Green Smoothie Challenge – Completed!

About a week ago, I finished up one of the tastiest challenges I have ever accepted – the 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge from Simple Green Smoothies! I originally read about the challenge on Instagram and immediately knew that it was something that I wanted to do. Who wouldn’t want to have a delicious smoothie every day with the promise of added vitamins, energy and good health? Plus, it was a perfect way to tackle one of my “30 Before 30” goals!

Banana, pineapple, strawberry, spinach, water, and ground flax
Banana, pineapple, strawberry, spinach, water, and ground flax

The challenge began on January 2nd – a great idea to begin forming healthier habits for the new year, while not really calling it a resolution. The rules were very self-explanatory: consume at least one smoothie containing some sort of greens each day for 30 days. The rest of the smoothie’s contents were up to each individual, though the challenge creators providence recipes and suggestions in a weekly email. Of course, anyone can start this challenge at any point in their lives, but the benefit of doing it along with Simple Green Smoothies was the community created by the challenge. Not only did the participants receive weekly emails with shopping lists and recipes, we also got extra challenge emails (rotating your greens, adding protein sources, etc.) and support from the creators. There was also a great online buzz created by the challenge – many of my IG friends/followers participated, and even people on FB got involved! I documented my challenge by taking a daily picture with the recipe listed in the caption. Many others did the same and we were able to trade ideas easily! There was always someone to support you, give advice, or cheer you on!

Banana, mango, pineapple, spinach, and water - the Beginner's Luck Smoothie
Banana, mango, pineapple, spinach, and water – the Beginner’s Luck Smoothie

So what were some of the benefits of participating? Well, I have a bit of a funny story…..I had planned on writing a 15 day post midway through the challenge to talk about all of the health benefits of drinking the smoothies each day, particularly as a teacher during the height of the flu season. So why didn’t I? As soon as I came up with the idea and started outlining it in my head, I wound up home sick! I had just been bragging to a coworker that I really thought I would make it through without being overcome with germs….I guess that’s what I get for bragging! On a serious note, I really do believe that consuming these smoothies and all of the extra vitamins helped me to recover much faster than I normally would have. My fever broke by day 2 of my illness and I was feeling like myself by day 3. Last year’s Julie would have been in bed for a week and would have had to return to work still not feeling 100%.

Not all green smoothies need to be green! Banana,  blueberry, mango, kiwi, strawberries, baby romaine, and water
Not all green smoothies need to be green! Banana, blueberry, mango, kiwi, strawberries, baby romaine, and water

I have also had more energy than I did before the challenge. Most days, especially during the week, I made my smoothies before heading out to work and would drink them all morning in place of my breakfast. If I got hungry, I would have some granola or nuts before lunch. There were plenty of days that I didn’t want or feel like I needed coffee to wake me up. Plus, anyone that teaches elementary school kids knows that you need to be ON and energetic at all times, and I felt like I was able to do that much easier.

Brown is a common color for green smoothies - don't worry about the color as long as it tastes great! Banana, raspberry, kiwi, baby spinach, coconut oil, chia seeds, coconut water and regular water.
Brown is a common color for green smoothies – don’t worry about the color as long as it tastes great! Banana, raspberry, kiwi, baby spinach, coconut oil, chia seeds, coconut water and regular water.

I also saw a physical benefit of the smoothies. I do not consider myself to be fat or out of shape in the least, but I have always wanted to flatten my tummy and tone it. With the help of the smoothies, I noticed that I was seeing some progress with that goal. The addition of running and yoga to my routine also helped to further that progress.

I definitely lost track of my days...lol! Banana, kale, baby spinach, strawberry, kiwi, blueberry, raspberry, chia seeds and water
I definitely lost track of my days…lol! Banana, kale, baby spinach, strawberry, kiwi, blueberry, raspberry, chia seeds and water

Even though the challenge has officially come to an end, I have continued making a green smoothie each morning. It’s so stinkin’ easy to do, takes minimal time and prep, and it’s so much better than the sugary cereal and oatmeal I used to eat every morning! The next 30 day challenge begins on April 1st – head over to the Simple Green Smoothies website to sign up. Of course, you don’t have to wait another month and a half to get started…challenge yourself! There are some fantastic recipes on the site and I would be happy to share some of mine if you want to get started right away. Happy blending!

What is your favorite green smoothie recipe? Please share in the comments below!

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