Happy 2016 Radiant Beauties!
I am declaring 2016 the Year of the Radiant Health Revolution! And I’m super excited to share with you my Ultimate Green Smoothie Guide to start the year off on a delicious healthy note.
For those of you who know me, you already know that green smoothies are one of my trademarks. I bring them to work everyday, and would bring them to Nutrition school for dinner. I get all kind of comments, ranging from “What’s that green sludge you’re drinking?” to “Oooh, that looks delicious, what’s in your green smoothie?“. I bet you can guess what comment came from my holistic nutrition friends :).
So I thought I’d start off the year sharing my Ultimate Green Smoothie Guide. It’s more of a formula than a recipe, which is way cooler because you can customize it to suit your tastes, and change it up all the time so you can enjoy a green smoothie every day without getting bored.
Why Drink Green Smoothies?
Yes, green smoothies are a great way to lose weight without changing anything else. When I started drinking green smoothies three years ago, I lost about 15 pounds without consciously changing anything else in my diet. I can’t credit the green smoothies for this, but I also booked my trip of a lifetime Mt. Kilimanjaro climb and started training shortly after the green smoothies started. (Check out my posts here – Kili Part 1 and Kili Part 2). So that definitely contributed to the weight loss. But the point is, when you start to feel better, you will naturally start to add other healthy habits to your lifestyle.
It’s a simple way to pack lots of nutrients into a single glass.
They’re quick to prepare, and you can make a bunch at once and freeze them in glass mason jars. Also super easy to take with you when you’re on the go.
Easy way add plant-based protein to your diet
This will keep cravings away and balance your blood sugar, boost your metabolism and help enhance detoxification.
Source of fibre
Helps eliminate waste and toxic bad bacteria, while keeping good bacteria in check.
Step 1 – Liquid Base
I prefer simple water, but you could also choose coconut water for extra electrolytes and minerals. Or use your favourite nut milk.
Step 2 – Thick and Creamy
Avocado is my favourite which I use almost every day, but a banana will work too.
Step 3 – Fruit
My favourite includes organic apples, berries, pineapple, mango, peaches or kiwi. Use your imagination, choose what you like and mix it up! Of course it’s great to choose fresh fruit in season, but keeping frozen fruits in the freezer is a great way to ensure you always have something on hand.
Step 4 – Greens and Veggies
This of course is the key to the green smoothie, so this is where you want the most of your ingredients to come from. If you’re just starting out, spinach is a great way to start adding in greens without a making it taste super “green”. Although once you get used to it, you will love and crave that green taste, I promise you :). There are so many options, so it’s great to mix it up.
Some options for greens include kale, spinach, chard, romaine lettuce, collards and beet greens. Pick one or mix it up in the same smoothie. A great tip is to store your greens in the freezer. Not only will you never have to throw away your spoiled greens, but you’ll always have some on hand to toss into your smoothie!
Other veggies and herbs include cucumber, celery, parsley and cilantro.
Step 5 – Protein
I love adding a good vegan protein powder. Sunwarrior, Vega and Genuine Health are my favourite brands, but there are lots of good options out there. You can also use hemp seeds or hemp protein powder.
Step 6 – Superfood Extras
Here’s where it can get really fun! I could write a book about all the amazing superfoods and their benefits, but here’s a few ideas to get you started. More details on specific superfoods in upcoming blog posts. Let me know if you’re interested in the comments below.
Detoxifying and full of fibre, a complete source of protein, and loaded with minerals including magnesium, calcium and iron.
Increases energy, endurance and stamina, reduces stress and improves sleep quality.
Super high in antioxidants and vitamin C.
I love this blue-green freshwater algae that is rich in protein and can help boost your immune system, regulate cholesterol and blood pressure, and help protect against cancer.
Adds a great flavour to smoothies, and is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and increases circulation.
So there you have it my friends! Pick one or more ingredients from each of the steps above, and blend away! Remember that it’s all about the veggies, so focus more on the veggies than the fruit.
Here’s an example of one of my favourite go to green smoothies. I can fit a lot of ingredients into my Vitamix, and it comes out super smooth. This makes about 1 large and 1 small size mason jar full, so I refrigerate or freeze what I’m not going to drink right away. The NutriBullet is also a great little blender for smoothie making if you’re not ready to invest in the Vitamix.
Go To Green Smoothie
2-3 cups filtered water
1 organic apple
Scoop of Vega Protein + Greens protein powder
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp Spirulina
Chunk of peeled ginger
A few chunks of frozen mango
Handful of parsley
Lots of organic spinach and kale!
Green smoothies are a great way to start your day on a healthy note, so try one soon!
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