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My Green Energy Formula

Posted Sep 09 2011 2:40am

So I guess I really wasn’t shitting around when I said I’d be blogging less, right?!

For two weeks now I’ve been getting up at 7AM, running some errands (laundry, dishwasher, wheatgrass maintenance, prepping food supply for the day, doing homework), sprinting off to Yoga, get a quick shower and lunch, sprinting off to school (or the other way around), coming home, doing more of said errands (but add grocery shopping), catching my breath from time to time, and work some evenings, or surgically attach myself to my couch otherwise.

Lemme tell ya: I don’t remember the last time having such a mad schedule. Honestly. I am not the type to overpack her calender with a gazillion appointments and dinner dates every week. I need my ‘me-time’ and I like to underplan so I can always plan a spontaneous get together or yoga class or whatever I feel like in the moment. But what can I say? School is demanding a lot these days (and I’m caving, lol) and I still feel the desire to go to Bikram Yoga daily. So, I’m making it work.

The single most important thing that helps me keeping up this fast-paced schedule? Tons of energy. The Yoga itself is definitely giving me good energy, but it’s what I put in my body that gets me going in the long run. Without proper nutrition, doing 90 minutes of yoga every day and cycling ~45 minutes 4 days a week to and from school would only be draining me of energy.

This last weekend and yesterday were a perfect example of that, and really made me realize the most important constituens for my abundance of energy. On these days, I consumed far less greens than I normally do. Yesterday when I felt drained of energy and almost fell asleep on the couch, I peeled myself off, made myself a shot of wheatgrass, and continued to feel great! I am really thankful for figuring out how to get a lot of energy without having to resort to caffeine, raw cacao or -gasp-  energy drinks, and I’d like to share my little formula, if you will.

Four major sources of greens

  1. Salad
  2. Green smoothie
  3. Green juice
  4. Wheatgrass juice

Every day, I make sure I get in at least two of the above sources of greens. But, the more the better and yes, I do feel best when I get in all four (frankly, when I do, I am just buzzing with energy!).

Also note that it’s sortof a point system. Whereas wheatgrass juice gets 4 points, for it is very potent, a salad gets only one. Why? The nutrients in whole greens (as opposed to juiced or blended) are much less available to our bodies because we can’t chew nor digest them fully. Also, because of this, they are a bit tougher on the digestive system (and remember, digestion takes up a lot of energy). Lastly, most of us need quite some oil or dressing and salt to make salads palatable. Nevertheless they are a source of greens and a vehicle for other yummy nutritious stuff (if you do salads right that is).

Even though one scores higher than the other, it’s important to realize the best source of greens is the one you can stick to consistently. A daily salad beats a random shot of wheatgrass once a week, mmkay?

It’s really very easy and simple once you get used to it. Making greens a big part of your daily diet takes some adjusting and some time but it’s really one of the best things you can do for your health, hands down. Just pick one or two sources of greens from the list above and start mixing and matching. If wheatgrass is not an option for you, no biggie. If you detest salads, just get a shot of green juice daily and you’lll be fine. Great even.

So how to get started with all of this?

  1. Prepare
  2. Always be prepared

To be a little more specific; plan/prep ahead if necessary, and always make sure you’re fully stocked on greens! I always have one, and sometimes two or even three shelves in my fridge fully devoted to greens. Dinosaur kale, Romaine (great for greens n00bs), spinach, chard, celery greens, salad mixes, a box of wheatgrass. Also, when I know I’ll be pressed for time tomorrow, I make a smoothie and a juice today, and put them in the fridge/freezer. It’s a great idea to invest in 2 portable flasks/stainless steel water bottles for this purpose. Last but not least, most of the time when I make a smoothie, I make it a double. Only a little more effort, and I have smoothie waiting for me in the fridge the day after.

Check out my recipe page for some tasty smoothie and salad recipes and my daily juice page for juice combos and refresh your memory here on why greens are so super duper healthy ! I also highly recommend the book ‘Green for Life’ by Victoria Boutenko.

Two of my favorites:

Kale Superfood Smoothie
Serves one
* 3/4 – 1 cup water
* 3 handfuls shredded kale
* 1 T bee pollen
* 1 T maca
* optional: 1 T hemp seeds
* 1 banana
* 1 t vanilla extract
* 2 handfuls frozen cherries

Place all ingredients in this order in the blender, leave out the cherries, and blend well. Add cherries and blend again until smooth.

Spirulina Spritzer
Serves one
* 1 head Romaine lettuce OR 1/2 bunch of celery (including greens)
* 2 big oranges
* 1 T spirulina

Juice produce, add spirulina and mix well. Spirulina is a great source of protein, iron and chlorophyll!

What are your favorite greens and tips for consuming them? And your favorite salad/smoothie/juice?



Ps: I’ll try and reply to some comments & emails over the next few days!

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