OK, so for my guy friends--I sincerely wish they'd come up with another name for smoothies. I feel like that name puts some men off of one of the very easiest ways to get the fruits and vegetables they know they need to be eating--and in such a delicious way. So, whatever you'd prefer to call it, and whether you're male or female, younger or older, just consider adding this nutrient-filled, often tasty, fruit and veggie blend to your daily routine.

Now, for those of us who are rather fond of fruits and vegetables, great. But either way, according to research from Harvard University, most of us aren't getting enough of them in our diets. By now it seems redundant to discuss the incredible, potentially life-saving benefits we get from the vitamins in these plant foods, but if you'd like a refresher, check this out.

Smoothies are one of my favorite go-to's when a.) I want to get a big dose of greens quickly and b.) when I want a healthful meal on-the-go and even c.) when I want something kinda sweet but still want the good nutrition.

Trust me on this, get a high-quality blender--it makes much better smoothies. I use a Vita-mix, which wasn't cheap but I love it and I see it as an investment. There are many quality blenders, though, that you can get for less. And listen--you can find so, so many smoothie recipes online. Word of caution: Stay away from those who add in a bunch of artificial sweeteners or, if you avoid dairy like I do, too much of that. We want mainly green, whole foods in our smoothies.

Here's one of my favorites I make at least 1-2 times per week:

Tara's Favorite Green Smoothie

>A huge handful of dark, leafy greens (2-3 cups): could be spinach, dark green lettuce mixes, kale, super greens...whatever. Just no iceberg. 
>One banana, frozen if possible but not necessary (pre-freeze a few of these ahead of time in freezer bags)
>A cup of frozen blueberries (or another berry like strawberries, raspberries, or a mix.)
>UN-sweetened plant based milk--almond, coconut, hemp, rice, etc. Just use enough to give it the consistency you want--if you want a thinner consistency use more, thicker--less. Usually 1-2 cups.
>1/2 avocado
>Juice from a lemon or orange wedges (The citrus helps with nutrient absorption of the greens.)
>2 TBS ground chia seed or flax seed
>Optional: Some days I add almond butter or walnuts, depending on how hungry I am and overall daily caloric intake goals. If you really need it to be sweeter, a touch of honey or stevia could work--but I don't think you'll need it. This make one large serving or two smaller ones.
ENJOY! Your body will thank you. <3