I’m sure this isn’t news to anyone but no one eats enough fruits and vegetables and well, smoothies are a really easy way to hide a lot of not so appealing greens (there really is no way to eat kale on it’s own without gagging) and other superfoods (wtf is a superfood??–I hear ya). So for the new year, along with a few other resolutions, I figured I should start drinking my nutrients on a daily basis. Why? Well if you haven’t heard from, I don’t know, the bazillion blogs and magazines and little features on talk shows for middle-aged women (well, actually, it’s usually my dad I catch watching CityLine on his days off. He also loved Desperate Housewives if you were wondering), they can kill, like, four or five birds with one stone (this article is going in a really dark direction and I apologize for the bird homicide). SMOOTHIES ARE GREAT IF YOU DO IT RIGHT SO LET’S GET ON WITH IT.

Basically I try to pack in as many greens as possible, then only use as much fruit as needed to offset the unpleasantness of said greens, like kale, spinach and swiss chard. Fruit packed smoothies are full of sugar, will actually decrease your energy level and could even break out your skin. I’ve found that you’ve really got to balance the fruits and the veggies, and if you do it right, you can’t even taste the greens.

Then you’ve got your bases. It’s always a little smoother when you start off with a liquid. You could go for a juice, but I personally use either coconut water or almond milk (unsweetened and unflavoured). Coconut water is super-hyped because it’s hydrating, low in calories, fat and cholesterol free and packed with potassium (more than four bananas!!). As for almond milk, it’s one of the best milk alternatives out there, also low cal, minimal carb and sodium levels and cholesterol-free. Both options are full of vitamins and surprisingly won’t make your smoothies taste any different even though all this health stuff is sounding like it would taste as bad as the also super-healthy kale.

Now for the superfood add-ins. A superfood is basically a food that is found to be like, really, really good for you, also typically seen on talk shows your mother watches. Chia seeds are my favourite to add to my smoothies because you can’t taste them, and they have a ton of fibre, omega-3, calcium, manganese (yah, I didn’t know what that was either, but it’s important), phosphorus and protein, but particularly because they make me really full. I’ve also heard of adding hemp seeds (don’t think I can get behind that one), matcha powder (I LOVE matcha, like I eat it by choice) maca powder (apparently tastes like butterscotch, but let’s not get too excited, it is a superfood), cocoa powder (no explanation necessary, also tastes really good) and goji berries.

So while everyone has their personal preference on what goes into the blender, I can kind of lay out the groundwork.

1. Ice– if you haven’t got frozen fruit in the mix, you’ll want some ice.

2. Liquids– your coconut water, almond milk, OJ, apple juice, whatever you fancy.

3. Frozen fruit– I usually do mangoes and berries.

4. I don’t know what to call these, but I want to say like creamy ingredients– literally your only options are banana or avocado– definitely do one or the other, or both, don’t skimp on this step.

5. Fresh fruits and vegetables– this is your cue to throw your greens in, and any fresh fruit. I’ve found that apples are really good with the not so desirable vegetables.

6. Superfoods, if you are so inclined.

7. BLEND!!

So once a day, usually in the mornings or after I work out, I down a smoothie. These things are f***ing filling, like a whole meals worth, and you can feel like a super fit athlete that’s got it all figured out for the day. Or maybe that’s just me.

–Anna Raponi

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