Happy Digestion Smoothie

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on February 12, 2015

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My digestion has been a bit out of whack over the past few months. Actually, I’m feeling a bit out of whack as a whole. Maybe I was naïve, but I really didn’t anticipate the postpartum phase to be so challenging, on many different levels. The pregnancy seems to get the most attention while the period after having a baby seems to be all about getting back to your old self as soon as possible. At least in the media. I guess I expected that for myself too, but it’s not my personal reality nor is it for many other new moms I’ve talked to. We’re almost 5 months in and I still don’t feel like I have it together. I mostly blame the overnight waking hours and sugar cravings (the cravings result from lack of sleep – it’s a vicious cycle), but it’s everything really. Life has changed in so many weird and wonderful ways. I wonder if I ever will feel like my old self, or if I’d ever want to; what I have right now is great. I say it all the time but motherhood is amazing. I pinch myself so many times a day…like, do I actually get to witness this sweet baby discover the world? It’s the kind of thing that fills my heart with so much joy it keeps me up at night because I know that it could all be taken away in a second.

The intensity seems to be lifting as the months go on. We are laughing so much every day! I’m convinced Adriana is a 90 year old woman trapped in a baby’s body. Seriously…she does this lip-sucking in thing that makes her look like she forgot her dentures. I die every time. She is my number one priority and because of this I think I have let my own self fall to the wayside. It’s the cliché saying about motherhood, but it’s been so true. For me, this seemed necessary to get through the first months as a new parent, but I’m getting to that place now where I think I can find a balance for both of us. The fog is lifting. This is where a plant-based diet can help in so many great ways! I think I’ve done a good job of staying healthy this past year, but there are a few things I would like to improve upon.

The advice I often give to others is to make small changes when starting out, so that’s what I’ve been doing recently. Just a bunch of little tweaks that all contribute to the whole. Baby steps. Rather than having caffeine in the morning (which doesn’t seem to agree with my anxiety-prone nature), I’ve switched to a tea made with fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, and Rooibos tea. I drink it all day long. A few other things I’m doing (almost) everyday – green protein smoothie, exercise, probiotics (plus my other regular vitamin regime), and hitting the hay earlier. There’s nothing ground-breaking or gimmicky here, but they are things that just WORK time and time again. Sure there are days when none of these things happen, but for the most part it’s helping!

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While this smoothie is different from my regular morning protein smoothie, it makes for a lovely afternoon snack. You could probably add some hemp hearts to this one if you wanted to boost the protein enough for a morning drink.

This smoothie combines the power of many digestion-friendly and immune-boosting foods:

// Pineapple // Digestive and anti-inflammatory benefits, immune support. One cup gives you 105% of your daily Vitamin C requirements. I use frozen pineapple chunks in smoothies to save time.

// Fresh ginger // Soothes the intestinal tract and helps with digestion. Awesome for all kinds of gastrointestinal relief, such as morning sickness. Anti-inflammatory and immune boosting.

// Fresh parsley // Rich in vitamins K, C, A, folate, and antioxidants. It’s a natural diuretic which can help release water retention. Opt for flat-leaf parsley as it’s less bitter than curly parsley. Cilantro would be a nice swap here too!

// Avocado // Major anti-inflammatory benefits + heart-healthy fats. High in fibre which aids with digestion.

// Banana // Rich in B6, manganese, Vitamin C, fibre, and potassium. Interesting to note – while bananas are high in sugar, they have a low glycemic index score which means that they won’t spike blood sugar levels. It’s soothing to the digestive track and thought to regulate the bowels and enhance friendly gut bacteria.

// Lemon // Rich in vitamin C. Aids digestion and helps flush out toxins.

[Source: The World’s Healthiest Foods]

I also add some coconut water and probiotic powder for an extra boost! Feel free to add a handful of spinach or kale too.

greensmoothiefordigestionvegan

4.9 from 42 reviews
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Happy Digestion Smoothie

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

This green smoothie is packed with digestion-enhancing and immune-boosting foods like pineapple, parsley, ginger, and avocado. Don't worry though; its sweet flavour makes it friendly for green smoothie newbies! If you are adverse to the spiciness of ginger, I recommend starting with half the amount and adding to taste from there. This smoothie also keeps well overnight. I will often make a double batch, save leftovers in a small mason jar in the fridge overnight, and enjoy it the next morning.

Yield
2 1/4 cups (560 mL)
Prep time
Cook time
0 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 heaping cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 large frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons avocado
  • 1 teaspoon packed fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon probiotic powder, optional
  • lemon or lime slice, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend on the highest speed until super smooth.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 2 1/4 cups (560 mL) | Calories 210 calories | Total Fat 3 grams
Saturated Fat 0 grams | Sodium 65 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 47 grams
Fiber 6 grams | Sugar 17 grams | Protein 3 grams
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.

Tips:

  • Feel free to add a handful of baby spinach to boost the nutrient power even more.
  • Fresh mint also gives this smoothie a nice digestion boost (not to mention a delicious minty flavour).

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PS – I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Publisher’s Weekly recently – hop on over and read the interview here!

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

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Christine @ Gotta Eat Green February 12, 2015 at 8:46 am

Looks amazing! Can’t wait to test it out!

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Tom ~ Raise Your Garden February 13, 2015 at 7:06 am

Ditto that Christine. I’m a teacher in Buffalo, NY and we had another “cold” day. Therefore I’m home with the kid’s and can make everyone this Happy Digestion Smoothie.

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Jessica @ Laces and Lattes February 12, 2015 at 9:02 am

This looks absolutely divine! My gut health has been pretty good lately and I want to keep it that way. I will be whipping this up this morning!

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Jaenell @ Another Root February 12, 2015 at 9:04 am

Yumm! I love frozen bananas in smoothies — makes them taste more like a dessert. :) I’ve had troubles with digestion over the last few months as well, and never thought of putting probiotic powder in my morning smoothie. What brand do you like?

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Brynn February 12, 2015 at 9:10 am

I absolutely agree, there is so much emphasis put on pregnancy but no one talks about once the baby comes. After four months I’m starting to feel the fog lift but it was a long few months!

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Tom ~ Raise Your Garden February 12, 2015 at 9:22 am

Our baby slept 5 hours straight at 6 months to the day she was born. She had colic and all sorts of digestion issues and now I wonder, if my wife was eating super healthy digestive foods (and smoothies like this) if that would have helped. I tried to help my wife through the postpartum stage as much as I could, but it’s hard to understand being a guy ~ I didn’t give birth and can’t imagine what that would be like! I don’t think I could do it so hats off to all of you moms, that’s quite an accomplishment.

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ReShonda Parker January 20, 2017 at 10:12 pm

I am a mother of 3 ( and 2 Angel Babies) and i just read your comment and wanted to tell you THANK YOU SO MUCH for what you said! I really appreciate it and love hearing a father say he helps as much as he can because as you know, it can be hard at times! But i give it to father’s like you too because you play an awesome role too :).

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat February 12, 2015 at 9:11 am

Oh my gosh Ange, this sounds fabulous!! I love ginger and pineapple together, and am totally in the mood for this smoothie right now (even thought the temperature outside is falling FAST!) I love reading about your life as a new mother and if anyone knows how to use a plant based diet to help boost mood (among other health issues) it’s you. PS we need a date soon! :)

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Angela February 12, 2015 at 10:07 am

Thanks girl :) And I agree! Was just about to email you.

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Adrienne February 12, 2015 at 9:13 am

I can’t wait to try this!! I just made my favorite smoothie (kale, banana, pineapple, milk, ginger) which is so similar.

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Jessica @ TwoGreenPeas February 12, 2015 at 9:17 am

I know this post is about the smoothie, but I love the idea of the ginger/turmeric/roobis tea, I think I need to give it try! I’ve been trying to decrease my caffiene intake and find different things to replace coffee (I say this as I’m drinking a large Tim Hortons coffee…ha), how much ginger/turmeric do you put in?

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Angela February 12, 2015 at 10:08 am

hah!
It usually varies…sometimes I’ll make a huge pot so I will add a lot (a couple tbsp grated ginger and 1 T sliced turmeric maybe) with a few servings of loose leaf. If I’m making just 1 mug (which I rarely do) it will be much less. I might have to do a post about it!

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Elizabeth February 17, 2015 at 6:21 am

Yes, please do!

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Katie February 12, 2015 at 9:25 am

We were just talking about starting some probiotic supplements. Which do you take/recommend? Enjoying your maple apple and pear baked oatmeal from your cookbook this morning :)

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Angela February 12, 2015 at 10:12 am

Hi Katie,
I’m not loyal to one brand in particular – I like to rotate them now and then! Innovite probiotic powder and Bio-Kult are two I’m using lately.

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Chantal February 12, 2015 at 9:26 am

Hi Angela,

I’m intolerant to bananas. Could I swap for something else or take it out completely? Thank you!

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Angela February 12, 2015 at 10:15 am

I would probably increase the avocado to 1/4 cup if leaving out the banana to ensure that it’s still nice and creamy. You might want to consider adding a bit of sweetness from another fruit to make up for it since the banana adds a nice pop of sweetness.

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Hannah February 12, 2015 at 10:21 am

I dislike bananas so I’ve always used applesauce to replace them in recipes (such as baking), and using frozen cucumber to replace in smoothies. It doesn’t replace the sweetness, so you may need to find a little something else for that, but they are decadently smooth and creamy and add a very fresh taste!

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Kai February 12, 2015 at 9:32 am

Hi Angela,

The recipe sounds awesome and despite being a dude I really appreciate the rest of the post as well. I made your chocolate pie (as I call it) last night…this morning I made us your hot overnight oatmeal (awesome) and as soon as my little guy (11 months old) gives me a chance (mom is currently busy doing a yoga routine), I’ll get at making your roasted tomato soup which we’ll be having for lunch followed by pie for dessert…NOM NOM NOM ! It’s my wife’s 34th b-day today so I am pulling some stops out… as a matter of fact she’s getting your book…and an apron :-) Seriously girls the apron was her idea… but I am absolutely good with that… big fat surprise! Anyways, thanks for all that you do and all that you are. Keep up the incredible work. Best to Eric and your little gem.

k.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 12, 2015 at 11:44 am

Wow that’s so nice!! Happy b-day to your wife. Thanks for all your support. :) You don’t know how happy it makes me to see a comment from a man once in a while, hah.

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Erin February 12, 2015 at 9:33 am

Hi Angela! I have a 6 month old daughter and this post took the words right out of my mouth regarding the postpartum period! It was almost like reading my own journal! Thank you for this recipe, can’t wait to pick up some pineapple and give it a try!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 12, 2015 at 11:41 am

Glad you can relate but I hope it gets better for you soon too! Hugs

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Julie February 12, 2015 at 9:39 am

This looks soooo tasty! Just a warning that a lot of parsley can decrease milk supply. I wouldn’t worry though if you haven’t noticed a change!

Also, you are so right. That new motherhood fog can be tough. It does end though – I promise!

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Angela February 12, 2015 at 10:14 am

I’ve heard this too, but I was told it was only in large amounts – I guess it varies for everyone though!

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Ashley February 12, 2015 at 12:48 pm

I also heard this, and I heard the same about avocado and banana – which I eat every single day! And peppermint, which I love. Seriously if I want to keep my milk supply I am going to need to eat nothing but oatmeal and brewers yeast…this smoothie looks amazing though. My brother in law makes homemade kimchi and kombocha, both of which are loaded with probiotics! So so so good.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 12, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Avocado makes your breast milk so rich and fatty…babies love the taste! I eat one every day and also a bit of banana every day too. Not sure whether they impact my supply but shes gaining lots of weight. :) That being said, oatmeal tends to really increase my supply if I eat it daily.

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Lauren February 12, 2015 at 9:39 am

Perfect timing! I have been experiencing the worst indigestion when I teach at a studio. Every week the same stomach ache (am I allergic to my job?). I must make this part of my Tuesday routine.

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Alina February 12, 2015 at 9:41 am

We (my husband, 2 kids, and I) love green smoothies and this one looks to die for. Thank you for the recipe, Angela!

A good digestion tip that I picked up during Nutrition School is to start the day with a glass of water and juice from 1/2 lemon. It not only helps the body detoxify, but also makes you go to the bathroom (with number 2 :)).

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Anna February 12, 2015 at 9:42 am

Loove this!!! I has to be amaziing <3<3

https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/

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Lillian @ Seize the Latte February 12, 2015 at 9:42 am

This sounds absolutely delicious — I’ve never thought of combining avocado and ginger, but since they’re two of my favorite things ever, I suspect I’ll love the heck out of the end result. :)

As for post-partum weirdness, I don’t have kids (yet — fingers are crossed this changes soon!), but I know that even slight shifts in my hormone levels can make everything feel intense. And if those slight shifts can have such a profound effect, I’d guess that the *huge* shifts new moms undergo would feel nothing short of seismic. So, it’s totally understandable that it would take you a long time to feel like things are smoothing out. (I mean, I wept almost non-stop while watching “Annie” in the theater a few months ago, and that was just PMS.) And that’s to say nothing of the sleep deprivation, which can make even the most stoic person feel like they’re losing it. I have no idea why the media perpetuates this myth that women give birth, shimmy back into their pre-pregnancy jeans, and carry on as if things haven’t changed that much — but it seems ridiculous, and it’s fantastic that you’re describing what’s *actually* going on as you adjust to new motherhood.

It’s also great that your routine of tea, nourishing foods, and exercise are helping you through this adjustment period — hang in there, and know that I’m sending hugs from afar!

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Angela February 12, 2015 at 10:19 am

Yea the hormones are insane for sure! Luckily I have managed to avoid the blues for the most part, but the days where I don’t sleep enough I feel it more. Is it summer yet???
Thanks for your kind words!

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Matea February 12, 2015 at 9:43 am

I can only imagine the major lifestyle changes that come with a baby; stay strong! We know you can do it :)

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Shannon February 12, 2015 at 9:43 am

Gotta love ginger. All the ingredients sound great. I’ll add this to my, must try list :) Thanks as always,
Shannon

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Jill @ Champagne for Everyday February 12, 2015 at 9:47 am

I love this idea for a smoothie – particularly the combination of tummy soothing ginger with the enzyme rich pineapple.

I would need to swap out the avocado – it’s a high FODMAP food and hard for people with IBS to tolerate, but I think adding a little coconut oil and a bit more bananda would do the trick! :)

Latest Post: Spiral into Fit – I Spiralized Every Meal For a Day!

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Beth Rapp February 12, 2015 at 9:49 am

Angela,

I love your book and your blog. You are a tremendous inspiration! :)

What kind of probiotic powder do you use? I have purchased GoodBelly probiotic a few times, but it would be much easier to add the powder to the green juice we drink in the morning.

Have you noticed that dropping caffeine has helped with anxious postpartum feelings? I had anxiety after my son was born. I call it postpartum insomnia because while he was sleeping through the night from week 1…I was up all night. UGH! Switching from a veggie diet to a vegan diet helped. Dropping the dairy helped with the anxiety and let me sleep much better…but I wouldn’t say it’s 100% gone. maybe 90%. maybe dropping my morning coffee would help it out that last 10%?

Thanks,
Beth Rapp

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 12, 2015 at 11:40 am

Hi Beth, Yes I definitely think I have less anxiety when I don’t have caffeine. I think it depends on the person, but I’ve never been overly good with caffeine.
As for probiotics, I vary them up quite often but right now I’m taking Innovite powder and Bio-kult capsules (which easily open up).

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Kathryn February 12, 2015 at 9:53 am

I’m glad to hear that the heaviness is lifting a little bit every day and that you’re being gentle with yourself in the process. I don’t have kids but I know that my digestion is SO related to my stress level and schedule – I can’t even imagine what it would be like adding a baby to the mix. Bookmarking this beautiful recipe and will try it out soon! Thanks for posting, Angela.

x Kathryn
Through the Thicket

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Jill E. February 12, 2015 at 9:56 am

Do you have a recommendation for a probiotic powder brand/type? There are so many choices!

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Katie February 12, 2015 at 10:06 am

YAY another wonderful smoothie!

I am allergic to banana, what would you suggest as an alternative to banana in your smoothies? I usually use frozen avocado, but in this case there is already avocado in the smoothie. Thanks Angela!!

– Katie

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Angela February 12, 2015 at 10:20 am

Thanks Katie! I suggested to another reader above to try increasing the avocado to 1/4 cup to ensure it’s still nice and creamy when leaving out the banana. You might want to add sweetener or another fruit to taste too.

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Faith VanderMolen February 12, 2015 at 10:13 am

I think what you’re processing is beautiful. I’m actually excited for motherhood because I know it will help me stop having the mindset that a perfect diet and body is achievable. There are more things to life than watching everything we eat and how intense of a workout we can get in. I think Mom’s are blessed to gain a different view of life!

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Angela February 12, 2015 at 10:23 am

Agreed :) It’s been refreshing for sure.

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CC February 12, 2015 at 10:15 am

Yum, I cannot wait to try this soon! I know my husband will love it too!

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Carly February 12, 2015 at 10:18 am

Sounds delicious! Definitely something I must try!

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Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen February 12, 2015 at 10:18 am

This smoothie is just what I needed, Angela! Though I haven’t recently had a baby (lol not at all!) I’ve also been feeling a bit out of whack lately and need something like this to help me get back on track! It’s funny how small changes (giving up caffeine was a big one for me) can make such a difference! Wishing you a wonderful week!

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar February 12, 2015 at 10:33 am

Definitely perfect to brighten up any morning…and great for flu season!

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Daisy @ Simplicity Relished February 12, 2015 at 10:37 am

I had no idea how good parsley was for our bodies! This is super helpful, I’m always looking for smoothies to calm my system. Thanks!! :)

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Cassandra February 12, 2015 at 10:39 am

I think this is just what I need. I don’t half of the ingredients, but I have the important ones! I’ll make some subs and give it a go.

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Susie February 12, 2015 at 10:42 am
Recipe Rating:

First congratulation and welcome to real life! Mom life! I have four of my own . I Love everything you write and everything you do. I know everyone will give you bits of advice on what to do etc… I remember hating this part of being a new mom! The only thing i regret being a stay at home mom is … i thought i had enjoyed every moments and i did but its never enough?
When these cute older “nice women” would stop me and say” you are lucky ! Take your time and enjoy it! It goes by sooo fast ! ” i believed them and i did savour every moments but now that my baby is 11 and i look back, im like… Where did time go? I was so much in my mommy bubble and busy with chores , food prep , laundry etc.. Which is called life! It really flew by. Even though we would stop at every puddle of water after a rainfall… Smell every flowers along the path on our way back home after a long walk in the woods with the dog, after watching my baby sleeping for hours just to realise it was supper time ! I used to call these my little waste of time ( good waste of time ). I still feel today that it wasnt enough! I still miss those baby days even though they were so tough at times !
Give yourself a break ! 5 months is nothing to get back on your feet and to be back to yourself? This statement makes me laugh as we all say that and all want that! The fact is that its impossible as you werent’ a mom before. Youd had never carried a baby in your uterus before, you never had to think of another human being that came from you before , you never had to care for your own blood before and the list goes on?
If you had lost your mom, would five months be good enough to be back to your old self? The fact is … Duhh! No ! You would never be the same. Your life would be changed forever . You would eventually learn to live with it and move forward, but in five months? Not sure about that . For any big life changing experiences… A year of adjusting is actually normal and necessary. Please don’t skip phases , be not so great, not so organized, not so nice or happy . You are normal. enjoy and savor the changes , the ups and downs ,good or bad they are there to stabilize your new life and your new self . The real Angela is still there just in modification mode. I remember at some point not wanting my life to change just cause i had a kid that i kept focussing on going to all sorts of places so he would be used to me going everywhere and passing him to all , as i wanted him to get used to all of my friends and family etc… That at some point i realized that my first born was a few months old and i missed his newborn self ! It flew by. Thank god i had a second one ,third and fourth! Ha! Ha! Ok this is turning into a therapy for me hahah! Sorry i just wanted to encourage you and to tell you… To give yourself a break! Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s ok to be off the track for a bit , sometimes you even have to change tracks or make your own ! Sometimes you even have to get off the track and walk baby steps. This reminds me of my best gift ever after having kids. Its now the family bible ! It’s the book by Dr. Seuss ” oh ! All the places you’ll go ” . I’ve used it for myself as a guide ,for my kids when they were going through tough times, for my sister inlaw when she got separated ( everyday i would send her a passage of where she was at, to give her hope) , i even used it as a grade 12 graduation gift for my godchild ( which made the usually though girl cry, as she understood the greatness of it! ) . If i could i would send one to you . Hopefully you already have it! Use it and see the depth in it :) ok so sorry im done with the lecture haha! I just want to say i love everything you do and write on your site and in your fantastic cookbook ! And im not even vegan … Yet! Haha! Have a wonderful journey! Sorry about my writting … The french acadian in me lol.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 12, 2015 at 11:16 am

This is so great. Thanks for your honesty and encouragement! I know what you mean about soaking up the moments but still not feeling like there are enough!

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Ashley February 12, 2015 at 1:47 pm

I have a five month old as well – it’s so hard not to look forward to the next step (crawling, walking, etc). I’ve never been good at just living in the moment. Trying so hard to do this!

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nina February 12, 2015 at 10:52 am

I have a 4 month little one myself – and I feel just like you described in your first paragraph. Feel a bit turned upside down – and it is time to start making so little tweaks to find my balance. Do you use protein powder in your breakfast smoothie? I am still breastfeeding, and I don’t know anything about using protein powders while breastfeeding. Obviously I should check with my Dr., but I am curious as to what your recipe is!

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Amanda February 12, 2015 at 11:31 am

This looks great, thanks for sharing! I noticed above the recipe that you note lemon like it’s an ingredient, but then in the recipe it’s listed only as a garnish. Should lemon be added into the smoothie also and, if so, how much do you recommend? Ginger and lemon (or lime) is one of my favorite flavor combinations, so I don’t want to miss out on it! :)

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Erin @ Erin's Inside Job February 12, 2015 at 11:41 am

I love all the pictures! I recently have been craving green smoothies with more ginger in them, so I make one with chia, greens, apple, lemon, turmeric, and ginger almost every day. Idk where the craving came from, but so far I am loving it. It is super refreshing!

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Emily February 12, 2015 at 11:45 am

Hang in there! I have a 2.5 year old. It has taken me two years to start to feel “normal” and I don’t think I will ever be my old self. Instead I’ve been replaced by a 2.0 version that has some improvements and some draw backs.

I appreciate all your recipes! They have helped the 2.0 self find my way back. I now eat thanks to your smoothie (I couldn’t figure out how to feed myself with a no-nap toddler on the move). I can’t wait to try the new smoothie.

I LOVE your thumb print breakfast cookie recipe. I make it with my toddler and I don’t have to worry about him licking the bowl. Thank you for creating recipes we can make together!

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Amber February 12, 2015 at 11:50 am

My son was born the same week as your daughter so they are going through a lot of the same phases together. We call him Mildred when he has the “I lost my dentures face” on. It doesn’t help that he is a bald baby!

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Citti February 12, 2015 at 11:52 am

I haven`t read you in a while, a long while, and it just makes me so happy to read this post, I have a 4 month old baby boy, and I exactly know how are you feeling, thanks for sharing this, It will help me a lot! Congrats on being a beautiful, healthy, and human mom!

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Annaliese February 12, 2015 at 11:54 am

Literally read my mind! Small changes are what matter, and nourishing our bodies should always be a top priority-and it gets tough, especially when we are in transition or “weird” zones. The smoothie looks great (as I guzzle down a kale-lemon-coconut concoction)…will try this one when I have more avocado on hand :)

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Alyson February 12, 2015 at 12:34 pm

You described the postpartum period perfectly. Our little one is almost 5.5 months and there are many moments when I still don’t feel like myself, physically and especially mentally! Food is certainly medicine, especially after sleepless nights. Thanks for all that you do, you’re love of food and nutrition is wonderful.

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Natalia February 12, 2015 at 12:39 pm
Recipe Rating:

This was perfect! Creamy and smooth and delicious and just sweet enough Just what I needed, thank you!

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