By: Haley Smith
If you’ve read the previous posts on food, then you’ll remember that greens are a great way to get lots of essential vitamins and minerals into your bodies. Eating lots of greens is also a way to avoid a lot of the processed sugars and preservatives that you will encounter if you fill up on pre-packaged goodies from the centre aisles of the grocery store.
As we’ve talked about, dark leafy greens and other fruits and vegetables are great resources for managing anxiety levels. And I’m sure you all know that eating in general is necessary for managing anxiety, staying healthy, and having energy to do all the things that you love.
But what do you do when anxiety makes it hard for you to eat? A lot of people struggle with “nervous gut”, meaning a loss of appetite (or outright nausea) when they’re going through anxious periods in their days or weeks. I myself struggle with this sometimes, especially when I’m getting nervous for a big race. One way I’ve learned to combat this, and make sure I take in enough nutrients to stay strong and healthy, is to drink a lot of smoothies.
For a lot of people, drinking smoothies or meal replacement drinks is an easier way to overcome nervous gut. Plus, they taste delicious! There are so many ways to make great smoothies – and you don’t necessarily need a recipe – but here’s a little smoothie framework to get you started. Once you’ve tried this recipe out a few times and you’ve decided what you like and/or don’t like, you can play with the amounts and types of ingredients. At the end of the post, I’ll give you some suggestions for flavour modifications. Enjoy!
1 cup of unsweetened coconut water, milk, or vanilla almond milk
1 cup of fruit juice or frozen fruit
½ cup of Greek yogurt, preferably unsweetened
If using unsweetened Greek yogurt, add 1-tablespoon maple syrup or honey* (optional)
½ ripe avocado
2 massive handfuls of greens (you can use spinach, kale, beet greens… anything, really! I use a prewashed mix of spinach, kale, and chard).
This is the easiest recipe on the planet! Just put it all in a blender and blend until smooth. If you don’t want the whole smoothie in one sitting, just put the rest in an airtight container and have it for breakfast tomorrow.
There are lots of things you can add to this smoothie to up the flavour and change the texture. Some of the things you can add are as follows:
*Some people may wonder why I suggest using unsweetened products, but then suggest adding maple syrup or honey. The reason is, most yogurts or other sweetened products have refined sugars in. Refined sugars are the culprits of a lot of health problems, but they can also have negative effects on blood sugar spikes and your body’s anxiety response. By using a natural sweetener like maple syrup, you’re getting sugar in a less refined form and are also getting the benefits of antioxidants and minerals like magnesium.