Monday, November 14, 2011

Eat! Part 2: The Green Smoothie Challenge

Since it's taken me so long to get to posting this I will give you the condensed version of the story (which, as you know, is NOT easy for me to do!).

A Quick Recap
When we last met I confessed that I had really let things go over the summer and was feeling pretty yucky, especially considering that my 20 year High School Reunion was coming up.  I went to Tracey Webber of EAT! to help me get back on track.

The Challenge
Tracey really got to me about how important getting back on track was not just for my physical health, but my mental health, as well. To do this she suggested making "Green Smoothies" every morning for breakfast.  I had tried a few of Tracey's green smoothies during the Cleanse I did with her last spring and was pretty sure I could handle it for a little while, as long as she didn't make me drink the one called the "Blood Transfusion" (recipe here).  To help motivate me Tracey vowed to do what we eventually entitled "The Smoothie Challenge" along with me. (Note: the photo above is not actually one of my smoothies but a stock photo.  I will post mine once I remember to take photos before drinking!)

Making a smoothie every morning really isn't that hard to do, especially for someone like Tracey who truly lives the life she teaches.  Unless, of course, you are heading to the caribbean for a week on vacation with you family, as Tracey was.  Did that stop her?  Of course not!  She literally packed her Blend Tech into her suitcase so that she could make smoothies along with me every day.  And she did it!  Every day Tracey and I e-mailed what we put in our smoothie that day, how it tasted and how we were feeling.  Now that is a dedicated support system!

At the beginning of the week I'd hit Whole Foods and Cville Market for fruit, veggies and box of frozen wheatgrass cubes (expensive but so easy in this form). A basic smoothie would consist of handful or two of some type of green - usually spinach, kale, watercress or mache; some type of frozen berries - usually blueberries, raspberries or strawberries (I'd use fresh if they were in season but out of season froze are cheaper and taste great), coconut water, whey protein powder and some ice.  Some of the recipes called for other ingredients like avocado (which I love to eat but found I hated in smoothies), celery, and nuts which I'd add if called for.  I also threw plain greek yogurt in quite often because I like the texture (though during the cleanse this isn't allowed). By the end of the week it usually turned into a "Whatever-I-have-Left Smoothies" which, surprisingly, often turned out to be my favorites.   

When my reunion  (in Minnesota) came around I attempted to maintain the Smoothie Challenge by making  one every morning at my parents house.  My veggie-loving mom was quick to jump on the bandwagon, but my dad was a little skeptical (surprise, surprise!).  We did convince him to try a few of my concoctions, but he drew the line at the ones that "looked like bird poop".  I can't blame him, some of them do look pretty disgusting.

Tomorrow I will post a basic recipe for an easy-to-drink-but-still-packed-with-vitamins-green-smoothie, as well as the "Blood Transfusion" smoothie of Tracey's that is so packed with nutrition you will feel like a new person after drinking it (if you can swallow it).  I will post a few of my favorite recipes I come up with new favorite combinations as time goes on. Yes, I'm planning on maintaining the smoothie thing into the future, as it's really easy, tastes great and starting your day off with all those nutritients feels really, really awesome (and did I mention it's a great hangover cure???).

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