Challenge Update

Life has kept me way too busy this week to even think about blogging! Rest assured, though, I'm still participating in the 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge and loving it!

We're on day 10 now, and I'm still amazed at how much better I feel since starting this challenge. There have been 2 days when I didn't have a green smoothie, and the difference in the way I felt those days was extremely noticeable. As an added bonus, I've lost a little water weight these past 10 days. I'm not trying to lose weight, and don't think I need to. BUT all of my pants were pretty tight (and some were downright uncomfortable) as of late. I don't have extra money to buy all new pants in a size up (even though I would be totally fine going a size up - I seriously don't have body image issues), but I also wasn't down with "dieting" to lose a little weight. Somehow, adding green smoothies to my normal diet has slimmed me back down so that my pants are comfortable again. Yay! Now I just have to be careful, because once I start losing pounds, my body sometimes goes crazy and loses too much. I ain't tryin to look like a twig! ( ;

I wondered when I started the challenge if drinking green smoothies every day would prompt me to eat healthier in general. You know, no more cakes and cookies and candy. So far, that hasn't happened. I've had a slice of ho ho cake almost every day this week, and I don't feel guilty about it. In fact, I'm kind of doing the opposite. When I want a sweet treat, I justify it because I had my green smoothie that morning. haha!

Let's see. The last time I blogged, I said I was going to take the leftover Orange Jewels smoothie and add a banana to see if that improved the taste for me. I blended the heck out of that smoothie Saturday morning before heading to church. And it was still full of pulp! The banana also didn't improve the flavor at all. I forced myself to drink almost all of it, though, since I knew I'd need the energy. And boy, did I need the energy! I was at the church from 10am until after 6pm. I wasn't working that whole time, but it was still exhausting. Oh, and HOT. Seriously, it doesn't matter how mild or cool the weather is around here in late September, it never fails that on Harvest Sale day the temps will spike back into the 90s. Yuck. (This week, its been chilly and rainy here, and while I don't care for the rain, bring on the chill in the air!!)

On Sunday, I didn't get a chance to make a green smoothie. I still haven't decided how Sundays will go on this challenge. Normally, I eat a regular breakfast, then drink my smoothie on the way to work, and it lasts for an hour or 2 after I get to work. On Sundays, I don't have that kind of time, and I can't be sippin on a smoothie during church. Maybe smoothies will become my Sunday afternoon snack?

At any rate, we were woken up early that morning with a call from DH's family. His brother and his wife were at the hospital in labor. The hospital was over an hour away, but we didn't rush to get there, since we knew we wouldn't be able to see the baby for a while. I won't go into details, but that entire day was stressful and frustrating. Mama and baby were both totally fine, though, thank goodness. And to top it off, my iPhone was stolen at the hospital! The police are working on it, but I'm pretty sure I'll never see that phone again. :(

Anyway, I don't know if it was the lack of a green smoothie that morning, or the super stressful day in general, or a combination of the two, but I felt terrible that day. I had slept well the night before, so it wasn't lack of sleep that dragged me down. I just felt incredibly tired and almost hung over all day. After that, I decided not to skip any days of green smoothies if I could help it.

After my bad experience with the Orange Jewels recipe, I decided on Monday morning to stick with something I knew I loved, so I made another Berry Cold Fighter (kale, mixed berries, pineapple, banana, and water). No problem gettin that one down! And I felt much better all day Monday.

On Tuesday, I decided to try one of the Week 2 recipes. I also decided to be brave and try something I have never liked - mangoes.

I made the Cream Machine recipe (spinach, water, avocado, banana, and mango). YUCK! I just couldn't handle the mango. I brought to work with me and made a very valiant effort to get it down, but I just couldn't. However, I think I consumed just enough not to affect the way I felt that day, so that was a plus. That experience taught me that I don't even need to consider any recipes with mangoes in them. They're just not for me. (Luckily, that night I let my mama try the smoothie, and she loved it, so she drank it and took my extra mango home with her. I hate wasting food.)

Yesterday, I decided to try another new recipe. I had a feeling I'd like this one, and thankfully I was right!

Sweet Tang

  • 2 cups kale
  • 2 cups orange juice (I just used store-bought juice since I HATE PULP! lol)
  • 2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 3 frozen kiwis
  • 3 tablespoons soaked chia seeds

I cut the recipe in half, just in case. But it was delicious!
It wasn't really that dark. It was a very nice purple color. And yes, there were a ton of seeds in this one, but for some reason I liked that. (I'm so weird with textures!)

Yesterday was also the first time I tried chia seeds. I got a couple of teaspoons from my friend. After some research, I just threw them in a small bowl with some water (in a 4:1 ratio):
Chia seeds are supposedly a super food. You can read all about them (just do a google search), but they're supposed to be chock-full of nutrients and protein. Some people sprinkle them on top of smoothies, but if they're soaked over night more of their good stuff is released, plus it thickens up smoothies nicely.
Its hard to tell in a picture, but after they're soaked they have a gel-like consistency. I couldn't detect any taste at all, and I definitely didn't notice them in the smoothie.

Week 2's recipes are supposed to be thicker and heartier, and you can use them as meal replacements. That's why you add chia seeds to this recipe. Maybe I didn't add enough (I think I did 2 teaspoons instead of tablespoons - whoops), but this smoothie didn't fill me up for long - no more than any of the other smoothies I've tried. So the jury's still out on whether I'll purchase my own chia seeds. I have some chia gel leftover, and I'll add that to another recipe and decide after that.

Today, I went out on another limb and tried another new recipe: Pumpkin Spice. My reaction to it? Eh.

Pumpkin Spice

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 cup plain, unsweetened canned pumpkin
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup mango (which I LEFT OUT!)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I didn't hate it, but I definitely didn't love it either. I don't think I'd ever had pumpkin until this morning, so it was a pretty big assault on my taste buds. It was super smooth, though, and I liked that. It was missing something, though. I think it needed more sweetness. Which is probably why the recipe calls for mango. Maybe I should try to substitute a different fruit?

Tomorrow I think I'll try the Peaches 'n Cream recipe (spinach, coconut milk - which I didn't purchase, so I'll just use almond milk -, banana, and peaches). I'm not a huge fan of peaches (except by themselves), but I'm gonna try it. I'll be back tomorrow with another update! ( :

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