Smooth Move

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’d like to start this post off by shouting “Hello!! Guess what, everyone? I’m still alive!!”

[enter hollow-sounding echo] [enter crickets chirping]

Yeah, it’s me. Yes, I’m still incredibly busy. No, I don’t have enough clean underwear to last me through the weekend. Yes, I might have to buy some new pairs. Pronto. (Because wearing underwear inside out DOES NOT COUNT as clean.) Like Marty says: we– the childless by choice couple– seriously need an au pair. Or two. Stat!

Anyway. You’re probably all wondering how my Personal Beauty Detox Journey is going, right? (Admit it: sometimes you lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling, and desperately pray for some kind of a sign. “How is Dana doing?”, you wonder. [AOK] “Is her skin clear?” [Yep] “Do her pants fit?” [Kinda] “Is she still eating sauerkraut?” [Every now and then] “And cake?” [Sadly, yes] “Please, god– I have to know!” Don’t worry: I get it!)

Even though I was derailed for about two months on my Personal Beauty Detox Journey– gaining a total of 12.5 effin’ pounds!! (I know: seriously?!)– I seem to be heading back on track. [Fingers crossed.] [Knock on wood.] [Salt tossed over my shoulder for extra good measure.] And as of Sunday the 5th, I have actually taken the plunge and incorporated one of the major, signature tenets of Kimberly Snyder’s program: the Glowing Green Smoothie.

I have a thing with food textures, remember, and in my mind, green things are not supposed to be soft, smooth, or creamy whatsoever. (That’s why it took me 28 years to enjoy eating avocados.) I’ll admit I was terribly nervous about shoving a head of romaine lettuce, half a bunch of spinach leaves, some celery, and some fruit into a blender and then drinking it down. Being faced with nearly a litre of emerald green drink to down (every day!) did not seem like an obstacle I could overcome successfully.

But everything in my life started pointing me in the inevitable direction of the Green Smoothie.

First, I read Kimberly Snyder’s book, “The Beauty Detox Solution”. Did I jump right on the smoothie bandwagon after reading her incredibly inspiring book? No, but I did start incorporating some of her other suggestions. I was just a little nervous about all that blended green drink.

Next, I attended that powerful talk by Tim VanOrden. He was incredibly motivating and also talked about drinking Green Smoothies every morning. Did I head home that evening and triumphantly drag my Vitamix out of its cubby? Still no.

Finally, I happened to pick up a book called “Green for Life” at the local raw foods cafΓ© while I was waiting for a gorgeous take-out salad to be made. I started thumbing through it mindlessly, and the few pages I read were what eventually convinced me to take the plunge.

I’ll confess it was mostly vanity that inspired me to make green smoothies every morning. Cough.

The author of “Green for Life”— Victoria Boutenko– talked about the power of green smoothies to a) regulate sleep patterns and nourish the body on less sleep each night, and b) potentially heal even lifelong sores on the body. Seeing as we are so busy at the Harbour these days, the thought of being able to rejuvenate on less sleep every night was very appealing to me. (Maybe we can build our way up to working 22 hours a day?? Heh.) Also, I’m ashamed to admit that I still have that nasty, not-so-girly foot affliction, so even the possibility of having it drop off effortlessly after many years of trying to get rid of it was enough to turn me in the direction of blended green drinks.

Yes, I started drinking smoothies because of a wart. Ahem.

I have to say, I am loving both my morning smoothies and the fact that I own a Vitamix blender. Seriously. I don’t think I could keep it up if I had to chop everything into tiny pieces and then down a still-grainy “smoothie” from a non-Vitamix blender. The first morning, I was paranoid about over-blending the smoothie (in case all the rapid-fire blending action caused the smoothie to heat up, which I would not have been able to tolerate.) So I didn’t really blend it enough. It came out kind of chunky, luke-warmish, and admittedly nasty. And yet I drank it down for the sake of my health and non-girly warts falling off.

The second morning, I declared to myself that I would blend the hell out of those vegetables, and guess what? My Vitamix rendered the greens, celery, apple, pear, and banana into a heavenly-textured confection. It was silky, it was fresh, it was just the right thickness, and it was delicious. Yes, itΒ  took a bit of mental maneuvering to move past my mind’s alarmed insistence that This drink has vegetables in it!! DON’T DRINK IT!!!, but once I grew up and focused on how delicate and fresh the taste was, I was hooked.

I have been mowing through greens and fruits in the nearly two weeks since I started drinking the smoothies. I’ve also become emboldened in my smoothie making and experimented with other greens and fruits every now and again. In place of romaine lettuce, I’ve used dark kale leaves. Instead of spinach, I’ve tossed in generous portions of swiss chard leaves. I’ve used parsley sprigs, cilantro, raspberries, blueberries, and I even have some nectarines ripening to try them out in a future smoothie. All of the drinks have been divine. When I drink them, it’s like my body has been wandering in a dusty desert for months and is finally being quenched at some blessed oasis. Every one of my organs seems to sing when I drink the smoothie, and I’m beginning to feel like a bit of a super-hero because of it.

Is it a bird? A plane? No! It’s Supple Kidneys Girl! πŸ™‚

Every morning, I consume about 750mL of the green smoothie, and Marty gets the other half. To my pleasant surprise, I have been fine taking out my morning staple of oatmeal and drinking the smoothie instead (after literally years of eating a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast). Marty, on the other hand, finds he still prefers oatmeal off the bat and then he has his smoothie later in the morning or early in the afternoon. I have lost a modest amount of weight in the past two weeks (2lbs), but I’ve decided to focus instead on the non-scale measures of my increasing health:

– I have been waking up before my alarm clock on most mornings and feeling refreshed on all of them

– My body feels cleaner, fresher, and leaner (even though I haven’t changed anything else about my eating or exercise habits– still eating sweets and actually exercising less, to my chagrin)

– My skin feels more supple and elastic

– My elimination has been more frequent and more regular

– I am craving more fresh and raw foods (but yes– still eating things like carob bars daily)

– I still have that stupid sore on the bottom of my foot, but I’m holding out hope that it will magically fall off in a few more weeks (or months– whatever)

My goal is to actually drink at least a litre of green smoothie every day. I could easily drink more as it stands, but I’m just being polite and sharing the yield with Marty! (To reach a higher target, I’d have to make two batches of green smoothie in the morning). They keep well in the fridge or freezer, and they don’t separate out or become nasty even after an hour or so of sitting in my travel mug. This has been a big step for me, but I’m so thankful that I’ve taken the plunge and also made more use of my expensive, fancy blender! It finally feels worth it! πŸ˜‰

24 responses

  1. Ok, so if I read your description of the smoothie, I’m totally hooked. The problem is I’d have to figure out a way to prepare and drink the stuff without ever looking at it. Train the baby to squirt a squeeze bottle full of smoothie in my general direction maybe?

    • It might work. Your son’s pretty smart and coordinated, isn’t he? πŸ˜‰ I sort of had to close my eyes while drinking the first smoothie (‘focus on the TASTE, focus on the TASTE’), but already I’ve graduated to congratulating myself for making darker green smoothies vs. lighter ones. (‘My smoothie is greener than yours!’ Competitive much?)

    • Hooray! THAT’S the kind of encouragement I need! I know there are a zillion and one reasons to drink the smoothies, but I just want my feet to be pretty! πŸ˜‰ Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  2. Wow, Dana, I too have a thing about texture and that green “smoothie” looks way too weird. My question is–do the contents of said “smoothie” need to be consumed in liquid form? Couldn’t you just chew the stuff? Why must one drink it? Or maybe that’s a stupid question.

    But, hell, two pounds is great! Congrats!

    Kathy

    • Hey Kathy– the answer to your question is that most people don’t chew their food thoroughly enough, especially well enough to practically pre-digest it. By blending the greens, the cell walls are ruptured, and all of the nutrients are made readily available to the body. Less energy is expended in digestion, meaning that the body can use that energy for other things, like making our skin soft and nails strong! (That’s the theory, anyway. Works for me!)

      On the plus side, the fruit really cuts through the “green” flavour, so it really tastes like you’re drinking a fruit smoothie… just a dark-green one! πŸ˜‰

  3. Impressive! If two lb. in two weeks continues as four lb. in a month, etc., you are onto something, and how it is making you feel is best of all.
    How did you come up with just the right combo for you, and are you varying it according to your taste(s) ?

    • I don’t think it will continue as a pound a week indefinitely, but we’ll see how long it carries on! πŸ™‚

      I started with the base recipe in Kimberly’s book, which is basically 1 cup water, 1 bunch romaine, 1/2 bunch spinach, 3 stalks celery, 1 apple, 1 pear, 1 banana, and juice of 1/2 lemon. It was too thick for my tastes, so I upped the water to 2 cups and then started experimenting with stronger-tasting greens and fruits. I find that the pear works well with the romaine, because both have a nice delicate flavour, but when I use kale or something stronger, I like to use raspberries to really cancel out the sensation of drinking vegetables! I’m having fun trying out different fruits and vegetables, and I’m looking forward to the summer farmers’ markets– tons of great produce to experiment with in July and August!

  4. My [pickiest of the picky] offspring will drink Bolthouse Farms’ Green Goodness, Odwalla’s Superfood and Naked Juice’s Green Machine like they’re going out of style… So, very rough calculation, I can figure that a VitaMix will cost me about 140 Superfoods (which would probably take me about three years to buy). Hmm. Will have to continue marinating on that one, but you certainly make a compelling case.

    (I’m sorry your not-so-girly wart wasn’t cured by duct tape, but at least your [former] co-workers can’t inquire about your progress each morning!)

    • A good blender is definitely an investment, but now that I’m finally using it every day, it feels completely worth it! I don’t have to spend a lot of time cutting up the vegetables into little pieces– a stalk of celery literally gets cut into thirds and tossed into the blender. (Same with apples– I quarter them and that’s all I need to do.) It’s awesome that your child loves green smoothies already, though– teach them while they’re young, I say! πŸ™‚

      PS: You have no idea how much I would like my wart to be gone. I duct taped it for FOUR MONTHS and still no healing. It’s in there pretty deep. 😦

  5. I think your smoothie sounds delicious! I’ve started making smoothies occasionally, but may have to start having them a little more often. I could use more energy. πŸ™‚

    • They ARE delicious! My next step is to stop confusing my body so royally by eating cleaner throughout the entire day. There’s nothing like starting off each morning all pristine and then downing a heavy, carb-loaded meal by dinnertime. My digestive system must start the day so hopeful and then finish it off cursing my name. πŸ˜‰ All in good time, though– all in good time.

  6. ahhhhhh!!!! I still can’t get my mind wrapped around the idea of buying a $400 blender. So sadly, I think I will never taste the creamy goodness of your green smoothie and will have to keep chewing mine :(. The good news is that though I don’t have a vitamix, I’m getting a BETTER blender hopefully after the wedding. Keep us updated!

    • You should totally put a Vitamix on your gift registry! I swear– it is a night and day difference between this blender and the ones that cost less than $400. It’s worth it for the chopping time saved alone! (Not to mention all the frustration that can be avoided when everything whips up like a dream…)

  7. Your story inspired me to give Bolthouse Farms smoothies another try. Picked up a one litre bottle of ‘Green Goodness’ from Thrifty’s. It is tasty, fruitily sweet, a nice consistency, and struck me as likely very close to what you are making.
    Here is more info on it, including the ingredients:
    guess your site doesn’t allow pasting links, so alter the word dot to a dot.

    bolthouse dot com/our-products/beverages/smoothies/green-goodness/detail

    • Hey Dean– the ingredients all sound awesome, but the pasteurization process destroys A TON of the nutrients in the produce. Even if it is “flash” pasteurized, the amount of heat needed to achieve pasteurization and to “prolong shelf life” has definite disadvantages when it comes to enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.

      Looks like we’ll have to work something out so I can be your smoothie mule. The main issue I foresee is actually being able to stock enough produce in our fridge to make 2x a recipe every day. (If I don’t want to grocery shop 5 times a week!) As it stands, even though I pack our fridge full of fresh fruits and veggies, we still run out in 2-3 days. Add in the amount of time we spend at the Harbour, and it’s looking like a busy summer! πŸ™‚

  8. I can believe what you say about the pasteurization/preservation process considering the best-before date on two more bottles I bought tonight is Aug.20, a full two months. Can’t be any bio-active ingredients in there if it is good for that long.
    Anyway, I’m giving it a try and will let you know if it is doing anything for me. Already it serves the purpose of cutting down on my milk consumption.

    • I’m thinking of making an opaque “smoothie container cozy” for first time green smoothie drinkers. It’s seriously just the colour that’s off-putting. The taste is almost exactly like an all-fruit smoothie, I promise! πŸ™‚

  9. I’ve had to adapt it a bit, to three cups of romaine lettuce and a handful of spinach, otherwise it doesn’t fit in the blender (mine is a cheap one – I really want a vitamix!). I hardly ever drink the smoothies, but when I do, I usually feel the same way – as I did five years ago, when I was regularly making fruit smoothies.

    Sorry for TMI, but I’ve been throwing up almost everything for the past few years (not intentionally), so I left the healthier food alone, stupidly thinking that I couldn’t be wasting money that way. Of course, my stomach issue only grew worse and worse. I think the probiotics I bought became too warm, because they helped me for a few days, and then stopped. That’s what has finally pushed me towards eating avocados (with cayenne pepper and onions, otherwise: ugh!), and trying her other foods. I’m a big chicken when it comes to food, though: I made her squash bisque, put it in the freezer, and still haven’t tried it. I’m better with the smoothies.

    • I hear you! I tend to get into a routine with my food, and ‘new’ foods always make me a little nervous to try. (I used to be an insanely picky eater when I was growing up, so I guess I still stick mostly to what I know I enjoy already.)

      I didn’t know much about probiotics before, but more and more, they seem to be the secret to health and well-being. I’ve noticed a big difference taking and eating probiotics, but I haven’t actually made one of the green smoothies in almost a year! I think I’ll bring them back into my diet when I return from holidays (and have access to my awesome blender again), but in the meantime, I seem to be doing just fine with kraut and then my regular food staples. Good luck recovering from your food intolerances. All that vomit doesn’t sound fun!

  10. I love that it’s bright green- it’s like a super food that’s gonna do wonders for me. I use a nutribullet and it works fine for 1 person.

    • Good to know! I love using blueberries and raspberries in my smoothies, too, but they end up turning the smoothie a sort of brown color. Definitely not as appealing in looks, although it still tastes great!

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