When I first adopted a predominantly plant-based diet I didn't foresee all of the positive effects it would have on my health. I discovered more sustained energy throughout the day, I found it much easier to put on and maintain lean muscle mass, workouts were amped up and recovery was noticeably accelerated, and I rarely catch a cold or flu anymore. But when I first began exploring this new diet, I realized that I still wasn't getting enough dark, green, leafy vegetables regularly and turned to my smoothie, a recipe I have been following every day for several years now, to ensure that I get enough of these powerful health-supporting foods.
There is no need to tell you the importance of daily consumption of fresh veggies, nor the elimination of processed and refined foods and sugar. We've all heard about the research and resulting data surrounding it, so I won't go into all of that here in this article. Instead, I am just going to share with you my smoothie recipe and recommend you give it a try for a couple weeks and see for yourself the difference it can make, even without making any further modifications to your diet.
First up: The Ingredients
All of these ingredients are available at Trader Joe's, fresh, organic and affordable:
- • Organic Sweet Potatoes
- • Organic Carrotts
- • Organic Kale
- • Organic Spinach *
- • Organic Blueberries *
- • Organic Broccoli *
- • Organic Bananas
- • Ginger
* these items I purchase in the frozen section.
Second: The Equipment
To make a really good smoothie I highly recommend that you purchase a Vitamix. I have tried three other blenders that claim to be comparable to the Vitamix in an attempt to save some money. In the end I found, if you don't want to be chewing your smoothie, just spend the extra cash and get the right blender. They're available at Costco for around $300. I have model E320 in red. It's a workhorse and will blend freakin' gravel into a smooth liquid.
The storage container I recommend is the Miir insulated growler. It goes for $42 on Amazon and is the best daily container I have found. Because I make a huge smoothie every morning and take it with me I go with the 64 oz size. This insulated growler will keep your smoothie cold for up to twenty-four hours.
There's really not much prep. It just involves baking the sweet potatoes a little. Start by pre-heating your oven to 420 degrees. Put the whole bag of sweet potatoes into baking dish, unpeeled, and bake for 1 hour. Then throw them in a sealed container and into the fridge to use in your smoothies for the week.
Fourth: The Recipe
This recipe makes a huge smoothie, which fills that 64 oz growler of mine. It may prove too much for you, especially in the beginning. But keep in mind I drink this throughout my entire day and recommend you do the same.
- • 2-3 Sweet Potatoes (depending upon size, unpeeled, baked)
- • 2-3 Carrots (depending upon size, raw)
- • About 3 Cups Broccoli
- • About 3 Cups Spinach
- • About 1 Cup Kale
- • 1 Healthy Chunk of Ginger Root
- • A Healthy Handful of Blueberries (optional)
- • 1 Banana (optional, to sweeten a little)
- • Rice Milk, Almond Milk or Water (enough to blend smoothly)
Add all of your ingredients into the blender, pour in your choice of liquid until it has reached the top of the ingredients in the blender. (I make my own almond milk and will be sharing my easy recipe for that soon.) You may need to add a little more liquid to really smooth it out to your preference. I don't put blueberries in mine as I add those to my oatmeal every day, but it's up to you. Blend the crap out of it. Pour it into your growler and enjoy throughout the day.
This smoothie is especially good for those, like me, who usually don't have (or make) time to take a lunch break. Regardless what smoothie recipe you follow, just make sure it is GREEN! You want the ratio to be very high in veggies and very low in fruit. If your smoothie is purple or pink, then you need to flop your ratio.
Try this recipe for a couple weeks and let me know the difference you find it makes in your health. I want to hear from you about all of the recommendations I send your way!