I just love a green smoothie. There is nothing quite like it in terms of ticking the boxes of health. Like a kick-boxing session is for your butt, this is a powerful punch of nutrients for your cells and is simply the healthiest way to start the day. Plus, if you make it right, it’s delicious! So no more turning to the muffins at breakfast time... If you want to glow and have tonnes of energy then this green goddess is your key.
Here’s the science bit: free radicals are the result of our environment and our diet, we can’t do much to stop them but we can consume antioxidants to combat them. Free radicals = wrinkles!
The more antioxidants we can consume, the better our skin, energy and health. Today’s convenience diets lead to inflammation which is a big no-no for our skin and immune systems. Vegetables and fruits provide antioxidants which soak up the free radicals, hence giving us that little helping hand.
Juices are a great way to assimilate nutrients faster, but ready-made juices you buy in supermarkets are loaded with fruits and provide too much sugar to our bodies - and without the fibre which is missing a trick. Smoothies such as the one below use the entire vegetable blended, so lots more of the goodness, less of the pure sugar. Neither am I a fan of adding lots of fruit (don’t get me wrong, fruit is very healthy, but not in abundance if your diet isn’t super clean already). A green juice to me is all about packing in the vegetables.
I don’t like to use beetroot or carrot in my juices either as they can be just as sugary as fruits – it goes back to conscious consumption, and it depends what else you are eating. But green vegetables are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and enzymes; vitamins A and C in particular which help us absorb calcium, antioxidants and phytonutrients and chlorophyll which helps us to release stored toxins in particular.
My essential ingredients are: avocado for its vitamin E, and it also keeps me feeling full; cucumber for skin-saving silica; vitamin C, potassium and water; kale for its superior antioxidant kick; coconut water to add in the extra electrolytes and really hydrate; chia seeds for some amino acids and omega 3; and always the juice of half a lime which makes it taste much better.
I also add a spoonful of a good green powder which is my base. But really it can be made up of what you have in the fridge, and don’t be afraid to experiment (just don’t go crazy with the fruit!). Fennel, rocket and pear is particularly good… So find a recipe you like, find your method and get going, you won’t regret it. Here is mine...
½ organic cucumber
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 handful organic kale (use spinach, romaine lettuce, chard, broccoli or 2 sticks of celery if you can’t get organic kale - it is one of the most highly pesticide-covered vegetables)
1-2 glasses coconut water (make sure it’s a pure one without added fruits or sweeteners)
1 tbsp green powder (I like to use ProGreens by Nutricology or spirulina powder, otherwise I use a pea protein powder – there are so many. Just read the labels for their purity)
Coconut water or filtered water (add slowly till you reach desired consistency – I like mine to be liquid and drinkable, not like a thick paste)
Pop everything into a blender and whizz it up! I use a Vitamix which blends the ingredients perfectly but you can use other blenders and juicers just as well.
If you don’t have a vitamix or blender but do have a juicer, then juice the ingredients and whisk in the avocado and chia at the end.
If you are pregnant or taking medications, always check with a healthcare professional before using nutritional or herbal supplements.