Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Six and a Half Days of Smoothies

My husband Will and I decided that for the first week of the new year we would consume nothing except smoothies made with fruits, vegetables, and a sparring amount of yogurt, coconut milk, and almond milk. Although I also supplemented with a single portion of plain oatmeal each morning.I hesitate to call it a "juice fast" or even a "smoothie fast" since it really didn't resemble a fast in that we were consuming normal and healthy amount of daily calories. At least I definitely was. Will went a little more extreme with it and was probably consuming 500-1000 less calories a day less than typically recommended for a man his age and size. But he can get away with that for a week better than I can since I'm still nursing my one year old, and I need to be careful to get enough iron, protein, and vitamins, as well as calories.

One would think that eating nothing but smoothies and oatmeal for a week would be cheaper than our normal grocery bill, but it was actually slightly more expensive. Fresh produce isn't cheap! Groceries for the week included:

  • fresh kale, spinach, and cilantro 
  • fresh strawberries, apples, pineapple, and tons of bananas 
  • fresh avocados 
  • frozen berries, peaches, and mangoes 
  • 100% carrot juice (not from concentrate) 
  • 100% orange juice (not from concentrate) 
  • 1 block of silken tofu 
  • half gallon almond milk (unsweetened) 
  • half gallon coconut milk (unsweetened 
  • a large container of low fat, plain yogurt 

I also purchased a few Naked juices for Will to take to work. Those are also pricey. There were some cheaper competitors in the same section of the grocery store, but I read the ingredients and they were mostly made of juices from concentrate.

The title of this blog post is "Six and a Half Days of Smoothies" because we decided to end it one dinner early, and on the 7th day had whole wheat crust pizza topped with roasted red peppers, spinach, and mushrooms. We didn't regret it since such a dinner was still keeping in the spirit of the whole thing, and we didn't overeat. I should also mention that I also had 2 cheats during the week. On the 5th day I ate a small bowl of shrimp fried brown rice left over from the kids' lunches, and that night I ate a chicken wrap sandwich from the grocery store.

Of course I had to keep feeding the kids normal meals while doing this, but it was easier than I thought it would be. I just made them all the normal, healthy stuff I usually make them: baked zucchini  sauteed tofu, scrambled eggs, mixed vegetables, lots of fresh fruit, etc. After nearly a week treating food as merely fuel, I'm convinced that a lot of unhealthy eating kids do is because of the unhealthy things their parents are eating. Visiting family over the holidays it was pretty much impossible to slow the steady stream of desserts that entered my toddler's mouth. After all, how can I expect her to not have a tantrum when she's told she can only have dessert after a meal, but she has to watch adults nibbling treats throughout the day? I went into this holiday season with my arms up in surrender to it all. Although I was pleasantly surprised one day when my toddler went up to my mom and requested a bowl of cauliflower! I guess we all have our limits with desserts, no matter how big our sweet tooth.

I didn't enjoy eating only smoothies in the slightest. I became irritable even if I'd had enough calories. And many times I forced myself to drink a smoothie because I knew I needed something to eat, but I had no desire for a smoothie, no matter what the ingredients. I'm glad I did this once for the experience, but I would not do it again, ever.

A week of smoothies sounds a little extreme, and it kind of is, but the idea was to counteract the extreme gluttony of the holidays. We get so used to it, but it is really ridiculous how much the eating gets out of control during the holidays. I threw a holiday party and ended up with more than half of the desserts leftover. When so many tasty cookies and cakes are just sitting around, they get nibbled on constantly, and I started to feel just as crappy from the constant sugar highs and crashes as I did drinking nothing but smoothies.

The point of the week of smoothies was for Will to lose the weight he'd gained in the month of December, and for both of us to re-set our taste-buds so that we could again appreciate foods less decadent and fattening than ham and shortbread cookies. It worked. Will lost ten pounds. And for me, garbanzo bean pasta and steamed kale with walnut sauce sounds really yummy again, and I don't feel a desperate need for chocolate after every meal anymore.

Of course a simpler solution is to enjoy all the delicious holiday fare in reasonable quantities, and thus have no need to swing to the opposite extreme afterward. But what fun would that be?

1 comment:

  1. I recently just did this myself and yes, it is more expensive than a regular week of groceries!!