Posts filed under ‘Green Smoothies’
Congrats to Nadia (comment #19)…the winner of our book drawing! Her comment was:
LOVED IT!!!!!! I feel soooo much better now. Last month at this time, I was tired, achy, bloaty, and had terrible skin and my hormones were all over the place. I have faithfully drank my green smoothy every morning for the last month and the change that I can see if my self is incredible! 10.5 pounds gone! Mood swings, gone! Coffee, gone!! My skin looks awesome! I am so thankful that I came across your site when I did! Thanks Sara!
Thanks to all for sharing!
Congratulations to all of you who completed the 30 day challenge! I would LOVE to hear how drinking green smoothies has changed your eating habits and your thoughts about food, etc. Please share your testimonial about the green goodness!!
As a little thank you for sharing your testimony, your name will be entered into a giveaway for a copy of “Green Smoothie Revolution” by Victoria Boutenko. I will announce a winner on Sept. 28!
Green smoothies are a wonderful way to nourish your children! It’s pretty rare to find a 5 year old who will sit down and eat a big spinach salad…but throw that salad into the blender with some sweet fruits and THEY WILL! Here are a few tips for those of you who want to get more greens into your kiddos:
- If your child doesn’t like the green color, add blueberries (or any dark berry) and it will make it purple!
- Try to avoid fruit with small seeds (blackberries, etc)…they tend not to blend so well and the texture might bother some kids.
- Get a fun straw! And make sure it has a wide opening…the faster it comes out, the more they will drink.
- Get a special cup…just for their smoothies. One that isn’t clear and has a lid works well for disguising the color. Bella likes her pink small coffee travel mug from Starbucks.
- Make up a fun name! Some that I’ve heard lately: “Berry Blast”, “Princess Power Smoothie”, and “Hulk Smash Smoothie”. It’s amazing what they will drink when it has a cool sounding name.
- If you have a rather selective eater…avoid using the words “green” and “smoothie” in the same sentence. Same with “spinach” and “kale”. Tends to send them running.
- Get them a smoothie buddy. If little Suzy Q who lives next door loves smoothies, your kiddo will probably jump on the band wagon. Of course, this can backfire if Suzy Q really hates the smoothies Kids are very impressionable.
- Give them ownership of the smoothie by letting them pick out the ingredients. I have found that when Bella gets to put everything in the blender, run the buttons, etc…she is much more excited to drink it.
- If they don’t like the green smoothies at first…start them off with a regular fruit smoothie (or “pink smoothie” as it’s known in our house).
- Sneak in other healthy goodies like hemp seeds or chia while you’re at it…they won’t taste a thing!
- For a fun treat, make them a yummy chocolate smoothie.
- If you’re wanting to increase their calories, add raw almond butter or avocado to their smoothie.
Overall, kids will eventually imitate what they see repeated. If they see you enjoying a green smoothie every day during the challenge…they’re going to wonder what they are missing! This goes for spouses as well
Share your stories about your kids and green smoothies! Do they have a favorite recipe? What did you name it? How have they reacted to you drinking them?
One week down…three to go! Congratulations to all of you who are participating in the Green Smoothie Challenge of 2009! I’ve been hearing great things from the trenches…weight loss, increased energy and clarity, and kids joining in! Great things are happening…because of green smoothies Keep it up!
After the first week, you have probably started to figure out where your weaknesses are. Focus on those this week and overcome them. For some of you, it’s the no sugar thing. Continue to cut them out of your diet, and have a “plan” for those times that you do crave them. Don’t just stand there helplessly…FIGHT those cravings! First of all, if you still have candy and soft drinks in the house…GET RID OF IT! Give it away to your friends who don’t want to be healthy! If it’s there, you will eat it. Don’t kid yourself. I find that a cup of hot tea works wonders, or even just drinking a big glass of water. You can also fill that craving with a sweet fruit like watermelon or berries. The less sugar you consume, the less you will crave it.
For some of you, it’s the exercise thing. You just cannot find time to fit it in no matter what you do. But I guarantee you that you will find time for things that you are passionate about…whether it be keeping up with friends and family on Facebook, sewing/knitting, reading, watching TV, etc. Look at your day and figure out where your time is spent…and then carve out 15 minutes of that time to BE ACTIVE. Go outside and walk around the block 4 times. Do some stretching before you go to bed at night. Start small, document your journey, and keep moving forward.
Even if this first week was really hard and you only did one smoothie all week, go into this second week with renewed determination. Be gentle on yourself, but stick to the challenge. It’s worth it!
Photo: This is my fabulous friend Heather
who is due with her 8th baby TODAY!
Can’t wait to hear the big news Heth!
You can read her hilarious blog here.
I juiced up some red deliciousness today in my Breville Compact Juice Fountain and I just had to share it with you! It was SO good…sweet and just a little tart. And of course, yummy. The beets made it taste really different than my normal green lemonade…much sweeter. Here is what I included:
- 2 apples (whole, with cores)
- 1 meyer lemon (peeled)
- small chunk of ginger
- 1 head of romaine
- Large handful of leaf lettuce
- 2 small beets (golf ball size)
I’ve had lots of questions about the difference between juicing and blending. And even though I’ve posted about this before, I’m going to post it again.
Blending keeps all of the fiber in, whereas juicing takes it out. That’s the only difference…and there are benefits to both. I look at juicing as a “supplement”….or almost a “treat”. I don’t juice everyday…probably 2-3 times a week…all with GREEN juices. I do BLEND every day though with my green smoothie. Juicing offers the added benefit of “instant” assimilation in to the body…which is why you might get a “juice high” after you drink it!
- Both green juices and smoothies are highly alkaline…and disease cannot survive in an alkaline environment. They do LOVE an acid environment though…and 3 acid forming foods are meat, dairy, coffee.
- Both green juices and smoothies have chlorophyll, which increases the flow of oxygen in our blood/body, which in turn, creates an aerobic environment where disease cannot thrive.
- Both green juices and smoothies enable you to eat A LOT more greens at one time than you normally would.
This list could go on and on…but you get the idea. Juicing has a purpose and blending has a purpose…although they are very similar.
The main reason why someone who is sick (with cancer or other disease) should juice is because it takes the LEAST AMOUNT OF ENERGY from the body to digest. Even green smoothies take more energy because the fiber needs to be digested. When you can take away the energy need for digestion, it leaves your body more energy to HEAL. This goes for raw food in general, but it’s particularly applicable when fighting disease. You want to free up as much energy as possible to heal the body.
I do think both should be incorporated in one’s diet…however, if you can only afford one machine right now, get a blender and save up for the juicer
Today is the big day! Do you have your fruit? Your greens? Your motivation? I’ve been getting emails all week from people who started a little early for practice and they are losing weight and feeling amazing! I know this is going to be a great month!
Here are a few last minute tips to help keep you on track:
- If you miss a day…don’t sweat it! Just drink a little more the next day and move on. Or, if you miss your smoothie in the morning, have it for lunch or dinner. A green smoothie is a meal in itself…if you don’t feel full enough, just drink more!
- Be gentle on yourself…this challenge is about “jump starting” your habits and it will hopefully add up to a life long change. Don’t worry so much about getting it all right, as you do about changing your mindset about food/exercise.
- Read blogs and inspiring books during the 30 days…I guarantee it will help you stay on track! When you’re reading about others drinking their green smoothies and exercising and cutting out sugar…it’s makes it harder to drive through McDonald’s If you are documenting your journey through the 30 days on your blog, be sure to post a link to it in the comments!
- If you don’t feel like you’re ready to commit to the entire set of “rules” for the challenge…don’t leave quite yet! Even if you just add the smoothie to your day and do nothing else, you will still see changes!
- At last count, we were up to 174 people participating in the challenge on Facebook…let’s go for 200! Tell your friends, your co-workers, your family…get them on board with you. Everyone will benefit from a green smoothie a day…you never know how you might change their life!!
- If you’re feeling like you want to kick it up one more notch, try going about 80% raw for one week of the challenge. What does that look like? Do your smoothie for breakfast, a big salad for lunch, snack on fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds throughout the day, and then have a healthy vegan dinner. If you want to see what my day looks like, check out my food journal, Raw Delight.
- You can also try “raw til noon”…this is especially good for those who need to prepare meals at night for others, but want to eat healthy throughout the day. Just do your smoothie for breakfast, the salad for lunch and then do your normal thing at night.
Can’t wait to hear your stories! Let the challenge begin…
Are you on the go a lot? Here is a great way to take your smoothie with you! I use a quart mason jar with a lid to take it in the car with me…and that way, I can put the lid back on when I’m done and there is no mess. I try to stay away from plastic as much as possible, so I choose to use glass. However, you could put your smoothie in a reused plastic water bottle or other container. I would recommend that you don’t put them in a stainless steel container such as the Klean Kanteen or Sigg unless you can rinse it immediately. They tend to be much harder to clean smoothie gunk out of. This is also a great way to keep oxygen out after you make them the night before…fill it as close to the top as you can and cap it. Line them up in he fridge and you’re good to go.
If you don’t want to answer the question of “Oh my gosh. What is in THAT?!!” over and over…put it in a container that isn’t clear. Although, clear containers are a more effective way of sharing the green smoothie love. Just tell them to go to our Facebook group and join up!
You can find quart jars with lids in bulk at Wal-Mart or at your local kitchen/hardware store. If you need to keep it colder for a longer period of time, get yourself a funky insulated lunch bag (like this one or this one or this one)and a couple of re-freezable gel packs. That way, you can have one later in the day for a snack too! Now there are no excuses for not drinking your smoothie!
Let’s face it, it’s just more fun to drink your smoothie from a pretty straw (although using NO straw makes a pretty funny green mustache). And so many of you have asked where you could find these reusable straws…so here are some options for you! One little tip: RINSE your straw immediately after using. The green gunk is quite difficult to get out after it dries!
If you aren’t into the plastic thing…check out these alternatives:
As we approach the start of the Green Smoothie Challenge, I wanted to give you some tips that I’ve learned along the way. Many of you have emailed me with various questions and concerns and I thought I would just address all of them right here!
Are there any books or inspirational websites that I can read?
I would highly recommend the book Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko. It’s one thing to commit to the challenge…but it will get really hard to continue if you don’t have the “head knowledge” telling you WHY this is of benefit to your body. Green For Life details what greens do for your body and why we can’t live without them. She also includes many different recipes, including savory versions (instead of sweet). It’s a quick and easy read…spend some time in the hammock this weekend and check it out!
As for websites, if you haven’t signed up for our Facebook group, be sure to do that! We just hit 100 members over there, and I’m sure it will be an active community of support starting on Monday. You could also go to Gone Raw and search on “green smoothie” for more recipes.
What is the most important part of the challenge?
Setting yourself up for success is VITAL. Don’t wait until Monday morning to run to the grocery store for your ingredients! Being PREPARED will be key throughout the entire 30 days. Also, find yourself a “green smoothie buddy”. If you are the only green smoothie drinker in a sea of doughnuts and coffee, you will sink fast! Get someone to join you in the challenge.
Where is the best place to buy ingredients?
Green smoothies can be made up of endless combinations of fruits and greens. And these can be purchased at any grocery store. However, I do recommend that if you have a Costco in your area, go there. The large containers of organic baby spinach are about HALF the price of the regular grocery store. And you can get the large bag of Spectrum frozen fruit for a great price. They also have whole pineapples for less than $3.00. Bonus.
Find Your Favorite
No, you shouldn’t have to CHOKE down your green smoothie. It should be a pleasurable experience. Something you ENJOY and look forward to every morning. If this isn’t the case, you’re doing something wrong. If you really don’t like how your smoothies are turning out…figure out why. Are they too thick? Too thin? Too chunky? Too sweet? Not sweet enough? These are all things that can be fixed. I will say that green smoothie making is an art form. It will probably take you several days to get it right. Watch my video again if you’re confused.
Make It Pretty
Before Monday, find a glass that you really LOVE that will be your smoothie container. It could be just a big jar like mine…or you could use a beautiful wine glass. The key is to find something that brings you joy. When you see it, you should be happy. This one would make me happy. Or this one. And then post on your blogs about your fun glass so I can see!
Do you really mean NO white sugar?
Yes, that is what I mean. However, don’t get crazy over it. If you’re out with friends and you’re having the waiter to bring out the salad dressing bottle so you can check if there is sugar in it…you’ve gone crazy. If you want to be that way…bring your own dressing. BUT, you don’t have to do that. The whole point to the no white sugar thing is to cut out all processed foods. Please note that no white sugar also includes all foods with high fructose corn syrups (I can hear the collective ‘aaaawwwww man!’ now). Just stop eating junk and you’ll take care of this rule. Doughnuts, cookies, candy, pop, all of it! Gone. For 30 days. If you must have sweets…grab some dark chocolate or dates. Good stuff.
I’m worried that I won’t be able to make one every morning.
Good news! You can make them in advance. This is especially helpful for those who you who work outside the home or those who have children and can’t even find a moment in the mornings to make food for yourself. The key is to make them the night before and then store them in mason jars with lids. Or empty bottles (the Synergy kombucha bottles work great!). In her book, Green For Life, Victoria Boutenko says that you can keep green smoothies for up to 3 days. I prefer to drink them within 24 hours because they start to taste different, but that’s up to you.
I can’t find time to exercise! How will I be able to add that to my challenge?
If you look at your day, I bet there are lots of little gaps of “dead time” that you could be doing something active with your body. I’ve gotten to be an expert at this lately. I do leg lifts while brushing my teeth. I do squats while I’m bouncing/holding Lucy. I walk around the driveway a couple of times after getting the mail. Last night I did 20 minutes of yoga right before bed…and while it wasn’t that much, it really helped! There are so many inexpensive and quick ways to move your body…fill up gallon jugs with water and do arm curls and squats, do push ups and crunches…just use the weight of your body as resistance. Get creative!
I’m not able to get fresh greens all the time, is there an alternative?
One of our fellow participants is a missionary and isn’t able to get fresh greens on a consistent basis. I started thinking about this and wanted to address it not only for her, but also for those who might want another source of greens in case they run out. Last year I blogged about Vitamineral Green, an awesome green powdered supplement with TONS of good stuff in it. This would be a great alternative to fresh greens. I would choose fresh over a powder if you can (and just use the powder as a supplement), but it will definitely satisfy the green requirement This powder would also be perfect for those who need to travel a lot and can’t always seek out fresh greens at their destination. You can take this in water (although I’m not sure how tasty it would be!).
Do I need a juicer to participate in this challenge?
No! Only a blender is required. On a related note, the fabulous Vita-Mix has a 30 day money back guarantee, so if you’ve been dreaming of a new blender, check it out!
Just 3 more days until we start the challenge! Are you excited?! Wooo hooo!
Last year I launched the Happy Foody 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge…it was a huge success and helped many people change their eating habits. SO…we’re going to do it AGAIN! It’s the perfect time to kick start a healthier you…summer is coming to a close soon and fall upon us. Seasons are changing…and you can change too! Adding a green smoothie to your day is the BEST thing you can do to get on the path to a healthier you. When you drink a big green smoothie in the morning, it fills your body’s need for those vital nutrients to function throughout the day. You will slowly STOP CRAVING junk food. It’s like magic!
We will begin on August 17 and end on September 17. Here is what you are committing to:
- Drink at least 16 oz. of green smoothie per day (a quart would be even better!)
- Do some sort of activity every day. This could be an intense workout, or just dancing with your kids around the living room. It could be a 15 minute yoga session or a walk around the block.
- Add a green leafy salad to your lunch or supper (with light dressing…stay away from the creamier sauces).
- Stop drinking pop.
- Cut out all white sugar.
So who is in?! Leave a comment below with your intention and watch your life change. Feel free to grab the little icon from above and link it back to this post. Tell your friends. Tell your co-workers. Tell your family. Get yourself a green smoothie buddy. Can’t wait to hear your stories!
Be sure to join our Facebook group here for additional motivation and inspiration.
So, HOW do I do this green smoothie thing?
The most common question I am asked on this blog is: “What do you put in your green smoothies?” Here is my favorite “recipe”:
Frozen mixed fruit
One peeled orange
TONS of baby spinach
Water to blend
We usually make a full Vita-Mix of this each morning (approximately 2 quarts). Watch the video below to see me make my smoothies!
If you’re wanting a few more options for green smoothies, be sure to check out Kevin Gianni’s new smoothie book. I recently bought both the eBook and the hard copy and I LOVE it! So often, smoothie books call for yogurt, cow’s milk, etc. The recipes in his book are completely raw vegan. Awesome. Kevin didn’t just write a bunch of recipes, He asked over 20 leading health experts what their favorite smoothies were, tested them and now has compiled them into a book of over 165 great tasting recipes. Now you can find out what Victoria Boutenko, Doug Graham, Ani Phyo, Mike Adams, David Wolfe, Angela Stokes and more, blend up in their Vita-Mix when they’re in need for a meal or a quick snack! It also has tons of fun information about different superfoods, fruits/veggies, nutrients, etc.
If you do this challenge, I guarantee you will see changes in your body and your mind. Check out the testimonials of readers who participated last year:
We did the challenge as a family. Here’s what we noticed:
At the end of January, I decided to finally go vegetarian and to cut out dairy. I started green smoothies about two weeks later so my observations must fairly be based on both of those changes.
- I lost 14 pounds.
- Despite losing weight, my milk production definitely increased.
- My toddler happily slurps approximately a pint of green smoothie every day.
- My elimination, which has been really erratic since my children were born, is completely healthy and normal now.
- My skin glows and is completely clear.
- My husband’s dark eye circles are much lighter and his allergies (environmental) haven’t been bothering him.
- My husband reports more energy during his work day without having to rely on caffeine.
- Everyone around us is getting bad colds and flus and we are healthy. Only the baby had the sniffles for a couple of days but it never got worse than that and went away quickly.
- I don’t need nearly as much food to satisfy me as I used to and my cravings for “bad” food are gone. I don’t even think in terms of bad or good anymore. There’s food (whole plant food) and not-food (animal products, packaged junk food, paper, dirt, etc) I would no sooner eat a hamburger than I would a shoe.
- For me, it was the perfect jump start to being “successfully raw”, to take a page from Karen Knowler. For me and my family, that’s around 75% raw.
I just feel so good. I can’t thank you enough for being the impetus to finally DO this. I turn 30 next week and I am so excited to be moving into my best health ever. How’s that? All blessedly true!
We have been doing the smoothie challenge for about a month now. I
have to say that this is the best thing we have ever done for our
family. I notice a big difference if I have missed a day or two. I
think in the past month, I have only broken out with ONE pimple, and
that was stress-induced (the in-laws were flying in). Thank you for
introducing the Green Smoothie to our family. Your blogs and pictures
are always so inspiring. I consider you a friend, and I’ve never even
met you! Hopefully one day our paths will cross. Take care, and God
bless you and your family!
Has it been 30 days already? I just wanted to thank you for getting me started on green smoothies. I had a rough start (some major detox going on), but this is a habit I plan on keeping. I am AMAZED at how my sugar cravings are kept at bay just by having a green smoothie for breakfast. I strive to eat raw until dinner…some days I do it, some days I don’t, but all in all, the green smoothie at the beginning of my day sets me on a healthier path for the rest of the day.
A few benefits I’ve noticed…
- F ewer sugar cravings
- My hair looks much healthier
- I don’t feel bloated or have digestive issues, and perhaps the most rewarding…
- My husband and my baby are on a green smoothie kick too! We still can’t get our toddler on board, although every now and then he’ll drink a little bit of a “pink green smoothie”.
Anyhow, thanks again for helping my family to start a healthy new habit! I am now exploring more raw foods and, while I’m not yet ready to go 100% raw, I definitely am ready to start incorporating more raw foods into my diet!