As a pro athlete I have always had a lot of tricks for squeezing greens into my diet everyday. Before I had a kid, I was more experimental in the kitchen, and would make elaborate veggie dishes more often. But now I really appreciate the no brainers. I care a lot about the quality of the foods I eat, but I’ve learned that I also need to be realistic with strategies for incorporating them. That’s where green juices came into play, and how I got hooked up with Evolution Fresh. I announced a partnership with them a week ago and was stoked to see so much enthusiasm!

When I asked how I could help them out, they told me they have been trying to curate a list of helpful tips that motivate people to incorporate more greens into every day. They obviously have juices that do this, including four juices with over a pound (!) of green veggies packed into them, but promoting overall wellness is part of their bigger picture mission so they are interested in green tips of any and all kinds. So in the spirit of spreading the good word and encouraging people to lean into green, here are my personal Greens tips, (juice and non-juice). I’d love it if you’d share your own in the comments.     

1. Juicey Juice

Sports nutritionists always tell you to eat greens at every meal possible, which is pretty hard to do. Hot summer days make them sound more appealing but putting in the effort outside of dinner time is harder than it used to be now that I’ve got my 2 year old running around the house. Bottom line, I’m tired, and if it’s not super easy, I’m heading to the Pop Tarts. Fresh juice is by far the best way to get the most greens in at once. But I’m not going to be buying a $500 cold press juicer, cutting and cleaning a bunch of veggies, and micro-cleaning the juicer afterwards. It’s just not gonna happen. I don’t enjoy juicing. I enjoy drinking juice. The Essential Greens with Lime is basically a sweet and tart salad in a drink. Cold, fresh, portable, done.

2. Tropical Green Smoothie

Smoothies are the easiest way to get in some greens without dominating the overall flavor. Just add a handful of spinach or two big leaves of kale to any smoothie. I have a great recipe that was featured in Women’s Running Magazine that I’ve evolved, and now I have a way to get some extra mileage out of it: Popsicles! Instead of making a normal sized smoothie, I make a gigantic one, and pour all the leftovers into popsicle molds. Perfect way to cool off after a run from the house, and a great late night sweet treat when I’m trying to be on my game.

3. Spinach v2.0

You’ll always find a big container of spinach in my fridge, in the hopes that I’ll make those afternoon salads that never happen. So, the day before it goes bad, I chop up 2-4 cloves of garlic, sautée them in a wok with some extra virgin olive oil, and then dump the whole clamshell of spinach in there, cooking it down on medium high heat until it’s all just barely cooked through. I crack some salt and pepper on there and eat a whole pound of spinach at once in 15 bites! Just kidding I share it with Jesse and try to trick Jude into eating a bite or two. You can eat it all though, if you really believe in yourself.

4. Summer Salad

My college teammate, Caroline, used to make this summer salad out of spinach, avocados, strawberries, and goat cheese, tossed with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and nothing else compares. I make it a few times a week, but especially whenever I have guests or go to a potluck because it gets major love. It’s beautiful, fast, and fun to have at parties, just like Caroline.

5. On the Run

Traveling is the worst for getting in greens. I don’t like eating a bunch of fiber before race day, but I don’t want to miss out on the nutrients. One trick I use is to check where the nearest Starbucks is to my hotel, pop my debit card into my running shorts pocket, and plan my run so that I finish there, where I pick up a Sweet Greens and Lemon, and generally a pastry because the green juice cancels it out. And then I enjoy it while walking through those last few city blocks back to my hotel, taking in the sights. With a pound of cold pressed greens in there, I get all the good nutrition without the dangers of fiber runner tummy. If it’s really hot I get the Coconut Water and Greens flavor (available at grocery stores) instead because it has some great electrolytes, and a mild flavor more easily suited to chugging.

Your Turn! (And a Prize)

A lot of you are way better cooks than me, and have your own tricks for squeezing some greens into your diet (looking at you @trainracepace). I’d love to make this post a great resource full of green snack ideas, so I invite you to share an idea for your own way to incorporate greens in the comments below. As an extra incentive, I asked the Evolution Fresh people if they’d hook us up with a giveaway, and they put together a “Lean Into Green Kit” worth about $130. It has a nice peeler, mixing bowls, ice pop molds, a $50 gift card to Whole Foods, and some other good stuff. Winner will be randomly chosen by Jude on June 29th and I’ll contact you so Evolution Fresh can send your prize!

I look forward to reading all your tips, and will re-share this blog on social media after we get a good collection, so thanks in advance. And thanks to my friends Sally and Lesko for getting me hooked on these juices. The new Oiselle store in Seattle opens up a few doors down from the Evolution Fresh store in July…dangerous.

Lauren