This is the most intense green smoothie I’ve ever had.

This is the most intense green smoothie I’ve ever had.

I like smoothies. I even like green smoothies. And man, oh man, do I feel virtuous when I have a delicious cupful of my green treat. So when I saw that a green smoothie was on the list for Phase 1 of The Plant Paradox Program, I thought, Sweet! I can totally do this. 

Yeah…

Let me be the first to say that when you don’t use fruit to sweeten your smoothies, they take on a completely different tone. Maybe I was immune to the taste of bananas, or to the sweetness of fruit, but holy fuck was this thing not the same.

It tasted like salad. It was sour (hey, there 1/4 cup of lemon juice). And it just wasn’t the same sweet treat I was used to. I also learned pretty quickly (as in the first sip) that I’m not a fan of Stevia in things. Like, at all. So I opted to swap the stevia for two dates, soaked overnight or in boiling hot water for 10 minutes, to soften them up.

Even with all of those negative marks against it, I actually started to crave this green smoothie in the morning. (Say what?!) And honestly, I’m 100% convinced that it helped to nip my sugar cravings in the bud.

So prepare to up your nutrition AND those feelings of virtuousness with an intensely green (and good for you) smoothie.

The most intense green smoothie I've ever had. And it happens to be vegan + plant paradox friendly

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Plant Paradox Inspired Green Smoothie

Nip sugar cravings in the bud with this super intense and super green smoothie. Bonus: it's Plant Paradox approved!

Course Breakfast, Drinks
Cuisine Plant Paradox, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 person
Author Emily Levenson

Ingredients

  • 2 cups greens (romaine, spinach, arugula, kale, chard) get creative!
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice about 2 lemons
  • 1 sprig fresh mint
  • 2 dates soaked overnight or in boiling water for 5-10 minutes
  • 3/4 cup water

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth or desired consistency. 

Optional substitutions:

  1. If you prefer your smoothie a bit thinner, add an extra 1/4 cup of water. 

  2. If you are needing to remove all sugar, swap the dates with liquid Stevia (5-6 drops). 

  3. If you want something a little thicker or colder, you can freeze the lemon juice in an ice cube tray over night or simply add in 2-3 ice cubes. 

Allergen Information

Dairy free, nightshade free, gluten free, wheat free, soy free, egg free, and corn free. 

The most intense green smoothie I've ever had. And it happens to be vegan + plant paradox friendly

Setbacks are a part of the journey.

Setbacks are a part of the journey.

Whether you like it or not, setbacks are a part of the journey. You can let them derail you and cause you to give up. OR, you can learn from them and correct course.

When I came up against a major setback in how I was feeling, I chose to dig a little deeper and understand why things had stalled out.

A few days ago, I stopped feeling so great AND my sugar cravings (you know, the ones I talked about being 100% gone) started to creep back in.  I was having a lot of indigestion, intense stomach pains, bloating like crazing, and an uncomfortable tightness underneath my ribs. I also started to gain back some weight.

A closer look at what I was eating and when revealed that the discomfort was being triggered by onions, balsamic vinegar, almond butter, fruit sugars (even in extreme moderation), and macadamia nuts.

As soon as I knew better, I did better.

A few days later, I also started to feel better.

I’m officially back on track and feeling good — indigestion, bloating, and tightness under my ribs are gone. I’ve also started to lose weight again. All signs that I’m on the right path.

This experience has been a powerful reminder that setbacks are a part of the process. Also, setbacks do not discriminate. Everyone experiences setbacks along the way. It’s how we deal with them that matters most.

Have you experienced setbacks when making a big change? How did you deal with it?

PP Week 2: Where our money went.

PP Week 2: Where our money went.

We have officially embarked on Phase II of The Plant Paradox* Program (AKA The Program).

This week marked our first in Phase II of The Program. As a result, we had a few items that we needed to get to stock our kitchen, as well as a few things we wanted to try (AKA dark chocolate that is 72% or higher and does not contain heavy metals).

We did manage to use a lot of the greens from Phase I this week because I totally overbought. I was hoping that would impact our spending for the week, but it turns out it didn’t. Bummer.

We also ordered our very first Butcher Box*! We were so excited to finally find a cost-effective source for grass fed and finished beef and pastured chicken. We’ve already had one of the steaks and OMG is it good. Looking forward to trying some of the chicken next. (If you click on the link for Butcher Box, you’ll get $10 off your first order!)

Menu for the week:

Breakfast:

  • Hard boiled egg and mixed greens
  • Eggs and sweet potatoes
  • Eggs and roasted broccoli + cauliflower
  • PP Green Smoothie
Lunch:

  • Coconut Almond Flour Muffin in a Mug (p. 325) + greens
  • Cinnamon Flaxseed Muffin (p. 327) + greens
  • Salads (with walnuts and figs, with shredded carrots and chicken, with mushrooms and blue cheese for The Husband)
Dinner:

Here’s what we got.

From Butcher Box:

Beef + Chicken Box (we’re getting it every other month). Contents included

  • 2 10-oz New York Strip
  • 4 6-oz Top Sirloin
  • 2lb Ground Beef
  • 3lb Chicken Drumsticks
  • 3lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Bacon

Total cost: $119

From Trader Joe’s:

  • Pint of Organic Strawberries
  • Just Beets Beet Chips
  • Blanched Almond Flour
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Trimmed Leeks
  • Organic Blackberries
  • Organic Baby Carrots
  • Organic Broccoli Florets
  • Artichokes – 4
  • Riced Cauliflower
  • 1lb bag of lemons x2
  • Plantain Chips
  • Bananas
  • Organic Romaine Hearts x2
  • Hass Avocados x3
  • Sliced White Mushrooms
  • Organic Cauliflower x2
  • Madame Chevre Goat Cheese
  • Goat Cheese Crumbles
  • French Brie
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Dozen Omega-3 Eggs x2

Total cost: $109.14

From Fresh Market: 

  • Barney Butter Blanched Almond Butter
  • Madecasse Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Swerve Granulated Sweetener
  • Alter Eco Blackout Dark Chocolate
  • Theo 85% Dark Chocolate
  • TFM Bittersweet 72% Dark Chocolate

Total Cost: $45.64

Grand Total: $273.78

A few things to note:

  1. We plan to get a Butcher Box* order every OTHER month, making that purchase average out to $15/week for amazing quality beef and chicken. I am extremely hopeful that this will cause our next few weeks to be super low because all we need are a few bags of lettuce and some other veggies.
  2. Holy fuck is almond butter expensive. That jar set us back $15.99. I plan to make that thing last for an entire year.
  3. Real vanilla extract is also expensive ($9.99). I seriously need to head to Penzey’s to stock up, because mama was NOT happy about spending that much on a tiny jar of extract.
  4. Those sugar alternatives are wild. $8.49 for a small bag of Swerve.
  5. This doesn’t include anything we purchased for our 3-year-old. Her stuff amounted to an extra $10.05. I didn’t include it because it isn’t PP compliant and that’s what I’m looking to track.
  6. Our normal spending at the store is anywhere from $115-150 for 2 adults and a child. So the shopping at Trader Joe’s and Fresh Market wasn’t too much higher than what we would have spent otherwise, but that does include meat and chicken.

I am hopeful that I can keep our shopping for Week 3 under $100 to help balance out some of this spending. Fingers crossed that’s possible.

 

*This is an affiliate link

The easy way to get rid of sugar cravings (for good).

The easy way to get rid of sugar cravings (for good).

One thing I’ve been absolutely astounded by is how easily my (totally insane) sugar cravings went away. And I’m not talking my cravings have subsided and they are now manageable, I’m talking I don’t even have them.

Coming from someone who used to crave chocolate and sweets like gummy candy all the time, that’s pretty darn amazing.

So, what exactly caused them to go away?

I think the success was three-fold.

  1. I stopped eating the chocolate and candy. (Duh. But also, seriously.)
  2. I removed all other sweets and sugars from my diet, including natural sweeteners like maple syrup and honey, fruit, and sweet vegetables (i.e.—sweet potatoes, plantains, carrots) as well as all gluten-containing foods like bread and pasta.
  3. I added in a TON of lemon juice and leafy greens.

That’s it.

No fancy supplements. No special affirmations, treatments, or processes. A simple dietary change and a whole lot more of the good stuff.

Once we moved out of the detox phase (AKA Phase 1) and into Phase 2, we were allowed to add fruit (berries, mostly) and some dark chocolate back into the mix. Once that happened, I actually noticed my hankering for something sweet creeping back in.

So.

Interesting.

Apparently any sweetness — even in moderation — can bring back my sugar cravings like crazy.

I’ve actually been contemplating going back to that original phase of eating, as I’ve been craving sweets again. But for now, I’m going to be watching my intake of fruits and approved sweeteners like Stevia and Swerve and will be loading back up with lemon juice and greens.

Are you craving sugar like crazy? What have you done to manage the cravings? And what, if anything, happened as a result?

It’s almost too good to be true. (The Plant Paradox Diet, that is.)

It’s almost too good to be true. (The Plant Paradox Diet, that is.)

The Plant Paradox Program is almost too good to be true. Almost.

You may remember last week’s post about how my husband and I were embarking on The Plant Paradox Program, as outlined by Dr. Steven Gundry.

Well, we are officially on the other side of the 3-day cleanse (A.K.A. Phase 1) and something miraculous has happened: my sugar cravings are GONE. As in, I do not have an overwhelming desire to stuff my face with chocolate, candy, or even fruit. Which, if you know me, is a freakin’ miracle.

My joint pain has all but disappeared. I say all but because I still wake up feeling stiff in my hands, but that has also started to dissipate. (But, hey, it’s only been 3 days.)

I’ve lost 6lbs and am now officially under my pre-pregnancy weight. Another miracle, y’all. This is seriously the first time my weight has done anything other than go UP in the last 3 years. Even with 100 days of yoga. Even with HIIT workouts. Even with restricting my diet and cutting out dairy, nightshades, gluten, corn, and eggs.

And I’ve discovered a host of new foods to add to my repertoire: arugula (delicious wilted and added to burgers), jicama (bland and crunchy), and lemon juice on pretty much everything. I’ve also discovered the sheer joy that is cauliflower steaks and salads with lemon juice, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

The best part?

It’s taken three days for the changes to take place.

Three.
Measly.
Days.

I’m more geeked than ever to see what happens during Phase II, as things start to become more routine and even out for us. I’m also geeked to be out of Phase I because The Husband was NOT a fan of the green smoothies we had for breakfast, nor was he a fan of the lack of animal protein in our house. He’s a much happier camper now that we’re into the next phase and eating more substantial meals.

Did you pick up The Plant Paradox? If so, what did you think about it? And are you planning on trying out the eating plan he lays out in the books?