Smoothie Sunday – The End

SmoothieTargetReachedAnother target reached! Lets start with the stats

Action Plan Progress:

  • DONE – 66 consecutive days of drinking a fruit and vegetable smoothie.
  • DONE – Smoothies have been consistently prepared a week in advance.
  • DONE – 66 photos with smoothie recipes shared on Instagram.
  • DONE – 2 books read on food science.
  • DONE – 3 new restaurants with vegetarian options visited.
  • DONE – 11 weekly posts shared.
  • My weight has not changed since adding smoothies to my diet.
  • Aborted – 2 cooking classes taken that will help us get more vegetables in our meals.
    • Found 2 new vegan YouTube chefs to follow.

Grade: B

Incentive: Since a B is still passing, Clayton and I will be going on an excursion while in Mexico!


Lessons Learned:

The most important thing I learned through this exercise is that I hate vegetables, but I have come to enjoy my green smoothies. I cannot say if there has been an objective improvement to my health, but subjectively I can rationalize that getting more fruits and vegetables on a daily basis is better than not getting them. I will keep up with this habit and look forward to sampling new fruits and vegetables in my recipes.

6 Month Goals:

  • Read 1 new book on food science
  • Try 1 new vegetarian restaurant

Please enjoy the holiday season, and look for new habits from me next year!

Tidy Travels – The End

Clayton and I moved into our new house and have diligently worked to get unpacked before vacation.

Action Plan Progress:

  • DONE – 6 weekly posts shared
  • DONE – Completed discarding and packing by Thursday, 12/10/2015
  • DONE – Posted about storing techniques
  • DONE – Kept a photo journal

Grade: A

Incentive: I’ve already found a new cleaning service in Red Wing and hopefully we can get them started in January!

Lessons Learned:

One idea I tried to keep in mind while unpacking and storing was that everything should have a place. I left nothing unpacked, and it feels good to be surrounded by the things that spark joy.

Below are pictures that highlight the techniques suggested by Marie Kondo.

Bathroom storage – I used storage bins, shoe boxes, and have kept all the same items stored together.
Bookshelves storage – they include the two accordion folders that now house the only paper in our place!
Closet storage – Our new closet is laid out differently, but we got almost everything stored there. I still have another chest of drawers in the bedroom, but it wouldn’t fit through the closet opening.

There was no part of this process that was simple. I think the fact that we were moving made it easier to keep moving forward. My favorite part was rediscovering things that do spark joy that have been stuck in boxes!

6 Month Goals:

My only goal is to ensure I ask myself if something sparks joy before purchasing it.

Please share your KonMari success stories in the comments!

Cooking Class Cop-out

The last item on my action plan was to attend 2 cooking classes that would help get more vegetables in our diet. All the classes I could find this time of year centered around holiday feasts so I decided to find some vegetarian YouTube chefs that could help me accomplish the same goal. A happy coincidence is that my favorite chefs have smoothie videos for me to feature!


Kristina is funny, engaging, and I like her style. She has a full backlog of videos for me to peruse that cover diet, exercise, and other interesting topics. The videos have great production value and they are very well organized. She has 26 videos just on juice/smoothies!

Vegan Black Metal Chef

If you get nothing else from my blog I hope you love discovering Vegan Black Metal Chef along with me. I have no words…

Sometimes alternate solutions turn out better than the original might have. I am excited to have new YouTube channels to follow that will provide a lot of great meal ideas as I maintain this habit in the future.

What is your favorite way to work more vegetables into your diet? Please share your ideas in the comments!

Discarding Drill: Mementos


The last category in the discarding process is mementos. It was difficult to determine what was included in this category as it is basically everything else. I had the following major categories:

  1. Cards
  2. Snow globes
  3. Stuffed animals
  4. Pictures
  5. Random stuff

It was pretty easy for me to part with the cards. I enjoyed receiving the cards, but the book resonated with me about not holding onto gifts out of guilt.MomentosAfter1 The rest of the sub categories were difficult to get through. Clayton seemed especially resistant to this part of the process and assured me everything sparked joy.

As you can see from the after picture we parted with very little. I admit that I did not get rid of any pictures. It was a lot of effort to put my photo albums together, and I do take the time to look at them regularly and enjoy them.

We have done a great job of getting through the discarding process, and I want to make sure that everything we have determined sparks joy is on display in our home. My new policy is to not have anything packed away where we cannot enjoy it.

Have you successfully sorted through and discarded mementos? Please share any tips in the comments.

Restaurant Reviews

Part of my action plan in building this smoothie habit was to try vegetarian meals at 3 new restaurants. It was a happy coincidence that two of them had smoothie options!

Ecopolitan1.  Ecopolitan

This restaurant is located in a converted home and now houses the restaurant and other wellness shops. We were the only patrons in the restaurant for a while, so I had plenty of time to take in the surroundings. The mosaics and artwork all over the walls provide a lovely atmosphere.

They only serve organic, vegan, raw food which is a big departure from our normal diet. I ordered the Sunrise Smoothie, rawnola, and a banana EcopolitanFoodcrepe for breakfast. The smoothie was top notch and made with banana, pineapple, dates, and orange juice. The rawnola was odd… I got used to the taste after a few bites, but I would not recommend it. The banana crepe was not at all what I was expecting, and I didn’t eat much of it. The crepe itself was made with bananas and was filled with avocado, carrots, and onions. I didn’t love the food, but if this location was closer I would be at their smoothie bar all the time!

Birchwood 2. Birchwood Cafe

Clayton selected this restaurant, and it was my least favorite of the three we visited. It is located in a quaint neighborhood, but there is only street parking. My favorite part about the location is that it is across the street from the Dead Media Record StoreBirchwoodFood

I ordered the Green Curry Rice (a staff favorite) and Clayton had their chicken noodle soup. The curry was spicy, and different than what I was expecting. I really enjoyed the citrus they added, but once that was gone I lost interest in the rest of the dish. Clayton’s soup was okay, but didn’t seem to have much chicken or noodles. The bread was fantastic!

Seward3. Seward Cafe

The outside of the cafe is uninspiring, but inside is vibrant. There are murals, plants, and chalkboards covering almost every wall and window. It’s a great atmosphere.

SewardFoodWe arrived at an odd time and the kitchen was closed to switch from the breakfast/ lunch to dinner fare. We were still able to order a smoothie, cookie, and cherry scone. The smoothie had mixed berries, bananas, and grape juice and was delicious. The cookie was average, but the scone was exceptional. I am excited to visit again and try the vegan mac and cheese, after 5 pm.

Setting out to visit 3 new restaurants that specialized in vegetarian food certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone. While none of them have become a new favorite, I am glad we made the effort to try something new.

What is your favorite vegetarian restaurant? Please share your favorite menu item in the comments!

Discarding Drill: Miscellaneous

It seemed like we were making great progress, but then we got to the miscellaneous category…

  1. Music
  2. Movies
  3. Games
  4. Bathroom
  5. Kitchen
  6. Laundry
  7. Bedding


This category was messy and took much longer to sort through than the previous ones. Each new pile was more daunting than the last. Because our move date is creeping up on us we’ve had to discard and pack after work, which is not ideal. Also Clayton hasn’t fully bought into the process so I feel like I spend a lot of time explaining to him why I want to sort through things in a certain way.

It took 4 days, but we finally got through everything! I’ve included a picture of our donate pile below. We also sold a lot of movies and games and threw out a ton of junk.


Up next mementos. One last category and we’ll be done. I just have to keep reminding myself that everything will be infinitely better next week!

Book Breakdown: Green Smoothie Revolution

Green Smoothie Revolution: The Radical Leap Towards Natural Health is a 2 part book. Part 1: “Unleashing the Healing Power of Greens” is composed of 10 short chapters explaining the benefits of adding green smoothies to your diet. My key takeaways:

  1. Rotate your greens
  2. Only add greens to your smoothies (kale, spinach, etc.), not other vegetables (carrots, beets, etc.)
  3. Simple recipe: greens, fruit, water
  4. Drink your smoothie by itself, not as a part of a meal

Part 2 offers a tremendous amount of recipes, some more appetizing than others. After reading through the recipes I’m excited to try new ingredients like bok choy, celery, and tomatoes.

This book is a quick and enjoyable read, but there were too many dubious claims for me to give it a higher grade. In appendix 2 Clent Manich lists out 18 benefits he has experienced from drinking green smoothies including whiter teeth and sweeter breath. There is also an “Anticancer Smoothie” recipe. Despite the widely quoted material there still seemed a lack of credible evidence.

I read this book hoping to get some new ideas for smoothies recipes and pick up some helpful tips on smoothie prep. In that respect this book was spot on, but could have been 50 pages shorter.

Did you notice any significant changes once you started drinking green smoothies? Please share your experience in the comments.

Discarding Drill: Books & Papers

I have just completed Phase 3 of the KonMari method, and am thoroughly exhausted. I failed to leave myself enough time to complete two phases of this project and write a proper blog post about it. I also took out my frustration on Clayton, which was unfair. Even though I am technically still on track with my action plan, I am calling this week a fail. The purpose of taking on this task/habit was to try and avoid the chaos moving brings, but it is as stressful as ever.

Please enjoy this photo series on our progress in lieu of an actual post…

Books, books everywhere!
Book Pile
Books to discard
Paper Pile
Paper After