The All-Green Challenge

DSCN8992I started drinking green smoothies first thing in the morning a few years ago.  It feels great to do something so healthy to start out – so healthy feeling in fact, that I can eat nothing but M&Ms for the rest of my day and still come out on top.  I still have a pretty hefty breakfast after my greens, but they greens always come first.  (I am not a coffee-drinker, by the way).

I have been drinking these things long enough that I have reached the all-green.  No fruits, no sweeteners – just vegetables!  Yeah, it’s like drinking a salad.  Except it’s faster, easier to digest and blending greens into tiny bits creates natural folate which is necessary for proper methylation.  This is really good for your cells – immunity and inflammation among other things.

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How to you reach the all-green?  There is a phenomenon called flavor-flavor conditioning.  You can change your palate by linking a less pleasant flavor (the bitterness of greens) to a more enjoyable flavor (the sweetness of fruit).  Eventually, you taper down on the fruit – I found I did this instinctively – and you eventually have an all-green smoothie that you don’t gag on.  You will actually enjoy it!

Start with a safe mix of fruits and greens.  Probably a 1:1 or even 2:1 ratio.  I highly recommend using spinach if you are totally new to green drinks as it is almost undetectable.  I started with half a banana, half an apple, 2 stalks celery, a handful of kale and lemon juice.

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I drank this daily for about a month and then I started feeling tired on the banana.  I cut down on the amount used and then eventually went without.  I missed the creaminess though, so I substituted half an avocado.

Another month or so went by and I just stopped adding as much apple.  And then I skipped it altogether and started to incorporate parsley and cilantro.  I also added cucumber.  I stopped adding lemon, but sometimes I do add this when the greens I have on hand are really bitter.

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To my surprise, I enjoy drinking this all-green drink.  I even have come to crave it  The craving is different from a craving for sweets or starchy carbs – those craving cries come from the bad bacteria that have residence in my gut.  The green calls come from the good guys – the beneficial little bugs that live symbiotically with me, whom I cannot live without.  They throw a party when this stuff comes sloshing down!

Since I started this habit, I have definitely noticed I have more energy, better digestion and glowing skin.  It has made more of a significant difference in my health than any supplement I have ever taken…are for so much cheaper!  It’s such a convenient way to get in those veggies – the one food that practically every diet agrees is good for you!

Also, it feels like a personal triumph to chug this stuff every morning.  My husband still shakes his head in bewilderment.

So I encourage you to try taking the all-green challenge!

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Here is my recipe:

big handful kale leaves

small handful parsley

small handful cilantro

1/2 an avocado

2 stalks of celery

1/4 of a cucumber, without skin

a squeeze of lemon juice if necessary

1 c. filtered water or more if needed to blend to drinking consistency

Throw it all in and blend!  A high speed blender is the best, if you have one.  I use  a Ninja.  Otherwise, the mixture tends to separate unto liquid and fiber.  Still drinkable but way less pleasurable.

 

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