Food Challenge Day #2: Drink a Green Smoothie!
Welcome to day 2 of the 5-Day #FitDad Challenge! Today we’re going to add smoothies to the mix.
How’s it going with no added sugar? I got a lot of great questions and comments about that – I know it’s tricky but you can do it!
Today we’re diving into GREENS! One of the easiest ways to get them in is by throwing them in the blender with other foods that I’ll be going over in this video for a convenient, on the go boost of energy!
(for your workout challenge video, scroll to the bottom)
Well, #1 most of us just don’t get enough greens in our body on a daily basis. If you haven’ t done your weekly food prep and you’re too busy to cook it’s easy to order take out or eat whatever is in the cupboard.
I’m guessing that your cupboard or fridge isn’t stocked with baby kale or spinach, micro greens and cucumbers – and if it is, cooking them can sometimes feel like a job at the end of a long day. But tossing them in the blender with some fruits and spices – is super quick and easy!
#2, green smoothies deliver a powerful dose of nutrients right into your body.
They contain all the healthy, natural fiber from the fruits and vegetables you blend, so you’ll digest slowly – keeping your blood sugar stable.
Juicing is also a great way to get the nutrients into your body, but it will eliminate the fiber. I consider both juicing and blending wonderful additions to a well-balanced eating plan but prefer blending.
The greens you want in a smoothie are any of the dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, swiss chard, collard greens, dandelion greens plus some fresh herbs like parsley or mint. You can also add vegetables like cucumber, celery or carrots. Rotate your greens on a regular basis, and for easier beginner smoothies, use baby greens (baby kale, baby spinach, etc).
I recommend no more than 2 fruits. I usually stick to fruits that are lower in sugar, so apples and blue berries usually end up in my green smoothies over mangoes and pineapple (tropical fruit is very sweet). There’s nothing wrong with the sweeter fruits though, just be mindful of your overall sugar intake for the day and you’ll be fine. For beginner smoothies, I recommend banana and blue berries, as they really taste good together, and as a general rule, use 1 tropical fruit with a berry or lower sugar fruit. If you don’t have fresh you can use frozen fruit I keep a bag in the freezer for emergencies
I use a Nutri Bullet blender. Those high-speed blenders are able to pulverize whatever you put in them down to the tiniest particle, creating smooth, creamy blends out of anything you put in them. Regular blenders may not create the best-textured green smoothies, but they will still get the job done.
chunk up your fruits and vegetables to even sized pieces before you add them
blend your greens with liquid first, then add fruit, protein powder or other additions
Be sure to always wash your fruits and veggies before you start – even the organic ones have been handled and transported, and it’s always best to be as mindful as possible.
When I’m traveling or run out of fresh greens, I go to my fallback superfood green juice powder, Organifi. It’s a wonderful tasting green juice (like a cold green minty tea). So good! No sweeteners, no weird stuff, just 11 superfoods blended up into a convenient green juice that you can take on the go. Sometimes I’ll even add a scoop to my green smoothie at home.
Speaking of tasty blends, here is my go to morning smoothie. You can also have this in the evening:
1 Cup of Spinach (ensure its washed)
1/2 Half Avocado (good fats)
1/2 Cup of Blueberries
1 Scoop of Protein powder
1/2 Cup of Kale
1 Teaspoon of Ceylon Cinnamon (good for controlling blood sugar)
1 Teaspoon of Almond Nut butter (good fats)
Fill up with a mixture of Water & Almond Milk (can also use coconut milk)
Below are some helpful guidelines you can use to build your own green smoothies. In The Busy Dad Program and ALL of my meal plans, I have custom green smoothie recipes for you each week to go with your healthy recipe guides, and I show you how to incorporate them easily.
1: greens – kale, chard, spinach, watercress, collards, bok choy PLUS consider adding herbs like mint, parsley
2: liquid – some smoothies I just add water, others I add almond milk – also good are hemp milk, coconut milk and other non-dairy milks – check labels for plain with no added sweetener.
(For a regular blender, I recommend blending at this stage to really get a nice even blend of your greens with the liquid before adding any more ingredients.)
3: proteins –protein powder
4: healthy fats – optional – a small amount goes so far to helping your cells perform their vital functions of using all of these nutrients in the greens – avocados, nuts and seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, nut oils and nut butters, MCT oil
5: specific superfoods – antioxidants, free-radical destroyers, immune boosters, alkiline/acidity balancers – citrus like lemon or lime, cinnamon, turmeric, ashwaghanda spices: fresh ginger, celeon cinnamon, nutmeg, cardomom, cacao powder
6: sweetness/flavor – fruit – antioxidants, fiber and keep blood sugar stable while still providing sweetness. I use berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries), apples, figs and sometimes bananas – avoiding the sweeter, tropical fruits for their higher glycemic index when I’m working towards a fitness goal
A smoothie can be a light meal or a meal “replacement” but it’s really best to just think about the ingredients all on a plate like a big salad. Would that salad be filling enough for a full meal? If not, treat it like an essential “light meal” that’s enabling you to get some important nutrients into your body.
I have a smoothie every day for a snack.
For smoothie recipes as a part of a complete healthy eating program, get a MEAL PLAN! All of my plans include smoothie recipes each week that work well together so you have variety and don’t break the bank buying too many special ingredients.
Hey Guys, you are DOING GREAT! Remember it’s ALL OR SOMETHING not ALL OR NOTHING – do YOUR best each day, and just focus on adding in what you can!
I have lost weight, I feel lighter, more energetic, more focused, needing less sleep, my cravings have reduced. I have found ways to improve or distract my craving moments. My knowledge and understanding around food and nutrition has improved immensely. I am training more consistently and I am enjoying my training better as I am seeing the best results I have seen on over 10 years. It is an all-round success and I am only in my third month. I have a big goal by Christmas and I am on track. I am now setting my goals for 2020 and beyond.- Damien Finnegan
I am so glad I started the program before this trip, so that I can make some good food choices, like swapping out sandwiches at lunch for Salads and in the evening changing pizza for fish dishes. From last week I felt my clothes fitting better and this week notice the extra energy levels. I’ve lost 5kg in the last two weeks!!!!.- Narinder Ruprai