Generally speaking I prefer to chew my food. McDougall, Novick, and Esselstyn all advise against smoothies and juicing. Their reasoning goes that food consumed in liquid form does not contribute enough to satiety, which could lead to over consuming calories later on. I used to do the green smoothie thing for breakfast, blending fruit, veggies, and some hemp protein powder and drinking it after my bike commute. The satiety definitely wasn’t there. The other criticism of smoothies and especially juices, is that with missing or severely disrupted fiber, it digests differently and could negatively impact blood sugar, insulin, and liver function, especially if there is a lot of fruit. I can’t attest to that, but I’ve stuck to chewing my food lately.
Others, like Dr. Fuhrman, think that green smoothies and occasional juices that are heavy on green vegetables can beneficially increase nutrient absorption of the healthiest foods. I thought I would revisit green smoothies to see if I notice anything interesting. And after my success with beet juice, I want to explore vegetable juicing as a performance enhancer. Dr. Fuhrman’s book Super Immunity has a few smoothie and juice recipes, most pretty basic and familiar to anyone who browses health related blogs. But one stood out as unique:
Detox Green Tea (Super Immunity p. 197)
I usually ignore anything with the abbreviation “detox” in its name these days, but I sometimes look to see if there’s something interesting. This one is. It combines green tea with a green vegetable juice then blended with berries. The health benefits of green tea are well covered, and green vegetables and berries are two of Fuhrman’s favorites. So I had to try it. The original recipe calls for juicing bok choy, kale, romaine, and a cucumber. Notice three leafy veggies, and two crucifers. The cucumber freshens the taste. Then in a blender, combine the juice with equal parts frozen raspberries and frozen cherries or strawberries. I tried it his way the first time, although I used a mixed berry blend, so I don’t know exactly what I got. Pretty good, but then I ran out of berries. Next, I only had frozen blueberries since they’re my favorite. But I had a thought, why not use goji berries, another of Fuhrman’s favorites? And why not switch the tea from green to hibiscus? I was inspired by Dr. Greger’s videos about the antioxidant power of hibiscus, and since I drink a lot of straight green tea, made the switch. There is also the fruit punch flavor element of hibiscus which nicely complements the berries.
Green Juice Berry Smoothie
1 bunch baby bok choy, or a few leaves of full size
1/2 bunch kale
1/2 large cucumber, peeled
several leaves romaine lettuce
1 mug brewed hibiscus tea, such as Red Zinger
1/4 C dried goji berries
1/2 C fresh or frozen blueberries (any berries will do, blueberries are my favorite)
Make a green juice by juicing the bok choy, kale, cucumber, and romaine. Put hibiscus tea and goji berries in a mug and brew, allowing the goji berries to plump up and soften. Remove tea bags, and blend everything in a blender.