Moms and Dads - You know you don't eat enough vegetables. You may not have the time or the desire to consume all you need. (Be honest, are you really eating 3-5 servings of veggies a day?) And if you're not eating enough vegetables, chances are, your kids aren't either.
For the next 28 days, I want you to add a green smoothie to your daily routine. Don't change anything else, just add a daily smoothie (at least 16 oz.) and then let me know how you're feeling after a couple weeks. I can't wait to hear about how great you're feeling, how you've lost a few pounds, have more energy, are craving healthier foods, etc. If you currently have an adversity to all foods GREEN, start with less greens and more fruit. Then, as you begin to realize there is nothing to be afraid of and, hey, these actually taste really good, you can add more greens.
Green smoothies are a very simple and quick way to add LOTS of nourishment with very little effort! Whether you know it or not, your body is starving for nutrition. We live in a country of abundance where we are overfed and undernourished. If you have cravings (and who doesn't)- your body is trying to tell you something. It's crying out, trying to find a way to fulfill it's nourishment needs! Once I began fueling my body with whole foods nutrition, I found my cravings started to go away. And my tastebuds changed - junk foods no longer tasted good or seemed appealing.
OK, so you and your kids (yes, I'm saying to make this a family affair) may not love the smoothies at first - but PLEASE don't give up! You can play around with ingredients and make it to your taste. If you don't like one of the fruits listed, try a different one - don't like peanut butter, don't put it in. Think it tastes too sour - add a little (and I mean a tiny amount) honey or stevia or some extra berries. NO SUGAR, please! These recipes are just ideas. Start with spinach for the greens - it is very mild and you won't taste it. Then as time goes on, try other greens, like kale, romaine lettuce, chard, beet greens or bok choy. Some recipes I'll give you won't have anything green. There will be other vegetables, like carrots, pumpkins or beets - or roots like ginger and turmeric. If you think there is no way something that looks like this could taste good - wait until you try the Creamsicle smoothie or the Creamy Mint Chocolate one! WOW!
Alright, stop skipping breakfast or put down that "meal replacement" drink or bar full of synthetic nutrients and give your body what it wants - REAL nutrition from WHOLE foods. Trust me, your body will totally thank you!!
Are you ready to take the challenge -
Smoothie a Day for May
Where do we begin?
How about a shopping list - this week you will need.....
- Baby spinach (I usually buy the Nature's Promise brand at Giant - a large container costs $5.99 but has plenty of spinach to get you through this week and maybe next week!)
- Bananas (7 or 8 medium to large) - peel them, break in half and place in freezer
- 1 bag frozen peaches
- 1 bag frozen mango
- 1 bag frozen strawberries
- pineapple (canned is OK if it's in fruit juice only)
- fresh canteloupe
- grapes (red or green)
- one ripe avocado
- one orange
- Almond milk, unsweetened (vanilla is good)
- Natural peanut butter (that means only containing peanuts and maybe salt)
- Pure vanilla extract
- Pumpkin puree
- Cinnamon and/or pumpkin pie spice
- Raw cacao or cocoa powder
- Coconut oil (more info on coconut oil here )
- Mint extract
- Raw or local honey
RecipesOK, here it is, my most favorite green smoothie - the Creamsicle:
1 cup water, 1 cup almond milk, juice of 1 orange or 2-3 Tbsp orange juice, 1 tsp pure vanilla, 2 cups frozen peaches, 2 LARGE handfuls of spinach. Place in a blender, mix and enjoy!
Pumpkin Pie Green Smoothie OK, this won't be green, it will turn out brownish in color
1 cup almond milk, 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1 large frozen banana, 1 handful spinach, 1 Tbsp honey, 1/2 tsp pure vanilla, 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Blend all ingredients together and enjoy!
Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie
2 cups almond milk, 2 frozen bananas, 2 heaping Tbsp natural peanut butter, 2 large handfuls spinach, 1 tsp pure vanilla. Option: add cocoa powder before blending to make this a chocolatey treat Blend until smooth and enjoy!
1 1/2 cups almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 2 cups frozen strawberries, 1/2 frozen banana (optional), 2 cups spinach, 2 Tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp pure vanilla. Blend until smooth and enjoy!
The next two are from a great website called simplegreensmoothies.com and can be found by following these links: Beginner's Luck Green Smoothie and Cantaloupe-Grape Sweetness.
And now drumroll please...... the insanely delicious, you-almost-feel-guilty-drinking-it
Creamy Mint Chocolate Smoothie!
I promised you some recipes wouldn't have any greens - well, this one has half an avocado - which is technically a fruit, so no greens in this one but it still has amazing health benefits. If you're craving something chocolatey and milkshake-like - this is it! Again, if you don't like mint, don't add it. I just happen to think that the combination of chocolate and mint are a perfect match. The recipe can be found at The Road Not Processed (which also has tons of other amazing recipes!)
There you have it - one week's worth of recipes to get you started! I hope lots of you will join me and my family as we begin this challenge! Cheers! (C'mon, clink your green drink with me)