This week someone asked me how I first started eating healthy and I thought that was worthy of a blog post because it’s a great question! I started thinking back on what my diet was like in college and in my twenties. It was…not good.
In college I ate sugary breakfast cereal, huge bowls of pasta, pb& j’s, mac & cheese, pizza from the pizza place next door and the occasional apple with peanut butter. Mostly processed food for sure. After college I moved to Los Angeles where I was suddenly surrounded by fast food chains which I hadn’t really had in my small college town. On the weekends I loved going to the beach and on beach days my diet looked something like this:
- Breakfast: White chocolate mocha + lemon loaf from Starbucks
- Lunch: Cheeseburger and fries from In & Out
- Dinner: Pad Thai from Pick Up Sticks or orange chicken from Panda Express
I enjoyed my time living in LA and I honestly wasn’t concerned with my diet or my weight at all. I guess at that time I didn’t see anything wrong with eating that way and I thought I felt fine. Plus I really enjoyed trying new restaurants and living via my taste buds. It wasn’t until I had been living in Utah for a few years that I really started to improve my diet. I was such a non-vegetable eater that I was the person who would say “plants are what cows eat”. I can’t underscore this enough, I did not eat vegetables.
So what sparked the change? It’s a good question and the first thing that comes to mind is the very first Quantum Cleanse I ever did back in ~2008. Even when I did that cleanse I just lived on potatoes, oatmeal, corn chips (!!) and fruit juice (!!!) and sadly that was an improvement over my standard diet and I lost 10 pounds. But once I started to get a little more into the swing of a plant based diet I finally took a huge giant leap and started making…wait for it…
FRUIT and KALE SMOOTHIES.
Very little kale at first but once I learned the kale was undetectable, I started adding more & more.
This is the original smoothie recipe that started it all:
Ingredients (I estimate everything)
1 frozen or fresh banana (hint: peel the banana, cut it up, then freeze it in a baggie. I learned that the hard way)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
1-3 stalks of kale, leafy part only, not the stalk (about 2 handfuls, more depending on brave you feel)
1/2 cup almond milk (whatever milk you want to use is fine, or use water)
1/2 – 1 cup water
That smoothie up-leveled my diet more than anything and gave me confidence to try more vegetables.
Let’s fast forward to 2021 and get into the smoothie I have for breakfast every day now. It’s the Lean Green Smoothie from http://www.hauteandhealthy.com (an amazing podcast too btw!).
Lean Green Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana (peel and cut up before freezing)
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (or 1/4 cup mango/pineapple or other fruit)
- 1/2 an apple
- 3 cups of spinach which ends up being a massive fist full
- about 1 cup of water
This smoothie isn’t pretty by any means because the blueberries muddy up the color. If you want it to be bright green use mangoes instead of blueberries.
So, the two recipes are pretty similar so not much has changed in the last 13 years for my breakfast smoothie.
I will be back soon to share how I went from eating panda express to vegetables for dinner.
And now, because it’s been 8 million years since my last blog post I will leave you with a picture of Rocco who is now 6 years old and is (still) very, very cute. This is one of my favorite photos of him. Every blanket I buy for the house instantly becomes “his”.