Green Smoothie Challenge Day 14 & 15 and Quitting

I completed 15 days of the 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge before quitting… yes I quit! It feels horrible to type those words but it’s the truth. After the 15th smoothie I let one day slip, then another, and another. I didn’t write a post about the 14th or 15th smoothie so I will just include it here:

Day 14: Blackberries & Fresh Orange Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Frozen blackberries
  • Frozen coconut
  • One fresh orange
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Spectrum Organic Ground Flaxseed

this was one really good orange!

Initially I was only going to use the orange juice but the orange looked so yummy I decided to also include the pulp.

it was good but the pulp from the orange didn't blend very well 😦

Day 15: Blackberries & Green’s Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Frozen blackberries
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Water

I was going crazy looking for my camera trying to take pictures for this smoothie. I spent so much time looking for it that I missed my yoga class 😦

I didn't like this smoothie. I missed the tangy flavor of the orange juice but I was out which is why I used water. This one tasted very "green". I was also in a very bad mood while I was drinking this since I missed yoga for being so concerned over taking pictures.

That was my last smoothie of the challenge. It seems silly now but the next day I didn’t want a green smoothie because I was still upset over missing yoga class. Actually since that day I have been in a really bad mood and not wanting to do much of anything. I don’t know what happened to me.

I feel upset with myself because this entire week I didn’t go to Bikram yoga or BodyPump. Wednesday I had every intention of going to Bikram but for some reason I couldn’t get myself out of the house. Then yesterday I got all dressed, even packed my things, and at the very last minute I decided not to go. I convinced myself it was better to stay home and study. Did I study? No.

Today, I got dressed and was all ready to go to BodyPump only to realize that class was at 10:15am and not 12pm. It hit me around 11am so it was too late to go to BodyPump. Thankfully I gave myself a little pep talk and instead of doing nothing I completed a 16 minute interval training workout from Zuzana Light of youtube. . It felt good when I was finished and I was doing some stretching.

stretching while taking a self portrait 🙂

It was only 16 minutes but I guess that’s better than not doing anything at all. I really need to start focusing more on my workouts. I can’t let every little distraction prevent me from completing my workouts. For the last month I feel like there is always some sort of excuse as to why I didn’t work out.

Some of my excuses:

I didn’t train for my half marathon because I couldn’t run outside due do the temperature being too cold… Reality: We have had really nice weather in Texas. Extremely nice weather. It’s only April and we have already hit the 80s several weeks in a row.

I haven’t been able to be consistent with my Bikram practice becasue the studio keeps canceling classes… Reality: Yes, the studio did cancel two noon classes for studio repairs and a few other classes during Easter weekend but that is no excuse. I could have gone to the 9:30am class during the week and they still had a few options over the Easter weekend.

I keep getting the BodyPump schedule times mixed up or I can’t get to the gym due to road blocks on Saturday mornings… All I have to do is print the gym class schedule. Easy. If I can’t make it to the gym on a Saturday morning I can always go to a nearby park and do some bodyweight interval training and run.

Those are just some excuses I have made recently. I can probably continue with more but the point is I need to stop. I want to write what I plan to do next week to improve but I’m not going to. It’s easy to write down what I want or should be doing. Instead I’m going to actually DO. I will let my actions speak for themselves.

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Green Smoothie Challenge- Day 13

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I didn’t make it to BodyPump this morning. The class starts at 10am and my Bikram yoga class ends at 9:30am. I rushed out of the Bikram yoga studio at around 9:43am (after a quick rinse in the shower & change of clothes) and quickly drove to the gym. At 9:50am I was only a block away from the gym when I get to a road block… there was some kind of cycling event going on this morning so the entire area around the gym had cops redirecting traffic. Not only did I not make it to BodyPump but I couldn’t even get to the gym to do some strength work on my own. Darn it! I missed out on the relaxation of Savasana after my Bikram practice for nothing. I would have tried to go again this afternoon but unfortunately I have a stupid work meeting. Yes, a work meeting on a Saturday during Easter weekend. My job sucks!

Plus, I hate to be a bad yogi but the yogi practicing next to me in class today was really annoying me. First, she decided to squeeze herself in the front row so that her mat and mines were only a few inches away from each other. I have practiced Bikram yoga during times when the entire room is packed and having the mats that close together is necessary, so I don’t mind practicing very close to other yogis IF the situation calls for that. Today, there was no need for mats to be so close but I guess this yogi really wanted to practice in the front row. Fine. Well, it would have been fine if she wasn’t falling out of the balancing poses every five seconds. During Standing Bow Pulling Pose she fell out of the pose and over to my side FOUR times!

This pose is hard to do in a room that is heated to 105 F with 40% humidity. Your heart is racing so fast while you try to balance on one leg and try to kick back and up with the other leg while stretching your free arm forward. This pose requires tremendous concentration, especially since the goal is to hold it for ONE minute. When the yogi next to you keeps falling out of the pose and starts jumping around it’s extremely difficult to keep your concentration and balance.

When we finish the balancing series I’m happier than ever to be moving on to the  back strengthening series, since this is all done on the floor. No more balancing on one leg and falling out of poses. Great! Sadly, it really wasn’t that great. During this part of class I had to deal with the yogi’s loud breathing. Yogi’s know, or should know, to inhale and exhale through the nose. The instructors repeat over and over how important it is for us to focus on our breath and make sure that we are inhaling and exhaling through our nose. During the floor series, we have a moment of stillness between poses to allow us to regain our strength and prepare for the next pose. During this time it’s most important that we focus on our breath and our practice. Well, how could I focus on my breath and my practice when the yogi next to me is not only breathing so hard that I can hear every inhale and exhale but she keeps exhaling through her mouth and all I feel is her hot breath down my arm. Not good. I wish more yogis were considerate of others in the yoga room.

O.k. ending my yoga rant!

***

For today’s Green Smoothie Challenge I just finished the Powerhouse Green Smoothie I prepared yesterday. I only drank half of it yesterday because I prepared a lot so I put what I didn’t finish in my fridge and made it part of my breakfast this morning.

I also went to Walmart to pick up some frozen fruit. I got blueberries, blackberries, mango, and a berry mix.

– hauling these around Walmart (and another bag not in the picture) plus walking with them to my car was my strength training workout of the day 🙂 

– I always park as far back as I can when I go to Walmart… all the crazies park in the front 🙂
 
 

Green Smoothie Challenge- Day 11 & 12

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Ooopss I did it again! I missed another green smoothie yesterday…

I had a bad day yesterday and the green smoothie was the last thing on my mind. So for the second time I’ve had to double up on my green smoothies. Thankfully I’ve already had my first smoothie and I just finished preparing one for later today.

I have two really exciting recipes to share. The first is a great breakfast smoothie and the second is a powerhouse smoothie! Ahh yes, it’s an exciting one and I can’t wait to share it.

For breakfast I made an Oatmeal Blend Green Smoothie:

Ingredients

  • Three scoops of oatmeal blend  (using a coffee grinder, I blended instant oatmeal, shredded coconut, walnuts, & a touch of brown sugar)
  • Milk
  • Almond Butter
  • Spinach
  • Spectrum Organic Ground Flaxseed
  • Crushed Ice

the container on the right is the oatmeal blend, which I normally prepare at the beginning of the week. I make enough to last me an entire week or two. It's almost like a homemade oatmeal protein powder!

simple...

I only made one small glass because I wasn't too sure how much I would like this one.

nervous...

Yes! Another successful smoothie!! The oatmeal blend is something that I would normally add to a glass of milk for a quick on-the-go breakfast. It’s very filling and the best part is how little time and effort it takes to prepare. Today I figured I would add spinach to it and see how it turned out. Thankfully it turned out good.

Later in the day I prepared a Powerhouse Green Smoothie.

Ingredients:

  • Frozen blackberries
  • Orange Juice
  • Spinach
  • Half a Carrot
  • Kale
  • 1/3 of a cucumber
  • Spectrum Organic Ground Flaxseed
  • Ice

ingredients

nice!! You know you want to try it!!

Extra step since I don't have a high powered blender! I'm pretty sure my mini blender would have had a tough time blending a raw carrot.

yummy! Doesn't it look like a powerhouse smoothie?

Pepinos! I can't think of the English name...

It's full of so many good ingredients!

This smoothie was going with me to work.

Gooooodddd! Yeeeiiii!

As I was preparing this smoothie I was also preparing a salad for dinner. When I was cutting a pepino… let me look up the English name… cucumber! Oh my gosh I feel so stupid, I knew that was a cucumber!! Anyways, as I was cutting a cucumber I decided to add some to my smoothie.

Once again, another great decision. The cucumber flavor stood out the most in this smoothie, which is great because I really wanted to cover up the spinach and kale flavor. I didn’t taste too much of the carrot either or even the orange juice. This is definitely going in my list of smoothies to make again and again.

***

I want to go to Bikram yoga and Bodypump tomorrow morning, or technically in a few hours since it’s already 12am! Yikes, how did that happen! Time sure flies sometimes…

Bikram class ends at 9:30am and Bodypump starts at 10am. The yoga studio is about a 15 minute drive from the gym plus the time it takes me to walk to my car and then to park and walk to the gym, which is on the third floor of a building, so I hope I can make it work.

See you tomorrow!

Green Smoothie Challenge- Day 9 & 10

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I have to confess that I did not have a green smoothie yesterday! Yes, it sucks but I won’t beat myself up over it, stuff happens sometimes. What do you do when you are on a 30 Day Challenge and you miss a day? The following day you double up. So today, instead of having one green smoothie I had two, one for breakfast and the other as a late night snack. I’m actually glad I didn’t have a smoothie yesterday because I discovered what a great late night snack these type of smoothies can be.

For me, a late night snack usually tends to be something very low in nutrition. It’s usually a bag of chips, something with chocolate, cake, that sort of thing. I usually go for that type of snack because it’s easy and tasty. Now I have an alternative choice! Since green smoothies are both easy and tasty plus high in nutrition and not to mention filling without being heavy they make the perfect late night snack. There goes another lesson learned from this challenge!

This morning I had a Peaches & Spinach Green Smoothie:

Ingredients

  • Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • Frozen peaches
  • Orange juice
  • Spinach
  • Spectrum Organic Ground Flaxseed

This was breakfast... I LOVE almond butter!

I went back to BodyPump class this morning. I’m so glad I decided to try out this class. I feel so happy to be doing strength training again! I know I’m going to build so much strength and I can’t wait to start seeing that muscle tone in my arms and legs. Plus, I have extra motivation to tone up because this summer I will be going to Miami!! I love Miami, it’s such a fun place to go to for vacation! After BodyPump, I rushed over to Bikram yoga. It felt good to be back in the hot room. I had a good class.

***

When I got home from work I made a Blackberries & Spinach Green Smoothie:

Ingredients

  • Frozen blackberries
  • Frozen coconut
  • Orange Juice
  • Spinach
  • Spectrum Organic Ground Flaxseed

i added a ton of spinach!

a red smoothie!

this was sooooo delicious!

I really enjoyed this smoothie. I don’t know what it was but it tasted really, really good!! No joke!
***
I have a huge presentation tomorrow for my Food Management class! I’m so nervous. I hate public speaking because my voice always gets shaky and it sounds like I want to cry. I just want to get tomorrow over with…

Green Smoothie Challenge- Day 8

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I decided to turn the 7 Day Green Smoothie Challenge into a 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge. The seven days didn’t feel like a challenge at all because I was just having so much fun trying out new recipes. I only made one smoothie that tasted horrible and through the challenge I discovered a new type of green to add to my smoothies. Plus, I have a new collection of recipes for future use. I feel like I have learned so much in the past seven days that it just makes sense to continue.

I usually have a green smoothie as part of my first meal of the day but today I wanted to have a more traditional breakfast and I prepared the green smoothie for lunch instead. I made a Strawberry & Banana Green Smoothie to take with me to school.

Ingredients:

  • Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt
  • One frozen Banana
  • Fresh Strawberries (a handful)
  • Frozen Coconut
  • Spinach
  • Ice & Water
  • Spectrum Organic Ground Flaxseed

Ingredients

You know you want to try this one!! Yummy…

This blender bottle is the best for on-the-go drinks.

This is what I do while I drive to work from school... but only at red lights 🙂

This is another great beginner green smoothie. All you taste is the banana and strawberries, but mostly it’s the banana flavor. The key to making this taste good is making sure that it’s really cold!

People at work were asking me what I was drinking and making “ewww” type faces. Funny how a green colored drink still makes most adults cringe.

Hope everyone had a great Monday. My evening class for tomorrow was canceled so I get to have a “free” day. I wish I could just stay home, exercise, and watch t.v. all day but I have lots and lots of studying to do. I have a huge presentation on Thursday, a lab quiz for Anatomy & Physiology, a major exam the following Tuesday in Anatomy & Physiology, and I have to memorize a ton of muscles!! I feel mega stressed!! But I love learning all about the body and how our muscles work. It’s exciting stuff!

See you tomorrow with another green smoothie.

7 Day Green Smoothie Challenge- Day 7

Today’s smoothie was made by a person who had way too much red wine to drink the night before. Why does one glass of wine always have to turn into several glasses on a Saturday night? Why isn’t one ever enough! I feel awful… and plans have already been made for more wine drinking next weekend! It all sounded so great and wonderful last night. This morning, not so much. A nice relaxing Saturday night at home sounds much better.

As for the smoothie, the creation today was Blackberries & Pineapple Green Smoothie.

Ingredients

  • Frozen blackberries
  • Frozen Pineapple
  • Coconut water
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Spectrum’s Ground Flaxseed

 

a green smoothie doesn't always have to be "green"

not bad at all!

The smoothie was good.  … … …

My brain cells are not functioning due to the wine so I have to idea what else I should write. I seriously cannot think.

7 Day Green Smoothie Challenge- Day 6

Today I wanted something super simple yet I wanted to try a new recipe. I pulled out the following ingredients and came up with a Pineapple Coconut Water Smoothie.

Pineapple Coconut Water Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • T.A.S. Coconut Water (sugar free) *I only used half, so only 5oz
  • Frozen Pineapple chunks
  • Frozen Coconut
  • Baby Spinach
  • Ice & a bit of water *about 1/4 cup

throw all the ingredients in the blender and mix

I added Spectrum's Organic Ground Flaxseed

Can you tell I drink a lot of water? 🙂

Today’s smoothie was a success!

I have to admit I’m not a huge pineapple lover or coconut water lover so this smoothie is not one of MY personal favorites but I would totally recommend it or make this for someone new to green smoothies. The flavor that stands out the most is the coconut water, so if you love coconut water, this smoothie will be perfect for you. Although, I have to say that coconut water is getting expensive. About a year ago I could get two cans of coconut water (at the latin supermarket) for one dollar, now they sell them at $.75 each! Thanks VitaCoco!!!

In recent years there has been a lot of hype over coconut water serving as a natural electrolyte replenishment drink. It’s been said that you can get the same electrolyte benefits from drinking coconut water as you would from Gatorade. Whether you can get the same benefits or not is debatable but coconut water has definitely become the latest health craze in electrolyte replenishment. Which sadly means the prices for coconut water will continue to increase until a new craze comes along.

One tip of advice I would like to give you about coconut water is to look for the sugar content. Coconut water on its own has a high sugar content yet lots of companies still add additional sugar to their coconut water, so look for coconut water that is sugar free!

If the electrolyte benefits are true then that makes this a great post-workout smoothie! If not, don’t worry I read an article recently stating that coconut water is a great source of potassium, which is responsible for keeping muscles working properly and we definitely want our muscles to be top notch! So there you go, the benefits of coconut water. 🙂

But going back to the smoothie, like I mentioned earlier, this is a great intro recipe for those that are new to green smoothies because it is sweet and all you really taste is the coconut water and the pineapple. Plus, it’s super easy to make, it literally takes less than two minutes.

The Day I Tried BodyPump

I tried BODYPUMP for the first time this morning and it was awesome. I have been so focused on my Bikram yoga practice for the last six months that I stopped doing my strength training workouts and it felt great to be hitting the weights again.

BodyPump is a class that is 60 minutes long and you work primarily with a barbell to tone and strengthen your entire body. The instructor focuses on specific muscle groups (biceps, shoulders, back, hamstrings, etc.) by doing exercise moves that are choreographed to music.

Based on my experience from today’s class I would say that the focus was on high reps, tempo & weight changes, cool exercise combos, and high energy. It’s one of those classes in which time just flies. I will definitely be going back.

I made sure to spend an extra 15 minutes stretching and foam rolling after class so hopefully I won’t be too sore tomorrow… but who am I kidding? I know I won’t be able to move tomorrow and that is exactly how I like it!!

Oh, and before class I did a 20 minute run/walk workout on the treadmill. I did some hill training which turned me into a sweaty mess. It was supposed to be a 25 minute workout but I had to cut it short to make it to BodyPump.

The workout looked like this: 20 Minute Run/Walk Hill  Training

***

I haven’t had my green smoothie yet! I’ll probably have it sometime this afternoon. Oh, and I’ve decided to turn the 7 Day Green Smoothie Challenge into a 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge! Yeah! If you are reading this you should join me 🙂

7 Day Green Smoothie Challenge- Day 5

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For some reason I really felt like trying something new today so I decided to make a green smoothie using broccoli!! Yes, I was feeling extremely adventurous and excited. So excited that I forgot to take pictures as I was preparing my smoothie… ooopss, but I did manage to capture a few!

Today’s green smoothie: Apple & Broccoli Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Orange Juice
  • 1 apple
  • as much broccoli as your heart desires (or your taste buds can handle!)
  • frozen coconut
  • Spectrum Organic Ground Flaxseed
  • ice (to make a really cold smoothie!)

key ingredients- 1 red apple, a few heads of broccoli

I was really worried that my $15 mini-blender would not be able to handle today’s smoothie but I thought I would still give it a try. If it didn’t blend the ingredients I would just try using my regular blender and pray that it wouldn’t pick up an onion and garlic flavor.

I chopped the broccoli and apple into small pieces and threw it all in the blender.

Do you see all that chopped up broccoli? I didn't throw it away, I added it to my blender after first mixing what you see in the picture. 🙂

I was surprised at how well my blender did with the apple and broccoli! Yes!!

Got a mildly green smoothie. Now I just hope it tastes as good as it looks!

Moment of truth…

Hmmm.... so.... grainy ???

My first reaction to the Apple Broccoli Green Smoothie was not a positive one because of the chunky and grainy texture of the smoothie. I guess my blender didn’t do as good as I originally thought. Surprisingly, the taste was not bad. I could taste the orange juice, apple, and broccoli flavors equally. Maybe the orange juice flavor stood out a bit more but not by much. I drank about half of the smoothie when I decided to throw it back in the blender, add a bit of water, and see if I could make the texture a bit better. Sure enough I made a good decision because after blending the smoothie with a little more liquid it became much smoother and easier to drink.

The problem with today’s smoothie was not the broccoli or the flavor of the broccoli but more that my blender isn’t powerful enough to create a really smooth texture. I really need to invest in a high powered kitchen blender.

I don’t think I would have ever tried broccoli in my green smoothie if it weren’t for this challenge, or at least I wound’t be trying broccoli this week, if it weren’t for the challenge. This is why partaking in these types of challenges is so rewarding. You branch out from your norm and try new things that end up becoming part of your norm in the future. I cannot thank Jen from Peanut Butter Runner and Katherine from The Real Food Runner enough for hosting such a wonderful challenge!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I have work this evening, lots of studying to do on Saturday, and then back to work on Sunday. Not much fun.

7 Day Green Smoothie Challenge- Day 4

Today I did not want to experiment with any new recipes and I stuck with my all time favorite, Mango Green Smoothie. I’m still grossed out by yesterday’s green smoothie and an old favorite is exactly what I needed.

now THIS is a tasty green smoothie!

***

Right now, I would normally be in Bikram class, probably doing one of the poses from the back strengthening series but the studio canceled class today, so instead I’m here at home typing this post. I should be studying all about the nervous system but I needed a break from that! My brain was taking in so much new and complex information that nothing was making sense anymore. Don’t you hate when that happens?

I don’t know if I should go to the 4:30pm Bikram class or if I should go to Ashtanga at 6pm and then do a treadmill workout at the gym. Hmm… Don’t know yet.

Yesterday’s Bikram class was bad. It felt like such a long class I seriously thought it was never going to end. I hate how I always build up so much flexibility and get my body accustomed to the heat when I go to class consistently but as soon as I take three or more days off from class I go back to square one. I hate that about Bikram! It’s just not the type of class that you can do every few days. You have to do it often and be consistent about it, unless you want every class to feel like you are in hell.

During Head-to-Knee Pose with Stretching I could barely grasp my foot with my fingers interlaced… and that was with my knee bent quite a bit. The last time I was in class I could do this pose with my knee close to being completely flat on the floor.

Head-to-knee Pose with Stretching SOURCE

I hate that I’m not bendy!

O.k. I’ve decided, I’m going to Bikram class. I need to work on my flexibility. Plus, if I don’t go today, tomorrow’s class will feel like hell again.