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Adventures in PMS: My Glowing Green Smoothie Debacle [The sheen of nausea counts as glowing, right??]

Posted Nov 11 2013 2:36am


A honeycrisp apple approximately the size of Jelly Bean’s head. Surely if any piece of produce could imbue me with super bloat-repelling powers it would be this magnificent beast!

Truth: I have one of those period tracker apps on my phone. I’d like to say it’s just more evidence of my hysterical white lady hypochondriac shtick but this thing is dope. Not only does it track my monthly shark bait business but it also lets me track my mood and symptoms – the only thing that makes me feel less “gloomy” “exhausted” and “frustrated” is noting that the icon for “breast tenderness” is a fork. (Also, bloated is a cupcake and constipation is a bottle of something fizzy with a bulging stopper. Makes me giggle every time I click on it, virtually saying, “YES. This IS ME” – an overstuffed fizzy cupcake with a fork in her boob.) Which I have been doing all day today since the Tampaxalypse is nigh. Anyhow, by now I’ve written enough about my wicked PMS to choreograph my own musical where the streets are paved with yellow bricks of fish oil, flowered fields seduce with the magical scent of magnesium tablets and flying monkeys bring raspberry leaf detox tea in jumbo jars.

So this time, rather than just waiting for the the Wicked Witch of the Yeast to come, napping on a hot water bottles and staving off mad chocolate cravings with very unsatisfying dates, I decided to be proactive! Which for me means reading the Internet. Since I’m still trying to stay away from processed foods and sugar – to help dig out of this big hole o’ depression I’ve been wallowing in – actual chocolate was out of the question. So when I came across a post titled, “ How one green smoothie cured my debilitating menstrual cramps and made my whole life better ” I took it as a sign.

I should have taken it as a sign that I’m gullible but instead I decided that this would be my cure all! The actual smoothie was even called a Glowing Green Smoothie! I would be cramp free AND I would glow, possibly green! Like I’ve been irradiated! Or am the Incredible She-Hulk! How could this possibly go wrong?!

So Saturday I loaded up on all ten ingredients (recipe is below, my pretties) at the store and prepared to start feeling awesome, stat. The author even wrote enthusiastically about how for a while there was a weird garbage-y smell coming out of her pores as she literally excreted toxins out her face. I personally love to smell like garbage. Mostly because it’s better than poop, which thanks to my loveable-but-utterly-disgusting kids is my normal parfum.

I started out by chopping all the fruits and veggies and putting them in my blender. It’s not normally in my nature to actually measure stuff – I see recipes more as guidelines than, oh, instructions – but this time I did actually measure everything out. So I was kind of surprised to see that my Vita-Mix was filled to the brim with green goodness. I checked the recipe – it said “one serving.” So I shrugged and cranked that puppy up to high, figuring that it would condense down once its molecular structure was hacked.


You are looking at a Vita-Mix chock full of greens, apple, pear, celery and banana. Oh, and cilantro. Lots of cilantro… I was a little dubious at the strange mix of ingredients but they were all things I like separately and frankly I’ll eat some pretty weird tasting crap if I think it’s good for me. And condense it did:


Well that looks much more reasonable! I hadn’t had lunch yet so I figured I’d just down the whole thing and call it sustenance. My chocolate cravings were about to rip my face off so I was hoping it would take the edge off those too.


I poured the beautiful green (isn’t that color gorgeous?) liquid into a trusty quart mason jar. It filled it all the way with about 1 cup still left in the blender. Doubt started to seep into my addled brain for the first time. That’s… a lot of drinkable salad. Still, I was sure it would be tasty(ish) and anyway I’d already invested all this time, energy and money into it and the girl on the Internet said this MAGICALLY CURED HER WHOLE LIFE SO BOTTOMS UP!

This is what Jelly Bean thought of my plan:


I took a big swig. Not bad! Not very sweet and kind of a strange bitter aftertaste (celery? parsley?) but all in all, totally edible. I took another swig. Man that cilantro was powerful! But that’s okay, I love cilantro, right? Another gulp. Wow. CILANTRO. And another. CHEWY CILANTRO. For whatever reason, all I could taste from there on out was the malevolent weed. Even though the “smoothie” was quite chunky I began to chug faster and chew less. Just… get… it… down… to… uterus.


It looks like tomatillo salsa! You know what’s delicious? Salsa. You know what’s not? Drinking salsa.

After what seemed like an eternity of chugging, chewing and CILANTRO, I finally set the jar down. To see this:


After 10 minutes of working at this thing I wasn’t even a quarter into it! How did this happen? Suddenly I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of this smoothie. I went back to the post – it sounded like the author drank the whole thing at once. She made it sound like any other “green smoothie” that is alllll over the Internet. But this? Mine was the Frankenstein of green smoothies. Something had to be wrong. I checked the recipe a third time. Yield: 7 1/2 cups. 1 serving. How on this green (!) earth is 7 1/2 cups of anything ONE serving?!

As I chewed and swallowed and chewed and swallowed, I tried to imagine all my PMS’ing female compatriots around the world sucking down their Green Glow Smoothies. Couldn’t do it. Is there anyone who can drink this much of anything at one time? I felt like one of those competitive eaters when they drink tons of water to stretch their stomachs out. Which made me wonder if I could induce hyponatremia – what happens when you drink too much water, it can kill you – by drinking this whole jar.

Next plan of attack: Something to take my mind off it! Humor!

Yes, I am An Old. I grew up loving Reader’s Digest. I still love it. I’ll admit it loud and proud. It’s cheesy. It’s schlocky. It’s always got one too many happy endings. But it’s also hilarious and uplifting. And this is the “Laugh!” issue! If anyone needed a giggle it was me as I was quickly losing any semblance of good humor.

Chew, swallow, gulp, chew, gag, gag, gag. OH FOR THE LOVE OF CILANTRO!

Not working. I knew what I needed! Actual food! So I made my absolute favorite food: popcorn drizzled with coconut oil, hot Tandoori powder and grapefruit (don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it!). Yeah, I was trying to bribe my adult self into eating my greens.


Worst part? It wasn’t even working! And I’m a girl who loves her veggies. I think that’s why I’ve never jumped on the “green smoothie” train before now. (Heaven help me, it’s been A Thing in the fit-o-sphere for years now.) Because I love basically all veggies, I don’t need “an easy way to get your 5 servings!” I happily get them the normal way: by eating. And eating salad is awesome. Drinking it feels like a punishment for all those years of Fat Free Dressing abominations. Or all those times I laughed myself silly watching YouTube videos of people falling down. (I’m sorry sad People.)

And then I sneezed. So hard that green-speckled popcorn came shooting out my nose and Jackson Pollack-ed all over my hand. I did take a picture of it. I decided not to post it. You’re welcome.

In the end, the popcorn was long gone and there was still at least a cup of smoothie left. Do you know what popcorn and liquid do in the human stomach? It’s like Mentos and Coke. Or Justin Bieber and Brazil . NOT PRETTY. I could feel the popcorn inflating like Lady Gaga’s ego every time Madonna accuses her of “copying.” (Tangent: Can anyone really own exhibitionism? Discuss.) I was so, so, so stuffed. And, like any good Intuitive Eater will tell you: when you’re full you stop eating. So I stopped. I admitted defeat here:


Yeah, I was glowing all right – with the sheen of nausea.

I went back and read the post again, this time with a more critical eye. It turns out the author admits her title was click bait and she actually changed her entire diet and lifestyle which is what made her PMS all better. It’s just that “One super restrictive diet cured me of life” isn’t quite as catchy. But I was still left with a crap ton of radioactive CILANTRO! sludge that I didn’t want to throw away. So I did what any good parent would do: encourage their kids to drink it. And then take pictures while they did.

First up: Jelly Bean! She was leery at first but decided to give it a go.


The after:



She was not amused. Her exact words? “Tastes gross.” And this from a kid who just licked a lady bug because her brother told her it would make her sprout wings. (Bam! Two major disappointments in one day. Poor JB.)

Next up was Son #1. He’s not picky! He loves his veggies!


Apparently he also loves to ham. (Wherever do they get this?!)


He ran to the sink where he spit it out.


And then to the fridge for a palate-cleansing drink of water. His words? “What is wrong with you, mom?!”


Son #2 was the real test though. He’s my human garbage disposal. He eats everything. Truly, the child has never met a food he didn’t like and he can never get enough in him. He ate 3 pounds of chicken for dinner, by himself. He needs to keep his energy up for all of his…adventures.

(True story: When I went to tuck him into bed last night, I found him still in his jeans and shirt, under the covers. When I asked him why he wasn’t wearing jammies he said cryptically, ” I don’t want to be too comfortable”. I asked him why and he answered: ”With all due respect mom, you don’t know who you’re dealing with.” Long pause. “I am the destroyer of squids.”
We really really should have named him Calvin.)


His response: “Not bad.” Victory! When I asked him if he wanted more, he said he would if he could add ice cream and chocolate chips to it. Tempted as I was to see how that would go down I had to veto it as dinner was imminent. (Yep, started drinking this thing at lunch. 3 hours later I was still… drinking this thing.) Son #3 wouldn’t even come in the same room with my weirdo drink.

I’m telling you, one of the best benefits of parenting is all the potential for slapstick humor!

I skipped dinner. I was still too stuffed from my magic expanding popcorn-veggie concoction. Although I have been sniffing myself all evening to see if I can smell any toxins seeping out. No luck! My pores remain seepage-free. By bedtime not only was I not glowing but as I sit here writing this, I’m eating a couple of pieces of Lindt 90% dark chocolate. (And two Halloween fun-size Butterfingers. Hush.) It tastes awesome. I probably should have just gone with the chocolate in the first place.

Although if I had I would have missed a whole afternoon of smoothie-induced awesome. (And a rather, ahem, productive smoothie-induced evening in the bathroom.)

So here’s the recipe for Glowing Green Smoothie. To be clear: This is NOT my recipe. I’d like to give proper credit but I’m not sure to whom? It’s on the Vita-Mix website . The original blog post I read credited Kimberly Snyder . And if you think this is your recipe, I’m more than happy to add your name to the list!

  • 1 1/2-2 cups (360-480 ml) water
  • 3/4 pound (340 g) organic romaine lettuce, rough chopped, about 1 head
  • 1/2 head large bunch or 3/4 small bunch organic spinach
  • 3-4 organic celery stalks, halved
  • 1 organic apple, cored, seeded, quartered
  • 1 organic pear, cored, seeded, quartered
  • 1 organic banana, peeled
  • 1/2 fresh organic lemon, peeled, seeded
  • 1/3 bunch organic cilantro with stems (optional)
  • 1/3 bunch organic parsley with stems (optional)

Any of you green smoothie devotees? Do you really drink the whole thing? I could have handled, like, 1 cup of it just fine. But it doesn’t seem like the type of thing that would keep well in the fridge… should I have frozen it? Anyone else done something really desperate to try to help their PMS? Have you ever tried something you read on the Internet only to have it go horribly awry?

P.S. On Friday’s post with my open letter to Lululemon, Bethany called me out for calling out Chip Wilson for misusing the apostrophe. I’d always been taught that an apostrophe is never used for pluralizing. BUT as she correctly pointed out (in the nicest way possible!), according to the Oxford Dictionary it is totally kosher to use apostrophes for plurals IF you are pluralizing a single letter or number. So Chipper’s grammar was correct. I was wrong. I thought I’d throw Bethany’s comment up here for any of you who may have been similarly confused like me! Thanks girl, I learn SO much stuff from you guys and I love it. Never be afraid to correct me:)

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