‘Eat your greens!’ We’ve all heard it at some stage in our lives, but to most people it is just a figure of speech with no real meaning. When it comes to dietary and weight loss advice, a figure of speech like this is just another theory that can be lost in a world of contradictions.
Dark green leafy vegetables are a nutritional powerhouse and should be known as ‘super foods’. They have the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich in all the minerals and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients that help protect us against cell damage and can protect our eyes from age related problems amongst other things.
I discovered there was a very easy and effective way to include Greens into my diet- Green smoothies! And because I am a gung-ho ‘all or nothing’ sort of person, I decided to start with 3 smoothies per day. I went to my local organic health food shop and stocked up on bunches of kale, spinach leaves and living broccoli sprouts. I added to this a few other ingredients to sweeten things up a bit: fruits, organic cocoa powder and oat milk.
At first I noticed symptoms of detoxing which went on for the first couple of days. But then after day 4 of having 3 smoothies per day loaded with my organic green leaves, I started to feel good- really good! And In the weeks that followed, I noticed many changes. I no longer had cravings for sugar or urge’s to over eat. I had conquered the ‘food fight’. I had more energy and even found myself wide-awake and waiting for the alarm to go off at 5 am. I felt clear headed, happier and became more productive throughout the day. My need for caffeine had disappeared. The whites of my eyes were bright. My skin had a healthy glow and best of all, I was 3 kg’s lighter on the scales after just 2 weeks. (I wasn’t even expecting to lose weight, although of course I am not complaining!).
Eating your greens in the form of smoothies has many benefits:
- Green smoothies are easy to make
- You will be surprised at how tasty the can be!
- They are raw, and the cells of the vegetables are ruptured during the blending process so they are of highest nutritional value and the nutrients are readily absorbed into your body to be effectively utilised
- Unlike juices, the fibre remains intact
- By drinking 2-3 green smoothies every day, you will consume enough greens to nourish your body and receive all the associated benefits
- You will not feel the need to eat so much and you will even end up eating less
- When you consume your greens as smoothies, you can reduce the amounts of oil, salt and other flavour enhancements that are often used in the process of cooking
Greens also help you to lose weight because they are low in calories, high in volume and dam good for you! In a nutshell, they will fill you up while leaving less room on your stomach and meals in your day for the bad stuff. And you won’t have consumed fat, calories, salt and excess sugar.
I have also discovered that Greens help control food cravings and stop the food addiction cycle. Food cravings and the need for food, comes from your body not getting the right nutrients and nutritional support it needs. By consuming enough Greens, your body gets everything it needs and more, enabling craving issues to subside and allowing you to develop a healthy relationship with food.
So, start experimenting with Green Smoothies today. Rediscover a new way of living and providing fuel for your body. Here are three of my favourite recipes.
Hayley’s Green Smoothie Recipes:
1) Chocolate delight: organic spinach, kale and sprouts, 2 fresh figs, almond or oat milk, teaspoon of organic cocoa powder and 6-8 hazelnuts
2) Apple tree: organic spinach, kale and sprouts, 1 x apple, fresh lemon juice to taste, a teaspoon of honey and water
3) Coconut goodness: organic spinach and sprouts, coconut water (fresh from the coconut), 6 almonds, and half a fresh or frozen mango