By Candace Byington
Anyone can log onto Pinterest and find countless recipes and images for green smoothies. The health conscious on Facebook often post memes depicting the benefits of these blended drinks. Many celebrity doctors praise the green smoothie for a variety of health benefits from mental clarity, disease prevention and smoother, younger looking skin. Yet fear and negativity about the green concoctions persist.
Many think it they taste like salad and refuse to try them. Others believe that smoothies in general are messy to make and avoid them. Still others believe that drinking meals will leave you feeling hungry at all times. Of course, the biggest complaint: they look gross! Whatever. Haters gonna hate. In this article, I will share my experience after a month of eating green smoothies for two of three meals a day.
The Smoothie is Always Greener… (Excuses for Avoiding Green)
First let’s dispel the mythologies! Let me make it very clear that green smoothies do not taste like salad. They don’t. A typical green smoothie recipe includes avocado, kale, spinach, cucumber, banana, ginger and a few blueberries. Blended greens have no flavor. Blended greens with fruit taste like the fruit. The smoothies that I have made taste more like bananas and blueberries with a spicy ginger kick than a chop salad. Avocados are added to give thickness, in lieu of yogurt. The
avocado does not make the smoothie taste like guacamole.
The other myth is the messy. “Oh cutting and blending that’s messy!” No it isn’t. Making a smoothie requires chopping veggies into chunks that can be easily pureed by the blender or food processor. Most blenders and food processors are designed to clean easily. I have been able to clean my with hot water and little detergent with little effort. In the time that it takes to prepare two eggs and toast, a green smoothie can be made.
Another lingering myth is that you will be hungry after consuming the smoothies. I made these for breakfast and dinner. My experience was feeling full for several hours and that I was hungry by my lunch break. In the evening, the green smoothie was an idea, quick meal after the gym. I never woke up in the middle of the night feeling hungry. Unlike juice, smoothies contain a lot of fiber and that keeps you feeling full.
Green Smoothies and Ham (Smoothies as a Meal)
So much for the myths. What about the health benefits? Many question if the claims of weigh reduction, younger, smoother skin and mental clarity are true. I found them to be just that. After the month of consuming two smoothies a day, I backed off to having one a day or one every other day. During that time I was working out on a daily basis. I maintained my weight over the two month period. I had plenty of energy to workout for a few hours after work. After a month of consuming two smoothies a day, I noticed that my skin was hydrated and looked smoother than the month before. I found that the claims for mental clarity are true. When I consumed smoothies,I did not have the sluggish, “food coma” that follows eating a meal of carbs and protein.
I experimented with green smoothies a year ago. I wish I could tell you that I have been disciplined since that time and drink two green smoothies a day. I don’t. Over the course of the year my life has changed and I have gotten into some bad habits (dating and going to restaurants!) . I realized that I want to get back into the green smoothie habit because I felt better. I have noticed a difference in my mental clarity, weight and overall health while being away from the green smoothies.
Above all think about the savings. A typical “weight loss” or meal replacement bar or drink can run between one and two dollars per bar and you have little to no control over what is in them. The higher end of these products, including ones that are gluten free, organic, or “all natural” will run at the high end of two to three dollars. Of course, you can buy in bulk which reduces the cost but then you are stuck drinking the same flavor day in and day out. I don’t care how tasty a meal replacement bar is, the same flavor gets boring.
Green with Smoothie Envy (Borrowing from Other People)
If you are curious to know more about green smoothies and their health benefits check out http://www.rawfamily.com/. Author Victoria Boutenko shares her experience and knowledge about eating raw and the benefits of green smoothies. Not
only will find links to books full of personal testimonies from Victoria Boutenko and her family you can find apps and many recipes. Other websites include Pinterest for an almost overwhelming about of “pins” of well designed recipes and gorgeous pictures of smoothies. Vegkitchen.com offers recipes and a convenient top ten list: http://www.vegkitchen.com/tips/top-10-benefits-of-green-smoothies/.
Another great source is people who make green smoothies! Ask and ye shall receive! Recently I shared recipes with coworkers and friends and found a few great tips! One stated that she “never gets sick” because she eats a green smoothie daily. She mentioned that she will use left over salad in her smoothie in combination with other fruit and a bit of garlic to boost her immune system. A coworker expressed the importance of adding pineapple to green smoothies for flavor and vitamin C.
If you are looking for a change in your diet, I highly recommend trying green smoothies. You will find that they offer health benefits and a quick and easy meal alternative.