Sunday, December 18, 2011
Green Goddess Smoothie....
There’s a reason for my naming this smoothie Green Goddess, it’s a bit of a story but bare with me!
Our body is a temple and as such we should treat it with love, care and respect. Not just physically, but emotionally and nutritionally as well. Yet how many of us really take the time to do that on a day to day basis? It’s so easy to slip into the ‘excuse’ of "I’m too busy" or the trap of convenience, and far too often we allow ourselves to be swept up in a hurricane of bad food and lifestyle choices with the vague promise that we’ll get to it tomorrow, next week, or next month. Then tomorrow comes and we’re still wrapped up in that monstrous cyclone of never ending punishment. With no door visible in the haze of junk food chaos to walk out of, nor window ajar to jump from we passively let loose the reigns and keep on riding that toxic wave until something inevitably wakes us from the nightmare.
It happens to everyone from time to time, it may be happening to you right this minute. The most important thing to do is be conscience, be aware, don’t lie to yourself. Have the courage to realize that you’ve been treating your body like an amusement park or a science experiment, accept that, and be brave enough to make the changes you need to, to get yourself back on track.
Even I - though I usually take great care in my health - slip from the wagon once in a while. These past couple of months have been one of those times. Ever since vacation my world has been turned a little Helter-Skelter. I don’t exactly know what happened either. Before going on vacation I did a 10 day cleanse, that basically consisted of low-fat, low-cal food with no sugar, no salt, no oil, no gluten and no soy (except in the form of miso or soy sauce) I had been eating healthfully before that but I had just wanted to give myself that extra kick. I’d been engaging in 45 minutes of cardio work five mornings a week on top of my usual activities such as walking, biking, jogging, swimming etc... I felt great, fantastic actually! Then vacation came, and while we didn’t eat poorly while on holiday, and while we were considerably active, we did end up consuming quite a bit of rich food as well as a lot of foods heavy on sugar, soy, and gluten, not to mention a pretty hefty and regular dose of nut butter - at least in my case. While away I joked that I was eating more bread in those two weeks then I’d normally eat in two months at home, but really it was true. Same with soy. There were a lot of cliff bars on that vacation, and while I always enjoyed cliff bar for a quick energy boost mid afternoon at work I literally haven’t even looked at a bar since being home. I can’t even look at Raw Revolution’s crazy delicious spirulina bar!
When we returned home I was pretty committed to going back to eating and exercising the way we had been prior to the cleanse, but that little sugary, glutenous devil had a hold on me, and as the days grew busier with work and various holidays and gatherings I let myself get sloppy. I trashed the morning cardio workout, stopped biking (too cold out) stopped swimming (membership expired) and shortened my daily walks (again due to weather) As for the food portion of my life we haven’t been eaten particularly bad, it’s just been a continuation of vacation. A lot of rich food, too much oil, sugar, gluten and soy with a real emphasis on regular desserts, too much fruit juice not enough water, and far, far too many coffee’s.
The past few weeks in particular I’ve really been feeling it. I’ve been exhausted, no energy, a little impatient, bloated, and gassy. I’ve had a lot of headaches, a few blemishes on my face - which for my usually clear skin is a lot - I’ve had a lot more mucus and phlegm when I wake up in the morning not to mention a slightly irritated throat - until that first morning cup of tea or orange juice anyway - indigestion, and just general skin sensitivity and digestive discomfort. The gastric distress is the thing I’ve been most troubled by lately, that and my constant napping. I knew after a couple of weeks past that initial jet-lag reboot, that something was wrong, and I had planned to cleanse. Except every time I said I was going to start my cleanse ‘something’ got in my way. Me.
Then Thursday I was in my local library renewing my library card. - Yes some people still actually use libraries and read books that aren’t downloadable - while I was there I decided to take a look around. Naturally I found myself in the health and wellness section, and as I was browsing up and down the shelves I saw a copy of Kris Carr’s "Crazy, Sexy Diet" I’ve been wanting to read this book for sometime but it’s always checked out at the library and I’m just one of those people who’s always apprehensive about buying a book I haven’t read yet. Needless to say I grabbed the book up before anyone else could, took it home and dove in. I devoured chapters 1 through 10 in one sitting and read the last chapter the next morning when I woke up. None of the information in the book was news to me, the vast majority of it was just a refresher on stuff I’d already heard or read about, but somehow reading those words again, in the way that she presents them ‘woke me up’
I took one good hard look at my life, realized that I’ve been feeling like shit for near on two months now and said "This has got to stop." Friday morning I skipped the O.J. headed straight for my Vitamix and the Green Goddess smoothie was born. Generally I do my grocery shopping on Saturday, Sunday or Monday, most often it’s Sunday so by Friday the fridge is looking pretty sparse, I didn’t have much in the way of green but what I did have I used in abundance. While I was digging around in there I found a large knob of ginger that hadn’t even been touched and I thought "What the hell" throw some of that in for good measure to help with the tummy woes.
Honestly I had no idea what was going to come out of the blender. The Smoothie was so green and the smell was well.... leafy. I took a look at my husband - who also immediately hopped on board the get clean and green train - and said "I don’t know how this Is going to taste, but just remember it’s about nutrition not flavor." I poured us each an 18oz glass, wrinkled my nose, closed my eyes and took my first tentative sip. "Not bad." I said to my husband. I took another sip and was hooked!
As I sucked back my smoothie with all the eagerness of a child drinking chocolate milk I could literally feel all that good green energy coursing through my body. Starting the long job of healing, and rejuvenating. As I swallowed each sip it was like a light had opened above my head and was shining down on me, filling me with green goddess love. I knew after that second sip that I had found my way back and by 3pm that afternoon I was making my second blender full of this amazing elixir.
Now to you the smoothie might not sound that great, but trust me when I say you need to give it the benefit of the doubt. You can hardly taste the kale - even though you certainly can smell it - and the ginger lends a really wonderful sweetness with a bit of bite. The banana makes it creamy without imparting an overpowering flavor and the apple gives is that fresh crisp taste. I’ve been guzzling this stuff since Friday and though I haven’t yet changed too much else about my diet - except eating way more greens particularly in the form of salad with little to no oil, and virtually no sugar - I already feel worlds better. I can feel my digestive disaster correcting itself, as my stomach, intestines, and other organs start moving, processing, and filtering quicker and smoother. Though I’ve been working my tail off these past three days I’ve had more energy then I have had in two months.
It really is amazing what a little green power will do for a gal! So do yourself and your body a favor and give it a try.
Green Goddess Smoothie
2 Small-Medium Celery Stalks
3 Handfuls Kale
1 Pink Lady Apple (or other tart apple such as Granny Smith)
2 Packets Stevia (or other sweetener, Optional)
2 cups Filtered Water
1 ½-1 inch Piece Ginger (to taste)
1 Tbsp lemon juice (or to taste)
- Add everything into highspeed blender except for the Stevia. Blend on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute until mixture is completely smooth. Add in Stevia or other sweetener if desired, and blend on low for a few seconds until just incorporated. Enjoy on it’s own or with a piece of fruit or handful of raw nuts.
Though I’ve already begun cutting back severely on oil, salt, sugar, gluten, and soy, and have began incorporating more raw fruits and veggies back into my diet I won’t be going full throttle until after the holiday season. Starting any kind of cleanse the week before Christmas is never a good idea, and with my husbands birthday the week after I know we’ll be engaging in some rich delicious goodness that just isn’t going to fit into a cleanse. Once January 1st rolls around though I am going to be all over my health with a vengeance, and I’ll be sure to keep you updated with lots of great smoothie, salad, soup, main dish meals and healthful sugar-free dessert ideas.