We all know that greens are good for us. According to Health Canada’s Food Guide, females in the age range of 19 -50 should have 7-8 fruit and vegetable servings a day and males should have 8-10. But it isn’t easy being green; hectic schedules can get in the way of eating healthy, even if you have the best of intentions.
My schedule is chaotic, to say the least. As a writer, I’m constantly dealing with tight deadlines, last minute assignments, and working in multiple time zones. Add the fact that I work a fulltime job and I’m the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Van City Pretty, and I have a recipe for disaster – or at least one that doesn’t include a well-balanced meal.
After complaining about my nutritional woes to a friend, she suggested getting a Vitamix. A high-powered blender that has the ability to blend fruits and vegetables, make soups, and even frozen desserts, I decided to try it out for 10 days. I committed to replacing my regular morning coffee with a green smoothie and found creative ways to sneak extra fruit and vegetable servings into my daily diet.
Going Green for Ten Days
Day 1 – I realize that a writer without caffeine is basically useless, but I hold my ground. I have a permanent frown on my face, and I start my day off with a broccoli, ginger, lime, and pear smoothie. It’s refreshing, filling, and delicious, and I feel good about starting the day off with fruits and vegetables.
Day 2 – After a slow start to the morning, I make a carrot, pineapple, orange, and apple smoothie. I happened to have some spinach and broccoli stalks on hand, so I added them for extra vitamins and fiber.
Day 3, 4, and 5 – The rebound headaches from not having any caffeine set in, and I earn myself the nickname “The Green Monster”. Embracing my new name, I have the Glowing Green Smoothie, which is full of vegetables like spinach, celery, and lettuce.
Day 6 –In addition to my morning smoothie, I use the Vitamix to make my own sugar-free and dairy-free blueberry “ice cream” using blueberries, xylitol, and almond milk. I’m floored when I try it; it’s refreshing, full of flavour, and I would choose it over “regular” ice cream any day (seriously). My better half tries it and he proclaims that we are never buying store-bought ice cream again.
Day 7 – In addition to a blueberry kale smoothie, I swap my brown rice at dinner for cauliflower rice. I use my Vitamix to chop up raw cauliflower and lightly fry it with garlic and green onions. It’s savory and light, and even better the next day when I have it as leftovers.
Day 8 – I work a full day at the office and have 90 minutes to get to an event after I get off work. Not having enough time to make a full dinner, I pop home to make a protein shake with strawberries, blueberries, and spinach and run out the door.
Day 9 – After a particularly restless night, I break down and have a coffee (with a side of guilt). Surprisingly, I don’t even finish half of it, and it tastes flat, acidic, and not remotely as appealing as I remember it being. The caffeine instantly has an effect on me, and I spend the morning feeling jittery and uncomfortable. At night, I make up for my weakness by whipping up some fresh hummus.
Day 10 – My energy level in the morning finally starts to even out, and I (almost) don’t miss coffee at all. Compared to coffee, my daily smoothies provide me with a longer burst of energy and there’s no caffeine crash. I miss having something warm to sip on in the morning, so I start drinking herbal tea and that seems to do the trick.
After ten days, I decided to make this fruit and vegetable challenge a permanent part of my diet. It may sound obvious, but the more fruits and vegetables I eat, the better I feel.
What I Like About You
In addition to feeling better, the Vitamix became a permanent part of my daily routine for a number of reasons:
The blades and motor are so strong that you don’t actually have to chop your food; just throw your ingredients in the blender in large chunks and the blades will do the rest. Clean up is just as easy: fill the container halfway with warm water, add a squirt of soap, secure the lid, and turn on high.
The Race Against Time
Time is an extremely precious commodity for me, and this blender allows me to create nutritious smoothies and food in a pinch. Instead of grabbing a bagel, a wrap, or fast food between events, I now pack myself a protein shake or smoothie to take on the road with me.
Before I set my sights on a Vitamix, I considered getting a juicer. After much research, I decided on the Vitamix so I could consume the fiber from the vegetables in addition to their juices. Just a few fruits and vegetables in my morning smoothie keeps me full for at least two hours, and I feel light, lean, and energized.
Waste not, Want Not
We’re all guilty of forgetting about our produce in the crisper. Although I usually follow recipes, I was able to use up all my forgotten fruits and vegetables before they spoiled by sneaking them into a smoothie recipe or creating my own recipe from what I had on hand.
In just 10 days, I experienced a fraction of the types of foods that can be made with a Vitamix. I was using it 2-3 times a day and every time I explore the plethora of recipes online, I still find myself saying “You can make that with a blender!?”
A good blender is an investment, but if you use it daily like I do, it may make your wallet ache a bit less. I’m now looking forward to making my own fruit popsicles, soups, pesto, peanut butter, almond milk, salad dressing, applesauce, and dry rubs.
Blender courtesy of Vitamix