Are Green Smoothies just a fad? October 31 2014, 1 Comment

I don't know about you but all I seem to see in my Instagram and Facebook feed these days are green smoothies and VERY bendy, gorgeous people in yoga poses! I've dabbled in the green smoothie trend, particularly during a 28-day yoga challenge where I even went out specifically to purchase a blender to make them. I made one almost every day during that month and I have to admit I did feel AMAZING! I really love smoothies particularly in the summer months but find them a little hard to take in winter. I wanted to call on an expert to give her opinion about green smoothies to clarify in my mind once and for all - are they just a fad? Introducing Julie Dargan from Dargan Vitality... over to you Julie!

Who is Julie Dargan? 
I was a Registered Nurse for 20 years with a postgraduate in Anaesthetics. I became despondent with the medical profession and turned to health and nutrition. This meant another 4 years study to become a Naturopath (BHSc). I've worked in Australia, Uganda, Saudi Arabia, America and Ireland. My mission now is to bring clarity to what we are eating. I am the founder of Dargan Vitality where the emphasis is on Vitality and Wellbeing and not on losing weight. When people only look at their weight issues, they are not looking at the whole picture. Dargan Vitality gives Diamond Clarity to what is labelled healthy (and may not actually be) and what is actually healthy.

I don't know about you but green smoothies are filling my Instagram and Facebook feeds. What is the commotion about green smoothies? 
When I first heard about green smoothies I also wondered about all the commotion. Who would want to drink a green drink when you could eat the greens? But when I looked into it more and analysed my own diet I realised that I did not eat a lot of greens. I would force the greens on my plate but would wolf down the potato and carrots! 
By having green smoothies in my diet now, I know I am getting an array of greens that I never did prior. I will now put kale, spinach, brussels sprouts and asparagus just to name a few. 

Are they just a fad?
I would say no, they are not a fad. Since drinking green smoothies I have found that my taste buds have changed. I eat more salads now and not just iceberg lettuce with tomato and cucumber salad.  I love the bitter chives, endives and rocket. Not a day goes by when I am not having my greens in one way or another. It has highlighted to me just how many greens I was missing out on before.  

What are the benefits of greens and smoothies?
I love the fact that I know that I am getting a great serving on my leafy green vegetables on a daily basis. For a short period I noticed that my metabolism was not up the standard it used to be (call it getting old, needing prunes, you get my drift) and was amazed at the wonderful benefits I achieved with a daily Green Smoothie.  

What is the difference between a smoothie and a juice?
In a nutshell, a juice has the fibre removed. This is what is contained in the pulp. A green smoothie keeps all the components of the fruit and vegetable and hence you are drinking the pulp.

The benefit of a juice would be that the nutrients in the juice are absorbed straight away. This can be a draw back if the juice is high in sugar. A Green Smoothie on the other hand is absorbed slower due to the fact that the intestines have to do the work of separating the nutrients from the fibre. The benefit is that this slows down the rate of absorption and prevents sugar spikes.

I like to have a Green Smoothie to start the day and juice after my daily run, watered down sometimes, as it is a great electrolyte replacement (I juice beetroot, apple and celery for my electrolyte replacement after a run in case you are interested). 

What if I don't like green smoothies? 
The secret if you are new to drinking Green Smoothies is to have more fruits to vegetables. You may like to start with 1 apple 1 pear and some spinach leaves with cucumber and lemon. Over time you should be aiming to be decreasing your fruits and increasing the green vegetables. I also like to keep the skin on my lemon wedge that I add to my Green Smoothies, it gives it that extra ZING! 

What is your favourite smoothie recipe? 

2 kale ribs
1 pear
5cm cucumber
Bunch baby spinach leaves
1/2 lemon wedge (with peel)
1 cup of water
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Julie Dargan is a Wellness Nurse, combining her Medical and Naturopathic training. Julie started her career as a Registered Nurse specialising in Anaesthetics and Post Anaesthetic Care for 20 years. She has worked in Australia, Uganda, Saudi Arabia, America and Ireland. Julie has studied Naturopathy for four years gaining a Bachelor Health Sciences and is Australia’s first and only Juice Therapist.

Being a mother of two boys, living an active and busy lifestyle, as well as understanding how our body’s change as we age, Julie loves helping people to gain a lifestyle they desire. A lifestyle full of vitality and abundance. Julie has been running Juice and Raw Food Retreats for over 2 years. Julie is passionate about people taking control of their own lives and destiny by taking a look at their eating habits and seeing what changes they can make in their diet in order to feel better about themselves.

Julie runs workshops and 1:1 coaching on juicing, raw food and smoothies as well as Nourish to Flourish Retreats. For more information about Julie go over to Dargan Vitality or you can find her on Facebook and Instagram.