So you’re ready for some liquid love from the Earth. Pat yourself on the back. This is a big deal. At some point you have probably made a smoothie/shake/blended drink (Margaritas don’t count, but nice try). Blending is a great way to get a ton of vitamins, nutrients and fiber down your gullet without even realizing it. Some people enjoy green smoothies right from the get go and others find them a little to “healthy” tasting.
An important thing to remember is that food doesn’t owe you anything. It keeps you alive, ok. What more do you want, people? It doesn’t always have to taste sweet or savory or amazingly decadent. Once you start changing your diet to include more whole, real food your taste buds will change. Ever eat a full meal then an hour later be like “Ugh I’m staaaaaaaarving…”. Well, you are starving. You’re starving for nutrition. Imagine for a moment there are little human workers in your body that digest your food and you just ate a cheesesteak. It sounds a little something like this…”Ok, I’ll take some of this protein, maybe a little fat. A few pieces of onion, good, a couple pepper slices, fantastic. Wait…That’s it? WTF Nikki, where’s the G.D. rest of it? I don’t need this bread and cheese. Where’s the vitamins for F’s sake? Guess I’ll toss the rest of this crap on your ass and thighs, enjoy it. Now, give me something I can actually work with.” That’s what your body’s actually saying when it’s growling at you an hour after you filled it with processed crap….So, back to blending…
I am not talking about the kind of shake you get from the gym bar or pick up pre-made at the grocery store. Those are garbage and stop drinking them yesterday. They are filled with sugar and chemicals. A gym, or any other fitness center should be a place of health promotion. Nothing is more aggravating than walking into a gym and seeing that awful menu hanging above the shake bar. It’s giving people the wrong idea of what is healthy. It’s in the gym it must be good for me! No. If it tastes like brownies or cookies it’s not good for you. Seriously, you’re better off just having a brownie or cookie. At least you know what flour, sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs are. (note: Analogy purposes only. I am not suggesting you eat brownies and cookies whenever you damn well please). Same goes for all those branded bars and shakes in a can. Take a gander at the ingredient list. How many of those things do you recognize? What’s the sugar content? I’m sorry if this information is difficult to hear. Tough love is hard for me. But, I do love you, and that’s why I am here. I was once in line at the store with a cart full of garbage I thought was good for me. We are in this together. Let’s get that body of yours cleaned up and looking like brand new, OK? Ditch the weight loss shakes and read on…
So what do you use to blend? I’m so glad you asked! Vegetables mostly, and some fruit. Some lovely add in items, like your favorite protein powder and super foods. Oh, and almond milk. Don’t forget about coconut oil! And flax, and chia seeds and hemp seeds…see where I’m going with this??? The possibilities are endless.
Let’s start with your base. Something green like cucumbers and celery are the foundation of a good green shake. They are full of moisture and take on flavors easily. Next, you want to add some leafy greens. Kale, collards, dandelion greens and spinach are good ones. Then a little fruit to sweeten it up. Frozen pineapple is a great choice. It makes anything taste good and freezing fruit before you blend it gives your shake that smooth consistency. I always like to add some lemon when using greens. It will cut the bitterness. Here is a good recipe to start with.
Basic Green Shake
1/2 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
1 stalk celery
1 large Kale leaf
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1/4 to 1/2 lemon
1 cup almond milk
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
scoop of protein powder (optional)
This recipe is a good foundation and you can always add seeds and yummy little enhancers later which we will talk about in the near future. If it seems too thick you can add more almond milk.
Now, I know it isn’t going to taste like a milkshake. It’s not supposed to. Your taste buds may be sullied by sugar and other chemicals that you have unknowingly (or maybe knowingly) been eating for years, maybe even decades. This alters the taste of everything you eat. Sugar is a drug. A bad, addictive drug, and it’s in almost everything that has a wrapper. If you have ever tried to eliminate sugar from your diet you have probably experienced withdrawals. Anything that gives you headaches, nausea and the shakes when you stop eating is not good for you. We are going to be talking a lot about ways to reduce sugar. Guess one way…blending! You will start to look forward to your smoothies. You’re going to get creative and in no time you will be putting all kinds of things in the blender. You will be amazed at what your body can do for you. (Side note: The type of blender you use is VITAL to a good smoothie. Stay tuned to find out which blenders are best.)
Already a green drinker? What do you like to blend??? Reply below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Don’t forget to follow on twitter and like on Facebook so you know when there’s new greensypants info to soak in!