When people ask me what I do for a living, they usually follow up with, "You must drink a lot of coffee?!" Truth is, while I probably taste more than the average person, I don't ingest as much coffee as one might like to imagine. On an ambitious day I max out at three cups, while most mornings I am more than happy to cozy up with just one (all the more reason to spend time and effort ensuring my daily coffee is a delicious one, right?!).
Coffee has been getting a lot of positive press this year for it's health benefits. This news has certainly been encouraging for me and my habits, and for coffee industry as a whole. However, these studies don't change the fact that there are physical limitations to the amount of coffee I can consume. Whether it creates too much acidity in my stomach, gives me a headache, or causes that jittery over caffeinated, burned-out feeling, I am sensitive to the risks associated with coffee and have to drink mindfully, and in moderation—despite my job description.
I believe (and research shows) that along with a decent diet of whole foods and exercise, coffee can be part of a healthy lifestyle. For the past few months I've made it my mission to supplement my coffee drinking habit with more green stuff in an effort to mitigate the experience of coffee's less desirable side effects. As it turns out, I feel better, healthier, and have more energy on the days I make the choice to add greens. If you subscribe to the current health food trend of eating alkaline foods to reduce acidity in the body, perhaps this is the reason I benefit from including a healthy dose of greens—whatever the cause, the results are undeniable.
So, without further ado, here is a recipe for my favorite green smoothie to drink in the mornings—after my hot lemon water, and before a cup of coffee...
THE CLEAN GREEN SMOOTHIE
- 1/2 an English Cucumber
- 1 Pear
- 3 Leaves of Kale, with stalks removed
- 1/2 a bunch of Cilantro
- Handful of Sunflower Sprouts
- 1 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
- 1 tsp Matcha ( I use Mizuba Tea Company)
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 3/4 cup Filtered Water
- 1/2 cup ice
- Blueberries for garnish
- Place all ingredients in a high speed blender, adding the ice last.
- Blend on low increasing speed until high for 3-5 minutes. Add more water if needed.
- Pour smoothie into a glass and garnish with blueberries.
Not only is The Clean Green Smoothie refreshing and delicious, but it's loaded with antioxidants (matcha) and is equipped with protein (hemp seeds). Since the matcha has a bit of caffeine it also gives a gentle boost of energy. For more on the health benefits of matcha, read this.
If you are looking for other green smoothie ideas, I suggest following Teri Ann Carty on Instagram. Her work and gorgeous green smoothie creations have definitely been an inspiration to me. Also, for more information on acidic and alkaline foods, check out this handy chart from Julie Cove of the Alkaline Sisters. Coffee unfortunately finds itself in the 'Skip or Use Extreme Caution' category.
Maybe we can change the saying to #ButFirstAGreenSmoothieThenCoffee?