I've been thinking about ways in which our lives might actually be better during this lengthy lockdown period and it turns out there's quite a growing list.
I've been listening to at least one webinar or podcast each day, face timing with friends I hadn't spoken to in (literally) years, joining in a meditation challenge, dividing my time between client sessions, patio gardening with my daughter (she's growing salad vegetables and marigolds for pest control) and binge-watching The US Office in the evenings. Best show ever!
So many positive things in this odd world of ours right now!
And it seems the green fingered growing isn't limited to our patio, because I've recently reconnected with my love of sprouting. We used to sprout many different types of seeds - arugula, kale, radish etc but got out of the habit. But buying sprouts turns into a pretty expensive habit after a while and, besides, they are ridiculously simple to grow at home.
Why would you want to grow your own sprouts? Because those little shoots are jam-packed with nutrients - and broccoli sprouts are, without doubt, rulers of the sprout empire. See this post for a How To and Why To.
I love adding my broccoli sprouts to salads but my new favourite way is putting them into a smoothie, direct from frozen in order to extract the maximum nutrients possible. So try my yummy smoothie, which also includes several other high nutrient foods, and start drinking your way to better health.
See THIS post for how to sprout your own. You'll save a ton of money and eat them super fresh. They're also fun, not to mention quick, to do.
7 Reasons to drink this smoothie - apart from deliciousness -
Broccoli Sprouts - I wrote a whole post on the benefits. And there are many of them! These little things pack an almighty punch of key nutrients that support the entire body. From killing cancer cells and the H. pylori bacteria, to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, to improving social skills in people on the autistic spectrum, and so much more. The question is why would you not want to add these to your diet?
Berries - low in sugar and extremely high in antioxidants, particularly blueberries. Both berries have advantages over the other. Raspberries contain more vitamin C and fibre. Blueberries contain decent levels of Vitamin K and have been shown to improve overall brain function, including lifting depression due to high levels of the neurotransmitter, dopamine. They both help to support digestion and fight inflammation.
Parsley - rich in antioxidants that help to prevent cancer. One antioxidant in particular is myricetin, which has been shown to be effective in killing certain types of thyroid cancer cells, whilst high vitamin C levels help guard against the prevention of breast and skin cancers. Parsley is also a very rich source of vitamin K, therefore helpful for protecting bone health through the appropriate absorption of calcium.
Cantaloupe Melon - a rich source of potassium and known to benefit the cardiovascular system. It is one of the highest fruit sources of vitamin A, which is essential for gut healing. Cantaloupe's high water content also aids hydration, digestion and detoxification.
Avocado - a perfect way to increase your monounsaturated fat intake to protect your heart and reduce inflammation. It helps curb sugar cravings, since it contains more substance than most other AIP compliant plant fats. Avocado is a high fibre food that helps with the elimination of waste from the body. Other key nutrients are vitamin K, folate, vitamin C and protein.
Coconut Milk - your healthy saturated fat in this smoothie, containing medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are good fuel for the brain. It's also high in lauric acid, which is effective at protecting against microbial infection in the gut. Coconut milk is the perfect AIP compliant alternative to dairy or nut milks.
Lemon Peel - contains higher amounts of vitamins, minerals than the juice, including vitamin C, beta carotene, calcium and magnesium. Rather than using the juice and composting the remainder, be sure to use peel, as long as it's pesticide-free.
Collagen - is a structural protein found in connective tissues throughout your body, where it promotes healing and growth. Of particular note are the amino acids proline and glycine, which are the building blocks to every cell in our body and linked with improved gut health, as well as better health all round.
I'd love to know how you've been occupying your time these past couple of months or so? And will you do some home sprouting now?
Berry Broccoli Sprout Smoothie
Print the recipe here!
1 cup broccoli sprouts
1/2 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
4 oz cantaloupe melon, peel removed
1 cup coconut milk
small wedge of organic lemon (with the peel)
2-3 scoops grass-fed collagen
1/2 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
3-4 large ice cubes
1/2 cup filtered water
Place all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
Don't forget to check out this post for how to grow your own broccoli sprouts. You'll save a ton of money and eat them super fresh. They're also fun, not to mention quick, to do.