Gushing about the Green

I am gushing about green smoothies. Especially this morning. I swear, the colors may turn out ghastly (mine always seem to…) but the taste is heavenly. Even more great is how they make you feel: energized, full, and rearing to go for the day.

Let us dissect my smoothie I had this morning:

  • A handful frozen raspberries
  • ย 4 fresh strawberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • tons of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tbs all natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbs ground flaxseed
  • 1 tbs wheat germ
Let us review the health stats. These will surely have you reaching for your blender at the end of this post!
Berries: Berries are some of Mother Nature’s greatest fruits she bears. They are always low in calories, so you can liberally snack on them and add them to green smoothies, for example! (though they aren’t very green after you sneak these babies in). Raspberries, for example, are brimming with antioxidants that protect you against a variety of human diseases. It also is one of nature’s most fibrous foods, with up to 20% of its weight being fiber! Now that’s tummy-sticking awesomeness. Not to forget the vitamin C, B vitamins, folic acid, and other minerals. This powerhouse of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber makes this a great tool to combat cancer. Take that!
Bananas: Bananas are another great ingredient to green smoothies. When frozen they not only add thickness and creaminess, but they also naturally sweeten it. Bananas are more carbohydrate rich than other fruits, about 20 grams, so that makes them a smart choice for the morning or before a workout when you need fast, clean energy. Bananas got their good rep from their high amount of potassium. Potassium is important for heart and nervous health. I’ll take my banana everyday, thank you very much!
Spinach: Spinach is another one of nature’s miracle foods. A famous and most loved dark leafy veggie, the spinach in a green smoothie is sweet and vibrant green. Always choose green. Why? They are anti-inflammatory, full of antioxidants, vitamin K and calcium for bone health, and so low in calories. Chalk-full of essential vitamins, their nutritional punch per calorie can’t be beat. Pile as much as you can in your blender, bloggies, and witness the benefits of the green smoothie increase!
Flaxseed: I have already gushed on how much I love flax on a previous post, but let me repeat and expand. Flaxseed is wonderful! It is an excellent source of omega 3’s and fiber for those going veggie and everyone alike. They also have anti-inflammatory properties which help them combat other diseases like cancer, and also are great for cardiovascular health.
Wheat Germ: I add wheat germ to up the nutritional content. It has lots of vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy functioning, because sometimes it is just hard to balance everything out! Check out these: fiber, B vitamins, iron, folic acid, zinc, protein and omega 3’s. Can I get a “hell yes!”
Peanut Butter: I use peanut butter for a protein boost in my smoothies. If you don’t have a powder on hand or can’t afford one (like me at the moment) then peanut butter offers a completely natural source of protein and healthy fats. It also, like the foods above, has antioxidant properties. Plus, eating nuts helps you control your weight, not gain it. And let’s be honest, it is simply delicious.
Almond Milk: It has no saturated fats compared to its dairy counterpart, yet is fortified with calcium and essential vitamin D. Low in calories, almond milk complements green smoothies beautifully with a nutty smooth texture. Plus it has plenty of Vitamin A, E, and protein. Pour yourself a glass… or two!
And that is what you are starting your day off with? All that packed into a delicious thick and creamy morning drink? That is why I love them. And you will too, trust me ๐Ÿ™‚ Experiment to found out your favorite variations!
I got all this health information from The World’s Healthiest Foods, click here for any information about any healthy foods on your mind! It is VERY extensive!
Also, check out the Green Monster Movement, by Angela on Oh She Glows, for great Green Monster inspiration. Get blending!
Ciao for now! -Mary

Here Comes The Sun (doo doo doo doo doo)

Yes, blog dudes and blog dudettes, the sun has finally made an appearance here in Spokane. And it is just glorious!! So, what better to make that is cool, freshing and calorie-free in the sun then iced sun tea?! Yes. That is just what I did this morning ๐Ÿ™‚

The before pictures, of course. I will show you the end results. Just stick the tea dispenser in the sun, add as many tea bags as you like (depending on your strength preferences) and the type of tea ( again to your preferences), and wait a few hours! The warmth from the sun will deliciously slow-brew the tea, and when the water turns a rich color, stick it in the fridge. Ta-Da! You are done. To add sweetness, try honey to avoid the empty calories of processed sugar. But me personally, I love it unsweetened. I am a tea-lover at heart, starting when I was younger with herbal and moving on to fuller-bodied english breakfasts, rich and deep earl greys, and spicey chais. I simply used plain Lipton tea bags this time around because I have A TON of them. What a great way to use up my ever-flowing over tea supply ๐Ÿ™‚

For breakfast this morning, I reverted back to my childhood days. One perfect and easy, filling and healthy breakfast choice is peanut butter toast. I used two slices of 100% whole wheat bread and a tablespoon of natural peanut butter. A note about whole wheat bread: Make absolutely sure it says 100% on the label to ensure you are really getting whole wheat bread. Producers are allowed to saw whole wheat, even if they use simply “enriched wheat flour” which isn’t the good fibery and heart-heathly thing you are looking for. Also, check the ingredients! The first thing listed should say “whole wheat flour.” Then my friends, you are good to go! I also love to choose 100% natural peanut butter to avoid any hydrogenated oils!

An added bonus to today’s breakfast: banana slices! Now I truly feel like my childhood self.

I was a very happy camper this morning ๐Ÿ™‚ย Well, off to enjoy the wonderful sunshine my friends. And to check on my iced tea…

Ciao for now! -Mary