Friday, July 17, 2015

Green Smoothie Family

About 5 years ago, my wife and I were pretty unhappy with our weight. We're not big people, but we just didn't feel we were the healthiest. I had made a goal to never be over 200 pounds, and I was sitting at 210... OK! 215... eek!

So my wife did some research into healthy eating habits, and started reading up on green smoothies from the Simple Green Smoothies site. If you're not familiar with green smoothies, they are smoothies that are typically made with organic fruits and veggies (use what's in season). They contain no dairy, and are blended up with just ice and water (coconut water, coconut milk, or almond milk work too!). At first I have to admit that I was totally skeptical, and we didn't even have a blender! But, as the high quality husband that I am, I decided to jump aboard and give them a try.

We did our research into blenders, and decided to get a Ninja brand blender. I will admit, that we totally wanted a Vitamix, but did I mention that I'm a teacher?.. :) We were excited to get started with the blending, and the Ninja did a great job. We quickly fell in love with our smoothies, and that "we" includes our kids! 

Our kids loved having a smoothie every morning, and then with dinner too. My wife and I loved the fact that they were getting veggies multiple times a day, and were begging to have a smoothie with each meal! (I've included our favorite recipe below).

Naturally, when you are trying to lose some weight, simply doing one thing doesn't magically make the pounds slip away. We are both former athletes, and we knew that exercise was going to have to be included in our plan in combination with some calorie counting. We decided to just do a smoothie and sandwich diet. We'd have a smoothie for breakfast, and then a sandwich & smoothie for lunch and dinner. We'd throw in different breads, cheeses, meats, and other "toppings" to spice up the sandwich, as well as guacamole and chips as a side.

With exercise, we both managed to lose the weight we wanted. It was great. Of course, over time and the addition of more kiddos, we lost some of the routine, and one can only eat so many sandwiches! But the one thing that has remained and is a staple to our daily lives is our morning smoothies!

We had to replace our Ninja Blender with the Nutri-Ninja Pro when the motor died, but we're staying true to the Ninja blender family. I happen to love the Nutri-Ninja Pro because I can make individual servings in a ready to go cup. It's hard when I'm making smoothies for everyone since I can't do one big pitcher. But I love the idea of getting each of the kids their own cups, so they can make their own smoothies with the ingredients they choose.

Use the comments below to tell me your favorite smoothie recipes or to talk about your blender of choice. You can also hit me up on twitter at @Ken_teacherdad.

The Teacher Dad Recipe!
(use with the Ninja Pro large cup)
Half an avocado
1 Banana
Large handful of spinach
1 pear
small handful of frozen mixed fruit (peaches, strawberries, grapes, pineapple)
Top off with as many frozen blueberries as you can
add between 1/2 to 1 cup of water for blending.