Some of you may remember that a few years ago I lost a lot of weight. I went from 275 to 212. I was doing great and still losing when I started caring for my grandparents who have Alzheimer's (in November 2011). My grandfather was in very bad shape, and the emotional strain was very difficult to handle. I also had to make adjustments in my cooking style as one of my jobs became cooking for them, and they were stuck in their ways of eating, not to mention that because of their disease they could only really taste sweet or salty foods. Grandpa passed away a year ago last June. Between November and June 2011, I gained back 30 pounds. What can I say? I was totally unprepared for the curve ball that was thrown at me, and I had started eating a lot of junk. Neither of my grandparents appreciated our family's way of eating (lots of raw fruits and veggies, salads, brown rice and other gluten free whole grains, etc.). They wanted the standard cooked foods they were used to. I didn't have time to prepare multiple kinds of meals every day, so while I still made mostly gluten free things, I made them in ways my grandparents would eat them (and still do that for grandma). My family naturally ate all those things, and I started eating a lot more junk foods as I was trying to deal with the emotions that come from the situation I was in. I also had started eating dairy again. I never drank milk because it makes me so sick. However, Grandma was always eating ice cream (multiple times a day), and the temptation was just too great. In spite of the fact it makes me feel bad, I started eating it anyway. Then I brought back yogurt, frozen yogurt, pudding, and cheese. I felt nasty, but once I started eating all that dairy I craved it like crazy! Dairy makes me gain weight. It doesn't matter how little I eat, it becomes impossible for me to lose weight. Voila! 30-pound weight gain!
By the time I became pregnant, Grandpa had passed, and I had gotten more in control of my eating. I stopped gaining weight and stayed pretty much the same throughout my pregnancy. I was careful with dairy, though I still ate cheese (doesn't seem to have the same affect). I gained a few pounds at the very end (had gone back to eating ice cream), and a week after giving birth, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight, albeit 30 pounds heavier than I had been in November. I had to cut dairy completely for a while after John was born because it seemed that he got very irritable and gassy. I brought dairy back in the form of frozen yogurt (ahhh, Sweet Frog, you are my enemy!) and would gain a pound or two every time I ate it. This month I decided to bring green smoothies back into my diet and cut dairy back out except for the occasional piece of cheese. I have cheated with frozen yogurt once or twice and have skipped the green smoothie a few times, which slowed my weight loss for a couple of days. Even with the cheating, I have lost 7 pounds so far! My husband and I are doing Simple Green Smoothie's 30-Day Challenge to kick-start our quest to get back on track. We are kind of competing with each other to see who can lose the most weight.
I have to say, I always liked green smoothies, but I was definitely in a rut, making them the same way every time. It got boring, and Chuck and the kids got sick of them. I never thought to use other fruits. With this challenge we are doing, Jadah and Jen send out a weekly grocery shopping list and recipes to try. We have tried some, and we all have been pleasantly surprised! This past week, we made smoothies using watermelon, one of my favorite fruits. Yesterday, I didn't actually use one of their recipes because when I got to the grocery store, I had forgotten my list. I did remember a few things from the list but couldn't remember them all. Instead, I came up with a recipe using some ingredients I already had, and it was awesome! I made 2 pitchers full because Chuck wanted a quart jar to take with him to the church for later. I will be making the same recipe later today as well.
Juicy Watermelon Blast
4 c. watermelon
2 c. spinach tightly packed
1 c. frozen strawberry slices
1 c. frozen mango chunks
2 Tbs. flax or chia seeds (optional)
Cut the watermelon off the rind and blend enough of it to make 4 cups of juice. Add the spinach, frozen fruit, and seeds. Blend just long enough to get smooth. If you want your smoothie to be thicker and more frosty, you could chill or freeze some of your watermelon the night before. If you find your smoothie is too thick to blend, you can add a little more watermelon juice, coconut water, or spring water. Enjoy!