Green & clean, Smoothie 101

Green smoothies are delicious, healthy combos of leafy green vegetables, fruit and a liquid base ( to which I like to add  more nutrients and flavour-y stuff to make them even more healthy and tasty).

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If you only clicked on the blog post cause you want some gorgeous green recipes, scroll down and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

If you want some of my green wisdom, just keep on reading.

If you feel great after drinking some green goodness and want to dance to some funky music, click on this link for some funky inspiration.  https://open.spotify.com/user/healthyisfunkyyy

 Why does yours truly drink green smoothies? #sharingiscaring

It all started with me doing research for the book. I started experimenting with fruit, veggies, plant based milks,  nut butters, oils, superfoods while concocting recipes for juices  and smoothies in my #myhealthyisfunkykitchen #lotsoftrialevenmoreERRORS.

My book Healthy is Funky needed to be a DIY guide, to a healthier YOU without dieting or losing fun. Basically, I needed to understand for myself (and then share my knowledge) why some food were healthier than others and foremost, what the impact of healthy food was on my own well-being.

While writing the book, I worked closely with a dietician who works as some kind of food researcher for the  university in my hometown. I could ask her any question,  I asked many!!! #poorgirl

The biggest lessons I learned – from doing all the research and experimenting  – is to learn to listen to your body and to become aware of what the intake of certain food does do to your body and soul. Long story short, I just feel better drinking green smoothies a couple of times a week.

Do not stress, you don’t need to drink green smoothies everyday but drinking healthy smoothies on a regular basis might help you too.

Second lesson? There is NO one food plan that fits ALL. Nope. Doesn’t exist.  You have to figure out for yourself what suits you best. You can do endless research, read a million books, visit 500 doctors/dietitians, and you will get much more knowledge but no one is smarter in figuring out what works best for your body (and taste buds!!) and that is YOU!

Green smoothies can replace breakfast when I’m in a hurry in the morning or whenever I have not much time to make lunch.

Green smoothies help me start the day  in a healthy way or serve as a pick-me-up during the day.  They provide me with all what’s good for my body ( keep reading as to why they are so healthy).

Nobody likes to talk about it but they help my digestive system  and  improve my visits to … yes, you know what I mean.  It all works so much better if I drink them on a regular basis.

I confess, I don’t like to eat fruits such as apples and kiwi’s and so it’s a great way to add them to my food plan.

And last but not least, green smoothies help  me take in liquid in the morning to re-fill my body with water. Remember green veggies, fruit and vegan milk contain loads of water.

Why are green smoothies healthy?

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Greens provide you with fiber, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients. All good stuff that nurtures your body and make you feel better.

By adding fruit, you add just more fiber, vitamins, minerals ….. and fruit helps to tackle the bitter taste of the green leafy veggies.

plant based liquid – like  water, coconut water or any vegan milk such as soy milk, nut milk, rice milk, coconut milk  or even fruit juice – are  gluten and lactose free which make green . smoothies are easy to digest.

HOW TO MAKE A GREEN SMOOTHIE

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I’m too keen on measuring foods with proper measurement equipment and  I don’t like to clean them so I use my hands and my smoothie glass for the measurement purposes.

Making a green smoothie should not take much longer than 5 minutes.

If you don’t use organic veggies and fruit, wash (and peel) your stuff. Cut your fruit & veggies into big chunks.

Always add the liquid and a little bit of the greens first to your blender. Start to swirl  (meaning start your blender) and then add more of the veggies and fruit.

If you work with frozen fruits, put these in last and not all at once .

You need :

1 or 2 hands of leafy greens :  spinach, kale or arugula or even broccoli florets (so remove the stem).

1 or  2 pieces of fruit :  apples, pears, kiwis or berries. Other fruits pairing well with green veggies are bananas, pineapple and mango.  Here is my dieticians statement about fruit (and sugar) intake : a daily intake of 2 pieces of fruit is enough. If you want to keep your calories in check, 2 is a good number cause fruit contains sugar (fructose).

Not all fruits contain the same amount of sugar :  a kiwi is low in sugar (fructose) and counts as half a piece of fruit, a banana counts as 2 pieces of fruit. And all other pieces of fruit are basically in between and count as one piece.

Don’t stress if you add extra fruits to your smoothie, cut down on other sugary foods during the day, if you have a smoothie with more fruit that day. Use your common sense and never – in the land of ever – stress over it.

One last good tip, if you like your smoothies to be thick and luscious, use frozen fruits.

1 glass of liquid : water, coconut water or any vegan milk such as soy milk, nut milk, rice milk, coconut milk  or even fruit juice – are  gluten and lactose free which make green . smoothies are easy to digest.

Turn your green smoothies into a healthy breakfast or lunch.

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When turning green smoothies into meals, you have to include healthy fats and  proteins. Not only fat or only protein, both. W-w-w-what???

Adding fats and proteins will keep you feeling full and give you the energy you need to cruise right through until your next meal or snack. 

Healthy fats : ½  avocado, 1 banana,  nut milk, nuts ( a little hand) , oats (blend in half a glass of  raw oats), chia or hemp seeds (2 tablespoons) and nut butters  such as almond and unsweetened peanut butter, 2 tablespoons max.) or just one tablespoon of coconut, flax-seed or hemp oil.

 Protein:  Your body burns protein slower than carbs, fact! You need  a daily intake of protein, fact! Protein helps to prevent blood sugar spikes, so you are not  feel hungry in between meals, read you will stop the non-stop snacking in between meals, trust me. Proteins keep your muscles strong so drinking a protein-rich smoothie is also a great idea after a work-out.

Also, when your body has enough protein it doesn’t have to resort to burning muscle for the energy it needs, so your muscles stay strong and toned. That’s why drinking a protein-rich smoothie after a workout is an excellent way of replenishing your body!

Protein powder (1 or 2 tablespoons) , 1 glass of cooked quinoa or cooked oats (if you use raw oats, use half a glass) or silken tofu (1 glass).

How to make your smoothies even healthier?

I always add lemon juice and ginger. Lemon juice provides you with vitamin C, boost your metabolism, helps you pick up the iron in the green leafs better and lemons do so much more that is for another blog post. Don’t have lemons, you can use grapefruit or lime juice.

Ginger gives me just a kick and is über healthy and gives your smoothie a flavor boost. Read my blog post about ginger shots.

Fresh  green herbs such as fresh mint or basil are great flavor booster and herbs have healing powers, for real.

Superfood powders. You know that superfoods are just a marketing term. There is no superfood king or organization to grant certain products a superfood label. Its invented by foodies and smart marketers. However superfoods indicate foods that are healthy or contain a high concentration on certain nutrients.

Green powders, such as chlorella, spirulina, wheat grass or green mix (often a combo of different green powders)   are an easy way to boost your green intake.

They taste and smell really badddd (as in Michael Jacksons BAD). If you’re not familiar with these powders, do not stick your nose in the bags!!!! I warned you!

If you use not more than a heaped tablespoon of green powder in your smoothie, you won’t even notice it. If you still taste the powder, add a lil’ more sweetness such as stevia, agave or dates.

 And finally here they are … the green recipes  

Green coconut smoothie

  • 1 glass of coconut water
  • 1 sweet ripe pear
  • 1 hand of spinach**
  • 1/2 avocado
  • fresh ginger (optional)
  • juice of 1 lime

** Kale alert: its autumn so kale is back in business. You can substitute spinach with fresh kale. Kale is a tad more bitter than spinach so you might want to  add a little more sweetness : a couple of dates, a tablespoon of stevia or a tablespoon of agave.

Green slim shady smoothie

  • 1 glass of almond milk
  • 1  kiwi  (or apple)
  • 1 hand of spinach or kale
  • celery stick
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon stevia

Girls and boyzzz, this smoothie is just not a replacement for a breakfast or lunch.  You’ll be hungry within an hour cause this smoothie doesn’t contain enough calories to keep your lunch. If you want it to be a meal replacer, add one piece of fruit and add some proteins and healthy fats as explained above in the blog post.

 

Make even healthier by adding a heaping tablespoon (not more!! cause these powder don’t taste good after all, if you add more it will affect the taste of your smoothie.

 Green berry goodness (meal replacement!!)

  • 2 hands of fresh spinach
  • 1 glass of almond milk
  • 1 glass of berries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon of protein powder

 

 

If you have questions, remarks or just want to comment, send me an email : mich.baron@hotmail.com

 

ENJOY!! And Until next time.

Mich, XO

 

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