I've been drinking green smoothies every day for about two months now. I started out drinking one or two a day. Now I drink a gallon a day - four quarts spread out over the day from 7a.m. to bedtime.
All of my digestion pain is gone, and I just generally feel better only eating one meal a day - usually lunch or a light dinner. This is way way better than before, when my body wasn't really digesting at all, and I'd eat at 6 pm, and would wake up in agony at 3 am.
With the green smoothies, even my food sensitivities are a fraction of what I used to have - I've eaten wheat with no reaction, and salsa and it's fiery chilis are fine. The oh-my-god-so-itchy candida is gone, and I've dropped over 10 pounds. I'd be losing a lot more, but my one meal day, because my little addiction demon still has a say in the matter, is usually something really high in fat like Indian food or a loaded baked potato with cheese.
So what are green smoothies, are they tasty, and are they a pain to make?
Green smoothies are two things: leaves and fruit. Blended together with a high speed blender, the cell walls are broken and the nutrients inside are readily available for easy digestion. What this translates as is super nutrition, as in super-duper.
Are these vegetable juices? Aren't they disgusting? Aren't fruit and vegetables not supposed to be mixed together?
No, these aren't vegetable juices. Think of the green in green smoothies as leaves - spinach, lettuce, dandelion greens - as something different from vegetables - carrots, celery, potatoes. Think of leafy greens, their fronds right out there soaking up the sun, leaves filling with clorophyll, sun made liquid and stored in plants.
Yes, plain old vegetable juice is disgusting. At least to me it was. I'd juice a bunch of carrots and celery and ginger, throw in an apple or banana to mask the taste, and it was still yucky, and made me gassy, so what was the point? Green smoothies are delicious. And instead of running the leaves and fruits through a juicer, where the liquid is separated from the fabulous fiber the gut loves so much, it's blended in a high speed blender, so all the wonderful parts get inside your parts.
Yes, veg and fruit shouldn't be mixed together. Fruit and veg each require different types of digestive enzymes to break them down, each one working at sort of cross purposes. Leaves and fruit however, are digested in tandem beautifully, and all that nutrition will boost your digestive process (as is the case in the healing of my own gut).
They are easy to make:
- Just take a big handful of leaves like spinach, or a small head of romaine, or a mix such as part dandelion greens and romaine, or kale and spinach. The lightest, mildest, sweetest leaves are romaine and baby spinach.
- Add a couple of cups of fruit (ripe and sweet!!!) like a banana and a handful of strawberries (with the tops on), or a half a pineapple (with the rind removed), or half a cantaloupe (no rind or seeds), or three pears (with skin but no seeds). (This morning I had spinach, strawberry, and grapes, with a small chunk of fresh ginger, and lawdy, it blew my skirt up.)
- Pour in 4 cups of water.
- Using a high speed blender, blend for a minute.
- Voila: deliciouso! (and enough green smoothie for two quarts.)
I like my smoothies a little more fluidy, but if you like a thicker one, add less water. The whole point is that they are fabulously tasty, so set yourself free, let your fruit flag fly, party on, leaf style.
As for the whole high-speed blender thing, supposedly a Vitamix ($398) is the way to go, but I've seen consumer reports that this Kitchenaide KSB580CR is just as good ($99). I bought a used Vitamix from the 1980s off ebay for $100 and it works great. But if you have a regular blender, you can use that too. It just probably won't break the cell walls, so won't be as nutritionally available, and will be a little more on the grainy side rather the smooth of the high speed blender.
More to come in a week or two. In the meantime, just do it. Mix some spinach or romaine with a couple pieces of fruit, add water, blend until smooth. Fruity and Yes and delctable. Enjoy. YUM!
And a really practical down to earth smoothie blog for ongoing tips: Raw Family Green Smoothie Blog.