Are you feeling sluggish or run down? I am sure all the Moms are nodding right now. Well, maybe it is time to do a cleanse or incorporate some cleansing foods into your diet.
Livestrong recommends a cleanse twice a year in the spring and fall to prepare for summer and winter. The spring cleanse may give you energy and help with your allergy symptoms because you are removing toxins from your system. You will feel less bloated, lighter and sleep more soundly. When is the last time you got a good night of sleep?
Cleansing foods are rich in Vitamin C and insoluble fiber. Lemons are good to add to your water in the morning. Ginger, apples, limes, cranberries, beets, leafy greens, cinnamon and fennel are also excellent cleansers. Here is a good list of foods to incorporate in your diet.
Fennel has a licorice taste and is added to many Mediterranean dishes. If you do not like fennel, only use the bulb. The stalks and leaves add a lot more licorice flavor to the drink. They also makes the smoothie green. Fennel is a good source of fiber, folate, Vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. These vitamins can improve your immune system, cardiovascular system, and colon health. Hence this Orange Fennel Cleanse smoothie. I owe all the credit for this cleansing concoction to Wendy Jo.
Wendy Jo Peterson, MS, RD came to town to speak at Emory last week and I was lucky enough to spend some time with her. My sister-in-law talks about her all the time and I loved meeting someone so passionate about food and health. She is very busy traveling all over the world consulting with musicians, athletes and other professionals and giving them recipes to boost their energy levels to help them perform their best. I cannot imagine how hard it is to eat a healthy diet living on a tour bus!
I thoroughly enjoyed all our discussions on health, food, balance, and how women really should embrace eating more full fat foods that are good for them like avocados. No more guilt! We went through her cookbook, Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for DUMMIES and she marked the recipes that would work for my family since I need to add some variety to our diet. Too much of anything is not good for you and I am using too much kale.
After talking with her, I decided to try this orange fennel smoothie even though I am not a fan of fennel. I am willing to try new recipes especially when I am fighting a cold and allergies. Who else is battling a cold from this pollen and crazy 30 degree swing in temperature?
I added a 1 inch chunk of ginger for the anti-inflammatory properties. I also added 2 oranges and some local honey to sweeten the drink. Dates and pineapple would work well too. You can add a frozen banana to create a smoother texture. The banana helps tone down the fennel.
I have to be honest, this is not like my other smoothies where the kids ask for more. We had a “shot” contest to get them to drink it and their reward was a slice of fresh orange. As you can see, they loved the orange.
Did you know the orange peel can whiten your teeth? I tried it and could see a difference. Place a slice in your mouth over your teeth and chase the kids around playing a monster. They could not wait to be the monster!
1) Peel 2 oranges and throw them into the blender. A Vitamix is highly recommended for this smoothie.
2) Peel a 1 inch slice of ginger with a spoon or knife. Add it to the blender.
3) Wash and chop the fennel into large pieces and add it. Pour in 1 cup of spring water and add local honey to taste. I added about 1/4 cup of honey. Add 1 frozen banana. Blend until smooth. Add more water if it is too thick. I prefer more water to make it easier to drink.
4) Serve cold with a slice of orange. Only pour yourself one glass in the morning. If you drink more you may be able to fit into your favorite pencil skirt or skinny jeans but you will not feel good the rest of the day unless you eat these foods all the time.
This smoothie does not fill you up like my other breakfast smoothies. You will need to have some almonds or a snack like hummus within an hour or so. This will certainly cleanse your system!
Why you want to drink this!
Fennel- cleanses your body due to the Vitamin C and insoluble fiber content. The bulb, leaves and stalks are rich in potassium, manganese, folate, molybdenum, magnesium, and many other vitamins. Animal studies are showing promise that the volatile oil, anethole may reduce inflammation and your risk of cancer.
Ginger- natural anti-inflammatory, helps with nausea and morning sickness
Orange- rich in vitamin C to remove free radicals in your body that can cause cancer and helps boost your immune system
Local honey- helps with your allergy systems and is a natural anti-bacterial. Honey helps heal a wound.