Green Energy Smoothies

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on August 21, 2011

The race starts in 3.5 hours. I’m tucked up in the hotel bed with an ice pack on my knee, sipping my smoothie and looking forward to my pre-race quinoa flake bake.

Technically I should be sleeping, but I couldn’t go another minute without sharing this recipe with you!

When my Mom and Dad came for dinner recently, we started chatting about the changes they’ve begun to see in their appetite. They love enjoying meals together, but they’ve ran out of light ideas.

They’re both over the age of 55 and are anything but sedentary. When my Mom isn’t rowing with her team on the reservoir, she’s attending a late night yoga class.

And my Dad? He’s the #1 field hockey goalie in all the land. See, all of his team mates think so too!

They’re active, fit, and feel fantastic. But their appetites stink!

As we get older, our metabolism slows down. Our digestive enzymes are fewer and far between, and our bodies just can’t process the volume of food that they used to. This is especially true in women during and after menopause.

Fats may be more difficult to digest, proteins are harder on the tummy, and any treat that you enjoy seems to go right to your waistline.

Getting older wiser doesn’t mean giving up all of the foods you love, it’s just about restructuring things to fit the changes your body is going through.

Some steps I’ve found to be successful for my wiser clients:

  • Increasing fiber intake to support a healthy digestive tract. Try adding ground flax to your cereals or baked goods.
  • Increased vitamin D that will assist in calcium absorption to maintain strong bones. Salmon is a great source, and so is a little bit of daily sunshine.
  • Small meals more often.
  • High quality foods. Because not a lot of food is being consumed, you want to make sure that what you’re putting in your body is of the highest quality.
  • Starting off the day with a light breakfast to kick start digestion, followed by a dish high in fiber.

My Dad in particular doesn’t like to eat a lot of vegetables, so I had to get somewhat creative in my suggestions.

After a bit of hemming and hawing I came up with a solution – green energy smoothies. And for a minute there, I forgot that I was making something for the parents and just basked in the green energy.

  • They’re light, coming in at just under 96 calories per serving
  • 2.8g fiber
  • Lots of hidden veggies
  • Gets the digestive juices flowing
  • Stimulates your metabolism
  • The EGCG in green tea can help kill cancer cells, great given my Dad’s history with cancer
  • Assists in lowering LDL cholesterol

Starting the day off with this, followed by a nice hot bowl of oatmeal + flax seeds is the perfect breakfast solution – not just for my parents, but for all of us; regardless of our age!

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Green Energy Smoothies

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

6 simple ingredients make up this sweet and delicious smoothie. You can pack it full of veg and no one will know!

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber, seeded and sliced
  • 3 cups raw spinach
  • 2 cups honeydew melon, cubed [about 1/2 a medium sized melon]
  • 1 cup organic green tea
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger root

Directions

  1. Blend and enjoy!

notes: I like to boil 8 cups of water on the stove on Sundays and throw a couple of tea bags in to steep for 10 minutes. Allow the tea to cool for a couple of hours, then fill mason jars up with the cooled tea. It makes for a great addition to on the go drinks.

Save the remaining serving in the fridge for the next day. Or freeze for later. If you’re planning to head to the gym, or you’re a bit younger in age, feel free to have the full smoothie in one sitting, or add protein powder to the mix.

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If you’re unsure on how to seed a cucumber, here’s the method I’ve found most effective [psst this one's for you Dad!]

Now, to get my parents to make these for themselves…

I prepared a batch of these smoothies yesterday morning that we ended up taking on the road with us along with our cranberry mango salads + 100 calorie beary simple cookies.

A couple of years ago my road trip lunch would have consist of dinosaur candies, Coca Cola Zero and a pack of cigarettes. You won’t see any of that in our car – except maybe the odd candy here and there ;)

How do you start off your mornings?

What types of meals do your parents enjoy?

Also, congratulations goes out to Liz – the winner of Sketch Free Vegan’s e-cookbook. I’ll send off your details to Jaclyn and Jennifer now. Thanks for participating everyone :)

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Aine @ Something to Chew Over

These look fantastic! What a gorgeous colour :)

My mother is an excellent cook and uses top-quality ingredients with lots of veggies, wholegrains and lean meat. But she’s old-school with preparation – lots of oil, butter and fat!

Have a great race!

Reply

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

I have never deseeded a cucumber! I just eat them, seeds and all. End especially the English cukes like the one you show, never de-seeded one of those b/c the seeds are so…harmless. And more fiber, right :)

My mornings start off with…a heaping platter of rushing around, a side of chaos, and another side of email overload :)

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Jess@HealthyExposures

GOOD LUCK on your race today!! You’re gonna rock it :) Can’t wait for your recap!!

These smoothies look soo good. And how awesome that your parents are staying so active! My mom is similar. I swear, she’s always doing something! haha.

My mornings start off with breakfast and the computer ;)

Reply

Kristin @ eat healthy. be happy. live well.

Good luck at the race!!!

That’s awesome how active your parents are. And so sweet of you to come up with recipes for them :)

I’ve never thought to put a cucumber in a smoothie, but maybe I’ll have to do that with the extra cukes my mother-in-law has!

Reply

Yolanda

I’m very interested in your smoothie, and so I will see if I can find some green tea that is decaf due to health reasons on my end.

My go to breakfast of late is either a smoothie or overnight oats.

I can’t wait to hear how you did in your run!

Reply

Stephanie

Those are beautiful! They’re so vibrant…you can see the energy just spilling out. I’ve never made a green smoothie with melon before…you’ve inspired me!

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Jenny

I usually start off my day with a lighter breakfast – yogurt, some type of whole grain or home made granola, fruit, and some nuts or seeds of some sort on top with cinnamon… then follow that up with a very large green smoothie as a midmorning snack with a toasted PB&J/AB&J! I have quite a large appetite… I know I should start with the smoothie, as your previous posts point out that they’re easier on the digestive system as the first thing consumed during the day, but… I hesitate to turn on the blender so early in the morning! (Wakes up others.) I’ll definitely give that smoothie a go in this week’s rotation!

My parents LOVE their meat. My dad is very active, though, and doesn’t like to cook so he actually stays very lean and fit – and sometimes has a tendency to lose too much weight. My mom is the opposite in both ways… Ahh, I’m not sure I can ever sway them! Maybe if I became a RD, they would listen to me, heh… They usually get their veggies in the form of creamy coleslaw or Caesar salads. Sigh…

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Ragnhild

Thanks for the recipe! I think this looks so good! Do you think i could use kale in it? Or would it taste too stong? We finally have organic kale in store, so I want to use it as much as possible!

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Ariana Anderson@ The Frugally Rich Life

Hey, is there something I could use instead of green tea? I don’t drink tea or coffee…Otherwise, this looks great!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Of course! You can use herbal tea if you’re worried about the caffeine, or use water in place of the tea. Either would be fantastic.

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

The color of this is amazing! I love the flavor combination too. YUM! I normally start off with a bowl of oats covered in some kind of fruit. Works perfectly every morning.

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Peggy

This smoothie looks amazing! Love the vibrant color!

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Karen

Good Luck on you race!!

Reply

Tres Delicious

The color is so vibrant that I could feel the energy from within.

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Samantha

Great idea! My mom (and mother-in-law) don’t like to eat. They do only because they are forced to. This is a great idea. I probably won’t tell them what’s in it (they are picky eaters) the first time.

Reply

Robin

Great recipe! But Leanne, since I live in The Netherlands.. is it possible for you to give the grams/ml because I don’t understand the term ‘cup’ haha.

Thanks in advance!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Robin, sure thing. Check out this conversion chart http://www.foodgeeks.com/resources/conversion_charts#lm
Hope that helps!

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Robin

Cool, thanks a lot.
How much do I need for the raw spinach then? 3 cups, what is that in grams or something? ;)

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Try about 4 handfuls, doesn’t need to be perfect :)

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Kelly @ Free Spirit Food

I’ve been doing green juice each morning but hadn’t thought of adding green tea! Can’t wait to try this.

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Laura

I am absolutely loving your site, Leanne. So many yummy recipes! I too have never made a green smoothie with green tea–what a fantastic idea! What sort of protein powder would you recommend adding to make this a morning meal? I use Vega quite often, but I can’t see that taste combination working out too well. Perhaps hemp? I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve tried this before!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Yes, hemp protein would work! Something I’ve just been introduced to is pumpkin seed protein. I bet that stuff would work also! I would add the protein powder with all the other ingredients and let it sit overnight in the jar. I find (at least with hemp) that it’ll make the smoothie less gritty. Enjoy :)

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Cheryl

This looks so pretty. I like spinach in smoothies with banana, almond butter, soy milk, and cocoa powder but they come out looking kind of gross, to be honest! Yours is a beauty!

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Emil

hi

I made the smoothie this weekend. Task was great but I didnt get it as smooth as the pictures show. It was more of a mash of the stuff in it. Alomost to hard to drunk and my GF wanted to eat it with a spoons instead :) Any tips on how to improve it? I use some sort of handblender.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Emil – it could have been your blender if you were just using a handblender. I would add extra liquid next time. Enjoy!

Reply

Emil

* Taste was great.

Reply

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