Sunday, September 25, 2011

Green Smoothie Resources

What is a green smoothie?

A green smoothie is made in a blender. By volume, it’s about 40% green leafy vegetables, like spinach, kale, romaine, mixed spring greens, etc., and about 60% fruit. The main reason for the mixture is to make eating a large serving of vegetables palatable. You might say, well I’ll just eat a salad. That’s fine. I still eat salads, but there’s just no quicker and easier way to consuming this many servings of fruits and vegetables. Also, clean up is a breeze.

I’ve posted several videos here on how I make my smoothies. These videos are just the basics of a green smoothie. The variations are endless.

What type of blender do I use?

I use a very powerful blender made by Blendtec, which was made famous by the YouTube videos, “Will It Blend.” This is a $400 to $500 blender, depending on specials (just make sure you get the 96 oz container model). Most people will find this pricey, and it is, but the impact it will have on your daily life will make it worthwhile. This is the start to a change in lifestyle.

Amazon sells them. Costco sometimes runs a sale when they have demonstrations.

The major competitor to Blendtec is Vita-Mix blender. It is comparable in power, but it only has a 64 oz container, and the container is very high and narrow. Because of its height, it will not fit under my cabinets. This was the main reason I did not consider it. I feel both are of similar quality.

You can use less powerful blenders, but you may have more difficulty with frozen fruit, and you may need to blend longer to achieve the desired texture. You may also have issues with overheating with longer blends using some foods. Still, it’s not impossible.

How much do I eat per meal?

I eat (or drink) 4 cups of green smoothie for a meal replacement. On the blender markings, that’s about 32 ounces (or 1 quart). I purchased some large plastic glasses from Target for a $1.00 each that hold exactly 4 cups when filled to a half inch from the top of the glass.

How many calories are in a green smoothie?

It depends on the type of fruit you use, but it averages between 375 to 500 calories per 4-cup serving.

What about all the carbs in fruit?

I’ve lost weight on low-carb diets– a lot of weight. However, I’ve also lost a lot of weight on low-fat diets. During my life, I’ve lost 60 lbs at least three times. This is not the place to discuss why I’ve put the weight back on each time, except to say that it really does require a lifestyle change. In my experience, which is backed up by research, you can lose weight on any diet where you expend more energy than you consume.

I believe that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is healthier than one rich in fatty meats. I realize this topic is not without debate, but I have considered the studies, and I feel the rationale for more fruits and vegetables is stronger and will provide my body with better health in the long run. I will explore these topics on this blog. Please subscribe if you’re interested in such things.

Will the sugars in fruit cause my blood sugar to spike?

Probably not as much as you’ve been led to believe. In fact, fructose, one of the main sugars in fruit, cannot convert directly to glucose (blood sugar). Read my article on the myth of simple carbs here in this blog (under blood sugar).

Where can I get green smoothie recipes?

I suggest that you start simple using one type of green leafy vegetable and no more than three types of fruit. Frozen fruit makes a great smoothie (tip: Frozen strawberries are low calorie, high nutrition and flavor, and you can buy them cheap in bulk at Sams Club). If you’re going to add protein powders, keep in mind this increases the calories and, in my opinion, detracts from the lovely fruit flavors.

Here are some links:

You can also search YouTube for a lot of video recipes.

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