What’s that in that Starbucks cup? ’cause it sure doesn’t look like a frappuccino, does it?
It’s a green smoothie. It seems like a cruel joke to put something that… that obnoxiously healthy in a Starbucks cup, I know – but they are the best for on-the-go smoothies.
A couple of months ago I started drinking green smoothies.
I’d get up in the morning, get ready, make breakfast for the girls, and then before leaving the house, I’d whip up a green smoothie for myself and sip it on the way to school, at red lights and while stuck in traffic.
The rest of my diet didn’t change that much, but I gradually started noticing things. I didn’t crave sugar as much as I usually do. I slept better. And my skin looked so good I started skipping foundation when putting on makeup.
Lately however I have been reading Victoria Boutenko’s Green for Life, an really interesting and incredibly informative book that analyses more in depth the importance of eating your greens. Of course you have probably been hearing eat your greens! your entire life, as have I – but this book goes beyond the usual, trite, “they are good for you and have lots of fiber and vitamins and that’s healthy” thing and illustrates exactly how and why to eat your greens so you get absolutely the most out of them. And based on the research and trials, “the most” is really A LOT.
So I have decided to do my own trial: I challenged myself to drink a green smoothie every single day for 30 days, without changing anything else, and see where that takes me.
Today is day 4, and this is this morning’s smoothie:
A green smoothie is a much more effective and delicious way to get your greens in. Because of the toughness of cellulose cell walls, we can only absorb a fraction of the nutrition that greens contain when we chew them. When they are blended however, the cellulose is broken down and the nutrients are right there for the taking!
Plus you don’t don’t have to feel like a rabbit, chewing a large portion of greens for ages. Instead, you may sit on the sofa and sip on a lovely, sweet fruit concoction, and get your greens at the same time.
If you want to join in and give green smoothies a whirl, here are a couple of tips:
- only use fresh veggies, not frozen. You may, however, use frozen fruit (preferably unsweetened)
- If you are just starting out, use less greens and more fruit – for instance, 1 cup of spinach blended with a whole banana and 1/2 cup of blueberries. As you get used to it, you may add more greens.
- Choose mild-tasting greens to start off, like romaine and baby spinach, then feel free to experiment with kale, chard, dandelion greens, arugula; but always start with just a little bit.
- I prefer not to use dairy in my smoothies, so I stick with filtered water or a blend of rice and almond milk; however if you are positive you don’t have a sensitivity to dairy, feel free to add plain yogurt to your smoothie to make it creamier. I find that banana does the trick quite nicely.
- If you want your smoothie to keep you full longer, add a little fat. My top picks: a teaspoon of almond butter, flaxseed oil, coconut oil or coconut butter.
- 6-10 oz water,rice milk or almond milk, or a mix
- 2 cups spinach or other greens
- 1/2-1 banana
- 1/2-1 cup of berries, 1/2 mango or a large slice of pineapple (or 1 medium peach, pear, etc)
- optional: other veggies, or sprouts (I like alfalfa)
- optional: 1 teaspoon chia seeds of flaxseeds (for extra fiber)
- optional: 1 teaspoon almond butter, coconut butter or flaxseed oil
So there you have it. I will post an update here once a week or so, and I’ll do my best to share a picture of my daily smoothie on Instagram, tagged #30daysofgreensmoothies. If you want to follow along but don’t have Instagram, you may follow on Followgram instead. I will also share the pictures on Twitter.
Want to join me on the challenge? Post your blog link, Instagram name or Twitter ID in the comments, so we can keep in touch and cheer each other on! And feel free to use the #30daysofgreensmoothies tag in your tweets or Instagram shares, so if anyone is looking for smoothie ideas, your shots and tweets will pop up.
Ready, blend, go!