December 19, 2022
This post is about my personal change journey, the green smoothie that helped, and my own thoughts on New Year's Resolutions. My 2022 story starts with a meeting with my chiropractor in early December. I hadn't seen him since before the Covid lockdowns in March 2020 and his reaction was pretty clear. 'Wow. It's nice to see you!'
'You mean, wow, what happened?' I asked. A lot of friends have been asking what I've been doing because I look fresher, leaner, and healthier than ever. But, most importantly I FEEL amazing. I used to dream about losing my last 10 pounds. I'd start different programs, but for me it was really a mental challenge because I truly knew that I ate healthier than most around me. I am generally vegetarian/vegan and eat a ton of veggies. I try to get my protein from beans and I eat a lot of homemade Indian food, but it was not enough to get me to my next personal fitness level. I just didn't feel like myself and I knew I needed to do something about that immediately. I just was frustrated and didn't quite know where to start.
So when my chiro asked what changed and what I started doing differently, I attributed it to two simple things: consistency (exercise-eating a little less) and green juice. I began January 2022 with one personal goal - to start every single morning post workout with a homemade green juice smoothie. I've kept that promise to myself for one full year (minus travel days and a few days here and there) and now I'm ready to tell you about my journey. It's made all the difference. I get my greens in easily, I get a ton of fiber because this is a smoothie and not just juice, and it fills me up so that I'm not seeking out snacks. And, drinking it on an empty stomach is key. So, I work out in the morning and then as soon as I get home I blend it down and pour out a glass for myself and my husband. The extra gets put in the fridge in a glass jar for me to sip whenever I need a snack between meals or need to make sure I don't get overly ravenous. Don't get me wrong I'm not perfect nor am I aiming to be, but this mix has truly helped me to navigate my days in a smarter way.
Here's the recipe for those that want it and want to be on their way. I will share more of my journey in the post below including a recent interview that I hope will help you all. Remember, we are all amazing works in progress. That's a good thing. And, the change we seek is within us. The answers are in us. We sometimes just need gentle reminders.
Blender: Green Juice Smoothie Cleanse
Pineapple chunks (about 1 cup)
1 small cucumber (with peel)
1 stalk of celery
1 handful of spinach
1/2 small green apple, cored
1-2 small clementine, peeled
1 organic lime, with the skin, cut into 4 pieces
6 green grapes
1 (1-inch) piece bitter melon (karela), seeds removed (totally optional)
8 oz. coconut water
In a high-powered blender, add the ingredients in the above order. Once you've added the solid ingredients, coconut water, and ice, fill the jug with cold water just above the ingredients. The key is to create a frothy, foamy thin juice even though you have all of these crazy ingredients in it. Trust me, this will work. If it seems too thick, then play around and add a little more water. If your jug is getting too full, then just pour some into a glass and add more water to what is left in the jug. Pour that into a container and then blend the portion you took out. There's not one perfect way to do this, I just play around until I have the right portion.
Blend for some time so that everything especially the skin of the lime gets completely broken down. This will work especially well in a high-powered blender like a Vita Mix.
Some tips. I like to buy frozen pineapple OR cut it up and freeze it so the blend is frostier. I also like to cut and core my apples, peel my clementine, wash my grapes, and prep my karela if I have it and put it all into one bag in the freezer. The karela can go bad fast so having it prepped and frozen helps a ton.
Start with a small portion and then work your way up. Did you know that pineapple has bromelain that will clean your gut and help with anti inflammation? Pair that with cucumber and celery and it's incredibly healthy for you. You will be cleansing your digestive system if you get my gist. It's awesome!
Karela, or bitter melon is one of those Indian secrets that I like to sneak in when I have it. Not the easiest to find, this is a very bitter vegetable found in most Indian and Chinese grocers. It is known to be a blood cleanser and helps with weight loss and reduces diabetes. H Mart or Devon Ave. is where I get mine. You'll find wrinkly Indian varieties and smoother Chinese varieties. Either works. Just get rid of the seeds and slice into 1-inch pieces. You don't need much and you don't need it at all if you can't find it.
Want to take this up a notch? Add a nob of fresh turmeric and/or ginger or even a few cloves of garlic.
Watch me make it. To subscribe to my YouTube channel click here!
I have always loved making resolutions. Mine would vary between losing 10 pounds, getting fluent in French, Japanese, and Punjabi, reading a book a week, writing that novel, creating a million dollar business, etc. etc. I realized though that my goals were really just that. Goals. They didn't matter without a plan. Without daily strategies. What I was missing was that I didn't create daily checklists that would help me secure these goals by year's end (if even that), until now. It was James Clear's book 'Atomic Habits' that really hit home for me and got me thinking differently.
I stopped worrying about reaching my goals and I just started focussing on the things I knew I needed to have in place to just get a tiny bit better every day.
So, in 2022, I gave myself a daily checklist:
Workout (move - anything) every single day
Get up early and workout first thing
Drink a green juice smoothie every morning
Eat a little less. If I wanted pizza, replace that second slice with salad. etc.
Little to no dessert. If I wanted sugar I'd go for fruit or dates.
Write in my journal
Read 5 pages of a book daily
Practice one language for 5 minutes every day
Write on my blog every morning
Test a recipe completely every week and showcase it with a recipe/photos and social media
Talk to or email a new buyer every day
No watching TV during the work day and hopefully not at night either
Enjoy moments with my family phone free
I got super specific. Now, I may not have not stuck to every single thing every day, but what I have done is create a great template and foundation for success. As I focussed on simply working out every morning I realized I never missed a workout. And, that the rest of my morning and day was that much better. I ate better and just overall felt much better. If I missed a workout, I'd find a way to do something even if it was just 20 squats and 20 lunges on each side. Whatever. Something was always better than nothing.
When I stopped wasting precious time worrying about getting everything done and instead focussed on just doing things little by little every day, it actually got done. I got much more productive and truly started to stack one good day on top of another. Did I waste time and sometimes eat a bag of chips? Sure. But, just not nearly as frequently as before. I was simply getting closer and closer to that person I wanted to be by getting the little things right daily.
I never believed people before when they would say that healthy eating is a journey, but man I see it now. Every day I get better and every day I learn a little more about myself. Here's more from a recent interview with friend and podcaster Curtis Washington. I hope it help you all to celebrate and commemorate that voice inside you that is telling you everything you need to know. It's in us. Sometimes we just need to stop, listen, and simply DO. To see what I mean, listen to the Manifest Your Greatness podcast below.
Or watch it here on YouTube.
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