After 40(ish) years, I’ve learned to keep my resolutions pretty simple. According to a Forbes.com post, just 8% of us achieve our resolutions. I’m sorry, but that really stinks. I think a big part is that we don’t always make realistic goals. Sometime we just need to start with baby steps. Maybe instead of saying that you’re going to work out 6 days a week, 1 hour each day, maybe do about 20 minutes worth of HIIT (high intensity interval training) 3 days a week. They say that 20 min of HIIT is better than an hour of cardio anyway! And, instead of going on an extreme “diet” (which rarely works anyway), or doing a “cleanse”, try to just eat REAL food (by taking out most of the processed stuff). Or, try to take out one type of food — maybe an allergen or trigger food like sugar or gluten or dairy? Depending on your needs, pick one and really stick with it for at least a month, or at least long enough to see how much better you can feel without that irritant.
Who knows, you might feel so good that you decide to workout 4 days a week for 30 minutes a day. Or, instead of just taking out sugar, maybe you’ll want to remove you now want to eliminate gluten as well. Let’s just keep getting better, one step at a time….
One thing I have learned this year (I’m getting to my resolution, I promise) is that I have a MTHFR mutation. Did you know that as much as 30-50% of us have at least one gene mutation? So, what does that mean?
My body doesn’t absorb nutrients like B vitamins like folic acid into methylfolate quite as efficiently as someone without mutations. There are two main mutations (C677T and A1298C) that can cause a list of health issues such as:
- Multiple miscarriages (listen to this podcast)
- Heart Disease
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Chronic Fatigue
- Nerve pain
- Renal Failure
- Downs Syndrome
Here is a great podcast called MTHFR Made Easy by my favorite Sean Croxton from Underground Wellness. This is also a good post that describes the mutations in more detail.
If you would like to get tested, make an appointment with your holistic MD or Naturopath Doctor (ND), or even possibly your MD or OBGYN (call ahead). Or, you can do it yourself by using labs like 23andme.com.
Anyway, one of the best things I can do for myself is to eat more greens. While I love my salads, there is no way I’m going to ingest nearly enough leafy greens, so this is where my resolution comes in…
A few years ago I got a Vitamix. I was so excited to make smoothies, but at the same time, I was overwhelmed with smoothie options. Do I use spinach or kale, bananas, apples, or pineapple? How about celery, cucumber, or carrots? Flax, chia or hemp seeds? Do I need coconut water or almond milk? Parsley? Lime juice? Cacao? Ugh, there are just way too many options!! So…after a few months thanks to the paradox of choice, I stopped making smoothies. If it’s not quick and simple (if you read this web site, you know that is how I work when it comes to food), I’m just not going to do it. Sad but true!
So, I had to think to myself, what is my purpose with a smoothie? My purpose was pretty simple….lots of green, little sugar, delicious taste. Hmm, I can do that.
Anyway, my resolution has been (I started a month early) to drink 1 green smoothie at least 5 days a week. And so far, so good! I keep it simple by doing things like storing my kale in the freezer and using jarred organic lemon juice from Whole Foods. Whether or not this fits into your resolutions, it’s worth a try. My son now loves this smoothies and drinks them with me. As for me, I’ve come to crave it every day single. My goal was 5 days and I’ve been drinking it 7 days just because it makes me feel so good, it’s easy to make, and I love the taste. I think this is a resolution that will last! At least…that’s my plan, so take that you measly 8%!
- 1st round to blend
- 3 handfuls spinach (plus some kale)
- lemon juice (about 1 tbsp)
- 1/4 or so cup water
- 2nd round to blend
- 1/2 green apple
- 5-6 drops stevia (or 1/2 to whole banana if you prefer)
- 2 big ice cubes
- 1/3 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
- Blend the greens (spinach/kale), lemon juice and water on the highest speed for about 1 minutes.
- Then add in the ice, stevia (or banana), almond milk and apple and blend all together for another minutes or so.
- Makes about 2 small glasses worth.
Heather - Yummy! I am sensitive to apples. What would be a good substitute for that?
landriav - You could skip the apple and just use a banana (half or whole) or even a couple of dates. I hope you like it Heather!
Coleen - Landria, very interesting post! What what is the name of the test to ask for?
landriav - Thanks Coleen! Ask to do the methylation test. They will know at the office you mean MTHFR but can you just say that, too. 🙂
Jane Asamoto - A small group of my friends and neighbors gather on New Year’s Day to celebrate the beginning of the year together. Our host provides a wonderful brunch topped off by a Champaign toast to the New Year. After being inspired by your green smoothie recipe, I decided to surprise them by making this treat. I served this healthy, beautiful green concoction in crystal stemware. We raised our glasses and toasted to a Healthy and Happy New Year. They loved the idea! Thanks Landria for the inspiration and wonderful recipe that started us off to a healthy tradition for 2015! Jane Asamoto San Francisco, Ca.
landriav - Jane,
So wonderful to hear! That just warmed my heart. I wish I had a picture of you all raising your green glasses!! Thank you so much for all of your amazing support. I so greatly appreciate it!!!!
Susan - Thanks for this post Landria. I did 23andme in August ’13 and my uncle, a holistic medical doc in Kentucky, had me then download my data and run an Methylation Analysis. Turns out that I have the same defect and had forgotten about it until reading this entry. I’ve since pulled up all of his instructions and supplement suggestions and will need to get going on this smoothie too! Thanks!
landriav - Hey Susan! So interesting. And how cool about your uncle. No wonder you are already so educated and into nutrition. Thanks for your note!! I hope you like the smoothie. I’ve come to crave them every afternoon, and they are certainly better than anything else I would eat at that time.
Rebecca - Definitely want to try this recipe and get tested for mthfr. Been hearing more about this lately. If you test positive, do they just recommend nutritional supplementation? Also, Dr. Bhatia was featured this morning on style blueprint in Nashville! Was excited to see that!
Laurissa - Hi! Would you mind sharing your doctor’s name? I’m in the Atlanta area, and I’m looking for someone to work with me on MTHFR. I’ve stumbled across a few doctor’s names online, but I’d really love to find someone who’s able to work my insurance!
Thank you. 🙂
landriav - Hey, I work with some doctors over at Atlanta Center Holistic Integrative Medicine but they unfortunately do not take insurance. Dr. Board is suppose to be great too. Not sure if she takes insurance or not though. Good luck!
Linda Woods - These balls are so tasty. Easy to make and they can be frozen too! Very popular in this house!
landriav - I never thought about freezing them Linda. I bet they are actually really good frozen (esp in summer), too!! Thanks for your comment!