A few years ago, I was having sinus infection after sinus infection. I went through 8 rounds of antibiotics in less than one year. I even had an MRI. The doctor said the next step was surgery. Then a mom from my daughter’s kindergarten class told me about an anti-inflammatory shake she drinks every day and how they improved her health.
An anti-inflammatory diet can help with a variety of chronic ailments including sinus infections, digestive disorders, arthritis…even the common cold. Her swamp-colored green shakes looked anything but appetizing, but I was desperate and sick of being sick! The next day, she brought me my very own mossy green thick shake. With a shudder, I drank it and it was delicious! I started making them myself. That was 4 years ago.
I have had zero sinus infections since drinking these shakes.
These days, when I do get sick, it’s for a shorter amount of time. My immune system is undoubtedly stronger. My doctor is amazed. And I owe it to anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables. There are many different ways to approach an anti-inflammatory diet, but I’m going to share with you what works for me.
For veggies, you need greens. Spinach, kale, or chard. Organic only. Spinach is the mildest in taste. Fresh is best, taste-wise, but you can also use frozen, which makes for a thicker shake. If you’re going to use chard or kale, note that when it comes to taste, they have more “bite.” If you have a high end blender – a VitaMix or Blendtec – you will save time because fresh kale and chard tend to need a bit more power to blend them up well.
But you don’t have to spend a fortune. I love my $14.99 Hamilton Beach single-serve blender from Target. It’s not powerful, but it is just the right size, I can drink right from the blender and, honestly, it’s adorable. Blending frozen fruit and veggies requires me to make the shake the night before in order to allow the frozen fruits to soften. If I use fresh chard or kale, I grind them up first in my Cuisinart.
For fruit, I tend to buy frozen organic blueberries, strawberries or raspberries. I always use a fresh banana, the riper the better. Organic is not necessary because bananas have a thick peel. (Bananas are really sweet, so they’re a must!)
For liquid, I use a milk alternative. Almond milk, soy milk, or whatever you prefer. I have a sweet tooth, so I prefer vanilla and sweetened. I also like to add a little protein powder to ramp it up. Dairy is considered “inflammatory” and should therefore be avoided.
Three anti-inflammatory shake recipes:
- Blend 1 medium banana (the riper the better!), 1/2 c vanilla soy milk, 1 TBSP protein powder, 1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries, 1 1/2-2 cups fresh, organic spinach.
- Blend 1 medium banana, 1/2 c vanilla almond milk, 1 TBSP protein powder, 1/2 cup frozen organic strawberries, 3/4 cup fresh organic spinach, 1/2 cup fresh organic kale.
- Blend 1 medium banana, 1/2 c vanilla hemp milk, 1 TBSP protein powder, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, 1 1/4 cup fresh organic spinach, 1/4 cup fresh organic chard.
After awhile, you won’t need to measure the ingredients, you’ll just go by what looks right. You can find other recipes online for anti-inflammatory shakes which also explain some of the science behind them, and how you can reduce discomfort and inflammation, which can manifest itself in many different ways.
So what’s this going to cost?
Obviously, you can’t put a price on your health, but that being said, who doesn’t like a savings? This morning I went out and bought all the ingredients I need at Trader Joe’s and calculated the price of an average shake which comes to… about $1.35 per shake. You can probably do even better by buying bulk protein powder, larger containers of soy milk, unbagged spinach, etc. A small Apple ‘n Greens smoothie at Jamba Juice costs $4.25. That means buying them costs an extra $3!
Making your own shakes saves more than $1,000 per year.
If you make one every day instead of buying one, that adds up to a savings of $3 per day, or $21 per week or $91 per month or $1,095 per year.
An added bonus – kids drink these shakes!
You might be able to get your kids to drink up, too! My daughter is the pickiest eater in the world and turns her nose up at anything even resembling a vegetable, but she loves these shakes and enjoys watching me make them. Veggies and all.