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Living a healthy lifestyle is important to me, and getting outside and eating healthy are two things that go hand in hand.

Now, let's talk about green smoothies and drinking your veggies.

Last year, the thought of drinking something green would have had me running to the bathroom. But I don't know what happened, now I'm in love and mildly obsessed!

It all started about a year ago.  I picked up kale for the first time at the grocery store and thought, "Let me give this weird, all-the-rage food a try. " I made kale chips, and they were OK.  When I posted about it on my Facebook page I had a bunch of people suggest I make a smoothie with my kale.  I remember thinking, "Smoothie? That is supposed to taste good?!  No thanks."

But my curiosity got the best of me. I pinned some kale smoothie recipes on Pinterest, and, of course, picked ones that I knew just had to be good because they had chocolate in them. One day, I got lazy and thought about how much work it was to put cocoa powder in so I decided to leave it out and see if it still tasted good. And it still was just as yummy so I haven't gone back.

I am now a green smoothie addict, and there is no other way I'd rather eat my veggies than blended up with fruit and tasting all kinds of delicious.

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Basics to a green smoothie

  • The base - almond milk, soy milk, water, coconut water or juice
  • The greens - kale or spinach work wonderfully
  • Two fruits
  • Any extras you'd like to add.  I occasionally throw in flax seed, chia seeds or coconut oil

Chocolate Kale Smoothie

  • 16 ounces almond milk
  • ¾ cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 bananas, peeled and frozen
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 ½ cups fresh kale, washed and torn into large pieces

Combine all ingredients in blender, and process until smooth. Pour into glasses or mugs and sprinkle with sifted cocoa. Serves two to three.

If you are brave, my go-to smoothie is frozen bananas, kale, berries and almond milk.

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Quick facts about kale

One cup of chopped kale contains:

  • 33 calories
  • 9 percent of the daily value of calcium
  • 206 percent of vitamin A
  • 134 percent of vitamin C
  • 684 percent of vitamin K

It is also a good source of minerals, including copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Kale also helps lower blood cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of heart disease, and it has anti-cancer benefits.

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