Friday, January 17, 2014

Green Smoothies Aren't Disgusting Jars of Scum After All

Celebrated a birthday yesterday. With every passing year I notice another weird thing going on with my body.

Take today, for example. Today I realized turning 30 has done nothing for my skin. It's still as acne-prone and hormonal as ever. I've dealt with bad skin my whole life and tried just about everything to fix it:

....over-the-counters, behind-the-counters, around-the-counters, under-the-counters...creams, pills, gels, lotions, powders, washes, astringents, foams, buffers.....

I've even tried the good ol' fashioned "sunburn peel".....you know, the one where you go out in the sun for a few hours wearing a low-SPF sunscreen on your face, and then let the sun blast you like Little Boy, giving you that nice, even redness that somehow balances out your complexion. Added bonus? Free exfoliation in the form of peeling skin. SHAZAM - clear skin for three days. I can't be the only one who's used this method. There's others out there. You know who you are.

So you get it -I've got bad skin. After trying a high-end, expensive skin product last month and attaining the same lackluster results, I decided I was going to try something new. Something.....crazy. Something I've never considered before.

I was going to try and eat right.

Yes, I'm that girl. The one who thinks up innovative treatments like "The Sunburn Peel," but doesn't have the sense to just try eating healthy. Welcome to Flaws, Forgiven!

In all fairness, I'm not that terrible of an eater. I eat loads of delicious dairy, whole grains, fruits, and sustainable, responsibly-raised meat.

Didja catch what I was missing there? You've got it people, I'm just not that into.... veggies. I'll eat some frozen fixed ones with dinner and love a good hummus and carrot combo, but other than that, I just don't get around to eating them. I like the flavor, but I hate the prep time. Steam this, wash that, spin this, peel that. I love pears, apples, bananas, and other fruits because I can just eat them. That's it. Not like that huge giant globule of cauliflower that requires me to clean it, steam it, cut it, and then eat it. Ain't nobody got time for that. Plus kale is just horrific. It tastes like mold-covered tumbleweeds all up in my mouth.

So how was I going to make this work? Well, instead of eating my veggies, I was going to try to drink them. Just watching a V8 commercial makes my nose bleed, so that was out. I didn't want to buy a juicer or some crazy NutriBlammo. I also didn't want to drive to my grocery store every day and buy things I'd never heard of before like Organic Panda 100% Raw Bamboo Root Shavings or something. I needed something easy, fast, affordable, and most importantly, delicious.

Where does this Jen go when she needs answers to life's most challenging, earth-shattering, life-changing questions?

AYYYYY-OHHHH Pinterest!

I scanned a few boards and ended up finding a site called Simple Green Smoothies. It's run by these two chicks who seem nice enough. I don't really care about them but I DO care about their insanely easy way of smooshing up veggies into delicious liquid batches of goodness.



The recipes are basic and include things I understand...like BANANA, ORANGE, APPLE, GRAPEFRUIT, and ALMOND MILK.


They toss in a few optional add-ins, some of which require a special trip to the tree-hugger store....but like I said, those ingredients are optional. They also have this awesome feature where they'll email you a weekly shopping list when you sign up for their challenge. Too easy.



So I've almost completed an entire week with one green smoothie a day and I can tell you, I've never had this much energy without significant amounts of caffeine. I feel like a powerhouse. I'm not normally an energetic person. I drag around once 2PM hits and literally have to smack myself to get motivated for a workout (picture THAT as you pull up to the gym....some chick in a silver Malibu just smacking the absolute crap out of herself in the parking lot....priceless). In two days, I felt my energy increase.



I'm not talking an "I-slept-more-and-thereby-botched-any-significant-results-I-may-have-received-from-the-smoothies" energy increase. I'm talking a straight-up "time-to-burn-the-house-down-with-my-power-cardio-blast-moves" energy increase. And it was easy....so, so easy. 

The formula Simple Green Smoothies uses:
2 cups of either spinach or kale
2 cups of a liquid, normally water or almond milk
3 cups of fruit
whatever add-ons you want, like almond butter, ch-ch-ch-chia seeds, or coconut flakes

This is how I prepped and made smoothies this week:

Saturday - Shop with handy-dandy shopping list. Feel great and better than everyone while loading insane amounts of produce onto checkout conveyor belt. Knock yourself down a couple pegs after hefting a liter of rum onto the belt, immediately following two bottles of wine and some peanut butter cup ice cream.

Sunday - Wash and chop all produce. Jam appropriate amounts of each ingredient into freezer baggies and label with recipe. Blend Monday's recipe and sploosh into mason jars.

Every night thereafter - Remove overstuffed freezer bags from freezer and blend next day's smoothie. Sploosh into mason jars.



I drink them in the morning, kinda like a breakfast supplement. I still eat my popcorn and string cheese (breakfast habit that started while pregnant....and let's face it, I truly just don't want to give such an incredible breakfast habit like that up), but now I have this delicious green smoothie to round out my meal. Plus the looks on my coworkers' faces are priceless.



Perhaps the most encouraging element of these smoothie shenanigans is the taste. These things are not terrible. I thought for sure they would be terrible. I had wheatgrass once. It was absolutely terrible. These are not....and that's coming from a picky person.



Obviously no changes to the skin problem yet. I'm hoping this is the golden answer I've just been too lazy to try before. Only time will tell! I will keep you updated, so check back here in a few weeks. Happy Friday everyone :)

UPDATE - June 2014: I've been on smoothies for close to six months now. I must tell you - my skin is FINALLY improving. If I skip my smoothies, I break out like a mofo. When I adhere, my skin stays clear and any breakouts I do have clear up in days instead of weeks. It is soft and I can honestly say for the first time in years that I am leaving the house WITHOUT makeup. None. Not a smidge. It's wonderful :)

Jen
jen@jenniferludwigsen.com





22 comments:

  1. Green Smoothies, more energy? You might have sold me. Ok I will buy me some Kale tomorrow. Thanks again for the review

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    1. Awesome :) Glad to hear it! They are really not that bad!!!!

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  2. I have totally been wanting to try out a green smoothie and you have convinced me! :) Stopping by from the SITS Saturday Sharefest...pinning this recipe right now!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by :) I hope you enjoy them! The site is awesome and they have new recipes all the time.

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  3. It really is hard to imagine that something that looks like green mush could be tasty, but I always hear good things!

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    1. It's totally worth it to try one. I would've never thought I'd be promoting such things - but they really are good! And they fill you up. My favorite part is sharing with the kiddos!

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  4. I recently started with green smoothies too. Like you, I'd assumed they were yuck and had never tried them. I've made my fair share of not so tasty combos, but if you add enough fruit, they're generally delicous. Visiting today from Sits Girls. Have a lovely weekend, Jennifer. Congrats on the birthday. I'll be 30 this year too!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Jelli :) And thank you for the birthday wishes! 30 isn't that bad.

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  5. Hi Jen, It's Michele from the Sits group. I love this post. You make green smoothies very appealing. Happy belated birthday to you. Anxious to see what 2014 has in store for your blog.

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    1. Hi Michele :) Thanks so much for stopping by and for the birthday wishes :) I'm also excited to see your posts!

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  6. I like smoothies when someone else prepares them but can rarely motivate myself to make one. Fortunately, I really, really like greens - and grains. I was probably livestock in another life.

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    1. HAHAHAHAHA let's hope you were GRASS FED BAHAHAHAHAHA....ahhhh a little grass-fed-obsessed humor

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  7. Hi! I'm from your SITS tribe! Great post. I usually stick with the Naked green smoothie, but my husband will be happy to hear that I can make some similar for a lot less money!!

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    1. Thanks Sarah :) I recently read an article about Naked green smoothies having a few additional (unnecessary) chemicals in them - which blew my mind because they were my go-to all through college. Excited to hear you're going to start trying to make them on your own! :)

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  8. Hi! I'm Liz, your fellow tribe member! This is a great post. Thanks for the tips and the recipe. (:

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Liz :) Can't wait to see what you post this year :)

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  9. It would be cheaper than using green juice. I should try it. Maybe next week. If I do I'll let you know if I liked them.

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    1. Right on! I'd love to hear what you think. I swear everyone and their mother thinks I'm nuts at work. Today my boss looked over at me right as I was taking a huge green swig and he just stared. After what seemed like 5 minutes he finally said, "I don't even want to know."

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  10. That is awesome! A few months ago, I decided to get all healthy and started making myself a huge salad with lots of veggies. I would eat this salad once daily and it definitely made a difference in my energy level for sure! But, I'm with you. I HATE the prep time. Thanks for this tip! I'll give it a try. Maybe my family will enjoy too? I can only hope.

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    1. Hey Mo! :) That would be awesome - so far the kids are 50/50. Some of them they really like, others not so much. Heck, if I can get them to drink three swigs I'm good! That's three more swigs of veggies they otherwise wouldn't have gotten!! HAHA Thanks for reading :)

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  11. Hubby and I went on a juicing diet for a couple weeks and made a green juice every day. Kale, celery, cucumber, green apple, and lemon. Great for weight loss.

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    1. Hi Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by! I haven't tried the juicing yet because I don't have a juicer. I'm wondering, though, if it would be easier to get the kids and hubby involved if I juiced and got rid of all that texture!

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