Beijing’s organic produce is questionable, air quality is an ongoing problem, and little stomach bugs are never far away. So what can you do to fight off those nasties and keep your family healthy? Start with a green smoothie. All you need is a blender, a handful of leafy greens and some fresh fruit.
It is important to provide your body with the nutrients and vitamins it needs, but ensuring that you get enough of the good stuff can be a challenge. This is where we turn to the green smoothie for amazing results. Simply adding one green smoothie to your diet every day will vastly improve your health. And kids really love them.
A green smoothie consists of leafy greens and fruits – ingredients that are thoroughly blended with water in a blender. It is important to note that a green smoothie is a blended drink and not juice. Blending rather than juicing breaks down the cellulose structure in the greens, thereby unlocking their valuable nutrients.
Green smoothies help to regulate fiber, increase energy, boost the minerals and vitamins in your system, reduce acid in the body and support a better immune function. The key is to consume greens that are dark, leafy and bitter.
Mixing Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetables contain starches. Mixing starches with the sugars found in fruit results in fermentation and gas inside the body. This means blending fruit and veggies is a no-no. However, leafy greens are actually not considered true vegetables, as they contain almost no starch. Therefore, mixing greens and fruits is fine and won’t cause your body any extra stress. In fact, greens are the only produce that can be easily digested with other foods.
There are a few distinctions worth noting. Broccoli is a vegetable and not a green (as we refer to it); however, the broccoli leaves themselves are considered a leafy green. Keep in mind that cucumber, tomato and peppers are actually all fruits, so they can all be used safely in green smoothies.
When selecting the greens for your smoothies, you can choose from any number of nutritious leaves. Try kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, bok choy, arugula, celery leaves, parsley, mint, coriander (cilantro), pumpkin leaves, beet greens or carrot greens. You can also add alfalfa or sunflower sprouts to the mix. Try not to use more than two different greens at a time – this will ensure smooth, easy digestion and assimilation.
The choices are endless. Experiment with apples, pears, bananas, oranges, papaya, pineapple, peaches, strawberries, blueberries or raspberries, depending on what’s fresh and preferably in season. Watermelon tastes great in a smoothie and passionfruit adds a summery tang. If you have a sweet tooth, add a few dates or raisins. Try not to use more than two or three fruits at a time, to make it easier on your digestion.
About Jennifer Thompson
Thompson is currently based in Koh Samui, Thailand, where she offers iridology readings and teaches classes on healthy living and eating, raw foods, food labeling and finding your life balance. Thompson will be in China from May 14-June 12, during which time she’ll be available for private sessions and green smoothie classes in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Visit www.healthybliss.net for updated dates and venues. Follow Thompson on Twitter @rawfoodbliss, check out her videos on YouTube at findyourhealthybliss, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can bridge the bitterness in the greens and the sweetness of the fruit. Alternately, a small amount of fresh ginger can spice up the flavor of any kale or spinach smoothie. Adding a banana to your smoothie boosts the sweetness and helps thicken the blend.
• Blend 60 percent fruit to 40 percent greens
• Keep your fruit and green varieties to a minimum to avoid difficult digestion
• Smoothies will stay fresh in the fridge for up to two days
• For adults, start with a 500ml green smoothie per day; for kids, try 250ml daily and continue to give them as much as they want
4-5 leaves fresh kale
1 handful spinach
1 handful romaine lettuce
1 handful celery leaves
2 Roma tomatoes
¼ clove garlic
1 cup water
1 bunch fresh parsley
2 tbsp goji berries (rehydrated)
2 cups water
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 bunch bok choy
1 red bell pepper
¼ clove fresh garlic
¼ fresh jalapeno
lemon juice (¼ lemon)
2 bunches fresh bok choy
1 dragon fruit
lime juice (½ lime)
½ cup water