A sunday kind of Green Smoothie...

IMG_0712 It's a sunday kind of smoothie...it's actually been a week of daily green smoothies. I am back to my daily green drink and feel great! With the holidays and end of year craziness I let my green smoothie routine a bit on the side and could feel I needed my daily dose of vitamins back. I usually have it for breakfast. It's quick & easy to make and it's packed with fibers and nutrients to make you feel full longer. I noticed I have less sugar cravings. And I just love the feeling of eating food that is healthy and gives you plenty of energy to start your morning and in the same time boost your immune system, which is pretty essential in snowy winter! ;) All you need:

  • 1 Banana (high in potassium, vitamin B & C)
  • A handful of spinach (Vitamin K & C, folic acid, lutein, iron, calcium)
  • 1 Orange (Vitamin C to boost your immune system, fibers, Vitamin A & B1)
  • A teaspoon of Açai powder- of course if you have access to the real berry, then it's better. (B Vitamins, minerals, fibers, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial properties)
  • A cup of water

Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix it!

IMG_0699

Happy Green Day!

Sources:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=37

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/acai/an01836

"The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia", Rebecca Wood, 2010

Great reasons to start juicing!

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food"

Hippocrates

Hippocrates, "the father of western medicine" understood it all- centuries ago. Food has wonderful healing powers. I am amazed every time when I look for benefits of fruits, vegetables, nuts & grains and even spices and how much nutrients they contain and how they can help  you fight against infections, disease and just bring you health. Nature is beautifully done. A lot of people take pills to heal from headaches to insomnia automatically without even wondering why it happens. I'm not saying to stop taking them but being more aware of your own body and needs is essential to understand the mechanism for a healthy life. When we pay more attention and listen to our body, we realize it is trying to warn us and give us signs through symptoms that something is wrong. Treat your body as a temple, it is the most precious gift you own. The better nourished and took care of, the better it will shine for you. Juicing is one way to bring health and glow to your life.

Juicing has been a wonderful discovery for me and it improved my health and my whole being on so many levels. I drank fresh juices before, but mainly fruits or carrots, not on a weekly basis and never juiced myself besides orange juice. I learned about juicing through my yoga classes and Internet. I started to be really interested and curious in nutrition and health. When you taste a fresh home made juice for the first time, you will directly see the difference with bottled juices and will never want to go back! It feels like a health potion! I can feel all those super vitamins and all the goodness they contain going through my body. I love that you can improve your health, your wellbeing, your mood with juicing. It really is part of my lifestyle now and couldn't live without it! I really recommend to everyone to start juicing and add those super vitamins and see for yourself how it can improve your energy and health. You don't have to change your diet, just add a juice once a week or every few days, with your meal or in between. You'll surprise yourself wanting more! ;)

I've seen positive changes on friends who added juices to their diet. They felt great and saw it on their skin, mood and diet afterwards and started spreading the love for juices! ;)

"Juicing is the 15 minutes nutrient express to health"

Jason Vale, Hungry for Change Film

Benefits of juicing

1. Daily dose of fruits & veggies

Vegetables are usually a side dish, something you add to your meal and sometimes it's not even there. If you are busy and don't have time to prepare a healthy meal or if you're not a veggie fan, juicing is a perfect way to add your daily dose of fruits and vegetables into your diet and you'll get even more than the usual recommended size.

2. Energy

I think this is one of the best reason to start juicing and one of the best benefits you'll see. It gives you energy. At the time I started juicing, I was juicing a lot, drinking green smoothies and eating lots of raw food. I never had that much energy. I was in great mood from the minute I woke up until evening when I was working out and didn't want to stop! All the vitamins and nutrients are a great source for your level of energy. Juicing gives a rest to your digestive system as it goes directly to your bloodstream and is digested in 15 minutes. The vitamins and minerals are directly active in your cells. So all the extra energy that isn't used for your digestion can be used for exercise.

3. Detox

Thanks to those vegetables, specially the green leafy ones packed with chlorophyll, which are full of nutrients, are good to detox your body. It energizes the cell in your body. It cleanses the liver, purifies the blood, prevent cancer.

4. Happy state of mind

Since it will give you more energy, the happy mood will show up! There's also this good feeling about being healthy that comes with juicing.

5. Weight loss

It can be a good start to pay more attention to what you are eating and could help you with losing some weight. Your cravings will disappear and you'll be soon choosing healthier choice. Starting your meal with a juice is a good way to eat/drink more of the good food as you might be less tempted with junk food after drinking it. Don't think as you need to avoid certain kind of foods, just add juices and vegetables and your body will see the difference and will ask for more.

7. Boost your immune system

Fruits and veggies are packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidant and phytonutrients, which are mainly alkaline food and strengthen the immune system against infections and colds.

8. Skin & Hair glowing

Your skin will start glowing! For real!;) I can see the difference on my face and whole body.

 

What you need:

  • a juicer (if you don't have one, you can use a blender and a strainer to remove the pulp- it won't be the exact same texture though). There's different types of juicer with very different prices. Go with the juicer you can afford at the moment and you can always change later if  you feel like it. It's better to start juicing instead of waiting for the perfect juicer.
  • fruits & vegetables (organic is better if you have the budget for it)

Juicing can be quite expensive and a lot of people can be influenced by that. You don't need to be juicing every day or every week. It's always better to juice once in a while than never, right?! I see this as an investment for my health.

Happy juicing day!

Sources:

  • "Les meilleurs jus de fruits et de légumes", Sonia Tybergien, 1993
  • http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5197/4-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Try-Juicing.html

Green Smoothies Benefits!

Time to add some green into your life!

So what is exactly this green madness you might ask?! Well for the ones who think this drink should belong to Shrek...you should definitely try it! It's greenylicious!;)

Green smoothies are a great way to add greens into your diet, the easy way! I'm a big fan of those healthy smoothies as I could feel the difference in my energy level and body in general when I started drinking them last november. I usually alternate with juices for my morning breakfast depending my mood or what I feel like having.

So what is it exactly?

  • It's a blended drink with fruits, leafy green vegetables and water.

Check out their health benefits:

  • Weight loss

Your food cravings and taste for sweets will surely disappear after a few weeks of  green smoothie consumption! It is filling so you won't feel hungry after and won't indulge in those cookies.

  • Nutrients & Digestion

Nutrients that are blended are absorbed better than regular food and are easier to digest since the food is already broke down. The enzymes and fibers contained in the green leaves will help you to digest the food better. It also means you can consume more greens blended than in salads for example. It could be a great way to make your kids eat more veggies. It is packed with minerals, vitamins and fibers.

  • Immune system

It will strengthen your immune system and you will become strangers with Mr. Cold & Mrs. Flu.

  • Fibers

Green leaves contains insoluble fibers that are needed to eliminate the waste and toxins accumulated in the body. 

  • Energy

It will give you a boost! Great way to start your morning full of energy!

  • Alkalizing your body

Our way of living is pretty much  a combination of being stressed out, eating processed food, not doing enough exercise which result our body to be more acidic than alkaline. Acidity in the body is an open door for infections and illnesses. Green smoothies are a great source to alkalize your body and balance your pH.

  • Chlorophyll

Leafy greens contain what is often called "liquid sunshine". Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants that brings sunshine to your body! It contains minerals and proteins and cleanses the system and oxygenates the organs.  According to Dr. Ann Wigmore, the pioneer of living foods and wheatgrass juice,  "consuming chlorophyll is like receiving a healthy blood transfusion". It helps rebuild the blood flow, purify the liver from the toxins. The brain functions at its best when highly oxygenate.

  • Glowing Skin 

Your skin will start glowing and have a better & healthier complexion. As your body is receiving all the good nutrients and is getting rid of the toxins, it will show up on your face and you will look radiant!

  • And not to forget the awesome feeling you will have after drinking them!;)

Victoria Boutenko is the woman who started drinking green smoothies to improve her health and is the author of "Green for Life". Her family changed their whole diet due to health issues. They ate raw food for 7 years which improved significantly their health. After hitting a plateau, she started to look for what was missing in their diet with an opened mind and scientific approach. Leafy green vegetables were the answer. She suggests a special food group for leafy greens as they are totally different from the starchy vegetables. Their enzymes are digested differently from the other food groups. Dr. Ann Wigmore said that green leaves are the only food group that could be combined with any other one without problem, such as fermentation. She also recommends not to mix fruits with starchy vegetables (carrots, beets, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, etc.) because the mixture doesn't combine well with those two types.

All you need:

  • A powerful blender
  • Fruits (bananas are usually used as a base with its creamy texture but you can use any kind of fruits - berries are great too!)
  • Leafy greens such as spinach, parsley, romaine lettuce, kale, swiss chard, green collards, bok choy.

If you're new to green smoothies:

I would recommend to start with spinach or romaine lettuce as you will barely taste the greens. You can also add dates or more fruits for the sweet taste. I think it's important that you like your first smoothie, so you'll keep drinking them, as on the opposite if they are super packed with greens at first, you might find them too "green" and stop after your first one. You can slowly increase the percentage of green leaves. You just have to try and test!  You don't need to add a lot of different fruits. Keep it simple with a few ingredients.

It is also good and important to vary your greens and change every other day/ week as they all contain different nutrients and mainly because greens contain a very small dose of alkaloids, which on small amount isn't a problem but could cause on the long term symptoms of poisoning (if you eat spinach or kale everyday for weeks and weeks).

I usually make my green smoothie in the morning for breakfast. It became my weekly routine, as I feel really good after drinking them and it keep me full until lunch time. It's the perfect drink before or after a jog or workout. You could make it for lunch, dinner or it's also perfect as a snack. It's super quick to prepare and easy to carry in a mug or in a bottle. You can keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days...but I always drink mine fresh, as it tastes better and you get more nutrients.

My friends & family who tried them were positively surprised by the good taste and were asking for more!;)

 

Are you a fan of those green monsters drinks? Have you seen any health benefits thanks to adding them to your diet? Are you starting? Share your thoughts!

Happy Green day!

Sources:

"Green for Life", Victoria Boutenko, 2010

"Green Smoothie Revolution", Victoria Boutenko, 2009

"Les incroyables vertus des smoothies verts", Colette Hervé-Pairain et Nadège Pairain, 2011