For the past few months I’ve been on a personal quest to find mood-enhancing food.
This doesn’t mean that I’m restricting food intake, but rather making smarter choices (from what I already consider an already pretty healthy diet) to see what foods make me feel better not only physically but mentally. Since March, I’ve been consuming about one of these juices a day and I can tell an instant shift in my mood and general sense of wellbeing when I drink it. It’s technically not a pure “juice” because I made it in a Vitamix and didn’t strain it, so it’s actually a smoothie. You can easily make it into a juice if you use Gena’s technique.
What makes it mood-enhancing?
KALE–Antioxidants and folic acid help produce serotonin and it also contains Omega-3 and Omega-6. Omega-3s can be helpful in treating depression
Banana–rich in Tryptophan (helps produce serotonin) and helps fight depression and anxiety
Flax–high in Omega-3s
Mood-Boosting Green Juice
2 cups kale (with woody stem removed)
1/2 of a peeled, sliced cucumber
1/4 frozen mango
1/2 banana or 1 small banana
2 tablespoons ground flax seed (or you could use flax oil if you have that on hand)
10-12 ounces of Coconut Water
The above picture doesn’t show all the kale, because it consumed most of the cutting board
This is a really easy recipe. It is so easy that you can’t even use the “I’m too busy” excuse because this takes less than 5 minutes to make and that includes prep and clean up time!
I layer all the ingredients like so…
Coconut water first, then cucumber and flax seed, followed by the kale, banana, and frozen mango.
Having the heavier fruit on top helps push the kale towards the blades.
After you layer it, blend your little heart out and don’t be afraid to work your way up to a high speed to really blend it well. I use the “pusher” that comes with the Vitamix to help get the blending going but then I let it do its thing for a few minutes.
It’ll look like this when it’s done…
I’m not claiming this will treat/cure any ailment/disorder, but I know for me it works well as a nice little pick me up if I’m feeling a little down or tired.
I like the versatility of this drink because if I’m out of mangoes, I can substitute frozen pineapple or half an apple. You can also add less fruit, if you don’t like your juice/smoothies as sweet. It’s also very portable, and about 2-3 times a week I make a big bottle to go so I can drink it while I’m driving to various outings or appointments.
I generally go out with my sister and friends a few times a week and before I leave my apartment I whip up a big bottle so I can drink it on my way to meet them. I like filling up with something healthy before we go out to eat (and drink). It’s also really energizing, so I find I drink less coffee when I have one of these in the afternoon. My friends have come to expect that I will show up slurping down those last few sips of a kale concoction
My other favorite way to consume it is to have it as the beverage during dinner. I’ve been eating eggs and some raw cheese lately (the kind I get doesn’t have lactose so it doesn’t bother my stomach), and discovered one of my favorite meals is a spelt english muffin topped with raw cheddar and avocado and an egg white puff on the side. Consumed with the green juice it’s a very healthy, balanced, and filling meal. It also takes less than 10 minutes to make I’m really into the quick-and-easy-but-tasty kind of meals.