People who have been reading our blog for a while know that Amir and I both like to try various eating challenges. Going vegan for a few months is probably the trickiest, followed by cleanses featuring juices and smoothies. The cleanses only last about two weeks at the most, but during that time, tons of fruits and vegetables are consumed. No doubt, this is the time that the most fruits and vegetables are consumed in a short period of time. It’s not that we do not eat them on the regular any other time. Poke through this blog, and you’ll find a number of vegetarian recipes. We do know that some people find it difficult to eat the recommended daily intake though, and that’s why we’re sharing this post today. It’s all about finding ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your daily regimen, so you maximize all of their health benefits! We’ll share a few of our tips, and hopefully you’ll share yours.
Believe it or not, previous juice cleanses would incorporate a mixture of raw fruits and vegetables, fresh pressed juices either made at home or purchased while out and bottled products such as Naked Juice. Naked Juice has always been a favorite, especially the Green Machine. This time, we specifically sampled Mighty Mango and Strawberry Banana. They are quite fruity! An interesting twist from the very green Green Machine. Strawberry Banana boasts 22 strawberries, 1 1/3 bananas, 1 3/4 apple and a tiny bit of orange. Mighty Mango is a mix of 1 1/4 mangoes, 1/2 an orange, 1 3/4 apples, 1/3 banana and a tiny bit of lemon. If you notice, there are no veggies in either. Not one bit. It’s at this smoothie crossroads that you have to make a decision. A big decision. Where will you squeeze in the rest of your day’s vegetables?
Crunching on baby carrots and celery spears can get boring. Salads are a great way to shovel in a wide variety of vegetables of course. The key is experimenting with all of the seasonal vegetables that are available. If you’re not sure what is in season, just go to the farmers market or ask someone at the grocery store. It’s spring, so asparagus, artichokes, radishes, beets, carrots, kale, arugula, swiss chard, fennel, peas and more are here or they will be soon. Toss them in a bed of greens for more vegetables. Soups and stews are very easy to stock with vegetables. Use all of the leftover scraps and make your own broth. Drinking that broth is a great way to stay hydrated and suck down any remaining vitamins or minerals in your veggies. Finally, toss vegetables into more of your everyday recipes. Finely mince carrots, celery and onions and mix them into meatloaf. Put beets in your cupcakes. Mash cauliflower as a side dish.
Now that we’ve given you a handful of examples, let’s be sure to remind you that you can also incorporate vegetables into your drinks. One thing to keep in mind with fruit juices and smoothies is that they can run high in sugar. Yes, fruit is great for you, but all of the natural sugars can spike your blood sugar and cause you to crash quickly! One way to avoid that is to keep an even or higher ratio of vegetables to fruit for the sake of balance. One bottle of Naked Juice’s fruit blends can be split into two separate portions to keep blood sugar levels fairly balanced after consumption. If you’re big on smoothies, hopefully you’ve already come up with a green drink of your own. Here’s one that combines spinach, avocados and a little pineapple for sweetness. It comes together quickly in a blender, so that you have the perfect portion for one. Or you can double it and share with a friend or divide it over a couple of days.
Make sure you let us know how you sneak in your day’s dose of fruits and vegetables. We’d love to know!
Spinach and Avocado Smoothie – Serves 1
4 ounces Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, packed
1/4 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 large avocado, roughly chopped
1/2 – 3/4 cup almond milk or regular milk
1. Place the Greek yogurt, spinach, pineapples, honey and avocados in a blender. Process until smooth, adding the first 1/2 cup of milk until combined.
2. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk, if desired. Drink immediately.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.
From the brand: Naked Juice is worth its weight in good! There’s a pound of fruit in every bottle. (Secondary messaging: Naked Juice has partnered with charity Wholesome Wave to improve access to fresh produce in communities across the country. You can help by visiting http://www.nakedjuice.com/gooddeeds. For every coupon downloaded, 1 LB of fresh produce will go to an underserved community, up to 100,000 pounds.)
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Naked Juice via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Naked Juice.