Ahh the new year is approaching…while many people strive to get healthier come 2016, there is always so much confusion of what to do to live your healthiest lifestyle and what changes are the best and easiest to make. In my opinion? Adding in a green juice or a green smoothie at least a few times a week is your best bet to feeling lighter and healthier! Most people don’t rack up the recommended amount of fruits and veggies daily, but enjoying this green smoothie is a sure-fire way to get all those good cancer-fighting, antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables in, and in the easiest and tastiest way possible!
Don’t have a juicer? No problem! You can always go to a local juice bar and get one of their green juices, as I did today due to a time crunch. (Plus my juicer is in Georgia and I’m still in lovely NC) Do have a juicer? Make a big batch of green juice on the weekend, bottle them up, and keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days to easily grab and go and make smoothies with. My favorite green blend? Kale, apple, orange, lemon, cucumber, and ginger. <— the perfect balance of veggies and fruit ♡
Juices alone are amazing, but I wanted to make this into a perfectly filling meal-replacement smoothie with added probiotic and antioxidant goodness. (Don’t know what those words mean? I’ll explain in a minute) A green smoothie has plenty of antioxidants, substances that can reverse oxidative damage, keeping your cells healthy. BUT juices lack fiber, which is vital to help keep you full and keep your digestive tract functioning smoothly. This means that if you try to lose a few pounds by just drinking juices, you will still be hungry since there’s no fiber, and may end up just caving and eating more.
Well, one is this whole food supplement pictured above, called Raw Reserve (original). This small packet contains only 25 calories, and is vegan and gluten free. What all is in it? Pure amazing nutrition. All organic wheat grass, barley grass, chlorella, spirulina, aloe vera, kelp, maca (a natural energy-booster), flax seed, chia seed, kale, dandelion, algae, cayenne, ginger, and nettle. PLUS over 25 billion probiotics. 25 billion! To put that into perspective, 1 container of regular greek yogurt contains about the same amount of probiotics, so this is a simple and smaller way (not to mention all the extra health benefits in it!) to get just as much.
Probiotics = healthy bacteria that fight off bad bacteria, keeping your gut healthy
Ever felt bloated after eating? Had too much gas? Or had random bouts of constipation or diarrhea? Regular consumption of probiotics can help your body avoid these issues. There are tons of bacteria swarming our bellies, but we need this type of good bacteria. Probiotics help decrease the bad bacteria and keep the good bacteria intact. This whole food supplement is a powder that you can add to water, juices, or smoothies. It’s got quite a punch of green earthy-taste, so I’d start with just 1/2 an individual packet at a time and work from there.
This is why I add it to smoothies rather than water, that way you can cover up some of the earthiness with fruit and stevia!
Especially after the holidays, it is common for your digestive tract to feel a bit… sluggish. Start consuming more probiotics and you can make sure you avoid those not-so-fun GI issues! Plus, studies have shown immune support and weight loss/weight management can also occur with probiotic consumption (especially in those who are obese) as well! And for people like me with a gluten or other food allergy, probiotics are essential. With inflammation and destruction in the GI tract after consumption of foods you’re intolerant too, probiotics are needed for repair.
One important thing with probiotics is that in order to reap their benefits, you must consume them regularly. Give yourself the gift of health and start taking probiotics regularly. Don’t like the idea of this powder? You can also get probiotics in yogurt (make sure it says it contains probiotics on the label!), probiotic supplements in pill or liquid form, kefir (similar to yogurt), kimchi, sour pickles, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, and even sourdough bread. Try eating these foods as well to keep that good bacteria in your system.
- 1 cup fresh-pressed green juice (if you have a juicer, add 3 large handfuls of kale, 1 apple, ½ lemon, 1 orange, small zest of fresh ginger)
- 1 scoop vanilla plant-based protein powder (I use Vega brand)
- ½ packet of Raw Reserve Original
- 1 medium banana
- 1 TBSP almond butter
- ¼ cup frozen berries
- 1 handful of ice
- 10 drops liquid stevia
- dash of cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- optional: small handful of fresh blueberries for topping
- Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender.
- Blend on high until all lumps are gone.
- Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!
This smoothie is filled with more healthy ingredients than you can count. It contains fruits (blueberries, banana, apple, orange, lemon), green vegetables and herbs (kale, wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa, dandelion, kelp, chlorella, spirulina), plant-based protein from the protein powder and nut butter, probiotics, and nutritionally-dense extras such as chia seeds, flax seeds, cayenne, ginger, maca, and aloe vera just to name a few. It really can’t get much better than this concoction.
Basically, this drink is a nutrition powerhouse!
Add it into your routine to feel healthier, lighter, and brighter this upcoming new year. Don’t have time to make or buy the juice? Simply replace the green juice with 1 cup coconut water, a large handful of spinach or kale, 1/4 of a cucumber, and some extra frozen berries! What really makes this smoothie pop is the Raw Reserve blend, found at my local Whole Foods store. You can also find it here. It also comes in berry, chocolate, and vanilla spice, perfect for all kinds of fun smoothie creations! You can buy it in a large container to scoop out of or in single serve packets.