Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hooked on Green Smoothies!

This is my peach-mango green smoothie I had for breakfast this morning.

I have recently discovered the nutritious and delicious Green Smoothie, and I'm hooked! I've been hearing about green smoothies for years, but never got around to trying one myself. I enjoy eating salads and fresh vegetables, so I didn't think I needed to find a way to "sneak" in my vegetables. However, over the past few months I have been paying close attention to my daily intake, and I find that I'm not always eating enough vegetables every day like I thought - especially not the green leafy ones.

I would also like to lose a little weight before the 10K, which is coming up very soon. I have gained a few pounds since the half marathon because I had to quit running for a while when I injured my shin, and boy did that catch up with me quickly! (You can run easier and faster when you're lighter!) My vacation to Virginia Beach and Texas didn't help much (especially Texas, where I was tempted by Tex Mex food on a daily basis!).

After my 12-year-old daughter was born, I lost a lot of baby weight quickly by going on a SlimFast diet. I thought about doing that again, but it no longer appeals to me because SlimFasts are highly processed and full of sugar. Fresh, natural ingredients with no refined sugar is what my body needs. So, I decided to put myself on a Green Smoothie diet in the same manner of a SlimFast diet - I am having a green smoothie for breakfast and one for lunch, and then a "sensible dinner."  I did a little internet research on making green smoothies (since I really had no clue how to get started), went shopping for ingredients, and am pleasantly surprised at how GOOD they are! And very easy! Actually, it's much easier than putting together a salad. (And smoothies need no oils or dressings!) The greens have a very mild flavor, so what you taste is the fruit. Pretty much anything goes - you can use whatever fruit combination you like! My favorite is peach and mango - two of my favorite fruits. I've really enjoyed starting off the morning with a run and then chugging a nice, cold green smoothie when I get home. They are light and refreshing and satisfying.

Here is what I put in my green smoothie this morning:

5 cups of loosely packed spinach and kale, combined
1/2 orange
1/2 mango
1/2 peach
1/4 ripe banana
2 Tbsp. flaxseed
2 Tbsp. raw almonds
1 cup filtered water
1 cup ice cubes

Organic ingredients were used - and I cut up the fruit before adding it to blender. Fruit and nuts on bottom, spinach and kale on top. Blended on "smoothie" setting for about 1 minute, until everything was smooth.