To say that it has been a while since I worked out regularly would be a grave insult to the phrase “a while.” I know this because after my food-bingy Calistoga version of spring break, I dug out my work out clothes and noticed that one of my two favorite tees had “Everyone Loves The Situation” inscribed on it. And the other….. “Super Bowl XLIV.”
Since one of my goals for the Summer of George was to finally establish some healthy habits, I decided that this past weekend was THE WEEKEND to start doing just that. I’m a realist, however, and know myself too well to think that I would all of a sudden be able to spring out of bed at 6 a.m., do some light stretching, eat a vegan gluten-free
dish sponge bran muffin and then run a half-marathon before heading out to my yoga class. I know that making life-long changes is a step-by-step process that requires setting achievable goals, making a commitment, and implementing small shifts in behavior that will ultimately (hopefully) lead to the formation of new and better habits. Because for me, it really is all about habits and I have spent a life time of acquiring bad ones.
I was a scrawny kid. And then a scrawny teenager. I was scrawny in college and all the way through my 20s. Growing up I hated the way I looked because it seemed like all of the other girls had big boobs and curves that made them look amazing in their leg warmers, acid washed mini skirts and off the shoulder OP sweatshirts, while I vacillated between looking like a twelve-year-old European tranny (due to some unfortunate makeup and wardrobe choices) and Boy George (due to an even more unfortunate home perm given to me by my well-meaning but ill-qualified mom.)
For six months my hair looked like the Bizarro World version of this ad:
Anyway, the result of my tweaked-out metabolism was that I never had to think about food or exercise and just sort of coasted into my late-30s eating and doing (or not-doing) whatever I wanted. By the time I realized that while I was still in a “healthy” range in terms of actual body weight, my actual body had turned to shit, and that I had established some major dependencies on baked goods and was apparently violently allergic to all forms of physical activity.
Which brings us to my commitment to making small changes. One of things I decided I could do rather easily was replace my daily morning danish/croissant/muffin with a smoothie. (Not every day, mind you. I’m not insane. But at least three or four days a week.) I found a great recipe on one of my favorite blogs, The Londoner, and tried a modified version this weekend — which I LOVED. It contains lots of zingy summer citrus and a healthy dose of spinach (which you can’t even taste and which gives the smoothie a brilliant grassy green color so you can’t help but feel like you’re getting a massive dose of healthy in every glass). Recipe below:
Your Ass Will Thank You Spinach Smoothie
This thing is not an exact science and you should build it to suit your own taste. I used frozen organic fruit because it’s what I had on hand and it’s just so much easier than dealing with whole fruit. (Not to mention the fact that I am still somewhat new to cooking and am convinced that I will send myself to the hospital should I ever attempt to carve a pineapple.) I also elected to leave out any ice as the frozen fruit makes this plenty cold and I prefer my smoothies on the thick side. If you want a looser consistency just drop in a handful or so of ice cubes. Finally, be sure not to skimp out on the lime here, it really sparks things up and brings out the flavors of the other ingredients. And for the love of god and all that is holy, never, ever, EVER use bottled/artificial lime juice. That stuff is just skanky.
- 1/2 cup of organic pineapple juice (they have a great selection at Whole Foods)
- 2 massive handfuls of organic baby spinach
- 1-2 handfuls of frozen organic pineapple chunks
- 1-2 handfuls of frozen organic peaches
- juice of 1/2 lime
Now blend. Duh.
Variations to this are obviously endless, so do experiment. Just know that if you add berries to the mix the smoothie will be delicious but the color…not so much. And since we eat with our eyes first I recommend you stick with light-colored fruits when using spinach.
Enjoy! And let me know if you have a recipe for a green smoothie that you’d like to share in a guest post.