After the glorious excess that was Birth Month, I’m finding a need to gain some balance back into my life, especially in my eating habits. I won’t lie, April was a month with some truly amazing meals shared with some of my nearest and dearest, many of which I still need to post. Starting with May, I’ve made a few changes and one of them is buying a blender and starting each day with a green smoothie.
I never thought I’d be “one of those people” who rave about juicing or smoothies. I always said I preferred to chew my vegetables rather than drink them. Plus, I love breakfast, especially savory foods like eggs and bacon. I’d read about those crazy diets where people have nothing but juice and shake my head. I also felt that I wouldn’t be able to give up having some kind of carbs for breakfast – usually some toast, rice, or other starch helped me to stay full until lunch.
A few of my friends had been juicing (or blending) and I got to try a glass of juice that actually started to change my mind when staying with a pro-juicing friend in February. I don’t remember all the ingredients but the key flavors that stuck out to me were some that were surprising – beets, bell pepper, cucumber and garlic. Garlic! It sounded awful but there was plenty in there to balance out with some sweetness, including apple, so the raw garlic ended up just giving it a bit of a zing and a more savory flavor.
Still not sold, I started asking some of my other friends for their juicing recipes and looking online for more savory juice blends. I checked into the price of a Vitamix and recoiled at the sticker shock, pushing the idea of juicing wayyyy to the back of my mind. At the time, I was still saving up for my birthday treat to myself – Vintage Cave.
Yet what finally pushed me over the edge was a friend who I know to be quite caffeine-addicted who casually mentioned swapping out some of her daily coffee for juice and feeling more energetic. That made a believer out of me! I knew I wanted a blender (like Vitamix) rather than a juicer, because I didn’t like the idea of removing so much fiber from the fruits and veggies. I know some people prefer juicing because it’s easier to drink or tastes better with no pulp, but I honestly don’t mind. What eventually sold me was reading the reviews on a Nutribullet. The $100 price tag was the perfect investment in my health.
After almost a month of having a green smoothie for breakfast every day, I can say that I do feel more energy and I think starting the day with a cup of fruits and veggies really does help me to make healthier choices throughout the day – I’m starting to crave more veggies and less meat or carbs. Rather than dieting or cutting things out, I’m working on adding in healthy options into my lifestyle and this has been a great start. Yes, I still indulge here and there, but I feel less guilty when I do!
My favorite smoothie starts off with kale. I find that if I cut it up, wash/dry and then store it in a bag in the fridge that it easily can last a week and a half – yet it never lasts me that long. A big bunch at the farmers market usually costs $2 or $3 and is enough to use for salads and smoothies all week. After a big handful of kale, I add a few veggies – cucumber, bell pepper, beets, a bunch of mint leaves. A piece of ginger for some bite. Cut up watermelon stored in the freezer to use as “ice cubes” and fruits like tangerine, mango, or berries. I love that I can sneak in healthy superfoods like sea asparagus, soaked chia seeds, etc. I try to keep my ingredients as colorful as possible going in. The Nutribullet comes with three different cups so I always prep more than one and store them in the fridge, so there’s always one ready. Cleanup is just rinsing the cup and blade out in the sink, and since I’m blending (not juicing) there isn’t a lot of pulp to throw away.
It might not be for everyone, but if you’ve considered adding more fruits and veggies into your diet, I highly recommend giving green smoothies a try. Cheers to good health!
>> What about you? Have you given juicing or green smoothies a try? Got a favorite ingredient or recipe to share? Feel free to leave a comment.