Happy, Healthy Kitchen – Green Smoothies
If I think of one of the most important healthy habits that I have incorporated into my day, it would hands down be making green smoothies. I know that there is a lot of buzz about them everywhere. But to me, all the hype is for good reason. My family and I have been drinking a quart a day each for over six and a half years now. Yes, that’s right, every morning. We literally don’t feel the same unless they are part of our daily routine. In fact, they are so important to me that I will pack them with me when I travel.
The end of last year, I helped a girlfriend with her four day wedding extravaganza. I made eight quarts before I left. Six for me and two for the bride. I packed six quarts with me for a road trip last December. And I recently went to Colorado for ten days and the one thing on the top of my list was to make sure the house I was staying at had a blender. I was pleasantly surprised in Colorado that I could still make awesome smoothies with a Nutri Bullet, as I normally use a Vitamix ─ my favorite kitchen appliance. I soon as I got there I went to Trader Joes for all the ingredients I would need. In fact, I credit my smoothies for my high energy and healthy immune system while I was gone, even though I was exposed during my travel to a lot of sick people with flu season in full swing. You get the idea. Green smoothies are so important to me because they have been a huge game changer for my whole family. I will try to explain what I mean but please remember, these are the benefits we noticed and results may vary from person to person.
I remember we were hooked with our personal results right away when we began over six years ago. My husband and I both quickly noticed increased energy and an overall feeling of well being. The list of benefits went way beyond this for us though. Our bodies felt fully nourished nutritionally for the first time. The research shows that when you take the variety of healthy greens like kale, spinach, swiss chard, and break them down into a smoothie, it helps make the nutrition available (or able to assimilate) for your cells. Not to mention, if you have struggled with digestive issues like I have, I could tell my body was absolutely loving the new assimilation of nutrients. I think that is the main reason I still crave my smoothies today, even more so than my big, yummy salads. When I eat a salad, I am not sure the total percentage of nutrients I am able to assimilate. But with the green smoothie I feel like I am getting the full benefit of nutrients. I have heard its not only important what you eat, but what you digest. In fact, since I have been practicing intuitive eating, there are some days my body wants two smoothies. I listen to it and will make an extra one in the afternoon with different greens from the morning.
In addition, the abundance of whole food plant fiber acts like a broom cleaning the entire intestinal tract. Don’t get me wrong ─ I am also a big fan of juicing vegetables and have embarked on an amazing 65 day juice fast before. Juicing definitely has its place with lots of benefits, but for the day to day we prefer smoothies.
Green smoothies are not only super fast but more cost effective for us. My husband also noticed he slept better at night as he has struggled with sleep issues for decades. Also, the cancer he didn’t realize he had, went away within the first six months. Both of us now have soft, beautiful, healthy looking skin that absolutely glows. Our hair and nails are also super healthy and grow unbelievably fast. Another huge benefit we noticed was that of our blood sugar levels had stabilized. I always thought I was hypoglycemic because I used to get hangry, shaky and have to eat after three hours or so. I remember many times rushing to make lunch because I had to eat right away. We both noticed that this never happens to either of us anymore. We stay satisfied longer and don’t have the blood sugar dips like we used to.
The last but certainly not the least benefit, is we hardly ever get sick. It seems like we have super immune systems. Our friends get colds and the flu for weeks or months at a time (and relapses) and we don’t. If we do get sick, it is literally for hours or a day, but we both quickly bounce back. I can only imagine all the health benefits happening to our bodies on the inside that we don’t know about!
I highly recommend watching YouTube videos on how to make healthy and delicious green smoothie combinations. I have a funny story that we still laugh about to this day about the first smoothie I made for us… After I excitedly bought kale at our farmers market, I came home and threw a whole head of washed kale and water into my brand new Vitamix. That’s it! And it came out disgusting ─ tasting like grass. We couldn’t get it down. I put my Vitamix away for three months until I gave it a try again. A lot of my close friends know that we are always drinking our green smoothies and they ask me how to get started as they often feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to start. Or they say they don’t have enough time in the day. My thought is that everyone has time, as it will only take two minutes to make, and you can simply rinse out the blender. I feel that the health benefits are so substantial that it is worth the time, making your health a priority.
I usually give them this fast, easy, no prep recipe to follow. Throw one ripe spotty banana in bottom of blender. Open a bag of organic pre-washed spinach and put in two large handfuls or more. Put one cup of frozen blueberries on top. Add in 2 or 3 cups of cold water, blend for a minute or so, and there, done! A healthy green smoothie that will actually be purple. I have gotten little kids, and picky teenagers to start loving smoothies with this recipe. My girlfriends who have started their kids on them, now have really healthy kids that don’t get sick. After your taste buds get used to this recipe, you might want to venture out and add other greens like kale. I must say that I make my smoothies with water. I don’t like to add extra calories from plant milk or nut butters. I always add a ripe banana (we share) for sweetness. I jam as many greens into my Vitamix as I can, pushing them down with my fist (before turning on the blender). I love to add parsley and/or cilantro too for their liver health and detox benefits. I also make sure to rotate my greens for regularly. And on top as the last ingredient is always a frozen fruit.
I can honestly say that I am so grateful that I have incorporated smoothies into our health routine. I hope you reap the benefits of adding a healthy green smoothie into your day. Happy Blending!!
Copyright © 2018 Kathleen De Haven – All Rights Reserved.