I'm feeling super energetic today, despite getting next to no sleep (for some reason Jon decided to wake AT LEAST every hour last night! urgh!), and do you want to know why? Well I'll tell you! Because two days ago I decided to challenge myself to go three days ALL RAW VEGAN! This is kinda a big deal for me because I've been eating "high raw" for quite a while, with some days better than others, like everyone. But I've only ever done ONE day entirely raw vegan before!
I don't really know why this is, other than its hard to undo a lifetime of habits (for me its a HUGE addiction to starchy carbs, I just LOVE my breads, pasta, rice etc) even when you KNOW you'll feel better for making the change.
So on this 3 day challenge I set for myself, so far so good! I've been all raw for two and a half days now so its looking like i'm going to succeed, YAY! I am feeling generally lighter, slimmer, my tummy feels flatter (you women out there will understand what I mean), and I have heaps more energy than usual. After today I will do a post on my 3 day all raw challenge, what I ate, recipes etc, and possibly have a challenge for you too readers! (Don't be scared, it'll be fun, really!! ;))
So onto yet another post on one of the loves of my life: GREEN SMOOTHIES!!! The past few days I've been having a lot of conversations with people about green smoothies, the why, how, etc. SO, I thought I'd reiterate and clarify some basics in regards to green smoothies, and also some tips and tricks I use to make them more palatable, and also more visually appealing to some of those fusspots out there who don't like to drink it because its green!
GREEN SMOOTHIE 101 GUIDE:
What is it? A green smoothie is a smoothie made from fruits and vegetables (and sometimes nuts and a few other ingredients i'll tell you about), ice, water and some leafy greens. The leafy greens can be: baby spinach (the best for beginners as you can't taste it in the smoothie), beetroot greens, different lettuces (lambs lettuce works well), silverbeet, other spinaches (I just got some Ceylon Spinach at the organic store yesterday and its lovely in them) anything that is green and leafy and edible!
Why have it? Most people know that leafy greens are SUPER good for you! They contain so many great nutrients that our bodies need to thrive, and most of us don't get enough of them! Another thing is that those of us who DO consume a lot of leafy greens usually do that in the form of salads (which are great, don't get me wrong, I'm a HUGE fan of salads) but we're not actually chewing the greens enough to reap the full benefits! What happens when you have greens in a salad is that you don't chew them enough to release ALL of the goodness, so many of the nutrients etc pass through our bodies without us being able to use them to their full potential. So by blending them in a smoothie, you are essentially pre-chewing them, breaking them down so the body can instantly access ALL the goodies in them as soon as you drink your smoothie! I believe this is one of the principle reasons I get such a rush of great energy for a couple of hours after I have a smoothie.
How can you do it "right"? There really is no WRONG way to have a green smoothie. A few things to note when starting out though: I personally don't think dairy belongs in green smoothies (or in our diets at all). Especially not the commercially available, homogonised, pasturised milk and yoghurt available at the supermarket. In my opinion modern dairy is an irritant on some level to MOST people's digestion and sinuses, and it causes mucus build up and ear infections. I don't think cows milk is meant for humans, and I've read too much about what is done to the cows and to the milk to still have it. "It should be noted that approximately 75%, some say much higher, of the world’s population is lactose intolerant." Sourced from this article: Why Dairy Products are a Bad Idea So skip the milk or yoghurt!
Experiment with different combinations of fruits and vegetables to suit your individual tastes. A couple of great smoothies for beginners, because they taste really sweet and delicious and you really CAN"T taste the spinach are: Pine Orange Smoothie and Banana Berry Nut Smoothie found here. Another great one is the Pink Paradise Smuice found here, and just add some leafy greens to it.
A couple of tricks: 1) If you are feeling like a little bit of a sweet fix and you don't find JUST the berries and banana and spinach to be sweet enough, just add one FRESH date to your smoothie and its instantly deliciously sweet (a friend who tasted mine yesterday was SURE there was a heap of honey in it, and was amazed to find it had NO honey, and only ONE date!) don't use dried dates if at all possible, because you need to use many more to achieve the same sweetness, fresh ripe dates are just so sweet! 2) To give your smoothie that creamy thickshake type texture and taste, add a small handful of raw nuts into your smoothie - I find that cashews or almonds work the best. It's a really great idea to soak your nuts the night before (just enough for your smoothie) because this activates the enzymes in them, and also makes them sweeter and softer, so they blend easier and are easier to digest. To soak simply cover them with water and leave to sit overnight at room temperature, then drain off the soak water and rinse them, and throw them in your smoothie! If you've forgotten this step, use cashews as they are pretty soft alright and work well without soaking. 3) To turn your Banana Berry Nut Smoothie into a to-die-for CHOC Smoothie or even a choc malt smoothie, I do recommend getting some Cacao (raw cocoa, found in most healthfoods stores and SOME supermarkets - the Atherton IGA actually stocks it!), add a teaspoon of this to your smoothie and voila! Chocolate! For a malt type flavour you can also add about half a teaspoon of Maca. I only do this occasionally (maybe twice a week), so it doesn't bother me that the Cacao and Maca are a little expensive! 4) If you're funny about how your food LOOKS (I honestly don't think a green drink looks unappetising, but there are lots of people who do!) a few tricks: Put plenty of red berries in it to make your smoothie come out a nice purple colour,
There are plenty of options like this to make your green smoothie not ACTUALLY green! There's a great one here at Uncooking 101: Cherry Green Smoothie.
So I hope that helps those of you out there who're new to this whole green smoothie business! If you have questions or want some more information, please feel free to ask me here or on FB! I want you all to have every single bit of info that will enable you to try these! :D
On to my weight loss "Secret" number 2 - please read my previous post in regards to the disclaimer, as it goes for this too! This isn't really a secret either, it's so simple and easy!
WEIGHT LOSS "SECRET" NUMBER 2: MOVE YOUR BODY!!!!! If you currently do no exercise, start walking. When I started walking it was at a snails pace (a very leisurely stroll) and I only went for 5 minutes. But then each day, or every couple of days, I'd increase it by a minute, or a few, or five, or ten, and soon I was power walking 45 minutes a day, 5-6 days per week. If you currently do a little exercise, find a way to do a little more, or vary your exercise. Get as much incidental activity into your day as you can - park further from the shops and walk, or if you're close enough, walk to the shops! Take the stairs instead of the lift, go about your housework like its a workout - seriously this one is super (think upper body workout when pegging out the clothes and getting them in, abs and legs whilst doing vaccuming and mopping, etc)! You'll be amazed at the difference this makes. I like to say "Energy begets energy", because I've always noticed if I make the effort to get out of bed that little earlier and go for a walk/run/yoga/whatever, I seem to have MORE energy for the rest of the day, not less! It seems the more activity you do, the more energy you have! And I'm ALL about extra energy - or haven't you noticed? Hehehe! :P
Well I think I've about talked myself out for now! Stay tuned tomorrow for ALL the dirt on my 3 days all raw vegan and the challenge I've been working on for you!
Love and Health, B xxx