Liquid Taste Treats

Try These Healthy Green Drinks



Imagine a diet that eliminates the need for calorie counting and never prompts a late-night rummage in search of foods possibly high in fat, sugar or processed ingredients; one that allows you to eat like you do now, except for one small change—the addition of a green drink or smoothie.

A green drink isn’t a meal replacement; it’s a supplement (a starter or side dish) to the diet you already enjoy. Simply drink one prior to breakfast and if you are committed to optimal health, another before lunch and dinner. You can change the ingredients at will, according to taste.

Fruits and vegetables are the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet, accepted as staples in just about every healthy diet imaginable. From vegetarian to omnivore to Weight Watchers diets, the green drink is welcome.

After a week or so of drinking green, your body will begin to crave the rush of nutrients it receives and less healthy foods will simply lose their appeal. You will naturally gravitate towards foods that fuel your body, instead of foods that drag it down.

Robert Young, Ph.D., author of The pH Miracle, has been in the forefront of promoting the fact that the body thrives when its pH levels are more alkaline than acidic. Diseasecausing bacteria and viruses, as well as other abnormalities, flourish in an acid state, while the body’s natural defense mechanisms work best in an alkaline state. He writes, “Our glands and organs function properly in exact proportion to the amount of alkaline and acid levels in our system; eating a balance of 75 percent alkaline foods and 25 percent acidic foods is ideal.”

Young reports that keeping your body in an alkaline state amplifies benefits such as immune system function, strength, stamina and weight loss. Fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, are extremely alkaline, and drinking them is an easy way to consume more.

According to the Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein and Amino Acids, the average adult needs about 50 grams of protein a day. Eating normal meals generally supplies that. Greens, despite the common misconception, also contain a good amount of protein when eaten in large quantities, which green drinks provide.

Getting started requires only a blender or juicer, depending on the recipe. Juicing is great for a quick jolt of concentrated energy; the drink delivers maximum nutrient intake, and the absence of fiber enables near-immediate absorption of vitamins and minerals. Juicing is also preferred by people with digestive issues or those looking to cleanse or heal their system.

While blending a green smoothie reduces nutrient concentration through oxidation, by whipping air into the drink, it is ideal for people that need to keep their sugar in check. It’s the flip side of juicing, which can turn a fivepound bag of fruits and greens into a glass of concentrated fruit sugars, called fructose. Blending also delivers fiber, which helps keep the digestive tract in tip-top shape. It can even serve as a complete meal; you can add avocado or raw almond butter for healthy fats, and protein powder, raw chocolate and bee pollen for extra stamina and endurance—much more than what is possible using a juicer.

In most cases, a typical blender will suffice. However, when blending fruits and vegetables with a harder consistency, such as carrots, pineapple hearts and apples, or waxy greens like kale, you will need more specialized equipment. Two professional blenders, Blendtec and Vitamix, are a good fit for home countertops.

Spinach, chard and mixed greens make a perfect base for beginners. Just blend or juice them with a few sweet fruits and berries like banana, blueberries and apple to disguise the green taste. From there, you can experiment by adding more potent ingredients like kale, beet greens, mustard greens, arugula and watercress. Mint or other herbs add a refreshing twist. It helps newcomers to start with more fruits than greens, and then gradually shift the balance.

For even more smoothie nutrition, try adding superfoods, such as puréed pumpkin, coconut milk or oil, nut and seed butters, avocado and even garlic. To assuage a sweet tooth, add a dash of honey or pitted dates to the blender.

You don’t have to live like a strict dieter, athlete or nutritionist to be healthier and feel better. Just toss a few fruits and greens into a blender or juicer each day and drink to your health.


Jason Manheim is a health, fitness and green drink junkie in Los Angeles, CA. His educational website, HealthyGreen Drink.com, was the inspiration for his book, The Healthy Green Drink Diet: Advice and Recipes to Energize, Alkalize, Lose Weight, and Feel Great.

 

Great Green Drinks

Cool SlawBroccoli Juicing Recipe

This refreshing summer delight is perfect for parties by the pool, barbecues and picnics in the park. Broccoli’s cancer-fighting properties combat carcinogens introduced to meat by a smoky grill. Ginger works to settle stomachs and has long been a remedy for heartburn.

1 crown of broccoli
½ small red cabbage
2 carrots
1 lemon (peeled)
1 green apple
Ginger to taste

Peel ginger root and juice all ingredients together. Serve over ice.

Greens Lover

The good-for-you factor in salads is often diminished by introducing salad oils and dressings, sacrificing some health benefits for taste, but not so with this drink. The fiber-rich kale Kale Juicing Recipeand the veritable powerhouse of vitamins in spinach pair with sweet carrots and a tart green apple, juiced to a harmonious balance of taste and nutrition.

3 leaves kale
1 bunch cilantro
1 cup spinach
1 cucumber
1–2 carrots
1 green apple

Combine ingredients and juice.

Green Clean

This tasty concoction begs to be poured into an ice-filled punch bowl and ladled into frosty glasses. You’ll never know your body is detoxifying as you gulp this tasty summer treat. For those that find it a bit too sour, add an apple or two. Green Clean not only has high amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it is one of the most aromatically appealing drinks around—crisp, clean and refreshing.

1 limeCleansing Juice Recipe
1 lemon
1 large cucumber
1 handful basil
1 handful mint
2 handfuls spinach
Ginger to taste

Combine ingredients and juice.

Mint Julep

Think of this drink as summertime in a glass. Though the name traditionally has a less-than-healthy connotation, this vitamin-rich twist on the theme will leave partakers refreshed and energized. Celery and mint make for a smooth and clean taste, while delivering essential nutrients and properties known to help lower blood pressure. Bottoms up!

1 stalk celery
1 handful mint leaves
2–3 handfuls spinach
1 apple

Combine ingredients and juice.

Guavacado

Guavas can be hard to come by and vary in size, shape and texture. Sort the seeds before dropping the ingredients into the blender, as some may be too hard to break up and should go into the composter. Also, some guava skin can be thick and bitter; test a bit of its zest before blending.

1 cup guava
1 avocado
1 cup mango
1 lemon (juice) Water

Add all ingredients. Blend until smooth, adding water as needed.

Strawberry Patch

This sweet treat is an easy way to introduce dark greens like collards into your diet. Collards have a strong, distinct flavor when cooked, but when blended raw among earthy-sweet and tropical flavors like kiwi and strawberry, they can add a spicy zing to a fruit smoothie. Mangoes enhance the health benefits with enzymes that aid digestion, glutamine for memory power, and heart-healthy antioxidants.

3 strawberries
1 mango
1 kiwi
3 large basil leaves
2 large collard leaves (remove stems) Water

Fill blender with as much water as desired. Add collard greens and basil. Blend until smooth, and then add fruit. Pulse-blend to a desired consistency.

Tropical Sun

Before the new day starts, treat yourself to a flavorful getaway filled with rich vitamins.
Bok choy, categorized as a negative calorie food, because it helps burn calories, nicely complements tropical elements. Garnish with a tiny umbrella and feel the sea breeze.

2 bulbs bok choy
1 orange (peeled)
1 cup coconut water
1 cup pineapple
1 banana

Combine the first three ingredients and blend until smooth. Add the other fruits. Pulse-blend to a desired consistency.


Recipes courtesy of Jason Manheim, from The Healthy Green Drink Diet.

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