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Think Green, Drink Green

By Stacia Kelly, Ph.D., MHt

Every year we all make a promise to ourselves to get healthier and eat better, but who has time to get in all those fruits and veggies? According to the experts, we’re supposed to fill half our plate with fruits and vegetables. I never get through the whole plate, so I end up leaving out nutrients.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s has a list of exactly how much fruits and veggies you need based on your age. It also includes lists based on activity level and gender. As a female between the ages of 31 and 50, one of the age categories, I need about two and a half cups of vegetables a day, with half of that as dark leafy green vegetables.

I’m certain I don’t get those amounts, nor do most Americans. So here’s one way I make it easier: Drinking a “Green Smoothie” to amplify my health.

“Healthy Holly” shared this great recipe:

12 oz. water
1⁄4 cup kale
1 carrot
1⁄4 tsp. fresh ginger

6-8 ice cubes 1 cucumber
3 dates (pitted)

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Then enjoy.

If you like its taste, you can find more great recipes and follow “Healthy Holly” on Facebook at

To make another of my favorites, juice: one cup spinach, half a cucumber, a small piece of ginger, one Granny Smith apple and blend with half an avocado.

What about the benefits? You can potentially keep various cancers at bay. You could also lower your blood pressure and may even reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, you could boost your energy, and who doesn’t need more of that?

Shop your local farmers market and play with the ingredients. You never know what you’ll find that you like.

Prince William native Stacia Kelly has a doctorate in holistic health and a background in fitness, nutrition, stress management and nutritional supplementation. For more information about her, visit and

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