It’s New Year. You’re excited about the fresh vibes and want to get healthier this year.
Now while New Year resolutions don’t have the best reputation, let’s do it differently this time. Instead of aiming for something huge, let’s make a fresh start with do-able baby steps. Read on for my realistic good-health plan that isn’t boring or a burden to rustle up. In fact, it’s so easy that you can stick to it for weeks, months, even years, day after day.
The wonder hack I’m talking about is – Green Smoothies.
These green potions are delicious, nutritious and filling as a breakfast or evening snack. They pack in a punch with goodness of greens and energy of fruits.
With my experience of coaching people of all ages, lifestyles and backgrounds, I can tell you that just a sumptuous Green Smoothie helped them go green.
But do you really need it? Will you like it? And would you have time and ingredients to make it?
For starters, it helps to know that most diets fall short on greens, a vital food group. Even a vegetarian diet does not pack in enough green power. Plus Indian food is all about cooking greens, which is incidentally the same as killing them. This is because cooking destroys the chlorophyll in greens and thus the nutrition. So we may think we’re eating enough greens, in reality we are losing out on a bunch of nutrients. And while salads are a better way to consume raw greens, you need to chew them down to get the best.
Green Smoothies are surprisingly the best way to absorb nutrition from leafy greens.
Greens have one of the strongest molecular structures on the planet and hence need to be chewed really well or broken down in a blender to release their anti-cancer properties.
Green Smoothies are low fat, alkaline, and high on micro nutrition: and a breeze to make – with my “greens, fruit, flavour enhancer” formula.
(Tip-off: These three ingredients are the ideal and complete formula – no yogurt, milk, nuts or seeds needed. These additions have a different digestion process and don’t go so well when mixed with fruits and greens.)
Just go to your refrigerator. Pick 3 simple ingredients: a delicious herb like mint, a juicy fruit like apple and an optional flavour enhancer like lemon.
- Prep: Wash and chop your ingredients. (Tip-off: If you’re really short on time, you can do this bit in advance and freeze your ingredients for up 4 -5 days)
- Blend: Add leafy greens first and blend with a ¼ cup of water. Add other ingredients and blend thoroughly (for 2-3 minutes). Add more water to make it thinner if you like.
- Relish: Drink whole, one sip at a time. No straining needed. For best results, drink fresh and avoid storing. But if you need to, store in a flask and consume in a couple of hours.
(Tip-off: Always have your smoothie first thing in the morning on an empty stomach – or at least 2-3 hours after a meal)
Once you’re a pro, play with proportions and flavours. With many greens and fruits at arm’s length, you’ll never get bored.
(Tip-off: Cabbage, guards, cucumbers. are not leafy greens, they are vegetables)
- Common greens or herbs: Spinach, Amaranth Green, Collard Green, Beet Green, Kale, Lettuce, Hari Maat, Radish Green, Mint, Parsley, Coriander, Curry Leaves, Basil
- Wholesome fruits: Banana, Chiku, Pear, Apple, Peaches, Berries, Orange
- Flavour enhancers: Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Lemon, Orange Zest, Dates, Raisins, lemon zest
Rotate greens weekly and try different mixes. (Tip-off: If your system needs a break after a holiday or a festive occasion, these smoothies are a great and tasty detox.) Just don’t consume spinach more than twice a week.
This New Year, let’s get you healthy with baby steps.
Go with one glass of my “greens, fruit, flavour” a day and soon, you’ll be craving for more. Take it to 3, even 4 glasses of freshly-blended Green Smoothies.
I leave you with a pin-up chart with weekly smoothie recipes to make it fun. Put it up on your refrigerator door or kitchen cupboard. Take your pick and go healthy, one smoothie a time.
Enjoyed a smoothie before? Got a fave recipe? I’d love to know. Share your green mantras with me on firstname.lastname@example.org.