Yesterday was supposed to be day number one for me and my elimination diet. I learned two very valuable lessons yesterday:
1. Don't let yourself get hungry.
2. Don't try this kind of diet with fragrant, delicious smelling ranch chicken pizza in your refrigerator.
Every time I opened the fridge yesterday I could smell the pizza, it was amazing. We had a really busy morning and I hadn't had anything to eat. By about 2:30 I was ravenous and even though I had started on my green drink, I decided it wasn't worth it right then and I ate the pizza. It was delicious, but not as good as I had built it up in my mind. On top of that, I was just disappointed in myself for not sticking to my diet. But I learned a good lesson. So today I am starting fresh. I just have to keep a full stomach and I think I'll be fine.
It occurred to be yesterday that perhaps not everyone knows what a green drink is. Then I got Jennifer's comment which confirmed that thought. So I thought I'd go ahead and share how one makes a green drink. They are also known as green smoothies. The key to a green drink is to only use whole foods, but to make it taste delicious.
Just so we are all on the same page, a whole food is a food that is in it's natural, unrefined form. When it comes to a green drink pretty much anything goes. I also recommend going organic if possible and using purified water. Even rinsing your produce in the purified water. However, if it is a choice between not eating the greens if you have to buy organic or just regular produce, go with regular. It's so much better to eat the greens than to abstain because you can't buy organic (I don't always buy organic).
What you will need;
~ A variety of fresh greens and fruit.
~ Frozen fruit.
~ Cutting board.
~ A fabulous blender.
~ About 10 minutes of time.
If you are new to this I would recommend starting out slow. Use only spinach at first. Spinach has a mild flavor. As you get used to the green drink start adding in one more green at a time. You want to vary your greens as well. The greener the better. This is an excellent way to get a huge dose of vitamins and minerals.
Put about 1 cup of purified water in the blender. Then fill it a little over half full with spinach.
Other greens you might consider:
~Dandelions (get these from the store, not from your yard if you use fertilizer)
~Peas (pods included)
~Anything else you have in your fridge or see in the store and want to try
Blend up your greens to get a good base for your drink.
Next you can add fruit. When I add fruit I leave almost everything on it. For example, don't core your apple, just cut it into fourths and leave the seeds in. They are healthy. If you use fresh strawberries leave the tops on. There are a few exceptions: bananas and avocados for example. Don't leave the peels on these and take that seed out of the avocado.
Here's a cool little cooking secret that my mom (the greatest cook in the world) taught me: leave the pit in the avocado and it won't turn green. I used half of the avocado pictured above yesterday. I put this part in the fridge and this morning pulled it out for today's green drink. Still looks amazing and tastes great. Avocados are amazing power foods. Eat them. Often.
Other fruit you might consider:
~Berries of any variety (I usually put in frozen berries to give it a nice smoothy feel)
~Bananas (these are great to make a smooth texture)
~Grapes (go ahead and take these off the vine)
~Lemons (once again, take off the peel)
Remember to blend as you go. Especially if you add something frozen. You don't want to overwhelm your blender. If you are like me, texture can make or break a food item for you, so the more you blend the more smooth your drink will be. For me that is key.
Then you can add a few other things. Ginger is a great one. But I don't care for the taste of it. So I try to only add a tiny bit if any. It is a powerful tasting thing. If you do chose to add it, make sure to grate off the skin and only add a 1 to 2 inch piece, anything more than that will overwhelm the drink.
If you are using bitter greens (like Kale) feel free to add a little sweetener, but make sure it is natural. Xylitol or Stevia are the only two I really recommend for this. One to two packages of either should do the trick.
I also add about 2 or 3 tablespoons of flaxseeds to each and every drink (excellent source of Omega 3s). Some people chose to use flax oil, which is also okay, but the seeds are more natural as they haven't been refined.
Here's what you'll have when you're done. See, it doesn't look that bad. It tastes great. What's even better is how good you are being to your body.
Everyone in the family can enjoy it.
Just a little reminder, you should not add everything listed to one drink. Vary up the ingredients. Play around with it. Some things you will like better than others. Today was the first time I had tried ginger, I'll probably never try it again, but now I know. The key to liking these is to start small. Add mostly fruit and just spinach. Then slowly start adding more greens.
Drink one over the weekend. I dare you. They are fantastic.
Here's what I put in today's drink:
~ 1 large collard green leaf
~ 2 medium Kale leaves
~ Handful of fresh parsley
~ 2 apples
~ 1/2 avocado
~ approx 2 cups blueberries
~ 2 pears (from my own garden:)
~ 3 tbs flaxseeds
~ 2 inches of ginger (too much in my opinion)
~ 1 cup water