Green Smoothies

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Wow, I’ve come a long way since I began this food blog! I started it with the idea that I would review restaurants from the “vegetarian perspective,” but that was frustrating, so I decided to start posting recipes. That was really fun, but after cooking and eating lots of rich food, I realized I couldn’t live that way forever. My pants got tighter and I felt miserable. Then I watched the movie, I’m Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and knew that my problem was food. I immediately went on a juice fast and my life changed overnight. After the fast I began to eat smoothies and salads and mostly follow a raw food diet. It has been the best thing for me. I lost 20 pounds and I feel great…but I don’t cook anymore. My family eats a gigantic salad every night for dinner and I drink juice and smoothies for breakfast and lunch. I snack on almonds, walnuts and fruit if I get hungry. Every now and then I will have a sprouted grain sandwich or wrap, perhaps a bowl of soup or a sautéed vegetable mix with quinoa or brown rice. But, I basically try to limit my intake of grains to one or two servings per week. I’m not totally converted, however, as I relax a bit on the weekends. Sometimes we have pizza or go out for dinner. I figure I can stay focused during the work week, and on the weekend indulge a bit.

I do tend to make more smoothies than juice as the blender takes less time to clean. In the mornings when I’m pressed for time to get out the door by 6:45, a quick clean-up is nice. Smoothies are a quick and filling breakfast and lunch meal replacement for people with busy schedules. I thought I would share a few smoothie ideas with you.

First, if you want to lose weight, use the smoothie as a meal replacement. I make enough smoothie to fill my blender container which is probably a little more than 40 ounces. People are surprised by the quantity, but you want to drink enough so that you don’t get hungry.

Second, plan for a good smoothie container. I have a couple of 32 ounce water bottles with large openings that work okay, but I prefer to drink smoothies with a straw. I drilled a hole in a lid for a quart-sized canning jar and often bring that to work to sip on throughout the morning. It looks a little odd, but works great!

Anything can go in a smoothie. I like to have two fruits and two veggies as a general rule. Then I add in healthy fats and proteins. Play around with ingredients until you find what you like. I usually use a banana as a base with either spinach or kale as one of my veggies, then anything else you might like.

Here are a couple of recipe ideas:

This one is a filling smoothie with high fiber kale and ground flax. High in vitamins, calcium and minerals it also offers lots of Omega-3 fatty acids. The coconut water is a good source of potassium and magnesium – much better for you than Gatorade or other sports drinks.

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 fresh peach, nectarine or pear sliced
  • 1/4 cup clover sprouts
  • 1 – 2 cups kale
  • 2 Tbs. ground flax
  • filtered water to just below the level of the produce in blender
  • a few ice cubes (optional)

Here’s a lighter version of the first that uses the softer leaf spinach and no seeds. The mango, banana and avocado combination result in a smooth and creamy texture.

  • 1 banana
  • 1 large mango
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1-2 cups filtered water
  • a few ice cubes

And finally, a very high fiber Berry Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
  • 1 cups spinach
  • 1/4 whole lemon, washed with peel
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 2 Tbs. chia seed
  • 1-2 cups filtered water to blend
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