On our last call in Hip Sobriety School, I told Holly Whitaker that I felt like I was having a honeymoon period with my sobriety and asked if that was a “thing.” She said yes, and that it was called “the pink cloud.” After the call I immediately googled it. I was met with sad cautionary tales, along the lines of don’t get too comfortable, there’s danger around every corner. I was so disappointed and decided to ignore the warnings and just enjoy it. I felt great. My mind was clear, energy back, bloat gone. I rode the pink cloud for about 3 years and I wish the same for you!
The low down on prebiotics and probiotics
This smoothie is all about supporting and resetting a healthy gut or microbiome which is so foundational to good physical and mental health. It’s also easily digestible and contains 8 grams of protein. The pink cloud smoothie contains both probiotics and prebiotics in one gulp! Probiotics introduce healthy bacteria into the gut and are found in fermented foods which include kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh and kombucha. Prebiotics are composed of insoluble fiber and are found in fruits, (like berries), whole grains and vegetables. This type of fiber becomes food for the good bacteria. So, prebiotics feed the probiotics.
The benefits of a healthy gut include everything from strengthening our immune system, balancing blood sugar, improving common digestive issues like bloating and constipation, and even impacting our mental health. The gut is often referred to as the “second brain.” Depression and anxiety for example are associated with low levels of mood-regulating neurotransmitters, like the mood stabilizing serotonin, which live in the gut.
Not surprisingly, ingesting alcohol is devastating to the gut microbiome. So, introducing pre and probiotics into your diet is crucial to to healing and feeling good enough to enjoy the pink cloud.
This smoothie recipe is hardly a recipe at all. It’s two ingredients with an optional third and/or fourth.
Kefir is a fermented milk drink. I would describe it as drinkable yogurt. I use goat kefir which can be a little hard to find, so regular cow milk kefir is absolutely fine and available in most supermarkets. It contains the same nutrients as the goat variety, but goat dairy is more easily digestible, particularly for the lactose intolerant. Goat kefir can be found at your local health food store, (I know Whole Foods carries it) Depending on the sweetness of your strawberries, add honey or maple syrup to taste. With 9 grams of protein it’s great as a snack. If you’re pressed for time or energy, add some protein powder to use it as a meal substitute. 20 – 25 grams is recommended for a complete meal.
- 1 cup kefir (goat if you can find it)
- 1 cup strawberries or other berry, fresh or frozen
- Sweetener (optional)
- Protein powder (optional)
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.