Sunday, March 31, 2013

How Green Smoothies have Benefited Me

How Green Smoothies have Benefited Me In my last post I wrote an extensive treatise on why green smoothies are, scientifically, a must-have food, regardless of whether one is living the raw food lifestyle. Before we move on to the many more exciting posts planned for this blog, I want to write a quick journal entry on the benefits I have personally reaped by incorporating green smoothies in my daily diet.

I first began making green smoothies for breakfast in late May/early June in 2012. Like many people, I was replacing ready-to-eat (and in my case, also freely and readily available at work) cereal and milk with something that I had to make at home. In the beginning this was not simple - I had to spend time on the weekend to plan, additionally, my breakfast for the week ahead, spend money to shop accordingly, and then store the ingredients carefully so the produce didn't perish half way through the week. Then, every morning, I had to wash/cut/blend, bring the smoothie in a jar to work, wash the blender, knife, cutting board, and lastly, wash my jar at work. It seemed to be a lot of additional effort.

So, 10 months down the line, why/how did I keep doing it?! In fact, the more regularly I drank green smoothies on a daily basis, not only did the whole 'chore' of making them become easier, a green smoothie a day became a vital need of my body! Today, I almost have a 'physical dependency' on green smoothies --- in a good way... For many months now, there are days on which I drink more than one green smoothie. In my stumble in the raw food world, I talked very briefly about what green smoothies have done for me; it's time to elaborate on that in this article.

First off, in only a week or two of getting started on this breakfast, I began feeling refreshed and energized. Even though my stomach was full in the same way as it used to be with cereal and milk, I felt lighter than usual. It's almost like I was using a better quality oil to run my machinery. As I felt lighter after breakfast, I could focus better on my work and my productivity increased. I knew I was getting more done than before, and at a faster pace. Days on which I missed a green smoothie, the heavy, clunky feeling that came with going back to drier, processed foods weighed me down. That, in itself, was reason enough to continue with my daily chore...

A couple of more weeks down the line, I realized green smoothies had actually begun affecting my food choices for the rest of the day! Days that I started with a green smoothie were days on which I naturally preferred salads for lunch (I hadn't quite been a salad eater before =)), fruits for snack, and a lighter supper. Anything that was deep fried, or just fried, creamy/cheesy/oily, or sodium- or sugar-laden did not appeal me on those days. Those were 'good' days - I got more work done, I had more spare energy, I was mentally more alert, I ate better, I felt better. On the other days, I was okay eating my usual lunch and snacking on roasted cashews, peanut butter pretzels, wheat thins, etc. Those were the days on which my exhaustion and general dissatisfaction with my routine came back.  

Heather did mention that green smoothies had the potential to impact our food choices for the rest of the day in her Introduction to Raw Food Cuisine class. Her statement made me quite cynical; it appeared that she was trying too hard to sell her food philosophy to have people sign up for more of her upcoming classes! But seeing this happen to me for real, amused and struck me and I had a new-found respect for her (she is a great teacher; I have taken many of her classes by now). A detailed account of her class is in an older post of mine. More about her is on her website -

Soon after, I could predictably play around with my food choices every single day by having a green smoothie in the morning - or not. As I chose to continue with this regimen, with more passing weeks, it dawned upon me that I ate better even on days on which I occasionally missed a green smoothie. In other words, there was a shift in what was tasty to me and what wasn't; my taste buds had begun changing! What can be a more promising passport to healthier eating and, thereby, better health than all of us actually finding apples, oranges, romaine, and kale more delicious than burgers, pizza, nachos, soda, sundae? Would the processed food advertisements around us continue to be as effective as they are today? Would the Olympics have approved sponsors like McDonald's and Coke? Would we continue to be a nation victimized by obesity and a myriad of health problems that plague us today? Would our children have a shorter life span than us?

Beginning in July '12, I was taste bud-wise (and mentally) prepared to experiment with a 20-day raw food detox. Since I grew up vegetarian and had generally been a conscious eater (just not a salad eater, though =)), my body did not have much to detox. But that detox triggered my metabolism such that I began losing weight - something I had been aspiring for since my teenage years! What had never happened before happened now - I have lost ~22 pounds since, my BMI has dropped from 24.9 to 21.5!! Post detox, since August, I have been eating ~70% raw vegan and have never had this kind of energy and vitality before. I resumed swimming after 14 years in September and started this blog in November. Life has changed in many more profoundly positive ways...

What other benefits could I have reaped by making one single change - drinking one green smoothie a day? What else should I have to say to stress enough the importance of green smoothies and raw foods?


  1. This is really true as for my personal experience. Knowing what my body needs is really important and what kind of vitamins your body is allergic of and which one is it? It is more advisable to drink smoothies such as chlorella and others like organic spirulina is really good too by mixing it to a shake or by juicing some fruits too.

    1. Spot on, sandarawills! The biggest legacy of the raw vegan lifestyle for me is I am, now, in touch with what my body wants at any time. Also, now I taste the actual food ingredients as opposed to the oils /cheeses / spices that my food used to be laded with before! Chlorella / spirulina / many others are great greens to incorporate in one's diet.