I’ve always looked younger than my age! Currently, when I’m asked my age and I respond, most people are amazed that I am in my mid-fifties! Truthfully, sometimes I’m amazed that I am in my mid-fifties, although my body often reminds me! My family genes are definitely a factor, as my mother looks 10-15 years younger than her age, so I am very fortunate!
The next question is usually “what are you doing?”, my usual reply over the years would be, “good genes and clean living.” Little did I know that the meaning of CLEAN LIVING would evolve into a Clean Living/Clean Eating movement.
I’ve explored the clean eating phenomenon and understand its benefits. I started with a cleanse that included green smoothies (includes dark leafy greens), and definitely noticed improvement in my mental and physical energy, more vibrant skin, and much better digestion. I’ve learned that there is a myriad of health benefits! After the cleanse, I continued including green smoothies as a part of my regular diet.
For the past 3+ years I’ve been using the NUTRiBULLET, which is an emulsifier. It TOTALLY breaks food down, which aids in maintaining beneficial nutrients. I’ve experimented with a variety of ingredients. You just have to play around with different foods until you find the combinations that agree with your palette. I almost always add a handful of spinach or kale in my smoothie. I prefer spinach because of the milder flavor; however, both are very high in fiber and loaded with antioxidants. I tried collards, but they were a little bitter used raw. I ALWAYS add nuts; I like almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds. Nuts are a rich source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and dietary fiber. The other food group that I ALWAYS include are Super Foods; i.e., flax seed, chia seeds, or hemp seeds. I typically add coconut water, or I’ll use almond milk. I like coconut water because it is rich in magnesium and has fewer calories.
A favorite is a tropical blend: spinach, mango, banana, pineapple, ground flax seed, walnuts, vitamins and coconut water. My blend is usually 50/50 (50% leafy greens and 50% fruit), 1/4c superfood, 8oz of coconut water or other liquid, and a handful of nuts or seeds.
Tip: Prepare your ingredients ahead of time. I purchase fresh berries (lots of antioxidants) and freeze them. I peel, cut and freeze mango. Purchase your leafy greens in bulk and already chopped. You can use any fruits or vegetables, the key is using them RAW!
The ingredients above include spinach, pears, cucumbers, walnuts, ground flax seed, vitamins, and coconut water. I’ve also used green apples, celery, or avocado; an EVERYTHING GREEN smoothie! There are a wealth of smoothie recipes on the internet if you just don’t want to think about it! There’s no excuse for not getting started!
Place all of your ingredients in a blender or emulsifier and blend until smooth. Note: Regular blenders usually do not produce a smooth consistency. There may be particles of food that remain.
Tip: Blend enough ingredients to make two smoothies, (an extra one for the next day) just don’t use bananas or avocados because they will turn your smoothie an unappetizing green color after several hours.
The consistency of your smoothie will depend on the ingredients your are using and the amount of liquid you use. Bananas and avocados are great thickeners, as well as some of the super foods. You can always add water or ice to thin out a smoothie that’s too thick. You’ll just have to experiment!
Tip: If you want your smoothie to be sweet without using sugar or other sweeteners, bananas provide sweetness, as does some varieties of coconut water. I’ve also used Blackstrap Molasses to provide sweetness, it is known to be rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, and other minerals.
I usually drink a green smoothie 4-5 times per week and will continue because the liquid greens are complimenting the good genes!