Easing into the Green Smoothie

From Photo Challenge

Smoothies can be incredibly healthy things for you to drink. I have a very healthy co-worker who swears by them. As part of my weight-loss-slash-get-healthy journey I have decided to give green smoothies a try. But before I give you the recipe that I used, I want to give you a number of disclaimers so I don’t hear you complaining about my recipe.

Disclaimers:

  •  My smoothies are typically assembled with yogurt, greens, banana, and whatever fruit (frozen or fresh) that I have available in my house. The fruit provides some nutritents but I add it mostly to sweeten the drink. 
  • This smoothie is not low in calories. In time less fruit should be added and more veggies should appear. My last recipe came out to almost 550 calories (maybe 1.5 servings though).
  • My blender is a high quality blender from the 1980’s (I am proud of my blender that I acquired from my mom years ago). It made of glass (not plastic) and is still kicking; but even it is not idea for green smoothies. It is highly recommended if you are serious about this smoothie thing that you invest in a blender that handles greens well like a Blendtec or a Vitamix. If you don’t, it is very likely that there will be little chunks of spinach or kale floating around in your smoothie; floaters are bothersome to most people.
  • Some people have issues with mixing the dairy in the yogurt with all the other ingredients (stomach doesn’t like it). I have no issues with it (even though I have a slight lactose intolerance) but you should monitoring this for yourself. I like how the yogurt makes the shake creamy. Down the road I will be adding less of this though to cut back on calories (maybe add only 1/2 cup).
  • There is a debate about the type of protein powder that is best for the smoothie. I use whey protein but I know someone who swears by a expensive hemp protein. This is another topic where you have to do the research and decide what is right for your smoothie.
  • Finally, this is the first go around for me. It is heavy on the fruit. The goal ultimately is to get as green as you can. I mean you are drinking a green smoothie because you are obviously interested in improving your health….why else would you do it?

Recipe:

  •  Very Important: A good quality blender is needed.
  • Applesauce, unsweetened, 0.25 cup  
  • Banana, fresh, 1 medium (7″ to 7-7/8″ long) 
  • 2 large leaves of Kale chopped, stalk removed
  • 1 cup Spinach frozen
  • 1 cup Stonyfield Farm Lowfat Plain Yogurt
  • 1 cup Ocean Spray fresh Cranberries (I had them sitting in the freezer) 
  • 1 scoop of protein powder 

Blend it!

Owning It

Today I happily arrived at my followup appointment at the doctor; the appointment where the doctor is to tell me that my blood work showed some abnormalities that were making it difficult for me to lose weight. The doctor enters the room looks down the results and says “Everything is normal.” Apparently there is absolutely nothing wrong with me. Oh Shit! I have run out of excuses. It is time for me to own my weight problem. It is time to recognize that I am the sole cause of my weight issues.
I feel like I am in a transition period right now. This blog started as a way for me to document my gardening, photography and cooking but I feel at least one or more of those activities could be counterproductive to my weight loss goals. I only desire to cook things that are either high in carbohydrates or high in fat. For me to carry on and still work on my health, I would have to transition to somewhat a healthy cooking blog. As for gardening, it is getting in the way of my running (running is a big time suck); and getting in the way of my life in general. I am already way behind for the spring gardening. Photography on the other hand is easy to continue, as long as I make time to work on my skills (see running is a time suck). And then there are the reviews I do on Yelp – which center on eating. How do I continue that activity? Some priorities will be set. Some changes will be coming. The details of those changes are not even known to me at this time. I only have to say “Hold on tight and enjoy the ride.”

Winter Harvest

We are in the middle of Florida winter and the tomatoes for the most part have survived the first freeze. Now we are just in harvesting mode. I am ecstatic that I am growing my first Roma and Big Boy (soon to ripe) tomatoes this year.

From Photo Challenge

We are really enjoying our homegrown herb salad mix this year.

From Photo Challenge

Photography update: I purchased Abobe Lightroom a couple of months ago and I am still learning how to use it. My edits may be a little off for a while until I figure out how to make adjustments using Camera Raw in Lightroom.

In other news: I finally looked up how to accurately use a semi-colon “;”. It should make you happy that gradually my blog will be more legible.

For most cities winter provides a plant decline; but for Florida it provides a bountiful harvest. (Is that correct? Do you like that? I think the semi-colon will be my shiny new toy.)