Liquid Gold – Nutrient-rich Smoothies, Juices, and ElixirsNaty Howard April 1, 2016
Liquid Power Nutrition is the name I have given to the process of integrating nutrient-dense, fresh-pressed, living juices, smoothies, and elixirs into daily life for healthy gene expression, longevity, radiant health, and for the emergence of our sacred hearts. This is a delicious technique for helping one’s inner shine to glow brighter while recreating oneself as a living sanctuary.
We can use it to reclaim our sacredness, clarity of thought and action, our responsibility over our lives and the Earth, and ownership of our bodies. It’s a tool for understanding the nature of our minds and the possibilities that exist for making the life of our dreams the life that we live.
What we choose to eat and drink has the power to revolutionize our consciousness and that of the planet. The depth and variety of mineralization available to our body systems through what we eat and drink can lead us through two very different paths – the path to radiant health or the path to disease.
Juicing is the art of adding fresh pressed juices to one’s diet. For deeper healing and greater alkalization, the juice of vegetable greens is recommended. Living fresh pressed juices (unpasteurized) are the essence of food in liquid form. In a good quality juicer, fibre is removed from the vegetables and fruits, leaving behind only structured water full of nutrients, minerals, oxygen, and life force.
Being a fibre-less liquid, juice is a pre-digested food. Undertaking a fast with this type of easily absorbed nutrition works to free up a lot of the energy normally used for digestion and redirects it towards detoxification, cleansing, repair, rebuilding, rejuvenating, and regenerating processes. Converting vegetables to juice helps to liberate key nutrients and enzymes from the tough plant cell walls, allowing our bodies to receive most of the nutrition – which acts as a number one alkalizer!
The recipe below has become our home staple, and is a favourite of my 12-year-old son, who can’t get enough of it!
Everyday Green Ginger Miracle
Drinking this in the morning on an empty stomach is a great way to start the day! Jar it up, share it, drink it up, and let it infuse you from the inside out. (Makes one litre)
- 1 bunch celery
- 1 cucumber (great for spring and summer, but avoid in the fall and winter as it is too cooling)
- 5 – 6 green leaves such as kale, collards, chard, spinach, lettuce; variety is key (one day I use kale, the next day a different green to ensure a variety of nutrients)
- Sprouts – sunflower, pea, buckwheat, alfalfa, clover (variety is key)
- 1 or 2 green apples
- 1 lemon, no rind
- 1/2 to 1 inch long piece of ginger
- 1/2 to 1 inch long piece of turmeric (Optional: a great anti-inflammatory; I believe in always adding synergy to everything I do and drink, but turmeric does add a bit of a kick to the juice. Get curious, and experiment with it.)
Juice all the ingredients through a juicer. Depending on the juicer, alternating from leafy greens, to celery, apple and so on, would be a good idea as to allow the juicer to run more smoothly. Drink. Feel the miracle.
Smoothies and Soups
Smoothies, and in particular green smoothies, have won the hearts of many as they contain fibre that acts like a broom, sweeping out toxins from the large intestine. In addition, smoothies are a great alkalizer of the blood and tissues. Smoothies, or blended foods, are also considered as high octane nutrition because a big part of the digestive process (the chopping and churning) is already done by the blender, allowing our bodies an easier time digesting the food without spending lots of energy.
Along our journey into liquid nutrition, it is important to honour and remember all of the ‘six tastes’ in food. Here in Canada, we have four seasons. As we transition from freezing winter into cool spring weather, a savoury, raw, warm, blended smoothie (or soup) will serve us best. This is because the warming tastes, herbs, and spices will keep our bodies in balance with the coolness outdoors. (On the other hand, sweet smoothies are delicious and cooling in nature, so they are more appropriate for the warm days of late spring and summer.)
The following savoury recipe can be made as a rich warming soup, or as a savoury smoothie, and it is in the art of staying curious that perhaps our greatest revelations will become conscious to us in our day to day experience. In following a raw vegan lifestyle in the North, I have found great satisfaction, sustenance, and a deep source of nourishment through understanding the six tastes of Ayurveda which guide my food choices each season.
Spring beckons the earthly rhythm of detoxification and, as such, it brings forth all sorts of wild edibles that enhance and support our bodies through the detoxification process. Getting to know the wild, and not so wild, allies within our plant kingdom will continue to bring us into a more intimate relationship with our food and with the earth itself.
Wild Edible Mint Pea Soup
This recipe can be easily modified to become a delicious cream of celery or cream of asparagus soup. It is a good example of how versatile we can be in the kitchen. (Makes 2 to 3 servings.)
- 2 cups frozen green peas, thawed (or celery or asparagus)
- 1 avocado
- 2 cups mixed wild edibles such as dandelion*, lamb’s quarters, nettles, spinach, or chard (Note: dandelion can be bitter and strong in taste, so adding less will create a more soothing experience. Stinging nettle can be blended into soups or smoothies, or used for tea infusions, but should not be eaten raw.)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup fresh mint (or basil)
- 3 cups spring water (in spring and summer, add water at room temperature; in fall and winter, use warm/just below boiling point water to make a nice warm soothing soup)
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional: gives a cheesy taste)
- 1 tsp gluten-free tamari sauce
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Mint or basil as garnish
Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender until smooth. Garnish, serve, enjoy!
Lady Luck Green Smoothie
Another wonderful and kid-friendly smoothie recipe that has won our hearts is this – Lady Luck herself. Green and sweet indeed, but watch your children lick their fingers; my 6-year-old does. (Makes 2 servings.)
- 1 mango
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of kale or spinach (or a combination of both)
- 1 cup of spring water
Blend all ingredients together. Serve.
Elixirs, on the other hand, are medicinal infusions of love. They are often based on tea infusions from medicinal herbs and wild edibles. They can be synergistically combined with a variety of superfoods to enhance the healthy gene expression of our core.
Elixirs, which have been catching the trendy waves of our health awareness, can encompass everything from a one-ingredient powerhouse to a complicated assembly of ingredients. So anchor into your intention to deeply heal, support yourself on your journey, and stay curious. Allow yourself to play with these recipes, and feel the benefits of your actions. From the simplest steps to the final assembly of the masterpiece, each step has a roll to play in your own emergence.
The following recipes are meant to provide you with the awareness that sometimes just one ingredient is all we need for the earth’s bounty to help us deeply detoxify, cleanse, rebuild, repair, rejuvenate, and be nourished.
Ancient Wisdom Tea
I like to make a batch of this tea, and re-use it all week. Just keep adding water to the mix as you drink the tea, then re-boil and keep drinking! All of the ingredients are available in health food stores and herb shops.
- 1 Tbsp Pau d’Arco bark (antiviral, anti-candida)
- 1 Tbsp Cat’s claw bark (antiviral, anti-candida)
- 2 Tbsp reishi mushroom (or 2 dried strips)
- 1 Tbsp chaga mushroom chunks
- 1 Tbsp horsetail herb
- 2 Tbsp goji berries
- 1 Tbsp red ginseng (optional)
- 8 cups of water
- Raw honey or Xylitol (optional)
Cover all ingredients (except honey or Xylitol) with water in a glass pot and heat to just below boiling point. Lower temperature and allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes. Allow to cool down a bit, add sweetener of choice, then strain into a cup. Or let it cool completely and make the best iced tea ever!
Stinging Nettle Tea Infusion
Sometimes less is more. Sometimes all we need is a tea infusion made with one ingredient, or a few ingredients, to remineralize our bones and build us up. The following tea infusion does just that, and I chose to include it because it is important to remember the deeply nourishing qualities of the wild edibles that are growing right in our own back yards! Nettles are powerhouses of nutrition that help build bone density, strengthen fingernails, aid adrenals, and improve our digestion, among other things. They are among the first herbs to surge out of the ground in the springtime.
- 1 oz fresh or dried nettle leaves
- 1 litre glass jar
- Boiling water
Add nettle leaves to your jar, then fill up the jar with boiling water right to the top. Stir it with a wooden spoon. Let it steep for at least 4 hours or overnight. Add sweetener of choice. Drink up. Rebuild from the inside out.
Anti-inflammatory Mangosteen Aloe Power Boost
If you are dealing with inflammation within your body and perhaps on your skin, this recipe can be a helpful tool along your healing journey. Mangosteen is a great anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial superfruit. And, when combined with aloe vera, it has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits and skin-clearing effects. Together they boost the immune system. (Makes one serving.)
- 2 grapefruits, juiced
- 2 oz mangosteen juice (available at health food stores)
- 2 oz aloe juice (or filet your own aloe leaf)
Blend all ingredients in the blender for a few seconds. Serve. Drink. Feel the power.
The Ultimate Mayan Heart Power Elixir
- 3 cups warm / hot Ancient Wisdom Tea (recipe above)
- 2 tsp to 1 Tbsp maca powder
- 2 tsp to 1 Tbsp lucuma powder
- 2 tsp to 1 Tbsp mesquite powder
- 1 Tbsp bee pollen
- 1 Tbsp goji berries
- 2 Tbsp sweetener of choice (raw honey, maple syrup, or Xylitol. If you are dealing with candida, Xylitol is your best sweetener ally)
- 2 Tbsp unrefined coconut butter (or splash of nut milk)
- Pinch of cayenne
Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend on medium speed for 30 seconds. Drink it right away.
Mugwort Visionary Tea Infusion Overnight Tea Infusion
- 1 cup of fresh mugwort leaves (or 1/2 cup dried mugwort leaves – check with your body. I like my infusions and teas light, so will use less. Play with it to see what you like)
- 4 cups of boiling water
- Sweetener of choice (raw honey or Xylitol) to taste; to be added in the morning
Place leaves in a one litre glass mason jar. Add boiling water, cover, and let steep. In the morning, you can strain the leaves and add your sweetener of choice, or keep them in the jar and drink the tea infusion throughout the day.
- 1 handful of fresh mugwort leaves
- 2 cups boiling water
- Sweetener of choice (raw honey or Xylitol) to taste
Let the tea steep for 5 minutes. Drink. Enjoy. Repeat. (Don’t steep for too long, or it will become very bitter)
NB: With mugwort, you need to use it, then take a break from it after the sixth day of continuous use. Mugwort contains a chemical called thujone which, in large quantities, can be toxic to the system. With great magic comes greater responsibility. Pregnant women should not take mugwort.
Juices, smoothies, and elixirs are excellent tools for restoring vitality, repairing nutrient deficiencies, and remineralizing the body. They promote optimal health and longevity, and can address many of the health challenges we face today. By consuming liquid nutrition, we get in touch with ancient plant wisdom that heals the heart and links us to universal consciousness. Yes, there are other factors that affect our health as well, but nutrition is a key player in our wellbeing. We are born to thrive; our bodies want to evolve and our hearts want to emerge. They know their purpose, even if we have forgotten.
Can we remind ourselves of our journey? Can we reconnect with what it means to have a clear bond with our hearts, minds, and our mission? Can we take responsibility for ourselves and reclaim our sacredness along the way?
Everything is interconnected; what happens in the world at large is also happening inside our bodies. The environmental mess we’re in is reflected in the rise of autoimmune diseases, cancer, diabetes, and so on that we are now experiencing collectively. Our inner terrains are collapsing and we cannot sustain ourselves on this road. But we do have options.
It might require that we change our ways – but change is a good thing, especially when we begin to see the fruits of our labour. When we begin to heal, to feel more vibrant, to flow with life force energy and inspire ourselves and those around us, we begin to live more authentic, coherent, and congruent lives.
This isn’t about me or you; it’s about us all – the individual experience that results in a collective change of consciousness and transformation as a new era of peace, respect, sustainability, and love emerges through us – one juice, one smoothie, one elixir at a time.
So, power up your health. Let your inner shine glow!
Naty Howard is the founder of The Realign Ranch, a space dedicated to the sharing of tools for Powering up our Health and Alignment with Soul. She teaches classes and workshops on raw food nutrition, liquid power nutrition, yoga, herbalism, shamanism, permaculture, and forest gardening at the Mandala Garden. She also guides Liquid Feasts & Visions Quests twice a year, both online and onsite at The Realign Ranch. The Realign Ranch – home to the Mandala Garden – is located in the countryside near Mt. Albert, Ontario (15 minutes drive from Newmarket, 20 minutes from Stouffville, 12 minutes from Uxbridge). For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (905) 251-2372. Further information on classes and programs, as well as the digital version of her book, The Power of Radiant Health through Liquid Nutrition, are available online at her website: www.therealignranch.com