I’ve never been overweight, but I’ve also never been incredibly fit.
This is a place where I think a lot of guys live, and it can be frustrating. Even when I was playing sports, going to the gym, biking around town or hitting the gym five days a week, I still wouldn’t reach a point where I could look at myself and say, “I’m in great shape.” No matter how hard I would work, it felt like something was missing.
In college, I had a goal to complete the P90X program (Tony Horton is the man!). It was pretty tough for the first couple of weeks, but my strength and stamina grew. By the time I finished the 90-day program, I physically felt like I was in the best shape of my life, but there was something that still felt “off.” Yeah, I could play basketball for two straight hours without feeling winded, but my legs would cramp up at night, my stomach would hurt after almost every meal, and I couldn’t seem to get rid some of the fat that covered up the new muscles I had busted my butt to create.
Our body functions based on the type of fuel we put in it.
Looking back, I realize I didn’t understand what healthy eating really was. I would always head to the dining hall right after finishing a workout to grab some dinner. One of my favorite things to eat was chicken nachos. I would grab a plate, add chips, cut up some chicken, sprinkle with lettuce, and top with shredded cheese. After all that, I would look down and say, “Wow, now that is a delicious AND healthy dinner!” That was back when I thought iceberg lettuce was a vegetable. It’s no wonder that my body didn’t feel right—I wasn’t giving it the nutrients it needed to thrive!
Fast forward about two years. I’m now eating more vegetables and fruit than ever (still a meat-eater), finished the Fresh Start 21 Cleanse for the first time, staying active and exercising, and am much closer to feeling like my body is where it should be. Exercising has always been good for me, but once I started to combine it with healthy eating my stomach aches, leg cramps, and extra fat started to disappear.
So, how did I go from thinking a plate of nachos was healthy to eating an abundance of nutritious foods each day? Green smoothies.
Green smoothies were my true introduction to healthy eating and feeding my body right. My wife and I started drinking them when Jen and her family
made us told us we should try them. Now we continue drinking them because we feel better when we do. And I want to share reasons why I think you should start drinking green smoothies too…
10 reasons men should drink green smoothies
Below are 10 reasons why I think all men should be drinking green smoothies. It’s my hope you join the green smoothie lifestyle to fuel your body with nutritious foods so you feel better every day.
1. Fuels your body with nutrition from the moment you wake up
I used to feel guilty because I didn’t eat a bunch of fruit and veggies. It just wasn’t what I craved—and I know it has a lot to do with that big bowl of cereal I would have for breakfast (there’s not much nutrition in that). Now I pack my blender with fresh fruits, leafy greens and lot of liquid to create a fast and nutritious breakfast. It’s like having a salad for breakfast (but it actually tastes really good!). When I start the day with a green smoothie my body thanks me by being a little more forgiving if I indulge a bit for lunch. Plus, I don’t feel so guilty.
2. Takes less than 5 minutes to make
Switching to the green smoothie lifestyle was easy. We already had an inexpensive blender as a wedding gift, and it added zero time to our morning routine. It never takes more than five minutes to blend a green smoothie, and you can bring them with you if you commute to work! I suppose the only people negatively affected were our sleeping neighbors in our old apartment complex…
3. Fills you up much more than “juicing”
I’ve tried using juices as meal replacements several times, and it usually didn’t work out well. I’ve got nothing against the juicing movement, but I love green smoothies more because I drink the whole fruit—including all the fibrous parts that are filling and great for digestion. I drink a green smoothie almost every morning and always feel content up until lunchtime.
4. It’ll make your girl happy
Don’t ask me why, but ladies get pretty excited when their guys take steps toward taking care of their bodies. My wife, Erin, loves when I eat healthy, and she has never refused to eat any healthy meal that I’ve suggested. It’s been a great bonding experience and something we can both learn more about together. Sometimes loving someone else is best done by loving yourself, too.
5. Reduces high blood pressure
Green smoothies are a healthy alternative to food and drink options, but they can help lower the risk of some of the biggest health issues that men deal with—one of the biggest being high blood pressure. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is one the top ways to lower blood pressure, and we’ve heard countless stories from people in our community who have seen their numbers go way down after a period of drinking green smoothies.
6. They’re a great post-workout power snack
Do you ever feel like eating a giant steak after a work out? Probably not the best idea… Making green smoothies a post-workout habit will help you to stay fit and replenish your body with nutrients it needs, instead of giving your stomach what it craves. Leafy greens, like spinach and kale, are filled with protein, and you can even add a couple tablespoons of chia seeds or hemp protein powder if you’re looking for a bit more.
7. Helps you lose weight
For the normal guy, simply replacing one meal a day with a green smoothie can help lose a bit of weight. It’s always a positive thing when you give your body a healthy dose of fruit, veggies, and leafy greens as a meal instead of wings and rings (though I’m a BIG fan of B-dubs and their onion rings).
8. Boosts energy without the crash
I recently asked our green smoothie lovin’ tribe: “Men, why do you drink green smoothies?” The replies were great, and one really stood out to me: “Because they give me energy without the crash.” This is true! The fiber in green smoothies helps to slow the absorption of sugar, which gives your body a steady dose of energy without feeling withdrawals. Who knew?
9. Quenches your taste buds
The first time I ever drank a green smoothie, it didn’t even taste like it had handfuls of spinach in it. Whenever I introduce a person to green smoothies, they agree. So, as long as you blend a good combination of fruits (and sometimes vegetables) together, you’re probably gonna like what you’re drinking.
10. Affordable way to eat healthy
Before green smoothies, it was tough to all the produce we bought before it spoiled—spoiling food means wasted money. Well, with green smoothies I never waste produce. Not only are we eating… er, drinking… more of it, we can buy in bulk and freeze half of it (we also like buying a big bag of frozen fruit, usually organic mango, from SAMs Club). When I buy leafy greens and other produce for green smoothies in bulk it costs me about $3 a day to make two green smoothies (enough for me and my wife). That’s $1.50 a day for loads of nutrients!
Another way to keep produce affordable is by purchasing what’s in season. Right now, it’s strawberry season here in Florida, and I recently bought a whole flat of strawberries for $10. My wife made five jars of strawberry jelly and had a big bowl left over to use in green smoothies for a week! Our plan is to go strawberry picking again, and freeze most of them to save for later use. Freezing produce lets us buy in bulk to keep costs low.
As guys, we tend to think that we need to go harder in the gym in order to make our bodies feel great—but that’s not always true. For me, the missing link with overall health has been eating fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-rich foods on a consistent basis.
Green smoothies have introduced me to a lifestyle of healthy eating, and I feel better than I ever have before! If you’re a guy, then you need to sign up for the next free 30-day challenge. This is the easiest way to learn how to drink green smoothies, and kickstart your healthy eating journey… and maybe it’s the missing link for you, too.
DAN’S POST-WORKOUT GREEN SMOOTHIE
This is a great recipe to use after a tough workout for two main reasons: protein and potassium. Using almond milk and butter adds an extra boost to the already protein-rich leafy greens, while the banana gives your body potassium helping your muscles to function well and your blood-pressure to stay regulated.
Ingredients | Serves Two
2 cups leafy greens (spinach or kale)
2 cups almond milk
2 cups strawberries
2-4 tablespoons almond butter