Sunday, March 17, 2013

Drinking 'o the Green

Green smoothies and the #flushot. Any one that follows me on instagram has seen these pics. Whether I post a pic or not, they have become an almost daily ritual for me. So for St. Patrick's Day, I'm going to tell my experience with green smoothies plus show some of the various mixes I have come up with.

I think there are a couple of reasons first of which is my wife bought a VitaMix blender. She had gone to some blending and juicing deal with some friends and they all became quite interested. I had made many fruit smoothies in the past and I figured our old blender was good enough. I even tried to stop her because I knew how much they cost. Well she bought it and with my cooking obsession I have become the one that uses it the most.

Secondly I am not much of a breakfast guy. It's tough when you don't eat eggs. Cereal gets old quick with me and I prefer variety over the same old thing. I had heard of these smoothies with veggies in them and it seemed interesting. The mrs had even bought a certain Green Machine bottled green juice before but that didn't interest me much. My kids even liked it. I guess I wanted to make these by myself with ingredients I can see. Not processed in a big plant.

Well I threw myself at Google and discovered a whole world of green smoothies and their health benefits. I even signed up for a 3 day smoothie challenge deal at that emailed me many facts and recipes for smoothies.

A lot of people shy away from the thought of a green smoothie. Spinach, kale, lettuce etc blended together with fruits. Eww! That's what I thought also until I began making them. They can be very fresh tasting plus you can always experiment with new combinations of ingredients. They don't always turn out great but at least I know what's in there and can adjust for the next one.

Of course the farmers market is a great place to get the freshest, organic ingredients for smoothies. But don't let the supermarket stop you from trying. I just use my best judgement and pick the freshest looking stuff and I have even used prepared kale mix in a bag before in a pinch. If you do green smoothies very often, remember to vary your types of greens.

Could I recite what these health benefits are? No. Can increasing the amounts of fruits and veggies we consume be bad for us? I really doubt it. But as I look back at my first green smoothie pictures that started back in September, there is one fact that is very apparent to me... I have not been sick this winter.

I have watched as everyone around me at work and home has been sick for at least a few days. Some for weeks at a time with a lingering nasty cough. I'm usually good for at least 1 upper respiratory/nasal/sore throat/coughing type illness per year and that hasn't happened. I didn't get a flu shot this year. Even my seasonal allergies were no big deal. I've even heard that my skin and hair appear to be healthier.

         Don't believe that I just eat healthy all the time. I don't take pics of the late night munchies we all have some times. Chips, cookies, candies you name it. I'm normal and I like to eat all sorts of things, healthy or not. These smoothies and recently a foray into juicing and prepared fresh juice have merely increased my veggie intake.

Does increasing veggies and fruits in your diet help us to be healthier? I can't say for sure. But judging by how I have felt though, I know that it is true. So maybe give green smoothies a try. You may find yourself moving on towards a healthier lifestyle...

I might even have to work in some 'sick' days for myself as a reward for trying my best to take care of my health. After all of these natural #flushots, I just might deserve it.

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