#MenuMonday: More Health, Less Waste

The Smoothie: Fruits & Veggies Made Easy

“Eat your veggies!” Mom says, while staring at the green strands on your plate. In response, you roll your eyes and sigh. 

This childhood memory rings all too true for many of us, but now, as grown ups, it has been settled that Mom does in fact know best. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that the average adult get 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables every day. However, the average American only consumes 1-2 servings of fruits AND vegetables a day.

Why is this statistic so low in comparison to what is recommended by the USDA?

Some may argue that Americans are the busiest people in the world, and there isn’t enough time in a day to prepare meals with the right serving sizes of vegetables and fruit. That‘s true! Data shows that each week, the average adult American works approximately 34.4 hours and that number goes up to 47 hours or more for some. These long work weeks are lengthier than any other similar economic society, and can obviously equate to less time to focus on our hand to mouth choices.

 

fruits and veggies

 

Sorry, Mom…times have changed!

While working is now the American past time, we unfortunately are also ranking high in areas of food waste. Research shows that the average adult in the U.S. wastes approximately 20 pounds of food per month. In fact, the Natural Resource Defense Council states that this is how America is Losing up to 40 Percent of its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill. To counterbalance the alarming data on these choices, nutrition experts and foodies alike started a trend to match the need for more nutrition and less waste in America. That trend: the smoothie.

A smoothie is a thickened beverage made from blended fruits and vegetables. These often nutritious drinks can be mixed with other ingredients like ice, water, dairy, flax, chia seeds, protein powders, and nuts to differ texture and nutrition content. Smoothies are not new to America’s vast menu of food options, but it was not until recently that the benefits of smoothies caught the attention of the public eye. For what reason you ask? Smoothies take an average of 5-10 minutes to make and can constitute 10 or more servings of fruits and vegetables alone. That’s right! Making this quick and easy snack or meal replacement can take less time than waiting in line at the drive-through and can be the secret to meeting the modern, busy-bee adult recommendation of vegetable and fruit intake per day.

So, this may already seem appealing for even the busiest of you, but why jump on the band-wagon? The largest nutrition study in history, The Oxford/Cornell China Study, found mostly plant-based diets correlate to very low rates of heart disease, autoimmune disease, and cancer. Moreover, GreenSmoothieGirl.com conducted research about their green smoothie, and results showed that 95% of its participants noticed improved health and/or quality of life, 84% experienced more energy, 79.5% noticed better digestion, 65% had decreased cravings for processed foods, and 54% reported weight loss and enhanced mood. Other benefits noted from the intake of the green smoothie were a detox for the body, improved immune response, healthier hair and skin, and even diabetes prevention.

 

Clearly, the benefits of the smoothie trend far outweigh any inconveniences. So, when preparing for your busy work week, try making Robyn’s Green Smoothie to see for yourself how easy this nutritious snack or meal can be for your lifestyle and health. Don’t be afraid to switch it up to include some of your favorite fruits and vegetables!

 

GreenSmoothie_revolution

 

Robyn’s Green Smoothie

  • 1  1/2 cup water and ice
  • 3 large handfuls of spinach
  • 2 large leaves of kale with stems
  • 2 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple or your favorite fruit

In a high powered blender, blend water, ice and greens for 30 seconds or until smoothh. Add fruit and blend until smooth. This will make approximately one quart and can be kept up to 48 hours in the fridge!

Tips and Tricks:

  • Add stevia or raw organic agave nectar to sweeten.
  • Add your favorite organic protein powder to get additional protein in your diet.
  • In the beginning, add additional fruit for a more flavorful drink and as you go adopt more greens into your own recipe.

 

 

ENJOY!

 

 

– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC

 

Photo: New Health Guide, Blendtec