Starting June 1st Plantiful Plates is kicking off its annual Smoothie-a-Day Challenge.
As in previous years, participants will receive an email with a new smoothie recipe each week in June. The email will also include some tips and nutritional information about the smoothies and the list of ingredients you will need to have on hand.
In previous years, we have enjoyed smoothies like the the Strawberry Patch, Blueberry Watermelon, Red Rainbow, Green Your Colada, Dreamy Creamy Zucchini and Almond Chocolate Cherry.
This year, the theme of the challenge is “Take Five”, meaning you take five minutes and five ingredients and that’s it! The smoothies included in this year’s challenge are simple and fast. They do not require any advanced preparation nor long list of ingredients. Yet as in previous years, they deliver on nutrition and taste! Instead of focusing on the maximum number of colours or vegetables we can incorporate into our smoothies, this year focuses on plant based proteins to satiate and nourish you. Of course there will be a green smoothie (a pre-requisite of a smoothie challenge) but not every smoothie is packed with greens. Hopefully this will get you and others in your household excited about trying this challenge!
Key Benefits of Drinking a Smoothie a Day
One small step can start you down the path of meaningful and lasting change. That’s what this challenge is meant to do, challenge you to make one small step each day—drinking a plantiful smoothie— to keep you moving on that path. Some of the most common benefits reported from drinking smoothies on a daily basis include:
- Natural energy booster
- Natural weight loss—high amounts of water and fiber, in addition to healthy fats and protein will help you fill full and stave off cravings and hunger.
- Boost your immune system
- Packed with disease-fighting antioxidants
- Best fast food
- You’ll start craving healthier food choices
- You can retrain your ‘sweet tooth’
- Keep you hydrated-especially important on hot summer days
- Great skin
Whatever your health goals, smoothies are an efficient way to concentrate your intake of plant nutrition. That’s why this isn’t a meal replacement program or challenge, but rather a challenge for you to up the goodness that you put in to your body and watch the changes that take form.
What is a smoothie?
Smoothies are drinks made up of fruits and vegetables, blended up into a smooth, drinkable consistency. Opposed to juice, smoothies contain the fibre of the fruit, which in addition of adding fibre into our diet, will aid in slowing down the absorption of fruit sugars into our cells.
Smoothies can include fruit and vegetables, ice, various liquids (coconut water, nut milk, water), superfoods (turmeric, cacao), nuts and seeds (hemp seeds, coconut, almond butter) and protein powders.
Check out this Plantiful Smoothie recipe:
Why drink smoothies?
Apart from the fact that smoothies are the best fast food, smoothies are an efficient way to get all the benefits of plants. Because much of the physical breakdown of the food is done before we consume the smoothie, the nutrients are much more readily available to be absorbed into our body. Secondly, you can get a whole lot of plant nutrients in one smoothie glass by breaking them down first—imagine how much chewing would be involved in breaking down three cups worth of fruit and vegetables into the consistency of smoothies, and how full we would get in the process.
What’s in a smoothie?
The perfect formula for a smoothie is not exact, however they can include:
- Greens and vegetables: one of the best things about smoothies is that you can get a
boatload of greens (spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, collards, swiss chard) in your body in a sweet, readily available way for our bodies to absorb the vitamins and minerals.
- Fruit: in addition to making smoothies sweet, fruit are filled with vitamins and phytonutrients that nourish our body.
- Nuts, seeds, healthy fats, or superfoods: Nuts and seeds will provide protein and essential fatty acids that will not only nourish our body, but along with fibre, will slow the release of sugars from the fruit added.
What you won’t find in a Plantiful Plates smoothie are things such as yogurt, juice, dairy milk or sugar, rather, liquids like water, coconut water and various nut milks will help blend all of the ingredients together. Sweetness can be added, but not always, with the addition of natural sweeteners such as dates, raw honey or maple syrup.
To sign up for the challenge, click on the banner that pops up on the Plantiful Plates website, or is found along the right side of the screen. I’ll send you an email each Friday in June with a new smoothie recipe and the list of things you need to make one smoothie each day for the coming week (starting on Monday). That’s it! No other commitment is required. The only other thing I ask of you is to take note of any changes you feel. As part of the Challenge I have set up a Plantiful Plates Smoothie-a-Day Facebook Group Page, where people can post their comments, progress, questions and pictures throughout July.
I’m excited to see what benefits we discover during this challenge, I hope you will join in!.