I couldn’t believe it. I had just been given a Magic Bullet food processor (by my very generous aunt) – and I could not WAIT to dig in! I’d been reading about the benefits of green smoothies – vitamins, minerals, energy, glowing skin – you name it. “Sure”, I thought… “it could be a trend.” But seriously. WHAT could possibly be ‘wrong’ with a concoction of fresh organic veggies & fruits blended into a drinkable fusion??? This salad-drinking revolution seems an ideal way to give yourself a simple health-boost, right?
I’ll tell you what can be ‘bad’ about the stupendous green smoothies: Abdominal cramping, indigestion, bloating, sleeplessness, brain fog, hormonal shifts – to name a few. Say Whhaaaaaat?
Okay – before you freak out – I’m not saying green smoothies are bad for you. They’re actually QUITE good for you (well – MOST of you). But if your body doesn’t agree with ’em…. please don’t beat yourself up. You are not alone!
I was dumbfounded at first when I began to have similar symptoms to my gluten-ingesting days post-second-child…. “I KNOW I haven’t had anything glutenous today… I’ve been VERY careful. No cross-contamination even.” It was a confusing time – until I connected the dots. On the days I drank a smoothie, I suffered the symptoms mentioned above. HO-LY HANNAH. (And um, what thee hellz? C’mon – this is supposed to be GOOD for me!)
As I whittled down the suspected culprits, I couldn’t believe my findings. My body was STRUGGLING TO DIGEST KALE AND BANANAS! OK – let’s be real… These are a couple of the best things you can actually put into your body *(USUALLY)* And BAM! Denise cannot enjoy kale & banana smoothies any longer. I tried it without bananas. Still had problems. [I can eat a small amount of banana here or there…. but definitely not even half in a smoothie when I tried to do those almost daily.] Body: 2. Denise: zero. You win again, body, as usual. But…….. there is hope.
Those of us whose bods aren’t on board with certain ingredients don’t need to give up completely on the occasional smoothie. See, I’ve learned that I’m a protein type (a FREE test given by Dr. Mercola on his website! He’s a trusted resource, whose candor I appreciate, and who has the ability to get in on the ‘studies’ more directly. I have learned a lot from him about things that you wouldn’t even think to know exist/ or to look up. **That’s where The Vitality Lounge comes in!**)… I found that I lean more heavily to the protein end of the scale (though for me, I also need a dose of healthy fats & carbs along with it.) I need it. I like it. And, it likes me. I have energy. I have no negative symptoms or hormonal upsets (when I eat the RIGHT KINDS of protein – grass fed/ pastured & organic, such as is exemplified in this article.) AND – I can still benefit by eating the RIGHT KINDS of veggies as well. For us protein types – potassium is a big issue. I was blending two very high-potassium foods into those daily drinkables, and my bod just wasn’t havin’ it. Quite frankly, I’d rather feel good. I eat small amounts of kale in mixed salads at times, but not daily, and not in high quantities. So be it.
Sometimes it’s hard to decipher what our bodies are trying to tell us, particularly when it comes to food sensitivities or reactions based on our individual body types. When it’s not a clear allergy – it’s even more challenging to figure it out and stop harming ourselves. Even the good stuff can be bad for us if our bodies aren’t built to digest it. This is one reason why food-journaling has literally saved my sanity! I highly recommend it… If you’re unsure about it – I have some tips to make it smooth-sailing. (It saves sanity, people! If you have mysterious symptoms that plague you – give it a try.)
So – with the surge in green-smoothie-sippers out there, there are likely some variations that could help you achieve that boost, without the negative side-effects. (Yes – food CAN & DOES have side-effects…. just like anything else. The key is to listen to YOUR body and follow those signals.)
For example, personally I can usually still tolerate the occasional smoothie made with spinach, and coconut water or plain water, with a dash of cream and/ or honey. I also love carrot juice – so I’m going to need to get a family juicing machine for that one… But hey – I’m figuring out what I can enjoy. *[I still have to experiment more with some other options – but apparently apples & pears could be beneficial for me. I shall try with the juicer at some point…. Nom!]
Last but not least – if you get yourself a lovely Magic Bullet or another variation of a fab-food-prepper, but you can’t tolerate the greenage, that baby still comes in handy for all KINDS of foodie-things (including making home-made sauces, grinding down nuts, ground coffee beans, and much more.) We still use it regularly – and I’m loving the simplicity of it (along with the occasional spinach smoothie!)
If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. If your bod doesn’t dig it – just move on and figure out what it does want. You’ll be glad you did. There are multiple ways of incorporating health-boosts into your day…. You’ll find the ones that are right for YOU!