I am a NOWWellness Influencer and have been given products to sample, however, I was not paid to write this post. The FTC requires that I disclose this but I was using and loving many of them before working with this company. All opinions are my own.
It’s pretty safe to say that most of us have heard our Mother say, “eat your vegetables,” several times throughout our childhoods. We are told that they are good for us, some of us have taken that even further and have researched why they are good for us, and then a few actually take the steps necessary to incorporate them into our daily diets.
For many Americans, including myself, we find it difficult to eat the recommended daily amount that is required for optimal health. If you are training for an endurance race or even a recreational runner it’s even more important to eat GREEN. There are so many benefits to eating these foods, but it isn’t always that easy.
In comes the green smoothie. You see recipes and even entire cookbooks for them everywhere, but have you ever asked yourself “what is the big deal?” “Why all the hype over green smoothies?” Well, I asked myself that question a few months ago and decided to do a little more research plus incorporate them into my diet to see if they really do give you more energy and overall wellness.
I made the commitment to drink one large green smoothie a day for 30 days. The results were interesting and I’m confident that they will vary, as we are all different, but let me tell you what happened to me personally.
7 Things that happened when I started drinking a daily Green Smoothie
ENERGY: I did have more energy. It wasn’t the jolting hyperactive type you get with a cup of strong coffee, but rather the clear minded, sustained over the course of the day type. There is no crash with this type, and you can easily fall asleep at night. It’s more subtle, but that’s what I was looking for.
HYDRATION: I was peeing a lot. I am pretty good about drinking water, but this took it to a whole new level. I was getting my fluids in without having to constantly remind myself to drink water. As runners, we need even more hydration, so this worked out in my favor.
REGULARITY: Not to give you TMI, but let’s just say I was in the restroom three times a day. I’ve never had challenges in this department, but everything seemed to move very quickly through me, and I didn’t realize how awesome you feel when you are eliminating so frequently.
APPETITE: I was far less hungry and even though it feels like I’m eating all day long, the smoothies are so full of fiber and fluids that I felt less hungry throughout the day. I wasn’t trying to lose weight, and I don’t own a scale, but I certainly felt lighter. My stomach no longer felt bloated.
RUNNING: Here’s the one I was most pleased with: my running felt better. I had taken a hiatus from running due to some health issues and was just getting back into a regular training plan when I incorporated the smoothies. I soon began to feel light on my feet again and my paces dropped. Part of it was that I was gaining fitness, but I know from years of experimentation that nutrition is a big part of how you feel when you run.
RECOVERY: Through my research, I read that many green foods can aid in recovery and although recovery isn’t something that is easy to notice for me, and I wasn’t doing intense marathon training, I did feel less sore and seemed to be able to go from workout to workout with no trouble. This one is more difficult to gauge, but I feel pretty good.
CRAVINGS: The first week I drank the smoothies I was still craving something sweet in the afternoon. When this happened, I ate a few dried seedless dates and that seemed to make my brain happy. After the first week, my sugar craving almost disappeared and now I crave GREENS.
10 Green Foods That are Pontentially Good for Runners
Green Tea– It’s not just green liquid, it’s loaded with antioxidants (polyphenols) and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body. A small amount of caffeine combined with the amino acid L-Theanine, enhances brain function, and some studies suggest that green tea will aid in the body’s ability to burn fat ( the amount varied in individuals). All of these benefits are ideal for endurance runners. (Source)
10 Green Foods Every Runner Should be Eating #NOWWellness #Runchat Click To Tweet
Most fruits contain a high volume of water, fiber, and carbohydrates which is a great combination for runners.
Grapes– Like green tea, grapes contain a powerful antioxidant known as polyphenols. Plus, plenty of fiber and carbs.
Apples– Have plenty of fiber which keeps you feeling full and a lot of Quercetin, which supports lung function– what runner doesn’t want to support their lungs? Don’t dismiss the saying, “An apple a day.”
Kiwi– These little natives to New Zealand are very high in Vitamin C and folate.
Avocado– High in potassium, fiber, and healthy fats, we eat an usually large amount of these in my house per week; maybe because we live down the street from a grove. That’s about as local as you can get.
Pears– One pear contains up to 11 percent of our daily recommended intake of vitamin C and 9.5 percent of our daily recommended intake of copper. Runners need to keep their immune system strong and Vitamin C has been linked to doing just that.
Leafy Greens– Kale, Spinach, Collard Greens, Dandelion, Beet greens, all are high in dietary fiber and rich in folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. They also have a host of phytochemicals, such as lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene.
Celery– An excellent source of antioxidants and beneficial enzymes, in addition to vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin B6.
Wheat Grass– Considered a super food, because of its high chlorophyll content and its antioxidant functions. It may enhance the body’s production of enzyme SOD— which is one of the body’s main antioxidant enzymes. Because there is no way for me to have access to fresh grown every day, I use NOWFoods Non-GMO, Certified Organic Wheat Grass Powder.
Cucumber– They contain small amounts of an anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin that could potentially aid in brain function. Cucumbers also contain vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.
Ginger– A natural anti-inflammatory, ginger may reduce day to day muscle soreness brought on by exercise. Could potentially soothe your stomach if you suffer from “runners trots” or other minor stomach upset. I peel mine, cut it into one-inch pieces, and store it in the freezer. I use one piece per smoothie.
Beets– Beets may boost stamina to help you exercise longer, improve blood flow, and help lower blood pressure, some research shows. They are rich in natural chemicals called nitrates. Through a chain reaction, your body changes nitrates into nitric oxide, which helps with blood flow and blood pressure
Seeds– For added fiber, protein, Omega’s and other nutrients. I use THIS seed blend in all of my smoothies and on top of oatmeal and yogurts.
Dried Pitted Dates– for sweetness, but also essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium and potassium are found in dates. It also contains vitamins such as niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K. I add them to take away some of the bitter taste of the greens. They make your smoothies taste great and work well if you are cravings something sweet.
Banana– For sweetness and potassium. I find that adding a half of one to my smoothies also helps take away some of the bitter taste of the greens. Bananas have long been known as a great source of energy for runners and they make your smoothies very tasty.
Nut Butter– for protein and fiber, this is another item we eat loads of.
Green Kick Smoothie Recipe- Excellent for Runners #fitfluential #runchat Click To Tweet
DAILY GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE
This is a basic recipe that can be adjusted according to taste and to what you have available. My daily recipe includes:
2 cups of fluid– I use Organic Green Kick Tea that has been iced.
1 large handful of leafy Greens – I rotate which ones I use, because they all have different health benefits.
1/2 a green apple
1/2 of a banana
3-4 seedless dates
3 Tablespoons of Triple Omega Seed mix
1 Tablespoon of Organic Wheat Grass Powder
1- nob of fresh ginger
1/2 cup of fruit — you can use whatever you like- In this recipe I used a Kiwi.
A handful of ice cubes.
1 Tablespoon of Nut Butter ( when I’m feeling extra hungry or post workout)
1/2 of a cooked beet ( I cook and slice the up, then store them in the freezer)
1-3 slices of cucumber
1/2 stalk of celery
1/2 of an avocado
Place all ingredients in a large blender and whirl until smooth and creamy.
Yields about 4-5 cups. It’s pretty big. Sip on it throughout the morning. I use this double walled, vacuumed sealed stainless steel MUG to keep it cold all morning long and it’s also great if you need to drink it on the go.
Why Runners Should Eat Thier Greens #NOWWellness #runchat Click To Tweet
How about you? What’s your favorite GREEN food? Do you like green smoothies?
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.