My Lunchtime Kale & Avocado Green smoothie

My Lunchtime Kale & Avocado Green smoothie

 

I know, it’s not on the top of most people’s list of things they can’t wait to chuck down their neck, but in the interest of staying trim, fit and healthy, this is a powerhouse option. It’s my ‘go to’ lunchtime option when I need a week of simple carb and meat free nutrition.  Quick, easy, healthy with none of that thinking malarky required.

Before I witter on about the smoothie I just want to revisit what I mean by ‘fit and healthy’. It’s a subjective term and will mean different things to different people (and doctors). For me, it all comes down to the following when I’m trying to make healthy choices:

  • Preventative maintenance: What can I do to stop myself getting diabetes, getting cancer, heart disease, obese and all the other rubbish stuff before they can get a hold? I may well get run over by a bus or be predisposed to a certain type of cognitive decline or cancer. But of the lifestyle factors highly correlated with these diseases, what can I avoid or work on?

  • Fit For Purpose: Can I keep up with my kids? Will I be able to play football with them 15 years from now? Will I be able to teach my grandkids to surf? And on a day to day basis, can I lift stuff without spronging my back? Am I strong enough to protect my loved ones? Do I creak when I stand up or bounce out of bed?

  • Balance: Am I happy? Can I fit this stuff in? Is it affordable or am I sacrificing important things? Can I still eat chocolate and ice cream (yes)? I hate running (don’t run then, go swimming, paddle board, cycle, dance, whatever – just move!) and so on.

Just wanted to make that clear so you know it’s not some arbitrary ‘dull health kick moment’ and that there is purpose and method to the OCD I tend to rock when it comes to this stuff.

Talking of ‘fitness’ I had a mega retro fitness moment a couple of days ago. I overheard somebody saying “…and then I picked her up from keep fit and we went home…” Keep Fit! Remember that? In the 80s, nobody went to yogalates or body combat – mums went to Keep Fit. And they bought us Mighty White bread for our school sarnies because it was healthier. Aaah, those were the days…

Is this post about a smoothie or what?

This smoothie will fire you up for the day as a breakfast, or I take it as my lunch (as I prefer my Ultimate Breakfast Protein Shake in the mornings). It’s full of energy, vitamins and minerals (seriously, absolutely rammed) and will also keep you full until your next meal.

Check out the video above for simple instructions (it’s extraordinarily easy to knock up) and the following is a rough guide to what goes in. I’m not one for measurements (that’s for bakers and I’m not a huge purveyor of the simple carb produce) so use this a guide then fiddle and tweak (oo-er) to your own taste:

  • A handful of kale

  • A handful of  spinach

  • Half an Avocado

  • 300mls unsweetened almond milk (I just pour until it looks right, you’ll get it)

  • 1 carrot

  • A stick or two of celery

  • A tomato

  • A 50/50 blend of pea and rice protein (see description below)

  • Some frozen organic berries (blue/black, bramble etc)

  • Half tsp of Stevia (if you want to sweeten it a bit)

  • Other odds and ends to taste (I’ve added a bit of chilli before, because that’s my thing)

NB: No salt, no sugar, no dairy, no meat.

Directions: Bung it all in your blender and blitz. Pour it in a glass. Open your mouth. Guzzle.

I use a Magimix that Amazon was kind enough to flog me. It does the job perfectly well. Of course you could go a step further (with a slightly finer blend) and go for a Vitamix or similar bit of kit but you’ll pay through the nose for it. I would say though, anything less than a magimix and you’re missing a good blend and the easy clean up ability (so important to me) – Simply swill it all out under a tap after you’ve finished – done. Not all blenders are created equally.

I use this one: Magimix 11610 1.8 Litre Blender, Black

Why is Kale So Bloomin’ Great?

Kale is a beast, even among other green leafy veg:

  • The fibre in Kale binds bile acids, lowering bad cholesterol – a heart protector.

  • Again the fibre and sulfur will protect your liver

  • It’s very rich in organosulfur – a colon (and other types) cancer smasher.

  • Sulforaphane in kale is super for your immune system

  • Kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin which will help protect your eyes against ultraviolet light.

  • Blood clotting, antioxidant activity and your bones are all supported by high level of vitamin K found in kale

  • Kale is very high in iron – more than beef!

  • Another mention for the high fibre – great for the digestive system and protective against bowel cancer

  • It’s got so much going on in it, scientists are finding new nutrients in Kale even today – we don’t even know how good it is yet!

Why Spinach (like I need to ask)?

Oh, for goodness sake – you know why spinach. Popeye anybody? Actually it’s a bit rubbish for muscles but it is still one of the healthiest things you can stick in your gob – so it’s in.

You Say Avocados, So Do I…

Not only does the avocado (all avocados, not just the avocado) taste amazing and add a creamy texture to the smoothie, it gets in on nutrient merit too. Full of healthy fats, these delicious little monkeys look after everything from your heart to your skin. Check out a bit more here: http://healthiestfoods.co.uk/health-benefits-of-avocado

Why Celery Is Good For The Lads…

Sorry girls, close your eyes for a minute, this is for the boys.

Celery is very good at improving your circulation – you know what that means don’t you? Yep – It’s helps you get it up, and keep it up. Not only that but it supports the prostate gland and your ability to produce ample seminal fluid. It makes you more fertile – neat! And as if that wasn’t enough celery may enhance the synthesis of the steroid, androstenone, which releases in your sweat as a pheromone – yes, a sexy smell that the ladies will find themselves irresistibly drawn to (probably).

Ok girls, you can open your eyes now. And don’t be surprised to see celery scribbled on the bottom of the shopping list this week…

What are all these rice & pea protein shenannigans about?

I’m trying to limit meat to very lean, 3 or maybe 4 times a week – red meat once a fortnight and no processed meats. This is very hard by the way and I’m certainly not in the full swing of it yet. I wanted to leave dairy, soy (soy is bad – it can promote breast cancer, and not just in women) and meat proteins out of it so I looked for an alternative. The smart money is on a mix of (split) pea protein and rice protein. Both decent sources of protein on their own but with limitations. When mixed together they also ensure a rich supply of amino acids and become comparably effective to whey protein in improving strength and increasing lean body mass. I use The Pulsin brand which I buy separately and mix together. This is the bit that makes sure you feel full and makes the whole thing a great post workout meal too!

These are the ones I use:

Pulsin 1Kg Brown Rice Protein Powder
Pulsin Natural Pea Protein (1kg)

OK, enough wittering on about that. Remember, this is what works for me, as with all things take it as inspiration and make it your own.

Feel free to bust out any questions (or improvement ideas!) in the blog comments below…