My Morning Shake (Anti-Inflammatory)
In 2008, I was in an airplane accident when my instructor was demonstrating a maneuver and lost control. Six doctors recommended surgery to repair my neck. They said it would be fine for 10 years until I needed my next surgery. I said “no” and found alternative ways to heal my neck, including an anti-inflammatory diet. When I started to learn what was good to eat–lots of dark greens like Kale, lots of nuts & seeds, and all the different powders, I simply couldn’t find ways to have a yummy lunch. I ended up blending all the ingredients in a high-powered blender (Vitamix.) Through a lot of research and experimentation, I created a morning shake that is both delicious and the healthiest way I can possibly eat as far as I know. I make a 40 oz shake in the morning and drink it throughout the day–it keeps me satisfied and high-energy all day long. By dinner, I’m actually not that hungry, but I often eat for the social experience (usually with fish, chicken or veges, generally avoiding breads, pastas, and sugar.) In my morning shake, I am trying to maximize for nutrient density in a whole food, while minimizing sugars and inflammatory ingredients. I also am choosing low-acid foods to try to balance acidity levels in my diet.
Here’s what’s in my morning super-easy shake.
1) Raw greens
- Spinach, chard, kale, collard greens, or a combination. The stalks have fiber, but not much nutrition, so I strip or cut the stalks. (Spinach is the sweetest and least nutritious of the greens above, while collard greens is the most bitter and most nutritious. I usually use Kale.)
- Dandelion greens (ideally, I eat this about 20 minutes before I make the shake, but if not, I just throw it in.)
- Alfalfa or clover Sprouts (now hard to get at most regular stores, so I sprout my own.)
- Cilantro can be nice too. I hear it’s good to help process Mercury (and I eat a lot of Sushi.) However, if you add cilantro, also add lime, because then the shake will last longer. If you just add cilantro and no lime, the shake will last about 6-8 hours refrigerated.
2) Other veggies & nuts
- Ginger (peeled)–This definitely gives the shake a kick and it’s good for digestion
- Soaked raw sunflower seeds (water and seed put into shake)
- Sprouted pumpkin seeds (low in acidity)
- Soaked raw organic almonds (water discarded. FYI, almonds are best kept refridgerated.)
- Cooked Quinoa (This is both low-acid and a good grain–it helps me not get hungry through the day. I cook it in the beginning of every week and keep it in the fridge.)
- Raw, peeled beets (this makes the shake red rather than green, so it looks good to other people when I bring it into a corporate meeting.)
- Carrots can be good, but they are very high in sugar
3) Fruit & sweetener
In general, I try to eat fruits separately. The enzymes that digest fruit in the stomach are best when the fruit is alone. However, fruits do sweeten the shake, so I suggest adding them for “beginners.” I do always add lime juice, but otherwise go light on the fruits.
- 1/2 lime (peeled) or lime juice. This gives the shake a zing and lightens the flavor. Also, it lowers the acidity in the body. Plus, it makes the shake last longer. It lasts about 24 hours in the fridge when lime is added
- Avocado–delicious, high in protein and creates a smoother shake (yes, it’s a fruit.)
- 1 Banana (usually frozen. Bananas have a lot of sugar, but I use it anyway because it changes the texture of the shake.)
- 1/2 organic apple or a peeled orange (thrown in with the seeds.)
- Frozen blueberries (highest anti-oxidants of any fruit)
- Dried fruits: raisins, pitted dates, or figs
4) Liquid base
- Purified Water (this is the best for you, but I do add other things too.)
- Coconut water (Amy & Brian’s)
- Coconut Kefir or Plain Organic Yogurt (I do this for the pro-biotics)
- You can use apple juice for a sweeter shake, but I don’t anymore because I’m trying to reduce my sugar intake
- Flax Oil (or ground flax seed in a dedicated coffee grinder)
- Chia seeds (put them in first so that they soak for a few minutes or even better, grind them first.)
- Hemp seed (needs to be kept refrigerated)
- Coconut Oil (teaspoon)
- Bee pollen
- Goji berries
- Acai powder
- Yacon Syrup for sweetening to taste
- Raw Cacao
- Chlorella, Blue-green algae, and/or Spirulina
- Protein powder
- Maca powder
For taste, play with adding:
- A little celtic sea salt
- Cayene pepper also gives the shake a kick
It’s quite delicious, though it doesn’t look very pretty unless you use a lot of blueberries, cacao, or beets. Making it fresh every morning takes me 12 minutes… and I usually pre-prep my shakes for the week so it literally is 8 minutes and I’m out the door, drinking my breakfast on my way to my first meeting. The shake needs to be kept refridgerated and lasts for about 30 hours–the next day, it’s good in the morning, but by lunch it starts to get iffy. If I buy too much kale, I sometimes will create jars with all the ingredients (not the liquids), freeze them, and have them in the freezer when I’m in a real rush.
Enjoy. Send me feedback or ideas if you’d like!
And here’s a simple and delicious dessert shake
- Organic Milk or Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 banana (frozen is great)
- 5 Organic Pitted Dates (or date rolls)
- 1 teaspoon Organic, unsweetened vanilla extract
- Coconut Oil or Coconut Butter (or both)
Delicious! It’s like ice cream without the sugar!