Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bring Me My Rocker, I'm Retiring....

Not!
When it rains it pours...for real. I have been swamped with appointments lately and only a few of those are for my gimp knee, but you don't need to hear about those, at least not at this point. This morning I had a two week follow-up for my knee ( I really need to name my cyst if we will be spending so much time together). If you recall I had quite a disappointing meeting with the doctor (read about it HERE) a couple of weeks ago, which lit a fire under my bootie and resulted in requesting a second opinion referral and a third referral just to be sure. I'm not playing around. Anyway when I was checking out during my first appointment they scheduled me with the PA which was FINE BY ME. I was not thrilled with the Dr. I had just seen and honestly probably would not have gone back today had the appointment been with him.

Either way, I went in this AM and met with a PA student, which was awesome. He covered all his bases and asked super questions then I heard him relay all the info to the PA. It was a two-fer! So the PA checked me over, discussed the notes from the Dr. and I immediately told him I was not okay with what I was told and not running was not an option. Long story short we discussed options OTHER than "not running". He had ideas! He had a brain! It was refreshing! He told me about his hesitancy to "slice me open" and I agree, he informed me about physical therapy and ultrasound therapy and how it would not necessarily shrink it but could decrease swelling (which it was swollen today, probably from the running lately), and the best thing he said was "Ramp up the running." Yep, that is what he said. He told me to ramp it up. I told him it was actually perfect timing since OBX full training starts on Sunday, July 8. He said to schedule to come back in August, or before if necessary. He said we could discuss the need for ultrasound therapy then, and assess the pain and worsening, and to get through the training maybe steroid shots if necessary. He wrote me a prescription for  a Flector Patch - an adhesive NSAID, to wear during and after a run or as needed. I was happy with this... but despite being happy though I will keep my second opinion appointment on July 17 and will proceed with scheduling the third opinion when I can fit it in. I feel happy just being heard and treated like an athlete-not an old lady who longs for a life on the porch in a rocker....however-give me a rocker on a porch facing the Atlantic with the sun, wind and salty breeze and I may just hang up my shoes...but probably not.

And just because no post is complete without some sort of visual here is my Facebook post about what you just read above....



And here is our 7 day forecast...just because everyone else has posted it too. Can you say BEACH?  I can!


I know pretty much everyone has been super hot this week or is about to be, like us. Remember, stay hydrated and try to run in the coolest part of the day....

And a very important note from J-Ninja:

Don't forget about our furry family...it's too hot to run with them in this heat, even if you think they can handle it. They are hairy and will die trying to keep up with you. 

How are you going to stay cool in this heat wave?



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Love Me Some Compression!

I think everyone needs to invest in a pair of athletic compression socks!

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Recovering after Big Sur...I wore these for about 36 hours straight. Tiny piece of heaven wrapped around my sore legs.
As most of you know, I have been on the injured list since Big Sur on April 29th. I have just recently begun running again and with that has come some strange tightness and soreness in my left calf. I'm not sure if that is a result of the cyst inside my knee or just soreness from being inactive for over a month. But either way I am a firm believer in compression and despite the soaring temps here I have been running in my Zensah Compression Socks, outside.

Here is what Zensah says about their compression socks:

The Zensah Athletic Compression Socks are the most innovative athletic compression socks within the athletic market. Each pair of athletic compression socks is made in Italy using seamless technology to prevent any irritation. The athletic compression socks were designed by a professional athletic trainer and feature ProGrade Compression Technology - the optimal amount of compression for athletes.

The athletic compression socks use graduated compression to increase oxygen blood flow to energize your legs prior to any athletic activity, enhance athletic performance during an athletic activity, and aid in recovery after any athletic activity. The Zensah Athletic Compression Sock will enable you to perform athletic activities at a whole new level.

The Zensah Athletic Compression Socks are the only athletic compression socks to incorporate arch support as part of the athletic compression socks - allowing your legs to last longer during athletic activities. Each pair of athletic compression socks are made with propriety Zensah fabric, which is both anti-microbial and thermo-regulating. The athletic compression socks keep your legs cool in hot weather and comfortable in cold weather.


I must say the first thing I noticed when I slid these socks on was how soft they are. Unlike the two other pairs (two different brands too) these aren't scratchy and stiff. They felt soft and did not irritate my skin.

I think compression is very important for recovery, in fact that is when I wear them most. I usually get super hot and annoyed when I wear my other brand's compression socks while on a run, however, these are soft (ok already mentioned that) and most importantly, even in the heat, I do not feel hot. During a recent run in the Zensah socks it was 8 PM and 82 degrees with unmentionable humidity. I was nervous to wear them because the last thing I want is to have to cut a run short because my socks are slowing me down, or driving me crazy. I have been known to roll my compression socks down, 80's style, just to get them off my legs. But...THIS DID NOT HAPPEN, that was NOT the case with the Zensah socks. Maybe it is the softness or the thermo-regulating fabric, but whatever it is IT WORKS. Not only did I complete my 2.5 miles run (hey, recovering from an injury here-with a cyst in my knee, 2.5 miles is AWESOME) but my pace was about 23 seconds per mile faster than previous runs, in the heat, without the socks. Now, to be fair I am running slow, but any improvement in pace is welcomed. And most notable was the decrease in calf pain on my left leg. During previous runs without the socks I had to stop and walk, not because I was tired but because my calf was so tight and hurting. But with the compression socks I was able to continue running with a decreased pain in my calf, and no walking. Win WIN!

Do you know how hard it is to get a picture of your own legs? Pretty hard...But either way, here are the socks. They fit perfect and feel so good

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I had LB snap some shots....he did pretty good...LOVE the one where my head is completely cut off. That is not the result of cropping.

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And here we are...he's my training buddy these days. I CAN NOT keep up with him when he's on his bike, but it makes for a good fartlek workout.

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Either way, check out Zensah compression products! If you have a 4th of July race coming up check these babies out HERE:

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Pretty awesome right?? 

Do you do compression? 


And do you have any 4th of July races coming up? I'm going to have to find one! I'm in the mood to race!





Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Getting it Together...

I've been trying to get everything together so that I can begin juicing along with my smoothie-making...It truly takes a LOT of preparation. I placed an order last week at our local Natural Market. I may have put the horse before the cart though because I didn't really realize that wheatgrass needs it's very own, special, EXPENSIVE juicer machine. Thankfully my friend V loaned me her regular juicer to try for a while so I can make sure it's something I want to invest hundreds of dollars into before I actually do it. But the wheat grass juicer is still an issue...
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I didn't really know that the wheatgrass needs to be refrigerated so now it's hiding under my desk. I bet my clients are going to wonder what in the world is going on here...And actually, now that I look at my desk from back here I wonder what's going on here. It looks like a mess.
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I searched Amazon for an affordable wheat grass juicer and found this one:

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I think I'll give it a try and see how it works. It's manual and significantly less than $100...to me that means a solid YES.
My Magic Bullet is working beautifully for the smoothies and it has really been fun to participate in the 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge.

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I've been doing some running. Not a lot but some. It feels good and I have minimal pain, which is great. I have a follow-up appointment on Thursday and am waiting for the second opinion doctor to call me back to schedule. I can't believe how long this process takes. This has been going on since the first week of May. And to think, full marathon training for OBX starts July 8. Wow. If the second opinion doctor doesn't want to take my case then he will give me the name of someone who may know better how to work with my uh..."problem". I also have one more referral to see another doctor about it in hopes that out of THREE doctors at least one of them will know what can be done. In the mean time I just keep running around like a lunatic from one office to another requesting records, delivering MRI/X-Ray disks, yadda yadda yadda....there has to be a better, more efficient way. All of my down time is spent going to doctors offices and appointments, leaving me little time to run or work out. Wah wah....yes I am crying you a river.
I guess I do have a little, bitty, teeny tiny bit of time here and there. Yesterday I did some kettle bell exercises on the back porch. It was hot and humid as a mug.

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This is sweat, not water, rain or anything else...and there is no lotion on my skin either. This is pure sweat...
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Oh I love summer....


So lots of new things here in 5 Mile land...Any juicer, smoothie tips to share? Any wheat grass knowledge? I hope I can keep it alive, at least long enough to give it a try!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Juicing...

and not the illegal kind...it requires learning a second language. Seriously. If not a second language then there is at least a serious learning curve.

I'm trying my hand at more juicing and eating raw. It's hard....just figuring out what all these things, ingredients, are takes a degree, maybe an advanced degree.

For instance do you know what Spirulina is? Me either. That's what Google is for. How about Wheatgrass? I mean I grew up on a farm in Oklahoma. My dad was a wheat farmer. This is the same thing! I had no idea until I googled it! Ok how about this, "capsules of friendly bacteria"? Luckily I actually knew what this was and didn't have too much trouble finding it at the Apple Crate, my local Natural Market. I had to google Power Greens to figure out what that is....and it's expensive, just like the Omega Swirl stuff I bought.

I've got almost everything I need to begin juicing. I ordered a pallet of wheat grass that should be in on Monday. They had the powder but I'm trying to use more whole, natural foods, the real thing when I can. I also have to order the Spirulina and Power Greens. I've never done a detox but I want to see what it's like. Plus I'd like to feel like I am getting a fresh start when I really move into the Raw eating. I'm certainly learning as I go and I feel a little intimidated by the process. Any tips and pointers are more than welcome...
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Probiotic, Omega 3, Wheat Grass powder sample, Tea...only a few necessary ingriedients
Have you ever done a detox? How about eating Raw or juicing? I know I can't be 100% raw and actually I believe it will be best for me if I am more like 80% raw, that is mostly consuming raw foods but also some cooked foods like meat (not going vegetarian), some veggies occasionally, and lentils and beans. I'm pretty excited to document my progress and to really see how I feel even a few weeks into it. So what do you think??


Monday, June 18, 2012

Something WEIRD going on...

...yes, you wanna know what it is? It's TOTALLY random. It's not running related. Not injury related. Not really related to anything. It's just weird...

And borderline Girl Talk...I don't have many male followers but for the few I do have, consider yourselves warned.

I would say 5 out of 7 days a week this happens to me, I come home from work and get into my comfy clothes (since it's summer it's usually my swim suit, under my cut-off shorts or a sun dress, I'm classy like that, and STILL channeling my inner Beach Girl) and get on with chillaxing and unwinding. And it is not until I'm changing my clothes that I realize, strangely, my underwear MATCH my shirt. And each and every time this happens I am so shocked and surprised, even though it happens all the time. So weird! Normally the first thing I do in the morning is get out the shower and put on undies....normal right, not so strange. Then I go stand in my closet for about 15 minutes and grumble around until I pull a shirt off the hanger and put it on. Kid you not, nearly every week day my shirt and underwear match in color. I do not plan this...Anyway, today I put on a bright, fun yellow shirt. I felt sunny and happy. Then on the way out the door I spilled coffee all down the front. I HATE that! I was in a yellow mood. But I didn't have time to dilly-dally so I grabbed a black shirt with some silver and purple floral design (far from the sunny yellow). But just a few minutes ago, I realized my underwear were BLACK. It was meant to be...the yellow shirt and black undies just didn't match. Told you it was random...does this happen to anyone else? Or just me?

And now, for the running/fitness/inspirational portion of this running blog...yeah I got nothing. Well nothing too exciting anyway. I did get my referral in the mail on Friday so I need to call and schedule my second opinion for my knee. That is kind of exciting.

I have entered a contest to win an entry into the New Balance Falmouth Road Race in Cape Cod! THAT is exciting! I never really win anything and let me tell you, I would love to win this...a weekend getaway to Cap Cod to run a race!! And I will be ready, I WILL be ready. I have registered for OBX full marathon in November, I'm about to register for Virginia Beach Rock n Roll half in September (I'm either in denial or very very optimistic). So why not enter the New Balance Falmouth Road Race too? If you have three seconds I'd be so so grateful if you would vote for me simply by "Liking" my words of inspiration/encouragement HERE, of course if you don't think it's encouraging then there are a number of others in the contest too. I don't really think I have a chance, one chick has over 100 votes. But it's worth a try, if I don't try then I will always wonder What If...and I HATE the what if game.

This also leads me to the second little ditty I am hoping to enter...the Runtastic "Gear Up for Summer" contest HERE. This one is actually fun and involves some creativity...check out their blog HERE. Pretty much they have an app for our smart phones (who doesn't need a few running tracking apps just in case as a back up for the Garmin?) and the idea is to use it while running and actually run (bike or hike) in the shape of your favorite summer activity (I wonder if I can actually run in the shape of a beach bum??? See what I mean? Creative and challenging!). Then we email the GPS map to them and whallah, you are entered in the contest! So I am going to give it a shot!! I'll post the shape I come up with when I get it done...

I went to visit a dear friend this weekend and we had a great time catching up and watching our kids play.

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It's actually kind of nice having this down time from long runs and training plans. I feel no pressure to train hard and it opens my weekends up for reconnecting with friends I haven't seen in a long time. Usually I am off racing or training, so I am trying to use my down time in other positive, constructive ways. I'm done with the pity parties and the woe-is-me attitude. I am changing the things I have control over and letting go of those that are out of my control...just like I tell my clients.

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A decision tree on the wall of my office...
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More fun things on my wall that I use every day, for myself and my clients...
So how about you? Do you have some things in your life that are out of your control that you could let go of? By deciding to let go you are actually taking control...so think about it, what are you hanging on to that you could let go of?


Friday, June 15, 2012

Step into my office....

...and let's talk about it.

This is me, in therapy....looks serious, doesn't it??? Anyway, this is me...

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Eurika! *
...trying to come to terms with the truth that my knee hurts, after one measly, wimpy 1.5 mile run. It's not unbearable but it is there, nagging me, bugging me, reminding me..."Hey, hey you, hey you brain...don't forget, don't forget about me, the knee, that really important part of your body that allows you be be active and do fun things, I'm here!" It's frustrating to say the least. I'm still in a wait-and-see stage, waiting on a second opinion, see what they say on my two week follow up, wait, see, wait, see...

The good thing is that I am still mellowed out from my trip to the beach...so I think instead of being on a couch in an office I just need to head back to the beach for my therapy...

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So in the mean time, while I can't run too much I'm going to be doing the Wildman workouts and I found my Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD and my P90X Ab Ripper. I'm going to fire them up and do what I can. I'm channeling my inner beach girl to go with the flow...and be chill...so far it's working...And I have another (or two or three) beach trip planned. I'm also going to see my first, freshman year college roommate! I can't wait to see her! She came to my dad's funeral in October but we didn't really get a chance to visit. So I am looking forward to seeing her.

So the lesson here is take care of yourself-holistically. It's not just the physical part that is so important but the emotional, mental, spiritual part too.  When one thing gets you down, focus on other positives in your life. It's not ALL bad. Remember, to be the best version of you that you can be it's important to take care of ALL of you...focus on the positives and be thankful for the things that are going right.

Change the things you can change and accept and let go of those that are out of your control....

So what have you done for yourself lately, outside of running or sweating? 

**side note, that's not really me in therapy...but it is me in my office, where I conduct therapy. =)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It's not a tumor...

...or is it? What's the difference between a tumor and a cyst anyways? Beats me...

So I did it! I hit the road last night around 7:30 for short run. I decided I would ease back into running in an attempt to keep inflammation down so I only went about a mile and a half. I didn't wear my Garmin because frankly speed and distance are the least of my worries. I was just happy to run and to feel my body and listen to it. For the most part I felt good, heavy and slow, but good. Today I only have a hint of throbbing and no pain. I call this a success! I plan to get in another run after work too.

I have to say THANKS for all the awesome comments and encouragement you gave me on yesterday's post. But I have to say Cynthia from RunDreamLaugh gave me some pretty stellar advice...Why didn't I think of this?

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The runner up comment goes to TMB...thanks for the encouraging yet horrifying information...I'll keep this in mind when my knee starts to hurt again. Maybe it just needs to rupture. However, I was told that 90% of the time it just returns. So it's worth a shot...maybe.
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Either way, I am staying positive and starting slow. And it feels good! I have requested a referral for a second opinion and hopefully it wont take me 29 days to get in elsewhere.

And in case you need more than this daily fix of 5 Miles Past Empty head over to A Healthier Happier Bear to check out my guest post on Marathon+Moderation! It's always fun to guest post and I think you will find her blog quite entertaining, engaging and informative! So go ahead, click HERE....



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Today I will run, with a cyst in my knee...

Yep. I will be lacing up today, for the first time since Big Sur, to go for a run. It's going to be amazing. I hope.

Today I had the appointment I have been waiting 29 days for. I met with an Orthopedic Surgeon. What I got was a mix of good and bad news and I left feeling quite frustrated and aggravated.

When the doctor came in my eyes lit up, he was fit and had a look about him that gave me the first impression that he would understand...he would fix this and get me back on the road. After a brief intro of myself and a life (running) history and a description of pain he looked at my MRI report and images...The good news came when he said I had a healthy knee joint that looks good. He saw no tear in the meniscus, which was a concern after Googling. The bad news came when he said he could not see a cause or origin of the cyst and he had never seen one quite like it. He proceeded to explain that he could not really drain it because of it's location. The conversation went something like this:

Me: So what are you saying doc?
Doc: Do you have to run marathons?
Me: (Cold as death stare right into his annoying face.....)Yes. I'm already registered for OBX in November.
Doc: Wont it be cold then?
Me: (Freaked out because this man must be an alien...) Probably? (Thinking, do your legs NOT work in the cold?)

So you can only imagine how the appointment when from there. Basically he said I have a cyst in my knee (Duh...you went to med school to figure that out?) and it's not going anywhere on its own. It will not shrink or dissolve. It may or may not grow, but probably will, but wont go away. Impact will result in inflammation and worsening and pain...so his answer? To not run marathons. Oh and prescribe an NSAID and topical NSAID. He briefly explained that surgery would leave a large, nasty scar on "nice legs" (Uh, well they wont be so nice if I STOP RUNNING JERKFACE. I DONT GIVE TWO FLIPS ABOUT A SCAR.) He did explain the surgery would be complicated and require cutting through an artery, ligaments and tendons just to reach the cyst on the inside of the knee...great. So a surgery would be a pretty significant recovery, I think? He said to me three times, "Do you have to run marathons?"

So what is my option? Leave it in there to annoy me and cause me pain for the rest of my life, never run further than a 5k again and just deal with it until it grows so much I don't have a choice but to cut it out or have an elephant leg? Or just get the dang thing out now and deal with it. I'm not one for bandaids and he didn't even give me a cool Spiderman bandaid. He gave me a cheap-o , lame bandaid.

I have a follow-up appointment in two weeks. In the mean time I will begin running again and keeping a very detailed running log (at the advice of my sister) making note of distance, pain level before, during and after the run, and recovery time, and anything else I need to note. Also in the mean time I am going to work on getting a referral for a second opinion. I am not happy with what I heard today...
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There it is..that white blob. =/

So I'm gonna put on my happy face, happy shorts and lace up my barely-broken-in running shoes and hit the road....Maybe even find a race to do soon...



Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Blues...

...is there such a thing?

In my world I think not. I love LOVE love summer. Everything about it, from the blaring sun to the creepy bugs. It is hands down my favorite season. If it were 90+ and sunny 367 days a year I would be in heaven (yes, I know there are only 365 days in a year....). It is strange though, given this info, that I loved the PNW so much. That's neither here nor there, the fact remains-I love summer, and summer is here!

So I was so excited this weekend when LB and I packed up the car and headed to the beach. We spent the whole day Saturday just chillaxing on the beach, not a care in the world.


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8 AM (diet) Pepsi in hand, in the middle of the street....Mom of the Year Award!

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Beach time...
We dug so many holes my arms and back were sore on Sunday....Talk about a workout!

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Sunday I got to meet up with an old friend I haven't seen in a long time! Our kids got to meet for the first time and they hit it off immediately. It was great to catch up with her and of course the conversation turned to fitness. She mentioned Wildman Training, and I was all ears when she said it was using body weight, at home, and it works....obviously, she looks amazing! I'm going to give it a try and see what happens. I need to gain some strength to improve my overall fitness level. Starting tonight I am going to give it a try and see how it goes.

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This past weekend at the beach definitely helped me feel rejuvenated, revived, de-stressed, de-compressed, alive, care-free and happy....and that my 5 Mile friends is awesome.
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Me and LB <3




Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy National Running Day...

How will you celebrate?

I'd love to celebrate with a run. Go figure. But alas, I am still not running. I mean I ran a quarter of a mile last week, so I guess that counts. I had walked LB to the bus stop and the second he got on the bus it started pouring...so I ran home. The knee felt ok, not good, not great, not bad. Just ok. But I felt amazing-I felt happy to be running (even though I was in my flip-flops with my hair down), and in the warm rain....I felt like a kid again. When I got home I was soaked. I sat on my porch and sipped my coffee and just watched the rain and listened to the thunder. I'm learning to be present in the moment, to appreciate the little things...I thought about my running and where I've been and where I'm going with it, what it has given me and I what I hope it continues to give to me-forever.

I have wanted to run a number of times since but for now I am sticking to the elliptical and weights. I have my appointment with the orthopedic surgeon next Tuesday and I am hoping to have some answers after that. I don't want any swelling or pain when I go in so that if something needs to be done it can be done ASAP. This sitting around and doing nothing is for the birds. I am hopeful, the ever-optimist though and signed up for OBX 26.2! This is in November so I have time, not "plenty of time" but time. I was registered last year and didn't toe the line. This year though, I will be there....so I have no choice but to heal, recover, and get back to the road!

So what have I been doing since being sidelined? Besides working and creating a hint of normalcy in my life? Well I've been eating a LOT of green smoothies. That's new. My aunt sent me a Magic Bullet for my birthday and I have been putting it to use....

I ordered the Big Book of Juices and have been reading it. I highly recommend it! It has many easy recipes. I had almost all the ingredients on hand, if not they are easily acessable. It gives ideas for helping with certain ailments such as acne, heart burn, trouble sleeping. It provides recipes for cleansing and detoxing too. The other book, Raw & Beyond, is amazing too. I am striving to be close to 85% raw. I'm pretty sure I could never be 100% raw and the book explains why that isn't exactly healthy anyway. But I am working on integrating more fresh fruits and veggies into me and LB's diet. More foods that ARE ingredients, less foods that HAVE ingredients. That is my goal.

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It's been fun to throw all sorts of GREEN veggies into my Magic Bullet and see how it comes out. Favorites to add along with ice and about 1/4 cup of water (or more for a less thick consistency) are: kale, chard, spinach, tips of asparagus, parsley, cilantro, and basil. I ALWAYS add fresh ginger root which helps with inflammation, and cinnamon, which helps keep the blood sugar from spiking. I found adding a celery stick is just not very good, I've never been a fan of celery....but half a slice of cucumber (about 1/2 an inch slice, then cut in half) adds a nice POP of taste too. I add a table spoon of Chia seeds and sometimes a tablespoon of flaxseed for the Omega-3's. I usually add half a lemon, although today I used a lime. For a smoother consistency I add 1/4 to 1/2 an avocado...really you can add anything you want. I stay away from sugar though.

At first I thought LB wasn't going to get on the GREEN Smoothie bandwagon...but he tricked me and ended up liking it. Although sometimes I have to add a packet of Splenda and a hint more cinnamon to help him get it down....but I think overall it's awesome!


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So what do you think? Tried any delicious green smoothies lately? I'd love to hear what you add to yours!

Oh and Mel and I didn't win the Totally Trials giveaway by Oiselle...oh well...

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