If we’ve learned anything in this pollution era, it’s that nature is powerful. We’re living in a time where toxins can be found in the air we breathe, the water we consume, in our food, even in our clothes! However hard we may try, there’s no escaping from them. Over time, these toxins can build up in our body and cause serious health problems that could affect the overall quality of our lives. This goes to show that our bodies, as well as nature, need a little bit of help to fight the toxins and the pollution effectively.
In the last decade, many health experts have been vocal about the importance of a regular body cleanse and the good it can do to our bodies. This lead to new trends emerging, some of which are healthy, and some of which could be detrimental to your health. There are quite a few cleansing systems out there, ranging from all-fruit smoothies to funny-smelling detox teas. As new ways of cleansing your body have seen a popularity increase, nutritionists and doctors alike have weighed in on their supposed health benefits. Turns out, not everything that is blended into a smoothie-like consistency is healthy –smoothies that contain fruit only can lead to a dangerous insulin imbalance and detox teas do not contain nearly as enough nutrients as your body needs on a daily basis.
As more and more health trends turned out to be ultimately unhealthy, one has been praised by fitness enthusiasts and nutritionist alike – the 10 day green smoothie cleanse. It has become one of the healthiest, easiest ways to improve your immune system and get rid of the toxins that have been taking a toll on your body.
What are Green Smoothies?
Before we dive into how green smoothies can dramatically improve your health, let’s talk about what they are. Green smoothies are blended drinks which consist of leafy greens, green vegetables, some juicy, flavorful fruit and a liquid base which could be either water or almond or soy milk. They are full of nutrients and are a perfect substitute for a regular meal. The idea behind them is to increase your intake of vegetables and clear your system from all the artificial foods, excess sugars and toxins, all at once.
One of the many benefits of doing the green smoothie cleanse is its simplicity. Reports suggest that an average adult should eat 3 cups of vegetables and 11/2 cup of fruit every single day in order to stay healthy. Eating all that can not only be demanding and tiring, but time-consuming as well. For a modern, fast-paced way of living, it’s much more practical to make simple green smoothies you can drink on the go and ingest all of the nutrients that you usually would, without the fuss and the commitment of sitting down and eating that many vegetables.
Why Should I Do a Green Smoothie Cleanse?
Everyone has a different reason they want to do a body cleanse. Some people want to lose weight the healthy way, some want to decrease their sugar intake and pave the path to a healthier lifestyle, and some are committed to regularly cleansing their bodies from all of the built-up toxins once in a while. Truth is, the 10-day green smoothie cleanse is great for just about anyone looking to improve their health. Contrary to popular belief, this cleanse has nothing to do with starving yourself and not getting enough nutrients in order to lose weight – just the opposite! By going through this program, you’re more likely to increase the intake of all the greens that we know are good for us, but we rarely incorporate into our meal plan.
- Increase your daily vegetable intake. The great thing about this cleanse is that you’ll make kale, spinach, parsley, cucumber, celery, avocado, cilantro, and many other vegetables you normally wouldn’t eat that often a normal part of your day, and you won’t have to deal with time-consuming recipes. Just pop them fresh into a blender, add a cup of water and a fruit of your choice and voilà – your healthy meal is done in a matter of minutes! Additionally, having a green smoothie at hand when hunger strikes is a good way to prevent yourself from taking the nearest salty/sugary snack you can get. It’ll remind you that there is a way to be full and healthy at the same time.
- Lose weight. This cleanse focuses on all-natural ingredients that are full of fibres and vitamins, so you will feel satiated for longer periods of time because you won’t disturb your body’s hormone balance with sugary foods. This will lead to a natural and steady-paced fat loss that will give amazing results! The only thing you have to do is incorporate green smoothies into your lifestyle after you’ve finished your cleanse. That way, you will prevent hunger and you’ll feel less inclined to munch on unhealthy snacks.
- Boost energy. Over the course of 10 days, you will exclusively take in smoothies that are jam-packed full of nutrients. This cleanse is an excellent source of different minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and copper, as well as vitamins A, C, K, E and B. This will come as a welcome boost to your strained body and by the third day of this program, you’re bound to feel more energized and ready to conquer the world!
- Strengthen your immune system. The increased consumption of mineral, vitamins, and antioxidants in fruits and vegetables will help to keep your immune system strong and will protect you from various diseases, especially the seasonal flues and the common cold. Thanks to the abundance of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium contained in leafy greens, your bone density will increase, too. To get the most antioxidants from your green smoothies, try adding ginger, grapefruit, acai berries, blueberries and raw cacao powder into the mix. Not only do they taste delicious, but they are incredibly healthy for you as well.
- Combat inflammation. For those who suffer from arthritis and gout, it’s important to stress the anti-inflammatory properties that the smoothies in this cleanse have. If you’re looking for a way to reduce inflammation naturally, doing this cleanse every 2-3 months will prove to be of immense help regarding your condition.
- Get radiant skin and healthy hair & nails. Ditch your numerous skincare products that come with a hefty price tag – by the time you’re finished with this 10-day cleanse, you will notice a significant improvement in your complexion, hair, and nails. Not only will this save you money, but it’s way more healthy to fight tired-looking skin from within!
- Reduce cravings. When you eat salty, sugary foods that are high in unhealthy fats you’re more likely to crave them over and over again. Similarly, when your palate adjusts to the more refined and complex taste of green vegetables, you will start to crave more and more healthy foods. After the first two days of this cleanse, the sugar that you’ll get from different fruit in your smoothies will be more than enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- It’s cheaper than lunch. You can save a lot of money just by skipping lattes, lunch and dinner dates and sandwiches you would usually buy during your lunch break.
How to Prepare
As with every change in life, preparation is key. The first thing to do is to put the groceries that are not part of this cleanse to the pantry, if possible. A good idea is to buy your ingredients (try to buy as many organic ingredients as possible) for the 10-day cleanse at once – or at least for the first 3-4 days. Not only is it cheaper, but that way, you won’t have to visit the grocery store every day while you still experience sweet and salty cravings, and you won’t feel tempted to buy unhealthy groceries.
For extra speedy breakfast in the morning, measure your ingredients the night before and store them in separate zip-lock bags in your fridge. Just put the content of the bag into the blender as you wake up, along with a cup of water or a little almond milk and kick-start your day with a healthy meal!
Prepare yourself for a harsh couple of days – headaches, cravings, and fatigue are all usual detox symptoms. Don’t worry, you’re not doing anything wrong, those are just the symptoms of your hormones getting into their natural balance and your body getting accustomed to not receiving excess sugar it’s used to getting. These symptoms will subside by day 4, after which you will feel energized, rejuvenated and refreshed.
4 Simple Rules
In order for this cleanse to have a full effect on your body, there are a few simple rules to follow.
- Drink lots of water. This might seem obvious, but most people don’t drink nearly as much water as they need to in order to preserve their health and bodily functions. Try to take around 80 ounces (around 2.5 litres) of water every day. You could try drinking various detox teas as well, and if that’s too fancy for you, a simple parsley tea is easy to make and has incredible health benefits!
- Don’t starve. You will not be healthy or lose weight in the long run if you starve yourself. The whole point of a healthy and balanced diet is to take in healthy foods that will make you feel nourished and full. If you don’t take in enough food, that could very well lead to serious health complications. On top of that, you’ll feel tired, depressed and constantly sleepy. Always keep an apple, melon or a handful of raw nuts at hand and eat whenever you feel hungry. For optimum weight loss results, try to eat a smoothie or a snack every 3-4 hours – that will prevent bloating and cravings for sugary, fried or processed foods and refined carbs.
- Drink up to 48 ounces (around 1 kilo and 350 grams) of green smoothies daily. Separate that amount into 3 smoothies that you’ll have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Eat a salad for lunch. Prepare yourself a crunchy salad for lunch when you have the time. Chewing will make you feel even fuller, and balsamic vinegar dressing will add a welcome kick to your taste buds.
Ingredients & Recipes
There are a lot of amazing sources for 10-day green smoothie cleanse recipes on the internet. Here are a couple of evergreens (pun intended):
Spinach Apple Smoothie: blend 3 handfuls of spinach, 1 medium apple, 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 cucumber and 1 cup of water. Process until smooth.
Avocado Banana Smoothie: blend 1 avocado, 1 banana, ½ cup of water and ½ cup of almond milk. Process until smooth.
The beauty of the 10-day green smoothie cleanse is that you can mix&match the ingredients in your fridge and combine them to your taste. The important thing is to have all 3 of the following: a non-dairy, low-calorie liquid base, fruits, and a combination of green and leafy vegetables. Experiment, combine, and explore different taste and textures – the point is to find lifelong healthy solutions that you like, that work for you and taste good to you. Luckily, nature has given us more than enough options to excite our palates and keep our health. You know yourself best and there’s no definite guide as to what smoothie combination will work best for your body. Drink the smoothies that make you feel energized and healthy, and enjoy yourself!
One thing to keep in mind is to not go overboard with the fruit. 11/2 cup of fruit per day is more than enough, so divide that amount to 3 smoothies you’ll be making. By putting loads of fruit into your smoothie mix, you’ll take in more sugar than your body needs, which will stall your weight-loss progress and possibly mess up your insulin levels.
If you want to explore this cleanse program further, we highly recommend reading the 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, a book by JJ Smith, the New York Times bestselling author.
Drink lots of veggies and stay healthy, fit and energized! And remember, cleansing is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.