On the night before I began my fast here on Koh Samui, Thailand, I was lucky enough to bump into ‘my’ iridologist, and raw foodist, crystal healer and friend Jennifer Thompson. And as luck would have it she invited me to a free green smoothy talk she was giving that evening. Of course I accepted her very kind invitation and me and my fuchsia sunburn trundled along to her lovely beach hut to have my raw life revolutionised.
The first thing you notice about Jennifer is that she glows. A problem if you come from Chernobyl but in this case it’s a very good thing. She is gorgeous, vibrant and energetic and lives a raw food life in a way that I don’t think would ever fit with my hectic London schedule and weak willpower.
Six of us sit around a low table groaning with a giant pile of green leaves, exotic fruit and bananas and of course, a blender. Nothing fancy, it’s just a slightly battered well loved, plastic blender I’ve seen in Sainsbury’s for a tenner.
First off we define what a green smoothy is. Jennifer tells us; ‘it is not a naughty treat, it’s a healthy meal in itself. Green as in green leaves are the only thing in nature that the sun turns into edible energy and blending them helps break them down and open up the nutrients to our bodies. ’ She also told us that ‘green leaves are not a carbohydrate like vegetables or fruit and they provide lots of essential minerals and proteins normally associated with meats. They are a category of their own.’
Jennifer continued and rapidly fired off the benefits of green smoothies. Here are the top seven I managed to remember:
1. it’s an EASY way to get your nutrients (iron, calcium, magnesium, Vits K, C, E, B) for the day;
‘A smoothy is a perfect way to eat greens because we need such a big volume of them that we couldn’t get in a salad. You just add the green leaves to a fruit base such as apples, pears, bananas, berries, whatever and blend.’
2. it’s a QUICK way to get all your nutrients for the day;
‘We’re all too busy to chew.’
3. You’ll have LOTS OF ENERGY;
‘When you start drinking green smoothies you’ll notice you’ll have a lot more energy because it is energy coming directly from the sun.’
4. It’s CHEAP;
‘Instead of coming all the to Thailand you can a three day or two week (or whatever) green smoothy diet and fast every month.’
5. GREAT FOR BABIES;
‘Green smoothies are a great transitional food for babies because they’re delicious and easy to swallow.’
6. it’s a HEALING food; and
‘Your body can’t heal itself without the tools. The tools are the nutrients.’
7. STOP CRAVINGS.
‘Underneath every addiction, is your body craving for nutrients.’
The one major yet superficial benefit of green smoothies that Jennifer didn’t really go into, is that you’ll lose weight. Once you stop succumbing to the cravings, your body has the nutrients it needs to heal itself and because it will feel the love from you, you’ll shift the pounds! She also mentioned that because of the high level of fibre in the smoothy they can last up to three days so you can make them at night and eat them the next day. Oh – and they’re packed with anti-oxidants. I’m 99% sold at this point and already visualise my new life as a green smoothy disciple. And so we begin to blend…
For more information about the nutritional value of green leaves I found this easy to understand article on About.com.