Michele Nielson's picture

By Michele Nielson

NOTE: This article has multiple pages that include two free recipes from Michele’s book Eat, Drink, And Be Green. Tap on the page numbers below to proceed. While supplies last, get your free copy of her book when you attend a Start A Garden Ministry retreat at the Bloomshire Of Gloucester in Virginia.

My husband and I always tried to get the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. We ate fruit for breakfast, some kind of veggie or fruit for lunch, and a vegetable for dinner. Still it seemed like we couldn’t reach five servings a day so I was on the lookout for easy and tasty ways to get more vegetables into our diet. One day a friend recommended a book about green smoothies. Actually, the book was about what I call “intensely” green smoothies—smoothies that have at least as many greens by weight as fruit and no non-plant ingredients. I read the book and was convinced that an intensely green smoothie could help us make up our vegetable deficit since it would give each of us at least two servings of vegetables in one sitting.  It took some time and experimentation for me to come up with a recipe that we liked enough, but when I did, we were believers.  We found that on the smoothies we stayed full longer, had very little desire to eat anything else until lunch, and they were tasty! We felt satisfied that we were getting our veggies and could “check that off the list.”

Much to our surprise, after about two months of consuming lots more greens in the form of my intensely green smoothies, we started to crave even more greens. We found ourselves liking salads more, loving vegetables and wanting more greens in our other two meals.  I realized we had reached a real turning point one evening when I asked my husband if he wanted frozen pizza for dinner or just a big salad and he said he would rather have a big salad. At the same time we both stopped caring as much about meat, cheese and high-sugar foods. We were eating lots of greens and lots of vegetables and they tasted good.

Starting to crave greens was a big surprise for us, but bigger surprises and changes were still in store. I had somehow never really believed that what I ate could affect the chronic health problems I had, especially ones that tended to “run in the family” -- I figured I was stuck with those.  I had dealt since childhood with hypoglycemia problems and headaches, since I was a teenager with arthritis and fatigue and since early adulthood with ulcers, reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, back problems, sinus problems and more.  I had tried various medications and treatments, but had difficulties finding treatments that helped one condition without making some other condition worse.

Several months into eating green, I realized that my IBS symptoms had gone away.  I stopped having reflux and never needed antacids.  My sinus problems went mostly away and problems with seasonal allergies dropped dramatically.  A few more months, I stopped having symptoms of hypoglycemia and almost never had headaches.  My back muscles were not as tight and so, my back pain went mostly away. Now, more than two years later, I am finding that I very rarely have any arthritis symptoms.  About ten years ago I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia and had spent months incapacitated.  Just recently, those symptoms have also begun to melt away like last winter’s snow.  I have more energy.   I rarely have muscle pain or brain fog (common symptoms of Fibromyalgia) and it no longer takes me weeks to recover when I overdo.

I’m starting to believe that eating the plants God created, in as natural a form as possible, might just be the medicine I had been looking for and I am realizing that I might be able to do more with my life than I had previously hoped I could.  As I see people around me with health problems -- some minor and some more major -- I wonder if eating this way could help them too.  If more of us could find ways to decrease the time spent being sick, how much more energy would we have to do good in our families and communities?

As my friends and family have started trying some of the recipes I developed for my husband and me, they have found that they love my smoothies and are noticing some of the same “good addiction” to eating greens and increases in vitality that we did.  On the next pages I have included my favorite intensely green smoothie recipe and a couple other recipes.  

You can also learn more on my website.

[Tap on the page numbers below to proceed to the free recipes.]

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About the Author

 
  • Michele Nielson's picture
    Michele Nielson has had a lifelong interest in food preparation and loves testing and tweaking recipes. She spent many years as a kitchen manager at a girls camp where she was in charge of recipe development and cooked daily of groups of two hundred. Her interest in food from other cultures has helped her come up with delicious combinations while her experience as a kitchen manager has honed her ability to keep recipes simple with easy-to-follow instructions. Connect with her more at MichelesGreenSmoothies.com

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