Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie Recipe
As a lot of you already know, my youngest son has PANDAS, which is a short way of saying a bunch of long medical terms that boil down to...he has chronic inflammation in his nervous system. We've been managing his symptoms since he was diagnosed at 5 after being exposed to the STREP virus. But everything we have tried has only proved temporary. We know that diet has a significant impact on the intensity of his ticks and we've kept him gluten free, dye free and mostly diary free for the last several years. He also eats very little processed food. But his symptoms continue to be triggered.
So, we are currently trying a much more strict nutrition plan in the hopes of soothing the inflammation in his body, eliminating his ticks and putting him on a path to healing. I'd call it a plant-based, anti-inflammatory diet. No red meat, no dairy, no sugar (except what occurs naturally in fruits), no dyes, no preservatives, no processed foods. We're keeping it crazy clean. I'm not gonna lie...it's tough. But the whole family is on board, including cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. We explained exactly what we are trying to accomplish and how we're going about it to the kids in advance. They all see Jake's struggles and he wants to feel better. It makes it easier for Jake knowing he's not alone in this and he doesn't feel deprived or different because we're all doing it together.
The very first new recipe we tried with them was an anti-inflammatory smoothie. It has fennel, which is good for safely and gently supporting the body in detoxing. It also has ginger, which is one of the healthiest spices you can use. It's know for it's high levels of antioxidants and it's anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that the antioxidant and bioactive compounds in ginger can inhibit inflammatory responses that occur in the brain, which makes it a great choice for supporting kids with PANDAS.
In an effort to keep it real with you guys, I'll admit that the kids didn't beg for more. But they liked it enough to drink a small glass each and that's a really good start! I'm going to keep serving it to them a few times a week because that's the best way to help them develop a taste for new things :)
1 pear, cored
1/4 fennel bulb
1 thin slice of ginger (you can start really small and slowly build up since ginger can be an acquired taste)
1 large handful of spinach
1/2 cucumber, peeled
1/2 cup of ice
1/2 cup of water
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve over ice with a straw.