Sometime in November my daughter, Jenni, told me how she was making green smoothies every morning. The idea struck a chord with me and within days I, too, was on the green smoothie wagon. What’s a green smoothie you ask? Basically it is a combination of fruit and raw vegetables blended into a drink. It’s different from juicing because you drink the whole fruit or vegetable, no pulp ejection. This takes a Vita Mix or a Blendtex blender, something that runs at jet engine speed.
I had a Vita Mix which I always referred to as a glorified smoothie machine. I said this in some disgust as it’s expensive and had mostly sat in the cupboard for the last 15 years. As my passion for smoothies increased it took a place on the counter and the Kitchen-Aid mixer was put away. (Some of you may recall my love of bread making, so this was a statement of intent to change my obsessions.)
I wanted some ideas about fruits and vegetables to combine so I bought a book by Green Smoothie Girl. Without knowing it I was on my way to Life With Green Smoothie. I signed up for her blog and watched a few YouTube videos. Neil (my husband) made a great dessert with chia seeds from one of her recipes, I was researching super foods and the blender was in daily use. This was fun!
Then the pitch came for a 21 day detox. I ‘stared’ the email and would periodically reread it. December was passing and I was thinking about losing those pounds I talked about last January. A few days after Christmas I took the plunge and when January 2nd came my first day began. Neil decided to go along for the ride since eating around the house was going to have a definite shift. So to prepare for the event I gave away the last of my beloved fruit cake, off-loaded the remaining short bread cookies, froze the last of my bread, and fed the worms many delights that just weren’t going to be eaten. Last, I bought a bunch of tea and put all the wine downstairs.
The first week was a prep week before the official 21 days began. We could add in some cooked food if we wanted. The basic idea was a smoothie each morning, a smoothie at lunch, and for dinner a salad and a blended soup (cold). Not being one to confine myself to a rigid eating routine, I took certain liberties in this first week – a few tablespoons of smoked salmon in my salad, a chicken sausage, or a hot soup made in the blender. The last night we had fish, quinoa, and a cooked vegetable. Living large!
I did decide to make three commitments: no eating after 8:00 pm, only a smoothie for the morning meal, and to eat only when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. It’s hard to drink volumes of smoothie or eat lots of salad so most nights I went to bed feeling hungry.
The official first day came – it was a 24 hour fast. I’m glad I miscalculated which day it would be. When I swiped the page (I have the menus on my Ipad in Good Reader) there is was and I had no chance to hem and haw about going ahead. We made it through the fast ready to eat that first great smoothie – honeydew melon and spinach. When you’re hungry the first few sips are fabulous. It’s only when you’ve finished and your teeth are longing for something to chew that dissatisfaction sets in.
The menu hasn’t changed much this first week. Generally smoothies for morning and midday meal and something different for dinner. Can one call this dinner, another smoothie and a salad? Being the rebel I am I change it up. As in today we were getting a chili – blended tomatoes and vegetables on chopped tomato and vegetables. I skipped this and had a salad. There are challenge days of just smoothies. One this week, three next week. I don’t know about the last week, I don’t want to look.
Week two starts tomorrow. I broke rank tonight and made quinoa, spicy tofu, and cooked kale. Oh, here’s an interesting fact: raw kale lowers thyroid function. I’d been living on kale as my go-to green for my previous month of smoothies. Then I had a blood test and found out I have low thyroid function. My Naturopath said no more raw brassicas (broccoli, kale, rapini) all the greens I had been using with the certainty I was doing my body so much good. Therefore, the cooked kale for dinner tonight. I just hadn’t stopped buying kale when I went shopping.
How do I feel? The up side: I feel good! I’m losing weight. I would hope so since going to bed hungry should merit something. The meal prep has novelty. It’s interesting to eat food combinations I would never think of. Salad dressing made with a base of blueberries, quite tasty. The night we made a salad dressing with tahini I couldn’t remember it ever tasting so good.
The down side: I’m bored. I love to cook and this need is not being met. Tonight when Neil asked me to make spicy tofu I jumped at the chance to combine a few ingredients and just use the stove.
What’s a foodie to do? One night I searched the internet for interesting vegetarian recipes and put them in my new, totally cool recipe app, I finally made sauerkraut from the cabbage I harvested in Fall, and I’m growing microgreens in my spare bedroom closet. I may not be doing much cooking, but food is still in my life.
An unexpected challenge, remembering to drink water. One more liquid just slips my mind. Last night I was seriously dehydrated. So I’m changing my ways and drinking more. I like it hot and often with lemon.
How do I reward myself? I drink tea. My favorite is the chocolate hazelnut. It’s decaf and I drink it with a small amount of cream. It’s my dessert or a mid-morning treat. (The cream is left over from Christmas baking. I just couldn’t throw it out.) It’s just enough off the plan to feel special, it’s warm, and has fat. Small pleasures can go along way!
I can see eating this way as a basic plan, but I never intended to become a raw ‘foodist‘, a vegan, or even a vegetarian. I love cheese, milk in my tea, and I doubt I will stop eating fish and chicken all together. I’m still a ‘foodie’ at heart who loves complex recipes and lots of challenge. Oh, a piece of bread pleaseeeeeee.