Brookhaven Retreat, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues, takes every opportunity to acknowledge current events and interesting and important days in history, and responds to them in their own unique way.
The staff of Brookhaven Retreat celebrated National Peach Ice Cream Day July 17, involving staff members and clients alike, by serving homemade peach smoothies in lieu of ice cream for greater nutrition.
While Brookhaven Retreat offers a unique voluntary residential program of mental health and substance abuse services designed to help women overcome depression, trauma, anxiety, personality disorders, and substance dependence among other diagnoses, nutrition is extremely important.
Charity Coyle, RD (registered dietician) at Brookhaven Retreat, believes if we are going to live life to the fullest, we must strive to maintain the best possible health possible, which means nourishing the body with nutritious fresh produce, like peaches.
Peaches provide potassium, which helps maintain healthy blood pressure and prevents kidney stones and bone loss. They also contain major antioxidants that help scavenge free radicals, reduce inflammation in the body and help ward off cancer. The fiber found in peaches helps regulate cholesterol levels, ensures digestive health and reduces the risk of developing heart disease.
Although China is the world’s largest producer of peaches, followed by Italy, the United States proves our love for peaches by growing them in at least 38 states, with the best of them found in Georgia.
“I like to focus on eating mindfully and intuitively rather than jumping from diet to diet,” says Coyle, who graduated Carson-Newman University with a B.S. in food, nutrition and dietetics. She has worked in a variety of settings including hospital inpatient, outpatient diabetes prevention programs, long-term care facilities, hospital and school food service, outpatient nutrition counseling and government supplemental food programs. “I like to see our clients changing their perception of food as a source of nourishment and enjoyment rather than guilt and regret.”
Founder of Brookhaven Retreat, Jacqueline Dawes, agrees that guilt is a useless emotion particularly when it comes to food. “We all deserve a treat now and again, even ice cream. But when we can avoid empty calories, excess sugar and fat, we should. The smoothie in lieu of ice cream is a perfect example. If we can learn to eat sweets in moderation, there’s no need to live in a constant state of deprivation. That said, our peach smoothie was more divine than any milk shake I’ve ever had.”
The recipe used for the Peaches n’ Cream Protein Smoothie is as follows:
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen organic peaches
- 1/2 cup organic unsweetened coconut milk or unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 tsp organic pure honey or raw honey (optional)
- 1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
- Fresh peach slices for garnish
- Organic soy whipped cream for garnish (optional)
Directions: Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Garnish and enjoy!