Up until about 6 months ago I never consumed a green smoothie. I would make non-green smoothies for my kids but – for me – my morning meal centered on oatmeal or breakfast burritos. In fact, smoothies in general were not something I craved. And now that I think about it, I never really craved fruits and vegetables at all – I was more of carb and protein girl.
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Then I decided to give green smoothies a try. I started to see a bunch of green smoothie recipes pop up on Pinterest and Facebook. It wasn’t so much the recipes themselves that peeked my interest but what people were saying about them. Everyone that was an avid green smoothie drinker raved about the way these smoothies made him or her feel physically, mentally, and even emotionally. Some even went as far to describe them as life changing. Life changing? My interested was peaked and I decided to give them a shot.
Now I wouldn’t say I was looking for a life changing smoothie potion but I was feeling a little sluggish and needed a boost. So I bought my ticket and hopped onto the green smoothie train.
Since then life has never been the same. Within a week of drinking green smoothies I noticed a huge difference in the way I felt. I had more clarity, increased energy and over time I noticed my skin start to clear up and develop a glow. My PMS got better and I noticed that my stomach area did not look or feel bloated when I was drinking green smoothies. I felt amazing!
If I had the power to go back in time and give myself some advice – prior to losing weight – I would say start drinking green smoothies. Honestly, that is the truth and here are 5 reasons why.
1. Significantly increased my consumption of raw vegetables and fruits.
I don’t know about you but I have always struggled with consuming enough vegetables. If I did not eat a salad everyday or intentional make a side of broccoli or green beans to go with dinner then most likely I was not eating enough vegetables. With drinking a green smoothie everyday I am consuming 1-2 cups of leafy green vegetables and at least 2 cups of fruit. That brings me very close to getting in 3-4 servings of fruits of vegetables before 10am. If I did not drink green smoothies that would never happen. Even if I did eat a vegetable with dinner every night I would consume that much.
Also, drinking green smoothies makes it very easy to get fruits and vegetables in without a lot of fussing around with a recipe. No need to cook, bake, or sauté. All you need to do is throw everything into a blender, add liquid, and in 2 minutes you have your smoothie ready to drink. So if you struggle with getting in fruits and vegetables I highly recommend giving green smoothies a try.
2. Keeps me hydrated, energized, and alert
Most of the time the only symptom people think of when they are dehydrated is being thirsty. While this is certainly a symptom of being dehydrated other symptoms include feeling tired, sluggish, getting headaches, losing focus, and sometimes feeling hungry when your not.
Your physical and mental well-being is very connected to your hydration. Before drinking smoothies I had no idea I was dehydrated. I thought I had all those symptoms because I live a busy life. I tried to increase my energy in the mornings with coffee but often times that made it worse. I didn’t really know I was dehydrated until I started to drink green smoothies. After a few days of them I felt like a brand new person. I had so much more energy, clarity, and it felt like the fog had been lifted. I did not feel sluggish at all and my headaches literally went away. It was truly amazing. I know I might sound like an infomercial but seriously I could not believe the difference I felt by drinking a green smoothie each morning.
I know for a fact these positive changes are due to drinking green smoothies because now anytime I don’t drink one I go right back to feeling sluggish, tired, getting headaches, all the other negative symptoms. My life is always going to be busy. With 2 kids, a husband, a fulltime job, and a business that is just the way my life is. Drinking green smoothies has now become essential in giving me the energy and stamina I need to get through my days.
3. Increased my daily nutrition
One green smoothie made with fruits, vegetables, and other power foods are packed with nutrition. Sometimes more nutrition than you would get all day eating 1500 – 2000 calories. And because a green smoothie is blended it is easy to add in power foods or additional ingredients without a lot of effort making it a great way to increase your daily nutrition. For example, if you want to get more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet you can throw in some chia or flax seeds. Want to experience the benefits of coconut oil? No problem, add a tablespoon to your smoothie. You won’t even know it is there. Need more protein add in some peanut butter or yogurt. The possibilities are endless when making smoothies
Also, one smoothie – depending on what you add – is only about 200 – 300 calories per serving. This means you are getting a lot of nutrition for very little calories. When your body is nourished you will naturally feel more satisfied and healthy. So if you are struggling with balancing and/or increasing your nutrition then I think you will find drinking green smoothies very beneficial.
4. Naturally cleansing and detoxifying
I am always reading about people “doing a cleanse”. Basically, from what I gather, they take a week and either eat nothing but vegetables or take some kind of pill regimen to cleanse out their system. The other weeks they are just eating “normally”, whatever that means. Personally, I don’t find this healthy. I feel if you are incorporating a lot of fruits and vegetables into your diet daily there is no need to go on cleanses. Drinking green smoothies on a regular basis provides all the nutrients your body needs to naturally cleanse and detoxify.
A benefit that I experienced from the cleansing and detoxifying effects of green smoothies is clearer skin. At almost 40 I still experience acne and it seemed that no matter what products I bought I could not get control over the constant pimples that kept showing up. Of course, they always got worse around “that time of the month”. Sorry if that is TMI but hey we are all adults here. Anyway, now that I drink green smoothies on a regular basis my skin is more clear and has even developed a nice glow. I still get the occasional pimple but nothing like I was experiencing. Beauty starts on the inside and green smoothies definitely help with that.
5. Simple to make and portable
Eating healthier foods is always easier way they are simple to make and portable – especially for a busy working mom. It takes me about 5 minutes to throw ingredients into a blender, blend, then transfer to a mason jar and bring to work. Or if I am staying home I can carry it around the house with me as I am trying to motivate my kids to get dressed and ready for school. Either way I am able to prepare a very nutritious meal with minimal effort.
To make it even easier I put together a bunch of green smoothie freezer kits once a month or so. This assures I have all the green smoothie ingredients ready to make every morning.
I can tell you all about the benefits of green smoothies but honestly you must try them out yourself because once you experience the beauty of green smoothies you will never go back.
Green Smoothie “How To” Tips
What type of blender?
If you are going to drink green smoothies on a regular basis then I HIGHLY recommend you invest in a quality blender. Blending up frozen fruit puts a lot of strain on the blades and motor of a blender, which can lead to parts breaking sooner than later. When I first started making green smoothies I bought a $40 blender thinking that was all I needed. It broke within 3 months. Then I bought another $40 blender and again it broke after only a few months. After that I purchased a Ninja blender for a little less than $200. The Ninja works great but I wasn’t crazy about the blades. There seemed to be a lot of them and it didn’t feel safe when I was trying to wash it. However, it still did the job.
Later on I got a Vitamix and was blown away by the power of this blender. I loved that the blades were at the bottom and it was super easy to clean without worrying about losing a finger. A Vitamix can run you upwards $750 depending on the model you get. However, they are not all that expensive so I suggest looking on their site and checking out your options.
I absolutely love my Vitamix and believe it is worth the investment, especially if you plan to use it on a daily basis.
Other readers have suggested the Nutribullet. I have never used this particular blender but it does get good reviews. My recommend is to do your research and purchase a high quality blender that fits your budget. But remember this is an investment in your health so – in my opinion – spending a little extra will be worth it.
What leafy greens to use?
Leafy greens are what make a green smoothie green. So, leafy greens are kind of an essential green smoothie ingredient. I use either kale or spinach in all of my green smoothie recipes. Mostly, because the taste is mild and I can purchase huge bags of them from my local warehouse store. However, you can use all different kinds of leafy greens in your green smoothie.. Some greens include mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, swiss chard, dandelion greens, parsley, romaine, and other lettuces. Basically if it is a green leafy vegetable you can use it. Just keep in mind some have a strong flavor than others so experiment and see what you like.
Don’t worry about having purchasing big bags of greens because you can easily freeze leftover kale, spinach, and other greens for future smoothie or other recipes.
Do green smoothies taste gross?
Not at all! In fact, if it didn’t turn a green color you probably wouldn’t even know there was kale or spinach in there. The taste might be different with a stronger green but with my smoothies all I can taste is fruit. If you are just starting out with greens smoothies then I recommend using baby spinach and a smaller amount of greens at first. Once you get used to it then add more. If it is too strong then add less next time.
What kind of fruits should I use?
You can use any type of fruit in a green smoothie. Fruits like berries, pineapple, mango, and peaches will give a more smooth thicker consistency. Fruits like oranges, nectarines, grapes, and kiwi will be a bit more fibrous. You can still use these fruits but use them as an added fruit and not the main fruit.
Fresh or frozen fruits?
I always use organic frozen fruit in my smoothies. One, it is much cheaper because I can get huge bags from my warehouse store and second I don’t need to worry about the fruit spoiling. I even freeze my spinach or kale ahead of time. The only fresh fruit I use is bananas but sometimes I will even throw them in the freezer if I think they are getting close to the end. So you can certainly use fresh fruit but for the reasons I stated I prefer frozen.
What kind of liquid should I use?
My favorite smoothie liquid to use is unsweetened coconut milk – the kind in the milk carton not can. I love the thickness and richness it brings to my green smoothie. It also has good fat in it, which helps to keep me full and satisfied longer. I have also used unsweetened almond milk. You can also use coconut water, rice milk, soy milk, or just plain water. Really any liquid would be fine. However, I wouldn’t t use dairy milk because this inhibits the cleansing and detoxify benefits of a green smoothie. If you don’t have any of the other liquids just use filtered water.
Should I use a sweetener?
The only sweetener I use in my green smoothies is the natural sweetness from the banana and maybe 1 or 2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup. I never ever add refined sugar to my green smoothies. The amount of sweetness you need will depend on your personal taste along with the type of ingredients you are using.
Will this fill me up?
I drink a green smoothie every morning at around 7am and it keeps me full until 11:00am for my mid morning snack. Sometimes I make it to lunch. So yes I think green smoothies are substantial enough to get you through the morning. If you feel like you need a heartier smoothie maybe add some peanut butter, almond butter, or a high quality protein powder. I used to add greek yogurt to my smoothies but I am trying to keep them dairy free so I only add yogurt once in a while now. But if you want to try with a little yogurt for added protein then do it and see if that works for you.
Should I use ice?
Personally I do not use ice because I always use frozen fruits. If you are using fresh fruits then you will probably need to use ice to get the consistency you want and for the smoothie to be cold. Some people don’t mind using ice but I find that adding ice causes the smoothie to be a bit watered down so I prefer to just use frozen fruits.
Basic smoothie formula
I do offer green smoothie recipes on my site but really all you need for your own smoothie recipe is a basic formula. This is what I use whenever I putting a new green smoothie recipe together.
1 cup greens + 2 cups fruit + 1 banana + 2 cups liquid + extra for consistency. See easy!
Green Smoothie Recipe Round Up
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