Build a Better Smoothie

There are fun smoothies that are sweet treats, and then there are serious smoothies for a major health boost. Kick your smoothie up a level by adding in some veggies and healthy seeds and powders. Scroll to the end of the recipe to learn how these add-ins can give your body super fuel.

Base:

2 stalks of celery

½ lemon (unpeeled), cut into four pieces

½ lime (unpeeled), cut into four pieces

2-3 handfuls of greens

½ handful of parsley

2-4 scoops protein powder (pumpkin, pea, or hemp)

4-8 Tbsp of seeds (hemp, flax, sesame, or chia)

1-inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled)

1-inch piece of fresh turmeric (peeled)

1 Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 8 slices

1 cup fresh/frozen fruit (add another cup if you need it to be sweeter)

A couple dashes of black pepper (to help your body absorb nutrients, especially the turmeric)

2 cups water

1 cup ice (You can use an additional cup of water instead of using ice.)

Optional add-ins:

3-4 small pieces of carrots

5-6 slices of cucumber

Powders (Amla, Spirulina, Matcha, Moringa, Goji berry)

Cinnamon

Notes:

If you need it to be thicker, add more protein powder/seeds and/or use less water.

Blend in a high-powered blender. I use and recommend Vitamix.

Use organic produce as much as possible. Rotate your greens each week. Use fruit that is in season or frozen fruit. Store in mason jars or stainless steel cups for up to three days.

This recipe makes 7 cups (56 ounces).

Health information:

Celery–contains antioxidants and polysaccharides that act as anti-inflammatories

Lemon–good source of vitamin C

Lime–packed with antioxidants which fight free radicals

Parsley–contains high levels of vitamin K

Pumpkin protein powder–good source of omega fatty acids, magnesium, and zinc

Hemp seeds–contains all 20 amino acids, including the 9 our bodies can’t produce

Flax seeds–high in antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids

Sesame seeds–good source of copper, manganese, and calcium

Chia seeds–good source of protein, calcium, and Omega-3s

Amla–(also called Indian Gooseberry) high in phytochemicals and quercetin

Spirulina–one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth

Matcha green tea–the best food source of catechin antioxidants

Moringa–packed with protein, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium

Goji Berry–(also called wolfberry) provide 500 times more vitamin C than oranges

Sources:

https://draxe.com/nutrition/benefits-of-celery/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/lemon-nutrition/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/limes/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/parsley-benefits/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/7-hemp-seed-benefits-nutrition-profile/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/10-flax-seed-benefits-nutrition-facts/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/sesame-seeds/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/chia-seeds-benefits-side-effects/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/10-medicinal-ginger-health-benefits/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/turmeric-curcumin-benefits/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/indian-gooseberry/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/spirulina-benefits/

https://draxe.com/recipes/matcha-green-tea-latte/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/moringa-benefits/

https://draxe.com/nutrition/goji-berry-benefits/

New Online Class!

My newest class is called “9 Tools for Healthy Aging,” and I would love to have you join me online!

The class contains 10 pre-recorded interactive multimedia sessions. Since this is not a live class and you will have 24/7 access to my eCoaching website, you can watch the sessions anytime anywhere and learn at your own pace.

Each session is less than 30 minutes long, and seven of the sessions are under 15 minutes, so they are quick and convenient and will fit into any schedule.

Class Features

  • Interactive Activities (optional)
  • Quizzes to Check for Understanding (optional)
  • Discussion Board (where you can ask me questions and interact with other classmates)
  • 36 Full-Color Printable Worksheets (including recipes, meal planners, note pages, goal planners, and health journal pages)

All sessions are taught by Dr. William Sears, M.D. and the staff of the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. Dr. Sears has had a successful medical practice for over 40 years, and the information he shares in this class is the result of his extensive research and experience helping thousands of families thrive in their health! I will be joining you in the class to facilitate discussions, answer any questions you have, and encourage you in your health journey.

Topics Covered in the Class

  • How to reduce your risk of cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and arthritis
  • Easy ways to incorporate daily physical activity
  • Methods to decrease pain and inflammation
  • How to plan meals
  • Tips for losing weight
  • Stress management techniques
  • Ways to boost energy
  • And more!

Introductory Price is $40


To sign up or ask me questions, send an email to lisakhodge@gmail.com

Looking forward to helping you create a healthy lifestyle as you invest in your future!

Morning Stretches

One of the best things about my morning routine is stretching. It helps me wake up and get ready to take on the physical challenges of the day. Stretching has many benefits including improving your posture, reducing stress, and preventing injuries. This series of stretches only takes about 5 minutes.

Thanks to my daughter for taking these pics! I usually hold each stretch to a count of 7, 14, or 21. I have a thing about multiples of 7. 🙂

Stretch your arms in front of you as far as you can.
Tighten your stomach muscles while pressing your lower back to the floor. This stretch is more like an exercise. Tighten, press, release, and then repeat 20 more times.
Hamstring stretch. Be sure to stretch both legs. 🙂
Don’t forget the other leg. 🙂
Now take the bottom of your leg, move it across your body, and hold. Stretch each leg.
So relaxing! Don’t forget to switch sides.
Inner thigh stretch.
Flex your feet back and forth several times, and then stretch both arms toward your feet.
One of my favorite stretches! Don’t forget to stretch both sides.
Front thigh stretch.
Can’t forget the arms. 🙂
See how far you can bend to each side.
Stretch each hip.
Bend your knees slightly, and then try to touch your toes.
Hip flexor stretch. Don’t forget to stretch each side.

Drop a comment below if you stretch everyday or if you would like to add stretching to your daily routine. Let me know what your favorite stretches are!

Source: https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/5107/top-10-benefits-of-stretching/

Understanding Heart Disease, Diabetes, Blood Sugar, and Insulin

When you see your doctor at your annual exam, he or she will focus on heart disease and diabetes prevention. These diseases are two of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States. While many people understand the seriousness of these diseases, few understand the link between heart disease, diabetes, blood sugar, and insulin. Understanding how these four things are interrelated will help you make choices to support a healthy heart and stabilize insulin levels.

In 2017, 4.6% of adults in South Carolina had heart disease. In the same year, 13% of adults living in South Carolina had diabetes. Both of these statistics were higher than the national average. These statistics show us how common heart disease and diabetes are and how important it is to prevent them. 

To understand how heart disease and diabetes are related, first we need to understand the relationship between blood sugar and insulin. All cells in our body need energy. Cells get this energy from sugar (glucose) in the food we eat. As the sugar in our blood increases, it alerts the pancreas to release insulin. The insulin escorts the sugar into the cells to use for energy. Too much sugar and too much insulin can cause the cells to become resistant to insulin, and the cells will not allow sugar to enter the cells. The body then sends the excess sugar to be stored in other parts of the body for later use—usually in the belly and liver.

The excess sugar in the blood attaches to proteins, which changes their structure and makes them stiff and sticky. These sticky proteins are called aging proteins or AGEs (advanced glycation end products). AGEs become sludge in the body’s tissues. This sludge prevents growth and repair of body tissues. The accumulation of AGE sludge is called glycation. One common place where glycation occurs is in the linings of arteries, which causes heart disease. Here we see how heart disease and diabetes are related: they are both caused by high blood sugar. In diabetes, high blood sugar causes insulin resistance. In heart disease, high blood sugar causes glycation in arteries.

Most people associate heart disease with high cholesterol, but many people are not aware that high blood sugar is a cause of heart disease. According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, two-thirds of people with diabetes (high blood sugar) die of heart disease or stroke. To decrease your risk of heart disease and diabetes, lower your stress levels, stay lean, exercise regularly, and change your diet to stabilize insulin levels. Eating complex carbohydrates that are naturally combined with protein, fat, or fiber can help stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels.





Sources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Leading causes of death[Data file]. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm

Sears, W. (2010). Prime-time health: A scientifically proven plan for feeling young and living longer. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company.*

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. (2014). State of the heart: Heart disease in South Carolina[Data file]. Retrieved from https://dc.statelibrary.sc.gov/bitstream/handle/10827/19510/DHEC_State_of_the_Heart_2015-07.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

United Health Foundation. (2017). Diabetes in South Carolina in 2017[Data file]. Retrieved from https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/annual/measure/Diabetes/state/SC

United Health Foundation. (2017). Heart disease in South Carolina in 2017[Data file]. Retrieved from https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/annual/measure/CHD/state/SC


Image source: http://chittagongit.com/icon/heart-disease-icon-18.html

*affiliate link

Shopping for Healthy Foods on a Budget

I often hear people say they can’t afford healthy food. That’s a myth! With a little effort, you can become a pro at buying real, nutrient-dense foods at great prices. Here are some tips for eating healthy on a budget:

1. Plan your meals and snacks for the entire week. Avoid impulse purchases.

2. Include real (unprocessed) foods that fill you up and will make you feel full longer (foods packed with protein, fiber, and good fats). Examples: nuts, seeds, veggies, fruits, eggs, lentils, beans, brown (or wild) rice, steel cut oats, popcorn

3. Make your shopping list from your meal plan. Never shop when you are hungry!

4. Shop for sale items.

5. Buy produce that is in season.

6. Buy in bulk.

7. Visit your local farmer’s market.

8. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).

9. Shop online discount sites. My favorite is vitacost.com

10. Eat at least one meatless meal per week.

11. Grow your own food.

12. Cook from scratch. 

13. Eat more meals at home.

Sources: 

Prime-Time Health by William Sears, MD*

https://www.cornucopia.org/2015/03/10-ways-to-eat-organic-on-a-budget/

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

*affiliate link