I made three lifestyle changes that helped me to overcome my 7-year battle with Chronic Fatigue: 1) I got off all forms of processed Sugar, 2) I got off of all products that contain Wheat, and 3) I began drinking Green Smoothies daily. I like to joke with my audiences in a road show about my “health care plan for America”. My plan would be to put a Vitamix machine and the book, “Green For Life” in every household. At the end of the year, everyone who had a Green Smoothie every day, would get 100% of my “health care tax break”. If you drank Green Smoothies 50% of the time, you would get 50% of my “health care tax break” etc. Now of course this is a joke, but if it happened, it would change health care in America, because we don’t have a health care system, we have a disease management system.
Most Americans are nutrient deficient. Adding dark green leafy vegetables to a diet plan is the best way to get the most nutrients with the least amount of calories. Drinking Green Smoothies is the easiest way to increase the dark green leafy vegetables consumed daily.
I first learned about Green Smoothies from the book, “Green For Life” by Victoria Boutenko (see picture of the book on the left). This was probably the first book on Green Smoothies ever written. Now there are Many MANY Green Smoothie books to choose from!
If you would like to find HUNDREDS of recipes shared by fellow Vitamix owners, check out the past message archives of the 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge Yahoo Group. IMPORTANT NOTE, a “True” Green Smoothie is only Greens, Fruit, and Water. Many recipes shared in past 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenges (before October 1, 2013) contain foods other than fruits, greens, and water. Additives are not “Ideal” if you are trying to use the Green Smoothie as a detoxifying cleanse, but they are fine if you want to turn a Green Smoothie into a meal replacement, or a way to deliver “Super Foods” into your diet. If you are experiencing digestive “issues” after drinking Green Smoothies, be sure to follow Victoria’s advice regarding Green Smoothies and only eat them on an empty stomach, and make them ONLY with Greens, Fruit, Water and Ice. The “Great Taste No Pain” program gives you all of the information you might need about the “Rules” of “Proper Food Combining”.
Another GREAT book to help you get started on the Green Smoothie Habit is called (ready for this?) ;-) The Green Smoothie Habit! (click on the link, or the picture to the left). Beginning the Green Smoothie habit in 2007 changed the entire course of my life. I was no longer debilitated with fatigue, my energy returned, and I became a Vitamix sales demonstrator. All of these positive changes were set into motion simply because I made a commitment to drink a Green Smoothie every day. Jane Haddad (the author) also had a life-changing experience when she began The Green Smoothie Habit. I love her book because I know that our Mind, Body, and Spirit are all connected. Jane’s book is full of facts, “how to’s”, and information for your Mind, delicious recipes for your Body, and daily affirmations that will connect with your Spirit.
Would you like help getting started with the Green Smoothie Habit? How about teaming up with over 600 Vitamix Enthusiasts for online support? Click Here: 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge to join a Yahoo Group dedicated to helping people build the “Green Smoothie Habit“. Our next Challenge starts October 1st. I have a feeling that because of Jane’s book, this will be the best green smoothie challenge we’ve had so far – there will be new information, structure, daily recipes, menus, shopping lists, action steps, and daily affirmations to guide us. I can’t wait! Be sure to order your book in time for it to be delivered before October 1 – you’ll want to skim through it before we start.”
If you are new to the Green Smoothie habit, rest assured that you will get used to the taste of Greens over time. I like to joke with my audience that the Green Smoothie I serve in a show is like a “Kindergarten” Green Smoothie, and you can work your way up to the Graduate Level In the beginning, try the milder tasting greens and use a 60% fruit to a 40% greens ratio. Over time you can graduate to the more bitter tasting greens and change your ratio to 50/50 then 60 to 70% greens and 40 to 30% fruits. Or, you can just stick with whatever balance works best for you! I find that the more dark green leafy vegetables I can get into my diet, the less cravings I have for junk food and the more energy I have during the day.
Here are some Greens I use – this is NOT a complete list of all of the greens that you CAN use – Victoria’s book “Green For Life” is a great place to get a very comprehensive list. The Greens with an asterisk* by them, are the ones I use the most:
Kale* (remove stems for best taste/texture for smoothies)
Romaine (can be bitter)
Salad Greens (can be bitter)
Spring Mix (can be bitter)
Collards* (remove stems for best taste/texture for smoothies)
Parsley* (this took some getting used to but now I like it a lot!)
Dandelion Greens (bitter)
Celery* (also a strong flavor) I use this most frequently in All Veggie Smoothies for a salty taste.
Cucumber* (another strong flavor but good for skin) This is also great in All Veggie Smoothies.
Wheat Grass* (yes you CAN put Wheat Grass in a Smoothie)
Cabbage*** (good for preventing colon cancer) and remember, cabbage is one of the 5 “Magic Vegetables”!
***Cabbage is NOT considered a “dark green leafy vegetable” for those who are following Victoria’s “proper food combining” principals, but if you don’t have problems with digestion, and you aren’t trying to use your Green Smoothie as a “cleanse”, it is ok to use. I like Cabbage in my all-veggie Green Smoothies and V8-type concoctions!
Too many to list – I’ve tried about all of them. I can’t think of a fruit that you could not use in a Green Smoothie.
Miscellaneous Green Smoothie Hints/Tips
Bananas are always good with fruits that are tart like raspberries and blackberries or, any greens that are on the bitter side because bananas are sweet.
I use apples whole. I peel the orange part off of an orange, but leave the white pit because that is where most of the calcium, bioflavanoids, and vitamin C is located. The seeds of papaya are bitter – don’t use them! Pomegranite seeds are too bitter in a green smoothie as well. Citrus seeds and Green Smoothies with ANY form of Citrus can be consumed immediately, but if you try to store it for any length of time in the fridge (within 1/2 hour) the Citrus will turn the drink bitter.
To get the texture and temperature of your Green Smoothie just right for you, remember to follow the directions I gave for making Whole Fruit Juices on my recipe page. If you would like to have a Green Smoothie that is very smooth, “liquidy”, and cold, you must start out with enough frozen ingredients (either frozen fruits or ice) so that the Green Smoothie is very thick and “slushy”. As you blend, the frozen ingredients will melt and turn liquid from the friction heat of the blades. To keep your Green Smoothie cold, you will stop blending right at the time when it is still cold, but no longer frozen like a slushy. This allows you to break the ingredients down to the cellular (most bioavailable) level, but still keep the drink cold which preserves the activity of the enzymes. If you don’t like your Green Smoothie to be too cold, blend until it reaches the temperature that best suits you.
If your Green Smoothie has foam in it when you are finished making it, remember that you can turn the variable speed down to the lower speeds (just enough to create a tiny vortex in the top of the liquid) and run it for a while to remove the air bubbles.
Bananas are great for keeping Green Smoothies from separating (the fiber floating to the top, and the liquid/juice remaining at the bottom). They also give a “creamier texture” to Green Smoothies. If you are going for low glycemic smoothies, Avocado will do the same thing.
I eat a LOT of All Veggie Green Smoothies. There are a lot of recipes for “Blended Salads”, “Cold Soups”, “Saloups”, “All-Veggie Smoothies”, and “V8-Juice” in the Links archive of the Vitamix Enthusiasts Yahoo Group.
Don’t be afraid to experiment… my Green Smoothies are rarely the same from day to day… some taste great and some, well… If you make a mistake, pour it into an ice cube tray and when frozen, store in a zip lock bag. Then, you can use only one or two of the “mistakes” as some of the frozen ingredient in another Green Smoothie, and mask the taste!
You can also freeze greens or fruits that are going bad to save $ on produce! You can freeze them whole, or puree them, and freeze into ice cubes.
(this is the Green Smoothie that I make at a show)
(as seen on Oprah)
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By Lea Ann Savage Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved
- About Me
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- Sweeteners & Smoothie Additives
- The 5 “Magic Veggies”
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