What do Gwyneth Paltrow, Pilates and PokerStars Women have in common?
Four celebrity green nutrition tips to improve your play
I used to work in the women´s marketing department for the world´s biggest poker site. And after 12 years in poker marketing, I changed to a more holistic career. I spent the last four years retraining as a transformational life coach, metaphysician, meditation teacher, raw nutritionist and detox facilitator. I now spend just as much time on my yoga mat as I used to in front of my laptop. My clients went from poker players to Pilates practitioners, but fundamentally, two things remained:
1. They were all women.
2. Poker players and Pilates practitioners share the same basic needs: staying power, energy, vitality, strength, endurance, mental alertness, emotional intelligence and a stress-free, anxiety-free consciousness to perform at peak state.
I´ve begun to notice that what works for my yogini students will also work for my much-loved poker sisters. No mat or equipment required; you don´t even need to break out in a sweat. Enjoy these four simple tips to triumph at the tables.
1. Green Juice
Packed full of antioxidants to keep you young, green juice is pro-alkaline, low-glycemic, diabetic-friendly, and freaking awesome. Knock back a couple of glasses of juice before you play, and you´ll be flying high. Add a wheatgrass shot, and they will have to peel you off the ceiling, a natural way to get completely in your zone to multi-table. Remember to keep it 3/4 green veggies and 1/4 green fruits. PokerStars Team Pro and celeb vegan Daniel Negreanu is an avid drinker of freshly juiced vegetables while playing poker.
My favourite recipe, which makes 1 litre or 32 ounces, is:
5 stalks celery
1/ 2 lemon
1 knob ginger
2 green apples
Handful of greens like spinach or kale
2 broccoli spears
Or try Gwyneth Paltrow's "The Best Green Juice Recipe":
5 large leaves of kale, ribs discarded, leaves roughly chopped
1 lemon, zest and pith removed
1 large apple, roughly chopped
A 2.5cm piece of fresh ginger
1 sprig of fresh mint
2. Green Smoothies
On big tourney days when you need the extra stamina and staying power, upgrade and swap your juice for a blended green power smoothie. More uplifting than a One Direction song and sexier than Justin Timberlake's waxed chest, and you'll be packing a punch in your game.
My favourite recipe:
Scoop of raw oats
1/ 2 banana
1/ 2 avocado
Handful greens like kale, bok choi, cabbage, broccoli
Handful of goji berries
Sprinkle of chia seeds
Scoop of protein powder
Teaspoon of almond butter
Agave, raw Honey, Xylitol, dates or Stevia to sweeten
Teaspoon of maca root or mesquite
Or channel your inner Kardashian and try Kim Kardiashian's "Green Smoothie Recipe":
2 cups spinach leaves, packed
1 ripe pear, unpeeled and chopped
15 red or green grapes
3/4 cup fat free Greek yogurt
2 tbps chopped avocado
1-2 tbps fresh lime juice
3. Green Tea
Ditch the caffeine; it just supports your adrenal fatigue. Swap your triple espresso frapoccino for a healthy matcha green tea. Lady Gaga is crazy for the delicate Japanese green brew as well as more robust Chinese leaves. You can also try Sencha with Cherry Blossom and Jasmine Pearl; Oprah swears by it. Yes, there is an iddy-biddy bit of caffeine, but compared to your venti latte, this won't raise your cortisol levels and jitter so much you can't bluff.
4. Green Superfoods
Saving the best for last, superfoods pack a mighty punch but the green ones hit even harder. Before your game fill up on:
Sea vegetables (duse, nori)
You think Kelly Rowland and Kate Hudson sit on their backsides all day eating Cheerios out of the packet, multi-screening their Twitter feeds and Instagram statuses, whilst going all-in against Bejingbelle99 from China? No, my friends, their pantries are some of the finest in the land. But all you need is a quick trip to Whole Foods, and you are sorted.
You are responsible for that big bank account bursting with cash from your wins; now get responsible for your inner well-being. The more you value yourself, the better your relationship with your body becomes.
Asia-based Sara Varela, M.NLP, RScP, R.Nutri is a Life Coach, Metaphysician, Motivational Speaker, Meditation Teacher, Raw Nutritionist, Wellness Writer, Detox Teacher, Yogini and former Manager of PokerStars Women Marketing Dept.