As the kids head back to school, I’ve begun dreaming up new ways to bring more of the earth’s living energies into their world. Anyone who follows this blog knows I love juicing. My teenaged son, however, does not—that is until recently. A few weeks ago I visited New York’s Gobo and had the good fortune to try their Sweet Green organic smoothie, a delicious, healthful treat made with almond milk, bananas and raw spinach. Spinach, when it’s raw, doesn’t have any real flavor, but the plant’s chlorophyll turns the shake electric green, which meant that when I offered a homemade Sweet Green to my son, his eyes went wide and he simply said, “I can’t!” Still, after one taste of that divine concoction, he was hooked, and now happily drinks Sweet Green every morning. (The ultra-simple recipe is: almond milk, one banana and two handfuls of raw organic spinach buzzed through the Vitamix.)
My boys used to tease me for being so organic, but over the years, as more families have adjusted their diets and increased their awareness, the holistic lifestyle seems to be catching on. Commercial coconut water is a favorite among young athletes choosing an alternative to sugar-loaded sports drinks. My boys, who are devoted tennis players, also enjoy the re-hydrating, energy-boosting fresh juices I make for them. Cucumber, pineapple and fresh mint is a great kid-friendly combination. I also blend fresh watermelon juice—rich in the electrolytes they’ll need during sports season—with a hint of ginger, to keep their immune systems running strong.
As my eldest prepares for his SAT tests, I’ll search for ways to include in his diet organic lemon and rosemary, two potent plants that work to improve mental clarity. And once cold and flu season arrives, you’ll find me armed with medicinal herbal teas to see our family through. I’m a true believer in Hippocrates’ great statement: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” In these small ways our children can stay healthy, while learning about and sharing in the vitality and the power of the plants all around us.
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