One Simple Habit
Ready to embark on a plant-powered adventure full of rawesome results? Whether you're here trying to lose weight, improve your health, prevent a disease, nourish your family, feel happier, get fit, start over, or all of the above, you've come to the right place. We know it can be a little scary trying something new (especially when it's bright green), but we have a feeling you're going to be pleasantly surprised. Our green smoothies taste good, pinkie promise!
WHEN SOMETHING'S JUST GOTTA GIVE . . .
We are all creatures of habit, even when they're the bad ones. But we also have incredible intuition and can sense when things just aren't right with our bodies. We get concerned when our faces start breaking out; we look pregnant when we're not; our arms have a li'l jiggle; we struggle to get out of bed in the morning; we crave the foods that we know make us feel sluggish . . . the list goes on and on.
This is usually when we decide it's time to buck up and go on a diet. We get hopeful that this diet will fix everything, but it's not something we can keep up with for the long term.
As two busy moms doing our best to raise healthy families, keep up our energy levels, and look and feel good ourselves, we were no different. We tried just about everything. Between us, we've embarked upon a dozen different diets in hopes of finding a way to feel amazing in our bodies.
Eventually, we would always give in to the drive-thru cravings or decide that after weeks of consuming nothing but liquids, it was time to actually chew something--and that "something" would be an entire pepperoni pizza. Nothing had lasting results, and we'd find ourselves right back where we started: searching for "the perfect diet."
But the truth is that the majority of diets don't work. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, a bestselling author, a family physician, and an international leader in the field of functional medicine, the average person gains 11 £ds from every diet they go on, because the diets encourage us to eat foods that end up increasing hunger and slowing down our metabolisms. We can't get healthy by counting calories, avoiding carbs, or drinking solely liquids.
Are you ready for a change? Ready to ditch the restrictive diets for good? We hope so, because this is when we get super excited. If you want to get healthier, you have to embrace a lifestyle that's easy to stick with--one that fuels your body with foods to help you overcome exhaustion, sickness, and excess weight. To make a dramatic change in your health, we believe, involves embracing just one healthy habit at a time. Not 20. Not even 5. Start with one really good one. Start with a daily green smoothie.
THE SIMPLE GREEN SMOOTHIES HABIT
We're all about one simple habit: drinking a daily green smoothie. This is the first step to making healthy eating a lifestyle. We keep it simple for a reason: because it works. If we complicated things with multiple catches, there would be no way you'd stick with it or progress beyond it. It's easy to set yourself up to fail when you have a huge list of do's and don'ts. When you embrace the simple habit of drinking a daily green smoothie, you are giving your body permission to transform naturally and happily.
A daily green smoothie is not a short-term program or a diet where you're counting down the days until it's over. Honestly, there's no endgame with green smoothies, just a starting point to a life of health and wellness.
What Is a Green Smoothie?
Are you wondering, "What the heck is in a green smoothie?" Well, you're not alone. People always stop and ask us what the green stuff is that we're drinking. We love the crazy stares! Every green smoothie we blend is based on the following simple formula:
LEAFY GREENS + FRUIT + LIQUID = GREEN SMOOTHIE
We embrace the plant-powered goodness all the way! There are a few ingredients you won't find in our green smoothies that you often find in others: dairy, animal-based products, processed sugars, and gluten. We are very intentional about avoiding these ingredients because we know many people are highly sensitive to them and they can trigger allergies and upset tummies. You may not even know you have a sensitivity to any of these foods until you remove them from your diet. Now, are you ready for some leafy love going straight into your body to renew you from the inside out? Oh, kale yeah!
Let Go of Perfection and Embrace the Good
The green smoothie journey changed our lives. It opened the door to nut milks, natural sweeteners, kale chips, buckwheat pillows, organic produce, hot yoga, farm-to-table restaurants, homemade deodorant, backyard chickens, raised garden beds, and grass-fed butter.
We're sure you can tell that we lo-o-ove our leafy greens. But would you believe we also enjoy greasy pizza, extra creamy mac 'n' cheese, hot fudge sundaes, and black licorice? Yep, you read that right. We gulp green smoothies and eat greasy pizza.
The difference is, these things used to control us and be in our bodies all day long. We craved these foods and didn't feel satiated until our mouths were stuffed and our bellies were bloated. But that's not the case anymore.
When we have a green smoothie for breakfast, we're just not as tempted to reach for that doughnut later on. So, yes, we still enjoy unhealthy things, but we now choose when we feel like indulging. It's like the chains of the processed food world have been broken, and we can say yes or no to junk food without an internal struggle.
A big part of the green smoothie lifestyle is accepting our imperfections, listening to our cravings, celebrating any win (big or small), and sticking with our daily green smoothie habit. Our hope is that you experience this same food freedom we have found by drinking a daily green smoothie.
Why We Don't Count Calories
When we focus on counting calories or tracking points, we forget what truly matters--vitamins and nutrients. The simple truth is that calories are not equal. For example, you can gulp down a 100-calorie soda or a 100-calorie green smoothie. Sure, they have the same number of calories, but the differences in their health benefits are drastic.
The soda fills your body with sodium and processed sugar that spike your blood sugar levels and cause you to crave more of it. A green smoothie fills your body with vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, and fiber--which fill you up, stabilize your blood sugar levels, and energize your body naturally. This is why we focus on nutrients, not calories.
If weight loss is a goal, you can happily achieve this without counting calories. Yep, we said it! What we recommend is consuming low-glycemic green smoothies, which you can find in the Lean & Green recipe section. These smoothies are lower in sugars and calories yet high in nutrients, so your body will be nourished.
A HEALTHY HABIT FUELS AN AWESOME LIFE
Once you start fueling your body with leafy greens, veggies, and fruit with a daily green smoothie, you'll start craving them more and more--and the rawesome results will begin to unfold. Some results will come quickly, and others will take time to reveal themselves. Here are some of our favorite health benefits that you can experience by drinking a daily green smoothie.
"It took us 30 years, but we finally crave spinach smoothies, kale chips, and roasted Brussels sprouts. Our moms are so proud of us." --JEN & JADAH
INCREASED ENERGY. Green smoothies give you extra pep in your step. The actual blending process breaks down plant cell walls, making it easier for your body to digest and absorb the nutrients. So not only does your body do less work than it normally would to digest these foods, but you also absorb more nutrients from them.
GLOWING SKIN. A diet high in leafy greens means you are loading up on chlorophyll, which helps purge toxins from the inside out, replenishes cells, and restores the skin quickly. Get your glow on with healthy, happy skin.
SHARPER CLARITY AND FOCUS. The combination of high-fiber leafy greens and fruit gives you steady, stable, consistent energy. Say adios to brain fog and hello to quick wit and focus!
STRENGTHENED IMMUNE SYSTEM. Blending fruits and veggies that are high in vitamins A and C boosts the immune system, which is your body's natural defense system against infections and viruses. Leafy greens support the lymphatic system, flush out toxins, and reduce inflammation.
Sick of Getting Sick?
Ever since we started drinking green smoothies, both of our families have dodged our fair share of colds and flus. And when we do get hit, we bounce back quickly since our immune systems are strong and ready for battle. When we feel a little sickness coming on, we've been known to gulp certain green smoothie recipes up the ying yang. (You can learn all about them in Chapter 10.)
Yet the thing we're most proud of is that our kids have weathered the preschool and early elementary school viruses insanely well. They haven't needed antibiotics in the last 5 years--which is exactly when we first started drinking green smoothies. Coincidence? We don't think so.
REGULAR BOWEL MOVEMENTS. The fiber found in green smoothies acts as an internal broom to help digested food inside your body "move along." We're all for regular bathroom trips and less digestive discomfort throughout the day. Over time, regular bowel movements can help with bloating, acne, and weight loss. Holla!
WEIGHT LOSS. Green smoothies are loaded with nutrients and packed with fiber, which all aid in weight loss. Plus, fiber and healthy fats keep you full and energized, making working out even more doable. Oftentimes, green smoothie rawkstars lose weight without even trying. Now that's what we call a happy side effect!
Praise from Our Rawkstars
As much as we enjoy telling you about the health benefits you will experience when you drink a daily green smoothie, we also love sharing stories straight from our community. These rawkstars are happy to share with you a piece of their journey.
"I feel energized. A lot of days, I even choose to take my green smoothie on my way to work instead of my morning coffee! It's incredible how quickly you can just whip up one of those smoothies. Thanks for introducing me to green smoothies; I will not stop here. They will stay on my meal plan, and I am excited to follow you until the next 30-day challenge." --NICOLE BENT
"The best part was seeing my kids beg for my smoothies. My oldest son, who is 31/2, has Down syndrome, and he is one picky eater. But he loved these! I'm looking forward to keeping with the habit and sharing with my kids." -- TARA CHERRY
"The idea of drinking spinach was a turnoff at first. I have tried several diets and get bored easily. Since starting the challenge, I've lost 10 £ds! I am sleeping a lot better, have more energy, and make better choices when it comes to my other meals throughout the day!" --AMANDA LANDRETH
"Green smoothies have drastically changed my life! I'm in college, and I have been eating horrible foods, since they're often readily available. I often felt sluggish and had little to no energy. I came across your Web site and began making my own green smoothies. This is the best thing I've ever done! Since doing so, I now feel more energized, and I'm even doing better in school. I have also made my friends into green smoothie lovers. We even have green smoothie parties and come up with new and exciting recipes!" --KATIE HOUSE
"I've been trying to improve my diet and the quality of my food for many years. Some days I just can't stand to look at another salad, piece of fruit, or vegetable! I've been drinking green smoothies for the last 9 days. I can't believe how amazing I feel and how easy this is to do. I even get a bigger boost of energy from green smoothies than from my morning coffee!" --RANDY KIMBALL
Copyright © 2015 by Jen Hansard and Jadah Sellner. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.