BY DOMINIQUE YOUNGBLOOD
Green smoothies are not the typical go-to drink for us millennials. In fact, green smoothies only come to mind when we are in the mood to eat something quick and healthy. We may not have the extra time in the morning, or simply rather cook our greens than shove them in a blender.
We often pay attention to the inconvenience green smoothies bring, but let’s just take a minute to highlight the positive effects of sticking to one a day:
First, green smoothies are extremely cost effective when trying to stay within a budget. Of course, purchasing from your local juice bar, or even the already prepared green smoothies in the health food aisle at the grocery store could be anywhere from $6- $11 per glass/ bottle. But what about the fresh fruits and veggies you have sitting around your kitchen? Imagine just having to purchase a single pack of kale or spinach at the store during your round of weekly grocery shopping and spending no more than $2.88- $3.00. Then, you could just add whatever fruits or veggies at home to make a smoothie.
Here is a list of ingredients you can include in your own green smoothie (remember to always grab a handful of spinach and/ or kale as your base, then go ahead and get carried away with your creative additions!).
- Spinach, Kale, Chard, Collards (dark leafy greens); you can even add a fresh broccoli milk or yogurt to make creamier (drain out the after-kick from the kale; lemons also do the trick)
- Applesauce (for thicker substance) or a fruit cup
- Green apples
- Bananas (another option for a thicker substance if you opt out of dairy)
*Freezing your apples and pineapples is another option. Remember, adding more ice will help you stay hydrated!
Second, and my favorite part, the benefits for hair and skin. Kale is the solution to everything here. No matter what you decide to put in your smoothie, there should ALWAYS be some kale. It is loaded with vitamin A (206% DV per cup) and vitamin C (134% DV per cup), which is the key to hair growth and scalp circulation. Of course, Vitamin C is the foundation of everyday hair and skin maintenance; it helps the body to produce collagen , which forms skin as well as absorb iron, which is also an essential nutrient for hair.
Let’s be real, your skin is the first thing people see when they look at you. It is the largest external organ on our body. It needs our undivided care and attention. For women, our hair tells a story. You could skip those expensive hair growth vitamins and costly styles at the salon that lead to heat or chemical damage and opt for a three-month plan of daily green smoothies and simple protective styles! You may not make time to exercise as often as you want, but the great thing is you know that you ALWAYS make time to eat!
Here are the links to a couple blogs I enjoy reading to motivate me with my own natural hair growth and skin maintenance:
The Confidence Kitchen
The third best thing about green smoothies: you crave less junk! A filling green smoothie normally contains the right amount of calories for one healthy meal. It will keep your blood sugar levels low until lunch time, helping you cut out snacking altogether. It is a mental thing. Once you decrease the amount of unhealthy foods you take in and replace those frequent snacks with fresh fruits and veggies, you begin to lose your desire for unhealthy snacks. If you are trying to lose weight, this is a great way to begin, but it is also a healthy way to gain weight. It is way easier to “drink” your extra calories than attempt stuffing yourself with more carbs, hoping you will see results.
You have total control of what goes into your smoothie, and the best part is that all those ingredients you add will have great benefits for your body. So, it is safe to say that with a green smoothie, you are always winning.
Equipment and Smart Buys
The tool that makes your life easy when “going green” is your Magic Bullet! Most heavy duty blenders are expensive, too time consuming to wash and re-use, and have a hard time grinding and blending all those combinations in one.
Remember, the goal is to fit green smoothies in your everyday routine from cost effectiveness and convenience. Below are a more affordable options that your body will thank you for later:
- Magic Bullet – Amazon $37.99, Target $39.99, Sam’s Club $39.98
- Elite Cuisine 17 pc. blender – Walmart $25.99
Now, take a small step in going green by putting yourself on a two-week routine. Try setting aside 10 extra minutes in the morning or at night to make your smoothie. Keep track of your energy boost, junk food cravings, and watch the difference in your hair and skin. Change up your ingredients every other day to try a new taste and make your two-week routine fun. If you are satisfied with the results, then go ahead and change those two weeks into a six-week plan, or even three months. Remember your body will thank you for it!