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Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We had a great Christmas (thanks for asking) with our family. We did our best to make it less about the presents this year (as last year was ridiculous!) and more about Jesus. I think we succeeded The kids had a blast, as well as the adults. As for New Years...well, it just seemed to be another day like every other day around here. I think I stayed awake until about 9:30 on NYE. I tell ya, the excitement never ends.
So here we are with Christmas behind us and two days into 2013. If you are like most Americans, you put "lose weight" as your #1 New Year's Resolution. In January 2012 my resolution to "eat healthier" caused me to adopted a plant based diet (mostly vegan) and I haven't looked back. The first few months were a challenge to my meal plans, taste buds and will power, but I can honestly say that I feel so much better and don't worry about my weight since adopting this way of life. Although we still occasionally eat meat and dairy products it is only a fraction of what it used to be. Quite honestly, if and when I do eat meat or dairy I often regret eating it within 30 minutes as it makes me feel bloated, nauseous and just plain "icky."
If you have read my blog for any amount of time you know that we often start our mornings out with a fresh green juice. We started juicing after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead last year. Go watch it now if you haven't seen it (free online). Watch now. Come back and read later. I have recently switched to making green smoothies for the past couple months. No real reason other than that my Vitamix is a little easier to clean than my juicer. None-the-less it's been a good to switch it up a bit. I encourage you to start the New Year off right. If you do nothing else this year as far as changing you diet, at least start adding green smoothies or juices to your daily routine. Oh, and ditch the caffeine. You'll thank me later.
1-1 1/2 cup water
1 T chia seeds
1T flax seeds/wheat germ mix
1T of hemp seeds
1/2 cucumber, cut up (peeled if not organic)
2-3 organic celery stalks, cut up
1 apple, seeds removed, skin left on, cut up
1 ripe banana (the browner the better), fresh or frozen
Handful of kale
Handful of spinach
10 drops of stevia
1" pc of ginger peeled
I often add some mixed berry frozen fruit, or feel free to freeze your bananas first. If you don't have kale or spinach, substitute any greens that you have on hand. I often use two kinds of greens in one smoothie. romaine or collards can work as well. In fact, today we used romaine and spinach with frozen banana and mangos. Oh yum! Another option is to add a half of an avocado (don't worry, it doesn't change the taste too radically) or some almond butter. Maybe some coconut, chocolate chips (vegan of course) or cashews. The possibilities are endless! Go ahead and experiment.
If you are new to green smoothies, you may want to stick to spinach and collards or romaine first to get used to the taste as these greens will be less noticeable. Work your way up to kale if you can (along with another green) since it will add the most bang for your buck nutritionally speaking. I would advise against using greens such as arugula and mustard greens as they tend to have a "spicy" flavor that is VERY apparent in your juices/smoothies. Fill your Vitamix up to the top and blend away. Although I have never used any other type of blender, I believe it's possible to get a smooth green smoothie with another type of blender. You might just have to add a bit more water or blend for longer period of time.
*I often will mix in 1 tsp child's probiotics in the kid's smoothie (Yes, my kids drink up their smoothies and even ask for seconds:). Then I will sometimes mix in a scoop of Green Vibrance in hubs' and my smoothie. This will definitely change the taste of the smoothie and can be a hard taste to get used to. But it's loaded with extra nutrition that will help ward off those winter germs!
Now get going! Make your green smoothie today and watch your energy soar!