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When January 1st rolls around, we begin to make New Year’s Resolutions. While many people desire to lose weight, many also desire to eat better and feel better. The number one way to feel better, look better and lose weight is to eat the right foods. I have talked often about the importance of the type of food you put in your body. Your body needs fuel, and good fuel at that. Many different diets exist. I believe life changes are a better option. Click here to read about the latest research on weight loss and what is best for you.

So, I wanted to start the New Year off by sharing some of The NP Mom’s favorite, healthy recipes and websites. I will be sharing these over the next week. Today, we will take a look at one of my favorites, The Green Smoothie.

1) The Green Smoothie – So, there are many different food “rages” that come and go. Recently, juicing and green smoothies have become popular and definitely have their place in a healthy, whole foods diet. The green smoothie can be daunting and may not look very appetizing, but it is a quick healthy and tasty (I promise) way to get both fruits and vegetables into your diet and start your day off right.

The Green Smoothie really consists of whatever fruits you like as well as fresh spinach or kale. I always keep frozen fruit in the freezer – then it is like eating a frosty treat that is really good for you. Cut up bananas before they get too ripe and freeze, then you can remove just want you want to add to your smoothies. You can eat green smoothies anytime of the day or night. I recommend eating these in place of a meal, not in addition to a meal – if you are trying to lose weight. Smoothies still contain calories and too many calories can cause you to gain weight.

A quick tip when making smoothies in your blender: Start with your liquid first, then add your spinach, then fruit – I usually blend each one up as I add it. By doing this, it makes it easier to blend the smoothie well.

1) Purple Green Smoothie – This is a great smoothie to start with if you have never tried green smoothies or if your children are picky and you want to be sneaky. It will be a vibrant purple color and hide the greens. You will not taste the greens, I promise!

Add handful of blueberries, handful of frozen bananas, and a handful of spinach or kale. Sometimes I also add about teaspoon of Chia seeds – which are high in omega 3 and fiber, and many other wonderful things! Blend all of the above with a little water (which I use) or fruit juice. I also add a couple teaspoons of honey (bought locally if possible) for added sweetness. One of my favorites!

2) Green Smoothie Variations – Once you fall in love with green smoothies, you won’t care what it looks like. So, use any type of frozen fruit. I seem to always add frozen bananas to my smoothies – as I think the bananas enhance the taste of the other fruits in the smoothies. I recommend adding any frozen berries, mango, pineapple, peaches, or any other fruit in season that freezes well. Just add some water, honey and your spinach or kale. You can also add chia seeds, small amount of bran or oat meal.

What’s important to know – when making green smoothies, there are NO rules. Add in what you like and leave out what you don’t, except for your kale or spinach!

There are many variations to green smoothies and many recipes. If you are looking for a website for recipes, I love the Green Smoothie Girl website. It is packed full of ways to incorporate more whole foods into your diet. Check her out! Simply googling green smoothies will give you thousands of websites chocked full of recipes.

So, take the leap make a green smoothie and then sit down and leave a comment to tell me how much you love them!

Coming up – Whole food baking – Make it healthy and taste good!