Well, yes, gorgeous friend, this is another pro-green drink post. I just can’t help myself. They are so, so good for you that I want each and every one of you to drink them regularly.
Oh, I know not all of you will love the taste—though most of you will. Even my kids ask me to make them for snacks. But each of you will adore the way these chlorophyll-packed drinks make you feel: Energized, alert, slim, happy, focused, clear and even-tempered. And that’s after just one drink. Drink them daily for a week and you’ll begin to see beautiful changes in your skin and eyes. Your metabolism will be enhanced and you’ll notice you are losing weight easily. And, you’ll probably notice your sugar and carb cravings diminishing.
I’m telling you, these are powerful drinks. One-a-day will make an enormous change. Two-a-day and you will barely recognize yourself in a month. I even have “green drink days” where I spend the day consuming nothing but green drinks. Great for detoxing after a period of poor food choices or after drinking more alcohol than usual (it’s been known to happen on rare occasions!).
Am I tempting you to jump in? To make it easier for you dip your straw into greener liquids, I’ve put together this “top ten” style list of what you need to get started. Note: If you’re a visual person, I’ve included links (to Amazon) so you can see what everything looks like.
1. A great recipe to use as a guideline. Note that I said guideline. These drinks are meant to be flexible—use what you have around or personalize according to your tastes. One of the easiest recipes is Stephanie Pedersen’s Green Drink Blueprint. If you don’t have it yet, look to your left. It’s available for download right on this page!
2. A blender, preferably a high-speed, powerful sort of blender for getting drinks super smooth and liquidy. (Drinking think goopy chunky drinks is not only gross, but completely unnecessary!). My two favorites are VitaMix and BlendTec, the darlings of the health food world. But if you don’t mind doing a little extra whirring, a “regular blender” or a travel blender, such as a Magic Bullet, can also work.
3. Liquids. As you’ll see from the Green Drink Blueprint, I suggest a few different liquids, depending on how sweet you need things or how inexperienced (more experienced green -lifers typically don’t like to or need to use a lot of sweetness to mask the taste of natural ingredients). Water and coconut water are my go-to liquids, but for something creamy, you can use non-dairy, non-soy milks such as almond,hemp, hazlenut or coconut milks.
4. Lemon. Or lime. To help cleanse your internal organs, keep the nutrient content of your drink high and to preserve freshness—essential if you make a double batch and drink part of it later. Fresh lemons are a great choice, but if they’re hard to come by, a natural bottled lemon juice (with organic lemon juice and oil, with no sulfur dioxide) can work.
5. Green vegetables. Spinach, baby kale, baby chard, bok choy, endive, parsley, mint, romaine, peeled cucumbers, and on and on. Pack a few handfuls of green veggies into the blender. To make things super tasty, you might also want to throw in a chunk of peeled ginger. Mmmm…
6. Extra: Protein Powder. Not at all necessary, but if you are using a green drink as a meal replacement or are an endurance athlete or overcoming an illness and need the extra protein, go for a plant-based, non-soy, organic protein powder. Hemp protein powder is a great choice. So is my favorite, Vega All-In-One (it used to be called Vega Optimizer)in natural flavor; it’s based on a variety of non-gluten grain and legume protein and is so packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, that you can skip your daily multi-vitamin. (Or, you can make things super easy on yourself and spoon in a big dollop of nut butter. My favorites are: almond butter, sunflower seed butter, cashew butter and hazlenut butter.)
7. Extra: Green Powder. For those who are detoxing, powdered greens—typically some blend of cruciferous veggies, wheatgrass, chlorella, spirulina, cilantro and parsley, are fantastic for cleaning up the system and helping you flush toxins. (My fave is the veggie-only Field of Greens. Lots of other brands include fruit, which isn’t ideal.) Before you get too excited, however, I should warn you: These things do not taste good! Your drink will definitely take on a green, grassy taste.
8. Extra: Chia. Those of you who have worked with me or who have heard me speak know that I am crazy for chia. I even co-wrote a book with Dr. Wayne Coates on the stuff! Here’s why I love it: It is packed with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and a range of phytonutrients.
It’s been shown in studies to improve endurance in athletes, soothe joint conditions, tackle cardiovascular conditions, improve memory and brain function, improve focus. It acts as a weight loss aid (due to it’s soluble fiber) and after a week, you’ll see big changes in your skin and nails—after a month you’ll notice your hair looking better, too. Add two tablespoons to the blender, or stir the seeds into the finished drink and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes until the seeds are softened. (For more on chia, see:
9. Stainless Steel Drink Cup. Not necessary, but a lot of people like to make these green drinks and carry them to work, in the car, while commuting, etc. They are a great way to kill the munchies, squash cravings or enjoy a quick pick-up mid-morning or midday. A cup with a lid will keep your drink fresher and more nutritious than carrying it in an open container.
10. Biodegradable paper straws. No, you don’t need to use a straw, but if you’re like my kids, you wouldn’t think of drinking one of these without a straw. If that is you, you might as well choose the healthiest straws around, right?