The Power of the Green Monster
"You can't (insert thing you want to do here..) until you finish your veggies!"
"You need to eat your veggies to grow big and strong!"
The importance of eating vegetables has long been known and was probably expressed to you throughout your childhood by your parents! Rightfully so, seeing as though green vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that can help promote good health. But, sometimes it is hard to get in the right amount of dark, leafy greens every single day. Thankfully, green drinks (a craze that has really blown up within the past few years) are making it much easier to take down these valuable nutrients in a more convenient manner!
Greens such as broccoli, kale, bok choy, collard greens, spinach, and so on are high in minerals, including potassium, calcium and magnesium. These minerals are also known as electrolytes, which help regulate the fluids in our bodies that can affect blood pressure, blood volume, and function of our cells. As well, many vitamins/antioxidants such as A, B, C, E, K, iron and folate can be found in many of these greens. Talk about beneficial and powerful! Throwing any of these into your blender and drinking them down will be sure to deliver vital nutrients to your body.
However, I've got to warn you, if you're trying to get the most nutrition out of your drink, reaching for those pre-packaged "health" juices may not be your best option. Unfortunately, the most you'll be getting out of those is an over abundance of sugar as many of the nutrients are juiced out or lost in the "processing" process.
To ensure you're really taking advantage of all the goods fruits and veggies have to offer, it is best to just do it yourself! Below is a simple recipe for my go-to "green monster" drink. Granted, I'm always changing it up, adding things, taking things out, substituting things, doing more or less of an ingredients, etc, based on the day/how I'm feeling-- but this is a good-tasting and good-for-you example of a very basic fruit/veggie drink!
1/2 cup of any version of milk (lowfat, nonfat, soy, almond, cashew...)
120 g freshly frozen berries
Handful of kale/spinach mixture
1 scoop protein powder
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Ginger to taste
Water as needed (depending on thickness desired)
- Pulse until fully blended, and enjoy! -
The above version of the "Green Monster" vs. Naked's "Green Machine"
Calories: 242 vs. 270
Protein: 30g vs. 4g
Carbs: 25g vs. 63g
Fat: 3g vs. 0g (due to lowfat milk used--could sub in nonfat)
Sugar: 18g vs. 53g
Fiber: 5g vs. 0g
And with a whopping 112g of Vitamin A, 63g of Vitamin C, 36g of Calcium and 10g of Iron in this mixture, the micro-nutrients for just one drink are looking awesome!
Other options include adding in flax, chia, apple slices, lemon, spirulina, bok choy, broccoli, celery, cucumber, amino acids, or whatever else you desire! As well, feel free to omit anything you don't want or change measurements as you see fit!
Like I said, I'm always changing mine up depending on what I have around, what I'm in the mood for, what I need at that moment macro/micro-wise, and so on. I've also used similar ingredients to serve as a base to homemade acai bowls!
Get creative and make it your own-- enjoy getting your greens in each and every day!
...And most importantly, don't be fooled by the processed, pre-packaged "green juices" out there.