If you are what you eat, then I’m Rao’s Marinara Sauce atop grass-fed ground beef and zucchini noodles. Or gluten-free pepperoni pizza, if I’m treating myself. One thing I’m not: a smoothie. I get the appeal, it’s just not for me. I’ve found that even the “healthiest” smoothies are total sugar bombs, which is not great for my—or your—gut and skin.
But after eating all the stuffing (and mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce) this Thanksgiving, my body could use a detox—and a recent breakfast with nutritionist Kimberly Snyder convinced me to give this whole smoothie thing a try. Because when an actual food goddess with perfect skin gives nutrition advice, you listen.
On tap for the week is Kimberly’s Candida Glowing Green Smoothie. This iteration of her Glowing Green Smoothie is lower in sugar, perfect for someone like me who has an abundance of the nasty yeast in her digestive tract. (Symptoms of candidiasis include fatigue and digestive issues—fun times.)
Here’s the recipe:
1 cup very cold filtered water 3 cups spinach, chopped 1 cup romaine lettuce, chopped 1 cup organic celery, chopped 1 organic green apple, cored and chopped 2 Tbsp fresh organic lemon juice
I blend the greens first so they’re broken down and easy to digest. I also freeze the apple so the smoothie will be extra cold. (Lukewarm, mushy greens? Hard pass.)
My goal is simply to eat more green vegetables during the day, as I tend to find eating salads and raw greens tedious and kind of gross. After a few days, something awesome and kind of unexpected happens. I look in the mirror one morning and notice my skin is glowing. I mean, I’m no pregnant Beyoncé, but my complexion has a definite brightness about it. And while I’m not exactly breakout-prone, I do get the occasional pimple—especially pre-period, which is exactly when I’ve started this experiment. Now I find nary a pimple on my face. I actually think to myself, Damn, your skin looks great today. Complimenting myself in the mirror is something I usually save for, say, a perfectly executed cat-eye wing, so you could say it doesn’t happen often.
Nothing has changed in my skincare routine. In fact, the only thing that’s changed in any of my daily routines is the smoothie. Coincidence? I think not. Especially because its ingredients are great for your skin, in addition to being great for your overall health. Spinach is high in vitamins A and C, which help repair your skin and keep it healthy. And romaine lettuce, the most boring of all the lettuces besides iceberg, is actually a nutritional powerhouse and contains boatloads of antioxidants. Lemon is also surprisingly good for your skin; it helps nourish your liver and helps your body absorb nonheme iron (iron from non-animal sources).
Oh, and in case you’re worried that a salad in blended form won’t taste good, I can assure you this smoothie is pleasant for your palate. And it doesn’t cause bloating, as raw greens in non-blended form tend to do.
All right, fine: I guess I am a smoothie after all. (My skin thanks me for it.)