Green Smoothies

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What, you don't like pond water for breakfast?

I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, but every spring when I return from my academia vacation, I return to a healthier eating pattern — not a diet, not a fast, but just some healthier stuff to get me back in the swing of taking care of myself. This year, I’d been reading a lot about green smoothies and how they help curb cravings, pump up energy levels, etc., etc. I’m not one to jump on an eating fad bandwagon, but I figured, what the heck.

Baby spinach, apples, bananas, and unsweetened vanilla almond milk were purchased. Two huge handfuls of spinach, a sliced banana and half a chopped apple went into the blender with about a cup of the almond milk. Sadly, I do not have a Vita-Mix; I make do with a pretty good Oster In2itive that I got back in my Tupperware-selling days. It’s a great blender (aside from a gasket that is leaky after 7 years), and the gimmick is that it “knows” how to blend different things and it has programmed recipes. I’m not really inclined to read recipes off its tiny display, and being impatient, I just jacked it to medium high and obliterated.

The verdict? OMG, NOM. It tastes like fruit!

I made one for Mr. B, and he was game. Every day since January 4, we have carried a mason jar of smoothie to work. We each get a 32-oz jar of the green goo for breakfast, and by my calculations, we take down about 300 calories. That smoothie plus my liter of water hold me till noon, a feat I was not able to accomplish with my overnight oatmeal. Plus, you can knock out a serving or two of veggies right there in the a.m., and the fiber helps regulate your blood sugar, which has traditionally been a problem for me when eating fruit in the morning.

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It even goes great with my dining room decor. Tres chic!

If the color is too off-putting, add some berries. There are so many combinations, so you shouldn’t get bored. Mr. B gets milk in his, and I mix in a little vanilla soymilk with my almond milk sometimes. So far we’ve had:

Frozen blueberries + spinach + banana + carrot (grainy, but good) + milk/milk sub

Mixed berries + spinach + banana+ kale + apple + milk/milk sub

Grapes + pear + spinach + banana + milk/milk sub

The keys: 60/40 fruit/veg ratio, and prepping. I don’t need to touch blades before my coffee kicks in, so whir them the night before and jar them in the fridge. Shake before consuming, and look forward to the hilarious things your co-workers will say when they see you chugging “Shrek” or “pond samples” as they’ve been dubbed in my office.  There are a gabillionty combos on the web; snoop around and see what you can find. I promise they’re tasty — I would not recommend health food that isn’t.

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