10 Reasons to Drink Green Smoothies

Green smoothies are the way forward! I’ve seen first hand how making drinks with natural fresh ingredients can transform ones health, mind and body.

Ever wanted to give your body a rest from whole foods? Ever wanted to feel light and energised? Ever wanted to just get really densely packed nutrients into you in a simple refreshing, appetising drink/snack? Ever wanted to help yourself detox whilst improving your skin and lose weight at the same time? Well if you answered yes to any of the these then green smoothies could be for you.

Nutritional Value of Green Smoothiesjuicer for making healthy smoothies

Here’s a quick look at the nutritional benefits of leafy greens: Leafy greens are packed with nutrition. They are a great source of non-dairy calcium, magnesium and Vitamin C. And they contain carotenoids that may help protect against macular degeneration and foliate to guard against heart disease and cancer.

Ten Reasons to Drink Green Smoothies

1. Green smoothies are very nutritious. It depends on how you like it but the more veggies you put in the more healthy its going to be as we don’t want too much sugar. I like to add an apple and a pear to my smoothies as they’re high in fibre and they’re low GI. But you can make it to your taste. Typical smoothie recipes have all sorts of fruit in them.

2. Green smoothies are easy to digest. When blended well, most of the cells in the greens and fruits are ruptured, making the valuable nutrients easy for the body to assimilate. Green smoothies literally start to get absorbed in your mouth and enable your body to convert into energy easily. And because your body isn’t wasting time breaking down foods, producing acids and enzymes to digest, the body feels a lot lighter and will have a lot more energy available to utilise for daily function.

3. Green smoothies, not to be confused with green juices are whole foods as they contain the fibre as its not removed like in the juicing process which means the sugar load is diluted through having fibre in it. When you juice without the fibre your juice can have a high sugar load depending on the ingredients which can cause the high fructose load to be converted into fat cells.

4. Green smoothies are delicious. A lot of people may turn their nose up at the sound of vegetable and fruit smoothies but you are the master of the creation so if you really find that you’re not liking the flavour then add more things that you like. Certain smoothie journalists like to promote 60% fruit to 40% green veggies but I’m pretty much the other way round. But in the end of the day its about getting raw, enzyme and nutrient dense food into your system with none of the goodness lost so which ever way round you choose its going to be good for you. Just remember too much fruit sugar isn’t good for you.

5. Chlorophyll which is the make up of green veggies is super good for your blood as it had a purifying effect. Studies have shown in general that people in the developed world  don’t eat enough leafy greens and chlorophyll. A green smoothie however has its packed to the brim.

6. Green smoothies are easy to make. Its a misconception that its lots of work. I would really recommend a really good blender like the Vitamix which has super powerful blade. But a blender like this can be expensive. Just shop around and get a good quality powerful machine. Unlike juicing, making a smoothie uses whole foods, so just get your ingredients out, wash, and stick it straight in the blender. A lot of the time theres no need for peeling or cutting, its that simple. And to make things easier you can store the juice for up to 48 hours in the fridge for further portions.  You could make a breakfast smoothie on a Monday morning and be having smoothies ready to go on a Tuesday and Wednesday mornings too – pour, drink and leave for work, easy!! Or if you come home from work on any night and you can’t be bothered to cook, just go for a green smoothie thats ready in the fridge or even if its not made, that takes 5 mins to make.

7. Green smoothies are liked by children of all ages depending on the flavour. I was talking to one of my clients the other day and he was telling me the only way he can get his 4 year old to eat greens is by making them in a smoothie. Where as before they had to hide them in dishes such as fish cakes!

8. When consuming your greens in the form of green smoothies, you are greatly reducing the consumption of processed food, additives, hydrogenated oils and salt.

9. Regular consumption of green smoothies forms a good habit of eating greens. After a few weeks of drinking green smoothies, most people start to crave and enjoy eating more greens. Eating enough greens is often a problem with many people.

10.Green smoothies are really good for your skin and nails restoring a glow to your skin and removing toxins from liver and body. Also they’ve very good for weight loss and generally as long as they don’t contain too much sugar you’ll be on a calorie deficit on a daily basis. Greens are enormously nutrient dense and extremely calorie light which makes a perfect combination for weight loss.

Ingredients you can use in a green smoothie

VEGETABLES

Spinach, Fennel, Kale, Celery, Broccoli, courgette, Iceberg lettuce,Romaine lettuce. Parsley, Cucumber, Mint, Collard greens, Baby beet greens, Watercress, Swiss chard, Garden cress, Cabbage, Parsley. Don’t just be bound by these veggies, you can add literally any other vegetable you want to the smoothie. Try it out and see what you like. actually, a bit of variety in terms of colour will be great for the nutrient profile.

FRUIT

Green fruit – Kiwifruit, Pears, Green apples, Green grapes. But don’t over restrict yourself. If you really need to make it sweeter then use other fruit. If its too sweet then be careful on the effects that it will have regarding fat gain and insulin resistance. As said previously I would  go for a percentage of 60/40 in favour of veggies, but play around with it.  Other examples of fruit to use – Pineapple, Bananas, Mango, Oranges, Grapefruit, Peaches, Apricots, Papaya, Melon.

Liquid I personally regularly use water and ice but you can add other liquids to it which would be fine. The ones I would recommend are: Green tea, Yerba mate, Lemongrass tea, Mint tea, Wheatgrass juice, Coconut milk, Coconut water, Ginger tea, White tea, Lemon juice+water, Vinegar+water. Id stay away from juices to add.

Texture – you could add any of these for texture, to supercharge the nutrition. Avocado, Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, Brazil nuts, Walnuts, Ground flaxseed, Sunflower seeds. Extras Hemp seeds, Chia seeds,Bee pollen, Maca powder, Spirulina, Cinnamon, Cocoa powder, Minced ginger, Grated coconut, Vanilla extract, bran, Psyllium husk

So from these lists you can see that the combinations are endless so if you’re not much of a recipe follower then get cracking now. If you want a recipes your best bet is just googling it. Here’s an example of a green smoothie recipe. Happy Blending.

All Green Smoothie Recipe

  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) water
  • 260 g (1 3/4 cups) green grapes
  • 55 g (1/4) ripe pear, halved
  • 50 g (1/2) avocado, pitted, peeled
  • 25 g (1/4 cup) coarsely chopped broccoli
  • 20 g (1/2 cup) spinach, washed
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) ice cubes

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://www.morefit.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Shamir-Sidhu-MoreFit-Owner-Personal-Trainer.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Shamir Sidhu is the CEO/Founder of MoreFit and Personal Trainer. For fitness and nutrition advice, email info@morefit.co.uk[/author_info] [/author]

Goal Setting, Reality and Rhetoric

By Edward Parker

Ok, so cast your mind back to your first session with your current personal trainer. They will have asked you to list possibly three goals? Ideally one of these would have been a long term goal (e.g. get your dream beach body, single figure BF% with an increase in lean muscle, possibly even a six pack) and the other one or two were hopefully shorter term goals that would be attained on the journey towards your long term goal. Your PT will have informed you and rightly so, that reaching these goals was more than possible. Then they will have spoken about a number of factors such as nutrition, injuries, stress, rest, etc. All of which can have a big effect on you reaching your desired goals.

At some point over the next couple of sessions your PT may have asked you to keep a food diary and specifically if weight loss was your goal, they might have asked you to consider trying sugar detox, for at least a couple of weeks. Both of these requests are part of us trying to assist in your pursuit of goals, but they are also a little test to see your commitment to reaching them.

What do I mean by this? Well if you are not willing to keep a food diary or not willing to even consider changing your diet, then are you ready to reach your long term goals? This is not to say that if you don’t do these simple tasks you are already failing, it simply means that the changes required for you to reach your goals may take longer. Look at it another way if my goal is to gain 1 stone in lean muscle and reduce my body fat by 6%, but I am not willing to massively change my diet, stop drinking alcohol, get 8-10 hours sleep a night, train at a high intensity for 3-5 hours a week, then all of a sudden that goal is not so realistic. That is not to say that I may not reduce my BF% a little and increase my lean muscle mass a little over time, but I am not going to get anywhere near my original goal.

Part of the problem is that we constantly see in the media celebrities who in the space of 8-12 weeks make these staggering body shape changes. What isn’t said is that quite often that is all they had to do in those 2 or 3 months. They will literally have been woken in the morning by their PT who will have taken them out for a pre breakfast run or walk to kick start their metabolism for the day. They will have then gone home for either a freshly delivered or made breakfast (bespoke to their specific goals). Then had a nap or rested before being taken out for their main gym session before again being fed and rested before perhaps some light yoga or pilates before another meal and more rest. This will happen about 3-6 times a week for said 8-12 week period. Now I’m pretty sure with this kind of lifestyle most if not all of us could reach our dream body shape goal.

So what am I trying to say? Have a dream goal, but also be realistic. There are people who are able to make massive wholesale changes and stick to them, but most of us need to make small changes and therefore have more realistic short term goals. Still have the dream goal, but except that it might take a long time to get there or it might just remain thus, a dream and instead try to enjoy the journey. Enjoy the fact that you are training more and more intelligently, enjoy that you are trying to eat healthier and when you do, enjoy that you are edging closer to your goal.

 

About Ed Ed Parker has an honours degree in Sports Science from Brunel University. He is a qualified PE teacher with a background in hockey and has represented Yorkshire, NE England and Scotland at youth level. He is a keen sportsman who enjoys tailoring clients programs to meet their goals and lifestyle choices. He has provided programs for strength, conditioning, sports specific fitness, balance and mobility or simply to feel ‘Morefit’. Ed is aware of the difficulties and pitfalls that come with balancing a healthy work and social life so he will assist with your training, nutritional and motivational needs.

Workout for Rounded Shoulders

By Okan Caylak

Definitely in personal training we find that posture is one of the major limiting factors to our health and fitness. One of the most common posture problems you see is people with rounded shoulders.

Basically, when shoulders appear further forward often accompanied by a hunching or bending forward of the upper spine and protracted neck. Muscle imbalances and bad posture due to our lifestyle are the primary cause, but can be made worse by how we workout.

If we spend hours a day in front of the computer sitting at a desk, watching TV, driving  etc in a hunched over/forward position with rounded shoulders our body will adapt to it, because our body can adapt almost all physical activities or positions we put ourselves in. This is especially prevalent people who have a desk jobs. They must be very careful and know the correct sitting techniques, choosing the correct chair and learning and utilising the correct stretching and exercises to stay mobile and pain free.

The other common reason of rounded shoulder is that most people start workout with the muscles that they can see in the mirror. These are pecs, shoulders, biceps and abs and avoid the others they can’t see in the mirror, especially the back muscles. Without balancing your pressing (mirror muscle) movements with pull movements you will cause these muscles to become overdeveloped and other muscles become weakened leaving you in a forward dominated, rounded position.

Showing over-developed muscles that causes rounded shoulders
Over-developed muscles that causes rounded shoulders

To fix rounded shoulders we need to stretch the overdeveloped muscles and strengthen the weak ones. The tight and over-developed muscles are:

  • Pec major/minor
  • Anterior delts
  • Lats
  • Internal rotators

First off stretching the chest, anterior deltoids, and internal rotators can all be accomplished by one simple easy stretch which is doorway stretch.

You can also use chest foam rolling, supine chest stretch or behind the back stretch to relax your chest.Fixing the rounded shoulders can significantly improve performance, reduce injury, and make you look better.

Weakened (lengthened):

  • Rhomboid major/minor
  • Mid/Low Trapezius
  • Deltoids
  • External Rotators

Strengthening exercises are going to be targeting mainly the upper back. Exercise to be concentrating on are: bent over row, barbell row, inverted row, reverse dumbell flys, face pulls. also floor flatteners, dorsal raises, band pull aparts, dumbell external rotations.

 

About Okan Caylak Okan is passionate about helping people transform their lives and reach a better quality of life through health and fitness.His goal is to inspire and educate you with the necessary tools you’ll need to make to permanent and positive lifestyle change. Okan has an bachelor degree in Sports Science from Ege University Izmir/Turkey.He is a qualified PE teacher with background in playing and coaching competitive football and swimming.He is a REP level 3 personal trainer and He believes that if a workout doesn’t challenge you, it wont change you. Details: Ege University Bachelor degree in Sports Science, REP level 3 personal trainer, award in Circuit Instruction, award in teaching personal training outdoors, award in indoor Cycling, award in GP & Exercises Referral.