Are you a smoothie girl or guy? Or do you like to juice?
I go through phases myself - sometimes the mere thought of having to clean my juicer sends me into a tizzy; other times it's the idea of having to clean my blender!
What can I say, I'm terrible for having lazy moments.
But once you start juicing or making 'green monster' smoothies, I really don't think you go back. I was first introduced to the idea of a fruit smoothie when a little company called Innocent introduced their fruit smoothies to the Irish market. From my first taste of an Innocent smoothie, I was hooked. As a fan of all things quirky, the fact they wrote pithy instructions on the bottles also appealed to me - plus, they seemed like a very eco-conscious company.
(I have to admit I almost shed a tear when I heard Innocent was partly bought out by Coca Cola in 1999 , especially as three years earlier the Body Shop, where I was then an assistant manager, was bought out by L'Oreal. But luckily for you, I'll save my rant about small companies being bought out by large corporations for another day.)
Fast forward to 2009, when I started reading Oh She Glows and discovered her green monster smoothies - I've written about these here before and they really were a pivotal moment in my food-life. For me, green monster smoothies are such a great way to get a portion of veg into your bod before you've barely woken up. Since the last post on them, I've gotten more adventurous - now I add a tablespoon of almond butter. It adds some protein, fat, and a nutty, almost chocolatey taste. Amazing.
My favourite combo?
Spinach/kale, 1 banana, Kara coconut milk (I must do a post on this product soon), 1tblsp roasted almond butter, 1tblsp ground flaxseeds or Udo's Oil, and a handful or two frozen mixed berries.
Then there's juicing. This is when you cram loads of veggies or fruit into a centrifugal or masticating juicer, which separate the fibre from the juice/water in the veg/fruit. So you get lots of goodness from the veg and it's a refreshing way to start the day. That doesn't mean you can go the rest of the day without your veggies - when you eat your vegetables whole you get all of the benefits including the fibre, so it's important to have them both ways.
Recently I had a juice with spinach, carrot, apple and ginger....zingy!
Above is a book I read last weekend - The Choice by Bernadette Bohan. I finished it in a few hours and it was a really moving and emotional read. In some ways, Bernadette is like Ireland's version of Kris Carr.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Bernadette last year for an article I wrote on raw food and she was a really wonderful interviewee. It wasn't until I read The Choice that I realised much she had been through - diagnosed with cancer twice, told not to have the third child she wanted (but she went ahead and did so anyway, giving birth to a healthy daughter) and then using a high-raw vegetarian diet to help her through her chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
She started off teaching people about juicing and other lifestyle changes in her kitchen, and after word spread she found herself inundated with calls from people. Today she gives talks and runs workshops - find out more at her website. Whether or not you have any interest in juicing or raw food, this book is an inspiring read. Bernadette is so personable and her writing style is very intimate; she doesn't sugarcoat her experiences and she emphasises the fact she is a normal woman living a normal life.
Before I bid adieu....Lest you think that all I do is sup on juices and smoothies, here's a pic I found of a some yummy spelt rolls I made recently. Or rather, half a small spelt roll as I had scoffed the other half of it. Remembering to take a photo after I've half-eaten something? A regular occurrence around here.
And then there's the very tasty dessert I made a few months ago, based on a recipe from the aforementioned Oh She Glows.
These were rather full of vegan butter, flour and oats (healthy ingredient *cough*) and er, sugar.
It's all about balance, eh?
How do you find balance? And are you a juices or smoothies person?