I picked a bad day to start my November resolution to drink one green smoothie a day.
The night before, I had slept only four hours because I stayed out late and downed four drinks (after not drinking much recently).
A shot of Patron Silver before I left my apartment. The Patron went down like an old lover – the anticipation is sweet, the feeling is warm and smooth – it all seems fun and harmless, even (until you find yourself fucked).
A cocktail named Penicillin (45 RMB) at Mai Bar. It was some ginger, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup I think, garnished with a fat slab of fresh ginger, anchored by a smooth round ball of ice taking up most of the glass. Like the idea but execution was too sweet for me.
A can of Yanjing beer (4 RMB) from a hutong kiosk, those ubiqitious suppliers of late night liquids, fruits, dry snacks that I always want to call the corner store or the bodega even though it is neither.
Lastly, a gin and tonic at Dada Bar – an innocuous club drink that I always dismiss for its lack of imagination and excess sugar. Yet I drink it too often – too careless to expend the two seconds to explain my preferred alternative: a gin and soda with fresh lime – sparkly and refreshing. But Chinese bartenders never seem to get it so I stopped bothering.
Anyway, back to the healthy stuff. The point is that I did some damage the night before and suffered dehydration and sleep-deprivation, aka, a hangover, the next morning so I started A Green Smoothie A Day on a bruised note.
I had stockpiled some produce the night before from a kiosk down the street. Spent maybe 40 RMB for the week. Then went to the expat grocer, Jenny Lou’s, for some imported lemons.
This is my recipe for this week . I will probably get tired of it and add new things in the next weeks. Or maybe not – this was easy, cheap and tasty.
Recipe: Week 1 Green Smoothie
- 2 small cucumbers
- 2 cups of spinach
- 3 stalks of celery (including the leafy part)
- 1 cup of soy milk
- 1 nub of fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
- juice of half a lemon
Slice everything. Add to blender. Blend until smooth. If too chunky, add more liquid (water or soy).
The cup of Vitasoy soy milk makes the greens go down gentler – softening and sweetening all that roughage. The lemon makes it bright and sparkle. The chia seeds are just cute little insect eyes in a sea of green.
So I downed two (small) glasses of this green stuff around 10 am (after my 8-kilometer treadmill jog at 8 am). I felt great. I was preternaturally cheerful and bright-eyed from about 10 am to 3 pm.
Then a dull headache crept up. I was cranky, irritable and impatient for the rest of day. I couldn’t work or focus. No matter how much water I drank, the headache didn’t leave me until the evening when I crawled back to bed.
Was this due to the hanagover or the Green Juice? Who knows.
No one disagrees with the positive effects of eating vegetables – it’s just that most people lack the time and energy to integrate more veggies into their busy lives. This works for me. I’m now on day five; I hope I can stick with it for the month.
During the day I sit at my work desk (aka dining table) at home with a small squat glass, luminescent with green. I sip it for a few hours, do my admin work, some creative work. Before I know it, I have drank three small glasses – breakfast blending into lunch and I feel okay. A bit hungry but light. The best part is that I feel virtuous all day. The placebo effect of A Green Smoothie A Day might be just as effective as the plant nutrients themselves.