also reduces acid (very alkaline forming!), relieves gas and bloat, and helps digestion with absorption and elimination. It also aids in the digestive process by stimulating saliva. Cayenne also supports cardiovascular healthy, weight loss, natural detox, relieves joint pain and migraines, and has many anti-inflammatory, anti-allergen and ant-fungal properties. Cayenne is a great ant-flu and anti-cold agent as well, as it breaks down mucus and flushes from the body.

pepper

 

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Day 3 + half way through our detox!

Mango, Ginger + Coconut with Aloe Vera Juice

This smoothie has all sorts of goodness in it. Get ready to wake up your tastebuds, body, and mind with its refreshing and invigorating ingredients.

1/2 cup mango
1/4 inch cube fresh ginger, peeled
2 tsp coconut oil
2 oz natural aloe vera juice, unsweetened
1 Tbs ground flaxseed (can reduce)
1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened
1/2 cup pure/filtered water

Mango is rich in vitamins, minerals, pre-biotic dietary fiber, and antioxidants. It is an excellent source of Vitamin-A and flavonoids beta-carotene, alpha-carotene,and beta-cryptoxanthin. It is high in Vitamin C, which helps neutralize harmful oxygen-free radicals and contains potassium which is essential in maintaining healthy blood pressure and fluid balance.  Compared to most fruits, mango is fairly low on the glycemic index chart (41-60),  so enjoying mango occasionally will not spike your blood sugar levels.

Aloe Vera is an incredible plant that has many health benefits and medicinal uses. It contains loads of  health benefits and components such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharide, and fatty acids.  Some vitamins include, folic acid, choline, Vitamins A, C + E, B vitamins, including B12 which is rarely found in plants. Minerals include calcium, magnesium, as well as selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, and manganese. Aloe vera also contains all 8 essential amino acids, as well as fatty acids which help lower fat in the blood cells and help reduce allergy symptoms as well as acid indigestion.

Aside from all of the vitamins and minerals aloe vera juice is extremely beneficial in the detoxification process. It also helps to soothe the digestion track, and regulates the digestive system. Because aloe vera is a gelatinous plant, when digested,  the gel moves through the intestines and absorbs any toxins and unwanted waste, helping to eliminate and flush out of the body. Aloe vera is alkalizing, which helps balance the pH in your body, as well as an anti-inflammatory and immune booster.

Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory and immune booster. It helps to also improve digestion, absorb and assimilate essential nutrients throughout the body, ease muscle or joint discomfort, clears ‘microcirculatory channels’  (including sinus cavities),  and helps to clear nose and throat congestion. 

Flax seeds – these tiny little seeds are nutritional power houses. First, they are a great source of fiber, helping to regulate digestion and aid in the detoxification process. Flax is a great plant source of the essential fatty acid, Omega 3. Theses little seeds also contain potassium for a healthy heart and muscles, as well as iron and zinc to boost your immunity. They contain trace minerals such as riboflavin and niacin, thiamin, and B vitamins (all which help to turn food into energy). They must be ground in order to gain all of the benefits they have to offer. When consumed whole they pass right through and are not digested fully.

Coconut oil is an amazing superfood filled with so many health benefits and nutrients. Coconut oil contains antioxidants, helps to absorb nutrients and vitamins, has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It is made up of mostly  Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs), which unlike Long Chain Fatty Acids, are sent straight to the liver for energy production. It kills candida growth,  corrects many skin conditions, helps with hypothyroidism, and helps speed metabolism.

Day 1 of the 5 Day Fall Detox

Yay for the start of our detox!  It is the beginning  of a week of cleansing and rejuvenation. I hope everyone had a great weekend and is feeling as excited and ready for the detox as I am. If you are just learning about the detox, it’s not too late to sign up or join me, using my smoothie recipes I will be posting this week. Read here for more details about the cleanse and some basic  guidelines on what foods are included and what to avoid.

I started to ease myself into our cleanse last week and began my detox Saturday.  I also did a meditation course on Saturday that was amazing, helping me to mentally prepare. I really enjoy meditation and try to incorporate it in my daily life. Meditation helps me feel grounded, reminds me to practice mindfulness + compassion, and helps to put things in perspective.  It is also a great way to take a few minutes out of our stressful and busy routine, to breathe, reflect and look deeper into our inner selves.  If anyone is interested in meditation in the Philadelphia area I highly recommend going to the Shambhala Meditation Center. The mediation instructors (in my humble opinion) are the best in the area. 

Back to the detox.  I am already feeling my energy levels rise and my mood more positive and stable. I rarely feel THIS good on a Monday.. and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. 😉 Aren’t you excited to start feeling great?

Our smoothie this morning is packed with so many great ingredients and some of my favorite foods. It is extremely refreshing from the cucumber and mint, and is loaded with kale and spinach. The only bit of sweetness comes from half of a green apple, which contains many detoxifying properties itself. I added hemp protein powder, which I love because hemp seeds naturally contain 21 known amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids. This makes hemp a complete protein. It also contains the proper 3:1 ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6.  Hemp protein is more easily digested because of the globular proteins it contains. Globular proteins dissolve faster and are thus more readily used. Hemp protein is a great source of plant protein, providing a large dose of healthy fats and protein. It also happens to be one of the most earth friendly proteins. Because it grows tall and extremely fast- being naturally invasive to all weeds that may grow around the crop- the use of herbicides or pesticides is not necessary. My favorite brand is Manitoba Harvest. It dissolves great in smoothies and doesn’t seem to leave a chalky after taste.

I recommend making this smoothie on a daily basis. It will give you more energy than any cup of coffee, not to mention providing many nutrients and vitamins your body needs. It is great for healthy skin, digestion, hydration, and obviously works wonders in the cleansing process. Enjoy!

apple-kale-ginger-smoothie

Day 1 Smoothie

Green Refresher

  • 3-4 kale leaves
  • handful of spinach
  • ½ green apple
  • ¼ avocado
  • ½ cucumber
  • 2 celery stalks
  • ½ c coconut water
  • ¼ c unsweetened almond or rice milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla hemp powder
  • ½ lemon
  • mint


Health Benefits

Apples aid in blood sugar regulation (nixing sugar cravings), contain loads of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. They help to slow down carbohydrate and glucose absorption, lessening the sugar load on our blood stream.

Kale provides one of the most powerful antioxidant and detox properties than any other leafy green. When digested, kale forms a substance called sulforaphane, which causes the liver to produce enzymes that actually flush out harmful chemicals that cause cancer. Kale is high in fiber, Vitamin A, C and E, iron, and calcium.

Cucumber has many detoxifying, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is high in fiber, Vitamin A and K, hydrating, improves digestion, helps to eliminate constipation and reduces the risk of colon, breast and ovarian cancer.

Avocados are high in heart healthy fat  Omega 3s. Fat is important during detoxification as it promotes the release of bile from the gallbladder, aiding in the elimination of toxins from the body and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Avocados contain a healthy dose of potassium, folate, Vitamin E + B5 and fiber.

Lemons are a powerful detoxification aid.  They are alkaline forming, helping to balance the pH balance in the body. The citric acid allows the breakdown of bile and dissolves any other toxins in the body, also helps flush out the kidneys and colon of toxic build up. Lemons also contain Vitamin C, which helps to neutralize free radicals and boost the immune system.

Mint is a natural stimulant, which helps with digestion and soothing the digestive track. It also stimulates the digestive enzymes that absorb nutrients from food and consume fat and convert it into energy. Therefore, it is helping you convert the food you consume to energy rather than storing it as fat. As a natural stimulant, mint is known to naturally combat fatigue and help to recharge your batteries. Great for a Monday morning boost!