As Yoga teachers, we have a physically as well as mentally demanding job. Oftentimes we teach many classes in a row and need to remain able to demonstrate Yoga poses, adjust students, twist, jump and bend, and all that without getting hungry. As Yogis we also love yogic, delicious, healthy food and snacks that keep our spirit happy, our mind clear and our bodies full of energy.
One of the easiest and most delicious ways to get a fair amount of nutrition that supports my teaching are Green Smoothies. They are fast to prepare (5 min), easy to take with you, can serve as a whole meal (if you drink enough of them) and make you independent of the food choices when not at home. I usually prepare them each morning and take them with me to work, as a travel snack, during and after sports or when spending a day in nature.
I prefer them best for my morning classes as a breakfast. I usually get up pretty early and teach a morning Mysore class from 7 to 10am. Either I practice before the class (from 5:30 to 7:00) and then have a bit of the smoothie to recharge myself after practice, or I practice after I finish teaching around 10:00. Either way the green smoothies keep me energized, but don’t prevent me from doing Yoga afterwards.
So what is a Green Smoothie
A Green Smoothie is a drink of blended greens and fruits. It contains loads of Chlorophyll and other vital nutrients, depending what kind of green leafy stuff you put in. It can serve as an ideal first meal of the day and is much easier to digest than salads and other raw foods because it is blended into a liquid state.
Why are they so healthy
Green Smoothies are full of fibres that are good for your digestion and help clean up your digestive tract. They supply plenty of minerals and vitamins, enzymes and proteins. And giving the body what it needs decreases the cravings for unhealthy alternatives like processed sugars, coffee etc. Drinking them on a regular basis sensitizes your taste buds so you can appreciate the taste of natural foods (again) much more.
How to prepare a Green Smoothie
The basic Recipe includes:
- 1-2 hands full of leafy greens (Spinach, arugula, kale, lettuce)
- 1 apple
- 1 banana
- pure clean, preferably filtered water (enough to barely cover the other ingredients)
All of the ingredients are to be washed, the banana peeled, put into a powerful blender (see left) and then blended until completely liquid (see right). The more powerful the blender, the better results one gets, especially when putting stringy leafs and including the full apple with seeds.
That recipe is to be adjusted to personal taste and feeling, season and availability of ingredients. It is a great way to play and experiment in the kitchen and to enjoy preparing one’s own food.
I am personally a big fan of adding a little slice of ginger and a little piece of lemon (including the skin). Also avocados go great, but are often hard to find in a good quality!
At the beginning one can start with a little more fruit to make it more tasty. Once accustomed to the taste, the content of greens can be increased.
I do not put any oils, nuts or salt into Green Smoothies, since I feel they are not fitting with the greens. Instead I put those in a separate Smoothie without the greens which I will write about in a different post.
Needless to say all ingredients should be ripe, organically and preferably locally grown. That way the Smoothie is maximum nutrition and minimum toxicity!
What to consider for Green Smoothies
Drinking them right after preparation is best, though one of the huge advantages for me is that I can take them with me to drink whenever I want. They will stay fresh about 8 to 10 hours when stored in a cool dark place, but I would not prepare them for the next day.
Since a Green Smoothie is pretty much a salad blended to liquid, chew every sip and salivate it thoroughly to give the body the chance to properly digest it.
So I encourage everybody to include Green Smoothies into their daily diet. I enjoy them pretty much daily and feel extremely well since I started that habit some years back. And when I teach workshops on the benefits and preparation of Green Smoothies, the feedback is always very good and many people actually start drinking Green Smoothies and love it, too!