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Liquid Taste Treats Try These Healthy Green Drinks


by Jason Manheim I


magine a diet that eliminates the need for calorie counting and never prompts a late-night rummage in search of foods pos- sibly high in fat, sugar or processed ingredients; one that allows you to eat like you do now, except for one small change—the addition of a green drink or smoothie.


A green drink isn’t a meal replace- ment; it’s a supplement (a starter or side dish) to the diet you already enjoy. Simply drink one prior to breakfast and if you are committed to optimal health, another before lunch and dinner. You can change the ingredients at will, according to taste.


Fruits and vegetables are the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet, accepted as staples in just about every healthy diet imaginable. From vegetarian to omnivore to Weight Watchers diets, the green drink is welcome. After a week or so of drinking green, your body will begin to crave the rush of nutrients it receives and less healthy foods will simply lose their appeal. You will naturally gravitate towards foods that fuel your body, instead of foods that drag it down. Robert Young, Ph.D., author


of The pH Miracle, has been in the forefront of promoting the fact that the body thrives when its pH levels are more alkaline than acidic. Disease- causing bacteria and viruses, as well as other abnormalities, flourish in an acid state, while the body’s natural defense mechanisms work best in


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an alkaline state. He writes, “Our glands and organs function properly in exact pro- portion to the amount of alkaline and acid levels in our system; eating a balance of 75


percent alkaline foods and 25 percent acidic foods is ideal.”


Young reports that keeping your body in an alkaline state amplifies benefits such as immune system func- tion, strength, stamina and weight loss. Fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, are extremely alkaline, and drinking them is an easy way to consume more.


According to the Institute of


Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein and Amino Acids, the average adult needs about 50 grams of protein a day. Eating normal meals generally supplies that. Greens, despite the common miscon- ception, also contain a good amount of protein when eaten in large quantities, which green drinks provide. Getting started requires only a blender or juicer, depending on the recipe. Juicing is great for a quick jolt of concentrated energy; the drink delivers maximum nutrient intake, and the ab- sence of fiber enables near-immediate absorption of vitamins and minerals. Juicing is also preferred by people with digestive issues or those looking to cleanse or heal their system.


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While blending a green smoothie reduces nutrient concentration through oxidation, by whipping air into the drink, it is ideal for people that need to keep their sugar in check. It’s the flip side of juicing, which can turn a five- pound bag of fruits and greens into a glass of concentrated fruit sugars, called fructose. Blending also delivers fiber, which helps keep the digestive tract in tip-top shape. It can even serve as a complete meal; you can add avocado or raw almond butter for healthy fats, and protein powder, raw chocolate and bee pollen for extra stamina and endurance—much more than what is possible using a juicer.


In most cases, a typical blender will suffice. However, when blend- ing fruits and vegetables with a harder consistency, such as carrots, pineapple hearts and apples, or waxy greens like kale, you will need more specialized equipment. Two professional blenders, Blendtec and Vitamix, are a good fit for home countertops.


Spinach, chard and mixed greens make a perfect base for beginners. Just blend or juice them with a few sweet fruits and berries like banana, blueber- ries and apple to disguise the green taste. From there, you can experiment by adding more potent ingredients like kale, beet greens, mustard greens, arugula and watercress. Mint or other herbs add a refreshing twist. It helps newcomers to start with more fruits than greens, and then gradually shift the balance.


For even more smoothie nutrition, try adding superfoods, such as puréed pumpkin, coconut milk or oil, nut and seed butters, avocado and even garlic. To assuage a sweet tooth, add a dash of honey or pitted dates to the blender. You don’t have to live like a strict dieter, athlete or nutritionist to be healthier and feel better. Just toss a few fruits and greens into a blender or juicer each day and drink to your health.


Jason Manheim is a health, fitness and green drink junkie in Los Angeles, CA. His educational website, HealthyGreen Drink.com, was the inspiration for his book, The Healthy Green Drink Diet: Advice and Recipes to Energize, Alkalize, Lose Weight, and Feel Great.


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