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How do you convert a healthy VEGETABLE juice into a creamy delight?

The answer is simple: add in a banana, coconut oil and almond milk.

Remember me ranting about sugar on the previous post (click here to read) ?  Saying how excess sugars and carbohydrates increase insulin levels, and when this happens over a period of time, weight gain and insulin resistance are bound to happen? And that the best way to decrease sugar cravings is by adding NATURAL sources of sweet into your diet, like my FALL- juice recibe that has beets, fennel, apples and ginger?

Well this week we will go a step further and creating a smoothie that not only contains super healing natural sources of sweet from the beet, fennel, apple & ginger juice, but we’re also adding some healthy fat, fiber, and protein that will help regulate sugar levels in the blood, even further!

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Recipe for 2 people:
  • 1/2 cup beet juice (or any beet juice combination you like)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or coconut milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • ICE (if you want it cold)
Blend all together, adding 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil slowly as the smoothie is being blended and the blender is running on low, so it emulsifies in and doesn’t clump. If the coconut oil is not melted, the trick is to melt right before adding, so that it doesnt clump. 

Fat, protein and fiber help reduce the rate at which sugar is absorbed in the blood, thus decreasing the sugar high and its subsequent low.

2015_09252015-59In this smoothie, it’s all about B A L A N C E .

We are balancing the natural sugar in juice by adding: fiber from bananas (click here to read about bananas and skin benefits)protein from almond milk, and fat from the coconut oil.

sandraarenas1277Fat not only helps regulate blood sugar levels, but it also helps the body absorb fat soluble vitamins from the juice, like Vitamins A,D, E and K.

* Adding coconut oil also improves insulin use in the body and regulates sugar so that excess insulin (that makes you fat) is not produced

Fat that you eat isn’t stored as fat in the body—Sugar on the other hand, (from carbohydrates) is stored as fat! Thus, we shall focus on getting healthy fats into our diet.

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Here is why COCONUT OIL is so freak’n HOLY and amazing:

Most of the fat that we eat in our typical diet are long-chain fatty acids, which mess up our metabolism, and cause all sorts of problems with cholesterol and heart disease, but the medium-chain fatty acids (MCT’s) in coconut oil are metabolized differently.They go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick source energy or turned into so-called ketone bodies, which can have therapeutic effects on brain disorders, metabolism, fat burning, and weight loss.

MCTs are a high-energy fuel that the body uses to prevent muscle loss, take off body fat, and raise the body’s metabolism. They also act as an antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial agent.

  • Having 1 -2 tbsp of virgin unrefined coconut oil in this smoothie helps fight against viruses and bacteria, and fights off yeast, fungus and candida.

Other benefits of COCONUT OIL

  • Energy booster: It gives you a quick energy boost without the adrenaline crashing side effects that other natural energy foods such as caffeine and sugar bring. In fact, many racehorses’ diets consist of coconut oil for endurance and the same benefits are also available for humans.
  • Burn more fat: The MCT’s in coconut oil have been shown to increase 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, (totalling about 120 calories per day) potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.
  • Builds muscle: Its ketogenic effect takes off body fat but not muscle mass. Quite the opposite – coconut oil aids in increasing muscle mass.
  • Increases metabolism: MCT’s in coconut oil promote thermogenesis and lead to increased metabolic rates. Coconut can help improve insulin use within the body and boost thyroid function helping increase metabolism, energy and endurance.
  • Improves digestion and helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins from other food sources.
  • Reduces hunger and cravings: The fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite. This may be related to the way the fatty acids in it are metabolized, because ketone bodies can have an appetite reducing effect. It also reduces cravings for refined carbohydrates that contribute to insulin resistance.

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  • Makes you glow: Eating coconut oil and applying it on your hair and skin makes your hair shiny and moisturizes your skin by strengthening the underlying tissues that help remove the excessive dead cells on the skin’s surface that make it rough and flaky. It is also great for preventing break outs.
  • Good for the heart: While coconut oil is a saturated fat, it is cholesterol free and trans-fatty acid free and has actually been shown to help lower cholesterol levels due to its ability to stimulate thyroid function. Studies show that it reduces triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol, increases HDL cholesterol (the healthy cholesterol) and improves blood coagulation factors.
  • Controls blood sugar: It positively affects our hormones for thyroid and blood-sugar control.
  • A great example of this: Diabetes has never been a problem for island people who have consumed large amounts of coconut oil for many generations, but when they abandoned it for other foods and refined long- chain polyunsaturated fats, such as corn and soybean oil, the results were disastrous.
  • So there you go! Start using unrefined extra virgin coconut oil and add it to salads, smoothies, or even tea and coffee!!

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Buy EXTRA VIRGIN coconut oil:  It is vital that we consume coconut oil in a totally unrefined state. If it has been refined in some way, which could include processes such as bleaching or deodorizing, it becomes much harder on our liver. Virgin, or extra virgin, coconut oil has been produced by pressing coconut meat to extract the oil or by separating oil from coconut milk. This results in pure coconut oil, free from any contaminants. Oil that is not labeled virgin has been produced by drying coconut meat, extracting the oil, and then purifying it to remove unwanted substances. This process uses toxic chemicals and destroys the beneficial properties of the oil.

Look for extra virgin, that has not been hydrogenated, bleached, refined or deodorized. Organic will ensure 100 percent non-GMO, which is also preferable.

How much coconut oil should you be having? Coconut oil is best consumed in moderation, in its virgin or unprocessed form. Harvard University’s Department of Nutrition suggests using coconut oil sparingly—which means 2-3  power smoothies a week instead of seven.

How to properly store: You don’t have to refrigerate it.

There you have it! You can make juice in the morning, then store it in the fridge, and make yourself a delicious smoothie in the afternoon by simply adding banana, almond milk, and coconut oil to the original juice. This way you'll make sure that you're keeping your blood sugar balance in check!

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Good luck making it and enjoy!!

 

Photos by: Sandra Arenas

Pink shirt from: Shumaq