Saturday, September 1, 2012

Day Three of Smoothie Goodness

Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone.  So sorry that summer is nearly over but I know a lot of people like autumn best.  It was always my favorite season until I moved to Southern California.  Most say we don't have seasons here.  We do, sort of.  What makes "autumn" especially strange here is that quite often we have our hottest days of the year in September and especially in October!  Weird, huh?  We often experience a weather pattern called "Santa Ana" winds where instead of cooling ocean breezes that usually make this a paradise. the winds instead shift and come from the east off the desert.  They are not only very dry but they come through the canyons and rev up to very high velocity.  This is the time of the year when everyone hears about Southern California being on fire.  And not in a good way. 

So - I think I use this as a segue to being on fire for good health - ba da bump.  Holiday weekends can be a real challenge if you are the lone wolf at the Bar B Que or Potluck that is trying to eat well.  Going to a gathering after you've already eaten is one way you can reduce temptation. Bringing along something healthy that you can eat is a common recommendation for planning to succeed during trying times. 

This is our last day of just liquids.  I don't know about you - but I don't think it's been too bad.  Tomorrow we start Ani's next phase of her diet and there will be SALAD!!  Yes - something to sink our teeth into.  If you like our salad tomorrow it could be a good choice to bring to a gathering on Labor Day.  You can think of it as your "Safety Food". 

The past two days I talked about how I didn't like the taste and the mouth feel of the coconut oil in the breakfast smoothies.  I thought having two types of fat in one drink was pretty redundant so the past two days I've left out the oil. 

Last night I was reading some of the early chapters in "Ani's 15 Day Fat Blast"  where she was discussing the biochemistry behind adding the medium chain fatty acids like coconut oil to our drinks.  She describes several nutrients as "Rocket Fuel" and coconut oil is one of these.  She goes into more detail in the book but coconut oil has been shown to:
  • Help actually burn fat in our bodies
  • Improve HDL cholesterol
  • May have some therapeutic effect for people suffering with Crohn's disease
  • Has some antifungal properties
It is amazing to me the more I read about the plain, old kind of ugly looking coconut how jam packed it is with God's perfect remedy for so many things!  So -we see that the oil from the coconut keeps us fit, counteracts some inflammation and fungal type bad things that could plague us.

The coconut meat is very nutritious.

Finally the coconut water is the new darling of the health food world regarding rehydration.  If you peruse the Reboot site from our first three days you will see where you are often encouraged to hydrate liberally since the juices don't provide the free water you need for your body to work optimally.  Coconut juice is recommended for it's perfect electrolyte blend as well as lack of calories. 

When I was in Africa it was common knowledge that coconut water could be used as an INTRAVENOUS rehydration fluid in the place of actual plasma!  Really?  I did not know that until going to the third world.  I checked it out and apparently it has been used to save lives. Here's the link from the very reputable organization No Blood  One would think that as a supposed expert in blood I would have come across this tidbit before.  Astounding and frankly miraculous.  Leave it to the good Lord above to place the perfect food, the perfect rehydration fluid right where we need it and at an elevation where we have to work for it but other animals can't get it as easily.  Wow! 

So - how about those smoothies?  Here is today's menu:

The Pina Colada shake was more Pina than Colada for me as I left out the coconut oil again but after the discussion above, I may have to rethink whether I can handle just a smidgen of the oil to get its benefits tomorrow morning.  There are also a lot of nuts in this drink.  A quarter of a cup of almonds adds a nice taste however also gives the fat in the mouth feel that I'm not crazy about.  The Pineapple is sweet but not cloyingly so probably due to the almonds and a splash of vanilla.  This gets a B in my book. 

Today's pictures didn't turn out well.  The one of the Pina Colada was the one I was going to delete since I moved while taking it but unfortunately the second picture has a black box on my phone.  Hmmmm.  The picture doesn't do this drink justice.  It's an inviting, creamy light yellow in color. 

For our mid morning snack we have the Pear Power Shake.  This is a wonderful drink that tastes really very good.  I love pears!  Teaming Pears with some well chopped up kale and a splash of vanilla is a great combination.  I put some chopped up kale by itself in the Vitamix while I got rid of the stems and seeds in the pears.  I then threw in the pears so they could get chopped up as well.  It seemed to do the trick as everything was extremely well emulsified and there was no dragging bits of kale out of my teeth while trying to slurp this one down.  For a good tasting, healthy powerhouse - I have give this smoothie an A.

Next for lunch we have our Spicy Avocado Soup.  I was really looking forward to this soup since I love avocados and yesterday's Ginger Avocado soup was such a clear winner I thought "Let's see what she's come up with this time"!  I'm sorry to say I found this soup to be a real disappointment.  First, this soup is not very spicy.  She has you add a dash of chipotle spice.  It probably could have used a more measurable amount because there was not enough spice to write home about much less get top billing in the name.  Secondly, I think having an entire avocado in this is just too much.  Yesterday's soup had a half an avocado and it was smooth, creamy and divine.  This one - even when I added the most water she recommended was too thick and just didn't have enough taste for me.  Although I would have loved to had more of something for the afternoon snack and I had plenty left over - this just wasn't that drinkable to me.  For awhile I thought perhaps this could be a nice summer soup interlude at a dinner party.  But why bother?  Yesterday's avocado soup is so much better.  At best I can only give this a C-

By the way - MSB asked me the other day how I came up with my grading system.  To be honest there is absolutely no science or forethought in it whatsoever.  No, I didn't consult the cookbook evaluator's code of grading (if there is such a thing) or anything like that.  Roughly, these are what the grades mean.

    A - Oh my goodness!  This is just to die for fabulous!  Forget the rest of this stuff, I will drink this forever - or something like that. 

   B  - Really good, a decent drink that was quite enjoyable.  I'd make this again sometime probably.

   C -  Ok, drinkable to a point but I probably wasn't able to finish it either because it wasn't that good, coated my mouth inside with something I'd rather not have there or it might be something another person would like but I say "Meh". 

   D -  This was quite awful and I'm only drinking it to get the full description for this blog.  I consider this drink a waste of my time and produce that would be better off still in my refrigerator...but at least it didn't make me throw up. 

   F -  It made me throw up. 

Finally - for dinner we have coconut curry soup.  Ani admits in this recipe that she really likes the taste of coconut - I think we sort of figured that out given how often I've had to wrestle with whether to put it in or not. After reading how all this fat was going to help me lose weight - I decided to take a leap of faith, suspend reality and drink something that has not only an entire avocado but a tablespoon of coconut oil. This soup is quite sumptuous. It has lovely fresh tomatoes, the aforementioned avocado and coconut oil as well as lemon juice, some miso paste and curry powder. This soup is so thick it begs for a spoon and is so rich I honestly couldn't finish it. Here is another really nice summer soup that I could see serving for dinner with a salad in the future.  I give this soup an A- only because it doesn't live up to the yummy awesomeness that was the Ginger soup from yesterday.

Well there you have the first three days of Ani's program that she calls the "Blast Off". Tomorrow we'll get to do something we haven't done for awhile - CHEW! I can hardly wait.

Here's the chart for today's meals:

Name Category Diet Day Page number Column1 Rating
Blueberry Blast Smoothie Fat Blast one 116   B-
Pineapple  Green Shake Smoothie Fat Blast one 124   B+
Spicy Bok Choy Soup Soup Fat Blast one 144   A+
Tomato Bisque Soup Fat Blast one 150  
Simple Strawberry Shake Smoothie Fat Blast two 125   B
Apple Green Mar-Tea-Ni Smoothie Fat Blast two 113   C
Ginger Soup Soup Fat Blast two 102   A/A+
Marvelous Minestrone Soup Fat Blast two 147   B
Pina Colada Smoothie Fat Blast three 123   B
Pear Power Shake Smoothie Fat Blast three 122   A
Spicy Avocado Soup Soup Fat Blast three 150   C-
Coconut Curry Soup Soup Fat Blast three 142   A-


  1. Hi Ann, I can't imagine the pina colada without the coconut, LOL! My two favorite drinks are the Simple Strawberry and the Pina colada -- with the coconut. I make them according to the instructions, using the exact recipe. I melt my coconut oil for 30 seconds and add it at the very end, after the smoothie is the exact texture I want it, drizzling it in while the blender is running full tilt! I let it run for about 15 or 20 seconds more to make sure the oil is blended in. I must confess that I LOVE that oil, and wouldn't mind finding chunks of it. One thing about this diet is that it is very low fat, and you need to add the oil to make sure you get enough! As for finding chunks of spinach in your smoothie yesterday, how old is your Vitamix? You either need to get it serviced or just run it longer, My smoothies are actually smooth, no matter what I use! I use baby spinach leaves, and never pre-chop. When I use frozen fruit (which is most of the time) I don't add ice, but a little extra water.

  2. Apparently, there is a limit to the length you can post! I also wanted to say that I hope you'll try both those smoothies again, exactly according to the instructions. I think that the sweetener added really brings out the flavor of the strawberries. I use a pinch of stevia most of the time, or a little agave (a tsp maybe) or a couple of medjool dates. I hope you enjoy your salads! Don't forget about the "wet chop" feature of your Vitamix. For cabbbage cut a half a head into chunks, cover with water until it is floating with an inch of water on the bottom, and run on variable speed number 2 until it is the size you want it. I do this with the carrots, too. Will you be coming to booty camp at I plan to start the 15 day fat blast at the beginning, on day one of class. That should be fun! I am loving your blog!

  3. OMG..I so agree about the Spicy Avocado Soup. I couldn't finish it either. I got half of it down, then the gag reflex kicked in. I don't know if it was partly because I was over the all liquid meals or mostly because it was just soooo thick. I have continued to make many of Ani's Fat Blast items, but this is not one of them.