Getting Started with Drinking Green Smoothies
In my early twenties I was quite active. I played basketball with friends, loved to swim, and work was physically demanding. The one thing I failed to do however was eat well. In fact, I probably ate fast food at least once per day. A vegetable was something I rarely put in my body.
I remained “fit” in my mind as I wasn’t gaining any weight and I was able to do all the things I loved like play basketball, golf, swim, and other physical activities. I didn’t realize the importance of a healthy diet in addition to being active.
As I approached my thirties, I started to pack on a few pounds here and there. I was no longer as active, and I was working an office job where I was pretty much just sitting all day. I was also attending school full time in the evenings. This busy and sedentary lifestyle was catching up with me. Though I had become a bit more educated about eating healthier, I still frequented fast food chains because I felt it was a necessary solution to my busy lifestyle.
In my mid thirties I developed hypothyroidism. A few years later it was discovered that I had a pituitary tumor. The life I had been living was now reflecting on my physical health.
I turned to the internet in hopes of finding an immediate solution. I wanted to eat something healthy and expect results right away. Of course it doesn’t work like that and I became a bit discouraged.
When I finally decided to make necessary changes to my lifestyle, one of the things I started doing was to drink green smoothies. At first I didn’t care for the texture much and I had to experiment with a variety of fruits and vegetables until I got the right mixture and the right texture.
Green smoothies seemed like a great way to compliment my busy lifestyle as well as offering me a healthy alternative to fast food. I’ve had a few struggles that I’ll share, but I will tell you that now I drink one to two green smoothies a day and I have lost over 60 lbs since I made small changes to how and why I eat.
Getting Full off of Smoothies
I don’t know about you but when I eat I like to feel full. If I don’t get full I will keep eating. This is a mindset that was probably instilled in me since early childhood. However, it is the wrong way to look at food.
We eat food as a source of fuel. Yes we want it to be tasty and fulfilling, but do we really require that full feeling? I mean, do our bodies require the amount of calories we feed it daily?
The body adapts. When it’s used to receiving a certain amount of food it gets used to that so when it gets less food you don’t feel satisfied at first. But as you keep moving torwards eating the amount of calories you are supposed to, the stomach shrinks and you become fuller easier.
So in the beginning I was always hungry. I would eat a green smoothie and an hour later I would want something else, something with substance. I wanted a burger!
I knew that if I gave in to the burger I would never lose the weight I needed to. What I did involved having a plan. I would cut up some carrots, an apple, and maybe take a small amount of raisins to work with me in addition to my green smoothie. When I had drank my smoothie and still didn’t feel satisfied I would snack every half hour or so. By doing this I gained that full sensation and I was still not consuming half of the calories I was when I was eating fast food.
That’s something way cool about vegetables and fruits (most fruits). You can eat as much as you want. If you need to have that full feeling, eat more vegetables and fruits. So that’s what I did. Instead of making a 32 oz. green smoothie I would make a gallon! Seriously, and I would take it to work and put it in a refrigerator. Any time I got hungry I would just go pour myself a cup.
For dinner I would eat whatever I wanted at first. I figured I deserved it. But my body was now craving vegetables and fruits and whenever I would eat something heavy or greasy for dinner I would feel awful!
My body was transforming and adapting to the fuel I was providing it with. Now my dinners usually consist of a piece of salmon or chicken, a salad with olive oil, garlic, and lemon for dressing, and sliced mangos or a banana for desert!
I can’t provide you with the motivation to want to make a lifestyle change. That is something you have to find within yourself just as I did. It’s not easy. There are going to be tough days. But I promise you it gets easier and you will wonder how you ever ate any other way!
I hope my thoughts on getting and staying full was helpful. I know a lot of people intake extra calories for various reasons. Some are emotional eaters while others eat because they are bored. Either way, keeping a stash of fresh fruits and veggies to snack on throughout the day is how I got through the first few weeks.
Although I experimented with various fruits and vegetables, I found a recipe that works for me. Occasionally I’ll change it up, but for the most part I drink the same kind of smoothie every day. I know that can get boring for some people, but I seriously crave it and never get tired of it!
My Green Smoothie Recipe
I shouldn’t really call this a green smoothie recipe; this is just a list of ingredients I use. Like I said, sometimes I mix it up, but overall it’s pretty consistent.
The ingredients I use are two to three handfuls of greens (usually spinach or kale or a combination of both, I also use arugula sometimes), six strawberries, a half a cup of frozen blueberries, one banana, and one apple.
I throw all these ingredients into my ninja blender and add 5 cups of water or 4 cups of coconut milk (if I have it, it can get quite expensive so I usually use water). I blend everything up and then pour it into my gallon jug to take to work.
Other ingredients I might use sometimes include a variety of frozen fruits, fresh mangos, fresh berries (when they are cheap), ginger root, and a variety of greens. You might want to experiment with different liquids, I prefer coconut milk. Also, you should experiment with the amount of ingredients to liquids. Texture is important to me and some people like it almost liquefied while others prefer a thicker smoothie.
If you’re struggling with weight issues or health issues, changing your diet and lifestyle can help you see results fast. I am so grateful to have lost weight but I still have a long way to go. It’s now just something I do on a daily basis and not like I’m on a diet, it’s just the way I eat now period.