Tackling the Green Monster

I’ve spent my fair share of time browsing blogs from runners and health fanatics, and I have often come across writers swearing by their morning spinach smoothies. In theory, I loved the idea of a nutrient-packed easy breakfast to start my day. But even though every proponent of the smoothies swore they didn’t actually taste like spinach, I was skeptical. Then I talked to my friend Jess, who assured me the shakes were delicious. She pointed me in the direction of a basic recipe, and I decided to take the plunge. After my experience with the juice cleanse, I was pretty certain I’d hate the spinach. But even if I ended up hating it, I’d only be out a few dollars for the ingredients. 

I roped Matt into agreeing to drink them with me, and got started. The first morning, my shake was a little chunky since I used my food processor to make it. I had to chew most of it. But it didn’t taste too bad at all. So I bought myself a blender, and the next morning, my shake turned out to be much smoother. I bought some whey protein to add to them since Matt and I are in marathon training and need to get as much protein as possible. And I  started freezing the bananas, which definitely helped make the shake creamier and more like a milkshake.

They actually taste pretty good, and not like spinach at all. But it was hard for me to look at it and see spinach, and have it not mess with my head. So I bought a large purple cup with a lid and straw to mask the color. Problem solved. The shakes are surprisingly filling. There are tons of recipes online to change it up. This site is a great resource:  http://greenmonstermovement.com/. We started adding blueberries to this week’s batch.

Matt is liking the new breakfast so far, too. I make his a day in advance sometimes and keep them in the fridge since Matt doesn’t have a blender. They keep fine overnight (make sure you shake well before drinking), but don’t taste quite as good as a fresh one.I read some bloggers talking about a boost in energy, glowing skin, and healthier hair and nails. We haven’t really experienced that yet, but it’s only been a week.

Here is the base recipe I’ve been using. It comes in at 265 calories, 12 grams of fat, 18.5 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber. I recommend peeling and cutting up your bananas at the beginning of the week and keeping them in the freezer.

Green Monster Smoothie with Protein

1 cup almond milk (I’ve been using unsweetened almond coconut blend)
2 handfuls fresh spinach
1 tbsp peanut butter (I prefer a natural one with less sugar and sodium)
1/2 scoop of whey protein (I use Optimal Nutrition chocolate malt flavor)
1 banana, frozen

Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.  Start with the milk. Then add your spinach. Then the protein and peanut butter, and any fruit you’re using. Put the bananas on top. The weight of the bananas helps push the spinach down and makes it easier to blend. Each recipe makes one shake.

 

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One thought on “Tackling the Green Monster

  1. Ah, so that’s what that green stuff is. 🙂

    Very interesting recipe, though. As a smoothie aficionado I might have to try it.

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