A few weeks ago, I stumbled across this 21-day green smoothie challenge and as I had already decided to start having smoothies for breakfast, I thought I might as well do something structured and with the support of over 2,000 others who had signed up for the challenge.
I was very excited about this because there’s a Facebook group where I could communicate with others and receive support and advice during the challenge, and there was a structured schedule with free shopping lists and recipes to follow.
Best of all, I managed to complete the full challenge and finished it on Friday. I’ve certainly noticed differences in my health, including clearer, softer skin and a flatter stomach.
The above image, from the Blender Babes website, summarises the benefits of the smoothie challenge. While on this challenge I noticed I didn’t crave sugary foods at all. While I don’t think I lost any weight (I haven’t checked as I’m not bothering with the scales these days), I’ve noticed my digestion has been a lot better, resulting in a flatter stomach.
My nails and hair seem to be stronger and growing faster and best of all, my skin is clear and glowing. I’ve been full of energy and happiness for the past three weeks and feel that this challenge has benefited me so much that I’ll be starting it again tomorrow – I’ve already got the ingredients for the first week.
Now that I’ve summarised the benefits of this challenge, I think I’ll share with you some of my favourites from the challenge:
All the photos below come from my own Instagram account which you can find here. I always love new followers!
All of the smoothies contained healthy, delicious fruits and some greens. I had never tried a smoothie with spinach or kale or any other sort of leaves in it before this challenge, but now that I’ve tried it, I can never go back. It’s an amazing way to get your five-a-day.
Here are three of my favourite recipes from this challenge.
1. Red Grape Heart Healthy Green Smoothie
The challenge started off great with this red grape smoothie. Ingredients included red grapes, baby spinach, banana and chia seeds. I used Chia Bia, which is an easy way to get more nutrients into the diet, giving you more energy, better digestion and a healthier heart.
Chia is the highest known vegetarian source of Omega 3 and also provides a lot of Fibre, Protein and Antioxidants. Chia seeds are also tasteless so it’s a very simple way to improve your diet.
2. Pineapple Ice Cream Green Smoothie
Yes, you read that right. Pineapple Ice Cream. This one tasted just like ice cream, thanks to the vanilla protein powder. Other ingredients included kale, pineapple, banana and coconut. The recipe also requests nuts and dates, but I didn’t bother with these.
Kale has long been hailed a healthy food and is famous for its many, many health benefits including, but not limited to lowering cholesterol and lowering the risk of cancer. It also has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Pineapple is also a great fruit with several benefits. It prevents free radical damage, protecting the body from disease. It’s also a great source of Vitamin C. The benefits are endless.
3. Acai Cancer-Fighting Smoothie
Anything that fights cancer is great and this smoothie was packed with cancer-fighting ingredients, including acai juice (which is expensive, but worth the cost), yoghurt (the recipe says berry-flavoured but I used natural), red cabbage, banana and strawberries.
Studies show that a 100 gram serving of raw red cabbage delivers 196.6 milligrams of polyphenols, of which 28.3 milligrans are anthocyanins. You don’t need to know what those words mean – you just need to know that they’re good. The vitamin C equivalent of red cabbage is six to eight times greater than that of green cabbage.
And it tastes great, so I highly recommend adding it to your diet.
There are several other recipes, which are equally delicious, such as Wendy’s Super Green Avocado Smoothie, which is deliciously smooth and is so great for the skin and hair, thanks to its healthy fats.
The Key Lime Pie Green Smoothie was one of my favourites as it provided a refreshing ‘zing’ and was amazing overall. I made it for my whole family – they couldn’t get enough of it.
Bobbi Brown’s Chocolate Coconut Kale Shake used raw cacao powder which was deliciously chocolately and made this smoothie taste just like a chocolate milkshake, while also providing several much-needed nutrients.
I can’t wait to see the results of doing this challenge the second time. Maybe I’ll make up a few extra smoothie recipes along the way!
If you’d like more information on Blender Babes, you can get it by visiting: http://www.blenderbabes.com/livegreensmoothiechallenge