As we approach the start of the Green Smoothie Challenge, I wanted to give you some tips that I’ve learned along the way. Many of you have emailed me with various questions and concerns and I thought I would just address all of them right here!
Are there any books or inspirational websites that I can read? I would highly recommend the book Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko. It’s one thing to commit to the challenge…but it will get really hard to continue if you don’t have the “head knowledge” telling you WHY this is of benefit to your body. Green For Life details what greens do for your body and why we can’t live without them. She also includes many different recipes, including savory versions (instead of sweet). It’s a quick and easy read…spend some time in the hammock this weekend and check it out!
As for websites, if you haven’t signed up for our Facebook group, be sure to do that! We just hit 100 members over there, and I’m sure it will be an active community of support starting on Monday. You could also go to Gone Raw and search on “green smoothie” for more recipes.
What is the most important part of the challenge? Setting yourself up for success is VITAL. Don’t wait until Monday morning to run to the grocery store for your ingredients! Being PREPARED will be key throughout the entire 30 days. Also, find yourself a “green smoothie buddy”. If you are the only green smoothie drinker in a sea of doughnuts and coffee, you will sink fast! Get someone to join you in the challenge.
Where is the best place to buy ingredients? Green smoothies can be made up of endless combinations of fruits and greens. And these can be purchased at any grocery store. However, I do recommend that if you have a Costco in your area, go there. The large containers of organic baby spinach are about HALF the price of the regular grocery store. And you can get the large bag of Spectrum frozen fruit for a great price. They also have whole pineapples for less than $3.00. Bonus.
Find Your Favorite No, you shouldn’t have to CHOKE down your green smoothie. It should be a pleasurable experience. Something you ENJOY and look forward to every morning. If this isn’t the case, you’re doing something wrong. If you really don’t like how your smoothies are turning out…figure out why. Are they too thick? Too thin? Too chunky? Too sweet? Not sweet enough? These are all things that can be fixed. I will say that green smoothie making is an art form. It will probably take you several days to get it right. Watch my video again if you’re confused.
Make It Pretty Before Monday, find a glass that you really LOVE that will be your smoothie container. It could be just a big jar like mine…or you could use a beautiful wine glass. The key is to find something that brings you joy. When you see it, you should be happy. This one would make me happy. Or this one. And then post on your blogs about your fun glass so I can see!
Do you really mean NO white sugar? Yes, that is what I mean. However, don’t get crazy over it. If you’re out with friends and you’re having the waiter to bring out the salad dressing bottle so you can check if there is sugar in it…you’ve gone crazy. If you want to be that way…bring your own dressing. BUT, you don’t have to do that. The whole point to the no white sugar thing is to cut out all processed foods. Please note that no white sugar also includes all foods with high fructose corn syrups (I can hear the collective ‘aaaawwwww man!’ now). Just stop eating junk and you’ll take care of this rule. Doughnuts, cookies, candy, pop, all of it! Gone. For 30 days. If you must have sweets…grab some dark chocolate or dates. Good stuff.
I’m worried that I won’t be able to make one every morning. Good news! You can make them in advance. This is especially helpful for those who you who work outside the home or those who have children and can’t even find a moment in the mornings to make food for yourself. The key is to make them the night before and then store them in mason jars with lids. Or empty bottles (the Synergy kombucha bottles work great!). In her book, Green For Life, Victoria Boutenko says that you can keep green smoothies for up to 3 days. I prefer to drink them within 24 hours because they start to taste different, but that’s up to you.
I can’t find time to exercise! How will I be able to add that to my challenge? If you look at your day, I bet there are lots of little gaps of “dead time” that you could be doing something active with your body. I’ve gotten to be an expert at this lately. I do leg lifts while brushing my teeth. I do squats while I’m bouncing/holding Lucy. I walk around the driveway a couple of times after getting the mail. Last night I did 20 minutes of yoga right before bed…and while it wasn’t that much, it really helped! There are so many inexpensive and quick ways to move your body…fill up gallon jugs with water and do arm curls and squats, do push ups and crunches…just use the weight of your body as resistance. Get creative!
I’m not able to get fresh greens all the time, is there an alternative? One of our fellow participants is a missionary and isn’t able to get fresh greens on a consistent basis. I started thinking about this and wanted to address it not only for her, but also for those who might want another source of greens in case they run out. Last year I blogged about Vitamineral Green, an awesome green powdered supplement with TONS of good stuff in it. This would be a great alternative to fresh greens. I would choose fresh over a powder if you can (and just use the powder as a supplement), but it will definitely satisfy the green requirement This powder would also be perfect for those who need to travel a lot and can’t always seek out fresh greens at their destination. You can take this in water (although I’m not sure how tasty it would be!).
Do I need a juicer to participate in this challenge? No! Only a blender is required. On a related note, the fabulous Vita-Mix has a 30 day money back guarantee, so if you’ve been dreaming of a new blender, check it out!
Just 3 more days until we start the challenge! Are you excited?! Wooo hooo!