Friday, December 4, 2009

December 4th

I am intrigued by the ease of taking in the green smoothie for breakfast each day...because I was certain that I "needed" warm food in the morning in the winter. It has been a delicious choice and I have not felt cold. In fact, I feel warmer than I have for months. Connection? I have no idea!
It still brings a smile to my face when someone asks me, "What are you drinking?" The look on their face when I say spinach and blueberries is always good for laugh.
How is your smoothie journey going? I'm curious to hear from you, if anyone is out there doing the same thing...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day #3

I am pleasantly surprised at how tasty these cold drinks are in the morning. Yesterday and today it was spinach, OJ, yogurt, and a handful of raspberries. Smoothies are the perfect cod liver oil chaser!
How are you doing?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day #1

Hello again everyone! Recently folks have been sharing with me the desire to detox, re-balance, cleanse, re-focus...whatever you want to call it. The bottom line is that we are interested in beginning another cycle of committment to green smoothies and raw food. So, let's begin today! It doesn't matter what is in your fridge, you can fine something to blend into a delicious concoction! Then, make your list and head to the grocery store:-)
Please share your thoughts, recipes, complaints, etc. on this blog so that we might all benefit. Thanks for the prompting everyone:-)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day #40

WOW! We are at the end of our 40 Day Smoothie Challenge! Truly, it never really felt like a challenge to me. I liked all of the smoothies I whipped up. I did not have any trouble fitting it into my day. It was quite easy.
This morning I made my first tan smoothie. It was a beautiful color tan with flecks of swiss chard and garden lettuce. It was the first time I added banana to mine. Quite tasty.
What I learned: I learned that I can commit to an effort and stick to it. I learned that it is true that the longer I practice something, the easier it gets. I learned that I really like my fruits and vegetables. I learned that I am a 'sweet' vs. 'savory' person.
I will continue to make smoothies on a daily basis. I will continue to juice and enjoy my vegetables in liquid as well as fresh form.
Thanks to all that participated. Thanks to those who kept track of us and tried a smoothie when we offered it to you:-)
Any suggestions for the next '40 Day Practice'?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Days #38 & 39

Sad to report that I am using the last of my swiss chard from my garden to blend a smoothie this morning. I have lettuce left to harvest that should take me thru the end of this month. Then I need to buckle down and think strategically about the school year smoothie routine.
Tomorrow I will post a 'what I learned and what I plan for the future' blog and I hope that you do the same. I'm not sure what one does with a blog after it's 'done'...can anyone inform me of the correct procedure?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day #37

This morning I had the opportunity to talk about green smoothies on our local public radio station with fellow smoothie folks. It was fun, informative, and great PR for Center. Thanks to Heidi and Scott for inviting us and thanks to those of you that joined me. Let's keep smoothin' on!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Days 35 & 36

As we get closer to day 40 of this practice I am finding that I have less to comment on. I believe it's because it has become a habit. I continue to enjoy my smoothies with fresh juice and mixed greens with a little kombucha and protein powder. It has become a staple in my diet. What about the rest of you?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day #34

The day old beet-based smoothie was a delicious breakfast. What was your smoothie made of today?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Days #31 & #32

It's a red (beet) theme movin' and shakin' the Downing household this AM. Beet greens were the base of the breakfast smoothie. Leftover roasted beets were added to the smoothie and it all turned a beautiful pink! The taste is oh, so subtle and delicious!
From there, I took the pulp (with beet pulp included) and baked a batch of healthy blueberry muffins that are also pink! Very cute!
What I celebrate about this experience is the 'no waste' result. EVERYTHING was used because it's ALL edible. (I am capitalizing because it's a wallop along side the head for me!)
What does your day hold?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Day #31

In talking with people who have participated in the challenge it sounds like everyone will continue to keep green smoothies as a diet staple. We have all settled into our patterns and dislikes and likes. We also agree that the amount of nutrients is truly amazing!
So as we close this challenge let's continue to support each other these last nine days. Take care and let us know how it's going.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day #30

Today I drank a leftover smoothie during our Write Weigh session. Once again the slow intake curbed my hunger into late afternoon. I am liking the effect.
Now I am off to imbibe(sp?) in a fresh peach margarita with some friends. I love summer!!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day #29

I repeated yesterday's recipe with a different approach to consumption. Because I was running late I took my smoothie to school with me and drank it slowly over the course of nearly two hours. I was still not hungry at 12:30 when I sat down to eat after my uncle's funeral. (yes, I know, I WAS fulfilling the cultural expectation to eat. More tomorrow at Write Weigh:-)
But anyway, I am thinking that is what I will do once school begins. Slowly drink it over time, at work, and eat a light snack during my late afternoon prep hour.
The blueberries are delicious! The peaches are as well! Aren't we fortunate for summer harvest?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day #28

Returned to juice today and tried the beet greens. Very good. Of course, I do not stuff the greens in like some of you do so I think anything would taste good. Has anyone put honey in their smoothies?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day #27

Made my first smoothie without juice today. It was quite good, not so sweet. I used red lettuce, blueberries, pineapple, kombucha and a little yogurt. (I left out the protein powder because it's in the granola bars and I am getting a little overwhelmed by the taste.) I drank it for lunch and I have identified that time to be the best for me. Kombucha and high protein for breakfast, smoothie for lunch, and a great dinner. Sounds like a menu plan for me.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day #26

This morning I had a delightful smoothie that a friend made. It was tasty! It was a bit strange not to get up and concoct my own...but mostly it was a treat!
Peaches arrive from Colorado this week...MMMMM good!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Day #25

I am observing how settled in we all seem to be to including smoothies into our daily intake. We have figured out favorite combinations, we have variety in our greens and our fruits, and we have even figured out how to travel with them. Interesting what 25 days can accomplish.
My question for each of you today is about impact. Have you noticed any differences in yourself since we began this journey? Physical, mental, emotional, social, or spiritual? Of course, it's difficult to pull out smoothies as the specific cause, but theoretically how has this practice impacted your life?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Day #24

The luxury of having premade smoothies in the fridge is that I can grab some whenever I want it. As a result I am getting more nutrients and avoiding other less healthy food choices.
This afternoon I made my first batch of homemade granola bars. They are delicious. Their flavor is intense and they have the same consistency as Clif bars, always a favorite of mine in the past. Let me know if you would like the recipe.
What's in your blender?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day #23

Today I drank a ready-made smoothie that I bottled last night. It was quite delicious! I added about a 1/2 cup of kombucha to it and I am finding that I really like that combination. I am relieved to know that day-old smoothies are tasty. It relieves some anxiety I had about going back to work full-time. ("some" is the key word:-)
I have cleaned beet greens and more carrot greens for future batches. I am very happy with using the entire plant. By the way, I roasted the beets according to the recipe given to me by Sweet Little Flower and another yoga student. They are so sweet and yummy!
Keep on smoothing...what are your thoughts about the next 40 day challenge?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Day #22

I am getting a sense at how challenging it will be to make fresh smoothies on school mornings when I teach yoga. I am thinking that I will double my batch the day before and store one for the next day. Otherwise I will not have time to mix one up before I need to be out the door. And I find that I prefer to drink them solo in the AM rather than later in the day. Although, it would be the perfect lunch at school.
I continue to rave about the pineapple to everyone and I would have to say that carrot tops are my favorite green so far.
How are you doing?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day #21

OMG!!! We added fresh pineapple to the usual concoction and it was DELICIOUS! Try it, you will like it!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Day #20!!!

Wow! I find it hard to believe that we have been at this for 20 days. It seems like only yesterday that I posted the suggestion on the white board at Center. And, I find it interesting that I have been consuming green smoothies for 20 days. They are now a fixture in my day as is kombucha. So I feel like I am on my way to making this practice a habit.
What do you think so far? Will you continue? Have you convinced others to take the challenge?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day #19

This morning the smoothie was a dark green and crunchy...MMMMMgood! I did not add any berries, I just used the juice made from apples, pears, and kiwis. The crunch was made by almonds. I can't decide if I like the almonds or cashews better. Has anyone tried walnuts?
We are nearly 1/2 way done. Is anyone tired of the practice yet? Are you feeling any different? Please post your thoughts/feelings/experiences. We are interested and we do learn from each other.
Keep warm,

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day #18

Just consumed a leftover smoothie for breakfast. While I know that fresh foods quickly lose nutritional value when exposed to light, heat, coolness, etc. I believe that a day-old smoothie is far more nutritious than a day-old doughnut. What are your thoughts?
Sweet Little Flower shared a book with me titled 'Simple Food'. My favorite thought provoking quote so far is, "Cooked, canned or frozen foods are embalmed dead foods." Reactions?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Days #16 & 17

Yesterday got away from me before I could get a post in so I am combining two days. I am really liking the addition of Kombucha to my smoothies.
I would have to say that Heidi is thus far the most adventurous with combinations. Go Heidi!
What are the rest of you experimenting with? We would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day #15

It is so exciting to read and hear about all of the possible combinations for making smoothies. And every time I realize just how nutrient dense each one is, I am amazed at how much we are improving our nutritional status by just adding one item to our day. And it's easy to do!
So keep up the beautiful committment to yourself.
Today...I am introducing my very reluctant friend to green smoothies. I am very anxious and hopeful. I don't think I will use the protein powder or the nuts for her first try. I will let you know how it goes.
Keep posting please!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day #14

Good morning! Now I am not sure why I never tried this combination before but this morning I tossed in 1 cup of Kombucha to the smoothie and it was even more tasty! That little bit of carbonation and slight bite added a very interesting dimension to the flavor. I would strongly recommend it if you are already an avid Kombucha drinker. If not, maybe just add a little separate from the total smoothie batch.
Any one else try the carrot tops?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day #13

Carrot tops were delicious and sooooo nutritious! I would strongly recommend them to you. And romaine lettuce.
How is it going for the rest of you?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Day #12

Repeated the recipe from yesterday with spinach as the green. Yummy as usual! And as I was perusing another blog written by a friend of mine I found this link incredible link:

If you only want to spend 10 minutes at your computer because it's so damn nice out, check out this spot. It is truly amazing information!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day #11

OMG!!! Today was the best smoothie combination EVER! I purchased fresh strawberries and blueberries at the Farmer's Market. I combined 1 cup mixed greens, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1/4 cup ground cashews, and a splash of water with 5 ice cubes. It was a little thicker than the others I have made and the taste was amazing! So refreshing!

Thoughts: the best mangoes are really ripe and then much easier to cut up. Frozen mango is the tastiest in mixed drinks.
I don't if know if Heidi juiced the carrot or not before making her smoothie but it would probably make a better consistency if juiced.
I like the idea of finding a likeable foundation and adding from there. It really makes life so much easier. Not so many 'gotta choke this down' smoothies.

Excellent thoughts and suggestions everyone! Thanks.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Day #9

WOW! My smoothie is very tasty today. I mixed one packed cup of swiss chard from my garden/1 cup of apple/pear juice/1/2 cup blackberries and blueberries. It is NOT green, it's purple due to the berries. And oh, so delicious!
What was your combination today?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day #9

I have had some interesting conversations about the challenge. Most people make the funniest faces when they hear the combination of foods we are drinking. At those moments I wish I had a mini cooler with smoothies to taste.
I am meeting with a very cautious friend next week and she has promised that she will taste anything I put in front of her. It will be a hard sell but I am confident she will like the taste. Whether or not she joins the challenge is a whole other story:-)
Check out this challenge that my favorite Kundalini studio in Chicago is doing:
I don't when I could take this on. It might need to wait until next June when I am not teaching middle school children.
Please let us know how it is going.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day #8

The smoothie I made today was a little greener due to a miscalculation on my part. I was only making one but put in the greens for two servings. It tasted really good. I must be acquiring a taste! I also like the addition of the rice protein powder. How are the rest of you doing?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day #7

Hello everyone! It's so exciting to read what people are posting. I am learning all the time and I really appreciate it.
Today is another one of those strange, hard to eat around schedules so I am going to have my smoothie for lunch. When I teach yoga, I like to do it on an empty stomach. This morning I taught at 9:00 so I did not eat ahead of time. As a result, when I got home I was starved so I went for the egg breakfast. Funny how I don't think of a smoothie satisfying that enormous hunger...I wonder if I will evolve into that thinking or not. I will wait to be hungry and then make a smoothie.
Today will be a blue smoothie because of blackberries and blueberries. Their color dominates the greens. Otherwise the rest of the ingredients will remain the same.
Keep posting!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Day #6 cont.

I did have my green smoothie for dinner about 3 hours ago. It didn't stick with me like it does in the AM. I was starved when I got home at 8:15. I fixed myself a large salad with feta cheese and assorted nuts. My brain is starting to feel less fuzzy already. I think I will stick to the smoothie breakfast. What have your experiences been?

Day #6

Due to my hectic schedule today I am choosing to have my green smoothie for dinner. I haven't tried it at that time of day yet. I only have an hour between job responsibilities so I thought it would be the perfect light dinner. I will update later to let you know how it went.
I am planning to mix spring greens with pears, apples, kiwi, strawberries and blueberries. I expect the color with become a dark something or other...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day #5

Good morning! I wanted to let you know that this morning I drank the final 'leftover' smoothie from Friday and it tasted good as well. Warning: the greens taste stronger with each passing day so if that is something you want to avoid, I would suggest making them fresh.

I found this snippet of supportive information on MSN homepage this morning and just had to share it with you. Let us know how it's going!
In Depth: The Healthiest Foods On Earth
The only thing these diets have in common is that they're all based on whole foods with minimal processing. Nuts, berries, beans, raw milk, grass-fed meat. Whole, real, unprocessed food is almost always healthy, regardless of how many grams of carbs, protein or fat it contains.
All these healthy diets have in common the fact that they are absent foods with bar codes. They are also extremely low in sugar. In fact, the number of modern or ancient societies known for health and longevity that have consumed a diet high in sugar would be ... let's see ... zero.
Truth be told, what you eat probably matters less than how much processing it's undergone. Real food—whole food with minimal processing—contains a virtual pharmacy of nutrients, phytochemicals, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and healthful fats, and can easily keep you alive and thriving into your 10th decade.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day #4

Today was a first. I drank a 'day old' smoothie and it tasted great! So yes, you can make smoothies a day or maybe two ahead and then just grab them from the fridge. Just give it a shake or a stir and it tastes fresh!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Protein Powder

Taste test determined that the protein powder was a delicious addition. Hopefully it's addition will keep those hunger pangs from arising mid-morning. I bought a rice powder because it's gluten free. It's available at Northwood's Nutrition and maybe at the big box stores as well.

Day #3

Created a different version this morning. I added a 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries and a scoop of rice vanilla protein powder. I think it is delicious but the real test will be my yoga students giving it a go after class. I will update later on the concensus. Hope your third day is a charmer!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day #3

I took two different kinds of smoothies to the yoga studio with me and had people taste test them. Everyone thought it tasted wonderful! I am excited to report that about six more people expressed an interest in beginning the practice. Encourage your friends and family to join you. Just to feel better if nothing else.
Please post your thoughts, ideas, recipes, etc. We have alot to learn from each other.

Day #2

I am wondering how it went yesterday for the folks that began the 40 day practice. I had an interesting experience. I drank my green smoothie around 8:30 for breakfast and I never really felt hungry the rest of the day. I doubt it was due completely to the smoothie but it definitely had some influence. Usually on cold, rainy days I feel compelled to eat alot of warm, sugary carbohydrates but that was not the case after drinking my breakfast.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day #1

We officially begin our 40 day adventure NOW! I just finished my breakfast smoothie and it was delicious! I had an opportunity to talk with a few new folks at the studio this morning so maybe more will be jumping on board.
Someone asked "why green smoothies?" The answer is that green smoothies are the a very good way to practice what is called 'clean eating'. Cleaning eating is consuming foods as close to their natural state as possible. That includes being organically grown, unprocessed without sugars and other additives, nutrient dense, raw and whole. Green smoothies meet all of these criteria. Even the 'whole' part since the entire edible part of the plant can be put into the blender!

This morning I made a delightful combination that resulted in 32 oz. of smoothie; enough for you and a friend!

1 cup spring salad mix
1 cup green tea
3 very ripe peaches
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup ground pecans
2 cups pure juice (I made this in my juicer: 2 apples, 2 pears, 2 kiwi)

If you do not have a juicer, any 100% juice is a good choice.

Please post your experiments! We want to hear what works and what doesn't. Thanks and good luck!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

24 hour notice

Only 24 hours before we begin our Green Smoothie Challenge! Just a reminder that the minimum challenge is to replace just one meal with a healthy, delicious green smoothie. You may, of course, go further by cutting out all white sugar/refined foods, eating mostly raw foods with your other meals and snacks, increasing exercise, etc. The 40 day concept is related to the fact that we need to practice something 40 days for it to become a habit.

I have tested out adding a cup of green tea to my smoothie and it was delicious. I also cut up some very ripe peaches and threw them in, skin and all, to the blender. They were wonderful too!

Remember, green smoothies taste like the fruit you are using, not like the greens. Unless you put too many greens in. A suggestion: start with 1/2 cup of greens and increase as you trust the taste:-)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Green Smoothie Challenge

Hello everyone,
Welcome to the 40 day Green Smoothie Challenge! Let's begin with our smoothie challenge on Wednesday, July 15th and continue for 40 days. Why 40 days? It takes 40 days for a behavior to become a habit. And, a green smoothie habit would be a good one to acquire.
Why green smoothies? Green smoothies provide us with a nutrient dense, low-cal food that is only good for us! Green smoothies are natural, clean eating.
So join us if you would are at all interested. And then please share your thoughts, experiences, recipes (successes and failures) so that we can all benefit from each others' experiences.