All Hail the Green Smoothie

Hiya!

Hope you had a great weekend. The bookends of my weekend were stressful…hello, one hour of sleep on Friday night, three classes to teach on Saturday morning and then 5+ hours of prep and grading yesterday. I spent Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning, however, with one of my fave humans of all time– my best friend from college, Cat. I declared Saturday “Caturday” to my students out of sheer delirium.

The whole weekend really was a balancing act between work and play, stress and fun, and most particularly, healthy eats balanced with some oh-so-delicious and oh-so-necessary indulgences.

When I got back from classes on Saturday, I made this stir fry again for Cat and me, since she is also a vegetarian and we’re pretty much twins when it comes to food preferences…

Feaaaaaast.

Feaaaaaast.

This time, 1.5 peppers, half an onion, about 2/3 cup mushrooms, 1 cup black beans, sauteed in olive oil and doused in chili powder. Served over fresh kale and with olive bruschettini, devoured before a rainy afternoon game of scrabble.

And then this happened. Rich, Cat and I went to dinner in Philly that night, and then we actually WENT to Insomnia Cookies. By the way, the “insomnia cookies” are gone. The three of us housed 10 of them no problem over 1.5 days. This is the only pic I have of the night…I was too busy stuffing my face with veggie chili and cornbread, portobello mushroom fries, and pumpkin rolls.

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The lighting was SO bright and after about three tries at a good picture, I literally couldn’t hold out any longer on eating this. A warm regulah choc chip cookie a la mode.

Like I said…balance.

While I aim to eat lots of fruits and veggies during the week, I don’t stress about it nearly as much during the weekend. I probably ate more veggies this weekend than I have in a month, and that’s perfectly okay. Ending my night with a cookie a la mode every night might not be the best thing for my health, but embracing deliciousness like this here and there keeps the mind and body happy. I don’t feel deprived, and I enjoy treats far, far more because I eat them intentionally and savor the moment.

This talk of balance brings me to my Grinchy Green Smoothie challenge. In case you missed it, last week I challenged myself to drink a green smoothie every day, and I successfully navigated the perils of some terrible nights of sleep (zombie status) to accomplish my goal.

The verdict?

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It’s like the almond milk is hiding the regular milk. Is that milk shaming?

 

More kale, more almond milk, for more smoothies. These things are going to be a fixture in my diet without a doubt.

When I drank a green smoothie a day this week…

-I noticed that my blood sugar didn’t crash HARD like it normally does if I just eat a normal breakfast, like a homemade oatmeal square or yogurt with oats and a banana. These things have major staying power, especially when consumed as a “second breakfast” after a lighter wake-me-up snack, like a banana and pb.

-My skin GLOWED. Seriously…it felt like it was radiating. Ridiculous student comment when I told a freshman class on Saturday morning that I had only slept for an hour: “You don’t look tired! You’re like…glowing!” Awkward.

-I only drank a second cup of coffee one time this entire week, and that was on Friday morning. It was sheerly a mental, not physical, need, as I had some prep work to do and I wanted to sip on something warm and stimulating while I was working. Otherwise, my energy levels dipped far less than usual, especially in mid-morning.

-I ate even more veggies than usual this week. I’m actually not a huge fruit person– don’t get me wrong, I love me some natural fructose– but if I had to choose one or the other for the rest of my life, it would be no contest. The mental effect of having 2 cups of veggies right off the bat in the morning led me to fill my plate with veggies with even more zeal than usual. I swear the reason I survived this sleepless week was because of these food choices. Even though I wasn’t giving my body the sleep it needed, I was certainly giving it a natural boost through food.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll definitely be toting an awkward green mason jar to my classroom to enjoy during my free period at 9. Again, I’m not an RD and I’m just speaking from experience, but I encourage you to give these smoothies a shot, especially if you often find yourself lagging in energy during the day, are hungry (or hangry…) all the time, have trouble sustaining blood sugar, or just want to be told you’re positively “glowing” by a 14-year-old. Maybe aim for a different adjective and an older human, but you get the picture.

Here are some variations of green smoothies I enjoyed this week:

Simple

With pb and chia seeds

With raw oats

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And with lots and lots of Latin and Greek planning.

Happy Moan-day to you all…best wishes for a great start to the week!

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