week 35 challenge
Well, spring has sprung and it is time to focus on your health goals for the summer! This week we challenge you to have at least 3 green smoothies. Now, that does not mean the smoothie has to be green in color (as we know that grosses some individuals out), However, more power to ya' if it is. Smoothies can pack quite the punch when it comes to nutrients but be ware of the typical pitfalls listed below.
Green smoothies can integrate into your day quite easily even if you are on the road. For example, you can have one for breakfast, as a snack between meals, as a meal, or even as dessert! We always recommend making your own as you are in control of everything that goes in, however, we also understand that is not always possible. So, follow our guidelines of what to ask for and what to make sure does not get added to keep your smoothie working for you, not against you!
Keep the pantry, fridge and freezer stocked with:
- Greens! Spinach, kale and chard work best. Feel free to add any other greens you like such as beet greens. Even consider mint and parsley to freshen things up!
- Frozen Berries 1-2 cups
- Whole Medjool dates
- Ground flax (store in freezer or fridge), Chia Seeds
- Various fruits for variety: mango, peach, banana, pineapple, apple, avocado, lemon etc. Focus on having the equivalent of 1 - 1.5 full fruit per person. For example 1/2 mango with 1/2 banana or 1/2 cup pineapple with 1/2 mango (or 1/2 cup berries) and 1/2 banana
- Spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, cardamom etc.
- Nut milk, water, coconut water. You can even use coffee for a morning pick me up or tea for an additional boost in nutrition!
- Veggies: Beets, carrots, broccoli and celery do pretty good. Note: this will make your smoothie a little thicker and possibly mealy.
- Protein powder if desired. Right now I simply use Ground Flax in my morning smoothie, but if you are training for an event or lift regularly protein powder can be a good addition. We like: Vega, Sprouted Living Pumpkin Seed and Hemp Seed. Vega's Protein Smoothie, Protein & Greens and ONE all have at least 2 servings of veggies in them, helping you meet your quota on the road!
extra additions (for a 1 serving size smoothie)
THE ART OF BLENDING
High Power Blender:
1. Start with about 8oz (up to 16 if you want a big smoothie or want extra to share) of your base: water, nut milk or coconut water. You can always add more as it is blending if it seems too thick.
2. Add in your sweetener: 1 - 2 dates or 1 pack of Organic Stevia (or the leaf grown in your garden/herb box)
3. Add in your powder. Right now I am simply doing 1/4 cup ground flax. On bigger training days I will reduce the flax down to 2 Tbsp. (or not add it at all) and will add a serving of Vega, Sprouted Living Pumpkin Seed protein powder or 3 tbsp. hemp seeds.
4. Next up throw in some greens. 1-2 cups packed spinach, kale, chard ... or a mixture of various greens.
5. Add in your fruit. We most often go with berries as they are antioxidant power houses, however, it is nice to switch it up with other fruits such as mango, pineapple, banana etc. to get a variety of nutrients and to keep your taste buds tantalized.
6. Spice it up. I always throw in a good amount of cinnamon and a dash of clove for extra antioxidants.
5. Ice (only a few chunks if your fruit is frozen)
Blend and enjoy!
Normal Blender: Simply rearrange the steps!
1. 8oz of water, coconut water or nut milk
2. Add your greens
4. Add your sweetener (date or Stevia), protein powder/seed and fruit
5. Ice if needed
+ If you are making a smoothie with lots of berries we suggest adding in a little chunk of fresh or a dash of ground turmeric &/or ginger. You will not taste it and the health benefits are huge!
+ To cut the tartness of cranberries add 1/2 lemon
If getting creative on your own is too overwhelming check out: Simple Green Smoothies for inspiration! Each smoothie serves 2.
ordering a smoothie out & about
Images courtesy of Praisaeng at FreeDigitalPhotos.net