The Hardcore Green Smoothie

It’s high time I told you what I’ve been downing for breakfast lately.  First off though, I really think I need to explain why I have changed course from drinking any of my other delicious Green Smoothies.  You see, it’s my appetite.  My once-legendary ability to eat Mr. Bailor under the table tanked about 6 weeks ago.  What that means in practical terms is that I simply cannot physically consume very much food any more, and consequently, when I do eat I have to focus only on the nutrient-dense essentials – the non-starchy veggies, the lean protein, and the healthy fats.

Enter The Hardcore Green Smoothie.

Spinach 1

I realize that this image is a pile of spinach and not a green smoothie.  You can expect a glass of green liquid by the time you’re done making it, rather like any of the other 7 green smoothie pictures I’ve already shot for you, although it’s true that they are not all green.

Let me be clear about a couple of things upfront: 1. I did not shoot this image of spinach, and if I knew who did I would credit them.  2. this smoothie does not taste delicious.  It doesn’t taste horrid by any means, but it is not scrumptious like the Strawberry Milkshake Smoothie or the Orange Creamsicle Smoothie.  It reminds me most of the flavor of peanut butter.  It has a vaguely nutty taste, but on the whole it really doesn’t taste of anything at all, which for me makes it perfectly palatable, just not something that makes my mouth go, “Wow!”  Given it’s purpose in my life at this point, I’m good with that.

So right now I have this for breakfast every day as a means to an end – to get the most nutrient-dense meal I can in as small a volume as possible.  At first I hesitated to post this, because delicious is what I do when it comes to recipes, but if you have times when you also need maximum nutrition and *SANEity in a small package, this may well be a great trick for you, too, as long as you’re down with more function than flavor.

While we’re on the subject of green smoothies, let’s take a quick refresher on what there is to love about spinach.  Spinach is a good source of niacin and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.  Amazing!  It looks so tame and unassuming.  This hardcore smoothie gives you 6 servings of non-starchy veggies where 1 serving = 1 packed cup = 1 oz / 30g.

Then the egg white powder storms home with 96% protein.  You get more than your 30g of protein in by using just 45g of powder – about 1/3rd cup – and there ain’t nothing else that can pack that kind of protein power into such a small space.  Finished up with some lovely medium-chain triglycerides in the coconut milk and you’re set.  *SANE as SANE can be.

Next time you want maximum nutrition in just one glass, go hardcore!

5.0 from 6 reviews

The Hardcore Green Smoothie
Author: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup / 8 fl oz. thin coconut milk (in a carton)
  • 1½ oz. / 45g powdered egg white
  • 6 oz. / 170g fresh spinach
Instructions
  1. Pour the coconut milk into the blender.
  2. Add the egg white powder and immediately blend on the lowest speed until mixed. This stops the egg white powder getting stuck on the sides of the jug and being wasted.
  3. Gradually push the spinach through the hole in the blender lid with the blender still running on low.
  4. Once all the spinach is added, blend on high until it is completely smooth and free from any pieces of spinach.

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Alvin - You’re awesome (or ORSUM, like I hear you pronounce it on the webcast)

This is great becaus so many people focus on making the smoothie a dessert, when in fact nutrition should be the basis. I too have a similar formula only I add chia seeds for energy, greens powder, and use Whey Natural USA instead of egg powder.

Another option is organic unsweetened kefir instead of coconut milk for a probiotic kick!

Thanks again

Scott - Awesome!

Sue - Wonder why your appetite tanked?

Monicad - “I simply cannot physically consume that much food any more”

Hi Carrie, I love that this ‘smoothie’ is so low carb/keto friendly.

I’m curious regarding the quote above, is that because you, as one comment implied, have lost your appetite or because you want to lose weight?

Also:
How long have you been doing this morning smoothie?
How long does it satiate you?
Is it *working?* for your goals?
Would you publish your goals?

Many thanks for all you do.
Loads of Love
Monica :)

carrie - Coming soon! I am writing a blog post explaining why my appetite changed and everything else that’s been going on around here…

carrie - Monica – I lost my appetite. You do not need to reduce the amount of food you consume in order to lose weight. Is it working for my goals? My goal was to create a meal that provided maximum nutrition, fiber, protein and healthy fats in the smallest volume possible, so yes it is totally working for that goal.

Keith - Thanks! I was looking for just this type of recipe. Something for breakfast that will maximize everything I’m looking for in my morning meal.

Is this something you think would freeze well for thawing the night before drinking?

I’d prefer to make a week of these ahead of time and then simply leave one out each night to thaw before drinking each morning if possible. My neighbors are great but I’d rather not test their ability to withstand the sound of a blender at 4am when I wake up.

Thanks again for this perfectly simple, powerfully nutritious, and convenient recipe!

carrie - Keith – I would add 1/4 tsp guar gum to each serving to make sure it doesn’t separate and then try freezing. I can’t see why it wouldn’t work, but I would definitely add the guar gum to help. Guar gum is super useful in helping things freeze well. Let us know how it goes! I love the idea of making a whole weeks worth at one time!

Keith - Excellent tip, I’ll give it a shot and let you know how it goes. Thanks again for the excellent recipe and support!

Jerel - Hi Carrie,

This smoothie looks awesome for those days when you just need to “git-r-dun” in the morning. Now on to the less pleasant portion of this message.

I had kidney stones a couple of years ago, and they are extremely painful. The best way to prevent them is to drink a LOT of water every day. So far so good. However, the recommendations go on to say that you should limit your intake of dark leafy greens and PROTEIN!! Now I’m wringing my hands, because I really like this diet, but the last thing I ever want to do is to experience the pain of kidney stones again!

How will I ever be able to eat SANEly and follow these guidelines? They are saying not to eat more than about 60g of protein per day, and limit consumption of things like tea, nuts, berries, citrus, and vegies like beets, carrots, cauliflower, spinache, kale, leeks, chard, eggplant…. there’s nothing left!! It seems like every non-starchy vegetable is high in oxalates!

I’m more confused than a chameleon in a bowl of Skittles. Any advice you can give (and I know you’re not a doctor, blah blah) would be helpful.

For reference, see http://www.med.umich.edu/intmed/nephrology/docs/stones.pdf and the website http://kidneystonewebsite.com/Pages/KidneyStone_4.shtml#Preventing

Colleen - About getting the spinach to properly pulverize: I’ve been buying raw fresh spinach in bulk at Costco, and then sticking it in ziplock freezer bags at home. It blends OHSOMUCH better than those bricks of pre-chopped, pre-frozen spinach, AND better than the raw fresh stuff too. Been very happy with this technique. Bonus: I no longer wind up with a bunch of very wilty (or worse, ew!) spinach leaves at the bottom of the bin near the end of the week.

carrie - Colleen – fantastic! I think I’ll try this. Will make it quicker in the mornings too :-)

carrie - Jerel – I strongly encourage you to head over to our Facebook Support Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/SANEandEccentric/ and post this there. Dr. Cathy I know has personal experience of this exact thing and may be able to guide you far better than me. Dr. Mike may also have words of advice. I have also had kidney stones but have not had any issues since I went SANE 2 years ago and I eat 6oz of spinach and JB recommended amount of protein daily. However, that doesn’t mean they are not a problem for YOU! Please head to Facebook and see what our resident Docs have to say. Good luck!

Alvin - For those looking to expedite the process, On Sundays I put spinach, kale, cilantro, mint, bok choy, and any other leafy green I can find including romaine and red lettuce, add some lemon or lime and blend it all up with water.

Then I pour the mixture into ice cubes (I have big molds) and freeze.

Now throughout the week when I want a green smoothie I just pop out a few cubes and add coconut milk and chia seeds and I am ready to roll. Takes drastically less time.

Terez - So glad to see a green smoothie recipe without fruit. Am absolutely new to green smoothies but I’d been having an eggnog every day. Sounded much like your recipe here except raw milk instead of coconut milk, and a local pastured egg instead of powdered egg whites. Plus I add a tiny dribble of vanilla extract.

Anyway, I added greens to my eggnog before blending. Also added half a teaspoon of honey because I was worried about the greens being bitter. But it wasn’t bitter at all; I will skip the honey from now on.

I had thought of doing a green smoothie this way but was worried because all the other recipes I found included fruit. I don’t mind fruit but I don’t care for juice, and just prefer to eat my fruit than to drink it.

Long, rambling way of saying Thank You for this green smoothie recipe!

karen - Hi Carry
Would it be better to use real egg white instead of powdered? I’m avoiding all processed food where possible. There must be a bit of work going into drying that egg white.
Thanks.

carrie - Karen – you absolutely can use egg whites instead, although I don’t think it will be “better”. A few things to note: You will need to use 11.5 egg whites per smoothie to get the same amount of protein. The smoothie will be much bigger because of all the water in the egg whites, and it will also be a lot more liquid. You may have issues with the egg whites whipping into a huge froth in the blender. Depending on what you pay for eggs, the cost will be higher, and could be considerably so. It will also take a lot longer to prepare. Hope that helps!

Terez - Carrie, I see your reply to Karen and I am now looking up egg white protein. It appears (from a podcast transcript) that you use Honeyville Farm brand. Their pricing is good but they add sodium lauryl sulfate.

Do you still use that brand, or have you found a good brand without the sulfate?

Thanks,
Terez

Leslie - Just Whites from Deb El is 100% powdered egg whites, with nothing else added, including sodium laurel sulfate. I really like this brand! Just thought I’d pass it along…

carrie - Terez / Leslie – JB and I use Honeyville. Obviously you can use any brand you prefer. The sulfate is just there to stop it caking together and to make the whites whippable. The amount is tiny.

Denise - Here’s a suggestion of what NOT to do with this smoothie: DO NOT substitute 1.5oz of green power powder for the spinach. It will be extremely bitter, extremely thick, and extremely gross.
Carrie, if I can finally get spinach powder online, what would the substitution amount be for the fresh spinach?
Thanks!!

carrie - Hi Denise – I had the same experience with adding green power powder :-( I honestly don’t know the answer to your other question – I didn’t know you could get spinach powder! You would have to make a calculation from the packaging material for the equivalent of 6 oz of fresh spinach is and go from there.

Denise Luhman - Carrie: the link to the powdered spinach is on JB’s store page on his site. It comes from znaturalfoods – the same place the green power powder comes from. They were out of stock for ages but they finally have it in again. Mine should be here soon.

Btw, 3/4 oz of green power powder seems to work pretty well – much less bitter & thick, and actually drinkable. But I still can’t wait for my spinach powder. :-)

Bonnie - I’m confused how this is 6 servings of vegetables … my 6oz bag of baby spinach from Trader Joe’s says it’s 2 servings? And I asked on the Facebook page and was told 2-3 cups of raw spinach or kale equal a serving.

carrie - Serving sizes and appetites are different for different people. Servings sizes are just a guide. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. Hope that helps!

Big Breakfast Adventure | La Bete

The weekend before I flew away to the sunny wine country of the Sonoma Valley I went on a Big Breakfast Adventure with an uber-talented photographer friend, Danny, and his smart, beautiful, and equally-talented-but-in-different-ways wife, Tina.  Danny is one of those people who is gifted with everything he touches.  Not only does he shoot amazing images, he is also a brilliant, multi-instrument-playing musician, and those two accomplishments barely scratch the surface of things that he has successfully turned his hand to.  Tina is busy studying Naturopathic medicine while running a successful business, and being wildly creative with fabrics in ways I can only dream of ever being able to do.  For years they have travelled to Venice every February to attend Carnival, Tina making all their stunning costumes and masks with her incredibly skilled fingers.  On top of all that artistry though, they are simply fascinating people.  Danny wears kilts, has a foot-long beard to go with his two-foot-long black hair, makes no apologies for the choices he makes about his life, and regularly wears a bowler hat.  They personify what it means to be who someone really is, and I just adore that about them.

When I posted on Facebook my intention to resume The Big Breakfast Adventure, Tina was one of the first with her arm in the air, waving wildly, “Me! Me! Pick me!”  I was equally thrilled.  I was also a tad nervous, because what with my mission to eat only *SANE foods, and Tina’s multiple food sensitivities, I realized we might be in for a tough time finding something suitable to quench our appetites;  La Bête’s menu indeed proved to be a weighty wrestling match, and there were more than a few moments when I thought we might all have to leave hungry.

La Bête lives in an unassuming – almost missable – grey, corner building right near what I like to call the Olive Way triangle.  This is like the Bermuda triangle without the water, and I have spent far too many hours of my life driving around its few short blocks over and over trying to figure out how to get to where I wanted to be.  This visit was no exception, but Bing maps and parking karma eventually prevailed and as I stepped from my trusty 4-Runner, Danny and Tina magically appeared less than 100 feet away.

La Bête is one of those places that you could walk past daily and never realize there was a charming restaurant inside serving up a delicious array of interesting foods.  Sophisticated old world elegance and a happy, eager staff make for a delightful experience.  The menu at La Bête is a panacea for adventurous food lovers as long as you’re ready for a hefty helping of starch in a myriad of guises.

La Bete Seattle  |  Carrie Brown

Danny, who is not following a SANE lifestyle, took the plunge and gobbled up the biscuits with ham gravy and poached eggs, and declared them to be delicious.  Tina and her pesky dietary limitations worked with the our server to conjure up a plate of food that was both interesting and tasty, although other than that it involved a slice of pâté and some exotic-looking cauliflower, I do not recall the details.  And this is why it’s always best to write the same day as the day you ate the meal…

Hand on heart, my pre-SANE foodie’s interest was piqued by all the ingenious concoctions staring at me from the menu, but I stood firm to my mission to find *SANEity everywhere!

La Bete Seattle  |  Carrie Brown
When I whittled out all the inSANE, all-inclusive dishes which didn’t have options for SANE substitutions, I was left with 3 or 4 choices, all of which needed some tweaking.  I finally opted for the La Bête Deluxe “Painted Hills” Burger – where “Painted Hills” is a brand of grass-fed beef raised in Oregon.  It’s famous in these parts as one of the local grass-fed beefs of choice.  Yum.
La Bete Seattle  |  Carrie Brown
The options listed for my burger were fries or Caesar salad.  Ding!  That was easy.  The only other hurdle was that wretched bun.  When I asked for it bun-less, our ever-helpful server subbed in some leaves of butter lettuce – favorite! lettuce! ever! – and, um, B-A-C-O-N.  Needless to say, after some initially scary moments wondering if I was going to get fed, a little help from the kitchen resulted in my desired plate of delicious *SANEity.  Despite having been almost lured off the ranch by the dozen other inSANE dishes, I knew that a few moments of oral pleasure would have been regretted for hours, if not days.

It was a thoroughly lovely couple of hours of good food and great conversation.  I even made it out of the Olive Way triangle alive!  And on the same day!!

I thoroughly recommend grabbing some favorite people and sharing a meal.  Whatever makes you feel good – do more of that.

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Hope - I so love your food adventures. You are such a great encouragement to me with each choice you make! Thanks for continuing to do what you do. xox

carrie - It sure is fun doing them!!! Seeing how SANE you can be when dining out is a great game!

A Good Chuckle

When I started writing this I was sat in a beautiful apartment at a resort in California, having just downed an awful lot of sautéed mushrooms and several scrambled eggs.  It was delicious.  Prior to my rendezvous with a frying pan and a sharp knife, I was lolling on a sun bed in the warm sunshine and thanking my lucky stars for a week away and a chance to see a different part of the Pacific ocean.  Life is good.

I think it’s important to note that laughing is also good.  So the other week when one of the brilliant moderators over in the SANE and Eccentric Community started a thread entitled, “You know you’ve gone SANE when…” I had a good chuckle over some of the responses and I thought you might like to join in.  It’s good to giggle.

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You know you’ve gone SANE when…

…You enjoy a small glass of unflavored unsweetened kefir as a treat!  Rebecca

…The baby carrot you ate at the company potluck tasted like candy.  Tina

…You eat Carrie Brown’s ice cream (in moderation) without a vestige of guilt!  Mike

…Your best friend sends you a cookie recipe to help with your new diet and you immediately recognize there are more carbs from the sugar-free ingredients than a cookie made with sugar (just happened!)  Ali

…You would prefer to snack on sugar snap peas, then potato chips.  Codi

…You can justify getting another fridge or a bigger fridge to hold all that great produce.  Carolyn

…You stop by the grocery on the way to see a movie with your kids so you can grab a bag of sugar snap peas.  Erin

…You spend $300.00 on a reconditioned blender!  Steve

…When you see a runner trotting along (after you yourself have been a lifelong runner) and you think…”Man, you don’t have to be doing all that….”  Steve

…When there are very weird thick green smoothies in your fridge that you have to defend to family members why you drink them.  Nicky

…When your coworker looks at your lunch (tons of veggies, large omelet, 1/4 of an avocado and a small orange for dessert) and asks if you are going to eat all that food. The answer is: yes!!!  Jessica

…When you buy almond flour in bulk.  Bethany

…When your salad bowl holds 3 quarts.  Kyra

…You don’t mind people looking in your cart at the grocery store because you are so proud of your choices.  Carolyn

…When you’re looking everywhere for grass-fed beef.  Steve

…You eat frozen broccoli for breakfast (in a smoothie) Yum.  Jenny

…You feel stuffed full all day – too full to snack – and still lose weight/drop clothes sizes.  Mike

…You pass by a stack of potato chips, tortilla chips, Fritos, etc…..and say to yourself….meh…..would rather feel good like I do now than the temporary taste bud satisfaction!  Laura

…You can pass up any sugar or candy treats because you know tonight you are going to “indulge” in Carrie’s Chocolate Yogurt SupremeKaren

…You to your favorite deli for coffee, and only have coffee!  Leanda

…You start photographing vegetables instead of (or in addition to) sunrises.  Laurie

…You ordered 5 lbs of nuts from Nuts.com :)  Tina

 

How do you know you’ve gone SANE?

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Syrita - When you hand out Christmas cookie recipes to friends and the ingredients include xylitol ( amoung other non traditional cookie ingredients) !! ;)

Nutritional Data and Serving Sizes for SANE Recipes

Phew.

The last 6 months have been entirely too busy over at the Brown House, and, although I’m not entirely sure it’s wise to admit this out loud, some things just had to fall by the wayside.  Knocking it out of the ball park at my day job, writing cookbooks like a crazy woman, re-modeling my kitchen, and recording a CreativeLive Workshop with the adorable Mr. Bailor left little time for things like replying to your emails, folding laundry, responding to your blog comments, keeping things flowing on social media, vacuuming, writing blog posts, website maintenance, and grocery shopping.  And there was absolutely no paperwork getting done.

I’ve felt like I was on one of those snazzy toboggans, hurtling down a steep and slippery slope with no way to stop or slow down and whizzing straight past all manner of good and worthy things without even a moment to glance at them.  If I am brutally honest – which I do like to be – things on the home front all got in a bit of a pickle.  I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to unbury myself and restore some order to the proceedings.  So getting my taxes done the other week felt somewhat similar to the elation I imagine a gold-medal-winning Olympian experiences, since it took me waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay longer than it would have done if I’d churned through a teeny bit of paperwork every month.  Nevertheless, the taxes are done!  Hurrah!

No matter the excitement I am feeling about clawing my way out from my muddle, no matter the joy of feeling my brain get a bit less cluttered every day, I did want to mention that you were some of the good and worthy things that I missed while I was on my crazy, head-first trip down the toboggan run.  I am sorry for being absent.  I am sorry that I’ve missed emails and comments altogether, or am only just responding to some of them now.  I hope you’ll forgive me, because I do love hearing from you even when I can’t respond.  Your mails and comments and little notes of cheer are the best pick-me-ups in the world. As I have trawled through months of email figuring out what needed a response, what needed to be filed, and what could be trashed, I was touched over and over again by your kind and nurturing words, your success stories, your love of what I do, and your expressions of glee at this whole SANE thing.  Going through much of my email backlog was like getting an enormous hug from the Universe.  You’re the BEST!

I also discovered another recurring theme from some of you around recipe data, and since we have a whole crew of new folks join us recently {WELCOME!!!} I thought I’d just cobble together a blog post and get us all on the same page.  I’ve received multiple requests for this information so I figured it was about time I explained myself to one and all.

 

Recipe Measurements

If you’ve been around my recipes for a while you’ll know that I am a huge proponent of weights instead of volume measures for dry ingredients.  I don’t do this to make life difficult or complicated or more cumbersome for you.  I do this so that you will get consistently great results from your cooking and baking exploits.

Using volume measures for liquids works great – a cup is a cup is a cup.  But when it comes to dry ingredients, a cup is not a cup because the volume changes depending on what the ingredient is and how much it is packed into the cup.  You know how in packages of dry foods there’s always a lot of air in the top?  That’s because dry ingredients settle.  They fill the container with the product but over time, and with movement, the contents take up less space.  So a well-packed cup of almond flour weighs a different amount than a lightly-packed cup of almond flour and that’s when you start having problems – especially when it comes to baked goods where the ratios of ingredients really matters.

Using volume measures for dry ingredients mean you never get consistent results, and I don’t want that for you.  I want these recipes to work for you every single time you make them.  So when it comes to dry ingredients I will always and forever use a kitchen scale to weigh them, and I will never give you cup equivalents of the weights.  I have only your best interests (and taste buds) at heart.

I urge you to avail yourself of a kitchen scale and would highly recommend this one because it is digital, weighs in both ounces and grams and is the one I have used for the past 13 years.  I love how you can pull the display out so that you can use a humongous bowl on the scale and still see the weight.  Plus, being able to weigh directly into your bowl or container, zero the weight out and then weigh the next ingredient straight into the bowl saves on washing up, and that can never be a bad thing.

You have probably noticed, too, that when I started posting recipes I used pounds and ounces for the measurements, because this is America.  Who knew that in very short order we’d have a whole host of friends from all over the planet joining us to get SANE recipes?  Our non-American friends using the metric system of grams and kilograms were understandably confused about why all the recipes were in old-fashioned weights.

When I started my first cookbook, Eat Smarter! Ice Creams, I realized I needed to write all the recipes in both ounces and grams to keep everyone humming along.  Once I had done that I started writing all my new blog recipes in both weights too.  One day – hopefully in the not-too-distant future – I will have a chance to go back and update all the earlier recipes with metric measurements, so no one will have to convert anymore.  YAY!

In the meantime, here’s a handy-dandy site you can use to do any conversions that you need:  http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/cooking-conversions.aspx

 

Nutritional Information and Serving Sizes for Recipes

There’s a reason I am not very prescriptive about serving sizes, and don’t list the amounts of protein, veggies or other nutrients for each recipe or per serving - actually there are several reasons – and I will never be persuaded to add this data.

  • If I added nutritional information for each recipe the data would only be valid if you made the recipe EXACTLY as I wrote it, using EXACTLY the brands of ingredients that I use, and EXACTLY the quantities that I do, and most of the time that is not what happens.  If I use Trader Joe’s non-fat Greek yogurt and you don’t because you don’t have a TJ’s close by, then right there my data for a recipe containing non-fat Greek yogurt would be inaccurate for what you actually end up consuming.  The chicken breasts I buy might weigh more that yours – immediately my data is useless to you.  I might buy 95% lean ground beef for my lasagna and you might have taken advantage of a sale on the 75% lean ground beef = inaccurate, not to mention misleading, data.  There are just way too many variables for me to give you truly meaningful nutritional information on each recipe.  You may *feel* better having some data to hang your hat on, but what’s the point of data that is not an accurate reflection of your version of my recipe or what you actually end up eating?
  • Adding all that data encourages you to focus on things that we don’t need to focus on – like counting calories or micronutrients.  Our focus should be to simply eat SANE foods.  If you’re eating a variety of SANE foods you don’t need to worry because by default you will be eating only the most nutrient dense foods out there.
  • We all have different appetites.  The amount that is filling for me is not the same as the amount that is filling for you.  We should eat when we are hungry and stop when we are full.  There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to serving sizes.  There’s no point in telling you how much protein or how many veggies are in the serving size that I eat, because that probably won’t be the same size as the serving size that you eat.  Again, my data could be misleading and wildly inaccurate compared to how much you actually eat.  JB and I are not in the business of misleading you.
  • Slim is simple, not complicated.  Adding all this extra data just complicates things that don’t need to be complicated.  Keep it simple.
  • If you read pages 204 – 206 in The Calorie Myth, Jonathan explains how the serving sizes are general guidelines and we should not get mired in details but stay focused on the big picture.  The 10+ servings of non-starchy veggies is intended to keep us focused on non-starchy veggies being the biggest part of what we eat.  I do the best I can to eat an abundance of non-starchy veg and protein but I don’t make myself uncomfortably full, because then meal times would become a battle and food my enemy, and we certainly don’t want that!  Focus on food quality and you won’t go wrong.  We get overweight because of the consumption of the wrong quality of food.
  • Take the principles of SANEity and customize them to fit your lifestyle, where you are now, and your goals.  All that will be different for you than for anyone else, which is why I don’t get so prescriptive on my blog and recipes.
  • Check out Jonathan’s FAQ and I quote:

Can I eat less than noted in the book and still unclog?  Yes. Every time you eat, enjoy the food until you are too full for starches and sweets and then stop. As long as you are eating (in order of volume) non-starchy vegetables, lean protein, berries or citrus, and flax seeds or nuts you will unclog.”

“What do I do if I’m not hungry enough to eat more than two or three times per day?  Only eat when you are hungry. And whenever you eat, stay as SANE as possible.”

  • The 30g protein at each meal is so that you can MAXIMIZE muscle protein synthesis, but nothing bad will happen if you can’t manage 30g at a time.  I tend to eat protein at breakfast and dinner and just do veggies for lunch because I just don’t get that hungry.  I do want to maximize the protein that I do eat, so I do two larger servings of protein twice a day and eat one of my soups for lunch.  Soups mean you can get way more veggies in you than trying to chomp your way through an enormous pile of whole vegetables.  This is what works for me.  I don’t want to face every meal with the trepidation of feeling uncomfortably full afterwards trying to eat an amount of food that my appetite just doesn’t allow for, and I don’t want to face each meal worrying about am I getting enough of this nutrient or that nutrient.  It’s exhausting and, more to the point, it’s unnecessary.  It won’t get you to your goal any faster.
  • Getting stressed over minutiae, micronutrients, and serving sizes will not help us get to where we want to go.

If you still like the comfort of some data though, here are two resources that will help:

  • Nutrition Data – use the food search tool right at the top of the home page to get the nutrition stats on every food:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/  This can help if you are wondering if a food is SANE or inSANE, especially when it comes to vegetables.
  • Recipe Nutrition Analyzer – you need to sign up (it’s free!), but then you can punch in all the ingredients for a recipe and the tool will spit out the equivalent of a nutrition label for that recipe:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/mynd/myrecipes/

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But really what we’d like to tell you most is to focus on non-starchy veggies, good quality protein, fiber, water, whole-food fats, nuts, seeds, and low-fructose fruits.  Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full.  That’s it.  Your body will take care of the minutiae.

Relax and enjoy!

 

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Rose - We have missed you but 3D life must come first! Thanks again for the reminders of priority eating. My struggle is little appetite + figuring out my hypothyroidism = weight gain with little appetite. Today I’ve had organic coffee/organic heavy cream/MCT Oil, organic beef jerky and about 5 paleo macaroons (bought from Julian Bakery, highly recommend them) and wasn’t even hungry for the macaroons (just wanted to eat something in the evening). So eating too much or not enough is truly a challenge for many readers out there.

Carrie, here’s a thought for your next recipe book… Many paleo/natural eating guides (i.e. “Deep Nutrition” by Dr. Cate Shanahan) recommend organ meats, which are not even *remotely* on the U.S. dietary palette. I recently bought from my local farmer (grass fed beef) tongue and heart. I’ve found tutorials on how to clean and prep these organs for meals and universe willing at some point I can work up the courage… I guess my question is, do you have some ideas on how Americans/Westerners with little to no organ meat prep/cook experience can incorporate these nutritional (and very much affordable) proteins without grossing us out in the process? :-D

Carrie, you always bring a smile to my face. Thank you again!

Rose

laurab. - Thank you so much Carrie! I love your common sense, CALM approach! I have too much stress and tension, as it is, to start obsessing over every tiny detail re: exact nutritional analysis. :)

The Transformation: Green Tea

Hello, from sunny California!!!

California  |  Carrie Brown
I am on a little road trip down in the Bay area.  Well, to be a little more precise, I am really up in the Napa area – a bit inland, just North of San Francisco, where they grow an awful lot of grapes.  No, I am not here to visit wineries and get sloshed for free.  I am here to shoot things (typically things that do not breathe - think fences and flowers), get inspired, and get revived.  It’s been a long and super-busy 6 months, and while I am certain that a week in Cali-forn-i-a won’t fix all of that, it will certainly help.  On a whim, I flew down from Seattle instead of driving, and while I missed the long drive down, the air miles made for a compelling (read free) alternative.  With any luck I’ll have some lovely images to share with you when I get back.  While you’re waiting you could always peruse some previous trip images.  I do love shooting in California.

California  |  Carrie Brown
Anyway, enough of California.  Let’s talk about green tea!!!  If you’ve been listening to the Smarter Science of Slim / The Calorie Myth Podcasts for any length of time, I bet you never imagined you’d *EVER* see a post from me with “Green Tea” anywhere in the title and I suspect you might be wondering what on earth has happened to me.  I know, right?  The unimaginable has happened, lovely people!  It took 18 months, but I have finally succumbed to The Bailornator’s pleas to drink his favorite beverage, and I figured that HAD to be worth a blog post all of its own.  In fact, I am so excited to be able to write this post I can barely stand it!  I know there’s a lot of you out there who, like me, struggle with getting your green tea on.

The reputed health benefits of green tea abound.  Everything from helping regulate glucose levels in the blood, reducing LDL cholesterol, being anti-viral and anti-bacterial, protecting brain cells, and reducing blood pressure, to reducing the signs of aging.  Not to mention it’s reported ability to reduce tooth decay, kill cancer cells, help depression, and protect against clot formation.  Green tea should pretty much come wrapped in a cape, not a bag.

But the reason that green tea got it’s very own principle in JB’s brilliant book, The Calorie Myth, is because of its unique fat-burning effect.  Drinking water alone allows our bodies to burn fat far more effectively, but add polyphenol-packed green tea and you can supercharge that.  Since I am not the scientist in this outfit, please feel free to take any insatiable quest for hard-core green tea knowledge to the web to get all the scientific studies and research you could ever want.  I am just here to share some ideas on how to get your daily green tea fix, especially if you find it as distasteful as I do.  Or maybe now I should say used to do.

Jonathan recommends drinking 10 bags of green tea per day to maximize all the benefits that green tea has to offer.  Woah.  That’s a lot of green tea.  Except this is Jonathan Bailor we’re talking about, so of course there’s a way to do it smarter while still getting the same effect.  The easiest way to do this is to brew all 10 bags (decaf if you prefer) in a small amount of hot water in one go, let it brew for a few minutes, then remove the bags and drink it.  You can even add ice to make a cold drink if you prefer it that way over hot.  See!  10 bags is easy peasy!  IF you like drinking green tea.  Ah.  Yes.  The big IF.

I hate the taste of green tea.  I’ve tried to like it, so many times.  I’ve forced it down anyway, so many times.  No matter how hard I tried, I just hate the taste of green tea.  And no matter how good something is for you – and boy is green tea good! – if you can’t stomach the taste, it’s really hard to get it down.

I know I am not alone in my distaste, so a couple of things you can do instead are to add other flavors to your green tea such as lemon juice (this also provides Vitamin C which makes the healthy compounds in green tea easier to absorb – winning!), or adding some sweetness in the form of xylitol or stevia.  The other trick that avoids you having to drink it altogether is especially for you smoothie drinkers out there.  Simply add the contents (the leaves themselves) of 3 or 4 bags of green tea into your Green Smoothie when you blend it.  You won’t be able to taste the green tea but you’ll get all the benefits of drinking 10 bags worth.  Hurrah!

But here’s my Big! Green! Tea! Discovery! that I made recently.  Here’s the thing that made me love green tea.  Yes!  Love as in I-look-forward-to-my-green-tea-every-day-now.  Peppermint.  I love peppermint herbal tea, and a little while ago while I was musing on my green tea problem yet again, I found myself wondering what would happen if I brewed my peppermint tea with my green tea.  Voila!  A miracle occurred at the Brown house!  I found that by brewing 4 bags of green tea with 1 or 2 bags of peppermint tea and a dash of xylitol in one large mug, I have a drink that I truly enjoy.  My struggle with green tea is over.  I make a couple of mugs of that a day and I’m all done.  You might find a different ratio works better for you, or you might find an herbal tea other than peppermint that you love works better for your taste buds.  Do whatever floats your boat, but if you struggle with drinking regular green tea, I urge you to give this a go.  It transformed my green tea consumption overnight.

Green tea for President!

PS. You will retain more of the healthful properties of green tea if you use 175 degree water to make it rather than boiling water.  Also, if you use too hot water you will “burn” the leaves and it will taste bitter.  So you can either boil your water and then let it cool before you pour it on your leaves, or, if you have the same kettle as I do you can push the magic button that says “green tea” and get water at the perfect temperature.  Once my water is the right temperature I steep the bags for only 2 minutes – I actually use a timer so I don’t leave them too long – because over-steeping can also result in bitterness.

Drink and enjoy!

On a side note I found that drinking all this peppermint green tea halted my desire for soda.  My last bastion of pop consumption – Hansen’s Diet Black Cherry – has now left the building.  Ding!  That was easy.

Now I’ll get back to California.  Toodle pip!

 

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Pam - I love Genmaicha, which is green tea with toasted brown rice. I brew that, then combine it with my almond/coconut milk blend for a creamy, toasty hot drink. Love!

Michelle Ricci-Koch - I wish I could meet up with you and go on a personal adventure! I am down in the Central Valley in Cslifornia. Enjoy your visit, you picked a great spot

Barbara - Wow! This is tasty and now I can drink green tea too! Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!! I love your recipes, they have transformed my life! 8-)

April - What about adding cream? Or half-and-half?

Barbara in Tx - Another option that I have been able to switch off with the peppermint green tea is Bigelow’s Constant Comment Green Tea. It has an orange rind, sweet spice description on it and it’s very doable to use 4 bags per cup. Yum!

Thanks again and again Carrie for giving me the courage to try new things!

Barbara in Tx - BTW…..in case anyone is interested, Amazon has the Bigelow Constant Comment Green tea on their Subscribe and Save AND right now (3/4/14) they have an extra 15% coupon that you can clip!

Keith - I had been drinking Mighty Leaf’s Tropical Green Tea which has pineapple and spices in it, most delicious version of green tea I’ve had (again for someone who has long hated the taste of green tea).

But now that I’m trying to get my ten bags in even that has been rough on the palette to say the least. I even tried it in your “Hardcore Green Smoothie” recipe but it ruined my delicious breakfast!

This peppermint recipe mixture sounds like just the trick I need. Amazing tips, thanks again!

A Veritable Transformation » Carrie Brown | Life in the SANE lane - […] The Transformation: Green Tea […]

Pam - Keith, thanks for mentioning that Mighty Leaf Tropical Green Tea … bought a box … love it!

Green tea tips | Healthy Intentions (2014) - […]  Carrie Brown in her usual genius has posted about how she overcame her loathing for green tea by brewing it with peppermint.  I have found a chocolate mint flavoured herbal tea which I just […]