More Health, Less Waste
“Eat your veggies!” mom says, while staring at the green strands on your plate. In response, you roll your eyes and sigh. This childhood memory rings all too true for many of us. Now, as grown ups, it has been settled that mom does in fact know best. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that the average adult get 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables every day. However, the average American only consumes 1-2 servings of fruits AND vegetables a day.
Why Is This Statistic So Low Compared To What Is Recommended By The USDA?
Some may argue that Americans are the busiest people in the world, and there isn’t enough time in a day to prepare meals with the right serving sizes of fruit and vegetables. That‘s true! Data shows that each week, the average American adult works approximately 34.4 hours and that number goes up to 47 hours or more for some. These long work weeks are lengthier than any other similar economic society, and can obviously contribute to less time focusing on our hand-to-mouth choices.
Sorry, Mom. Times Have Changed.
While working is now the American past time, we unfortunately also rank high in food waste production. Research shows that the average adult in the U.S. wastes approximately 20 pounds of food per month. In fact, the Natural Resource Defense Council states that America is Losing up to 40 Percent of its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill. To counterbalance the alarming data on these choices, nutrition experts and foodies alike started a trend to match the need for more nutrition and less waste in America. That trend: the smoothie. These often nutritious drinks filled with fruits and veggies can also be mixed with ingredients like ice, water, dairy, flax, chia seeds, protein powders, and nuts to differ texture and nutrition content. Smoothies are not new to America’s vast menu of food options, but it wasn't until recently that the benefits of smoothies caught the public's attention.
For what reason you ask? Smoothies take an average of 5-10 minutes to make and can constitute 10 or more servings of fruits and vegetables alone. That’s right! Making a smoothie for a quick and easy snack or to replace a meal can take less time than waiting in line at the drive-through, and can be the secret to meeting your daily recommended produce intake. This may already seem appealing to you, but there are even more reasons to jump on the bandwagon! The largest nutrition study in history, The Oxford/Cornell China Study, found that mostly plant-based diets correlate to very low rates of heart disease, autoimmune disease, and cancer. Moreover, GreenSmoothieGirl.com conducted research about their green smoothie, and results showed that 95% of its participants noticed improved health and/or quality of life, 84% experienced more energy, 79.5% noticed better digestion, 65% had decreased cravings for processed foods, and 54% reported weight loss and enhanced mood. Other benefits noted were a detox for the body, improved immune response, healthier hair and skin, and even diabetes prevention.
Clearly, the benefits of the smoothie trend are pretty persuasive. So, when preparing for your busy work week, try making Robyn’s Green Smoothie below and see for yourself how easy this nutritious snack or meal can be for your healthy lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to switch it up and include some of your favorite fruits and vegetables!
Robyn’s Green Smoothie
- 1 1/2 cup water and ice
- 3 large handfuls of spinach
- 2 large leaves of kale with stems
- 2 cups frozen mixed berries
- 1 banana
- 1 apple or your favorite fruit
In a high powered blender, blend water, ice and greens for 30 seconds or until smooth. Add fruit and blend until smooth. This will make approximately one quart and can be kept up to 48 hours in the fridge!
Tips and Tricks:
- Add stevia or raw organic agave nectar to sweeten.
- Add your favorite organic protein powder to get additional protein in your diet.
- In the beginning, add additional fruit for a more flavorful drink and as you go adopt more greens into your own recipe.
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– Casey Edmonds, CHWC, CPT, CMS