Sunday, 23 July 2017

Thanks to bad organisation on my part and a slightly up-in-the-air living situation, I had a horrible diet during my first trimester. My usual healthy dinners and money-saving leftovers lunches fell by the wayside while I stayed part of the week with my parents - who were looking after our dog while Darren re-decorated our flat to put it on the market - and I lost all interest in food.

Spending a few nights a week in one place and the rest of the week in another meant I wasn't meal planning and we weren't doing big weekly shops; I didn't have any cravings or major food aversions, the main root of the problem was I just didn't feel much like eating much of anything in particular - a rarity for me, who usually knows exactly what's for dinner tomorrow. I was replying to Darren's 'what do you fancy for dinner?' texts with a 'meh' and getting home, looking in the cupboards and plumping for pasta or sandwiches. Every night. And the two foods I actually was put off having - eggs and tea - were my usual breakfast staples, so I was buying bacon sandwiches from the work cafe or tucking into croissants and hot chocolates 'as a treat' from Pret on the days when I commuted from my parents - which became more and more frequent!

The start of my second trimester coincided with moving back home properly (and getting back to walking the dog every morning), but I was still suffering from total lethargy in life and in the kitchen. Though thankfully no morning sickness! I knew I needed to start treating my body a little better; I was still totally apathetic about what I actually wanted to eat, but luckily I was starting to feel more like my usual helpings of fresh vegetables.

Enter the green juice. Granted, I haven't felt like having it every morning, but I'm a big believer that if you fall into a routine - good or bad - it gets easier to stick to. The saving grace of this smoothie - aside from the fact it's ready in mere minutes - is that it has 3 of my 5-a-day, so if all I eat for the rest of the day is crisps and pizza, at least I know there was something green somewhere in there. The best part is that unlikes fancy juices spiked with spirulina or the ones you buy from the fancy coffee shop, they're pretty inexpensive to make - about a fiver a week's worth of juices - and the ingredients don't go off the day after you cart them home from the supermarket.

To make a (work) week's worth of smoothies
5 medium-sized bananas
1 large bag of kale
Bag of frozen mango (I get mine from Tesco)
Tube of ginger (optional)
UPDATE: a splash of orange juice makes this lovely and tropical, especially if you're suspicious of the greens

To make one smoothie, put a whole banana, a large handful of kale, a serving of frozen mango and a squeeze of ginger paste (if using) into a blender with a cup of water. Blitz until smooth.

I use a Nutri Ninja (loudest gadget ever, contrary to what the name suggests) and, once the ingredients are in the cup attachment, I fill it to about half-full with water. More water will give you a looser juice and less water will yield a thicker smoothie. Sometimes I add a few ice cubes for a bit of froth.

Drink straight away and it's lovely and creamy, or store in a jar to sip at work - I've noticed that once it settles, it isn't as creamy and the kale taste is a little more prominent, but it still tastes good!

p.s. DO NOT mistake cavolo nero for kale - our local Co-Op called it 'speciality kale' and Darren got it without noticing. It is gross and has NO PLACE in this juice! Though the leftover cavolo nero did result in a delicious and super-fast dinner I will get around to blogging at some point.

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