Have you drunk your greens today??

This post is dedicated to my beautiful Andaluzan friend Noemi, (which is Spanish for Naomi) who now lives in the good old US of A. When I first met Noemi in Spain, we ate a LOT of ice cream together! But she also taught me a lot about good, wholesome simple Spanish food. Her favourite supper was a bit of white fish with either a simple salad, or some steamed vegetables with olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Curiously, almost a decade later and thousands of miles apart, and somewhat out of touch, we both found our health paths converging (erm- hello? is that a word? I am so rusty!) She suddenly posted something on Facebook about “Green Smoothies”, and I thought “Wait- I drink those! Somebody else that I actually know drinks those! Ohmygosh!”

The short version of my story was that I was getting desperate with a looooooong term health issue that regular medication could not seem to shift. Not life-endangering but OH, SO not nice! My Mum passed me a book that she had read (I don’t know if she passed it to me out of enthusiasm, or if she didn’t find it “for her”…never mind..the main thing is, this book came into my hands, called “Green For Life“. I read it in a day or two, and kind of said to myself “erm- well, lets give this a crack shall we?  Fresh fruit smoothies supercharged with leafy greens? It can’t do any harm!”

Day 1- I literally bought myself a bag of curly kale and some ripe bananas, and threw it in a blender with some water. NOTE: I would not recommend starting with curly kale- it has a kind of strongish flavour, and it may put you off green elixirs for life.My discomfort and nigh-on desperation was driving me and I chugged back two massive glasses a day- morning and evening- about a litre a day. It was GREEN, amigos!!

Within a few days my issue had subsided, and I was so excited- and continued with one large smoothie a day. I then discovered that babyleaf spinach and Lambs Lettuce (corn salad) are very mild tasting, but also very nutritious so I switched up my leaves from time to time. I also discovered ways to make it considerably more delicious than just banana 🙂  Since then, I have made it an (almost) daily habit and I have my family on board (most of the time!)  Oh- did I mention that I have never had a problem with my previous health issue? I do not have perfect health- I have issues, leftovers from decisions of yesteryear, but nowadays they rarely rear their ugly heads- kept at bay by the power of greenness!  🙂

So- even though I have posted about these before- here are a few reminders for those who want to get those raw greens doing their wonder-stuff!

  • All you need is a regular old tabletop blender (ie “liquidiser”)
  • Liquid+Fruit+Greens+extras
  • Liquid: I use water. You could also use coconut water or almond milk. For quite a while I used a bit of shop-bought smoothie/fruit-only juice, and this helps kids drink them
  • Fruit: Ripe bananas, frozen berries (strawberries add sweetness, the rest add a little acidity), mango,pineapple,sweet pears- experiment!
  • Greens: the mildest tasting ones are babyleaf spinach and lambs lettuce (corn salad) and can be piled in with gay abandon, frankly. Curly kale, swiss chard, beet greens, romaine lettuce?
  • Extras (optional): sweetness (dates, honey etc), “supplements” like bee pollen, spirulina, ground linseed etc
  • If you are beginning, begin with mild greens and add little by little.

  • Since you are blending up all this goodness, make it a large one, yea, even super-size. Like “SuperSize”, only…NOT….

  • MUST be delicious- there is no point in drinking something you don’t enjoy or you will never continue.

  • Try drinking one first thing in the morning, and then wait 30 minutes to see if you still want breakfast? You may not need it…

  • Whatever you believe about breakfast being “the most important meal of the day”-what is true is that a clean green breakfast drink sets the tone for better food choices mid-morning and later on.
  • These are an utterly fabulous weight loss shake, especially if you add some healthy proteins. (I am not qualified to advise on weight loss- did everyone get that? But just so you know, these are fruits and greens, people, and I don’t think you can go too wrong on that….)
So- back to Noemi.
She started a “Green Smoothies” group on Facebook (it’s an English/Spanish group) and added all her friends and I think, at first everyone was a bit “Eh??” (like my husband was when he first saw me doing it- “You are WEIRD!” – said kindly, by the way 🙂  …As an aside, he went from “What on EARTH?” to….”Let me try…not bad!” to……”If there’s any spare I’ll have it”  to…….”Please could you make a massive goblet and let’s all drink some every day” to……”No green smoothie today?? Quick, we need to go shopping!!”)
On the Facebook group there was even a comment early on of “Erm- excuse me, but in Spain, we know how to eat, I know Americans eat terribly, but we don’t need all that….
But now, she has dozens of people blending up green leaves, yea, even loving leaves (fancy that!)  and there are plenty of positive reports on personal benefits, and how it is spilling over into improving other eating habits….in short- a Revolution is happening, friends.
Have you started drinking your greens yet??

4 responses to this post.

  1. I’m at the point that if I don’t drink a green smoothie first thing in the morning, within an hour of waking up my stomach starts cramping. It is essential energy to start my day and is so easy on my stomach. I LOVE my green smoothies. My basic is 1c fake milk/water, 1 banana, at least two huge handfuls of greens and at least a cup of some kind of frozen fruit and a scoop of either chocolate or vanilla sunwarrior powder. I love it!


  2. Posted by sarah on April 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Have you ever used frozen spinach? How would that work out you think?


    • I have never done it with “ready frozen” spinach, you know like when you buy it bagged in little portions– what I normally do is buy big bags of salad greens (esp when organic is on special offer) and just keep them in the freezer.


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