Mean Green Machine – Sweet And Savory, Salads And Smoothies
Protein, it’s an essential building block for all of our cells. Without it, the health of a cell will rapidly deplete and weaken, hastening the aging process and creating an environment within the body that’s ideal for illness and disease. The secret to longevity and eternal youth begins with protein.
Surely you’ve met someone that’s tried a high protein/low carb diet. Maybe you’ve tried such a diet yourself, thinking of how great life will be when dining on nothing but bacon and juicy steaks. A meaty diet gets old after a while, and no wonder, considering it takes three whole days for meat to pass through your digestive track.
Plants contain protein, too. Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach and swiss chard are fantastic sources of essential vitamins, minerals, folates and protein. Nuts and seeds are another great source of protein, just make sure to soak raw nuts and seeds overnight to make them easier to digest. A recommended amount of a pound of greens per day may seem like a daunting amount, but this is easily managed in the form of salads, soups, juices and smoothies.
Tasty Ways To Sneak in Some Greens
- Basil Boats – My boyfriend requests these tasty treats every time I come home with a large avocado. Little more than a spoonful of simple guacamole (diced avocado, splash of lemon juice, and a dash of sea salt) served on a large leaf of basil, the combination is creamy, refreshing and satisfying.
- Green Goddess – Some people just don’t care for kale, until they try it in this tasty smoothie. Maybe it’s the bright green color that they find so alluring, or perhaps the fact that it tastes anything but green, even though it’s packed full of healthy foliage. Giant handfuls of kale and spinach make up the bulk of this tasty drink, but it’s the addition of pear and a dash of honey that make this treat so sweet.
- Blended Salad – I love a giant salad, especially one that’s topped with all kinds of goodies like apple slices, cashews, beets, sprouts, and on and on. Trouble is, I usually get tired of all that chewing, leaving all the healthy greens behind on my plate. Now I toss all of my salad favorites into my Vitamix and whip them into a smoothie. Additions like cashews and flaxseeds make the texture more creamy and decadent. Throwing in fruit will make this blended salad more sweet, and more veggies will make it more robust. Don’t be afraid to play around with spices, like cinnamon and cumin, as well.
- Savory Sippy Soup – Similar to a blended salad, the sippy soup is a raw version of a warm,soothing entree. Cooking food over 120 degrees tends to break down the essential vitamins and nutrients, by making a raw soup in the blender you maintain all of the flavor and health benefits. Bring a pot of water to boiling, then set it aside for five minutes. In a blender add tomatoes, onion, garlic, bell peppers, spinach, kale and your preference of veggies and spices. Add hot water to your desired consistency and enjoy.
- Avo-Cocoa Smoothie – Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet as well, especially the good fats found in avocados and coconut oil. Super ripe avocados may not have much flavor, but they have this incredible creaminess that lends itself well to decadent desserts. Smash up some really ripe avocado and add that to a blender along with some ground, raw cacao nibs, some agave nectar, coconut oil, and coconut milk (almond milk is good too). Blend till smooth and enjoy.
When it comes to the ideal fuel to keep your body feeling healthy and thriving, fresh is always best. I like to buy my fruits and vegetables from local farmer’s markets, not only because I can learn something about how the food was grown (no poisons, please!), but also because the price per pound tends to be much better than the local grocery store.
I never worry about my bulk produce going bad before I get around to using it, either. If I don’t have time to turn my papayas and turmeric into a natural skin care remedy or a salad dressing, then it just goes back to earth in my compost pile.