I’m back! After a much needed break I’m back to writing my newsletter and blog. I’ve missed it, but I haven’t just been sitting around the whole time; let me tell you one of the things I’ve been up to. I’ve become a green smoothie junkie! It started with juicing which then lead to blending. I also got some advice from my boyfriend, who has read all about it and even went to a lecture by the “Green Smoothie Girl”. So now I drink about a pint of my own green concoction daily (My boyfriend drinks about a quart) and it tastes good, much better than one might expect.
Why did I feel like I needed to start drinking a green smoothie daily? Well my exercise was going along fairly smoothly, but my nutrition was not. The lack of greens in my diet was abysmal. I knew I needed to change that, but prepping a creative salad everyday was too time consuming and only gave me a few vegetable servings. I needed to maximize my time and servings of veggies and the best way was to blend. It’s amazing how much stuff you can fit into a pint or so when you puree it. I put in two handfuls of spinach and some chard or kale leaves along with loads of fruit and some supplements. Voila! I get most of the 5-9 servings of fruit and veg I need in a day and any extra is just icing.
So what is the big deal with fresh fruit and veggies anyway? I thought I knew, but I only knew part of it. I knew they were chock full of necessary vitamins and minerals, along with good fiber, but I didn’t realize they had a decent amount of protein, some fat and also phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are compounds made by plants that are responsible for their color, smell, taste or feel. As opposed to vitamins, they are nonessential to humans, but eating them can have a very good effect on our health. Antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids, and polyphenols are among the thousands of phytochemicals scientists have discovered. These plant chemicals can help prevent cancer, strengthen our immune systems and stimulate enzymes. So cool! Eating these foods raw allows us to get the maximum amount of phytochemicals and nutrients and breaking it all down in a blender helps the body absorb everything better and more quickly.
You can make a smoothie as complicated or as simple as you want. You can just put in water, a banana, an apple and some spinach, but you could also spice it up and add mango, bee pollen, coconut oil, plain Greek yogurt and spirulina. I like to experiment. No smoothie I make is ever the same as one I’ve made before. See my recipe at the bottom of this post. It’s just a jumping off point. Sky’s the limit! Just remember there is no need for regular (high sugar) yogurt, ice cream or sugar. This isn’t a dessert or on the other hand something to just choke down. If you get the right ratio of everything it is quite tasty. Drink half now and put half in the fridge for later. Eat with a meal or on it’s own.