i actually went onto my patio....picked the dandelions growing there - and threw them into my smoothie! i will admit it took me a little while to take the first sip - not b/c of the fact that i was drinking a "weed" but because it was one i foraged myself - and i'm always the one worried that i will eat the ONE KIND of wild dandelion that is poisonous! LOL
1 strawberry (b/c that is all i had)
Hey Friends. I was just over visiting SouleMama as I do every morning and the words GREEN SMOOTHIE was in there! Just thought I would share that awesome little tidbit! I wonder what she puts in hers? Maybe we can get her to join the next challenge??? Anyway, I have an interview with another Green Smoothie Drinker/Blogger tomorrow on Enchanted Chameleon and I will link it here. Definitely check it out! I hope you're having a great day!
I first tried green smoothies last year while I undertook a 30 day raw/vegan challenge (me being the sole challenger and challengee)*. I fell in love with them instantly and vowed to drink them all the time.
Then the holidays happened. And my son spent a lot of time in the hospital. And I got caught up with other things. And green smoothies gradually faded out of my diet.
I am grateful to Suzanne for initiating this challenge. I had forgotten how yummy and nutritious green smoothies are. I am also grateful for all the new recipes and smoothie ideas she and other green smoothie challengers are providing.
See, I had been caught in a green smoothie rut. My smoothies always consisted of banana, spinach and whatever frozen or fresh berries I had on hand. And for the first week of this challenge that is what I drank every day. After learning about the importance of mixing up the greens, I am now determined to try new things.
This goal was helped along by the fact that I ran out of spinach yesterday. The only greens I had in my fridge were a few pea sprouts. And my toddler is in a phase where getting him dressed takes about an hour, so running out to the market was out of the question if I wanted my smoothie in a timely manner.
Then I remembered I had already started work on my patio container garden. Just last week I planted a whole bunch of new herbs and leafy greens. So I grabbed my kitchen shears and a basket and headed out to the patio.
First I snipped off some swiss chard,
then some watercress
The parsley was the only herb to survive winter, so I added lots of that.
A little bit of arugula and I was almost done.
I discovered a rogue dandelion in my holly bush recently and I figured that I would also add a few dandelion leaves. I have often had the urge to harvest wild dandelions from the parks and gardens around my apartment but have been worried about pesticides and other pollutants that they might possibly contain, being city weeds and all. I figured I would give these ones a good wash and delight in the fact that these beautiful flowers (weeds? pffft!) are so nutritious and readily available.
I took my small harvest back into the kitchen, washed it and dumped it into one of my Magic Bullet cups. After adding water, the remaining pea shoots, a banana and some frozen mango, I whirred it all up. It looked a little more chunky than my usual spinach smoothie, but I didn't hesitate at all on my first sip.
It tasted bright and green, way more fresh and flavourful than my usual smoothies. All the herbs gave it an almost spicy tang. Delicious!
It was the best smoothie ever.
* If you are interested in reading about my raw-vegan month, it is on my blog at http://candicerider.blogspot.com/ under labels: raw-veganism 30-day trial. Be warned: it is not terribly comprehensive or detailed, as I am not a post-a-day blogger.
It has been a full week now of green smoothies. A happy discovery has been that this is much easier than I thought it would be. I am actually craving them! Two weeks ago, I cut gluten out of my diet after finding that I have a wheat/gluten sensitivity. I have to say that these two changes - no to gluten, yes to green smoothies - have had an amazing effect on my eating habits. I no longer crave sugar and carbs - instead, I crave healthy green smoothies. Wowzee! I try to have my smoothie as my one raw meal a day - usually breakfast. I have used romaine, red leaf lettuce and kale as my greens. This week, I would like to try some spinach in the mix. My favorite smoothie so far has been romaine, apple, pear and mint. Oh how I love mint leaves added to a smoothie! I also have discovered after using kale that a banana can sweeten anything up and make it taste good. I must admit that I paid my kids to take a few sips of a smoothie. My youngest really liked it - he drank a full glass of the one I made! Oh happy day!!! Here is a green smoothie recipe from my accupuncturist (I must admit I have not yet tried this one):
Arugula, spinach, parsley, green apple, avacado and sprouts
I think I'm going to adapt it a bit and do arugula, spinach, mint, red apple and avacado
So far, this has been an eye opening experience. I seriously think I will be doing this forever. Thank you Suzanne for the enlightenment!
Well I have completed a whole week of Green Smoothies! For me this is a major success. Although for many I am sure this isn't a big deal I am feeling very proud that I have managed to have a green smoothie every day for a week : ) I am certainly feeling the benefits in terms of more sustained energy and a better frame of mind.
This challenge is all about health for me, I recently suffered a bout of Mono and am trying to build up my immune system and regain some energy. This week is the first time in months that I have felt well. This is a change that I will be sticking with. I have gone from reluctantly squeezing down my first green smoothie to actively looking forward to one at breakfast time - in just a few days!
Like a few others have mentioned I need a bit more than a smoothie to keep my going all day, something else that I have added into my diet is Raw Energy Bars which I blogged about here. They are very quick and easy to make and very nutritious. They really help give me a sustained energy burn through the morning or afternoon which I find really important when I am dealing with the children and trying not to lose my cool at the end of a long day.
My goals for this week are:
Switch up ingredients - I've been changing my greens but not been too adventurous with fruits so I am aiming to try a few new things.
Add smoothies in prior to each meal - I'm hoping to reduce my intake of cooked foods this way and boost my feelings of energy and health.
Try a few other raw recipes - I seem to be hooked!
It is great to be doing this challenge with you all, I'm so glad that it is two weeks, one would not be enough!
I'm so excited. This morning I actually went out into the yard and looked to see what I could find to put in my smoothie. I've been playing it safe all week, easing into this endeavor gradually. At first I used lettuce as the greens, and fruit. MMmm - refreshing and delicious. Then spinach - a little stronger, but still enjoyable. I started out with one 12 oz. glass the first day, about 2 cups the next three days. Today I drank the whole quart!
And here is what I drank - dandelions, red clover, and mint mixed in with some leaf lettuce. And then I added papaya and pineapple. It was really lovely.
I do find that I'm really hungry by midmorning. I eat an early lunch of what would ordinarily be my breakfast - cereal and yogurt. And I need an afternoon snack (nothing new, except it's more from hunger than boredom or feeling tired) - but I'm hoping my body will adjust to this soon. I have a slight headache at times which I think is because I've dropped my morning coffee. I'm waiting to see how my grandson will react to the smoothies - he might enjoy it if I make one without as much fibre as there was in today's batch. Tomorrow I'll play with some other combination.
I finally remembered my glucometer yesterday. My smoothie was spinach, banana and mango. Simple, yet delicious. My blood sugar did not behave very differently than when I have my normal breakfast. It was a little higher (to be expected), but certainly nowhere near the danger zone (or even the borderline). Perfect!
I have been finding that I am super-hungry by lunch time. I end up eating at 11 or 11:30 and then again later. So, I am switching things up today. Since my biggest problems with eating poorly are in the evening, I am going to try green smoothie snacks instead of breakfasts.
This afternoon: kale, bananas, coconut meat, mango. Unless I am otherwise inspired!
this is my third attempt at the green smoothie challenge and i think 3s a charm! the first 2 times i fizzled out by the end mostly b/c of stressful days and poor planning. my days aren't any less stressful - but i find i need my smoothie in the morning to get me going. i'm actually craving them this time around - and its great! so if you dont succeed this time - that's ok. it took me 3 trys to get it right!
my favorite recipe so far:
chard (i used spinach too which is good but chard was alittle better)
Awesome to hear that everyone's first few days are going so well! I am excited to try something new tomorrow morning. I still haven't switched up my greens yet- tomorrow I will purchase some kale and romaine. The lists of ingredients on here look so good. I DO find living in a redneck town that it is a little harder to find more "exotic" fruits and greens. But there are certainly enough to keep me going. At this point, I find I am definitely missing my favourite produce store in Mission, Fruits and Greens (you may have seen them in the 100 mile diet docos on CBC). Chilliwack has Hofstede's Barn, but it's not quite the same. :-(
I have noticed that I am feeling ravenous by lunchtime. Are there any ingredients that will have a little more staying power?
As for blood sugars, I took my blood sugar in the morning and it was perfect, but forgot my glucometer at home again, so I didn't get to track my sugars throughout the day. I don't know if I will get any significant results from the testing anyway. I think it would be more interesting to test a type 1 diabetic, type 2 diabetic, AND a pre-diabetic (like me).
I love that picture that you chose as a header for this blog, Suzanne! That laughing Buddha along with the glass full of green goodness is awesome.
This challenge is my first serious attempt with green smoothies. I've tried a few before, but didn't like them so much because my magic bullet didn't chop up the greens well enough for me. Turns out that I just didn't know how to do it. Now that I blend the greens and some water first, it works like a charm.
On day 1, I had a kale/papaya/banana smoothie - it was so yummy that I made a second one in the afternoon, drinking 1 quart on my very first day! That felt so good. The only thing was that apparently papaya acts as a diuretic, which I only remembered after I drank that whole quart... ;-)
Today, I made the Apple Green Smoothie - not bad, maybe I would add some other fruit next time to balance out the apple taste.
What I love about drinking the smoothies my energy seems already more balanced throughout the day, without that sleepiness crash in the early afternoon.
I was so excited to get started with this challenge that I began on Sunday. I made the "Basic Balance" recipe that Suzanne has posted on the site she gave us. I added about four strawberries to it though just to sweeten the kale up a bit. It was much better when I added some ice to it. It was a little thick but I only added one cup of water instead of two. :) I ended up drinking the whole thing that day.
Yesterday I decided to make the "Party in Your Mouth" smoothie but only added 1/2 of a pineapple, no mango, added strawberries and a banana. It was SO yummy! The ginger really added a nice touch to it as well. However, I'm glad that I only added 1/2 of the pineapple because the flavor was just right. I find that the acid in pineapple really bothers my mouth so I drank one quart of it yesterday and will make a new smoothie today and then eat the remainder of the pineapple smoothie tomorrow. It seems to be a good idea for me personally, to have one recipe the first day, a second the next day, finish up the leftovers from the first on the third day, finish the leftovers from the second on the fourth day and so on. That way I continue to have some variety and can still get in 2-3 different greens in a week like was suggested by Suzanne.
I did have a question on stinging nettles however. I noticed a "Heavy Metals" smoothie that I'd like to make but it requires stinging nettles. I have only seen them locally in a dried fashion. Are they supposed to be fresh when you do this smoothie? Any tips there would be appreciated.
I hope everyone else is enjoying this challenge as much as I am. I haven't found it difficult at this point because the recipes are so yummy! All of the recipes given have really taken the question out of how to prepare and drink green smoothies! Thanks Suzanne!
I was thinking I might post this on my blog instead for fear of boring you all to death. I'll keep it short and simple:
Spinach, banana (not ripe enough), coconut, and strawberries. Taste was OK - I really wished I hadn't added that banana, it needed to be riper. Still tasted alright. Didn't get to testing blood sugars (late for work). DID notice feeling a bit weak and headache-y. Hard to know if that's detox, pollen, blood sugar, walking to work REALLY FAST, or the result of noisy neighbour waking me up several times last night. Maybe all of the above?
I bought a pineapple and added it to my mix from yesterday - the flavour is much better. It was tonight's snack and will be tomorrow's breakfast. YUMMY!
I can say I've learned something already - I need a new blender. Thank God for my trusty Magic Bullet. I buzzed the big stuff up in my blender and then just put a portion in my magic bullet. All ready for tomorrow morning.
So, I thought I would share quickly some goals for this. Suzanne introduced me to green smoothies a few years ago. They are tasty and healthy. I have recently been diagnosed as insulin resistant (pre-diabetic). I have been told NOT to have more than one serving of fruit at a time, only... I'm not sure if I buy that. So, for one, I will be tracking my blood sugars. They are usually pretty stable as long as a stay away from white stuff (bread, sugar, and Dairy Queen).
My other goal is to get my eating on track. We moved 2 months ago and my eating went down the drain - it was just too difficult. Time to get back on track. Obviously with all that, I want to lose weight and look and feel good too! What girl doesn't?
Thanks Suzanne for running this. I am excited and can't wait to see how every one else does!
Already I've had a few really great questions and I figured here would be a great place to post those answers.
1. When is a good time to drink the smoothies? Do they replace my meal?
The best best best time to drink the smoothie is first thing in the morning, first thing in your belly. It is also best to drink it on its own. I do drink my smoothies with meals often, but there is always a chance that starches combined with the greens could cause gas. I would suggest giving yourself either a 1/2 hour before or after your smoothie when eating other foods. That way you can have it as a meal or a snack. As for replacing a meal, they can but it will be completely dependent on your body. You might be ravenous right after drinking a quart or more or you might ride the whole morning on 1 cup. Let your body be your guide.
2. I'm on a tight budget and don't want my fruit going to waste, any suggestions?
My recommendation to everyone whether you are on a tight budget or not is to take advantage of your freezer when your fruit starts to go. Just chop it up and pop it in. Yes, freezing the fruit does change the fruit somewhat but not nearly to the extent that a cooked food would. Just make sure that your greens are always fresh. Another suggestion is to blend it up with some water and freeze it in ice cube trays. Definitely also try buying your fruit on sale and definitely stick to your favourite fruits. There is no need to dabble into all sorts of recipes if they aren't going to tickle your taste buds. Finally, if you like bananas they are usually easy to buy more for less and when they start to go, just peel them and freeze them.
3. How do I cut a young coconut, mango or pineapple?
Check out these 3 videos that I found on youtube, that best illustrate the way that I cut them.
I hope that everyone has a great start to their first day! Suzanne
Welcome to the new Green Smoothie Challenge blog. This is specifically for people signed up for the Green Smoothie Challenges that I host. It is a place for all of us in the Green Smoothie Challenge to come together and share - our experiences, our favourite recipes, our photos, our encouragement to other participants and anything else related to the current Challenge. I am so thrilled to have this up and running and to be sharing this experience with all of you. Good luck on Green Smoothie Challenge #3! You are all so wonderful and inspiring and you've already won by signing up.