drink to your health

green smoothie

My eating habits have gone completely haywire since the arrival of little munchkin. I have to stop calling him little because he seems to be nearly half my size now (at least in length)! My brother also lived with us, so sharing the kitchen (and apartment) was far more stressful than I had thought. It’s really only after he left last weekend that I realized how much I needed to reclaim my space. 3 new people were added to our household over the past year and a half (munchkin, brother, then nanny) and because of that, I feel that I lost so much of where I existed. No corner or place felt like my own. With more people using and visiting the space than ever before, the furniture seemed to shift monthly while multicolored plastic and wood items multiplied in all corners. All that was new now seems dinged and scuffed. As a result, I feel dinged and scuffed too.

Now that I feel in complete control over the neatness of my kitchen (which I’m pretty neurotic about), I’m going to start making the smoothies that I keep craving (and buying). It’s my body’s cry for something more alkaline given my horrible eating habits. I’m just always so hungry, and I grab whatever is easiest and fastest, which means junk food all the time. I knew that when I no longer enjoyed a salad, a dietary reboot was in order. I’m hoping that munchkin and husband will drink these with me too. We will see how long my smoothie-making lasts, but I’m starting this adventure as soon as le blender arrives.

One of the questions I had was: I want to make smoothies but I feel confined to follow the recipes. I don’t always have all the ingredients on hand and I don’t want to be drinking a really gross concoction, so what are some basic guidelines to smoothie making that I can follow for a tasty and healthy drink?

So today, I am sharing with you some guidelines from Green Smoothies blog.

  • Prepare your green smoothie first thing in the morning in the amount that you usually consume in one day, one or two quarts (liters). Pour enough smoothie in a glass for your morning enjoyment and keep the rest in a refrigerator or another cold place.
  • Sip your green smoothie slowly, mixing it with saliva. Sometimes I put my smoothie in a coffee mug with a lid and carry it with me to the car or to my office. That way I minimize a chance of spilling it and keep it private without distracting others.
  • Don’t add anything to your smoothie except greens, fruit, and water. I don’t recommend adding nuts, seeds, oils, supplements or other ingredients to your green smoothie. Most of these items slow down the assimilation of green smoothies in your digestive tract and may cause irritation and gas. I encourage you to stick to the basic green smoothie recipe (fruit, greens, and water) in your daily routine.
  • Drink your smoothie by itself, and not as a part of a meal. Don’t consume anything, even as little as a cracker or candy with it. You may eat anything you want approximately 40 minutes before or 40 minutes after you finished your smoothie. Your goal is to get the most nutritional benefit out of your green smoothie.
  • Do not add starchy vegetables such as carrots, beets, broccoli stems, zucchini, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, egg plant, pumpkin, squash, okra, peas, corn, green beans, and others to your green smoothies. Starchy vegetables combine poorly with fruit and may produce what my children call “gas 4 less.”
  • Don’t add too many ingredients into one smoothie, such as nine different fruits and a dozen different greens. Try to keep most of your recipes simple to maximize nutritional benefits and to keep it easy on your digestive system.
  • Learn to prepare a really delicious green smoothie so that you are always looking forward to the next one. If your drink is not tasty, you will eventually discontinue consuming it. Keep your taste buds happy.
  • Always rotate the green leaves that you add to your smoothies. Almost all greens in the world contain minute amounts of alkaloids. Tiny quantities of alkaloids cannot hurt you, and even strengthen the immune system. However, if you keep consuming kale, or spinach, or any other single green for many weeks without rotation, eventually the same type of alkaloids can accumulate in your body and cause unwanted symptoms of poisoning. Please note that you don’t have to rotate the fruit in your green smoothies. Most commonly used fruit have very little or none of the alkaloids and cannot cause the same toxic reactions as greens. At the same time, rotating fruits will enhance the variety of flavor and nutrition in your smoothies.
  • Choose organic produce whenever possible. The absence of pesticides and other toxic chemicals is only one of many benefits of organic food. The most important reason to consume organic food is the superior nutrition of organic fruits and vegetables in comparison to conventionally grown produce. We have been discussing earlier, how deficient most people are. The best way to nourish your body is to consume organic produce and whenever possible, locally grown. I consider it very important to get the fruit that was allowed to ripen on the vine because it is the best for nourishment. Tree-ripened fruit is several times more nutritious and when consumed shortly after picking retains significantly more nutrients.

This is an excerpt from the book Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko.

Do you juice or make smoothies? If so, what has been your experience with it and what are your favorite food combinations?

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