Tag Archives: green smoothies

Do NOT start a diet on January 1st!

I am begging you PLEASE don’t start a diet on January 1st.

Please, please, please, please, please don’t do it.  It’s a total set up for failure.

In 2 or 3 weeks you’ll fall off the wagon, eat some “offending” food and then throw the baby out with the bath water and HATE yourself for failing again.  Do NOT do it.  There is an easier way to make lasting change in your life by setting yourself up for success!  How you ask?  Just drink one green smoothie EVERY day.

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EVERY  morning get up and make yourself a green smoothie — a big fat one.  Drink half in the morning and pack up the other half and bring it with you wherever you are going for the day, NO exceptions.  You can continue to eat as you have been eating (okay, not like Christmas week eating) but do as you have been doing, just add a green smoothie EVERY day and you will be fast on the track towards better health through eating more nutrient dense foods.

What should you add after you become proficient with smoothies?  Stay tuned for that post coming your way in early 2014, just start with one green smoothie NOW.

Not sure how to make a smoothie?  Check out my blog post on 5 steps to the perfect smoothie.

Ultimately we want to move towards a diet filled with more WHOLE plant-based foods.   This is the first of many steps towards that goal.  Get good with it.  Become a pro.

Please share any of your tips for successful smoothies that you might have in the comments section below.

FYI, I just got a NutriBullet900 for $125 and it works AWESOME.

Happy New YOU!

5 Steps to the Perfect Green Smoothie

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If I had a dollar for every person that asked me for a green smoothie recipe, I’d never have to work again.  I am eventually going to start posting my daily green smoothie on my FaceBook page, but for now, here is a crash course in how to build a smoothie WITHOUT a recipe.

We are going to keep this simple.  There are a few rules of play so listen up:

Fruit that is RIPE will always be sweeter.  If you are trying to entice newbies (or yourself) ripe fruit wins them over every time and eliminates the need for  added sweetener.

ROTATE your foods.  Every item from the produce department has a different nutritional profile and the ability to offer you a WIDE variety of nutrients.  Don’t get stuck in a rut.  ROTATE.  I do this by buying what’s on sale weekly.  ROTATE.  Did I mention that you should ROTATE the foods you put in your smoothies?  This is important, lol.

If you are going to make ONE smoothie, why not make an entire blender full of smoothie, and take the rest with you for later in the day.  You could drink it or you could  SHARE with someone in your office.  If you can entice them to drink them along with you, then you have suddenly built some support into your new food lifestyle and what’s not to like about that?

If you don’t have a very strong blender, don’t put too much liquid in at the beginning.  You can always add more fluids later, but it’s easier to get the blades to engage and do their work if there isn’t excessive water.

Having trouble getting your kids on board?  Put it in a sippy cup with a straw that they can’t see through.  They won’t see the color but will taste the fruit.

Smoothies typically have five elements

  • Fruit
  • Greens
  • Liquid
  • Food Based Supplements
  • Plant-Based Fat

new straw

Keep in mind this is a CRASH course to get you started.  Do NOT over think it.  Just start blending.

  • Fruits – The lower glycemic fruits are always the best from a sugar perspective.  Berries, cherries, and grapefruit have the least amount of sugar.  Apples and pears fall into this category as well, but I don’t particularly like the consistency they give a smoothie if you don’t have a really powerful blender.   Tropical fruits (mango, pineapple, banana, papaya) and melons have the highest amount of sugar.  BUT… keep in mind, melons are super alkalizing.  Pick two fruits daily, fresh or frozen, doesn’t matter.  A handful of each (approx. 1/2 – 3/4 cup).
  • Greens – The darker and more bitter the greens are, the better they are for you.  When you are new to making green smoothies, they don’t have to be super dark green right out of the gate.  You’ll build up to that. If you begin with only a single leaf of kale, that’s okay.  JUST START.   As you palate changes, increase the green up to as much as you can stand.  Newbies should begin with romaine lettuce, parsley, cilantro and iceberg lettuce (yes, I just included that).  Work your way up to Swiss chard, kale and spinach.  The hardcore folks love mizuna, dandelion and escarole.  Go for it.  Ideally you want about 2 cups of packed greens to 1 cup total of fruit.
  • Liquids – Pick one — filtered water, green tea, coconut water.  I’m not a fan of nut milks in my GREEN smoothies, but hey, go for it if you are interested. Start with 1 cup, add more to achieve YOUR desired consistency as  needed.
  • Supplements – If you feel like you need to add protein, use a vegan pea protein (preferably organic/non-GMO).  I have a link for a good one on my SHOP page.  Other things you can include (but do NOT have to), spirulina, green powder blends (I like mine WITHOUT stevia — read the label), maca powder, hemp seeds, goji berries, chia seeds, flax meal, cacao powder, tumeric, ginger, cinnamon, probiotics and powdered vitamin C.  I can do a whole separate blog (and will soon) on the benefits of these food based supplements.
  • Plant-based fats – Avocado, nuts, seeds and coconut oil.  These help with the uptake of the other nutrients.

Leave your comment below and tell us any tips and tricks that work for you.   Got a favorite combo?  We want to hear about it


 

 

Start HERE !!

Oh all the hallaballoo over New Years’ resolutions and our health makes me insane.

Really?

Nothing like putting a ton of extra pressure on yourself and doubling up on the guilt after enjoying the holiday season with your family and BFFs.  Come on!  Do NOT try rectify every self-perceived wrong doing you perpetuated on your body from Thanksgiving to New Year’s day  by doing a complete 180 and coming completely clean all at once.  It won’t work!  It NEVER does.

What do we hear more and more about these days?  Sustainability, right?  If you want to improve your diet with good, strong  and sustainable change  start slowly.  Yes, you read that right, slowly.  Nothing makes us want to eat more than self-imposed restrictions.  Nothing.

“oh I can’t, thanks…I’m on a diet.”

Like it’s going to be okay to eat it when the diet’s over?  Be realistic.  Put your big girl pants on and pull the damn things up.

So here is my suggestion for starting out the New Year.  Are you ready?  Sitting down?  Commit to one changed meal per day, but do it EVERY day, without exception.  It has to be raw, and it has to be green.

“What the heck does that equate to?”

Pick one – Green smoothie or a big honking green salad.

Oh and stop the whining about cleaning the blender already.  I hear it all the time.

“I don’t like cleaning the blender in the morning. It takes too much time.’”

For real?  You take the sprayer hose from your sink and swish it around the inside of the blender til it’s clean.  You turn it upside down to dry.  That’s too hard?  Wuss.  Stop your belly aching and get in the kitchen.

So here  are the rules:

Salads have to be as big as your head.  Lots of colors in it.  Eat the rainbow, baby.  And don’t negate all the good underneath it by dumping a half a bottle of crappy blue cheese dressing on it.  Again, big girl pants…you know better.  Here’s a trick.  Put your entire salad into a big bowl and pour a little dressing on top.  Toss with tongs until everything is well coated.  Turn it back out onto a plate and enjoy.  You use less dressing this way.  Change your greens up weekly.

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Green smoothies have to be GREEN, we are NOT making daiquiris.  If you make them right they will look like swamp water but taste like fruit.  Scout’s honor.

I’ll put some recipes up soon, but again, not rocket science.  You can buy cleaned and ready to go greens at the supermarket.  Spinach and lettuces are a great place to start. You can upgrade later to greens YOU have to clean (kale, parsley, cilantro, swiss chard) but for now we are pushing the easy button.  Capice?

The easiest thing to do is start with a RIPE banana.  The more ripe it is  the sweeter it will be.  Add a big handful of greens then top it off with a second fruit.  You can use frozen fruit if you like as your second choice.  Maybe some blueberries, or mango…  Add some water and blend the daylights out if it until it’s smooth.  Drink half and put the other half in a glass jar and bring it with you for the day.  You can have it as a snack in the afternoon (instead of a cup of coffee or a DIEt Coke.)

Viola’.  Two easy things you can take action on now without being overwhelmed.

Disclaimer – You can make a salad that will last for 3 to 4 days in your fridge (individual or one big one). Don’t slice tomatoes ahead of time (use whole cherry where you can) and remove the seeds from cukes before including them.  Those two are the first things to make a salad start gettting yucky fast.   Carry dressing in a separate container (small caper jars are GREAT for this) and dress before eating.

Smoothies are best consumed the day they are made, but we don’t like to waste food.  24 hours is best for maximum bodily reward.

In a few weeks, we’ll add a new sustainable item to our repertoire.  Good luck.

 

Green Smoothies – Build Your Own

I have finally made the time to do a quick smoothie post.  I REALLY need to do a video, I know, but this is all my busy schedule is allowing right now.

With smoothies I like to KEEP IT SIMPLE.  I have 4 basic elements I include:

  • Liquid
  • Fruit
  • Greens
  • Supplements, including protein/fat

The how much?  What size?  That depends on two things — your palate, preferred consistency and good rotation.

Rotation?

You have got to shake things up and vary your fruits and greens so that you get a wide variety of nutrients, not just the same thing over and over again.  Different foods have different nutritional profiles  and you don’t want to be denying yourself what Mr. Spinach has to offer if you are only letting Mr. Parsley come to your party.  Capice?

I decide the greens I’m going to use based on what’s on sale at the market. Same with my fruit.   It forces me to rotate, rather than getting too comfy with one additive.  Plus, if it is on sale, frequently that means it is local and plentiful.   It makes all this decision making, well….mindless.  NOTE:  The darker and more bitter greens are exceptionally good for you and blend well with the sweetness of the fruit.  Don’t leave them out.

Supplements – I could go on and on about those, and again, YOU’ll  have to decide what is good for you.  Remember, I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV.  Slowly but surely I’m going to be adding more info about these on the site, but unfortunately, not today.  Some to consider are maca powder, goji berries, lucama, hemp seeds or powder, bee pollen, spirulina, chorella, wheatgrass powder, chia, cacao and coconut oil to name a few.  Since I get very little “animal” protein I make sure my morning smoothie has some good plant based protein in it (hemp seeds, spirulina) to help keep me going strong.

Oh no she didn't...

This is a very unappetizing shot of today’s morning smoothie before blending, but it gives you a little idea of what I’m including based on what I feel I need now.  I’m on a raw food cleanse and using my smoothies as more of a meal replacement this week than anything else.  Ingredients are – banana, pineapple, one tangelo, mixed fresh power greens, hemp seeds, wheatgrass powder, spirulina, maca powder, lucama, goji berry, liquid chlorophyll and water.

This is going to be a HUGE smoothie.  The ingredients come up to the 7 cup mark on my Vitamix.  And it is hard to see here, but about half of that is covered with spring water.

So all I do now, is blend the bejesus out of it.  Half I’ll consume for breakfast and the other half I’ll put in a glass jar and tuck it in the fridge for an afternoon pick me up.

Tip:  If you have a not so strong blender, cut back on the initial amount of water to give the blades something to “chew” on, rather than just pushing them around in the liquid.  Adjust your smoothie to your desired consistency after it is well blended by adding more liquid.

Easy-Peasy.  Tell me what you’re doing with YOUR smoothies.  I want to hear!

 

 

Blueberry Green Smoothie

Blueberry Green Smoothie

1 cup of fresh blueberries

1 medium ripe banana

2 cups of spinach

1 tablespoon bee pollen

1 tablespoon maca powder

2.5 cups of water

Blueberry spinach smoothie

Add all the ingredients into the blender and whir until smooth.  When it is completely finished I pour some into a pint glass and hand mix in two tablespoons of Udos Oil, the Cadillac of essential fatty acids.

Nutritious, delicious and easy.  A great way to start your day.  I drink half for breakfast, and throw the other half into a glass jar and carry it with me for the day.  I can have it as a meal or a snack.  Great refresher!