21-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse: Week One

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I'm not a big spinach or kale eater. I mean, I'll eat it, but not if instead I could have a burger or pasta or a baked potato or chicken tacos or ice cream or, well, almost anything else. So on a recent vacation, when my nephew Ian offered me a green smoothie he made, I hesitated but tried it anyway. And it was good. And gluten-free. And healthy.

I was hooked.

See also: Café 8 in Mesa Listens to Gluten-Free Customers

And because I never, ever go overboard with an idea, I bought a Vegimatic when I got home and crossed into the land of whirled vegetables. Ian sent me the website where he got smoothie recipes: simplegreensmoothies.com, and I signed up for its $60 21-day "cleanse."

Some might say this is overcompensation for the fact that parts of my life are in chaos, that I'm trying to have control over something when really I have control of nothing, and that I might as well go for it because it probably won't kill me. In fact, they have.

Anyway, during the cleanse, I am to avoid dairy, sugar, bad fats, processed foods, gluten, caffeine, alcohol, soy, and meat.

What's left, you ask? Vegetables, lots of them. And fruit. And, in week one, sweet potatoes, which show up at the end of Day 2 like a little bit of starch heaven in a sea of fiber.

As I write this, I'm just finishing Day 5, and I'm still alive.

Every morning I have a green smoothie. I shove handfuls of greens into my Vegimatic, splash in some liquid, like water or coconut water, and chop them into smithereens, then add some kind of fruit, more chopping, and the green concoction is actually palatable.

Lunch is a soup or salad, and dinner is baked vegetables, including the sweet potato, stuffed with kale slaw.

I found I actually liked all the recipes except the kale and cilantro smoothie, which was just too green for me.

And, yes, I have missed the 44-ounce Diet Cokes from QuickTrip, and the afternoon grande Americanos from Starbucks, and the Dairy Queen treats that my husband and I get more often than we'd like to admit.

But I'm feeling very vegetable righteous, I'm willing myself to become less toxic, and, as a side note, I've lost a few pounds.

Stay tuned. I'll tell you how the next two weeks go.

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