The FDA recommends 3-5 servings of vegetables a day and 2-4 servings of fruit. While the US Government may not be a reliable source for dietary recommendations, I think we can all agree that there is goodness in fruit and veggies. The health benefits are endless.
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can:
- prevent disease
- reverse disease
- lower cholesterol
- clear skin
- help you sleep
- add clarity
Even though we know how good fruit and vegetables are for us, it can be a challenge to eat enough of them throughout the day. Sometimes we are too busy and sometimes we would rather eat a less healthy option. Even as a vegetarian, I don’t always make the best food choices and know that I don’t eat enough of the good stuff.
Note: this post is not just for vegetarians. I’m not a doctor, and please check with yours if you have any concerns, but I think most of us will benefit from upping our fruit and veggie intake.
When was the last time you were consistently eating 5+ servings of fruits and veggies a day? While there is nothing easier than grabbing a piece of fruit, the most effective way to meet your daily quota is to juice and/or blend your fruits and veggies. I recently read Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet. She has an incredible cancer fighting story and I love her message…
Even if you aren’t fighting cancer or another disease, why not prevent future damage, increase your energy and start feeling and looking better right now?
I am a really picky eater so I get it if you think blending up a cucumber, avocado, banana and lettuce sounds terrible. I thought the same thing. Imagine my surprise when I found out that exact combination tastes like a banana. When making the same smoothie for my daughter, I added a few strawberries and raspberries so the drink was red instead of green and she loved it.
I am drinking about 24 oz of green juice 5 or 6 days a week and a smoothie 4 or 5 times a week, + other meals/snacks. By making my juice and smoothie the base of my diet, I am prioritizing fruits and veggies for maximum health. While I change things up occasionally, I’m typically enjoying the following recipes adapted from Crazy Sexy Diet.
- Handful of Romaine or Rainbow Chard
- Handful of Kale
- 3- 4 Handfuls of Baby Spinach
- 4 Fuji Apples
- 1 Lemon
- 1/2 Head Celery
- 1 Cucumber
- 1 Carrot
- 1 Yellow Pepper
Don’t worry about exact amounts. I use all organic produce and this is enough juice for 2 days.
- 1/2 avocado
- handful of romaine or spinach leaves
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup coconut water or apple juice
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
I don’t use ice in the smoothie, but instead, cut up and freeze banana chunks. While it’s best to use a 3:1 ratio (3 veggies to every 1 fruit), if you need something sweeter to start, add more fruit and slowly back it off. I think it’s easier to get used to the taste without the extra sweetener, but do what it takes to make it work for you.
What is the difference between juicing and blending?
For starters, you use a juicer for juicing and blender for blending. A juicer extracts all the fiber from your fruits and veggies and requires very little from your digestive system in getting nutrients and enzymes to the right places. A smoothie is made in the blender and combines the whole fruit and veggie with all of the fiber. Green juice gives you instant energy because your body doesn’t have to work for it and smoothies deliver the fiber your body needs.
If you have been thinking about cutting refined sugar and processed foods, or cutting back, instead add green juice and smoothies first. Green juice kills my sugar cravings and smoothies are filling enough to take away additional snack cravings. Instead of depriving yourself with another diet, start with a healthy base. It will make other changes so much easier.
To read more about the benefits of juicing and blending, equipment recommendations + awesome recipes, check out Crazy Sexy Diet and ask questions in the comment section below.