Monday, January 13, 2014

Salad Versus Smoothie, and the Winner Is...

Day 5 of my Wellness Project Challenge is successfully underway. With my green smoothie in hand, I am enjoying my fifth day in a row of a "rawish" lunch.

If you will recall, on days 1 through 4 of this challenge I met my goal of eating relatively raw by having a big salad for lunch.  This was not a particular hardship for me, as I do love vegetables. They are probably my favorite food group of all time. With baby greens and a few choice veggies, making the salads was relatively easy and pain-free.  The one exception being Saturday when, looking forward to my leftover salad greens from the day before, my husband decided salad sounded good for lunch too.  So, instead of the quick grab-n-go lunch I had envisioned, I ended up spending some extra time chopping romaine and other ingredients to make my salad for one stretch enough to feed two people. Of course, I did this happily and with only a little bit of grumbling at the perceived inconvenience to myself. Ahem.

Veggie lover or not, though, today I already knew I was at the end of my salad tolerance, and the decision was made to try a smoothie for lunch instead.  (This decision was also helped in part by the fact that I no longer had any salad-making materials on hand.)

So, lunch as I know it today became a simple green smoothie. Ingredients were: two bananas, handful of kale leaves, two celery sticks, one orange, frozen pineapple, frozen mango, TBSP or so of sesame seeds, and water.

Blended until smooth, it came out looking like this:

I like the pretty green color, but the taste is decent too. It is sweet but not overly so, and there is just the slightest hint of celery flavor and a minute tad of bitterness from the kale.  All in all, I think it is a nice balance for a lunchtime smoothie.

So, which one wins out for me?  The salad or the smoothie?  Well, in all honesty I think it is the salad.  Smoothies are nice in that they are portable and I find that when I have one for lunch, I kind of "work" through lunch. For example, today I cleaned up the kitchen and am now typing on the computer while sipping my lunch.  Although that could be seen as a positive, I don't like it.  I like to sit down and enjoy my meals.  I suppose I could sit down and just drink the smoothie, but that seems odd.

The other thing the salad offers me that the smoothie does not is the actual feeling like I am eating.  I rather enjoy chewing food.

Finally, while the smoothie is good, it is a hair too sweet for me - even given how non-sweet it is! Hands down, when it comes to a face off between veggies and fruit, veggies will win for me every time.

So, there you have it, folks, the winner in my own personal lunchtime face-off match is salad.  Don't get me wrong, I will probably still have smoothies for lunch here and there (after all, I can't eat salad every day; I get bored too easily), but salad remains king.

(If you are wondering what my lunch date had today, he had half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, two Halo oranges, one small apple, and the glass of smoothie on the left in the photo above.  He is definitely a fruit eater, and he declared the smoothie "good.")

Running Update: I was a bit more tight and sore today after the rowing yesterday, but I decided to hop on the treadmill anyway and try my run/walk again. I went 3.25 miles with little trouble, then did my PT exercises.  I am paying for it now, though, with a bit more discomfort than I have had the past few days. I have to say, I KNOW in my heart of hearts that I really probably should NOT be running. I should find some nice, safe exercise (whatever that may be) that doesn't exasperate the problem AT ALL and then do that until I detect no pain, discomfort, tightness, tenderness, or off feeling. But, unfortunately, that is not me.  I don't just run to participate in races or to maintain fitness, I run for my sanity and mental health. And, I just can't give it up completely.  I am my own worst enemy at times.

Happy Running!


  1. If it makes you feel better I am my own worst enemy too, I probably shouldn't be running now either, but the doctor said I could as tolerated. I just can't seem to tolerate more than 2 or 3 miles and it is breaking my heart.

    I would pick salad too, smoothies are good but not as filling to me.

    1. Ugh, sorry to hear that running isn't going so well for you either. This being hurt thing really is a downer. Hope you feel better soon!