Detox from December — and everything that goes with it — with this powerful citrus smoothie…
I’ve always thought December and January have felt at odds with one another. One month is all about indulgence — gathering with loved ones to imbibe in the season, spending weekends baking up treats, and coming face to face with an office kitchen inexplicably piled floor to ceiling with sweets — while the next month is almost entirely focused on a sense of renewal and wellness, cleaning out and clearing up and generally shaking off the figurative weight of the previous 31 days. While movement will always be my number one stress-reliever, the frenetic holiday season often leads me to decompress in the kitchen, cooking and baking and spending weekend mornings making something interesting from one of my many cookbooks. Music blasting, apron on, no distractions. It’s easy to fall under the spell of the holidays and allow our normal routines to fall by the wayside, especially if we’re feeling the pressure, but now — not New Year’s Day — is when we should be listening to our bodies and feeding them what they need. While I’m a firm believer that a bit of indulgence from time to time is good for us, it’s important to balance those heavy meals and desserts with something a bit more nourishing and light to keep us feeling healthy and energized.
When I’m feeling run down by all of December’s activity, I like to throw a bunch of ingredients in my blender and make a smoothie. Lately I’ve been loving the added zing of seasonal citrus and cranberry paired with beet and coconut water — it’s immune-boosting, cleansing and hydrating all in one. The smoothie I’m sharing today includes all of these things, perfect for when you’re craving something refreshing and tart or when you’re feeling a bit under the weather. The benefits are innumerable, and include:
Beets: High in vitamin C, beets also reduce inflammation thanks to betane, a nutrient that protects cells, proteins and enzymes from environmental stress. The pigments in beets (known as betalin) also aids in the detox process by binding broken-down toxins to other molecules to be flushed out by the body. Be sure to choose beets with the tops on. While delicious thrown into salads, the beet greens can also be tossed into your smoothie and contain more iron than spinach, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, and numerous other vitamins and minerals.
Pink Grapefruit: Chock full of immune-boosting vitamin C, pink grapefruit also contains high levels of potassium and lycopene and assists in cleansing the liver.
Pineapple: Another immune booster (sensing a theme?), pineapple contains high levels of antioxidants and both soluble and insoluble fiber. Pineapple also contains an enzyme called bromelain, a rare proteolytic which helps your body digest and break down foods and aids in fighting inflammation.
Cranberries: Cranberries have long been known for their cleansing properties. Their high levels of proanthocyanidins (a class of polyphenols) help to prevent certain infections and also aid in oral health by discouraging bacteria from adhering to our gums. High in fiber, cranberries also help to lower blood pressure and boost immunity.
Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds are my latest obsession, and for good reason — raw pumpkin seeds contain magnesium, zinc, omega-3s and antioxidants.
Red Citrus Detox Smoothie
1 cup beet greens
1/2 medium raw beet, sliced into pieces
1/2 grapefruit, peeled + seeded
1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks + more to taste
1/4 cup fresh cranberries
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Squeeze of fresh orange juice
1 cup coconut water
1 tsp – 1 tbsp coconut oil
Local raw honey (optional)
Toppings: chia pudding, goji berries, raw pumpkin seeds, raw shelled hemp seeds
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend on high until smooth. Pro tip: be sure the blender cover is on tight, otherwise your entire kitchen will be red…like mine…
Top with chia pudding, goji berries, pumpkin seeds and shelled hemp seeds.
Note: This smoothie is tart. If you prefer a sweeter taste, add a bit of local raw honey.
+ How do you stay healthy for the holidays? Please share!
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