Monday, April 20, 2009

Green Smoothie Cleanse -- Day 4

Day 4 of the Spring Green Smoothie Challenge!

I have to say I'm proud of myself for sticking this out! We're halfway done! Tomorrow will be last full day of the cleanse and then I will take 3 days to slowly transition back to eating healthy meals.

This has been a great challenge to me in so many ways! I'm proud of what I have learned during this process and I'm proud of myself for having the discipline to stick with this program. It is 9 days total from the first day of transition to the last. I slowly entered into the program and I will slowly transition back to whole, nourishing, gluten free, dairy free, and soy free foods!

A few things I've observed while doing this program:

- I feel really healthy and I like that feeling!!
- I am learning what it means to be a conscious eater -- a true accomplishment for this girl who will eat when stressed, bored, or ill-at-ease.
- I have learned that I do not "need" a full course meal (especially for every meal) to make my tummy happy.
- I am learning how to recognize when I want a type of food simply because I have fond memories for it, not because it is healthy or good for my body.
- I am starting to enjoy exercising just for the sake of exercising, not necessarily to accomplish a forced goal!
- I feel like smiling more often when my body feels well!
- I have more confidence in myself and what I believe I can do!


Speaking of conscious eating and comfort foods...

Tonight's smoothie is probably my absolute favorite so far in the program! On the way home I thought about the smoothie I would like to have for dinner. It's amazing the things your body will crave during programs like this ;-) ... do you know what I wanted all day today? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Heavy on the peanut butter, light on the jelly.

How could I make a smoothie that *might* taste similar? My favorite jam is strawberry, so I knew strawberries would go in. And with strawberries... a banana always makes a happy companion! For the "peanut butter" part, I settled on almond butter since we are not eating peanuts during this cleanse to avoid mold.

Here's my smoothie. Compared to other smoothies I have made so far, this one is very filling due to the high protein content of the almond butter. Feel free to adjust the amounts to suit your taste and calorie consumption!

Carrie's Strawberry Almond Protein Smoothie

2 cups collards
3-4 leaves romaine lettuce, stems removed
1 banana
1/2 cup strawberries
3 tablespoons almond butter
1 teaspoon bee pollen
1 cup almond milk
1 cup water
1 cup ice
*swirl of agave nectar -or- pinch stevia to sweeten, if necessary (I didn't need additional sweetness!)

Add all to blender and pulse until smooth. Serve immediately Makes around 1.5 pints depending on how much liquid you add. This is one smoothie I'll definitely be making on a regular basis!

Carrie's Notes:

- I was surprised at how well the collards are blended into this smoothie! The primary flavors are a mixture of strawberry, banana, and almonds, even though there are substantial greens! It was a nice break in the routine of very, very green smoothies!

- I loved added the bee pollen to this smoothie because it reminded me even more of peanut butter and jelly, or honey in this case! It's very healthy and a great source of natural sweetness!

- I bough very very ripe bananas at the grocery store today. I find that overripe bananas are wonderful in smoothies because of the serious natural sweetness! The lady in line behind me asked why in the world I would buy such ripe bananas! I told her that I peeled them, froze them, and added them to smoothies. She was genuinely delighted. She smiled and said, "Wow, I never would have thought to do that. What a smart shopper you are!" It made my day!
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