A healthy practice for the new year: make a daily green smoothie

The end of the old year and the beginning of the new is often a good time for reflection: a chance to take stock of where we are, and to evaluate what changes we may wish to make in how we live our lives. For anyone looking to turbocharge their wellness, may I offer a simple suggestion?

Drink a green smoothie or juice every day.

There is really nothing better for your health than building your diet around greens, especially the dark leafy kind. Kale, chard, spinach, collard, mustard greens and plenty more — they’re wonderful for you, packed with vitamins, minerals and so much more that your body needs to thrive. Greens are like the premium gas you put in a high-end car.

But, many people aren’t wild about eating them. Even those of us who know how important greens are for health often prefer to dress them up in salads or relegate them to side dish status at dinner. They’re certainly an acquired taste, and that can make it hard to actually eat enough to really get the benefits.

Green smoothies (or juices if you have a juicer) are a great way to increase your greens intake. You can pack in a ton of greens to a single smoothie, and blending the greens actually makes it easier for your body to digest them. Plus, green smoothies taste great!

I suggest making one for breakfast in the morning. If you have a fridge full of fresh greens, the whole process only takes a few minutes, and the reward is significant: you get a boost of energy and feel better throughout the day. 

One important note: I highly recommend using a high-powered blender like a Vitamix. They’re more expensive than a typical blender, but are worth every penny. The blades of the Vitamix actually cut through the walls of the cells that make up the greens, pulverizing them. This ensures easy digestion.

Start off the new year green!

Green Kale Smoothie

1 banana
6 pieces frozen pineapple
1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries
1/2 bunch kale (curly, Tuscan, or red) 
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1/2 inch fresh ginger, sliced (no need to peel)

Strip the kale leaves from the stems. Place all ingredients in blender. Add filtered water plus unsweetened almond or other nut milk to fill about half of the container. Blend until smooth. 

Makes 2 smoothies.