Green Smoothies 101 – Get Glowing Skin and Increased Energy
Eating lots of dark leafy greens is the best thing you can do if you want to increase your energy, clean your skin, lose weight, and just feel full-on sexy, but if you are like the majority of my clients, you are not getting enough of them. Here is a powerful strategy to get those greens in your body: drink them!
What are green smoothies?
According to Victoria Boutenko, the author of Green for Life and, as far as I know, the initiator of the green smoothie movement, a green smoothie is simply a blended drink of fresh fruit, one or more leafy greens and water. That’s it.
When it comes to smoothies, the sky is the limit in terms of what you can put in them, but in the case of green smoothies, it’s best to keep them simple to get the most benefits. Again: fruit, leafy greens, water.
I know they don’t sound very appetizing, but believe me, they are very good! Yes, they are! You wouldn’t even notice there are greens in the smoothie if it wasn’t because of the color, because the flavor is not noticeable. I know it sounds crazy, but just try! You’ll be happy you did.
There are incredible advantages to drinking green smoothies on a regular basis. Let me mention a few.
They are practical.
Hello… you don’t have to worry about cooking! Just rinse, throw in the blender, press the power button, let blend, and serve. Yes, you need to wash the blender afterwards, but you’re going to feel so good to do this for yourself, that you’ll overlook that little detail. This is the easiest way I know of to get those greens in my body.
You’ll have more greens, without even trying.
How much parsley can you have in one sitting? I mean, I love parsley, but there is just so much I can have sprinkled over my food! However, if I add parsley to my smoothie, things change. We’re talking about one generous handful of the stuff – stems and all, or more. (BTW, parsley is a real super-food, so you should eat it frequently, blended or not.)
The same with any leafy green you decide to put in your smoothie. Even if you start with very little while you get used to them, chances are, you are going to dramatically increase your consumption of greens to much more than you’ve ever had.
They are very alkalizing.
That’s a really good thing! Most foods in the SAD (Standard American Diet) tend to be acid-forming, so in general, you really want to favor alkalizing foods, of which leafy greens are at the top of the list, especially if they are raw.
You’ll have your greens raw.
The hardiest dark leafy greens – kale, collard greens, swiss chard – are also the most nutrient dense, and it is desirable to eat them raw. Some people do, but for the majority of us, they are difficult to stomach because of their high content of cellulose.
However, things change in a smoothie because the blender breaks the cellulose strands, so you can drink away without getting gassy.
They are excellent to get children used to eating greens.
Most children don’t look forward to eating leafy greens and parents battle with them because of it. But in a smoothie you only need to put enough fruit to mask the flavor of the greens and you’re all set.
What about the color factor? Yes, this can be a little inconvenience, but I have a client who convinced her 7-year-old daughter that she was being so cool and unique for drinking green smoothies. Hey, children will drink blue and purple beverages, so why not green? I think they will not mind much if you don’t make a big fuzz about it.
Did I convinced you to give it a shot? Great! This is how you start.
First and foremost, you can’t do this in a $ 15 blender because it will not blend the greens to a creamy consistency. It’s OK to have little chucks of greens in your smoothie, but it’s not very appetizing, to be honest. Look for a blender with a 600-watt motor at the very least.
Have the good blender? OK, let’s get going.
The best fruit to start with is banana because of the sweetness and the creaminess it adds to smoothies. Later on, you can use apples or pears instead of the bananas and add berries to the mix. Mango and peach are very good as well.
As far as the leafy greens, start with the most tender ones. Lettuces and salad greens of all kinds, baby spinach and – yes you guessed it – parsley. Start with one handful of your green of choice per portion of fruit. Once you are comfortable with the taste, you can add more of the greens.
Don’t try to be a hero! If you are not used to eating greens, you will upset your stomach if you have a lot at one time. Start slowly and build up.
How much water? Very little. Like less than one cup. If things don’t move, then add a little more until they do. The idea here is to get a nice thick smoothie that will leave a green mustache on your healthy face.
When will you have them? That depends on you, really. Sometimes I’ll have one of these for breakfast, but I really like them for dinner – I tend to eat very little, if any dinner. I recommend to have them for snack time at the beginning and, once you are more used to them, you can replace your smallest meal of the day with a green smoothie.