Let’s Talk About Smoothies

FYI, these are the ingredients for a vanilla shake at one
particular fast-food restaurant chain: whole milk, sucrose,
cream, nonfat milk solids, corn syrup solids, mono and
diglycerides, guar gum, imitation vanilla flavor,
carrageenan, cellulose gum, vitamin A palmitate.
When I talk about smoothies, I’m not talking about the
strawberry and banana smoothies made with whole milk
you get from the drive-through of a fast-food joint. You
know the ones that taste like milkshakes. I’m not talking
about those kinds of smoothies. I’m talking about leafy
greens, fresh fruit, and water smoothies. Since when did I
think mixing kale and cranberries together with two cups of
water would taste delicious and would be satisfying? Since
I was fat and desperate, that’s when.
Even though time goes on, history somehow repeats itself. I
was on Facebook and saw this new thing out that had great
benefits with fast results. The older I get the less time I
have on this earth. Fast results are exactly what I need. It
wasn’t a diet, but a body cleanse. I can do that, right? I like
So, like before, I Googled, researched, and read everything
I could about these new healthy smoothies.
• Make a list.
• Buy the ingredients.
• Follow directions.
• Drink smoothies for ten or twenty-one days, depending on
which detox you follow.
• Bam! Lose 10 to 15 pounds.
You know where I’m going with this, right?
I get online and buy the paperback book, and then I call my
daughter Amanda and tell her about this new detox
program that I have planned for us. She is just as excited as
I am. Poor Amanda. What am I doing to this adult child of
When I get the book in the mail, I study it like I’ll be tested
on it. I eagerly and excitedly make out a grocery list. Not
just for me, but one for Amanda, too.
On Saturday, Amanda and I go to the Farmers Market and
buy all the fresh fruits and vegetables we need for the first
five days. According to the book, it’s best to shop twice,
five days apart, so the ingredients remain fresh. Then, we
go to Walmart and buy the other ingredients we need.
Detox tea, flax seeds, and stevia, to name a few. We also
buy freezer bags and containers to store our pretty detox
smoothies in for the day. Three containers for each of us.
After two hours of shopping, and two hours of food
prepping and bag labeling, we are now ready to begin our
smoothie detox. On Sunday I continue to read and research
this new smoothie that will change my life. The book
stresses that this is not a diet but a detox and it’s a way to a
healthier you. I like that idea. I’m so excited I want to start
now, but I wait.
On day one, the smoothie is delicious and filling. I did
exactly as the book said to do. At the end of the day, I was
vomiting and I was tired. All signs of detoxing so I’m right
on target.
On Tuesday, I get up and mix the ingredients for the
smoothie with two cups of water. I pour it into my new
storage drinking containers I bought just for these lifechanging smoothies. Spinach and berries, not a bad
combination. This morning, Amanda calls me to see what
my thoughts are on today’s smoothie. Obviously, she
doesn’t like the berries as much as I do. Again, I do
everything like I’m supposed to and I feel great. I’m even
down four pounds from my starting weight. Go, me!
The next day, I mix the kale with the other ingredients with
two cups of water and pour it into my new fancy drinking
storage containers. I look at it and it looks seedier than the
other smoothies. I drink it and it doesn’t taste as good as
the other smoothies. I call Amanda and she laughs. “It’s
good, right?” she teases.
According to the book, you have to follow the recipes
precisely. You can NOT mix it up, but you can add stevia. I
already added four packets and that wasn’t enough;
however, you can eat a light and healthy meal in the
evening if you want to. Amanda and I decide that today,
we’ll have a healthy meal.
I was determined to make this work. I got on Facebook and
reached out to my friends. They won’t let me down, right?
Right? I asked for help from anyone who has tried the
smoothies and they didn’t suggest anything for me.
However, my brothers and closest friends suggested I add
almond milk and ice cream to it. One close friend
suggested I add bananas, milk, ice cream, whipped cream,
and even a cherry. He was certain if I added enough of
these ingredients I wouldn’t even notice the kale’s bitter
taste. Thanks, close friend, but your advice kind of defeats
the clean eating purpose.
By this time, on day three, I can NOT finish the smoothie. I
guess I don’t like kale, go figure. I thought the ten days
would fly by and one day I would wake up and be 15
pounds thinner than I was. Nope, the days are dragging,
I’m hungry and grouchy, and the smoothies are NOT
tasting all that great and they certainly aren’t going down
all that smoothly.
On day four, I called Amanda and told her I couldn’t do it
another day. She understood. She wasn’t as verbal as I was
about the ten-day challenge, but she also didn’t ask for the
book and she also didn’t shop for the last five days of
smoothie ingredients.
And so history repeated itself: I gained the four pounds
back and a few extra pounds with it.
To this day, I still don’t understand why I couldn’t have
eaten a salad, a bowl of fruit, and a bottle of water and
called it a meal. Why and how does mixing everything in a
blender change the effect it has on a person? And then they
call it a smoothie. In my opinion and this is only my
opinion, it is anything but.