I went into NYE with sober intentions, I really did.
Not that I wouldn’t drink at all, but that I would enjoy a few alcoholic beverages, get a little silly and then switch to water early enough to wake up feeling ok. Things did NOT go according to this plan. Probably the first indication things were headed off the rails was when I made a batch of margaritas with twice the recommended volume of tequila. Oh well, live and learn…So having spent basically all of this year lying on the couch eating greasy food and groaning I’m ready to jump back on my regular healthy eating bandwagon.
One of my favourite, and I really believe one of the easiest, ways to pack more nutrition into your day is with a green smoothie. They work with whatever fruit and greens you have lying around and can be given cute names – Hulk Juice, Shrek (or Princess Fiona’s) Smoothie – to entice children into unwittingly nourishing their bodies (another of my favourite things to do…) They’re also particularly good for helping out post-indulgence digestion, as they're chock full of vitamins and minerals that are very rapidly absorbed due to having been blended up.
If you’re new to green smoothies then stick to a greater fruit:veg ratio and as your tastebuds adjust you can add more greens and less sweeteners. Here is the first in a series of how-to articles to make it easier for you to live your healthiest, happiest life:
How to make the best green smoothie:
Step 1: Pick your liquid (about 1 cup)
You can let your tastebuds or your macronutrient/calorie goals dictate your base liquid but some popular choices are almond/coconut milk, coconut water, unsweetened fruit juice or even just cold, filtered water.
Step 2: Add your greens (about 2 handfuls)
Some leaves are more bitter than others so experiment with different leaves to find out your favourite ones; mix them up or switch every few days to ensure a good spread of nutrients! Try baby spinach, cos lettuce, kale or rainbow chard.
Step 3: Sweeten it up (about 1 cup or 1-2 pieces)
Fruit will add extra nutrients as well as natural sweetness to help balance out the greens. Fruit with a high water content will help hydrate you and fruit with more fibre will help you feel fuller for longer. Try banana, apple, berries, citrus, pineapple, kiwifruit, mango, melon or peach (or whatever your favourite is).
Step 4: Fat is your friend (about 1 tablespoon)
Adding a fat source will provide creamy consistency and a slower breakdown of glucose to keep your blood sugar stable. Try nut butter, chia seeds, hemp seeds, whole nuts, avocado or flax seeds.
Step 5: Supercharge your smoothie (as many as you like/want/can handle)
Sneak in extra nutrition and flavor by adding in these optional extras: protein powder, yoghurt, cinnamon, greens powders (spirulina, chlorophyll or any generic greens), raw cacao powder, ginger, fresh mint, natural sweeteners such as stevia, maple syrup or dates, cucumber, zucchini or celery.
The possibilities for flavour combinations are endless! To get you started sign up to the free JL fit Nutrition newsletter (sign up box in the top right hand corner of the blog page - but make sure you're on web view, not mobile view) and tomorrow I'll send you three of my favourite green smoothie recipes - husband and child approved - to help you start off 2015 the healthy way.
What are some of your favourite green smoothie recipes? Or let me know if you've ever had a green smoothie go horribly wrong!
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