Patti Bess: Replenish system after holiday feasting |

Patti Bess: Replenish system after holiday feasting

Dec. 26 has always been one of my favorite days of the year. It feels like the pause between breaths — a moment for reflection and time to play with new “toys” — perhaps the one day when our lists are finally all crossed off.

Best of all, it’s the day for family to eat leftovers. Enough feasting, it’s time for a little fasting. The act of feeding ourselves gets lost in all the complexities of holiday feasting. We forget how utterly simple our need for nourishment is.

The pleasures of dining and sharing with friends and family is, of course, so important but really only one aspect of food. We lose sight of the simple premise that the purpose of food is to fuel this body to do its work.

Take a day to replenish the body and refresh the mind with simple fruit and vegetable drinks. The digestive system will thank you for the rest. These healthy juice drinks are a welcome reprise from rich complex dishes. I think I even look forward to them.

One tablespoon of thoroughly ground nuts in half a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice is a nutritious way to start the day and enough protein too.

Many years ago at a local yoga retreat, we were given blender drinks to replenish the nervous system, and I still use the recipe especially around the holidays. It is simply the juice of two limes, about three quarters cup yogurt, sugar or honey to taste and enough water to make a tall glassful — all whizzed together in the blender. It does seem to have a calming effect.

Here are a few easy to prepare drinks that will benefit your digestive system and give a nourishment blast. End the day with a salad — hooray for the simple!

The Energy Blast

2 bananas

About 2/3 cup frozen blueberries

1 red apple, cored

1 1/4 cups apple juice

2 ice cubes if desired

Blend the banana, frozen berries, apple, juice, and ice cubes in a blender until smooth. Makes four small glasses.

This tangy tropical blend will set you straight and feeling good.

Mandarin Morning

1/2 pineapple, peeled and chopped

1 large pear, cored

1 banana

1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed Mandarins, oranges or orange juice

Blend the pineapple, pear, banana, and Mandarin juice in a blender until smooth. Makes about four medium glasses.

If you can find that juicer in the back of the cupboard, try this delicious drink. Once you’re in the habit of using the old juicer, I think you’ll be happy you did.

Vitalizing Carrot, Ginger and Beet Juice

1 beet, scrubbed, ends removed and

Cut into chunks

6 carrots

1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled

Juice the beet, carrots and ginger in a juicer. Stir to combine. Makes about two servings.

Try a tumbler of this nourishing blend for a simple dinner that makes your digestive system smile.

Dinner in a Glass

1 beet, scrubbed

8 to 10 carrots

2 apples, cores removed

4 to 5 spinach leaves

2 celery stalks

Have all the vegetables washed and ready. Juice the beet, carrots, apples, spinach, and celery in a juicer. Stir to combine and serve chilled. Makes two servings.

Patti Bess is a local freelance writer and cookbook author. She has written and developed recipes for Land O Lakes publications, Weight Watchers Book Division, and more than 20 other magazines.

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