6 Secrets For Warming Winter Smoothies That Help Digestion

food

From: MGB, by  Alexandra Jamieson;

Green smoothies are an easy and delicious way to get healthy produce into your body, but drinking them in winter warrants special warning:

Don’t freeze your chi!

Chi is a Chinese word meaning aliveness, life force, or energy, and is also known as Ki, Qi, or Prana.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, doctors recommend against drinking cold water with meals as it “chills the digestive fires.” Drinking a green smoothie filled with frozen fruit may have the same effect and can cause stomach pain, bloating, and other digestive issues.

Your ability to stay warm and energized may freeze up if your smoothies are too cooling energetically or if the ingredients themselves are frozen.

This little-known truth about cold smoothies is leaving a lot of health seekers feeling like failures, when in reality, they could feel a lot better in and about their bodies with a few simple tweaks.

In my Cravings Cleanse + Mindset Makeover program, I provide clean eating inspiration and healing to help people heal their bodies and their mindset about food with functional nutrition and positive psychology.

If you have a hard time staying warm in the colder winter months, or are working to heal your digestion and want to take your smoothies to the next level, take these steps to protect your energy, chi, and digestion:

1. Think about the energetics of food.

Foods that take longer to grow, like winter squash and collards, are more warming than foods that grow quickly, like lettuce and summer squash.

2. Warm your berries.

A food is more cooling when it’s frozen than when it’s thawed.

Thaw your frozen berries overnight in the refrigerator or even leave them out for an hour on the counter to take the chill off while you do your morning run or yoga.

If you forgot to thaw your frozen berries overnight, scoop them into a plastic baggie and run under warm water before adding them to your blender.

3. Choose warmly colored ingredients.

Blue, green, and purple foods are more medicinally cooling than orange, red, and yellow foods. Think of lime as cooling, lemon as more warming.

4. Skip the tropics.

Tropical fruits such as banana and mango are more cooling than foods grown in temperate zones like apples and pears.

5. Add fat and protein to each smoothie.

Coconut oil, coconut or almond butter, avocado, nuts, seeds, hemp, or pea protein help your body stay warmer. They keep you full longer, too!

6. Include warming ingredients in every smoothie.

In Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine foods are believed to have an overall cooling, neutral, or warming effect.

While opinions differ slightly, the following foods are the most warming ingredients that commonly show up in smoothie recipes:

  • apple
  • blackberry
  • basil
  • cardamom
  • caraway
  • cashew
  • cherry
  • cinnamon
  • citrus peel
  • clove
  • coconut
  • collard greens
  • date
  • fat
  • ginger
  • hemp seed
  • kale
  • blackstrap molasses
  • nutmeg
  • pea protein
  • pear
  • pine nut
  • raspberry
  • sweet potato
  • winter squash
  • pumpkin
  • turmeric
  • walnuts

My Favorite Winter Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup collards, packed
  • ½ cup frozen cherries, defrosted overnight
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups almond or coconut milk
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled
  • 20-plus grams chocolate pea protein

Preparation

Puree all ingredients together in a blender until smooth.

Pumpkin Spice Green Smoothie

Photo courtesy of the author
Ingredients
  • ½ cup pureed pumpkin or leftover mashed sweet potato
  • 1 cup kale, packed
  • 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1 pear, seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly peeled ginger
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ½ avocado
  • 20-plus grams vanilla pea protein
  • pinch of nutmeg

Preparation

Puree all ingredients together in a blender until smooth.

Cover photo: iStock

Photo Credit: Stocksy

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