Monday, March 17, 2014

The Perfect Green Smoothie

I love smoothies. I think that they are a fantastic alternative to eating a giant, leafy green salad. Did she really just say that smoothies are better than eating a salad?? Okay, okay, let me back up. What I mean by that is, it's a great way to receive nutrients from green vegetables if you are having a difficult time eating them raw. 

I am a carb woman. I love my pasta, my bread and rice. When it comes to mid day munching, I reach for these items consistently. In an attempt to be a health conscious eater, I have been getting back into the routine of prepping meals and snacks that are packed with vitamins and nutrients. This week, I am packing a healthy green smoothie and I think I figured out the best guidelines for the perfect smoothie!

Now, I should mention that this smoothie doesn't have exact measurements. I think that everyone has their own taste preferences. Instead, this is a guideline for ingredients that will help you create your very own personalized healthy green smoothie. 

Ingredient List:

*Chocolate Almond Milk: This is key. Chocolate almond milk gives a green smoothie a sweeter taste (but not TOO sweet). You could also mix a little plain almond milk and chocolate almond milk together so that it isn't too sweet but still adds plenty of liquid to the smoothie itself. 
*Frozen Fruit & Veggies: Adding frozen fruit and vegetables instead of ice cubes prevent the smoothie from being watered down. My favorite items to add to my smoothies are: strawberries, bananas, pineapple, kale & spinach.

*Protein Powder: I love The Garden Of Life protein powder. It is an organic, raw and vegan form of protein powder made from plants. I find that it works for me but remember, you need to find what protein powder works best for you. 
*Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are known to aide in digestion and are packed with omega fatty-3 acids (in fact, it is like the super man of super food, it's crazy good for you in SO many ways!) They expand when they are in liquid and supposedly do the same in your stomach--which keeps you feeling full, longer. 
* Probiotics: For anyone who considers themselves to have a sensitive stomach, probiotics are great to add to your smoothies. I have a very sensitive stomach myself and I have found probiotics to be extremely effective for my digestive system. Probiotics can come in many forms. You may have observed them at your grocery store in a drink or yogurt form. Probiotics increase the "good" bacteria in your gut which in turn, prevents infections and inflammation in the digestive system. 

I found this while scouring Whole Foods this weekend. It tasted similar to a very watered down smoothie. So it dawned on me, why not throw it in my own smoothie?? 

Smoothies are great because the combination of ingredients are endless. However, using this guideline for your green smoothie may help you as you create your own tasty creation! Think about the items you are putting into your body. Each of these items benefit your health and nutrient intake in different ways. 

Be happy and stay healthy! 

Do you have a go-to smoothie recipe?

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