3 Reasons to Eat Clean & Green + Smoothie & Snack Recipes

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” — Thomas Edison

Clean Eating: A lifestyle that involves consuming real food in or as close to its most natural state as possible. Eating to nourish and cleanse the body and mind. Educating yourself on where food comes from. Purchasing or growing foods that are nutritious, unprocessed and sustainable. Being more mindful of your overall health and the environment in which you live. Clean Eating is a choice and a way of life.

[Read: Change Your Eating Habits One Baby Step at a Time With This Ditch & Switch Guide]

Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t like to cook. I hear you— lots of people tell me they want to eat more healthfully, but they don’t like spending time in the kitchen. Well, honey, let me tell you something: Cooking can be fun, cooking can be graceful, cooking can make you feel good, cooking can be the best gift you give yourself every day. It is your greatest resource to finding true health— and delicious food.

More Reasons to Eat Clean and Green Clea nGreen Eats Candice Kumai

Okay, so you know that eating clean is good for your body. That should be enough to make you turn the pages and start cooking. But if you need more convincing, consider this: Eating clean and cooking green is your new beauty cream. Forget all of the oils and potions, you green beauty queen. Here are 3 more reasons to eat clean:

[Read: Top 10 Foods to Help You Fight Genetics]

  1. GREEN IS YOUR BEAUTY CREAM

Beauty is an inside job. Greens are packed with beauty benefits like antioxidants and vitamin C. Antioxidants are also nature’s sunblock/beauty serum! They help to prevent free radical damage to your beautiful skin, which may also help to prevent wrinkles. The vitamin C in greens is essential for the formation of collagen. Collagen keeps your hair, skin and nails strong and even helps keep your body flexible. Yoga, anyone?

Greens are naturally packed with massively powerful antioxidants (vitamin E, folic acid, lycopene and alpha- and beta- carotene, and more). Antioxidants are substances that protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Studies consistently suggest that people whose diets are rich in antioxidant- rich fruits and vegetables may have a lower risk of developing certain types of cancers. So eating more greens helps you look like a beauty queen and fight free radicals at the same time…smart and stunning, you are!

[Read: Top 10 Tips to Reset Your Hormone Naturally]

  1. A FLAT TUMMY IS A GREEN TUMMY

Greens are low in carbohydrates, and the carbs they do contain are packed in layers of fiber, which make them very slow to digest. Eating a high-fiber diet keeps your digestive tract happy and helps you lose weight. Why? Because fiber- and water- packed veggies fill you up quickly and help you stay fuller, longer. And all of that fiber and water helps to prevent bloating, keeping your tummy happy— not to mention, flat. More greens = no more muffin top.

  1. GREENS ARE THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

Dark leafy greens, calorie for calorie, are the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food out there. Leafy greens are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium) and vitamins K, C, E and many of the B vitamins. They provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta- carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age- related problems, among many other effects. They also contain protein and omega- 3 fats. Yes, you read that right: you can get protein and healthy fats from plants.

[Read: Brain Food Recipe: Cucumber Zucchini Carpaccio]

Clean Eating Recipes to Improve Your Whole Life: 

THE ANTI- INFLAMMATORY SMOOTHIE Clean Green Eats Candice Kumai Smoothie Recipe

My boyfriend and I created this delish smoothie after he needed an anti-inflammation kick! We loved the natural, positively packed anti- inflammatory powers from the blueberries, blackberries, and walnuts—it tastes like a berry milkshake! Try it out with a loved one, too, and share the clean green love! Serves 3; yields 30 ounces

  • 1 frozen banana (or swap for 1 avocado to reduce sugar)
  • ¾ cup frozen blueberries
  • ¾ frozen blackberries
  • 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon bee pollen
  • ¼ cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina powder (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately. (Vegan and gluten-free)

[Read: A Healthy(!) Recipe for Hazelnut Chocolate Salted Caramels]

Snack Cleaner.

CLEAN GREEN HERBED CASHEWS

These delicious cashews are made with dried dill, spirulina powder, tamari soy sauce, and decadent coconut oil. Remember, all nuts are packed with nutrition when raw, but when you need a pick-me-up kinda recipe, just make a big batch of these delicious roasted green cashews to munch on! Serves 6

  • 1 pound raw cashews (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, plus 1 teaspoon, melted (mmmm yum!)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • ½ teaspoon spirulina powder (optional)

Kumai CLEAN GREEN EATS herbed cashews snack recipe[Read: Don’t Cook the Planet: Environmentally Friendly Recipes]

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Place the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and pre-roast for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350˚F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

To a medium bowl, add the melted unrefined coconut oil, tamari soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of the dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of the garlic powder, and 2 teaspoons of the dried dill and mix well to combine. Add the cooled nuts to the bowl and toss well to coat.

Transfer the nuts to the lined baking sheets and bake in the oven at 350˚F for 10 minutes.

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Remove the nuts from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon oregano,

1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon dried dill, and the spirulina powder, if using.

Return the nuts to the oven for 2 additional minutes.

These nuts are delicious warm, but can also be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.


Copyright © 2015 by Candice Kumai. This material originally appeared in Clean Green Eats: 100+ Recipes to Improve Your Whole Life, published by HarperCollins. Reprinted here with permission.

{Image credit: Evi Abeler}

About the Author

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Candice Kumai is a 4-time bestselling author, chef and health journalist. As E! News’ resident food and health expert, she is the cohost of the food special Food Envy. She is the former host of Lifetime’s Cook Yourself Thin and TLC’s Homemade Simple. At age 23, Candice Kumai was the youngest chef to compete on Bravo’s inaugural season of Top Chef. She received her professional training from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in California, and she has written and developed recipes for numerous cookbooks, including The Skinny Bitch Cookbook, Recipe Rehab, Novak Djokovic’s Serve to Win and The Bikini Body Diet. Candice has been featured regularly on Dr. Oz, Access Hollywood, The Today Show, CBS Early Show, GMA, The Doctors, The Talk, Extra, the Cooking Channel, the Food Network, Top Iron Chef, Simply Ming and Beat Bobby Flay. She is currently the Resident Culinary Advisor at Clean Eating Magazine, the former food editor at large at Shape and Men’s Fitness and her previous cookbooks include Cook Yourself Thin, Pretty Delicious, Cook Yourself Sexy and Clean Green Drinks. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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