Posts filed under ‘Green Smoothies’

Accessorize Your Smoothie: Get a Cool Straw

Accessorize 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! 🙂


Pink and Orange from Crate and Barrel
(I just ordered some of these…yay!)
More Pretty Straws
Patriotic Straws

If you aren’t into the plastic thing…check out these alternatives:

Glass Straws
Stainless Steel Straws
Bamboo Straws

August 14, 2009 at 4:40 pm 13 comments

Green Smoothie Challenge Tips

green smoothie bottle

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!

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christaface/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

August 14, 2009 at 5:24 am 13 comments

Happy Foody Green Smoothie Challenge – 2009

30 days greenLast 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”:

Fresh pineapple
Frozen banana
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.

Go check it out here.

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:

Hi Sara!
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!

-Tara
http://fiddlemama.blogspot.com

Hi Sara,
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!
Kathi
http://chrysanthemama1.blogspot.com/


Hi Sara!
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!

Jennifer


August 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm 115 comments

Boost Your Smoothie

So you’ve been making green smoothies faithfully now for months…and you’re wanting to spice things up a bit, right? Ok. The list below contains some little goodies that you can add to your smoothies for a little extra boost. HOWEVER, I want to make it very clear that these are optional. They are not necessary for optimal health…I believe that they can make a difference…but whole fresh fruits and veggies are still BEST! Personally, I don’t use them on an every day basis…maybe 3-4 times a week.

Powdered green superfoods in general are a bit on the expensive side, and in my opinion are a little overemphasized in the raw movement. The best thing to do is just try them and decide for yourself if they are beneficial. Add them consistently for a week and then determine if you have more energy. There are many boosts that you can add that aren’t as expensive…flax, chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc. Lots of options! 🙂

Vitamineral Green:
This is what I am currently using the most. It has tons of different things in it…including probiotics. I can taste it in the smoothie, but it doesn’t have an overpowering taste. You can also take it straight in water…but I’ve never tried it. There is another supplement called Pure Synergy that I hear a lot about…it has similar properties but I haven’t tried it either.

Ingredients: 100% Organic/Wildcrafted
Land Vegetables:
Whole Leaf Barley Grass , Whole Leaf Wheat Grass , Nettle Leaf , Shavegrass (Horsetail) , Alfalfa Leaf Juice , Dandelion Leaf Juice , Kamut® Grass Juice , Barley Grass Juice , Oat Grass Juice , Burdock Root , Broccoli Juice , Kale Juice , Spinach Juice , Parsley Juice , Carob Pod , Ginger Root , Nopal Cactus , Amla Berry

Algaes:
Spirulina , Broken Cell Wall Chlorella

Wildcrafted Aquatic Vegetables:
Icelandic Kelp , Nova Scotia Dulse

Enzymes:
Optimum absorption of Amylase, Lipase, Protease, Cellulase, Bromelain and Papain (rawguru.com)

Spirulina:
When people are going on and on about protein content in my diet…I like to tell them about GREENS! And spirulina falls into that category. It’s a complete protein. I have a big jar of Spirulina…same brand at the Vitamineral Green. The Vit. Green also has spirulina in it…so I haven’t been using the straight powder as much.

“Spirulina is an exceptional food and an incredible source of concentrated, non-toxic, absorbable nutrients. It is a highly beneficial substitute for protein powders. The protein in Spirulina contains all 8 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Spirulina (a blue-green algae), also contains vitamins A, B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, E, and K. In addition, Spirulina also provides minerals, trace minerals, cell salts, phytonutrients and enzymes, as well as an abundance of chlorophyll & other beneficial pigments. ” (rawguru.com)

Hemp Seeds:
Hemp seeds are super versatile and I use them in everything! I add them to smoothies and salads. I sprinkle them inside of wraps and also on top of Bella’s oatmeal.

These are the Earth’s most nutritious seeds. This shelled hemp seed is 33% protein, rich in vitamin E and iron, as well as Omega-3, 6, 9 and GLA. hemp nut offers complete, whole food nutrition. Canadian Farmers grow hemp without pesticides or herbicides making this a safer product for you and the Earth. Hemp is a weed, grows anywhere easier and has no natural pests. Growing hemp (a nonpsychoactive crop) restores our soils and conserves forests, contributing to a healthy sustainable world. Start a hemp food tradition, save your health and the health of the planet. This hemp nut is raw, vegan and delicious. Sprinkle this raw Hemp Seed Nut generously on salads, cereals and soups – or eat by the spoonful as a delicious snack by itself. Hemp seed nut goes great in smoothies. (rawguru.com)

Maca:
Maca is known to be an energy, fertility, and libido enhancer. Take with caution! 🙂 ha ha. It does have a bit of an aftertaste…I think it’s best in chocolate smoothies, but I’m able to get it down in a green one as well.

Chia Seeds:
I haven’t used these much, but I did pick up a small bag a few cities back to start adding them to our smoothies. They can be sprinkled on anything, much like hemp seeds…although most sources say to soak them before eating (they do not need to be ground).

Chia seeds provide the essential omega 3 & 6 oils. Chia seeds are 30% oil, of which 30% is omega 3 and 40% is omega 6, and have a long shelf life. They also have approximately two times the protein concentration and up to ten times the oil concentration of other grains, and are digestible without grinding. Other seeds with harder shells, such as flax seeds, require grinding to make them digestible and have a very short shelf life in the ground form.

Chia seeds are small and have the unique feature of a shell that turns gelatinous (mucilaginous) when it gets wet. This gel is thought to create a barrier in the stomach between the carbohydrates and digestive enzymes – slowing the breakdown of carbos into sugar and prolonging endurance. The seed can absorb more than 10 times its weight in water which can prolong hydration and retain electrolytes in body fluids. The name, chia, is Maya for strength or strengthening. (rawguru.com)

Flax Seeds:
To obtain the most nutrition from flax seeds, they must be ground. I use these in smoothies and salads. They have a really nice flavor and texture…I love it! There are just too many benefits to list here, so go and read them here! 🙂

So that’s my list…there are many, many more supplemental foods out there, but these are the big ones for us. What is your favorite boost?

July 6, 2008 at 5:46 am 16 comments

Green Smoothie/Raw Food Challenge Wrap Up

Woooooooo! You made it!

Congratulations to all of you who committed to the Green Smoothie Challenge, and to those of you who went the extra mile and did the Raw Food Challenge as well!

Three Things:
First, I would like to compile some testimonials about the green smoothie/raw challenge to encourage and inspire others. If you are willing to share a short blurb (or long if you like) about your experience and how it affected your eating habits, family, etc., I would be delighted. Please email me directly by Friday, April 4. Second, the challenge will go on! Think of it as a “rolling challenge”. People will be able to start whenever they want…it won’t be tied to a certain time frame. Feel free to continue spreading the green smoothie/raw love around to your friends/family…direct them back to Happy Foody for information/support. Lastly, I will be leaving the Smoothie and Raw Yahoo Groups “open” indefinitely so that those of you who would like to continue supporting each other in your journey can do so.

Add greens. Eat more raw. Be happy!

March 29, 2008 at 5:15 am 6 comments

More Green Smoothie = More Happy

When you are making your green smoothie in the morning…make double the amount! It’s so much easier to make it all in one batch, and then you have a ready-made, delicious & satisfying snack for later in the day. I love keeping empty bottles like this one just for this purpose. Bella has an empty “mini” Naked juice bottle that is her special smoothie bottle. She loves knowing that it’s in the fridge full of green smoothie just waiting for her whenever she wants (it usually doesn’t last very long!) and I am more than happy to give it to her.For those of you that work full time and have access to a fridge…this is a great way to bring raw to the office, or even just a quick and healthy snack for the afternoon.

Also, don’t be afraid to have 2 smoothies in one day … it’s a great way to stop cravings in their tracks! Greens are where it’s at!

March 15, 2008 at 1:11 am 10 comments

How To Make a Green Smoothie

For those of you who are still wondering exactly how to make one of these crazy green smoothies…check out Robyn’s (of Green Smoothie Girl fame) video. It’s great…and it has a lot of little tidbits of knowledge too. My favorite quote:

“If you do nothing else that’s healthy all day long…do this!”

Preach it sister! Even if you are eating Snickers and Mountain Dew…you can still benefit from a green smoothie…get on board!

March 15, 2008 at 12:26 am 93 comments

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Words to Eat By

"It is easier to change a man's religion than to change his diet." -Margaret Mead

"I don't understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it is medically conservative to cut people open and put them on cholesterol lowering drugs for the rest of their lives." - Dean Ornish, MD

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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