Welcome back to my Healthy Writer journey! Today we’re going to talk about green smoothies.
Are you giggling yet? A lot of people laugh when I say that I drink green smoothies. And I get why. I’m a California native, living in notoriously groovy Santa Cruz, California, and drinking a bunch of veggies seems like a classic California cliche, right?
But the fact is, making green smoothies has become a big part of improving my health and I hope I can talk a few other people into giving them a try. They are a really great way to get more vegetables into your body. You’ve seen the recommendations, right? We’re supposed to be eating 5-7 servings a day. And one serving is something like 2 cups of lettuce! That is a lot of salad, a lot of food prep, a lot of time spent chewing! A green smoothie can help you eat a bunch of those veggies in an easier way.
And getting more of the nutrients that veggies provide can make you look and feel pretty fabulous. Drink a smoothie every day and I think you’ll notice some changes in your body. Your skin may start to seem more hydrated, even glowing, (assuming you’re not munching on junk food for the rest of the day.) You may crave less sugar and carbs because all of those good nutrients in the smoothie fill you up. And please forgive me for broaching a taboo topic, but a doctor friend of mine said that she and her colleagues call green smoothies a bowel movement in a glass. Yes, I know that’s pretty crude, my apologies, but all that fiber can really help things get moving!
Before I say more, please know that I can take no credit for the creation of green smoothies. I read all about them in a book called Radical Beauty (a really good book, by the way) and decided I’d give them a try. Since then I’ve tried a bunch of different recipes I’ve found on the internet and also come up with some concoctions of my own.
So while I’m not offering much new or original information here, I hope I can convince you to try a smoothie or two and see what you think. And if you like the idea of them, but you don’t love your smoothie at first, try it again another time. My husband thought I was nuts for drinking green smoothies and made terrible faces the first few times he took a sip of mine. But then something changed, or maybe my smoothie-making skills improved, and now he really likes them.
Though I often make smoothies with no sugar or fruit in them at all, I encourage you to start with a smoothie made from fruits and greens mixed together. Because green smoothies are an acquired taste, and the addition of fruit can help you get used to it.
Here is one of my favorite smoothies that uses ingredients you may have lying about your house.
Chop up the following and put it in your blender:
About an inch of fresh ginger (peel the skin off it.)
2 stalks of celery
1 avocado (or you can use zucchini for a cheaper alternative that helps give the drink a smoother texture)
Several leaves of romaine lettuce
Several kale leaves (rip up the leaves and do not include the stalk.)
Spinach leaves are a great addition too, but be careful not to use too much. Some people (like me) have an allergic reaction to a whole lot of spinach and develop itchy skin.
The juice from half a lemon, about a tablespoon?
If you’d like a slightly more exotic smoothie, substitute pineapple for the apple. Fresh mint leaves are a tasty addition as well.
If you want to add protein, you can add in a couple tablespoons of chia seeds (soak them in water for about fifteen minutes first,) or hemp hearts or flax meal. Or, you can add protein powder. I use an organic, unsweetened, unflavored plant protein powder made by Garden of Life.
Add in a few cups of water, or coconut water, or coconut milk, and blend it until very smooth. I won’t tell you an exact amount of liquid, because you may prefer your smoothie thicker, or thinner. Just experiment and you’ll find an amount of liquid that seems right for you.
And then it’s time to drink up! And in Radical Beauty, the author reminds us to sip our smoothie slowly. Don’t gulp it down, because it’s not juice, it’s ground up food, and it can be a bit overwhelming for your stomach if you chug it!
Store any extra smoothie in a mason jar in the fridge. It will keep well for at least a day and it makes a great snack.
I hope this post inspires you to give green smoothies a try. And the next time you have a free minute, google green smoothie and about a zillion recipes will come up. You’ll quickly see that you’ve entered a whole new healthy universe, with many possibilities!
Be brave, experiment and enjoy!
Here’s to our health!
Radical Beauty Glowing Green Smoothie
Disclaimer: I have zero medical training and cannot offer any advice about medical issues. All I can do is share my journey and hope it inspires other people to pursue their own health and well being in whatever way works for them. Please speak with your doctor about any changes or decisions regarding your health. I’m also not a nutritionist, just someone who is trying to figure out a way of eating that makes me feel my best.