Last October, in an article titled Tired of Boiled Broccoli?, I wrote about being more adventurous with veggies in order to make sure we get our daily portions. Today, I’d like to share my newest craze, one that really helps me get enough greens in particular.
My friend Christa Smedile, RD, LDN had been telling me for a long time how much she loves her morning green smoothie. The idea seemed intriguing. I mean, starting your day with 2 servings of fruits and 1 serving of greens sounded very appealing to the health nut in me. But come on! A green smoothie? It just didn’t sound sexy.
After hearing a few testimonials from her clients, who raved about increased energy, nicer skin, reduced need for caffeine, and fewer cravings throughout the day, I just had to give it a try. I guess that’s one of the bitter-sweet things about being a health coach. I feel driven to try every plausible strategy to really know how it feels. Also keeping in the best possible shape is part of the job description. So I have a little extra motivation to do things that I might otherwise find excuses not to do. 😉
So I decided to give it a try, and I kid you not, I was hooked in no time! Now every morning, I blend 2-3 different fruits together with water and organic kale, spinach, parsley, mint, and/or arugula. Sometimes I also add plain yogurt and chia or flax seeds as well. It’s as fast and easy as putting sliced bread in the toaster. But the results are quite different. More specifically, my stress level seems to have gone down, and I feel generally calmer. Not a big surprise, considering that the SaS Compass predicts that better habits in food will also benefit mood.
Equally interesting, my smoothie does make it easy to skip my morning java or black tea, and so I agree that it can be a great way for you to cut back on caffeine if that’s something you want to do. Last but not least, on days that I travel and don’t have access to my morning magic potion, my body really craves it. That’s one great craving to have!
My husband is also starting to be a serious convert. He left for work very early this morning, but had made his own before I got up. For those of you who would love to hear your kids asking “Mom, can I have more spinach, please?” perhaps green smoothies are the way to go.
If you’d like to venture on the green smoothie journey, summer is the perfect season for it. Start with about 80-85% fruit and 15-20% greens. The sweetness of the fruit will seduce your taste buds and get the habit going. Organic apples, pineapple, mangoes and bananas are the tastiest fruits to get started with. Over time, increase the proportion of greens until they reach about 40%. Make sure to rotate your greens to increase your variety of vitamins and to keep things interesting.
To all of you coaches trying to encourage clients to eat breakfast, not only would a green smoothie be more nutritious than toast with peanut butter and banana, but I bet your clients would feel better faster, too. Nudging them in that direction may make the breakfast habit easier to establish. It’s definitely worth a shot.
So give it a try, and let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear your feedback.
For more suggestions on how to include more veggies in your daily meals, see Be Sneaky on p. 134 of our book.