Up until about a month ago my breakfast consisted of steel cut oats, a breakfast burrito, or a couple eggs and toast. All three of those breakfast foods served me well in the morning and kept me quite satisfied until my 10:00am morning snack. However, I did not know what I was missing by not eating a veggie and fruit packed green smoothie every morning. I don’t want to sound overly dramatic but I feel like drinking these green smoothies have been life changing.
Let me explain.
First of all I know it is important to have a diet high in fruits and vegetables – we all know that. However, for some reason I struggled with this. It’s not that I don’t like fruits and vegetables because I do. It just I could not find a way to fit them into my lifestyle without it feeling like too much work. Don’t ask why it was too much work it just was. I did not want to have to think of a vegetable side every time I made dinner or remember my apple for lunch everyday. That might work for some of you but it was not working for me. Plus even if I did eat an apple a day and broccoli for dinner I wasn’t even close to getting the amount of fruits and vegetables I should be eating. So right off the bat drinking a green smoothie has caused me to double if not triple my daily fruit and vegetable intake.
With increasing my fruits and vegetables I started to see other health benefits. The most noticeable was my skin. I don’t want to be to TMI so I will just say this. Over the last couple years I have had some hormone fluctuations that at times wreaked havoc on my face. Honestly, there were months I swear you would think I was a teenager with the amount of acnen I had. It was awful. Within a week of drinking green smoothies my face started completely clearing up. It was amazing. And honestly if I did not experience it I would have never believe it. I also add 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil to my smoothies, which I think also plays a big part in keeping my skin nice. From the research I have done on coconut oil I have found it to be praised as quite the miracle food. One of the known benefits is the positive effect it has on reducing or eliminating acne. I think that is a whole other post in itself so I will save that for another time. But if you have acne issues I highly recommend looking into coconut oil.
The only drawback to coconut oil is the fat and calories – both are quite high. But please do not let that scare you off because the benefits you get from coconut oil outweigh any of the calories and fat. I have not seen any weight gain issues since starting to drink these and sometimes I add more coconut oil than the recipe calls for. I just take that in consideration when I am planning out the rest of my meals.
Another benefit to green smoothies is the amount of energy and clarity I feel in the morning and throughout the day. It’s kind of funny because I never really thought I lacked energy. However, within a week of drinking green smoothies I felt like a cloud lifted – a cloud I didn’t know existed.
I also find that I don’t drink as much coffee as I did before. As you know I am quite the coffee addict. Seriously, it is one of my last bad habits. But when I bring my green smoothie with me to work I just slurp on that instead of a caffeinated sugar filled coffee drink. This benefit was unexpected but nonetheless welcomed.
Those are just a few of the benefits I have noticed right away. I am sure there will be more and as they come about I will let you know.
Let me share my simple strawberry and kale smoothie recipe that I have been drinking for about 3 weeks. It is my goal to create different green smoothie recipes but this is the one I started off with and still use. Sometimes I switch it up by adding pineapple or berries but I always keep the base the same with kale, coconut oil, and plain greek yogurt.
One question I got when I posted this on facebook was “does it taste gross with the kale” or “can I taste the kale”. My answer to this is it does not taste gross at all. I think it taste great and would not drink it if it tasted bad. Second, I feel the taste of the fruit comes through more than the kale. If you are worried then just start off with a small amount of kale and work your way up to more. I started with about 1 cup of kale and now I use 2 cups and at times will shove even more in.
Last, this recipe makes about 3 cups of smoothie – it is big. I drink the whole thing for breakfast but you probably could split this into two servings. The nutritional information is for 1 big smoothie.
Let me know if you have any more questions about smoothies and I will try to answer them in a later post. Also, stay tuned because I will be getting creative with more smoothie recipes in the future.
- 2 cups frozen strawberries
- 2 cups fresh kale
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 banana, optional for sweetness
- 1 – 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, optional for sweetness
- water to reach consistency like.
- Place all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. If needed add water till you get the consistency you want.
You can make a smoothie freezer kit by putting the strawberries, kale, and yogurt into a freezer bag. Take out the night before and let thaw slightly in the refrigerator. Put in blender with rest of the ingredients and blend till smooth.