Celery Smoothie

Last Updated on Monday, 20 June 2011 10:51 Written by Flax Wednesday, 1 June 2011 08:48

In order to achieve optimal weight, a diet should be based around vegetables.  Unfortunately, most of us don’t eat nearly enough vegetables.  A great way to rectify this imbalance is to begin with a celery smoothie.   There are two steps in correcting a diet.   Increasing consumption of healthy foods while also decreasing consumption of un-healthy foods.  The celery  smoothie is ideal for this two pronged task.   Celery is the ideal diet food.  It helps to dry up dampness (phlegm/fat) caused by excess sugar consumption and it also helps us to curb our sugar cravings.  This  makes it easier to begin on our path towards healthier eating.

When I make a smoothie, I add a variety of other vegetables using a few different principles.  The  first thing that I am looking for is watery vegetables that will give it a more liquid texture.  Examples of these are cucumbers and sprouts.   The next thing I am looking for is a bit of sweetness, here I use a carrot.  After that I will add a bitter vegetable (like a radish) to help the celery clean out the dampness and toxins in the system.  On occasion, I will add a member of the onion family, I prefer scallions for their more gentle flavor.

The fact that it’s pureed helps for two reasons.  The smoothie is condensed and so a large amount of vegetables looks a lot smaller.  The second reason is because unfortunately, many of us have forgotten how to chew our food. (Each bite of food should be chewed between thirty to fifty times).   Starting a diet with a smoothie will help us to digest better, until we once again, relearn how to chew whole grains and firm vegetables.

I recommend making a batch of this in the morning, serve it on a bed of quinoa or brown rice and don’t eat anything else until it’s finished.  There should usually be enough for more than one meal.   Chances are, after finishing it all up,  you won’t be hungry for anything else.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head celery, leaves attached
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 package mung bean sprouts
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 radish
  • 1 scallion
  • Olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Atlantic grey sea salt

Puree all the ingredients in a food processor and serve on a bed of quinoa or brown rice.

Enjoy!

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Celery Soup

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 December 2010 02:42 Written by Flax Wednesday, 29 December 2010 01:54

Celery is an amazing food. It is one of the only vegetables that we use the root, the stalks and the leaves as well. While in the West, it is not as common to cook with the leaves, due to their strong bitter taste, it is commonly used in Middle Eastern dishes. The bitter flavor is the one of the most ignored flavors in foods. The bitter flavor cleanses the blood and allows the removal of toxins. Eating bitter foods helps us to deal with the bitter part of life. Eating only sweet foods resembles a desire for life to be like a Disney movie, always a happy ending. (Is that what life is really like?) While the celery stalks and root are bitter as well, the sweet helps to cover a little of the bitter taste and helps it be palatable to people who are not used to eating bitter foods. Emotionally, we understand that the bitter and the sweet go together and that is where we can find happiness.
Celery is an amazing food for another reason as well. Eating celery helps cut cravings for sweet. All bitter foods do that, but celery helps to dry damp conditions from having eaten too much sweet in the past. That is what makes celery the perfect diet food. Celery combined with lemon is useful for diabetes, high blood pressure or headaches caused by a heat condition (red face and irritability). Celery is also high in silicon which helps to renew joints, bones, arteries and all connective tissues, this makes it useful in the treatment of arthritis, gout, rheumatism and nerve inflammation.
To kick off a diet in the spring or summer I would recommend a green smoothie made with celery, radishes, sprouts and carrots. For the cold winter months however I recommend starting with celery soup which will allow you to benefit from the healing properties of the celery but in a warmer fashion.

Ingredients:

olive oil
1 celeriac (celery root), diced
1 large celery, stalks and leaves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 liters water
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet potato, chopped small
2 carrots, chopped
1/4 cup green lentils
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 bunch coriander
turmeric
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, saute the onion and the celery stalks for 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the remaining vegetables and spices and simmer for 1/2 hour or longer. Add the chopped celery leaves, coriander and parsley. Cover and simmer for five more minutes.

Serve warm accompanied with garlic bread and black-eyed pea pate.

Enjoy!

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Nutrition Workshop #3 The Spleen

Last Updated on Wednesday, 1 June 2011 02:30 Written by Flax Wednesday, 1 June 2011 02:30

Spleen/Pancreas (לבלב)

The spleen/pancreas in Chinese Medical theory is the organ that is most responsible for the digestion and distribution of food and nutrients. Someone with a healthy spleen will have a healthy digestive system.  These people are hard-working, practical and responsible.  Those with a weak spleen are characterized by chronic fatigue, both physical and mental stagnation, weak digestion, hard lumps in the abdomen, and loose stools.

One of the common features found in people with weak spleens is excess dampness. Excess dampness is a Chinese Medical term that refers to a condition with excess mucus and/or excess weight.   Overconsumption of meat and dairy cause the thickest and stickiest mucus buildup.  The commonly eaten foods, wheat and sugar are also major contributors to mucus buildup.  Other likely contributors to excess mucus buildup are; processed and refined foods, toxins found in “food” and water, meals which include too many food combinations, late night eating, and overeating.

Foods that help to heal the spleen are:

  •  all orange vegetables (especially the sweet potato)
  •  whole grains (especially rye, amaranth, and quinoa)
  •  bitter vegetables and herbs (including romaine, celery, alfalfa, turnip, and chamomile) 
  • Cooked vegetables are healthier for the spleen but raw vegetables can be eaten during the hotter summer months.

Healing the spleen means improving the digestive system and as a side-effect, losing excess weight.  A healthy spleen means that you won’t need to fight unhealthy cravings for sugary foods and snacks.  This is because you won’t be craving them.  Sounds simple, well it actually is.  One of the methods I use during the summer months to help this process is the Celery Smoothie.  Eat a celery smoothie every day for 2 weeks and see  the results for yourself.

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