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What Is A Green Smoothie?
A green smoothie is a homemade drink made from fresh leafy greens, such as, kale, collards, Swiss chard, and spinach, and fresh, ripe fruit. When you blend greens together with fruit, you create a concoction that is both delicious and nutritious. This enables you to easily and painlessly consume lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and reap the associated health benefits.
Can green smoothies positively affect athletes and health?
In the summer of 2013, Sergei Boutenko put 10 endurance athletes (five ultra-runners and five CrossFitters) on green smoothies and followed them around with his camera to find out the answer to this question.
Starting out as healthy athletes, or so they thought, 10 individuals embark on a six-week experiment of continuing their typical training and racing regimen, but with one major difference: they are drinking a quart of green smoothies every day.
You’ll be astonished at the results that begin to emerge. From a decrease in injuries to feeling supercharged to run for hours on end, there might be a bit more to smoothies than just tasting delicious. If you like to exercise and train, you need to see this film!
How to Drink Your Greens and Love It
With Smoothies it’s really the greener the better. While you might be thinking, the greener the grosser, that green doesn’t have to be gross – in fact it can be good, very very good, even delicious! If fact if made correctly you will likely be craving these green veggie smoothies in short time.
Step 1: Choose your Base
Keep it simple. We recommend water if you are going to add any citrus (lemon, orange, pineapple) to the smoothie, go heavy on fruit, or just want a lighter calorie drink all together. Otherwise, coconut water or any type of non-dairy milk can be used as a base (coconut, hemp, raw, rice, etc.). Stay away from traditional fruit juice, it’s processed and loaded with sugar and can be as bad for your health as a can of soda.
Step 2: Add the Greens
Start slow. If you are new to green smoothies, start off with just one handful of spinach. Then move on to 1 handful spinach and 1 handful kale. Eventually you will work up to 2 heaping handfuls of spinach and kale each (and love the way it tastes)!
Step 3: Pick your Fruit
Go easy on fruit. You want to make sure you are selecting a fruit that is going to complement the other flavors in your smoothie. Don’t get too crazy here – you want to create a great tasting drink that is mostly made of vegetables while low in sugar. It only takes 1/2 a banana to add some great flavor to your smoothie. Banana pairs well with almond milk but does not go as well with citrus. Berries are another great option but be ware of the seeds in raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Avoid the seeds by using blueberries, which are filled with tons of great antioxidants (and will create more of a purple green smoothie, which is less scary for you beginners). If you don’t use frozen fruit, I would suggest adding some ice here.
Step 4: Protein Powder Enhancement (Optional)
Add a scoop of your go to protein powder here. Whey protein, collagen protein, a vegan, plant based protein it doesn’t matter from this standpoint but look for no sugar/sweetener added powder.
Step 5: Extras
SuperFood upgrade! We love to add little extras to our smoothies like coconut oil, chia seeds, flax oil, cinnamon, ginger, and green powders, just to name a few. These extras are packed with beneficial nutrients to supercharge your body!
Last but Not Least:
Using organic and local ingredients is best of course! We recommend freezing your fruit to preserve the ripeness and flavor and to create a cold beverage. Buying greens in bulk at your local farmer’s market and freezing it for later use is a great option as well.