by Vanessa Santiago
A friend asked me this at a recent holiday get-together. While it sounds funny, the truth is yes, you can absolutely practice self-care while still catching up on the latest series on Netflix. These harsh winter days filled with freezing temperatures and bomb-cyclones makes us long to take refuge on our sofas under a quilt that doubles as a cloud of warmth and safety. We may feel tempted to pick up snacks and order take-out, piling on the empty calories with loads of guilt, convincing ourselves we could never reach our fitness goals as long as there are icicles that form in our nostrils if we step outside. So we might opt instead to flip on Netflix and place our desire and the importance of self-care on the proverbial back burner.
Well, there is a smarter way to kickstart our bodies in a healthier direction, which does not include jogging through piles of ice and snow at 5 AM. One way is to be sure to snack on foods that will nourish your body while also indulging your sweet tooth. Typically we may be tempted to grab a pint of ice cream, or some other salty or sugary snack, but instead, you can choose one that actually begins the weight loss process of reducing inflammation and detoxifying our bodies.
Delicious smoothies are a great substitute for those shame-carrying snacks like ice-cream and buttery popcorn. Smoothies are highly customizable to what flavors and textures you prefer. From decadent chocolate almond smoothies to tropical green smoothies (say spinach and kale mixed with pineapple, mango, and a pinch of ginger), I have found smoothies to be a richly satisfying and nutritious meal replacement, snack, or even dessert.
There are key ingredients you can add to a smoothie that detoxify your body, as well as reduce fat and inflammation, which is the cause of most ailments and disease. Chia seeds, almond butter, and avocado all contain soluble fiber which slows down digestion keeping you fuller for longer periods of time after eating. Fiber also acts as a broom cleaning out various toxins, waste materials, and fats sluggishly laying around in your gut. Cinnamon, raw honey, cherries and raw cacao are high in antioxidants, which prevent oxidative damage. Think of an apple when it is sliced open, it immediately begins to turn brown. That is the process of oxidation. But, antioxidants help protect our cells against such exposure to harmful free radicals and repair damage already done. Specifically, it prevents the appearance of aging which means our skin maintains a healthy glow. Studies have found cherries are anti-inflammatory and have even been proven to reduce painful gout in patients. When you consume such ingredients, your body greatly benefits from their nutritional goodness, but your tastebuds benefit from their delicious rich flavors.
So next time you decide to lounge in front of your favorite movie, know that you don’t have to sacrifice self-care or flavor to enjoy a decadent Chocolate Almond Smoothie. Try the recipe posted below and let us know what you think or share your own favorite smoothie ideas.
Netflix Binge Smoothie (not pictured)
1 cup Almond milk (to desired thickness)
Handful of frozen cherries
½ of a ripe Avocado or banana
2 tablespoons of Raw or Dry Roasted Almond Butter
1 tablespoon of Raw Cacao
Pinch of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of chia seeds
1 teaspoon of raw honey (optional)
Pour all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Add extra milk if you prefer a thinner smoothie. Remember, you can add or remove items based on what you like or dislike. Make it the way you like it best!