Saturday, September 15, 2012

Green Smoothies, The Drinks You Will Love to Taste, and Love How They Make You Feel!

Today we have a special treat!  My dear friend Brianna, who is also an esthetician, has written a great article for us on a healthier way to have breakfast, lunch or a snack...

For the Love of Greens!

In today's day in age it is difficult to get quick nutrient packed meals. Our systems have been so bogged down with the extra value menu at the drive thru, the frozen entrees that we bring to work and the energy drinks that give us that extra "boost" so we can actually make it through the day! Not only do the consumption of these foods allow us to crash later on, they are high in cholesterol, bad fats, preservatives, and cancer causing substances.

I don't know about you, but along with all those horrible side effects, those foods don't seem to be too nice to my waistline. So many people talk about the importance of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, yet we hardly get close to what we need on a daily basis.

Some people try and choke down a drenched salad with an artery clogging salad dressing. Other people steam up vegetables and then find it's boring and plain and you only eat 1/2 a serving. As much as we try to incorporate those low calorie, high nutrient, water dense foods.... we fail. I personally love my fruits and vegetables, but trying to get in the recommended servings each day was really tough.

So what's a working mother to do? I am sure there are plenty of you out there in the same situation! I don't have time for tedious recipes that take a while in the kitchen, but I want to feed my body well. I know that If I am well taken care of, I can be a much better mama to my baby girl. So here's what I stumbled across that has changed my life: GREEN SMOOTHIES!

The amazing thing about blending your greens is, the sky is the limit! There are no rules, and no right or wrong ways to do it! You can tailor your smoothies to what your body needs. No need to worry if you are diabetic or on a low carb diet. You can make your smoothies sweeter, or more detoxifying. That's the beauty of green smoothies! So no one has excuses to not start blending their greens ;)

From my experience the best way to get started is to do 40% greens to 60% fruit. This way you don't stress out your pallate with an overwhelming green taste that turns you off completely! After your taste buds adjust you can switch the amounts around- 40% fruit and 60% greens.

I have found that starting my day out with a green smoothie is wonderful. You are breaking your fast with light, nutrient packed foods that are not hard on your digestive system. Your body quickly absorbs these nutrients into the blood stream giving you energy and complete clarity to begin your day! It feels so good to put such goodness in my body that when I choose to make a healthy choice like that in the morning, I am more likely to continue on that course throughout the day.

There are many types of green smoothies that you can make. You can do all vegetable smoothies if you prefer a savory taste. For these types of smoothies tomatoes and avocados work well for your base. Herbs such as basil, sage, garlic and cilantro can really add some flavor. You can experiment and come up with a much healthier version of the popular V8 juice!

You can do just fruit smoothies once a week to shake things up. I enjoy having a sorbet every now and then. Just take any frozen fruit you fancy and blend it up with a little liquid of your choice, and you have a guilt free treat that's healthy enough to eat for breakfast! Another sorbet that will rock your socks off is a frozen banana, frozen mango and a cup of spinach. It's a beautiful green color and it's so satisfying. Your body will thank you!

Some power packed foods to include in your smoothies:

*Flax Seeds & Chia Seeds- Packed with protein, lots of omega 3's and fiber.
*Hemp Protein- Vegan, gluten free, all natural protein.
*Raw Cacoa Powder- No sugar, loaded with flavonoids and polyphenols, these help fight cancer.
*Extra Virgin Coconut Oil- Antibacterial, healthy source of fat and a metabolism booster.
*Maca Powder- Alkalizing, fatigue fighter, libido booster and a rich source of vitamins and minerals.
*Camu- Rainforest super food, Loaded with vitamin C, and a natural sweetener.
*Nori- Seaweed or algae that is rich in iron and calcium.
*Goji Berries- Balance of daily macronutrients:containing carbohydrates, high-quality protein, healthy fat, and soluble fiber.
*Cashews- Good source of plant based protein and ideal ratio of healthy saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats.
*Avocado- Nutrient booster! Helps body to absorb more healthy fats.
*Blueberries- Powerful antioxidant that fights off environmental and daily stresses.
*Kale- Rich in Vitamin A that's good for our skin and chlorophyll brings oxygen to the bloodstream.

Bananas are a great superfood and base that give your smoothie a sweet and creamy consistency. However, those people who are watching their sugar intake, I would suggest you substitute an avocado as your base. It will still be creamy, but you get less sugar and it will hold you over longer with the healthy fat. Mangos are also rich in fiber so they can be used to substitute a banana in a recipe too. The more fat and fiber in a food the less sugar it will contain. This should help you to determine the proper base for your smoothie.

Now that you have powerful information in your hands, it's time to apply it with a couple of recipe ideas!

1. Basic Breakfast

- 1 mango
- 1 banana
- 2 cups packed spinach
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp flax seed
- 1 Tbsp hemp protein
- water as needed

*If you didn't use frozen fruit add in some ice to make it nice and cold. A breakfast like this should hold you over until lunch time.

2. Free Radical Fighter

Pure Juice!
- 1 Banana
- 1 cup pineapple
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 3 cups packed greens
- 1/4 cup raw cocoa.
- water or plain almond milk as needed.

* Add ice if you did not use frozen fruit.

3. Creamy Cleanser

- 1/2 peeled cucumber
- 1 stalk celery
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/2 lime
- 1/4 avocado
- 1 banana
- 2 cups water
- 5 ice cubes

These recipes are just a starting point and they can be altered or doctored up any way you choose. My advise would be to consume a green smoothie like this for breakfast and if you are still hungry before lunch time, snack on some fruit. This will help your metabolism, and you may lose some weight if that is one of your goals.

Anyone can blend their greens! I do use a high speed blender such as the vita-mix. I absolutely recommend it, however it is an investment. If it is something that is not affordable, use the blender you have! It's important to start somewhere, so use what you have. You might need to put half the ingredients in and blend it before adding in the other half. Just play around with it!

One more thing...for those of you that might want to switch things up every now and then, you can juice in the morning! I recently came up with this blend and it is fantastic!! This blend will make 40 ounces of fresh juice, I call it:

My Hydrating Cleansing Cooler:

- 3 celery stalks
- 3 carrots
- 2 apples
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cantaloupe
- 1 lemon



I am so excited for you all to begin your greens journey!

Peace, Blessings & Good Health,
Brianna


Brianna is a young woman who is all about family! She is a proud wife and a mother to a beautiful 10 month old girl. When she is not at home she is working as an esthetician, specializing in acne. She has a passion for living a healthy lifestyle and helping women feel gorgeous in the skin their in!




For some more advice, recipes and learning tools you can visit Jane at www.blenditandmendit.com








No comments: