It’s monthly challenge time! We will start off 2014 with a 14 day Green Smoothie Cleanse.
What are green smoothies? A green smoothie is a smoothie that has fresh leafy greens in it, such as collard greens, kale, swiss chard or spinach. This is in addition to the most common smoothie ingredient: fruit of all kinds! You can also use various vegetables, fresh green herbs, nut milks, unsweetened protein powder, yogurt, raw nuts, coconut oil, seeds (chia, flax), and more!
OUR GOAL FOR JANUARY: We will use green smoothies for meal replacement and to give our bodies a rest from processed, chemical filled foods. We will take this time to replace the foods we should not be eating with healthy green smoothies. Give your digestion a rest, detoxify, experience more energy, and get control of your eating habits.
Option 1: If you really need to let go of some foods that you are addicted to, I suggest this plan.
- Week 1 – Green smoothies, water and herbal tea only. Smoothies should be 24 to 32 oz to replace a meal. It is fine to add natural, unsweetened protein powder to your smoothies. Drink as many smoothies as you want. The goal is for you to be full. I’d suggest 3-4 smoothies per day. If you feel hungry…have a smoothie.
- Week 2 – 2 green smoothies and 1-2 healthy, clean meals a day. You can also have healthy snacks.*
| *Snacks: If you feel very hungry between meals you can have these snacks|
- 2 Weeks of replacing 1-2 meals with a 24 – 32 oz green smoothie. For example, you could replace breakfast with a smoothie and then eat a healthy lunch and dinner. The goal is for you to be as full as you would be with your regular meals so you will likely drink more than the minimum 24 oz. You can extend this option for the whole month of January if you like.
Try going GREEN: Green smoothies are powerhouses of nutrients and enzymes. The key ingredient that makes these smoothies so powerful: leafy greens! Leafy greens in our smoothies give us:
- lots of chlorophyll. This helps to purify our blood, enhance our immune system, reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and rejuvenate the body.
- lots of fiber, which helps improve digestion & keep you regular. Being regular is KEY to detoxing the body. Fiber also helps the liver, kidneys, and gallbladder.
- Buy organic fruits and veggies, if you can, to cut down on contact with chemical pesticides.
| Suggested Greens|
Medical Disclaimer: If you have a chronic health issue, diabetes, are pregnant, breast feeding or have blood sugar issues, this is not the challenge for you to try without talking with a doctor first. Speak with your doctor before engaging in ANY eating plan where you drastically change your eating habits. Also, If you are on a low carb diet, you may not be able to work smoothies into your daily food goals in terms of carb load.
STAY ACCOUNTABLE EACH WEEK – Check in each weekend in January to tell the BWLW sisterhood how you are doing and to get support. Visit blackwomenlosingweight.com to check in via your blog there or post a status message on our Facebook wall.
Example: Daily Diet of Just Smoothies
Meal #1 — Green smoothie composed of 2 bananas, 1 cup of blueberries, 100 grams of greens.
Meal #2 — Green smoothie composed of 2 mangoes, 1 banana, 100 grams of greens.
Meal #3 — Green smoothie composed of 4 cups of frozen fruit and 150 grams of greens.
Meal #4 — Green smoothie composed of 2 bananas, 1 apple, 1 cup of blueberries and 100 grams of greens.
Total: Approx. 1200 calories, and 1 pound of greens.
I will also be posting a new green smoothie recipe each day of January on Facebook so that you have a lot of options to try. I’ll post some here on the blog as well. There are tons of websites where you can find great recipes that include the ingredients you like. Here are a few links:
- Dr Oz’s Detox Smoothies
- 3 of my favorite recipes
- 3 great basic recipes
- Tons of Recipes and photos – Simple Green Smoothies
- Food Network’s Green Smoothie Recipes
- Real Simple Magazine’s recipes
Check out my Green Smoothie Book for more info and recipe ideas! I’ve personally bought a lot of smoothie books over the years and I can tell you that this book is packed with not only 80 great recipes, but tons of information on how green smoothies can boost your health and wellness and well as your weight loss efforts. Click here for more information on what you’ll learn in this book. It’s available as a PDF download and Amazon Kindle.
- Do I have to buy the book above to participate in the challenge? No. There is a lot of information out there on green smoothies. I’ve just created an all in one guide and done the research for you.
- Do I need a blender? You will need a blender for this challenge. There is no need to get a new blender if you have a working one. If you want to invest in a good blender, I personally like NutriBullet or Vitamix. Both will really grinds down the greens and heavy ingredients you’re using in your green smoothies. If you are looking for a good cheap blender, go with those that do a good job with ice. Also, do some research online before purchasing a blender if you have questions about your potential purchase. I cover blenders more in depth in my book.
- I have concerns about sugar and eating fruit. If you have diabetes or blood sugar issues, you should not do this cleanse with out clearing it with your doctor. Everyone’s situation is different, but it’s best to error on the side of safety. If you are just worried about fruit sugars, I suggest you try low Glycemic Index fruits – green apples, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, tomatoes, or cucumbers.
- Can I use protein powder? – Yes, but you need to know what is in it, how many calories it has and how much nutrition you are getting. There are some great plant-based powders out there that you could consider. Utimately, you won’t need them because greens have a lot of protein. Also, most of the recipes I recommend will not have protein powder in them.
- What if I’m on a plan where I’m eating 5-6 small meals per day? – You can still substitute meals for smoothies. However, you have to know how much food/nutrition you are replacing. For example: You want to determine if 2 of your small meals could equal 1 smoothie in terms of calories, fiber, vitamins, etc. You will need to do some research to determine what will work with your current plan. Use a calorie counting website to help you figure all this out, like myfitnesspal.com
- Instead of water can you use 100% fruit juice or soy milk? – I suggest that you use filtered or purified water in your smoothies. Bottled juice, even 100% pure is lacking in enzymes and can be very high in fruit sugar. Many times it also has preservatives added. Also most commercial juice lacks fiber, causing the body to absorb it quickly. This can create unwanted blood sugar spikes. Nut milks like soy milk can be used. Look for ones that are unsweetened and all natural.
- What detox symptoms should I expect? – While participating in the challenge some of you may experience a cleansing reaction. This will be more common if most of your diet is vegetarian or vegan, but when ever you dramatically clean up your diet…detox can happen. When you introduce large amounts of high quality, living food into your diet, your body may take the opportunity to “clean house” by dumping accumulated toxins into your bloodstream. This can cause flu like symptoms, headaches, fevers, runny nose, rashes, nausea etc. Don’t be put off by this. Your body is cleaning house and fat is on that list as well. These detox symptoms may last 1-5days. The best thing to do is to drink a lot of pure water and get extra rest. Also, you may constipation or have loose stools as part of detox symptoms. If you feel sick, stop and go back to regular healthy eating.