In honor of the cleanse, I thought I’d share one of the staples of my daily intake, cleansing or not. Since embarking on my newfound vegan diet as of this past April, one of the most common questions I get is about how I make my Green Smoothie. After Landri was born, my cousin Corey came to visit me last October and introduced me to the concept. I was instantly hooked. I have had a Green Smoothie for breakfast literally just about every day since then, and even though it’s evolved quite a bit, I still need to give her the credit! And for those of you who don’t know, after a couple of months grinding it out with my Magic Bullet, I finally made the upgrade to the Vitamix (totally worth the $). Yes, the Vitamix is very expensive, BUT, you can get it at Bed, Bath, and Beyond (i.e. get a 20% off coupon), or you can also buy directly from their website and get a factory reconditioned machine at a much cheaper rate (that’s what I did). Costco also sells them I think and maybe even Whole Foods (???) – just saw that they were doing a demo there last weekend.
In general I will use whatever fruits and (some of the) veggies in my fridge/freezer, but there are usually a few common elements which I will list below. Also, my smoothie ends up being about 32 oz (it’s huge) and I drink it as a meal replacement for breakfast. I figure it is several hundred calories (although I haven’t ever really figured it out). I have usually already run 3-6 miles and burned up to 700 calories by the time I drink it so the big size is definitely for me, but maybe not everyone. Once I did calculate the protein though and it was 25 g. It will take you a while to figure out which combinations of fruits and veggies that you like best and how much of which ones. Just experiment and have fun with it. There’s no “wrong” way to make one, really!
1. I always have a sizable “green” base. 99% of the time I use about 2 big handfuls of raw Kale. I will add any other greens that I happen to have on-hand (Spinach and Swiss Chard are also great).
2. I always add a protein source. Before starting my vegan diet, I used Whey protein (cheapest that I found was at Costco, FYI). Now I use Vega One instead (I get the Natural Flavor, although since Whole Foods stopped carrying that flavor, I got the Berry one this time instead – just haven’t tried it yet). You can view it here as well: http://myvega.com/product/vega-one-nutritional-shake/. As you can see, it has all kinds of good stuff in it. There are all kinds of other protein sources though: you can do tofu, rice protein, hemp, all kinds.
3. I also always add Spirulina. Totally up to you guys though. It’s an algae and has a lot of vitamins.
4. I like to add several other dry ingredients/seeds: cinnamon, flaxseed, hempseed, chia seed, and a few sprinkles of cardamom (I’ve been told it helps balance out the taste of the greens). You definitely don’t have to use all or even any of these. Just whatever floats your boat (or whatever particular nutrient you are looking for)!
5. I always add some shavings of raw ginger root. Actually, I add quite a bit because I love the taste of ginger. It’s also supposed to help against bloating I think.
6. Then I add whatever additional veggies… usually the only ones I’ve found to mesh well flavor-wise for my particular tastes are carrots, tomatoes, and avocadoes.
7. Lastly, I add whatever fruits I have on-hand. Typically it’s a half a banana, maybe a small tangerine, a handful of grapes, a couple berries, a few apple or peach slices, etc. Over time I have found that buying frozen berries/fruit is also nice because you don’t have to worry about them going bad before you get around to using them. I like blackberries, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, peaches, mangoes, etc. One warning with the fruit though… remember step #1. It’s a green base (i.e. Green Smoothie), so I definitely go lighter on the fruit.
8. I then add an inch or so of liquid (this depends on the size of your blender so start small and add slowly as needed). The liquid can be water, milk, juice, whatever. I would recommend water or milk though. If I use milk, I do coconut, soy, or almond milk. Normally I just use water though. And of course you need to add some ice to give it that smoothie texture. Again, start small and add as you go until you get the consistency you like. After a week or so, you’ll know exactly how much to add.
9. If I try my smoothie and it’s just too tart for whatever reason, squeezing a dollop of agave nectar usually fixes things. You can also even try a little bit of Stevia too as a sweetener.
And for the Landri fans out there, little missy had her one year doctor appointment today. And since last week actually, she gained 1 lb and 1 oz, weighing in at 23 lb 12 oz! This puts her in the 86th percentile for weight and she was 29.75 inches tall, or the 70th percentile for height. And for those of you concerned with Landri’s potential for a big ole’ melon due to her father’s large head size (LOL), she is at the 61st percentile there. All of these percentiles have been the same basically since her birth (above average in pretty much everything). And sadly, today Landri had to have 4 shots in her fat little thighs (plus a toe prick), but she did great. I mean she screamed bloody murder, but stopped almost immediately afterwards when I gave her a bottle of her new big girl milk. Next week we plan to transition to sippy cups exclusively.