Top 10 green smoothie tips and recipes for the best health of your life
The habits this month have been fun, but can you believe it, we’re almost done the first month of our challenge! How has your 2 green smoothies a day gone? Did you get a chance yet to do it? If not, read on… your life can still change awesomely. Mine was pretty good – I’d say it was about 85% successful. I missed a few days, but all in all, a lot more green stuff got ingested than usual. I am feeling really good.
In case you didn’t get a chance to do the challenge, don’t worry. A whole new month is starting. For the next 28 days, commit to making 1 large batch of green smoothie in the AM before work and then drinking half in the AM and half in the PM after work. Links to the recipes are below. I’m sorry if I’m a broken record about this, but it’s no lie. Green smoothies are the easiest thing you can do to dramatically improve your health. It’s so good, that I’m going to continue on with this challenge for the rest of the year.
This lifestyle change for me has already paid off big time. I owe my heart health and epic cholesterol reduction to it. My increased energy and improved palette. I can taste vegetables better now and I’m less susceptible to junk food cravings. Oddly cravings have changed from wheat and sugar to, no joke, spinach and coconut oil and black beans and … goodness.
So yes I’m a convert to greens, green, GREENS! Or should say… energy, energy, ENERGY!!! That’s the allure really. Greens can be your crack if you’re eating enough of them. And of course everyone needs some food crack to call their own. (That’s tweetable, right?)
So… what did I learn from the heavy greens artillery this month?
Top 10 green smoothie tips
- The basic recipe to keep in your head is 60-70% veggie, 30-40% fruit, some heart healthy fats, and a dash of superfoods.
- Veggies. Recipes are great, but when in doubt, grab some greens, then some fruit, and go to town. Really – after awhile, any greens will do. When I’m rushing out the door in the AM, I don’t have time to ponder what to put in my smoothie. Kale, spinach, swiss chard – it’s all good! Apples, bananas, oranges? Doesn’t matter! It’s more important that you create a smoothie than “get it right”. Pick a green, pick a fruit, and blend. On sum, you want to mix up your ingredients a bit, but on any given day – just do vs. don’t!
- Fruit. Experiment with different fruits. You have to try a variety of fruits and vegetables in your smoothies to find favorites. I have found that I love apples and berries in almost everything, but kiwis – which are chock full of vitamin c, for some reason I can’t get to work very well in my smoothies. You’ll find out what you like within a month of consistent blending.
- Fat. Fats are necessary to allow you to better absorb the fat soluble nutrients from your ingredients. Low-fat is not the aim here. You want to be adding avocados, or flax seeds, or almond butter, cashews, brazil nuts, hemp seeds, or coconut oil into your smoothie for extra creaminess, and nutrition like omega 3’s and vitamin E.
- Superfoods. Superfoods are so good for you, it’s silly not to add them into your daily smoothie. If you’re not adding either: 1 tsp cinnamon, or 1 tsp spirulina, or 2 Tbsp chia seeds, or 1 Tbsp raw cacao to your smoothies each day, then you are missing a major health trick. Other great superfoods that I use are maca powder, lucuma powder, chlorella powder, matcha powder, acai berry powder, hemp protein powder, and bee pollen. I’ll be exploring more of these in future posts.
- Don’t let timing get in your way. If you miss the AM, the PM is equally good! Sometimes the AM is a bit crazed and smoothies get missed. All is not lost. Don’t write off the day. I have come to really enjoy my PM smoothie – it’s a great thing to do right after work! A nice transition to leisure time!
- Thin is better than thick. If you can stand a spoon in it, add some more coconut water or plain filtered water. I find a thinner smoothie much more palatable and easy to drink.
- In the beginning, sweeter is easier. Sweeten your smoothies with dates, bananas, or mangoes to start. It’s key when you start with smoothies to make sure you are happy with the sweetness. Your taste buds get used to natural sweetness levels over time, but if you are finding the smoothies not sweet enough, add 2 dates, or a few chunks of banana or mango to make it palatable to start. I find dates super easy to use for this.
- If it’s really sweet, then make sure you add some cinnamon or chia seeds to your recipe. Berries, apples and melons are all low sugar fruits however if you’re using bananas, mangoes, pineapple, or any other super sweet fruit (high GI fruits release sugar into your bloodstream rapidly, which is not good), then make sure your recipe contains cinnamon or chia seeds which increases your ability to metabolise sugar and helps you avoid insulin spikes which can create inflammation and heart disease.
- This is not necessarily a meal replacement. Don’t think of green smoothies as a diet food – it’s an addition to your existing food repertoire. The smoothies ensure you get extra raw vegetables and fruits in your diet that are low in calories but very nutritionally dense. I tend to think of it more like a snack. I have a green smoothie first thing in the AM, and then mid morning I tend to have some heart-friendly oatmeal or my guilt free blueberry oat muffins.
Here’s some great green smoothie recipes to increase heart health and lower cholesterol:
- Heart healthy green smoothie no. 1: The basic green smoothie
- Heart healthy green smoothie no. 2: The antioxidant wonder!
- Heart healthy green smoothie no. 3: The vitamin C powerhouse!
- Heart healthy green smoothie no. 4: The fibre firecracker!
Green smoothies are such an important and easy tool to use for modern health that I am compelled to continue experimenting with new recipes. Coming up next month will be new concoctions that boost heart health, skin radiance, immune system strength, digestion, and disease prevention!