Monday, January 17, 2011

Going Greenish

Thank goodness for lounge pants.

After weeks of holiday goodies and dinner invitations and a kitchen overflowing with non-figure friendly items my jeans were starting to feel a bit snug.  Add to that this last week of all-you-can-eat breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets and the lounge pants are pretty much my only viable wardrobe option.

This eating myself into oblivion over the holidays/vacation was a conscious choice.  A temporary approach to not feeling guilty about any consumption choices.  A way to embrace the holidays with arms wide open.  And, boy howdy, did I ever do that!

But, I failed to account for one huge detail.  I'm not 25 anymore, DUH!, and my system got overloaded.  Way, overloaded, with carbs and fat and sugar and grease.  And, now, I feel kinda yucky.  And mostly grateful that tomorrow is my last official day of break.  I go back to school on Tuesday for semester #2 and none too soon, frankly.

I'm not a dieter.  I'm just not.  I don't do them, I don't like them, they make me cranky and I get headaches.  Bad ones.  But, I do try to maintain a reasonably balanced food intake.  Lots of green stuff, not just because it's healthy, but because I really like the green stuff.  And, when I say green stuff, I mean veggies that you eat with a fork. 

However, it seems everywhere I look these days in the blogosphere people are drinking instead of spearing green stuff.  Everyone is on the green smoothie train.  Are you seeing this trend too?  I keep thinking I'm going to try them, and then I chicken out.  In my experience, when the green stuff in your life turns to liquid, it's time to toss it.  Not guzzle it down.  I know this is a mental block, but I'm still struggling.

My friend Robin has been raving about her smoothies for months.  And, she's pretty convincing, because in addition to oozing joy, she also looks phenomenal.  And, it's not just the smoothies that have made a difference.  She's eating differently all around.  And, running, a lot.  I hate to run.  Truly.  I have a gym membership at a gym I haven't visited in, um, years.  Yep, years, not a typo.

I've thought now, for awhile, that I'm a bit of an old dog.  I mean, I haven't really changed anything about myself in a long time.  And, I'm not over the hill, by any means, but I like who I am and where I am and what I am.  Mostly, anyway.  Or, so I thought.

But, being in grad school has shown me that I am absolutely capable of new tricks.  I've made space in my life for all kinds of new tricks and I'm succeeding at most of them.  So, maybe now is the time to dust off the gym membership card and blend up some green juice, too?  I'm in the new trick zone anyway, so what's a couple more, right?

I'm off to Costco tomorrow to get the ingredients for the Robin's Green Smoothie recipe below, and on Tuesday, after I drop the kids off, I'm hitting the gym.  I refuse to run, especially not in this weather, but I can row or cycle or spin or stretch or something.  Surely, for the bargain price of $8/month (I've been a member a REALLY LONG time), I can find something that works for me. 

Robin's New and Improved Green Smoothies
  • 1 cup liquid (I use water unless I suspect that the greens might be too greenish tasting then I use a milk substitute [soy milk, almond milk, or rice milk])
  • Spinach - 3-6 cups - whatever tastes good to you
  • Greens - work your way up -shoot for 3-5 large leaves of kale, chard, beet greens, or romaine
  • Banana  - this is a must have item. It provides creaminess and sweetness. Sometimes I add 2 bananas
  • Apple- or some other fruit cantaloupe, pineapple, peaches, whatever you have handy.
  • Flax seed - about 1 T per serving. just toss in the whole seed and let the blender grind it. This adds creamy texture too.
  • Frozen fruit - about 1 cup unless you want it thicker (add more for thickness) I am partial to blueberries. Also try strawberries, and frozen fruit mixes. they should be sugar free
If you don't have a vita-mix ( I don't) add the liquid and half of the spinach first. Then add the remaining ingredients a little at a time so they can mix in easily.  These are remarkably filling and satisfying. I usually make about 6 cups of smoothie. Roland and I drink about 2 1/2 cups each and Ike has 1 cup.

I'm cautiously optimistic about the results of this latest set of new tricks.  But if I don't do something, I'll be destined to drawstring waistbands for the rest of my life.  That's a bad thing, by the way, right?

Wish me luck!


the wrath of khandrea said...

report back. they look disgusting, but i know i would love them. i just can't get past the visual.

bwebster said...

I'm a bit of an old dog

Aw, c'mon, Linsey -- we have kids older than you.

Jessica said...

Okay. This is the deal: they don't taste like a yummy smoothie. They taste like a fruit salad. Don't be thinking they are anything but fruits and veggies mixed. I didn't love my first but kept making them and drinking them and now they a) taste good and b) make me feel great.

Btw: I use one packet of stevia and sweetened almond milk. It helps.

calibosmom said...

Let me know how it goes-I've never put veggies in my smoothie. I'm open to it though.

Lindsey said...

Have you read my "new" blog? I have been doing that too! And kind of blogging about it! It wasn't hard for me for some reason. . . as long as they are blended fresh, I think they taste great! GOOD LUCK! It's not that bad!

Megan said...

Takes me back to being a freshman at the Y with you... Indeed 35 rapidly approaches for me. And, surgery and recovery have not helped either.

I have tried a kale recipe I found on Allrecipes that wasn't too bad, but it was hard to get over the "It's kale!" part of the green smoothie.

Here's to a new year and new tricks.

Robin said...

Yay! Another potential convert! I can't wait to hear how it goes! This makes me super happy.

Kimberly said...

Here are my tricks. The banana is crucial because it hides the spinach flavor. I think apple smoothes out the banana flavor, especially since I am lukewarm on bananas. Kale is fine (and really unnoticeable with the spinach surprisingly). I think spring mix tastes too dirty. My preferred liquid is vanilla almond milk and usually some water. I peel my apple because otherwise it tastes a little chewy and I justify it as getting rid of pesticides since I usually don't buy organic. If you don't mind chewy a handful of carrots is a nice variation. Cold is crucial so frozen blueberries are ideal, or ice (I'm sure another frozen fruit would work as well). Enjoy!!

Stephanie said...

Good luck to you, but I have no desire to add greens to my smoothies. I use fruit and low-fat yogurt and, when I remember to order it, ground flax seed.

Even if I did want to add greens, all we can get here is some sort of spinach-like leaf and it's impossible to wash all the grit out.

Paige said...

Unfortunately every single pair of my jeans is now tight too and I'm in lounge pants daily. I hate diets too but am now going to have to start on the green shakes. It makes me want to kill myself Bc they are super gross to
Me. Plus I hate beans. I can't be the only fat blogger so here we go. If they had them at mcdonalds I might be Ok Bc I dont even want to
Make them. Now I have to borrow my boyfriends vita mix. Fortunately he lost his bed and his tv in his divorce but not the vita mix

Lauren in GA said...

I admire you. Truly. I need to lose so much weight that I may actually try this.

JJackman said...

Good luck! I think I am on the same band wagon starting February. NEED to start doing something. I'm thinking yoga is doable in my house and running once it warms up a bit. Ugh. I'd join you on the smoothie but fear the ingredients might be a bit hard to come by...

Kristen's Raw said...

Big green smoothie fan over here. :) Love mixing up all kinds of different concoctions.

Cassidy said...

Let me know how it goes. I've been pondering trying them, but haven't pulled it off yet. I have managed to use the elliptical that Heather put in my basement once or twice a week for awhile now. It's not much, but it's a start? Perhaps we should devise a reward/motivation system together?

alisa and sometimes brandon said...

Kimberly (see her comment above) got me started and I got my husband started. We are now an official green-smoothie lovin' household. He drinks them after his workouts with protein powder. I drink mine in the morning. I agree that the frozen fruit element (blueberries or a berry mix) is vital to making it go down ... er ... smooth. :) I also think the banana is crucial to balancing out the spinach/greens flavor. I like soymilk but am trying almond milk next. There is definitely some experimentation involved, but it's not as difficult as it sounds when you start out. Plus I enjoy that I'm getting so many veggie servings and all my fruit servings in one smoothie.

Also, we don't have a vitamix, but we do own a Ninja! It's super sweet and only like $50.

Good luck!


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