Are you ready for a change?
Are you fed up with eating foods that leave you feeling sluggish?
Do you want to eat better but have trouble sticking to the program?
Do you desire a healthy and clean-eating lifestyle, but don’t know where to start?
A remedy to help cure this is to start having a green smoothie or green juice every day. Some of you may be gagging at the thought of doing this - but trust me - a big part of getting glowing skin is consuming lots of greens. I personally drink 3 green drinks a day - so the more you can consume the better.
If you really hate greens - don't worry I have a few great recipes that taste so amazing you won't even realise it is made with greens.
You will glow with green drinks as they are among the most nutrient dense of all foods and are chock full of alkaline, minerals, chlorophyll and amino acids. Green foods are beauty foods as they regenerate, repair and purify your cells. By drinking a green drink everyday you will drink your way to radiant skin, renewed energy and optimum health.
Here is just a snapshot of what green drinks will do for you:
- Green drinks help you get a youthful radiant glow.
- Green drinks repair skin and diminish fine lines and wrinkles.
- Green drinks will help you grow lustrous hair and strong nails.
- Green drinks will flood your body with nourishment.
My go to green juice: For a delicious and refreshing green juice try juicing together 1 cup of pineapple, 2 cups of kale, half a cucumber, half a lemon, 2 stalks of celery [leaves and all] and a few sprigs of mint – it is divine.
THE GLOWING SKIN SMOOTHIE
- 3 stalks of Kale [de-stemmed]
- Juice from a green coconut [alternatively use 100% coconut water]
- 1 mango
- 1 passionfruit
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon of hemp or chia seeds
HOW TO MAKE
1. Wash and prep all ingredients.
2. Add everything to blender and blend until it is as smooth as silk.
3. Top up with water if needed.
4. Serve immediately
For more green smoothies I have a free ebook you can download here. I wrote it quite a few years ago so please forgive the quality - however it does have over 50 awesome recipes which I believe will help get you happily acquainted with your blender.
For me personally I noticed a massive transformation when I started drinking green smoothies every day - I was buzzing with energy, felt super healthy and everyone started commenting on how good my skin looked. It truly only takes a few minutes every day and you can change you and your family's life for the better.
Still need convincing? Here are some of the health benefits of Green Smoothies
- Natural energy booster. Stop reaching for sugary snacks to get past that 3pm slump - instead take a mason jar filled with your favourite green smoothie blend.
- Natural weight loss. Gulping down this liquid salad which is bursting with healthy fats, protein and fibre is a complete meal and leaves you feeling full and satisfied for hours - great for controlling those unpredictable cravings.
- Nutrient injection. The green smoothie fuels your body with complete nutrients -anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, live enzymes, phytonutrients and amino acids. The molecule of chlorophyll has only one atom that makes it different from a molecule of human blood. According to the teachings of Dr. Ann Wigmore, to consume chlorophyll is like receiving a healthy blood transfusion.
- Boost immunity and stay healthy all-year-long. Green smoothies are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants. The phytonutrients in leafy greens boost your body’s immune system and keep it functioning properly.
- Fast and convenient. Hands down— green smoothies are the best fast food and you will have one blended up before you can make it down to your local juice bar.. It takes less than 5 minutes to make a green smoothie (and clean up!) and they’re super easy to take on the go– especially when you prep ahead.
- Nourishing skin food. Green smoothies will revitalise you and help remove toxins, all you need is an open mind and a blender. The flood of vitamins build healthy skin - you will be left with a healthy glow that is soft and supple.
- Affordable superfood. They are an inexpensive super drink, which provides you with a steady stream of energy.
- Heal illnesses. They are a gift from nature, wrapped in a little sunshine and a whole lot of chlorophyll which promotes healthy cellular renewal. The humble greens are overlooked, they are a super food. Green leafy veggies are great because they have tons of cancer fighting properties, immune system boosting vitamins and minerals. Upping green leaf intake has been shown to reduce heart disease and prevent other degenerative diseases.
- Buy less beauty products. You will save money on expensive face creams, because you are getting the nourishment from the inside out. Daily dose of greens. By drinking a big glass of green smoothie every day, you will consume enough greens for the day to nourish your body.
- Simplifies life. No need for an overwhelming stock of superfoods and jars of supplement. PLUS there is no messy juicing equipment to clean up, which gives you more time to enjoy life.
HOW TO MAKE A GREEN SMOOTHIE THAT IS NOURISHING + A COMPLETE MEAL
Step 1 – Choose your Liquid Base
Liquid is necessary for helping your blender to mix the ingredients. Not adding enough liquid might make the smoothie too thick.
What Liquids to Use
- Filtered Water: An easy and inexpensive choice and it does not affect the flavour of the fruits.
- Coconut Water: If you want to give your smoothie a tropical tone, use young, Thai coconut water straight from the coconut itself. You can find young coconuts at Asian markets or at certain health food stores. Coconut water is divine with tropical fruit like pineapple, banana, mango, papaya and oranges.
- Fruit Juices: I don’t recommend using commercial fruit juice in your green smoothie because commercial juices are not fresh. They have also been pasteurized which has exposed them to heat and therefore reduced the vitamin content and enzymes that are normally found in the whole fruit or freshly squeezed juice that you make at home. You can use your own, fresh squeezed fruit juice. Oranges, grapefruit and other juicing fruits are perfect.
- Milks: My personal philosophy is to avoid animal milk as a liquid. The reasoning is that green smoothies are the perfect detox food, and dairy products interfere with that. If you are tempted to add milk in order to boost the calcium content, remember that many fruits and vegetables, especially greens, are rich in calcium. It’s actually quite easy to make a smoothie with more calcium than a glass of milk!
Step 2 – Choose Your “Base” FruitBase fruits give your smoothie that creamy smoothie texture. Otherwise, it will be too runny or you’ll end up with pulpy fruit juice (like if you blended oranges and grapes together). For a perfect, smooth texture, use “creamy” fruits like banana, mango, peach, pear, apple, papaya and kiwi. Avoid water-rich fruits like watermelon, grapes and oranges (you can use them in a smoothie, but not as your “base fruit”). If you want to make a smoothie using more than one fruit, like a banana and strawberry, then use slightly more banana than you would strawberry. For example, two bananas to one cup strawberry would provide a nice flavour combo while preserving the smoothie texture. Avocado and coconut meat can also help thicken your smoothie while adding more calories and healthy fat for a meal-replacement shake. Greens will help thicken a smoothie as well, so the more greens you add, the less base fruit you will need.
Step 3 - Choose your FlavourAdding extra fruits for flavour are optional. They do enhance the flavour of your green smoothies as well as boost the overall nutrition. I like to use berries, citrus fruits, passionfruit and pineapple. Get ideas by looking at the juice aisle or yoghurt aisle in your local supermarket. I’ve even gotten smoothie ideas while looking at scented candles. A wonderfully fragranced peach-ginger or a citrus-cilantro candle stirs up curiosity and ideas for new smoothies to try. Use your taste buds as a guide and don’t be afraid to get a little adventurous. My favourite flavour combos are:
- Banana (base fruit) with strawberry
- Mango (base fruit) with pineapple
- Mango (base fruit) with passionfruit
- Pear (base fruit) with orange
- Apple (base fruit) with blueberry
You can get creative with your smoothies by flavouring them with vanilla bean, clove, cinnamon or even cayenne pepper (great with chocolaty smoothies made with raw cacao). Flavoured protein powders will also change the overall smoothie flavour so keep this in mind when mixing fruit.
***Now would be a good time to blend your fruit and liquid together. Just hit the “Blend” button on your blender until the ingredients are lightly mixed into “sludge”. Doing this before adding the greens will make it easier for you and your blender.
Step 4 – Choose Your GreensGreens are essential because they play a vital role in overall nutrition and should make up a significant portion of your diet in order to achieve optimum health. I started off with fresh baby spinach and now use primarily kale, silver beet and parsley. The recommended percentage of greens to use in a green smoothie is 40% greens to 60% fruit. You can start at a lower percentage and work your way up as you get used to it and even boost your greens beyond to 50, 60 or 70%. I personally use 70% greens and 30% fruit.
Step 5 – Now hit the Blend ButtonBlend on high for anywhere from 30-60 seconds. Your super boost smoothie is ready once it is whirling away, turns bright (or dark) green and is as smooth as silk!
Step 6 - Optional Smoothie AdditivesYour green smoothie is nutritious enough on its own. But if you really want to go all out for a healthy kick, you can use your smoothie to deliver extra protein, vitamins and super foods to your diet.
- Protein Powders: Your options for protein powders are numerous. Hemp protein is an excellent, quality protein choice. It is more expensive than rice protein, but you can find brands that are certified raw, which is important if you are following the raw food diet. Spirulina is a good source of protein and is widely praised as a super health food. It is quite expensive and you don’t need to add much. I don’t recommend soy protein as I have read research suggesting that soy protein isolate is not a healthy protein choice. You can do your own research and make up your own mind. Soy protein is the least expensive protein option and is widely available.
- Green Powders: I’m on the fence about green powders. I use to use Complete Greens which is a green powder made from a variety of herbs, grasses, vegetables, algae, probiotics and trace minerals. This was before my green smoothie days. I really liked the product but I no longer use it because I can’t justify the expense when I get so much nutrition from all the fresh, organic greens and fruit I drink every day now. But if you feel you need it then go for it.
- Powdered and Liquid Vitamins: A great way to get all your vitamins and give you a super boost. If you are a vegan I highly recommend adding vitamins B12 and iron into your smoothie.
- Super foods: Super foods are great additions to green smoothies. I sometimes use powdered maca root and cacao in mine. Goji berries blend well too. You can easily add phytoplankton or whatever you want.
- Omega-3s: Just one tablespoon of flax seeds or chia seeds has over 100% of your recommended daily value of Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Nuts and Seeds: Add some cashews, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds or almonds.
BEST GREENS AND FRUITS
GREEN VEGGIES: Asparagus Arugula (rocket,) Baby spinach, Beetroot greens (tops,) Bok Choy, Broccoli, Cos lettuce, Carrot tops, Celery, Chard, Cucumber, Collard greens, Edible Flowers, Endive, Kale (3 types), Mustard greens, Radish tops, Romaine lettuce, Spinach, Watercress
WEEDS: Clover, Dandelion, Stinging nettles
SPROUTS: Alfalfa, Broccoli, Clover, fenugreek, Radish, Sunflower
HERBS: Aloe Vera, Baby dill, Basil Coriander (cilantro), Fennel, Mint, Parsley, Peppermint leaves
FRUITS: Apples, Banana, Berries (all types), Cherries, Coconut, Grapefruit, Kiwi fruit Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Mango, Oranges, Papaya (pawpaw), Passionfruit, Pear, Persimmon, Pineapple, Peach
EXTRA RESOURCES YOU MAY ENJOY READING
- If your feeling up to it a 10 day juice fast is amazing. I swear by juice fasting and I usually try to do two a year of 14 days each. I have done a 30 day juice fast once and it truly is the stuff of miracles. A juice fast will feed your body with nutrients, give your digestive system a break, put your body in ketosis so it can burn any excess fat, heal the body of disease and leave you with unlimited energy and an amazing health glow. To learn about the full benefits of juice fasting I have written an article over at The OM Collective