Morning Nutrient Dense Shake

This is one of my new favorite things to have in the morning. It's packed full of vitamins and minerals, is alkalizing for the body and increases bile production (good for constipation). Given its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, you'll want to get one of these delicious drinks in your system daily. This nutrient dense "shake" provides a powerful dose of vitamins A, K, C, beta-carotene, iron, B vitamins and a healthy dose of good fat and protein (thank you, egg yolk and yogurt) making it a great balanced way to start your day.  

How did I come up with this blend of nourishment and yummy-ness?  

Beginning this year, I started the GAPS (Gut & Pyschology Syndrome) diet to work on healing my digestive system and get a handle on my health issues to include allergies, food sensitivities and eczema. It's been quite a journey so far and is still an ongoing healing process that you will be hearing more about in upcoming posts. The GAPS program (I prefer to use the word program or protocol as I'm not fond of the word diet) is an intensive nutritional program that includes nourishing foods (grain-free and gluten-free) that support healing combined with detox methods to rid the body of toxins. It is essentially designed to seal the gut lining and re-populate the intestines with good bacteria. Thus, creating a digestive environment that is prone towards nourishment instead of toxicity.  It has been successful in treating numerous diseases-autism, depression, digestive disorders and auto-immune disorders to name a few. GAPS was inspired and influenced by the Specific Carbohydrate diet (SCD) created by Elaine Gottschall. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a woman who holds post graduate degrees in both neurology and nutrition, took the Specific Carbohydrate Diet one step further and created a nutritional program (GAPS) for healing autism and digestive disorders. Amazing, right? I know. The connection between gut health and overall health is pretty profound. 60-70% of our immune system is  living in the gastrointestinal tract. The GI tract acts as the gatekeeper of our body, determining what stays in for absorption and assimilation while excreting toxins. Its health is determined by the condition of the gut lining and the number of good flora (aka good bacteria). When the gut lining is damaged or there is lack of enough good beneficial bacteria, we are unable to digest and absorb nutrients from food potentially leading to a wide range of digestive disorders and diseases including chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes and depression. More research and medical attention are being directed towards gut health and it will likely be one of the more significant goals in 21st century medicine. Back to me....Although I've been leading a healthy lifestyle for several years, my digestive situation wasn't always ideal. Overtime, I found that I was getting sick too often, suffering from adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances, allergies and eczema. Why? It all leads back to the gut. So here I am, taking the bull by the horns and gaining control of my health. I started 2013 by doing the GAPS Intro portion of the diet which is an intense and restrictive protocol for healing the gut prior to moving into a diet free of grains, gluten and refined sugars. It consists of a lot of bone broths, homemade fermented foods (sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir), organic protein-grass-fed and wild fish, cooked vegetables and juices. I spent 30 days doing the Intro stage, and have now made my way into blending the GAPS protocol with a paleo auto-immune version while I slowly invite new foods back in.  I'm making great progress in healing. And, I am totally enjoying and obsessed with fermentation so get ready to get your fermenting on! Now back to this shake.... 

If you've never had spirulina, do not be afraid of this dark green superfood. Spirulina is a type of microalgea; it has all of the essential amino acids making it about 60% protein and is a great source of iron and vitamin K. Its flavor is nutty and a little goes a long way. Raw egg yolks are packed with amino acids, essential fatty acids, zinc, selenium, magnesium and many vitamins (A, D, biotin, B1, B2, B6, B12). It is actually one of the few food sources of vitamin D. They also contain cholin-an amino acid that is essential for the nervous system and liver function. Be sure to get organic free-range eggs and even better if you can find pasture-raised eggs. When you consume animal products from animals that eat and live in unhealthy environments  you ingest and absorb those toxins. So support your local farmers and other producers of sustainable and humane farming. OK now for the recipe:

3-4 medium carrots
1 small beet
1stalk celery
1 teaspoon spirulina
1 dollop of sour cream or yogurt
1-2 raw egg yolks

1. Juice carrots, beet and celery.
2. Pour juice into blender and add spirulina, egg yolks, a couple teaspoons of the juice pulp and sour cream or yogurt.
3. Blend until frothy.
4. Drink, swish around in your mouth to activate enzymes and savor.


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