Green Smoothies, Green Smoothies all the time!

On June 23rd my family headed to Japan for six weeks.  My wife and two kids flew to Japan where my two kids were each able to enroll in at least three weeks of school, and then have a few weeks of summer vacation in Japan before they come back on August 5th.

Today is the 41st day since they got on that plane, and it’s been rough.  I expected it to be rough six weeks, but it got significantly more challenging than I expected after I broke my arm badly early in June.  I’d say I’m normally in decent shape; I’m a healthy weight, love mountain biking, enjoy road biking as well, and my wife cooks incredibly healthy and tasty, usually Japanese, meals.  My expectation, prior to breaking my arm, was that during these six weeks I would be able to ride my bike to and from work most days, go out for long rides on the weekends, and have a lot of free time to exercise to offset whatever unhealthy diet decisions I made because of eating out.

Boom.  Break my arm, plans change.

My arm was broken badly.  It was an intra-articular, displaced, open fracture of my distal radius with multiple large fragments.  Multiple doctors told me to expect surgery following the break, expecting the bone fragments to shift after an initial reduction and plaster cast that set the bones well.  In other words, while I’ve had a CT scan and seven sets of X-rays since the break with an eight set coming up Tuesday, I’m extremely lucky that I managed to avoid surgery.  I managed to escape with just the excitement of a bi-valve, antibiotics, multiple casts and a now a split.

That said, the break was bad enough that for the first several weeks I was told not to use the hand, keep it elevated and not move it any more than necessary, which I took very serious to maximize my chances of avoiding surgery.  But long after the injury, I’m home alone.  A long handled bath brush helped with bathing, but I still needed to take care of feeding myself, except now I had to do so with one hand while also needing to cut back on calories to account for my lack of physical activity.

As a result, my Vitamix has seen basically daily use for the last month and a half.  My green smoothie recipes have basically all followed this pattern:

Green Smoothies, Green Smoothies all the time!

Green leaves (choose one):

Baby Spinach or Spinach (I use this the most often)
Turnip Greens
Baby Kale or Kale
Daikon Greens (I’m growing daikon in our garden, otherwise I don’t know how you’d get this)

Vegetables (choose four to eight):

Bell Peppers
Vidalia Onion
Green Onions
Sugar Snap Peas

Flavor Vegetables (optional, usually none or just one):

Shiso Leaves

Fruits (choose one or two):
Frozen/Fresh Banana

Frozen Mango
Frozen Berries Mix
Frozen Strawberries
Frozen/Fresh Blueberries
Frozen/Fresh Cherries
Fresh Apple
Fresh Apricot
Fresh Peaches

Other Addtions (usually all three):
Plain Yogurt

Flax Seeds


A good amount of leaves, small bit of each vegetable, a flavor vegetable or two, a handful of fruit and then yogurt, almonds and flax seeds along with a mix of ice and water blended to make a frozen green smoothie.

That list includes all the ingredients needed for the permutations I can remember off the top of my head.  A coworker I’ve been sharing my green smoothies with was most impressed with one that used shiso leaves, as that seemed to be a surprisingly good addition to what would have otherwise been an unremarkable green smoothie.  Yogurt and almonds also help more than I would have expected.  I’ve also occasionally enjoyed a banana milk for breakfast or lunch, which are especially enjoyable on the hotter summer days, and are hopefully giving my healing wrist that much needed calcium.

I’ve managed to keep working through this injury, and I’ve managed to avoid gaining weight during this injury.  If I didn’t have my Vitamix, I’m fairly certain I’d have been eating out more, gaining weight, spending more money and getting less nutrients.  Staying at my current weight means one less hurdle to deal with as I go through my recovery.

I won’t lie and say I’m in great shape now.  I tried jogging after moving from the cast to the splint.  Jogging was tougher than it used to be, and I’ll need to exercise regularly to get back in shape.  But an almost daily green smoothie helped me ensure that I was constantly getting a good mix of vegetables and other healthy foods in a quick, enjoyable, low-calorie way.  Even when my arm was aching and I didn’t feel good, I could whip up a green smoothie without too much trouble and ensure I was eating well.

My family will be home this week, and I should be able to gradually do more and more with them as the wrist continues to heal.  Hopefully my recovery will continue to make steady progress, and I’m looking forward to getting back into shape.

This is why I haven’t been posting lately:

First cast

Second Cast

Third CastAnd this injury happened just a few weeks before my wife and kids got on a plane to fly to Japan for six weeks.  So Dad’s been home alone with a badly broken wrist and fending for himself.
The good news is that I’ve been making and drinking a lot of green smoothies.  I have a green smoothie pretty much daily.  The bad news is I haven’t really been able to type until now, so I’m just now getting to the point that I share some news and green smoothie recipes.

Expect more posts in the near future!

Warm weather, bike rides and frozen Banana Milk (★★★★★)

It’s warm out!  After that last winter, I’m ecstatic to finally be out riding my bike and not be trapped inside any more.

I love frozen drinks, and the summer is the best time of the year for them.  Hands down the best thing to enjoy after a reasonable workout is a frozen Banana Milk.  It’s brain dead simple to make with a Vitamix:

Banana Milk (★★★★★)
The best way to cool down and get your body what it needs after a workout

1 frozen banana

Break the banana in two and put it in the blender, then add milk to achieve your desired consistency.  I prefer the consistency of an easily drinkable milkshake.  It’s very important to use the tamper when making this to avoid having any banana chunks remaining.  I find I get the best results when I blend it on high for about 20-30 seconds using the tamper while blending, then check the consistency, adding more milk if needed, and then blending for another 20-30 seconds before serving.

For the absolutely best tasting Banana Milk, I personally prefer a 60:40 mix of whole milk from a local farm and soy milk.  But just milk and banana is the easiest way to make it.  All I have to do is remember to throw a banana in the freezer before I go on a long ride.

Broccoli Cheese Soup (★★★☆☆) using the Vitamix 7500 (with video)

After my last post I decided to make a soup that I’ve made a few times in the past.  It’s very easy, pretty good, but not popular with my kids, which is why I can only give it three stars and why I haven’t posted about it in the past.  This time around I decided to make a video showing how easy it is to make.

Broccoli Cheese Soup (★★★☆☆)
2 cups (480 ml) whole milk
2/3 cup (80 g) shredded cheese
1 bag (12 oz /340 g) of frozen broccoli florets
2 teaspoons worth of onion
2 teaspoons of cornstarch
1 large chicken bouillon cube

Steam or microwave the frozen broccoli florets.  While doing that, prepare the correct amounts of the other ingredients.  Put two-thirds of the broccoli in the blender along with all of the other ingredients.  Blend on high with the tamper for about 5-6 seconds or until steam is coming out of the top of the blender.  Once the soup is done blending, pour into bowls and garnish the bowls with the remaining steamed florets and shredded cheese. 

This recipe is twice the size of the Vitamix Whole Food Recipes recipe that I based it on, and can easily be cut in half if making it for one or two people.

a serving of soup after adding florets and shredded cheese

Here’s a serving of soup after adding florets and shredded cheese

I’m tired of it being cold out! Does anyone have any good soup recipes?

It’s February in upstate New York, and we just got a lot of snow today.  I’ve spent most of my life in parts of the world where snow is a rarity, and snow sticking around is even more rare, so neither my wife nor I are particularly well suited for handling upstate New York winters.

If you look through my post history, it’s not a secret that I am a fan of frozen drinks.  Everyone of those words is a link to a different post I made that has a recipe with frozen in the title of the post, and that list would significantly longer if smoothies were added.  I even made a post called Frozen Summer Drink Recommendations last summer.

Now, I like soups, just not as much as frozen drinks.  I’ve written multiple times about a few different soups, but aside from squash based soups I haven’t stumbled across many Vitamix or Blendtec soup recipes that excite me.  Am I missing out on some ridiculously awesome soups that you guys are familiar with that would make winters more enjoyable?  Please let me know in the comments if you have any highly recommended soup recipes!

Crazy good Black Friday, Cyber Monday Vitamix and Blendtec sales on now!

Vitamix and Blendtec were both running good sales leading up to Thanksgiving, and in years past, those have been the best deal on a blender that you’ve been able to find.  It looks like this year they are both kicking their sales up a notch and putting out some once-a-year level Black Friday specials.

Prior to today, Vitamix was already running the best pricing I have ever seen on their Classic model, matching their Mother’s Day pricing of only $299 for their Standard Reconditioned unit, which comes with a 5-year warranty.  As of right now, the Standard Reconditioned unit is only $285 at  That is the best price I have ever seen for that model, and is both the first Vitamix I ever bought, and the model Vitamix is best known for.  I do not know if that pricing will be good through Cyber Monday, or if that is just a Black Friday special, or if it is only available for a limited quantity, but it is available as of writing this post.

This deal is only available from Vitamix directly, and does work with coupon code 06-006651, which gives free shipping on any Vitamix blender.  That code works regardless of whether you’re ordering online or by phone.

Blendtec’s sale similarly gives free shipping as well as an additional $50 off all the sales the were already running on their refurbished blenders.  In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, they were on sale for  $229.95, with free shipping and without tax in most states.  That price has dropped another $20, making it available for $209.95.  I believe that deal is good through Cyber Monday, provided they do not run out of stock.  The Blendtec does offer a full seven year warranty, instead of the still impressive five year warranty of the Vitamix.  (Which I have used on two separate occassions.)

The best deals on the Blendtec blenders are available at this link.  The best pricing on the Vitamix Standard and Next Generation models, as of this blog post, are:

5200 Standard – Getting Started (New, rubber handle and Whole Foods cookbook, comes with a 7-year warranty)
TurboBlend VS (New, plastic handle, filtration bag, vegan and vegetarian cookbook, comes with a 7-year warranty)
Standard (Reconditioned, comes with a 5-year warranty)

Next Generation: 
7500 (New, comes with a 7-year warranty)
Next Generation (Reconditioned, comes with a 5-year warranty)

Blendtec Update

It’s been over nine months since I got my Blendtec Designer Series and Twister Jar, and I thought it’d be a good time to give an update.  I have been using the Vitamix for most things, but I feel that the Blendtec can make peanut butter and dry items, such as cinnamon sticks blended into cinnamon powder, more efficiently than the Vitamix.  I know the Vitamix also has a 32-ounce Dry Grains Container option, but I don’t have one, so I’m comparing the Blendtec I have against the Vitamix I have.  The Twister Jar also continues to be helpful for dips and very small mixes.  At this point, I wouldn’t really want to give up either blender, as it’s nice having different tools available depending on what, and how much of something, I want to mix.

One very interesting thing that started this month is a very aggressive sale over at Blendtec that goes until December 1st, or until they run out of supply, whichever comes first.  I’ve already written about Vitamix’s promotional pricing, which is good through Thanksgiving.  Vitamix has crossed the $300 line and gives free shipping with the promotion code 06-006651.  $299 for a Vitamix is phenomenal, especially when you consider that I thought I got a great deal when I paid almost $100 more than that for my Reconditioned Standard model back in 2011.

Blendtec’s sale takes things a step further and gives free shipping as well as an additional $30 off all the sales the were already running on their refurbished blenders.  That’s not a huge percentage off their Designer Series, but considering their Total Blender with the standard jar was already only $259.95, that makes it only $229.95, with free shipping and without tax in most states!  Another big plus of the Blendtec is that it does offer a full seven year warranty, instead of the still impressive five year warranty of the Vitamix.  (Which I may have used once or twice.)

So which would I buy?  The Blendtec Total Blender Certified Refurbished or the Vitamix Reconditioned Standard?  I’ve written before about how to pick the right Vitamix given all the available options, and I’d likely buy my 7500 again if both my blenders disappeared, but for someone who’s not interested shelling out that much money on a blender, I’d say find the budget you’re comfortable with, and get the best blender in that budget that you can.  Both of these deals will help that money go a little further than normal.