Happy ST Patrick’s Day! I will be celebrating with a green smoothie. Those of you who follow me on Facebook or Instagram have seen photos of my green smoothies and delicious meals the past two weeks referring to the Green Smoothie Challenge. What is it? Where did it come from? Why are you doing it? Those are just some of the questions going through your mind right? It all started with a post I saw on Instagram, posted by Somer from Vedged Out blog. She was starting her own Green Smoothie Challenge and inviting people to join her. I was intrigued so I popped over to take a look at her blog and read about the challenge.
I was happy to discover that the Green Smoothie Challenge didn’t include only green smoothies. You also enjoy hummus with veggies, big salads, soups, stir fry and lentil taco filling. It was a weight loss plan that Somer came up with and she had proven success with personally and so did her friends and family members. Since I had gained a few pounds myself over the winter months I decided to give it a try.
The food plan isn’t far off from how we already eat. It includes whole food plant based meals. Breakfast is of course a healthy 32 ounce green smoothie, one meal a day is a big salad with beans (which we were already doing) and another meal can be one of many recipes Somer has for soup, chili, tacos or stir fry. The daily plan even includes a second giant 32 ounce smoothie for later in the day. Herbal teas are perfect when you feel like you need a little something in between meals. Hot tea fills you up and with so many flavorful herb teas there is something for everyone to enjoy.
What you won’t find on this plan are grains, sugar or extra fat. When you take those out of the equation you speed up weight loss and reduce cravings for grains, sugar and fat. Bingo! Edited to add that this challenge is also gluten free! I don’t know about you but for myself the more grains, sugar and fat I have the more of them I want. I was drawn to Somer’s Green Smoothie Challenge food plan because she has the daily menu all mapped out for 7 days, including recipes and nutritional information for the daily menus. You can see that you are indeed getting plenty of protein, fiber galore and oodles of awesome nutrition. I enjoyed having a food plan that was already to go and I didn’t have to figure out what to fix! Since I already knew the calorie count for each day there was no need for tracking my food either. Love it!
What you really want to know is did I lose any weight?
I lost 3 pounds the first week! I was pretty happy about that so I stayed with the plan for a second week and lost another pound even though we ate out three times that week. Of course I ordered plant based/vegan options but in restaurants you usually are getting some extra sodium and fat. This past weekend I added in a little bit of whole grains each day just to add some variety and even so I still lost another pound. That’s 5 pounds down – woo-hoo! Doing the happy dance here.
Was I hungry on this food plan?
No not at all. The food is so filling, packed with fiber and good nutrition that your body is satisfied. It does take a few days for the cravings of grains or sweets to subside. Those first few days might feel a little bit like a detox depending on how you were eating prior to starting the challenge.
What about exercise?
You have to move your body everyday. I did this challenge during the worse case of sciatica I have had in my left leg and and an incredibly painful flare up of bursitis in my left arm at the same time. Now normally, all that pain would send me looking for comfort from food but not this time. A whole foods plant based diet helps reduce inflammation in the body so I can only imagine how much worse my flare up would have been had I not been eating so healthy. I still managed to go for at least a 4 mile walk each day. The pain is finally starting to ease up. I still love wearing my Fitbit that calculates my daily steps and miles. It’s so rewarding to see those numbers add up through out the day. It really helps me to want to walk more! I know it sounds crazy but I have heard other folks say the same thing. If you don’t have some kind of step tracking device you might consider getting one.
Where do I go from here?
I would like to drop another 5 pounds so I plan to stick with the Green Smoothie Challenge but add in some grains options and some light but healthy treats only on the weekends. At this stage in my life the more treats I have like baked goods, desserts and even bread, the harder it is to control my weight. With this in mind I am going to monitor what happens as I add back in some of these items just a couple days a week and tweak my food plan from there.
The Green Smoothie Challenge is great for weight loss or to reboot your healthy eating plan. I would also say that if you have thought about trying a whole foods plant based diet and want to shed a few pounds this is an easy way to do it. All of the daily menus and recipes are available at Vedged Out for free. Even if you don’t want to lose any weight it’s a healthy food plan to rid your diet of any plant based/vegan junk food and get back to healthier eating.
Of course you should always consult your health care provider before embarking on any weight loss program.
That’s whats happening in my corner of the world. What’s happening in yours?
Add a comment or leave a question.
Have you ever had a green smoothie? If so what’s your favorite fruit/veggie combination?