Why did I take the green smoothie challenge?
It was my first week at a new office job.
To give a little bit of background, this was my first “real” job after college. By real I mean 40 hours a week, office job, related to my studies.
This was quite a big change for me as my last job as a teaching assistant involved lots of movement: standing in front of the class, walking up and down the stairs in between classes, walking to and from work and all over a pedestrian-friendly small city.
It was easy to lose weight effortlessly in that atmosphere.
But I had heard horror stories of people who gain a ton of weight after they start working an office job, and I didn’t want this to happen to me.
Read on to discover my easy and fun solution for healthy eating during the work week...
Luckily, a few weeks before I had started working, I picked up a book from the library called Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko.
I had been making smoothies for years but had never heard of green smoothies, so I was very curious.
It was a Friday night, and after reading the book for 10 minutes, I jumped up and immediately made a simple green fruit shake to try it out, and I LOVED the results.
Immediately I felt more energized and just overall healthier. I finished reading the book that night in one sitting because I was so fascinated.
The author recommended taking a "Green Smoothie Challenge" to get started, and that idea intrigued me.
But in the next couple of weeks as I searched for a job, I never really incorporated green smoothies into my lifestyle.
I continued to make smoothies every day, but sometimes they would be green, and sometimes just regular fruit shakes.
So starting work gave me the perfect opportunity to start a new green smoothie habit. I had a set routine, working 8 to 5, and I was very motivated to eat healthy and be consistent.
I decided to give myself a Green Smoothie Challenge: have at least one green fruit smoothie everyday for a work week, and observe the results these green protein drinks had on my energy levels.
So that brings me to the first recipe I made, on Day 1.
I made a healthy breakfast smoothie in the morning. This is what I put in it:
To learn what makes this smoothie so healthy, click to learn about the health benefits of green smoothies in general.
What?! No measurements?
I had to start work at 8 am and commute half an hour. I just didn’t have time to sit and measure out ingredients. The exception is the protein powder, which I scooped out with a measuring spoon.
I also didn’t have time to look up recipes. I had to use whatever was in my kitchen already.
Just the fact that I was making myself a green drink in the morning before work was enough of an accomplishment for me. I had no time to be a perfectionist.
I’m sure you’re busy too, and if you want to try to incorporate green protein shakes into your work week, I encourage you to learn how to make a smoothie without a recipe.
The nice thing about green fruit shakes is you can’t really mess them up too bad. All it has is fruit, green leafy vegetables, water and ice. So unlike normal smoothies, it’s pretty hard for the flavors to clash or for one thing to overpower the other.
Just make sure you include a generous serving of green leafy vegetables (drink your salad, remember).
But also include a hefty amount of fruit, because it’s the fruit that makes the smoothie sweet so you don’t even notice you’re drinking your salad.
It’s like when you were a kid, and your parents gave you vitamins disguised as gummy bears. Whatever makes it go down, right?
A good rule of thumb is to start with just a little bit of water, like half a cup, blend it with the fruit and veggies, and once it becomes a liquid, add some ice.
Then if you need to, add more water to get it to the right consistency.
So the bottom line: did this smoothie do anything to boost energy and curb my cravings for my first day of work?
The short answer is yes.
I got to work feeling refreshed and energized. I survived until lunch at noon without feeling hungry, which is impressive because I drank it at 6:45 am.
My energy levels were high all morning.
Then I went out to lunch with a coworker to Chipotle and ate a huge veggie burrito.
The only good thing about this is I learned an important lesson: load up your body with lots of refined carbohydrates (flour tortilla, white rice), dairy (cheese and sour cream), and just lots of food in general is a recipe for a crash and burn.
My energy levels took a nose dive in the afternoon.
I struggled to stay awake after lunch, almost dozing off as I did my reading for training.
Just having a green fruit shake first thing in the morning gave me such an energy boost in the first half of the day.
I was very happy with those results.
So far, my green smoothie challenge was going well.
But then I got an idea: what if I could get the energy boost of the green drink ALL DAY, not just first thing in the morning?
I found a very practical solution for that...read on for the answer :)
Continue to Day 2 of the Green Smoothie Diet Challenge