A simple detoxifying ginger berry beet smoothie filled with powerful cleansing and anti-inflammatory ingredients to energize and rejuvenate. The perfect way to reset and rebalance anytime of the year, but especially on January 1 (wink)!
Happy New Year!
If you went out last night and had a little too much fun in the form of one too many champagne spritzers, I’ve got just the pick-me-up your body needs to reset and rebalance. While I did label this smoothie as detoxifying, in all honesty, the word “detox” or “cleanse” drives me a little crazy.
Let me explain…As someone who prides herself on living a healthy lifestyle—i.e. trying not to get caught up an all or nothing attitude around food—the idea of needing to detox or cleanse sort of goes against my philosophy of exercising balance year round.
Also, I tend to find cleanses and detox products to be a little gimmicky—especially juice cleanses. Seriously? Don’t even get me started on juices cleanses!
I’m not saying that the idea of detoxing or cleansing is inherently bad in itself. There’s merit in giving your hardworking GI tract a rest by choosing soothing, easy-to-digest foods like soups, smoothies, and low-sugar vegetable juices over heavier or hard to breakdown foods.
The type of detox or cleanse that I’m referring to are the kits, programs, and products on the market that tend to over promise, under deliver, and also cost an obscene amount for what you get.
Seriously, $200 for a three-day juice cleanse? That’s a little cray.
Sure you may lose a few pounds after doing it, but it’s most likely water weight since most detoxes and cleanses are super low in carbohydrates. And when you decrease your carb intake, your body will shed excess water that’s stored with glycogen in your muscle tissue. As soon as you start eating real food again, boom—that weight comes right back on.
Still, I get why they’re so appealing. In fact, I’ve tried a few different cleanses in my lifetime. Why? Probably for the same reasons most people do—I was looking for a quick fix.
Even if you think you’ve found THE ultimate detox or cleanse, I strongly encourage you to stop, drop, and run in the other direction.
Because there’s really no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to health and nutrition. You can’t undo weeks of holiday cookies and or a night of over imbibing with a three-day detox. Simply take it one meal at a time and be patient and kind with your body.
OK so what can you do to cure your hangover slash reset your system?
Start by going back to the basics. Focus on consuming whole, real foods like fresh produce, herbs, and spices—and include foods that naturally support the body’s detoxification pathways and organs like the liver and digestive tract.
Our bodies are very smart and they will do whatever has to be done to maintain homeostasis, meaning they’ve already got the sitch under control. The best thing you can do is nourish those systems so they have everything they need to do their jobs effectively.
LOVE YOUR LIVER
We all know we have a liver and that’s it’s responsible for detoxifying but you may not know all of what it does. Since you probably don’t have the attention span for a full physiology spiel today (seeing how it’s the day after New Year’s Eve), I’ll keep this super short.
The liver’s three main jobs are as follows:
- Filter the blood
- Synthesize and secrete bile, which is used by the body to get rid of fat-soluble toxins and cholesterol
- Enzymatically breakdown undesirable chemicals in the body
To be able to do these jobs well, it needs to be nourished with the right kinds of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. And that’s exactly what this detoxifying ginger berry beet citrus smoothie offers.
So what makes this beautiful pink drink so cleansing and detoxifying?
One of my favorite sources of healthy fats, avocados promote the production of glutathione—a powerful antioxidant preferred by the liver to help neutralize free radicals. Another benefit to including avocado (or any other healthy fat of your choosing, like coconut oil) in your smoothie is to enhance the bioavailability of fat soluble vitamins and phytochemicals from the other ingredients. I went into great detail on the benefits of avocados in the Curated Kitchen series, so check it out!
The ultimate liver food! I also covered beets in the Curated Kitchen series—read up on them here. These vibrant hued root veggies contain gobs of betalains, which are known to be amazing at protecting against free radicals—even more so than your typical tomato or orange carrot—and help the detox process. Beets also contain betaine, a nutrient that helps the liver eliminate toxins by reducing the amount of fatty deposits, which is where toxins are stored. Additionally, beets are high in vitamin C and rich in pectin, a source of dietary fiber that helps flush unwanted compounds from the body.
A potent anti-inflammatory herb that is also essential to helping the liver in the detoxification process. Specifically, curcumin (the yellow pigment in turmeric) aids the liver in detoxifying cancer-causing compounds and prevents overproduction of enzymes that may contribute to the development of tumors. Black pepper enhances the bioavailability of turmeric, meaning it makes it easier for the body to absorb and utilize the medicinal herb. So even though it seems odd, don’t skip adding a dash of black pepper to your smoothie!
Spicy and full of flavor, ginger is anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants. More importantly, it helps stimulate digestion, which is important for cleansing the body of unwanted toxins and waste. It also stimulates the circulatory and nervous systems. It can also alleviate or reduce nausea, which is a common with a hangover. Plus, it tastes delicious with the other ingredients in this smoothie. Feel free to add more if you want to give it even more kick!
Slightly sweet and full of electrolytes, coconut water is an excellent choice for liquid in any smoothie, but especially one designed to support cleansing and detoxification. Especially if you’ve over done it with one too many celebratory drinks (champagne, I’m looking at you!), the potassium and magnesium in coconut water will help replenish lost stores and may reduce headaches.
The lime and orange in this smoothie are excellent sources of vitamin C, a well-known antioxidant and one that helps protect against oxidative damage to the liver. Our liver needs vitamin C to properly process and remove toxins and there’s few better sources than citrus, not to mention it’s winter citrus season—bonus!
These tiny seeds are full of fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and protein. They will increase satiety and again the fiber helps bind unwanted material in the digestive tract so it can be excreted.
Berries are loaded with phytochemicals and antioxidants, which protect against free radicals—the compounds responsible for oxidative stress and illness. They are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamin C, and are lower in sugar compared to other fruits. That said, the fructose in the fruit has been shown to help the body metabolize alcohol faster so if it’s a hangover you’re trying to combat, bottoms up! Raspberries are also a good source of fiber, which helps support the digestive system—one of our most important detoxification organs!
While I won’t promise that this smoothie will cure all your ailments after a night out or a month of overly indulgent meals, I assure you it’s a great choice to reset and rebalance your body. I mean you have to start somewhere, right?
All of these ingredients come together to make a bright and refreshingly tangy smoothie that will perk up your mood and make you feel like a new person. Start your morning with this smoothie and the rest of the day will be a breeze!
Cross my heart.
Detoxifying Ginger Berry Beet Smoothie
vegan, paleo, sugar free, gluten free
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 0 minutes
1 small raw organic beet, peeled and chopped
1 cup coconut water (or filtered water)
1/2 cup ice
1/2 avocado, pitted
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cara cara or blood orange, peel removed
1/4 tsp fresh ginger root or ginger powder
1 tbs chia seeds
1-2 tsp fresh turmeric root or ground turmeric powder
dash of sea salt
dash of black pepper
1 packet stevia (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blend until smooth.
- Pour into two glasses and enjoy immediately!
This smoothie can be made up to 1-2 days in advance or frozen for up to two months. Simply blend all ingredients and pour into a freezer safe container. Voila! A cleansing meal or snack ready on demand!
CHEERS to a happy and healthy 2016!
Also, if you haven’t had a chance to share your thoughts, hopes and dreams for Honestly Nourished in the coming year, I’d love you forever if you’d take five minutes to answer this short survey for me.
OK I’ll love you forever no matter what, but you just might get a little goodie package in the mail from me with some of my travel-friendly snacks and other surprises as a token of my appreciation for your readership and time! 😉 Nudge, nudge.
YOUR THOUGHTS >>>
What are your goals and resolutions for the new year? I’m focusing on cultivating self-care and stepping out of my healthy eating comfort zone a bit more…i.e. living more 80/20 versus 95/5 with regards to healthy. It’s scary sometimes but also much needed, you know? I’d love to hear about your health and wellness resolutions—kindly share a comment below!
NEW YEAR, NEW YOU >>>
Ready to kick-start your journey to a healthier, happier you in 2016, but not sure where to start (aside from this delicious smoothie, obvi)? Let’s work together! Through 1:1 Nutrition Coaching, I’ll help you create a blueprint to elevate your health and nutrition with small, simple changes that will set you up for a lifetime of success and I’ll be there cheering you on every step of the way. Learn more here or email me to set up a free 15-minute chat.