If you want a healthy body, begin your day with a hydrating green smoothie!
I’m not talking about one of those heavy gunky shakes that became popular a few years back. I’m talking about a light drink that supplies your body with water, lemon juice, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
This drink came into being while we were living in Kuwait. The locals drank mint lemonade that was way too sweet for me, so I made my own. Instead of the ton of sugar they used, I added a little RAW honey. A few weeks later they offered me a cucumber lemonade. I went home and added a chunk of cucumber to my recipe, and WALLA! My hydrating green smoothie was born.
Over the two years we lived there I experimented with various greens and other fruits. One winter during cold season I tossed in a nice chunk of ginger. We liked the bite, so ginger became a regular part of our drink, but the base remains the same.
- Fresh lemon
- Fresh greens
- Fresh cucumber
- Liter (quart) of water
WHY a hydrating green smoothie instead of coffee or tea first thing in the morning?
You’ve been asleep for at least 8 hours, and your body has been busy pulling fluids out from between your tissues. Your body is dried out and ready to rehydrate. Coffee and tea are diuretics, they make you pee. You need to rehydrate before you reach for the caffeine.
The lemon is full of vitamin C to boost the immune system. Lemon juice helps neutralize your blood, wakes up your liver and stimulates stomach acids.
Greens are full of nutrients that you need, but let’s face it, don’t get enough of. These nutrients help boost your memory, support eye health, work as probiotics in your gut, make your skin glow and support a healthy nervous system.
Greens to consider are parsley, cilantro, baby spinach, kale, lambs´ lettuce, swiss chard, beet greens (you will have a brown smoothie if you use beet greens), and mint.
Cucumber is mainly water wrapped in a green skin and carries vitamins and minerals, especially silica. Silica is a big component of hair, nails and skin.
When you make your smoothie keep it LITE! The whole point to this drink is to get things moving in your body. If your smoothie is so thick that you can’t drink it like you do water, you have too much stuff in it. Back off on the extras or add tons of water.
Extras to consider:
Ginger: anti-inflammatory, regulates blood sugar, fights infections and colds.
WARNING: Ginger is spicy. Begin with a little and work your way up until you find the amount that’s right for you.
Fruit: Best choices are those high in fiber and low in sugar
First choices: pear, apple, grapefruit, berries
Good choices: kiwi, mango, persimmon
If you’re working out and need a boost to get through add a LITTLE of these: banana or avocado
Sweeteners: ONLY USE A LITTLE
If your smoothie tastes sweet instead of tart you have used too much sweetener. Usually, a little fruit will be enough to take the edge off of the lemon. This drink it to kick start your day, not a dessert to drag you down.
RAW honey: is unpasteurized and retains many healthful benefits – antioxidants, antibacterial and antifungal properties, and it helps prevent pollen allergies (choose local honey)
Fresh or dried dates: Unless you live in a country where dates are grown you will have to settle for the dried version. 3-4 dates, depending on size should be adequate. BE SURE TO REMOVE THE PITS before using. Health benefits: lots of minerals, high in fiber and antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory.
The bottom line is that starting your day well hydrated, with loads of vitamins, minerals and fiber, makes you feel virtuous. If you drink the entire smoothie over the course of the morning you will have begun your day with two servings of fruit and a serving of greens, something your body will thank you for!
Give yourself permission to try something new, even if it isn’t easy.
Give yourself permission to enjoy something that isn`t sweet.
Appreciate yourself for taking care of you.