green smoothie tips & tricks: learn from my mistakes

hubs and i ponied up a few weeks ago and bought the rolls royce of blenders, a vitamix.  it is INSANE.  we’ve made at least one smoothie per day in the month that we’ve had it, and i am loving it.

i’m also shocked that hubs loves it too.  this morning he had to leave for work early and asked me to make our daily smoothies before he left.  i resisted until hubs said “that’s fine, i guess i’ll just get some solid foods to eat for breakfast…” and then made a sad face.  so i made us some smoothies.

we learned pretty quickly what works and what doesn’t work in a smoothie, so today i am going to share my knowledge with you so you don’t have to make the same mistakes we’ve made.

greensmoothie

here’s how we load up our blender.  this makes 2 big smoothies.  probably 4 small ones but who wants a small smoothie for breakfast?  you’ll be starving by 9 a.m.

how to fill up your blender (in this order)

1. water
fill the pitcher with water until the water level is just above the blade.  you don’t need much.

2. veggies
2 large carrots, and either 2 celery stalks or 1/2 of a cucumber.  celery and cucumber have stronger tastes when in a smoothie.  use them wisely.

3. citrus
1 whole navel orange and 1 whole lime or lemon
[we like to cut the peel off of the orange with a knife to leave the healthy rind.  we peel the lime/lemon old-school style.]

4. frozen fruit
3 cups of any frozen fruit
[in my opinion, a variety of mango/pineapple/peaches/strawberries works the best.  frozen bananas work well too but the taste is strong.  if you add blueberries, your smoothie will turn brown.  it will be delicious but will also look disgusting.]

4. seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds, 1 tablespoon chia seeds
[flax seeds prevent cancer, or something, and chia seeds help grab toxins in your gut and flush them out. awesome!]

5. green stuff
2 cups of spinach, kale, or both
[parsley is also good for the gut, you can add that in too.  spinach is the most neutral taste-wise.]

6. ice
2 cups of ice
[if you’re blending the night before, leave this out – it’ll just melt.  i like the crunchy texture that the ice gives the smoothie but hubs differs.  it’s up to you.]

now i am not saying this is a miracle breakfast, but for what it’s worth, my caffeine headaches have disappeared since we started drinking these on a daily basis.  HMMM…!!!

a few quick no-no’s that i have learned in my short time with these smoothies:

  • bell peppers: strong, spicy taste. don’t do it!
  • apples: the make the smoothie frothy which i…don’t appreciate.
  • bananas: if you add bananas, you won’t be able to taste any of the wonderful tropical frozen fruits. and i also don’t like the taste of bananas. oh snap!
  • sweetener (honey, stevia, etc.): i don’t think these smoothies need sweetener, it just competes with all of the natural sweetness of the fruits.  skip it.
  • dairy (yogurt, ice cream, etc.): you don’t need it.  these smoothies are, well, smooth without it.  and i’m also a little suspicious of dairy and its intentions in general, so…
  • dates: we’ve been adding 1 or 2 dates, but i’m not sure they’re necessary.  they are high in sugar content and i’m not sure you can actually taste them.  to be continued.

I can’t mention green eating and smoothies without also giving a shoutout to my favorite show (that will probably get cancelled soon) happy endings.  this clip is from my favorite episode of all time, in which alex and penny go on a cleanse.

and that is all of the wisdom i have for you on green smoothies.  so far so good!

gettin’ it done

it is rare that i wake up on a saturday morning with a fire lit under me to get stuff done, but it happened this weekend and i am so proud of myself, and of hubs because if it was up to him we probably would’ve laid on the couch and watched soccer all weekend (like football and baseball aren’t enough, now we are watching SOCCER, you guys!).  but he helped me be productive, and for that, i am grateful.

here is what we did:

i painted our upstairs hallway the same gray color that we used in our living room/den downstairs (behr dolphin fin).  gray is my favorite neutral – it is so soothing and makes me feel happy.  there are 6 doors in this tiny hallway, but thanks to frog tape and a steady hand, i did not cluck it up.  i want frog tape to be the godfather of my children.

hallwaybeforeandafter

all i have to do to connect this hallway to the space downstairs is paint the 2-story stairwell.  i mean…

hallwaystairs

i will probably pay someone to do this so i don’t die trying.

technically this is from last weekend, but we finally hung our new-ish TV on the wall of our bedroom.  i feel like such a grownup with a wall-mount TV!  and it swings out.  swoon.  this week i’m hoping to hang some other framed art around it so it doesn’t look so lonely.  we hung it there b/c that’s where we were sure there was a stud without electrical wires running around/through it.  safety first.

tvbeforeandafter

the lighting situation in our living room was in need of an upgrade, so we picked up these two floor lamps from ikea.  sometimes ikea just fits the (super cheap) bill.  the pharmacy-style lamp on the right is so HEAVY, you would never guess it was ikea.  and the one on the left went behind the couch and matches one we already have on that side of the room.  i think shaded floor lamps are soothing and this one met our needs.

lamps

we also picked up some supplies to help organize our kitchen.  these magnetic spice tins from ikea are so nifty.  now i actually have to use them, by cooking.  fyi, the red “spice” is actually bacon bits, because of course!  we also picked up these super cute le parfait jars from crate and barrel to hold the chia and flax seeds we put into our smoothies every morning.  never thought i’d need a container for seeds.  and we bought a jar for our stevia supply, which we have a ton of but never use.  but mama loves her a good jar.

spices

while at crate and barrel, i found this placemat that completes my life.  the colors are amazing and the pattern is a good combo of geometry and whimsy.  i’m obsessed.  if they made a wallpaper like this i would plaster my house with it.

placemat

we did a quick run through dillard’s yesterday where i found the cutest and most comfortable brown wedges for $24.99.  they are real leather and it took me less than 5 minutes to find them and pay for them.  i’ve been in the market for some new wedges since my old go-to’s started to smell, so i felt like i won the shoe lottery with these babies.  buster is skeptical.

brownwedges

he loves to creep into all of my pictures.  the least he could do it hold still so he’s not blurry.

lastly, i made my own wood stain this weekend out of steel wool, coffee and vinegar (recipe via pinterest), and i don’t have an after because the shelf i stained was still wet last night and also i forgot, but it did turn my hands black so i had to paint my nails this poopy brown color that i already hate in order to hide all the stain in my cuticles.  shoulda coulda woulda worn gloves.

brownnails

i realize that is probably not a very exciting weekend to most, but getting so much done made me feel so alive!  i also drank lots of smoothies and german beer and overall had a very delightful time.

i capped off my weekend by staying up until midnight to watch the oscars.  buster watched them with me, sort of.  he slept like this for the first 90 minutes.

busteroscars

happy monday everybody!

happy anna howard shaw day [UPDATE]

i have never been a big fan of valentine’s day, even now, when i have someone to spend it with.  i don’t know that i ever had disdain for today, but i didn’t magically come to love it once i was off the market.  it’s just a day.

valentinesday

truth be told, my husband used to send flowers to my office every valentine’s day, until we got engaged.  that year, i wasn’t feeling well and decided to leave work early, but sent a quick note to future-hubs (past hubs?) to ask him if i’d be missing anything if i went home before 5:00.  he was confused.  so i gently reminded him that he always sends me flowers on valentine’s day, and his response was something like, “oh that was before we got engaged.  you said yes.  pressure’s off!”

well you know what honey?  that goes both ways.  it didn’t even occur to me to shave my legs this morning.  happy valentine’s day!

happy-anna-howard-shaw-day

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMgKYS1Qj3w

(p.s. i love my husband like crazy and he randomly brought home flowers 2 weeks ago, though they died pretty quickly after that because i put them in a vase and then stuck them under a lamp, but it’s the thought that counts.  he is the best.)

[UPDATE]

these just arrived at my office, and i am a terrible person.  they ever look like buster!  hubs sure knows the way to my heart.

puppyflowers

brb gotta go home and shave my legs.

to sucking more!

it’s been 2 months since my last blog post.  you know why?  because i put way too much pressure on myself to post something awesome, and then i end up posting nothing, because i don’t want it to suck.

so i’ve made the blog look a little simpler, and i’m hoping to keep my posts a little simpler, too.  here’s to sucking more! *cheers*

grammys

watching the grammy awards this past sunday with my hubs (left) and my bus (right) while laid up on the couch trying not to die from the greatest headcold there ever was.