As an Integrative Health Specialist one of the most common questions I’m asked is “what should I eat”?
I believe in a whole foods, primarily plant-based diet. Green smoothies made of whole foods and lots of plants are arguably the best way to start your day.
1. Living green smoothies increase the bioavailable nutrition while preserving your digestive fire (the fire that cooks the food in your belly).
Translation? Your body doesn’t need to work as hard to digest and can therefore focus its energy on other important tasks like cellular repair, detoxification, and metabolism.
2. To boost your energy in the morning and during afternoon slumps.
3. Natural weight loss
4. Keep healthy all year round – great way to boost your immune system with disease-fighting antioxidants.
5. The healthiest fast food. In less than 5 minutes you’ve created a healthy delicious green smoothie – and that includes the clean up!
Want to give it a try?
All you’ll need is a blender and an open mind to drinking up your veggies.
Here’s the formula for delicious and deeply satisfying green smoothies:
3 cups of fruit
+ 2 cups of leafy greens
+ 2 cups of liquid
1 delicious green smoothie
Parts of the smoothie:
Choose any ripe fruit that you desire: bananas, mangoes, berries, avocado, apple, pear, grapes, pineapple for example.
The easiest fruit to start with is a banana — a great gateway into green smoothies. Start with a whole banana and gradually cut back to ½ then ¼ of a banana weaning yourself from the sugar-filled banana (without compromising your enjoyment – the most important thing is that you LOVE the taste and look forward to it every morning) – that way you can stick with your habit and have success.
With time (and experimentation) you’ll want to switch to fruits that have a lower glycemic index.
You may even start out with a ratio of 4:1 fruits to greens/veggies and gradually shift to a 1:1 ratio where over time you add in more greens/veggies as your palette shifts and you desire less of the sweetness and more of the bitter/astringement tastes of fresh greens/herbs – yes this is possible.
Try adding in berries! Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, especially when in season are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and are high in antioxidants.
As you evolve your smoothies away from bananas try apples and pears that are fully ripened.
When you can start to sneak in more and more leafy greens such as…
– Herbs (parsley, cilantro, mint)
– Romaine lettuce, boston bibb lettuce
– Even veggies! Cucumbers, fennel, celery, zucchini
These greens are natural detoxifiers. They are alkalizing and help to balance your body. That being said, they should never compromise the taste of your smoothie. Sneak –em in there masked with tasty fruits and delicious supplements so that both your belly and your palette remain satisfied.
If kale is too much of a leap start with romaine or boston bibb lettuce as they are more neutral tasting greens.
3. Liquid Base:
I recommend purified water. You may also opt for coconut water, almond milk, or coconut milk for added taste.
This is where you can have some fun. The supplements are another place to experiment with – they can add heaps of nutrition into a breakfast that would otherwise contain very little PLUS they can be super yummy!
Here are some examples:
Try getting some healthy fats into your diet through your smoothie. Examples include:
– tablespoon of coconut oil
– ½ an avocado
– 2 tablespoons of chia seed gel (high in omega 3’s and fiber)
– Tablespoon of flax seed (high in omega 3’s and fiber)
– Hemp seed
– Nuts (almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts)
– Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame)
Good sources of Protein include: spirulina, chlorella, nuts (almonds, walnuts) seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, chia, flax, hemp) — or their respective butters.
Good sources of vitamins and minerals include: maca (B12, iron, calcium, libido boost), lucuma (potassium, magnesium, phosphorus), ashwagandha (antioxidant, adaptogen, great for men), shatavari (calcium, zinc, excellent for women), cacao (antioxidants, magnesium), carob (potassium, calcium), mesquite (calcium, magnesium, potassium), matcha green tea (antioxidant)
AND, to satisfy the sweet tooth choose a low GI sweetener such as stevia leaf powder or extract, medjool dates, lucuma (naturally sweet), mesquite (sweet, caramely flavor), coconut nectar.
PLUS, these are some herbs with healing benefits that can be added in for an additional healing benefit: vanilla bean powder, cinnamon (blood sugar regulator), ginger (digestive), turmeric (anti-inflammatory), cayenne (gut cleaner)
– For creamier smoothies add avocado, nut butters, and nut-based milks AND use a high powered blender such as Vitamix.
– ** The best smoothie is the sustainable smoothie. Choose a smoothie that you really enjoy so you can look forward to it everyday and be consistent.