The 24-Hour Juice & Smoothie Challenge!
Smoothies and juices. Juices and smoothies. Over the last few years, this new health trend has seemingly taken over America. Which is good, because America is fat as fuck.
Before you start accusing me of jumping on this kale-covered bandwagon, understand that my journey to fitness started many years ago at the ripe age of 13, when I dragged my pudgy lil’ cheeks (both sets) to the gym with my parents to start working on my fitnezzz. Lucky for me, I always had parents who were health conscious: my mom was your typical calorie-counter, and in turn my father would cook all of us healthy bangin’ meals. (When I say “lucky” I truly mean it–after getting deeper and deeper into health, I really see how so many people were never taught basic principles of food and cooking, and that, like, a bag of french fries is not what they mean when they say eat root vegetables. Mmmm… french fries.)
When my dad got diagnosed with cancer in mid-2013 (God, has it been that long?), I freaked out. I was scared. It seemed like everywhere I turned, seemingly healthy people were getting cancer. And not the “no big deal” kind–I’m talking some aggressive-ass, you-have-four-months-to-live shit. I didn’t want that to happen to me, and I knew the answer laid within my diet. I threw myself into healthy eating–mind you by normal standards I was already eating pretty healthy–immediately cut out all simple carbs, refined sugars, and basically anything crunchy that my stoner self would want (looking at you, Snyders Pretzal Nuggets). Through YouTube and health blogs I slowly began learning more and more about what my body needs to feel nourished. And I’m STILL learning. There is a lot of information out there. But the truth is, I have never been happier with how my body looks and have never had a better relationship with food than I do right now.
Thus, when I challenged my live-in boyfriend, Dan, and my roommate, Christina, to a day of juices and smoothies only, they were game. Christmas had just ended, we were on vacation from work, and everybody was feeling sluggish and gross from all the holiday treats that we’d been indulging in. I mean, how hard could it be? Right??
Smoothie #1: Kale, Banana, Half an Apple, Hemp Protein, Chia Seeds, Water
ANGELA: We began our juice smoothie day when we woke up around 11am. (It’s a vacation day so save your judgement.) Well, Xtina and I woke up and made ourselves smoothies, and Dan was awoken by the loud-ass sounds of my Ninja Ultimate Blender. I drink a green smoothie every morning, so there’s nothing too challenging going on yet.
“I feel good, I feel good. I feel ready to start the day. And by ‘start the day’ I mean ‘sit on the couch and watch ‘Breaking Bad.'” – Xtina
I made Dan basically the same version of mine, except gave him spinach rather than kale because it’s a lot less harsh. Please note that I actually did not share my expensive protein powder with my boyfriend and friend because I am a selfish person. Sorry not sorry.
Juice #1: Carrots, Apple, Lemon with Rind, Ginger
ANGELA: I’d never used a juicer until today, and as soon as I pushed my first carrot through the juice press I instantly became obsessed. I love ginger and lemon-y juice drinks, so that’s what I went for. Delicious. Dan says it tastes like he’s drinking N.O.-Xplode. [Editor’s Note: He later admitted that he actually thought it was pretty disgusting after a couple sips.] I was feeling pretty hungry before I drank the juice, but now I’m feeling better. I’m also starting to feel slightly… levitational? But that could just be my body screaming out for chewable roughage. Onward and upward.
Smoothie #2: Avocado, Celery, Mango, Coconut Milk, Lime, Water, Ice, Spinach
ANGELA: I love this smoothie. I had no clue how it was going to taste, and I’m trying not to completely overload on fruit sugar. This made enough for me and Dan, so in the end we only had half of a mango each. Admittedly, the coconut milk had some sketchy unpronounceable shit in it, but I’m sooo hungry and am heading to yoga shortly, so I need something with some fat to get me full.
“I think I’d really like this as a lunch / summertime smoothie.” – Angela
The avocado mellows out the bitterness of the celery–heads up, celery can be pretty bitter and/or salty, but adds great flavor to juices and smoothies–and the mango adds a hint of sweetness.
DAN: I like this smoothie better than the first one. You know why? Because it’s not gritty and shit. The other one had too much texture to it.
Juice #2: Cucumber, Celery, Lime with Rind, Spinach
ANGELA: This was a quick drink I made when I got home from yoga. It’s a small juice, good for a little pre-dinner snack. To be honest, I was just looking for another excuse to use the juicer. That shit is fun. Naturally, Dan was pretty disgusted by it, and opted instead to play video games in an effort to drown out his grumbling tummy.
XTINA: I’m tired. But I don’t think that’s related. I’m not really hungry, but I wish I could eat that leftover sauce in the fridge.
Smoothie #3: Frozen Raspberries, Banana, Cacao, Cashews, Coconut Milk, Spinach
ANGELA: Mmm, a nice thick dessert-y drink to have for dinner. It’s so good that I just finished it in five minutes. Ugh. Now what? I’m still hungry! All I want is something warm and cooked, like brussel sprouts and chicken thighs. Free range, obvi. My bones feel cold.
“I’m not hungry, but I would like a ham sandwich.” – Dan
Smoothie #4: Avocado, Banana, Mango, Spinach, Coconut Milk, Cacao, Medjool Dates, Ice, Water
ANGELA: We were sooo hungry. I started to get a headache, Dan was cranky (sorry but you were), and Xtina was just posted up on the couch doing deep breathing exercises with the special fog machine (i.e. bong). We were all at the brink of eating, when in fact we should have just gone to bed because normally you shouldn’t be eating at 10pm anyway. Nevertheless, I just whipped up this emergency smoothie with little regard to fat content. I went all “Freelee the Banana Girl” and had to carb the fuck up on fruit. This smoothie is the result… and it is pretty delicious. By blending the avocado for a while, it created a more mousse-like texture, which is what I was going for. Almost like food! Food that you drink through a straw. Is it the healthiest smoothie in the world? No. Do I care? Not really. Am I going to stop asking myself questions and immediately answering them in the next sentence? Yes.
I think it’s time to go to bed.