30 Day Fruit & Veggie Smoothie Challenge

Did you know that the average American eats scarcely half of the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables a day? Did you know that fruits and vegetables play an important role in staying healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally? 

Duh, Dayna. Why are you telling us what we already know? Rub it in, rub it in.

I hardly ever ate fruits and vegetables daily. Fruits, maybe. But vegetables? No. After doing a lot of research on nutrition and health, and having a hubby who has done even more research on nutrition and health, we've come to realize how true the statement is "you are what you eat" and just like a car, your body needs the proper fuel in order to function optimally. Most know this (like I did) but don't do anything about it (again, me!).

Ever since Steve convinced me to drink fruit and vegetable smoothies everyday, I have noticed a huge difference in the way I feel (in even just a couple months of doing this). I feel healthier and happier and my body has more energy. It has started craving the healthy stuff more and the junk food less and I am loving how delicious and simple it is to do. All you need is a blender and the right food and voila! you can put that good stuff in your body in a matter of seconds. Obviously I'm just a little bit passionate about our smoothies. But it got me thinking... how can I share this passion with others? How great it would be to get others on the smoothie bandwagon to eating more fruits and vegetables and liking it too.

So, what if we had a little challenge? A 30 day fruit & veggie smoothie challenge to be exact. This is for those of you who don't make these already on a daily basis. It's not really even a challenge, but rather a goal that I think would be fun to do together and that I really really want all you reading to join in on. I promise you won't regret it. 

30 days, that's it. But I guarantee that well before the 30 days are over you'll be craving these bad boys and won't be able to go a day without, and will be going well past the 30 days onward for the rest of your lives (dramatic much? yes. But do I really believe this to be true? yes). If it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody. The real challenge will be making sure your fridge is stocked with fruits and veggies for the making, and taking the time to remember to make and drink them everyday. The goal is not a matter of drinking something gross. These will taste good (maybe new and a little weird at first) and they taste even better the more you drink them as the body begins to crave the goodness. 

So here is the goal. 30 consecutive days in a row, make and drink a fruit & veggie smoothie for a meal. It can be breakfast, lunch or dinner, accompanied with other food (if you're really hungry) or for just for an afternoon snack. This is not a goal to lose weight, but a goal to eating better. However, you'll be surprised that it may do a thing or two for your waistline while you're at it.

Here are the rules:
1. There must be at least 2 different vegetables, and 2 different fruits in every smoothie. {I only say this so you try getting a variety of fruits and vegetables, but if one day you really want to make a smoothie that will only taste right with a lot of one kind of vegetable or one kind of fruit then go for it guilt free!}
2. No added sugar with the exception of natural sweeteners (like honey or agave) and yogurt/milk (we often use almond milk, greek yogurt, or a probiotic yogurt).
2. The only fruit juices added must be freshly squeezed
4. You must drink at least one glass a day (trust me, this will be easy... you'll be wanting more I promise) 

What you'll need:
- A blender strong enough to blend fruits and veggies and ice to a relatively smooth consistency
- Or a juicer (but I think a blender works better because you can intake a lot of the extra fiber and you can add things like almond milk or yogurt)

How to commit. 
1. Leave your commitment and "signature" to the 30 day challenge in the comments section below.
2. Blog, email or Facebook this challenge in an effort to motivate your friends and family to do it too.
Obviously, those are not required... but I think they will give you that extra drive to really commit. 

Here is a recipe to start you off on Day 1, which will begin Monday, February 27th.

Makes 2-3 large glasses
(half if just making for a snack... or keep as is and share with your kids/friends/lover/roommates! Or drink the whole thing for a complete meal)

Blend in a blender:
1 large carrot
1 large handful of spinach
1 banana (peeled)
5 strawberries
handful of ice
handful of blueberries
1 half of apple OR peach.. whatever is available or in season (I peel the peach, I don't peel an apple but I remove seeds/pit from both)
Fill half way up with water
Another half way up with Probiotic Yogurt (or vanilla almond milk, or greek yogurt)

The possibilities are endless. You can make anything to your fancy with whatever fruits and veggies you can think of. You can just do fruits and veggies with water and ice. You can add yogurt or milk (but try to use ones that are natural with little/to no added sugar). You can even add things like ginger root, or cilantro or basil. Try something new, be creative. Because here is what I would also like to do:

Over the next 30 days, send me your favorite smoothie recipes/picture that you made over the course of the challenge and I'll post them up on the blog for others to enjoy. I would love to get some new recipe ideas for our own family!

I think this could be a lot of fun, and I hope you'll join me.

So.... what'd ya say?!
(say yes!)

In response to a few questions I had in my email, I thought I'd also share a few more things:

- Some other great vegetables to try are kale, avacado, any green lettuce, cucumber, and celery. You can even do tomatoes (fruit? veggie? whatever.) if you want to make a more savory smoothie. 
- I have always just stuck with carrots and spinach (and switched up the fruits) because they are power vegetables and I can pack a lot in without really noticing them.
- For cost efficiency, I would recommend buying fruits in bulk (at Costco) and then keeping them in your freezer. 
- I am going to put up a few more recipes of ones we have tried as well. Keep your eyes out for them on the bottom of this post in the next day or two. 
- It would be in your best interest to invest in a great quality blender if you don't already own one. I'd recommend the Vitamix or the Blendtech. Both are expensive, but to be honest, they are WORTH the cost when you think of all that you can (and will) do with them for the rest of your life.


Mary Martha said...

Love this! Great idea. I really want to do it. I'm sure going to try. Thanks for including Recipies too.

Crystal said...

I'm in! Yesterday I made a blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, spinach, carrot, and coconut water with probiotics (from sunflower market) smoothie! It was delish! Thanks for the tips. Also, do you know of any kids cups with straws that are baby/child proof that you wanna share? I shared my drink with Savannah yesteray and she LOVED it but I had to majorly supervise. I wish I could just give her something for her to hold on her own...you know?

Crystal said...

also another Q... what other veggies are good for smoothies besides spinach and carrot?

Lauren Elizabeth said...

Mike and I are totally in!! Love me some green smoothies!

The Bobos said...

I'm in!! This a great way to enjoy all the yummy tropical fruit here in Hawaii while I still can. Will you please post your favorite recipes?? It's always a risk trying a recipe from the Internet because you're not entirely sure if it's good but if you're friend recommends it, it's a much better chance that it will be.

katie mcphee said...

the mcphersons are in. as soon as my vitamix gets here! thanks for the inspiration!

Alison said...

oh yay, this sounds fun! i'm all in!

xoalishiaxo said...

I Alishia Sinclair is starting this challenge today (=

Angie said...

I really want to do it! Our blender broke after I started doing smoothies every day, I think we will have to splurge on a more expensive one that will last. But as soon as we get a blender I am ON BOARD!

Helen John Photography said...

This is so inspiring! Just made smoothie with banana, strawberries, carrots and kale. Not the yummiest but its sooo healthy!

Helen John Photography said...

This is so inspiring! Just made smoothie with banana, strawberries, carrots and kale. Not the yummiest but its sooo healthy!

Julia David said...

Excellent ! This is a nice post. You know exactly what you're talking about, exactly where other people are coming .Thanks