In getting prepared for your daily smoothie, here is some information about essentials to have before you get blending

Here are some essentials to have on hand so you are ready to start enjoying your smoothies right on Feb 1st! Do a big grocery shop, and get blending!

SmoothieBlenders

A regular blender such as an Oster or a Hamilton Beach will work fine, but you may find you need to stop frequently and stir the ingredients to allow for better blending, especially if the ingredients are frozen. You may also need to add more fluid then suggested in the recipe to get a good blend

The NutriBullet is a good option to make blending easier, and isn’t overly expensive. The container is a little on the small side, so you may have to adjust ingredient amounts to fit, but otherwise will definitely get the job done

The Ninja is a very powerful and functional blender that is similar to the Vitamix without the same price tag. It will definitely get the job done without too much difficulty

The Vitamix is the Cadillac of blenders. It could probably blend a car if you needed it to! While it does boast a hefty price tag to go with the hefty blending, you can purchase it with payment plans from The Shopping Channel. You definitely won’t have any problems blending ice, frozen fruit, or any combination of ingredients we might slap together

Ingredients

Frozen Berries – You can use fresh, but the frozen kind add a nice texture and smoothness to your smoothie. If you purchase flash frozen, all the nutrients are maintained in the fruit

Frozen Mangoes – Mangoes are a pain in the butt to peel and de-stone, so this makes it quick and easy for rushed mornings. Plus, this way, they are always ripe!

Ripe Bananas – Bananas are often added to smoothies to give natural sweetness, they help the smoothie blend nicely, and add creaminess and thickness to the finished smoothie. To prevent them from going overripe, peel the bananas and cut into chunks and freeze. Then pull out the frozen bananas to use in your smoothie

Fresh Fruits – Whatever you like here. Oranges, kiwis, grapes, apples, pears, pineapple, melons – the sky is the limit! The recipes I’m giving you will often have only a few ingredients, but feel free to add any additional fruits or veggies

Fresh Veggies – Spinach, kale, cucumber, and lettuce are popular veggies to add to smoothies, and you will rarely be able to taste them. You can also add carrot if you have a blender powerful enough to blend them. As above, feel free to add extra veg to your smoothie, even if it’s not indicated in the recipe

Avocado – This can be a great way to add healthy fats to your smoothie, and it will make it smoother and creamier

Fluids – There is tons of variety that can be added here. Most of the time, the recipe will give you the fluid to use, but feel free to use your favourites. It could be plain water, rice or almond milk, coconut water, or a juice such as orange or carrot juice. For your juices, make sure there is no sugar added and they are not from concentrate i.e. Ceres, Simply Orange, Bolthouse Farms Juices, etc.

Protein Powder – This is definitely optional. Most of the recipes do not include a protein powder, but if you want to crank up the protein of your smoothie, feel free to add a scoop of your favourite protein powder to the blender. Be sure to blend up all your ingredients first, and then add in your protein and blend for just a few seconds to combine.

Nuts – Some smoothies may call for added nuts like walnut or almond, or nut butters such as peanut butter or almond butter. They enhance the flavour of the smoothie, make it more filling, and provide protein, healthy fats and fibres

Seeds – Some of the recipes will include flax seed, hemp seed, and chia seed among others. They often add a nutty flavour, but nutritionally they add healthy oils, fibre and protein. You can substitute for your favourites, and you can add them to any smoothie whether it’s an ingredient or not, so a good ingredient to keep around

Liquid Sweetener (NOT the artificial kind!!!) – some of the recipes call for some added sweetness to make it more palatable, to enhance the flavours, or to mask some of the veggie flavours. This is optional, you don’t always have to add something, and conversely, you can add some to smoothies that don’t call for it if you need the added sweetness. You can also substitute between the sweeteners if you want. Just remember that it will add some calories to your smoothie. Common options include honey, maple syrup, stevia, xylitol or coconut nectar.

Solutions to help you heal quickly from a winter cold

So you were doing everything you could to prevent getting sick this winter, but sadly, one of the plethora of viruses making the rounds this cold and flu season got ahold of you, and now you’re sick.  So now what do you do?  Below are a number of different solutions to help you heal quickly and reduce the severity of your infection.

  1. Cold and Flu Essentials Kit
    • This year, Dr. Cristina has prepared Cold and Flu Essentials Kits for both adults and kids and these are available for purchase at Sana Health Centre
    • There are supplements in the kits for the prevention of colds and flus, and to strengthen the immune system, but there are also botanicals and  nutrients in the kits that can be used to effectively treat an infection at the first sign of symptoms
    • Call Sana Health Centre today and speak with Dr. Cristina to see if the Cold and Flu Essentials Kit is right for you
  2. Natural Flu Shots
    • Many of you already know about using the Natural Flu Shot for prevention of colds and flus, and for strengthening the immune system, but did you know you can also use it to treat colds and flus?
    • I have seen great results with using the Natural Flu Shot in treating colds and flus in practice when patients call me when they are first seeing symptoms come up.  I have also seen lingering coughs etc. get better quickly when patients do an extra Natural Flu Shot
    • It is completely safe to do in between maintenance and prevention doses
    • You can’t overdose on it, so you can use it as frequently as necessary to get over your current cold or flu
    • And just as a reminder, the Natural Flu Shot is safe in infants, elderly, pregnant patients, and patients on medications.  It’s safe for everybody!  And, it’s done orally, so no need to worry about another needle prick!
    • Feel free to call Sana Health Centre for more information at 905-265-0144 or check out our Natural Flu Shot webpage.
  3. Drink Lots of Fluids
    • Fluids will help you stay well hydrated, especially if you are sweating a lot due to fever, or are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting and losing fluids that way
    • Drinking lots of water will also help to flush your system, and the bugs along with it!
    • Try making honey, lemon and ginger tea: slice some peeled, fresh ginger into a small pot of water, bring it to a boil, and allow to simmer, covered for 10-15 minutes. Add about a quarter of a lemon including the rind, and a teaspoon of honey. Drink as often as you like throughout the day.  Click here for reasons on how the tea helps.
  4. Watch Your Diet
    • You want to make sure you have a healthy diet rich in fruits, veggies and good nutrients so your immune system has all it needs to fight off infection
    • Avoid sugar as it will decrease your immune system function by 50% for the next number of hours, plus bugs love to use sugar as fuel to help them multiply
    • Garlic, onions, ginger, turmeric and cayenne are all warming, and are great anti-microbials
    • Consider the BRAT diet if you have diarrhea:  Banana, Rice, Applesauce and Toast
  5. Make Some Chicken Soupo-CHICKEN-SOUP-HEALING-facebook
    • While we’re on the subject of diet, Grandma was right:  make some chicken soup to help combat what ails you
    • Research has confirmed that the overall properties of chicken soup actually help your body heal from the common cold!
    • So make yourself a big pot, or bribe someone to do it for you, and enjoy!
  6. Warming Sock Treatment
    • While this may sound like slow torture, it’s incredible how well it works to pull out any congestion in the body, including mucous build up in the nose, sinuses, and lungs, as well as helping reduce headache and sore throat symptoms
    • Directions:  right before bed…
      1. Ensure your feet are warm prior to beginning treatment
      2. Take a very thin pair of cotton socks and run them under cool water
      3. Wring them out completely
      4. Put on this cotton pair of socks, and over top put on a dry, thick wool pair of socks
      5. Go to bed
      6. Don’t remove socks until the socks are dry and your feet are warm (this will actually happen, I promise!)
      7. If you feel you cannot wait this out, and you remove the socks while they are still wet and cold, ensure you warm your feet back up before going back to bed
  7. Get Plenty of Rest
    • Your body needs rest and relaxation for all that internal work your immune system has to do to fight the bugs, and recuperate afterwards
    • The harder you push, the longer it will take to get over your infection, and the worse you will feel after
    • Give yourself permission to take a few days off, get some good quality rest, and come back stronger than you were before!

Please remember that this article is for information purposes only, and is not intended to assess, diagnose or treat specific conditions. Please speak with your healthcare provider for how this information could apply to your overall health situation.