Well, there it is!! GREEN STUFF. It is one of the additions I have made in my quest for a whole-grain, plant-based lifestyle...and surprisingly, it is TASTY. At least to me, it is.
I was so pleased when my mother told me that this was one of the best things I could do for my body...and that she was proud of me for changing my lard-eating, carb-absorbing ways. Keep in mind, my mother lives in California - the land of the healthy. I am languishing in the fried-food heaven of the South, where food must be covered in either batter or cheese to be considered edible. And let's not mention my former addiction to batter dipped and fried cheese. In fact, let's not tell my mom....ok?
My father passed away last August from chronic heart problems, and even though I am adopted, logic dictates that if I continue eating like I have been...I will follow in his footsteps. I can't. I won't. I refuse. I just have to convince my body that it doesn't NEED fat. It doesn't NEED McDonald's french fries. It doesn't NEED bacon. It doesn't NEED those cute little candy hearts that they only put out around Valentine's Day. And over time, I hope to convince my heart that the love of those things will be deadly - because I can't tell you how much I LOVE those kinds of foods.
Week one of "The Change" went well. I had no cravings for beef, cow's milk or soda. None. I didn't cheat once. Since the beginning of the year, the only meat I have had is one boneless chicken breast, one tilapia filet, and a few small chunks of chicken in a quesadilla. I haven't eliminated all the animal products from my diet, but I AM working toward that goal. Yes, I'm getting plenty of protein. No, I'm not tired. I feel better than I have in a long time...honestly! And I am more regular than ever (and yes, I just admitted that on the internet).
So, how do I make this green stuff? Well, it's easy! I usually prepare the bulk of the smoothie the night before in my blender:
1 cup baby spinach leaves (I make sure to rinse them and pack them down in my measuring cup to get a full cup)
1 cup kale (Which I had NO clue was something you ATE. I thought this was just the decorative stuff you put UNDER the meat and cheese on the party tray!)
1 pear (I cut mine into bite-sized pieces before adding)
1 1/2 cups orange juice (Make sure you do NOT get sugar-added juice! Just PURE JUICE!)
1 frozen banana (Bananas need to be peeled BEFORE you freeze them, FYI.)
Now, I put everything in the blender EXCEPT the banana the night before. In the morning, I cut up the banana, pop it in, and blend on the "smoothie" setting for a few minutes, or until the kale pieces are pretty tiny. I like how the orange juice tends to saturate the greens overnight, making their taste almost non-existent.
I had a rude awakening when I realized that I am now drinking more fruits and veggies every day than I had been eating over a two-week period. I'm not ever sure that this smoothie would qualify as half my daily requirements. We hear that "fruits and veggies" business all the time...but have you ever tracked how many you eat? You might be surprised how LITTLE you eat. And if you take away all the "processed" fruits and veggies, with added salt and sugar...you might be even more shocked.
On to a healthier life...and to document the next part of the experiment...tofu.