I’ve talked quite a bit about this drink over the past few posts, but I have yet to share this wonderful, health brimming drink. I have many healthy smoothie recipes on hand all ready, but this one has to be my favorite. How can this one drink help with weight loss, clear skin, beautify your body and keep you energized all day long?
The Green Smoothie Diet
Many people come to the Green Smoothie as a diet plan. I caution against this, because this drink does not contain enough complete protein for your body. However if you can find a way to add more protein to this recipe, then having a green smoothie for breakfast, lunch and dinner might not be a bad idea, especially if you are trying to lose weight or cleanse.
This smoothie will contain enough fat for one meal. This, combined with the protein and fiber, will help keep you full for hours. I drink this smoothie at 7:30 AM in the morning, and I can keep going until 2 PM. To amp up the satiating abilities, you might want to, again, add more protein.
Protein ideas would be:
- Organic, cage-free raw egg yolk – If you are wanting to bring a complete animal protein in this smoothie, than why not try raw eggs? I would advise NOT to use commercial eggs, as their risk, however low (1 out of 30000), is much higher for containing salmonella. 1 egg yolk will add about 3 g protein that will supply your body with energy, and all of the essential amino acids. Read my post about eggs and salmonella.
- Organic whey protein powder – I have never tried whey protein, but I am currently hearing much about this supplement powder. It is a complete protein (if it is from grass fed cows or goats), and some speculation has shown that a component in whey protein powder, glutathione, is an effective anti-aging fighter (may slow telomere erosion).
- Almond, walnut, sunflower or peanut butter – If you like a peanut butter or nut butter smoothie flavor, and want more protein to help keep you full, try this. You may have to wind down the recipe to 1 cup or water and 1 cup of ice to fully taste the nut butter (unless you want to add A LOT of nut butter – this will increase the calories and the omega-6 content, which is something we need to be careful of).
- Chia seeds and Flax seeds – This was included in the smoothie recipe. Use as much as you like; however I must warn you, these seeds have a tendency to make liquid “slimey”. I usually add about 2 tsp. chia seed and 1 tbsp. flax seed. This will amp up the protein, fiber and omega-3 content.
How Can This Smoothie Help With Weight
The Green Smoothie will help anyone lose weight for a number of reasons. Many of them are diverse, and many of them relate. Let me explain with a few bullet points:
- Fiber – This smoothie can contain up to 15 – 20 grams of fiber. If the daily recommended fiber intake is 35 grams, then you are more than half way there! Fiber helps slow down the emptying of your stomach, helping you feel full. It also slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates (from the fruit, mainly), which gives you a steady blood sugar level. Low insulin levels relate to less fat storage.
- Healthy fats – From the avocado to the coconut, to the nut butters and the seeds, these fats can actually help support you metabolism. The fat in the coconut oil has been shown to increase metabolism, nourish the thyroid (a gland in the neck associated with metabolism), and help with weight loss. These fats also slow down the break down of carbohydrates, which helps keep your insulin levels low. See more studies on metabolism and coconut.
- Protein – Protein helps keep you full, and can also help keep your body burning calories after a meal. Protein also helps in maintaining muscle mass, which can also increase your metabolic rate.
- Antioxidants – Free radicals can be increased in our everyday lives. From pollution to eating, to even exercise. This smoothie is packed full of antioxdants that fight free radicals that age the body and bring down the metabolism.
- Alkalinity – Because of the greens, the fruit and the lime/lemon juice, this smoothie is a very alkalinizing smoothie. When our bodies our in an acidic state (stress, environment, processed foods and fats, etc.), we hold on to weight in our bodies. When we balance our pH, however, and become more alkaline in the blood, we can lose weight much easier.
- Water! – This recipe is 4 cups of your daily water intake – that’s half of your daily recommended intake, if you drink the entire thing! Water helps cleanse your system, flushes out toxins, and is a crucial element in your metabolism, digestion and assimilation of key nutrients.
So, if you are wanting to start your day off with the nutrients, vitamins and minerals your body needs, then try this green smoothie. You can even vary it a little depending on what raw vegetables or fruits you have on hand. Be creative!
You will be getting plenty of vitamin A and vitamin C, keeping your immune system strong (don’t forget to exercise as well, to keep your immunity in top shape), as well as plenty of vitamin K from the kale and spinach. You are also getting calcium, vitamin E, fiber, protein, healthy fat, beautifying antioxidants and replenishing fluids. You couldn’t ask anymore from a drink.
My Green Smoothie Recipe
Feel free to add or substitute any ingredients!
2-3 cups raw organic spinach or kale, or a mix of both
1 banana, or fruit of choice
1 half medium avocado (3-4 TBSP. mashed avocado)
2 tsp. chia seeds, soaked for 20 minutes in 1/4 cup water
1-2 tsp. ground flax seed (must be ground to receive the benefits)
1/2-1 tsp. organic coconut oil
2 cups water (can also use almond, coconut or other milks)
1 cup of ice cubes
Stevia Extract , xylitol, coconut palm sugar, or other sweetener – to taste
1/8 tsp. salt
In a blender, add raw spinach/kale, fruit, avocado, soaked seeds (including soaking water), 2 cups of water or liquid of choice (almond milk, coconut milk, etc.). Blend thoroughly for 30-60 seconds or more with a normal blender (the Vitamix only takes around 10-20 seconds to break everything down).
Add sweetener. For the stevia extract, I would start with 1/4 tsp., which would equal the sweetness of 1 TBSP. sugar for each cup of smoothie. Increase until desired sweetness. If using another sweetener, add enough to equal 1/4 cup of sugar, and increase until desired sweetness. Add about 1/8 tsp. himalayan sea salt to off bring out the flavor of the smoothie.
Additional options: cinnamon (for blood sugar control), turmeric (highly anti-inflammatory), cloves (packed full of antioxidants), ginger, cage free egg yolk (protein, lutein), raw yogurt, cocoa or cacao powder, fiber supplement, etc.
Makes 1 quart.
This is The Healthy Advocate.