If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably noticed I really like green smoothies. 99% of my days start out with a green smoothie. Not to sound like a total cliche, but I believe they changed my life. It started about three and a half years ago. After feeling really sluggish at work for a few months, I decided something had to change and embarked on a personal nutrition challenge: seven days of green smoothies. Before the challenge, most mornings started with a "healthy" cereal. I thought cereal was a pretty good choice - boy was I wrong! Once I dropped the box of Kashi, I realized it was the reason I was having digestive problems, feeling overly full, bloated, and constant sugar cravings. Ew. Who wants to feel like that all the time? ....not me.
That seven day challenge turned into a nearly 4 year love affair with greens. Smoothies are super refreshing and provide a blast of nutrients first thing in the morning. The changes I felt were so profound, it became a lifestyle. Some of the changes I noticed after the first month were, increased energy, mental clarity, healthier food cravings and weight management. The best part? You can really pack a ton of nutrients into 1 drink! AND - they are super low maintenance. You just need a blender and 3-5 minutes. Of course, you can find tons of recipes online, so I'm not going to give you one today. Instead, I'll share my Smoothie 101 tips, so you can figure out your own delicious concoctions!
Smoothie Building Blocks
1. Choose a creamy base: banana, mango, peach
2. Choose a complimentary flavored fruit: apple, pear, berries, citrus
3. Add 1-2 handfuls of greens *if you are worried about it tasting green, start with a small handful and work your way up!
4. Choose an unsweet liquid: water, coconut water, almond milk, coconut milk
5. Blend your HEART out!
- Less is more. The best smoothies are the simple ones. You don't need 10 different fruits and veggies to have a nutrient dense and flavorful smoothies. My favorite recipes usually include 3-5 ingredients.
- Consider your nutrients. Greens + Protein + Healthy Fats
- Greens: spinach & chard have a mild flavor = beginner friendly! Start there.
- Protein: hemp seeds, chia seeds, whole food nut butters, full fat greek yogurt
- Healthy Fats: avocado or coconut oil are great to start with.
- Don't make a sugar BOMB!
- 30%-40% greens + 60%-70% low glycemic fruits is a good starting place.
- Added sweeteners should be natural (raw honey, maple syrup) and used sparingly.
You can follow me @emiliemaynorliving for weekly inspirations or sign up for the next Blend Your Heart Out Smoothie Challenge! Feel free to comment with any smoothie questions or share your favorite recipe!