Monday, February 28, 2011

Green Machine

The Girl Who Hates Lettuce has come a long way in the vegetable department in six short months. For the first few weeks I would think "What am I going to eat today?" before breaking out in a little sweat. As long as there was meat in the fridge, I just had to figure out what else to throw on the plate. The meat was absolutely the focus. Now I'm closer to "What am I not going to eat today!". The previously unknown world of vegetables has been revealed and I'm happily overloaded with options - I love it!

I still haven't crossed the Salad Threshold (and probably never will) but each day now contains more fresh vegetables than I used to eat in a week. The more I push my body through running and yoga, the more my body politely asks for more vegetables. Sometimes it's not so polite.

The game changer in greening up my diet has been what I lovingly call The Phoenix Smoothie... it rises from the ashes of crappy nutrition. Every morning - no exceptions. It's like nutritious crack. I got started with a Vega product called Smoothie Infusion but the components are all things that I've since purchased separately. I can get larger quantities and saving a little dough along the way.

Hemp Protein Powder (very easy to digest and comes green and alive!)
Chlorophyll (yeah, the good stuff found in all the plants I never ate)
Ground Flax Seed (must grind - whole seeds don't digest)
Udo's Oil Blend (I got the 3.6.9 - not for cooking but is yummy for dips and dressings)

Just toss in an assortment of fruit, a little pineapple juice and some almond milk. Voila! Green Crack!

I've experienced so many benefits from the liquid greens. I feel more alert and can focus for longer periods of time. My hair is shinier. My nails are growing faster and stronger. I'm recovering more quickly from my long runs. Even the fine lines around my eyes are lessening - Hello 41. It's all pretty miraculous!

Another useful trick is to make a large batch of spinach & broccoli soup on Sunday evening. It's super simple - just cook down onions, garlic, fresh broccoli or broccoli flower, and either fresh or frozen spinach in a small amount of canola oil. Add a dose of cumin and black pepper and then pop into the blender with some vegetable stock. Nothing is easier than taking soup to work for lunch. It's also low enough in calories to make a great dinner if I get stuck eating late. This bright green soup is lovely to have around!

The bottom line is that I've finally accepted that Green = Good. I was always fooling myself about the number of vegetables I was eating... mega low ball. Paying some respect to the vegetable is paying some big dividends!

Eat kind, Lauren

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