Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Green smoothies

My girlfriend Angela sent me a link a few weeks ago, suggesting that I check it out. It was a link to Green Smoothie Girl, a website where the author believes that if you do nothing else for your health but make and drink a green smoothie once a day, you'll be improving your health by leaps and bounds.

The idea of one thing making a big difference appealed to me, so I decided to try it. And I liked it right away. Tim watched what I was doing with some skepticism, but after a few days decided to try it as well. He liked it too. And I've shared the idea with some friends who are now making, drinking, and enjoying green smoothies too!

So what's in a green smoothie? Here's what I've been putting in mine:

In a blender with a tight fitting lid, combine:
2 cups water
2 - 3 giant handfuls organic spinach
1 handful kale or chard
(blend these together first to break up all the leaves)
1/2 of a frozen banana
1-1/2 cups frozen mixed berries
1 - 2 packages Stevia powder (I like mine sweet)
more water to desired consistency

Once you add in the berries and banana, the smoothie no longer looks green. And you can't taste the spinach and any other greens you put in it. This recipe makes about 64 ounces, and Tim and I have been splitting this amount in the morning, and again in the late afternoon/early evening. I try to drink my green smoothie before I eat anything else, because I want the enzymes in the raw food to hit my system first.

That's it! You can change the proportions (more berries and banana for those who are just starting off and want something that's more like a "normal" smoothie), the ingredients (different fruits, different greens), and add some extras (some days I add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice) to make it just right for you. But the base of spinach and other greens never changes, and that's what makes it so great -- you're eating more dark leafy greens (like we always hear we need to do) in a way that just makes it so easy to do!

I feel that by drinking green smoothies, I've opened the door to a willingness I've never had before to examine what I choose to fuel my body with. I'm still on half the caffeine I normally drink (a small cup of coffee in the morning and in the afternoon, as compared with -- well, I don't even want to go there!), and I think that's directly tied to green smoothies. And I'm more discriminating about what I eat, asking the question "Do I really want this?" before just going ahead and eating. And my tastes are changing, so fresh stuff really does taste better than processed (for the most part).

If you do a Google search on Green Smoothies, you'll find tons of links for more inspiration. Let me know if you decide to give this a try. Happy blending and thanks Angela!

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