Seven days are up and the experiment is over. At times, opening the fridge was like looking into a jungle. Crate-loads of apples and bananas have passed through my kitchen. The neighbors wonder about the buzz from my apartment (“are you redoing the floor?”). Rejoice, the verdict on green smoothies is here.
Convenience. Smoothies are a great way to get more fresh fruit and veg into your diet without the hassle of having to prepare it beforehand. Wash, cut to pieces, blend, done. It’s also a time saver because there’s no need to chew and the number of dishes to wash afterward is very limited.
Taste and entertainment. Experimenting with ingredients is a ton of fun. When I got bored with the sweet taste of fruit I started experimenting with savory recipes. The already infamous “kimchi swirl” bears witness to that. However, once you get the hang of what pleases your tastebuds and mixes well, you can throw together something both delicious and nutritious in no time.
Health benefits. Getting nutrients in this manner is definitely a good thing for the body and you can notice it pretty quickly. It’s easy on the digestive system, which is often overtaxed by stress and bad eating habits. For instance, the smoothies don’t produce the after-meal-tiredness of a normal meal. Many sources on the net also list improved skin as a benefit. After a week of this, I can absolutely second that claim. My skin quality is visibly and palpably better even though working on the business is taking a heavy toll on sleep hours and stress level. That’s the thing that personally convinced me the most.
Behavioral therapy. I never thought I’d say that in my life but I miss chewing. My jaw muscles seriously started craving action after day two (sugar-free chewing gum to the rescue!). There’s some psychological component to the act that you miss out on while on pureed produce. It turned out to be a side effect with surprising significance.
Caloric leightweights. The first two days of green smoothies were great and I felt really good about it. After that, the lack calories kicked in. If you’re anything like me, lack of calories equals crankiness, which is not a state I or the people around me appreciate. I tried to add more of them in the form of fat (coconut milk to the rescue!) with only partial success on the mood front.
Organization.A lot of planning is involved in this dietary measure. Because of the need for fresh produce, more shopping trips are required. Also, if you’re not working from home there’s a need to plan ahead for when you’re on the run. I cheated at the office because I didn’t have tupperware to take a smoothie to go.
the verdict: do it!
Green smoothies are a great way to start a day. They are nutrient-dense, easy on the stomach, offer lots of variety in taste and health benefits are quickly noticeable. All you need is a blender and you can get started right away. For my part; I will definitely keep them in a permanent slot of my morning routine.
If you want the benefits without some of the downsides I would advise to try the following: Live on smoothies for the first two thirds of the day and have one real meal later on, preferably something good like brown rice or quinoa with vegetables. This should get you lots of good nutrients, enough calories and will stop you from chewing off your fingernails just to keep the jaw busy. I would also advise to get a real blender since using an immersion one turns into a hassle quickly.
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