I am on a journey to live simply, happily and well. I have made a lot of progress, but getting healthy and losing weight is an ongoing venture. I am moving towards my goal of improving my health, and I am working on my relationship with food. I have been eating more healthily for awhile now and it is time for me to kick it up a notch!
Of course, I know the basics. Vegetables are better for you than donuts. Eat more natural and fewer unprocessed foods. Cut out chemicals and sugar. GMO’s are bad for you. Get rid of refined carbohydrates. Drink lots of water. America’s problem with obesity is not that people don’t know the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods. The problem lies somewhere between our taste buds and the application of our food knowledge.
I already eat a pretty decent diet, with lots of vegetables and fruits and little red meat. I have eliminated diet coke (see post here) and cut way back on processed foods. I am not looking for a miracle pill. I have friends who are gluten free, Paleo, vegan and low carb. I am not looking for a diet. Since my first diet in seventh grade, I have tried all kinds of diets. I am trying to figure out the way to eat and be healthy that will work best for me. I am convinced that the only way I will stick to a healthy plan is to find things that are healthy, that make me feel good, that I enjoy eating and that I can live with for the long term. It is not as easy as it sounds.
For several years now I have been hearing about green smoothies. Green smoothies are touted as a way to increase fiber and antioxidants, to increase your consumption of good for you veggies and super foods such as kale and berries, to up your chlorophyll intake and boost your immune system. Throw in increased energy and body detoxification and it sounds like wellness in a blender. Is it too good to be true?
I was skeptical. I still remember the first time I tasted green tea. I almost choked. Yes, I know about its antioxidant potential, but to me it tastes and smells like grass. Though I will drink the blends with some fruit in them, I am still not a big fan of green tea. Green smoothies look like they might taste like grass, and I am not sure I want to drink a big refreshing glass of grass for breakfast. As my husband would joke, it looks like something cows would eat.
I am keeping an open mind, so I decided to try a green smoothie. I got several recommendations from friends, read a bunch of recipes on Pinterest, and then made up my own recipe. I decided to use foods I already like and eat regularly; in fact, I started with leftover salad from last night. Here is my recipe:
3 Cups of spinach with a bit of kale (maybe 2 1/2 cups of spinach to 1/2 cup Kale), stems removed
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 cup mixed strawberries and apple chunks
1 frozen banana
I set the blender to pulverize, since the thought of drinking slimy spinach strings was not appetizing. I may have over mixed, but I was not taking chances.
The result was a lovely green color and a nice thick consistency. I took a sip …….it was smooth and creamy and tasted more like banana than salad. I was going to drink half and save the rest for tomorrow. I drank it all.
This smoothie didn’t add any new foods to my diet, since I already eat spinach almost every day and I love fruits of all kinds. It is a nice change from my usual spinach salads. I would definitely make this and take it in a to-go mug for sipping in the car.
Trying this smoothie gives me confidence to try other green smoothies, and maybe get adventurous with chia, hemp or flax seeds. Maybe I will switch up the almond milk and give cocoanut water a swirl. I love avocado, so that would be a good choice for me as well.
What is your favorite healthy smoothie? Any advice for my next steps? I’d love to hear from you. I may have been resistant, but green smoothies are growing on me!