Archive for : August, 2014

The Skirt Girl’s Green Smoothie

As promised in my last blog, Green Smoothie Magic, which you can read here: Green Smoothie MagicI’m giving you The Skirt Girl’s Green Smoothie recipe.  I have this every single morning.  Even if I eat total crap the rest of the day, I’ve started my day off with wonderful fruits and veggies!  It does help me stay on track the rest of the day….usually.  It’s all about balance…isn’t it?  So here is what you will need:

Spinach, frozen mixed fruit, natural unsalted almonds, frozen bananas, truvia

 

First a few words about these ingredients. The frozen fruit is simply that…frozen mixed fruit. No additives. No preservatives. No sweeteners. I’ve tried different fruit mixtures and different brands. One of my friends, who suffers from inflammation of her joints, adds extra frozen cherries to hers because they are a natural anti-inflammatory. Research what you need and mix in the fruit or veggie that might help with that ailment or deficiency. This is my favorite blend.

Peaches, strawberries, grapes, cherries, pineapple.

 

 

The almonds should be natural. Raw. No salt. I accidentally bought roasted and salted once. It was not great. The almonds help give some body and substance to the smoothie. Oddly, it adds to the creaminess as well. They are a good source of protein. They do add fat to the smoothie, so depending on what I am doing, the amount I use may vary. The fat that they add is good fat so I’m not too alarmed, I’m just careful of the portion. If I’m needing protein because of the way I’m working out, I may add as many as 12. If I’m watching carefully every fat gram, I may only add 6. 9 is my happy medium. But I always try to add almonds. There have been a couple of days that I ran out and made due without them. I must tell you that I got so hungry a couple of hours later. The almonds are key.

natural, whole, unsalted almonds

natural, whole, unsalted almonds

 

 

Truvia is a brand of Stevia, which is a natural sweetener. It does not elevate blood sugar. It is plant based. It is not chemical. Doctors recommend this as a natural way to sweeten food. When you smell Stevia, it has an almost vanilla scent. They also sell it in liquid or in bulk rather than individual packets. I have a friend who uses the liquid. She and her family love it. I like the convenience of the individual packets best.

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In my last post I spoke about the Nutribullet. This product has truly changed my life more than any other product I have ever bought. It is so easy. There is virtually no clean up. Just a quick rinse of the blade is all that is required. I like to prepare everything before I go to bed at night. I put the almonds and spinach in the cup, put the airtight lid on and set it in the refrigerator. The next morning it’s ready for me to put the frozen ingredients and water in before I rush out the door with smoothie in hand. Convenience and being prepared are probably the two most important factors in weight loss and healthy habits for me. The Nutribullet helps with both of those things.

NutriBullet, comes with blades and to go lids

 

 

So, let’s make a smoothie! First put your spinach in your cup. I use a good handful.

Big ole handful of fresh baby spinach! Makes it that strange and wonderful color GREEN!

 

You can see the cup is almost half full of spinach and this is packed down a bit.

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Next, those beautiful, raw almonds go in. In this smoothie I’ve used 6.

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My grocery store has Banana Tuesday. They put their “overripe” bananas on sale. They are pretty smoothie perfect at that point. If I miss Banana Tuesday, I buy the ripest that they have and put them on my counter until they start to speckle brown. Just before they get mushy…that is when they are at their sweetest and sweet is what you want for your smoothie. When they are ripe enough, I cut them into chunks, put them in a ziplock freezer bag and throw them in the freezer. They help make your smoothie creamy and sweet. So throw those  frozen banana chunks in there next.. I eyeball these. I just try to make a nice layer of them. It is probably half a banana. If you are trying to do low glycemic index, you’ll want to take it easy on these and cut it down to maybe 1/4 of a banana.

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Oh and then that lovely fruit. I pack it on as full as I can get it without clogging and blowing up my machine, usually.  Unless I’m being particularly obsessive over calories and then I’m more careful.

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I use two packets of Truvia. I like it fairly sweet. It also depends on the sweetness of the fruit. But typically, 2 packets for me.

Then, water. Fill it to the water max line on the cup. I bought this Brita filter pitcher and I love it. I always have clear, cold water in the fridge. I’m kind of a water snob. I really can taste a difference in even bottled water. My tap is pretty good, but I’m more likely to drink water this way or in bottles. It was worth the investment. I got it at Bed Bath & Beyond for less than $25. I utilized their 20% off coupon.

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It looks like this once you get it all in there.

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Now put on the blade…

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And give it a spin…

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…and watch…

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…it turn green…

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Then screw on the to go handle and enjoy! This is my “go to work” drink every day.

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One more tip on the Nutribullet. If you go onto the Bed Bath & Beyond website you can almost always get a 20% off one item coupon. And I believe they match coupons from other stores there. Again, I’m not advertising for the store….just a little tip from The Skirt Girl.

Whether you do the Nutribullet or some other machine, green smoothies are a great way to get fruits and veggies into your diet without a lot of trouble. Nutrition is key to feeling your best.

If you enjoyed this blog you might also enjoy The Skirt Girl’s Super Lotion or Christmas Crack

Green Smoothie Magic

I have always been somewhat health conscious. I’ve read tons of books about diet and exercise. In my 20’s and early 30’s I worked out 4 times a week with weights and did some kind of aerobic activity. I watched what I ate, for the most part. Now, when I say “I watched what I ate” I mean I watched the calories and I watched the fat grams. I didn’t really look at anything else. I hated anything green and always had. I never drank water. A lot of Coke. Everything I put in my mouth was processed. Most of it was labeled “diet” food, “low fat” food and “reduced calorie” food. But that is watching, right?? In my mid 30’s I started putting on a little weight. It’s what happens in your mid 30’s, I guess. I’d stopped working out, so I put on a little more weight. Then I entered a very rough time of my life. From about my mid 30’s until about 39. I didn’t watch what I ate. At. All. Not only did I not exercise, I didn’t do anything active. I also did not sleep much. By the time I turned 40, my life had settled back down. I was in a better place so I began to search for better health again. I was tired of being tired. I was achey. I suffered with migraines very often. I was taking a sleeping pill to just be able to function. Usually a half a pill a few times a week and sometimes even when I took that I might not sleep well. I was aging myself. I started trying to make better food choices. I stayed away from fast food. I ate a lot of processed protein bars. That was mostly breakfast and lunch. I was allowing myself still one Coke a day in the morning. I was feeling better and looking better and I had lost a few pounds. Though, I had never been a runner and really had never thought about running I decided I wanted to run a 5k. It may have been my personal way of rebelling against turning 40. I set my mind to it. I got the C25k app on my phone and I started training. I ran The Race for the Cure in Little Rock with my best friend. It was an amazing accomplishment for us. It was so much more emotional than I thought it would be to reach such a goal. I had lost about 15 pounds at this point. And I kept it off. I looked healthy. But still was not feeling very well. I felt so tired. I ran about 4 5ks during over a period of 2 years. Eventually, I stopped running. Frankly, I got a little bored with it after I’d met the challenge. Then life happened again. Work stress! Relationship stress! Family stress! I went to the doctor. My blood pressure was high. My cholesterol was high. I felt tired all the time. I still wasn’t sleeping well. I still had body aches and my migraines had gotten worse. So I pushed myself to start running again and eating better. I cut down on Cokes, I still indulged occasionally but not daily. I forced myself to eat fruits and vegetables and salads. I was still eating way too many processed foods, but so much better than before. I ate a lot of brown rice. I was running in the evening so I had to start eating a snack in the afternoon. I chose fruit over processed snacks. And I drank more water. During this time I lost another 10 pounds or so. I had kept off the 15 that I’d lost before. I felt better. The headaches were less frequent, as they always are when I’m running. Then I hit a wall. No more weight loss. I still felt tired a lot. My cholesterol was better. My blood pressure was still running a little high. Not to the point that medication was needed but we were monitoring it carefully. The holidays came and so did the over-indulging. I ran a 5k on Thanksgiving Day that year. After that race, I stopped running. I didn’t monitor what I ate at all during the holidays. I ate whatever I wanted. It was a free-for-all. After the first of that year, I hit the diet hard again. I was reading more labels and starting to try to eat more whole foods. But it was hard. I just didn’t like many fruits or veggies. And other than lettuce, greens were a no go. But I knew I needed them in my diet. In about March of that year, I bought a NutriBullet on a whim. I started experimenting with green smoothies. This was weird, I thought. So I told NO ONE. I just started having them every morning. I tweaked my recipe until I found one that I liked. No, I loved it. I also found that I drank more water and didn’t crave the cokes as much. It was so strange and wonderful!! So I decided to push myself. I started drinking them for supper too. One in the morning for breakfast, salad and fruit for lunch, an apple with two tablespoons of Simply Jiff for an afternoon snack and then a green smoothie for dinner. I’d gained about 8 pounds during that previous holiday binge, and I dropped those extra pounds fairly quickly doing this. The green smoothies had a strange effect. They made me crave more vegetables. For the first time ever in my life, I was eating greens and enjoying them. Not just in the smoothies, I was eating them for dinner! At restaurants! I liked this! That made me experiment with more fruits and veggies. It, literally, changed my taste. Vegetables that I had never liked I was now enjoying! Wow! I went to the doctor. She was so impressed by my numbers and how I looked she wanted to know what I was doing. When I told her, she wanted to know exactly what I was putting in my smoothies. She was going to start doing that too! People started taking notice that I looked better. Younger. Healthier. They wanted to know what I was doing. When I would tell them they wanted the recipe. I bought my mom a Nutribulled for Mother’s Day that year. She started having a green smoothie every morning. She had been having a problem with her feet and ankles swelling. That stopped when she started having the smoothies. If she skipped a few days, the fluid buildup would be back. Another friend suffered with irritable bowel and neuropathy. Upon my advice, she bought a bullet. She started having a smoothie a day and said that both of those problems are so much better! She said when she goes without the smoothie for a few days that her body turns on her again. Many of my friends began using my smoothie recipe with wonderful results. I’ve told so many people about the Nutribullet that I should be on their payroll. For the record, I am not. But hey, Nutribullet…call me! Now, you can do this without the bullet with another good machine, but I like the bullet because it’s easy. I am not going to stick with anything that is complicated or that adds too much time to my morning routine. I have my ingredients ready to go the night before and all I have to do is spin it in the morning and I drink it on the way to work. There is virtually no clean up with the bullet. I’m going to post the recipe to my easy green smoothie and step by step instructions. I’ve been doing the bullet green smoothie for about 2 years now. I have one every single morning, regardless of whether I’m eating totally clean or if I’m eating crap the rest of the day. The day starts with a green smoothie. I have asked for the bullet 900 series for my birthday next month. When I get that I will post a review to let you know my feelings on it.

Now, recently I have made further changes to my diet, but that is for another blog post. Today was all about my green smoothie story. I’m working on the smoothie recipe/step by step for you and I will have it up in a few days. Stay tuned!

How About a Blog?

Blog.  I should do a blog, I thought. It’s a way for me to be able to do something that I love, write.  I can share a few ideas, my viewpoint, life experiences and maybe…cheap therapy?  Yes.  I should become a blogger.  So, me…being me, I had to do some research.  I’m a planner by nature.   Now, I should tell you that things almost never go as I plan.  Sometimes they go better and sometimes not so much.   But I always have a plan.  So, to make my blog plan I needed to google.  Yep.  I’m a googler.  I found that a blog is a frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts, web links, pictures and hyperlinks usually focused on a particular area of interest.  Typically, blogs use a conversational style of writing.  It’s like I was made for blogging!  Except that part about having a particular area of interest. I don’t have one of those.  So, I thought, who says that you have to be confined to one particular area?  Why couldn’t I write about whatever is interesting to me at that moment?  Why can’t it just be about how life looks from where I am sitting?  Why can’t today’s blog be about what kind of shampoo I’m using and tomorrow about a great revelation that I’ve had regarding the meaning of life?  I mean…you know…if I ever had such a revelation. Will this be breaking some blog rule…me not picking a specific subject to talk about?  Will the blog po-po come and shut me down  while playing the theme from Cops?  “Bad boys bad boys…whatchu gonna do?” The fact is, sometimes I’m very shallow and I may want to tell you about this great pair of shoes that I bought and where you can get them and how much they cost…but this is not going to be a fashion blog.  And maybe next week, I will have read a great book that I want to share with you.  You might want to read it too!  But this isn’t going to be a blog about literature. Or what if, I heard a great sermon at church and I want to pass that message on to you? This blog will most certainly not be about theology. Or maybe I just want to tell you a really hilarious story.  Probably something that happened to me, as most funny stories do.  But this will not be a blog about my life. Yet, it’s about ALL of that!

Now let me be clear.  My grammar may not always be perfect.  Conversational in writing style, remember?  I may end a sentence or two with a preposition. My punctuation may not always be correct.  Those pesky semicolons can be tricky.  I will use spellcheck but misspellings happen and the occasional typo will slip in.  But I promise to proofread as carefully as I can and keep all of that stuff to a minimum.  Just don’t crucify me when it happens.  OH!  And while we are on the subject, I’m probably going to say something at some point that you disagree with and perhaps might annoy you.  I don’t mind if you post a comment saying that you disagree.  But please refrain from calling me a bonehead or a moron.  Just be sweet and end your comment with “Bless your heart.” And when you post that comment saying that I’m dead wrong on a particular subject, I’ll be sweet and let it remain in the thread even though YOU are probably dead wrong.  However, if you are looking for a debate, you’re looking on the wrong blog.  I’m a lover of words but I do not use words as a weapon.  Do keep in mind that all my posts are just my opinions and what works for me.   You totally have the right to express yourself….when you start your own blog.  Bless your heart.

I promise to p0st often, at least weekly if possible, but sometimes more.  Eventually, I will get a rhythm.  I promise to be as entertaining as possible.  I’ll try to post things that are useful and uplifting.  I’m not a makeup or beauty guru so I probably can’t help you be more beautiful.  But I can tell you what products I use to help make myself more presentable to the world.  I’m not a chef but I’ve made a few delicious things in my time and I can certainly share a recipe or two.  I’m not a health and fitness expert but let me tell you, I’ve done a lot of research in this area.  I’ve tried a few things and I know what works. I might have a secret or two to share.  I am not crafty.  At. All.   I won’t be able to teach you to make a pillow sham out of dental floss and old socks or whatever they are doing on Pinterest these days.  But I can promise you this…you will get something here that you can’t get anywhere else.  My viewpoint. I’ve got some things to tell you.  Stay tuned!