Posted by Tamara (Fort Collins, Colorado) on 04/22/2010
[YEA] I just wanted to sing the praises of green juices and smoothies. Awhile back, when Lisa was posting about the mini beet protocol and then switched over to greens in general, I too got into the "green revolution". Then, in December, I got a fantastic new top-of-the-line blender, which I highly recommend (but I'm sure many out there will do), and started blending greens with fury, thanks in part to Lisa's fantastic and encouraging posts. At first I saw many great benefits; I lost weight, minor skin conditions cleared up, my immune system soared (the biggest for me), and I started craving greens! But then winter really came into force here in Colorado and I just didn't want to do it anymore. I think I remember Deidre posting about this as well, that greens just weren't as appetizing in the winter as in the spring/summer.
But guess what? The sun is shining and the birds are telling me its spring, and I'm doing those greens again. I love the mix-and-match-ability of all the fruits and veg, but sometimes I like to keep it simple. Some of the easiest I've found are: 1 mango and 1-2 cups kale, or 1 mango and romaine lettuce, or 1 mango and collards... you get the idea (add a cup of filtered water to each). Instead of using the same veg each time, I think it is common sense to switch up your greens daily or every couple of days. Each plant has different nutrients and different ratios and different patterns of absorbability, as well as anti-nutrients that you want to cycle through. I also love, love, love the simple mix of watermelon and the greens du jour. Other days I add cilantro (boy do I love cilantro for everything) or parsley for the detoxification of metals, or tomatoes, or whatever I've got in my fridge like celery or carrots or broccoli or avocado... whatever. I can make the smoothie creamier by adding banana or avocado, colder by adding frozen berries or ice, sweeter by adding more fruit (I don't like adding juices- too much sugar), sourer by adding lime or lemon juice (I love limes), or change it up further by adding cinnamon or flaxseeds or coconut milk (which I also make with my blender from scratch), etc. and etc. There are tons of possibilities. I use some recipes from my blender's recipe book, others from online by searching for smoothie recipes (easy-yummy-smoothies.com is a great one), Victoria Boutenko's books and website, and most I just make up as I go. I started with the 60/40 ratio of fruits to greens to get used to the taste of the greens, but have found that my taste buds have adapted to the 60/40 ratio of greens to fruit or sometimes even more greens than that.
I highly recommend the blending of greens because of the fiber and other nutrients that remain in the smoothie rather than being thrown out with the pulp that a juicer spits out. The fibers helps to keep your blood sugar from skyrocketing, keeps your insides clean, keeps your appetite sated, as well as keeping the smoothie with all of its enzymes and antioxidants as fresh as possible for longer than fresh juice. At the same time, fresh juice from a juicer is very beneficial, especially for detoxing and quicker integration of nutrients into the body (the fiber obviously slows that down). But I prefer blending the greens to get the most out of them.
Green leafy veg are the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet but have the toughest "packaging" (the cellulose, or cell walls) to get through in order to get to those vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibers, flavonoids, polyphenols, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties, and omega-3s. Yes, greens have omega-3 fats, those wonderful fats we're all suppose to increase in our diets. Blending is hands-down the easiest way of getting all of those nutrients into your body, in my opinion, especially if you have a good blender. It breaks up that cellulose just as if you had sat there and chewed that bite of spinach or kale for hours. I couldn't agree more with Lisa when she says that greens have changed her life around, and for me, blending green smoothies makes it easier than ever to include those raw, green, leafy, vitamin-bombs in an appetizing and enticing way.