Written by Beth Wiles
In September 2009 I discovered for myself the delicious and simple pleasure of consuming the green smoothie. I love these smoothies!
Here I will discuss the benefits of adding Green Smothies to your diet. I will share helpful tips and a selection of my favorite recipes.
These are delicious in flavor and take only about 5-10 minutes to throw together. I purchase the packaged organic spinach and quickly rinse it before putting it in the blender.
I also keep plenty of frozen organic fruits on hand for regular use – blueberries, strawberries, peaches, and mangoes. I peel and freeze ripe bananas that have been broken into pieces that add a creamy thickness that you’ll love!
“So what is so special about these smoothies that I should include these in my daily diet?”, you may be asking yourself.
I wish I had known about and understood the benefits of these myself much sooner!
I am glad to know about them now, and like everyone else who is proclaiming the benefits of these beverages, we feel we should not keep something so beneficial to our health a secret from others.
Let’s talk facts and discuss the benefits:
In mid-September 2009, I was looking at raw food cookbooks on Amazon.com and stumbled upon Victoria Boutenko’s books, which led me to her book, Green Smoothie Revolution. I have been drinking these smoothies ever since!
As stated in a Q&A by Clent Manich on Victoria Boutenko’s Green Smoothie Revolution website, he says:
“As described in portion by Victoria Boutenko: Green Smoothies are 60% Ripe Organic Fruit and 40% Organic Greens blended well in a high power blender such as a Vita-Mix Blender.” If you click on the blender, you can order one here.
Why blend rather than juice?
Because blended juices provide you with the complete food, including it’s fiber – juices have removed this fiber. Cleanup is a breeze when blending, unlike cleanup for juicing – just rinse out the blender pitcher and lid is all there is!
What is so great about these green smoothies?
• Full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes. In fact, greens contain all vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are necessary for optimal health. Vitamin B12 is the only missing nutrient in greens.
• Alkalizing for better alkaline balance. All greens are alkaline, and most fruit is alkalizing to the body.
• Filling due to high fiber content, yet low in calories! Also, the sugars from the fruit are absorbed into the body more slowly due to this fiber content.
• Full of antioxidants to fight free radicals! We all have heard for years that we need to eat our greens, vegetables and fruits for these antioxidants. What better way to do that than in a delicious smoothie with our choice of greens and fruit?
• High chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll is known to be good for all-natural detoxification due to it’s cleansing and blood-building properties.
• Many people report feeling more energetic, more alive and glowing while consuming green smoothies. I can say that this is also my experience. In fact, I love these smoothies so much and know I am doing my body a world of good – I will drink these every day without fail!
• You can fulfill the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables – and then some! I love that I’m able to eat about double the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables since I have added these smoothies to my mostly raw food diet.
I challenge you to think about your current diet and ask yourself: Can I benefit from the intake of leafy greens and fruit with just the addition of 1-2 of these per day…?
What have you got to lose?
A few tips:
• Use only organic produce if at all possible! If not possible, remember the ‘Dirty Dozen’ and the ‘Clean 15’ (go to EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides for your shopping guide) can keep the exposure to chemicals at a minimum.
• Remember to rotate the type of greens you eat throughout the week – or eat one type of green for the entire week, then switch for the next week and so on. This is necessary to prevent a build-up of the same alkaloids from the greens. I have provided my favorite recipes here with a variety of greens to help with this rotation.
• Just add all ingredients to the blender pitcher with most of water going in first and blend on high until smooth. The greens are better digested once they are broken down for better absorption of nutrients in the body.
• Please take the time to enjoy the flavors in your mouth as you ‘chew’ the smoothie – do not gulp it down! I love the subtle flavor combinations of banana, peach, mango, and greens.
• Don’t forget to take these with you when you travel! I realize this may not be as easy when flying, but think about how you can take these with you. I packed us up for a road trip to Florida recently and took a cooler with the 2-days’ drive worth of smoothies. I also took the blender with and blended the entire vacation!
• Per Victoria Boutenko, it is best to add nothing more than greens, fruit, and water to the smoothie. She recommends not adding nuts, seeds, oils, supplements, or other ingredients to the smoothie as these can slow the assimilation of the smoothie in your digestive tract and could cause irritation and gas.
• I plan for the week so I am sure we rotate our greens to avoid accumulation of alkaloids from the same green source. These alkaloids are present in leaves of greens to ensure that animals in the wild will not overeat the same ones resulting in extermination of the plant. An accumulation of too much from the same plant can be toxic, so remember – as in all things – balance is key!
Once you have tried these smoothies, you will likely come up with your own favorite and unique variations. Have fun with your experimentation!
Here are two of my new creations…
Children and Green Smoothies
When starting out with children for the first time, add a little more fruit to get the added sweetness for better appeal to their taste buds until they have grown accustomed to the flavor.
Mango is one of my favorites, and it covers very well the bitterness of any greens, as well as pineapple and banana.
Add a little bit of blueberry and/or strawberry to disguise the green color if necessary for better appeal with your young children. I understand very well how color alone can make or break the first impression!
My children are not so young now, and trust me, it can be easier to introduce children when very young because they do not have the preconceived notions that the older ones have.
I have a challenge on my hands in enticing my youngest, (almost 20 year old) son to even so much as taste a green smoothie. I will figure out a way and will be sure to share this in the near future!
Green Smoothie Challenge
I have just recently participated in the 14-day Green Smoothie Challenge (check it out here), with a goal to drink approximately 1 liter per day, which is so easy to do!
I am happy to say that I am feeling much more energetic and light! I had gained weight in my tummy area due to hormonal imbalance and am working through it naturally with diet alone. I lost 1-1/2 inches in my waistline alone just in the 1st week of the challenge – the only change I had made was increasing the green smoothies.
You will be amazed at how filling these are! They really do satisfy hunger and help to keep food cravings at bay.
I start out my day (every single day) with my morning pre-workout ‘snack’ green smoothie and then have another as my late afternoon snack.
Why not consider accepting the challenge yourself?
It means simply adding 1-2 16 ounce glasses of green smoothie to your daily diet – no other dietary change is required.
Do this for 14 days, you have nothing to lose and only good to gain!
Don’t be surprised when you are ready to continue with these delicious green smoothies because you really like them, and you likely have enjoyed health benefits!
Beth Wiles is a mother of 3 adult children and lives in Indiana. She navigated her way to find the best natural alternatives and healthy lifestyle for her family – a passion that has spanned over 30 years! She launched her Natural Health Website in August 2009 and her personal blog, Beth Wiles in December 2010. She is currently receiving training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she is being trained in over 100 dietary theories and studying a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. She is passionate about helping others to succeed in all areas of life.
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