Since I have had several people ask me about my Green Monster smoothies, I thought I would share what I put in them. It’s nothing crazy or mind-blowing – very simple and easy to make.
There are tons of amazing blogs out there that can give you a variety of smoothie ideas and recipes. I am not original and just found something that works for me and have stuck with it. Green Smoothie Girl is a site I have heard about that is great for recipes and ideas – I need to spend some time there reading for some new ideas!
A little back story on one of the reasons I have been trying to incorporate these smoothies – aside from just getting more fruits and veggies and being healthy. One of my uncles battled cancer a few years ago (check out his story through the “paws” of his best friend, Harley…and the help of his daughter) and in the process had to have a tracheostomy and feeding tube for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, because of the amount of time he had the tracheostomy, he developed a severe case of dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). In fact, to date he still has to feed himself artificially through a tube as he still cannot safely and functionally swallow. Can you imagine, never being able to taste and eat actual food again? I was able to spend a lot of time with him over the past few months and he handles it all with ease but you can tell he would much rather be enjoying meals with the family than having to pour his “dinner” through a tube.
My uncle shared his new-found joy in making his own concoctions to “drink”. He began supplementing the Ensure style artificial nutrition drinks with his own juices and smoothie style drinks that he could feed through his feeding tube. He found very quickly that his own mixtures gave him more energy, a better feeling of “fullness” and satisfaction and made him feel better overall. I was encouraged and inspired to say the least. Here my uncle is, in an unpleasant situation with very little he can do and yet he continued to seek ways of making his situation better – making himself healthier in any way he could. My quest to begin juicing and drinking green monster smoothies full of superfoods was ignited.
It’s devastating watching someone you love battle illness and/or cancer. Over the years I have had to experience my mother diagnosed with uterine cancer, my father battle and almost die from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (Burkitts), my aunt battle breast cancer and my uncle battle laryngeal/throat cancer. Each one of them have overcome their cancer and are doing well today – but man did they each have a battle!
This post has quickly gone from “what’s in my green monster” to something else all together so I’ll reign it back in. My point is simply this: we are only given one body to work with. It is our JOB to do everything we can to ensure that this body we are given has the best shot at lasting and staying healthy for whatever time we have on this earth. No one can do it for you and you will get out of it what you put into it. Fill it with junk and toxic things and see what you get. Don’t exercise and strengthen it and see what happens.
I’m not saying that any of my family members got cancer because of anything they did or didn’t do. Unfortunately, sometimes its just in our genetic make-up, but there are things we can do to help avoid certain cancers and illnesses. My uncle’s pursuit to make himself healthier and stronger in spite of his situation was a kick in the butt to me to start taking better care of myself now! I had already committed myself to eat cleaner and exercise but this felt like something else inside me. A real need to do more than I was doing for myself and my loved ones.
All that was to say that my new found love of green smoothies and juicing is thanks to a humble reminder from my uncle to do what you can now to make yourself healthy – from the inside out! Oh, and a side note on this: because of my uncle juicing and making his own smoothies, his wife, my aunt, (who beat breast cancer) also started juicing and drinking green smoothies and has lost weight AND has been able to get off of all of her diabetes meds! That is huge and so inspiring to me!
Now that I have pulled you through that novel of a “back story”, I hope you are still with me to actually see what I put in my green monster!
Most days I start with a 1/2 to a full cup of unsweetened almond milk. I like to make enough for breakfast and snack for the morning. Then I add in a huge handful of fresh kale.
I chop that up really well and then I had a huge handful of raw spinach.
Then I chop all that up until it looks like this:
At this point you can really add almost anything you like. This is my standard “base” for my green monsters. I have experimented from this point with frozen banana, frozen berries, fresh berries, apple, even carrots (although using the blender it tends to make it “chewable” with the carrots) and celery. I always add a half to a full apple for some sweetness.
I also add a scoop or two of protein powder to the mix.
If you like your smoothies a little thinner, you may want to add a little water to thin it down. I do if I am trying to drink it fast but otherwise it doesn’t bother me being a little thicker. As long as I can suck it through a straw its fine.
That is about it. I play around with the extras and sometimes only use kale, but for the most part, this is my basic drink. I really want to pick base ingredients that are known to contain cancer-fighting properties and then build from there, still with healthy clean ingredients that will make the drink enjoyable to consume. No one wants to drink a glass of juice that tastes like pure dirt, no matter how healthy it may be for you!
I am very new to the whole “juicing” thing. Luckily my husband bought me one for my birthday and has allowed me to use it early. Since I knew nothing of juicing, I went ahead and also bought The Juicing Bible. My aunt had suggested beets and raved about them when juiced so I quickly found a recipe and got to work! I will say that my first experience with the juicer was easy and fun and the resulting product was delicious! I’ll do a review on the juicer I purchased once I have had a chance to really use it and can give you a detailed review. So far though, I couldn’t be happier. And who knew…beets are delicious (I don’t ever eat them).
Here are a few pictures of my first batch of juice and first glass! The first batch was 2 beets, 2 apples, 2 carrots.
Once I got my first batch under my belt, I wanted to start experimenting. I took the same recipe for the above juice (2 beets, 2 apples, 2 carrots) and added two heaping handfuls of fresh kale, 4 carrots and a small (not small enough) piece of ginger root. It was delicious, although heavy on the ginger. I will do the combo again with less ginger.
There you have it! Now go out and make your own and share your creations…if they taste good! My husband is skeptical but has been willing to try almost everything I place in front of him (although he did refuse the first batch of beet juice). I’m hoping to get him more on board with me on this! I need him healthy and around for as long as I am!
Do you juice? Do you drink green smoothies? What are your favorite combinations?