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
Arugula
Daikon Greens (I’m growing daikon in our garden, otherwise I don’t know how you’d get this)

Vegetables (choose four to eight):
Carrots

Broccoli
Cucumber
Celery
Bell Peppers
Vidalia Onion
Green Onions
Sugar Snap Peas

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

Garlic
Ginger
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

Almonds
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.

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