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Green Smoothies for Better Health in 2021!

Most of us live a pretty jam-packed, time-poor existence, and finding time for a health overhaul can often seem too overwhelming – so we never actually start. One of my key tips for my clients is to keep things simple. Every day, take one step in the right direction.

My health mantra for 2021 is going to be “Just add in the good stuff”. Green smoothies are one of my favourite tips for packing more nutrient-rich veggies into our daily diet. Besides being delicious, refreshing and packed with phytonutrients, they’re also a great way to “get your daily greens” within a busy schedule. Green smoothies are quick to make, easy to transport (an insulated thermos keeps them cold all day!), and quick and easy to consume on-the-go.

Drink your greens!
Drinking your greens via a green smoothie is also beneficial for your health in a few other ways:
Blending pre-masticates the fibrous veggies and fruit in your smoothie, making it easier for your digestive system to access the nutrients packaged up in all that fibre. Fibre is an essential part of a healthy diet and though, in theory, we should be able to easily digest the fibre of whole fruits and vegetables… most Aussies have spent many years/decades consuming diets too low in fibre-aka not enough fresh, fibrous produce-, so it can be taxing to a digestive system that’s not used to breaking it down.
But, even though blended smoothies give your digestive system a head start on breaking down the fibre in fresh fruits/veggies, the smoothies still include that fibre (something juicing removes).
A smoothie can help you avoid skipping a meal, which affects metabolism and is often a factor in weight gain and insulin imbalances.
And, smoothies are a great opportunity to add in additional health-boosting ingredients, like detoxifying fresh herbs and citrus, protein-packed chia, probiotics, and more.

Green smoothies can be made with either fresh or frozen produce-so they’re both a great way to use fresh produce (if you have it on hand), as well as a healthy snack (or meal supplement) if you haven’t made a shopping trip in a while. And, they can be very easily meal-prepped!

Anatomy of a healthy green smoothie
In just a moment I’ll share some of my favourite healthy green smoothie recipes (which are great options if you’re looking for ideas or starter recipes!). But, you can also experiment and make your own green smoothies with any combination of ingredients you have on hand and enjoy. Here’s what you’ll need:

GREENS
Leafy greens should be the foundation of your green smoothie. Spinach and kale are both great, versatile options, though you could use any leafy green you’d like.
HERBS
Add green herbs too! Think parsley, basil, mint, etc. They’re great at detoxifying and add a nice punch of flavour.
FRUIT
You can use either fresh or frozen fruit-though if it’s fresh, you may want to add a few ice cubes to the blender to help give the smoothie a frozen consistency. Any fruit works here, but some of my favourites are: mango, pineapple, berries, banana.
LIQUID
For the base of your smoothie, I recommend either coconut water (which is rich in electrolytes, so a great option for summer!), or a plant-based milk (such as oat milk, almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, etc.).
HEALTHY FAT
To make your smoothie more filling, you’ll want to add healthy fats and protein to your smoothie. For example: protein powder (such as hemp), nut butter, avocado, coconut oil. Adding fat also helps to give your smoothie a smoother, creamier consistency.
SMOOTHIES ADD-INS
I also love boosting smoothies with fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice, chia seeds, spirulina or “supergreens” powder, collagen… the sky’s the limit here!

HEALTHY GREEN SMOOTHIE MAKING TIPS:

focus on leafy greens
The fruit’s there to add some texture and sweetness, but we don’t want to go overboard (fruit, of course, is high in natural sugars). Aim for no more fruit in your smoothie than you would typically eat in one sitting.
choose organic as much as possible
We want to super-charge your body with nutrients, not pesticide residues! Spinach and other greens have some of the highest pesticide residues of fresh vegetables.
a tip for using bananas
Peel ripe bananas, cut them in half, and freeze in a container or bags. Though many smoothie recipes call for a whole frozen banana, I like to use only half if I’m using other fruit as well (they’re quite high in sugar).
drink it fresh
Make only as much smoothie as you can drink immediately, or store properly (like in an insulated thermos).
enjoy your green smoothie on an empty stomach
The best time to drink a smoothie (for optimum nutrient absorption) is on an empty stomach.

DR ASHLEIGH’S WELLNESS LIFESTYLE TIP:

Have a green smoothie for breakfast every day for 7 days!

Once you realise how simple and delicious a breakfast smoothie is, why not make morning greens a new healthy habit in 2021?!
Here’s some ideas to get you started…be adventurous ! Some of my favourite simple, healthy smoothies packed with beneficial greens!monika-grabkowska-L-sagw3fxZo-unsplash

2-minute Green Smoothie

https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/2-minute-green-smoothie/

Minty Green Shake

https://www.loveandlemons.com/best-green-smoothie-recipe/

Liver Detox Smoothie

https://www.theroastedroot.net/liver-detox-smoothie/

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