The Green Smoothie Phenomenon

So I guess the California healthy lifestyle is really starting to influence me. Friends of mine and the fiance’s recently raved about the Green Smoothie Challenge. I am going to confess, when I first heard them talk about it, I thought it sounded a little too much on the healthy side.  Vegetables in the morning?? As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I don’t exactly have the most refined pallet. I love all food and don’t discriminate against fast food, fried food, comfort food, or any other “bad for you” foods. Since moving out here, however, my perspective is slowly starting to shift.

First of all, I literally can’t find fast food depending on where I am in the city. I even tried to order pizza one night, and all the major chains don’t even deliver to my area. Gasp!! So why would I go out of my way when I have all these other fantastic “fresh, organic, local” cuisine and dining options right at my finger tips?

Second of all, about a month into moving out here I watched the Weight of the Nation on HBO. Seriously, watch it. It will blow your mind and change your perspective on how important it is that we pay attention to what we put into our bodies. Obesity is a serious problem that our country needs to take action against. It’s around mid-to-late twenties too that metabolisms slow down and you kind of get the first wake-up call that youth only lasts so long. Not taking care of your body will have negative consequences, it’s just a matter of when, not if.

Third of all, in San Francisco “healthy” is just the prevailing mindset. Everyone runs, does yoga, bikes, or some kind of exercise. And people like eating “good for you” foods. That’s not to say they don’t occasionally splurge (I think the occasional splurge is healthy too). But overall, healthy is the norm, and it hasn’t been hard to adopt that mindset.

So, with this new outlook on healthy eating, I decided to try the green smoothie challenge. I haven’t been drinking as much as the website says you should (about 4 glasses a day), but I”m almost there! We’ve tried several recipes, here are two of my favorites:

Easy Beginner

– 2-3 big handfuls of fresh spinach

– Frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)

– 1 banana

– Greek yogurt for protein

– Water (you can try with orange juice at first, but then try half-ing it with water, and then just adding water since juice has a lot of sugar)

Feeling more adventurous….

– 2-3 handfuls of Kale

– Handful of frozen fruit mix (mango, pineapple, strawberry, etc.)

– Grated fresh ginger

– Greek yogurt

– 1 banana

– Water

The benefits of green smoothies are cited on countless blogs. It didn’t take long to convince me after hearing and reading about these awesome benefits, and also finding out that you can get all your vegetables and fruits for the day out of the way with just one smoothie hahaha. I don’t know about everyone else, but for me it’s really hard to fit the necessary servings of fruits and veggies into my meals every day! And I’m all about convenience.

I should mention for you beginners that the smoothies do not taste gross or like vegetables. I already knew this having dabbled in the Odwalla and Naked Juice’s versions of green smoothies. They are green, but taste delicious and fruity! Also, they are not meant to replace a meal per se, but most people do use these to replace breakfast — trust me, it’s filling enough so long as you’re not training for a major race. I also add some chia seeds for additional fiber, omega 3s, and protein.

I haven’t been religious about having one every day- I think mostly because I get into work super early so I’m going to start making them the night before.

One last piece of advice, don’t put a whole orange in the blender. It comes out stringy and super gross.

Happy drinking/eating!