Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Green smoothies

Hi Everybody!

My boyfriend and I have a new thing... green smoothies! We all know that in our modern lives, many of us eat too much processed food. There are many people who try to turn this around by eating vegetarian, vegan, raw, or who knows what else. The idea behind the green smoothies is that not only are they raw, they also contain a lot of leafy greens of which we usually eat too little of.

Anyway, after a couple of months playing with the smoothies, here is an update!

Literature: My BF and I loooove this book Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko. It contains a lot of information, some scientific insight, years and years of personal experiences from her and her family, and a ton of recipes. Great mix for when you're starting out with smoothies! My BF and I now refer to the author as "our friend Victoria", as in "No, don't put broccoli in it. Remember, our dear friend Victoria says is not good in smoothies because of the starch!" Love this book. It's an easy read and it really made us enjoy more and drink more smoothies!

Recipes: We pretty much stick to Victorias principles - keep it easy, limit the number of ingredients to 3-4. Use 2 different fruits (ex: bananas, frozen berries, avocado, pineapple, mango, etc), 1 green (ex: spinach, kale, chard, wheatgrass, etc), and water. Try to use more green and less fruit as you get more experienced.
 ☆ My favorite: raspberries/strawberries, avocado, spinach, water.
 ☆ His favorite (he likes it sweeter): mango/pineapple, banana, wheatgrass, water.

Frequency: Our goal has been to drink at least 1-2 smoothies per day. Some weeks we do well, some we fail miserably haha. It all depends on how busy we are and how much time we spend at home vs. out and about (eating out, traveling). My BF has tried an "all-smoothie diet" for 3 days or so and really loved it (see Benefits below.)
We drink the smoothies as snacks, not as meal replacements. Although sometimes we will replace a meal with a smoothie. We don't have strict rules. A smoothie will keep you full for a while, so it is definitely possible to replace a meal with a smoothie.

Equipment: At first, we didn't want to spend money on a blender in case we end up not liking smoothies. We tried using a food processor. It was kind of messy and the smoothies didn't get very "smooth". It was OK, but not ideal. We liked the smoothies though, so we started researching blenders. The best of the best cost 400 US$ and up (Vitamix, Blendtec). We decided on a much cheaper one (40 US$) that got very good ratings by consumer reports. We are very happy with it. The smoothies get super smooth and the motor shows no signs of burning out. (We try not to run it for longer than 30-60 seconds at a time. Also, always use enough liquid to prevent motor burnout.)

Benefits: Now, for the most interesting aspect. What benefits did we experience? I definitely feel a difference, even when I just drink one large glass of smoothie per day. I feel lighter, happier, just plain better! It also meshes really well with my yoga practice and his workout routine, fueling us with all the nutrients we need.
When my BF did the "all-smoothie diet" for a few days, he felt so amazing! He said it just made him so energetic and he realized that "regular" food makes him fatigued. It made such a difference for him that his colleagues (who didn't know he was doing any special diet) asked him what was going on with him, because he came across as so energetic and happy! Amazing, isn't it?
We definitely feel it, when we skip our smoothies. For example, last week we moved, and between our three households, there hasn't been any time to make smoothies. My BF and I have both noticed that we feel grumpy, our bodies are not happy with the food we put in them, and we just feel tired and blah. We both can't wait to get back to a more regular smoothie routine! :)

Thank you, Victoria! Cheers!

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