If you’re a smoothie junkie like me, you probably start your day with a green smoothie. And if you’re not a smoothie junkie, you should seriously consider becoming one ASAP.
I’ve been drinking smoothies every morning for the last few years. In the last five years, I’ve only missed two smoothies (yes, two).
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what I eat for breakfast. When I answer “smoothie” I usually get a look of bewilderment or confusion, followed up with the question, “No, I mean what you eat.”
I tried ‘eating’ breakfast for years. I would wake up, force myself to eat egg whites and oatmeal (the standard diet if you’re trying to get lean). But I always felt lethargic after eating—almost like I wanted to go back to sleep. And on some mornings, I did!
When I cut out the food and instead focused on making more wholesome smoothies, things really changed for me. My energy improved. Instead of being the person who finally musters the energy to go work out at 2 pm, I became the person who is at the gym by 7. I noticed improvements in my digestion and less fatigue.
This isn’t to say that smoothies are some miraculous cure-all. Some people need and want eggs with a side of toast in the morning and that’s totally okay. I just noticed that I feel better when I drink my breakfast instead of eating it.
Besides some tips for making green smoothies, I’ve also provided a really simple pineapple smoothie recipe that I’m sure you’ll love.
7 Do’s and Don’ts of Green Smoothies
With green smoothies being all the rage these days, I’m sure you’ve come across a few websites (or Instagram accounts) with recipes for healthy green smoothies. These are my personal rules for making green smoothies:
- Don’t go overboard with the fruit. Green smoothies should be all about the greens! Those purple and orange smoothies you see online are usually high in sugar and low in greens. Even though it’s natural sugar from fruit, green smoothies are all about increasing your veggie intake. Use two large pieces of fruit in your smoothie at most.
- Do experiment with the types of greens. Spinach and banana smoothies are so 2013. Try different veggies like swiss chard, kale, dandelion greens, and different lettuces. Today’s recipe actually uses an organic spring mix that is the base for a lot of my salads.
- Do invest in a high speed blender. I mentioned this in one of my first posts ever. High speed blenders break down the fruits and veggies much better than a traditional blender. I don’t care who you are, but no one wants chunks of spinach swimming around in their smoothie!
- Don’t get intimidated. Many raw food, organic, and vegan/vegetarian blogs have all sorts of smoothie recipes on their sites. And sometimes, these recipes can be confusing and intimidating. Start small, with a few common and inexpensive fruits and vegetables. When you get comfortable with the flavor profile, then you can play around with other ingredients. We’ve all made that mistake of buying that ‘interesting’ fruit or vegetable only to throw 90% of it away the next day. Save your money by investing in fruits and veggies you’re comfortable with at first.
- Do play around with supplements and superfoods. Once you’ve graduated smoothie school and are making green smoothies on a consistent basis, it’s time to play around with different superfoods. You can use maca root for improved energy levels, bee pollen for increased immunity, and coconut products for an enhancd metabolism. These are optional of course, but when added they can really take your smoothie from healthy to ridiculously healthy!
- Do incorporate fresh/dried herbs and spices. I treat cilantro and parsley not as herbs, but as flavorful leafy greens that I can also add to my smoothies. If I don’t think a smoothie is sweet enough, sometimes all it takes is a little cinnamon to bring out the natural flavor of the fruit. And sometimes, I’ll even add a pinch or two of turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Don’t drink your smoothie with other foods or after eating a meal. I recommend drinking your smoothies on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning. This is when your digestion is the strongest and you’ll reap the most benefits. If you’re really hungry in the mornings, wait at least 30 minutes after drinking your smoothie before eating solid foods.
The recipe I’ve provided for today tastes fantastic. It’s raw, gluten-free, vegan/vegetarian, AND delicious. Whether you’re a green smoothie newbie or have been drinking them for years, you’ll definitely appreciate this pineapple smoothie with a refreshing hint of mint.
One last note: this smoothie uses several different supplement powders. They’re of course optional, but people have been asking me what supplements I use. The goji berry powder, raw cacao powder, and spirulina go into about every smoothie I make. From there, I experiment with other supplements depending on what kind of smoothie I want to make and what fruits and veggies I’m using.