I 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.