Smoothie recipe with a healthy spinach spin

If you are like most Americans you probably aren't getting in all your veggie servings per day. Adding even just one cup of greens to your morning shake puts you ahead of the gang and starts your day on the right foot. Raw spinach is a great source of antioxidants, vitamin C, calcium and lipoic acid, which prevents age-related macular degeneration. When you cook the spinach, however, most of these amazing benefits are lost, which is why you get the most bang for your buck when you eat it raw. (Juicing also squeezes the best nutrients from vegetables).

Since I've started having regular Green Monsters about a month ago, I have noticed my skin clearing up, my energy levels soaring and my skin glowing. My boyfriend, who suffers from low energy levels and headaches due to a high stress corporate job, has raved about the benefits as well, claiming that he feels better than ever and has more energy than ever before. We both don't even drink coffee. (Read how I kicked the habit).

But don't believe me. Try it for yourself! Start slow by just adding a small amount of greens (I prefer organic baby spinach) to your smoothie and then go from there. My favorite combination is 4 cups spinach, 1 frozen banana, 1 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp raw almond butter and 1 scoop brown rice protein. This creamy and satisfying smoothie keeps my energy levels up all day long and has 15 grams of high quality protein to boot.

It's 7:00 a.m. I poke around the kitchen in a daze, adding ingredients to my Vita Mix (high speed blender) for an energizing shake. I add a frozen banana, a scoop of almond butter, a cup of almond or hemp milk and... four cups of organic spinach. Yes, you heard right. I add fresh spinach to my smoothies. Let me introduce to you the Green Monster.

Before you gag and stop reading, let me explain. First of all, you really can't taste the spinach! I promise you that you can't. I did a test run on my boyfriend, who, like most guys, prefers hot dogs, tacos and nachos over spinach, tofu and fruit. Sigh. He was adamant at first, too, but once he tried the legendary Green Monster he never went back. He was amazed that you really could NOT taste the greens in the drink and now he adds an obligatory four cups of spinach daily to his protein shakes. I swear.

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