So now that we know the health benefits of green smoothies, how do I make the perfect one…and what should I expect in the perfect one.
The perfect green smoothie is the perfect blended of your favorite fresh fruits and dark leafy greens…blended with the perfect textures and with no bitter flavors….giving you not only great flavor, but also optimal nutrients every time.
And making the perfect green smoothie is more of a method instead of an actual recipe….but let’s first talk about the ingredients….or perhaps a ratio—60% fruits to 40% leafy greens.
There are hundreds of types of greens out there–try any of them and mix things up to find flavor combinations you like. , any kind of green will work…All greens have nutrients and anti-nutrients…rotate your greens regularly….be cognizant of flavor when choosing your greens. Spinach will have a milder flavor, so you can get away with using quite a lot without running into taste issues; arugula, on the other hand, is quite spicy, so you might want to add in some other stronger flavors to balance that out…
- collard greens
- fresh herbs—such as cilantro, basil, parsley and mint
- green cabbage
- pea shoots
- Swiss chard
- mixture of any of the above
Fruit gives your green smoothies extra nutrition, texture and flavor…not to mention the fact that adding fruit keeps your green smoothie from tasting like a smooshed-up blended salad.
Adding fruit to your your smoothie also means that you won’t need to add any artificial sweeteners, honey, agave nectar, or processed sugars…because fruit is naturally sweet.
Bananas or avocados are the secret to making perfectly sweet and creamy weapon smoothies….they also help bind together the rest of the ingredients…bananas are also sweeter than most other fruit. Bananas are especially good if you have peeled and frozen them first.
Ice can be hard on your blender and will dilute your smoothie’s flavor.
You can either chop and freeze your own ripe fruit or berries, or buy the the packaged stuff…and by the way I just discovered that you can freeze your wilting package of greens by simply sticking it in your freezer…learn something new every day, right?
Use about 1C fruit per serving…about twice as much fruit as you have in liquid or greens—preferably frozen fruit because you never want to add ice to your smoothie.
Fruits that you might consider include…
- pitted dates
Obviously if you’re gonna make a green smoothie, or any smoothie, you will need some sort of liquid. You can try whatever liquid you like, but you might want to avoid sweetened liquids because the fruit will add enough sweetness on its own.
Use anywhere from 1/2C to 1C per serving.
A few options include…
buttermilk—not so sure about this, but great for making pancakes or biscuits…might have to try it
- coconut water
- cold brew coffee
- cold brewed tea—especially mint tea or green tea
- nondairy milks—such as unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
“plain old water”
Now that we’ve talked about the three basic ingredients of a perfect smoothie—the greens, the fruit, and the liquid—let’s explore other optional ingredients and a few recipes for the different health benefits that green smoothies are helpful for.
Many of these ingredients will be for helping the smoothies taste better…others will be for getting additional health benefits…while some will do both.
- Bee pollen
- Coconut oil
- Cucumbers…cucumber have a high nutrition content, as well as a high water content…and the green peel is excellent for you
- Fresh herbs—such as basil, cilantro, and thyme
- Gelatin powder
- Himalayan salt
- Maca powder
- Nuts—such as raw almonds or raw walnuts
- Oats that have been soaked in water overnight, or at least for ten minutes
- Oils—such as flax oil
- Seeds—such as flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds
- Superfood powders—such as cacao, maca, and acai powder
- Spices—such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cayenne, chili powder, or some combination of these
- Unsweetened protein powder
- Vitamin C powder
So by now, you have probably realized the countless ways to make green smoothies, not to mention smoothies in general…I sure have, especially after studying probabilities in order to take my GMAT in three weeks…
But don’t worry…in the next post we will be talking about how to make your green smoothie…and then looking at various smoothies that you might want to try, based on the specific health benefit you are considering at the given moment.
I find the idea of eating three cups of mustard greens or collard greens still repulsive, but my Mom would be so glad that I actually do eat them now instead of feeding them to the dog while she wasn’t looking.
Why did I even consider adding these leafy greens that I once found repulsive to my diet?
Mainly because leafy greens are packed with important and powerful nutrients,
Also because most leafy greens are available fresh all year round…making adding them to your weekly menus quite an easy task.
All leafy greens are typically low in calories and fat…high in protein per calorie…and contain such important nutrients are dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron, and antioxidants.
Health benefits of adding leafy greens to your diet include…
- Alzheimer’s disease…leafy greens can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease
- Antioxidants...leafy greens contain the antioxidants need to fight the effects of free radicals in the body…which reduces your chances of getting such major illmesses as cancer, heart diseasem high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
- Blood.,,,leafy greens have been shown to helping your blood clot normally….leafy greens also stimulates production of antibodies and white blood cells
- Bones…leafy greens have been shown to imporove the health of your, bones by helping prevent osteoporosis and boosting bone strength
- Diabetes…leafy greens have been shown to lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 14%
- Eyes…leafy greens have been shown to improve your eyesight…leafy greens also help prevents eye disorders such as muscular degeneration and cataracts….they can also lower your risk of developing night blindness.
- Immune System…leafy greens Help strengthen the immune system
- Skin…leafy greens have been shown to maintain skin elasticity
In fact, the Department of Agriculture recommends that adults consume at least three cups of dark green vegetables each week.
Varieties of Greens
Thankfully, there are several varieties of leafy greens out there…so that you don’t have to feel obligated to simply eat the “required” bowl of bagged salad every single night, night after night…
These options include…
- Leaves…green…veins of the leaves correspond to the color of the beet root
- Scales…Beets with round, scaly areas around the top surface will be tough, fibrous, and strongly flavored.
2. Boy Choy
- Leaves…smooth, dark green leaf blades that form a cluster similar to mustard greens or celery—resembling Romaine lettuce on top and a large celery on the bottom.
- Flavor…light and sweet
- Texture..crispy, crunchy
3. Butterhead Lettuce
- Also called…butter lettuce, Boston, bibb (limestone)
- Leaves…soft and smooth like buttee
4. Cos Lettuce
- Leaves…dark green, long, narrow
- Taste…..sweet and tangy
- Texture…crispy and crunchy texture
- Leaves…tough, fibrous stem and small green leaves
- Taste…peppery taste
- Varieties…watercress, upland cress, curly cress, and land cress
5. Dandelion Greens
- Leaves…the green leaves from the so-thought-of “weeds” in your yard…stiff leaves with pointy, fine “teeth.”
- Taste…sharp bitter flavor
- Uses…a classic French bistro salad, salads with roasted beets
- Color…off-white center with loose, lacy, dark green outer leaves which curl at the tips
- Leaves..loose, lacy, dark green oval-shaped outer leaves which curl at the tips
- Taste…slightly bitter
- Texture…soft and satiny
- Uses…salads and soups
- Uses…scoop-like shape makes for serving small appetizers
- Color…various shades of green
- Head…loose, elongated heads
- Leaves…broad, wavy leaves with smooth edges
- Other Names…Batavian endive, scarole, broad-leaved endive
- Taste…darker green leaves are lightly bitter and spicy; but the paler interior leaves are milder
- Uses…soups and beans…popular in Italian cuisine.
- Color…pale green
- Leaves…feathery leaves tinged with yellow and green
- Other Names…curly endive, chicory, chicory endive, curly chicory
- Leaves…tightly packed leaves on dense, heavy heads
- Water Content…contains more water than most other leafy greens
- Nutritional Value…high in fiber
- Taste…earthy, slightly grassy taste
- Uses…salads, soups, pasta, and smoothies
- Varieties…include curly, baby, and lacinato
11. Lacinato Kale (a.k.a. Dino Kale)
- Other Names…Tuscan kale or black kale
- Leaves…very dark blue-green or black-green leaves
- Taste…earthy and nutty flavor
12. Leaf Lettuce
- Color…can be either green or red
- Leaves…large, frilly-edged
- Taste…mildly sweet and delicate taste
- Uses…sandwiches, burgers, popular lining for hors d’oeuvres platters
- Other Names…Field salad, lamb’s lettuce, corn salad, field lettuce, fetticus
- Taste…mild and slightly sweet flavor
- Leaves…very small
- Notes…expensive, very delicate, will bruise easily
- Leaves…petite elongated leaves with spiky edges similar to miniature oak leaves
- Other Names…Japanese greens, spider mustard, xue cai, kyona, potherb mustard, and California Peppergrass
15, Oak Leaf Lettuce
- Leaves…very similar to leaf lettuce, but with more of an oak leaf shape
- Taste…super-mellow, sweet
- Color…burgundy-red leaves with white ribs
- Other Names…Chioggia, red chicory, red leaf chicory, red Italian chicory
- Taste…mildly bitter with a subtle spicy undertone
- Texture…quite firm but still tender
- Uses…in salads, as a cooked vegetable, and grilled or roasted and mixed with other grilled vegetables
- Nutritional Value…particularly rich in folic acid and vitamin K
- Taste..light, almost grassy taste
- Texture…a satisfying crunch
- Uses..Caesar salads, wraps
- Color…dark green leaves
- Leaves…smooth, sturdy, deep green
- Taste…mild, lightly herbal
- Uses…salads, wraps, and smoothies
19, Sweet Potato Greens
- Taste…lovely, almost sweet flavor with no discernible bitterness
- Uses…soups or stews
- Leaves…small and rounded much like little spoons, hence its other name, spoon cabbage
- Other Names…Tat soi, spoon cabbage, rosette bok choy
- Taste…mildly peppery and sweet, with only the faintest hint of cabbage flavor.
Tools and Techniques
First of all there are different tools and techniques can I use to help me start drinking the suggested amount of water each day?
1. Carry a small refillable water bottle with you everywhere you go.,,,Using a reusable water bottle does not create the litter that typical water bottles do, is environmental-friendly, makes you a smarter consumer, saves water, and saves you money.
What factors should you consider when choosing a water bottle?
The first factor to consider is what material the bottle is made from. Water bottles can be found in many different materials—including aluminum, stainless steel, plastic, polyethylene, and copolyester.
Glass…bottlesUP, Life Factory, Love Bottle, Takeya
- Metal…Earth Lust, Hydro Flask, Klean Kanteen
- Plastic…Fit & Fresh, GOBIEH20, Nalgene
In addition to the material that the bottle is made from, you also need to recognize how easy the bottle will be to both carry and to clean, how easy the bottle will be able to fill with ice cubes and water, what type of drinking valve the bottle has, how big the bottle is, and whether or not the bottle has a filter.
Another option would be a specially designed fruit infused water pitcher with an infusion chamber.
They work great, the large pitchers look fantastic on a dinner table and encourage your family to drink more water, and the travel bottles help keep you hydrated all day long.
You can refill the pitcher or travel bottle several times before it starts to lose flavor.
You can even eat the cucumber slices if you like, but discard your batch after 24 hours.
2. Decide when you want to drink your water. A few suggestions are…
- Before Meals...makes you feel full and helps you eat fewer calories.
- Certain parts of your daily routine—such as when you first get up, just before leaving the house, when you sit down to work, whenever you get up from your desk at work to take a bathroom break, after your brush your teeth in the morning, and right before you eat lunch.
- Hourly...ensures that your water quote is met by the end of the day.
- Morning…gives you more energy to face the day ahead.
3. Enlist other people to help you reach this goal.
4. Fill a larger pitcher or bottle with the amount of water you want to drink each day.
5. Invest in a filter.
6. Make your own carbonated water with the help of a home “seltzer” machine.
7. Use a straw so that you drink faster, and drink more at one time.
Cucumber Water…One way to make water a little less boring is to add fruit and veggies. The first one that we are going to consider is cucumber.
To make the perfect cucumber water, add 1/2″ slices of cucumber to your ice water. Top the cucumbers with more ice so they won’t float up to the top.
In addition to the cucumber, you could also add…
- herbs—such as tosemary or rhyme
Water-rich foods….One sneaky way to increase the amount of water you consume on a daily basis: eat your H2O. Addfruits and vegetables with a high water content to your grocery shopping list. Some top picks include cucumber (96% water), zucchini (95% water), watermelon (92% water), and grapefruit (91% water).
Spicy foods…Garnish your meal with chili flakes or fresh peppers and you’ll be reaching for more water in no time. Another benefit of adding heat? Some studies show that spicy food may help boost your metabolism.
Sparkling Water…Choose sparkllng or mineral water instead of Cokes…( yes, I am from the Deep South, so every single carbonated beverage know to man is referred to as Coke)…Sparkling or mineral water is just as good for your body as regular water…and much more interesting..
Other water-based beverages….Gee, both hot tea or unsweetened iced tea contain water. You could also reach your water goal for the day by drinking juice, lemonade, or iced coffee.
acne all purpose cleaners aromatherapy baking soda bath beauty cellulite cocoa colds dangerous ingredients detoxification dry skin brushing energy essential oils Exfoliation facial masks Featured flu gifts ginger green cleaning healthy beverages herbs immunity laundry lemons massage meditation natural beauty recipes natural skincare nutrition pumpkin salt scrubs skincare recipes smoothie spa treatments spa water spring stress reduction sunburns tea Vinegar water weight loss
1. Anti-Mold Spray and Bathroom Cleaner…Fill empty spray bottle at least half full with vinegar. Fill the rest of the spray bottle with water, leaving about a 1″ gap at the top of the bottle. Add 1tsp tea tree essential oil for every 1C vinegar/water solution.
To use, shake vigorously to combine the essential oils throughout the mixture. Generously spray on surfaces-showers, shower doors, walls, and tubs, etc-and do not wipe down.
2. Carpet Freshener…Fill a shaker about halfway with baking soda. Add ten drops essential oil. Do another layer of baking soda and essential oil. Mix well. Sprinkle over carpet and rugs, and then vacuum.
3. Daily Shower Cleaner…Mix together 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 tsp dish soap, and 1 Tbsp dishwasher rinse aid into a 24oz spray bottle. Fill the spray bottle the rest of the way with water.
The hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol work together to help keep mildew at bay, and the soap and rinse aid fight soap scum.
Hydrogen peroxide will break down in sunlight (which is why it’s sold in brown bottles). You can keep this spray in a dark bottle, or just store it in a dark cupboard between uses.
4. Floor Cleaner… Simply mix equal parts of white vinegar and hot water. Mop. There’s no need to rinse, and the vinegar smell dissipates once the floors have dried.
This floor cleaner works well on all floor types-sealed wood, tile, laminate and linoleum.
5. Glass Cleaner...Funnel 1 1/4 cups distilled water, 1/2 cup 80-proof vodka, and 1/4 cup white vinegar into a glass spray bottle. Add 8-10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Replace the nozzle. Shake well.
To use, spray on windows and mirrors, and then wipe with a soft microfiber cloth until dry.
6. Lavender Linen Spray...Combine 2Tbsp witch hazel or vodka and 10 drops lavender essential oil in a small jar with tight-fitting lid. Place the lid on tightly. Shake well for 15-20 seconds to combine the two.
Open the lid to the jar. Add 6Tbsp water. Replace the lid. Shake again for 15-20 seconds to combine.
Place the funnel in the opening of the spray bottle. Pour the mixture from the jar into the spray bottle. Replace the spray bottle lid.
Spray on your pillows, sheets, and blankets.
7. Room Freshener Spray…Stir together 1Tbsp baking soda and 10 drops essential oil. Put mixture into 16oz spray bottle. Top off with 2C distilled water. Label. Shake before each use.
Scent Combination Ideas…
1. 5 drops Peppermint, 5 drops Wild Orange
2. 5 drops Wild Orange, 3 drops Ginger, 3 drops Ylang Ylang
3. 4 drops Bergamot, 4 drops Lemon, 2 drops Peppermint
4. 4 drops Lemongrass, 3 drops Wild Orange, 2 drops Peppermint
8. Toilet Bombs…Stir together 1 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup citric acid. Add 25 drops peppermint essential oil and 10 drops tea tree/melaluca essential oil.
Place vinegar in spray bottle.Spritz baking soda mixture lightly with vinegar. Spritz and stir, then repeat until mixture sticks together when squeezed.
Press mixture firmly into a muffin tin or silicone molds. Allow to dry a few hours. Pop from mold. Store in a quart mason jar.
To use, toss one toilet bomb into the toilet bowl. Wait 15min. Swish with toilet brush. Flush.
9. Wood Floor Cleaner and Polish…Combine 1 gallon of hot water, 3/4 cup of olive oil! and 1/2 cup lemon juice. Apply it to your floors with a mop that you’ve wrung out fairly well. Let it dry on its own, without rinsing.
But are there actual tried-and-true ways to save money on those products you actually do use and love…and not waste money on products you will never use and might even hate…without losing that all-important Southern belle image?!
1. Know how much you are actually spending as compared to other similar products or sizes available in that particular product. Calculate how much a product costs per ounce/gram by dividing the product retail price by the number of ounces in the product.
2. Know what products have won awards, such as…
3. Know your skin…The most important step in caring for your skin is understanding your specific skin type. To figure your skin type, gently pat a blotting paper on the different areas of your face and hold the sheet up to the light. The five different skin types are…
- a. Combination Skin…Combination skin is the most common skin type since there are so many more sebaceous, or oil-producing, glands around our noses than other areas of our faces, but people with this skin type have a consistently oily T-zone with consistent dryness in other areas of the face, such as the cheeks.
- b. Dry Skin...Dry skin is characterized by small pores, an overall feeling of tightness, more visible lines, less elasticity and a duller complexion. Dry skin requires moisturizer throughout the day, especially when you first wake up or after you cleanse your face. Cleansing dry skin leaves it feeling taut and dehydrated.
- c. Normal Skin...Normal skin is not too dry and not too oily. Your skin usually has an even tone, a soft texture, and little flakiness. You may get an oily T-zone in hot weather, but generally this area is oil-free. People with normal skin will feel clean and clear after cleansing…and might still be in need of a little moisturizer, but will not need to apply moisturizer very often throughout the day as the skin stays fairly moisturized on its own.
- d. Oily Skin...Oily skin types tend to have larger pores, a shiny and thicker feeling complexion, frequent blackheads and pimples. Cleansing the face often and avoiding heavy creams and emollients help minimize the appearance of oil. Oily skin feels clean and oil-free after cleansing, but oil returns shortly after cleansing.
- e. Sensitive Skin...People with sensitive skin experience a low-level of discomfort-breakouts, rashes, red spots, stinging, swelling, flakiness, itching-at all times. People with sensitive skin have trouble finding products that do not irritate the skin and cause a reaction. Look for mild products without fragrance, harsh ingredients like alcohol and menthol, and harsh scrubbing agents such as crushed walnuts, pumice, and aluminum oxide crystals.
4. Know yourself...What kind of makeup wearer are you?
We apply makeup to help us project the image we want the world to see…as contrary as this may sound, to help us be “our true selves.”
Each of us has some sort of “beauty routine ritual” that really works for us as individuals….a routine or regimen that makes us feel fresh, grounded, whole and ready for the day…and propels us forward with confidence, grace and self-empowerment.
This image or “true self” will be individualistic, specific, and perhaps difficult to put into exact words…but each of us has an idea of the type of person she wants looking back at her whenever she takes the time to look in a mirror.
Knowing yourself and the image that you wish to project will help you define your personal needs and aproach both the world of beauty and the world of fashion from the proper perspective.
Starting to know yourself in this arena may be easier if you first understand the following five types of makeup wearers.
- a. The makeup hoarder ..The makeup hoarder is an informed customer who feels confident shopping for beauty products and probably has a huge stash, but is uncomfortable actually wearing it.
- b. The makeup junkie…The makeup junkie is an informed customer who feels very comfortable shopping for and wearing makeup…who reads the top makeup blogs regularly, watch Youtube videos, frequent makeup counters. She appreciates and owns good quality makeup products and brushes.
- c. The makeup know-it-all...The makeup know-it-all can be shown or told nothing that she haven’t seen or heard before.
- d. The makeup novice…The makeup novice is interested in, but also intimidated by makeup. She knows very little about applying makeup and has worn little to no makeup in her lifetime.
- e. The makeup wearer…The makeup wearer is an informed consumer who feels comfortable with her makeup and skincare routine. Although she has a general knowledge of makeup and skincare and wears makeup daily, she does not consider herself an expert.
- Focus…famous for their Mint Julep Masque
- Founded…in 1930
- Ingredients… ingredients like cocoa butter which is rich with vitamins and natural emollient properties, pomegranate oil for its antioxidant protection against the skin-aging effects of environment, and essential oils to help relax tired muscles and ease tension
- Mission…to provide a full line of affordable and effective body care products that are passed on from generation to generation
- Price Range…$7 for body lotion
- Availability…spas in Dallas and Plano, Texas
- Focus…effectively correcting every skin type’s concerns
- Founded…established in 1996 by celebrity esthetician, Renée Rouleau
- Mission…to help people maximize their skin’s potential with a propietary line of natural, high-performance products based on nine unique skin types
- Philosophy…that the skin care industry’s one-size-fits-all approach was not in-sync with what the modern client wants, or needs, in their pursuit of balanced, healthy skin
- Price Range…$46.50 for body serum
- Focus…famous for products like “Bee Venom” and “Dragon’s Blood”
- Price Range…$78 for body serum
- Founded…by Liz and Rachel, the daughters of Dr. Richard F. Edlich MD.PHD, world renowned Professor of Plastic Surgery
- Ingredients…extract of paracress, seaweed extracts, macadamia and desert date palm oils, glycerine
- Mission…to provide solutions that are as effective as possible for all skin types.
- Price Range…$78 for body serum
- Focus…using as few ingredients as possible, usually 5 or less per products
- Price Range…$20 for body oil
- Focus…offers sun care and nothing but sun care
- Founded…in memory of all of those who lost their lives to skin cancer
- Ingredients…only the best known physical block ingredient (non-nano size zinc oxide)
- Mission… to provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and super anti-oxidants and amino acids to enhance that protection and help with skin repair
- Philosophy… It doesn’t make sense to use these types of sunscreens to prevent skin cancer only to get another kind of cancer.
- Price Range…$24 for sunscreen
- Focus…Australia’s Number One Natural Skincare Brand
- Founded…in Melbourne, Australia in 2007
- Ingredients…the highest grade essential oils, antioxidants, and botanicals
- and 100% natural botanical extracts…naturally derived, cruelty free and vegan
- Mission…to provide high efficacy, environmentally sustainable and affordable natural skincare products that restore the natural vitality and radiance of your skin and hair
- Philosophy…producing the highest standards of natural skin, hair and body care products begins with sourcing quality ingredients
- Price Range…$14 for body lotion
- Focus…hempseed oil
- Founded…by Theresa Ruiz-Hellings and her daughters Elena and Juliet and formerly known as The Healing Seed
- Ingredients…100% natural, vegan, with no parabens, and no artificial colors or perfumes
- Mission…to nurture, heal and protect skin and hair with a complete line of products rich in virgin organic hempseed oil, the most nutritious oil on Earth
- Philosophy…From our families to yours, we wish you vibrant health for your most wonderful life!
- Price Range…$17 for body lotion
- Focus…based on the rituals of the Japanese geisha
- Founded…in Japan by Victoria Tsai
- Ingredients…complete list here
- Philosophy…less is more
- Price Range…$48 for body butter
10. Yes To
- Availability…Ulta, drugstores all over the world
- Focus…products in their carrot, blueberry, tomato, cucumber, and grapefruit ranges
- Ingredients..95% NATURAL INGREDIENTS…no parabens…packaged in recyclable packaging whenever possible.
- Mission…to make skin feel good while bringing a smile to your face
- Price Range..$13 for body lotion.