Friday, March 7, 2014

reflections on winter. and the "Spring Forward" morning smoothie (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free)

It's been a crazy winter here in NYC: snow, ice, arctic cold. I even managed to break my arm maneuvering the icy black glacial patches covering the streets.

Broken arm. At its leisure.
If you think getting around in the sub-zero temperatures is rough, try doing it with your arm in a cast and your coat wide open. Gave me a whole new appreciation for the enormous physical struggles so many people face. I feel incredibly lucky that my situation was only a temporary inconvenience.

There were also some beautiful moments this winter. When the enormous drifts of snow collected and a silence - unusual for this city - blanketed buildings, cars, Central Park.

Central Park: Sound of Silence
Whenever I had a free moment, I'd try to go out by myself to take it all in. As someone who grew up in New York City and often longs for the days when not every patch of grass and concrete were filled to capacity, it was really special to have these quiet moments. I don't think I ever even realized there were so many statues in Central Park (Ignorance. Not always blissful.).

Columbus contemplates snow

I happened to be one of the lucky ones and my broken wrist healed extremely quickly. The evening that my cast was taken off, I decided to take a walk. A gratitude-filled ramble in the twilight, if you will. And this is what I discovered. A little Magritte, a little C.S. Lewis. Doesn't get much better if you ask me.

Magritte in Narnia

So maybe it's not quite Spring yet, but in anticipation of losing an hour of sleep this weekend, I give you the Spring Forward morning smoothie. I practically lived on these all winter. They are full of whole food, anti-inflammatory ingredients and are both warming (thanks to the cinnamon) and refreshing all at once. Chia is loaded with omega-3s and is very high in fiber without the "fishy" taste and phytoestrogens in flax. Coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins and are relatively low impact on the glycemic index. The recipe is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free. I'm convinced these smoothies helped me heal quickly. At the very least, they are happy making. And in the still dark and chilly mornings, that's always a good thing.

spring-forward morning smoothie (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free). makes 1 serving.
1 cup coconut water (not coconut milk!!)
1 cup frozen organic blueberries
1-2 big handfuls organic spinach
1 tblsp chia seeds
1 heaping scoop organic, raw wheatgrass powder
1/2 heaping tsp cinnamon

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Note: You may need to follow up this smoothie with a serving of protein within an hour or two. Because I am able to tolerate yogurt and peanuts (but not tree nuts), I have a cup of plain greek organic yogurt or a tablespoon of peanut butter about 2-3 hours after the shake. I don't recommend adding (or using) protein powders because they are not a whole food, but you should do what is best for you. A hard-boiled egg, or a handful of nuts or seeds, a serving of tempeh or salmon would also work if you find yourself needing more protein, but do try to space it about two hours after the smoothie unless you are hypoglycemic.

Enjoy and be well!

1 comment:

  1. Bookmarking this recipe, because that is a heaping helping of some very restorative stuff up there. Glad you are healing nicely...I look forward to sharing a walk with you soon! xo, jenn