This guest blog is written by Tamar Henry, mom of three sons with X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA). Through her young sons’ adversities and her studies to help them, Tamar adopted a new focus on health and nutrition that lends itself to the boys’ current lifestyle.
Tamar holds a bachelor’s degree in health and wellness and is a certified holistic health and nutrition counselor. She is also the author of “Nourish, A Modern Mothers Guide to Child Nutrition,” which can be found on Amazon, and maintains an Instagram page, Henry’s Health.
Below are two recipes she credits with keeping her sons healthy.
FRESH GREEN JUICE
When my sons were diagnosed with XLA two years ago and started their monthly infusions, they were encouraged to stay hydrated to help reduce possible side effects. Prior to diagnosis, the boys had been drinking green juice consistently for several years, so I knew that it would stay an important part of their journey upon diagnosis.
On infusion day, the boys will typically drink not one but two glasses. Not only has it allowed them to stay hydrated, but it leaves them bursting with energy too.
Drinking green juice provides the body with a powerhouse of nutrients, including vital vitamins and minerals from fresh fruits and vegetables and plant-based protein from spinach.
The inclusion of ginger brings the flavor alive, adding just enough not to make it overpowering. Ginger has a long history of health benefits. It can help aid digestion, alleviate nausea, and combat the common cold and its symptoms.
This child-friendly version of fresh green juice is made sweet by the inclusion of pink apples and can be enjoyed by the whole family. Once you or your family members have grown accustomed to the taste, start to switch out the pink apples for all green.
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 stalks celery
5 small cucumbers
½-inch fresh ginger
1 lemon or lime
3 pink apples
3 green apples
large handful of baby spinach
To make (with an electric juicer)
Wash all ingredients thoroughly. Cut fruits and vegetables to fit your personal juicer. Juice all ingredients. Pour juice through a strainer (kids tend to prefer a much smoother consistency). Drink and enjoy!
This smoothie is hyper-nourishing, hugely fueling, and an easy nutritious blend to make. In my household, the boys help stack up the blender, and then I do the rest.
Our family drinks this as an alternative or accompaniment to breakfast, as a snack, or after exercise. My sons Jul, Sahm, and Zayd like to add different frozen fruits, including mango, pineapple, raspberries, or strawberries.
We also opt for different milks such as almond, coconut, or rice. Add as much milk as you like. It's really important to find the desired consistency that everyone prefers.
Ingredients (serves 1-2)
One large banana
One large handful of fresh baby spinach
One handful of frozen fruit (berries or mango or your choice)
1 tsp. whole flaxseeds or hemp seeds
1 ½ cups non-dairy milk (almond or coconut or rice)
To make (with a high-speed blender)
Peel banana and wash spinach thoroughly. Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth. Drink at room temperature or over ice, and enjoy!