If you haven’t read part 1, why not do that real quick?
Part 1 focused on our overconsumption, using meat as an example. To summarize, meat is often expensive for your body, your wallet, and your environment. This second part is going to focus on something that you can do to improve your nutrition in a much cheaper way. This is a newly discovered thing for me, and it’s called the “green smoothie.”
The idea is simple. We don’t eat enough leafy greens. Gods know that I don’t. We cover salads, when we eat them, in chemical-laden salad dressings or tons of extras: breadcrumbs, cranberries, cheese.
Green smoothies are a way to get your vegetables in with the ease of drinking them. I know, I know. It sounds gross at first, to drink vegetables. But the miracle is, by blending fruits and vegetables together, you get all the “plusses” of leafy green vegetables with the delicious tastes of your added fruits.
Eight years ago, the only vegetables that I ate were potato chips and french fries. I went through a phase in college where I began to eat salads, and I slid down the slippery slope into craving broccoli and stir fry. I mostly like my vegetables cooked, but I’m still exploring and developing my tastes.
My parents got me a new blender for Christmas, a Ninja 1500 system. This thing is a powerhouse! Now, you don’t need a super blender like my Ninja to make your first green smoothie, but it’ll blend a little smoother if you have one.
I was so scared when I tried it. I barely put in any greens at all, and my greens were just a bit of romaine lettuce. I felt relieved when I took my first sip and all that I could taste was apple. My first green smoothie recipe was as follows: 1 chopped up apple, 1 chopped up kiwi (skinned), and a handful of lettuce, with a bit of water and some ice. My mouth is watering now thinking about it — I may have one of these for dinner! It tastes just like apple juice, it’s “low-calorie” (if you care about those things), and the fiber from the apple, kiwi, and lettuce keep your stomach occupied for a while so that you can focus on other things.
My most robust smoothie so far has been a strawberry-celery-spinach-dill smoothie that tastes like… sweet celery. Not overly fruity, but it doesn’t taste like spinach, either. I’ve made four or five different types of smoothies, and only one of them has been less than stellar (one with blueberries that I made too thick). I’ve begun taking a quart Mason jar with me to work with my green smoothie in the morning. My coworkers look at me weird, but that coupled with a good breakfast sees me through to lunch.
I can’t stress how affordable, delicious, and nutritious these are. It’s such an easy way to eat my vegetables for the day, and it really steers me away from soda, chips, and other things that just “tide me over” until I get home from work and chow down on everything that I can find.
Regardless of whether you take the smoothie plunge, think on this. Eat well: eat whole foods, not too much, and enjoy life. There’s no better honor to the gods than that.