What are Green Smoothies?

Green-smoothieGreen smoothies are dark green leafy vegetables blended with fruits and a liquid to form a smoothie. These smoothies are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, phytonutrients and antioxidants. They are quick and easy to make and are a fantastic way of increasing your consumption of greens, as you are consuming about 1 – 2 cups of leafy greens in a smoothie. Who can eat two cups of greens in the form of a salad?

How do I make a green smoothie?

All you need is a blender, ideally a high speed one.  We use our Vita-mix blender or the Tribest blender (pictured).  A chopping board and knife.

  • In the blender tightly pack 1 cup of your dark green leafy vegetables like:IMG_2193
    •  spinach
    • kale
    • bok choy
    • swiss chard
    • romaine lettuce
    • baby spinach
  • Add 1 cup of your liquid
    • water
    • Thai coconut water (my favourite liquid)
    • nut milk
  • Blend until smooth. If you do not have a Vita-mix then cut your green leafy veg into smaller bits and push the pulse button to blend
  • Add 1 -2 cups of seasonal ripe fruitFrozen-green-smoothies
    • banana
    • mango
    • pineapple
    • peaches or apricots
    • apple
    • pear
    • orange
    • berries
    • avocado
  • Blend again until smooth
  • If you would like to super charge it then you can add one of the following and blend again
    • cinnamon
    • goji berries
    • coconut oil
    • almond butter
    • maca powder
    • mesquite powder
  • Pour into your favourite drinking vessel and enjoy

Green-smoothie-ingredientsBenefits of consuming green smoothies

When I first started consuming green smoothies I found I had more energy through out the day, my craving for chocolate reduced, I had more focus and clarity and I slept better. Over time I have found that I also require less sleep now. The kids enjoy green smoothies and we will make icey poles out of the left over green smoothies to be enjoyed later.

Some of the other benefits people have experienced is more vitality, feeling happier, weight lose and clearer skin.

Ten Benefit’s of Green Smoothies (by Victoria Boutenko ‘12 Steps to Raw Foods‘)

  1. Green smoothies are very nutritious.  I recommend starting with about 60% ripe organic fruit mixed with about 40% organic greens and slowly changing towards 60% greens and 40% fruit.
  2. Green smoothies are easy to digest.  When blended well, most of the cell walls in the greens and fruits are ruptured, making the valuable nutrients easy for the body to assimilate. Green smoothies literally start to get absorbed in your mouth.
  3. Green smoothies, as opposed to juices, are a complete food because they still have the fiber.  Consuming fiber is important for elimination via the gastrointestinal tract.
  4. Green smoothies are among the most palatable dishes for humans of all ages.  Fruit taste dominates the flavour, yet the greens balance out the sweetness of the fruit and add a nice zest.  People who eat a standard American diet enjoy the taste of green smoothies.  They are usually quite surprised that something so green can taste so nice.
  5. Green smoothies are chlorophyll-rich.  A molecule of chlorophyll closely resembles a molecule of human blood. According to teachings of Dr. Ann Wigmore, consuming chlorophyll is like receiving a healthy blood transfusion.  Many people do not consume enough greens, even those who stay on a raw-food diet.  By drinking two to three cups of green smoothies daily, you will consume enough greens to nourish your body; and all of the beneficial nutrients will  be well absorbed and assimilated.
  6. Green smoothies are easy to make and quick to clean up after. In contrast, juicing greens is time-consuming, messy and expensive. Many people abandon drinking green juices on a regular basis for these reason. To prepare a pitcher of green smoothies takes less than five minutes, including cleaning.
  7. Green smoothies are loved by children of all ages, including babies of six or more months old. Of course, you have to be careful and slowly increase the amount of smoothie so that the infant’s or child’s body can get used to the high nutrition in liquid form.
  8. When consuming your greens in the form of green smoothies, you are greatly reducing the consumption of oils and salt in our diet.
  9. Regular consumption of green smoothies forms a good habit of eating greens. After a few weeks of drinking green smoothies, most people start to crave and enjoy eating more greens. Eating enough greens is ofter a problem with many people, especially children.
  10. While fresh is always best, green smoothies will keep in cool temperatures for up to three days, which can be handy at work and while traveling.

Would you like to join me in my 14 day Green Smoothie Challenge?  It starts 14th October. To register click HERE

What are Vision Boards?

Vision-BoardVision Boards, also known as Treasure Maps, Dream Boards or Vision Maps are a collage of different pictures, words, affirmations and images of what you would like to achieve in your future, your dreams, and what makes you happy.

The images and words on the Vision Board helps you stay focused on where you want to go and what you want to achieve. It can help to motivate you, stay positive and inspire you towards your goals especially in the times when you are facing challenges.  It can assist you to visualise these goals or dreams as if they have manifested.  By focusing on what you want to achieve and where you want to be, you are tapping into the Law of Attraction, the belief that ‘like thoughts attract like thoughts’.

To make a Vision Board decide if you want to focus on an area of life or the ‘whole’ you encompassing many areas of your life.  As with Goal Setting, here are some suggestions:

  • RelationshipsVision-Board-Business
  • Home Environment
  • Physical Activity
  • Education
  • Career
  • Finances
  • Creativity
  • Health
  • Spirituality
  • Social Life

Once you have decided what area you would like to focus on:

  1. Collect images and pictures that relate to that area.  These can be found in magazines, books, photographs and the internet.  These images need to inspire you and create the feelings you wish to experience when you have achieved your goal or dreams, like excitement and joy.
  2. Collect words or affirmations that also relate to the area you wish to focus on.
  3. Initially lay out the images, words or affirmations onto a board.  Ensure that each piece is where you would like it to be and that it fits with the other pieces on the board.  Take your time with this.
  4. Once you are happy with the layout.  Glue or pin the images, words and affirmations onto a board.
  5. Hang your Vision Board in a place where you will see it every day.
  6. At least once a day spend time looking at the images, saying the affirmations, and feeling what it will be like when you achieve your goal or dream.

Vision-Board-personalVision Boards are great tools to use in conjunction with setting goals. They are a visual representation of what it is that you wish to achieve and brings in the creative aspect of your brain.  Once you have achieved your goal or the Vision Board does not inspire you then create another Vision Board.

I have used Vision Boards for a number of years and enjoy the process of creating a visual collage of my goals and dreams. As mentioned earlier the Vision Boards can be general or be very specific.  The top picture is a Vision Board I created a few years ago and looked at a number of areas of my life (health, fitness, my children, my relationship, joy etc).  The other two pictures are of more recent Vision Boards each one looking at a specific area of my life.  Vision Boards can be abstract like the one I have done for myself or more tangible like the one I am working on for a holiday to France and so I have pictures of places and experiences that I wish to have while in France. There is no right or wrong way to do a Vision Board as long as it inspires you and the images, words or affirmations resonate with you.

Have you used Vision Boards before?  What has your experience been?

In good health, Vicki

A sore throat treat

Last week both my children where sick and my son had a very sore throat.  Like anyone who has had a sore throat all he wanted to eat was something that soothed the throat. When I was a child mum would give me ice cream.  A child’s fantasy to eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I also wanted my son to have something that was nutritious and not just full of sugar.  So I was inspired by Quirky Cooking Cookbook and her Raw Chocolate Semifreddo and came up with this.Raw-Kale-Semifreddo

Raw Green Semifreddo
Ingredients

  • 150 g cashews, soaked for 4 hours
  • 1 Tbsp goji berries, soaked for 1 hour
  • 350g frozen mango pieces
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 – 6 kale leaves
  • 1 avocado, peeled, stoned, cut into pieces and frozen

Directions

  1. In a food processor combine kale leaves and the drained cashews.  Blend until smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth
  3. Serve.

Due to the frozen mango pieces no sugar is required.  My son did look at the green ‘ice cream’ with hesitation but once he tried it, it was gone. I told the kids that they could have the leftovers for breakfast the next morning.  “We are having ice cream for breakfast tomorrow” was what they excitedly told my partner.

You don’t have to wait for a sore throat to try this!  Let me know what you think.

In good health, Vicki