I capitalized the word "everyone" because so often the people who need nutritious foods the most are the ones who are often overlooked or neglected when it comes to healthy and balanced eating. In addition to being a Green Chef Instructor, I am also a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. I help clients with special needs to enjoy their life through healthy and therapeutic leisure interventions. I believe in joyful eating and eating foods to help you thrive. Basically, when you eat better, you feel better which makes you want to enjoy life more. Many of my Clients have Autism, Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Delay. Unfortunately, they also suffer from nutritional issues involving chewing, swallowing (dysphagia) and constipation. Blended foods are an excellent solution to help with these issues and my clients love them.
As a matter of fact, my Clients enjoy helping me to shop for the fresh organic produce to make smoothies, soups, salads and dressings and they love to also help me prepare them. Their favorite part (and mine too) is when we get to enjoy the labors of our efforts together. My Special Needs Clients have so much love in their hearts and are so happy when we are preparing food together. This is also a key concept of prana. Being full of joy and happiness when you prepare your food will help your body to digest it better and allow you to enjoy it more.
Not only are blended foods easier to swallow but they are also more easily assimilated into the blood stream via the small intestine. In other words, your body does not need to expend so much energy digesting the food to remove the nutrients because the food has already been broken down and can be absorbed easier with minimal energy expenditure. You also get the benefit of fiber with the blended foods too which helps to slow the absorption of insulin (sugars) into the bloodstream.
My friends and Clients in this photo were adopted as infants by Linda and David Shipp of Castro Valley, CA. Joshua, 22, used to be 30 lbs overweight but now has eliminated processed foods and sugar from his diet and eats 2 servings of fresh fruit, 2 large salads, 2 servings of cooked veggies and a glass of fresh vegetable juice daily. Kristy, 21, loves fresh fruit and gets so excited shopping for and sampling fruits at the local Farmer's Market. Justin, 20, enjoys his fruit and veggies any way he can get them. All three love smoothies and below are 2 variations of my Healthy Strawberry Smoothie Recipe you also enjoy and here is a link to my eHow video demonstration: http://www.ehow.com/video_12238023_healthy-strawberry-smoothie-recipes.html
This is Chef Lisa Books-Williams wishing you many blessings and joyful drinking!
Healthy Strawberry Smoothie Recipe©
2 1/2 C Strawberries (if organic leave hulls on)
2" piece vanilla bean or 1 t vanilla extract
2 pitted dates (optional)
1 T ground flax seed or meal
1 large frozen banana or a fresh banana and some ice cubes
3/4 c unsweetened almond milk
2 large handfuls baby spinach
1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend till smooth.
2. Note: For an all fruit smoothie, you can omit the spinach