A new chapter started today, perhaps one has for you this month as well as school is back in session. This is a year unlike any other at our house.
All day school, for all 3 kids. I’ve been waiting for this staycation for a long time. Except I work outside the home part-time. Only some days are staycation days.
I’m not the kind of mom that keeps her kids home at the slightest sneeze or complaint about not wanting to go to school. Get moving and get going, school is your job right now and your job is to rock it each and every day.
As my minions head back to school, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to keep them strong and healthy. It’s good math. They stay in school where they need to be. Stay out of the doctor’s office.
The best way to do those things is to eat well, play hard and sleep well. Fruit and veggie smoothies each day have strengthened our pickiest kiddos bodies to the point that they only miss 1-2 days of school each year for sickness.
We’ve got a good thing going and as school is in swing with winter colds and gunk around the corner I decided to change things up a bit. I’ve created a back to school smoothie that isn’t gaggy yet adds a little hidden secret that will give your family an extra boost.
Back to School Fruit and Veggie Smoothie (70% fruit 30% veggie)
- 1 banana
- 2 cups mixed berries
- ½ zucchini or summer squash
- 2 small tomatoes (heirloom have a much stronger flavor, I stick to Celebrity and 4th of July)
- 1 peach
- Small handful of frozen, chopped kale or spinach (spinach is more milk if you are a beginner)
- 1 leaf purple cabbage
- ½ cup kefir (sweetened or plain- caution, plain is a bit like buttermilk…you have been warned)
- ½ - 1 cup Juice, water or milk so it will blend and away you go!
Kefir is the new secret weapon added to provide and even greater immune boost.
Kefir (SUPER PROBIOTIC) is a fermented beverage – kind of a cross between buttermilk and yogurt. Beneficial bacterial and yeast work symbiotically to create a super healthy fermented milk (you can use other types of milk besides dairy milk too).
Historically, it was a method used to preserve milk prior to refrigeration.
Kefir is something you can buy in the grocery store or make you own at home (I am giving this a shot and will report back in the next couple of weeks).
Why would I add something wacky hippy like this to my smoothie? Shouldn’t yogurt cover it?
Yogurt and kefir can be used together as the good bacteria they harbor do different things for our intestines.
Bacteria in yogurt (usually 3-5 strains) actually helps fuel the organisms that clean out the gut = keeping us healthy. The different bacteria and yeast in kefir (over 50 strains) can actually colonize in the intestinal tract competing against bad bacteria keeping us healthier.
Did you know most of your immune system is in your intestines? Weird, ehh? Who would have thought that made sense but it does.
The major function of the intestine is to break down food into teeny tiny pieces and parts so things can pass into our blood stream. A healthy gut filled with phytochemicals from fruits and veggies coupled with powerful probiotics is an even better weapon against sickness.
Probiotics from foods like kefir add beneficial bacteria to the nether region, the more good bacteria you have in your gut the healthier you stay.
HERE IS WHY fruits and veggies + probiotics are awesome. Bad bacteria become outnumbered inside your intestine making it more difficult for the bad stuff to cross that intestinal wall, enter your blood stream and make you sick.
Healthy cells in your intestinal villi prevent the ick from getting into your blood stream. Healthy intestines charged with probiotics and phytonutrients from fruits and veggies mean you uhhhhh, do the duce more efficiently.
Couth people would kindly say, increasing transit time helps prevent sickness due to less time the intestines are exposed to waste. Uncouth people keep reading – pooping more = less crap sitting around your intestines hoping to escape into your bloodstream to make you sick.
Drink your fruit and veggie smoothie. Add kefir to it to boost your immune system even more. You kids may not appreciate how concerned you are with their health and well-being but that’s too bad. Keep them in school so your daily staycation between 9 and 3 stays as uninterrupted as possible---even on days when you go to work.