Sunday, August 21, 2011

Smoothie How Tos

When you first venture into making healthy smoothies it might seem a bit intimidating. Believe me, you will get over it.  A good healthy smoothie has some definite must haves. These include: a healthy green vegetable (kale & spinach work best for me, but I hear that people use all kinds of healthy veggies including cucumbers and romaine lettuce), fresh or frozen fruits (for that sweetness AND fiber), hopefully some ground flax or chia seeds, and a liquid (this can range from water to an unsweetened non dairy milk). From there it's really up to you.
There are tons of great recipes online but you can really just try out different options. Be creative. Use whatever fruits are in season to get the biggest bang for your buck. Here on Hawai'i Island papayas are always cheap and it's avocado season so people are giving them away. That means that I have papaya and avos in my smoothies. Bananas are ALWAYS in mine, especially frozen ones because they offer a certain thickness and creaminess to my smoothies. That, along with some flax means that I can add more liquid/ice and still have lots of volume.
Some days the smoothies are better than others. But they are always drinkable and satisfying. Here's the smoothie I made yesterday. And for once, I finally did some measuring just to give you an idea of how I do it.
One morning I woke up and saw this note on the blender. I've left it there, it cracks me up. 
Scraped in one papaya (okay, you know to remove seeds first right? And no skin. Just checking.

There was about 1/4 of a small avocado in the fridge. I added that, too.

Went out in the garden and picked about 6 leaves of kale.

It would probably be okay to leave the stems but I take the leaves off the stems. The stems are thick.

This smoothie uses the mixed fruits I bought from Costco. Two cups.

Then some ground flax. This is an OLD container. I actually buy my flax in a bag from Costco then dump it in this container. I add about 2 heaping teaspoons. Or more.

This is 2 cups of unsweetened soy milk. I prefer almond but soy's what I got this week. Always watching the sales.

Then water. From the same measuring cup so I didn't wash it. milky water I guess.

But two cups of milky water wasn't enough so I added two more. Next time I'll add 2 cups of crushed ice instead.

Blending it all up.

It's a full one!

And it made all this. Two "grandes" and one "venti" plus two mason jars for freezing.


So that's how it's done. The kale makes it look really green but you don't really taste the green. You taste sweet. If you like it sweeter then add some pitted dates, 3-4, and a really ripe frozen banana. That always helps. Sometimes you can add a little bit of juice. Dr. Fuhrman uses orange juice or pomegranate juice (100%).  One 16 oz. drink should keep you full for quite a while. On my really hungry mornings I might have a small bowl of oatmeal or I'll add a 1/4-1/2 cup of raw oats to the smoothie. 

What's your favorite smoothie?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Six Week Challenge Round 4

I AM ON A ROLL! Back in January 2011 I read the book Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman (I actually downloaded the audio version on iTunes). It changed my life. After what seems a lifetime of dieting I finally got it. It wasn't about eating to lose weight. It finally became about eating for my health. And then it became about eating for my family's health. It literally changed my life. The weight dropped off and I felt great. And I was amazed that my life no longer revolved around the next meal or snack. It revolved around feeding my body fuel. Delicious fuel at that.

The book has a 6 week challenge. Basically, in four words: Fruits, veggies, beans and nuts. That's what I told everyone who commented about the new (and improved) me. That's what I ate during the challenge. What did I NOT eat? Oil, meats (all), dairy, salt, sugar, refined carbohydrates. Basically. Of course everyone pretty much said the same thing..."Oh, I could never do that." Well, some of them have changed their minds, apparently.

In June I tried to convince my Facebook friends to try the challenge. One person took the bait. OMG! Her life is changed. The next challenge began July 1. The number grew to 10, including about 3 husband/wife teams. I have one more starting September 1. The count for that one is up to 20. My theme song is "I'm so excited, I just can't hide it, I'm about to lose control and I think I like it!"

My July 1 challengers are done (finished last week Thursday) and here is just a few of the results:

  • after 4 weeks, one challenger is no longer on high blood pressure medication
  • one challenger lost 20+ pounds (others lost almost as much)
  • one challenger who suffers from frequent and intense migraines has infrequent and milder migraines
  • one is no longer considered pre-diabetic by his physician
  • clothes fit better and is all of a sudden much cuter
Now if that isn't enough to convince you, heck, I don't know what would do it.

If you're interested in doing the six week challenge with a group OR on your own, read the book. Or listen to the audiobook. Or buy the "vook" (video book available on iTunes). Whatever floats your boat. Another similar book is The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn. His challenge is a 28 day challenge. But we go for the gusto here. Same theory--a plant based diet that will improve your health, make you feel good and change your life.

Wanna join our challenge and have a fun loving support group? Let me know! Comment below and give me your email address. And be sure to join our Facebook page.



Saturday, August 6, 2011

Liliko'i Puree

It was a very sad day when renegade cattle broke into our yard and one stepped on the main stalk of my well tended liliko'i vine (a.k.a. passionfruit) last year. Ever since I have not had the courage to plant more. And I refuse to buy the fruits knowing how I could grow them at home. If I want to. So I was more than ecstatic when my friend, Kris, from Attainable Sustainable, gave me a big bag of liliko'i.

In my past life I would have made the puree and conjured up some liliko'i sorbet but in my new life the puree serves as a wonderful additive to smoothies. YUM!

If you have access to liliko'i, make some puree. Use it to brighten up your tastebuds!