going green with green smoothies

photo from the simple green smoothies blog

Last summer while in the States, I went nutritionally nuts while my kids were at sleep-away camp! I saw a holistic, vegan nutritionist to discuss some digestive issues I had been having and she put me on a pretty grueling daily regimen of various supplements. I took so many, I had to carry around a big pill box that my sister-in-law referred to as my “paintbox”! But in the end, I did feel a lot better. It’s not worth going into what I did as my regimen was obviously bespoke, but one aspect of the nutritional plan I truly embraced was incorporating ‘green smoothies’ into my everyday diet.

A green smoothie is just that, green! And it’s full of vitamins (from spinach or kale or other vitamin-rich leafy green vegetables) and anti-oxidants (from additional ingredients) because all ingredients blended are raw. Whereas when you juice, you’re removing the healthiest part of the vegetable or fruit- the skin- when making a smoothie, you “extract” all the vitamins, because you’re blending veggies and fruits whole.

There are two particular machines that do this very well- I find even the best blender can’t blend kale to a pulp- and they are the Vitamix and in my case, the NutriBullet, which costs A LOT less than the Vitamix and not only makes great smoothies (and hummus!), but comes with a millet blade so that you can mill seasonings, for example, or make your own flour. Using the millet blade, add rock salt, rosemary, thyme, garlic, and pepper and grind together to make a great rub for grilling chicken.

Let’s be honest about getting older- it’s harder to maintain your target weight and you have to exercise to look good! If you haven’t made some modifications to your diet and exercise regime once you hit 40, it’s high-time you do since non-invasive cosmetic procedures or even invasive ones can only do so much! See that 48 year old woman walking down the street with the enviable, tight butt?? She looks that way because she works out and does the right exercises for her age! I’ll get into that later.

In the meantime, here’s a good basic green smoothie recipe from More magazine:

1 banana peeled, sliced, and frozen

1/2 cup frozen (or fresh) mango

1/2 small or medium avocado

1 cup loosely packed baby spinach

1 1/4 cups almond milk (soy, oat, rice or hemp milk also fine- I use organic coconut milk- not to be confused with coconut water!)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

You can also add almonds, cashews or brazil nuts (3 brazil nuts- soak the night before- or 2 tablespoons of the other nuts, but they should be raw vs. dry roasted or salted)

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy. Add a few ice cubes if desired.

You can try your current blender to see if the ingredients mix well, but if you decide to get into making green smoothies daily, you’ll probably want to purchase one of the machines I mentioned above. I tried to blend kale in what I thought was a top quality blender, but even after several minutes on the highest setting, the smoothie was never smooth enough!

*For more recipes and a lot more information on green smoothies, click here to go to the Simple Green Smoothies blog or please check out lots of delicious Nutribullet Recipes here.

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