Saturday, 7 July 2012

Nutrition Challenge #1: 30 Days of Green Smoothies

I have been getting in touch with my inner hippie lately by reading books like Victoria Boutenko's Green Smoothie Revolution and Natasha Kyssa's The Simply Raw Living Foods Detox Manual.

I find the idea of a raw food diet intriguing, but it doesn't really seem conducive to living in an environment where there is snow on the ground up to six months of the year. That said, my diet could certainly stand to have the fruit and veggie components increased. For this reason, I decided to give the "30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge" a try. It promised all kinds of wonderful things like more energy, weight loss, and immune system support.

The challenge is essentially that: one green smoothie every day for 30 consecutive days. A green smoothie is essentially any combination of greens (e.g. spinach, kale, mesclum mix) and fruit blended together. A purist would insist on organic ingredients only. The produce can be blended together with a suitable liquid such as water, coconut water, or a nut milk.

My experiment started 30 days ago with a parsley pear combo. It took me three hours to get through it. All I could think was this tastes like earthy garden. Not a winner. I would have given up on the whole project except that the next morning I woke up craving green smoothie. Weird, I know. So, I persisted. The smoothies eventually started tasting better. Stranger, as I increased my greens intake in the mornings, I craved even more greens during the day. Less healthy food choices became unappealing.

For the first few weeks, I thought maybe I had a bit more energy but wasn't sure if it was just a placebo effect. However, it just happened that I had a 10K race both at the beginning of the smoothie challenge and at the end. I ran the first race rested and feeling good -- chip time: 58:55. The second race, I was tired and would have been happy to just break an hour -- chip time 55:51. That's a full 3 minutes faster, and a new personal best (previous PB 57:30, which was the week before running a half marathon a couple years ago). The race itself felt easier than usual, and I recovered much faster after the race than I normally do. Maybe it's all a coincidence, but I think I'm going to continue with my green smoothie morning routine - at least for the rest of the summer/fall running season.

Anyone have any experience with green smoothies? Was it a good thing, a bad thing, or neither?


  1. That's really interesting. I've requested a few books from the library and I'm going to try this (although not for a month)!

  2. You know, since I stopped green smoothies, I actually really crave them now. I think I might re-adopt the routine for the long haul.