A smoothie a day…

smoothies

Last August I spent more than a month’s rent on a blender. A year later, I can honestly tell you that every single penny was entirely worth it, and I’ve been drinking green smoothies happily ever since.

In the spring of last year, Mike and I purchased a juicer. It was mostly his idea, since I’d never really given much thought to juicing, but once we brought it home, I was hooked. After about a week, I was noticing that my skin had cleared up and my complexion seemed brighter. Other people noticed too and I remember getting more “your skin looks great” compliments than I’d ever heard before. I knew the juice was working. I was juicing everything. Lots of fruits, of course, but also beets and sweet potatoes, ginger, onions and garlic, too! I had the worst breath, but the best skin.

I’d always eaten lots of vegetables, but now I’d really stepped my game up. I was drinking a few days’ worth of vegetables in a single cup, and I was feeling amazing.

I was bummed to see, however, that an entire bunch of kale would yield only a few tablespoons of juice. What a waste! Blending greens in my regular old blender didn’t work either, since I’d just end up with a lumpy, chunky green mess. As I got more into following healthy food and lifestyle websites and blogs, I kept coming across people singing the praises of this super-duper high powered blender that could make silky smooth work of entire heads of lettuce: the Vitamix. I loved my juicer, but I knew that I needed to have one of those blenders.

When it comes to paying hundreds of dollars for a small kitchen appliance, it can be hard to take the plunge, but I love this summary of all the pros and cons of the top blenders: Blenders for Green Smoothies.

A few months later, while Mike and I were wandering the grounds of the CNE, we were musing that maybe Vitamix would have a booth just as we rounded the corner and came right up on a Vitamix soup demonstration.

It was fate, and thanks to that perfect mix of impulsivity, an enticing deal and available credit we were the proud new owners of a shiny, white Vitamix blender. And that, my friends, is how I met the love of my kitchen appliance life, and we’ve been enjoying our green smoothies almost daily ever since.

Ok, this post was not supposed to be about my love affair with my blender. Instead, it was supposed to be about how drinking a green smoothie each day has affected my life. Like with juicing, the most immediate effect is seen in my skin. While I still get occasional hormonal breakouts, my skin is generally clear, soft and supple. The texture of my hair has also improved from being quite coarse and frizzy to much stronger and smoother. Although I still rarely wear my hair without straightening it, there were a few times this summer when I let it dry naturally and thought it actually looked quite nice and healthy. Continue Reading

It’s the little things

lemon rooibos tea

I quit drinking coffee (again) last week. Only one day of headaches, two days of brain fog, and a celebratory lemon rooibos tea. Today is Day 9, and I’m going strong.

peaches and creme smoothie

out for a run

Joined a running club at work. Every week we do two runs as a group, and at least one on our own. As my intervals get longer, I’m discovering new spots in the ‘hood. You can cover a lot of ground when you run. I’ve never been much of a runner, but I’m running

A cat in a bag

This homemade berry fruit leather.

Had to make this twice before getting it right, but mmmm fruit leather. Will make again.

Continue Reading

Protein Pops | Beauty Detox

protein pops

I never got around to sharing my smoothie last week as part of Kimberly Snyder’s recipe challenge, but I turned the leftovers into popsicles, and that’s worth sharing! Seriously, what’s better after a hardcore workout than a popsicle that you can feel good about?!

Now, Kimberly’s smoothies included spirulina, which if you’re not familiar, is an algae that is super high in protein. It’s sold in a powder form, which makes it perfect for adding to smoothies. I’ve considering buying it a few times, but it’s pretty pricey, so I’ve held off. So I went with my other favourite source of plant-based protein: hemp seeds!

With even more protein per gram than spirulina, I use this stuff in everything. Just sprinkle on salads, mix into grain dishes or try this recipe and blend into a smoothie frozen into a popsicle.

For this smoothie turned popsicle I blended up:

  • 3 packed cups spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 4 tbs raw hulled hemp seed
  • 1 serving protein powder
  • 3 tbs raw cacao
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups water or almond milk

Check out Kimberly’s Spirulina Power Protein Smoothie here.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Chili Sauce

vegetarian spring rolls

This week’s Beauty Detox Challenge was to make a veg spring roll. See Kimberly Synder’s recipe here. Today I’m sharing my vegetarian spring rolls and a sweet and spicy sauce for dipping.

These spring rolls are raw in that the veggies are raw and the roll isn’t cooked, but to change things up, sautee the veg before rolling but keeping the wrapper raw. Or bake or fry. Not only can you use rice wrappers to make spring rolls all sorts of ways, but there are so many other reasons to keep them in the cupboard. Samosas, dessert rolls, muffin-tin tacos. Here there’s the rice paper wrappers in their most simple form, and rice noodles with crisp, raw matchstick-sized veggies. The easy dipping sauce is garlicky with just the right amount of heat.

Try these rolls as an appetizer, or make more for a healthy lunch.

matchstick vegetables spring roll recipe

Raw Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Sweet 'n' Spicy Chili Sauce
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 6 rice wrappers
  • ¼ cup carrot, matchsticks
  • ¼ cup cucumber, matchsticks
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, matchsticks
  • 2 brown mushrooms, matchsticks
  • 1 tbs green onion, diced
  • 1 tbs basil, diced
  • 1 tbs ginger, matchsticks
  • 1 cup rice noodles, cooked
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs tamari
  • 1 tbs tahini
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp lime juice
Instructions
  1. Cook noodles in a pot of boiling water until tender (5-7 minutes)
  2. Soften rice wrappers, one at a time, in a dish of hot water (10 seconds)
  3. Place rice wrapper on a sheet of damp paper towel
  4. Add filling and wrap (for easier handling when wrapping, use wet fingers)
  5. Slice with a wet knife and serve with Sweet 'n' Spicy Chili Sauce
  6. Sauce: Combine vinegar, tamari, tahini, red pepper flakes, minced garlic and lime juice.

raw veg spring rolls

Check out my other Beauty Detox Blogger Assignments and don’t forget to try Kimberly Synder’s spring rolls.