A COUPLE OF months ago, I started getting into smoothies. Okay, that’s a bit of an understatement, because in my usual trademarked style, I actually developed a bit of a smoothie OCD (as recounted in this blog post).
I was drinking up to two litres of green smoothies a day, sometimes even more, and I was feeling like a million bucks, with massive energy levels and a general feeling of wellbeing that’s difficult to define except perhaps to say that I felt 20 years younger.
Then I had a bit of a break, necessitated by eight days on an amazing Outward Bound course in the South Island. They looked after me in terms of food and I ate what had to be 5000+ calories a day (12 slices of bread and most of a tofu luncheon roll for lunch, for example) but litres of green smoothie a day? Well, that wasn’t exactly on the menu. This was followed by a week away at Ohope Beach where I ended up on one smoothie a day, more out of holiday laziness than anything else.
While on the course, I was fired up with calories and enthusiasm, never feeling my age bar a few old injuries rearing their ugly heads, so the daily workload proved no issue. While on holiday I felt good, training pretty much every day. It was only once I got back home and snuggled up to my blender again that I realised just how effective the smoothies are.
As soon as I ramped up to a couple of litres a day, with a major emphasis on using green wholefoods, not powders, I started getting that now familiar surge of energy.
It’s actually ridiculous just how powered up and driven I feel on four or more smoothies a day – earlier this week for example, I hit the gym early in the morning for a hard cardio session, followed by an ab and core workout. Later the same day, I literally had to go back to the gym for another harder session to burn off some of the energy (it was either that or bench press my work desk a few hundred times). Then as I was finishing up at the gym, I was invited for a walk around Mount Maunganui. I rushed off to do that and after dinner, only my common sense prevented me from going back to the gym for a third session. That’s how I feel every day, and I’m not exactly 18.
Furthermore, I’m recovering from weight workouts better than I have in at least a decade, on far less protein. I’m making more progress at gym, putting on muscle but progressively getting leaner and leaner, which is a very good thing at my age. At one stage, I thought all the yoga I was doing was exclusively responsible for this great recovery, but with only five classes under my belt in a month, I’m convinced much of it can simply be put down to superior nutrition.
And with bushes of organic kale, spinach, silverbeet and dinosaur kale making their way from Wild Earth Organics to my fridge and then into my body on a regular basis, it’s hard to imagine a better or more nutritious way to eat. I’m basically pushing my diet to at least 70 percent raw without much effort or thought. Throw in stacks of organic nuts and piles of raw hemp powder (for fibre and good fats) along with a couple of avos a day and the diet really is shaping up well this year.
Even with the avo and bananas thrown in the blender, the calories are a non-issue given that I don’t generally use fruit juice in the smoothies – they’re mostly made with leafy greens anyway, and those veggies aren’t really calorie dense, but they are nutrient dense in a way that makes an apple seem a little flat.
There’s another benefit to all this raw food and smoothie madness besides the energy and improved body composition, and that’s something I’ve mentioned before – a dramatically enhanced libido, which is the subject of an upcoming article. In the interim, I can only urge our readers to get out their blenders and get stuck into some green smoothies, and not just one a day. You just can’t go wrong by going green.
My current recipe is:
Handfuls of kale, spinach, silverbeet or dinosaur kale (organic is best)
About quarter of an avo
Two scoops of hemp powder
One scoop of NuZest Clean Lean protein powder
A tablespoon of NuZest Good Green Stuff
The leafy greens probably account for 70 percent of the smoothies. Without the banana, this stuff is a bit grassy to say the least but with it, it’s sweet and smooth. After drinking one smoothie in the morning, I make up around a litre at a time and just sip it as needed through the day before kicking into a fresh batch. ASHLEY KRAMER