(Or) For Convenience and Effectiveness, You Can’t Beat Drinking Your Nutrients
I wrote a column about how making one change might be all you need to improve your health. Then I got an email from my friend Mark raving about a 7-day Green Smoothie Retreat he attended, led by Victoria Boutenko, author of Green Smoothie Revolution. He also signed up for The Green Smoothie Challenge. I have another friend who is starting a green smoothie business—to both nourish and educate. Just today, I got a call from my friend Johnna telling me that my smoothie recipe has become a daily treat for her and created a cult following among her friends.
This isn’t a trend; this is a movement!
The benefits of drinking a green smoothie, according to my friend Jennifer Thompson, are that “you can lose weight, increase energy, improve digestion, boost on minerals and fiber, alkalize the body and feel amazing!”
I’m the first to insist that we should spend more time procuring and preparing our food. I’ll argue that it’s not that we don’t have enough time to eat right; it’s that we don’t make it a priority. Easy for me to say when I don’t have kids or a commute! I understand how most people feel crunched for time, and it explains that one of the reasons green smoothies are a movement is that they are so convenient. Just throw a bunch of healthy ingredients in a blender and you’re going to get a ton of nutrients and feel satiated. Even better, if you’re in a rush, you can drink it on the go. For some people, there are more nutrients in that one drink than they’ll have in an average week! That’s why having a green smoothie every day–and still eating your normal fare–can produce dramatic results.
A green smoothie is typically 40 percent leafy greens and 60 percent fruit. They tend to work best when you use a VitaMix or another type of powerful blender. I’ve included several links below that include recipes. It’s recommended to vary both the greens and the fruits so that you get an array of nutrients.
While I enjoy a green smoothie now and again, I’ve found a blender drink that works even better for me. My recipe:
- Ground flax seeds
- Ground sesame seeds
- Hemp protein powder
- Ground raw cacao
When I drink this, I know I’m getting a daily dose of Omega-3, iron, protein, fiber and antioxidants. It tastes okay (certainly better if I added honey) but I’m more concerned with efficiency than taste. I feel full and also feel much more freedom to eat whatever I want the rest of the day.
Since fruit is portable and perfect as is, I’d rather eat fruit as a snack than add it to a smoothie. As for raw, leafy greens like collards, kale, spinach, and parsley, I eat them as part of my daily salad. Again, those are just my preferences based on my current lifestyle. If I get squeezed for time, making a green smoothie might make more sense.
You may have noticed that measurements are missing from my recipe. It’s more fun and less hassle to just go with the flow (extra chocolate anyone?) and not get hung up on being precise. Experiment. Play. Test. There’s no sense following somebody else’s recipe if you can’t get–or don’t enjoy–those ingredients. While fresh and organic are ideal, my brother uses frozen blueberries in his morning smoothie and has noticed a surge in energy. The point is that whether it’s a green smoothie, my recipe, or your own concoction, throwing a bunch of healthy ingredients into a blender is a fast, effective way to improve your health.
In the past, you may have asked the question: who has time to eat right? Now, you can change that question to: how can you pass up the chance to get a day’s worth of nutrients in less than five minutes?
I first heard about Green Smoothies on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand, where Jennifer Thompson teaches classes on making a Green Smoothie. http://healthybliss.net/
Green Smoothie Girl’s website, which includes recipes: http://www.greensmoothiegirl.com/
Seven days of green smoothies by Victoria Boutenko and The Work of Byron Katie, presented by Tom Compton. There’s one in Vancouver on August 1st and one in Thailand (unannounced) in November. http://www.joyforliferetreat.com/