Gardener Shape Up: Try A Green ‘Pick Me Up’

Well, it’s mid-week and if you are joining me for the 30 day ‘Gardener Shape Up – Being Mindful of Health,’ you might need an energizer to get over hump day.  Late afternoon is when I could use a boost and coincidentally it’s also when I might start to snack (the kids come home from school and snacks are flying around the kitchen).

I’ve found drinking a green smoothie this time of day helps hold the energy high and satisfies the desire to snack.

DSC_0019Here’s a combination I like because it tastes GOOD – very fresh, with a little zing!

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1/2 cup of broccoli (raw)
  • 1 orange (peeled)
  • 1 pear (cored, not peeled, unless you like)
  • 4 small dried figs (chopped)
  • the rind of 1 lemon
  • juice of one grapefruit (some pulp o.k. too)
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 3-4 ice cubes if you want it cold

This concoction is all about vitamin C and calcium.  The pear, orange, grapefruit, lemon rind, and broccoli all sport vitamin C as their number one nutrient. The spinach provides vitamin A and calcium and if you throw in a tablespoon of chia seeds or flax seeds, you get even more calcium along with good fiber and manganese.

Beyond all of this good stuff…you feel satisfied.  I mean think about it…if you sat down and ate  an entire orange, entire pear, 2 cups of spinach, 4 figs, 1/2 cup of broccoli and some juice, rind and seeds you would be FULL.  Actually, overfull and would likely not feel well.  But combining this into a creamy smoothie…well then, it’s just a glass of afternoon delight!

A quick note on blending.  If you are an owner of one of the high performance Vitamix or Blendtec blenders, making this smoothie will be a breeze and you probably have your own fantastic creations. Maybe you’d like to share one?  If not, no worries, most any blender can take on these ingredients.  However, I suggest chopping everything into small/medium size pieces, especially the figs as they are soft and sticky, before giving a whirl.  For the most smooth consistency, you may want to whirl several times, depending on the horsepower of your blender.

A quick note if you’re just ‘not a green smoothie person.’    If you’ve tried the juicing/smoothie thing and it’s just not for you…  Say your best afternoon ‘pick me up’ is the classic cup of joe, then by all means go ahead.   Recent studies show caffeine is likely not the serious diuretic we all thought it was and furthermore it can help improve memory!  Check it out!

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Seriously, don’t feel guilty about sticking with the classics but maybe think twice before reaching for the afternoon pastry!? 🙂

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