According to Divine Recipes, an online site that provides recipes for various diets, the vegetable smoothie diet requires that you replace one or more meals with a blended smoothie drink made from vegetables. Vegetable smoothies, also called green smoothies, are a delicious way both to lose weight and to add green vegetables to your diet.
Why Add Vegetable Smoothies to Your Diet?
Eating a diet rich in vegetables improves your overall health. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPyramid website, eating enough vegetables reduces the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, coronary heart disease and bone loss. Vegetables rich in potassium help maintain healthy blood pressure. Vegetables rich in vitamin A protect against infections, and keep eyes and skin healthy. Vegetables rich in vitamin C help to heal cuts and wounds and also keep your gums healthy.
An added benefit of vegetables for dieters is their low energy density. Vegetables contain fewer calories for a given volume than do most foods. Vegetables tend to be high in water content, which contains no calories. They also tend to be high in fiber. Fiber takes longer to digest than either carbohydrates or proteins. Fiber also provides volume. What that means practically is that you can fill up on vegetables without eating excess calories.
How to Make Vegetable Smoothies
Vegetable smoothies are as easy to make as fruit smoothies. Pick a selection of vegetables. Wash and trim them. Cut them into small chunks and put them in the blender with some kind of liquid -- vegetable juice, rice or soy milk, or fruit juice if you want a little bit of sweetness. Experiment with different combinations of vegetables until you find the ones you like. If you don't know where to begin, see a recipe from Donna Gates, nutritional consultant and author of "The Body Ecology Diet," at BodyEcology.com to get you started.
The Diet Plan
The vegetable smoothie diet requires that you replace one or two meals a day with a vegetable smoothie. Growing Raw Health recommends that you drink a vegetable smoothie for breakfast. The nutrition in the vegetables help you start your day well, and the fiber in the smoothie helps keep you satisfied until lunchtime. If you wish, you can also replace lunch with a vegetable smoothie. Make sure that the third meal of the day contains a small amount of good-quality, low-fat protein, whole grains, and more vegetables and fruit. Aim for a supper that provides 500 to 600 calories.
Gates recommends that you avoid raw cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and kale in your vegetable smoothies. These vegetables are better for you when eaten cooked. Gates also suggests that if you are prone to yeast or viral infections and are avoiding sweets, you should also avoid beets, carrots and other root vegetables as they tend to be as sweet as fruit.
If you are drinking these smoothies to lose weight, you will also want to avoid high-calorie supplements. For example, a quarter of a cup of protein powder adds 181 calories to your smoothie. A half cup of plain yogurt adds 74 calories. Before adding anything other than vegetables to your smoothie, make sure you know, and can afford, the calorie count.